1964-07-08 - No Country for Old Soldiers
Summary: You'd think they would know better than to beat up Bucky in front of a lady and the devil.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bucky rosemarie lucian 

.~{:----------: features=+views :-:}~.

These guys aren't the best at shadowing folk. Admittedly, they might make it as small-time detectives for hire, but the lower average IQ set between the four of them means that they simply travel as a pack in their searching. The leader, nicknamed 'The Knife', leads the way to the front door of Lux. Despite the glower on his face, he at least has the social fortitude to hold it open for a certain brunette librarian.

"After you, peaches," he says, smirking.

"Thanks," replies Rosemarie in a tight voice. She can sense the trouble on them, even without supernatural senses. Down the stairs she patters, as quickly as she can, and hurries over to the bar. Palms hit against the marble surface and she breathes, "I th-think these m-m-men coming in m-mean t-t-trouble!"

Too late. All four clump down the steps and into the main room. That leader, the man with the five-o-clock shadow and a bad attitude, claps his hands once in a show to gather attention. "'Scuse me! We're looking for a guy who just walked in. Looks like the guy who tried to shoot Captain America. He owes us and the rest of America an apology." One of the other men, blond with a leather jacket, cracks his knuckles. The other two, one with vague Italian lineage and the other nearly a twin (likely a brother), stand back a little, eyeing what crowd is present as well as the servers.

Rosemarie begins a creeping retreat backwards around the bar stools, towards the far side of the bar itself. Dear god. These men are idiots.

As it happens, the muscle dealing with the door into Lux usually goes by 'Maz' or 'Bucky.' Neither of them boast the apogee of social skills in the face of trouble. The former carries boxes off the mezzanine and does not presently scour the front door, thus requiring someone else to take up the task.

Lucian, deep into his accounting of debts other than monetary, is preoccupied at one of the back tables. Reinforcing the stereotype the bartender listens to anything, he endures the jaw-jawwing by a Brit and an American duo insisting on a discount for troubles. Troubles yet to manifest, as another of his staff surreptitiously checks out. No Soviet businessmen in the backroom trying to press marijuana on the unsuspecting. They deal in much harder drugs, anyways.

The strawberry-blonde woman — Ana — acting as bartender wears an apron around her waist, a buttoned-down shirt for an iota of respectability. Her mouth flattens when the stammering Rose falls on the barstool like a discarded marionette. Ana puts down the tiny butane torch she used to flambe' some drink component. Ooh, fear the lady with a little biddy blue flame. "You don't say."

She has the broad Bostonian accent that speaks of Bluestocking money, fancy parents, summers yachting. All a lie. "You boys mind telling me if this," she spins her finger in a circle, "is part of a patriot social group or you going Sam Adams?"

This time, the Soldier's in the back, receiving and sorting crates of ingredients and rare liquors. Dressed nicely enough that he can go out on the floor if need be. One set of instincts says to duck right out the back door and contrive to be blocks away when they think to check the stockroom. But…..he's also a bouncer, and clearly, these mooks need bouncing. So he emerges from the door behind the bar, dressed neatly, hair pulled back into a tight knot at his nape that at least passes for being merely slicked back from most angles. A lot more cleancut looking than the Soldier who stumbled back to earth the other night.

He comes out from behind the bar calmly enough, but poised for trouble. "Gentlemen, you've mistaken me for someone else," he says, quietly. "But let's go outside and discuss this, rather than disturb anyone else."

Having successfully retreated to behind the far curve of the bar's marbletop, Rosemarie looks from the strawberry-blonde bartender to the four men and back.

"Hah-hah," the leader replies to Ana at her station. "Four shots of vodka, toots, for when we're done hunting down that bastard and teaching him a lesson." The errant patriotism is strong with these ones.

"Louey, innit him?" This is one of the Italianate brothers, jerking his chin towards the bouncer recently come into view.

"It's 'Boss' or the 'Knife', Romeo," snaps the leader over his shoulder. The young man grimaces. The leader squints at Bucky across the distance; he's probably near-sighted and making the best of it. Could explain his myopic take on the world as well. "Could be. I don't think we're mistaken." He's addressing the man in particular now, with his slicked-back hair and formal uniform marking him as Lux staff. "Come'ere. We got questions for you and we don't need to go outside for it."

Looking about, the freckled librarian spots Lucian at one of the back tables. As surreptitiously as possible, she attempts to wave at him and catch his attention. "Lucian!" The whispered hiss probably doesn't stand a chance in hell of reaching the barkeeper, not at this distance.

