1965-10-03 - And No One Got Shot!
Summary: And Ambrose is genuinely disappointed in this, though Elmo does get paid for his honest work in the end. All's well that ends well in a barfight?
Related: None
Theme Song: None
ambrose elmo 

A rainy, cold October evening at a bar somewhere in Brooklyn. It's crowded, people cramming in to drink away the cold, and the bartenders are busy. Elmo is not drinking, not yet anyway, because he's kneeling on the bar to get at the electrical box up behind the lighting. He's elbow deep in it, his toolbox open on the bar, occasionally dipping into it for some tool he needs. Paying no attention whatsoever to people seething around him and pretty annoyed that they have to order their drinks around him.

And someone tall, dark, and soaked to the bone enters the bar. The brunet lifts up the bill of his baseball cap and grimaces immediately at the amount of people present, though it's a short grousing. After all, the Bane can spread thinly rather than fuss at a single target here in such a crowd. He makes his way through the groupings until he reaches the bar-counter and then he too is giving the electrician a rather irritated look.

"Barkeep! A stout, largest you have," he calls out once he's made eye contact with aforementioned server. His accent might carry well enough given the volume of his voice. He takes up space on an empty barstool off to one side of Elmo, left as such because another person didn't care to be that close to the toolbox.

"How long till you're done?" one of the bartenders, a woman with short brown hair, asks Elmo, clearly hoping the answer is 'soon'.

"Yeah, gimme a minute," Elmo says absently, hands going to and from fuses and toolbox. All kinds of things in there, including things that aren't recognizably any tool at all. Weird little geegaws that he's carrying around for God knows what purpose.

The woman sighs, gives Ambrose a 'can you believe this shit' look, and goes to pull his stout.

The master-thief lifts a hand to accentuate his sympathetic shrug at the barkeep for her thoughts, all the better to subconsciously encourage her to go get him his beer. The weather is making him grumpy and so he glances up at the electrician. And then squints.

"…Rosencrantz?" He gives the surname its proper pronounciation plus that extra crisp and rounding of his personal cadence. "What in the bloody hell are you doing?" He's not in the store, after all, and immediately scans the crowd. Oh god. "Is that professor here?" he asks, looking back to Elmo for confirmation and wanting it post-haste, apparently.

Elmo peers down, hearing his name, and in that accent. "Hey, pal," he says, cheery enough for someone wrist deep in a fusebox. "What, Grim? Nah he ain't here. I'm doing my job. Okay, one of my jobs." He flicks a switch and the speakers crackle to life, the jukebox lights up, and an entire bank of lights come on that were previously giving the place some dim ambience. There's some sarcastic New York style cheering. Elmo flips off the entire room, to scattered laughter, and slides off the bar. "Where's the boss?" he asks the bartender, who shrugs and pushes over Ambrose's stout.

Ambrose runs a hand down his face beneath the brim of the baseball at hearing that Halgrim is not present. The relief is almost palpable. Thank god. The weird, silent jousting on neutral territories is a thing of stress to him still, given he still has an incomplete idea of what yellow-eyed fiend lives inside the professor. He glances around at the reaction to returning the lighting to proper level and eyebrows at the bartender. That reaction is for the lack of information given. The stout, that's his now, and he takes it gladly. Half of it goes down fairly quickly on an empty stomach and he takes to silently observing Elmo's attempts to find an answer. Hey, it's entertainment.

Elmo rolls his eyes. "I'm not leavin' until I get paid. Gimme a whiskey?" he asks the bartender, then shoots Ambrose a sly, amused look. "You 'n him, you got history, huh. Even I can figure out that much. Hope he didn't break your heart too bad."

Ambrose approves of that approach to being paid. Oh yes, he does. He's thankfully at the end of a swallow rather than the middle or beginning because he's able to spit air and froth back into his stout pint rather than outright choking at Elmo. Then comes the laughter, loud and rolling, and he even places a hand over his own sternum as he leans back in his stool. It carries on long enough and then he's wiping at an eye.

"Oh, bloody hell, that was good. Break my heart. Oh, god. We have history, watchmaker, but not as such. No. I'm impressed he hasn't sought me out for fisticuffs at this point, given our history. I've no interest in the man other than keeping his nose out of my business. I won't hesitate to break it if he does continue butting in, of course." He smiles, thin and cold.

Elmo laughs too, enjoying his little prank on Ambrose. No attempts to thump his back out of coughing, though. He's hands-off, and Ambrose has made it clear he's the same. "You oughta be careful around him," he says, picking up the whiskey as it's slid over to him. "There's more to him than the mild-mannered professor." So, pretty clearly, Elmo hasn't known Halgrim for that long if he thinks he's mild.

"Mmm. So I've seen once or twice. His eyes do this…spectacular shift in coloration. It's the most damnably interesting thing," Ambrose admits before he kills that first pint. A lift of hand and two fingers to accompany it means two more drinks coming. Tonight must require over sixty ounces of stout, oh dear. "Care to enlighten me as to what you know of his condition? You seem rather knowledgeable of it, given your warning. Kind of you," he adds in a velvety turn of tone, as if noting an accidental show of hand in poker.

