diogenes_icon.gif lola_icon.gif

Scene Title Antlers
Synopsis Everybody celebrates differently. Some don't celebrate at all.
Date December 25, 2010

The Rock Cellar

Of all the places that Diogenes could have chosen to spent his gloomy Christmas in, he has chosen The Rock Cellar. It is not the rock part that seduced him, but rather the cellar bit, not in the least due to dim lighting that complements his usual choice of dark clothing, which is a black sweater and black jeans, with his black coat and blood red scarf hung not too far away. No, the place was by no means redundantly fancy, nor did it succumb to the festive spirit entirely, sparing him the poison of others' joy.
Solitude is his company. Literally, in fact, for he has torn a sheet of paper from his note book and propped it against the salt shaker and the myriad of sauces. A crudely drawn happy face - a caricature, really - provides him companionship during this holiday. The gaunt tall man himself is leaning against the back of his chair, staring at the opposite end, at his paper friend, one hand holding his pint of beer, the other resting freely on top of the table. His lips flick a cigarette up and down casually; it's lit, but it doesn't seem as though he is smoking it. Perhaps it is there to enable his deep thoughts, in which he seems to drown?

Lola has also taken solitude for a lover tonight, but in a much different form. Solitude in a room full of strangers in a dress that one Adam Monroe bought her a lifetime ago, purple, with a high neck and puffed sleeves. Her hair is up and she's wearing…antlers. With little bells on them. Of course she is. And from the looks of things, she's drinking spiced cider through a thin red straw, giggling as she dances to Christmas songs in the middle of the room. "All Ah want fer Christmas is youuuuuuuu-ooooh. Oooooh, baybah!" Her southern drawl doesn't quite do Mariah Carey justice.
She dances up to the bar, slurping up her drink, swaying this way and that on her feet as she laughs. And she doesn't see Diogenes, she sees the paper. And it's sad. Heartbreaking really, but Lola's heart has been cracked and mortered so many times before that the whole thing basically has a layer of concrete over it. So she laughs, and looks to the slip of paper's date.
"If yer that lonely sugar, there's some girlies outside on the street corner'd cost ya 'bout the same as that slip a paper did. Worth little more, but at least they'd be warm….hey…." She stares at him a little bit, recognition slowly coming to her features. "It's…you." Her tone is pure startled.

The cigarette ceases its upbeat rhythm, and the light burns brighter. The vacant hand rises up lazily, digits coiling around the thing before he finally inhales the nicotine. So, he is smoking, after all. Deep inhalation is followed by a burdensome sigh, just as his gaze turns to regard the girl who approached him. Although his grey eyes seem lost in thought, his words betray the fact that he instantly recognised Lola.
"Been there, done that", he announces, tipping his head to the side as he surveys the creature before him intently, as though an exhibit. A lopsided smirk creeps up on his lip, showing his efforts to lessen it. "Merry Christmas. Speaking of which - it is a time of great festivity and spiritual enrichment, encouraging individuals to spend time with their family, significant other or friends. In that order." His eyes veer off towards the crowd. "Which is which?"

"Well, since ya asked," Lola turns, looking over the crowd. Her elbows comfortably find the bar and she starts to point people out. Stars to. "Ah, who cares. Burn in hell, the lot of 'em, fer all Ah care. Family thinks Ah'm dead, remember? Fellah's dead too, fer all Ah know." She's still sad about that, but she isn't bursting into tears over it. Not here. Not now. "Riots was rough on everybody Ah guess. Figured they musta gotten you too. Last time Ah saw you, you was offerin' ta help bust me outta a hospital bed, remember that?" She turns back around, picking up her hot buttered rum and sipping it through the straw again. "So what 'bout you then? Where's yer Christmas joy? Ah mean besides with Miss Penny Pencilpusher over here," she gestures to the paper. "C'mon sugar, get in the spirit!" She even removes her antlers and tries to put them on Dio's head.

There is little resistance met as the antlers are placed upon Diogenes, though it is arguable whether the antlers don't look like demonic horns on the darkly dressed man. Lifting a brow, he attempts to look up at his new headgear, even if obviously it is just outside the reach of his seemingly apathetic gaze. The cigarette is lowered, and the beer is lifted for a sip. Well, a swig would be a more correct measurement. "I can't decide which Christmas is shittier, one where you're up front about your troubles, or one where you pretend they don't exist."

He turns his attention back to his own intimate company. "It is a he, and he is a good friend of mine. Talks a bit too much, though." The hand that hugged his drink reaches out to crumple the piece of paper. Murder on a Christmas night - how foul. "I've heard of the riots, but I wasn't here. Much like I wasn't here when the storm hit. There is little treasure to be found in the winds of chaos." Again, he looks at Lola. "I hate Christmas, by the way."

"So Ah noticed, grumpy-pants. How 'bout this?" Lola picks up her new drink, sliding on the stool beside Dio. She's facing away from the bar, leaning back on it. "How about ya spend part a this Christmas talkin' bout your problems, an then the other part gettin' shit faced an pretendin' they don' exist? That way, ya don' gotta fret 'bout which one's worse, cause ya done 'em both. Eh?" She nudges him, in that annoyingly affront way that Lola does. "Ah have ta say since you been 'out a town' or whatever it is, Ah had it pretty good. Riots an death notwithstandin' a course, nobody's taken a serious shot at killin' me in a couple a months. Usually now's when Ah end up takin' two to the gut, so Ah'm just gonna keep pushin' mah luck."

