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 A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)

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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:11 pm

Juan hummed while he made dinner. He'd finally see Ludwig again tonight, after just under a month of exchanging emails and phone calls. Ludwig had even sent a few postcards, which Juan found charming of him.

A knock. "Come in~!" he called out in English.

"Why are you speaking in that language?" a sharp, irritated female voice asked.

Juan tensed. He caught his guest's reflection in a window, but he didn't need to.

"Madre," he said stiffly. "What brings you in from Barcelona?"




madre - mother


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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:23 pm

It had been a little less than a month since the last time he had been in Madrid, but the streets were just as confusing as the last time Ludwig was here. With the warm weather, it was tempting to walk the streets and enjoy the atmosphere again, letting the warmth of the afternoon seep into his bones after what had happened, but Ludwig had promised he would be at Juan's residence for dinner at 7pm sharp, and he didn't want to risk being late.

The taxi he'd flagged down, however, had been much quicker than he was expecting though, which was why he was standing in front of Juan's front door without a bouquet of flowers, or any kind of addition to dinner. He wondered if he should try to find a local bakery and bring some bread with him, but Juan's invitation hadn't specified if he should bring food or not.

The tall German cleared his throat, adjusted the suit that he hadn't had time to change out of, and rang the doorbell.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:34 pm

"I need a reason to see my only son?" Señora Ramirez asked, pretending to be hurt. Juan would have fallen for it a few years ago.

"A reason? No, though I'm sure you have one. I would like a little warning next time, though," Juan said, as politely as he knew how. "I have company tonight, and for the rest of the weekend. And you should know already I only have one bed."

Señora Ramirez tsked as though he was the one who had made the error. Juan ground his teeth and struggled not to lash out verbally.

The doorbell rang. "That will be him. Why don't you stay for dinner, Madre?" Juan asked out of politeness rather than real desire to spend time with her. He certainly didn't want her to meet Ludwig. "Or you could come around for breakfast tomorrow. I'm assuming, of course, that you're staying with Tía?" he asked as he went to answer the door.

"Yes. And I think I will stay for dinner, thank you."

Juan opened the door, pasting on a happy grin and hoping Ludwig got on well with his mother, if only because she was insufferable when she was angry.




Señora - Mrs.


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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:02 pm

Ludwig had a hint of a smile when the door opened, revealing the Spaniard that he had been trading phone calls and emails.

"Good day," he said, his brisk tone hiding a sliver of warmth in it. He paused for a moment and then checked his watch. "Or, should I say, good evening?"
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:08 pm

"Buenas tardes," Juan corrected, with a truer smile. "It's too early for 'noches' and too late for 'días,'" he explained, "so it is like 'good afternoon,' but perhaps later than what most would call 'afternoon.'"

His mother coughed pointedly. He sighed, most of the joy seeping out of him. "Ah, q-Ludwig," he corrected himself, not wanting to get caught using "dear" in front of his mother, "mi madre, Maria Ramirez. Madre, mi amigo, Ludwig Schneider." He still had difficulty fitting the hard German sounds in his mouth.

"A pleasure to meet you," Maria lied through her teeth.




Buenas tardes - good afternoon/day/early evening.

noches - night

días - day, morning (in the context of "Buenos días")

The word Juan starts to say is "querido" - love, or dear, as I've mentioned in the other thread.

mi madre - my mother

mi amigo - my friend
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:47 am

Ludwig had the uncomfortable feeling that he was facing down Frau Kessler, the woman who served as Herr Eisenhauer's secretary. She never approved of any of the Division members except for a select few speaking with the head of the German Division, and the disdain showed.

Frau Ramirez was heavier, though, and looked as though she was lying in wait for him with a frying pan.

Still, he nodded politely to her. "The pleasure is mine, Mrs. Ramirez," he said solemnly.

He turned to both Juan's mother and the man himself. "Have I come at a bad time?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:36 am

"No," Juan insisted, though his mother's glare said she had her own opinions about that. "You were invited, she dropped in unannounced," he muttered in English, a language his mother hated and thus, was not proficient in. "Madre will be joining us for dinner," he added reluctantly. "How was your trip, Ludwig?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:12 pm

"It was acceptable, thank you," he replied, noticing the glare the woman had given her son. He waited for them to allow him to step inside, and turned to Juan. "I trust you've been well since we last spoke? I regret that I wasn't able to speak at length when you called."

It hadn't helped that he'd just spotted his assignment at the time when Juan had called. He'd had to be unfortunately abrupt with the man in order to not lose sight of him in the windy streets of Frankfurt.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:19 pm

"Quite well, thank you," Juan smiled. "And don't worry about the phone call. You are busy, I understand."

Maria found a pleasant expression somewhere and put it on. "And what do you do, Señor Schneider?"

Juan shook his head gently at Ludwig, just out of Maria's line of sight. His mother might have known about his powers, but she did not know about the Division, and Juan intended to keep it that way.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:29 pm

Blue eyes took in the headshake, but he smiled politely. "I am a... I believe the term in Spanish is 'private investigator'?" he said calmly. He'd used the excuse numerous times before, and it wasn't exactly a lie. He paused for a moment, and then looked at Juan. "I want to tell her that I specialize in finding missing persons, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to say it in Spanish."
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:32 pm

"He works mostly with missing persons, madre. That's how we met...I had a vision about one of the women he was looking for," Juan added. He smiled at Ludwig again. "Dinner will be another half hour, I'm afraid...you're a little early."
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:36 pm

"Ah," Ludwig said, nodding. "I'm sorry for coming early. I can leave and go sightseeing, if you would rather I not be underfoot while you cook...?"

