1965-04-23 - The Captain, The Boss, and Jack Frost
Summary: This is not a tale of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers lucifer bucky 

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

South Pacific blue is a shade unrivaled by just about anything humanity can conjure, not even in a liqueur. Not for lack of trying. Curacao only goes so far for the namesake island. But the mad alchemists at work busily pinch a little of this, and quite a bit of that, the mess on the back bar summing up the scale of their joint efforts. Fully half the components are not essentially edible, though probably not toxic, as much as one registers toxicity being immune to just about every substance in the universe known — save Michael's tenacious lead-lunken-headedness, and Dad's raspberries.

That is not a tentacle sticking out of a small metal cauldron. It merely may seem to resemble one, because the glass noodles are so transparent and wicking up organic dyes in the most intriguing fashion possible. Lucian taps his fingers against his lips and turns to the puree of blueberries and blackberries, picking up a dropper, and sucking up the juices. Two into the butane-fueled cauldron, and the scent of ripe berries joins whatever else is in there. Basilisk tail, hopes of an innocent generation, a shot of rum.

On a whim, and during a spate of free time, Steve finds himself considering the front door of the club Lux. Bucky works here, after all, and maybe his friend is to be found within? Might as well check up on the man, see how he's doing, maybe even order a drink in the sense of propriety. Nothing fazes him these days, not after the super-serum infusion so many decades back. Still, it'd be odd to sit in a club and drink nothing.

So, down the stairs he descends, a shadow behind the sheet of glass separating steps from bottom floor, and then he appears from behind the opaque wall. Wearing a brown leather bomber jacket, shearling collar and all, over a simple cotton t-shirt and jeans, it might be the combat boots that pushes the first appearance towards blue-collar worker rather than First Avenger. A good disguise, surely. He scans the open floor, noting the stage as well as the piano, before looking towards the bar. Even as he hits the last step, there's a small moue of disappointment. Aw, no Barnes at the bar.

Lux is as much a cultural centre as a club. Nothing quite adheres to the standards for a hotspot in the Village; the clientele is too mixed, the music too rarefied. A place with high-end drinks and an absence of go-go dancers? Perish the notion of the Swinging Sixties in here, as much as the proprietor looks exactly the part to march into the Lonely Hearts Club Band, take over, and then lead the Magical Mystery Bus off onto grand cosmic adventures. Try not to tempt him, for he examines the bubbling array and adds a pinch of dusted, grandulated flowers in sugar. Violets, possibly, or something more exotic harvested from the Galapagos, because why not?

"Cheating!" calls out Ana, strawberry-blonde hair pushed back by a ridiculous kerchief. "You said no adulterants."

"Or emulsions on your part," he replies, twisting to fetch a glass of water for himself. Considering that half the people who occasionally mix in mezzanine rooms never feel the touch of a toxin at all, they come up with odd things in these cellars. Wavering water panes gather inside the cauldron and Lucian leaves everything to bubble. Right, because t-shirts and leather jackets always conceal people. Steve forgot the cardinal rule of the world: wear glasses and a hooded shirt, no one knows whom you are. The truth, even now.

No Barnes at the bar, just the Devil. "Welcome to Lux." He doesn't say the name. And why should he have to? The proprietor in his white button-down shirt wears the designer rather than the other way 'round, as though the shirt ought to be honoured.

Steve perks at being addressed, his attention drawn away from the balconies that lie above the main floor. Wearing a small and polite smile, he approaches the bar, with its cauldron at work. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, manned by no one better at that last part.

"Thank you. I was looking to speak with Mister Barnes? I was told he worked shifts here. Or I can leave a message that I stopped by?" Unfailing polite, as always, the blond Captain, standing there with hands in the pockets of his bomber jacket. He gives Ana a small nod and half-smile by way of greeting, nothing overtly flirtateous to be found in his actions.

Mazikeen is nowhere about on the ground floor; contained in the mezzanine, no doubt, that merciless shadow stalks from niche to niche on her endless, unsleeping rounds. Ana mans the bar for the proper orders shared among the staff who meander around booths and tables. For castaways, finding a drink requires not a little luck. Wearing her preferred t-shirt under a fitted vest, she offers a friendly girl-next-door smile to anyone bold enough to interrupt their acts of creation. Shaking up a silvery-steel cup, her beat must be inspired by Polynesian drummers. No hip swaying, at least.

A casual smile from her, a measured insistence in the gravitational pull of Lucian's summer-sky eyes. A sophisticated range of emotions might be presumably measured upon those stark features, politeness mingling with a certain edge that could make him a louche or the Comte de St. Germaine. All matters in the end that he tips his head to Steve. "As a habit, we tend not to be much of a messenger service. However, acting as the hub for such things isn't unknown."

