Be Rad, Nadia!


nadia_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Be Rad, Nadia!
Synopsis Two celebrity types meet up in the mall, and Brad Russo receives some necessary assistance from Nadia.
Date September 12, 2010

World Center Mall

Situated on the north end of Battery Park City, the World Center Mall is the largest shopping mall remaining in New York City. With the destruction of midtown Manhattan and the general financial decline following the bomb in 2006, many former businesses that eclipsed this large shopping center have gone out of business. The World Center Mall is a three story establishment featuring 150 stores as well as dozens of fast-foot restaurants and a 20-screen cinema located on the mall's third floor.

Given its status as one of the last remaining shopping malls of its type on Manhattan, the World Center Mall remains a busy and active shopping center, crowded with people during operating hours and severely lacking in parking accommodations that have not been expanded since the time of the bomb.

It's late-ish in the afternoon and the mall is abuzz of activity. After having stopped at home to drop off his abundant collection of fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market, Brad Russo is out looking for a gift for his producer following the latest prank he's pulled; one of many. He grins broadly, albeit rather strained, as he walks from one woman's store to the next, seemingly lost in the maze of products. None of the clerks have been particularly helpful, assuming he's shopping for a girlfriend rather than an offended colleague. Or pseudo-offended colleague.

He grimaces as the latest scarf the lady clerk shows him. "I don't know if she'd wear that. I don't think you're really understanding what I'm trying to say here. It's not an, 'I'm sorry I cheated on you, please forgive me gift.' It's an, 'Oops. I crossed the line again and know I pissed you off' kind of gift. Make sense?"

"But it's perfectly lovely Mister Russo! Just look at the colour! Any lady you want to attract would be proud to wear — "

Brad raises a single hand to stop the woman from speaking further. "It's not… she's … she's my producer. I just want an apology gift…"

There is more than one celebrity in the mall today. In fact, there's more than one celebrity in this store today. Nadia Ba'albaki, the new face of Registration, has decided to get herself a few new clothes. She's currently wearing a skirt, a pair of leggings, a red tank top, and a pair of stylish high heels to complete the ensemble, along with a rather oversized purse.

She has a few items of clothing hanging off of her arm, and is currently peering over the scarf selection, looking rather cheerful today. Her eyes slowly travel first to the clerk, brows raising high at the woman's insistent pushing of the scarves. Then, she turns to peer at Russo, her brows raising even higher as recognition shows on her face.

"Apology gift, hmmm?" Nadia moves just a little closer, her fingers trailing over a silky scarf. "You don't want a scarf for that. A nice, fashionable watch would probably work. Personal, but distant at the same time." A charming smile is offered up to Brad Russo.

"A watch, really?" Brad's eyes narrow a little at the notion, but he flashes her a smile all his own, exposing his bright pearly whites in the process. "I'm not sure K even wears watches… and I don't know if that's reparation enough." He stifles a chuckle at his latest antics, antics he thought were hilarious; she'd been less than pleased. Some people just can't take a joke.

His eyes narrow contemplatively as the dimples crater into his cheeks. "Maybe a watch. Thanks." His gaze lingers on Nadia, that pang of familiarity striking him. "You look really familiar…" He sucks in a quick breath, "Registration posters, right?" His head tilts a little as he extends a hand to her, "Bradley Russo. Brad. Just Brad."

The woman offers a warm smile. "It all depends on the watch that you get." She reaches out to take his hand, offering it a squeeze and a shake. "Yes, I'm the one on the posters, and whose commercials play during the breaks of your show." She offers a bright smile up to him, blushing slightly. "Nadia Ba'albaki. Pleasure to meet you, Brad." She smiles softly up to him.

Then, she waves the young clerk off, a small smile on her face. She then gestures for Bradley to follow her, making her way over to the jewelry section. "Not all watches have to look like a watch. Especially not women's watches." Once she reaches the table, she browses over the selection, a small smile playing over her features.