"Yeah, scary, innit." Elmo sips at the whiskey, but shakes his head. "Not mine to tell. You keep hasslin' him, you'll find out." It's something of a promise, or perhaps a threat. "He's a good friend. A terrifying friend sometimes. But good."

One of the drunker patrons shoves his way up to the bar. "Hey!" he kind of yells at Elmo. "Ain't you one of them muties?"

"Oy vey," Elmo mutters, sliding lower on the barstool, like it will help. "Nunya, beat it, pal!"

"You are," the guy declares, undeterred. "I seen you in Mutie town. One of you freaks bothered my sister."

The Jackal considers Elmo's warning. Hmm. Twice over now, don't poke the professor with a sharp stick. It does make him consider it all the more, however, but then…the drunkard shows up. With his second stout in hand, Ambrose leans around Elmo to glare.

"Don't you have someplace better to be?" Ambros asks of the patron, his expression gone stormy. "Bloody hell, you Americans think you can butt into any conversation without a second thought. Go piss away the rest of your paltry paycheck on your weak beer and complaints about your horrible lives."

"Ya sister should be so lucky," Elmo mutters. Ambrose retaliates and Elmo, surprised, laughs and laughs hard. "You tell 'em, buddy!"

The guy is too drunk to engage with so many syllables, and to be honest, maybe he was never too firm on big words to begin with. He knows he's being insulted, though. "Hey, fuck you, pal, I'm talking to the mutie. You a mutie lover? You faggots?" Suddenly, he's got friends, too, on Elmo's other side and behind Ambrose.

Elmo wipes his eyes, catching his breath. "Yeah, actually," he says, loud, looking between the guys. "I'm a mutie and a faggot, you wanna make somethin' of it?"

Ambrose looks between the drunkard and to Elmo, almost rolling in his chair, and then eyes the groupies who have converged around them. He then eyes the watchmaker yet again and closes his eyes briefly, almost as if ruefully accepting what's to come.

"Right. Before we proceed to remind you why you were a colony for so long in the first place, allow me to finish my drink." A finger upheld and he throws back the rest of the second pint of stout, jaw opening and throat working. Once it's down, he sighs and licks his lips, places the glass aside. "Excellent. Now, whom do I have the dubious honor of trouncing? Your name, sirrah," he asks of the ringleader even as he slowly smiles, entirely predatory and toothy, eyes slowly fading to a color almost like worn blue-jeans. The air around him draws close and prickles on bare skin anywhere within an arm's length of his person.

The dude is downright taken aback, blinking at Elmo like that was the last thing he expected. When Ambrose coolly tells them how it's gonna be, they all three seem to lose their nerve some. They can sense danger rising to the surface, and Ambrose's eyes…that's uncanny. They start glancing at each other. "Rick," says the foremost guy, looking like he's thinking twice.

So Elmo jumps in with, "Rick, huh? You're pretty hot, what're ya doing next Saturday, big guy?" grinning at the guy in a way that's pure trouble. Rick hollers in disgust and starts swinging.

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 8

|ROLL| Elmo +rolls 1d20 for: 8

Since these guys are drunkards and not out looking to literally spill innards on the bar floor, Ambrose decides on a whim to not leave bodies lying around. It would be awkward, after all, if the police and then whatever body of government dealing with the supernatural got involved. He very much likes his anonymity. He simply shakes his head at Elmo firing his mouth off again before he breaks into movement.

The gentlemen (or rather, ruddy Americans with piss-poor taste in beer) behind him are the first to have to deal with him. Ambrose has no noticeable style to his punches. It's more that he's aiming for a patch of clear skin and hoping to make contact, all the better to send the feeling of a contained stun-gun into that body part. Bonus points for the face! It's the Bane taking a controlled bite out of their life-energy, hopefully stunning and dropping them where they stand. It's nice to mask this ability with the impression of a professional fighter.

Lest Ambrose think Elmo was shit-stirring and letting him handle it all, the short, skinny mutant gets socked in the sternum. He grunts, wind knocked out of him, and grabs Rick's arm. *ZZZZT!* There's a crackle of electricity and a smell of ozone and Rick yells in pain, all his muscles going tight for a split second. "Whatsamatta?" Elmo wheezes, mocking him while gasping for breath. "Mutie faggot too much for ya?" He plants a boot in the dude's stomach and shoves hard, sending him staggering back.

Rick's two buddies really were not bargaining for someone with Ambrose's skill, and damn do his punches hurt. They're just weekend warriors themselves, tough guys who flatter each other that they're badasses, and Ambrose has them knocked out fast, one guy then the other sagging over in what looks like a KO. The crowd around the bar clears, people yelling and cheering them on. A couple of them catch Rick and throw him back, but he's got fear in his eye now, shaking his head. Elmo stands up, totally unimpressively, one hand plastered to his breastbone, manic grin staring the man down. "Ain't nobody ever told ya not to start a fight with a mutie?"

