1963-07-10 - Three Bucks on the Big Guy
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eddie raven fred gambit 

On a Sunday night, the Eight Ball is just a smidge less busy than usual. I mean, even mutants and even the seedier mutants have jobs to go to and wages to earn. Well, some of them anyways.

Others earn their money or find their work in other ways, ways not necessarily tethered to the 9-5 hours during the week. It's those types who stick around and keep the bar open despite the hour.

Remy LeBeau is in his usual place, smoking his usual brand of cigarettes. The only difference between now and any other night is the sunglasses he usually wears are clipped on his shirt. Waiting. Smoking. Drinking.


"The door."

Raven's words where short and clipped as she gestures towards the taller man. No. He wasn't taller. Her petite size was laughable compared to him, even though she could have taken on a visage that would have been befitting of a place like this, she wears her psuedo-normal skin, just until the energy was built up for a more complicated change. Once the door was opened, Raven would step inside. Hair remained in that tip-tucked ponytail, jeans and booted heels of course. Perhaps the only thing that was different was the wife-beater inside of the leather bomber she wears with a sleeve emptied. Her arm was strapped to her belly to snare it's mobility. There were no words only gestures; four fingers held up towards the barkeep as she makes her way to Remy's table with a grasp of the chair, a turn, and a straddle.


Eddie is at the bar, his broad shoulders bunched around his thick neck. He's well into his fourth beer, the big man a little red-faced from the booze. Not that it matters much. They can shake it off if they need. He tried not to think too much about that pretty little cat burglar and how she got away from him. He hoped she didn't bleed to death in some alley. What a waste that would be.

He looks over his shoulder for a moment, taking in Raven as she moves herself up to Gambit. Clearly acquaintances of the shady sort, Eddie still had enough reporter's instinct left to see that. But, given the only rag he could find work at, if they weren't half-bat or flying in a UFO, his editor really couldn't give a crap. And, if there's no money in it, neither does Eddie. For now.


At just under six feet, Fred isn't exceptionally tall, the heavy, clomping work boots he wears add about a inch at the heel but even then it's not much. It's the roundness of the man that stands out, half as he is tall. He has a time sidling through the door, features worked up into a scowl as he sidesteps into the bar. The man at the front didn't give him any guff, must be mnore to him than just his poor diet.

His steps thump as he makes his way to the nearest end of the bar, sliding a stool aside with his foot, not trusting it.

"Whiskey!" Fred barks, shoving a hand into one of the pockets of his overalls and slapping it down on the bar, a crumpled bunch of dollar bills left behind.

He gets his whiskey, a bit tipped into a short glass, the bar tender about to tuck the bottle back away when the big man makes a grab for it, thick fingers latching on to the bottle and anchoring it in place, "Th'fuck you doin'? Leave it!" he snarls, clapping another few bills on the bar.


"Bonne soir, mademoiselle," Remy says to Raven as she sidles up to the table. "You have looked better, cherie. Tell ole Remy what happened?" So far, Remy doesn't seem to notice Eddie, or at least pay him any extraordinary mind. He's seemingly pretty worried about his co-conspirator.

He does notice Fred, though. "Dat guy looks like he'd be good in a fight."


"Mr. La Beau." Raven grins, smiling as her own barkeep drops the tray of drink upon the table. The glass picked up with one hand, lifting towards Remy, the shot downed almost immediately as the chair was slid a little sideways. "The Maggia." She states, her voice lowered just for his sake. "Seems one of the families put a hit on Tony Stark and I happened to be 'in the way'." She winks briefly towards her comrade, her eyes sliding towards Eddie. "Big tall and broody? Or wide and angry.."

There was a slight grin there, the glass topped upon the table. "Perhaps. Test them out. Remember, tell them to mind the nose. You have a very gorgeous face, darlin'." Fingers wriggle soon, wanting the cigarette he pulls from. She was kidding.. right?


Eddie looks down the bar at Fred, giving him a flat and empty look. The Other, of course, thought he looked like fun, like a big sack of meat they could rip open and peel until all the goodies fell out, until the place stank of blood and gut, bleating like a stuck pig as the gore oozed between their fingers and…

Blink. Blink.

