A Strange Meeting


diogenes_icon.gif agnes_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title A Strange Meeting
Synopsis Three strangers - Diogenes, Agnes and Teo - meet and have a bizarre conversation which unsurprisingly ends with Diogenes being a jerk.
Date August 8, 2009

The Rock Cellar

A comfortable place, located in the basement of 14 East 4th Street. The red brick walls are covered with memorabilia from various icons of rock and places in rock history, creating a feel similar to that of a Hard Rock Cafe.

The left wall has two bars separated by swinging doors which lead to and from the kitchen. Directly across from the entrance is a two foot high stage with all the equipment needed for acts to perform there. The right wall has three doors marked as restrooms: two for use by women and one by men.

Thirty square feet of open space for dancing and standing room is kept between the stage and the comfortable seating placed around tables which fill the remainder of the Cellar.

The lighting here is often kept dim for purposes of ambience, and when performers are onstage the place is loud enough to make conversation difficult. Just inside the door is a podium where location staff check IDs and stamp the hands of those under twenty-one with a substance visible under UV lights at the two bars and by devices the servers carry. On the podium's front is a sign with big black letters that just about explain it all: If You Don't Like Rock 'N' Roll, You're Too Late Now!

It was imperative that Diogenes did not lose his mind and did not start wasting the money he has dishonestly earned. He had promised himself not to indulge in ordinary human vices, primarily avarice and greed. It was simply too tempting, however, and by the end of the day, instead of his casual outfit involving grey pants and a crumpled old shirt, he was wearing a white silk shirt and a suit dark as night. It was measured to fit the slender frame of the young adult, and it really fit him. He was sitting at a table alone, with a tall glass of Corona as his only company. He seemed rather cheerful - and why wouldn't he, for once? He was bitchiiiin'.

Agnes comes wandering into the club, an informative flyer in her hand about the apartments on the floors above. She's reading over it as she walks, and upon looking up, she seems just a touch surprised to find herself here instead of … well, instead of wherever it was she meant to be going. Still, there's no denying this place looks rather interesting, so Aggie ventures further within, having to put up with the indignity of getting her hand stamped for being underage. Once that bit of business is taken care of, she continues her way inside, folding the flyer in half once and tucking it away in her purse. Not entirely sure where to go from here, she just lingers by the door, checking the place out.

The young man's keen and observant gaze continuously surveys his surroundings. One could say he was checking the place out, similarly to Agnes, but his approach was much more… scientific, perhaps? He was dissecting this particular location as one would open up a corpse. As morbid as that analogy might be, it perfectly describes how Diogenes noted what is what, and who is who, ticking certain mental check boxes. Eventually, of course, Agnes, comes into view. A smirk slowly grows unto his lips. Having experienced standing in a corner in many parties in his past, he didn't want someone else to experience anything even remotely similar. He hastily rises from his chair, and in quick steps walks over to Agnes. Once he's close enough for her to hear him, he speaks up: "Would you like me to lead you to your table, Miss? And perhaps you already want to order something?" Swiftly noticing the stamp, he adds: "You're underage, so no alcohol, I'm afraid."

Agnes has just been scanning the room, trying to get the lay of the land, looking for a good spot that's open… Diogenes happens to come up on the side where she's not looking, so there's a touch of surprise as she turns back to find someone there. But since he's being helpful, she quickly recovers and offers a grin, which turns a touch wry when he mentions the stamp. "Yeah, just a few more months," she says somewhat ruefully, glancing down at her hand herself, flexing her fingers a few times as she watches the ink move over the skin. Then looking back up, she remembers the questions posed to her. "Just a pop will be fine, I guess," she replies, gaze scanning the room briefly before she nods again, "And help finding a table would be awesome."

Diogenes wraps his slim digits arond the lapels of his jacket and tugs on it to adjust it; a single hand brings the lapels together, hiding a good portion of the white silk shirt. With his other hand, he gestures towards the crowd. It was late, and people were definitely trying to squeeze out as much entertainment before curfew as they could. "Right this way", he announces before taking the lead, occasionally shooting a glance over his shoulder to check if Agnes is following. "A few more months?", he inquires on the way in a tongue-in-cheek tone, and then adds: "I will order you a glass of Merlot for October, then." They would eventually arrive at his table. "I'm not a waiter", he finally admits in a less posh tone of voice, "But I could go and fetch you a soda."

