2007-09-08: The People You Meet While Jogging


Mariska_icon.gif Namir_icon.gif

Summary: Namir runs in to a familiar face while jogging. Mariska meets yet another someone who knows Felix Ivanov. The conspiracy expands exponentially.

Date It Happened: September 8th, 2007

The People You Meet While Jogging

Uptown, NYC - Central Park

The time? God awful early in the morning. The place? Central Park. The excuse? Pursuit of physical fitness. Sure, having a fully-equipped workout facility located in the belly of some clandestine organization's satellite facility is nice and all but sometimes it's nice to enjoy the genuine outdoors. Mariska is just one of several overly-ambitious joggers currently making their various rounds along the trails that weave their way through the park. The weather is brisk this early in the morning, which makes for an all-the-more-refreshing sort of run.

Another of the ambitious joggers with nothing better to do than wake up at Oh God in the morning and go for a run is Namir Dayan. He's unaccompanied today, but that doesn't stop him from enjoying the crisp breaking day. He's dressed in typical jogging gear — a gray T-shirt with 'ARMY' emblazoned across the chest in bold black letters, and black athletic pants with a white stripe down the outside of the legs — as he takes his usual trail. It just so happens that this path crosses with Mariska's, and upon seeing the familiar Russian face, he almost comes to a complete stop and blinks. "Mariska?"

What the…? Mariska comes to an abrupt pause mid-stride and steps off to the side of the path so that she might be able to have a bit of distance put between her and the stranger who just said her name. Wait. Does she know this guy? Pale green eyes set themselves into a scrutinizing squint. Even as she's standing there, dark hair shorter than it was in the photograph and pulled back into a brief ponytail, her face is unmistakable. He's definitely got her at a disadvantage. "Do I… have we met?" Yup. Definitely Russian.

When Mariska stops, so does Namir, dropping his arms to his side. "No," he states rather bluntly, smiling, "we have a mutual friend. Felix Ivanov? He said you were asking around about him when he disappeared." His manner and posture is non-threatening, typical of a jogger who has just stopped moving.

Okay, so, what's the story here? Now the people in New York who know Felix Ivanov are finding /her/. Seriously. It's just a bit creepy; too casually coincidental. Propping her hands on her hips as she rests, she asks with a tilted cant of her head, "How do you know who I am?" Maybe he also knows that Aileen woman… uh oh. This might not be a good thing.

"In point of fact," responds Namir with a brief grin that is rather humorless, "he showed my girlf— fiancée and me a picture of you. He was wanting to know if you had stopped by asking about him." The Israeli crosses his arms over his chest, pauses a moment, and then extends a hand toward her. "I'm Namir Dayan. I was Felix's partner in the NYPD years ago."

Mariska shakes the offered hand, grip firm, and then withdraws. "Pleasure to meet you, Namir." Not that she has any real idea who Namir is but, with introductions made there's at least the illusion of familiarity. "Huh," she adds, making an interested noise. "Did he." Show him and his fiancée the picture. She surely knows which picture that must have been — the only one Felix has of her… and their daughter. "I was looking for him, yes…" Past tense.

Naturally, Namir picks up on the fact that it's past tense, and both his eyebrows go up. "Oh, so you found him, then?" Or maybe she gave up. Who knows? He doesn't mention the daughter, figuring it's a bit of a hot-button issue.

"I did," she confirms with the faintest of nods. Despite Namir's unassuming posture, Mariska can't help but seem slightly suspicious of (or maybe that's more rightly 'intimidated by') the man, looking at him a bit askance. But then, curiosity takes hold and she wagers a question of her own: "You have known him for many years, da?"

"You could say that," Namir says with a small nod, crossing his arms over his chest again. "We haven't been terribly close since reassignment, but he was my first partner on the force, so I have known him for about a decade." Give or take. God, that makes him sound old.
A decade? Perfect. Mariska risks coming off as sentimental or oddly intrusive in order to ask, "What sort of man is he?" Is this a trick question? Shouldn't she already know?