"Vodka," Ana repeats the order, like the good young lady with a real job that she is. "Now here I thought you might be a patriot. I'd go and do something special for you. Get outta the way, lady. Your order will be up in a second." The blowtorch remains in hand, the dark lines of the leaves spread out on a relatively resistant ceramic dish giving off a puff of smoke. Her thumb presses the plunger again to ignite the flame.

Mazikeen is not the one they want to call attention to, the dark spectre negotiating her way around the boxes piled in her toned arms. Her instinctive nose for trouble is a trait shared with Ana, apparently, who smiles up at the leader just in case he's wondering how those drinks are coming along.

"And I expect our tab…" The American diner rolls his hand. The Englishman selects that moment to slip his arms into his coat. No question what kind of business he works in, prepared to beat a hasty retreat. The American continues, "Well, aren't you going to be writing this down? I explicitly said, to make this right, you're going to need to display some actual remorse for what happened to my person. Why, Lux is supposed to be free of these nasty altercations…"

Lucian listens as attentively as a psychologist to a fallen angel reciting his sins. He makes the appropriate mmms and ahhs. Notes aren't taken on a paper pad, causing some consternation. Instead, he reaches for a bar spoon from his pocket. Carrying that, he slouches through the arid wastes nearer the front of the club. Light grids above leave nothing in shadow. "Gentlemen, is something lacking in our service tonight?"

Shit. There goes this job. Bucky's determined that it won't get worse in the confines of the club, though. He's moving to slip past the little cadre of would-be vigilantes. "There's a misapprehension, boss," he says, voice still flat, calm, with a sidelong glance at Lucian as he approaches. "They think I'm someone I'm not." And some niggling little part of him is desperately, pedantically wanting to correct that no, he didn't *try* to shoot Captain America. Categorically, he shot and killed him. Winter, construct that he is, has some professional pride. "We're going to go out and clear this up."

Rosemarie stutters something to Ana about not having put in an order, but it's probably so badly-mangled that it makes no sense and the bartender is perfectly within her right to either ask after a more logical answer or ignore it entirely. She lingers on the sidelines, very much determined to stay there. One wouldn't shoot the messenger…would they?

The leader, said 'Knife', scoffs at Lucian's approach and utterly polite inquiry. "What's lacking is some action and propriety. Lady over there is still jerking around with the blowtorch like she's some welder — god forbid she gets ahold of one." Glower. "All we wants is a simple conversation with this guy here. The more I look at him, the more I'm concerned, as a proper American, that I should be calling the cops on this establishment. Yer probably hiding other criminals." Seriously, this guy is so near-sighted that he's squinting at Bucky, even at this distance. The others are splitting their best attempts at threatening looks between the Soldier and the blonde barkeep holding a spoon.

|ROLL| Lucian +rolls 1d20 for: 8

|ROLL| Rosemarie +rolls 1d20 for: 11

"Pray he'll take care of this properly," says another of the servers slipping around Rosemarie's table. She diverges from her path to the unhappy pair — one, actually, just the American. He's spluttering while the Englishman excuses himself for a long stay in the gents'.

Lucian eases along the bar, gesturing lightly to Ana to prepare the drinks in question. She puts down the butane torch, sighing. So much for a fireworks show. He taps the spoon against his palm slightly. "That's very disappointing to hear. Lux upholds the highest standards. Any trouble for the clientele or our good name…" He needn't say more. A businessman, after all, and just the bartender worrying after his job. 'Knife' gets a shake of his golden hair. "Please take it outside. I would rather not have a show of violence in front of the ladies."

Because they're Lilim — male and female. Chumming the water makes it a showdown between sharks and a guppy.

It's like watching a killdeer drag its wing to lure predators away from the nest. Buck's doing an excellent job of feigning nervous uncertainty, as he retreats out back - the body language of a man sure he's about to get a gang beating once the door is shut behind them. No further looks at his fellow staff - this is his problem.

Once they're all out there and the door is closed (more or less, Rose can still keep an eye out), he doesn't drop the pose of someone certain he's the victim of mistaken identity. "Guys," he says, and the accent's pure Brooklyn, "You got this all wrong. C'mon, if I were a wanted man, would I be working here? I got nothing against Captain America, he's a great guy." And he would know, wouldn't he?

