2011 06 26: Dream Date

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Mission report found.

Mission Name: Dream Date
Date of Mission: June 26, 2011
Locale: Used book store

Birkhoff shows up to meet his dream girl and gets a surprise.

Birkhoff Nikita

The used bookstore is quite busy. It's actually a bookstore/independent coffee shop that's popular with college students. Some are perusing the shelves, others are sitting on coffee dates and chatting in low voices. The shop is a maze of shelves. Books are arranged in fire-hazard piles all through the place, and some people camp on the floor to go through the stacks one at a time. Low jazz pipes through the overhead speakers. It couldn't possibly be more Bohemian.

Nikita might be hard to spot at first. For a rather striking woman, she's good at disappearing. She's wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a floral print top. Her hair is in a loose side ponytail and drapes over one shoulder. She's got an old James Bond novel in her hand and is flipping through the pages. Considering she's here, that means Birkhoff must have come alone. Otherwise, this meeting wouldn't be happening.

Birkhoff is a guy that easily blends in anyway. He doesn't make an effort to dress up for what he suspects is not actually his dream girl to begin with, instead opting for his usual plaid flannel jacket, t-shirt, and jeans combo. His t-shirt reads 'HACK THE PLANET' in neon green writing. When the door closes behind him, Birkhoff puts his other hand in his pocket and looks around, his brows furrowed as he tries to think of how he'll be able to spot whoever he's looking for, although he's got an inkling of an idea about just who he's trying to spot…

Nikita keeps her position. She is in, appropriately, the spy novel section. She's counting on Birkhoff to have a good idea of who he's meeting. So, if he's smart, he'll check her section first. It is also, conveniently, in the far back corner.

Birkhoff glances around the book shop and starts to meander through the aisles, giving sidelong glances to a few of the college students that either go unnoticed or earn him a look of disdain. He makes his way further back into the book store with little incident before he spots someone whom just happens to be in the spy section, reading a James Bond novel. And despite Nikita's attempts to blend in, one doesn't forget an old comrade — and the person who has run afoul of a top-secret government organization. Birkhoff doesn't react for a long moment, his lips parting somewhat. He looks as though the air has been knocked out of him.

Nikita is wearing a pair of glasses that Birkhoff knows for a fact that she doesn't need. They're the black-framed hipster type. She's one of those Clark Kent types who looks quite different in glasses. Still, she's easy to recognize. She looks up when she feels eyes on her. A small smile appears. "Hello, Seymour. So glad you didn't come with friends."

"I'm glad you didn't come with friends, either." He pauses, glancing around with some paranoia. "Did you?" Finally he settles back down just enough to look at her, eyes narrowing briefly. "I don't know what to say right now. I would ask if you toying with me was your idea of a cruel joke, but you never did much care for cruelty in anything you did. So you must have a reason. Why am I here today, Niki?" Birkhoff asks her. He seems reasonably less happy to see her, despite her smiling. It's obvious to see that she's caught him off-guard, no matter how much he thought it might be her - he didn't really expect it to be.

The James Bond book is slid back onto the shelf. NIkita pulls another one down and flips through the cover. This one has a drawing of Connery-Bond on the cover. "Are you disappointed? I'm sorry I had to string you along. But you know what I had to play it that way."

Birkhoff eyes her. "I'm not disappointed, I'm…" He trails off there. He isn't even sure of the emotions running through him in a torrent. "You've come to kidnap me again, maybe? It wasn't so fun the last time you did and I was tortured afterward, so… you know. I'm not exactly eager to relive that experience, Nikita. So let's try again. Why am I here right now?"

"Come on. If I wanted to do that, would I have met you somewhere like this?" Nikita takes a half step towards him, book in hand. "I know about a potential recruit you have your eyes on. I want you to convince Percy and Michael that he's not Division material."

"You act like I have that kind of sway, Niki. Michael and Percy only listen to me when it regards the computers. And even then, it's a little iffy." Birkhoff watches her half-step toward him, looking up at her. "Why would I do that? He's smart and I could use him. Are you going to strap me to a chair and put another bug somewhere less pleasant on me? Are you going to torture me? Because you're still way, way less harmful than Amanda."

"Because you evaluate the skills of a technical recruit. So in that sense, you have sway. Freddie Richmond is the kind of recruit you like. He's smart, but not too smart. He wouldn't threaten your spot as top nerd. He'd probably even hero worship you." Nikita levels her gaze on Birkhoff. "But. Your intel is off. He is far more mentally unstable than your research indicates."

Birkhoff lets out a sigh and gives a shrug. "Look, you know that I don't want someone who isn't the brightest crayon in the box to have to train incessantly. I've got one of those at HQ already and it's not pretty." He raises a brow at Nikita's latter relevation about Freddie being mentally unstable, though he decides not to justify her comment about nerd worship. "Not my research. Amanda's. And frankly, the sanity quality in recruits has gone way down since you left. Most of them have some serious bats in the belfry. Look, if he's not good with computers, I'll tell them that much and say that I haven't passed him. If Michael and Percy find him worthy enough, what can I do?"

"You do what you have to. If Freddie gets in there, he's going to snap. He won't recover from Amanda's 'methods.'" Nikita keeps her eyes on Birkhoff. Direct. Unflinching. "He might last for awhile, but he will snap. He'll take out half your recruits and then put a gun to his own head."

"Sounds like a real bang up job Amanda did with the psych profile," Birkhoff mutters underneath his breath as he watches Nikita, shaking his head slowly. He doesn't bother to ask her why he should be doing anything for her. The fact that there could be a severe Division shoot out is enough for him to play ball. "What am I supposed to tell Percy and Amanda when they catch wind of this little tete a tete, Niki? I think they still have their suspicions that I'm a mole because of you. And you know they're never far. So please tell me you have some brilliant plan so that I don't get tortured again."

"You came here to meet your internet dream girl. And you leave disappointed. I trust you were smarter than to let yourself be tailed or raise any suspicions about where you were going." Nikita's brows raise.

Nikita's response makes Birkhoff laugh. "Alright, I'll admit it. You had me going at first. But you made it pretty obvious, Niki. Don't give yourself that much credit." He puts his hands back into his pockets and watches her. "I don't think I was followed, no. But you never know with them, do you?" He counters.

"I made it obvious because I wanted you to suspect," replies Nikita. Her eyes dart up to the sign that hangs above them that says 'Mystery/Spy Novels.' Her gaze drops back to Birkhoff. "Them? Don't you mean 'us'?"

"You make it hard for a guy to deal in absolutes, Niki." Birkhoff says, watching her. "If we're done here, would you mind terribly leaving first? I'm a little paranoid that you might follow me out and concuss me." He steps aside for her as if allowing her the way out. "I'll wait for twenty minutes before I leave, but I know that it'll take you less to disappear."

"You know how to contact me, now. But you have to know that I'm going to be suspicious if there's a next time." Which means Nikita isn't going to close down ElleOElle. "I'm sorry, by the way. About the concussing." Not about the bouncy horse. Because that was hilarious. And then she heads towards the checkout, book in hand.

He might not notice it right away. But, on the passenger seat of Birkhoff's car is the novel Nikita was holding. "From Russia With Love" with Connery on the cover. There's an inscription written in pencil on the title page. "<3 ElleOElle." Never let it be said that Niki isn't sentimental on occasion.

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