Focus on the beer. Not now. Later, later, they would hunt. Eddie liked this bar, he didn't need to paint it red tonight. His eye twitches for a moment and he grabs at the pretzels, getting a fistful and stuffing a few in his mouth.


The first drink is kicked back, the folds in the back of his neck compressing as his head snaps back to down the bolted drink and let it burn it's way to his stomache. He pours another, it gets the same treatment. He's working towards the third drink, turning the bottle's neck to the shot glass when he… feels something. He's no psychic but he knows when he's being watched. He's known that feeling for so long. His mood sours, as he returns the bottle to the table, nostrils flaring with budding aggrivation.

It's Eddie's misfortune that Fred caught that dead-eyed look he was sending the big man's way. It's enough to satisfy him, he doesn't bother with looking around anymore. He's found his release valve, Raven and Remy are safe.

He glowers heatedly back at Eddie even as the reporter seems to wake from a daze and turn his eyes elsewhere. Now there is a unspoken ritual to things, steps that are seemingly always followed throughout the world, and perhaps worlds. Mr. Dukes enacts the first rites of the bar fight ritual when he screws up his face into a deeper scowl before he barks, "Th'Fuck You Lookin' At!?" down the bar to Eddie.


Remy puts the smoke down upon the table and rolls it gently over towards Raven as he gets to his feet with a small groan. She's challenged him, and he's always been after her about expanding their operation. As he's going over to watch the interlude between the two brutes. As he walks he drinks the shot of another watching the pre-fight, putting it back before the other notices it. Quickly he lights another cigarette.


There was a slight groan that draws from Raven's lips; her hand reaching over to snag the rolled cigarette from the table to take in a quick puff. For a moment, it looks as if Raven weren't about to do a thing, and in that moment she realized that a little tease towards Remy would probably put her favorite confidant in jeopardy. She was already down for the count another week; there needn't be another. The cigarette was soon put out upon the table as she takes a shot, downing it quickly as she stands, shuffling backwards from the chair as she clicks her teeth to give Remy the shake of her head. She's got this.

"Now.. now boys.." Raven coos, a gentle contralto that has nothing to do with a mutant power, only skill. The slide of her lithe frame in between the two to halt glares or swinging of the fists. Let's see if chivarly is dead, shall we? "..you wouldn't know if he was looking at you if you weren't looking at him, after all." The smile draws towards Fred, her leg hitched up to rest upon the barstool. "Though, I looked. I saw. And I do believe that you boys? You two can conquer. I offer you two a chance to line your pockets with coin, all for a good cause. Though good causes are in the eye of the beholder." Her fingers lift, snapping briefly to have another shot delivered to her person.

"Or you two can settle to be agents of chaos to quench the thirst that builds within. Besides.." The drink was sat in front of her, taken.. downed like a pro and rolled from her lips to drop upon the table upside down. "What the fuck have you done lately?"


Eddie grips the bar at Fred's words. A close look would reveal black talons bleeding from the tip of his fingers, carving into the wood. The Other was pleased, of course, chomping at the bit, pulling at the leash, yes, yes, this one wants it, this one wants to die, release him, release…

And then Raven is there between them, with her sultry words and her strange offer. THey could barely make sense of what she says, the red haze over their vision as their minds mingle and run together. It looks as though Eddie's begun to weep oil, his mouth widened just a bit, obscene and somehow ill-fitting as his eyes, clouded white now, roll towards her. The voice that comes out is sibilant, strange, almost a chorus.

