2007-02-12: Worth More Than Minimum Wage

Starring:

Elena_icon.gif oldXander_icon.gif Drake_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Aspen and The Haitian

Summary: While Drake gets to work, Xander approaches Elena to inquire about her mother's case… but more than just the lawyer are after Ms. Gomez today.

Date It Happened: February 12th, 2007

Worth More Than Minimum Wage


Starbucks, Lower Manhattan, New York

Given it was past the early afternoon rush with people going back to work after their lunch break, Elena takes a breather by shuffling off to the back of the coffeeshop and school books open so she could study. Her apron is off, and hanging off her chair, indicating that she is on break. A mostly-untouched slice of banana loaf as well as a half-full cup of hot chocolate is waiting for her attention on her small table. The book she is reading is a compilation of several analytical essays of Shakespeare the Man, working through the various theories as to who he really was. She makes notes on the margins, and highlights things here and there. She has a pair of cat's eye reading glasses perched on her nose.

Amongst the people taking their lunch break, simply the Starbucks is there, is one Alexander Weston Marx, better known to us as Xander. There were two reasons for Xander to be there, actually, one of them was to get himself a quick lunch, and another reason was to question one of the children of Ramon Gomez, specifically the eldest daughter, Elena.

Xander takes a moment to stop at the counter and request a scrumptious turkey sandwich, and then asks for Elena, before being directed to her at the table over there. He gives a nod, then saunters over to the young woman, and grips a chair, as he asks, "Elena Gomez?" Assuming he's got the correct girl, he continues, "My name is Alexander Weston Marx, and I'm an attorney… Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"

Set up on one of the couches is a young woman who appears, quite obviously, to be a student. Her wavy brown hair is shoved haphazardly into a bun and she peers through a pair of glasses, which are slightly too large for her face, at a hefty psychology textbook on her lap. Elena isn't the only one studying today, it would seem. Starbucks is a popular place for the book-learning. Must be the whole caffeine-as-fuel thing. This student is seated cross-legged on the couch cushion with a messenger bag propped at her side and an assortment of books scattered around her. Every so often, she looks up at Xander and Elena, but swiftly looks back down any time they, or /anyone/, for that matter, so much as glances her way.

Making his way into the Starbucks is Drake, carrying his green apron in his hands, and a backpack strapped across his shoulders. With a yawn, he runs a hand over his tired face, then rounds the counter to put his stuff away, and clock in. His eyes shift to Xander for a moment curiously as he catches the tail end of the conversation, but disregards it otherwise. "Hey guys, I'm here. It's getting freaking cold out there." He says to a few of his co workers as he starts to throw his apron on, then mentally prepares himself for the rest of the night.

She looks up, a little surprised. "Yes?" Elena inquires. "I am Elena Gomez…" She looks a little hesitant, especially when he identifies himself as an attorney. She stands up to greet him appropriately, and extends a hand out to shake. "How do you do? What can I do for you today, Mr. Marx?" she asks. "Are you with the district attorney's office?" She takes a seat, and takes another sip of her hot chocolate. She knows the other customer is there - but she doesn't pay attention to Aspen. After all, she looks like a student and there are plenty of students who study at her Starbucks.

She pauses, her eyes wandering over to Drake as he walks in, but he doesnt address him, she keeps her voice quiet. "Papa mentioned he spoke to an attorney. Is this about my mother's casefile?"

Xander takes Elena's hand to shake, giving her a smile as he replies with that English (where in England? Who knows?) accent of his, "Yes, yes, actually. Your father came to me about your mother's case… Would you mind if we sat down?" Mainly because he doesn't want to discuss this while standing, and he's got a turkey sandwich on the way.

Xander regards Drake with a quick look, but is largely unconcerned about him, as he speaks to Elena again, "I hope you don't mind my inquiring about your family. I understand that this is a subject that most would rather not speak of…"

Aspen blows a strand of hair from her face, which, failing, prompts her to brush at it with the back of her hand - this, as she watches Drake enter and approach the other Starbucks employee. Again, she swiftly looks down again and flips to a spot in the psych book where a piece of neon notepaper is jammed between the pages. She takes notes for awhile, then goes digging in her messenger bag. Nope. Nothing unusual about our little student over here.

