Ain't No Party Like A Cat's Cradle Christmas Party


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Scene Title Ain't No Party Like A Cat's Cradle Christmas Party
Synopsis They're full of mind-altering substances and life decisions.
Date December 23, 2019

Cat's Cradle


I don't want a lot for Christmas

It's a festive evening in Cat's Cradle. The spotlights are picked to shine various hues of reds and greens, there's mistletoe literally everywhere. Wreaths hanging from above and on the various doors leading out of the main room.

There is just one thing I need

I don't care about the presents

The owner of the establishment is swinging from a chandelier. Draped in a red pantsuit, complimenting her crimson lightning and eyes. "UNDERNEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE!" The bar is filled a good size. This was the Cat's Cradle Holiday Party for but who said they couldn't add a little more fun. As well as make some money. A trio of women, mothers by the look of them slam down shots in the corner hooting with laughter relishing in a night leaving the children home with their fathers so close to the holidays craze.

Underneath the Christmas tree

Not that they needed it.

The feeling is festive but at the crowded bar Poppy throws up her hands and stomps off towards the back, "SASSY! Get your ass out here now!" That's not the way you talk to your managers but this isn't your typical workplace. "I'll be back," she shouts to Isis over the roar of people. Willa comes from taking her break outside in enough time to take Poppy's spot. "Sucka," whispering at the platinum blonde woman's back, the other bartender winks at Isis as she pours a glass of some awful beer to an anxious looking young man who bites his nails.

I just want you for my own

"Spin that shit Tandy!" Eve's voice calls from above, her reindeer ears half hanging off and partially on fire. The DJ that she calls to lifts her head and gives the woman a peace sign with a wink, "You heard the Lady in Red! We're gonna keep the ja-jamz coming your way all damn night! Have you been nice," There's a chorus of boos, most notably from Eve up above. the music shutters as she flicks her wrist and does a spin before leaning back into the mic, green eyes luminous, "Or naughty!"

More than you could ever know

"Hell yea that's me! The most naughty! Where's my Ghost of Christmas Past, I need to be pun-"

Down on the ground, Poppy storms down the hallway that Kara enters from the restroom, the caramel skinned woman gives her a nod and moves past, "One," Rearing her foot back as she comes to the closed door that was marked Boss Bitch's Office. "Two," Her face twists into one of anger.

"Three!" Slamming her foot into the door, it really needed to be replaced. It bursts open to reveal the general manager, Eve's friend and- "What the fuck Danny!" Calling out his real name to the shocked man who stands up and pulls his shirt back on hurriedly. His pants are lost somewhere in the clutter of the room leaving him in a sparkly green thong.

Make my wish come true oh

A muscular blonde man with blue eyes that glow faintly turns his head to regard the fellow blondes in the hallway, he doesn't look embarrassed. He just smiles confidently and goes to collect his clothes before walking out, he's completely nude. "See you later Danny," Delivered in a rough voice. Winking at the flustered man.

"Wait!!" Danny calls after the blonde in the buff while eyeing Poppy wearily before he throws some papers at the young woman in fustrated, "You just cockblocked me!! That's the gayest mercenary around besides that Italian dude! Teo!"

"Do your job we're swamped!!"

"Did you see his abs?!"

All I want for Christmas is you

What a Merry Christmas.

Hands wiping on each other, Kara Prince regards the altercation out of the corner of her eye, waiting to see if it comes to blows. When the mercenary walks past having just pulled on his pants, she offers him a brisk, glossing nod of acknowledgement. She's not interested in bringing the mood down by throwing anyone out, so pants will suffice for now. She steps aside to let him pass, watching Poppy and Sassy express their mutual exasperation with each other a moment longer before skimming back toward the rest of the Cradle.

She takes in the sight of Eve swinging from the ceiling in stride, keeping her in the corner of her eye. In that time, she does the silent math on how many people the swinging chandelier is likely to hit if it falls…

And decides she needs a drink.

Kara approaches the side of the bar, a glance of the hectic kitchen visible to her in the serving window beside her. She inclines her head to acknowledge the bartender, posture stiff. "Give me a shot of something," she asks brusquely, her voice cutting through the din. It's dealer's choice. Maybe it's not normal for the bouncer to be drinking on duty, but tonight is a night for boisterous abnormality, it seems.