"Chaosssss…" they say, and the tongue that flicks along his lips is longer than it should be, even as he's only just begun to transform, "has its pleasuresssss," he says sibilantly, "But we are…listening…"


Beady eyes turned down towards Raven the moment she interjected herself between himself and his nights entertainment. She's pretty… and she's normal, that's two strikes against her right out! But Fred is still a man at the core of the bitterness and anger, a pretty smile and a soft voice can cut through a lot. His scowl softend but the angry heat of it was replaced with a not of suspicion as he looked her over, chin tucking and lifting as his gaze dropped down to her feet and back up. "'Hell you talkin' about." he drawls., pushing himself away from the bar, a hand resting upon it's top as he faces Raven, and through her, Eddie. She speaks, she speaks well, this is almost another strike against her but he with holds judgement, or retracts it the moment he translates lining and coins to getting paid.

He regards her seriously, lips pursed in thought for a moment more before he set about giving a answer… only for the thing that was Eddie brock to speak.

"Jeesus Fuck." he grunts beneath his breath, hands balling into fists.

It's a small relief, oddly enough… It's not too many bars he can walk into and find someone uglier than he is.


"What'you tinkin'?" Remy asks the patron he just stole the shot from. "You got de guy wit de tongue? Or you like de big guy? I'm tinkin' the latter."

"Yeah? I'll betchya. 3 bucks on the other one."

Remy reaches into his pocket and pulls out the cash just as it looks as though Raven is going to bring this all to an early end.


-That- mutherfucker. Raven would think that Remy is smart enough to orchestrate some bullshit like this, and holy hell, he really is. It was a test to the true brains of the operation.. and imagine that.. one comment about how sturdy the bigger man is in a fight and it sets -everything- in motion. If he planned this?

He's one sly summa-ma-bitch. Raven likey.

She wasn't even looking directly towards Eddie until she heard that hissing, her head slowly turning to regard the row of teeth, the bleeding of the eyes, her own widening just a touch as teeth grit to bite back that lingering fear. But he was listening. She had his attention, that.. was probably not a good thing.

She glances back towards Remy as he makes a bet, her eyes shifting to the pure yellow yet leaving the rest of her peachy-sweet colored skin in tact. Maybe she should have let him fight after all.

"I'm talking.." She addresses both of the men/not-men, her fingers hoovering over the shotglass, which soon expand enough for her to pinch just with her forefinger and thumb to bring it to a shatter. The manipulation ends, her finger danty enough to draw a line within the glass, blood curling at the tip. "..a liberation. Rousing the rabble. Waking the beatened, the damned, the angry into a revolution that spands across mutant-kind and those oppressed like us." Her hand draws out, the bloodied one, an offering towards the beast.

If you want a beast to potentially obey? You feed them with your own hand.

"But.. we're no revolutionaries. We're no saviours and we are no heroes. We are the few, the very small few who are -willing- to pay that price for the freedom of others." After such a grand speech, her face falls into somewhat of a jovial tone. "Though at times we're also bored and like to steal from the rich and keep for ourselves. We're not exactly the Vanderbilts, after all."


Venom rolls its neck as the darkness spreads over it. Skin is layered with oozing shadow, that maw growing wider and wider, falling open as his teeth become needles, jutting haphazardly from the oversized jaw. His hair vanishes beneath it, eyes growing wide and wrong and, like a beast, he hops up, crouching on the bar, his thick, tree-trunk arms dangling in front of him with a posture somewhere between a gorilla and a crouching scorpion.

"Weeeeeeee…are not mutant. We are…something else," it says, cocking its head at Raven. If it had nostrils, they might be flaring, catching her scent, but there's just that tongue instead, a serpentine appendage flicking at the air. "We are angry and damned, yes, and free, oh so very free."

Venom's neck twists and its face moves, as if floating along the surface of the slick, until his face seems to be on the side of his head, leering at Gambit, "This one wants to wager on our blood…perhapssssss we and the whale could split his ribs as a peace offeringgggg…"


The woman continues to sermonize, only she's not preaching hellfire and brimstone. She's speaking about… what? The hell was she talking about this now for, can't she see-
Glass shatters, his attention shifts down towards Raven, was she about to try and shiv him with a broken bottle, boy won't she be surprised? No, her finger bleeds. His brows furrow with confusion, some of this had better start making some sense right quick or he was going to start stepping on people!

