Dallas Public Library

The library is a rather large building that extends two levels. Security gates at the entrance lead past a long rectangular circulation desk where patrons may check out or return books. Across from the circulation desk is large, archaic looking card catalogue beside which is a computer that is set up to locate books. Following the typical Dewey Decimal Classification System, the rows of shelves are laid out systematically, with large signs overhead so that patrons can find precisely what they are looking for. Study carols and tables line the walls, and one corner of the library is set aside for two separate lecture rooms that can booked for meetings.

It's been a fairly pleasant day, which means the library probably hasn't been terrifically busy. After all, people want to be out and enjoying the pretty weather after being cooped up indoors for the winter. Todd, however, is one of the exceptions. He has been in the library for most of the day, wandering through the stacks. When he finally did settle on a book, he sat right down in the aisle to read, his back leaned up against the shelves. Hours later, as evening rolls around, he is still sitting there. He keeps getting to around the third page before flipping back to the first page to start again.

The patrons that linger are usually monitored carefully by staff. But Doris has been on the phone most of the day in the conference room, trying to straighten out a misplaced book shipment. Mischa is at the counter not doing much of anything at all. He's been wearing a forlorn look on his face ever since he stumbled through the doors this afternoon. With the library about ready to close, he steps out from behind the counter in order to stow away the final books of the day. Todd being in the stacks has given him an advantage; he's much more inconspicuous back there. When Mischa nears the aisle that Todd is in and sees the man there, he flushes a bit and smiles. "Excuse me sir, I just need to shelve a few books. We close at eight." It's a polite reminder, said in a very quiet voice.

Todd looks up from the book, with a polite smile. "Hm?" It takes him a moment to realize what Mischa is talking about, but after looking around for a moment, there is a sudden understanding. "Oh! Sorry…" He scrambles to his feet, taking the book with him, and since Mischa mentioned the time, he looks down at his watch. He frowns a little, confused, but he doesn't say anything more. "Um. Okay. Good night." He starts to wander off, but rather than heading in the direction of the exit, he's headed deeper into the stacks. He seems oblivious to his error, and is still carrying the book he had been reading.

The exchange makes Mischa smile, then as Todd steps off toward the stacks, he reaches up to scratch his head as if wondering what just happened. He shelves a few books effortlessly before following the other man's path. "You don't have to leave right now…" Mischa says, although he's aware the man has retreated further back into the aisles. He bites his lip and considers for a moment. "Is there something I can possibly help you find?" The librarian tries to peek at the book that Todd is reading in order to give him a better idea of what the man is interested in.

Todd looks back toward Mischa, then glances around at the shelves again. He looks down at his hands, and the book there, then to Mischa, with a polite smile. "Nope. Looks like I've got a book already! But thank you." The book is some sort of cheesy spirituality self-help book. The title is in big friendly letters on the cover: 'Finding the REAL YOU in 10 easy steps!!!' Todd starts to wander off again, then looks back at Mischa, as though just remembering something, "Oh, yes. Is there some place I can sit to read?"

The library is fairly large, it's true. If you're intent on fixing yourself as much as Todd seems to be, they could be easy to miss. Mischa starts to move out of the aisles, pointing straight back. "It's fairly quiet back there. Take your time. At least until eight PM. And don't be shy. If there's anything I can help you find, let me know. It's my job, after all." Mischa seems reluctant to leave the man to his own devices for one reason or another, although there's really no reason for him to linger. Instead, he grabs his cart and starts to shelf with the intent of working his way closer to Todd.

Todd smiles politely, but there's a touch of confusion that suggests he might be considering a question. He thinks better of it, and instead just smiles again, and nods. "Okay…Thanks." He wanders away, apparently following the librarian's instructions. Soon after he reaches the end of the shelf, he disappears from sight. Some time passes, in which Mischa is left in peace to shelf the books. Eventually, however, Todd wanders past the end of the shelves again. He spots Mischa at work, and considers this for a second. He looks at the book in his hands, then casually slips it onto the shelf. He probably leaves it in the wrong place, but without hesitation, he wanders back to Mischa's cart to pick up another book and put it on a shelf.
<Guest> Faith has connected.

For a brief few minutes, Mischa is in his own little world as he shelves the books in question. His mind drifts to current heartache and angst that is his life. It's possibly a good idea that Todd appears when he does, lest the librarian's thoughts get too bleak in a hurry. "Oh h—…" Mischa trails off there when Todd starts to shelf books right alongside him. He clears his throat and watches the man for a moment before letting out a quiet laugh. "Alright then. Do you know how to do this? Doris tends to get very, ahem, how do I put this delicately… fussy about where everything is. She's a strict believer in the Dewey Decimal system, although to be frank, everything gets messed up within an hour of us opening this place anyway." He can't help but laugh, but he doesn't really try to stop Todd from shelving the books. Considering the quietness of the day, he's relieved to actually have some work to do.

Todd smiles back at Mischa, though he still has that characteristic look of slight confusion. "Do I?" It's possible that Mischa would take that as a sarcastic response, in spite of the genuine nature of the question. He reaches for another book, but watches Mischa out of the corner of his eye to see how /he/ does it. He does the best he can to copy it, and even manages to compare the numbers on the books in his hand with the ones on the shelf to determine where they go. Now, if the books on the shelf are incorrect, then he's pretty much out of luck. "Some people like things a certain way. I can't say I blame them, though."

