1964-05-16 - Favours Owed
Summary: Ms. Falcroft comes along to make thanks and apologies.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: None
rosemarie lucian 

Another night, another descent down the stairs. Past the doorman who surely recognizes her by now — a glancing drag of fingertips along the green glass sheets dividing the stairwell, nearly like greeting an old friend — and the usual pause on the last landing. Clad in a rather skin-tight cabernet-hued dress that shows off shoulders and ends above the knee (how daring of her), Rosemarie scans the room. These heels aren't too tall, the likelihood of an ankle-twisting disaster less likely, but navigating the stairs has taken half her attention. The little clutch she carries has enough to properly pay for most any drink she'll order this time around, courtesy of a certain title stashed away beneath archival glass.

Now…where's Lucian?


Another night. Another life. They fit together in a seamless ribbon of existence. Three thousand years, ten thousand years, a hundred thousand years: all essentially the same, give or take. Humanity may only fill a speck of history but there are countless other races speckled throughout the width of creation. He waits upon the marble table, not entirely different from the grand and twisted throne over a meritocracy. Something odd about ruling the most meritocratic place in existence, and being reviled for it.

The being calling itself Lucian at the moment, one of a cavalcade of names, is busy sprinkling and stirring herbs into a wide silver chased punch bowl. The sort of fashionable object from the turn of the century for high-brow parties, the pretty thing has not a ghost of tarnish on it. A ladle sweeps idly through it, transforming the liquors into a witch's brew. He isn't in a rush. Nor is he particularly concentrating on any issue, unlike his patrons come for release from the business of the unfamiliar. Alcohol matters to them and it certainly helps his bottom line as much as they don't have to remember anything. Nothing about the week's cares ahead or the dreams behind.

He certainly isn't paying attention but Maz is. She says something under her breath in passing, interrupting his stirring. "You look like a bloody crone."


Ah, behind the bar. She espies him — and the server with the dark hair who always makes Rosemarie feel very small and proper. Still, chin up. She's wearing her battle dress, after all.

Down the last few steps and over to the bar, hips swaying in a natural movement for her build and the constraining fit of the dress. The heels too, of course. It takes a smidge of effort to settle on one of the bar stools and then, straightening her spine, she clears her throat.

"Excuse me, barkeep. A shot of rum, please — the best y-y-you h-have." Damn, almost managed it without the stutter. Maybe she can keep it from reappearing…unless Maz has something to say. Then it's due to come back in full force.

Maybe the favor can be asked without the machine gun rattle of consonants as well with enough effort.


Mazikeen glances from the arrival to the bar, rather than the man behind it. Anything on earth threatening him will have to go through her, be it the postman, a chit in a vaguely short dress, or God himself. The cynical side following the waitress-bartender is readily on display, her dark eyes narrowed. She picks up a tray and carries off the three glasses place there; two medicinal liqueurs, the other a shot of something transitioning between citrine to purple in a peculiar crystal glow.

On his part, the Morningstar adds another pinch of something. The thin needle green leaves are ground down into barely anything visible, lifted up and fading away. "The provenance of the rum or the year matter?" he asks, not lifting his eyes at the moment. Oh, he knows her. The sensitivity to everything around him assures that. "The best I have presently at Lux? Or the best available to me right now?"


The waitress-bartender is absolutely successful at causing little Miss Short-Dress to shrink into her seat a noticeable amount. The smile offered Mazikeen is weak and watered-down and probably missed entirely, thank god, because then she might have had to actually talk to the Very Scary Maz.

Lucian asks some very good questions and it takes her a moment to consider her answers. Trust him to know best.

"Um…n-no, n-neither matter. The b-best presently…?" Her reply lilts to impart the hesitant question. She's sadly not in the know about this particular field.


Maz is off to deliver her drinks to the mighty and powerful, or at least those who think themselves so. She isn't really impressed by various gods and aspects of the greater ones. A celestial in all its weird robotic glory might get a hitch of her eyebrow.

Lucian crooks a smile. "Oh, it matters a great deal. I would hate to deliver a less than satisfactory product. Especially if you had something in mind, and were testing me." The dipper sinks into the concoction, landing with a mercurial, silvery clunk. "Presently where, Miss Piper? In the club or available? They aren't quite the same, and you are setting a bar."


Rosemarie manages a half-smile, both bemused and trying very hard not to blush. Success thus far! Seems like she's getting familiar enough with the mannerisms of the barkeep to predict and deflect her own reactions.

"I wasn't p-presuming anywhere b-beyond the bar, here, in the club," and she taptaps the marble bartop silently with a finger. "I wouldn't t-test you anyways. Y-You know more than I do any d-day about this."


ROLL: Lucian +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 97


"Very well. The cellars here. Or a phone call placed from within Lux for delivery." Lucian is busy mulling that notion over. He reaches for what honestly looks like a good old fashioned rolodex. Or new fashioned as the case may be. A spin of the cards is really more for entertainment value, the contents lodged in his mind somewhere for the calling. This or that, what to presume upon. "You may need to wait until it arrives. Not everything is directly at the bar." He pulls a card and then fetches a pen from a drawer, penning a series of rapid letters that mean nothing for anything. The card is folded in two by long fingers. "While you wait, water? And while you may say that, it's not always apparent."


Rosemarie sits up in surprise. "L-Lucian, y-you d-d-d — " The rapid-fire stutter…stutters out as he goes about writing notations on the index card. The librarian's throat bobbles and she looks mildly stricken. The clutch is drawn back into her lap, reflexive reaction on her part to make herself a bit smaller yet.

