Take It or Leave It

December 12, 2018:

While visiting a bar, Lena encounters a wild Logan in his natural habitat.

Little Odessa

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Lena swore to herself not to go around certain parts of New York anymore. Well at least Midtown when she had an agenda and sticky fingers. For now, though, she was looking for a certain place that was welcoming and familiar: A bar. This building, Padraic's, would do nicely. A fresh face to the location, more so than locals, the girl from Central City had no idea or inkling about any type of demonic invasion. Rough stretches of neighborhood were not a foreign concept to her, nor did she look twice at them.

Once inside, she gives the area the once over, studying everything she can, noting little details here and there. Silent, to herself, in winter garb she strides over to a glowing juke box. Leaning over its drum like holder, she glides her fingers down the list, finding something that causes her to smirk before slipping in a coin, pressing a button or two, and then allowing the machine to do its thing.

Now up and at the bar, she slips onto one of its stools and gazes down the counter's length. Watching faces, she addresses the tender once it was her turn. "Beer," she starts, pausing a moment before sighing. "Please."

Foreigner's 'Cold As Ice' starts to muffle from the building's speaker system.

*

Any bar in Little Odessa is going to be a bit subdued compared with places downtown. Something about the stoic Russian manner of the locals. But that doesn't stop it from reaching points where the music gets a little louder, where the drinks come faster, and sometimes the men and women who frequent the place let themselves give in to impulse.
One such impulse is to eyeball the stranger. If she spoke Russian she might well hear a few comments about herself as she passes by some of the men at the tables. But when she gets to the bar she's given a once over by Anton himself. His white tufts of hair shake as he turns to face the youthful looking woman in the winter gear, his generous moustache getting wiped off to the side with a forearm. "What are you drinking?" He asks, the last syllable a little rough on the ears.
As for the man at the end of the bar he seems to be nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels that's lost half of its contents though he doesn't have the warm fuzzy look of a man who is that far down. He eyes her sidelong, nostrils flaring slightly. Then it's back to his booze.

*

Lena quirks a brow, eyeing the man down on his perch before turning her attention back to Anton. "Well, I'd say what he's having, but doesn't look like he's one for sharing." She muses, another smirk tugging at the end of her painted lips. "I did say beer, too, so…" Bobbing her shoulders in the puffy coat causes the fur of her hood to bunch up and brush along her pale cheeks, bouncing up her dark and color streaked hair. "You bar, surprise me. Something strong, though. Strong, cold, and hard enough to burn out my insides."

*

A snort comes from the older man, "Lots of beers. Many different. But fine." He reaches below and starts to dig around in the bottles stored below, only half paying attention to her words as he pokes and prods. But then as she speaks further about something surprising, strong, cold, and hard… he gets a wicked glint in his eyes as he looks up.
"Oh a surprise?" His lip twists, "Then a surprise you shall have." He rises up and turns, a step down the way and he reaches up towards a bottle on the top shelf that apparently has no label and might actually seem to have something akin to… sigils upon it? He hefts it, brings it down and turns it to the side, blowing off a hint of dust from it.
"Then here we are."
But that is the moment when a low rumble of a voice is heard as that man at the end of the bar had gotten up and sidled down the way without making too much of a ruckus to draw attention. "Anton." His tone is not harsh nor severe, more perhaps just… admonishing.
The bartender looks towards Logan who shakes his head. Disappointment reins upon the older man's features as he sighs, looks to Lena, sighs again.
"C'mon." Blue eyes meet hers as the grim looking man says lightly, "Can have some of what I'm havin' if yer inclined." That said he turns and starts to move back towards his seat.

*

"I like surprises." She murmurs, watching after the bottle with a hint of wonder. It's not until the man down the way is by her side, and chiding the tender A sigh and frown, a pout from the man only causes the girl to quirk a brow. She didn't understand the exchange completely, it seemed as if the old timer wanted to pull a fast one. In some way, it was having the bottle or choice taken away from her that unsettles the girl. Finally, she reaches out toward Anton, "My surprise, if you please…" Allowed, or even not, she snatches the bottle and the moves toward the welcoming figure and his bottle of Jack.

