Had A Bad Day

November 04, 2014: John Constantine drowns his sorrows, and injuries, in a seedy dockside bar, and meets Captain Mack.

Shucky's Bar

A seedy, cheap bar exempt from the smoking ban thanks to some bribes and a loose label of cigar bar.



  • Shucky (Bar Owner)

Mood Music:

There are some really nice bars that are walking distance from the New York Harbor. Shucky's isn't one of them. You won't find reviews for this place on Yelp or see any stars next to its name on Google. It's dark, the floor is stick, and it smells of fish, sweat, and stale beer. There are no coasters on the tables or the bar top, no fancy bottles of pretty liquor to be served, and you consider yourself lucky if your glass looks recently washed. There are a few battered, coin op pool tables and a very well used pair of dart machines in one corner. An old tube-style TV is hung over one corner of the bar displaying local New York sports. The bartender, Shucky himself, is a short, weasley-faced balding man with protruding eyes. His apron isn't terribly clean, and neither are his teeth, but if you're a regular, you don't have to tell him your order, and he doesn't ask any nosy questions.

Mack Linden, one such regular, is seated at the bar, swirling the remnants of cheap whiskey around in her glass as she glances over a borrowed copy of the times. Mercifullly, Shucky's is one of the few bars that was exempt under the smokers ban legislation through some exchange of money under a table or ten, and the loose notion it might be one of those cigar bars. Mick has a cigarette clenched between her lips as she flips through the news with a grouchy look on her face. The slight woman is in layers of denim, cotton, and flannel, with a canvas jacket knotted around her waist by the sleeves.

A man emerges from the back rooms. Normally off-limits, Shucky doesn't appear to overtly object, though his brow furrows and his lips purse at the sight of the raggedy looking blonde man who staggers into the pub. "Oye mate," he says. He looks like five miles of bad road- his white button-up shirt stained and torn, a bit of blood on his knuckles and elbows. One arm is bound up in a sling, and he even has an IV tree behind him, with lines running into his left arm.

He walks behind the bar without an invitation and unlocks the grated display cabinet that holds the high-end liquors (in this area, that's any bottle worth more than a hundred dollars). He comes up with a fifth of Macallen scotch, drags his IV tree around to the other side of the counter, and plops down onto a stool with a weary sigh, wincing visibly. He pours himself a full glass of scotch, looks at Mack, and lifts his glass to her. "Cheers, luv," he tells the woman, before taking a hefty belt of the brown liquor.

Shucky continues to scowl. It's pretty apparent he's not wild about the fellow's presence, but he finds no basis to object.

Mack watches the unusual entrance with one brow arched towards the heavens, or at least the awful 70s popcorn ceiling in the bar. She glances at Shucky for a moment, but since the bar owner isn't vehemently protesting the Brit's behavior, she doesn't either. When he sits down and toasts, she tilts her almost empty glass towards him.

"You look like you need morphine more than scotch, pal," the blonde points out, around the cigarette in the corner of her mouth. She does offer the half-empty pack his way though, because he looks like he's had a really bad day. "Should you be, I dunno, walking?" she asks. She plucks the Marlboro from her mouth and taps the ashes off with a thumb flick before eyeing the pricey scotch. She doesn't get to indulge in the good stuff on her sparse income.

The blonde brit looks over his shoulder at his IV tree, and adjusts a dial incrementally. His eyes almost immediately glaze over and he emits a happy, relaxed sigh. "Thanks, lovely. You're right, that's /exactly/ what I needed." He reaches for the pack with one hand, the motions groggily sedated and made clumsy by the narcotics in his system. He manages to get a cigarette out and puts it between his lips, and then he cups his hands around the tip of the cigarette. There's a flare of light and his hands drop, a plume of smoke curling around his face before climbing skywards. He tilts his head back and exhales heavily, then takes the bottle of scotch and slides it towards Mack. "Here, help yourself. Thanks for the fag, luv. What's your name?"

