On the House


cassidy2_icon.gif hadley_icon.gif

Scene Title On the House
Synopsis Cassidy stops in for some treats for her department.
Date June 30, 2009

Piece of Cake Bakery

The front room of the bakery is a long and narrow one. A great glass window covers the wall facing the street, so that anyone outside can see in. The door is glass as well; on bright days the shop is filled to the brim with sunshine. Drop lamps abovehead help at night, casting a warmer and softer light. Classic black and white tiling collects smudges more often than not on the floor and walls. In the back is a hallway which leads further to the kitchen, a small bathroom for customers to use, and a set of creaky stairs that go up to the second floor. The entire building is warm, and the air is redolent with the scents of pastry both savory and sweet, cookies, muffins, chocolate and fruit, bread and more.

A long, waist-high counter is on the left after stepping inside. The top is flat so purchases can be set down, and baked goods of all sorts are on display inside. Down at the far end is the cash register: leaving means walking past all the tempting wares all over again. Though it isn't particularly fancy, a coffee machine next to the register has a sign that reads "Donations": the cups and plain coffee are free, but change dropped inside goes to local charities. Three small bistro tables sit along the right wall; it's a tight fit, but three (or four if they're close friends) people can sit at each to enjoy a bite before going on their way. A bell above the door jangles merrily whenever it's opened.

The bell jangles over the door as the last in the long line of first thing in the morning customers finally, finally leaves. Mrs. Hadley takes a deep breath and claps her hands together, looking a little tired, but satisfied at having gotten them all through the line and out the door. So it is that she reaches out to turn up the radio a tad — NPR's classical music spills out — and then makes her way out from behind the counter to start clearing away some of the dishes left behind by the rush. There must be something wrong with the radio though, because there's this odd… no, wait. That's the old woman herself, humming along with. The sad truth is that she couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, even with it playing at the same time. Still, she sounds quite cheerful about it, so maybe she doesn't realize (or care).

The door's bell doesn't stay quiet long, as Cassidy opens the door and gives the inside of the place a curious glance. The detective, dressed for a day at work, her coat hanging loosly on her small frame even despite the weather, had started to pass by the bakery, but suddenly had the urge to back track and take a look. Taking a deep breath as she steps in, there is an amused glance sent the old woman's way before appoaching the cases. The goods are given a glances over as she bends over just a touch to get a better look, her expression uncertain.

A new arrival has Mrs. Hadley straightening up, a pair of plates in one hand. "Hello, welcome to the Piece of Cake Bakery," she chants out with all the automatic cheer of someone who's been doing this every day for years. And years. And years. "If you have any questions, you just let me know, dear." With that, she continues gathering things up and starts a bobble'd course towards the aisle behind the display.

Cassidy straightens from her perusal of the goods, eyes still scanning over the baked goods, a small frown on her lips. "Thanks.. um… You have any recommendations for feeding a squad room of police officers?" Eyes flick over to the older woman, giving her a smile. "It's my turn to bring something in and I figured I'd avoid the stereotypical donut." She gives a roll of her eyes as she say it.

Dishes end up in a plastic tub of soapy water. Mrs. Hadley washes her hands at a small sink in the corner before she bobbles over to help peer into the display case, eyes narrowed. "Well, let's see… we've got the turnovers?" A taptaptap of fingers indicates those. "Apple, and raspberry, and these here are cream cheese, so you could have an assortment." Her face all but splits in two with a grin. "Or you could bring in something chocolate, though I don't know how much better that would be than the doughnuts!" She laughs a little at herself for saying so, shaking her head a little. "If you want to try something healthy, there's bagels too." A turn and gesture indicate the wall behind her, where the long loaves and breads are stored in baskets.

"My partner might like something healthier, but I think I would get drawn and quarters for trying to bring healthy down on them." Fingers of one hand move to taps thoughtfully on her lips and she looks over the selection. "Well.. let's go with.. a dozen of the turnovers. A mix if that's alright? They can fight over who wants what." Her eyes go to the display behind the other woman. "An a half a dozen of plain bagels. I'm sure some of the girls will opt to the healthier." When it seems like that's all she's going to order, it suddenly looks like something has occurred to the young woman. "You have scones?"

Just as she's reaching for the wax paper to start gathering up the indicated choices, Mrs. Hadley sets it down and claps her hands. "We do!" She bobbles further down the case, until she reaches the end. "Plain, and with blueberries, and I have these little jars of clotted cream here. I know it's not the real thing, but it's as close as I've ever found here, and all of my customers who actually know the real thing say it's not /too/ bad." A brow arches, hopeful. "I can warm it up for you, dear? So long as you're not licking your fingers when you walk in, they'll never know, will they?"

There is a look of surprise on Cassidy's feature. "You do?" Traveling down the case following her, Cassidy looks at the scones and hmms thoughtfully. "It's not for me. My partner likes these things." Eying the scones a small smile tugs at the corner of her mouth, tone holding a touch of affection. "Can I get three of those to go? If he likes them might get you another customer." A bright smile is flashed, "And I think that's all of it I need this trip." She then spots something in the case, and moves to get a closer look. "Oh.. eclairs. My mom use to buy me one every time she went to the bakery." The is a soft thoughtful smile. "I'll have to come by here on the way home too, I think."

