A Perfect Drink on a Perfect Night


ace2_icon.gif faulkner_icon.gif melody_icon.gif odessa5_icon.gif

Scene Title A Perfect Drink on a Perfect Night
Synopsis Isaac decides to take Melody out for a night on the town.
Date June 19, 2021


"So, this place… I've heard a lot of good things about it," Isaac Faulkner comments with a smile, standing outside the door to a swanky-looking lounge. He's dressed a bit better than usual — he's wearing a black button-down shirt and pants with a pair of black shoes that aren't sneakers or running shoes, for once. "I was a little hesitant because — you know, Staten — but it's got a lot of glowing reviews," he says. "But it seems like the sort of place best enjoyed with company. And I do still owe you, so…"

Isaac's smile broadens a bit. "Shall we head in?" he asks, gesturing to the door. Above it, a neon sign proclaims the name of the establishment in question:


When Lisbeth had insisted - mostly as a joke - that Isaac owed her for all the times she had helped him out following his apparently many incidents, she had maybe not quite expected this. It's a variety of ways of surprising. Staten Island is certainly one of the last places she ever wishes to be at the very least. And yet, this place is quite nice. Between that, the slightly less casual attire Isaac has chosen to wear, and the long blue and white dress she's chosen for the night, it almost feels like the date she had joked about it being.

"I had no idea a place like this existed out here," Lisbeth admits in a low voice, eyes scanning over the identifying sign and the outside of the lounge. "I guess I should… get out more, instead of just staying holed up in the Bastion." She offers him a nervous smile, before offering him her arm and turning back to the doors.

"Let's. I'm excited to see what kind of a lounge a place like Staten Island produces!"

They’re gonna find us
They’re gonna find us

Faulkner and Melody are greeted at the door not only by the host, but also the voice of Rossignol’s chanteuse. The blonde stands centerstage, the fingers of one hand curled delicately around the edge of the ring that circles her microphone. The other weaves languidly at her side, her eyes lidded while she sings.

“Welcome to Rossignol,” the host greets them. “Just dropping in? Or do you have a reservation?” There’s a book laid out on the stand in front of him, presumably listing the night’s expected guests.

The answer to Melody's question is apparently, ritzy. Faulkner surveys the place as he walks in, arm in arm with Melody; he's well aware of Staten's reputation, but if this is the quality of place it produces, maybe that reputation is behind the times. His gaze pauses as he sees the singer — he recognizes the voice, but it's still a little bit of a shock to see Doctor Pride onstage, looking very different… and yet, just as much in her element here as she is in the lab. A grin touches his lips as he gives a slight shake of his head.

The host's question is met with a pleasant smile and a mirror of the same professional courtesy. "Reservation for Isaac Faulkner; guests of Doctor Pride," he says smoothly, head turning slightly to indicate the stage before he looks back to the host.

Someday, they may come along and find us alone somewhere

"Doctor Pride?" Lisbeth smirks when she hears the name, looking around as she takes in the sight of the lounge. "Isaac, are you friends with a supervillain? Because that's a supervillain name." She's teasing of course, it's not something she would ever actually say to this "Dr. Pride's", or mostly anyone else's, face.

She either doesn't see his motion towards the stage or doesn't pick up on the implication, but she sure does look towards the stage. For a brief moment, she seems a bit distracted by the woman on stage, a smile crossing her face before returning her attention to Isaac. "This place is so nice," she says quietly, looking around. "You're sure this is Staten?"

You and me
At the dark end of the street
You and me

There is a brief flicker of confusion on the host’s face that smooths out immediately. “Ah!” He smiles and starts leafing through the leather-bound book in front of him. “One of Miss Pride — ah, Mrs. Stoltz’s — standing reservations.” Apparently the songstress doesn’t get her professional title here much. She has also apparently had a change of surname as well.

One of the wait staff is waved over. “If you’ll follow Ashley here, she’ll show you to your box.” If the banter about the singer’s name registered, it’s not shown as the host hands them off to their escort, who smiles brightly and gestures for the pair to follow her.

Past the booths, the cabaret tables, the bar, and to a set of stairs leading up to the VIP section. A man in a suit pulls aside the velvet rope that serves as the barrier to entry, nodding to the pair as they pass and ascend the stairs.

And when the daylight hour rolls around
And if by chance we’re both taken in and taken downtown

There are velvet curtains to separate each of the boxes accessible from the landing. A server is just exiting one such and stands aside, a drink tray held to their chest to give space for the new arrivals. Ashley leads them to the best seats in the house, where there’s a private bar and a grand piano made of glass and ebony, its lid resembling the intricate patterns of a honeybee’s wing.

