I. Am. IVAN.

Bean Scene Cafe

Bean Scene is a small coffee shop and cafe that caters primarily to a younger crowd. The cafe has always been at least a year late in joining any given fad, and in the past it's been done in western-style, set up as a beatnik hangout, a go-go disco, a fern bar, and once even attempted to cash in on breakdancing. A plaque has recently been placed above the door, and says, "No fad is dead until it appears to Bean Scene".
Case in point, the cafe has a grungy feel to it.A grey brick facade has been placed over the walls, the flooring looking more like a worn down metal grid, complete with old sewer grates every few feet. Tables and chairs set about the cafe are quite casual in appearance, made of metal meant to look rusty and splattered with multi-colored paints. Metal street signs hang from the wall amid images of garage bands. Behind the counter is a black chalkboard displaying the available items and costs.

As rush hour peaks outside, the inside of the Bean Scene is quiet. Though an after-work coffee perk is sought by some suits, the place is mostly populated by a few students and younger people. Ashton stands in line near the end of the counter, watching a short barista as she finishes putting the whipped cream on a venti mocha latte. She leans over the counter a bit more, "Uhm, excuse me? Hello? More whipped cream, please," she requests, eyeing the measley dallop with some worry. The barista adds another puff, and Ashton's smile spreads before she's handed the hot drink. "Thanks!"

Pivoting to survey the seating situation, Ash shifts a heavy-looking backpack on her right shoulder, then proceeds to an empty table near the window, raising the drink to her lips as she does so. Whipped cream unknowingly comes off on her nose, but she takes no notice as she sets the backpack on the back of the chair…only to have the entire chair tip over. "Ugh." More embarrassed than annoyed, Ashton sets down her coffee and leans to right the chair, nose still white-tipped.

Now, most political savaunts wouldn't be caught dead inside the Bean Scene, as it isn't exactly the most upscale of coffeeshops. But then again, most political savaunts aren't Ivan. With a new cup of joe in his hand and his phone on the other, Ivan is finishing up the tail end of a conversation with the office. As soon as he says 'good day' to the person on the other line, the resonating thud of the fallen chair rings to the right of him. He doesn't even think of it, really - automatically, he bends over, makes a grab for the chair, looking to right it. "Hm?" Oh, look. It's original prospective user is doing the same thing. "Oh. Hey. Well…looks like you've got everything under control here."

Ashton turns her face to peer at the would-be helper, mostly expecting some old dude, and not…well, not Ivan. While she doesn't remember him from their brief encounter in the park months back, she does notice his hair. Curly, tousled hair — it must trigger some sort of thought within her, because after a moment, she catches herself staring and then sheepishly turns away, her hand lingering on the back of the chair. "Yeah, all set!" she says, using the look-away as an excuse to pick up her coffee, and move to actually sit in the chair instead of knock it over. There is a pause though before she's willing to let the guy totally walk away — "I mean, no, actually. It's not under control. I could use help with something." What, exactly? Her eyes shift to the backpack and she clears her throat. "Drawing! Help with…drawing." She eyes Ivan and his coffee cup then ventures a slight smile: "I mean, since you couldn't be a gentleman and help me with my chair, maybe you could help with this."

Now, c'mon. Ivan's a good looking guy. And he knows he is. But while he's used to being appreciated, he's not used to having people frozen in place by the mere sight of him. At least…he wasn't used to it. Ashton earns a curious sort of brow quirk as the lad grins broadly, silently inflating his ego just a bit larger. "You alright there?" He inquires kindly, highly bemused. When she clarifies this, he offers her a nod, holding the coffee in place as he turns to walk off. But then - she's calling him back.

Really. He's a good guy. And so he peers back at the younger woman. "Drawing?" He echoes, sounding quite confused. "I don't know how to draw. And…if this is one of those 'I'm looking for nude models' come ons, then I'm not quite sure I'm the guy you're looking for. Not that what I'm packing isn't worthy of being sketched, but…" He ends in a playful sort of grin. "But, ah, if I can help, sure? What d'you need, stranger?"