What sort of— ? He's gay! But no, Namir resists revealing that little snag. It's not his place. Instead, the Middle-Eastern man contorts his face thoughtfully and glances skyward, taking a moment to consider the question. "Dependable, the sort I would prefer to have on my side than against me; smart, and inundated with pop references." Sure, he can get away with being vague. Finally, he decides to breach it: "You're sure the girl is his?"

Mariska blinks almost audibly. She hadn't anticipated the counterpoint after Namir had so obligingly extolled Felix's virtues. Her dark brows fret over the bridge of her nose, almost wincing. "Yes," she says with an unquestionably resolute tone. "She is."

Namir nods at that. That's not particularly what he's interested in — it's the other thing Felix had told him. "Have you found her yet?" Felix had said she was missing, and a missing little girl is far more important than her lineage, really.

And there's the rub. While in technicality, the answer's a resounding and painful 'yes', she tells Namir: "No. Not yet." And then heaves a sad sigh that she doesn't have to fake. "If you see her…" You'll understand the lie.

Something about that reply is not sitting with Namir, but really, why would a woman lie about not having found her daughter? That sigh wasn't obviously faked either. He lets it slide and nods sympathetically. "You know, I still work with the police. We could put out some information on her."

Really? Mariska's expression perks hopefully and she replies, "Yes, please. I would like that very much." Even if it won't do much good. "I had fliers but they are all gone now. Maybe there are still some in bookstore…" You know, the ONE bookstore in all of New York City. Way to be specific there, Natasha.

Namir reaches into his pocket and withdraws a notepad and small pencil. Yes, he carries them even while jogging. It's rare he's ever in public without them, actually. "Flyers are good. Which bookstore? And what's her information?" The pencil hovers expectantly over the paper.

Which bookstore? Good question. Come to think of it, Mariska can't rightly recall the name. So much has happened between now and then. "Um… I don't… it had a big eye on the window," and this description comes complete with hand gestures in a vain attempt to represent Enlightenment Books' logo. She inches a bit closer to Namir in order to relay details about her daughter without barking them at arm's length. "Her name is Aleksandra… ah-el-ee-kay-ess…" Spelling in English is something Mariska struggles with but she has memorized how to spell her daughter's name properly. "She has black hair and blue eyes…"

Scribblescribblescribble goes the pencil. Arabic, save for Aleksandra's name itself. "A big eye on the window." There has to be a half-dozen different bookstores with that sort of logo in New York. Namir finishes his writing and glances up again. "Any idea where the store was? Or alternatively, do you have any of the flyers left over?"

Mariska's face has set into a studious 'thinking very hard about this' expression — her green eyes stare blankly at the tree to be seen just over Namir's left shoulder while she bares her teeth as if wincing. "I think it is on the east side of city. There was a… little market nearby that sold natural chocolate…" She means organic chocolate. Her eyes refocus and return to her new sienna-skinned companion. "The people were very nice there. I would know it if I saw it again." For all that helps now.

More scribbling before Namir nods again. "That narrows it down a little. Any ideas as to where Aleksandra would be? Someone who would have wanted to take her?" He's no detective, but he's still got a mind for it.

The Russian woman averts her eyes and spares Namir the full brutality of what is a truly heartbreaking expression, channeling the same sort of raw emotion that she experienced the first week in the wake of her daughter's original disappearance two years ago. She shakes her head slowly to the negative, still baffled by the reasons behind her little girl's abduction… and what's been done to her since then. If she thinks about it for too long, there's going to be tears. After a moment, she manages to free herself from her sad reverie and makes a 'lemme see your notepad' gesture. "I need to go but, I give you phone number. You find anything, you call me."

Namir passes it over obligingly, along with the pencil. There's still a little blank space at the bottom of the pad, amid the Arabic script already peppering it. "Absolutely. I can pass this along to some people I know too. They'll have better resources than I do."

After committing seven digits (283.8777) to the short sheet of paper she happily hands the pad and utensil back to their owner before taking a step away. "It was nice to meet you, Namir." Repetition is the key to remembering names. She's starting up her jogging gait again, but she tosses over her shoulder, body half-turned at the waist to tack on: "Tell Felix I said 'hello'." Heh. If Namir only knew…

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