Two Guys, A Girl, and A Deli

PFSC - Cerebral Deli

A rather unique book shop, the Cerebral Deli prides itself on being able to feed both mind and body. Several deli-style tables have been set up near the entrance, the linoleum flooring shining beneath them. An old deli counter acts as the checkout, behind which is a large chalkboard sign denoting all the new and upcoming book releases, as well as pricing for coffee, tea, the odd sandwich and other small items. Upon climbing three stairs, one enters a carpeted area filled with shelves and stacks of books. These books are fitting to every genre that one could possibly hope to find, including a smaller section for rare or now-out-of-print books. A couch and two chairs can be found at the back of the shop, near the window. A comfortable place to ensure the potential purchase is the right book, or catch up on a spot of homework.

A return visit is in order. Sure, it could be a waste of time since he has no idea if Miss Summer is even working but that doesn't seem to discourage the soon to be priest. Elliott enters into the Deli with one of the thick novels recently purchased tucked properly beneath an arm. A bookmark in the book proves that the man is over three quarters of the way through it. He wasn't lying when he mentioned having time to read in the evenings. Immediately he looks around to see if his favorite conversationalist is about.

Summer is, in fact, not in at the moment. An emergency at the veterinary hospital has kept her from entering the shop for a while. She's still dressed for work at the hospital when she enters, throwing her hair up into a ponytail as she does. Her bag is placed back behind the counter, and she exhales a sigh. An apron is tied around her waist, with the lab coat still on. "Hey Toby," she calls to the back of the shop. "Sorry, I'm late!"

Mischa's nice Sunday off has been spent mostly doing errands. Laundry, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and caring for his baby turtles. He's decided to take a break from the monotony of it all and stop into the deli, much for the same reason that Elliott has. The librarian has made sure to stop off in a bookstore first and pick something up so he wouldn't look so terribly obvious. He comes in just a few scant minutes after Summer, although he's distracted for a brief moment by the menu. Roast beef, you say?

With no sign of Summer at first he decides to take the same seat as he did the day before. The overly large book is cracked open and he begins to read, perfectly able to tune out the rest of the world as he does so. Elliott is aware that others have entered into the deli but it is a place of business; these things will happen. So for now he continues to sit, to read and to just think about why exactly he's even here.

Glancing up from tying the apron, Summer spots two men. One of who is glancing her way. "Mischa! Are the cooters alright?" She opens the fridge, taking out the roast beef, and starting to make a sandwich, before he orders it. Fresh bread being sliced, cheese added, no condiments. Her eyes fall on the potential priest, and she pauses the sandwich making to put on a pot of tea.

"Summer, we have to work on not calling them cooters loudly…" Mischa says with a laugh before shrugging his shoulders. His gaze follows Summer's, and he gives a polite nod to the younger man before he starts over towards the counter. "They're fine though. I think my wish about them being dwarves was in vain. The way they eat, they're going to be at least a foot long. Hopefully not any bigger. I don't think I can deal with Heath and Cliff becoming tiny Gojiras."

The nod and the recognition go unnoticed, really, as he is already involved in his book. Something else pulls his attention but it has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Elliott moves to scratch at his leg, a massive itch appearing suddenly. Only then does he realize that Summer has entered the building. He raises a hand to request tea but already notices that it has been put on. At this the soon to be priest chuckles. He is going to thank her but only when she's not in the midst of conversation. To do so now would just be rude.

"That is what they're called, Mischa." Summer winks at him, hands over the sandwich, then grabs the pot of tea and moves toward the table. A tea cup is placed on the table, and she begins to pour a cup. "I thought I recognized you when I rushed in," she says with a laugh. "What have you come in for today?" Then she looks back at Mischa, and smiles. "Tea for you too?"

Mischa nods to Summer. "Yes, please." He pauses and then laughs, smiling at Summer as he takes the sandwich. "Yes, that is what they're called. It still sounds a little bizarre saying it out loud though. They're fine though. How are you?" Mischa asks, before he saunters off with his sandwich and bag. He notices that Elliott is waiting to be served, and thus he gives the two a minute to converse or what have you… pretending to be utterly engrossed with his wallet and finding the exact change for his order.

A warm smile is given to Summer when she presents him with tea. His eyes stay on her face or the tea, wandering in no other direction. "What can I say? Yesterday's conversation was engaging enough that I was seeking a second round." He pats the book on the table, indicating just how near finished he is. "And you have an excellent taste in reading material. I should thank you for that." Now Elliott is not completely clueless and he really is not selfish. "Your friend can join me, or me him, if you'd like. But if you're busy I can always come back another time."

