Fiona had watched her escort since they had met that night with ill-disguised distaste. She'd arranged this little dinner for the two of them, causing the small girl to call in for work that very evening. She could picture her regulars giving the new act disappointed and surly looks in her absence. None of this was actually true, but she liked to think her "public" would miss her.
Though, she did greet Natasha's hand with a bit more enthusiasm then before. She still turned a stern, accusatory glance to Natasha.
"Maybe we both should have some coffee," she said with raised eyebrows, giving Natasha a 'look'. "It might help one of us keep their head up tonight."
Mizi cursed in her native tongue as she hurried past people on the sidewalk. She wanted this dinner to go right, and being late for it wasn't exactly the best start. After two more rejections today from art galleries in the area, the last thing she wanted was her sister scolding at her for not being on time. It wasn't going to make this anymore pleasant.
After shoving past a family without so much as an apology, she reached the door of the restaurant and flung it open. Mizi breathlessly asked the man at the front desk for the table under the name Nat. The man gestured to a small booth in the back and she recognized Nat's head from behind.
She walked brisky to the booth, slowing down as she got closer so she was sauntering by the time she reached the pair. Dashing around like a fury was no way to make a nice first impression.
"Good evening Nat." She said with a pleasant innocent smile. Mizi turned her eyes to the brunette sitting next to Nat. "You must be Fiona."
Natasha grinned at Fiona, just about to make a remark concerning where she'd be keeping her head up later, when she heard her sister's greeting. She closed her mouth (which had been agape in preface to what she was about to say), and looked over her shoulder at the other woman. She forced a somewhat mechanical smile, nodding a greeting as she gave a small hello in their language. She motioned for Mizinovskaia to sit across from them via a small, sweeping gesture of her arm.
"Yes, this is Fiona. Fiona, this is my sister, Mizinovskaia."
She looked over to the brunette next to her and her smile softened into something more genuine.
Fiona had smiled brightly at the greeting, standing and holding out her hand to the new woman. She froze, however, as Natasha introduced her. She blinked at the two of them, her mouth sagging a bit. She was sure the woman was an adoring fan come to get her autograph, but the longer she stared at her Fiona could see the unmistakable family resemblance. Though, her senses twinged as she caught a smell from her she couldn't quite place.
Fiona extended her hand to the woman graciously.
"N-nice to meet you, Mizinoveeskee.....a.....uh."
She turned red as she finished her name in a mumble.
Mizi took her hand gingerly, cocking her head slightly to one side.
"Don't worry, just call me Mizi. Only Nat calls me Mizinovskaia. It's a terrible name isn't it? I don't even like it."
She sat down across the couple, placing her portfolio and purse next to her. She unbuttoned her green jacket and slid it off, revealing a faded pink flapper dress beneath it. The straps were so loose she was constantly pulling them up on her shoulder.
"So, Nat told me you are a lounge singer. What is that like?" Her smile turned wicked. "Do you get all of the drinks you want? Even the banned ones?"
Natasha watched their exchange with a mix of enjoyment and worry. It was good that Mizinovskaia wasn't making a total wreck of things, but at the same time if these two found a blossoming friendship then who knows what the hell kind of shit her sister might get Fiona into? She really had no desire to see her love interest wasting away in an opium den day and night.
And then, breaking her train of thought, the waiter came along for their drink orders.
"Coffee. Three of them."
Natasha spoke curtly with a short nod in the waiter's direction, and having taken the hint, he returned the nod and scurried off hurriedly. Natasha then allowed herself to relax a bit, removing her hand from Fiona's thigh and casually wrapping it around her waist. She forced another smile at her sister.
"Fiona gets all the drinks she wants, but not because she's a singer." A faint, playful smirk accompanied a brief glance cast down at the shorter brunette at her side. She then looked up to Mizinovskaia again, "You should drop by for one of her shows some night. Her voice is beautiful."
Fiona blinked oddly at Mizi as they touched hands briefly. She'd never known Natasha to be so... relaxed or jovial around strangers. It was true, they looked a bit alike, but she supposed that was were the similarities ended.
She'd not been aware of mouthing Mizi's full name to herself as she greeted the girl, nor did she notice her release her hand and sit down. Fiona blinked slowly as she sat, trying hard not to blush in embarassment. She'd been staring at Mizi's dress with a mix of smugness and pity, though she'd hardly stick her nose in the air at the poor girl for it.
Her brain seemed to finally catch up with the conversation, and she brightened up. "Oh, yes! You should come sometime! It's lots of fun!"
The girl cast Natasha a sly grin and leaned over the table to Mizi. She lifted a hand to shield her mouth from the large woman theatrically. "Lots of men come, and they like buying drinks for pretty girls!"
Fiona punctuated this sentence with a knowing wink.
