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New Beginnings
Calvin had wanted to give himself a treat. He wanted to go out for dinner, but so many restaruants served alcohol and he was by himself. After awhile, he decided to cook his own dinner, feeling a craving for a rare steak. He walked through the open air Izmailovsky Market looking for a butcher, but then thought he should get some fresh veggies while he was at it.

Last night had been an AA meeting and Calvin hadn't made it. That reminded him that he should call Lucas and let him know everything was okay. He had missed because he had been working on Chase's assignment and was so exhausted he fell asleep early.

Calvin leaned against a wall, took out his wallet, and dialed Lucas. "This is Lucas."

Calvin smiled. "Hi Lucas - it's Calvin calling. How are you?"

"Good. Just finishing up with work. What's up?"

"I wanted to call and check in because I missed the meeting last night. I've been working pretty hard this week and fell asleep early. Everything is fine. Still alcohol free."
That thought still made Calvin smile.

"Glad to hear it. You keeping up with your routine?"

"Yes, sir. Practice guitar every day. I started working out too. I had a couple of things I wanted to run by you too - if you have time."

Calvin had been thinking about a career change ever since he had started getting better and now was considering going to Police Academy. He got the idea from when he was the Wolfman - the difference would be that this time he'd be doing it the right way. He wanted to help protect people - but not injure others in the process. The problem was his record. He was looking to get it expunged.

Calvin waited for Lucas response. He could hear the smile in the man's face. "Good. Don't let up. I told you I'm going to be blunt with you. I'm glad you're sticking to it. You'll see it helps. So what's up?"

"I've been thinking about a career change - looking into entering into the Police Academy. I'd have to get my criminal record expunged and a letter from my sponsor might help with that. I'm not asking you for it now - I think I need to continue focusing on beating my addiction now, but for the future - I mean - I should wait right?"

"It's good to have goals like that. But you're being smart. You don't want to change your routine too much right now until it IS a routine. Where you don't feel right unless you've done it."
He heard a laugh. "I'll tell you what, you'll be busy. But that's a good thing. I'd be happy to help."

Calvin smiled and laughed. "Thanks - while on the topic of life-long decisions, I'm also thinking of getting a tattoo. I know that's kind of what you do. Would you be interested in meeting and maybe going over some ideas sometime?"

"Sure. I can help with that. No problem."

Calvin paused for a moment. "Well I won't keep you any longer. I have food to buy and I'm sure you have things to do as well. It was good talking to you and have a good day.

"You too Calvin. You will see, the longer you go, the more proactive you are, the better you'll feel. You'll feel empowered."

"Thanks, man. Good night.

They hung up and Calvin decided to bring the career change up to Alex as well - she might have more to add on that. He would also need to get her recommendation on the expungement. He really thought that this was what he wanted to do, and hopefully could overcome the obstacles with that.

Calvin kept his Wallet in his hand and began walking again. There was a slight crowd in the market and Calvin bumped against some people. Calvin said apologies when needed and approached what appeared to be a vegetable market. He could start there and then get the steak later.

((With Lucas))

Edited by Calvin, Jan 23 2015, 07:27 PM.
She was wrapped up warm against the glacial winter; coat, gloves, hat pulled low over her head. A tail of mousy hair brushed over one shoulder, curled and nestled amongst a navy wool scarf that she'd loosened around her throat. She adored the rush and crush of people, the lilt of so many voices and accents; allowed herself to be swept up into the current, happy to move the with jostling. She found the bumps and apologies companionable more than irritating, perhaps because she was in no real rush.

She wasn't much of a cook, had neither the patience or the attention-span for it, but every now and then got it into her head to recall she really couldn't live exclusively on convenience food. Well, okay, that conclusion was reached with a little prompting from her sister. Eternally sensible Aylin, horrified at the sparse offerings of Thalia's fridge. Thal enjoyed the market anyway, and needed very little encouragement to lose herself in its press. Though she'd rather be looking at prettier things than vegetables.