"It may sound bizarre, but it's what they're called." Summer winks at him, fills another tea cup, and offers the tea to him. Her hand waves away the money. "My treat today. Summer laughs softly when she hears Elliott. "So it is tea and debate time?" His compliment makes her grin. "So you found the book informative? There are a few more, those were just the two best." She looks back to Mischa. "Come meet…" She looks back at the priest-to-be. "… I don't think I got your name yesterday." Of course, she notices she's still wearing the lab coat, and shrugs it off.

Mischa takes his wallet back over to the counter and puts down a ten dollar bill. When she mentions meeting what's-his-face, Mischa smiles amiably at Elliott and offers the other man a hand. "Hello. Mischa Alexandrov… I'm a friend of Summer's." There's no real negativity or defensiveness in Mischa's voice or body language. If anything, he seems pretty jazzed up at the prospect of meeting one of her friends. One whose name she doesn't know, but a friend nonetheless, he supposes.

That is a very good point, causing the soon to be priest to stand. He has no hesitation about taking the hand offered by Mischa in formal greeting. "I apologize. It's become habit for me to not actually give out my name. Not because of danger but for other reasons." His past for one, his father's company for another. "Pleased to meet you, Mister Alexandrov. Elliot Hartigan. I can't claim the same but she is good for keeping company when none is to be found." That could be taken the wrong way but he is to be a man of the cloth; certainly it is not meant as such. "We don't have to debate, Miss Summer, but it is nice to see you again. I'll have to pick up some more literature since I have a feeling that I'll have read what you've given me in a matter of days."

A friend of Summer's? Her eyebrow arches upward, but she allows him to introduce herself. "Hartigan. Well it's a pleasure to see you again, then, Elliott." The lab coat is taken over to the hook behind the counter, and hung up. The ten dollar bill is picked up, and when she returns to the table, she tries slipping it into Mischa's pocket. "Please, just Summer. I can go get the books for you before you leave then. I did set them aside yesterday after you left."

Now Mischa can't help but laugh. "She says that if you call her miss, it makes her feel like she owes you a term paper or something." Mischa winks in Summer's direction, quickly catching her wrist in a gentle manner. "Your dad…mister… err, Toby… is trying to run a business here. I insist." He says firmly, but politely. He turns back towards Elliott and nods to him. "She is a good company…keeper." He moves to sit down at his table, motioning for the other two join him. He takes his tea as he sits down at the table, reaching up to adjust his glasses.

"Okay, fine. You've defeated me. Summer it will be." Just as he did yesterday, Elliott holds his hands up into the air as if asking her not to shoot at him. "There's no rush on that, really. I am supposed to be getting out and about more often as part of a deal that I made. I just know my own tendencies of remaining shut in often." A smile appears as Mischa sits but El makes no movements to do so until he sees Summer joining them. She may be working but he is ever the gentleman. "It's just good practice for me even if it is overly formal. Although I have found that it is rather difficult to win a discussion with her." This is said as he watches the money interaction.

Summer glances down at her wrist, and sighs at Mischa. "I said I'd take care of it. You think I'd steal from Toby?" She has shopping issues, yes, but she would never steal from her own father. "But if you insist, fine." The money is tucked into her apron and she sighs. Since the shop seems to be quiet again, and thankfully so after a long day elsewhere, she seats herself at the table. "It's true though. After so many years of school, "Miss" just makes me feel like I'm late for a term paper, or being scolded by a professor."

The tall librarian just rolls his eyes playfully at Summer. "I do insist." Mischa picks up his tea and takes a sip of it, using his now free hand to run his fingers through his hair a little bit. "Summer is a tough opponent from time to time, but that's what I like about her. Not that we've debated too much since we met. In fact, if anything… we're a little too compatible." He lets out a chuckle after that and looks over towards Elliot. "Hartigan, you say? It sounds vaguely familiar. What do you for a living, Elliott?" Mischa asks, trying to be polite in the only ways that he knows how. He hasn't had much social interaction up until lately, in the past ten years.

With the others seated comfortably he now sits; his posture near perfect. "Overly compatible? Is there truly such a thing?" They are both given knowing glances as if he is accusing them of being more than just friends. Still Elliott remains as he was before, calm and pleasant. "The last thing that I wish to do is remind you of school, even if you have proven to be highly educated. If you're ever in my area, however, expect the Miss to return." Mischa is making small talk but it is appreciated and so El nods. "I was labeled as a missing person not all that long ago due to a misunderstanding on my father's part. He runs a local copier repair company and when I didn't come into work he got upset." Really there is no need to elaborate on that for the time being as the man isn't bragging about the size of the company. "I've actually decided to switch gears since then into something that pays far less but I feel will be far more rewarding."