Mizi laughed and pawed the air in Fiona's direction. She crossed her legs as her interest in the conversation suddenly piqued. "Really? Well if that isn't the cat's meow. It's been a while since a man bought me a drink. Probably almost 3 weeks. Maybe a month."
Her eyes broke away from Fiona as she remembered the last poor lollygagger she stole from. She stared at the wall for a moment, lost in her mind before realizing that Nat and Fiona were sitting right in front of her. She blinked, smiling weakly at Fiona.
"Last time a man bought a drink for me, he couldn't get my name right. He just wanted to get into some heavy petting. So I stole his wallet AND his stash!"
Mizi broke into a fit of laughter, clapping her hands together. It dawned on her after a moment that perhaps that wasn't the best thing to bring up and her laugher turned into nervous chuckling. Suddenly her face felt like it was hotter than a pant's presser.
"So...uh...are you a native to Chicago?"
Natasha's expression fell flat at Mizinovskaia's little conversation opener. She did her very best to stifle a groan which, as it turns out, wasn't very good at all.
But her question did pique her interest. Arcing a brow, she pulled back just slightly so she could look down at Fiona easier. Her arm still remained around her waist, the other coming to rest on the table.
"Yes, I don't know where you're from, either."
Fiona stared blankly at Mizi with the cluelessly curious look she had whenever she didn't quite understand what was being said. The story sounded so interesting until the end. The girl supposed "stole his wallet and stack" must be some new slang she hadn't heard yet, and fearing being caught on this, she just giggled and nodded. She also made a mental note to use the little saying whenever an opportunity arose.
"What?" she said vaguely as her brain, once again, lagged behind the conversation. She blushed slightly and gave only the merest of panicked looks before answering. "O-Oak Lawn."
She collected herself and sat up. The girl tried not to look either of the sisters in the eye when she continued. "On... on a farm. Probably never heard of it."
Mizi squinted her eyes slightly at Fiona, tilting her head. "Funny, I feel like I've been all over this country but I've never heard of it."
She reached into her bag and pulled out a matchbook, tossing it onto the table. While digging through her purse, she could feel Nat's icy eyes on her. She turned her gaze at Nat as she pulled out the carton of cigarettes. Her smile faded and her brow lowered, mirroring her sister.
"Don't worry, they're just ciggies," She reassured dryly, waving the cigarettes at her sister before taking one out. She lit it and took a puff before turning her focus back on Fiona. Her face brightened and her sweet smile returned as she blew out the smoke.
"Sorry about that. Nat seems to have some issues with certain....habits of mine." She shot a quick taunting glance at Nat as she inhaled again. She leaned in close to Fiona. Smoke crept from her mouth as she added, "I hope Nat here doesn't keep you under lock and key like she does with me."
She nudged Fiona with a wink and giggled as she sat back.
"If I kept you under lock and key," Natasha began, speaking in Russian, "then you'd never leave the apartment, you goddamn druggie."
She sneered at her and took her coffee straight from the waiter's hand and sipped it before setting it down heavily. Before he could even ask, she ordered the three of them rare steaks and sent him on his way with a rather harsh bark.
A heavy sigh punctuated her turn to Fiona and she rested her arm across the smaller woman's shoulders, casting another silent glare at her sister.
Fiona was completely captivated with the stark differences between the two. She was enjoying this woman's company on it's won accord, but seeing Natasha treat her own family so badly in front of her... well, her sting of sympathy about burst her sides.
As Natasha turned to Mizz, giving her a cheerful sympathetic look and snatched a loose cigarette from the carton she had produced. In moments, it was sticking from her mouth as she fumbled for the matches.
"You really ought to be nicer to family while you've got it, Natasha," she said in a casual, matter-of-fact tone. She smiled and winked at Mizi reassuredly. "I mean, I would have killed for a sister when I was growing up!"
Mizi restrained herself from laughing. This woman was completely oblivious to the fact that her lover's sister was an opium-addicted thief. Either she was stupid or just gave people a lot of credit. Still, there was something awfully sweet about it.
"Oh thank you Fiona! You're so kind!" Mizi oozed with a smile on her face. "I wish I had a sister like you when I was growing up. You seem so understanding."
She shot another taunting look at Nat, her eyebrows arching. "You're right Natasha, I should be more like Fiona. It's easier to control an idiot," she said in Russian before taking another drag of her cigarette.
Mizinovskaia's jab at Fiona meritted a harsh, sharp bark from Natasha. Her brow furrowed as she cast a dark glare in her direction before she finally spat back, also in Russian.
"She's not an idiot." Her tone was defensive, bordering a tad on worried, "Why the hell would you say that?"
Natasha reached for the carton of cigarettes, pulling one out for herself before she threw the box at her sister's head. The gesture was punctuated by a growl.