"Doesn't matter," Ashton counters patiently, grabbing her auburn hair and tossing it easily over her shoulder as she sits down. The whipped cream on her nose is noticed for the first time, since it happens to be melting. She smirks and dabs at it with a napkin before putting her backpacking open and taking out a very ordinary lined notebook and a very ordinary pen. Not exactly drawing supplies. "And puh-lease. Don't flatter yourself. You may have hair like a cute, ickle-toddler on a grown man, but it doesn't make you /that/ special." There's a hint of a twinkle in her eyes as she twirls the pen. "Alright so. I'm a criminal justice major, right? And I like, have this politics class or some shit. I have to draw a political cartoon. You've already proven to be a witty guy so…go! Make up a funny store about President…" Pause. "Bush. Bush, yeah, and stuff." She peers expectantly up at Ivan Bic aimed and ready.

"I can have what?" Ivan inquires before letting out an easy laugh. "I…wow. I don't know whether to be flattered or offended. That's not usually how people describe my…erm…hair. And sure," He agrees, waiting for Ashton to get to the point. However, when she does…all he can do is blink. Not once, but twice. "I…what? What does a funny story have to do with drawing?" His hand is drawn through his hair while the other clutches at his drink. "And - who said anything about me being witty? I've got nothing, man. You can't just put someone on the spot like that. How about…okay. Well, you know how George Washington was suppose to chop down trees as a kid? You can draw Bush chopping down the Twin Tow-…okay. Too soon?"

Ashton raises her shoulder in a half-shrug. "I don't know. Maybe a little of both, you know? One hand hand, I kinda want to run my hand through it, but on the other, I just want to be like…aww." Her words slip out casually, as if she was saying something relatively normal and not debating the childlike quality of a stranger's hair. She does, however, dismiss the topic with a wave of the pen. "Huh? What do you mean what does a funny story have to do with drawing? It's a political cartoon." She considers her own words and makes a face. "Which aren't very funny I guess, but they're /supposed/ to be."

As Ivan begins saying something about it, she starts writing down idea, but stops mid-pen stroke. "Uhh. Yeah. I was thinking more like, something about vampires since it's such a relevant topic. And they're easy to draw." She sets her pen on the paper and draws something, then holds it up — a smiley face with fangs and a disproportionate body. "OH! Oh. Inspiration." Ashton's eyes go to an older woman crouched over her chair, cackling to herself.

A moment later, Ashton rips out the paper and hands it to Ivan. "I think it's pretty fun. Definitely an A." On the paper is the vampire smiley face-person and the words: 'What happened to the mad vampire? He went batty.'

Ivan quirks his brows slightly, but he looks confused. After all, the signals Ashton happens to be shooting him are quite…strange and unconventional for a stranger. "Huh. Well…yeah. It's soft to run through?" He offers with a faint shrug, unsure of what else he can add to the issue. But then she's drawing. And drawing, and drawing. And… "Is that supposed to be a vampire?" He offers, highly bemused. "It looks like a retarded smiley. And, that's not fair. You didn't tell me I could use contemporary issues. You said make up a story about Bush - and I did. So…" And he looks around curiously, before sipping at his coffee. "Is that all?"

The hair gets no more comments, despite its supposed silken feel. She eyes her drawing as Ivan criticizes it, shrugging. "Yeah, it kinda does. That's why I'm going to be a cop, not an artist." She reaches for her coffee and takes a sip, liking that it's now a bit colder, with no more sepentine wisps of steam coming from the top. "You can use whatever! You just weren't as creative as I am," she points out, somewhat proudly, as she takes back the drawing after setting her coffee down. "Yeah, sure. Some help you were." There's a slight tug to her lips at the words. While by no means was Ashton ever shy, she was feelings a bit more flirtacious than usual. It was, of course, no help that there was "something" to the guy. She was an experienced enough witch to know that the small pull toward him wasn't the romantic, Disney-esque "chemistry." "I'm Ashton, by the way. And you're…" A witch, she thinks privately. She is totes right!

"No, you don't. You came up to me with the request to come up with a George Bush joke, specifically! That's limiting, geez!" Ivan argues with a faint laugh, shaking his head towards the younger woman with a grin. "But, if it makes you feel better to act as though you've outwitted me, that's fine. I guess not everyone can derive their sense of worth from how cherubic their hair is." The tease is given easily, and quite amiably, although when she introduces herself he moves slightly, drinking from the coffee before putting it onto the table beside him. Then, out goes his hand. "Hey, Ashton. That's a unique name - pretty. I'm Ivan Fontane - it's been a pleasure."

