1964-12-12 - Club Atomic OR "There Once Was A Woman From Venus"
Summary: Cypher offers Cannonball a job.
Related: None
Theme Song: Johnny Rivers - "Seventh Son"
douglas cannonball 

So, Doug called Sam — it was brief. 'Hey, I don't have a lot of time to talk right now. Meet me at Three-Eyed Jack's in Mutant Town tonight? I'll be there all night.'

Of course, when Sam gets to the dive… it isn't three-eyed Jack's.

There's a new sign hanging outside.

CLUB ATOMIC - Bar - Bands - Mutant Town Original

And raucous music coming from inside. Johnny Rivers.

Inside, there's a few Mutants around — a much younger crowd than the old dive used to have — and Doug is in an apron, tending bar and pouring a beer. "This one's on the house," He says, serving it up, "As long as you tell your friends. Friday we're going to have a great band in here, and the lead singer'll blow your mind. He's incredible."

The music is from the Wurlitzer, which is currently cranked all the way up.

Cannonball walks into the bar and seems a little confused at the sudden change, and honestly why Doug wanted to meet him at the former-crap-hole to begin with, but once he spots Doug at the bar, he shakes his head slow and smiles, moving towards it with some bemusement. "What's all this then? You…fancied yerself a bar owner? Damn, Dougy, you /do/ move fast." He winks.

Doug looks up, and says, "Well, he wanted to offload the place in a hurry, and everything in Mutant Town's already dirt-cheap as it is, and… well, I had some money put by. I didn't actually have to do a whole lot to the bar. Good bones." He looks around, and then says, "Oh." He pours Sam a beer, and slides the glass to him. "Also, Jay helped me get the place in order quick. Your brother is… gorilla strong. It's *uncanny*." Then he says, "So! The reason I called you here."

"First of all, Jay and I agreed Jeb could use a little pocket money and something to tire him out. So he's going to bus tables and clean." He raises his eyebrows. "Alllllllso… I still have my translator gig, that's where my real money comes from. So—I need a bartender."

Cannonball arches his brows and takes the beer from Doug. He leaaans on the bar and cocks his head, curiously at this potential offer. "Yer offerin' me a job? Tendin' bar? I spose I could…pour up a few things…smile…get some good tips ta send back on home. Aint anything I hant done before, I suppose."

Doug pours himself — a coca-cola, and raises the fizzy drink to his nose. "I'm going to be hiring bouncers in a little while for busy nights, but I could use someone *inside* the bar who can keep things under control if they get a little raucous. But—no expectations, no strings. Promise." He takes a sip of his soda-pop, and then gestures. "I offered Jay pick of nights here as the house musician. So that gives you the chance to hang out with your little brothers, too. Keep an eye on Jeb… you know." Doug waves his hand. "I thought, since I was going to do this anyway, it'd be a nice thing I could do for you guys. Lord knows it's cheered chicken wings up."

Cannonball grins enough to dimple his cheeks. "It sounds like a great job ta me and I'm in for it, for sure. I aint got nuthin' else goin' on, so…you can have me every night here if ya want. I'll be a damn vampire, I guess." he chuckles and then sips the beer. "Not too bad a flight from westchester. So, what made you wanna do this?"

"Well," Doug says, "I sat and I thought, and I realized," He takes some empty beer glasses and starts to rinse them, "Part of what bothered me was that aside from working, I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't *contributing*… you know?" He looks around, and then says, "The language of the world is shifting, Sam. Aliens at the UN? War… eventually, people are going to come looking for someone to blame when things go wrong. And here we are. A small population with a lot of members who can't really hide without literally going underground, and a lot of tension between us and the humans already. The people who SHOULD be building bridges… who should be laying the groundwork for what's to come… aren't. I can't blame people for wanting to stay hidden, but I'm starting to realize… maybe neither Xavier or Magneto have the way forward. Maybe someone else has to find it."

He rubs the back of his neck. "…Maybe… I have to try. So here we are, standing in the middle of step one." His mouth tightens. Afraid. But determined.

"Step one is a bar? Ah had no idea." Sam winks. "Yer puttin' a whole heap on yer shoulders, Dougy. But…sure…the world does need a thinker like you to make sure the guys with the fists punch the right people." He takes another draught of the drink. "What's step 2?"

Doug snorts, and puts his hands on the bar, before he dips his head down, and begins to laugh. It's a bright, boyish giggle. "*I have no idea!*" His shoulders shake, as he laughs.

Cannonball chuckles along with him. "get all the humans drunk and pass some laws?" Sam suggests as a start, but clearly jesting. "Well, that was damn near the easiest job I did ever get. Ah won't make ya sorry for it, either. I know how to work."

Doug drains his coke. "I know you do."

"Hey, man! Can you do a dry martini?" Somebody asks. Doug snaps his fingers, and turns, before he gets out the gin and the ice and olives, and goes to work. The song on the jukebox changes, and something with a rocking guitar comes on — somebody singing 'Seventh Son'. As Doug shakes up the drink, he dances, putting some hip action into it.

"Actually I do have plans about trying to get flatscans in here. College students." Shicka-shick-shick!

"Going to make the beer so cheap that its the only place they can afford?" Sam asks with a curious grin. Then his eyes cast around, looking over the place in a new light, one full of imagination for back alleys, routes of escape, and the tactical side of keeping all the people in here /safe/.

Doug pours out the martini, and slides it to the patron. "Well I'm not hiring a *cook*, so, yes." He's all bright grins, before he leans on the bar. "This can work, Sam… this. I feel good about this. Jay and I are working on renovating the space upstairs, and I'm going to split my time between there and the school." He sighs, and says, "Oh. One more thing. Did you open my gift yet?"

"Ahhh, shit, Dougy. I did. Then I couldn't confess ta doin' it, so…I been livin' in guilt. I dunno how you got that, but its about the coolest thing I ever did own." Sam smiles. "I want ta wear it, but…God help me if it rained. I do thank ya, though. Ah'll see what I can do to give ya somethin' in return, but…it might just…have ta be a card with a shitty poem. Depends how much I get in tips, huh?"

"Well, I went down to where he was signing autographs in the city," Doug says, "And I got him to sign it." He beams. And then he says, "Sam…" Doug shakes his head, and laughs, before he reaches under the bar and pulls out an unsigned cap, which he plonks right over Sam's shaggy blond head. "It occurred to me like three days later that I bought the son of a Kentucky coal miner a hat he'd *never be able to wear*." Then he rests his forearms on the bar, crossed over each other. "A card with a shitty poem in it is exactly what I want for Christmas. It can even be a filthy limerick."

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