Heading to the counter, Drake glances over to Xander and Elena for a moment, then shifts off to one side, and logs into a cashier terminal. Squinting his eyes, he starts to help the customers as they trickle in, taking money, and whipping up coffee as he goes. For a new guy, he's catching on fairly quick, for making coffee is hardly brain surgery. "My favorite?" He questions himself as a class mate asks him about the selection of coffee. "I'm a white chocolate mocha guy. It's boring, I know." He says, before sliding into a conversation about their math homework, and why it's both got them frustrated.

"It's alright. I appreciate you looking into it. Truth be told, the case has been closed for little over a year. My dad and I aren't convinced of the findings. It's like going to a doctor, you know? Get a second opinion?" Elena smiles ruefully, gesturing for the lawyer to sit down from across her, closing her Shakespeare book and revealing, right under it, Activating Evolution by Dr. Chandra Suresh. It looks dogeared, and pressed over a syllabus with the words THEORETICAL GENETICS - NYU COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING emblazoned on top. "What do you want to know from my end, Mr. Marx? I'll cooperate the best I can. If nothing else could be found, hopefully that would give my father some closure. It's….he hasn't really been the same since she died."

Xander nods a little, and spies the book that was hidden under, blinking for a moment, and reaching over to pick it up, and take a look at it. "Activating Evolution, by Dr. Chandra Suresh… I've read about him. There was a case related to him some time back, I had the time to look into it… Renowned geneticist around the world… Murdered in a taxi cab… It's a case that's still unsolved…”

Xander then shakes his head, and sets the book down, "Sorry, that has nothing to do with why I'm here, does it?" He shakes his head, "What can you tell me about your mother, and your homelife, before her death?"

It's a cell phone, one of the sleek red Razrs that are all the rage this year, that Aspen retrieves from her bag. But she doesn't do anything with it yet. The next time she glances the way of Elena and Xander, her spectacled eyes catch on Suresh's book. For a split second, the dishevelled little student grins; the curve of her lips disappears around the coffee cup that she then brings to it, however. Emptying her cup and depositing in the receptacle beside her couch, she starts piling her books off to the side so that she can climb out of the mess of them. Standing up, she adjusts her glasses, wobbling them from side to side, smooths down her white blouse, and starts heading toward the barista and attorney's table.

It's that book again, the one Elena was showing him earlier. Drake catches a hint of it once his fellow class mate sneaks away, and he leans on the counter. Squinting his eyes, he slides a penny out of the small dish next to the register, then starts to flip it around in, and out of his fingers. With a tap of his shoe against the floor, he goes to push himself back, but it's Aspen's movement, and direction that catches his attention next. Curiously, he watches as he tugs the brim of his hat down a bit over his head.

"Yeah - I did some research on him for class," Elena says, folding her arms on the table and smiling faintly. "I have an entire folder on him. I have the newsclipping still from the New York Times, pulled it out of the microfiche archives of the public library. It's odd though, there was something that never really made any sense to me in that case. He could've been a Nobel Prize winner if he wanted. The scientific community respected him until he became controversial. He resigned his tenure at his University in India….only to come here and become a taxi driver? Any biotech company would take him even if just an independent contractor or a consultant. The community's pretty small. Kind of like the legal profession, I heard. Nepotistic."

She rubs the back of her neck a little bit. "Anyway….our home life was happy. Mama….she loved children. She went to church every Sunday. She loved my father and all of us. My brothers were completely different kids when she was around…they followed everything she said. I think Manny, the kid who came after me, took her death the hardest. I think being the eldest boy…he thought it was his fault that he wasn't home to protect Mama while Papa was at work. She was….just a normal mother. Working. Raising us kids, cooking for us and entertaining Dad's friends—" She stops abruptly, looking up at Aspen.

Xander nods as he listens to Elena's story, listening intently, waiting for her to finish, and then blinks as she stops abruptly like that, and hmms as he looks up at Aspen, having not noticed her before, arching an eyebrow a bit, as he asks the approaching girl, "Is there something I can help you with, miss?" He -would- have commented on Elena's family life had the conversation not paused.

