Who: Veronica Reppyi and Open When: Tuesday around lunch Where: Random coffeeshop What: Five minutes of relaxing Warnings: Some language perhaps, TBD Notes: Reposted as a favour. Originally posted by Veronica and Anthony
Bernie was at school, and she off work. These moments were rare as diamonds, and Veronica always took advantage of them. Today it was stopping at one of her favorite, low cost, places with a book and a fierce determination to keep sitting in the one spot that had the sun warming it. She loved her son, but she needed some quiet time to herself. Every day she dealt with snooty customers who thought they were better then her, and an irate Greek God who kept hammering on her last nerve.
She wondered how well he'd take it if next time he irritated her, she punched him in the jaw. Having read up on her Greek Mythology she figured the answer was 'not well'. And Bernie needed her, and thus her self preservation kicked in and she just gritted her teeth. Yet after having met Triton she was calmer. If Poseidon's immortal son hadn't taken after his father, she was assured Bernie wouldn't either.
Knowing her alarm on her phone would go off when Bernie needed to be picked up she curled in her seat, happy to let most of her worries fade away for a little bit, and pretend to be a normal 24-year old.
It was becoming more and more the exception for Anthony to actually leave his office or apartment and just...not work. He loved his job, really, but it took up most of his time and energy, the end result being that he'd collapse into bed at the end of the day, sleeping like the dead.
But today, he didn't have any paperwork, no pressing cases, nothing that couldn't be put off for a couple of hours. And, true to his caffeine addict form, he headed out to get a cup of coffee.
When he entered the cafe, it was quiet and not terribly crowded. He saw a girl seated by the window he hadn't seen there before, so he smiled in what he hoped was a non-creepy way and got in line for his coffee. Taking it to a table nearby, he leaned over slightly and said, "You got the best spot in the place, it's always warm there." That was a normal, 'I-interact-with-people-daily' thing to say, right? He hoped.
As a waitress she was always somewhat aware when people addressed her. It was that or lose orders, and possibly your job. So the voice just made her smile, after realizing that no she didn't have to ask him about his order, and she lowered her book. "I know, when I get the chance to stop by I always try and sit here. I was just lucky it was free today."
And because she wasn't too bad with socializing she set the book down. If the conversation stopped she could always pick it back up. "I haven't seen you here before, I'm guessing you come in when I'm not here." And it wasn't like he could do anything even if he was a stranger with intents of selling parts of her body as jewelry. There was always some safety in numbers. Smiling she offered her hand, "Veronica."
He nodded. "I like it here, it's within walking distance of my apartment, which is nice, because I don't have a car."
"Probably so, though I haven't been in in a while, work has just been crazy lately," he replied. "And it was either take a break, or start seeing my notes dance in front of my eyes when they're closed. And that's not fun."
He shook the proffered hand. "Anthony. Nice to meet you, Veronica."
Smiling she released his hand. So far he wasn't crazy, but then again they'd said the same thing about Ted Bundy so she kept her guard up. "New York is not friendly to cars. I only have one because I can't do without. It's a pain though so I prefer walking when I can."
""What do you do, if you don't mind me asking?" Veronica never got why so many people of this country never socialized too much. While her choice to sleep with a perfect stranger hadn't been the smartest thing she could have done, she'd still gotten to know many people, "although I hear you on the busy front. I work at a restaurant and now spring is starting to come through everyone's decided to come eat with us."
He laughed a little and agreed. "No, it definitely is not. And those cars are not friendly to people, since I almost get run over at least once a week. The price I pay for living here, I guess."
"I don't mind at all! I'm a private investigator, I specialize in missing persons cases," he replied. "Sometimes I help out the NYPD if they're stuck. I feel like it's wrong to say I like my job, but I do like helping reunite people with their families. Best part of the job, really."
"I know what you mean." He sighed. "The number of cases I looked into dropped during the winter, but now that the weather's warming up, I have this sinking feeling it'll start to climb again. It's a vicious cycle. Spring brings everyone out, it's like the sun's waiting going, 'Wait for it...wait for it...everyone go out now! Now now now!'" He laughed a little and sipped his coffee.