Still, he asked a question. "W-Water, p-p-please, y-yes. I, um…" The sentence fades out. "I…oh." She sighs. "Th-There's a…" Good lord. "I-have-a-favor-to-ask-you." It nearly all blend together and there is the blush no longer waiting in the wings.


Off goes the blond with four long strides, intercepting a mildly startled dancer who apparently has better things to do than whirl around the shadows in graceful turns and turns again. Go-go they don't do here. Waltz is a bit odder when performed without a partner. She almost throws a pout until examining the card pushed into her hand, and gives a curt nod. Then without a word, she is off to perform whatever silent task those instructions gave her.

Back to the bar, he smooths his hands down his loose shirt and lays them flat on the bar. "Water. No lemon, light ice." Narrating, Lucifer? You've gone off your rocker. He pours while he speaks, coming up with a scoop and shaking out the details. "A favour?"

He has every idea what that means. She probably has none. "I'll hear you out. Though it must be considerable for you to ask me, rather than one of your friends or coworkers. Affirmation you have a beau if someone shows up harrassing you? Keeping mum when your date appears?"


And more blushing, yay! Up to her ears now, a bit down her neck even. Rosemarie reaches up to tuck hair behind her ear and assuage the growing itch all in the same movement. The Otherness recognizes the one across the glistening bartop. Hello!

"N-N-No, none of th-those," she manages, even laughing breathily, one of those awkward reactions. Huzzah, now she's got naught the defense of even a pretend beau here with that slantwise admission. "F-F-For the l-l-lib-b-brary. B-B-B-Bart w-w-wants to m-m-m-meet you."


The otherness cannot be trusted. Drink some water, and reel it in, bird. It's not like his wings are twitching all the time.

Lucifer Morningstar, best goddamned bartender in this side of reality. He skims a finger languidly in an infinity spiral on the bartop, awaiting her reaction. "This Bart, your curator of many acquisitions, wants to meet me. Why? Is this necessary for you to obtain your payment to alleviate my fine, or is there some belief you couldn't possibly have acquired that book, plucky young lady you are?"


"Th-Th-The l-latter," replies said not-so-plucky young lady. "I th-think he w-w-wants to kn-know w-where you g-got the b-book from." Her eyes linger on the movement of his finger before returning to his face. Another tuck of loose locks behind the other ear is all fidgeting. "My p-p-p-paycheck has been…p-properly adjusted, n-n-no w-worries about th-that."

After all, it's the source of the new dress she wears currently — in fact, the ensemble as a whole.


"I don't intend to tell him," says Lucian lazily, a wave of his hand. His grin is feckless and burning bright, edged in a hint of laissez-faire grandeur. "He doesn't need to know. It was not obtained through left, there are no police reports about it, and the private ownership is my own. I will if necessary type you up some kind of letter to the effect of that. But he doesn't need to subject me to a pile of questions. Tell him I value my privacy."

That much will be sufficient.


Boy, if only Lucian knew Bart. Behind that facade lies a mean stubborn streak. Doesn't it within all archival keepers?

Rosemarie's expression falls slightly, if only because she's going to need to deliver the news to the man himself and he'll undoubtably be grumpy. "I t-t-told h-him that y-you m-might not w-want to t-talk, but he w-wanted me t-to ask anyways. Oh well." She drums newly-manicured fingernails on the marble surface, eyes averted there. "Th-Thank you f-f-for considering it, at l-least."


The young woman has her own path to walk there. Lucian isn't unsympathetic, though his hooded eyes follow the drum of her fingertips. "I value my privacy and that of my collection. It may not be much. However, such donations by anonymous benefactors cannot be entirely unknown in this day and age? I'm not looking for a tax break or financial advantage. Nothing to negotiate there, Miss Piper. You have the glory and the reward this time around."


A frazzled mind makes a possibly misaligned leap.

"Oh! Oh n-n-n-no, p-p-please d-don't think that I'm ung-g-grateful be-be-be-be-because I am so v-v-very g-grateful, s-s-s-sir." She's defaulting to propriety now, fingertips curled away against her palms. The freckles are nearly disappeared beneath the redness on her cheeks. "Y-Y-You're t-t-t-too k-k-kind an-an-and — " She bites her lip, suddenly unable to look him in the eye. The shirt collars seem safe enough. "G-G-Gosh, I-I-I — "

Rosemarie falls suddenly silent. Another hard swallow and she sits up tall. "Why?" Ah, the simplest and most convoluted question known to man. "Why me?" With apparent bravado, she meets those summer-sky blues.


Stammering goes without comment, no urgent push from an irritated man to make her finish up her statement. In the meantime, Lucian keeps an eye on the affairs around him: the servers mingling with patrons, negotiating tables and booths in kind. He monitors the frustrated gentleman ruffling his newspaper for attention, and the doorway in case someone stepping down has a particularly slow, ponderous gait, someone not all fully there. Possibly exploitable, this knowledge, whether he might turn it to his advantage. The dancer he sent off to reclaim the rum from wherever has not made her reappearance, though she will be soon, navigating East Village.

"Why offer you, Miss Piper, the opportunity to turn in an overdue volume and impress a superior?" His question has a hint of a laugh behind it, the kind of charm revealed by a magician before the display of a trick. "Oh, any number of reasons. Choose the one you like the best. Perhaps it takes away some of your shyness by thrusting you into the limelight. It gives you no excuse to order only water. You appreciate books more than most and would know its value. You would not press for more details I was unwilling to give, or nag me for other gifts or appearances. Some would."

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