Aspen slips her phone into her pocket as she comes to a casual halt just to the left of Xander. Did she even use the phone? Make a call? Press a button? The truth is, it doesn't really matter. "Hi," she says to the two at the table, offering them a friendly, slightly shy smile - apologetic, as if she feels bad for interrupting the private conversation. She moves to put her hand on Xander's shoulder. "I'm sorry to intrude, I couldn't help but noticing…" My, her crisp accent sounds awfully similar to the lawyer's! "…another person from the home land."

Meanwhile, at the counter "Hello. A black coffee, please. Medium." A gently, but distinctly accented voice of another kind tells Drake. His words are polite, but his tone is completely, utterly neutral. Their source: a tall man in a cream-coloured suit with very dark, smooth skin and intense eyes. They might as well be unending black vortexes. He man is now standing at the front of the line. The Haitian.

Glancing upwards at the tall, black man, Drake blinks a few times, then offers up a slight smile on his face as he says. "Sure thing, buck fifteen. Nice accent, where you from?" He asks as he pushes a few buttons on the register, then picks up a cup to begin filling it with the black, steaming liquid. "Africa?" He asks as he turns to hand it over to him. His eyes glance once more to the table for a second, then back to the Haitian.

Oh, so Aspen didn't want coffee. Elena politely stops from her talk, and instead takes a quiet sip of her hot chocolate, her eyes roaming to the counter to see if Drake needs any help with the tall, quiet black man standing by and ordering. Looks like the newbie's got it though, and so she instead leans back and places her collection of Shakespeare essays on top of the blue book on her table, and quietly proceeds in tidying up her little space in the coffeeshop. Might as well take this break to clean up a touch.

As for her abilities - she can't use something she's not aware of, so the Haitian doesn't get more than a glance. As a teenager living in New York, though, she -does- take note of the enigmatic symbol hanging on the customer's neck. Cool necklace! And it doesn't seem to be the sort that you buy at Macy's or Claire's either.

Xander blinks for a moment as he listens to Aspen's accent, before smiling and replying, "Why, yes, yes I am. Sorry, I didn't really expect to be meeting anyone from England today… You sound like you're from London too. How often does this happen?" He grins a bit more, before coughing a bit, "Pardon… I've just got some business here to…" Another cough, as he rubs his throat, his face reddening a little. "Got something in my throat… If you want, I'll join your table lat—" At that point, the hacking becomes worse, as he starts choking, his face turning beet red from it.

"People from everywhere wind up in New York at one point or another, it seems. It's a melting pot," Aspen says conversationally. When Xander starts to sputter and choke, her big eyes get even bigger. "Oh no, are you all right? I didn't mean to startle you!" Concern erupts on the student's face. Cue the timely arrival of one of Drake and Elena's co-workers, rushing over with the orange juice Xander ordered earlier. Aspen swipes it without hesitation. "H-h-here, take a drink," the Brit says encouragingly, offering him the juice by practically putting it to his lips.

"I am from God's earth." This is wordy for the man at the counter. The Haitian takes his coffee, pays - leaving a tip - and walks away from the counter. He simply stands silently by the wall, off to the side of Xander, Elena, and Aspen. The coffee he purchased simply remains, unmoving, in one hand. The choking incident is ignored. He watching one person only. That person is Ms. Gomez.

"Ah.. well, nice to meet you." Drake trails off a bit, squinting his eyes as he glances from Aspen, then to the big black dude in the suit. With a rub of his nose, he calls over. "Um… Elena. Hey, I got a question on the machine here, if you can help me out for a moment." He says, tapping a bit more at the screen, trying to look convincing. The coughing man causes him to squint his eyes a bit. "Does he need the heimlich?"

"…Mr. Marx?" Elena says, half getting up when he starts coughing and choking. Her own hand reaches down to grab her cup of hot chocolate - but she sees that Ms. Aspen has got it under control. It's got to be a tickle in the throat, naturally….she didn't see the attorney ingest anything, he came into the coffeehouse specifically to talk to her, not to eat or drink. But she remains standing, half reaching out. The juice should make him feel better…right? She'll reach over to try and pat the man in the back, helping Aspen along. When Drake approaches her, she blinks over at him. "Alright, if he's fine, I'll go to the machine with you," she says. The last thing she needs is for a customer to expire on her watch. And he's an ATTORNEY. Imagine the lawsuit. "And I don't think so, he wasn't eating anything." If all eyes were at her table, it's to be expected…the guy was coughing and wheezing after all, and he's got two lovely college student-types taking care of him.

