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Turnabout Biennial

By teachmetoanimate

Romance / Mystery

Grape juice is actually wine

Holy fuck, that's one attractive guy.

What a pleasant surprise. I hadn't expected that in a Russian restaurant lying down in a basement.

Presently, he was situated by a piano and playing what I assumed was supposed to be Moonlight Sonata. Sadly, it was performed with hardly any recognition. It was a miracle I identified it, and that was only due to an obsessive addiction to instrumental pieces as I studied. Most recently, I would have been studying law.

Oh, don't fucking remind me of law right now.

I gulp down the remains of my glass of wine in one swish and I instantly regret it. I'm already a bit woozy, more so than to my liking.

"Refill?" The Russian waitress asked me in what must've been the most fake Russian dialect I've ever heard. She'd been trying to get me to try some of her borscht all night, but last thing I needed was food.

I needed alcohol. A lot of it.

"Da," I mumbled, and I held my empty glass towards her as she swiftly filled it all the way up, and then took off. As the restaurant was empty except for me and the mediocre pianist, it explained why she was over me like a hawk.

What even is borscht? It's red, so either tomato soup or blood. I smell shellfish though. Lobster blood? Do shellfish even have blood? … I hate all three candidates, tomatoes, shellfish and blood, so it's an ultimate pass on the borscht.

Only red liquid I'd be consuming tonight was the one in front of me.

I sipped a bit on my refilled glass and stared into the wall as I listened to the carefully placed and at times wrong tunes coming from the piano, as I wallowed in the icy air down in the basement restaurant. I guess that the lack of costumers was mostly due to the constant cold. Would I have had to guess I would say the basement restaurant was at a constant degree of 5° C, in order to create an authentic Russian atmosphere.

I loved it.

I had always been very sensitive to warmth; plus my style of clothes was very covered up, so I couldn't really dress down if I wanted to keep true to myself. Which led me to constantly feeling hot. Not to mention the sweating. The violent sweating.

So when I heard of this place, I was ecstatic. The lack of people only added to that feeling. Now, I spend my afternoons here. A perfect place for me to embrace the cold and my self pity.

Tonight was a new record, however, since I've been here for about seven hours straight.

"Damn, I hate wine," I murmured to myself, as I took yet another sip. Don't even know why I started drinking it in the first place.

"Yeah, I'm more of a grape juice person, myself," a voice called out, and the tunes stopped coming. I turned my head to the piano and saw how the pianist now turned around, looking at me with a crooked smile.

Shit on a stick, that's one attractive guy.

"More of a cider or nothing gal, myself," I say with a similar cross smile, wiggling my glass so the contents swirled around, "But those won't get you drunk. So when you're desperate, you go to desperate measures."

"You seem to have had a very desperate week, then," the pianist said with a chuckle, "I would've guessed you liked what you always order."

Shit, he recognised me. And he knew I always ordered wine. Not so surprising, though. I think I've been their only customer this week, at least that I've seen.

"Guilty," I sigh, and I look down at my glass wistfully. Jesus, I was drunk.

"… Is that an attorneys badge that I see?" The pianist said, and stood up from the piano, revealing his length. I had never seen him standing up, as he had only sat by the piano during my visits. Shit, he was tall. Together with his broad shoulders and stubble, I could've swooned right there. Instead, I just stared, and he chuckled again as he started walking towards me. "An attorney should never wilfully agree to a guilty verdict, you know, not even when the client would be yourself."

"What would a pianist in a Russian restaurant know of guilty verdicts and Attorney's ?" I snorted, being reminded of my current predicament.

"A bit of a… contradiction, I guess," he sneered, as he got himself seated in front of me without asking permission.

Oh my god, what a dork.

"So as the attorney I'm supposed to be, now is the time when I should, what, cross-examine you and find out why this contradiction exists?" I asked with a raised eyebrow, well aware of how nerdy we were sounding.

"It would, if the witness would be willing to testify," the pianist said with a shrug, "this one, however, isn't."

Feeling he was very serious in that, I shrugged back at him.

"I would rather get back to my initial question," the pianist said, "about your desperate week, that I'm guessing has to do with your Attorney's badge."

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Oh, there's not much to tell. Fresh out of law school."

I smiled ironically and raised my hand up and put my gaze up at the ceiling as I dramatically said "With eyes at the stars, I travelled here, to the town of the legendary attorneys and prosecutors."

I snorted and let my hand fall down, and I looked at the pianist with a congested look. "But when you're neither a prodigy or a genius, and you didn't graduate at the MARVELLOUS young age of eighteen or whatever, and your grades were just average, well. You don't get a job. So this is useless."

I grabbed my collar and pushed the fabric forward, showing the little pin I had attached with such pride and care at the start of the week. Now, it was upside down and sadly hanging onto the fabric.

"Hm. Grades aren't a reflection of your skills, though," the pianist said with a light frown, "and neither is the age you graduate. I should know."

"Say that to the law firms in town," I moaned, and put my head in my hands. "You can't write 'I may not be a genius or a prodigy but I'm still damn good' on a resume. I've been job hunting for two weeks, sweating and running about. So I've come here to cool down. There, the grand mystery about me solved. You didn't even need to cross examine me."

My mystery pianist was quiet for a time, watching me with a raised eyebrow and a thoughtful look.

"What?" I asked, raising my eyebrows.

"Well, just thinking," the pianist asked, "if you'd be really desperate for a job, I guess one step would be to grow out your hair, dye it, and remove those piercings? Just a thought?"

I glared at him at that and my attraction to the guy sank a thousand points.

"Look, if my appearance somehow changes my capacity in my line of work, then that would've been a good argument," I countered, "and if a work place would have something against it, I wouldn't want to work for them anyway."

The pianist smiled excusably. "Sorry, I don't have anything against it, I think it's… great."

Wow, could you say that with more enthusiasm?

"I merely meant that fact is that many people think it's unprofessional, and if you'd really want a job, that could be something to do."

I snorted again. "I'm not gonna sell myself out to get cash."

The pianist smiled at me, and I couldn't help but smile back.

Attraction points slightly if not fully restored.

"But yeah, thanks for the tip," I said, and looked down at my glass of wine, now not really feeling like it, "if I can't afford blue hair dye, I'll think about it."

"Hope that doesn't happen," the pianist said, and he leaned forward slightly, "blue really goes well with your eyes."

And there it was.

I'm going home with this guy.

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