Rather than leave the pair alone at that point to decide if they’d like to sit at one of the eight seats surrounding the bartop built around the piano, the bar itself, or one of the plush armchairs or sofas near the railing, she moves to take up the role of bartender. “Please let me know if you need anything,” she insists pleasantly. “Can I get you a drink?” Otherwise, she seems perfectly content to ignore their conversations for the evening, invisible save for when her services are required.

From this vantage point, they really do have a positively marvelous view of the stage, and the heartbreaking expression on the face of the woman who stands there, as if pouring her soul out through her voice.

What they don’t see is the man at the host stand grabbing another server and giving him an order of his own. “Tell Mr. Stoltz that his wife has guests.

Mrs. Stoltz? Faulkner's eyebrows climb at that. He remembers Mr. Stoltz from the ill-fated Halloween Gala at the Brooklyn Museum, but he hadn't been aware they'd tied the knot; how charming. He'll have to tender his congratulations later to the happy couple. He inclines his head in polite thanks to the host, following the server.

Melody's joke draws a quiet laugh as they walk. "Not at all," he says. "She works at Raytech on biosciences. She's handling my blood work, in fact; that's how we met. She's been very kind… and she's also a talented singer. As you can hear," he says, flashing Melody a grin.

Their arrival in the VIP section sees even Faulkner blink, though. "She wasn't kidding about the good seats," Faulkner murmurs, taking in the opulence of the VIP section… but quickly, he composes himself, donning a smile. "Last I checked… though it does seem more and more like we might have been whisked away when we stepped through the front door," Faulkner says, grinning… though their server's question elicits a thoughtful look. "A drink sounds marvelous," he agrees, smiling pleasantly at their server before looking to Melody. "So… what are we having tonight?" he asks.

But if we should meet before then
Then just walk on by

"A mimosa, thank you." Lisbeth offers a nod and a smile to the waitress, blinking a bit as she looks around. She's been a bit zoned out, focused instead on the building around them ever since the words "VIP" had been uttered. "This is… wow. I didn't know you knew people in high places, so to speak!" Lisbeth looks over at him with a wide smile and a nod.

"It reminds me a lot of old times. Been a long time since I got to do something this fancy." There's a bit of a forlorn tone in her voice, looking down at her hands as they're set on the table. "What kind of food do they have here? Did they leave a menu?" Another beat, and her eyes widen and almost seem to sparkle. "Do we have a tab? Preferably someone else's. Alice used to always be able to finagle that wherever we went, and…."

Oh, sweet baby, please don’t start to cry

She trails off a bit there, her smile wavering. It takes a moment before she shakes her head and lets her smile return. "A-Anyway. What are you considering?"

Down on the floor by the bar, a man approached by a server breaks from his smiling conversation and directs a look up toward the VIP box. Still leaning one elbow on the bar, he narrows his eyes thoughtfully at the silhouettes he can see from his position. He nudges his chin upward and murmurs a word of thanks, interest weaving into his expression.

Should either of them look his way, he'll lift a hand off the bar in a casual greeting from afar.

Oblivious to the fact that she’s finally been taken up on her standing invitation, Ourania’s gaze doesn’t stray upward. It might have done if she’d been looking in that direction when they’d made their way up, but for now, her world is just her, the end of her song, and her adoring audience.

Because tonight we share the same dream
At the dark end of the street
You and me

Ashley nods her head to Lisbeth’s order and sets about grabbing the two bottles required from under the bar. The only answer she gets to her question about food is a subtle one in the form of a simple leather-backed menu set on the bar nearby. The only offerings on it, however, are what’s available top shelf. If she wants to try a scotch that costs more than some people make in a year, she’s in the right place.

You and me

Chances are that won’t be on any tab covered.

While pouring the fresh-squeezed orange juice and champagne into a flute and garnishing it with a flower of all things, the bartender turns to Faulkner with a smile. “And for you, sir?”

You and me

Ourania’s eyes open and catch on her husband, bringing her to smile in the quiet moment that lapses between those lyrics, the bass and the hi-hat keeping it from silence. Her lips give the barest of movements as she silently counts the beats before her finale, eyes lidded for that brief moment before resettling on the room at large.

At the dark end of the street

Slowly, her hand lowers from that untouching cradle of her microphone, bowing her head instead as the applause ripples through the crowd. “Thank you,” Ourania murmurs with genuine affect. The novelty of being appreciated, the rush of it, never loses its shine for her. But while her eyes sweep the crowd, she makes her customary and subtle checks.