Well, the attorney HAD ordered a Turkey sandwich, but is was only JUST arriving. Xander grabs the cup of juice and tries to drink it down. It was nice and cool, orangey goodness… At least it seemed like, before he spat it right back out after one gulp, and gasped for air, his hand at his throat, rubbing it as he shakes his head, trying to clear his head of the fog that comes from choking like that. "T-Thank you…" He rasps out to Aspen, but not much more than a rasp. It seems as though the choking fit was pretty bad. He contemplates the idea of suing Starbucks, but shakes the idea out of his head. After all, how would he prove in court that the nice and cool juice burned his throat mid gulp.

Aspen is the picture of concern! Really! "Oh goodness! Are you okay now? What do you need? Here, come with—"

It's at this point that The Haitian steps forward. Just one step - it doesn't bring him much closer to the scene at the table with the poor lawyer. But it certainly changes the balance of things, because the second he starts to stare firmly at the ever-so-helpful Aspen, Xander doesn't suffer any more escapades. With the situation simmered down, he resumes his silent watch.

With the briefest of glances to the quiet man in the suit, the student half-veils a roll of her eyes before putting the orange juice glass on the table. "Are you quite alright, Mister…?" Aspen queries Xander searchingly, blink-blinking from behind the lenses of her glasses, mousy.

"Yeah.. OK." Drake says as he moves back around the counter again, rubbing the back of his neck some. With another tug of his hat, he clears his throat slightly, then reaches for a broom, starting to sweep a bit behind the register. He gives the group another quick look, before moving to the back room to gather up some more cups, and begin restocking the counter.

Oh thank god. Elena seems to relax some when Xander's fit seems to have subsided, helping the man sit back down. "I'll get you some more water," she tells the attorney, moving around Aspen so she could reach the counter and stand near Drake as she fishes around for a glass and dumping some ice cubes in it. She glances at him, an inquiring look, filling the sink with water to clear out the gunk at the bottom of the basin, before slipping the clear, plastic thing under the stream.

"Marx…" The Englishman begins, though his voice is still a smidgen raspy from the whole thing. "Alexander Marx… Call me Xander…" He pauses for a moment as he clears his throat, to be sure he won't have another choking fit, and sips the juice again on reflex, before gulping it down down, and noticing that it was as cool, and soothing, as usual. Puzzling.

He then looks over to Elena, and calls to her, "It's alright… Choked on a little saliva is all…" The only explaination he can think of. "Just come back so we can keep talking…"

He then looks back to Aspen, "I'm terribly sorry, I didn't catch your name in my choking fit…"

The teenaged brunette behind the counter looks up when Xander calls her back. Knuckling Drake's shoulder lightly, Elena moves towards the table again, setting down the glass right in front of him and retaking her seat. "You sure you're okay?" she inquires. "Thanks for all your help, Miss." The last directed to Aspen.

"Are you sure you're okay? Oh, my name is Aspen." No last name. She smiles brightly at Xander, but clutches her arms about herself like she's nervous. "Nice meet you Mr. Marx— ah, Xander. You know, you're all… all /red in the face/. Oh dear. I'm going to go help that kind girl get you some water, maybe a cool cloth, maybe convince the shop that your drink's on the house, hm?" She scurries off after Elena, coming up beside her at the sink while the glass of water is being filled up.

In the same span of moments, the Haitian is also on the move. He disappears into the Employees Only break room.

"Ms. Gomez," Aspen greets with a little smile. Friendly enough, despite the fact that she mysteriously knows Elena's name. "I'd like to talk to you for a moment… about your father. It's for his safety. To the room back there, hmm? Break room?" There's a pause, and the young woman's smile amplifies. "It'll just take a /tic/, promise."

"Yeah.. New York." Drake murmurs to himself again as he watches Elena head back to the table, then quirks up a brow. "Um.. sir. You.. You can't go back there. It's for employees only. The bathroom is over there." He says, motioning to the wall where the signs are displayed. He cuts Elena a look, then back off towards the black man. He tilts his head slightly, watching after him.