"October, yeah, that's right," Anges remarks as she weaves along behind him, sounding impressed, as though it were a handy bit of math to end up at the right month. "Like that's really going to make such a huge difference in how mature I am. It's kind of a stupid law, if you ask me." But of course she'd think so, being on the wrong side of it still. As he admits to not being a waiter, she gives him a curious look but also laughs. "Well, that doesn't exactly seem fair. And it would make tipping you kinda awkward," she points out with a teasing grin. "Unless, I mean, if you wanted to look the other way on the whole age thing and order me something else…" Well, a girl's gotta try, at least.

He was certainly overdoing it. Diogenes cants his head to the side with a subtle grin flashing just briefly on his lips. It felt… oddly pleasant to use his powers of perception and iniative for something other than mockery of others' flaws. "I'd gladly get you drunk and kidnap you to torture you for days in my basement", he remarks, "But I fear I can only do that once you're of legal age." Picking up his own alcoohlic beverage with spidery fingers wrapping around the brim of the glass, he steps away from the table. "Have a seat. I'll come back with something refreshing. Anything particular you want? Cola? Sprite?"

There's still no yellow growing out on Teo's scalp, but he keeps running his palm over the buzzed-short velour-like bristle doing paranoid checks that it's doing anything ragged or untidy that it isn't long enough to. The gesture is commonly mistaken for his old sense of vanity by those who know him, which is probably preferable to the neurotic stodginess that it really is. Time seems as collapsible as cardhouses lately. Stacks and regains order every time he glances up at the clock.

"She's supposed to be checking out the place— Tighe? Proprietress asked me to come down, see if she got lost—" he gestures vaguely at roughly the height that he imagines the prospective lessee might stand at. About three inches shorter than she actually is. The waitress pauses, painted mouth pulling a frown in at the corners. Someone had just come in. She went…

"Yeah," Agnes replies, drawing that syllable out as she gives him a long look. But then she decides that, duh, obviously he must be joking, so she simply grins, even if it is a little awkward now. "Well, maybe we skip the basement-torture part." It's a light, easy suggestion, taking the humour as (she hopes) it was meant to be taken. The offer is considered, and then she shrugs a shoulder, dropping into an available seat, gathering her purse into her lap. Her hair is flicked back from her eyes as she glances towards the bar, considering. "Cola's fine, sure." Of course, she has no idea anyone is looking for her.

Diogenes promptly heads towards the bar; seldom is he one to waste time. That doesn't mean that he cannot take a sip of his drink during his trek, however. "Just a glass of Coke, please", he voices his order to the barman, placing a hand on the bar counter - a predator waiting for its prey, which happened to be an innocent glass o' soda. While he waits, he looks around the place as warily as he had before, taking another sip of Corona to make his gaze seem more casual and make him look less like a cop. Once the Cola would be served, he'd pick it up and start walking back to the table where Agnes was.

…that way. "Is that her?" the waitress inquires, pointing one green-lacquered fingernail through the room. Teo's attention halts first against the hitchy flow of waitstaff traffic, steady despite that the night is young, but he blinks past it, finds himself studying the back of a very nice suit and the silhouette of a blonde woman's profile. There's an inward twitch of one corner of his mouth, helplessly wry. He lifts one shoulder into a shrug, drops it again. "I don't— think so, if she has a date.

"But. Fuck— I'll go find out," he says, shunting his hands into his pockets. "Grazie, signorina." No problem. He raises one sneaker, falls easily into a rangy stride toward the table.

Now Agnes has two guys heading for her, and remains, for the moment, oblivious to both. After having looked around at this particular space a little more, she's pulled out the flyer again to give it another thoughtful once over. Having a club in the basement is a pretty major selling point; she will be legal soon, after all. She tucks a lock of hair back behind her ear, chunky rings catching in the light. With no more information to be gleaned from the page, she folds it into quarters again and slips it back into her bag.