He tried to shoot Juan a glance that said, 'If you need me here, tell me,' but he wasn't sure how successful he was.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:44 pm

"No, no, please stay," Juan insisted, shooting a look at Ludwig that screamed, 'If you leave me here alone with her I will never forgive you.'

His mother was rummaging around his house. He prayed she didn't find anything she could take particular issue with.

"Juanito, you got a new couch?" she asked, voice sharp. "Can you afford that? It looks expensive!"

Juan sighed. "It was secondhand. And the old one was falling apart."

"I won't argue with you there. It was also about as comfortable as a bed of nails. You know your father and I are more than willing to help you make this place a bit nicer...and you could always come home, of course - "

"Madre. I am not moving home," Juan growled. "Excuse me. The quesadillas are burning." He fled.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:13 pm

Juan, clearly, was a Spaniard in distress.

Ludwig wouldn't pretend to be an expert at these kinds of things, but it appeared that he should do something. If nothing else, it would be polite.

The tall German wandered into the house, noticing the couch that Juan had told him about. As much as he wanted to make a comment about it, he approached Frau Ramirez, determined to try to keep her from bothering her son too much, even if his instincts were telling him not to get in the middle of their affairs.

"I hope things are going well for you, Mrs. Ramirez? Juan mentioned that you lived in Barcelona, so I thought you did not have much opportunity to see your son."
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

"Yes, yes, I live in Barcelona," she said, a bit primly. "And you? Where are you from, Señor Schneider?"

Juan knew he shouldn't have left them alone. He closed his eyes and tried not to think about the woman who had given birth to him.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:41 pm

"Berlin," Ludwig replied. "It has its good qualities, but Spain is really very beautiful."

It felt incredibly strange to try to give compliments when he was more used to noticing the scenery just enough to see what could be used to trip or distract his targets, and what could be a potential obstacle to have to deal with.

"I've been meaning to visit Barcelona."

He hadn't, really, but he'd endure it if he needed to. If nothing else, he'd be able to keep an eye on Juan's parents just in case they decided to give their son more headaches than the man needed.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:07 pm

Maria happily started chattering about all of the beautiful places in Barcelona that he should visit. Juan relaxed fractionally and finished cooking.

"Comamos~!" he called out, setting an extra place at his small dinner table.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:51 pm

Ludwig perked up, though he restrained himself. As long as someone has something they love to talk about, it was easy enough to nod and listen attentively. If nothing else, he'd be better acquainted with historic sites if he ever had to track someone down in Barcelona, so it wasn't entirely a wasted effort.

"Forgive my interruption, Mrs. Ramirez, but I'm hungry. Airplane food isn't very appetizing. May I escort you to the dining room?" He offered his arm politely.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:27 pm

Maria blushed like a woman half her age. "Of course, of course. Juanito cooks very well for a boy so young, you know?" she smiled as she took his arm. Ludwig, at least, had managed to endear himself.

Juan finished setting the table and put the food in the middle. He held out a chair for his mother.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:31 pm

Calling upon the experience of several functions that had included dancing, Ludwig led her to her chair and gave her a chance to sit down before sitting himself. "Your son is an excellent chef. I can only imagine that he learned from your kitchen, Mrs. Ramirez."
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:37 pm

"Janina's husband polished him up some, but I suppose I taught him a good deal," Maria flushed again. "Oh, you met Janina, didn't you? I think she mentioned a German friend of Juanito's a month or so back..."

Juan breathed deeply and served the food, trying to appreciate being talking about like he wasn't present while it lasted. Any moment now, she would tear into him for some imagined flaw, or else nag him to move back home or get a job or...no. It wasn't happening right now, so he wasn't thinking about it.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:46 pm

"Ah, Juan's aunt Janina," Ludwig replied, leaping on the topic like a wounded gazelle. There was a reason he was called a bloodhound, but it wasn't usually because of conversational gambits. He tried to discreetly glance at Juan to see if he was all right, but he didn't get too good a look. Hopefully, he wasn't insulting the man by monopolizing the conversation. "Yes, I remember meeting her. Is she your sister, or your husband's?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:59 pm

"Mi prima," Maria smiled. "My cousin, not my sister. She is a lot of trouble, but so was my Juanito. They get along well."

Juan felt the shift coming. His shoulders hunched as he bore down for the attacks.

"Juanito, are you still causing trouble for your auntie?"

Juan took a big bite of his quesadilla and looked at his mother as if to ask, 'You want me to talk with my mouth full?'

She stared at him, waiting with all the patience of a woman who would have her way come hell or high water.

He had to swallow sometime.

"I hardly see tía except at meals, so I have no idea how I could be causing her any trouble," he said frankly.




mi prima - my cousin (female)

tía - aunt (not literally, in this case)
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:38 pm

"And don't you think your aunt worries if you're not even there to talk to her?" Maria asked archly. "Really, Juanito, you shouldn't worry your family like this. We raised you to be better than that."

Ludwig started to eat silently. If there was one thing he had learned in his years as a Division agent, it was to never interfere between family members, no matter how much it seemed they disliked each other.
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PostSubject: Re: A Little Less Than Five Years Ago (Ant. & Lud., closed)   Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:44 pm

Juan decided not to point out that if he said he visited often, his mother would say he was not working hard enough.

"I don't want to trouble her," he said instead. "She knows...almost everything that happens in my life. And the rest is so inconsequential that I wouldn't bother her with it."

"And you hardly tell your father and me anything," Maria said, tone dripping acid now.

"Emails nearly every day and calls twice a week because last month you said I was running up your phone bill," Juan countered.
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