"Nice to meet you… wait, you know my show? Do you watch?" the recognition he gets always brightens his features; knowing that people watch is always a mood lifter. Brad complies, following just a few steps behind Nadia. He cranes his neck to peer at the selection on the table as his lips twitch to the side in a small purse.

"Something that looks like a bracelet might be better. K wears jewelry. Sometimes." And then, as an afterthought, to allay any comments surrounding his status with the woman he quips, "NOT that I've noticed. I don't notice what women do — or don't — wear, that's not the kind of guy I am." His gaze shifts as his lips turn into a lopsided smile.

Nadia casts a cheerful smile back to him, nodding. "I do watch! I've watched for a while now, actually." She doesn't mention the fact that she mostly watches because he's really gorgeous. Nor does she mention the fact that she gave a mental squee at her luck, seeing him in public. Her fingers trail over the watches, before selecting a nice one that does indeed look more like a bracelet than a watch, holding it up to him with a warm smile.

"Ohh…that's really cute!" She giggles softly, shaking her head. "Don't worry, I wasn't going to jump to any conclusions about your moral character until the first date." She winks. "Do you know her favorite colors?"

"It's always a pleasure to meet a fan," Brad answers smoothly as his eyes narrow at the watch. "I guess that one's okay?" it's more a question than a statement, it seems he doesn't buy women's wear like ever, not anymore, anyways.

"I'm not really… I have…" he can't explain his current state, even if he wanted to. He's not a widower, he'd never married Karolina, even if he'd intended to. His cheeks flush a slight pink while his smile turns bittersweet, turning his attention to Kristen, his producer, once again. "Colours. Right. Well, K likes… " his gaze turns upward as if trying to remember. "… well I've seen her wear red? Sorry. I'm bad at this. And I gave her flowers last time so… I needed … something better."

The Moroccan woman offers a soft laugh, turning toward the table once more. "Well, then silver is a nice, neutral color to give." She selects a bracelet-looking watch with a pearl face, holding it out to him with a warm smile. "Here you go. A nice, professional gift for you to give to your producer." Nadia chuckles softly, flicking a strand of hair away from her face.

"I'd say it's a pleasure to meet a fan, but…well, I don't know if I have any fans, really." The olive-skinned woman smiles softly up to him. "That and I'm lucky to walk down the street without getting a glare." Or without getting jumped by crazy blue-eyed men with innocent faces who think she's a freak. She doesn't bring that up, either.

"Excellent," Brad raises the watch in the air, scrutinizing it in silence before letting himself smile with satisfaction. "No implications in this, right? No way she'll think it's like… me buying favours." His gaze shifts, "Sexual or otherwise?" There's a small wince as he chuckles nervously, "Sorry. I can't afford to lose her as an employee, she's outstanding."

His smile turns lopsided and thoughtful, "I imagine you get the brunt of opinions. People have thoughts about things, they feel strongly one way or the other, but it sucks that you get to feel it." He clucks his tongue. "My advice? Don't believe whatever they feed you. You are who you are. Don't make apologies."

A soft laugh comes from the woman, who leans just a little closer to smile up at Brad. "The best way to avoid that is to tell her 'Hey, sorry about whatever, hope this will make up for it.'" She grins. "I don't know about her, but I think of watches, whether they're fashion watches or clunky-looking man watches, as something more professional. Or something."

His observation and advice prompts a small, warm smile. "Well, I figured that it wouldn't be all fun and games. After all…I pretty much just shouted loud and proud to the world that I'm an Evolved, and that I'm Pro-Registration." She smiles up to Brad, fidgeting slightly. "It's pretty controversial, no matter how you look at it, and I knew what I was getting myself into." She smiles.

"And I certainly don't make any apologies for myself. I have a good life, and I try to do good things every day." Nadia's brows raise, and she suddenly points at Brad. "Oh! Hey, I'm doing a Charity Auction at d'Sarthes this upcoming Thursday! You should definitely come, there will be delicious food, and artwork from around the city."