Once he arrives to what once was a table that belonged exclusively to him and his best friend Solitude, Diogenes places the glass of Coca-Cola on the table rather than offering it to Agnes personally; as polite as he was, he didn't want her to even suspect that he is hitting on her, despite the fact that he's done quite a lot in the past few minutes to convince her of the contrary. He would offer her but a warm, ostensibly genuine smile, and retreat towards the nearby seat.

But then he catches a glimpse of a man approaching this table in a self-assured stride. Turning his head to regard the man and make sure that it is this very table that is his final destination, he murmurs: "Uh-oh. Hope you don't have an overly angry boyfriend who is about to punch me in the face."

Teodoro Laudani's default ensemble is interchangeably average enough for a man his age that it is rather susceptible to interpretation, it's true. Hoodies, beaten jeans and running shoes as often lend him the aspect of a shabby sophisticante as your garden variety starving college student, or a thug of some surprisingly well-maintained and hygienic subspecies, though that usually benefits from exposure of tattoos or scars— all of which remain diligently concealed, at present. Some sort of PR note.

"Buona sera." Italian comes off him as fluently, without accent as the English proceeds afterward. He parks his shoes a respectable distance from the man, woman, and grouped beverages. Turns up the corners of his mouth, shifts his eyes quizzically between the two, no spastic windmilling of fists imminent. "Excuse me for interrupting, I was looking for somebody. Agnes Tighe?"

"Oh hey, thanks," Agnes replies, looking back up now that the flyer has been tucked away and company has returned. She lifts the delivered glass in a somewhat wry/somewhat sincere toast, before taking a sip. His question catches her a little off-guard, and she looks over at the approaching man with a confused expression. "Uh, no," she replies, though she isn't quite sure what it is she does have here right now. "Um, yeah, that's me," she replies, as the new stranger speaks her name. A quick sidelong glance is spared to Diogenes, as if he might offer some clue as to what's going on, but quickly her gaze is back on Teo. "Don't tell me I'm in trouble or something," she guesses in a wry, skeptical tone. She hasn't even done anything.

Diogenes is one to take precautions, and although he's indulged in quite a few exceptions tonight, his tendency to be aware of all even vaguely potential dangers is one of his traits that he refuses to give up this late eve. As his eyes roam over the approaching figure, giving the impression of him closely looking over Teodoro - appraising him, perhaps - his eyes scan what others fail to see. Or, well, never find it necessary to. His spine is what Diogenes visualises, focusing on those parts of it that would require disabling should—

The focus is lost, and Thomas looks up at the stranger's visage. Did he just speak Italian? This has almost made Diogenes cringe visibly and groan aloud; fortunately, he refrained from doing such. He found spontaneously blurted out foreign words as a posh gesture, after all, even if he is the one who keeps throwing Latin phrases about freely. "Well, you're not a cop", he muses loudly, slipping back into a seat and taking a sip of his drink before speaking up again nonchalantly. "So she's definitely not in trouble. But, worry, not, mio signore, you are not interrupting anything."

After this many years of reasonably continuous residence in Manhattan, Teo must know better than to think crapping out foreign languages in quarters other than those that see their frequent use as a function of the ethnic majority will always go over well. He looks neither particularly surprised at the twitch in in Diogenes' expression nor specifically inclined to carry on in a language that his quarry will not understand.

He looks pleased. "Naw, I hate cops," comes the likely response, blunt as head trauma. "I'm here on behalf of Mrs. Chesterfield. You were going to see the place, right? Apparently your agent had some kind of problem at home, and cellphone service cuts out down here, sometimes. She's gonna be a few hours late, wanted to know if you'd prefer to reschedule." He angles Diogenes a glance, askance, apologetic in the faint stoop of his shaven head.

Agnes is somewhat relieved as Teo is confirmed to be not a cop, though she's not unaware of the fact that trouble can come from more than just New York's finest. A brief but puzzled glance is offered to Diogenes, wondering how he knew with such certainty that the other guy wasn't undercover or something. But as the explanation goes on, recognition dawns and the pieces fall into place. "Oh. Oh right." She frowns, reaching into her purse and digging out her cellphone to give it a quick glance. What it shows does confirm at least that part of his story, for she seems to have no service at the moment. "Um, yeah, I guess rescheduling is fine. I'm on kinda a tight schedule but … well, what are you gonna do. Thanks for letting me know."

