1964-11-07 - November Open Mic at Eight Ball
Summary: Open Mic night at the Eight Ball.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
rogue sophie-rousseau josh jay kaleb kwabena julie dazzler daire 

It's open mic night at the Eight Ball and that means that a small area has been cleared away to act as stage and a setup is there for folks to connect to the sound system, mic stands, the like. One of the bartenders is currently on the stage and is in the process of opening up the evening's entetainment. "Hey, welcome everyone to open mic at the eight ball. We've got a number of performers tonight for you, so in order to make sure everyone gets a shot we're going to get this show on the road in just a few minutes. So grab yourself a beer, grab a seat, and get ready to hear some of Mutant Town's local talent."

Josh is hanging out by the bar presently, dressed in casual khaki's and a fitted button up yellow shirt which isn't buttoned up so much. He is not actually gold, presently, so he's looking the more All American Golden Boy in a more figurative then literal sense. He has a whole bottle of rum and a short glass next to him, not to mention peanuts. All the peanuts. He pours a shot, tosses it back, and does another. There's a calm, easy serenity about him at the moment, so he's not drinking away any problems. But he clearly wants to advance into the buzzed state.

Julie strides on in with a few others, then, having been keeping an eye out for signs of any more trouble such as the neighborhood's has lately. Sighs to Sophie. "Well, I could really do with a beer, after the other night, anyway. Ought to be interesting to hear some of this musical talent," she says, and winks to Sophie.

"You ah fine, boss." Kwabena steps out of the driver's seat, gesturing for Kaleb to go on inside. "I will have a smoke out here." Granted, one can smoke inside the bar, so clearly, the Ghanaian has a different kind of smoke in mind.

Once the car is locked, Kwabena moves over toward an alcove not far from the entrance. There, he removes the remains of a joint he'd rolled earlier in the day. He licks it to make sure it's still in one piece, then lights up with a beat up, old Zippo lighter.

A few minutes later, Kwabena walks into the club, unzipping his black leather jacket as he goes. He's extremely calm, considering, and a pungent odor wafts along with him that those who are in the know will easily recognize. Beneath the jacket, he's wearing a nice burgundy polo, tightly fitting to his well honed torso. A pair of blue jeans and black boots complete the ensemble, and his silver eyes remain uncovered, for all to see.

Sophie is, as already noted, walking in with Julie and the rest from her carload, her guitar case in one hand. Setting the case down, she slips out of her long coat, revealing that under it she's wearing an almost-new-looking pair of nicely-fitting blue jeans and a white peasant top with embroidery in purple and gold around the collar, the modest neckline, and the belled cuffs of the sleeves. Brown leather boots with chunky 3-inch heels complete the outfit. "I hope this goes as well as the last time," she says to her friend. "I always get nervous before I have to perform."

Behold, a Scarlett! This corner of town so rarely finds the redhead in its vicinity that she potentially encounters difficulty trying to enter. Naught particularly distinguishes her as a mutant, as it happens, though the other credentials she can fall back on probably do the heavy lifting. Mind that the dress she's wearing is almost psychotic in its psychedelic blurs, far too early to be a commonplace sight of melting hues rotating around their own axes. At least she's going to have the benefit of visibility after surveying the stage, those seated, and the rest possibly going down curiously thus. She approaches on a neat clip through the crowd, smoke as it hangs in the air rotating around.

Daire isn't working tonight because he's performing, and currently he is on the little stage getting things set up, setting the two stools up there and getting the mics adjusted and doing a quick check of the sound before he settles in with his guitar, waiting for Jay to come up and get ready and settled in as well. He has a bottle of beer on the floor next to him that he is avoiding knocking over as he looks out into the haze of the crowd, trying to pick out familiar faces, and giving a bit of a wave when he sees them.

Kaleb was not, as it turned out, a smoker. Still he turned to his driver and nodded, "I'll grab a table and a round. When you're done join us." Echo walked in, like he does everywhere like he ran the damn place. He found a table, got a drink and held his hand out to Sophie. "It'll be fine." Many faces he didn't know. Those he did however got the subtle nod. Awesome. This was good. He promised himself he wouldn't analog autotune them though. Promised… that was going to be hard.

Josh's eyes are focused mostly on Daire as he prepares, but he does let his gaze drift, and when he notices Kaleb's entrance, he lifts a shot glass up to offer a toast across the room, "… This is the first time I've seen you where you're not hurt, isn't it?" He calls out with a quick, bright grin of amusement.

Jay was there for the first one, and you can pretty much be promised that he'll show up to every mic night as expected. The only difference here is that this time around the man is real easy to pick out with his guitar flung over a cushion of brilliant red, feathered wings rather than hiding them underneath a secondary shirt. The bobbing of feathers high over his head serves as a giant arrow pointing down 'Jay is Here', and considering he's lined up to sing with at least a couple folks tonight, that might prove useful for later.

Jay takes a deep breath, his seren smile fixed in place easily when he sees how many more people are around for this one. "Not a bad turn out…" Murmuring to himself, there's a striding line to the stage, quietly apologizing while he squeezes past folks and up to Daire. A small pop of his brows, he works the guitar off his back and reaches out to clasp Daire by the shoulder and slide his hand down his bandmate's elbow as he leans in to check-in quick before they start.

