1964-07-30 - Three Sheets to the Sin
Summary: Two devils and an assassin have a little fun.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bucky lucian harper 

It's the middle of a set featuring a crooner of dusky skin and a huskier voice. The man's dark voice endows a certain moody resonance to a place already dripping with atmosphere. Rage pours across the thrumming vibrations of his smooth and silky baritone, though it's all wrapped up in a gorgeous quality that begs to go with a shot of bourbon and a glimpse over the Deep South's cotton fields, muddy waters, and plantations. No more accompaniment goes with him than a guitar, rather cheap, and a Steinway piano that would belong otherwise in a certain rock music hall beloved by almost every musician in the world.

Lucian's crowd is captivated. The servers ply drinks in strong quantities to allow those bewitched souls to suffer under the howling croon of a man who knows the turmoils of a devalued life. These are the hymns and gospels of suffering, humanity in suffering. They're familiar as they are mysterious to so many here.

Not the man seated in his booth, smoking a cigarette and reading over a file. A pile of paper. A few photographs. Anything to dismiss the vexing probability of rage.

Most people who frequent Lux know that it's not the sort of place where bringing in your fights is encouraged. As a matter of fact, it's pretty strongly discouraged. So this probably isn't the first time that someone's shown up here for the express purpose of avoiding a little bit of retribution.

Harper took a job protecting the daughter of one of the local politicians. Everything was going well until the girl snuck out for a night with her boyfriend, and the mob enforcers followed. A chase ensued, and while she's been able to keep a lead on them for most of the night, she needs a place to lie low for a minute.

So in the middle of the set, she ushers the girl and her boyfriend into the club, guiding them to one of the booths that isn't easily visible from the doorway. Of course, she doesn't look much like herself, either. A web of light has changed her appearance, instead making her the twin to the politician's daughter as she heads to a spot that is very visible from the door.

Bringing any sort of unwelcome threat to Lux will earn the ire of its demons. They enforce the promise of neutral ground with a straightforward brutality ending so often on the point of a knife or a fingertip pressed to a sore point legally. Maz's motto ought to be 'Your problems are not my problems.' That might help clarify things a bit.

No mobster worth his salt wants to shakedown a place paying protection money (Lux doesn't) or hosting a bigger monster than them (Lux does). Whether they know the bigger monster simply cannot die and looks upon their tendrils boredly as he might laugh softly at Hydra's efforts matters little. Lucian isn't going to presume upon anyone interrupting his night. He glances askance as someone else steps into the dimmed club mid-set. The music rushes around them almost eagerly, carrying guests through the current.

His gaze catches the woman's for a time. Mazikeen probably notes it. A few others note it. He slides out from his booth on the express purpose of finding something to drink at the bar.

Taking advantage of Lux's status wasn't Harper's first choice, but when it comes down to it, it's any port in a storm. And hopefully, the trouble will stay outside. Or at least that was her plan. Plan P is that they don't stay out and the resident muscle handles them. She doesn't intend to have to join in the fight herself until about Plan Y, really.

At the bar, she takes a moment to order a drink, keeping an eye on the door as she waits for it to be ready. As Lucian comes closer, she offers a brief, tight smile.

Lux offers its gifts to those whom it chooses. The price of admission does not bring the sole benefit to those revelers eager to soak in culture or wine, admiring beautiful music and people. It happens to be a perk, like celery in a Bloody Mary or the lemon swirl in a Vesper martini. A review of the menu will show regular drinks just don't exist here. A chalked reminder at the bar says as much over the marble and granite: 15 days since someone wanted a trashy drink! and We don't serve beer.

Lucian receives that tight smile from a stranger with one of his own. "Welcome to Lux. Whatever your sin is tonight, Ana will be happy to mix up." Anahita, otherwise Ana, is the strawberry blonde bartender on most nights.

"Dealer's choice," Harper says with a wry smile. After all, she's less interested in the drink than she is in an excuse to stay here. One eye on the door, one eye on the girl and her boyfriend in their booth, she holds herself ready just in case one of their pursuers get brave.

Of course, she can change her appearance as much as she wants to…she still sounds like Harper.

Or most of the night. Though when it's busy enough or when Ana needs a break, the spectre most often found in the back rooms is brought out to fill in. And there's 'Jack', in his usual black garb and pleasant deadpan, though his eyes still have the pale neutrality of a wolf observing from the forest's edge. Gloved hand, of course.