"New York drivers are a lot different from English ones, I've noticed that. And not just the whole different side of the road thing, which I'm still getting used to." Smiling she sipped from her drink before shaking her head, "no I get that, but you'll forgive me if I say that I never want to hire you."
"I can't blame people though, we had such a bad winter. I know my son is just so eager to be able to get out and play again. He didn't take kindly to having to stay cooped in for so long." Her son was always a part of her, and while she tried to be subtle she always brought him up. She was a plus one for some time, and anyone who couldn't deal wasn't really worth her time. "Not that I was any better."
"The only thing I tend to notice is their total disregard for pedestrians. And they all seem to suffer from road rage," he said. "What are English drivers like? I've never been over that way."
He waved a hand. "No, don't even worry about it. My fervent hope is that no one will ever have to hire me, but like the Stones say, you can't always get what you want."
He snickered. "I wasn't any better. I'm from Portugal originally, so I'm used to sunshine and rain, snow doesn't really agree with me. And it just never seemed to end!" he agreed. "I bet he didn't, most kids seem to hate being inside instead of out running and playing. How old is he?"
She had to think about that, "different and similar at the same time. In London it can get as bad, but I grew up in the countryside, and I remember playing on the road in front of our house for hours without seeing too many cars."
She grinned, "oh Portugal. Never been unfortunately but that had to be lovely. I've always wanted to travel, which is why I came here in the first place." She smiled then. Talking about her son always brought it out, "eight." She let him calculate that. She never made excuses for the choices she'd made. "So there's all that energy cooped up. Although we both had our first white Christmas so that was nice."
He nodded. It wasn't like he could exactly relate (after all, cars hadn't been invented when he was a child), but if he stretched his mind, he could get it.
He sighed a bit, remembering. "It was, it was wonderful and it was...it was home, you know? Someone else might think you're crazy for loving a place, but if that place is home, you can't really help it. And I know what you mean about travelling, it's a really eye-opening experience sometimes."
He did a little mental math. She didn't look much older than 25, which meant she'd had her son when she was 16 or 17. He mentally shrugged. Who was he to set himself up to judge her? Particularly since they'd just met. So instead he smiled and said, "There's a little boy in my building about that age, he's always so full of life. He waves every time he sees me leaving. But yes, always lots of energy involved."
She knew the feeling of being homesick, or just missing the things you couldn't get here, "I know the feeling. Even now whenever I think of home it's always the farm where my parents raised me. I think I'll be eighty and still think that." She nodded, "unfortunately, it's a bit harder with my son around. He's old enough now to stand plane rides but it's expensive."
She was glad when she didn't get a comment, or even a look. So many tried to give an opinion on a matter that didn't concern them. "I can't help but wonder where it goes. I look at him and I'm exhausted. I wish I had half his energy some days. Do you have any children?"
"My parents had this villa, in Lisbon," he replied, the memories still sharp, even though over seven centuries had passed. "It was such a beautiful house, and they were so good to me. I keep all the memories close. And yes, planes rides are horribly expensive, it's been years since I was back."
"I wonder how they can just keep going and going without collapsing. I was playing with Michael-the boy in my building-one afternoon while his mother needed him out of the apartment, and when we got back I went straight to my room and took a nap. And that was after only three hours. You must be a lot tougher than me to do it day after day."
"No, I don't, but some days I wonder what it'd be like to have one of my own," he answered, a little wistfully, then shrugged. "Maybe someday."
"I've heard so many good things about Lisbon, I really do want to visit one day." She frowned then, "did they pass on? I'm sorry if that's too personal or anything. I can't even imagine being without my parents."
She laughed then, "it's a day in and day out thing so I've build some stamina. I still feel like death when I go to bed though. I keep wondering where he stores all that, and then when he wakes up he's all 'c'mon mum let's go out and do everything'." She shook her head, "most renewable energy source if they figure out how that works."
"Well take your time," she sighed, "trust me, you'll regret going into it too soon. I mean I love my son, wouldn't trade him in for all the money in the world but I should have waited. And make sure it's with someone you like. My son's father is a prick."