The 'Knife' and his cohorts are more than happy to disengage from Lucian and that vaguely threatening bar spoon. He's giving them the heebie-jeebies.

"Yeah, yeah. By your leave," and he does some flippant gesture towards Lucian. "Come-on, boys, let's discuss things with the nice man out back." The knuckle cracker does the other hand as he follows in the leader's wake. The two brothers are increasingly discomfited with the proceedings, shown by the glances they give one another. The back door shuts, the bar slips home, and Bucky is given one hell of a squinty glare. "This is a vertible bastion of plague," grumbles Louey, proud to be using big, formal words. "Anybody with a history would work here. You look like the guy who shot at Captain America. In fact…" And suddenly, there's a flip-knife in the leader's hands. "I bet if we cut down that pussy ponytail, you'd have the same damn hair. Kenny, hold him still." Knuckle-cracker comes around and walks towards Bucky, his stride and body language speaking volumes to having some background in hand-to-hand combat.

Leaning her ear against the back door, Rosemarie gasps. "Oh my — Lucian!" Catching herself, she then turns and darts back towards the bar itself. "He's not g-going to let them f-f-fight, is he?!" She implores the strawberry-blonde bartender with big doe eyes to boot.

Big words for big men deprived of any common sense. Some days they make it too damned easy. Lucian eases into the side entry where Bucky and his cohort of patriotic hooligans departed. Keeping a low profile in the space is terribly easy. Shadows drop over him and occlude his presence but for those burning eyes. Bright as a summer's day under normal circumstances, they simmer ruby-dark as Jupiter's Great Red Spot now. Hurricanes churned once under his hand. Some things revolve just as ferociously and quick.

Inside, Ana gets back to putting out three glasses. She shakes up several different liquors, none of them vodka. "Keep your hats on." Her gaze lifts to the mezzanine where a shadow looks over the balcony. "What! I got it, I got it!" A gesture is thrown to Maz.

Not gonna kill these guys. Even Lucian'd have a hard time covering this mess up….and that's not his remit. But now that he's got them away from the eyes and ears of the patrons….he drops the act. The moment Kenny's in range, a hand still covered in its leather glove is palming his skull and driving it facefirst into the brick of the alley wall. IT's viperish in its quickness - no telegraphing, no windup.

Then he's kicking the knife out of the leader's hand, sending it skittering along the pavement and out of range. It's all fluid motion thereafter - he's been trained at taking on multiple opponents, and these guys are a far cry from Russian supersoldier wannabes….or even ordinary Speznaz. The confined surroundings are only another tool, all the easier to stun them with. The metal arm lets him bounce heads off brick with ease, all of it finely gauged to subdue and stun but not kill. He's not going for either knife or gun.

Poor Knuckle-cracking Kenny. He's got a split second to appreciate the feeling of warm leather against his face before his skull makes friends with the brick wall outside. Slump — one down, easy as pie. This man never expected to be dealing with a super soldier. Louey yelps and clutches at his hand, rapidly backing away towards the door. The two Italianate brothers were close enough to join in Kenny's fate. They too fall to the pavement, groaning and curling into themselves like salted slugs.

The 'Knife', minus his weaponry, has no idea he's retreating towards Lucian. None at all.

Rose, on the other hand, lingers up by the bar, having watched the blonde barkeep walk off with that graceful stride of his. She bites at the scar on her lip, drumming her short nails on the marble surface. She's listening, hard, to see what she can catch at this distance. Not brave enough to see what lesson will be meted out by the barkeep…nope. She's had a taste of his brand of scary. No more, please.

Lucian has little reason to depart his shadowy niche, a secretive alcove concealing his presence in general from those fixated so heavily on a nice employee hired with a rapsheet miles long. Hardly the worst person on his payroll. In fact, compared to most, he's practically a saint, a foot in Heaven and the lyre already strummed in his metallic hand. Nothing like a couple million years to give a man a sense of perspective.

He leans back against the wall, shoulder resting on the curve, and watches the fight in action. It's an unfairly balanced one, and the beauty in Bucky's savage efficiency certainly warrants appreciation from a calculated eye. The efficiency and rough grace… He can appreciate that. When the 'Knife' shows up in his frame of vision, the Morningstar waits until the mortal turns and meets his gaze. In those pitiless eyes is no hint of warmth.