Julie gives a wave around to, well, lots of people she knows, here, as she threads her way to the bar, waving to the barkeep, "Ah, one of the usual and a finger of Canadian Club to go with." She clicks one of the lap timers on a big watch she wears, and says to Sophie and Dazz, "You know, I got no idea what you guys drink." Waves again when she spots someone else, as well.

Dazzler arrives fashionably late, wearing a kaleidoscopic dress halter dress with butterflies motiff, the colors spreading out of their wings into a colorful haze of shape, before forming more butterflies. Her guitar is slung over her back from a shoulder strap, and her makeup is done for a show. Silvery glittery highlights, and butterfly wing and fuschia and cyan over her eyes. A set of necklaces and bracelets, made of interwoven mirrored beads to reflect light. She's not afraid of drawing attention to herself, rather she craves the attention. Even so, when she walks into the Eight Ball she doesn't announce herself, rather she just goes off to the side to get herself a drink, waving here and there along the way at people she recognizes.

Sophie takes Kaleb's offered hand and gives it a grateful squeeze before releasing it, nodding to him and smiling, though also giving a shrug. "I guess it's better to be worried than to be too sure of yourself," she says, with a self-deprecating chuckle. She then follows Julie over toward the bar, and when asked, she replies, "For right now, I'd just like a beer. I may want something harder after I get off stage."

Kaleb went to drink his drink, it was a gin night, and Josh's comment actually made him break his stoic expression into a laugh, "Goddamit it, Josh." He took a drink and thought back. No… no… ye- he wasn't working that night though. Well shit. "Just because you're right doesn't mean anything, man." He gestured to Kwabena like seee? My life insurance policy traveled with!.

"Alright folks, our first performers are ready to get this show rolling tonight, so let's give a warm welcome to Daire and Jay who are going to get us hoppin' with a little bit of Rolling Stones." The bartender introduces the pair and then moves off of the stage to leave the pair of musicians.

Daire tilts his head to listen to whatever it is that Jay has to say up on stage, and then he gives him a clasp on the shoulder, a reassuring smile, and nods, before settling onto his stool. He tips the mic towards himself and says, "Thanks everyone for coming out tonight.. let's get things started.. whataya say, Jay?" There's a short count and then he begins to play.
Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ct2n2iiiIGQ

No guitar, no artful instruments here. Scarlett weaves a path, rotating sideways to find the open spaces ahead of her rather than end up in the crush of folks. The sleeve of her dress sweeps across an iridescent gemstone worth a kingdom, and not one of the forgettable tiny Alpine or Himalayan ones, its brazen filigree climbing her wrist. The endless look about her strives to pick out the familiar faces without calling undue attention to herself, impossible though it may be when tall, redheaded, and prospectively waving in Jay and Daire's direction. The marked recognition of Kaleb's out there gets a "Hello!" thrown his way. Ooh, things about to begin.

Stepping up toward the bar, Kwabena smirks a bit when he recognizes Julie. He's been MIA of late, his employer to be thanked for that, but now that he's back in the Big Apple, it's nice to see some familiar faces. "Hey dere, Diz," he calls to her, flicking a two fingered salute before catching the bartender's attention. "George Dickel, Numbah Twelve, neat," he tells the bartender. "And an Old Fashioned. Have some catching up to do."

Josh laughs softly at Kaleb, remarking, "Always right, my man. Always right." He's grinning at the young man before he catches sight of Jay, offering a toast over in his direction as well. He applauds when Daire and Jay get to the stage, but quickly quiets down when it comes to the actual music being played.

Ordering herself a gin and tonic, Dazzler turns towards the stage as Daire and Jay are announced. Rolling Stones is a smart pick, usual crowd pleasers, as can be evidenced by some shaking bodies. Dazzler herself is moving her head to the beat, and truth be told, she likely enjoys the music. Any kind of music, much more than any other audience member, after all it literally energizes her.

Julie says, "Hey, Kwabena! How ya been doing?" She lowers her voice when the crowd quiets rather more, with the acts starting."

Kaleb could pick out any number of persons and sounds. It was perhaps why the earplugs were in; to filter out ambient unnecessary noise. The grin hung. All things being what they were mutants exercising creative expression in sound made him happy. And his roommate was playing. It was a good night. Looking up to Scarlett he warmed a warmer look. Hand gestured to the chair at the table. "Pull up a drink and have a seat?" Hell he looked like he had fewer holes than when Scarlett last saw him too. Like nothing ever happened. Imagine that.

Beer in hand, Sophie dances in place a little, picking up the buoyant energy of Jay and Daire's performance. Maybe not so literally as Dazzler is, but being a musician and a dancer herself, she can't help but be swept up in the beat. And hey, look! — the pre-performance jitters have been swept away, at least for the moment.

Jay returns the smile from Daire, a ripple running through his feathers with a whisper of friction drowned out by the noise in the bar, small nuances of ease settling in as he takes his stool and does a quick tune up before resting comfortably with his guitar. Scarlett picked out, there's a gentle curve of his mouth and tip of her head to the bohemian chic lady when she waves to him. The toast in his direction from the bar caught as well, Jay's foot slips off his barstool rung and he pitches forward slightly before pushing himself back up. An upnod passed at Josh, he secures himself at his guitar and takes another breath, smiling at Daire when they're announced. He leans in as well to speak a moment over the mic. "Let's get this show on the road, y'all. See if they can hear us up in Queens."

