Drink To That

August 13, 2018:

Drinking.

Some Drinking Haunt

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Negra Feline

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It does say something about the woman known as Valkyrie that she chooses to drink in the company of others when she could easily get drunk by herself. There's some of that, too - but perhaps she's not quite as antisocial as her prickliness might suggest. She's seated at the bar of a rather unremarkable establishment. It's neither dive nor hipster hotspot. It's one of those places that's comfortable for after-work blue collar workers and office monkeys alike. The beer is decently priced for Midtown, and the facilities moderately clean.

She may be a tiny thing, but there's something about her that creates presence - even though she's wearing clothing that makes her at least somewhat blend in. She's wearing black moto jeans and an off-white oversized t-shirt that drapes off one shoulder revealing the strap of a tank top beneath. Her hair is rather elaborately braided and clashes with the look, but it's also frayed and imperfect around the edges, suggesting she's slept in that partciular coif a few nights. She's halfheartedly sucking on a bottle of cheap beer and half-watching the newsreel as it natters on from the TV above the bar.

*

Erik Stevens is a man that has a lot on his mind. He always does. Which may be why he's chosen to spend this particular night drinking through some random things that he's got to mull over. There's a lot for someone like Erik to try and parse within his mind. There's a lot at stake. And not just for his own future. For the future of those that he's decided to care and fight for.

Decked out in his classic hipster attire to help sell his identity, Erik adjusts his glasses when he comes into the bar. He doesn't look like he's casing the joint but there's a certain 'veteran' style to his movements. He moves with a cautious purpose in the direction of the bar and takes up residence on a stool that's empty.

"Hey, wassup." Erik nods at the nearest bartender while getting as comfortable as he can get on his stool. "I need to forget the last six months even happened and I ain't drivin'. Let's do this." Looks like somebody's ready to get fuuuuuuuuuuuuu'd up.

*

"You're wasting your time. The alcohol here lacks sufficient strength to erase more than an hour of memory," says Valkyrie from nearby. To someone not familiar with Allspeak, she sounds like she's speaking proper Queen's English. Although it is followed by a little belch to take the edge off the mystique. She downs the rest of her beer like someone else might take a short breath in, then drops the bottle on the bartop. She makes a vague hand motion that apparently means she wants another. At least she didn't smash the bottle on the ground. (It wasn't good enough to warrant such a compliment.)

*

Rachel Summers arrives from Stark Industries.

*

Rachel Summers heads out to East Side.

*

"Oh, I know. But if I'm gonna' waste money, I might as well waste it on the best this place has, right?" Erik finally looks up and over, offering a small shrug to make sure that he's pretty down with making this woman's acquaintance. He can place both versions of what the voice sounds like but he doesn't let on to either one. He's been around. He knows things. He's heard things. He's got some files on… things. "Unless you know somethin' I don't know. I get the feelin' you either come here often or you know where we can get really messed up." He's just going for it at this point. If she's talking to him about drinkage, he might as well make this whole conversation a 'we' conversation. Drinking Buddy Acquired.

*

Valkyrie half-turns and eyes him. Her gaze rests on his glasses. "Those things on your face are stupid." She gestures vaguely to the glasses. "Not to mention a liability in a fight." She twists the top off the decidedly non-twist bottle before the bartender can do it for her. She snaps the cap into a bin behind him, then shifts, chugs a mouthful, then, "You couldn't handle what I'd need to do to get messed up." It's said more like a statement of fact than a challenge.

*

Erik actually smirks when his glasses are dissed. "Hol' up. We not gonna' talk about them nappy ass braids though?" Erik's got a small smile on his face to show he's not making any actual threats. He's down with the dozens. He's from Oakland. His drink arrives and he snatches it up, downing it at once and flips the glass over to wait for the next one. He's going in tonight. "You probably right. You look like you can probably do shots of gasoline." Erik shrugs. "I'm in, anyway."

*

"The difference is, I'm not trying to impress anyone," says Valkyrie with a shrug. She starts to raise her drink to her lips, then pauses to say, "Or hide from anyone." She sounds like she's not sure about that second part, but it has all the hallmarks of a conversational probe. She's been around the universe, in all its scummy corners, but she's no spy. Still, she's a half-decent observer. She watches him for a moment and then motions to the bartender, "Give me a bottle of that To-kill-ya." The bartender blinks. She points at a bottle of tequila.

*

"Trust me, ma', I don't think there's anything I could do that'd impress you. But you got me on that hidin' shit." Erik holds his hands up to prove that he's definitely the type of person that's drinking to hide from things. There's a lot of things he's hiding from. Like both his past and his future. Living in the now is much easier when he's drunk. "Haha! T'Killya. I like that. It's mine now." Yup, he's adding that phrase to his personal lexicon. "We sharin' a tab tonight, then?"

*

"You're very observant," says Valkyrie in response to the question of impressing her. She uncaps the bottle when it's presented. The bartender tries to just pour a shot, but she hugs the bottle close to her. He shrugs and goes to record it on her tab. "I consider tabs to be a suggestion," she says, once the bartender is out of earshot. She picks up the bottle, tugs out the spout and swigs before sliding it down for Erik. No lime-and-salt ritual here.

*

"Daaaamn." Erik catches the bottle in mid-slide and looks impressed. More impressed with the 'tabs' thing than the actual drinking. "I like the way you think. Cuz I ain't bring /any/ cash." He might've waited for that same exact earshot thing to happen before he takes his turn at the T'Killya. He leans a bit further into his own swig, if only because despite his words? Yeah. He's trying to impress her. What? She's kind of fly! And she doesn't like paying tabs! Samesies! The bottle is brought back down to the bar and he slides it back in her direction. An eye twitches. Damn. She better not notice!

