Passing the Bar

Summary:
June 17 2014: Jericho is playing the piano and mulling over things when who should arrive to look in upon him…

Sal's Bar

Clean, and empty, though still a bit run down, Sal's bar isn't for the polished or powerful, but for the blue collar and the down and out. It's peaceful at the moment but for the sound of piano.


Characters

NPCs
*


Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aTYp8-O96M]


Sal's Bar is, physically, a dingy brick building in a blue collar Midtown neighborhood that's just a few notches above dive bar status. The interior is dimly lit at the best of times, the hardwood bar and floors nicked and scuffed (though kept fastidiously clean). A few ceiling mounted fans serve more, during open hours, to swirl cigarette smoke about the place than circulate air. Opposite the room from the bar proper is an old baby grand which used to be hideously out of tune. Though a few weeks back when Sal hired Jeri, that one guy, to play the thing and help with business and the place's mood that changed. Guy knows what he's doing with the black-and-whites.

Sal's caters to the evening crowd and it's only a bit past noon, so the place is very closed. Even the proprietor/bartender won't be here for another few hours. So right now it's just Jericho, unwinding at the piano and thinking as often he does. And singing.

Lay down… your sweet and weary heads
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end
Sleep now, and dream of the ones who came before.
They are calling
From across a distant shore.

Say whatever else you will, the man can play, and sing. He's got a clear, rich baritone and right now, with no one around he's just belting it out to his heart's content. The bar crowd doesn't usually go for stuff like this.

*

Giving Illyana Jericho's place of work was more than enough for the mutant sorceress to track him down. Having video footage to know what he looks like sealed the deal. There isn't even the tell-tale flicker of light from her Stepping Disk when she teleports in, choosing a hallway out of Jeri's vision. She waits until he hits a lull so she doesn't have to lift her voice much.

"Wow. You're just screaming your geek-ness to the heavens aren't you?" Illyana's leaning an elbow against the bar, one leg crossed over the other. She's in a worn, faded Black Sabbath T-shirt with faded bluejeans and heavy-soled boots that come up to her knees. The latter are decorated with silver buckles in the shape of skulls and arcane sigils in raised relief. Silver, leather, studs and chains form her accessories which makes the long blonde hair seem a bit out of place. She's far enough away to give herself some time to react but her manner is all casual-like.

*

There's a creak of well worn leather cushoning on the bench as he turns toward the voice. No one else should be here. Aaaaaand the doors were locked. "Y'know the place is closed, right?"

Jericho stands and walks over toward the bar and the back hall. He has a faded grey long sleeve tee on that may or may not have once had a logo on it - it's hard to tell - jeans and work boots. His heavy leather coat is folded up and on the bar. And - sadly - his shoulder holster is there too. He carries his piece pretty much everywhere but didn't figure he'd need it on him here. At least, he'd assumed, he'd hear someone coming in. Damn.

*

"Let's keep this friendly, and you stay right there." Illyana says with a smile. It's not friendly though, the eyes that go with it are just too damned icy. Eyes that have seen too much. With what he's wearing, going for any weapon would take time. With what she's wearing she doesn't look armed either.

Only after giving the suggestion does she answer his question with a hitch of a shoulder. "Open, closed, like I care. I go where I like. I've been told we have a mutual pain-in-the-ass in common. Name of Nancy?" Her eyes may be half-lidded in a lazy sort of manner, but the eyes beneath are still sharp.

*

If she thought he'd been tense before… we'll she'd been correct. But before she could have just been someone who jimmy'd the lock or managed to pop a window in the back office. Now? Mentioning Nancy's name? He does stop anyway, but his left arm starts to glow with a laticework of circuit like marks visible even through his shirt. His eyes go hard for a moment and then more wary as if something occurs to him. "Nancy… I know that name. The question is how do you. And why would you be seeing me about it?"

There is, he remembers, a remote possibility that this is not a Very Bad Thing. However given what he knows about who's after Nan - same guys who are after him - it's not something he can safely assume. Yet.

*

Illyana loses the lazy sort of look as the lines of energy start to crawl up his arm and her head tilts over to one side slowly. "You're gonna insist on doing this the Hard Way, aren't you? Let's just talk. And if it gets to the point we're done talking, we say so. Makes this a whole lot more civilized. Besides, you don't want me jumpy. You wouldn't like me when I'm jumpy. You like vodka? I'm pretty sure I saw some back there." She makes a show of rising up on her tiptoes to look over the edge of the bar.

Finally she gets to answering his question. Again. Seems she likes to make him wait. "I ran into her a while back. Recently I helped her with a relocate." She glances back over to him. If she found the vodka it was definitely out of reach. "Your name came up."

*

The tall man eyes her for a moment longer and then moves around the bar, the light fading from his arm. "Mmmmm. Did it now?" He pulls down a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a glass, before sliding it across the bar. "Glad to hear she found some people who could help her." In truth he knew some of that. Not names or faces, just that people connected to the group he'd seen in the bar had helped her out. She, however, hadn't been in that group.

"Alright. I'd say you don't want me jumpy either but I already am. Comes with the territory. So you helped her out. Very good. Brings you here…" Another, smaller glass of vodka for himself. "…why?"