The festive hollering and cackling attest to it.

A lowered chin and purse-lipped expression have Isis looking with playful chastisement over the rim of her nonexistent glasses. Just as quick, the expression becomes one of playfully bobbed brows. Isis mops down one recently vacated spot with one hand, the other dipping beneath the pull up a glass - icecubes clinking pleasantly in green liquid - to bring it up to her pale lips. Multitasking. That’s just how we do at the Cradle.

The transparent glass does absolutely nothing to disguise her ogling of the merc sauntering on by. It does, however, cause her to nearly choke on an ice-cube. “Danny.” SNORT. “Heh. Danny-boooiiii.” She tucks the glass back under the bar, running the pad of a gloved thumb at the corner of her lips, and looks to Kara. “Yes’m.” Isis smiles warmly and sets up a wide-mouthed glass. “They both still got all their limbs back there?” With the pop of a top, the double shot is made of a singular amber liquor that emits a sharp, spicy aroma of cinnamon. Because it’s fucking festive. That’s why.

“For now.” Kara affirms without so much as a look back over her shoulder to confirm whether all limbs are actually still with all of their intended parties. “Unless one of them gets their hands on a knife. They shouldn’t be able to. The knives should all be in the kitchen.” The Christmas shot is swept off the table between three fingers and thrown back immediately.

Because the knives should be in the kitchen, and she needed liquid grace to deal with the possibility that they might not be.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the first bit of bouncer duty she performed tonight was to break up an employee fight rather than a fight between patrons?

The thought is interrupted by someone behind her stumbling back and bumping into her, hooting and snorting with laughter. He smells of weed and booze both, having the time of his life. It’s not Larry, and he heads back toward the table he’d accidentally ambled away from without a word of apology. Kara glances at him over her shoulder before opting to finally sit at the open barstool Isis had gestured at a few moments before, replacing the festively-stickered glass back on the bartop and nudging it back Isis’ direction.

“So,” Kara asks, gruff but trying to be polite. “Are you heading out of town tomorrow or staying in?” For some, the Cat’s Cradle Christmas Party was their holiday celebration. But others might have family to visit. The infrastructure hellhole that was the greater New York metropolitan area and its surrounding roadways didn’t stop those determined to head home for the holidays.

Isis’ hazel gaze lingers longer than is necessary on the Drunkus Interruptus. Those that know her would attribute to her regular mistrust of people. Those that know her better would attribute it to her regular mistrust of touch. Even still, the quick distraction is disguised by a well practiced barkeep's smile - something akin to an inappropriately familiar therapist.

"Oh, no-no-no. I've had enough travel to suit me for a while. I'll settle in right here and try to enjoy the holiday…" The lip of the bottle hovers over a fresh, generous pour. "You ever get the feeling…" She slide it forward and considers the glass long enough to weigh in favor of pouring her own. "That you're just ignorant enough…" The glass is raised, it's amber contents searched for the proper words. "That if you try just a bit, if you stuff your head just a bit deeper in the sand, you might actually find that 'bliss' everyone keeps talking about?"

Hazel eyes sweep up to Kara above a smile that's just this side of Christmas cheery. Isis tips her glass towards the blonde in salute, widening her eyes tauntingly before taking a deep sip.

Kara lifts the glass but takes her time with this second pour, weighing what it is Isis has said, and what it says about her. The passive nature of her expression, the distance her gruff nature usually affords her, becomes disturbed while she considers it.

A small smile plies the corner of her mouth upward before she drowns it out with a sip. “Funny, that,” she says as she lowers the drink. “That’s the sort of thinking that lead me… here.” Her wrist tips, liquid leaning up the glass without spilling. “I decided to lie to myself and believe I could bury my head long enough in the sand to replenish funds for a trip West, to burrow in the sand so deep I come out again in an entirely different world…”

“And look where it’s gotten me.” Kara remarks a bit knowingly. There’s certainly not been a lack of remarkable thoughtpaths to wander down in between the partying hours. The New York Safe Zone has not made it easy for her to move on, with so many points and people of interest to anchor her down one thin tether at a time.