A hand from the host stand indicates to her finally that someone awaits her in the VIP box. Her head tilts to the side slightly to indicate she acknowledges. If it were urgent, there would be someone standing just off the steps to the stage to collect her and escort her up, which means it isn’t Gideon looking for her attention. And her husband, as she noted, is at the bar.

So, after being escorted down the steps by the bass player — a tradition that hasn’t stopped even now that she no longer needs a cane to manage — she makes her way to the reserved seat at the end of the bar, where the bartender has already set out her drink for the evening. Something with chambord, if the color is anything to go by. Patiently, Ourania waits for Harry to extract himself from his conversation to join her side. “Any idea what that’s about?” The question is spoken against the rim of her glass, tone warm. She assumes he’s also been informed.

"I'll take a mimosa as well," Faulkner says politely. He catches their server's nod to the 'menu', but a quick glance reveals no food. It also informs him of the price range of this place; the good doctor's hospitality will likely cover a few rounds of drinks, but she likely had not intended to give him a tab in line with the GDP of some small countries.

Even if she had, he wouldn't be inclined to. There's a line between accepting hospitality and abusing it. "No food," he says, carefully returning the menu to where it came from. "Which really isn't surprising. This place seems to be more about… ambience. Good drinks, professional staff, beautiful music. A bastion of a more elegant age… something like that," he says with a grin.

"Anyway. I know a few people, but it was pure luck that one of them had an in here." His own smile takes on a bit of a forlorn edge. "I wanted to live it up, for once…"

"Anyway, maybe try not to run up too much of a tab; I'd hate for my doctor to be cross with me. Seems terribly unhealthy," he remarks with a wry grin, unaware of how very true that sentiment is. He applauds with the rest as Ourania finishes her song, watching as she leaves the stage… and there, at the bar, is Harry. Isaac's grin widens; he sees the other man raise a hand in casual greeting, and he offers an equally casual wave in return.

Something Melody's said has caught his attention, though. "Who's Alice, if you don't mind me asking?" he asks, glancing her way.

"It's a little surprising. It just means I can't drink too much," Lisbeth offers with a dry laugh. She straightens her dress, glancing over the menu Isaac holds. "But nothing lost. This place is really nice… I think you picked a good place to come live it up."

She smiles at him, before leaning back in her chair. Her demeanor seems slightly forced, distracted for a moment - and she certainly breezes past Isaac's question without even acknowledging it.

She looks down at the bar, an eyebrow cocked as she smirks. "Is that the Good Doctor Pride?" He watches him for a long moment, watching as the singer makes her way to him, and then turns her attention back to Isaac. "I wouldn't worry too much about the cost of anything. I was joking, I'd hate to imposition a friend of yours."

She looks up again and around, a more genuine smile returning to her face. "Did you hear about this place through your friend? I didn't even know a nice place like this existed in New York again. I know there's a few night clubs that have opened up, but otherwise it's mostly… dive bars, I suppose."

Below at the bar, Harry supposes to Ourania, "Well if you don't know… I'd say it's time we found out, isn't it? Just who these guests are." He offers his arm to her, and once accepted, off they go on a measured walk in the direction of the stairs then up them toward the lounge and the unknown guests. As it does many nights, his demeanor on the way up thrums at a cool warmth; polite, controlled and in control, with hostlike tendencies worn as a jacket over it all.

It's only once they crest the stairs that he murmurs to his wife, "I hear they're friends of yours." Then, it's just a matter of pushing back the curtain and offering a smile to those occupying the private area.

"Well!" Harry remarks with fond surprise as he looks between them, then settles back onto Isaac. "Good evening, there."

“All I saw was the cue,” Ourania admits with a lift of one shoulder. “I could check with the host stand,” she supposes, holding just a moment before letting a small grin come on slowly, “but what’s the fun in that?” She drops a kiss on Harry’s cheek as she takes his arm. Whoever is waiting for them, she’s sure it will be a pleasant surprise.

When her husband pulls the curtain aside, she comes to life with mild surprise. “Mister Faulkner! I wasn’t sure you’d take me up on my offer. Welcome! Lovely to have you!” With the greeting offered, she turns to Melody and finds it very difficult to keep a straight face, because she recognizes her.

Another life ago. From the war. On the other side of it.

“I don’t believe we’ve met,” she says in pleasant tones to the woman, smile fixed in place, but screaming behind her eyes. “Ourania —” There’s the barest beat, but it’s just long enough to catch. “Stoltz.” Her chin dips, cheeks flushing faintly. “Sorry. We’re very recently wed, and I’m still getting used to the new introduction.” She turns her face to the man whose arm she’s hanging off. “This is my husband, Harry.”