"You should if you can, it's beautiful," he replied. "No, it's fine. They did, a while ago. I miss them all the time, but they're at peace now, and that's what's important."
"I can't even imagine," he said. "But like you said, you've built up stamina, so that can only be a good thing."
"It'd be a great plan, if they ever figured it out," he agreed. "Harness children's energy. Power the earth forever. I don't envy them having to get the kids corralled to do it, however."
"I will definitely keep that in mind," he promised. "And I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so maybe one day things will happen like they're supposed to."
"So...he won't be winning any father of the year awards?" he asked lightly, trying to diffuse what could quickly become a touchy issue.
She sighed almost wistfully. She was a waitress. Unless she won the lottery any trips she'd make would be ones with a car involved. "I wish." When he spoke of his parents her smile turned compassionate. Just the thought of losing her parents broke her heart.
"I've learned it's easier to do then you'd think. Some are wild and look uncontrollable but it takes a bit of patients and a bribe of candy now and again. Although that plan makes me sound like I'm either a really good or a really bad villain."
She wanted to say something about Poseidon, but honestly she'd just met the man. He didn't need to hear hr personal drama. Instead she just smiled and shook her head, "very unlikely."
He understood the sigh. He might have been around for a long time, but that didn't mean he was swimming in money. Yes, he had enough to make sure he was comfortable, but not to go spending on plane tickets to hither and yon. "I guess we'll just have to keep dreaming," he said aloud.
"A-ha, so that's how it's done," he said, grinning. "And my vote would be bad villain, a 'good' one, so to speak, would probably just take them."
He nodded, casting his mind around for a less sensitive subject. "What're you reading?" he finally asked. "I can't remember the last time I got to sit down and just read for a while."
Smiling she shrugged, "I plan to see a bunch of things before I die. Once Bernie's a bit older it'll be easier. Besides, my parents will kill me if I don't go back to England every so often."
She chuckled, "well I'd solve some of the worlds problems and make kids feel useful. Just in a very odd way."
She was grateful enough he changed the subject. Even some of her closest friends didn't know the full story, and now she knew she couldn't tell them it either. But the question made her grin and duck her head, "my secret shame. Really bad girlporn books. You know, dashing knights in silver armor who always meet a spirited young woman and sweep her off her feet and live happily ever after. Some of us never stop believing in Prince Charming."
He nodded and returned the smile. "Good goal to have. I traveled a little before I got here, but there are still so many things to see. And you're probably right, and he might remember more."
He tilted his head. "You'd be like Spiderman-doing good, yet not exactly the police's favorite person." He grinned. "Which is kind of awesome."
He couldn't help but snort quietly at the name 'girlporn'. He honestly wasn't making fun of her, he'd just never heard them described that way. "Hey, there are worse things to read," he said. "And if you can't read stuff you enjoy on your downtime, when can you?"
The Prince Charming comment made him pause. "And there's no reason why you should stop," he said. "Because who's to stay he isn't still out there?"
"That's my goal. I may never get there, but if you don't have dreams then being alive is kind of pointless. You're just existing then." She chuckled then, "if I wasn't deadly afraid of spiders it'd work." she gave a shiver, "just talking of them gives me the creeps."
The snort made her smile, "something my friends and I call these books. Because men have Maxim and Penthouse and all that. Most girls have these, and laugh about them. They're honestly pretty bad sometimes because every story is always the same. Usually my book choices are better, but I had someone suggest these to me."
She raised an eyebrow, "he must be fighting some dragon then, because he's late. And there's so many who would hurt people now, which makes me determined to make sure my son turns out not like that. And that's the second part, very few people want to date a woman whose priority isn't them. If I date someone and my son needs me, I will cancel the date. I'm not always capable of making efforts that others can make and not everyone likes that."
"Very well said," he answered, raising his coffee in salute. He went to take a drink, saw that it was empty, and set it back down.
"Oh, I know what you mean," he said. "Whenever I see one, I have to run and get a shoe and squash it. Nothing should have that many legs, it's creepy."
