Dating Game: Round 1

Bean Scene Cafe

"Hmm. Maybe I should have chosen somewhere a little more classy than the Bean Scene…" are Mischa's first words when he steps into the aforementioned place of business. He's managed to shave for Summer, slap on the tiniest hint of cologne, and make himself look quite presentable in his blue sweater and khaki slacks. He has a bouquet of probably expensive crimson roses in one hand. Miraculously he doesn't trip and fall as he enters the Bean Scene, and there is no toilet paper stuck to his shoe, or anything else too embarrassing. For now.
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Coffee is coffee, whether one has it at the Bean Scene or some more prestigious place. Summer isn't all that nichey when it comes to coffee, so this place will do as much as any other. Only, Summer is not yet there. A last minute emergency has made her about ten minutes late. So Mischa will have time to get a table and seat himself at it or do whatever embarrassing things he intends to before she arrives. She takes a moment to view her reflection in the window, and then opens the door. Arriving in a pair of black flare-leg dress pants and a red sweater that fits somewhat snuggly, sleeves pushed up, a black accessory scarf around her neck.

Former dating etiquette dictates it'd be rude to order anything before Summer got here — so Mischa sits and waits at a table near the entrance, wanting to make sure that Summer can see him and that she won't have far to go. The lateness hasn't seemed to bother him yet. Ten extra minutes to mentally psych himself up for the 'big event' at the very least. When he sees Summer enter, there's a brief moment of awe when he gets a load of the sweater. He quickly clears his throat and stands up, greeting her. "Summer! How are you? You look amazing… but then, just about every time I've seen you, you've looked amazing." He pauses and grabs the bouquet from the table, brandishing them at her. "These are for you. I hope you're not allergic, should I have gone with daisies?"

"Mischa! Sorry I'm late. Had a last minute binding that needed to be put on, and I lost track of time." The bouquet of flowers is taken in both hands, and she brings the roses right up to her nose, sniffing at them for a long moment. "They're amazing, I'm not allergic, and I like daisies just as well as roses. These are beautiful though. Where did you manage to find such a deep shade this time of year?" Generally, she has noticed, that flowers tend more toward dull colors in the fall and winter months. "You look great."

"Oh, it's easy if you know the right place to look." Either that, or he drove to about five different florists and paid a pretty penny for them. "Thanks. And don't worry about it, I didn't even notice you were late." He comes around to her side of the table, reaching out for her free hand. "Shall we order something then?" He asks with an easy smile. Mischa looks towards the counter and coffee station, his other hand going into his pocket. "I'm glad you're not allergic, I didn't think about it until it was too late…" He mutters mostly to himself.

"Allergy free," Summer says with a bright smile, sniffing at the roses once more. "Good thing to be when you work in a veterinary hospital." It's sweet of him to say that he didn't notice, but she's positive he did. Still, the hand is taken and she nods. First date anxiety and all that slipping away with the comfortableness of the location and the lack of pressure. "I can't believe I've never been here before. In all my years in Dallas, I've never even stopped in here. So it may take me a moment to decide what I want."

Mischa grins at Summer. "This is comfortable enough." Pause. "I mean the location. It's really a bit too trendy for my tastes sometimes, but I figured it would do. And they have smoothies." Ah, the strawberry smoothies are a large draw for Mischa, indeed. He gives her hand the faintest of squeezes while nodding to her. "Take your time. If you want a recommendation, I suggest a cinnamon roll. A little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine on the colder days."

Summer peruses the menu as they wait at the counter. Memorizing every portion of it before she nods. "A cinnamon roll sounds delicious, though would you care to share one? I probably can't eat the entire thing myself." Even though she could likely devour it, she really doesn't want to come off as a pig. "I think I'll go with the strawberry-chocolate mocha, with strawberry whipped topping." Then she laughs. "That sounds like more of a dessert than the cinnamon roll does!"

"Doesn't it though? It makes you wonder who comes up with these names… and these combinations. Maybe I could learn a thing or two for them. I've started experimenting at home with the blender…" Mischa trails off there as he gets the clerk's attention, relaying Summer's order. He takes on his own order, plus the cinnamon roll, and reaches into his pocket. The wallet isn't there like it normally is, which causes a bit of panic until Mischa pulls out a crumpled ten dollar bill and breaths a sigh of relief. He doesn't have much change leftover, but at least he wasn't totally broke. "Sharing one sounds great. I've been watching my sugar intake. It makes me really wired, then I tend to crash magnificently."