Teo's confession regarding his hatred for the police force prompts a smirk. It is largely a subdued one, but neverthless shows that Diogenes is amused with the Italian's response. "Pity that I'm too young to pass as a cop, otherwise I'd ask 'what if I am one'." Yes, pity indeed for someone who enjoys witnessing the reactions of others whom he manipulates. His other words are directed at Agnes, as he caught her perplexed gaze earlier and finds it only fair that he elaborates even if no question was asked. "There's no gun poking out of his clothes", he begins, gesturing towards Teo, "and they look tight enough to show one. He's also too young to be given an undercover gig, and most undercover cops usually mess up the casualness of an outfit."

After another sip of his drink, his eyes rise to catch sight of Laudani again. "Would you like to join us", he inquires with a modest grin, motioning to an empty seat at the table with a vacant hand.

The Rock Cellar's waitstaff is working steadily, a new shift picking up as the hours transition out of the normal nine-to-five and into the dinner — and Happy Hour — crowds. There's a band gearing up, somebody dragging new leads up across the stage to the guitarist's riser, a ladder holding a technician up to examine the lights. More patrons now than there were fifteen minutes ago, including two at the table: Diogenes, fashionable in his suit, and Agnes with a real estate flyer peeking out of her purse.

Teo's there, peering indecisively at the chair that he was just pointed at, but the Ferrymen and Cellar staff and whomever else is coming in now probably know better than to think he's here for pleasure. "I'dve apologized," he answers, benignly. Another moment's consideration, and he sets himself down in the chair alotted, keeping his face still, somehow, despite the prickling awareness that he's carrying two guns and more knives than would be legal for most professions, never mind someone who doesn't technically have one.

He offers Agnes half a grin. "If you like this scene, I think you'll enjoy living at the Renaissance. Music person?"

Agnes frowns thoughtfully as Diogenes explains his rationale for his assumption. Huh. She'll have to file that away for later use, in case it should come up again. She then goes back to smiling wryly, as she takes another sip of her soda. "Of course, if you were a cop, that would explain why you wouldn't get me a real drink," she points out, though she really isn't too put out about the lack of one. This wasn't really supposed to be a party anyway - granted, she'd hardly have complained had it turned into one. Back to Teo then, and he gets a grin as he chooses to sit. "Oh yeah. This is really cool. I never even thought about living in a place with its own club. That's pretty awesome." She nods approvingly several times, her attention now split between the two guys and the group setting up on stage.

"On the other hand", the dark-haired, grey-eyed man ponders, "he could very well be an informant. Informants are usually drug-dealers picked off the streets and given the choice of going to jail or becoming a rat." His tone was becoming increasingly playful, and it was quite difficult to determine whether Diogenes spoken in jest or not. When he leans forth with his hands hugging the bottom of his beer glass and a mockery of terror upon his face, it becomes apparent he's joking. Hissing in a loud whisper that defeats the purposed of hushed words as both Agnes and Teo would hear what he says, he murmurs in a supposedly panicky voice: "You're not a junkie… are you?"

Yes, he certainly was a weird one. He reclines in his seat and lifts his currently half-empty glass to bring it to his lips. Mid-way, however, he changes his mind, hastily putting the glass down, startled by his lack of manners. Well, not truly, but it would hardly show. "Oh, before we go too deep into the conversation and make introductions later awkward - I am Diogenes. Dye-oh-gene-ees. Diogenes Ingram. Yes, yes, plenty of shit in school for that name", he admits early on with that impish smirk of his still present.

Dye-oh-gene-ees. Genies. Ha, ha, did you hea— right. Teo contracts the grin on his face around a smaller, somewhat more manageable size, proffers a handshake to the younger man. "Ian," he supplies. "I'm a charity case of the owner's, so she lets me do stuff like— get in on search parties when her prospective lodgers go missing. She's a good landlady, as long as you aren't planning to start a Jell-O pit in the hallway or anything too fucking crazy. No drama about the cop thing, promise; a byproduct of miscreant youth.