Indeed, it's a smart pick and likely the reason they started with it. Jay knows how sets work and are constructed. You get them moving fast and if things get slow in the middle, nobody cares as long as you end strong. He picks up quick with Daire's lead off and it's apparent that the two have practiced this before. Jay lets Daire take lead, coming in to supply surging harmony meant to get people up on their feet or at least toe tapping, soon the red head is slowly standing up from his barstool and leaning in to his mic on those occasional vocals he supplies, his energy palpable and wings eke slightly away from his squared shoulders. Easy glances and smiles slid to his bandmate as they switch between instrumental riffs to lyrics and back again, Jay nods in time along; the usually mild man glows a bit. Figuratively speaking. He's comfortable here.

"Keeping busy," Kwabena tells Julie. Then, with a rueful grin he adds, "Keeping out of troubah, for once." He turns back to the bartender and pays for his drinks, pausing for a moment when the music starts. A glimmer comes to his mutant eyes, and he remains there at the bar for a moment, eyebrows lifted as the music is spilt forth. He bobs his head a few times to the beat, before lifting the whiskey and downing it with one gulp. Finally, he departs from the bar and moves toward Kaleb's table, glancing toward the others who are there before claiming his seat.

Into the jacket the African dives, pulling out a pack of menthol cigarettes and his old Zippo. The Zippo is clicked to life, the cigarette lit, and only then does he shrug out of the jacket to make himself comfortable. "Damn," he says aloud, gesturing with the cigarette-wielding hand toward the musicians up on stage. "Dey know how to cook."

His use of American slang… still a bit awkward.

Julie is just, for the most part, tapping a foot, sipping that whiskey, perhaps a bit rapidly, and looks about for a spot for them to set things down, "Yep, guess we got some talent here, though," she comments to Sophie. "Hey, how's Nyx? Ain't really seen her in a while. Course she can be kind of hard to see."

"I don't need to drink," Scarlett replies. Let those in earshot take that how they will as she slides into the chair Kaleb indicates. Folding her feet beneath her allows for as narrow a profile as she can manage so that no one ends up knocked about. The spill of her braids is already dangerous enough for lashing someone were she to move too quickly, adding several feet of length to her personal space. No need to add to the omnipresent danger of timebombs in a rundown club. The bohemian has no trouble melting into the music of the Stones, a smile slowly blossoming once Jay and Daire really get into the melody plucked from under the strings and swagger. Spinning up a fast couple chords with the inimitable speed works so well. She leans over towards Kaleb and says, warmly, "They're great! Changes whether I thought it might be wise to go with something evocative and moodier."

Dazzler drinks half her drink, before placing the glass on the counter and turning her full attention to the stage. The guitar comes around as she holds in her hands, phantom playing along to the song, she's certainly digging what Jay and Daire have to offer. "Easy on the whiskey if you're performing," she offers quietly to Julie when she spots her being carefree with her whiskey, something that will likely be drowned by the music anyways.

That music has the crowd hoppin', some dancing between the pool tables, others drinking and tapping their feet. It gets the energy up in the room. Jay's vocals are perfect for the song, and Daire sticks to playing guitar on this one. It keeps the energy up through the room for a while before the song winds to a close. There's a little bit of a pause between songs, enough to let people have a moment, and for Daire to adjust the mic so that he can sing to the next one.

The familiar strain of House of the Rising Sun by The Animals can be heard through the quiet of the room. Daire then leans in and begins to sing. His voice is not as deep, but the slow rising notes are well suited to him.

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5knoItYM5JI

Julie laughs a bit to Dazzler. Leans the other way and says, "Not me, but guess who's the driver, I always do." She does finish her glass, thus freeing a hand for mingling, and a bit of quiet finger-snapping, when she sets it down.

Julie finds herself the recipient of a cross look when she mentions driving. Kwabena is going to need to reign himself in a bit if he expects himself to drive Kaleb's company vehicle out of here. As such, he eyeballs that Old Fashioned with a rueful look, only to be thankful for the distraction of applause. He joins in when the duo finish their cover of the Stones, then ashes the cigarette and takes another pull as they start on with their next number.

Once the first song is over, Josh is up and applauding, and even does a whistle with a soft laugh following. Lifting up his rum and shot-glass, he makes his way over to where Kaleb et al are, and helps himself to a seat. "They're good." he comments to the others there.

"Lizzie's tied up with stuff she had to do tonight, otherwise she'd be here," Sophie replies to Julie's question about Nyx. "Hoping maybe she'll get free…" And then the first song is over, and the young blonde Frenchwoman is cheering and clapping with the rest, before settling down to listen as Daire begins to sing their second number.

Kaleb sat back in his chair and watched the curiosities of sound bend and move through the room. Okay he cheated a little because the reverb off the back wall was destroying acoustic quality so that… that had to stop. Better! He noted to Josh, "They're actually better than that. Josh, you meet Scarlett, Kwabena." For Kwabena's benefit he added, "My fixer. But Scarlett, really, you have to find what moves you. That's always teh right answer. Some days it's Beatles, other days it's Coltrane. No real wrong answers there."

Rolling Stones tucked away, Jay sits back down on his stool and scoops a hand through his hand through his hair and off his forehead, smiling warmly over the crowd. His eyes full of genuine warmth while he scans the folks in the familiar bar, wings shiver and slick back as he leans over to drop a word and nod to Daire, that looks like a confirmation of 'well done' or something. Maybe encouragement as he hooks a heel on a rung of his seat and taps his knee against Daire's quickly.

