Selective Rule Breaking


young-nadira_icon.gif b_quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Selective Rule Breaking
Synopsis Before leaving 2007, Quinn into bumps someone who will become a friend in 2010, and ends up leaving with more than she came with.
Date March 2007

Cairo, Egypt

Sleep the previous night had been a fleeting thing, something that wasn’t that big a surprise to Robyn Quinn. Between her still pounding head (she was beginning to think that she had a concussion or something) and the wild change in temperature from a heat she was just sort of getting accustomed to, she was still feel really, really tired. In fact, all she really wanted was to was go back home and spend a night in her own bed.

But, there was no such luck, at least not yet. Another afternoon in Cairo was what was on teh docket, to make sure that everything went the way it needed to go, and hopefully stay out of the eye of a certain Jensen Raith – goals which were tricky to balance, but Quinn was sure they could manage. Not that she was that focused on the task at the moment, wandering down a Cairo street dressed about as much like a tourist as she could manage, in her skirt and camisole, sandals (despite Rhys’ claims otherwise, now taht they seemed out of danger she didn’t mind wearing something more comfortable) and her sunglasses. Blending in was what she’d strived to do, after all.

Lazily, listlessly, she meanders down the street, sunglasses hiding the tired look in her eyes. Maybe she’d do a little shopping with the money they had left, find something to take back with her, even if it is touristy ripoff crap. No harm in that, right?

The funny thing about being a tourist is that even as a tourist, you can't ever fully blend in. Being an American in Egypt means you're just that… an American in a sea of Egyptians. Which, of course, means that there's plenty of people giving Quinn the once over.

Up ahead of Quinn in the distance is an Egyptian woman, a woman Quinn happened to recognize. Nadira Karim glances once in the redheaded Irish-American's direction before she slips into what looks like the sort of bar frequented by locals.

At first, it doesn’t register with Quinn that Nadira has just turned and looked back at her, too busy pausing to root for something in her back. When that sense of recognition hits, the Irishwoman just stares at the door to the bar where Nadira had disappeared into, and she can only think Holy crap, is that…

Which leaves her rather torn. She just spent a good several bit yesterday telling Magnes they needed not to interact too much, that’s how you screw things up. And look how that had gone! But at the same time, everything had worked out fine despite. What could go wrong with talking to one attractive bartender, much elss since she’s going to get her mind erased?

With that in mind, Quinn decides she’s going to play it by ear as she walks towards that bar, slipping quietly inside – and hoping that people don’t give her dirty looks for being the clearly obvious “American” in the building.

Well, it isn't really the kind of dirty looks Quinn was probably expecting when she enters, mostly because of the fact that the bar is mostly full of locals… and very few females. As the redhead enters, Nadira's over by the bartender who nudges her. "Nadira," he proceeds to point in Quinn's direction. "American!" There's a bit of a laugh from the man before the Egyptian woman turns towards the door. She gestures inside.

"Please, welcome," Nadira says in perfect English. "We don't get many Americans in here. You can have a seat wherever you'd like. I'll kick whomever is sitting there out."

Holy crap, it really is her. Quinn had joked about it, but she hadn’t actually expected to see her bartender friend at any point in this trip. As such, she just sort of eends up, staring for a moment, something that’s only partially obscured by her sunglasses. Once she has has senses again, the eyewear is pulled off and hooked into the front of her shirt. “Y-Yeah,” she says, with a bit of a laugh. “That’s awfully nice of you,” she muses, before finding an unoccupied spot to sit in. Her eyes still linger on Nadira as she sits, and by now her accent has surely given her away as not even being American.

Nadira squints for a moment. "The accent… it is… Irish? Scottish?" She's not entirely sure. "Either way, you are from abroad." She pauses. "Are you here in Egypt for very long? Or is the end of your stay?" She questions. "I can go fetch you whatever drink you might like, should you feel so inclined. This is a bar, after all."

“Hmm?” It seems Quinn still hasn’t been entirely jolted out of her surprise, and it takes a moment for Nadira’s questions to register. Once they do, she looks up at the Egyptian woman with a nervous smile. “I think the end of my trip. I, uh… came here t’ check on a friend. Make sure everything was goin’ okay for them, an’ it’s lookin’ good at the moment.” Nervousness breeds overexplaination in Quinn, on occasion. “Oh, an’ Irish, sorry. From Waterford, if you’ve ever heard a’ it.” She rolls her shoulders, looking indecisive. Should she really drink? Well, one or two couldn’t hurt. “You- don’t search cranberry an’ schnapps, do you?” Because she’s not about to ask out loud for a redheaded slut. Not here.