"If you're sharing that scotch, you can call me whatever you want. But most of these guys," Linden nods at the various fishermen and dockworkers keeping to themselves and mulling over their cheap drinks, "call me Mack." She pours herself a glass of the single malt and lifts it to sniff at for a moment, taking her time to enjoy the good stuff. The first sip has her eyes closing and a soft sigh escaping her. "Feels like Christmas came early," she murmurs."

Mack turns on her stool, shoving the newspaper aside, and tips her pixie-ish chin at his injuries. "Mauled by a bear? Hit by a flying saucer?" she asks. The papers are full of wild and weird these days. Her hand never leaves the glass of scotch, as if afraid it might walk off if she lets it go.

"You've got good taste," the man compliments her, with a heavy-lidded smile. "Macallen, twenty-one years old. Proper scotch, none of this American bourbon they pass off as a malt." He takes another large sip of his own glass, very much wasting a perfectly good bottle of liquor.

"I fell. Out of a second story window," the blonde Brit says, matter-of-factly. "Landed on a perfectly good news stand. It was just minding its own business, poor thing," he sighs, clucking his tongue. "Guess it had it coming, standing there on an empty Gotham street, not paying attention."

"Grandad had good taste. He gave all of the boat hands a bottle every Christmas as their bonus," Mack explains with a quirk of a lopsided grin. She listens to his story with a jaded mix of disbelief and good humor, not really buying the fish tale, but not one to admit that either. "Was the window camouflaged as a solid wall? I think the only people I've heard about 'falling' from windows in the last few decades, were toddlers. Or really drunk frat boys." The emphasis on falling is a clear note she's insinuating he may have not gone over that sill of his own volition.

Another sip of the scotch has Mack sucking air through her teeth in appreciation of the flavor. She drinks it slowly during the conversation, although her eyes don't stay on Constantine the whole time. She keeps tabs on the doors, front and back, like someone worried she might be mugged any second. "You didn't share your name," she points out.

"Well. Call it less a susceptibility to gravity and more like… embracing the reality of physics," the man says with a wry chuckle, downing more of the scotch and then topping his glass off. "As opposed to being a tasty snack for something from the wrong side of the looking glass." The beaten, battered man turns up the dial on his morphine a bit more, slumping in bliss as the narcotic floods his veins. He rests an elbow on the bar and props his chin in the palm of his hand, looking at Mack.

"You don't look like a Mack," Constantine informs the woman. "More like a … Melody," he says, wrinkling his nose. He looks her up and down. "Though hardly a fashionable look, even by my standards."

Mack scoffs at the man, dousing her depleted cigarette and lighting up another. Her voice is a bit husky, clearly from many years in the grip of nicotine. "You like to change the conversation a lot. Don't you?" she asks. "If you don't want to tell me your name, just make one up. Or I can wait til you're so doped up on morphine and scotch that you'll sing it like a show tune," she points out with a smirk.

She jabs the ember of her cigarette in the air as if to illustrate her point. "Or I could make one up for you. Let's see. British. Scruffy. Clearly a drinker and a smoker. Prone to unfortunate accidents. Let's call you…" she lets that hang in the air for a few languid moments. "…Chauncey."

'Chauncey' considers that for a few moments, eyes turned up at the ceiling, then purses his lips and shrugs. "I've been called worse. Chauncey it is," he says agreeably.

He takes another long drag of the borrowed cigarette and exhales through his nose, plumes of smoke jetting towards the bar. "I could honestly give two tosses what you call me. I've had a bad day and I just need a drink. If a pretty girl can't live without giving this handsome face a name, well, that's just proof of the Good Lord's largesse, is it not?" he asks, flashing a winsome smile at the woman, a flickering expression of contempt barely visible on his features for less than a microsecond.

