Desperate Times

October 30, 2018:

Logan and Eddie: beer and standard bar conversation. If standards are demons and jobs.

Padraic's Social Club

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Padraic's started as a social club years ago. It was a building that was off at the edge of Little Odessa where Slavic immigrant gangsters would gather as a sort of refuge from the trials of the day. The soaped over windows made it dark, and the decor was distinctly old country, but what kept people coming back was the booze. The steady pipeline that Padraic had with Atlantic City allowing him to serve the best even when stocks would run low elsewhere in the city even during the hardest times.

When aliens appeared over New York, the city's supply of vodka and hard liquor ran out in a week. Not Padraic's. When the people from the ocean depths made themselves known, again New York chose to imbibe and eventually run out. But not at Padraic's. And today, with the demonic hoard having descended or as some would say ascended, supplies are short. But somehow… not at Padraic's.

Even though eventually the social club opened up to the public, it kept its mystique with the large tapestry on the wall depicting some sort of Medieval clash between peoples, not even to mention the more esoteric decor of stuffed dead animals and old hunting weapons on the walls. Yet today, as the music continues to play late in the night and with vigor as it comes half from the sound system and half from the crowd singing… it survives and does well.

Despite the demons sitting at the corner table seemingly enjoying themselves.

"Hey, Lazlo." An old man whose features seemed terribly weathered holds his drink close at the bar even as he leans forwards, "Why you let those… things in here?" He says and gestures with a shrug of his shoulder in the direction of that table with the small evil looking creatures enjoying their booze raucously.

Lazlo, the bartender, continues to pour fresh ice into the bins as he looks sidelong at the critters and then at the man. "They still pay, Jaro. They pay and no more trouble than most our people."

"They pay? What with?"

"You would be surprised."

*

When you stir up trouble but don't want to get caught, you are left with two options. Either you lay low, or your beat feet. As Not one to stand on growing board, and as Eddie's most recent upstart was in Gotham, she's made it back across the bridge to Manhattan and threaded through its seedy underbelly until something happens to catch her fancy.

Padriac's provide just the sort of distraction she's looking for from the ache in her side, the left clearly favored as she slips into the bar and makes a great effort at avoiding contact with the other patrons as she threads to the bar. The younger woman with the wildly styled short black hair and outfit entirely consisting of the same color pattern eases up onto a barstool with a grimace and a grit of teeth. Leather gloved fingers rap twice on the bar to get the tender's attention, her smoke hoarse voice requesting a whiskey with a beer chaser before she's even sure he has his attention.

"So this is where New York's finest hang out." Eddie comments as an aside to the weathered gentleman she happened to plop down next to.

*

Edwina is greeted as most newcomers are at Padraic's. Grudging suspicion is there in the eyes of the people. That lack of friendliness can be seen in the furrow of brows and the grim expressions from people decades older than the woman. But it's a normal suspicion she's likely seen anywhere, not keyed to anything more than simply her newness. As for Lazlo, she's a customer and that's all he cares about when he grabs one of the mid-shelf bottles and fills a glass with whiskey then pops the cap off a bottle of beer and slides them both across the wooden surface towards her.

"Yes," Says the old man, "Finest what though, is still being deciding." His lip twists as he lifts his glass in Eddie's direction in the age old symbol of a fair toast that he drinks to. And as if she survived some rite of passage the room returns to its vibrant tumult of noise.

As for the little demons they seem to not have taken notice of the woman's arrival, so intent instead on tormenting each other with various straws and their wrappers serving as projectiles for whatever reason.

*

Eddie's gloved hand cushions the sliding glasses one after the other, but it's the whiskey she's focused on first. She returns the silent salute to the man next to her and downs the shot in an odd ceremony of not letting the glass touch her lips as the amber liquid splashes down her gullet. This means a few errant drops have to be wiped away on her jacket sleeve, but she doesn't seem too concerned about being 'ladylike' in the application.

"That's about par for the course though, isn't it luv?" She speaks with a faint British accent, though it's so watered down it would be hard to place where it's from. "So long as all the chaps keep their trouble to themselves, it's as fine a place to drink as any. So are you drinking to remember or forget?"

*

The bartender smirks as he wipes down a part of the bar stepping down its length a bit, "If you get him started up, then you gotta listen to him. Fair warning." Lazlo then smirks towards Jaro and offers a companionable wave as if to show he means no harm.

Jaro, however, harumphs sternly and says. "And I am giving you fair warning. Go do your job and leave fine people alone." Though it's clear that this is an old dance that they've sashayed around to for a good chunk of time in the past, little to no umbrage seen on either part. But he turns back towards Edwina and leans closer, a little conspiratorially as he tells her, "I drink as cover, so I can watch." He looks around and then sort of gestures with his shoulder. "Ever since the demon things. I make sure Padraic's is safe. I call someone. He comes. Will sort this out. You watch."