Sitting, silent, she doesn't look his way. She stares forward, then at the bottle, moving it this way and that, studying the scribbles lazily. "Seems old." She murmurs. "Important. But…that shit-eating grin on, what did you call him, Anton's face would suggested it was not the type of surprise I actually want tonight."

*

Anton gets a wry smile and then /looks/ pointedly at the man she might eventually know was Logan. His response is to eye her sidelong, head tilting a bit as i taking her measure. Then he makes his decision by flaring his hands, absolving himself of any responsibility as he moves back towards his seat and retakes it. He fills his own glass with another tilt of the liquor bottle then turns to watch poor Lena and the demonic liquor bottle.
At the bar, some of the other patrons smirk to themselves. One comments in Ukrainian something about claiming he is entitled to be the first to go through her pockets. This causes a small bout of laughter that might sound entirely… uncharitable.
The bartender, however, grabs a clean glass from under the bar and sets it on the bartop. He at least has the decency to tell her, "Eet is strong."
To which Logan says, "Very." And from there it's up to her.

*

"Try it." She says, pale eyes going up to Anton's face before she slips off her seat and turns to face the men talking about her. "Look, I don't know exactly what you're saying, but I can read your faces and your bodies a mile away. Try it, and regret it." Digging into her side pocket, she pulls out what looks to be a wallet - a wallet that doesn't belong to her. "Stop broadcasting." Tossing the wallet back toward the man claiming 'dibs' on her, she sighs and returns to Anton. "Thanks, but no thanks…"

A shift down the bar, empty glass in hand, she nestles up and onto a seat beside Logan. Setting her glass down beside him, she looks his way and blinks slowly. "I'm inclined. Thank you for sharing, handsome. If you could, I'd like that drink sooner than later. Might be in a fight soon."

*

She definitely knows how to eyeball a room as the man she just goaded seems taken aback at the abruptness of her read. So much so that he scowls and hunkers lower even further into his drink, as if she hadn't just called his number almost instantly. This, of course, just gets his friends to laugh all the more. The bartender, however, looks genuinely disappointed as he steps away and stands on tip toes to put the old green glass bottle back up on the top shelf.
"Logan," Says the man nearby as he gives her a nod, "N'here." He reaches over across the bar and grabs a shot glass. He flips it offer with a faint clunk and then tilts the bottle on its side so it can let the caramel liquor trickle into her glass.
"Don't worry about it." He says as he reclaims his glass. At first she might think he means the drink, but he redirects her attention with a nod towards the man who made the comment. "Yuri talks a lot, but he never does anythin'." He takes a drink from his own glass.

*

"He shouldn't talk at all. Nothing he can't backup." She murmurs, accepting her glass and the liquid inside. "Gee. I wonder if me tossing his own wallet back in his face embarassed him in front of his boys." She questions, her voice monotone with a severe lack of empathy. Giving Logan the eye, she thins her lips and allows them to fill back out naturally. "Lena." She offers, lifting her glass his way and then knocking it back. Swallowing and sighing, she nods, even giving a smile.

"I'm probably sticking my foot in my mouth, but you seem a rather stereotypical fit for a place like this. I'm not complaining, mind you. Just…nice to see, I think. Hell, comforting." Confession made, she slips her glass his way, silently asking for a refill.

*

That causes the man to scrunch one eye up as he peers at her sidelong. "M'not sure if I should be insulted or not." Logan tilts back his glass and drinks the last in there, though perhaps only doing that as an excuse to refill his and hers once again. The bottle gurgles, he sets it back down and away, then shifts on his seat slightly to bring her more back into his line of sight.
"If I'm an easy fit for this place, well darlin', you don't seem like ya belong at all." He exhales through his nose slightly, almost a hint of a laugh but barely beyond that. A deeper breath is taken then he adds with that low rumbling voice of his, "Then again, that ain't necessarily a bad thing."

