A Night Out


jack_icon.gif charlie_icon.gif bebe_icon.gif

Scene Title A Night Out
Synopsis Jack stops by to take Bebe out for dinner and drinks. Dessert comes later. Charlie makes a cameo.
Date February 7, 2009

The Happy Dagger

The Dagger is always busy and lively on Saturday evenings. A steady string of patrons tromp up and down the stairs with girls in tow, and more of Logan's attractive employees are dancing on the various stages. As usual, the brothel is dimly lit and abuzz with both intimate and brash conversations. The music in the background mutes and melds the noise into a pleasant, humming drone.

As one of the few male employees here, Jack is offered certain… perks. A redhead young enough to be his daughter is attending to him, filling his bourbon, tugging at his collar playfully, and generally making him feel at home. A wide, crooked grin splits the Somali immigrant's weathered features as he appreciates a crude joke made by the bartender.

Another day in the life. This job is such a terrible burden.

Charlie pushes the door open and lumbers his way inside, stopping just inside the doorway just long enough to make himself an obstacle for anyone unfortunate enough to be behind him. He checks his watch, massive brow furrowing. How much time? Some. Not a lot, but some. At least enough for a beer.

Somewhere upstairs, a certain working girl is taking her second shower of the day, washing away the stains of her wage and otherwise striving to make herself presentable for the sake of anticipated company who won't be paying a penny for her time. She runs a comb through her short, brown hair and puts on just enough make-up to be presentable but not garish enough to be seen from across the street; in here, that's such a rare thing. It's just her subtle way of saying she's off-duty despite the fact that she's still in the office, so to speak. Fresh from her shower and such, Bebe practically bounces down the stairs in clothes that seem somehow profoundly out of place — a t-shirt that isn't too tight and a pair of blue jeans that aren't practically painted on. She's still wearing the hooker heels, though; they keep her from getting lost in the loose crowd.

It's down and around to the bar and, hey. "Hey!" she says to the redhead clinging to Jack's collar, pinching a pair of fingers in at the other girl's elbow. She marks her territory with one word, "Taken." and then directs the interloper on off into, oh, look, Charlie's direction.

The exchange between the young women just makes Jack grin wider. When Bebe interposes herself, he's more than happy to trade her out for the redhead. He wraps an arm around his girlfriend's hip and pulls her into his lap. "Hey," he murmurs throatily. "You look good." As soon as she's properly settled, he lifts his glass of bourbon to her lips so she can take a sip.

Charlie blinks with a bit of surprise at the redhead sent his way; he obligingly slides an arm around her waist and grins down at her, rumbling a low greeting. This is, of course, when his cell phone buzzes in his pocket. Holding up one finger in the universal sign for 'wait a minute', Charlie unpockets the phone and turns away to answer it. The conversation is brief, the phone is snapped shut, and Charlie forlornly wishes the redhead goodbye.

Charlie has left.

Ugh. Alcohol. Bebe's come to be quite the connoisseur, despite being underage, but she never did develop much of a taste for scotch or bourbon or whiskey or any sort along the way. She only accepts the offered sip because it's Jack who's making the offer. "Thanks," she says obligingly, hooking an arm around the man's shoulders. "How long was Jade trying to climb into your shirt?" Jade must be the rebuffed redhead who's now weaving her way back into the crowd.

"I dunno. How long have I been here?" Jack retorts with a mischievous wink. He tosses back the rest of his drink in a single gulp and sets the empty glass aside. "Don't worry; she was just keepin' your spot warm." Long, thin fingers rake their way through Bebe's hair, mussing and tangling carelessly. "So. I was thinking we could go out later. Catch some dinner. Sound fun?"

Mmhmm. Not that Bebe really has the right to be the jealous type but she can't help but squeeze out a little sidelong squint as she regards Jack for a moment of speculative silence. And then he's tangling his fingers in her short hair and she's all smiles again. "Sounds great!" Anything that keeps her away from the Dagger while still in Jack's company counts for a fantastic idea. "I'm all yours for the rest of the night," she says, stating the obvious by observation — if she was still on the clock and just taking a break, she wouldn't be wearing what she is — in fact, she wouldn't be wearing much of anything. "Where'd you have in mind?"

Jack nuzzles up briefly and inhales Bebe's clean, freshly-showered girlscent. "Mmm," he murmurs appreciatively. "There's a new Italian place around the corner. Sarento's. They make great martinis and I love their piano player." After one more tug, he lets go of Bebe's hair and signals to the bartender for another drink. "I think we've earned a break, don't you?"

Their shared moment of intimacy is all but ignored by nearly everyone else. It's become something of common sight these last few months or so. Bebe sits perfectly still and allows Jack the liberty to nuzzle her neck without playing the part of the whore. She enjoys the affection but doesn't lean back on some manufactured murmur to express her pleasure. Instead, she says in a much more subdued tone of voice, "For booze and a little blues? Absolutely. When can we go?"

"We can go as soon as we're done here," he replies quietly. "I bought you a dress today. It's in the car." The glimmer in Jack's eye intensifies as he looks her up and down. "I hope you don't mind changing on the go."