It's at the knowing wink that he stops talking for the moment, but it's almost as if on cue for that's when the side corner door of the club/bar opens and through it steps another group of people arriving off the street and with the open door the chill and the wind come along with it. Most of them fit the profile of the usual clientele if she notices at all. Though one of them seems a touch more grim and haggard than the rest, his wide brim cowboy hat doffed briefly as he pushes a gloved hand through his wild hair just before he heads around the crowd and towards the bar.

*

"Well then at least I'll get a show with my supper." Eddie nudges the empty whiskey glass back across the bar and points at it for a refill but takes up her beer in the meantime. As the door opens she, among some others, turns her head to spy the newcomers. Her dark eyes watch for a second, chin tucked to her shoulder as she keeps her profile low in a way that means she'd like to keep her identity obfuscated for the moment in case it happens to be someone she knows.

"Yeehaw." She mutters under her breath before the brief stint of entertainment has been leeched out of the moment and she goes back to her lager, tilting it to her mouth in much the same way of avoiding as much contact with the vessel as possible.

*

"Ah hah!" Jaro says, even as he gives a knowing nod towards Edwina as if she will see now what it is he was speaking about. He touches a finger to the side of his red nose even as he takes another pull from his own drink then turns away from the bar.

Lazlo, however comes back after a moment or two to see to her empty and get her that refill that's needed. It might be enough to draw her attention away, however momentarily, that it might be a touch surprising when that haggard man arrives at the bar and starts up a conversation with the older man as if the two knew each other. Which they do.

"What's all this about, Jaromir?" The man's voice is rumbly, low, stern as the fellow himself. "Yer behind the safe zone. Been that way for a week and some."

"Ah, Logan. My good friend." He pats the fellow on the shoulder and then pointedly sort of looks over his shoulder. "We are having some problems." Jaro again gestures with a short nod to the side towards the demons in the corner.

It's enough that Logan leans against the bar now between Edwina and Jaromir, leaning forwards so he can get a clear eyeball of the still drinking and giggling short gremlin demons that are enjoying themselves entirely too much.

"Yeah? What'd they do?"

"Is it not enough they are here? They are dangerous."

Logan's nostrils flare for a moment subtly then for a brief moment he glances sidelong towards Edwina. He looks back towards Jaro and says, "Yeah, so are a lotta folks here."

*

Eddie straightens slightly, in an irritated manner of a bird that's gotten its feathers ruffled as Logan interposes himself between her and the other man in the narrow space. "Appreciated." She comments to the bartender as her whiskey is refilled, the consonants hit hard as they're said through the grit of teeth. She shifts over slightly in her seat to give the big man some room and reinstate her own personal bubble.

The sidelong glance isn't missed, in fact it's acknowledged with a rather pinched smile that seems forced to her lips and a hoist of her glass in Logan's direction before she does her second shot of the evening. Or at least the second shot of having settled at the bar.

*

Jaromir, for his part, isn't having it. His features turn reddish as he scowls. "If you will be doing nothing, then I will handle myself!" He says, so aggressively grumpy that he thumps his glass upon the bar's surface and sloshes some of the caramel liquor onto it. He seems about to push himself away from the bar and turn towards those demons when Logan stays his departure with a hand on his arm.

"Hold up there, bub." He sets his hat down on the bar and then looks Jaro in the eyes, "How about this?" He looks up and down the bar, eyes briefly meeting Eddie's if they're in his direction. Then he looks back towards the old Slavic man. "I'll spend some time here, keep an eye out. Things kick off then I'll handle it. With critters like this, if they're not busting folks up and you send them off no tellin' what they might bring back just to get theirs."

That, at least, seems to be partially accepted by Jaromir though he scowls. "Fine. If that is what you are to be doing I shall not be staying here. On your head be it, Logan!" He slips off the stool and starts to shuffle his way towards the door, pausing only long enough to hollar back.

"On your head!" But he gives Eddie a smile and says, "Good evening to you, nice lady." And with that he's towards the door.

It leaves Logan there looking off after the older man, scowling to himself even as he taps a fingertip upon the buckle that's on his hat. Once Lazlo comes around he gives a nod to the man, "Gimme a Molson."

"Sure thing, Logan."

*

Eddie throws up two fingers to the departing Jaro, at least held in the colloquially American accepted peace sign of palm forward instead of the 'shove it' gesture from over the pond. "Don't suppose it'd trouble you much to shove over a piece now that our friend has touched off, now would it?" The comment is a bit dry in her throat, but it's about as polite as she can muster asking Logan to shift over a bit. "You're getting your good intentions in my rather established circle of brooding." She uses the bottom of her beer bottle to indicate her general area with a swirl.