*

Lena shifts when he does, turning to face him and crossing one leg over the other. Leaning against the bar, she watches her glass fill as much as it can, the drink causing another smile to settle on her features. "Don't be insulted. It was clearly a compliment." Then he responds to her, forcing a 'tsk' from her lips, her tongue pressing at the back of her teeth. "Now, now, don't be rude. I belong, just…not in looks I guess." Glass up, she takes down her second helping. This time, a pleased sound rumbles from her hidden throat. "What part of the conversation is this now? Small talk? Is there talk? Should I just shut my mouth and keep pestering you for more whiskey?"

*

Another snort slips from him but this time it's accompanied by a wry half-smile as he looks away towards the bartender. But Anton is busy dealing with the group of men who had given Lena some lip. At least, for now, they seem preoccupied with making sure he keeps the sufficiently in vodka and chips though at times there's a rapid-fire back and forth exchange that might almost sound heated.
"I reckon it's small talk. I keep pourin', eventually you'll get all maudlin and loopy and I'll have ta make sure ya get outta here with yer honor properly intact." He eyes the group of men and smirks a touch, "Might have ta bust a head or two, but them's the breaks."
But then he looks back to her and says, "That is, unless ya know how ta hold yer liquor."

*

"If you want to walk me out of here, Logan, all you have to do is ask." She muses with a sly wink. "Of /course/ I know how. Besides, I'm not allowing you to have fun without me." The idea of busting heads doesn't seem off to the girl, infact, it seems like she enjoys the sound of it. She watches down the bar, paying what attention she can to the conversation being had all while holding out her empty glass for the promised refill.

Looking back in Logan's direction, she keeps her glass waiting, held lightly between painted finger tips. "Alright. Small talk. Why did you warn me about that drink in the old bottle?"

*

The look Logan gives her seems a touch sardonic but he perhaps stays her offer with a hand lifted slightly. "Well, m'gonna have ta head outta here at some point. But ta be honest…" He looks subtly past her, even as he leans over his glass. "If you can handle yerself halfway decently then nonea these guys should be a threat."
His blue eyes return to hers, unwavering as his nostrils flare subtly. "But they're a buncha chuckleheads and won't jump unless ya push 'em." Which is to say that Logan… he probably pushed them once or twice.
But then he turns away and tilts back his drink, draining it and setting about refilling their glasses if she's inclined. She asks him about the old bottle and he looks past her back up at it. "Ah, it's unholy water. Basically." The way he says that, it's with such aplomb that it might seem like he actually believes what he's saying.

*

"They're not a threat to me anyway." She mutters, downing her offering and then setting her glass down. She wasn't giving up, but she was at least removing her jacket for now. The heavy jacket now rests under her skirted rump, she crosses her legs one more, bobbing her booted foot idly. Inclined indeed, watching the glass refill, she glances at the bottled and then back once more. "Un-holy water?" Her fine brow quirks.

"Well…alright. Nice name for a strong drink." Shrugging, she downs her next drink and licks her lips of any lingering residue. "Hey, thanks for being all protective and the like, but I promise you, no one in this bar can mess with me. I will say that I at least enjoy the company."

*

"Mmm," He says as he takes another swallow but then pushes away the glass, perhaps so she doesn't feel quite the need to keep up with him glass for glass. "Literally. Booze of the damned." Logan gestures with a nod towards the bartender but keeps his gaze on her. "Anton used ta have a few demonic clients during the whole craziness. They gave that bottle to him. Plays havoc with whomever takes a drink from it. One fella went blind, another ran outta here naked."
His lip twitches slightly as if at some joke unshared. But then she offers thanks to him and he waves that off as well. "Don't worry about it. And hey, back at ya, kid." A glance is given to her, eyes drifting low and then gliding back up along the subtle curves of her form back to her own gaze.
"No offense, though. But… ya don't exactly give the impression of a gal that can handle a barfull of jerks."