Settling back down, Jay rolls his shoulders and re-tunes his reliable old instrument briefly and gives Daire an upnod. He lets the swarthy fellow with the horns take this one, falling back to supply soulful harmony. More than able to be played with a sole musician, Jay keeps his presence easy and supportive, allowing Daire's guitar and voice to breathe and spread like a melancholy sunrise across the ground. Jay's eyes close and head bows, falling into the spell after a couple of bars, his voice harmonizes flawlessly under Daire's smooth tones, lifting him up and adding depth, flowing in underneath, the combined vocals surge through the crowd like honeyed lava before he pulls it down again, waiting for his next moment to come up under Daire's voice again to wind harmony around the patrons. Jay can't help but smile against the mic as if they were lovers sharing a secret.

"What moves me other than my own feet and a strong westerly wind? Oh, that naturally calls for a bit of fraught consideration. What hits the mark for me might not be so easily translated onto a stage." Scarlett puts her fingers to her lips once the music simmers down and the denouement begs for a round of applause. That she grants readily, the collision of her hands together emphatic in approval for Daire and Jay. Let the pair of them be acknowledged as the heroes they are.

Julie adds a whistle between two fingers to the applause, and nods and smiles.

Daire leans into the microphone. His own voice sails and falls. He isn't quite as good a vocalist as Jay is, but he holds his own strongly. He plays with his whole body, moving with the music, getting a bit lost in it, moving in a sort of slow sway along with the rhythm of the music. But when the song is over, he opens his eyes and looks back out at the crowd with a grin. Bending down, he picks up his beer and lifts it to everyone, "Thanks! Give it up for Jay!" He lofts his beer in Jay's direction and then begins to make his way offstage, pausing to murmur something to Jay in return, an easy grin on his face.

The announcer then gets up and announces Rogue to get up and perform, "Come on up," he waves to her. "Let's all give a hand for our next performer!"

Once their instruments are gathered up, Daire heads out across the room, making his way toward the bar.

Shifting his smoke to the other hand, Kwabena reaches out to greet Josh with a handshake. "Kun'ta," he says by way of greeting, reverting to his native tongue for a brief moment. "Pleashah to meet you." He then snuffs out the cigarette when the second song comes to an end, and joins again in the applause. Scarlett being summoned draws a curious perk of an eye, and he glances back toward Julie and then to Kaleb. "She sings?" he asks quietly, once he's quite confident the bohemian is out of earshot.

'Tis a song history will mark thanks to a pair of fellows going about their daily lives, set on a collision course against one another. The poet hopped the Pond to hide in England. "I really hope he doesn't kill me for mangling this one," Scarlett murmurs under her breath to Kaleb, the lean sliver of her smile hidden. "I'll save the Russian anthem for another time." Leaving behind the table means likewise coming into the spotlight, not that she shows the least bit of fear about that. Shucking off the anonymity as she approaches Daire at his silvery microphone, the long-legged bohemienne pulls one of the chrysanthemums from her hair and casts it into the crowd with a good-natured laugh. A swell of laughter is all that the extrovert needs to fuel her own ascension onto the stage.

"Hello, everyone!" Her voice travels well, cutting across the room. "I don't proclaim this to be my song, though expect to hear more of it outside Greenwich Village. If you see Art out of his studio, give him a wave. Let's all learn to talk to one another, you know?" All that sunny, golden warmth settles down when she perches in front of the microphone. It's to Dazzler she might rely for the guitar support, for otherwise the performance goes acoustic. Deceptive simplicity sets up the harmony in the first bars of the ballad, and the flame-tressed skald releases her breath in a pensive, moody hymn. She can tap something to force her generally high, clear soprano to bend almost to an alto. Building on the moderated melody, the initial gentle chords wrap around the despair.

Refer: https://open.spotify.com/track/5y788ya4NvwhBznoDIcXwK

Rising again, Josh applauds for Daire and Jay, "Dai, Jay. Excellent job, both of you!" He laughs softly, and nods over to Rogue at the introduction, then to Kwabena as well, taking Kwabena's hand to shake it firmly but without any hint of macho behind it. Though there's a blink at the foreign language, he smiles easily enough, "Well met."

Jay looks up and for a moment forgets to breathe for a second while he lingers on that last note with Daire. His smile spreads wide for a glimpsing moment before hovering back into serene warmth, looking into the crowd. He smiles at the note from Daire, then leans into the mic to toss it back with a gesture. "And let's all give it up fer our man Daire! Ain't he the best? Thank you." And slides off the stage to make room for Rogue, but not before passing a warm smile to the familiar lady. He needs a drink as well and gets the hell out of dodge toward the bar, nodding non-specifically at Daire. Enjoying the rousing victory on the books.

Sophie meets both Daire and Jay with warm hugs and a beaming smile as they get closer to the bar. "You were both magnifique!" she gushes, with excitement and sincerity. "I had not heard you sing before, Daire. This was clearly a mistake on my part. Your voice is wonderful."

Kaleb looked to Kwabena with a wry grin, "She… does a great many things. Everything except sittin still." Echo did, however let the amplification of applause amplify and copy. "Jay, D, that was somethin. Well done man."

