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20 March 2011 @ 12:45 pm
Coffee  


The man entering the cafe was noticeable for three reasons. The first was that he was unusually tall, even for a foreigner, and walked with an obvious stoop to try and hide the fact. The second was his method of dress--a lab coat over a shirt hidden from view; slacks and--the clerk couldn't quite make out what kind of shoes he was wearing.

Foreigners were always an odd bunch. Never mind that Marin was more welcoming than most; that was the clerk's opinion and he was sticking to it.

The third reason the man was of note caught his eye as the man got closer to the counter. The arm on the side he hadn't shouldered the door open with was covered in red.

"May I...help you, sir?" The clerk had seen and heard of some strange things in his time, who hadn't, really, but he was expecting the strangeness to wait for the lunch rush, at least.

The man looked up at him through thick, black-rimmed glasses. "Coffee, please."

"Anything else with that? Your arm--."

"It's fine." The foreigner offered him a small, tired smile. "Something broke in my apartment, that's all. Thank you."

The clerk eyed his arm. "Uh, yeah. Would you...like a pastry with the coffee?"

"No, thank you. I'm still unpacking and that's all I have time for. Ah, you wouldn't happen to have coffee imported from Germany, would you?"

The clerk turned from where he was getting a cup to put under the coffee maker. "No? Germany doesn't even grow its own--"

"I know, I know," the man interrupted. "Germany doesn't grow its own coffee. But they do import goods in and out of the country, you know."

The clerk suppressed an urge to shake his head as he prepared the cup and put it in front of the foreigner. "Enjoy."

"Thank you." Judging from his tone, the clerk didn't think he would be.

It had been a long, interesting night for Daniel Diefendorf. Since he'd moved countries to an apartment that turned out to be much smaller than he thought it would be when he moved all his books and experiments in, he'd been trying to adjust everything so it could all fit. To his frustration, he'd broken a glass jar containing one of his mummified body parts.

Reordering it was going to be a project. Customs alone...

He shook his head and picked the cup up. He hadn't tried too many places that sold coffee since his arrival, but most of them had been far below his par.

He wondered for what had to be the fifteenth time why in the hell he'd allowed Jacob to persuade him to move here. Strange things he'd talked about aside, Daniel doubted it was too different than where he'd come from. Then again, he hadn't seen his nephew in years, either. Once he had everything settled, he would give them a call, surprise them.

That decided, he raised the cup to his lips, tipping it back. The dark liquid flooded in, and--

Daniel made a sound of surprise, snatching for some napkins as the coffee came back out faster than it had gone in.

"Something wrong?" the clerk asked.

Daniel shook his head and waited for the man to pay more attention to some pasties he was arranging rather than his customer's disgusted expression.

"Toilet water." The doctor's assessment was muttered in German. God, was it so much to ask for a decent cup of coffee? Apparently so. But since he'd been up for over a day, he decided he might as well brave it.

He took a handful of sugar packets and went to rip them open. He'd wanted to taste what they had on offer unadulterated first, but so much for that.
 
 
 
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
Mina hummed as she entered the cafe, a thermos of espresso in one hand as she walked up to the counter. Swinging the thermos lightly, she went up to the cashier. "Excuse me, could I have a piece of coffee cake?" She glanced to the side at Daniel for a moment, then did a double take. "Did you lose a fight with your razor or something?"
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
Daniel startled in the middle of opening his seventh sugar packet to glance over. "Wha--No, no." He turned away from the woman back to his drink, free hand waving dismissively. "Just an ill-fated adventure while trying to unpack something and no time to properly change." He tore off the top of the packet, gave it a shake, and upended it into his rotten, decidedly-not-German coffee.
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
"Have enough sugar there?" She held back her laughter as she opened up her thermos to get a sip of her coffee - which, by the smell of it, was definitely not toilet water-like.
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
"All the sugar in front of me would do this no favors." But he'd been willing to try nevertheless--until he caught a whiff of what she was carrying. He spared Mina another quick look, and her thermos a longer, almost longing one.
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
She noticed. "Problem?" She closed the thermos and practically dangled it in front of him.
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
He had been without a significant amount of caffeine for days, but the more civilized side of Daniel prevented a hand from reaching for the Edenish temptation. "Ah, no, not at all." His coffee chimed in with its own taunting, muddy smell.
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)
"I prefer imported coffee, don't you?" she continued, making the thermos sway a little more. She only stopped long enough to collect her cake and pay for it.
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
"I--" Daniel hadn't expected to meet anyone else who went to all the trouble and it reflected in his expression, eyes twice as wide as usual behind his glasses. He hurried to recover his slipping dignity, clearing his throat. "I do, as a matter of fact, yes." The shifting of the container back and forth allowed him further analysis of the heavenly aroma. "That...wouldn't happen to be, er, Dallmayr, would it?"
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
"Feinkost Kaefer, though I have Dallmayr and Tchibo at home." Swing, swing, swing.
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
"I see." He tried to ignore that his mouth felt suddenly dry. "Dallmayr is my personal preference, but Feinkost hasn't got a bad selection by any stretch." Not asking for a drop of that ambrosia took every ounce of Daniel's willpower, but his gaze followed every movement of that thermos with all the attention of a cat watching a piece of string.
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
There was a faint look of approval in her eyes. "You know, I'm always willing to share coffee with a fellow coffee-lover if they ask and don't hog."
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
Daniel's tongue felt like a dune in the Sahara. "I--" He didn't know this woman well, and no matter the offer, he could almost hear his mother in his head scolding. "No, I wouldn't want to impose, but, thank you." That hurt to say.
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 02:53 am (UTC)
Mina shrugged. "Suit yourself. You work in the hospital too?" she asked, nodding at his coat. "Or maybe the university?"
tormenting_you on March 24th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
"Neither." He swallowed and wished his olfactory center would just shut down for a few minutes. "I haven't been here long enough to consider a secondary occupation in addition to the research I'm doing, but that will be looked into as soon as I find a way to transmogrify my equipment to a form better suited for closet-sized apartment living."
lambertstitch on March 24th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Mina poured herself out a cup and took a lingering sip. "Oh? What kind of research are you doing?" She moved out of the way of the register line.
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