1963-09-21 - Have Another Drink
Summary: The inability to get drunk continues its ascent on David's list of grievances against the Weapon X program.
Related: Bar Friends Best Friends, Murder Walk: Lesson One
Theme Song: None
maverick heather 


It has been an… interesting day. Interesting enough that David has not been home nearly as long as he should have been, by this time of night.

On the one hand, he still beat Heather home and has had time to get some dinner laid out for her. Sure, it's Chinese takeout, but damnit, that counts, right?

On the other hand… well, he hasn't had time to clean up. Which means that David and his clothes still smell like a bar, all alcohol and sweat and smoke.

*

Heather rattles in late, looking more worn than usual. She bumps in the door and kicks it closed behind her. "David?" She kicks her heels off under the bench, she'll get them later, and pads inside. She can smell food, she needs a shower, she's very happy to be home. Things have not been awkward since they kissed. Not at all. They really need to talk about that. Eventually.

*

The answering call of "Kitchen," comes automatically, almost like a call and response. David is just tucking the last of the takeout boxes out of the way where they can be dug into in case a single plate is not enough food — more for him than for Heather, honestly. He's pretty hungry.

*

"God, what a day." Heather leaves her briefcase on the couch and heads straight for the bedroom. "I'll be right back, I just need to get out of these clothes. I miss wearing jeans every day." Work clothes mean stockings and foundation garments and underwires and terrible torments. "How was your day? Everything all right?" She leaves the door open but disappears into the closet area. David won't peek.

*

No, David will not. "It was… illuminating," he decides, carrying a pair of plates not to the dining room table, but the couch, instead. David doesn't want to sit at a table, he wants to sink into a couch with questionably-healthy food and another glass of bourbon. Speaking of which, once he's set the plates down, he returns to the kitchen to fetch one. New bottle. Must have gotten it while he was out. "What about yours?"

*

"I didn't get off the elevator before one of the managers grabbed my ass, that's how it was." Heather is not amused. Honestly, she wants to cry with frustration and it comes across in her voice. "If it weren't for the other women at work — the the work we're doing — I'd quit. Waiting tables can't be worse than this."

Heather shimmies out of her clothes and into an old Alpha Flight exercise suit, pants with the stripes down the side and zip-up jacket. Relief. That helps. So does taking out her ponytail and washing her face quickly.

"I feel like I should write thank-you notes to every man I ever worked with for not treating me like a piece of meat," she says, as she comes out. "You get the first one, since you're right here," she adds, with a smile at David.

*

When she comes back out, David is standing partway back to the sofa with a full glass of bourbon in his hand, looking towards her bedroom door with a very tight jaw and his lips pressed together. From his expression, it's… probably good that he doesn't know the manager's name. And for the best that it stays that way.

It takes visible effort for David to shake it off and he drops his chin, looking down into his drink. "It's not something you should need to thank anyone for."

*

"Yes, but I appreciate it. I really have been fortunate." Heather comes to collapse on the couch in front of her plate, removing her briefcase to the floor for now. "You look…tired. Tired, David. Is everything okay?" She crosses her legs and leans forward to pick up her plate.

*

"As it ever is. I mean, yes," David says, looking apologetic. "Just… lunch came with some unexpected comiseration over having one's mind toyed with by men with power. So." He raises his glass, lips twisting to one side in a wry smile. "Would you like a glass, before I sit down? Or… tea, or something?"

*

"Wine? I could use some wine, there's a bottle of white in the fridge." Heather gives him a hopeful smile. "I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he — or she — recovers. It's a terrible experience." Heather has been there, though not nearly as badly as David and the others. "Then come eat. You look knackered, as my mother used to say."

*

"She. Still too raw to know, but…" David murmurs thoughtfully, immediately turning back to the kitchen to fetch Heather's requested drink. "…well. I hope she'll be okay, too."

David passes Heather her glass of wine before he settles down onto the couch next to her, passing his own glass to the table so he can trade it for his fork. "I honestly don't feel that tired," he admits with a laugh. "But you're probably a better judge."

*

Heather leans into him briefly. "You should listen to me, yes. And you smell like bar, David." She leans over again and sniffs him. "Not a very good bar, either," she adds with a giggle.

*

David pauses with his fork still in his mouth, looking at her askance not when she leans into him, but when she sniffs. And giggles. He is still not used to seeing her happy.

"Well, it was Hell's Kitchen, so…" David shrugs awkwardly and makes a grab for his drink after all. "…that would be a fair assessment."

*

Heather eats with chopsticks, using them with ease. She looks contented for the moment, in spite of the terrible bruises on her face. "Can I ask what you were doing in a bar in Hell's Kitchen? Anything good?" She's curious, not judgmental. Well, a little judgmental about the smell. "You smell like Logan," she adds almost absently as she wrangles some noodles.

*

"…Christ. Maybe I should go take a shower," David grumbles, looking down at himself with a suddenly very critical eye. There was another question there and he isn't deliberately avoiding it, but she did very effectively derail his train of thought.

*

Heather starts to giggle at David's response. She manages to swallow her mouthful of noodles before she really is laughing. "Sorry," she says, with a hand over her mouth. "That slipped out."

*

"No, it's — sorry, I'll just change," David says with a sigh, setting his fork back onto his plate as he shifts to get up. "I would have already but I wanted to have food ready when you got in and I ran out of time."

*

"David, no." Heather's really laughing now. She grabs David by the arm to hold onto him. "I'm sorry, I just saw him the other day and…and it just came out. Please stay and eat, I won't forgive myself if you eat a cold dinner. I should have cooked and you were great to pick up the food."