Daire grins at the applause and people's reactions with a little duck of his head. He loves the music, and he likes performing, but he never quite gets used to so many people looking at him at once. It's easier on the stage, a little harder off of it. He does return Sophie's hug warmly though and says, "Hey you. Long time, no see. How've you been doing. And thank you." He grins a little lopsidedly at the compliment, "And I haven't heard you yet either. Looking forward to it." He then grins over at Josh and asks, "You going to drink that whole bottle alone?" He finds a place along the bar next to Josh and takes a moment to say "Hey," to Kwabena, likewise a long time since seeing him, and gives a bit of a wave to Kaleb as well.

"I could be convinced to share it." Josh says gravely to Daire, pouring a shot, lifting it to his lips; then winking, and offering it over to Daire, "Though we need more shot-glasses. I was just fast-forwarding. Opened up the blood-brain barrier a bit, less is more, you know." He gestures to Kwabena, "You guys know Kwabena?" he asks of Daire and Jay if he is coming over too.

Julie comes on along with Sophie to give an approving nod to the boys, "Nice going," she says, as Rogue steps up, …Dizzy looks impressed, there, anyhow: she sips a beer. Josh gets a little wave, too, before she fishes out a Chesterfield and lights it.

"Thanks, guys." Jay nods to the familiar faces then hugs Sophie, lifting the blond woman off the floor with a short lift, and placing her back down after. "He sounds great, doesn't he? Like warm caramel, Ah could listen to him all day. Ah've been tellin' him he needs t'sing more." Jay approves of Sophie's vote and nods encouragingly toward Daire with a rise of his brows that is clearly a 'see? I'm right.'

Of course, that's when he notices what Scarlett is singing. Feathers prickle and lift up slightly, like hairs rising on the back of someone's neck. A quick shake and they smooth down again, Jay smiles toward the stage, then back toward Daire. Jay's a fan of Scarlett's version, at least. Jay hovers, not taking a seat immediately. It takes a little to pull his attention back toward people, blinking and looking at Kwabena, the angel-imposter shakes his head, then upnods to Kwabena. "Nah. Nice t'meet ya Kwabena." Jay sounds the name out carefully with his southern drawl. Not too hard.

"Hey to you," Kwabena answers Daire, a brief smile passing through an expression that has grown a bit contemplative at Scarlett's choice of song. It's a damned good one, and one he didn't quite expect to hear this evening; as such, he's a bit slow on the uptake at being introduced to Jay, and blinks rapidly when he realizes he's running the risk of being rude.

"Huh? Oh." He peels away from the performance to look toward Jay, and lifts his Old Fashioned in a toast. "Nice pahformance, Jay. A real gas."

It just doesn't sound right coming from him. Maybe some day he'll have this slang crap down.

Another smoke is drawn from his soft pack and he lights it with that zippo, before offering the pack toward those around him in case anyone would care to share.

"Could you? What would it take to convince you?" Daire asks with a little amused smile, seeming in a good mood, lighthearted. He then nods when Josh asks if he's met Kwabena. "Yes, remember that trip that I took to Africa?" Then he glances back toward Kwabena. He grins over at Dizzy and says, "Thanks," to her as well. They'd only met briefly but he recognizes her as well. When Scarlett starts to play, he settles in against the bar and turns his attention to watch her performance, tapping his foot a little bit along through her playing with a grin.

Jay's here for the music, not necessarily for socializing, and that much is pretty evident in the attention he gives the stage when folks get up on it. That doesn't mean he's rude, of course. Jay has an arm resting across the bar, having clearly intended on at least getting the bartender's attention so he could get a drink, but that thought is sort of lost to the ether while he listens to the song, smiling warmly. He has to chuckle softly in a quiet breath, swaying just a little bit. He practically jumps when the Bartender asks him what he wants. "O-oh. Uh. Whiskey? Somethin' cheap, please. An' a beer. Doesn't matter what."

It doesn't take much of Scarlett's performance before Sophie is spellbound by it, conversations dropping away from her awareness as her attention is captured by the song, and the performer. She's not heard this song before, and the beauty of the music and the darkness of the lyrics combine to draw her in.

"We shall call it unnamed favors." Josh flashes Daire a grin, rises up and nods to the table, "Back in a bit." And he heads to the counter, his attention drawn to Scarlett some. He comes back to the bottle with a try of half a dozen shot glasses. He pours all the shots, even if not everyone wants some of his rum, but he settles in and knocks back one shot, effortlessly, which is fairly impressive since its really, really bad rum. He ahhhs at Kwabena and Daire, "Right, the trip. So you were helping keep Dai alive? I owe you a drink— help yourself."

Not really one to hover on a stage overly long, Scarlett reaches the end of the song in time to make her flight back into the audience. The sooner she can reach her footing the better, the grin she wears something surprisingly warm for all the subject matter has a haunted, lasting social meaning for those willing to look deeper than the surface of the murmur. It smolders in the mind, left in her wake, and the choked-off soprano melody can do its own thing. Waving, she finds a missing seat where was a Kaleb. Well, the job comes 'round for her to check in with something and she pushes on to find herself a pay phone.

Rogue goes home.

At mention of the Africa 'trip', Kwabena looks back toward Josh and Daire, lips curling upward just a touch. "Ah. Yes. Dat." He eyeballs the rum for a moment; not his usual swill, but he's willing to bend the personal rules in this circumstance. He leans toward the two then so that what he says next can be kept more private. "Bullets and I are good friends." A flash of a smile, a flick of the hand, and the rum goes down his gullet with practiced ease.