She looks over at Aspen, Elena blinking a little bit at her. "….Papa? she asks, with a slight tilt of her head. "What about him? He's not in any trouble, is he?" she says, furrowing her brows. She looks over at Alexander with an apologetic look on her face. And how does she know her name? She looks like a college student. A glance is given to Drake as he tries to keep the other customer out of the employee break room, and she sighs, handing the glass of water over to Aspen. "Could you give this to Mr. Marx?" she asks. "While I help out my coworker? He's here to talk to me about some business, but since this is about Papa….I don't want to be rude."

Xander gives Aspen a little nod, telling her, "I'll be fine, don't worry your pretty head. You don't have to…" He's promptly cut off by the girl wandering off to get a water, and a cloth, and to try to make his meal free. He didn't need all that care but… Oh well. Xander, in the mean time, takes his time to wait for Elena's return, since he -does- want to continue his conversation before he has to go back to the DA's office.

"Oh, of *course*," Aspen replies, taking the glass from Elena. "But do hurry. It's rather important." She smirks at the water briefly, but obeys the request of Ms. Gomez like a good girl and brings Mr. Marx his water. "Here you go. I hope this makes you feel better," she says, handing it to him. She stands near the table, skirting glances at Elena.

The Haitian disappears into the break room nonetheless. Maybe he didn't hear Drake. Or see the signs.

"If he robs us, this will definitely be the worst week I've ever had in my life." Drake murmurs to himself as he edges slightly to the break room to peek inside, then looks over to Elena. "Maybe we should.. I dunno.. call the police.. or INS?" He asks, clearing his throat loudly. Sliding his hat off his head, he runs a hand back through his blonde hair, then looks towards the door. No one is waiting outside, right? Get away car?

She doesn't seem to notice Aspen sneaking glances at her now and then, but Drake is thrown a glance. "If he gets belligerent when you ask him to leave, call the police, okay? Don't press it. He might be packing heat," Elena murmurs a little nervously. She can't help it, she lives in Queens, and her little brother ran with a rough crowd. She's seen what happens when you mess with the wrong people in New York. But her head is ringing. Her father said one woman and one man during that kidnapping. One woman and one -big- man. The Haitian was pretty tall. And they were asking about her father. Now that she's away from the counter, her hands start to shake. She stuffs them in her pockets and nods to Drake.

"You go check outside, see if he does look like he has buddies. I'm gonna check the bathrooms," she murmurs, and with that, she turns to head inside one of them. The women's first - she's a proper lady, you know! She closes the door, and locks it, and then gropes around for her cellphone to call Dad. Her fingers are shaking. She wonders if she's being paranoid but better safe than sorry! Thank goodness he's on speed dial. But after a few rings….she gets voicemail. She bites back a curse, and tries again.

Xander looks up when Aspen brings the water to him, and accepts it politely, "Thank you, Aspen…" He is absolutely oblivious to the goings on back there, though he takes a bit of a glance to the back, and calls over to Elena, "Is everything alright, Miss Gomez?" In the mean time, the other Starbucks employee finally brings his turkey sandwich out, at which point Xander thanks him.

He takes a glance to Aspen, wondering a bit about her, before asking, "Is something the matter, Aspen?"

Is something the matter? Why yes! "Blast," Aspen hisses quietly, almost incomprehensibly under her breath as one of her glances finds Elena sneaking off to the bathroom. "Excuse me, I have to use the little girls' room," she tells Xander distractedly and hurriedly heads down the short hall to stand affront the Women's Washroom. She raps on the door lightly. "Ms. Gomez? You're not in danger. Neither is your father. I just want to have a word… …Ms. Gomez?"

There is, indeed, no one waiting outside. It's a bit difficult to tell on the crowded street, but there are no mysterious black SUVs or unmarked vans or company cars outside of Starbucks. As for the breakroom, it still houses the Haitian man: he's waiting for Elena and Aspen, mute in the corner, unmoving. It's… kind of ominous, actually, that he looms even when he's alone.