"Did you just get in from a job interview or something?" He jerks his head down at the formal cut and style of Diogenes' evening ensemble, sits back a few degrees to flag down a waitress.

There's a bit of a grin from Agnes as it becomes more and more readily apparent that Diogenes is only joking about the parania regarding informants. "I think we'd be pretty boring to inform on anyway," she points out. "Not like we're doing anything really … fun." She takes another sip of her horribly non-alcoholic beverage to punctuate that statement. "And I guess we've already established that I'm Agnes. Aggie, if you prefer." She rolls her shoulders in a bit of a shrug, a bit of a smirk picking up. "And if you ask me, kids have to be shits about something, so I guess it might as well be a name." Looking over at Teo, she arches an eyebrow. "I'll keep it in mind about the Jell-O pit, if I decide to go for the place. And I guess I never really had my own search party before. Sorta feel like there should be a Saint Bernard and a barrel of whiskey involved in this somehow."

Curious. Diogenes finds it curious that the man's name is Ian. His accent is prominent enough for Sir Ingram to assume that his Italian heritage is strongly present and thus an Italian name would be more likely. The absence of his last name - when Diogenes subliminally suggested to share that bit of information by sharing his - only makes Diogenes more suspicious. Knowing full well that he is often too paranoid for his own good, however, he does not pursue this gap in logic. Not right now, at the very least.

"As a matter of fact… Yes, I did", he responds to Ian. "And that's why I'm here, drinking - or celebrating, as it were; I got the job. From now on, I am a pimp of three lovely ladies - Candy, Caramel and Cherry. If you ever want a fun time with a blonde who will introduce you to the most perverse things a human mind can come up with, let me know. Stay away from Candy, though — has an ugly birthmark on her cheek." With that, he takes a hefty swig of his drink, looking over to Agnes. "Aggie, I have a business proposition for you. You look good enough." His smirk grows. "Just kidding."

Candy, Caramel and Cherry send Teo's eyebrows up toward his hairline, barring his forehead with lines of surprise, though nothing particularly negative about it. Not the sort of joke most men would try on a pretty young thing for whom they were purchasing… Coke? Laughter etches in on the corners of both pale eyes, next, and he shakes his head, once. Oh, bless his poor Catholic sensibilities. "I think she was angling for whiskey," he surmises, leaning an elbow on the table. "Not so much new employment. Your first time here, too?" Though he gets that final question out intact, there's a jolt to the question mark punctuating the end, a faint scowl when microphone feedback comes crashing out across the nearby speakers.

And it's definitely a new joke on Agnes, though the poor thing tries to play off her surprise, smirking and rolling her eyes maybe just a second or two too late to make it fully convincing. "Y'know, I never know quite how to take it when someone tells me I look good enough to be a whore… I am looking for a job, but … think I'm gonna have to pass on that one, thanks," she says in a wry tone, grimacing at the feedback from the microphone, and giving the stage in general a dirty look for that assault on her ears. "Ow," she complains in that dry tone, though her voice isn't raised at all, so it's more a comment on the situation than an actual complaint for the ones causing the feedback. And then picking up her previous thought, "…The whiskey on the other hand…"

Diogenes cranes his neck to turn his gaze to the one who introduced himself as a lad with an Irish name. "I am getting to that, okay?", he mutters in faux displeasure. "This may be my first time here, but this isn't my first date rape. I'm a professional at this, a'right? Back off." Although his grin had disappeared in order to make room for proper delivery of what hopefully was a joke, it soon crawls back up unto his lips, pulling their corners upwards. It vanishes for a brief moment again when the microphone yells in agony across the place, causing Diogenes to cringe. That accident would be granted no more of Dio's attention, however, other than an absent-minded scoff.

"I think I could get you some whiskey", he mutters, patting his pockets. "Wait, damn. I left my date rape drugs in my other pants." Smacking his lips, he leans towards Teod— Ian. "Do you have any on you? I'll make sure to pay you back afterwards."