Once he's certain that the two groupies are down for the count, Ambrose slowly turns and surveys this…Rick from over Elmo's shoulder. Slowly, with graceful and controlled motions, so absurdly assurred of himself after nearly eighty years of accursed existance, he moves up to stand beside the watchmaker.

"Yes, the electrician has a point. You've proven yourself now to be a piss-poor fighter as well as a vacant waste of space. Turn tail now and you may leave with your pride intact. I don't believe there are any illusions as to what might occur otherwise." Behind him, one of the men groans, clutching at his skull as a migraine creeps into place. Sudden glucose deficiency in the brain is a painful things, what'd'ya know?

To support Ambrose's point, Elmo lets static crackle around him, that grin a madman's. He hasn't actually done that much damage, but to look at him, his long hair tossing with static, his eyes wild and that grin on his narrow face…well, it's as clear as a High Voltage warning sign. "Got more for ya," he promises Rick, gleefully, "c'mere and get it."

At that point, the bar owner bursts out from the back office. "What the hell are you doin' to my place!" he yells, kind of at everybody. "Get outta here, ya mooks!"

"Hey, just the man I wanted to see," Elmo says, turning that look on him. "You owe me a hundred bucks!"

The man glares at him, furious, then points at the other troublemakers. "I told youse guys to stay outta my bar, and now I find you hasslin' my contractors? GET OUT!" They do, slinking off tails between their legs and nursing various brand new ailments.

The Englishman takes a smooth and sliding side-step away from Elmo once he sees the first snap of blue-white static cascade through the black hair. He gives the electrician the very truly wary look since their initial meeting those weeks back over the pocketwatch, but doesn't do much more than stand in a readied stance, hands slowly flexing open and shut at his sides. He joins the rest of the crowd in turning to look at the source of the loud voice and then curls a pleased, cold smile towards Rick in particular.

"Yellow-bellied cur," he mutters to himself even as he watches their backs turn. The air within arm's reach around him loses its seeking teeth of pins-and-needles and he seems to smooth out, as if settling hackles even as he returns to his barstool and the last and third pint of stout. He takes to sipping at it even as he watches Elmo further. "That was entertaining," he murmurs to the watchmaker when he gets the chance. "Would that there had been another six or so and it would have been an even fight. I didn't even get shot." And he sounds genuinely displeased at this.

Elmo lets the polarity settle back to neutral, static fizzling out with a soft hiss. He swipes his hand over his hair, collecting charge and flicking it away. "We'll just hafta try harder," he replies, still grinning.

The owner turns on him, now. "I heard you make trouble in your own neighborhood, don't you go bringing it here," he growls at him, and glances at Ambrose, narrow-eyed, trying to decide if he's a problem, too. But he's sitting and drinking, so he looks back at Elmo, eyeing him. "Hundred? I oughta give you eighty and a kick in the ass."

"You don't like my work, no problem," Elmo fires back, "I'll just take it back out!"

"Gentlemen," Ambrose says, his voice cutting into the conversation like a butcher's knife into a hamhock. His eyes lock on the owner. "How can you expect to keep your clientele? Literally in the dark? Yes, bravo, sirrah," and he claps drily towards the man, wearing a mask of neutrality crackled through with distaste. "Brilliant logic. Pay the man his bloody fee and get back to your business. You'll make up for the fee in no time at all this evening, given the entertainment we've provided you. They'll be toasting our antics for hours yet." And with that, he goes back to his pint, taking a heavy swing of it to drop it to half-full.

Elmo really has to try not to crack up and keep his game face on, flicking Ambrose an amused glance. "C'mon, ya cheapskate, pay up," he tells the owner. "You know damn well I'm the best electrician in Manhattan." Which is him being modest. "That circuit's gonna stay lit if you turn on a light and run the juke."

Grumbling, the man counts out five twenties from the till and hands them over. Elmo tucks them in a pocket and salutes him ironically. "Pleasure doin' business with ya." He turns back to the bar to grab his whiskey and down it, then gasp. "Whew! Man, you're handy in a scrap," he says to Ambrose, admiring.

Side-eyeing the owner, Ambrose marks the hesitation and eventual capitulation. He indulges in the rest of his drink even as the bills are counted and handed over. The burn of whiskey accompanied by reaction earns Elmo a small, thin smile and then he glances away from the electrician.

"They have no idea what they're dealing with, the idiots," he comments, removing the back baseball cap to scratch idly at the back section of mussed deep-drown hair. He puts it back on firmly before looking back to Elmo. "I doubt, however, that you needed my help in things. You seem to have a firm grasp on your abilities…though there is an irony to an electrician wielding the spark as you do. I see now why you didn't wish to shake my hand those weeks back. Again, thank you for being honorable in this." He gives Elmo a mildly approving smile now. Or maybe that's the stout kicking in.

Elmo shrugs, getting embarrassed, like he didn't just make a terrifying menace of himself. "To be honest, I just don't like touchin'. Lemme buy you the next round, yeah? Least I can do."

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