He can feel the ripple of anxiety in her emotion, but she squeezes his arm lightly, tipping her head against his shoulder briefly to provide reassurance that it’s not an immediate concern.

"Yes! She told me about it while I was getting some tests run. I… admit, I wasn't sure what to expect, but those expectations have certainly been surpassed," he admits, mostly relieved that she's staying away from the Billionaires V.I.P. menu.

The arrival of their gracious hosts is met with a polite smile, but one with some genuine delight behind it. "Mr. Stoltz!" Faulkner replies to Ace's greeting. "And Dr. Stoltz. I hear congratulations are in order!"

As Harry and Ourania step into view, Lisbeth is quick to rise to her feet, a wide smile on her face. "Good evening," she remarks with a wide smile, offering out a hand in greeting. "Pleasure to meet you both!" Bowing her head slightly, she regards them both almost like she has stars in her eyes. "That was a wonderful song, Dr. Pr- er, Stoltz."

"Lisbeth DiMico," she chooses to introduce herself as. "Thank you for letting us use your invitation for this evening. I had no idea a place as nice as this existed out here on Staten! It's really- fantastic." There's a rambly quality to her words, like clearly she doesn't know exactly what she should be saying. Straightening her dress, she regards Ourania with a look of curiosity. "Do you sing here often?"

The sudden dip in Ourania's emotions brings a fascination to Harry's expression that wasn't there before. "News travels fast around these parts, doesn't it?" he remarks with a charming smile down to his wife.

Underneath his skin, that curiosity runs wild. Ace can't ask Odessa for what's bothering her while they're playing host and hostess like this, but the mystery of it excites him somehow. Who is this other woman? Harry looks back up at her and accepts the handshake with friendly warmth. "Lisbeth," he repeats back. "It's nothing at all, really."

Time to dig. If she's a danger, he's keen to find out. If she's something else, then it's a matter of pleasure instead of business.

"Rossignol does make itself a gem the rest of this island can aspire to become like. Where is it you normally find yourself, Ms. DiMico?"

Oh no. Odessa can’t decide if raising his hackles would have been worse than this sudden bloom of excited interest from Ace. There is a flickering moment of self-awareness where she asks herself, Is this what it’s like when I find a puzzle to solve?

“Thank you,” Ourania replies warmly. “It’s very good to see you. I’m glad you’ve come out to see the space.” One arm slowly stretching out to her side, she gestures expansively. “I’m the weekend headliner,” she admits with a genuine and appropriate amount of humility. “And it’s lovely to meet you, Ms DiMico.” Those fingers tighten more around Harry’s arm as she lets out a measured exhale.

She leans in slightly, politely curious as to the answer to Harry’s question.

"Normally?" Lisbeth chuckles quietly. "Dive bars, I was just telling Isaac about how surprised I was to see an establishment this nice on Staten, because that's all I'm used to." Her shoulders rise and fall in a small shrug. "That, or the lounge at the Bastion." She glances over at Isaac at that, unable to remember if she's told him what her usual employment is.

Her smile wavers a bit, hands falling and clasping in front of her as she turns her attention to Ourania. "The weekend headliner? Goodness, I'd never imagine, with that voice. Who in the world do they have on the weekdays, then?" She seems to be under the impression that "weekend" means lesser, clearly.

Turning to Isaac, she smiles. "I helped Isaac here out of a few jams, as of late, and I do think I've rather taken a liking to him," she teases, looking over at Faulkner. "But it was his idea to come out here for drinks tonight, obviously."

The Bastion, she says. That little place those Wolfhounds love to hole up at. Harry arches his brows in an unvoiced 'aha' for her answer. It slots her into a certain group of people at least. And somehow— of further interest— he notes by the stumble in his wife's emotional tenor— this is news to Ourania, too.

Someone who she wouldn't want to cross paths with, but didn't carry what he would classify as a military bearing, and yet was of calibre meriting Wolfhound closeness. Someone from the war? Or perhaps someone from after.

He narrows his eyes slightly, one hand lifting and tilting to the side as he gently corrects, "We keep a lighter show on weeknights— most of our clientele come to call after the week is through." Afterward, he offers an apologetic smile to Faulkner.

The Bastion. Ourania brings her drink to her lips to preempt the bile she’s sure is about to burn in the back of her throat. Not only is Lisbeth DiMico who she is, but she’s Wolfhound. Her hand slips from Harry’s arm to instead rest at his back to bunch his jacket in subtle the curl of her fingers, where the risk of anyone else noticing the tremor in them is vastly diminished. The more he learns about Faulkner’s companion, the more Harry learns about his partner.