Ana's choice: "Rhyme or Reason," she announces. "You look like you're the golden child. Drink something to match it." Her grin is wide and easy, the smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose changing to her warm expression. She goes in search of rum and honey, the base of the liquor she's going to blend up.

Lucian reserves the rosa mundi for himself, though he isn't going to cross the counter to start mixing. Lest anyone question why he has that, rose bourbon and absinthe could easily flatten the average person and he has no qualms about being seen as effeminate. Not his problem. Jack can do that. "Charming delivery. Is this a special night or just something to entertain yourself with?"

Harper glances back toward the young couple, grimacing. "It was supposed to be entertaining, or at least easy money," she admits, leaning against the bar. "Instead, she sneaks out to see Romeo there, someone tips off the mob, and now it's a little bit more exciting. Although on the up side, it flushed out a leak, so there's that." Yet somehow, she doesn't actually seem happy about that.

Jack can do that, and is more used to the boss's spectrum of choices than he was. He's quiet at it - Harper's not recognizable as herself at first glance, though the voice makes him look up at her, for a moment. And as for looking effeminate - well, he can manage kohl without serious self-consciousness, thanks to the old days of warpaint and anti-glare streaks on his cheekbones. Though he does keep his hair back in that severe knot, rather than loose past his shoulders.

Simple tastes aren't always in vogue. They cannot easily be fulfilled here, not always. Though the taste of whatever golden raisin liqueur spiked pleasure Ana makes has a warmer delight than meets the eye. Harper's drink is set down by Ana.

Lucian tips his finger down on the marble. "A relief to confront a familiar trouble than an esoteric one, isn't it?"

Harper quirks a brow at Lucian's statement, reaching over to take her drink from Ana. "I don't run into many esoteric troubles, personally," she admits. "Mostly just the kind with guns and fists. Occasionally a bit of inconvenient science. I've tried to leave the science bits behind." She tips her chin toward Jack as he comes out, a faint smile flickering.

That has him more pokerfaced than usual, if that's possible - both sides, mysticism and science, 've had it in for him in the past. Damn near down to mute. He sets Lucian's drink down before him silently. He inclines his head to Harper, after catching her eye.

Lucian reaches for his glass and takes a third of it down by a deep drink. He knows full-well how potent it is, and not that any of it has the least impact on him. How so when he is made from nothing so easy as flesh and bone? The conversation makes a fine diversion out of different cares. Muddy Waters growls his songs about the miserable tasks of difficult life. "Lucky. They tend to be the most irritating of all. Might mind the gentleman she's chosen though. He carries himself in a certain way." His eyes narrow a little. "Too much a strutting rooster, him."

Harper tilts her head, a blonde ponytail bobbing as she leans over to get another look at the couple in the booth. "Maybe," she agrees. "But I don't think he's any more trouble than you'd expect from a teenage boy." Which, to be fair, is a considerable amount of trouble. "He's a dumb kid who could get her killed, but only because she's more wrapped up in the romance of it all than the reality of her life, not out of any malice of his own." She takes a long drink, letting out a heavy sigh as the alcohol settles into her blood, steadying her hands.

Bucky pours himself something - which the keener eye will note contains no booze at all. The fanciest bar in Manhattan, and he's drinking Kabul Libres. But then, he is also the bouncer, when need be. He's got an ear cocked for direction from Lucian, but if he's really paying attention to the idle conversation, it doesn't show.

The bouncer, the bartender, the badass mofo. All in the job description and dictionary synonyms under 'B' beside good ol' Bucky. Lucian tips the drink back until there's nothing left and he leaves the glass on the coaster provided. "Yes, but foolishness prevails. I trust that we all survive it. You'll need to forgive me but I've an acquaintance to speak with before the night grows too late."

"Of course," Harper nods to Lucian. "I'll…make sure the mess stays outside." It's as close to an apology as she's likely to come, given the situation. She has her own pride as well. She doesn't really want to admit that mistake number one was not keeping a close enough eye on the girl to keep her from slipping out of the house to meet her boyfriend.

