A Barrel of Monkeys


calvin_icon.gif melissa_icon.gif

Scene Title A Barrel of Monkeys
Synopsis Calvin is drunk and Melissa is Melissa.
Date December 19, 2010

Brooklyn I Think

It's freezing and it's late at night and it's a Sunday, which means most people have work to get up early for and can't be bothered to haunt the sidewalks this close to curfew. Calvin should be one of them, but tonight and likely for several nights yet to come, he has other things on his mind. More pressing concerns, if you will.

Also he's a bit drunk.

High-collared coat pulled in close and black around his shoulders, scarf darkish grey with a strip of orange knit bright through the midline, he scrapes along ice-crusted concrete with only the gingery crest of his dreads to keep his ears muffled from the cold while he walks. Most, if not all bars have long since issued last call and shuffled clingy patrons well out the door by now. Raking around the streets for an exception is a largely hopeless endeavor.

But he has the time and there haven't been any police to question him yet, so on he weaves, brow knit down into the wind as he walks.

Tartarus is one of those that's shoved people out the door, and, as usual, Melissa is the last one out, turning on the alarm, locking the door, and moving to leave. She tucks her coat in a little tighter around her since, even with last winter's blizzard, she's still a southern girl who hates the cold.

A pack of cigarettes is pulled out and one lit with black gloved hands, and she pauses with the flame still lit, still burning the tip of the cancer stick, when she catches sight of a familiar face. One she was talking about just inside not two days ago. And one that a friend was probably talking about. But there's only one way to know for sure if Institute Boy and Surly Jerk are one and the same.


Not entirely ignorant of the potential for auditory hallucination after protracted periods of time spent outside of a regular circadian sleep rhythm, Calvin pauses at the sound of his name. A bit like a dog, really, too attuned to the paired syllables of Cal and vin not to at least stop and look for someone or something familiar enough to make sense when paired with it.

At length, all he finds on the sidewalk with him is Melissa, who he seems to recognize. Or something.

He doesn't just keep walking, anyway, stopped still at a buzzard huddle against the cold, gingery dreads spined vivid against the brown and purple of the late hour pressing in all around while he eyes her. Blearily, smudgily. Maybe a touch suspiciously. "Wot?"

There's a small groan when he does stop. Of course it had to be the same person. But Melissa can roll with it. She smiles, just a bit tightly, and walks towards him, slipping the lighter in her pocket. "Yeah, figured it was you. Only guy I've met with ginger dreads." Must not repeat the rest of what 'Dessa said, must not repeat the rest of what 'Dessa said… "I'm Odessa's friend. Hear you're acquainted with her too, right?"

There's a pause as she studies him, then takes an experimental sniff. "And you seem to have been entirely too friendly with at least one bar or liquor store." She glances around, probably searching for the rest of his gang.

"Yeh," says Calvin, with a hint of an unsteady wobble that threatens to skew his posture all the way from hip to shoulder until he can compensate with a drowsy shift in his center of balance. He knows Odessa. "Intimately, you might say. B'cause. Ahm…" Ahm. He pauses again, distracted, rifling through the undoubtedly vast sprawl of his vocabulary for something suitably amazing to say only to finish with a fucking slurred, "Because we did sex." It's a joke, see.

Because he said. Intimately.

"…S'joke," he eventually feels compelled to illustrate specifically for Melissa, in case she doesn't laugh. "Intmately."

Ha ha.

His teeth show, enamel pearly white through a foggy blast of whiskey and smoke breath that isn't quite enough to nullify the more industrial cling of damp cement and warm iron to his coat, canines bared without ever really becoming all the way a smile. "Oh yeah?" He sniffs, gloved hands worked deeper into the tight fold of his arms across his chest. He looks exhausted. Also cold. "I'd buy you one but everything's closed."

There is no laugh, but then, Melissa knew they had 'did sex'. Instead brows lift, and later comments make her lips twitch. "Actually, I had one not too long ago. Before I closed up," she says, jerking her thumb in the direction of the club. And she drinks too much as it is anyway. "And yeah, so I heard. Apparently you're a lot of fun." Though that comment is accompanied by a faintly skeptical look-over of the drunken man.

"All your friends get out of the club alright the other night? With the whole fire alarm and crowd of panicked sheep? The chicks you were with seemed pretty freaked out about the last fight," she says casually, returning her free hand to her pocket. Because she's very curious about at least one of them. Well, only one of them, really. And what better time to interrogate someone than when they're drunk as a skunk?

Evidently still perceptive enough to read skepticism in the look-over he's on the receiving end of, Calvin knits his brows into a belligerently defensive hood and hikes a shoulder under the heavy hang of his coat. All against the implication that it seems unlikely to her that he is 'a lot' of fun. He could be!

…If he wanted!

Still sore in drunkenly melodramatic rapidly-forgetting already fashion, he's slow to roll over onto the next topic. The one about his friends and the club the other night or. Panicked sheep. He has to think about which night she means. "Everyone's fine. Girls, you know."

He says girls a little nastily.