"Lux does not condone threats or vigilantism. The club is a sanctuary for our guests." Lucian strokes his jaw from corner to chin. He doesn't deviant from disturbing mildness. "You came in and threatened good, hard-working staff. Throw your weight around in front of customers. Say you'll call the police. Insult the ladies. You aren't welcome. Your men aren't welcome." The veil oh so slowly wavers around the edges, and the faint red sheen over those mild eyes joins the intensely cerulean pupils. "But your large ego and small mind need a demonstration just to be sure, don't they?"

He waves the bar spoon at them, slim and thin and minute.

IT's nice to let Winter out, now and again, even if he's on a chain leash. Bucky, satisfied he's dealt with the minions, rounds on poor Mr. Knife. There's neither anger nor fear nor gloating there. Just that cold regard. "If you really do think I'm the man who killed Captain America," he says, in that near monotone, "What makes you think you could take me, even with your little goons to help?" There's the faintest trace of an accent there - English speech is being filtered through Russian and back again. He heads towards him at that deceptively lazy stroll - always deliberate, the Soldier, when he can be.

Who's the lesser of the two evils? In this moment, Mister Knife is weighing the escape through the bar itself — surely that blond guy will stop this berserker madman of an employee from slamming his head against the brick wall?! He has no good response to the Soldier except a fearful stare and thus he wheels —

Only to encounter the goliath presence that is Lucian himself. Even as he locks eyes with the barkeep, there's the slippery realization that his goose is cooked. Incoherent sounds are eventually followed by a whisper of,

"Oh my god!" The most basic level of human nature, that lizard-brain, realizes now that the skull-smacking bouncer is the very much lesser of two evils — but far too late.

Lucifer casts a long shadow and an even colder look when he wants. He holds up a hand slightly to the shadowed Soviet emigre slipping out of his confinement to speak of horrors that a good psychic lobotomy might correct, if little else. Patience is the name of the game in this crucial turn, and very careful negotiation between intimidation and sending 'Knife' headfirst into the arms of the corrupt authorities must play out.

"Saying it doesn't help your plight," he murmurs under his breath, audibly possibly only to himself. The resolution presents itself. "You and I are going to play a game." He points the metal device to that rattled man. "In this situation, I have a bigger knife than you. You are going to agree. Then you're going to walk away. Think about what you did. Just like you did for Mumsy."

Obediently, Bucky's still. Poised and waiting, watching with those wolf's eyes. Keeping an eye out for the state of the minions, but they seem to've been safely put down for now…..though he idly sets a boot delicately on a hand as the blond twitches, and gives him a warning look. A few more pounds of pressure from that steeltoe, and metacarpals will be crunching like popcorn. It's Lucian who has most of his interest, now, that little puzzled indent popping up.

Knuckle-crackle Kenny makes some faint whimpering sounds because he knows that his knuckles will go crackle in a very painful manner under such a boot. The metal's touch is cold, unforgiving. He stays put-down where he is in the cleanest alleyway this side of Jersey.

Louey makes a choked whimpering sound as the 'bigger knife' drives home, clean and brutally painful after a split second.

"Whaaa…how did you know?! You can't know!!!" His next move, after tears fill his eyes, is to lunge at Lucian in some utterly mad move driven by a rush of old childhood memorie long-repressed.

Knify. Knify spoony. The lunge ends up with 'Knife' dealing with a spoon poking him in the throat just under the Adam's apple. That leaves the metal applying only a little pressure. Lucian's expression remains concentrated on the moment and utterly, completely bland. As much as someone like him can ever be bland with the essential animation there.

"Go." A light shove to the man's shoulder sees him off and away down the alley.

He's got that His Master's Voice expression on, complete with that little cock to his head. He's tensed as the man tries to rush Lucian….but somehow Lucian's conquered with a spoon. This is, clearly, witchcraft of the highest order. He watches him go without protest, and then looks back to Lucian. "What should I do with these?" Still weirdly neutral - but as his gaze meets Lucian, the Fallen can all but sense the other presence behind those guileless blue eyes, the urge to go for the pistol and end this altercation finally. Dead men tell no tales.

And boy, does Louey go, sobbing all of the way. Oh what fun it is to deal with the Devil on an ordinary day. Imagine if he'd really pissed off the barkeep. Knuckle-cracker Kenny makes some wobbly sound of dismay at the sudden disappearance of the Boss. The two brothers are the least of the worries. They scramble to their feet suddenly, bouncing off one another in the process and multiple times, they get entangled in each other's limbs. The raspberries beneath those jeans will be horrendous, much less the ones on elbows and palms of hands. At least they won't be too grimy.