She bartered cheerfully, spent more time chattering than truly bargaining a price at the various stalls. Not that she could really afford to be so undiscerning, but it was only pennies, and her mood was light. The Red Canvas had been collected by her patron, and with its absence a weight had lifted from her shoulders and a fog cleared from her brain. She felt unburdened, truly so, as she hadn't felt in months.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
As Calvin walked he looked at the people in the crowd. It was an eye opening experience - seeing people again. For so long he had been enclosed within his own mind that looking at people and seeing who they really were was a good thing.

Despite the hustle and bustle, people were being friendly for the most part. A few were frustrated, but Calvin wasn't. It was a nice freedom. As it was his turn to trade, he approached the stall and picked up some fresh vegetables. Those would do for a side for his dinner tonight.

Calvin turned around and gazed at the crowd, trying to find a place to get a good cut of beef. As his eyes moved he did a double take on one of the strangers in the market. He looked for a moment and realize he recognized her. It was the woman from the Dream world - Nimeda.

At least it looked just like her. He had to admit that it would be good to see someone he was at least acquainted with and he approached the booth she was bartering at. "Nimeda?"
He asked, questioning. She looked just like Nimeda, but yet didn't seem so...odd.

She should recognize him though - despite the fact that his eye color were hidden by dark contacts.
Her heart froze solid in her chest. That name, the same name the man on the train had called out to her. Right before he'd run at Dane. He had run, hadn't he? Ah, no. No. Don't think on it.

She supposed she could ignore it - she had no reason to respond, after all, but it was quite obvious he was addressing her. Her limbs thawed, and she gingerly placed her purchase in the satchel at her side, but her heart began a cavernous thump in her chest, echoing loudly in her ears. She knew it wasn't the man from the train because his voice was different (if still American), and she couldn't think of a single good reason why he might have sent someone after her (or even how he might find her). Still, it was difficult to wrench her eyes up. She was terrified of what she might see.

Just a peek then?

Thal glanced up. And didn't recognise him. Not the stockiness of his build, nor the darkness of his hair kissed by grey. Brown eyes held a touch of question, and maybe he'd just mistaken her after all. Even with that name on his lips, she felt remarkably better that a stranger was still a stranger. It's always nice to know you're not going mad, isn't it? "Uh... Nope."
She offered a hesitant smile. "I'm beginning to think I must have a doppelgänger in Moscow. I'm Thalia."
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Thalia? Not Nimeda? When she turned around to look at him, he knew it was her. Unless she had a twin. However, Thalia made no mention of knowing a Nimeda. Her response indicated that some one had brought it up to. Calvin wondered if she somehow had drifted into the dream and then forgotten about it. Nimeda had seemed...well...forgetful.

Instead Calvin didn't force the issue. "Calvin ...hi."
He adjusted the bag of groceries in his hand. "Sorry. You look just like her. Maybe you're right. You have a doppelganger."

Calvin gave her a smile., but his mind was racing in thought. Nimeda hadn't been like him. He wondered if it was truly possible for another to enter the dream, but perhaps there were consequences - like amnesia. Despite her words to the contrary, Calvin was almost certain this Thalia was Nimeda. She just didn't know it.
She shrugged off the apology. Though the name he'd called her unsettled her, the remnants of that fear were quick to float away when the issue was not pressed. Grudges were not in her repertoire, and anyway he seemed faintly unsure himself now. So she brushed it off, chose to forget, and treated this stranger with the same degree of affability she did with just about anyone. "Poor girl. Like the world needs more than one of me."
She grinned, laughed. Her breath puffed in little clouds.

It was damn cold, but she kind of liked Russia's coldest months, even when the freezing temperature made her fingers feel like icicles despite thick gloves. But it wasn't the kind of weather you wanted to be standing idly in place for long, even in the brief warmth of a crowd. "Nice to meet you Calvin."
If he looked vaguely uncomfortable at having bothered someone who turned out not to be who he thought she was, Thalia certainly didn't care. Serendipity and all that.