"Do you ever go to old bookstores, dear? Sometimes on Sunday I'll just go browse around," Mrs. Hadley notes while she starts gathering up the assorted treats into a folding cardboard box, wax paper used to keep everything safe from nasty germs. "And I'll find these old cookbooks from all over the world and try the recipes, and that's how I started making the scones. Those little caramel chocolate squares down there, on the shortbread? Those are Scottish! It's a lovely way to pass an afternoon." The chatter doesn't sound particularly lonely, so much as just… noise to pass the time, something to be ignored or nod-and-smile'd to as needed. Certainly the old woman doesn't look like she expects a response. "Would you like me to put your name on a card to claim one of the eclairs? They do go quickly, and it wouldn't do at all for you to go without just because you're being strong about waiting."

"Would you?" Cassidy asks brightening a bit, as she stirred from a touch of homesickness. "I would a appreciate it. If I take it with me too work, it might disappear before my work day is over." It's a fact that when you share a fridge with a department of people, things are bound to go missing. "As for browsing bookstores, my job tends to take all my time.. eat, sleep and work." There is a large shrug of her shoulders and she chuckles. "Even though I had a few weks of downtime, thanks to my partner getting shot.. I just haven't had the time for just little things like that."

The box is soon filled, and Mrs. Hadley tugs out a small notecard from a stack of them kept by the register. "First name and last initial is what most go by, dear, but if you'd like something else?" A blink upwards has her adding, "Oh, but he's doing well? The scones will help! Just warm them up a little first in the microwave, it's not as good as they are fresh, but it's pretty close." The pen is used to point at Cassidy as she adds, "And you should make time! A pretty girl like you, you ought to eat more eclairs to get some meat on your bones, and relax in the sunshine as often as you can."

Chuckling softly, Cassidy inclines her head looking like a kid taking a good natured scolding. "Yes, ma'am. I'll see what I can do." Fishing out her wallet she opens it slowly, glancing over at the woman and the card. "Oh.. Cassidy O'Shea. Not sure how you'll want to put it on the card.. Or just want to put Detective O'Shea or what not." She works some bills out as she smiles softly. "He's doing good, we were recently allowed back to work. Being his partner and there at the shooting I had to sit and wait as well. He's unhappy being confined to the desk while he finishes healing, but at least we're back."

"Good girl," Mrs. Hadley assures at that agreement. With that, she leans over and carefully starts writing Cassidy O. on the card. Her cursive is a pretty thing, old-fashioned and decorative in a way that so few use today in a world of type-set and font-sizes. "Now then, I'll just tuck this in with the eclair, so if we get to the last one, it'll be for you. And don't you worry about paying for it either, dear. You police officers do so /much/ for us, keeping us safe, so you deserve a bit of chocolate on the house now and then." She nods to agree with herself on that point, absolutely drop-dead certain. "It must be so terrible, waiting through something like that! I simply can't handle it myself."

"You know.. you don't often hear people talk about the police like that." Cassidy says softly, pushing the money back into her wallet. She gives the woman a smile and a wink. "I'll make sure everyone knows that there is at least some one in ths city that thinks the best of us. Something like that is a huge morale booster, especially on bad days." Picking up the box on the counter, the detective looks thoughtful. "I can say.. that the experience was one of the most eye opening experience I've ever had.. And I've ben through a lot during my time as an officer of the law." She takes a deep breath and let's it out slowly. "Anyhow, I best get these things to the guys down at the precinct. I've got plenty to do as well." She lifts the box and gives the old woman a bright smile.. "Thank you, Mrs…." She trails off.. You know, I don't think I got your name."

Mrs. Hadley turns a steady gaze on Cassidy, regard direct. "I have lived in this city for nearly twenty years, dear. It's been through more than its fair share of ups and downs, and I won't say that all of the police are saints, but you /are/ what help keep us safe and protected when the entire world is going a little bit crazy at so many changes." She leans over to give Cassidy's hand a light patpatpat, then straightens up. "Oh! It's Mrs. Hadley, dear. You come in any time, and I'll keep this little card for you, so if you give me a call I'll set something aside for you to pick up."

"Well, it was nice to meet you, Mrs. Hadley." Cassidy glances down the case of goodies and adds, " and I'll be back as soon as I can break free to pick up the eclaire this afternoon." She hefts the box and gives the old woman a bright smile. "I'm sure you'll be seeing more police officers in here, bringing business." Cause every time someone grabs a goodie, she'll make sure to tell them about Mrs. Hadley and what she said. Th detective moves towards the door, the bell ringing as she opens it. "Thank you again, Ma'am. You have a good day and stay safe."

"Take care of that partner of yours too, dear!" And with that, Mrs. Hadley is reaching down to turn up the radio again to wait for the next customer to wander through.

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