At the mention of her being a pretty girl, Mack wrinkles her nose a bit. "I think that's the morphine talking, Chauncey," she notes. If the boat captain is anything, she's extremely perceptive. The contempt that is only there a moment seems to stiffen her posture in response. She tosses back the rest of the glass of scotch. "Well then, I won't make your bad day worse. Thanks for the drink." She digs a small wad of crumbled bills from her front pocket and sets them on the bar for Shucky. They exchange a brief nod of recognition as she pockets her smokes.

"Oh, calm your tits," Constantine sighs at Mack's reaction to his minute sneer. "I'm not scowling at you. Here, sit down. Have another drink, even," he offers, pouring another shot into her glass. "Bollocks, people around here are sensitive," he mutters, pouring more of his liquor down his throat. "I'm /allowed/ to be a bit snide when it comes to matters of Heaven and Hell. Comes with the territory," he says enigmatically. "With a name like Chauncey, you'd expect me to curse the wide blue anytime I saw it, right?"

Mack pauses, because the lure of the liquor is pretty strong. She's been having a bad day herself. Any time her daughter's father calls to give her an update on Maggie is a bad day. There is the smallest moment of vulnerability that radiates from her, as her teeth sink into her lower lip, before she slides back onto the stool. "Not sure what Heaven or Hell has to do with you taking a header out a window, but fine. It's hard to turn down good scotch."

She eyes him through the smoke trickling up from the end of her cigarette. "And most people in here," she nods around the room, "are in here because they've had bad days too, Princess. It's not all about you." Mack softens that comment with a faint smile.

"See, luv," Chauncey slurs a bit, "that's where yer dead wrong." He raises his eyebrows and winks at the woman a bit bawdily. "It's /all/ about me. All th' time. Every time I turn around, I'm right in the thick of it. I didn't just drop a hammer on my foot, or have a shoddy day at work, or forget to file my TPS reports on time. I fell. Out of a second story window," Chauncey reminds the woman. "Broke two ribs and cracked two others. Possible whiplash, a sprained wrist, and muscle spasms all over my back." He downs more of his scotch- again, a fanstastic waste of the stuff- and pours another glass, the bottle nearly half-empty. "And I didn't even get paid."

"I didn't say your day didn't qualify as shitty. Just that you're not alone," Mack replies with a shrug. She ponders for a moment. "I might have some muscle relaxants on my boat. Had one of my hands mess up his back on a long haul, and he left them behind when he finished his time on the Folly." She glances over at the man. "But if you're really that bad off, a hospital might be a better idea than tanking up on meds and booze."

"Oh, I'm set for meds, my dear," Chauncey says, tapping the IV stand standing silent sentinel over his shoulder. "They wouldn't let me nip out for a quick drink. Something about mixing pain medications and scotch. Bunch of Yankee pansies. In the Kingdoms, we're brought up with a bottle of good scotch on hand for everything from bruised knees to bruised egos."

He pauses, then looks the woman over with an incoherently shrewd gaze. "…did you just invite me back to your place, and that went completely over my head?"

Mack smirks. "Maybe. Maybe you just imagined it in your scotch and meds haze." She sips her drink. "But really, I have to head out. The cod don't keep bankers hours, and the season gets harder from here on out." Shorter, colder days make for rough times fishing. "If you run out of meds though, I'm at Dock 32, slip 19." She rises, tugs her jacket on, and gives John another faint smile. "Or if you need some work that doesn't include second story windows to fall out of. Have a better night, Chauncey."

"I'm almost sure you can't afford my rates, luv," 'Chauncey' assures the woman. He picks up his bottle and glass with one hand and drags his IV stand along behind him with the other, getting awkwardly to his feet. "Good luck with your endeavours. Nautical life… sounds very calm and relaxing," he says with a thoughtful nod. He winks once at Mack and staggers towards the back room, the door swinging behind him. There's a door opening, an odd image of dancing firelight filling the area, and then it's gone, just as quickly as one might have thought they'd seen it to begin with.

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