"Did somebody say tuba?" Nobody has in fact said anything about a tuba but Eve leads with that as she rams into the bar and winks at the two women. Poppy is storming back with a dark grin on her face, "Bet he never tries that agai-"

"He'll be back tomorrow you fucking- UGH." Danny puts his hands on his hips, face beet red before he grabs a bottle and starts chugging it. "But did you see his ass?"

"Lots of ASSets yes yes," Eve waves her hand at the pair before turning towards Kara and Isis. Plucking a fresh joint out of a nearby ashtray and leaning over a candle to watch it light. She takes two puffs and passes it over to Isis, who cares that she's on the job. It's the holidays! And even if it wasn't. "I sense some serious musing going on, mmm? This always helps get the words out. Merry Christmas my lovelies."

"I mean, there are worse ways to live," Isis chimes in optimistically as she reaches out and pinches the rollie, holding it up by way of example. She gives Eve a grateful smile before bringing it to her lips. "That being said," her voice is pinched with the effort to retain the smoke a moment before she turns her head and sends it billowing back over a shoulder. "If you've seen one of those things that you can’t unsee." Another hit. "And you have one of those things to do that you have to do…" The smoke stagnating behind her moves about in lazy streams of gray as she catches and holds Kara's gaze. "Now's the time."

An awkward, heavy second ticks back.

Isis's cough shatters it.

She holds out the joint towards Kara as the puff-puff-pass law dictates, covering her mouth with a little fist as she clears her throat and retraces some steps to reword. "You know - now time like the present and all that."

The sight of Sassy chugging straight from the bottle is what drives Kara to accept the passed joint. Though Isis’s comments earn her a look, the snared joint in hand pausing in a return coil back to her person. The thought, the stare, evoke a thought in her. She slowly turns her head, looking over the revelry around them in a half-turn before returning to the moment, a more bold facing of the idea that’s been presented.

She pinches the joint between two fingers, taking in a longer toke than she means to. Her brow furrows as she passes the joint back off to Eve, nodding her way. A muted choke comes from her, open cough bit back even though her eyes water from it. “Mm.” is the acknowledgement that finally comes from her, the only words she can get out without hacking.

After the moment passes, she looks behind the bar, catching sight of the tall trash canister. “You’re full up,” Kara notes mildly. “I’ll take it out back.” She steps behind the counter to snare the trash bag off of the rim, wriggling it free out of the container. It wasn’t overflowing full, but it’s heavy enough the wet weight of it takes her by surprise. Knotting it off, she gives a nod to both Isis and Eve.

“Someone might want to stop him before he hurts himself or 86’s the vodka,” she suggests, wrapping the tied knot around her knuckles and hoisting the bag back up off the ground. Not her, she’s heading out back. She doesn’t even note how she’s slightly off-kilter — Eve had either picked up a jackpot joint, or all of them out tonight were a little special due to the holiday. Kara sidles behind Isis to cut the quickest path to the kitchen, taking a moment to put on her coat before she heads out into the cold.

Outside, it’s dark. It’s pushing one in the morning, and it’s eerily quiet in the pre-holiday gloam. Once the back door seals the sound of the party firmly within, the music pulsing on the other side of Cat’s Cradle almost sounds distant.

She hurls the bag into the open dumpster and turns away, listening to the silence that fills the air again after the rattling echo of the old metal fades. Kara closes her eyes to better appreciate it— maybe to filter out the tinny sound of a siren fading into the distance that breaks the calm and makes it less like where she’s imagining herself she is.

Now’s the time. said the woman who went by Joanne.

Inexplicably, abruptly, it all feels so clear-cut. The party is forgotten. What remains is the road ahead, the road which will take her back home.

No more wondering.

Kara walks out of the alley and out to the parking lot without so much as a glance back at where she came. Her cold fingers find the wagon’s keys in her pocket and fumble them into the ignition. It doesn’t even occur to her she probably shouldn’t drive while she’s high.

She just intensely aware she needs to be in Providence.

Because she’s seen things that can’t be unseen. Because she has ‘one of those things she has to do.’

And she sure as shit isn’t getting it done out here.

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