At the bar, Rosemarie waits on tenterhooks. She can hear conversation now. The earlier cry of dismay almost pulled her to the back door, but nope — this isn't her business. A fingernail succumbs to being nibbled upon. Her eyes, faintly amber, never divert from the passageway that leads back.

The spoon ends up tucked back in Lucian's pant pocket. His attire and manner insist he's only a barkeep and nothing more. Wiping his hand over his hair insists the glorious shock should behave itself though no comb will ever quite master the locks in a way. "Well, we certainly can't burn them without arousing attention. Shipping them off will only upset the mafia. That businessman inside owes me a favour for interrupting my right to quiet enjoyment."

Watch Lucian flex those legal arms. "Let's get them sat up against the wall and I'll go make the arrangements. Ask Ana for a drink."

Ana, on her part, already has three out. One looks disturbingly clouded and blue. Curacao probably has nothing to do with it; they've got blue cloudberry syrup here. She looks at Rosemarie. "Oh, stop worrying. They'll come out fine. Bruised, and fine."

He does as ordered. Not even scuffed from the fight, though a crucial pin has come loose and his ponytail's come out of its knot to tumble down past his nape. Getting longer - his hair's past his shoulders when it's loose. He's groping in his suit jacket pockets for a spare. Once he's got the drink….he's not sure what todo with it. That it might be *for* him has not connected.

Knuckle-cracker Kenny, last one remaining and too dizzy to run, sits propped up against the wall, now gone completely silent. The cops are going to have a hard time getting much out of him. He'll never admit to being beaten by a man with a ponytail, even if said man spared his knuckles.

The freckled librarian jumps slightly and sighs before turning towards Ana. "H-How can y-y-you be sure…" The word peters out as she realizes that, indeed, from what she knows of Lucian, everyone will be fine except for those who dealt with him directly. She doesn't know that bouncer, but outside of the blonde barkeep's shadow, he's probably safe too. "I hope so."

Lucifer Morningstar is not the sort of angel to tell anyone to get a haircut, unless it's Raphael because the peacock wings are a ludicrous addition for someone cultivating romantic dreamy knight hair. Opinions prevail.

He instead pushes open the door and waits for Bucky to enter. They return into a club in full swing, if mildly perturbed by the sensitive. The server who warned off Rosemarie ends up replaced by Lucifer, who has a deal to make.

Ana nods over at the door. "See? There he is. Drink your drink." She shoves the glass at the brunette sprawled in worry. As for poor Bucky, the drink has the essence of summer poured over moonshine.

It's a perfect hair of the dog for a guy still suffering somewhat from a satyr-wine induced hangover headache. And it doesn't come with sexual confusion, either. Buck's dubious of drinking on-duty, but….apparently he's off for now. Good dogs get treats. So he sips from it, carefully.

Rosemarie looks from the drink to Ana to Lucian, returned to his table and discussion, and back to the strawberry blonde bartender. "I d-didn't order one…butokay," she finishes quickly. Pulling the glass towards herself, she then settles in on her barstool.

Bucky is given a shy glance out of the corner of her eye and then she rotates on the stool more to face him. Those big brown doe-eyes have lost what gold they held before and she seems less worried now, at least outwardly.

"I-I'm sorry you h-had to d-deal with them," she offers quietly.

Ana goes back to mixing drinks, giving a wink to those who question her presence. Her busying herself is simply a cover for attracting attention away from the usual bartender. Look, a lady mixing alcohol! How worthy of titillation!

Bucky won't have long to worry on his own, nor Rosemarie. The Devil in black ventures back after making several quick gestures and statements punctuated by a sharply bland smile. His saunter is a little too cocky for a bland figure. It dominates and owns the ground, daring anyone to try. The cops might bust in, really. And they'll find all doing well, with a bit of jaunty Thelonius Monk playing over the speakers with a young Motown singer crooning in his place.

"All's well, Miss Falcroft. You will note the dispute was quickly settled with no one worse the wear." Because bruises aren't worn.

Poor Buckles is uneasy. He can't parse what Lucian might really want from him….or that he didn't just get fired. Maybe that drink is by way of the last cigarette before the firing squad? IF the cops do bust in…..even odds Bucky'll be trying to make a break for it. "I'm okay, thanks," he says to Rosemarie, voice low and gruff again. "Sorry about that." He's even a little pink, between embarassment and booze.

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