The Mouse is Away

April 16, 2018:

Enchantress, or someone very like her ventures into Catwoman's demesne.

Tin Roof Club

The Tin Roof Club, the Bowery, Gotham.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Is it a universal truth that eventually everyone needs to find a little bit of refuge? An escape from the world, a chance, even for a moment, to pretend to be something that they're not? Cool, collected, gregarious, and bon vidante? It would certainly seem so tonight, as the Club is nearly full to the brim with peoplelooking to see and to be seen. Glasses lifted, along with voices add a beat and a hum to the establishment that goes beyond the staccato sound of the music that permeates the room.

There's a certain look, that a few of the club's current residents, a sort of spark, a flash of something that draws eyes. That begs for attention. The slender woman just now making her way through the queue does not have that. It isn't light that she brings with her, but dark. And yet, there's a duality to her expression, to her face, something that seems caught between innocent and wild that makes it a face worth noting. Her clothing is dark, diaphanous, billowing sleeves and fitted pants, high heels. Black hair, artfully rumpled and blue eyes.

*

It's a busy night, which is frequently the case in the club in East End. It seems to be a thing in Gotham, clubs connected to various Underworld personalities. Penguin has his, Two-Face as well to name just a couple. Even Catwoman's involved with this one, the Tin Roof Club. It has a reputation of being considered a safe space for those in the area, a spot where conflict is strongly discouraged one way or another. Sometimes, it's come down to Catwoman herself dropping by to show a couple people out.

She's around tonight, though in a more public, visible way than usual. The look is a standard one for her, full catsuit and all, complete with a shoulder bag, as if she's ready for a night of thievery. However, instead of jewelry in a gloved, clawed hand, it's a glass of milk over by the bar with the diamond-head patterns. She's in the midst of a chat with the bartender, a trusted confidant of hers.

*

There's a odd sort of flux that happens around the dark haired woman. Some seem drawn to her, moving closer without actually seeming to give thought to the change in their direction, and others, exactly the opposite. As if two warring magnetic forces surrounded the woman. Not that she pays it any mind, beyond what seems to be a mild curiosity about the people ebbing and flowing around herself. But like any wave, the one around her eventually breaks, depositing her not far from the bar, or the woman with milk in hand.

*

By the time June is more within Catwoman's view, she's already watching the area. This is thanks to the bartender, who offered a few hushed words when he spotted the movement one way or the other around June. He's a perceptive sort, one of the main reasons he works here, and that attention to detail is often invaluable. He's a pretty skilled mixer of drinks, as well.

Wordlessly, eyes meet and track June from behind red-tinted goggles, the glass brought away from her mouth slowly and deliberately. The woman's tongue slips out to clean off a bit of milk from her lips in a way that's equally as measured, just enough of a tilt to her head to show curiosity. June is /different/. This much, she can already tell. Yet, no move is made, no greeting offered. Perhaps Catwoman will see what sort of effect the woman has on her, and vice versa.

*

If the Catwoman's attention is demure, the look that June? Is it? Perhaps. Be that as it may, she makes no attempt to mask the interest that lights her gaze at the sight of Catwoman. For Catwoman is one of that rare breed, that draw the eye even, one would imagine, when they wish that they did not. Add to that the effect that holding court in her own place of power, well, how could one not look? If there is a saving grace in all of this, it might be that the look June gives the masked woman is not lecherous. It's wholly curious, tinged with just a hint of avarice.

*

It's worth noting that Catwoman has not sequestered herself away, separate from the masses. She's placed herself among them, as if she's one of them. She may not be, depending on what some suspect or think, but the point behind the arrangement suggests otherwise. While she keeps an eye on the rest around her, it's almost as if some of the patrons serve as a buffer of sorts. In fact, one of them looks her way and she gives a faint nod and tilt of her head. More space is created for June if she wishes to approach, the master thief's eyes sliding over to a barstool that happens to be empty. A silent invitation then, and she has another sip of milk for herself.

*

It is a dance, of sorts, and the conductor, even in the midst of her human orchestra, still stands apart. The woman who is not quite June watches the movement, the sidestep, the opening, nearly organic, all perfectly timed, that leaves her room to step up to the stool that's been left vacant. There's a huskiness to her voice, the faintest hint of something sibilant in her speech, as she pauses beside the stool, a hand indicating the vacant place, "May I?"