The desperate panic is noted, but Summer doesn't say anything allowing it to be chalked up to jitters. "If you find a great recipe for a smoothie, I'm sure Toby would pay for it. He's been testing some out at the Deli, but hasn't found one he likes yet." A quick once over is given to him, and she shakes her head. "That tends to happen with sugar, though I have to say I'm surprised at your physique. If I could cook even remotely as good as you, I would likely weigh a lot more."

Mischa grins at Summer, shaking his head. "Maybe I just don't think my cooking is that great because it's all I've had to go on since I got on my own. Now, if my mother were still cooking, then I would need to be on a diet. Matter of fact, I was a bit of a chunk when I was a kid. But it was mostly baby fat. Still, my mom wishes I weighed about thirty pounds more. 'Too thin, too thin!' she always says." Mischa stops talking for a moment to move towards the waiting area at the counter, pulling Summer with him. "I'll keep working on my smoothie recipes then."

Dragged along, she laughs. "I wish I had known my mother. There were uhh… some complications when I was born, and it's just been Toby and I for so long." Though it's not said in a sad, depressing manner. "My grandmother was like that. Always trying to get me to eat more. To stop playing outside with the dirty animals. I think she grew up in Georgia and always had these dreams of me being some big Southern Belle or something." Summer stops at the waiting area, and then asks, "How are the boys liking their terrarium?"

Mischa nods a little bit at Summer's words, frowning. "I'm very sorry." He says, in a rather genuine tone. He listens when Summer explains her grandparents, grinning faintly. "Well, you're pretty enough to have been a Southern Belle, but I don't think it would have suited you much. You don't seem like the wilting flower type." When she asks about the terrarium, he brightens greatly. "Oh, they were quite active when I got home from work. I turned off the lights just to be sure that they're not getting overexposed if we were out late tonight. I think they're much happier in there."

"It's hard to really miss something or someone you never really knew," she says, of his apology. "I'm hardly a wilting flower. I hope that's alright with you?" Winking, she lets him move on to the next bit of conversation. He sounds so animated when he's talking about it, that she laughs. "I'm sure that they are much happier. I know I'd be a lot happier outside a cardboard box. I'm glad you remembered to turn their lights off though."

"Well, whatever you are, I like you." Mischa says very simply. He smiles at Summer as their order comes, reaching out with his free hand to take the little tray back to his table. "Can I ask you something sort of personal? It may be way out of line, so feel free to tell me if it is."

Whatever she is. Summer almost winces at that, but manages to gently bit the inside of her cheek to keep from doing so. She and the flowers follow Mischa back to the table, and once there she seats herself. The scent of the flowers is inhaled deeply once more, and she tilts her head questioningly. "Ask away. I have very little to hide." Though if he asks her something like if she's ovulating, she will likely get up and walk out without a word.

Mischa puts the tray down on the table, waiting for Summer to sit down before he does. "Well, Toby is your dad, right?" He asks, hoping he's not mistaken about their relationship. "Why do you call him Toby?" Yep, that's the big, personal, intrusive question he wanted to ask. "Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you have your reasons. But it sounds like you two are close — normally you don't hear about a lot of parental first name usage unless the parties are estranged."

Thankfully, the question is not as bad as she thought it would be. "He is, yes." The roses are carefully placed upon the table, so she doesn't bruise them at all, and then she looks across at her date. "When I was old enough to actually start working in the shop back in Santa Fe, we decided it would be easier to call him Toby, rather than explain to new employees and have them expect him to treat me differently than they were being treated." She grins as she adds, "That, and it makes him feel younger, I think."

"I guess that does make sense," Mischa concedes, grabbing a fork from the tray and awkwardly cutting the cinnamon roll in half. He passes Summer's drink to her and moves to sit down. "And I can understand that. Wanting to be younger, I mean. I feel ten years older than I really am most of the time." He grins at Summer, taking his own drink and sipping at it.