She shifted a little in place, forcing the blood back through cold limbs. "Hey, don't suppose you fancy grabbing a cup of tea? I've been stuck in the studio all week, and though I could just foist my company on some unsuspecting victim in a café, I already know your name."
Another light-hearted grin at the sort-of logic. He could take it or leave it; she wouldn't be offended either way. Some found the forwardness uncomfortable, but Thalia was just generally friendly.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Calvin smiled and chuckled at her little quip. He didn't know Thalia, but she was kind and Calvin enjoyed her sense of humor. The offer to get tea was one that he thought about. He wasn't a big tea drinker, but it was getting cold just standing there.

"I think that tea would be great. Lead the way."

They both moved to go to a cafe. Calvin was in a really good mood today, and he met someone. They looked exactly alike, but Thalia and Nimeda truthfully seemed like two different people. Calvin had to admit that it was strange to deal with a situation such as his.

"You mentioned a studio. Are you an artist or something?"
If she painted, maybe when he had money again, he would get a painting.
She was already starting to inch her way out of the crowd surrounding the stall as she waited for his answer: a warm drink was on the cards whether she had company or not, though she grinned when he agreed. The place she had in mind wasn't far; she knew this area well, as she did most of the heart of Moscow. "Yeah,"
she answered easily to the question, though there was nothing boastful in the way she spoke. "I paint, mostly. Do various comissions to earn my bread and butter. You?"
An American in DI, unusual but not entirely uncommon these days; Moscow was a melting pot. Or maybe a magnet.

The cafe blasted a wave of warm air as they entered. Thalia whisked her hat from her head, touseled the assumed hat-head, then abandoned the effort when she considered it was probably a frizzy mess. Gloves followed next, both winter essentials stuffed into her satchel as she approached the counter with Calvin in tow. "A pot of tea, please, aaand..."
she eyed the glass case of pastries and cakes speculatively, and after a brief moment tapped the glass. "Got to be a chocolate muffin."
Then, to Calvin: "What are you having?"
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Calvin and smiled as they went into the cafe. His smiled broadened at her attempt to fix the hat head and then gave up the fruitless attempt. She ordered promptly getting their tea and a chocolate muffin. Calvin followed suit, removing his gloves and then ordering. "A blueberry muffin please."

Calvin smiled as they took their purchase to their table. Calvin poured some tea for Thalia and then for himself. "Sometime in the future, I might ask for a painting if you are interested in doing one. One to decorate my apartment."

Calvin took a bite of his muffin and then sipped his tea. "Good choice of place - I've never been here before and don't consider myself much of a tea drinker, but this isn't bad at all."
He poured the tea for her, which she found novel and kind of sweet. In the meantime, Thalia shed her coat, letting it pool around her in the seat. The thick scarf found a perch on the back of her chair, one long end coiling unnoticed on the floor, and the satchel was dumped unceremoniously at her feet. Beneath a messy wave of hair nestled almost to the crook of her elbow, a quaint crimson cardigan covered a girlish blouse; she was fond of pretty.

"Sure. If you think you can afford me."
She winked as she said it, grinning. Truth was she did make good money, but she also accepted commissions that caught her interest for whatever reason - without the extortionate price-tag. She hadn't charged Rune the full amount for the tattoo designs after all, not that she'd actually told the woman that. Aylin said she lacked a business head.

Thal wrapped her fingers around the cup, letting the heat tingle through her skin. She laughed. "Neither do I. You think just because I'm English? But I've had far too much coffee today already. I'll end up bouncing off the walls. And, you know, variety ecterera."
A dash of milk, a liberal amount of sugar, and she took a quick sip, then set about breaking off bites of muffin. "So what kind of painting would we be talking? Just for curiosity. And you know, you didn't tell me what you do."
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |

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