"Alright, alright!" he concedes with volume, a hand opening from a fiust to pat the air between them to try and forestall any further lecture on the topic, "Y'want me for your g'damned Mutant Panther group or something, fine. I'm in. put a fuc-" that was it, all he needed to hear. He was sold! Beat up someone, get paid. Wreck Shit, Make Money.

Done deal, where do I sign? Don't ask about my work history…

But then that greasey, slimey looking heap of man-shaped mucos over there… went and called him a whale.

It ran hot lips curling away from teeth. "The hell did you just call me, 'Snot Job?!" he drawled furiously, reaching out a hand to sweep raven aside as he barged forward. "Going to twist you into a fuckin' pretzel!"


When Raven looks back at Remy, the latter shrugs his shoulders and looks at the cash. He knows he's guilty. He can't help it, he was born this way.

"Not the nice one," Remy exclaims as Venom decides he'd like to see Remy on a whole new level. "That one's not nice a't'all." The cajun shakes his head dramatically and takes a drag from the cigarette.

As the fight is back on, Remy smiles to the man he's made the bet with and his eyebrows flash upwards as if we might actually get to see the main event.


"You.. my dear.." Raven coos towards Venom, "..are something wonderful." Her yellow eyes remain upon the thing as he makes his loops to land itself upon the table, where a thigh slid off of the barstool in preparation to take a flying leap behind Remy if there was a chance. But no, she couldn't do that. Hide behind her friend. If she were approaching the men with business it was something of a thick skin she had to portray.

Fred was most amusing, however. She could tell she had him sold by the twinkle of his eye. Plus he already said that he was in. Big ups to the big man who asked no questions and probably wasn't capable of telling a good lie. "Good. Now for sta—.."

Tits were surely flying at this point. Fred pushed her back behind him to stand in the way of Venom, Raven's eyes slightly rolling as she shrugs off her leather bomber whilst stalking at the backside of Fred. She had to pick up the pace so that she could leap, her hand lightly touching the top of Fred's head to cause a leap frog effect with a skip of a step forward to place herself in between.. again.

"STOP." Her voice booms out, one hand held out towards Fred, which was soon gestured towards Venom as well. "No one touches him." Indicating Remy. The same I afford to you both. If you are under my employ then you are under my protection. Mine and his." Her head cants towards Remy.. lord knows the man is scary, save for his joking.

Her bloodied fingers snap towards Venom as she narrows her eyes ever so.. meanly. "I offered you my blood as a tribute. Let that be enough, Dark One. And you, sweet rotund devil, most handsome.. I've got a job for you that'll ease the tensions and anger. And it'll be fun.."


Venom responded with a rather terrifying amount of speed, given his obvious bulk. He sprung into the air and clung to the ceiling, sticking like a spider, although his claws do sink into the material a bit. Venom rolls his head a little bit and gets a very good view of the bartender literally pissing his pants where he's crouched behind the bar. Mmmmmmmmmm, yes, very pleasing.

"Snot isn't our favorite fluid, fatboy. We prefer blood and tears, while you surely must content yourself with the fecund guttersweat beneath your pungent girrrrth," the beast laughs, its teeth clicking against each other in a snicker-snack fashion.

Raven's words draw it back in, though, "Offering, hmmmmmmmm?" ie says and it seems to lean down, the horrifying visage of Venom descending on stretching, semi-solid ropes of shadow and leaving Eddie Brock's face behind and unmasked as the face alone dangles close enough to Raven's fingers, that tongue lashing around one of her digits and slurping down the blood. "We like the taste of your sssssssssauce," it laughs, before reeling back up to reattach itself to its host fully.


Fred became dimly aware of a weight atop his head as he worked into closer quarters with Them. He was about to shrug it off as something as unimportant as a stool or a liqour bottle being knocked against the back of his skull when Raven decended between them once more… Fred was starting to think she had a habit of this. IOgnoring the part he played in it, he imagined it'd get her killed one day.

Two minutes ago, he'd have trampled her down but now, now it seemed like she was his boss. You listened to the boss, that was true everywhere. She said stop, so he did, she acting like a red light against his ire. He glowered down at her, ham-sized fists balled at his sides.