"That's fair enough," Summer replies to the soon-to-be-priest. "I just love a good discussion, no matter the topic," she offers to the men, with a smile. "The topic yesterday was very intriguing, and thus highly debatable. Though I apologize if I seemed at all argumentative. I get drawn in when the discussion is good." A glance is given to Mischa. "Too compatible? I suppose it could be bad thing."

Mischa seems amused by the topic at hand. Moreso, he seems vaguely embarrassed when Elliott brings up the origin of his name. More accurately, Mischa knew nothing of Elliott's actual appearance on the five o'clock news — he was more thinking about the Sin City comics. When that dawns on him, he turns a shade of bright red and simply says, "Ah, that explains it." Mischa takes a sip of his tea and laughs a little bit at their conversation. He won't bother to ask about what they discussed yesterday, instead giving the faintest shrug of his shoulders. "I don't know. Too compatible might be a bad thing if it verges on obsession. Those are never healthy, or so I hear." He picks his sandwich up and starts to eat it rather nonchalantly.

The reaction of Mischa is not only noticed but also studied. There's no way of getting inside the mind of the other man but there is certainly something going on. Even with this knowledge Elliott remains silent. "I left here only feeling refreshed, I can assure you. Most people don't engage in such conversation with me, especially when they find out my chosen profession. There was nothing offensive said. You are entitled to your own opinions, after all." With that being said, Elliott turns to his tea, his movements few and far between. "One could say that there are issues with obsession, although I somehow doubt that your feelings for each other border such things." Yes, he's calling them out.

Leaning in against the table, Summer smiles. "I don't see why anyone would want to not discuss a topic based on someone's chosen profession." A strange look is given to Elliott, and she chuckles. "Now that is something odd to hear coming from a soon-to-be priest." Her head, given a shake, then she turns to Mischa. "Are you planning on stalking me, Mr. Alexandrov?"

Elliott's words only serve to make Mischa blush further. He puts his sandwich down and rubs at the back of his neck with something of a nervous laugh. "Well, I didn't say us in particular. It was a general example." The man rubs at the back of his neck again, unable to meet either other person's gazes for a long moment or two. At Summer's playful accusation, he simply turns even more red. "The thought hadn't occured to me, but gee, now that you mention it…" Even Mischa is capable of sarcasm from time to time. Eventually he tries to save face, turning towards Elliott. "You're joining the priesthood, then? Congratulations."

Even with as serious as he can be, he finds himself chuckling. Yes, this all is rather humorous. "Summer, I believe your 'friend' there is turning a rather delightful shade of red." Enough teasing, though, before Elliott turns back to his tea. "Thank you, Mischa. And sometimes people feel uncomfortable. If I'm going to become a priest then obviously I am jaded into only believing one thing and everyone must watch what they say around me." Then he is right back to his tea, allowing the two lovebirds to tease each other for the time being.

"Ohhh, really? I haven't had a stalker before, that could be fun. Does it involve flowers, candy, and badly played boombox music outside my apartment at all hours of the night?" Summer's involvement with stalkers is obviously only on film. "Hopefully he's not choking." She seems to be in rather good spirits despite her rushed and bad day. "A person is a person, no matter their profession. It seems wholly unfair to judge a person's ability of conversation on their profession. Though I do have to ask if you found any part of the books useful as of yet."

"Actually, I think it's sort of nice that there are still young people who want to be priests and nuns. I've always been interested in convents and monasteries. It just seems sort of… I don't know — mystical in it's own way, I guess." Mischa shrugs his shoulders and stops talking momentarily to take another bite of his sandwich. He chews it up thoughtfully before he hears Summer's words, having the foresight to stop chewing before he does in fact choke. When he's a little more composed, he swallows down his bite of sandwich and washes it down with a sip of tea. "I'm nowhere near as good looking as John Cusack, Summer. And even if I wanted to blast Peter Gabriel outside your window, I don't know where you live." He winks at her before nodding at her words. "I agree with Summer. It's awfully close-minded to just… negate someone's opinions or existence entirely because of their job."

"Well, as much as I am certain that I'll continue on this path, I did promise that I would at least be open to the idea of changing my mind if something occurs that would cause me to decide as much. But all of this is neither here nor there at the moment." Elliott finishes his tea and nods to both in turn. "The book was helpful for what I was looking for, indeed. I'm more interested in seeing the movie before me play out, however. If you don't wish to be portrayed by John Cusack, Mischa, who would you have play your role?" Yes, yes. Their little budding romance is clearly more important than his quest for priesthood.