Ashton grimaces slightly. "Unique, yeah. Ashton Kutchen — my nickname throughout high school," she grumbles, wincing at the memory of the dorky MTV show. She flips back her hair hair and then takes the hand as its offered — her own palm is cool and her shake is surprisingly strong for a petite woman. "Ivan." The touch of his hand draws back a memory, however faint — a meeting in the park and a weird feeling next to a guy…but she's fuzzy on the details. Maybe something about a — "Bible-thumper!" The outburst comes suddenly, and randomly, so much so that the older woman cackling to herself stops and stares in confusion. "So, you ever find Sister Whatsherface?" she inquires devilishly, waggling her brows at the memory of Ivan's desperation to find some girl.

Ivan had not been expecting that. He had not been expecting that at all. He very nearly shoots his hand back away from Ashton as if burned, eyes wide as he stares at the younger woman. "Bible-wha?" It's only once she mentions the fact that he had been searching for someone in particular that he recalls the very brief encounter. As a result, he blinks. Twice. And then he cants his head to the side, a vague smile splitting his features. "You know," he begins slowly, "I almost wish I was a bible-thumper. I reckon that'd keep me from a lot of trouble. Ah - yeah. I did find her. If she's a Sister now, does that mean I'm a priest?"

Ashton shrugs easily. "It's not hard to become one," she notes, watching his reaction carefully as she settles back into her chair. "I mean, every street corner has an ad for the Fellowship of the Sun, does it not? That'd probably be your best bet. Bible-thumping but secretly brooding a deep-seated fear and hatred of the unknown. Awesome, right? Best of both worlds," she notes sarcastically, finish off a large amount of coffee before setting it down again. "So, Father Ivan. What kind trouble do you get into? Drive past the speed limit? You said it yourself, your hair is…cherubic. You seem rather innocent." Her lips curl into a smile that isn't very innocent.

"Ahh, Sister Tyler's actual blood sister is under the impression that I, frankly, am worshipping the wrong diety. Either that, or that I'm the devil incarnate. I figure if I was half as devout and…maniacle as she is, then she wouldn't bother me so much." Ivan explains easily enough, lips curled into a sly grin. "As opposed to openly festering that hate? I don't know. The Fellowship are pretty open and straightforward about their prejudices. Nothing hidden about them. And ohoho. Don't be fooled by my harmless appearance! I'm actually quite devious if you get to know me. So, what about you, Ashy? What school do you go to?"

Ashton blinks at the introduction of the 'Sister' and her real sister, patiently toying with the pen as she listens. "So she's the Bible thumper? And she thinks you're the devil for fooling around with her sister or something?" Ash rolls her eyes in an exagerrated fashion. "She needs to get —" Cough. "Some more…coffee. Spiked with Bailey's at the very least." She pauses to soak in the information about the Fellowship, nodding absently, but unwilling to delve further into the topic. "Devious, huh? I could believe it, maybe. It's in your eyes." There is no further comment before she willingly launches into talking about herself, if only to try and gloss over that 'in your eyes' comment, which was a bit creepy in itself. "I got to UTD. And you? You go to school? Have a job? Live in a box?"

Ivan lets out a bright laugh, grinning wolfishly to Ashton, with mischief gleaming in his expression. "You got it in one! Impressive, I must say. Are you a bit psychic or something?" He inquires, only partially joking. She's not the only one to feel the abnormal pull by her. "And, yeah. What she really needs is to get laid, but I don't think that's going to happen. She probably, and by probably I mean definitely, is against…how do they put it? Ah. Living in sin. Premarital sex. All that good stuff, you know?" Pause. When she mentions his eyes, his brows quirk slightly. "So. I've got the hair of a toddler. The eyes of a…devious person. Any other quality of mine you'd like to define?" It's a tease. "Heh. I work. Graduate a handful of years ago, by now. I work at the mayor's office, actually. Am something of an image consultant to McNaab."

"Psychic?" Ashton drops the pen. No, she's not that. But now, more than ever, she's got a suspicion he "feels" it too, and it causes her to fumble for a bit before she collects the pen again and plasters a smirk on her face. "Wouldn't you like to know? It'd be unfortunate for you, with all of the thoughts you have going around in /that/ head of yours." The impish look reappears in her eyes as she grabs for the cartoon and considers it again. "And yeah, I'm observant, so shoot me. And you're… wait! You work for the mayor and you couldn't come up with a better political cartoon?!" Pause. "Shame, Ivan," she presses, her voice growing a bit lower in its teasing as she sweeps her lashes at him. "You're not good for anything," she adds with a smirk, sticking the cartoon in the notebook and closing it.