Summer takes the drink, looking at the pink whipped topping and realizes how girly it makes her seem. Her hand reaches for one of the wooden stir-sticks, and she begins to mix the whipped topping into the mocha mess. "You're what? Mid-to-late twenties? I can't see you being much older than that." Pursing her lips together, she blows across the top of the hot liquid, then takes a tentative sip. "This is actually pretty good," she says, licking her lips.

Mischa grins at Summer, nodding. "Yes. Twenty-nine, actually… facing the big three-oh later this year." He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair before he takes a sip of his smoothie once more. He nods to her sentiments about the drink, before he offers her his cup. "Want a sip of mine? Yeah, this place isn't bad for the coffee. And don't tell them I said so, but it's a lot cheaper here most places."

"Twenty-seven," Summer offers to him, so he won't feel so bad about being ancient. Even though he's hardly ancient at all. "Do cheap and gourmet coffee go in the same sentence?" Her cup is held out to him so that he can taste the desserty concoction as well. "Absolutely. I happen to like trying new things." Which may have just come out extremely oddly.

Leaning over, Mischa takes a long sip of Summer's drink with an approving nod afterwards. "Hmm, not as sweet as I thought it would be. Pretty good. Just the right balance." He laughs at she asks about 'cheap' and 'gourmet', shaking his head. "No, not really. But one can dream." Mischa raises a brow at Summer, glancing over her for a brief moment before he grins somewhat sheepishly. "Well, you've aged well for twenty-seven. Or something. I'm not saying you're old because I'm— sorry, that came out wrong. You're just very pretty."

Only a small sip of the smoothie is taken, and she closes her eyes. "Wow. Just… wow. Generally not a fan of smoothies, but that's actually pretty good." Summer peers at him as she takes her cup back and settles back in the chair. "Thank you. Though you realize had you been insinuating I was old, I would have kicked you under the table, right?" Oh, but the smile he's given? Quite the happy one. Someone obviously likes compliments.

"Well, I'm glad that my compliment didn't earn me a kick under the table. Especially if it had been a high kick. I shudder to think." Mischa grins a little bit at that and nods to Summer. "I like them alright." There's a pause as Mischa considers possible topics to talk about. Eventually he ends up grabbing his half of the cinnamon roll from the tray and taking a large bite.

They've reached that awkward silence portion of the first date. Summer likewise takes her half of the cinnamon roll, and uses the fork to pry a small piece off of it. As she chews, she goes over possible topics. Then she grins. Time to start firing off the questions. "I already know you're a tea man, but do you have any other favorites? Book, color, food, thing to do?"

Mischa laughs at Summer's questions, leaning back in his chair to get a little more comfortable. "Book — Wuthering Heights, but I'm sure you saw that coming. Color? I'm still undecided between red and blue after all of these years, really. Food…" This makes Mischa pause for a long few moments before he has an answer. "Anything my mother cooks, really. She's a far better chef than I am. I'll have to get her to make something for you." Then there's another pause. "Favorite thing to do… is sleep applicapble?" Mischa asks, laughing. He winks at her after that. "Your turn now."

"I was fairly certain on the book, considering what you named the cooters." The coffee is lifted to her lips, and she takes a sip. A bit of pink whipped cream sticks to her upper lip, and she runs her tongue over it to clean it off. "Red. Definitely red. It's such a rich, vibrant color. Though I suppose you could have figured that out considering my wardrobe." Food is a little more difficult for her. While she had a healthy diet, she's never really had any food that was her favorite. "It's a toss up, I think. Between strawberries and cream, or butterscotch ice cream." There is another bite of the cinnamon bun taken, and she laughs. "Walks. I really enjoy walks. Good way to clear one's head. Especially out in nature."

"Yeah, I sort of thought you might like the color red. It looks good on you." Mischa finishes off his own cinnamon roll as he listens to her talk, reaching for a napkin in order to wipe his own lips. Of course he doesn't miss the way she licks her lips, either. But he merely faintly reddens, quickly returning his gaze to her eyes. "Both excellent culinary choices though. I'm fond of ice cream myself. Probably a bit too much. I have a real weakness for dairy products. I guess I should be thankful I'm not lactose intolerant." He nods to her final answer and smiles. "I like walks too. But they're kind of a necessity for me now — I had a car wreck not too long ago and I've been saving up for a new one since my got sort of… uh, irrepairibly damaged. But it has managed to keep me rather trim, when I'm not riding the bus or borrowing my dad's car."