"I've never read Maxim or Penthouse, so I'll have to take your word on that," he replied. "I have overheard other women call them 'trashy romance novels', but I think I like your name better."
"Or he might be lost, and too stubborn to ask for directions," he mused, mirroring her eyebrow. "And that's a great goal to have, I wish more parents had your views."
"That's exactly how it should be," he said, and he meant it. "Of course your son should come first, and if people can't respect that, then you're probably better off without them."
She grinned and downed the last of her own coffee. He was nice to talk to, and not a creep. With her track record it was a good thing. "I have my moments." She made a face then, "I have to get my son to do it sometimes. And then he gives me this look and wonders if I'm just mad. Still, ugh."
She gave him a look then, "bollocks. Ever man at least glimpses. You can't tell me all that naked skin doesn't catch your eye?" She paused then, "oh unless you're not into women, which will then include my sticking my foot in my mouth, which I'm very good at, and a load of apologies."
She held back a laugh and rolled her eyes, "that'd be my luck. My Prince Charming's of the likes of Mozes, stuck for forty bloody years in the desert because he's too proud to ask for directions." She smiled, "Sadly few men think like you. I'd have a lot more dates then."
"I'm thinking about training my cat to chase spiders," he said with grin. "But she's a spoiled little thing, so I'm wondering how well that would actually turn out. It's worth a try, though, I think."
He held up a hand. "Honest to God," he said. "It's not that I'm not into women, it's just that those kinds of magazines have never appealed to me. Sure, I've seen them at the newsstand, but they're not for me, and I'm OK with that."
He wanted to say something along the lines of, 'If that's all it would have taken for Moses to get out of the desert, he probably would have asked the first day', but that was almost guaranteed to get him a weird look.
He smiled back. "My mother instilled a lot of common sense in me, and she was big on manners," he said. "But it seems like that's fallen by the wayside."
She had to laugh to that, "let me know how that goes. Although it should be instinct for them to hunt. On the other hand if all I had to do to get fed was look cute, I'd go that route too."
She studied him for a while, "I don't know if you're fucking with me or not. I imagine your significant other is probably grinning to themselves and hasn't a clue why."
"It's a sad state of affairs, I agree. I think I would have liked your mother. She sounds like a dear."
He laughed. "She doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do, and the only thing she really seems to like to hunt are my socks. But I'll let you know. And she definitely knows how cute she is. She can destroy half my living room, then just use those big eyes on me, and I can't hardly remember why I'm mad."
He held her gaze. "I promise, I'm not. And I actually don't have a significant other, sometimes it feels like I'm married to my work. Which makes me sound odd, I suppose, but there you go." He shrugged.
He smiled fondly, remembering. "She was...really something. She loved God and her family, and did everything she could for them. Sometimes I wonder what she would say about me if she was still here."
She grinned, "Strangely it's a lot like having a child. Bernie knows exactly how to get out of trouble. It's why I'm still on the fence about a pet. I have enough to clean up as is."
She shook her head, "so that's where all the good guys are hiding. At work. Which I totally get it's just, I can barely believe women don't knock your door down as is. You're a catch. And you wonder why girls like me keep wondering where Prince charming's gone off to."
She smiled, "probably what all mothers say. That she's proud of you."
"She definitely takes a lot of attention, but that's cool with me," he replied. "She's my furry little child."
He laughed. "I can't speak for all the other good men, but yeah, I'll admit to spending a lot of time there, mostly because I'm not the most social of people. Which is mostly my own issue."
He couldn't help it, he blushed. "I've never been called a catch before, do you say thank you? It doesn't seem quite adequate. And if I see any Prince Charmings, I'll make sure to round them up."
He smiled quietly. "I really hope she would. I always did try my best to make her proud."
She smirked, "I think you missed the point honey." Smiling she took out a piece of paper and wrote her number on it, setting it on his table. "If you ever decide to crawl out of your office." She winked at him and rose, putting her jacket on turning her phone's alarm off before it would blare. "I have to go pick up my kid. It was nice talking to you."