*

The bottle takes a bit of time to gather up, perhaps since only one or two folks order Molson in a joint like this. But eventually Lazlo is successful and sets it down upon the bar's surface with a glassy clink before sliding it over. Logan catches it and takes a swig even as he's shifting over a touch, turning to squint blue eyes in her direction.

"Well." He says as he shifts up onto the seat that Jaromir vacated. "Since yer askin' all nice." Though his tone isn't exactly reflected in his choice of words, something mildly chiding there in it.

After that, however, Logan turns his gaze on the reflection of the demon table cast in the mirror behind the bar. He eyeballs it for a time, scowling to himself and lightly swirling the beer in the bottle with a twist of his wrist.

*

Eddie's gloved thumb starts rubbing at the label of her beer, making the corner come loose from its glue and being to curl. It doesn't take her long of being left to her own devices before she grows bored and her gaze flicks up to find the direction of Logan's in the reflection. "So what are you, the bouncer? Didn't think they let employees drink with us commoners. They don't seem the type to take kind to being told they're cut off. Good thing they're squishy little things with one obvious weakness." Her boot heels squeak on the crossbar brace of her stool that their hitched on as she shifts her weight more to her right side, her breath juddering out of her nose with the movement.

*

"Sorta," Logan says sidelong, still perhaps a touch distracted by the antics of the little demons who now seem to be trying to push each other out of their booth seats and fighting for position. One shatters a bottle over the head of the other but it just makes them laugh.

The haggard looking man beside her scowls slightly but then looks back at her and meets her gaze. He gives her a visual once over, not quite like a man does to a woman, more like how a bodyguard eyes a potential threat. But he looks away and lifts a hand as if to wave off her question. Surprising perhaps himself and perhaps her, he actually tells her.

"Wandered in here two years ago, chasin' a fella who had been runnin' some girls outta the old country. Handled it here and apparently it became a thing. The guy had a rep and was bad news." He waves a hand slightly, "So now when things get weird or rough, they gimme a ring."

*

There's a little laugh that springs from Eddie at the mention of 'old country', Eddie who to all appearances looks much like just another punk kid out of London who grew up. On the surface, she doesn't appear to be much of a threat to anything other than the liquor in her glasses and maybe the impending doom of that beer label. But that's the thing about appearances, isn't it?

"Muscle for hire." She comments under her breath, then starts to think on that for a little too long.

"This the only work you do?" The question seems to sprout up from whatever it was she was ruminating on, asked with a crest of one eyebrow beneath a spiky fringe of hair.

*

Nah," Is the answer she's given, offered off the cuff as he takes a drag on his beer and sets it down with a clink. He eyes her again and gets a slight smirk before his attention returns to the mirror though he might be eyeing her reflection as he replies, "Though on the weekends I teach a pilates class." His lip twitches as he says that, as if there was some inner connotation to that joke that they don't share. Which, to be fair, there is.

Perhaps before she can ask another question he turns and looks directly at her again, the space between his eyebrows beetling as he asks, "Why? You hirin'?"

*

The sound Eddie makes is a click of her tongue in regret. "Maybe, but it'd be a weekend job, and I'm thinking you're all booked up staring at women in spandex. Damn shame, that. Damn shame." The smile that forms is brief as it's drown away with another careful application of beer to the hollows of her mouth. "But if I /were/ looking to hire, say, someone to watch a girl's back for a few hours. What's your weapon of choice? And don't tell me it's your winning sense of humor, because that's about a dull as a butter knife."

She's plucking at the buckle on the wrist of her glove, unfastening the matte black strap that keeps it cinched tight around her wrist. As she fiddles, there is just the barest glimpse of scarring in the slight gap between glove and jacket sleeve of neat horizontal lines.

*

"Pssht," Logan says dismissively as his own expression is hidden by another draw on that bottle. He twists his features up as he crinkles his nose as if she had been talking nothing more than madness. "Who says they ain't the ones doin' all the starin'?" He gives a nod as if to add a hard stop to that sentence as god's own truth, but his smirk robs it of any sincerity.

Instead he waves a hand to the side as she brings up the idea of a weekend job. "Would depend on the job, reasons behind it, which direction on the ole moral compass we're thinkin'." He looks down at the lip of his bottle and seems to ponder it for a time. But then he looks back, "As for when things go heavy? I can handle myself, most situations." He then adds with a self-deprecating sort of tone. "I'm whatcha call, a man of many talents."

*

"Mm. I don't terribly care for talents that have gone untested in front of me." Eddie tugs at the glove from her middle finger, pulling it up to allow more freedom of movement to remove the rest. As tight as they are, it's an ordeal to get the garment free from her hand, so she continues talking while doing so. "But desperate times and all that." It sounds like a sigh of personal defeat to even resort to asking for help from anyone. "How do you feel about 'grey' on that morality scale of yours."