"Oh no! Are you alright?" Obviously he's alright, or he wouldn't be sitting here. Still, the concern is there. Summer sips from the coffee, thoughtfully falling silent for a few moments. "Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, roses… a lot of my favorite things happen to be red, so I guess it's really unsurprising, yeah." He has a preference for ice cream? "You know, one thing I can make really well is homemade ice cream. My gran showed me how one summer. Secret family recipe."

Mischa nods to Summer a little bit. "Oh, I'm fine. There was some bruising…" He lifts up the sleeve of his sweater to show her the scar on his left forearm. "And that. A little bit of a cut on my head. But other than that, I walked away lucky, considering I wrapped my car around a tree." He leaves the sleeve rolled up as he takes another drink of his smoothie, licking his lips contemplatively. "Really? Someday you'll have to make me this wonderful homemade ice cream. I'm partial to cherries myself, by the way. One of my favorite kinds of ice cream is cherry vanilla."

"Cherry vanilla. Noted." Summer finishes off the coffee, and then smiles at him. "Soon as the weather is warmer, I'll whip up a batch and deliver it to you." Provided the date doesn't go horribly disastrously wrong, that is. "Mischa, I'm sorry that you had to go through that, and I'm sincerely glad that you're alright. That could have been a much worse incident."

He shakes his head at Summer, making something of a dismissive hand motion. "Things could have been much worse. I'm thankful too, but I don't dwell on it. It's not healthy to have these things building up inside, you know?" Says the man who does in fact dwell on at least ONE thing. He smiles at Summer easily and reaches across the table, casually putting his hand out. "Then I do hope the weather gets warmer soon, because it sounds delicious. I've never been able to make homemade ice cream, and don't think I haven't tried."

Summer's eyes fall upon his face, then drift to his hand. The gesture is noticed, and she gently places her hand in his. "The secret is really simple. An ice cream maker." Her eyes twinkle as she laughs and then softly squeezes his hand. "Gran had one. The newer machines that you can buy work more swiftly, but they produce an inferior product. I can bring it by sometime if you'd seriously like to try your hand at it. I think dad still has it laying around the house some where."

Mischa squeezes Summer's hand in return and laughs at her answer, nodding. "That sounds great. Hopefully I won't break it. When I first started cooking, I was awful about ruining my appliances. A few substantial bills later I learned to start being more careful." He stifles a bit of laughter as he remembers those early years on his own, and the fates of his microwave, blender, and food processor, respectively. "You know what? You didn't tell me what your favorite book is."

"It's difficult to break a device that's hand-cranked, but if you manage, I know how to fix it." Though it's an old family heirloom of sorts, Summer doesn't seem too concerned about it potentially breaking. After all, these things happen. "Jane Eyre, with Little Women coming in close second. Then I suppose anything by London." It's hard for her to choose just one novel as her all time favorite, as her tastes in novelization are always changing.

Mischa can't help but laugh a little bit, grinning at Summer. "Very nice choices. Little Women is a good one. I respect those choices. They're right, you know. You can tell a lot about the literature people check out." Mischa finishes his smoothie and lets out a quiet yawn, sucking in a deep breath afterwards — undoubtedly leading a case of hiccups in a few moments. And then there's another silence. This time more pleasant than awkward, at least from Mischa's point of view.

Summer silently finishes off the cinnamon bun, allowing him his comfortable silence. Though she must ask, after a few moments, "I do have to wonder what the choices say about me." The silence is nice, pleasant, and not at all awkward at this point. Thankfully she's survived the eating portion of things without dropping food down her top, or spilling coffee on her date — or having her date spill coffee all over her, which has happened before.

"I think it says that you're a romantic, deep down. But you're a modern girl, too. Strong, independent. A lot of the heroines in those books had that going for them." Mischa shrugs his shoulders the slightest bit and smiles at Summer. "Hey, do you want to go on a walk? We could stroll around the block or something for a bit. It might feel good to stretch our legs after sitting in here for a while."

That summary is thought on, then she nods. "I think I agree with that, though what do the works of Jack London say?" Summer slides the chair back, rising to her feet. "I do love walks, and I'm loathe to end the evening just yet… let's go."

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