krusteaz looks a lot like klutzy

Belle Vista 
 He had arrived to Belle Vista a bit early that day. He had decided to maybe treat himself a little. Knew job that was sailing smooth so far was a big deal for him. Especially considering he had never done this before and Novik had not killed him yet for any possible mistakes. So what better to treat yourself to than an overindulgence of some crazy-priced fancy coffee?

 There had been a considerable line which was to be expected. Mid-morning rush or something. Once purchased, he was pretty content to get back to his car. Wasn't very far of a walk at all. Except there was a sneaky curb waiting to smash that good mood into smithereens. Although he would not trip or fall, his step from curb to asphalet was messy at best. Almost a buckling of one knee as his instinct was to grab. Clutched the coffee until the lid popped off and sent the searing liquid all over the front of his shirt.

 It was an awful disaster that could have happened to anyone, but it had happened to him. There were no words despite the desire to curse everything. Just a very disgruntled groan as he wondered if losing a shirt in a coffee shop parking lot would be appropriate.


 Isolde watched this happen! She had been just behind this man in line, similarly treating herself to some boujee drink before executing errands for the day. There was no rush - it was cold and sunny, the sort of day she liked to soak up, for all she was very much over winter. She'd had enough of cold weather bullshit for the rest of her life, found some preference for the blistering heat of California. But, here she was, making a sacrifice of preferred climate for people she loved. So it goes.

 Outside in said sunny morning, there was the man in question, taking a misstep off a curb and crushing the lid off his coffee in such a way that the hot contents would attack him. Isolde watched him with a cross of amusement and pity, then made to approach slowly, grimacing privately.

 "You alright?" she asked, for starters, a careful check-in.

  It was very had to be alright in that moment. His outfit was pretty much ruined by the coffee. Also he admittedly had no clue if he could make it from here, to his apartment, and back in time for work. There was the rising urge to snap at her but that would do no good. Wasn’t like he bumped into someone or had been shoved. It was just his own stupidity coming to bite him.

 "No." He settled on as he threw the cup into a trash bin and pulled off his coat. There really was the temptation to lose the shirt completely. Probably not a good idea! He had two reasonable options. Try to find a sink to wash this off in (and pray it didn’t look even worse after) or find somewhere that was open where he could buy a new shirt. The latter seemed better even if the whole time management gone wrong gave him some mega anxiety.

 "Madame," A bit of a huffed title to hopefully round up her attention. "You know somewhere that won’t charge me an arm and a leg for a shirt?" He questioned a touch hoarse as he positioned himself to look at her better. Of course, she would look far more put together than he could ever imagine. Served him right. "Can’t go into work like this." More of mumble to himself than anything else.

 Nope. She could appreciate the honesty, at least. She sank her free hand against her hip, watching him dispose of his murdered coffee cup. She thought that maybe she had one of Charlie's old shirts in her car. Was it weird to offer it up to a stranger? Yes. Wasn't her shirt to give away, anyway.

 He called for her attention, and Isolde watched him with a slightly raised brow. Madame! Where could the poor man get a fresh shirt? Couldn't go into work looking this way. She made some contemplative sound, looking away, scanning the row of buildings beyond the stout coffee shop. "There's a Target somewhere in the area," she said thoughtfully, looking back to him. "Where do you work?" Odds were, he was pinched for time. Probably needed some place on the way.

 Target. He supposed he could swing in there and grab something quick. No clue what their clothing section was like. Although he could say that for most places.

 Then she had a question that sort of struck him like some conversation piece. Why ask now? He was in a parking lot covered in his own drink while he asked for a shirt. Still, she had been sort of kind and he hoped good interactions would let him be on his way sooner.

 "Work Release." He’d offer as he fumbled through the coat over his arm. "Art gallery and classes." A huff as he transferred keys and wallet to his pant’s pockets. Definitely needed those on hand to go buy a shirt. "Ever been?" Maybe the whole atmosphere of it all would clue her in on why he couldn’t go looking like this.

 Work Release, art gallery and classes - ever heard of it? Isolde laughed a little, a very real smile cropping up under her sunglasses. "Ah, yeah." She pushed said sunglasses up her nose a little. "Yana's a very good friend of mine." It occurred to her that maybe the man only worked there and hadn't actually met the owner, but that seemed unlikely. How many cheetahs this dude had probably rubbed elbows with already! Maybe all of them. "Tell you what. You can tell your superior Isolde spilled coffee on you, if you get in late. I'll vouch for you."

 What were the odds? Seriously. Not only did she know the place, she was very good friends with Mrs. Novik. Almost felt like a setup...but, it was real hard to decline an offer like this. "Appreciate it." The start of a faint smile on his lips. He was good at little lies, especially if all parties involved were in on it. Isolde, she had said. Had to commit that name to memory if the excuse was going to work.

 He figured he should give up his own name now. Kindness or something. "Bastien." He'd offer with an outstretched hand that hadn't been ruined by coffee.

 That wasn't so hard. Isolde didn't wager she'd be in too much trouble, personally - this guy stood a better chance of getting some sharpness, otherwise. He put out his hand, introduced himself, and Isolde took it in her own warm grasp, not shaking it so much as briefly squeezing and then releasing. "As for where to get a shirt, there's an Express in a little shopping strip a couple blocks east of Work Release." Not exactly cheap clothing, but maybe he'd get lucky and stumble into a sale.

 An express...what? Express cleaners? Sounded weird but likely. "I should probably try my luck at Target if it isn't out of the way too much." Probably a better way to go than something express! A new shirt in rotation wouldn't hurt anyway. "If you ever stop by Work Release, I'd be happy to give a tour." Wasn't really his job description but surely it wouldn't hut to extend some hospitality. Especially if she was a friend of Mrs. Novik.

 Target it would be, then. He had someone to take the blame for his tardiness anyway! Isolde nodded her head in acknowledgement, then chuckled for his invitation for a tour of Work Release. "Oh, I've been inside that place plenty," she assured him with a small smile. What with Charlie and Yana both spending much of their time there, she had plenty reason to swing in. "Maybe I'll stop in some time to make sure I'm not vouching for a slacker, though."

 He felt like an idiot briefly because yeah, duh. If she was good friends with Mrs. Novik she had probably seen the gallery plenty. "I imagine I wouldn't be there if I was a slacker." A dry snort of laughter. Work Release didn't exactly seem like the kind of place to keep around slackers. While he may have been...inexperienced with some of his job, there had been a compromise.

 "You can spot me at the front desk, if I'm not off shadowing or working in the local gallery." He'd provide the information just in case she really would like...stop by or something. Maybe this was all pointless!

 Mm, he had a point. She figured Yana could sniff the lazy ones out pretty well by this point. Beyond that, Isolde could probably sniff him out if she really wanted to. "I'll keep that in mind. Good to meet you, Bastien. Don't be late." Cheering him just so with her own in-tact coffee cup, she'd take a step away, towards her car.

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