Glancing to the break room then back to the floor, Drake, himself is starting to feel the same paranoia Elena is having. They did after all, have quite a talk. With a bit of his lip, he calls into the break room again. "Sir, you can't be in there. It is our break room. If you don't leave.. I'm gonna call the police." He says, reaching for the phone on the wall, slipping it of the hook. He can hear the dial-tone faintly in the background, his eyes now tracking Aspen as she heads for the bathroom.

Voicemail. Again. Elena backs up and presses her back up against the wall when Aspen knocks on it. Oh god. Oh god. And the window was too small to get away. When the beep sounds, she turns her back to the door, murmuring to the receiver in Spanish. "(Dad. It's Elena. There are people here at my work asking about you. They want to talk to me about you. I don't know what's going on but 'm really really scared and I -can't reach you-. It's one woman, and I'm not sure but the big black guy might be with her and I don't know. I don't know but I have to open the door. Call me back as soon as you can. I have to talk to them. I have to. I love you.)" She quickly disconnects, wracking her mind and pacing a bit as to what to do. But she, in a brief flash, turns on her call history and deletes her father's number off it. Shoving it back in her pocket, she walks over to flush the toilet, and wash her hands. When she opens the door, she looks at Aspen right in the eye.

"What do you want?" she asks softly. "With Papa?" She doesn't leave the bathroom yet, but she doesn't close it.

Xander blinks when Aspen runs off to the bathroom, a bit confused as he glances at the time that's going by, and bites his lip. What was -going on- back there? In the mean time, in order to kill his time, he takes a moment to pick up 'Activating Evolution' again, and proceeds to open it up, and start reading the table of contents. It would kill time at least.

The Haitian says not a word to Drake. He just stares at him coolly, looking once beyond the teenager into the hall where Aspen and Elena converse. The threat of police seems to have no bearing on his calm. He waits, patient.

"I want to make sure he's safe," Aspen tells the other young woman, insinuating the unspoken 'duh, what else would I want?'. "What your father can do is a dangerous thing, Ms. Gomez. There are people who would exploit a talent like that." The 'student' adopts a rather piercing look at Elena, although it's almost as if she's staring straight through her. Gradually, a puddle forms around Elena's feet on the bathroom floor - that would be because the tap has started running although the faucet has not been turned on. Water is flooding out of the sink, spilling over onto the tile. "Just come have a word with my friend, hm? He has something for you. Something that will help, I'm told." She steps aside, gesturing to the break room. "After you. Careful now. Your shoes are getting wet."

Looking towards Aspen, and Elena, then back to the Haitian, Drake's eyes widen like large saucers. He jabs his finger quickly into the phone, pressing the numbers, 9-1-1. "Elena…um… I think it's time for our lunch break, I'm gonna order a pizza." He calls over, shifting himself around the counter, allowing the cord on the phone to uncoil, and stretch as far as it will allow. By now, his own posture has gone rigid, and tense, and he is obviously focusing on something. ".. c'mon.. c'mon.. " He whispers to himself, staring at the bathroom. ".. stop… um… turn on stop thingy?" He squints. ".. frag."

She turns around, and her hands come up to turn off the faucet. Something that could help? What could possibly help in THIS situation? Elena glances over at Aspen again, and she steps out, straightening her shirt and tugging it down the waistband of her jeans. With that, squaring her shoulders, she turns to move for the Haitian who watches her with his dark eyes. "…could you order extra cheese on mine?" Elena tells Drake as she moves for the back room.

Okay, seriously, this was taking waaaaay too long, so Xander sets the book down, and stands himself up, before walking over to the counter, and leaning over to Drake, peering to the back, and asking, "Is everything alright back here?" His eyes showing concern. He also really wants to get back to the topic of the Elena's mother, buuut if something's wrong…

Plucking up a pen, Drake starts to scribble down on a piece of paper as he slides the phone off to one side. He can hear the operator asking over, and over again if 'everything is OK', and 'please state the nature of your emergency.' He slides the piece of paper over to Xander. ".. just ordering a pizza." He trails off, cutting his eyes back to the break room.

Funny thing: the faucet doesn't stop right away. It's like the mechanism is slightly delayed after Elena enforces it. Aspen gives her a pleased smile and lets Elena lead the way. "My spooky friend's just going to make this a little easier on you, Ms. Gomez!" she says rather buoyantly once she's inside.