*

The Feline Fatale has one leg crossed over the other, the handle of her bullwhip dangling from one hip. It does appear that even with her in the crowd, there are some who seek to protect her from trouble whether she's requested it or not. Soemone seeking to curry favor with her? An agreed-upon arrangement? Who can say? What matters is June's got an unimpeded path to the bar. "By all means," Catwoman practically purrs. "First time here, or are you more of a regular?"

*

"This is my first time in your domain." The smile that seems to be implied by her words only curls the corners of her mouth, more of the amusement in the glint of merriment in her eyes. She offers the other woman a forward tip of her head, an acknowledgment, before she slips on to the empty seat. There's a moment of stillness, a small something that isn't quite as flawless as she might otherwise appear, before she lifts her had for the bartender, "A whiskey, neat."

*

"My domain?" Catwoman's lips twist into a brief smile. The combination of the goggles and cat-eared cowl work well enough to keep her identity from being clear, especially as far as the hair goes. It's all covered up. "That's a little more formal than I'm used to hearing around here, but it could have been worse. At least you didn't call it a dive. Then I'd have been hurt."

What's left of the milk is swirled around before she finishes it off, sliding the now-empty glass a few inches away on the counter. June's request is seen to quickly, the man also providing Catwoman with a fresh glass of the cold stuff. "And what do you think of what you've seen so far?" She says it and leaves it up to June to determine what she's referring to.

*

"More formal? Yes, perhaps that is so. But the way so many of them move and attempt to orbit around you. As though you were the sun, and they a galaxy of planets. I cannot think of a better word for it." For all her curiosity, she seems, as far as can be discerned, intrigued by the Catwoman, and not by the woman who resides behind the mask, "Not a dive. No." And then, offered with just the slightest hint of apology in her voice, "I am Tess."

*

Catwoman drums her clawtips against the countertop briefly, gently enough that they leave no marks behind. "Or they might see me as the mama cat to their kittens, in need of guidance." She shakes her head briefly, offering clarification. "I help make sure this place stays safe for them, free of trouble compared to some other clubs out there. You might say there's a little 'I scratch your back, you scratch mine' thing in there." She mulls over this, then muses, "Of course, he could just be hoping to get into my catsuit."

She reclines comfortably on the barstool, and all she seems to be missing is the mouse or canary in hand. "Tess," she repeats, adding, "Catwoman, in case you hadn't guessed. Are you here for drinks? Dancing? Something more?"

*

"Even the mother cat is the mistress of her domain. The center is always what it is." Tess looks away, but only briefly, as the bartender returns with her glass, her fingers wrapping around, lifting the amber liquid close enough to smell, before she settles it into her free hand, cupping it with her palm to warm it. "Perhaps it is a bit of both. To want to be in your orbit, and to be granted your favour." Again, that fraction of a smile, "Men are ever…men."

"I had guessed, but the experience is quite different in person than just to ear stories." The question of why she came, "I have not danced in many years. There is an abandon to it which I have sorely missed."

*

Catwoman gestures with a hand as if to say 'Just so' when 'Tess' talks about others being in her orbit, mother cats, and all that. "And in some cases, women are ever women. There are some on both sides who'd like to get to know me more..intimately, but I don't mind the eyes. If I did, would I go around in this?" The same hand indicates her shapes and curves, similarly to what Vanna White has done for years when a new puzzle is revealed on Wheel of Fortune.

"I'm curious, though. What stories have you heard of me? I'd like to know which are true and which I might want to make true." Then she nods toward the sizable dance floor, going on. "You should do something about that before the night is over."

*

"Indeed. They say that in the long ago, love was love. It is only modern man and his sensibilities that have made a natural thing into a sin." She finally lifts the glass to her lips, taking a long sip, before she sets the glass back onto the bar. "Perhaps. It has ever been my experience that often, those who wish to avoid the spotlight do so by standing in the middle of it. Not as who they are, but as who they have made themselves to be."

A pursing of her lips as she considers, "That you go where many cannot. That you enjoy the task the more difficult it is."

At the tip of the Catwoman's head towards the dancefloor, "Is that an invitation?"