Ivan can't help the boyish grin that splits his features, and he leans in closer to grab at his now cooling coffee. "I asked, didn't I? I figure that qualifies as a subset of the 'would like to know' category. Anyway, you're right. I am lucky you can't read my mind. I've a troubled mind, and I don't think you could handle it." But then she continues to tease him about the 'joke' of sorts, before snorting his amusement. "Yeah, okay. So, I'm useless and not funny, and my body can't pick an age to correctly represent. Geez. I'll have you know, my mother told me I was a very special boy and that I should be proud, thank you very much."

Ashton ponders, sitting confidently back in her chair and crossing her arms under her chest as she watches Ivan. "Maybe I am psychic." She crosses her legs at the ankle. "Do you believe in that kind of stuff, Ivan Fontane?" A single brows quirks, in indication that though indeed, Ash may know of psychics, she's not asking about /that/. The question is left hanging in the air for a moment before Ashton bothers to think up a response to the brunet's rather good point about her teasing. She shifts in her chair and manages a grin. "Didn't mommy ever tell you teasing was a way of showing affection?" Yes, she's not afraid to admit her attraction, in so many words. Still leaned back aloofly in her chair, Ashton affords him a gentle roll of her eyes. "Allllright. The George Bush 9/11 thing was kinda witty. If a bit soon, yeah. I like it though. It's artsy." Ash peers into the milky depths of her coffee before raising her eyes to Ivan. "So I take it that girl was your girlfriend? And why was she missing, anyway? I believe I'm owed a story."

"Why not?" Ivan begins in a reserved tone, and although his words are light, the look that accompanies it gives it more significance. He may just be trying to tell her something. Or she might be reading too far into it. "I mean, vampires exist, don't they? Why not psychics, and magic, and all that stuff? Is it really such a stretch?" But then, they're moving onto more comfortable grounds. swirling his coffee in an idle fashion, the man quirks his lips into a sly grin. "Do you always harbor affections for relative strangers? I'm not sure that's quite safe, missy. And - eh?" Beat. "Oh…right. Ahem. No, she wasn't my girlfriend. Not then. She is now, though. And ah…" He doesn't know how much to admit to. Slowly, cautiously, he frowns. "She…as melodramatic as it sounds, was kidnapped by some people. Kind of held ransom type deal. She's fine now, though." Well. As fine as she can be.

Ashton does not miss the look. Nor does she miss the significance beyond the lightly played words…such is a politician. "Depends who you talk to," she responds carefully after a moment, trying to make her smile as innocent as possible, though it seems to indicate the very opposite, reflecting full-knowledge of 'psychics, magic, and all that other stuff.' "It's relative, you know? I've met scientists that swear that stuff doesn't exist. But in my opinion? They're just too ignorant to notice the details." It would be a good time, perhaps, to show off a bit. A gust of wind to shut the outer door, a flicker of fire. But she remains straight-faced and unmoving until she offers a shrug.

"I do. Especially cute ones. Do you always engage strangers into conversation about 'all that stuff?' They might start to think you're a kook." Ash tucks a smile in the corner of her mouth and then listens quietly to his girlfriend story, quirking a brow where appropriate. "So, you saved her from kidnappers and now you're dating? How very…Louis and Clark." She laughs merrily.

"Faith is a strong word," Ashton responds. "It's what the Fellowship uses to preach their hatred." She runs a hand through her hair. "Like I said. It's relative." Unwilling to flex on the subject or explore it more, she easily falls into the swing of the next conversation topic, grinning coyly at his return compliment. "So I see." She shifts in her chair and gives her coffee a disdainful stare for its coldness, then pushes it slightly away. "You have to admit, your story is kinda…sensational," she remarks. At his intention to leave, Ashton quickly hides the flicker of disappointment and then inclines her head. "Around here? Maybe. I'm around campus a lot. Still a kid, you know? Not working for the man just yet." Pause. "See you around, Bruce Wayne." A teasing lilt enters her voice as she watches him for a moment before diverting her interest elsewhere.

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