The Haitian looks to Aspen and nods his head meaningfully in the direction of where Drake called on the phone. He gives another nod to Elena, meaning for her to sit down.

"Pardon me." Aspen, rolling her eyes dramatically behind those ill-fitting glasses, leaves the two of them alone in the break room. She shuts the door; the Haitian locks it from the inside, and she wanders over to Drake, weaving around to the proper side of the counter. She waves reassuringly to Xander on her way. "Personal business. Friend of a friend, daddy's in some work trouble," she tells Drake… then reeeeaches over as if to, potentially, hang up his phone with a dainty push of her finger. "She'll be free of it in just a minute."

That's right. He is spooky. Elena's expression takes on a defiant cast as she watches the black man gesture for her to sit down. So she does, taking a seat and folding her arms across her chest. She doesn't like this - not one bit. All of her senses are screaming at her to run. But she glances at the man. "I hope she's telling the truth," she tells the Haitian quietly. "What do you have that'll supposedly help?"

Xander glances at the note, before nodding a bit and walks away from the counter, as he replies, "Pizza sounds fine… I think I'll order myself one when I get home…" He gives Aspen a quick, friendly smile, before reaching into his pocket and tugs a cellphone out, keeping it out of sight as he sits back down on the table of his, and lifts up Activating Evolution again, holds it up, while pressing three numbers '9-1-1', and just letting the phone sit in his lap while he reads the book. He knows the police well enough that they'll trace the calls.

Click. As Aspen reaches over to the phone and hangs up on the operator, Drake squints his eyes, then looks towards the breakroom. "I'm seriously starting to get upset here." He says, raising his voice a bit, then slams his fist on the top of the counter. "I don't know who you people think you are, but the two of you do not work here, and unless you are a cop, and you have a warrant to walk around our establishment and question our employees, I would strongly suggest that you take your business elsewhere, until either we close, or Elena is off shift." He narrows his eyes, staring straight into the woman's, nostrils flaring a bit. Look who grew stones just now! "The cops are going to show up any minute, seriously."

Aspen holds her hands up and steps away from the counter, giving Drake an indignant look. "Okaaay, someone hasn't had his coffee this shift yet," she chides … carefully. "I'm just a concerned party. There was no need to call in the cavalry." …But now that he has, Aspen promptly heads to retrieve her back, leaving the textbooks behind, to make for the door. Casually. Yeah.

In the break room, the Haitian regards Elena without answer for a time, until, it seems, he deems this a worthy time to speak. "Ignorance," the tall black man begins, his neutral words taking on a very, very faintly sympathetic tone, "Can be bliss. If you let it." Thumb and pointer finger spread apart, his hand advances toward the young woman's forehead; at the very same time, his other hand unfurls and takes Elena's, clutches it and perhaps even slipping something in it.

When she "wakes", so to speak, The Haitian will be gone. But in the present time, he slips out of the short hall leading to the bathrooms and break room and winds through the coffee shop toward the door while sirens begin to sound.

When Elena emerges from the break room, she yawns, rolling her head back and stretching her arms over her head….and -freezes- when the cops go in a screeching halt in front of the coffee shop. "…..wow. What's going on? Is there another robbery?" she wonders out loud, her eyes wide as she walks over to the counter and glancing at Xander, and then Drake…who looks seriously pissed off. "….Drake? What's going on? Did you get Mr. Marx his turkey sandwich?" she asks. She seems….to completely disregard the fact that the shop had some sort of extreme weirdness going on.

Xander has, as a matter of fact, already -recieved- his turkey sandwich, but is not in the least bit hungry at the moment, as he steps up towards the Haitian that walks out from the back, and mutters, "You're not going anywhere, friend…" With that, he proceeds to try to slap his palm against the Haitian's chest, apparently trying to push him back… Of course, his real intent was to give him a nice burst of electricity to toss him backwards, but… You know how powers work around the Haitian.

This is, of course, BEFORE Elena pops out.

Elena of course, ends up gaping at the scene of the Haitian squaring off against the British attorney.

Watching the Haitian walk out, Drake skitters around the counter, not about to get involved in a fisticuffs with someone who looks like he could be in the UFC. ".. dude. Be careful.." He calls over to Xander, licking his lips, shrinking down a bit behind the register. "Elena, you OK?" He calls over to her.