That her ability finds no blip of recognition from the woman across from her — and there shouldn’t be one — goes some way to help Ourania gradually calm herself. Harry’s often infuriatingly even keel goes the rest of the way toward establishing some assurance that she’s safe here. Her fingers splay out again, smoothing over the fabric she only mildly rumpled.

When she curls her hand into a fist again immediately, it’s without abusing the fine weave of his jacket again. The undertow of indignation drags her anxiety down, leaving her roiling beneath her skin. On top of all that this already is, now it’s been implied that it’s simple enough to imagine that someone must sing better than her? She’s insulted.

And the only one who knows that, and that the flare of it illuminates the quiet vastness of doubt, is Harry. “My husband is biased,” is what the singer says, dismissive of the praise with a gesture of her drink-laden hand.

That Lisbeth's taken a liking to Faulkner sees his smile brighten. Yes, she's teasing, but he's pleased as Punch regardless.

"The weekends are the busiest times; that makes sense," Faulkner says, offering a nod of thanks at Harry's explanation. His smile brightens as he looks back to Ourania. "Little wonder, then, that that's when you're booked," Faulkner says, his honest (and oblivious) enjoyment of this moment akin to that of someone enjoying a perfect drink on a perfect night — which, to be fair, is exactly what he is doing.

"Ah… yes. Lisbeth pulled me out of… a rather bad situation, not long after I started seeing you for treatment," he says, putting it as delicately as he can manage. "I… overestimated my limits and took an unfortunate fall. I'm lucky I ran into her; she was kind enough to help me get home."

He smiles. "I wanted to repay her kindness, and I recalled that very gracious invitation of yours; I'd been wanting to see this establishment of yours for awhile, and tonight seemed like a fine opportunity to do just that. Thank you again, Dr. Stoltz; this has been a delight so far." Faulkner pauses for a moment. "Do you have any more sets tonight?"

"Oh!" Lisbeth seems momentarily mortified, a hand over her mouth as she first looks to Harry and then to Ourania, lowering her head a slightest bit. "Well, forgive me. I'm used to weeknights being the busy times at clubs these days. People getting off of work and all that." She looks back up, offering Ourania a soft smile. "Consider me even more impressed. Your song was a wonder, and I shouldn't be surprised you have the top spot here. I'd say your husband is more right than biased."

Turning to pick up her mimosa, her gaze falls on Isaac. She smirks, and then holds up two fingers. "Twice." She winks, sipping lightly on her drink. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd been looking for excuses, Isaac," she adds with a chuckle. "All you had to do was ask."

She's clearly having a good time with this, at least.

Looking back to Harry and Ourania, she raises an eyebrow. "Yes, thank you Dr. Stoltz. I am very much looking forward to the rest of the night. Your hospitality is appreciated."

Harry dips his head in mollified grace when Lisbeth informs he's right, not biased. Whoever the fuck this woman is, he can at least appreciate she has good sense. He swivels a look down to his wife, brows popping. See?

Next to him, his wife doesn't feel any of what he's putting on externally. Gears are ticking, his emotional state more like a breath held in anticipation. That look that had been on Lisbeth's face, ever so briefly… he takes a moment to fix it in his mind before he looks back up to the selfsame woman with a smile.

It broadens just before he answers Faulkner belatedly, "There is indeed– another set. I wanted to be sure we came to say our hellos, given you're here as Ourania's guest. While my wife's soon to be indisposed, be sure to let me know if there's anything you need."

Underneath his skin, warm, oilslicked rain runs from head to extremities, released when an idea punctures the bubble of reflection welled in him. Greed settles into marrow as he decides he must know more.

God, and she feels that. Ourania shakes her head and lies through her teeth. “Oh, no. It’s fine. No need to apologize.” She chuckles softly, carrying forward. “You caught me at the right time. You got to hear the last of that one, and — if you decide you’d like to stick around for it — you can catch my next one.”

She draws in a deep breath, brighter now with her smile. “Please, enjoy yourselves. Get whatever you like,” she nods to the drinks they already have, she can see they’ve already availed themselves, “it’s on me tonight. I’m so glad you’re having a night out,” she says to Isaac in specific. That part isn’t a lie. He’s her patient. He’s Aman’s friend. And, frankly, he’s nice. She can wish for nice things for nice people. He’s had a lack of it this year, she knows.