*

"One of the things I appreciate about this city is the multitude of establishments and the lack of a centralized system to alert each other to people who consider tabs to be suggestions." Unlike on some 'civilized' worlds where a facial recognition scan would blacklist her from every bar on the planet should she so much as eat a pretzel without paying. Speaking of, Valkyrie crunches one. She barely contains her amusement at the twitch. "If you're going to attempt to go drink-for-drink with me, I think I've found my evening's entertainment."

*

"Oh no. I lost when you ordered that shit." Erik nods at the Tequila bottle. "But I ain't tryin' to pass out on the first round. That's weaker than I wanna' look on our first drink an' dash." Erik ain't really into the pretzels so he just leans more into the conversation. "So. You ain't gotta' tell me nothin' if you don't want to but I'm Erik. And no, I'm not hittin' on you. I don't want to end up wakin' up in next week. But I figure if we're gonna' keep circlin' the same haunts like this dump? You might as well know my name."

*

"Erik," says Valkyrie. "That name doesn't suit you." But she doesn't call his name a lie, and she doesn't necessarily think that. See: she isn't a spy. But you don't live an obscenely long time without learning about people at least in a passive way. "Hitting on me would lead more effectively to memory loss than the alcohol in this place, yes." Matter-of-fact, yes. "So good life choice on that one. I suppose you can call me Val. Seeing as how everyone in this city seems to want names."

*

"I woulda' been fine with 'Fool Leave Me Alone'. Whatever works." Erik shrugs it off because he's probably not going to ever see her again. "Hey, I know my limits. Drinkin' an' otherwise." Erik raises an eyebrow at her observation and shrugs that off a bit too. "I got a lot of names. Erik's the one my mother gave me. It doesn't suit me but I like it. So." Erik's just going to ride out that name thing. "New York is a nosy ass city, yeah. Especially, when you don't look like you from anywhere 'round here." Not pointing fingers but.

*

"And where do I look like I'm from?" says the slight young woman with something that sounds like an English accent, an attempt at braids and clothing too warm for a New York summer, but it doesn't look like it's bothering her despite the fact that the bar's air conditioning is hardly adequate. She takes another swallow of the tequila, squints at the proof number, then gestures with it towards him.

*

Erik started this shit so now he has to keep it going. He reaches for the bottle, takes a breath and then goes for it. Another swig but then he's already feeling it more than he should. Although, it's weird. Interesting, even? It only seems to happen after the initial swigging. Once that's over, he's back in the saddle. He can't exactly hang as tough as Val's hanging but he's hanging in there at his own speed. It's a living. "I wanna' say across the pond. Maybe even a little, or a lot, further." He's not about to try and say that he thinks she's… too not from here. Not to her face anyway. Not when she's been drinking. "But I ain't gonna' go there. Either way, wherever you're from, welcome."

*

Valkyrie snap-points at Erik. "That's a better attitude to have. Good man. A little less 'are you a space alien?' and more 'let me welcome you on behalf of my planet.'" That was a joke. You can tell by the expression that strays out of neutral and the slight twinkle in her eyes.

*

Erik grins and offers a salute. He knows things and he knows when not to say things. He's more of a man of action anyway. Words aren't really his forte unless he's making a statement about oppression or something. Not that he has to. "You're gonna' love it here. If you don't already. You picked the right place to…" And Erik even does the quote fingers. "Land." See, he gets the joke. "New York is a good place to hang. It's not as dope as Oakland but… nothin' is."

*

Valkyrie can't be bothered to ask for clarification on the parts of what he said that don't mean anything to her. Instead, she just sort of half-shrugs. "It's been all right. Only one person in a strange outfit has tried to kill me. He was dressed as a feline of all things. So one strange person trying to kill me is a vast improvement on some places. Wait…others have, but they weren't natives, so that doesn't quite count." They were her 'guests' that got loose from her ship that she tried to round up.

*

"Hey. I know all about people tryin' to kill you. I know that more than anyone." Erik raises an eyebrow when the mention of someone dressed as a feline is added to the conversation. He doesn't try to react though. He just keeps his face as straight as possible. He's not one to lay his cards out on the table before it's time to ante up. "Next time you get into a rumble, you should call me. We can be drinkin' buddies and fightin' buddies. I miss it." Ex-Military. Definitely. Also, subtle phone number suggesting.

*

"Something tells me you wouldn't need me to help you get into a fight." In Valkyrie's world, that's something like a compliment. She drops off the stool and it's then that her diminutive stature becomes very clear. "Out of a fight, maybe." Annnd, a dig. Can't let anyone think she's giving them an opening, after all. She reaches into her jacket and tugs out a disc-shaped device. If there was any question as to whether she's from this world, the strange device she tosses at him should remove any doubt. "I hate texting. Use that if you have something interesting to say. Press it once to open a channel."

*

The smoothness at which Erik catches the disk and tucks it away without batting an eye at it is part of the charm that he's been trying to exude this entire time. Or maybe he's just been trying to not draw attention to things. Either way, he's not judgey. That's all he wants to get across. "Will do." He gives her a bit of a salute-wave and then turns back towards the bartender with a wave of his hand. "Alright, round uh… I don't even remember. My night's just getting started."

*

All it takes is his attention moving away for a moment for Valkyrie to slip away. Pretty impressive. And she definitely didn't settle her 'suggested' tab of six bottles of beer and half a bottle of tequila.

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