And then, then she called him about the sweetest thing anyone had ever called him since his Momma. Weeks, months, maybe years from now, he would pick up a dictionary while everyone else was talking about important things. He would flip towards the rear of the book, and with his finger, he would search out that word. Rotund, Rotund, Rotund…

And his heart would break a little.

But just a little.

Raven is enough to root Fred in place in the face of Their verbal bashing. It helps that a through words slip through without understanding but any other time these would be fighting words.

He stands, surly and stewing, features quirking into abject disgust as Raven lets him…

A hand claps to his mouth as he looks away, "Gonna puke, I about swear it." he utters into his palm.


The term rotund is where it is called for Remy. There's a kinship with Fred that the other man doesn't know about. From birth, literally, Remy has been mocked because of his eyes. He's been made fun of, called the devil, and in one case one person even ran from him.

The joking's over.

"Come on, Dukes," Remy mutters as he drops the three bucks on the floor of the man he bet with. "Ole Remy is hungry as hell and I know a good place wit southern style ribs stays open all night. Mah treat."

He nods towards the door, thinking that Raven can handle Venom on her own.


Raven has to look away as the symbiote detatches from it's host. Still a living thing, which was interesting of course. But the slimy texture of the tongue against her fingers has her visibly cringing. Yes. She let him. There was no shame in that. And yes, she was half expecting him to take her hand..

She clears her throat, her eyes looking up towards Venom as she casts her gaze towards Remy. There was a job she came here intending for him but.. yet… this bigger man was a better fit.

Her hand slides down the pants of her jeans to clean it off, then slips into her pocket to retrieve a card. She really did have a job for the Blob, and she thinks he'd appreciate this. "Before you go, my sweet.." She says to the bigger man. "..go to this address. Tis owned by the Nefaria family. Nice little restaurant with the best fettucini this side of New York." She sniffs slightly. "Do what you do best." Wreck it. Ask no questions. She doesn't want any.

With the job handed off towards someone better suited, she glances up towards the demon thing with a squint of her eye. Her finger curls in a come hither fashion.. whatever she has planned for him was not going to be pretty. And she was sure that this demon liked it that way.


Eddie skitters around the ceiling for a moment to look down on Remy as he departs, "Don't think we forgot you, frog legs. You call the big man by name, which means you know him, which means…youuuuuuuuu…" he slurs, his tongue roiling over his massive fangs as a long string of drool dangles from them, finally dropping a few splatters in Remy's direction, "ssset usssssssss…up!"

He laughs and rapidly scuttles back over above Raven, dropping down to land on the bar with an impact that rattles the glass mirror behind it. And slowly, the thing starts to sing in its horrifying, hissing dual-throated voice, "We'll be bleeeeding youuuuuuuu…in all the old familiar placccccccccccessssss…"


"Eh?" Fred grunted when Gambit called his name. He didn't hate Remy. He was pretty but those eyes. They looked about like the devil's asshole, how he got a girl that wasn't dog-ass blind was a mystery to Big Dukes.

"Yeah, bet they're a buncha fuckin' liers." There were few things that the north could replicate of Southern design that was any better than piss on a hot griddle. Still, he kept a open mind and a open mouth. 'Specially when it was on someone else's dime.

He was about to make his exit when Rasven spoke up once more. 'My Sweet.' Life had made him suspicious of anyone that flattered him… but she seemed to poke through that cynacism. He smiled, crooked and almost leeting. He takes the card and checks both sides of it before taking note of the address. "Yes Ma'am." he replies, hand lifting to adjust the bill of his cap before he turns away, the card tucked into the front of his overalls as he plods after Gambit, his right hand raised up, bending at the elbow, a sausage like finger extended from a closed fist. You're number one, Eddie ole' Pal You're number one.


At the door, Remy gets called out by Eddie. He turns and winks, gives a wave, then literally hops out the door into the summer streets. "Y'got meh!" he calls out into the night.

A moment later the man with the bet says, "Hey, who took my drink?"

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