“I should get going, though.” Seeing as how her husband has given her such a beautiful out. “I don’t have a long rest between turns on stage, unfortunately.” Ourania takes a turn for the apologetic herself now. “But you’ll be in good hands,” she assures them as she turns her smile to Harry.

While digging her knuckle into his back just enough to drive home that he needs to be careful.

"Hmm," Faulkner says, his gaze settling on Lisbeth. "All I have to do is ask? I'll keep that in mind then. For next time," he says, a small smile playing over his lips.

"Ah, yes; I will, thank you!" he says, smiling at Harry's hospitality. "Thank you again, Dr. Stoltz; it's been a pleasure. And my congratulations, again, to both of you," he says, raising his mimosa to the wedded couple's happiness.

"I look forward to it then, next time." Lisbeth takes another sip of her drink, before setting it down. "But that's getting ahead of ourselves, isn't it?" She turns back to Ace and Odessa, offering the pair of them a small wave. "For now, I look forward to your next set, Dr. Stoltz. And maybe another mimosa?" Clearly she's weighing her the importance of her choice, punctuated with a small laugh.

"Will you be leaving us as well, Mr. Stoltz?" Her head tilts, and her smile widens, before she turns back to Isaac. "Unless you want these seats to ourselves. I'm fine with that, too." Whatever is weighing heavy on Ace and Odessa, she seems blissfully ignorant of, instead more focused on walking the line between teasing and doting on Isaac. "I would love a drink recommendation before you leave, if so."

Snapping his fingers, Harry proposes, "I'll do you one better. I'll leave you two to your privacy, but I'll leave an order with the bartender for you." He smiles warmly, taking a step back along with his wife. "Something to your taste."

"The two of you have a grand time, all right?"

Then he slips out past the privacy curtain along with Ourania, and free of others' sight, his eyes practically gleam with satisfaction. He turns to his wife with the beginnings of a wide grin–

Then smudges to the left and out of sight, refusing to be dissuaded or chastised for his planned course of action.

Once outside of the VIP box, Ourania begins to sag with relief. A relief that’s short-lived when she catches the look on his face. “Harry,” she tries to warn in a whisper. “Don’t you—” Her eyes close heavily, mouth pursing small. He feels the flare of her annoyance and the chill of her worry.

Tipping back her drink, she leans with a gentle arch of her spine to facilitate its quick disappearance. That she doesn’t throw the empty glass when she’s done is a testament to her restraint, she feels. It’s set aside on a small table at the top of the stairs before she grabs hold of the railing and makes her descent as swiftly as she can.

Ourania cannot get to the backstage sanctuary of her dressing room and lock herself inside fast enough.

Isaac offers a smile in return. "I'll look forward to it," he says, as the couple take their leave… though he's curious as to what Harry's interpretation of to their taste will turn out to be.

Still, Isaac's impression of Harry so far is that he seems to be a man of discerning taste; it'll be fine, surely.

He waits a few moments, then looks to Lisbeth. "Still think she's a supervillain?" he asks teasingly, a merry grin dancing on his lips as he takes a sip of his mimosa.

"I don't know…" Lisbeth looks upwards, tapping a finger on her chin. "Stoltz seems like a great cover name, and a double life as a doctor and singer?" Lisbeth smiles wide, looking back at Isaac. "That seems like the perfect supervillain cover." She winks again, finishing her mimosa and setting it down. "And that would make Mr. Stoltz her, what? Partner? Minion? Cover?" She chuckles again, and then lets out a contented sigh.

"She's lovely," she admits more genuinely, willing to finally move past the supervillain joke. "With a wonderful voice, and an even more wonderful stage look and presence." Moving back to her seat, Lisbeth settles back down into it, eyes on Isaac. "Thank you, Isaac, again, for bringing me out tonight. I think I needed this."

A short time later is all it takes for the drink recommendation to arrive, brought by the bartender on the second level. There's two warmly-colored drinks, the fuller and darker side of orange, one for each of them. The scent of orange juice like the formerly-requested mimosa accompanies the coming drink.

The bartender sweeps the cocktail off the serving plate and dips his head as he passes them off. "A sniper cocktail for the both of you," he chimes in customer service friendliness. He tucks the plate under his arm and nods once before slipping off again.

Isaac frowns thoughtfully when Lisbeth suggests Harry as an accomplice; he remembers the version of the man he met at the Halloween Gala. "Not a minion. Partner I could see, though," he concedes.

At her thanks, though, he smiles, warmly and with sincerity. "It has been my pleasure," he says, settling into a seat of his own, holding her gaze for a moment.