*

Illyana turns towards the bar as he heads behind it. Seems she's OK with him there. Maybe she checked for hidden shotguns. Or she didn't think of it. Who knows. She picks up the glass, taking a swallow as he speaks. "Sounded like she wanted me to look in on you." She says, hitching a shoulder in a partial shrug. "Didn't sound like she wanted me to stick you in a hole somewhere so you're safe on that account." She flashes her teeth at him in something resembling a smile. Too fierce though. The eyes too hard for it to be all joke. "Also the acoustics are better to listen to you from here."

*

Jericho's carefully at the other end of the bar. Sal does keep a shotgun back here, but he's not daft enough to keep it here when nobody's around, so no guns behind the bar. Right now he'll settle for distance and hope that it's enough. That's a stronger than usual possibility she isn't normal, and given that the suggestion that she could stuff him in a hole should probably be taken seriously. "Acoustics here are pretty nice for a brick building." He agrees with a swallow, eyeing her carefully.

"Did she ask you to look in on me or did someone else? I'm well familiar with that kind of paranoid compulsion." By his tone he thinks that rather more likely. He might be amused by it. Or irritated. Or both. "Maybe someone who doesn't think I'm on the up and up?"

*

"Nancy's the only one I talked to that knows you." Illyana pauses. "Well. That I know of. I haven't been watching you long enough to see anyone else I know." It's a casual, throw-away line but cool eyes watch him for the reaction. She takes another swallow of alcohol with nary a wince, before setting the glass down. "Should I call you Jericho?"

*

"Mmmmm. Blue fuzzy guy perhaps? Met him once. And an asshole with glasses. And Doug. Seen him a couple times." Either she's lying about not having been watching him long enough to see them or… he hasn't been watching him that long. The latter would actually work in favor of her story. The former? That would make this conversation more of a threat than a really strange way of checking in on someone. He's testing her as well, seeing how she reacts to the names and descriptions.

Ah so she knows his name. Interesting. "I prefer that to most other things I've been called in the last year or so. What should I call you?" It does occur to him to wonder if she's seen the Partisan, since he meets with her often, or watched him 'work.'

*

The truth is that Illyana's a lazy observer. She hasn't been watching him long and it's been fairly infrequently. She has a whole kingdom to run! But she doesn't tell *him* that. There's the slow smirk as he mentions descriptions and she shakes her head. "None of them told me to check up on you." Which isn't to say she doesn't know them. Because she can guess at the two without names. "Illyana." The pronunciation is Russian, if he's got an ear for it. Given his time with Partisan, maybe he does. There's no accent on the rest of her English though. That's solidly Anywhere America.

*

Implication: I do know them and they didn't tell me to see you. Huh. If she could see Jericho watching her through a HUD that looks like it's out of a sci-fi movie, building up a file on her - pretty sparse one, at the moment - well, she might have words for him. "Illyana, then. Well, you've found me. I'm quite alive. Give Nancy my best when you see her." Which is, ironically, said without irony or sarcasm. Could it be she's actually met someone Nancy doesn't annoy?

"Was there anything else?" Pause. "And should I expect you to be coming 'round again?" Like when I'm showering? He wonders. He'll have to check to make sure the doors are locked when she leaves, 'cause if they are…

*

Oh, they definitely are. Illyana gives him a slow grin, and this one bespeaks amusement. Admittedly, at his expense. Those eyes though, they never warm. Like Siberian ice. "Is that your way of politely asking me to leave?" She doesn't answer the latter. But then that might strike a familiar chord with him. She and Nancy both like to rile people up just for the fun of it.

*

"No. It's my way of asking if you're staying for drinks or if you had planned another event for tonight. I didn't bring my good suit, y'see." He suspects that whatever her answer on the former, she probably will answer no on the latter. There's been plenty of opportunity for this to turn into a fight and it hasn't yet, so lucky Sal, the two of them aren't going to rip up his bar. Probably. Idly he wonders if this is one of Nancy's friends. Or, perchance, archenemies.

He starts to move back around the bar and toward the piano bench, but not before sliding the vodka down the bar toward his unexpected audience. "Y'like piano? I do mainly jazz during on hours but I can play just about anything."

*

Illyana's laugh is unexpected. It's a bit rough, and seems flavored with mocking but it's a laugh nonetheless. "I didn't bring mine either, so looks like we're all good." She puts down a hand to stop the bottle's slide, refilling her glass before turning back around towards him. "I lean more towards electric guitar and drums." She admits. "But c'mon. Play us a song on the piano, man." There's a glitter to her eyes, sunlight on ice to go with her smirk.

*

Snark and sarcasm aren't things Jericho does to pass the time. They're just things he does. He does, however, have a sense of humor and, let's be honest - as irritating as Illyana can probably be - this could have gone much, much worse. And for him, this kind of thing has before. He sits back down at the piano and pulls up some music on his HUD (you really can find anything on the internet). "Cute." He says with a small smirk of his own.

Electric guitar and drums eh? The piano intro to Van Halen's 'Right Now' starts. "Help yourself to the bar. I'll just replace what you drink later." He's gonna play the piano anyway, and maybe sing, but he doesn't mind doing what people like if people are around…

*

The smirk pulls into the briefest of grins as Illyana brings one leg up, the heel resting on the edge of the barstool as an arm wraps around to hug it to her chest and she seems fine to sit back and listen. At some point while he's playing though, when he turns to glance behind him she's gone, her glass sitting next to the bottle on the bar. Maybe he caught the flicker of eldritch light, but all the doors are still definitely locked.


Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License