1964-07-24 - Whiskey and Cigarettes
Summary: Kai comes to visit Gene and ends up with a job.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai gene-fuchs 

The day after meeting the little English fellow with the littler dog, there comes a knocking on the door. Instead of having his little dog with him, he's got a bottle of whiskey. It's not exactly top shelf but it's unopened and full, and it's not the worst brand, either. "Hullo," he calls through the door. He pauses, then says, "Wait, this is an office." He tries the door to let himself in. "Hullo?"

The door opens easily. Nevertheless from the back of the apartment there's a barked, "It's open!" Gene will appear out of the bathroom holding a white shirt with a red stain on it. He's wearing a white wife beater tshirt. He looks up. "Oh, yeah…hey kid." He searches his memory for the name. "Kai." He throws the shirt in the sink. "You know how to get wine out? You'd think I'da learned that by now." He comes up to the "office" part of the room."

"A little club soda will do it," Kai says. "It's not just a mixer, it's a miracle." He closes the door behind him, and he adds, "Switch to whiskey. I wanted to bring this down to say welcome." To what, exactly, he doesn't say. "Do you have a title?" he asks. "Is it Investigator Fuchs? Or just Mr. Fuchs? Or Gene?" He looks around the place, quick eyes taking in this and that. He's clear-eyed at the moment. Must be too early to get stoned.

Gene Fuchs hmms and sits behind the desk. "Don't have any. Maybe I'll get some later. And unfortunately I was just the target of the wine, not the drinker." He eyes the bottle, "It works. I feel welcome already. Open that up." He smiles and stands up again and fetches two Old Fashioned glasses that actually match. He plonks them on the desk with a chink as they touch each other. "So, what do you think? How do you like the office?" He spreads his arms out, embracing the area.

The question about his title takes a little more thought. "No. I don't have a title. You could call me Mr. Fuchs, but that seems a little square and makes me feel old. They called me Geno in the army, but that was the army. Call me Gene, I guess."

"Gene," Kai says. "Yes, I like that. I'm not one to stand on formality." Considering he dresses like a hippy, that's not such a stretch. He comes over to the desk and opens the whiskey, pouring a splash in each glass. "I like it," he says. "Very official-like. When I came in here, I felt like I was in a PI's office, and I suppose that's what you're going for." He leans one hip in the edge of the desk. "It makes me wish I had a case for you, but right now everything is going like it should."

Music to his ears, that splash. Gene raises the glass in a little salute to Kai. "Have a seat. Yeah. That's what I'm going for. You know, real film noir sorta thing. You don't have a cheating wife? Somebody who owes you money?" He watches Kai over his glass as he takes a drink to see how Kai handles his drink. "Where are your weird friends today?"

Kai sits, and he swirls his whiskey in his glass before taking a drink. He handles it like it's deliciously flavored water. He savors the burn, then says with a quiet laugh, "No wife, no money. I sponge of Serrure most of the time." With another glance around the office, he says, "I like the noir. It sets a tone. People come in here, they don't want modern era or stagnant businesslike. They want to feel like they're talking to a PI." The question about his weird friends gets another laugh from him. "I think Serrure is actually running his shop today, and who knows where Jack is. He appears and disappears like a ghost. Kevin's upstairs. He didn't want to get up from his nap for a walk."

Gene Fuchs leans back in his chair, "I'd get a better office if I could. PI work is feast or famine, though. Mostly famine. I suppose it's good you got someone you can sponge off," his brow wrinkles, then smooths again, "I guess." It's been at least ten minutes with out a cigarette. The whiskey is making him jones for one. He opens his drawer and takes out a new pack, opens it and offers Kai one before he uses his silver lighter with the K3 etched in it to light up. "So no job? How you paying the rent?" Yeah…talking about money isn't supposed to be polite. No one ever accused Gene of being polite.

"I had a job," Kai says, "but they fired me after I disappeared for awhile." A fact he doesn't seem bent about at all. He leans forward to take a cigarette, and he plants it between his lips and leans in further for a light. After that first refreshing puff, he says, "Serrure. I'm an artist, though. I guess you could say he's my patron." Money, propriety, these things don't concern someone so… Kai. "I actually do quite a bit of commissioned work right now. Portraits, mostly."

Gene gives the glass a swirl and downs the last of his drink. "I thought all the artists live in the Village." The glass goes down onto the desk. "Commissions, huh? And Frenchie sells your other stuff? " He almost looks interested, until he says, "I'd ask to see it, but I probably wouldn't like it. I don't get this modern art shit. I'm more of a Normal Rockwell and Chuck Jones sorta guy. " He looks around his apartment. "That's what I need, though. I need some pictures. "

"I wish I could afford the Village," Kai says. "But when I was working a normal job, I didn't make enough money, and now?" He shrugs one shoulder and grins. "Now the place has grown on me. This neighborhood is a dump, but it's my dump. The people are my people. Sometimes I check up on a few people. Old people, mostly, just to see they're getting fed and their heat is on in the winter and off in the summer."

Gene Fuchs says, "A do-gooder beatnik. That's sweet," he says sarcastically, but he grins to take the edge off his words. "I guess somebody's gotta care about what is going on. Say, you ever try photography? " He eyes Kai, sizing him up with pale bule eyes a little as he asks that question. He takes the bottle of whiskey and refills his glass."