The cocktail arrives with perfect timing; it looks to be another orange-based drink. "Interesting; I've not heard of that one," he says, taking the drink and peering curiously at it for a moment.

When the bartender enters, Lisbeth seems excited to try whatever it is they have on the tray. When she hears the name her smile vanishes entirely, replaced with a blank expression as it's placed down in front of her. She stares at it silently for a moment, before turning around her chair to look back towards the VIP area entrance. "What the fuck?" Spoken in a brusque tone that belies the pleasantness she had previously possessed, her eyes narrow for a moment.

Turning back to look at the drink, she picks it up and sets it across the table from her, in front of Isaac. "On second thought, I think maybe I'll hold off on another drink for now." Her voice is a slight bit hushed, thinner than it was before. Clearly something has sapped away her high spirits. She doesn't offer an explanation to her sudden mood shift, instead sinking a bit in her chair, expression neutral as she looks down at the table.

Lisbeth's sudden change in tenor does not go unnoticed; Faulkner regards her carefully for a moment, then sets his own drink down, moving the one she slid over to him to the side. "Thank Mr. Stoltz for his consideration," Isaac tells their bartender, his tone polite but somehow a degree or two cooler than it had been just a moment ago, his gaze remaining firmly on Lisbeth.

Something had just happened. Lisbeth had gone from Having a Good Time to This Is Awful And I Am Not Happy in about half a second flat, and the drink order seems to have been the catalyst; was it the name, or the cocktail itself? No way to know, really. Other than asking, anyway, and that seems ill-advised given how badly it had offput her. Distraction seems more appropriate for the moment. "So what's the Bastion like?" he asks, leaning forward a bit.

A moment passes before Lisbeth blinks and looks back up at Isaac, a momentarily distant look on her face. Her head tilts to the side, brow stitched tight as she echoes Isaac. "The Bastion?" She sounds lost for a moment, before shaking her head and clearing her throat. Pulling her chair closer to the table, she sighs. "Boring, mostly. Utilitarian. Unless you like shooting, exercising, drinking, or sneaking around with your teammates, there isn't terribly much to do."

And yet, she spends so much time there, mostly drinking. "But it's, uh. A great home base." There's some distraction to her voice, like she's struggling to stay focused. "Better than renting or buying a brownstone in town, I'd wager. No rent, for one. Part of the employment package." Something she might have smiled about moments ago, now just delivered rather matter of factly.

"What about you?" She looks back at Isaac, turning the question back at him. "I know Violet and I took you home that one night, but tell me about it."

Isaac had not been expecting her to turn the question back on him; for a moment his own gaze slips into the middle distance. The subject of where he lives ties in with his condition, and the last time he'd discussed that it… hadn't ended well.

But she'd answered his question; fair is fair. And maybe some honesty will help.

"I have a place in Park Slope where I was staying — a little rough, but I'd fixed up a nice place. It's where I used to live, back before the Slope was overgrown… and these days, as you say — no rent," Isaac says, grinning a little.

"Naturally, I didn't ask Violet to take me there. I couldn't actually see what kind of car she was driving, but it felt quite fancy, and poorly suited to off-roading. Plus… Park Slope wouldn't have been the safest for me, under the circumstances," he admits, his grin fading a bit.

"A friend of mine has a place on Northern Roosevelt; he was kind enough to let me crash there. He also made the excellent point that Park Slope was not the safest for me in my condition… which… was true," Isaac admits, grimacing. "And not just because of being blind."

Faulkner takes a breath. "So, to answer your question — currently I'm living in a rather nice place on Roosevelt Island with a roommate." He pauses. "Which, by the way, ended up probably saving my life later on, as well as driving home a point about respecting my limits. So… thanks," he says, flashing a quick grin.

Seeming a little caught off guard by this discovery, Lisbeth lets a frown sink the corners of her mouth for just a moment before making an effort to appear more neutral. "She drives one of those fancy Yamagato cars." A hand is waved back and forth dismissively, lips quirking side to side as she looks up at the ceiling. "Not really suited for a place like that, so I'm glad you thought to go lead us somewhere else."

She musters a small smile, leaning forward a bit. "I'm glad, though. That it worked out. Do you think you'll head back out to Park Slope at some point? I thought a lot of places there didn't have power, which must be tough." A finger taps on the table, even as she looks up at him. "And I'm glad you're learning your limits. Third time comes with an even steeper price tag, just so you know."