When his drink arrives, it's scooped up and half-emptied in a quick, businesslike fashion. Clearly, liquor isn't what he has on his mind.

Bebe repositions herself in Jack's lap in a way that would most certainly be lewd if it weren't for the fact that she's wearing jeans and not skirt. She goes from both legs swung over in the same direction to a face-off straddle with her back up against the bar and most of her weight borne by bent arms rested thereon. "You went shopping for me? Aw. That's sweet," she says while wearing a swiftly growing smile. "I think I just might keep you around for a while, Jackie."

Jack responds by snapping his teeth playfully a scant inch away from his lover's face. "Don't get used to it. I might go mean on you any second, y'know." The change in position is one he can agree with. He sets his drink aside so he can help support Bebe with strong arms wrapped around her lower back. "I might have even bought myself a suit."

"Nuh UH!" she declares in a voice that's much more overemphasized for the sake of amusement rather than genuine disbelief but, you know, it's entirely possible that this could be the first time she's seen her boyfriend in something other than jeans and a t-shirt (or a flak jacket and fatigues). The prospect is pretty thrilling. When Jack adjusts his grip, Bebe ups the ante and changes hers, going from a casual lean to arms clung around his neck. They're now nose-to-nose. "Show me."

"Let's go," Jack replies obligingly. Though Bebe's just gotten comfortable, he settles her to the floor, polishes off his drink, and then jerks his head toward the door. "We can grab a cab. I don't feel like driving."


The cab ride in between the Happy Dagger and Sarento's is a comedic blend of hasty, awkward and completely inappropriate behavior as both Jack and Bebe somehow manage to change out of their clothes and into slightly nicer attire for the sake of whatever passes for an upscale crowd on Staten Island these days. By the time they've arrived at their destination, the quick-changing dynamic duo has sent the cab driver off on her way with a tip in the form of a free show. Bebe takes a moment to give her boyfriend a thoughtful once over, adjusting his tie just so before falling in step by his side and holding onto his hand. Aw.

The eventful transit has only improved Jack's spirits. Though he and Bebe make an unlikely-looking couple, he holds her hand and tucks it in the crook of his arm protectively.

To everyone's surprise, he looks good in a suit. It's dark gray with muted, ribbing stripes in a slightly lighter shade. In a positively flamboyant move (for him) he's matched it with a shirt and tie striped in two shades of blue.

As a further surprise, he's managed to locate a very nice penthouse restaurant with a view of South Beach and Swinburne Island. After their reservation is confirmed, the couple is led to a candlelit table and presented with champagne. No menus are supplied; it seems that Jack ordered when he made the reservation.

"You look beautiful," he murmurs, reaching across the table to reclaim Bebe's hand.

This is precisely the sort of place that Bebe would be considered a regular at if she were still known as Bijou Baxter, millionaire heiress, and not Barbara Dahl, teenaged whore. But, really, tonight? That's not who she is, either. Tonight, she's just Bebe… beloved girlfriend. And there's nothing particularly sordid about that… at least, not on the outside.

She happily keeps within tactile contact with Jack, her hand captures just as surely as her pilfered heart or her stolen soul. "Thank you," she says, a blush rising in her cheeks. "I love it." The dress, she means. "I actually feel pretty." It's all pretty gag-worthy, really. Sappy. Too sweet.

It's a little too much for Jack's manliness. He matches Bebe's blush with a faint one of his own as he waves the server off and pours champagne for them himself. He's saved from having to make a reply by the arrival of the first course: Petite crab cakes and a loaf of soft, fresh bread served with cracked pepper and olive oil.

Obviously, this is a moment Jack has been looking forward to. "These are delicious," he confides once they're alone again. Without relinquishing Bebe's hand, he takes up a fork and spears one of the bite-sized cakes. "Here, try," he urges, holding it up to her mouth.

Bebe obediently opens her mouth and allows Jack to feed her with a passive eagerness that suggests it's probably not the first time they've gone through this routine. She keeps one hand clasped with his and the other pressed palm-flat to the tabletop, eyes bouncing from the morsel offered on the tines of the fork to the eyes of the man merrily making the offer. The noise she makes is muffled but pleased and she even closes her eyes for a moment to savor the flavor of the very tasty crab cake. He was right. He always is. In a slightly different setting, this little display might be deemed obscene.

When Bebe has finished her bite, Jack forks a crabcake into his own mouth, closes his eyes, and lets out a wordless rumble of approval. "Mmm. Go ahead, baby. Second course will be here soon." True to his word, he doesn't hesitate in laying out a plate, drizzling it with olive oil, and dusting it with pepper. One by one, small, torn pieces of bread are dragged across the slick surface and consumed. The champagne is similarly upscale, which doesn't stop him from drinking three glasses in quick succession. Yummy.

"God," Bebe utters unabashedly, praising the good Lord for what is probably more rightly due the chef. "I haven't had crab this good since Madagascar." Back in the day. So much has changed and yet… so much hasn't. She's hungry, yes, but not in a hurry and she certainly doesn't guzzle down the champagne like Jack does. She's never been the sort to rush a good thing. "How did you find this place?"