Kai inclines his head and says, "Not all of us sit on our asses, you dig? Not having to work frees up my time to do the real work, the kind that doesn't pay." He takes another swallow of whiskey, takes a drag off his cigarette, and says, "I've dabbled, but I can't afford the kind of camera I'd need. I try not to rattle my cup at Serrure too often, but I'm saving my pennies."

With a lean forward towards the young man, Gene nods. "I hear you, but you gotta eat…and everybody needs money. I got a way you can earn a few bucks as a photographer if you're interested. You don't have to be good, you just have to get a picture. " He pulls open his drawer again and hands Kai a Canon 110. It's small, and looks even smaller in his big hands. "You think you could use that?"

Kai arches a brow. "Is it a cool job? I won't be ratting out anyone to the pigs, will I?" Because that, apparently, is right off the table. "I mean I'd report to you, right?" He takes a puff of his cigarette, then adds, "They'd be artistically stunning photos, by the way." Sitting up, he takes the camera. After turning it around in his hands and inspecting it, he lifts it to look at things through it. Fidgets with the focus, then clicks. Gene's couch area has now been photographed, beautifully with the sun through the window and the juxtaposition of a flat that looks lived in while also being a work space. "Sure, I think I can use this," he says.

A smirk grows on Gene's face. "No…not ratting out anybody to the cops. To an insurance company, and the guy deserves it. And yeah…" He takes a drink, holding his cigarette in the same hand. "…you'd be reporting to me." Sharp eyes watch Kai's skillful handling of the camera. "There's 40 bucks in it."

Kai blinks a few times. He plucks the cigarette from his lips and says, "That'll buy me a lot of canvas." Still, ratting out to an insurance company does smell a lot like working for The Man. Kai thinks about this. Then again, people cheating insurance companies are ultimately hurting people like the old folks he comes around to check on. That decides it for him. "Sure, I'll photograph this cat. Where can I find him?"

Nice. Gene was wondering how he was going to manage this. "You got time tomorrow? I have his address. I'll take you there. Wear sneakers. How much do you weigh?"

"Sure, I have lots of free time," Kai says. He pauses at the question of his weight. Stabbing out his spent cigarette, he says, "More than you'd think. I've got dense muscles. I'm quiet, though, when I want to be. I can get into places. There's not a lock I've met yet I can't pick."

"Nah, I need you to crawl in an air vent, and I don't want you busting through. If it was some place I would be able to fit, I wouldn't need you. " Gene stubs out his cigarette too. He pulls out a couple of rolls of extra film. "I think that only has a couple of frames left. You can have one for yourself if you just want to get practice taking pictures. They're both black and white. That's fine, because then I can develop them myself."

Kai hrms. "I might be a bit heavy for that. I can try it. If I'm too heavy though I can still creep into places. Rooftops are one of my specialties. There are groovy parties on roof tops, man. I'm going to throw one soon to celebrate coming home after being away." He finishes his whiskey and sets the glass down next to the bottle. He seems to have a tolerance for both the burn and the booze. "I'll take a few photos and practice sneaking around. We'll get your guy."

Gene scratches his head wondering if he's made the right decision here. "I dunno. The vent will probably hold you. It's size I'm most concerned about. I can't fit." He's not going to do THAT again. And you'll need to take the pictures from the vents. He keeps his blinds down. You should get a good view of this guy, but I can fill you in tomorrow. You cool with that?"

Kai nods, curls bouncing, "Sure, sure," he says. "This is going to be fun." That's what's important here, right? "I'll be around tomorrow. If I don't hear from you, I'll come down. I might bring Kevin with me. Don't worry, he's discreet." He pauses then adds, "I won't be bringing him with me on the job, mind you. He's also dumber than a brick, poor fella."

Kai must have seen Gene about to protest about the dog. "Yeah no dog. Tomorrow afternoon sometime. And nobody else either. " No weird friends. "Tell them all about it afterward, I don't care. And don't lose my camera. I'll need it this weekend."

"Gene, I treat artistic supplies like the sacred things they are," Kai says, and he gives the camera a small pat, like he might a pet. His brow furrows as he considers how to handle his friends. Loki goes wherever he want and does whatever he wants. Hopefully he'll be at the shop. "Yeah, I think I can do this. I don't have plans. I rarely make them. Things just sort of happen to me."

He's been waiting for his chance with this guy for some time, so Gene gives a little shrug. "If tomorrow won't work, we can make it another time. But, I don't need Frenchie and … that other guy there. We need discretion, right? This guy can't hear you…" He's definitely paying Kai /after/ the job. "You good with that kid?" He'll fill him in on what to do if he gets caught tomorrow….when it's too late to back out.

"No, no, I mean tomorrow should be fine because I have no plans," Kai says hastily. "And if I don't leave the apartment, chances are good nothing will happen. I'll be home, just me and Kev. He's kind of destiny-proof." He clears his throat, sits up a bit straighter, and says, "I'll be around. It'll be great. You'll get your pictures."

Gene offers his hand, "Cool, man. It's a deal. I'll fill you in later." He flashes a quick smile. "Now you need to get the hell out of here. I need to go to sleep." He jerks a thumb to his couch. "I got an early date."

Gene is watching to see if Kai leaves the bottle.

Kai laughs, sudden and melodious. He gets to his feet and says, "Sure thing, boss. Knock 'em dead on your date." He makes his way to the door, humming a tune under his breath. He just does not seem to get offended by much.

And he leaves the bottle.

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