At the end of Scarlett's performance, he tucks the cigarette between his teeth and applauds, smiling quietly now.

Jay drinks with josh until drinks become 'dranks'

When Scarlett finishes up her song, the bartender heads up to the mic once more and says, "Let's give it up to Scarlett for that thought provoking song. We're going to take just a little break and then next up we have Sophie and Jay!" Music comes in over the regular sound system while the bartender hurries back to the bar to get some drinks passed around before the next performance.

Daire eyes Josh and says, "This sounds potentially dangerous…" but then he laughs justa little bit. "Very well, deal." When the rum returns he takes one of the shots and drinks it down before taking another swallow from his bottle of beer. He settles himself into a seat and leans back comfortably, seeming content now that his set is over to just listen to the music and relax. He applauds for Scarlett's performance and then glances back over to Kwabena and says to Josh, "Very, very good friends."

Julie just hangs out convivially, while Scarlett's performance shifts the mood. Gives Sophie an encouraging little chuck in the shoulder. Asks Sophie, "So, till then, you met everyone, or should we save it for after?"

Josh rises, applauding for Scarlett, then settles down, he looks curiously at Kwabena, "How the heck did Dai get the nickname bullets?" He glances at Daire, "You're holding out on me stories wise, I think." He then turns and nods over to Julie and Sophie, encouraging them to partake of the bounty of his crap rum.

After applauding for Scarlett, Sophie answers Julie, quietly, "I've at least met everyone except him." She gestures slightly and inclines her head a little toward Kwabena. Then to Josh's offer, she replies in a more open voice, "Maybe after I get off stage. Hard liquor kind of hits me like a train." She laughs, shaking her head at herself, as she adds, "I might need it then."

Jay, too, arches a brow at Daire when his new nickname comes up, but doesn't press because his and Sophie's names come up. "C'mon, Soph. Let's do this. Cheers." He also toasts her with his shot of bottom shelf whiskey and tosses it back with a swallow and wince. "Yeah, Ah might regret that a little. Mmn. S'cuse us. Work, work, work…" He teases, as if playing music is ever work to Jay. A courteous sweep of his hand to Sophie toward the stage, he follows close on the blond's heels.

Kwabena blurts out a bit of laughter, some smoke spilling forth from his mouth and nostrils, after Josh's question. "No, no," he tries to explain. "Not his nickname!" He glances between the group, mouth ajar, but, no, this is not the time or place to tell that kind of story. After all, Sophie and Jay are about to perform. Now with a mirthful smirk, he's half of mind to just let it slide… it would make for a funny running joke, after all.

Sophie steps over to the side, first, to get her guitar out of its case, but then she strides toward the little stage, trying to project more confidence than she's feeling. Yeah, the pre-show jitters are back, right on schedule. Perching herself on one of the stools, she starts to tune her instrument, plucking at individual strings and strumming chords between fiddling with the pegs.

Julie ahs, though, and encourages Sophie as she goes to take the stage. She eyes her watch face, there, and says to Josh, "Ah, thanks, already had something, gotta drive later, and all." She sips the beer, though. "Besides, I probably owe *you* one after the other night's patching up." She also adds, "Oh, I dunno if you've met, Sophie, there, Kwabena, but I'll introduce you later. Mind if I pull up a chair?"

Daire looks a little confused for a moment or two and then when Kwabena starts laughing, he chuckles and says to Josh. "Oh, no, he means actual bullets." He grins over at Jay and Sophie as they head toward the stage. "Break a leg!" Then he says to Julie, "Make yourself comfortable," with a grin. "The more the merrier."

As Jay leans close to say something to her privately, Sophie's eyes light up with mischievous delight. She glances back toward the bar, quickly enough that if she's looking at anyone in particular, it's impossible to tell. But wahtever secret she was just let in on, it clearly meets with her approval as she's waiting for him to get settled on stage.

"Ah'll break two, so she don't gotta," the auto-healer shoots back to Daire with a wink. Sophie's all nerves and Jay sticks close to try to encourage her with his own easy manner of confidence. "It's gonna be great, Soph. Get t'do what you love." Exuding that confident warmth with a smile that shines a little bit into his eyes more than it's written on his lips, Jay winks and moves right up to the stage, pulling his guitar back around and settling in. He gives her an encouraging nod. "Kick us off, Soph. Ah'm just here fer backup." Jay smiles kindly and counts off.

"Diz, I'm me, remember? Anyone wants to be sober before they go they ask me to make them sober." Josh grins at Julie and shrugs, making a tempting point wiht his hand a moment, but then he turns his attention tot he stage to listen. He asides to Josh and Kwabena, "Sooo… you like bullets?" Confused by this just a bit, "I'm hoping shooting them and not being shot at *by* them." He nods in agreement with Dai's invitation.

There's no complaint from Kwabena, either; Julie's the person here he's known the longest, after all. "She is not familiah to me, no," he tells Julie, before taking another drag from his menthol. He then looks toward Josh with surprise, eyebrows rising. "You can do dat?" He then eyes his Old Fashioned dubiously, and decides he may no longer need to nurse it.

As for the question of bullets, he taps at his chest a bit. "I am bullet proof," he admits openly, albeit quietly. "In a mannah of speaking."

