Such An Idiot, Brad



Scene Title Such An Idiot, Brad
Synopsis Morning Coffee Bids More Release
Date April 19, 2011

Manhattan — Outside Bean Me Up

Bradley Russo easily combats the chill in the air by walking faster than usual; faster than most people would care to walk, and perhaps fast enough that it could set an average walker to a jog. His gait and strides breathe confidence while his actual breath wafts out his lips in a dewy fog. The smell of spring has begun to set in to the New York air— an unspoken promise from Mother Nature to her people that somewhere, somehow, all life renews— it becomes reborn in beams of summer sunlight.

At the corner before the Studio, still within the scope and border of Manhattan itself, Brad’s favourite coffee shop— Bean Me Up— lies in wait. As per usual, the line inside extends beyond the door and down the block, but Russo chooses to wait, even if, he, theoretically has an intern to get him coffee. His hands dip into the well of the pocket of his tanned trench coat, granting him some semblance of security while his eyes turn up towards the blue sky— cloud-free with space to spare. It’s days like today where his skin seems like the only thing keeping him from going everywhere at once.

The blue of the sky beckons his attention, but only for a moment. The giggles of young ladies about five people ahead of him in line interrupt his thoughts, drawing his gaze downward. The blonds earn a shy smile, a very different telling of Brad’s self compared to that which they could’ve met even five years ago. But then, people change.

One of the women peeks over her shoulders, issuing her most come-hither smile, but Brad doesn’t notice; his gaze has become fixed to the coffee shop window, familiarity heralding his senses as he actually steps out of line for a better look.

That fan of red hair causes his heart to skip within his chest. A palm presses firmly against the solidity of the glass— a stain for some coffee shop peon to clean later. Brad doesn’t care. Right now, it takes all of his decorum not to jump the line to see her.

With her back to him, the impossibility of the identity lays in want.

But desperation becomes him. Perhaps Bradley Russo would have to fight for happiness. His hand forms a fist as he brings it down towards the glass.

Evidently, desperation knocks.

Five Years Earlier

The Advocate Set

The weather outside is brilliant. Warm, inviting, bright— everything a person would like in a lovely warm New York day. Everyone that wasn't out late last night partying with Bradley Russo. The man in his late twenties, with a pair of sunglasses shading his eyes, is on set. Late. Much to the chagrin of the show's producer.

On the plus side, he feels ready: prepped, rehearsed, and keen— even if the lopsided quality to his dimpled smile and the very stuffy suit don't juxtapose well together. He's still uncomfortable with this side of himself. His agent had assured those around them that she knew he would grow into the role of television star when in actuality she had no idea. In many respects he has the perfect voice for radio and has exercised it for years, even while finishing his degree. But then, he also has the perfect face for television. A fact his mother, grandmother, and grandfather insisted should be used for politics itself rather than the ills and entertainment desires of a tv audience.

He treads down the set, perfectly shone Oxfords obeying his every move, checking in on his panel, and ensuring that there's just enough conflict there for something wonderful to brew. Television and outside star-quality he's growing into— creating conflict was something he was born into. And, judging from his lateness, the partying is something he's always had.

Even before The Advocate aired, Bradley Russo had the attention of pockets of Americans. The radio show did it's job. It had been easy enough to get guests, but far more difficult to meet them beforehand, something Brad has always insisted upon.

He leans precariously against the frame of one of the doors of a guest's makeup room, which has been left, conveniently, open. At the sight of her, breath hitches in his throat and his pulse races in his chest. He casts the sweatiness and general effect she has on himaside for that confident near-arrogance he consistently aims to project. After all, it always wins over the ladies. "Heeeey. Glad you could make it," he beams as he tugs the sunglasses from his eyes.

They had to redo her make up not once. Not even twice. The third time wasn't the charm either. Between the nervous excitement of finally breaking into a real public forum and an adamance about the very type of powders and concealers that were used, Karolina had had the artists working hard. Practically bouncing in her seat, eyes fixated on the mirror in front of her studying the painfully and artificially natural look that had been worked into her features. She'd have preferred nothing at all, but lights and cameras together tend to wash people out. So she was told. At least they'd let her keep to her own wardrobe, a broomstick skirt and fashionable but simple blouse, both of complimenting earthy blues.

A flicker of movement in the mirror behind her catches her attention. The young red-headed woman turns slightly to catch sight of the host and, for a beat, an excited grin washes over her features. She's not so easily moved by the grin or the rehearsed charm that Brad offers. No, she's naturally drawn to people and the pre-show energy seem to only further her excitability. But his arrogance, the falseness that seems laden in his expression and tone give her pause and cause her outgoingness to sober a little. "Thank you for inviting me," she answers, smile fading toward neutrality somehow without losing its warmth, and that warmth regardless is still echoed in her own tones even if her manner shifts toward cordialness. "It's a real honor."