"I think though, nothing can prepare a person for that," Russo states honestly. "And, might I add, you are an anomaly, Nadia. I've met a lot of people. That's part of my schtick. I can't say I've met many pro-reg evolveds." She's issued a warm smile regardless, if he's prejudice like many suggested back in 2007, he hides it well. "In practice everything looks different. Even if you'd known, you probably didn't really know the shitstorm — whoops! Hello! Sorry! Trying to keep the language to network-worthy," he winks and stifles a small chuckle. "Forgive me. I need to watch that…"

"Art? Heh. I'm not sure I'd know good art if it bit me," Brad runs a hand through his hair as he strolls towards the counter with the watch in hand. He reaches into his wallet and extracts enough cash to cover the expense. "I guess I could use something in the apartment though — " considering he doesn't live in the condo he owns that Karolina decorated, there's literally nothing on the walls.

"You know, you're quite different than I expected you to be." Nadia is certainly all smiles. "I am an anomaly, I guess. I have my doubts about registration," thanks to Richard Cardinal, "but I don't have any troubles with it, myself." She laughs at his correction, shaking her head. "We're both adults here, so I'm not too offended by your foul language, Mr. Russo." She laughs.

She follows him up to the counter, grabbing a scarf that caught her eye earlier on the way. "That's what I'm here for. I'll help you figure out something good, if you'd like." She rummages through her purse, pulling her own wallet out as she waits her turn, beaming up at him. "Some of my sculptures and artwork will be up for auction, too. All of the proceeds will be going toward Habitat for Humanity."

"How am I different than you thought?" Brad asks curiously as he takes the bag the clerk places the watch into. "I'm on a network show, we don't use foul language… I'm not even supposed to know those words," his lips flash another, brighter, smile, complete with white teeth and dimples.

"I'd appreciate that. I need the help — art and I aren't on the same page really." The grin grows at the mention of money going to a good cause, "Well we need to support what's important. In a world where things are so… tenuous, it's all we can do." He winks.

Nadia places her items on the counter, smiling over at Brad as the clerk busies herself with ringing up the items. "You're not acting like you're anti-Evolved." She chuckles softly. "Could be the circumstances, but I really do appreciate it, regardless." Every time he smiles, her own smile seems to brighten a little. Body language would indicate potential attraction, if he's able to read into such things.

Then, she reaches out, patting his arm once. Then, she blushes a little, looking away and pulling out her credit card, offering it to the clerk. "Don't you worry, Brad. I'm an architect, but I fancy myself as good at interior design, as well. Just don't use my place as an example, my living room is my art studio." Once she's had the chance to get rid of that blush on her cheeks, she smiles up to him once more.

"I'm not anything," Brad answers with a strained smile. Although he used to be. This much is left unsaid as he nods. "I try to stay neutral, it's important in journalism to empathize with everyone."

"Well, I'll take your advice then. I swear if it weren't for the women in my life, I wouldn't get dressed in the morning," and he probably wouldn't, yet even if it's true the tone is comical like it's some grand farce. "Thanks for your help with this… I guess I'll see you on Thursday?" he quirks an eyebrow as his smile turns amiable.

"Neutrality is far better than bias." She tilts her head. "What changed you from the way you used to act a few years ago, I wonder?" Nadia leans toward him, peering up at his face with a thoughtful expression on her features. "Don't get me wrong…I like the neutral ground thing." Then, she smiles, turning and taking her card and bag from the clerk.

As she slips her credit card back into her wallet, she pulls out a business card, offering it out to Brad with a warm look. "Feel free to give me a call some time, I can take a look at your place and see what you need to make it look good." The business card isn't any normal business card. It is made of a thin strip of pure marble, with her name and phone number etched into its surface. Certainly not a business card that is easy to lose.

"Life changes," Brad says with a half-smile. The card is pocketed, out of sight, but the weight of it will certainly keep it in mind. "I will. Thanks. And thanks for your help with — " the bag is pointed towards as he raises his eyebrows. "Take care of yourself, Nadia." And then with that level of cheese and irony he tries to use at the end of his show he chuckles, "In the meantime… B-Rad…" Oh the cheese! He silently mocks himself for saying it before shuffling out of the store, destined for home. Or the bar. Whichever wins tonight.

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