"We don't serve most people that kind of stuff… but I've got my own little collection of stuff for mixing." Nadira smiles warmly, giving a small nod. "I'll make that up for you. I'll be back shortly. If anyone looks at you wrong… let me know. I don't stand for that here." The Egyptian woman leaves the table, moving back to the bar for several minutes while the drink is mixed up. She comes back with the drink which does seem like she found the ingredients as well as a decent looking glass that isn't commonly used for palm wine or beer.

“Oh, well, you don’t have t’-“ But Nadira’s already walking off before Quinn can make a protest she doesn’t have to make the drink special for her, leaving Quinn watching her a little blankly. Oh well, at least it only reaffirmed what she knew about Nadira being a good, kind bartender like she appears to be at Tartarus. Her eyes never quite leave the other woman, though she does try to look less obvious once Nadira starts back with the drink. “Thank you very much,” she says with a smile, sitting up in her seat. “You didn’t have t’ do that, though. I’ll have t’ give a good word t’ your boss.”

There's a wry grin. "Do not need to bother with that. He does not even speak English. He cannot do without me." Nadira points out, looking back to Quinn, sliding into a seat next to her. She clearly has a bit of a rule over the bar, as most in the room seem to look away while the two chat. "So… you have picked up a few souvenirs? We have quite the collection here in Cairo…. if you know what to look for."

“Well, I guess that’s one way t’ ensure job security,” Quinn responds with a bit of a laugh, leaning back in her seat – an act showing growing comfort. Comfort is passing, however, and as Nadira sits down next to ehr she sits back up, again looking a bit nervous. “Huh? Well, no, N-“ And then she pauses. Unlike Magnes, she has the foresight not to use Nadira’s name, not until it’s offered up to her directly. “Nah. I hadn’t really thought t’ pick anything up yet. I was thinkin’ a’ picking up some nicknacks to take back home, t’ prove to a friend that I was here t’ begin with.

There’s a bit of irony to that statement.

“Why, do you know a place t’ go for good ones?” She quirks up an eyebrow, now sounding genuinely curious. “Or are you just lookin’ t’ take advantage of a silly American?” The last part is added with a mirthful grin and a tone intended to indicate that she’s just joking with Nadira – though that’s honestly exactly what she’s expecting.

Nadira scoots closer, leaning in. "Now… the trick is that you have to haggle. Do not let them tell you the price. You name a price, they will go higher, you go lower than that but do not settle for more than you are willing to pay. If they think you are going to walk away they will offer a good deal to you because you are pretty or charming or whatever compliment they will come up with." Her real purpose in scooting closer is soon clear, as she reaches to the hand Quinn has under the table, slipping what feels like some sort of carved stone necklace.

The Egyptian woman places her hands on the table, using them for emphasis. "Now when you are picking something to buy… look carefully. Some salesmen are foolish. They get their wares in bulk, sometimes unaware of the real value of some things. There are artifacts, things worth far more than the mere tourist souvenir that slip in. Things that would fetch a high price out of the country. You look carefully… see how old it seems."

Quinn apparent nervousness only grows when Nadira slides over close, and she opens her mouth to respond, only to loses the ability to once the Egyptian woman surprises her by sliding- object, she hasn’t looked down to see yet what, but it feels like a necklace – into her hand, momentarily tightening her grip around to cover both the necklace and Nadira’s hand – and releasing it ehrn Nadira goes to withdraw, realising what she’s done.

She gives a bit of a laugh, not at the moment acknowledging whatever was jsut slid into ehr hand outside of a noticeable glance downwards. “Someone back home gave me similar advice,” Quinn remarks, looking back up at Nadira. “Though I think you explained it a lot better than she did. I didn’t know the bit about things actually mixin’ in with the other stuff.” Another glance down, then a smile back up at Nadira.

There's a firm nod as the Egyptian looks to Quinn. "Most of them are well off enough… they raise their families fine. They are experts on preying on the tourists… so you prey on them back. You take the things they would throw as trash and take them for treasures. You find one of those, take it back with you to Ireland, you sell things like that? Plenty of money."

Nadira chuckles. "I do not like to see foreigners cheated out of their money so easily. It is a cruel way of playing with a person and you are a pretty woman… they'd certainly like to take more than your money, some of them."

“I think most of them would have a really hard time getting me t’ bite at that,” Quinn remarks with a grin, which quickly turns into a smile. “That’s awfully nice of you,” she responds with a biiiit of a blush noticeable on her pale face from Nadira’s compliment. “Lookin’ out for people, that is. Most of the time when I’ve been back home in Ireland, or Scottland, people love takin’ advantage of tourists. Kinda sad really. So it’s nice t’ meet someone who doesn’t.”