*

"Booze of the damned? Sounds like my type of thing after all." Turning her head she calls out, "Anton, sweetheart…bring that bottle my way after all." Noticing his glass was down, her brows knit in confusion. "Bowing out already? Come now…" Then, she shakes her head, "Mmm, no. Lena or something else. No 'kid'. If I'm 'kid' you're 'old man' or something else unbefitting." She warns, one silver tipped finger near his face.

The once over done, she shifts her legs, crossing the lower of the two up now, allowing her other foot to bounce now. "None taken. I know I don't look it, but I'm a scrapper. You have to be, right?" Then, something hits her. "Wait, what craziness are you talking about?" Clearly, she wasn't a local.

*

Anton across the way lifts his head when his name is called and scowls, "No! You had your chance." But for some reason he glances up and towards the clock and frowns at whatever he sees there, then shakes his head. "No. Tomorrow? Maybe." But he does come down that end of the bar and refills the empty peanut bowls before moving back and away.
Logan, however, seems to still be watching, his gaze hooded and one finger lightly scritching at the stubble along his jawline. "The demons." He says matter of factly, "Last month and some? Somethin' happened in the centera town. Lotsa critters manifested and did a number on the city."
His eyebrows lift and then he adds, "Was sorta a big thing. Where're you from?" He asks, the silent, 'that you didn't hear of this?' still being there, albeit silent.

*

Lena glares slightly at Anton's response, rolling her eyes after the fact. "No tomorrow. No ever. Had your chance." She murmurs his way, watching him pointedly as he fills the bowls and goes about his business. Once returning to Logan, she finds herself staring. Blinking, she rests her head to the side ever so slightly.

"Really now. I'm not saying it's impossible. Some…insane things have happened in my neck of the woods, too." Pause, "Central City. Just showed up in town about a day or two ago." Stalling out, she sits up straighter, resting her feet down flat and slipping from her seat, standing now and crossing her arms across her chest. "Spill it." She states. "You're digging for something. Playing a part…what're you after, Logan?"

*

As Lena starts to seem to get a bee in her bonnet, rising up to stand in front of him, Logan sort of follows her with his gaze, watching her with a slightly amused half-smirk that barely reaches his eyes. He leans to the side, grabbing the bottle and tilting it on its side again, refilling his glass and if needs be topping hers off.
"A lil early in the honeymoon ta be makin' all sortsa demands, ain't it?" He sets the bottle back down upon the bartop with a glassy clink then takes up his shot glass and salutes her with it briefly before he tilts it back for a clean swig. Setting it back down he goes through the routine again all the while eyeing her sidelong.
"Ask me again in a few years and mebbe you'll get an answer. Fer now," He gestures to the side, "Enjoy yer drink."

*

"Now or never, cowboy. I'm a take what you want kind of girl." She explains, tapping her fingers atop her crossed arms. Eyeing the drink, she accepts it, knocking it back and waiting for the next, her stance still relatively solid for what they've been downing.

"Play your game as much as you like, but there's no playing a player, Logan. It's not just Yuri down the way I can see clearly." She warms, knocking back her next drink before setting the glass down and reaching for her coat.

*

"A'right." Logan looks up at her from under his brows and then gives her a nod, "Seeya around, Lena." And as he says that he turns back towards the bar, the drink, and catches Anton's eye who quickly turns away and becomes /super/ interested in wiping down the glass that he'd been working on for the last five minutes.
Yuri, some small distance down the way chuckles and makes a comment under his breath to his friends, that if she could understand the Ukrainian he speaks in she'd hear him say, // It is good to know even the Wolverine is fallible, da? //
At that there are a few more chuckles, followed by the clink of glasses.

*

Slipping on her coat, she closes it off and flicks out her hair. "I doubt it." She tells Logan, giving a smooth smile before turning and facing Anton. Blinking slowly, the girl reaches back and pulls up the hood of her coat, blocking off her face with shadow and a round brim of fur. With simple strides, she heads for the door, exiting shortly after.

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