"I…see," the Captain replies, the tiny frown betraying his slight confusion at the relatively close-natured response. Still, after it's mulled over within his consideration, it makes sense — he hasn't introduced himself, after all, and Bucky's not exactly…welcome in many social spheres at this time.

"I'm Steve Rogers, a friend of his. I'm not out to cause any trouble, promise." There's another sporting grin on his part, boy-next-door to challenge Ana's own projected nature. "Do you have a piece of paper and a pen? I could write a note." He steps closer to the bar, enough to rest a hand casually on its gleaming surface.

Whatever set Lucian on the extraordinary path of mingling with hoi polloi and mixing up unique drinks is entirely his business to know, and humanity's to quaver before. He plucks a rather interesting metal stick, thin as a middle finger and nearly as long, to mash and batter the contents of the little cauldron. Once that bulb is set to the admixture, he bashes and crushes his concoction, adding bits of alcohol shotglass by shotglass. His deep satisfaction no doubt originates from the careless measurements here and there which grant all sorts of interesting flavour profiles.

"Naturally," says the man with cut-glass English accent, celebrating the advent of empire and republic. Glad indeed, perhaps, he gives the Captain a regard, a symbolic act of assessment. Appraisal may be a dangerous thing indeed. "As you want, we should have paper about here somewhere. Or there's the verbal option, as needed." A casual flick of the mixer, he pulls a neat drawer open and comes up with the pad of paper. Pens are easier, they have those around.

"Ah, thanks." He reaches out and pulls the pad over to himself. The gleam of the pen reflects in the pristine black-marble surface of the bartop and he clicks it once before putting it to paper. Another expression of mild concentration as he sketches out his little note, a simple and friendly thing that basically summarizes as: Hey, stopped by, sorry I missed you, we need to talk.

Once the soft sound of writing comes to a halt, Steve clicks the pen again and offers it back to Lucian across the bar, still wearing that winning, close-lipped smile. "Thanks again, I appreciate it. Oh," and he slides the pad of paper back as well as he adds, " — is the manager on-site? I wanted to thank him for taking Bu — Mister Barnes on. It's his first steady job in a while and he seems to be doing well."

"Rogers," repeats the proprietor in that careless manner, entirely a stoic and in the same turn, rife with a certain kind of mischief. He has no real need to prove himself in the midst of his domain, small though that domain may be. He well enough knows what may be productive for conversation, and what might not. "What's your preference, if anything?" No such luck of a dismally normal drink anywhere, of course, but someone's choice of drink says much about them, to be sure.

"A remarkable achievement, having a job? All the employees here deserve certain credit," he says. "No such manager, but in terms of handling resources, that goes with me and Maz."

Steve is eyeing the nearest board showcasing drinks, wherever this may be or entail precisely, when he recognizes precisely what's being explained to him in that cut-glass accent.

"You're the…proprietor then," he replies, giving Lucian a more thorough once-over. It's an attempt to suss out what he can of the man, given too what he's been told by Bucky himself. …he still doesn't believe that whole 'see the sins' business, if pressed about it. "And in his case, yes." The Captain leaves it at that. He looks beyond the blond, to the myriad bottles showcasing who knows what in terms of liquor, and sighs, pulling his closed lips to one side. "I admit that I don't drink regularly. Nothing to be enjoyed in it. If you have something that's got a good taste, however, I'll take it." Hey, why not? When in Rome and all.

Speak of the devil. He's not on shift today, so Buck's not in one of the sharp suits he tends to wear at work. As if afraid of lowering the tone, so to speak. But he's in a white dress shirt and dark pants, glove on the left hand - no coat or hat, for once. Presumably there to pick up his check, or something he's left. He comes clattering down the stairs in those boots - never know when something might need the crap kicked out of it, after all - and is almost to the bar when Steve's presence registers. Buck nearly trips over his own feet in surprise, a decided lack of that usual deadly grace, and then he's coming up at the Captain's side. "Steve," he says, and then there's that incandescent grin. "Hey. What're you doing here?"

Neither affirmation or denial answers Steve's inquiry, an assessment as vacant of a possible outcome as anything. He receives for his trials a pen and paper, and little more. Lucian sets aside that cauldron of sorts, and pinches out the butane flame so the reduction being doused and sauced liberally will turn out more than a jam. A few reductive actions thesmelves must seem rather arcane in nature, for who sprinkles a few granules of crystallized spice into the mix and finishes a drink with a sliver of celeriac? Evidently that would be the white-blond prince of the place, careless in every gesture that comes with such calculated measure, it appears effortless. "Hard work is ever valued. Creative work, adaptability? Who isn't to like that when it's the zeitgeist, through and through?" Nothing to juggle a few bottles here and there.