The Egyptian woman grins. "Oh, certainly. It is natural. Most people find it second nature to simply take advantage of those who are too bewildered to notice. Happens in all walks of life." Nadira peers at Quinn. "I try to be a kind soul. To give back when I can."

Quinn grins at that, giving a bit of a laugh. “I know how that goes. I’m the same way. I bet we’d get along real well, knowin’ that.” Of course, she knows they do, but that’s not for several years. A smirk is offered to Nadira, and then Quinn glances down again. “You really are good about chattin’ with customers,” she remarks quietly, her choice of inflection betraying her a bit.

The woman raises an eyebrow, but she nods a bit. "I am not particularly worried about having much to do. Most in here are stingy and nursing their drinks, and I am not the only bartender here. Besides, you clearly have no one to sit with." The Egyptian bartender smiles, leaning against the table. "So do you have any questions, while you have a local who speaks English to help you out?"

Speaking of nursing drinks, Quinn’s been neglecting hers a bit, something she quickly sets to fixing – if the accent, skin, and hair (even if dyed) didn’t scream Irish, the way she downs a good third of her drink in a gulp of two could relay it fairly well. “Aaah, um…” Quinn taps her finger on her chin as she thinks. “Not really. Like I said, I’m probably leavin t’day. Seems like the friend I checked on is doin’ fine, an’ i’m kinda missin’ sleepin’ in my own bed.” Quinn gives a bit of a shrug, taking a more normal seeming sip of her drink. “I could probably use somethin’ t’ do until then, if you have any recommendations. Walking the streets looking at stores an’ pretty women does get kinda old after a bit. Which I guess is what led me here t’ begin with.” Which is only a half lie, at least.

"Ah, I'm afraid all I would be able to recommend are things that involve at least a few more days in Cairo. But there are certainly many women to look at and shops to admire. I could offer a few places to eat, perhaps." Nadira shrugs her shoulders a bit.

“I’ll have t’ come back sometime, then. See what I can do then, since I’m sure there’s plenty t’ do around here. It’s been a short trip, but a tiring one.” Another long sip of her drink, and it’s set down a bit more forcefully. “But a place t’ eat is certainly good. I can’t good for crap m’self, an’ I could definitely use somethin’ t’ eat before I leave.”

The necklace in her hand is finally moved around a bit in her hand, moving it towards her pocket. She should probably find this odder, but the fact that she knows Nadira in teh future is keeping her from really thinking about it too much. “Shame you’re working, I could use someone nice t’ eat with. The person I’m here with kinda totally sucks, an’ I’m sure another pretty woman would get us some good service.” Which might sound more like a pick up that it’s meant to, but it doesn’t really occur to Quinn.

"It really is a shame," Nadira murmurs. "You would be surprised how much trouble two pretty ladies can get into here in Cairo." She looks amused. "But I think you might just be better off looking at antiques instead of women. Egyptian women can be dangerous to your health. They will steal your heart with a glance."

Quinn gives a bit of a laugh, nodding as she drains a bit more of her drink – it’s almost gone now. “That’s a shame t’ hear. I have a date with a girl from around here waiting when I get home. I’ll have t’ tell her she’s no good for me.” The alcohol may be loosening Quinn up a little bit, but she’s still avoiding specifics. That’s good, right?” She gives a bit of a shrug. “Maybe when I come back, I’ll find out.”

With that, she finishes her drink and sets down the glass sighing. “Anyway, I’m going t’, uh… stop actin’ silly. Thank you for the drink, again. It was well made.” She leans back a bit in her seat, a glance made over towards the entrance.

The Egyptian woman grins at that. "Do not break her heart. We are broken quite easily too." Nadira slowly moves to her feet. "I will leave you to your thoughts. Just remember to be careful and keep anything you find to yourself. You might attract a lot of attention out in the market if they know you are a true connoisseur."

Quinn chuckles at that. “I think she has other things going on anyway, so I’ll be sure t’ let her down gently.” Quinn offers a warm smile at Nadira, relaxing for a moment as she moves to her feet. “Oh! Um, what about-“ she doesn’t keep talking, though she’s sure Nadira will know what she means. The oddness of being handed what she was earlier has finally sunk in a bit, causing her to give a questioning glance in teh bartender’s direction.

Nadira watches her carefully. "Like I said. You find things in the market, sometimes they are treasures, sometimes they are not. You take them somewhere outside the country you may find they are worth a deal of money."

Quinn blinks and gives a head tilt. Nadira’s larger meaning may escape her, but the fact there’s a reason for handing it off doesn’t. She just gives a bit of a nod, before turning back to her glass with a frown. Seems she’s going to be bringing something home from the past anyway. Hopefully, Hiro won’t yell at her too much. Or Magnes, considering she’s just done exactly what he yelled at her not to do.

But it’ll all work out, right?

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