That smile grows, and for a brief moment she seems like her shining self again. It fades just as quickly, resulting in her slouching back into her chair with a visible frown. "Have you had any problems since? I may not be Doctor Stoltz, but I've still been worried. Particularly since my ability can be a bit finicky sometimes." One corner of her mouth twitches, hinting at a more genuine smile once more, but not quite enough to truly give her away. "To be honest, I was worried when you called me at first that something else had happened."

Faulkner's glad to see a grin come back to her face, at least for a bit. The question of whether he'll be heading back to Park Slope sees him look downward. "Honestly I'd like to head back at some point. It's true, it's not terribly developed these days, but the place has sentimental value; I used to live around there back before it was so… verdant," he says, a flicker of sardonic humor in his voice for a moment.

"But probably not," he says. "I still keep the place up just in case, and I visit now and again, but staying there full time isn't feasible. There have been complications since; one of them put me in the hospital for a bit. Had I been alone in Park Slope, the odds are fair I'd not be here," Isaac says matter-of-factly.

Lisbeth's eyes widen as Isaac shares that last bit of information, and quickly she scoots her chair up closer to the table. Leaning forward, she reaches a hand across the table, palm up as she motions for him to give her his hand.

"Isaac." Her voice is a bit more rigid this time, as she stares across the table in an attempt to catch his eyes. "I know we haven't know each other long, or well, but I want you to do me a favour." She huffs out a breath and waits, as if giving him a moment to consider before she continues. "The next time something like that happens? Please don't be afraid to reach out to me. I make a lot of jokes, but I'd rather you be okay than not."

Her shoulders stiffen, and she holds her gaze as best as she can as she continues. "I'll help however I can. I don't- want or like to advertise what I can do. But people I consider friends are exceptions." Well, there's that, at least. That she definitely considers them at least friends. "You never know when you're going to lose someone. I won't let that happen on my watch."

The serious turn of the conversation is marked with a similarly stern and serious tone in her voice.

Lisbeth's sudden seriousness sees Isaac blink as he looks back to her; the offered hand is taken after a moment's hesitation.

The favor she asks sees him blink again, but at her comment about losing people he looks down. "I…" he starts, then looks down. "Thank you. I… appreciate that," he says quietly.

After a moment, he looks up, nodding slightly. "I'll let you know if something happens. And if I can't… I'll have Aman give you a call in my stead," he says quietly. "But…"

He pauses, weighing his words. "The… condition I have… can interact strangely with some kinds of abilities. So if something really bad happens… just be careful, okay? I'd rather you be okay than not, too," he says, squeezing her hand gently.

"You've seen how my ability works," Lisbeth says in a hushed tone, not wanting to advertise what she does too much. "It interacts with everything a bit weird. I hate it, to be honest. It runs me ragged, and doesn't always work when I need it to." She returns the squeeze of her hand, placing her other on top of Isaac's for just a moment. "But I'll always try. I have to."

With that, she releases his hand. Aman will call her is something filed away to ask about another time, but not tonight. "Well, at least we're in agreeance. We both want the other to be okay. Better okay than not, right?"

There's that smirk again, once more fading. Not entirely this time, though. She seems pleased about something at least, even as she looks down into her own lap, releasing Isaac's hand and settling back down into her seat. "I'm sorry, I've gone and been a downer. Normally that takes a few more drinks." She huffs out a breath, slouching a bit in her seat. "I'll try to perk up," she lies, but it's only a small one. She wants to, just… her head isn't in the right place right now.

Isaac smiles, a bit sadly, and shakes his head. "I think… as nice a place as this is, maybe neither of us is really in the mood for it right now," he says.

Then, from nowhere, there's a gleam of mischief in his eye. "Want to go hit some dive bars instead?"

"And leave the good Doctor without an audience?" Finally, Lisbeth smiles more genuinely at that, shaking her head. "I can't leave her in the lurch after what I said earlier, particularly if she really is a supervillain." Her smile wavers a bit, but this time doesn't fade as she crosses her arms. "Besides, I want to continue this illusion you have that I'm worth taking out to dinner. Pretty sure that bubble'll pop with we go out to Corner Pocket or whatever."

Looking back down in the direction of the stage she quirks an eyebrow. "But after?" She looks back to him, a mischievous grin on her face. "Well, sky's the limit, I imagine. I have nowhere to be tomorrow. For now though… you picked this place out." She looks up at him, offering a small nod. "That's more than enough reason to stick it out, unless you'd rather leave."

She leans forward, that mischievous grin only growing, her chin propped against the palm of her hand. "And even if we do leave… I'd love it if we could do this again sometime. As a proper date, this time."

There it is.

Faulkner's grin is wide at that last; there it is indeed. "I'd be delighted."

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