All Xander winds up doing is hitting the man in the chest, causing him to stop and give him the evil eye. He looks down at the hand that attacked him and back up at Xander's face. Stare… stare… stare. This is about the time the police arrive, seeing Xander apparently accosting the Haitian here, who was just minding his own business on his way out, you know?

Xander blinks for a moment as he glances down to his hand, wondering why nothing happened, before deciding it was just as well, what with the cops just arriving just a little too late. He grumbles and clenches his fist, telling the Haitian, "You're going to tell me right now what the bloody hell you were doing in there."

"…..yeah I'm fine. I think I just zonked out in the breakroom back there," she says, stifling another yawn and rubbing her eyes. "God I must've been exhausted, I had a really late night last night studying for a test. Did you call the police on those two?" Elena asks, gesturing to Xander and the Haitian and whispering quietly to her coworker. "What's going on?"

Looking at Elena with disbelief, Drake shoots his eyes back towards the others, focusing his attention on the Haitian. Swallowing in a dry breath, his hand reaches upwards shakily to the back of his neck, where his fingers slide along the small black snake bite markings on his skin. Taking a quick step away from the counter, he makes his way for the door at a quick pace, his head ducked down. He's not sticking around, definitely not. "I quit!"

The Haitian simply puts his hand firmly on Xander's shoulder and looks him in the eye. He doesn't say anything, not a word, but his meaning, distinct in his intense eyes, should be clear: calm down. It's okay. And most of all, it's not your business.

"What's going on here?" A police officer interjects, hand on his holster incase things decide to get messy. "Is there a problem, gentlemen?" When the Haitian drops his touch from Xander, but stoically does not respond, the officers start to round the two of them up separately. They'll be asking the questions around here.

Xander keeps his eyes on the Haitian, gritting his teeth a bit as he steps backwards, and mutters, "No… No problem at all, officer…" His eyes not leaving the Haitian, before stepping out of the man's path, and steping over towards Drake and Elena, and looking concerned, though particularly looking to Elena, and asking, "Are you alright, Miss Gomez?"

"QUIT? Are you crazy?" Elena cries at Drake, looking befuddled. What the heck was he going on about? "You can't just leave me here all shift, there's no one to cover for you—!" And then, she sighs, and rakes a hand through her hair as the kid leaves, and the attorney turns to her. "Me? I'm fine….I'm not hurt or anything, just a little bit confused as to why there are cops in the first place." She looks over at the officer. "Was there a mistake in the address?"

Soon as Drake exits the door, he hits the sidewalk running, using those years of soccer experience not go to waste. He may have an injured rib, but he's in panic mode, and with the chilly, cold air of New York, he barely feels a thing. Maybe Subway is hiring. He hears they pay at least a quarter more an hour.

The authorities aren't so quick to be dismissed just because Xander says there's "no problem at all". So, as the lawyer goes to question Elena, so does an officer - and continue to probe Xander himself as well. "I don't believe so, ma'am, we got two separate calls from this location and we're determined to find out why." Back near the door, another officer leads the Haitian off, questioning him and meeting dead ends due to silence. If one were to look again a few moments later, they'd find a confused officer closing up his notepad, blinking, and turning away as the Haitian heads off calmly down the street.

Xander blinks as Drake runs off, and the officer turns to him, wondering why he seems to be the only one in this place who had any bleeding idea as to WHAT THE HELL was going on. He turns away from the officer long enough to take a breath, trying to keep his cool, "Bugger…" He growls out, all while the lights in the Starbucks start to flicker and surge… "Alright…" He turns back around, as he continues, "I'll explain everything." And so he does… Even if nobody knows what the hell he's talking about… This just wasn't his day. At the end, he makes a point of rescheduling his interview with Elena…

When everything's all cleared up, Elena shakes her head and goes back to the bathroom, rubbing her head at the sudden, killer headache she's got. Must take aspirin when she gets home. Lifting her hand, she blinks, and opens her fingers - she wasn't even aware that she was clutching anything. There is a string of numbers in the strip of paper, along with two initials.

"…..where did this come from…?" she murmurs, with nothing but the sound of running water to answer her.

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