That has Bucky glancing up. He doesn't bid Lucian farewell - he'll be here until they put the chairs atop the tables, as it were. Then he glances at Harper, and the look's a wordless affirmation. He can be the pushbroom that gets the mess outside in the first place, if need be.

Harper lets out a breath as Lucian heads off, still watching the pair in the booth. "Kids," she grumbles to Bucky. Granted, it might have more impact if she didn't look exactly like the girl in the booth, and he didn't know that she looks hardly any older than that even without a disguise.

And he looks like he's not much older than them. Maybe twenty-five, at a stretch. There's a skeptical arch of his brow at her. C'mon. How much older are *you*?

Harper wrinkles her nose at the look. "Yeah, yeah. But at least I know a thing or two about not getting myself killed." She takes another drink, still on edge despite the relative safety of the club. There's no telling just yet if the mob enforcers who followed them are still waiting outside.

Buck'll be taking the firmest possible exception if so. He's not a big guy, not the way bouncers are so often supposed to be. "I should hope so," he finally says, mildly. There might be the faintest of teasing edges to that.

"Aww, you hope so?" Harper's smile flickers despite the wariness in her features. "That's sweet, Jack. I didn't think you'd miss me if I stopped showing up." She pauses, picking up her drink and giving him a skeptical look. "It's because you'd have to clean up the blood, isn't it?"

Bucky presents her with that flawless deadpan. "I hate cleaning up blood," he agrees, after a sip of whatever it is he's drinking - there's cola and a lime wedge involved.

Harper nods sagely, taking another drink. "Gets everywhere. Stains. Always end up just sort of spreading it around more than actually getting it up. I'll try to keep the blood to a minimum," she promises.

"It won't be happening in here," he notes, idly. "It'll be outside. Hosing down the sidewalk is as far as I'll go." Bucky's standing comfortably hipshot at the bar, glancing between her and her apparent twin. So. That's what it's like.

"Oh, well, in that case, I promise I'll try to keep my blood to a minimum," Harper smirks. "I'm attached to it. I'm considerably less attached to the blood inside the people trying to take out a man's kid just to cause him some pain, though. But if all you've got to do is hose it down, might as well do things the relatively easy way."

"Why don't you take her home?" Not even bothering to pretend to fool with barware, for once. He's got the calm, observant expression of a mastiff who's pretty sure that guy he smells outside the fence is going to do something stupid like come in and get bitten.

"She's been running for the last two hours," Harper explains, voice low. "And she doesn't have the stamina for it. We needed a minute to regroup, strategize, give her a chance to catch her breath and me a chance to come up with a new plan."

There may be times, now and again, when Harper will have the abrupt, and perhaps unpleasant, sense that someone else who isn't Jack is there listening to her…..from the same pair of ears. "How many?" he asks, and there's a new note in his voice.

"Six. Two teams of three. Was just the one to start, but they called in the second about an hour ago." Harper reports like someone who's used to giving reports - there's an army familiarity to it. "And they're not the usual stupid goons, either. Would've lost them before they called in the second team otherwise." She tips her head, looking around the bar. "We'll be fine. Show lets out soon, we'll slip out with the rest of the crowd. I'll toss them a dummy vision to follow, disguise us, and we'll be gone before they know it."

Bucky looks dubious, at that. But he nods. She's fooled him, a time or two. Surely she can fool them. There's a curling little grin at the side of his mouth, as he contemplates something. But then it fades away again.

Harper quirks a brow at that look, a faint smile flickering across her own features. "What?" she prompts. "You got a better idea? I'm listening."

Again, that sense of other presences, as he looks more somber. "Not really," he admits, quietly. "I'm not so used to playing bodyguard. Different priorities. Now, if you need help getting safely away, lemme know.

"Bodyguard and infiltration," Harper sighs, tossing back the last of her drink. "My specialty." The set comes to an end then, with a round of applause from the patrons at the bar, and she slips off of her stool. "I think that's my cue. Have a good one, Jack."

"Good luck," he says, quietly. But he's still watching keenly.

Just what there is to watch, though, is soon unclear. Harper joins the pair at the booth, but when the three get up, there are three sets of them that step into the crowds. And like a shell game, it's soon entirely unclear which is the true group…probably because they've gone invisible, leaving only the illusions to distract the goons.

That's impressive….and a power tobe envied. Buck looks a little wry. Here he is, hanging in the wind….

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License