"You could always stalk me at work, the girls would love that." Summer winks at him, then reaches up to adjust her ponytail, brushing up a few strands of stray hair. "I think that's debatable, Mischa. You have wonderful eyes," she compliments, her hands setting gently to the table. "Who did you make a promise to like that?" Nosy of her but that is twice he's mentioned it now.

Mischa nods to Elliott. "That's a good policy to have. I'm sure that a few of the older priests like to make sure that the younger ones really want this… and that they know what they're getting into. I'd ask what made you decide to become a priest, but that would probably be terribly personal of me." Mischa chuckles very quietly and takes another sip of his tea before leaning back in his chair. He glances to Summer's hands before quirking a brow at Elliott's question. "Pierce Brosnan! Of course, he's a bit too old to be me. So Hugh Grant perhaps."

More questions. He takes them all as casually as he has everything else; not appearing offended or put off in the least. "What made you decide to become a librarian? Sometimes there is just a trigger that lets a person know what they'd like to do. As of right now I've not found anything that has proven my decision to be wrong yet." Eyes move slowly over to Summer. "A visitor to the church that I was fortunate enough to have excellent conversation with. I do have some time before I can claim to be a priest so it only makes sense to expose myself now. To turn back beforehand is merely part of life. To do so after I've taken my vows would be a sin." Oh, look. Elliott's gone and turned the conversation grimly serious. Time to change that. "Hugh Grant isn't all that young, either, if I recall correctly. Yet I can't argue with your choice. But of course you realize, if you're casting yourself then you have to give this script life. Hopefully that means more than just stalking Summer here."

Summer sets her eyes on Mischa's face, as though studying him fully and thoughtfully for a long moment. "Yes! Pierce Brosnan! That's who your eyes remind me of. Perhaps a younger Brosnan." A pause, then a cheeky sort of grin. "He made a wonderful Bond, and has amazing eyes as well." Obviously, Summer is an eye person in part. "That seems a strange request, though perhaps best if you do weigh your options carefully before you make a final decision on things. It would be awful to change your mind after your vows."

Mischa nods a little bit as he listens to Elliot. "You should live life a bit before you go all… you know, Father Karras on everyone." Hopefully minus the possession and all. He finishes off his sandwich and reaches for a napkin to dab his mouth before he laughs very quietly at Elliott's words. "Well, if there's ever more script than my unfortunate and probably hilarious stalking of Summer, I'll let you guys know." He takes another sip of his tea, not really having answered the question about what made him decide to become a librarian.

The book before him is closed tightly as if he's preparing for travel. "I highly doubt that I will change my mind but I also am a man of no regrets. It is better to see what I can while I can." Though really, Elliott is far more fascinated with the other two. "That would be a good thing. After all, by then I will be a priest." The humor at this point is obvious even if Elliott is staring at the cup of tea taken up into his hands. "Although I would understand if you chose someone else to officiate."

There is a moment, a moment where Summer is completely and utterly silent but for her breathing. She sort of stares at Elliott with an increasingly odd expression. Right up until she bolts upright, knocking the chair over. Quickly righting it, she heads to the deli counter to ring in a book for a customer, but she doesn't return right away. She starts cleaning with a fervor, head down until she's finished. Where upon she moves to the small fridge, takes out a small container of chocolate milk, opens it and starts to down it rather quickly. All done so that she doesn't get upset or embarrassed or dwell on what was said.

Now Mischa blushes fiercely at Elliot's comment and clears his throat. "Well… that could have gone worse. And yet better." He stands up and offers Elliott a hand, the other hand moving to collect his bag. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Elliott, but I should get going now. I need to check on my turtles and go buy a boombox."

Not the intended result but worth a chuckle all the same. "There are some things that I will just never understand." This is said as the tea cup is returned to the table. Elliott stands as well, the hand taken just as it is offered. "I apologize if my teasing got the better of the situation. I'll do the best I can to repair it." The best he can being nothing at all as that really is for the best. "A pleasure, Mischa. Hopefully you're able to locate a boombox. I hear that they're not all that popular these days." Even as he says this, he too gathers his things.

Summer is not a commitmentphobe, but she does know that discussing pending nuptials with a man you've been on one coffee date with is just a doomed conversation, whether in jest or not. When she notes that Mischa is leaving, she offers him a wave. Then she heads back to the table with the promised books that she had behind the counter. "Don't forget these. I think you'll find them an enjoyable read."

Mischa waves back to Summer, while looking over his shoulder at Elliot and smiling. "Thanks for the luck, I'm going to need it with… well, my luck. And don't worry about the teasing, it was all in jest. Though I do feel bad for the clergymen who have to take you under their wing. You're a bit of a Loki, aren't you?" Mischa asks, before he makes a departure.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License