"I was buying hash from one of the waiters," Jack explains as he toys with a morsel of bread. "He's the one who brought out the crabcakes. Guy talked me into having a meal here a couple of days ago. Here he is… Efron!" The enthusiastic greeting is coupled with a wave.

When the grinning, dark-haired server approaches, he's bearing a tray heavily laden with two plates of ossobuco and risotto. "Excellent choice for you and pretty lady," he compliments in cheerful, halting English as he lays the food out. "Veal is very fresh today. Tell Efron if you need another bottle of champagne?" he offers, winking. "We go down to the cellar."

It would seem that the two men are friends, despite obvious differences in age and lifestyle. Jack nods gratefully at both the offer and the plate of food. "Thanks, Eff."

Buying. Hash. While Bebe long ago ceased being shocked by Jack's straightforward behavior, every now and then he still catches her by surprise and she's forced to take a moment and reconcile reality. She opens her mouth to say something but Efron's arrival mutes her completely. Instead, she brings out a brilliant smile for the waiter and his compliment and offers a sparkling, "Well, thank you, Efron." Odds are, that winknudge mention of a trip down to the cellar probably means something completely different to Jack than it does to Bebe. Is that how they're going to be paying for their meal tonight? Is she being bartered off in exchange??

Bebe's brows abruptly crowd together and she takes a long pull from her champagne flute before focusing on her food, for once, instead of her tablemate.

But they're still good on champagne, making it a moot point. Jack grins at Efron and waves as the waiter makes his way off. "Nice guy," he comments to his girlfriend. "Helped me settle in when I first got to Staten. If I'm ever out of touch and you need anything, you can always ask him."

Alone again, Jack is able to expend some attention on the main course. "This is the best," he murmurs. "And the risotto. They make it with saffron. So tasty." See? He's eating it.

"If you're ever out of touch, I've got Logan." That's almost a slap in the face more than a statement of fact. Almost. It's more the method of delivery than the words that she chooses that make Bebe's statement so dangerously close to toeing the line; she doesn't even bother to look up from her plate while she pokes thoughtfully at her food. Jack doesn't even get the time of day until she samples some of the risotto and sees what he means about the saffron. "Mmhmm," she murmurs. "…s'good."

"Watch your fuckin' mouth," Jack warns her quietly. Beneath the table, his hand clenches against the top of her thigh just hard enough that his fingers start to bite in. Then he smiles, releases her, and goes back to his dinner. "I'm glad you like it," he continues blandly, as if the exchange had never occurred. "We'll be coming here a lot, I think."

Despite the fact that Jack only has himself to blame for their little arrangement, Bebe makes for an easy and convenient scapegoat when he's confronted by the ugly truth. The noise he arouses from her in that harsh moment of indiscretion — a sharp and sudden gasp that melts into a whimper — is nearly loud enough to reach other ears lingering not far from their table. She then falls dutifully silent, lesson learned, and finishes off the champagne in her glass without a word of asking for more. Just so long as there's something left at the bottom of that bottle, a trip to the cellar won't be necessary; she'll drink water for the rest of the meal if that's what it takes.

And that's that. Jack finishes his meal without further ceremony, wipes his mouth on a napkin, and finishes his own glass of champagne. When he's done with everything, he leans back in his seat, scrubs his fingers through his hair, and lets out an appreciative sigh. "Mmmgood. How are you, baby? Full?"

What remained of Bebe's appetite yet to be sated got lost somewhere beneath the table, and though her plate is still half-full (or half-empty), she concedes to culinary defeat with a genuine, "It was very good, really, but I couldn't eat another bite." She pauses for a moment and considers the man across the table with a gentled gaze. "Would you excuse me for a moment?" She probably needs to visit the ladies' room.

"Sure," Jack replies. Full and content, he waves her away lazily and snags a passing waitress to place a drink order.

"Dirty martini. Three olives. Fast, please. Not too fast - I mean, I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave." With a grin that only becomes charming once you start nearing forty, he sends her on her way.

Bebe beats a slightly hasty retreat and, sure, it looks like she's headed for the ladies' room, as she actually has to stop and ask a passing waitress (possibly the same one the Jack just snagged) where to go. As she's pointed off toward a dim-lit corridor and that-a-way she flees.

Minute by minute ticks by and still Bebe hasn't returned to the table. Finally, just a second or two shy of ten, she re-emerges from the corridor, looking not much different than when she left, save for the smile she's wearing now as opposed to the one she wasn't sporting when she left. "Miss me?" she wonders aloud upon her return, pressing a little kiss to Jack's cheek before she reclaims her seat.

"Constantly. Don't get too comfy, baby. I think it's about time we headed home." Jack curls an arm around Bebe's shoulders and draws her closer. "We've had dinner and drinks. Now it's time to go sample some dessert."

February 7th: Confessions And Fragile Ground
February 7th: The Grave's A Fine And Private Place
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