*

Catwoman shakes her head. "I don't get into all that, but there's a lot out there that the more prudish among us consider sin when those of us who are more..enlightened..would disagree." While June/Tess drinks, so too does the cat burglar. Milk is a fitting liquid of choice, and healthy besides!

When it comes to the rumors shared, a content and knowing look takes shape, most notable in a particular twist to her smile. "Well, I can't deny the truth of those two. As for there," and here the dance floor is indicated with a tilt of her head. "I'm afraid not. I'm just here to observe. I think you'd have an easy enough time of finding others to dance with, or around, if you're in the mood." After the reply settles in, she queries, "And what interests do /you/ have?"

*

"For now, I am content with what I know. Some secrets, many secrets, are best kept." It isn't quite a promise not to pry, but, perhaps given the circumstances all that might be available on offer. "Perhaps I will be, when the night draws on a bit, and my glass is finally empty." Tess seems not at all put out by Catwoman's refusal of a dance, her own expression growing thoughtful, as she considers the question that was put to her, "Knowledge. Of this city, it's people. Objects of power, artifacts. My…interests lend themselves towards archaeology."

*

"That's what makes them secrets," Catwoman says in a matter-of-fact way, flexing her fingers after tugging her gloves back in place. Those clawtips certainly look sharp enough up close. "The Tin Roof Club is open very late, so you'll have time for enough drinks first if that's what it takes." That will also bring a little more cash in, which never hurts. "Gotham is a very old city, you know. Lots of history. You should visit some of the museums and art galleries sometime. I can recommend a few of my favorites." Oh, she surely could.

*

"Perhaps. If one can resist the temptation to share what one knows." Tess reclaims the glass she set aside, finishing the whiskey, of which there had only been a little, in a single go, though she shook her head at the refill, placing a hand over her glass to cover it when he made a move in her direction to pour a bit more for her, "I would enjoy your recommendation. "

*

Catwoman murmurs, almost too quietly to be heard over the sound of the music in the club, "When the consequences could be bad, that's a good enough deterrent to keep from broadcasting all of your secrets to others." Especially for someone like her, it pays to keep those things close to the, well, catsuit. Noting the lack of a refill, that draws no reaction out of her save for a glance and another sip of milk. "If you're more into a focus on Gotham's own history, there are a few smaller places around that focus on those, but the main one has a little of everything."

*

Those soft words seem to amuse Tess, though it's a spot of humour that she seems to share with Catwoman, rather than being humour she takes from her words, "No truer words have ever been spoken though I suspect, all too often, it is the secrets of others that are being shared. Never our own." Such are the vagaries of the human condition. "I have found the city to be a fascinating subject. I have not had much opportunity to explore it. There is…a richness here, a depth which I have not encountered in many other places." She shifts her attention away, looking back to the crowd still moving with the ebb and flow of the music.

*

Catwoman remains focused on her surroundings more than anything else, though enough attention is kept on the newcomer for her to keep abreast of what she's up to. "All the better a reason to be as careful as you can be about who knows what," she states, adding, "Just be careful out there. Most of the neighborhoods are, shall we say, not the places you want to be by yourself in at night, or during the daytime for that matter. That's why I try to keep this place a little safer." Shaking her head, the cat-woman has a laugh with herself. "Which is harder than you'd think, given the focus on gambling and drinking."

At this point, the barkeep comes up closer to the costumed woman and whispers something into her ear, covered by the cowl. A nod follows, then a mild scowl. "Right on cue. Looks like someone's had one too many. Yes, I get to play bouncer every once in a while." She downs the rest of her milk in one gulp, then rises from the barstool. "It's been a pleasure."

*

There's something rather cavalier, about the way Tess handles herself. One the one hand, there's a hint of the unfamiliar to her, something Catwoman would have no trouble picking up The sense of, no, not playacting, but that something about all of this is very new. And on the other, a feeling of something old, and settled. That comes out more strongly the longer she sits…the more, comfortable, perhaps, that she becomes with her, if only temporary companion. "I have not had to worry after my safety for…a very long while, but I will indeed take your advice to heart."

As the bartender walks over, and relays his message, Tess slips from the seat, offering, once again, that tip of her head, "The pleasure was truly mine." A bill, tucked under the empty glass, to pay her way, before she too makes her way back into the human sea, though for an entirely different reason.

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