Quite possibly the weirdest flirtation— flirtation?— tactic that Teo has ever seen, and he'd hung around with Conrad Wozniak before, so. Humor and perplexity mingle on the knit of his brow. He glances up at a passing waitress, but she isn't carrying his grilled chicken sandwich on her tray, or anybody's grilled chicken sandwich on her tray, so his attention shifts back in a moment, seamless, with an insouciantly inquisitive list of his head, a blunt scratch of fingers at the base of his skull. "I thought I was too young to feel the generation gap going downward," he admits, wryly. "Are auto-wrecks and paraplegia cool too?"

Teo isn't the only one finding this approach odd, but Agnes is still trying to play it off as if she 'gets' it, as if she's on the inside of this joke. "I don't know that a professional woulda forgotten," she points out, though it takes her a moment or two too long to come up with that for it to really follow. She glances over at Teo then, shrugging her shoulders. "Um. Well, I guess some car-wrecks could be. If you weren't in them and they were really impressive?" She wrinkles her nose slightly at that idea, or maybe it's because she's picked up her drink again, and with all this talk of roofies flying about, well, it does give a person pause. Still, Aggie isn't going to be so lame as to get Afterschool Special about beverage safety, so she says nothing, just giving the glass a look and then taking a tiny sip before she sets it back down.

For some inexplicable reason, Diogenes decides to share with a tiny bit of what his ability can do, even if it exposes him as an Evolved. "Paraplegia? I can induce that. I can make you an impotent, really. So, don't fuck with me, or you'll never fuck again", he warns Teo in a friendly manner, as friendly as such a 'warning' could have been spoken.

"So, if I get into trouble trying to get you drunk, so be it", he tells Agnes, rising from his seat after he quickly finishes his own drink. Leaving the empty glass on the table, he ventures forth towards the bar. On his way, he makes sure to spark some chaos for his own amusement; as a waitress walks by, he glances at her to temporarily disable control of her hand, sending all what was on her tray towards the ground, shattering noisily. Casually, he carries on walkin', leaving the waitress to deal with the mess on her own.

This little piggy was waiting for his sammich. This little piggy was incredulously impressed at the tidbit of information volunteered, at random, by a stranger. And this little piggy didn't— fuckin'— see that coming.

Teo's left eyebrow hikes higher than his right. He stares, with unequivocal startlement, at the mess of sharded glass and exploded alcohol, the wet shoes and shrieks that come afterward. The next instant, his features furrow with a frown, genuine consternation this time, if a little short on terror for his personal wellbeing. Muttering a polite excuse at the young woman he was left to share the table with, he slides off his chair, moves over to help clean up with terrycloth and a low word of reassurance or three.

There's a pause as Agnes takes in that sharing from Diogenes. "I- Wow," is all she can really manage in reply, really just honestly not quite sure what to make of it. But then he is offering to buy her a real drink, which does wonders for getting her over the matter, and even has her quelling a few of her own concerns over all this date rape "humour". She's just settling back in her chair with a self-satisfied smile when the sudden shattering of glass causes her to jump in her seat, and sit up in a hurry. "Did he…?" she begins, murmuring quietly under her breath. But she just trails off instead of finishing, both because the ending is probably obvious, and because Teo is hopping up to help with the clean up.

At the bar, Diogenes orders a stout glass of Jack Daniels to retrieve back to the ménage à trois. As he waits for his order to be served, he leans with his side against the bar, looking over to the table with a smirk. With any luck, he has weirded out the two. Getting people uncomfortable, annoying them and downright frustrating them - this is what Diogenes was good at, and those were the activities that were at the top of his hobbies list. A content sigh escapes him and he turns to the bar. The drink is served.

On his way back to the table, he slows down next to the waitress, now being helped by Teo. "Hmh. Who could blame them. It's late, they must be getting tired", he comments with a wolfish grin and moves on to return to the table, making a mental note regarding the Italian. A kind soul. Perhaps too much for his own good. Not that Diogenes would educate him about the intricacies of the world's bleak nature. He wasn't one to educate. He let Fate teach others, even if he preferred to push certain outcomes that would 'educate'. "Your drink, Madam", he notifies Agnes, placing the glass before her. "Those clumsy waitresses", he murmurs, sitting down, "Could've ruined my suit."