*

At least grabbing his arm is enough to stop David short. He just sighs again and hangs his head, pinching the bridge of his nose. "It's fine, I…" He trails off, his brow furrowing slightly as he seems to pause. Someone's just had an epiphany. "…don't like being compared to X-1," he finishes in a very quiet voice, blinking twice. "Oh."

*

"Oh, David." Heather's laughter fades and she puts her arm around him instead. "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean…" She isn't going to beat herself up — that doesn't help David at all and if they can't laugh about things in case they're the wrong things, well, that wouldn't be any good. "You're not like him at all, that's why it was so silly to me. I'm sorry," she says again, quietly.

*

"No no no, it's — Heather, it's fine," David says quickly, a bit of laughter coming into his voice. He turns to look at her with a very odd smile, not shying away from the contact at all. "Really. I couldn't figure out why I didn't like thinking about him and it's — it's ridiculous, but now it at least makes sense. Thank you."

*

"As long as you're all right and I didn't make things worse for you. You are getting better." It's a statement, not a question. Heather gives David a gentle smile and strokes his cheek. "I didn't put all this effort into feeding you and making sure you rest just to go and undo my good work. It is ridiculous, comparing the two of you anyway. Now eat your dinner and I promise to behave."

*

"No, you didn't…" The laughter fades when her fingers find his cheek and David falters, just a little, before finishing the sentence. "…make things worse." Speaking of which, if he doesn't want to make things worse, he really needs to look away from her eyes. Like at his food. Yes, that's… that's much better. He very quietly clears his throat and goes for his fork again. "Yes ma'am."

*

Heather lets him go back to eating and picks up her chopsticks again. "So, do I get to meet your friend you were drinking with or are they a 'drinking friend'? Which is fine, I don't have to meet anyone. But, you know our lives. If someone shows up on the run from the Hellmouth or the secret police, it would be nice to recognize them."

*

"I honestly don't know. If I see her when she's sober, I'll see what she thinks," David murmurs pensively, briefly chewing on his lip before he goes for his food instead. "I didn't give her your address — " Not 'our' address " — but I did help her get back to her place in one piece, so. I don't know. We'll see?"

*

"Is she cute?" Heather nudges David with her shoulder. "I mean. Just asking. I bet she holds her liquor better than I do." She winks at him. "Though, on the other hand, some people might find that an endearing trait in me." She reaches for her wine. "Well, endearing for some value of it."

*

The question nearly makes David choke on his food. He makes a grab for his bourbon for more than one reason. "Is she — she's traumatized, is what she is. I don't really look at people that way, anyway," he says awkwardly.

*

"Oh, good, because you've seen me looking pretty awful," Heather says with a little giggle at his reaction. "But if traumatized is your thing then I'm definitely not your girl. I've been lucky so far. That could change." Lucky. She keeps saying that. Her definition is not what other people's definition might be. And not-traumatized is…debatable. Especially given her work of the last twelve years. Maybe she's just so used to it all that she doesn't know what normal looks like anymore.

*

Again, David falters, his brow furrowing in very clear confusion. "My thing — I don't have a — Heather, it was a drink." Speaking of which, he's gonna finish off his bourbon. Surely it will help. Once the glass is empty, he casts a look towards the kitchen. Maybe he should fetch the rest of the bottle.

*

"I'm teasing, David." Heather leans in to give him a kiss on the cheek but stops herself. "Go get yourself another drink." She's going to work on this wine, that's a good idea. She needs to talk to him about something she doesn't want to talk about.

*

That seems like a very good idea. Flustered, David shifts to his feet and heads for the kitchen with his glass in hand, dragging the other one down over his face. Why was he so tired? This is ridiculous. "…do you need anything while I'm up? Eggroll, or..?"

*

"Will you go to Canada with me?" Heather downs the rest of her wine as soon as the question is out because she doesn't want to deal with this.

*

There is a moment of silence before David slowly comes back into view, glass in one hand and the bottle of bourbon in the other. He peers towards her with a slight furrow of his brow. "…yes. The 23rd?" It's not really a question.

*

"We could leave tomorrow night or Friday morning," Heather says slowly. She puts down her chopsticks, pushes away her plate. "I'll get the tickets sorted through work, the secretary is very good. I'll go see his mother and then go to the grave. She doesn't like to go — it's too hard for her — but she'll want me to take flowers and I understand that. If nothing else, it's a chance for someone to get a shot in if they know where he's buried by now. I'm not expecting it, but you know this business. People carry grudges."

*

By the time she's finished speaking, David has quietly returned to the couch and eased himself back down to sit with her again. The glass and bottle are both left on the table next to his plate before he settles back, seeming hesitant. He just hums a quiet agreement at the note about grudges and then, even though he is virtually certain he knows better, he reaches over to try and take one of her hands. "Tomorrow night or Friday morning. Either is fine."

*

Heather takes his hand gratefully. "I'm glad you're coming with me. I didn't want to go on my own." She looks down at her hand in his much-larger one, then puts her head on his shoulder. "You'll have to tell me if I'm being a burden."

*

David laces his fingers with hers and, without thinking, leans over to press a light kiss to the top of her head. "You're not a burden, Heather. But if that changes, I'll say something," he allows, his tone grudgingly accepting. "As long as you do the same."

*

"Oh you'll hear about it, don't worry," Heather promises, her tone dry. Still, she squeezes his hand, then exhales slowly. "So long as you pick up your socks, we'll be fine."

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