Okay, now there is a laugh. Melissa's head tilts and her arms fold over her chest. "No, I don't know, why don't you tell me? Because, if I remember right, I was there, and I didn't freak. What was their deal? I mean, it was just a fight. And your friend, whoever he was, seemed like he was doing a damn good job before the fire alarm went off." Pry, pry, pry. She needs information baby!

Then she grins. "And don't look so upset. I'm sure you gave 'Dessa a good time," she says, her manner soothing like one might sooth a child.

After however many days without proper sleep and deeply inebriated besides, Calvin works a gloved hand opened and closed and narrows his eyes into a slittier regard. Ill-tempered. Suspicious, maybe — or wary at the very least over the sluggish drift and flag of the tail of his scarf in tandem with the tail of his long coat.

"Maybe they were bleedin'," could stand to be less rude, at length. As far as groggily indifferent suggestions go. "The fuck do you care?"

"Don't particularly," Melissa says, shrugging. "But you dissed chicks, so now I gotta know, so I can prove that whatever it is, it's not a trait that can be applied to all chicks. Hell, I've fought there before. There was another chick there that night, even. And she…" She has to pause and think for a moment, then nods. "Yeah, I think she beat Luke," she muses absently.

Through the course of her reply Calvin looks increasingly uncomfortable. Niggling internal doubt. Resentment, possibly.

But more than anything it looks like he's having very serious second thoughts about something, the more he listens to her. Without looking away or blinking.

The way people watch shows about the artificial insemination of cattle: entranced at a disturbed (but perhaps privately fascinated) remove.

Which is a very long way of saying that he says nothing.

Melissa shifts slightly, frowning at him. "Wonder if there are just two Calvins who have dreads and wear more makeup than I do," she murmurs, looking more skeptical than she did previously. "Guess that's a good thing though. If you do know an Odessa, and she tries to shove you towards me for a little bump'n grind…well, that'll be a scary thing, won't it? First you're glaring at me and now you're staring at me like the alcohol gave you a bit of brain damage."

"Well," says Calvin, slowly — even tentatively, like he isn't quite sure how to pick up the conversation or whether or not he should and thoroughly out of his element accordingly, "alcohol has been…shown to create documnted impairments in higher ff..function." The longer a word is the more likely it is to be run together, some vowel sounds missing entirely while he studies her through bleary blue eyes. Sound the amber alerts.

He's quiet again after that, considering some great undefined Issue or another that he doesn't bother giving voice to until he's lifted a hand to help him vaguely illustrate whatever point he intends to make

The condition he has is this:

"If we have sex…I don't want you to talk at all, alright?"

There is a beat where he second guesses himself.

"I mean. Moaning's okay."


It takes a moment for Melissa to do more than that, and when she does it's to lift a hand to rub lightly at her temple before the hand drops. "Didn't say we were gonna have sex, but if that does happen at some point, I'll keep it in mind or give you a gag." There, that answer isn't too bad, right? But still, changing subjects! Sort of.

"So two questions. Does that mean you want me to shut up and move along, which I might do anyway since it's fucking cold, and why the hell did you decide to get so drunk? Alcoholic, forgetting or just had one hell of a party? Though I can really sympathize with all three options." And has, in fact, indulged in all three in the past week.

"No'm just saying," says Calvin, lazily absent in a slack stir of his shoulders and a tip of his head exaggerated by a rifle of chill wind through his mane.

Just. Saying.

Her next series of questions provokes little more than a look as drearily blank as the one the last attempt coaxed out've him. If he looked tired before, he looks even more quietlyworn out now that he's half tuned out and is looking at the nearest shop front like he expects it to commiserate. "Jesus fuck."

Another sigh. "Look, my car's just a block away. Why don't you hop in, and I'll drive you home so you can sleep this off. You keep wandering around like this tonight, you'll end up passing out and freezing, or getting hit by a car or something. And it's not long before curfew either." Though since he's Institute, she knows full well he has nothing to worry about from curfew. "I'll even not talk, hmm? Sound good? We'll just consider it my good deed for the day."

"Ahmm." Both hands lifted now, wrists hinged limp at the joint, Calvin points unevenly at the street he's standing next to, with its sparse lights and even sparser traffic. "Yeh — I dunno know if there's a right way to take this," he pauses for effect, and also because he's run out've oxygen at an inconvenient time and needs to take a breath, "but I'm not sure I want you knowing where I live."

"You know what? You're right. There's not a right way to take that," Melissa agrees easily. "I'll drink a toast to you if I see your name in the obits tomorrow," she says, starting to walk again, to the side first, then starting around him. Seems she's offended. Or maybe she's just dealt with too many drunks between work and now. Who knows!

"Alright!" says Calvin, voice lifting an octave after her. Polite! Backhandedly, passive aggressively polite as he eases into a slllow turn and backstep of his own, directly opposite of her retreat. The first in a series as his hands warm themselves down into his coat pockets and he picks up his pace. "Thanks for the offer, though!"

"Yeah, whatever," Melissa mutters, shaking her head as she walks off, seeming to just be getting more and more angry with each step. Which probably makes it a good thing that she's leaving Calvin on the street rather than giving him a ride home. He may be passive aggressive, but she's likely to just be flat out aggressive before long. Feel the holiday cheer!

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