The glove finally free, she motions with her bare hand for his hat. "Do you mind? I'm a girl with a hat fetish."

*

There's that wariness in his blue eyes, matched with the severity of regard while he watches her and she likely gets the subtle vibe of judgement there. But he speaks towards nothing of that, instead he glances towards his hat, then back towards her. He takes another drink of beer and then non-chalantly grabs his hat and slides it over in her direction.

"To be fair I've been known ta come down on the side of the less than angels, but usually it's been fer the right reasons." He turns fully to face her, the seat on his bar stool creaking faintly as he adds, "So far as I know." He gestures with one hand and then says, "So knock yerself out."

*

There is a sudden hiss from Eddie like the moment she touches his hat, she regrets it. There is a moment her fingers falter, but she steels herself through the tightening of her jaw and reasserts her grip on it. Eyelashes flutter like someone on the verge of losing consciousness, and she turns her face down into her sleeve to hide the emotions that are crawling all over her face. There is a little catch of a sob in her throat as she tosses the hat back finally in front of him.

"Yeah. You'll do." Eddie clears her throat and with shaking fingers, reaches for her glove again.

*

At her reaction Logan isn't entirely sure he wants to have that sort of approval. His brow furrows heavily as he watches her and whens he finally gets past that catch of a sob his grimace darkens. Not entirely sure what's passed he might have some small hint of inkling just from the way her expression changes as well as the subtle hints that come with her shift in scent, the sincerity in her reaction signaled.

He scowls and takes taht hat back, sliding it over to the side back to its resting place upon the bar. He eyes her sidelong and takes the last swig of that beer before asking her, "Do I wanna know?" He asks even as he clinks the empty on the bar top to get Lazlo's attention. With little to no exchange the man's given another Molson allowing him to shift his focus back fully upon Eddie.

*

Tugging the glove back on is a quicker affair, lacing her fingers together to fully press the material back into the joints. "You can tell a lot about a man by the hat he wears." Is all Eddie says, her voice graveled with emotion.

To her credit, she recovers quickly with benefit of a smile and a reach for her whiskey. Which is empty. "My good man!" She calls the tender back over, "Another, if you please. And whatever my new friend here is drinking." Her throat cleared, she has the nerve to look aside to Logan again. "Got a name, Cowboy?"

*

Lazlo had been keeping an eye from the other end of the bar but at the beckoning he gives a nod and a wave then works his way back over there after having fulfilled another order. But he's quick to the serve and tilts the bottle over on its side as he fills up her glass, then continues on his way after making sure Logan is set with his.

"Logan," Is the name he offers to her though he probably has others. He's fully turned in her direction which leaves his back towards the demonic kin off in their corner of things though he can keep a glance or two in their direction now and again from the mirror behind the bar. "And you?" He asks that almost aggressively, something in the intensity of the man, the hint of bared fang though there's no anger there. Just that raw edge.

*

"Logan." Eddie breathes out his name along with the fire that accompanies the whiskey shot she's just downed like it's her only lifeline. She gives a nod, but there is no accompanying standard handshake that comes from such introductions being shared. Well, one sided introduction. Now she's pulling out a hundred dollar bill and dropping it on the bar to well cover her tab. It's a new crisp thing, the type received directly from the bank straight out of the banding. "You gotta back way out of this place?" She calls over to Lazlo, as maybe the plush tip will garner her some favor in letting her go out by way of alley.

Seems Logan isn't going to get a name out of her, but just a cryptic, "I'll know where to find you."

*

The bartender looks on after Eddie and then gives a nod and waves her towards the side hall that goes on past the jukebox and the restrooms. He waves a hand up and to the side, "Just go down that ways and take the left. Storage door. Don't steal stuff." He says, as if that small admonishment will be enough to turn her away from such an act. After that, however, he continues to wipe down some mugs while Logan eyeballs her openly.

"If you can manage that, darlin', then I'll be a touch impressed." Since really the hoops a lotta people have to jump through to get a hold of him let alone find him… well some people might find that daunting. That having been said, however, he gives a nod and lifts his glass towards her in a small toast as she departs.

*

Eddie doesn't hop down from the stool, it's more of a ginger dismount of finding the floor with one foot and then easing the other down. "That's easy. All I gotta do is stir up a little trouble here, and you'll come a'runnin'. Or so they say." Her vague accent switches into one that tries to mimic his, her smile growing less pained and more amused by the second. "Impressed yet?" Eddie asks back over her shoulder, hand gloved hand skimming along the bar for bracing as she walks towards the back exit where indicated.

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