If Mischa construes the comment as sarcastic, he doesn't seem to let on. "Well, Dewey was certainly a stickler for it all. But I digress. I'm Mischa, by the way. What's your name?" He asks before he finishes with that aisle. Since the conversation has been kept up, he assumes that Todd will follow along, and thus he keeps talking as if the man is still there: "Have you been here long? I must have missed you come in. Sorry for that. Usually I like to think I'm pretty snappy with my service, but… I was a little bit lost in my thoughts."

Todd follows along with Mischa, and gives a friendly smile in response to the introduction. "Hello, Mischa, nice to meet you. I'm Todd Landers," he responds. It has the feel of a rehearsed speech, as he says it so very precisely. Regardless, he offers his hand for a handshake. "Hm? Oh, I'm not sure. Probably not too long." He checks his watch, then reaches into his pocket to pull out a small notepad, his lips moving in a repetitive phrase as one might when trying to remember some bit of information long enough to write it down.

The handshake is accepted and returned, albeit briefly. Mischa probably has some sort of quota to meet before he closes down 'shop' for the night. He goes right back to shelving. "Pleased to meet you too. And I'm glad I didn't miss you by too much, otherwise I'd have kicked myself. Some of the other librarians tend to ignore the patrons, but not me. Generally." The past few days have been an exception to this rule. He stops his fervent shelving for a moment in order to drag his fingers through his hair. Beforehand it already looked like he's a habitual hair petter, but now he looks like he may have just woken up. Not that he seems to nice. "Are you doing a report or something for school?" Todd looks a bit too old to be college-age, but people are going back older and older these days.

Todd holds up a hand in a silent gesture for Mischa to hold for a moment while he flips through the notepad. Finally, he reaches the page he was apparently looking for, and he looks over it. He looks at it watch, compares it to the page, then looks up with a sudden grin. "Today's my day off," he announces, helpfully. Unfortunately, this is followed by a slight disorientation. "What were we talking about, again?"

"I asked you if you were doing a report. College?" Mischa asks, looking Todd up and down again. He doesn't seem to find the sudden attention span/memory burp odd. "I was wondering if there was something you were looking for more than the book you have. Are you going to check it out, or are you one of those people that reads in the library?" He pauses before laughing quietly. "I don't have a problem with that. In fact, I do it myself a lot… but if you like, I can check the book out and hold it behind the counter for you to come in and read, if you're going to be coming back to the library."

Todd smiles at Mischa, and goes back to the notepad, flipping through it. He is distracted, however, as Mischa continues. He had shelved the book he was holding along with the others, so he's somewhat confused as to what Mischa is talking about. "Oh…um." He considers Mischa's offers, with an uncertain smile, and then "Yes? I mean, that would be fine. Thank you!" He still hasn't managed to answer the college question.

Since Todd isn't exactly forthcoming with the answers about college, Mischa drops it. His job is to stack books and assist patrons, not to probe them in any way. "Alright, the book…" Mischa realizes that Todd has put it back on the shelf then, but doesn't say anything about it — oddly seeming embarrassed himself. He'll try to find it later and hold it back for Todd. "You're certainly welcome, it's what I do. Well, actually that's a bit against the rules, so don't tell anyone. But I certainly don't mind."

Todd looks concerned, and gives an uncertain smile. "Well…Thank you. But I don't want to get you in trouble," he says, warily. "If it's against the rules, maybe you shouldn't do it? I'm sure I can come back." He brightens, "I'll write it down," he decides, once again pulling out the notepad and its accompanying pen. "What book was it?" he asks, a bit off-handedly, as he flips to the last page that hasn't been written on.

"No one else really pays attention," Mischa says matter-of-factly. "I'll leave a note for whoever is on in the morning." When Todd asks what the book was that he had been browsing was, Mischa looks stumped briefly. He wonders for a split second if Todd is testing him. Eventually he smiles at Todd. "Ah, I think it was called Ten Steps To Finding The Real You. Can't remember the author, but we'll narrow it down, see if the cover looks familiar, eh?" He asks.

Todd scrawls down the name of the book, apparently oblivious to Mischa's confusion. The last bit makes Todd a bit uncomfortable, but he covers it with a tense little smile. "It's okay. Just…find what that has that name, and pick whichever one looks best to you. It really won't matter," he assures the librarian, as he tucks the notepad back into his pocket.

Mischa checks his watch with wide eyes. "Time flies when you're having fun. It's about ten minutes 'til." He takes in a breath and smiles at Todd. "It's been nice meeting you, but I have a few things to take care of before I close up." Mischa peeks back toward the counter. Doris is already waiting for him to escort her to her car, still a bit on edge after being attacked by a wolf. Without much further ado, Mischa starts to head off back toward the counter.

Todd looks at his watch, then to Mischa, with an uncertain smile. "Oh…Um… Okay. Well. It was nice meeting you?" he offers. He watches Mischa heading for the counter, and then looks around, with a kind of lost expression. After a moment, he wanders off into the stacks again. So much for closing up quickly.

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