The smile gains a little more prominence as he tucks the sunglasses into his right breast pocket. With a small chuckle he nods, his heartbeat well beyond its normal rhythm. There's a curling of his lips, that same feigned confidence fighting against his mother-trained gentlemanly instincts. Women never go for the nice guy; after all, nice guys finish last. And Brad as no intention of finishing last. In fact, God-willing, he'll get the leg on Sixty Minutes one of these days.

He whistles sharply as he offers her a hand to shake. In many respects his hands themselves are strong, yielding a strong handshake to the woman across from him. "Bradley Russo," he grins, that same fake confidence spills over into his tone. "You can call me Brad. Most do. Some of my friends call me Lee," they don't. "If you really wanted you could call me that."

A brow ticks up at the whistle, and she seems utterly unimpressed by his mannerisms. However, the red head is is courteous, her graciousness at being invited spilling over to the introductions. She extends her own hand in receipt of the handshake and continues to offer her own gentle smile. "Mister Russo," she answers, amusement edging into her tone. She won't call him Brad, or Bradley. And certainly not Lee. Never on a first meeting, and not with him acting like the cat who caught the canary.

"I'm Karolina Davis," she continues in all politeness, retracting her hand. "Its… nice… to meet you." Her hands fold in her lap, fingers lacing together as she begins to turn back toward the mirror. It's not dismissive, however it may come off as somewhat reserved. She'll admit, there's a quality about him, but that falsity he wears around his shoulders she'd rather not contend with.

The name 'Mister Russo' has Brad looking over his shoulder for his grandfather. Who isn't here. Oh. That's him. A hand runs over the scruff of his face and his head shakes a little. "Always good to meet a guest. So. Tell me about yourself, Uh.. Lina? Can I call you Lina?" the charm has that youthful-arrogance feeling whether or not Brad intends it to.

“So… " he cranes his neck to try to catch her gaze in the mirror. "You’re… here about animal rights, right?" His eyebrows tick upwards as he tugs on the bottom of his jacket.

A grin tugs up the corners of Karolina's lips at Brad's reaction to the 'Mister Russo'. But it slips back to just a small smile once he begins speaking again. "You may," she replies to his question, a brow quirking up slightly over the nickname. A little presumptuous, but then Brad seems to have the arrogance for it. "I'm a graduate from NYU, and," she pauses, meeting his gaze first in the mirror then turning to meet the real thing, "here to speak about animal rights."

"Excellent! Well I'm always glad to have a New Yorker on my panel." Brad's eyebrows knit together as he leans against the makeup desk to allow his arms to cross over his chest. "Lived here all of my life. It's my city, and there's something about native New Yorkers I love." A single blue eye winks at her as his smile becomes boyish and lopsided. He really lays it on thick. "You excited? Been on television before? No reason to be nervous if you haven't. A smile can cover up a multitude of sins."

Her smile becomes minutely strained, for a very brief moment in time, when the television personality actually winks. If mind reading were at all possible, one could guess at her thoughts. Did he seriously just wink at me? She manages to recover quickly, her features relaxing and warming once again. Nothing overtly welcoming, but there's a gentleness and compassion, a friendliness despite her thoughts on his demeanor.

"I have," Karolina replies, an easy but not overbearing pride to her response. "Nothing like this. Local telecasts that might reach as far as New Jersey."

There's a moment where Brad stares at that head of red hair. It kind of reminds him of his mother's. With a faint flush of his cheeks, his head shakes. The blush spreads some as Russo shifts his weight to slide away. He doesn't feel much like blubbering like an idiot and so he cuts the conversation short, if only to protect his reputation. "Good. Well, good luck, Miss Davis." He gives her a quick nod and a two fingered wave, "I'll see you out there." Again he slides towards the door, this time, using those confident steps to round the corner into the hall where he, quite gently, begins hitting his head against the wall. "Such an idiot, Brad," he murmurs before retreating down the hall to finish any last minute preparations before the show.

The Present

Manhattan — Outside Studio K

He’d knocked several times in a crazy-person display, desperate to get even a flicker of her attention. But to no avail.

His lips thin into a small line as his blue eyes drift back to the line. With another foggy breath, he turns his head to peer back towards his place of business, emitting a quiet sigh in the process.

He’d buried her. She died. He thought he’d let this go. At the very least, he'd tried at Christmas.

The smile fading altogether, his hands shove deeper in his pockets as he turns on his heel to head to work. The public embarrassment of seeking a dead woman in a coffee shop hadn’t yet occurred to him, but his own feigned hope at once last glimpse of her had. And for that he receives explicit chastisement from himself.

“Such an idiot, Brad.”

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