"A cup of coffee never goes astray, so I am told." Not that he bothers which such things, perhaps? A slinky kind of funk beat purrs through the background, and one can blame Sara — for she is otherwise blameless, no doubt. Poisoned coffee might be a more potent distillation, but it all begins in a shaker and ends in a martini glass, laced by scorched demerara, vanilla, cinnamon, and a complex arrangement of a dozen different wicked little spices all linked up together. That needs to be poured with a cautious hand, all said and done. A punch of orange bitters and Fernet Branca is only a start, the Italian art blended to that South Pacific fascination. He reaches for cacao; Ana laughs and pushes a jar of something else from down the way.

Clearly they both know a gig being up when they see one.

Steve nods in agreement even as he sets half of his weight upon one of the bar stools tucked up against the bar.

"I won't say no to a good cup of joe. Thanks," he adds to Lucian, utterly polite as he always is. Then — a familiar voice. The Captain immediately turns towards it and the grin flies right back at Bucky. "Hey, Bu — Barnes," he rallies, stumbling for the second time in good-intentioned failure to keep an unnecessary secret. "I stopped by looking for you. I thought you were working a shift today. I figured we could talk about…the pups." The look given to his friend is significant; he means the clones, of course. "I wrote a note, but it isn't necessary now, I guess. I guess I'm having a cup of coffee too, while I'm here. What're you in for?"

That has Buck stiffening in momentary alarm, the smile banished. "What about the puppies?" he asks, quietly. "Something wrong?" Then, even more softly, he adds, "I go by John Frost here, nickname Jack. But the boss," a nod for that golden Englishman, "and most of the staff know."

Whatever threat a mere mortal, even one subjected to Erskine's EZ-Bake Man Oven, presents is clearly overlooked by the placid lucidity Lucian projects. His expression holds the mischief of the mountebank and the clarity of alpine tarns untouched by mortal hands. Pouring a bit of actual coffee as a float in the glass is a misnomer given the cordial he dashes in, and then the more complex concoctions joined together in the shaker. A good rattle for maybe three or four oscillations, no more, blends the ingredients just so. He peels off the lid and pours out everything into the awaiting glass. Let that be his mute testimony to all things.

"Would you like me to destroy the note?" A question aimed dryly at Bucky. "Perhaps the rest of the pad while I'm at it?"

The Captain grimaces in passing, recognizing the potentially egregious error on his part in inquiring after a 'Mister Barnes'.

"Sorry, Buck," he mutters, so very nearly sotto-voce as to be entirely unheard. "They were fine last I checked," he adds, wanting to mollify his friend as fast as possible, given the location. He's uncertain of precisely how much the staff knows about the Soldier. A guileless glance flicks from the barkeep across the way and back to Bucky in regards to the notepad.

Realizing that his drink is finished and available, he reaches out to take the glass. "Thanks," and another smile for Ana and the Devil. The first testing sip? Delicious. "Mmm. Wow, that's good," and he looked honestly surprised, tongue slipping out over his lip. "It's better than any coffee I've ever tasted."

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d100 for: 8

That has him standing down, at least a little. Mollified indeed. A bemused look at Lucian, "Oh, I'll take it, thanks," he says, voice milky mild. Then back to STeve. "Was it longer-term stuff we needed to discuss? 'cause, uh, you know I'm gonna have to go out of town and look for ….for their sister, maybe a last pup from another litter." Then a smaller grin. "I told you, they make the most amazing stuff here. I've even gotten drunk on it, once."

How many Bucks are there in the world, at least outside garage? Not likely. Barnes? Fewers. And together, the infamous assassin cannot be overlooked. Mind, he's the least of the concerns on the payroll, such as any kind of payroll exists. The likes of famed folks captured by millennia of art and civilisation traipse around, fixing up that imposing sound system or ameliorating arguments born of misunderstandings — totally natural, of course.

"Coffee in and of itself isn't terribly special. Add a few counterpoints to enhance the natural qualities, and occasionally something unique arises." Lucian rubs his thumb idly around and then slings that white towel down to dot and dab several of the handsome swatches of stone. The bar needs to occasionally be washed out. Ana hums where she goes, doling out more.

Bucky gets a longer, more lingering look from his friend.

"Yes, the longer-term stuff…and about the female pup," he adds, trying to keep a shadow from crossing behind his true-blue eyes, voice no louder than necessary. His heart clenches in passing before the tightness loosens up, accompanied by a roll of his shoulders. Another deeper sip of the drink and he sighs, tongue skating around yet again. "This really is amazing, sir, I appreciate your time and effort." He smiles at Lucian earnestly before glancing back at his friend. "Gotten drunk, huh? That's…a feat." He gives Bucky another scrutinizing look, brows lightly quirked.

A nod from Buck, and then Steve's disappearing, presumably to the little supersoldier's room. But then he's sitting down, heavily, at the bar. HE'll have a drink, it seems, even on his day off. Busman's holiday, right?

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