And with the first chords she strums, Jay quickly joining in, Sophie's nervousness fades away, and the confident young woman her friends are so used to seeing her be in other contexts comes to the fore. And as she starts to sing, their choice for a lead-off to their set becomes apparent, for those who hadn't already recognized the guitar intro: 'If I Had a Hammer', in the Peter, Paul and Mary arrangement, with Jay's uncanny voice taking both male parts as Sophie sings Mary's lines.


Julie smiles a bit at the music, giving a conceding nod to Kwabena, "I guess he can, at that, …awright, just a shot then, thanks." She clicks another lap timer, anyway, though. "Kinda promised my uncle about stuff like that," she explains, quietly. "Got a lot of horsepower out of the deal, though."

Having provided some backing guitar for Scarlett in gentle tones, to allow her voice to do the heavy lifting for the chosen song, Dazzler keeps a low key afterwards, stopping by the bar for another drink. turning to listen to the next performer, looking at Sophie as she takes the stage, more specifically her body language. She seemed very green, but there was something endearing about it.

Anyone who knows Jay's tastes knows that this is his favorite rally song, so when Sophie suggested it, he was game in an instant. Hardly needed any practice either, so when they start it off it feels practiced. Two chords in and Jay's smiling to himself over the mic with his head down as he strums energetically along with Sophie. She takes them with a strong lead and when Jay opens his mouth, there's a harmonious joining of two voices rather than one from the red-head. His voice splits to take a chorus of harmonies rather than one as he takes on both Peter and Paul's parts. Jay casts a look over to Sophie half way through, still smiling while he sings along.

Daire finishes off his bottle of beer and then reaches for one of the other shots that haven't been claimed. He'd had one or two drinks before his set, and so as he settles back in his chair, he's enjoying a pleasant enough buzz. When the song starts up he grins immediately, recognizing it instantly and tapping his toe along with it. Then he glances over at Josh and watches him for a moment or two, a little sidelong grin in his direction. He leans in over toward him and murmurs something in his ear before straightening back up again.

The first time Jay and Sophie sang together — a spur-of-the-moment, unrehearsed version of 'Blowin' In The Wind' that they performed at the last open mic night — it was, to her, like magic. Effortless blending. Much more his doing than hers, but she held up her end well enough. Now, as they make their way through something they actually did work on beforehand, at least enough to know in advance where they were each going with it, it's like that first time, but even more. Trading off whose voice is more prominent as Jay's harmonies swell and pull back again beneath Sophie's voice on the melody… and then as she leads into the final verse, she looks at him, and their timing is Swiss-watch spot on as they bring the repeat of the last lines home.

The interplay between Jay and Sophie gets a genuine smile out of Dazzler, before she closes her eyes, leans back in her seat and takes in the music alone. For the moment another glass abandoned.

His oddity mutation to sound like a chorus well used for this tune, Jay lifts his attention to Sophie as they draw that song closed like a well-made purse, he grins and nods to the pretty blond next to him. With a meaningful nod, he encourages her to roll right on into the next one, playfully challenging the musician he plays beside now. Just keep it on rolling!

"I'm a healer." Josh explains to Kwabena, smiling with ease, "Filtering alcohol out of your blood stream is easy; you'll have to piss like a racehorse after I accelerate the process of the purge, but sure, no problem." He nods then, "I approve of bullet proof; less healing required. Dai here is sadly not." He gives Daire a look askance, but then smiles and murmurs something in return. He looks curiously to Julie, "Promised your uncle… about 'stuff'?" His attention is mixed, drawn to the show Sophie, Dazzler and Jay are putting on with interest.

Julie smiles, and ahs, making a tippling motion, when Josh draws part of her attention back. "Bottle-to-throttle rules, get it?" She just whoos a bit about the performance. "That's really something."

Sophie nods to Jay, her smile almost beatific as she closes her eyes for just a moment, taking in a deep breath and centering herself… and then starting into their next song, the first line mostly herself solo, a capella, Jay providing vocal harmony once, twice… and then the Jay coming in beneath their blended voices on his guitar, and Sophie's instrument layering in next under his… It's a duet arrangement of Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin'", full of texture and subtle interplay between voices and instruments.


Daire glances over toward Josh at that look and smiles a little wryly, "Yeah, no, not quite." He's tougher than your average human, but bullet-proof, he is not. He reaches for the bottle of rum and refills his shot glass, though he doesn't drink it for the time being, instead watching the performance on the stage, watching Sophie and Jay as they perform, just enjoying the music, and the performers on stage.

Jay unexpectedly leaves the stage, rushing away from his seat to ask a woman at a table if he can borrow her tambourine real quick. With a quick hop and turn around, he almost misses his first harmony, smiling broadly, from ear to ear for a moment with an apologetic smile to Sophie. A flash of that singular dimple never the less as he hands the tambourine over to Sophie with a playful air, waiting for it to come in as he picks the delicate melody on his guitar. The second go around, he picks up more energy with his strumming, rocking in his seat while he plays and digs into the song, his wings stretch out slightly, casting a beautiful crimson backdrop until the song winds down again and finishes cleanly. Jay smiling at Sophie, a richly colored eye winks to her in congratulations.

Julie laughs, a bit to herself at Jay's antics, nodding along to a lot of the lyrics, though, and raising a glass to those at the table. Applauds at the end.