"Might've been what you fucking deserved for joking around about whipping out a barbed mutant peepee and hitting people in the face with it," Teo points out, a logoed napkin in one hand, sopping up the splash of runoff alcohol off the incline of his wrist and palm. He's a few strides off from the table, still, but back on his feet after giving as much assistance as the waitress was willing to accept. She does, after all, think that it was her fault, and it would be more unprofessional still to get the mess onto a patron's hands.

Annoyance hardens the young man's aquiline features within the severe demarcations of stiff lines, if nothing near the blowout rage that would be required of most people who pulled out that many curses. If anything, the swear words fall out of Teo's vocabulary with the neutrality of 'water' or 'very,' without specific emphasis or color. He dries out the webbed skin between forefinger and middle with an irritable swipe of tissue paper.

"Thanks," Agnes murmurs as the drink is set down before her, but her earlier elation at the idea of scoring a drink has now faded, and she seems more perplexed than anything. Perplexed and uncertain how to play this off, especially with the two men showing such wildly different views on the matter. In the end, she winds up somewhat aloof, though not exactly approving, offering a quirk of her mouth to Teo as he returns, an attempt at a smile with no real mirth behind it. She picks up her new drink and looks down into it a moment, before her gaze flickers over to Diogenes. "You always pull shit like that?"

The coarse language with which Teo address Diogenes hardly phases the mischievious Evolved. "I have no idea what you're talking about", he would respond right after silence sinks in, to make sure the Italian has nothing else of value to add. Not that Diogenes found what he said to be of value, to begin with. "I cannot make people drop things. Even if I would, I find such spontaneous displays of one's abilities petty." A slight pause punctuates his speech. "How many Evolved are gathered here, huh? How many of them are telepaths, people with telekinesis… How many of them are you willing to blame for what happened? When it rains, do you cuss and blame the closest Evolved for it? First, it was God who people keenly blamed for their mistakes, and now there's a new scape goat in town. Evolved. At least, knowing that such discrimination could only come from someone biologically inferior, I know what you are." And then he curtly replies to Agnes. "No, I don't." Quite the snake, that Sir Ingram.

A sneer threatens the corner of Teo's mouth with a serpentine curl, then, skulking in the shadow of his profile without quite reaching actualization. "I said you'd made a bad joke. Getting defensive about actually pulling the fucking stunt doesn't help your case, thanks. Enjoy your drink." The latter remark is angled at Agnes off a glance over his shoulder, his aggravation momentarily reigned down far enough that there could be any real confusion as to who the actual inspiration for his ire was. He inclines his head, once, adds: "Luck finding a place.

"Buona sera." Pale eyes cut briefly to Diogenes again, before he rounds his shoulders up, around a hangdog slouch, puts his hands in his pockets again. Turns, and starts to lope toward the kitchen. It wouldn't be an extraordinary leap of deduction to think he's hunting after his sandwich, to go.

"All right, sorry," Agnes replies, a touch defensive herself, though it's perhaps because he has a point. Or at least he has her thinking she'd been too quick to draw a conclusion there. As he's pointed out how many in here could be Evolved as well, she can't help a quick glance around, trying to figure with a quick sweep of her eyes who might fall into that category, for no other reason than simple curiosity. It is brief, and then her gaze is back to their little group, looking at Teo as he makes to leave. "Thanks," is murmured again, for the well-wishes. "It was, uh, nice meeting you." Even if things were horribly awkward towards the end there. She lifts her glass in a salute as he turns to go.

"Uh-oh." Turns out alcohol has affected the man's judgement. "My villainous disguise has been unveiled — This is where I throw a smoke bomb at my feet and vanish in the summoned mist mysteriously." Swiftly, he lifts up a hand and drops the imaginary smoke grenade, complete with the self-mimicked sounds of a muffled explosion. Apparently, no smoke erupts to conceal the man and ensure his planned escape. "Well, that didn't work", he admits, looking around; he pretends to just now notice Teo stepping away from the table. "Actually, I was supposed to disappear, but hey — that's just as good, I guess."