With the next song being far different, Dazzler opens her eyes, and reaches back to her drink, finishing her glass this time, and also covering a chuckle at Jay rushing for a tambourine.

Sophie looks toward Jay, her eyes filled with the joy and the rush of what they just made happen. She reaches over to place her hand on his shoulder and gives it a squeeze — and then gestures with an upraised index finger of her other hand for him to wait, nodding as she meets his eyes again. Apparently she's got something else in mind, before they leave the stage. Whether it's something she planned without telling him or something more inspiration-of-the-moment that she's found courage for is hard to tell.

Finishing out his night, Jay starts to stand up and starts to pull his guitar around to rest on his back. Apparently as far as he knows, they are finished. Though when Sophie touches his shoulder, his brows pop upward and there's hesitation in that high positivity vibrating off the normally mild-mannered man. A kind smile and curious look at the woman, his voice picks up just barely on the mic as he leans away from it. "What?"

Josh settles, pouring another shot, and tossing it back. He seems a bit on the buzzed side, finally, but its just in a relaxed sort of way. He watches the show with a sort of lazy interest, flashing a quick smile at Daire, "Yeah, its that almost that's the problem." And when it finishes, he rises again and applauds, "Great show, guys!"

After the crowd's reaction to their Dylan cover dies down, Sophie reaches for the mic in front of her and pulls it a little closer. Any nervousness, any uncertainty she felt or showed before, is now gone. "Good evening, everyone," she begins, smiling warmly. "Thank you, and so many thanks to my much better co-performer Jay for helping me sound like I belong up here…" She looks toward him again as she's saying that, then waits for the applause for him to finish before she continues.

"I'm not a citizen of this country, but I came here years ago with my parents and I've lived here almost half my life. I've come to love it, and to believe in its promise, in what it's meant to be."

"But I've also witnessed the injustices and unfairnesses that some of its people have been subjected to. And as I grew up I learned that I was part of /two/ of those groups that were treated as less than others, or who had to hide who they were. Yes, I'm a mutant. As for the other, well, it'd be more obvious, but my girlfriend couldn't be here tonight." She shrugs, a bit theatrically, waiting for any response to die down.

"Now, the times /have/ started to change. And like any great moment, any great movement in history, this one has its music. And if any of you want to sing with me…"

And then she quickly strums a tuning check, and begins, in her high, clear soprano: "We shall overcome…"

(Joanie, you are my heroine forever: https://youtu.be/nM39QUiAsoM?t=3s)

While coming out as a mutant is pretty cool at an open mic event, it's a little different when one considers ramifications for an intertionally known artist. Contracts, labels, booked shows, publicity, and not to mention simply getting wiped out by the powers that be. Dazzler has been very thoughtful of the stakes, and ever more concerned as she raised in the ranks of fame. That's why it freaked her out when Charles Xavier came to see her after her Ed Sullivan appearance, and why she's still not sure she made the right decision with certain aspects in her life. While that's neither here nor there, this spotlight that Sophie just put on the subject, causes Dazzler to just bail. It's quite easy to slip on out with all the excitement Sophie's gesture generates. And if there's no accidental media shot of her inside this venue while Sophie made the exclamation, so much the better for Dazzler's career.

Julie joins on in, when some others in the audience do, with a smile to the others.

"Well, fortunately I know someone who can put me back together," Daire says with a little bit of a grin. When Sophie starts to speak, he turns his attention to her and listens as she speaks. When the song begins and she encourages others to sing along, he joins in on the chorus from where he sits, along with most of the bar.

There's a kind of energy in the room, a lightening, as though some weight were at least alleviated for the moment. There's a kind of peace, and unity between those present as so many voices join in the song — whether they can sing or not. It's just about voices together. And when the song concludes, there's a hush over the room for just a moment, and then most of the bar gets to their feet to applaud.

It's pretty clear from his expression of genuine curiosity that Jay has no idea what Sophie is doing. He nods anyway when she thanks him, chuckling with gentle denial and genuine modesty, folding his arms comfortably over his guitar while he waits to see where this is going. He listens attentively and when she comes out to a whole mutant bar of people, there's a slow arch of his brows and defensive glance through the masses. You never know how something like that's going to go over. He sticks resolutely by her side on the stage just in case anyone gets any funny ideas, but will sing along as some of the others join in. The song pulls to a close eventually and Jay leans in to say something to Sophie with a small smile. With the rest of the bar, he stands from his stool and turns to applaud for Sophie.

Julie stands up and cheers with the rest.

Sophie gives Jay a grateful look for whatever he just said to her, then looks to the crowd and takes it all in for what feels to her like a very long few seconds, a bit overwhelmed by the response she just got. Then she sets her guitar aside, slipping off her stool and turning to Jay, leaning to hug him, being careful of his guitar between them. "Thank you, merci, thank you," she says, barely heard by him above the crowd, not quite on the verge of tears — happy ones — but not so far away from them, either. It's a good place to be.

A quick flourish of feathers, Jay's wings lift and quickly cocoon around Sophie when she hugs him, settling around her narrow shoulders like a downy mantle. He smiles and gives her a rock, kissing one of the lady's cheeks before pulling his wings back and ushering them both of them off stage, still with an arm around her shoulders. "C'mon, Soph. You need a shot of whatever dreck Josh was dolin' out earlier, Ah think."

Sophie looks to Jay at that suggestion, and replies, emphatically and with a grin, "Oui."

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