His gaze lands on Agnes, then. "Sometimes", he says, referring to something that is not initially evident. "I sometimes pull shit like that. Usually to gauge people's reaction and to find out a little something about others. For example, that waitress is shy and terribly afraid of her failures. That Ian is the sort to aggressively defend 'the people'; I'm surprised his name isn't Alexander. You? You're a chameleon. You don't seem to like to rub people off the wrong way, and adapt. You tolerated all those poor jokes."

Agnes watches the little show that Diogenes puts on with his failed pretend magic act, her eyebrows lifting just a bit. They don't immediately lower either, as he goes on to elaborate on his previous response. "Hey man, I rub a lotta people the wrong way," she notes with a bit more edge, perhaps feeling her 'bad girl' cred is at stake. "Maybe I just don't want to rub them the wrong way when I'm trying to get them to buy me a drink." There's a pause as she glances after the way Teo has gone. "Or keep a line on a place to live." Her dark gaze returns to Diogenes now, just a touch harder for knowing she was kind of being played there. Back in the big city kiddo; gotta step it up a notch. "It's not exactly cool to do that to people."

Diogenes chortles softly as Agnes attempts to save her reputation as a mean gal. He has encountered more than one woman with that mindset; one of them he actually shared his apartment with. "You have your drink", he notes, tipping his head in the direction of the glass of whiskey. "And you're going to get a place to live anywhere so long as you have cash. You can crap on people's faces and all they'll say is 'Thank you', if you give them enough cash." He sighs softly and tilts his head one side. "And if you rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, you wouldn't tell me it isn't cool to do that to people."

"Don't try to be something you're not", he adds.

All of this infuriating logic is met with another long look from Agnes, and there's a pause as she tries to figure out exactly how to respond to that. "Everyone tries to be something they're not. The world would be a real fucking mess if we were all what we were." She glances down at her drink and then takes a sip to punctuate that thought. "And I meant that it wasn't cool to do that to me. So this whole time, I've just been some sorta experiment? Trust me: I'm being myself when I'm annoyed about that."

"Experiment?.." Although it seemed as though Agnes was becoming annoyed with the fact that she was but the other man's test subject, Diogenes seriously pondered that possibility and was willingly oblivious to the fact that he might have upset Aggie. "I wouldn't exactly name you that", he finally speaks up, "but you were pretty close to that." He digs his hand into the pocket of his pants, and pulls out a relatively thick wallet. "Everyone is something they're not. Being someone else and trying to be someone else are two different things", he remarks whilst gathering enough banknotes to pay for his drink and Aggie's beverages, as well. He wouldn't tip, naturally.

"The curfew is about to be in effect. I suggest you finish up your whiskey and find yourself a temporary place to stay", he suggests, rising from his seat, burying the wallet back into his pants.

"Gee, thanks for the honesty," Agnes replies sarcastically, as he comes out and gives such a thoughtful answer about the purpose of their interaction this evening. "I trust I proved educational." She rolls her eyes, drumming her fingers around her glass, letting the metal of his heavy rings chink against it. "You can't be something you're not. Once you're that something else, then you're no longer not it." You have to love confounding logic. But then he points out the curfew and she curses under her breath. Perhaps in an attempt to regain some cred, she tips back the rest of the whiskey in one long go, setting down the empty glass on the table and then levelling him with another look. "Good night then," she bids, making no move to rush off herself. Though to be sure, she'll scramble like the dickens as soon as she thinks she's out of his sight.

"You can't?.. Humanity begs to differ. Masks help us be who we're not. Laws, restrictions, unspoken rules, social norms - all of these factors shape our masks that we put on early in our lives, and fear to take off for many years. Most never dare to shed their false identity." For someone who has been carelessly sharing tasteless jokes and has played an ill prank on a waitress, he sounded serious and perhaps even a touch ominous as he replied to Agnes. His eyes wander to her hands that lift the glass in order to empty it in a rush. His contagious smile returns to his face. "Good night, Agnes." He turns around and heads for the exit at a nonchalant pace, his hands in his pockets.

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