A lengthy sigh escapes Diogenes long before he decides to part with his troubles. "My dog died, I got fired, my wife wants a divorce, my girlfriend left me, and my brainwashing machine has malfunctioned again." Asking him of his troubles is too much to expect, it seems. "I don't have any troubles. Some might argue that alone is my problem", he curtly admits, and soon switches to another point of interest. "The night's young, don't worry. You might still get shot, electrified or drown in a watery tornado summoned by a Storm wanna-be."
He lifts the cigarette up to draw another smoke, seemingly content with the antlers he's wearing. "What else is new in the Big Apple? Riots leave a big footprint? Or just another small mark in the long history of this city's eternal struggles? And how are you doing, anyway?"

"After the martial law'n all, it won' be so much. It'll leave a lot a people rememberin' it, but rememberin' ain' touchin, and soon enough there'll be babies what never had a clue 'bout it. Be just like anything else, a talkin' point fer important people while the rest of us just mosey on with our lives." She looks over at Dio, and then does something surprise. She leans in to kiss his cheek. Not bite, not spit upon. Just a light little kiss, if he'll allow it.

Again, there is no opposition to be found, which is likely a Christmas present of its own kind. No downward spiral of a philosophical discussion, no idle threats and… Unfortunately, the usual demeanour and the offensive sense of humour remain, likely irreversibly grafted to his mind by life itself. "Wow", he mutters beneath his breath, staring at the table. "You've singlehandedly proven this year's Christmas can get worse." Perhaps the absurdity of this jestful statement is what causes him to grin. "Now I really have a reason to get so drunk, I don't remember a thing."

Indeed, he duly takes another two swigs of his drink, shortly before ordering another round. With ounce of gratitude expressed once his order is taken, Diogenes cranes his neck to look at Lola, amusement glittering somewhere deep in his desaturated eyes. "Are you going to elaborate, or shall I just have to assume I am that damn irresistible? Choose your words carefully, if my ego grows any bigger, there'll be another hole in the city."
"I think just by allowin' folks ta exist in yer presence, yer ego grows. Nothin' Ah kin do about it. Ya looked down is all, sugar. We ain' friends…Ah guess spendin' Christmas is the fourth down on that list a folks individuals is meant ta be with on Christmas, but it sure as shit beats no one at all if ya ask me. And it's a nice part a mah bucket list, spendin' an intimate holiday with a killer. Well, other'n mahself, anyway. Ah spend enough time with mahself as is." She watches him, her eyes big and dark, waiting for his next rhetort as she slurps her drink.
"Than an Ah reckon Ah never could resist a man in antlers."

Once more Diogenes attempts to catch glimpse of his antlers. "Sorry, they're fake", he announces with mock concern ringing in his tone. The issue of size is fortunately not further joked about, showing that even he has limits, as low as they might be. Ultimately, the antlers are left alone, serving as the only festive element to the gloomy apparel. Instead, the young man directs his affections and attention towards his alcoholic beverage. "I was looking forward, by the way, not down, ha ha, joke of the year", he jests bitterly.
Silence follows, although one could hardly call it that, what with the holiday spirit making sure the Cellar is louder than usual. "You skipped the question, too. What are you up to these days?"

Lola shrugs a little bit. "Usual, really. Bein' all sorts a bad. Gettin' more into guns than Ah was when you left, though after the riots ya can' hardly blame a girl. Doin' more bodyguardin' now than body killin'. More relaxin' work, harder though. Ya gotta constantly be up somebody's ass, an at any time they could get capped. Ya know? Doin the killin' is much easier than keepin' it from bein' done." She finishes her next drink, setting it on the bar. She doesn't order another. "Now it's yer turn ta share, sugar. Where ya been?"

"Around." Diogenes is as ambiguous as ever, it seems. Or is he? "I am sure that my unannounced absence ruffled the feathers of… certain people. People I have reluctantly decided to ally myself with. They're good-natured people, though." However, Diogenes offers a shrug with the last statement, and a contorted grimace of mocking uncertainty. "Or so they claim. I don't think there's any ray of light left in this city, even if you don't look at it through my bleak point of view. But… they did help me out, so… unfortunately, I owe them."
"You seem to have changed your ways", he points out, shifting in his seat to partially turn to Lola. With sternly furrowed brows, he looks her over again, as much with suspicion as with curiosity. "And so it's my turn to ask you what you asked me a couple of months ago. What turned you around?"

"Nothin'. Ah ain' turned around as ya say. Ah want now the same thing as what Ah wanted afore. Ah wanna be safe, Ah don' wanna be scarred up like some pierced earlobe. Ah wanna be safe. There's still folks out there what ain' too fond a me an might take to killin' me if they saw a path ta doin' so. So Ah'm makin' mahself as useful ta as many folks as Ah possibly can, lookin' fer safety. Ah…was safe fer about two days, back in November." Lola looks down at her glass.
"Met a fellah. Re-met, Ah oughta say. We knew what was comin' with the 8th, knew one of us was like ta die. We said we'd meet up if we got through it. Ah got through it, guess he didn'. So Ah'm back ta seekin'."

The word rolls hesitantly off the man's tongue, and it is hard to say whether drunkenness is catching up with him, or it is usual cloak of a would-be sloth showing once again. Either way, what follows is an empty mug being replaced with a full one, and an intimate swig of quality beer. It's not long before his mind rejoins the fray, however. "So, desperation. Desperation turned you around. It's more common than you think, especially at these times." He looks aside, as though certain unpleasant thoughts surface. It is Christmas, however, and albeit he claims he hates them, he succumbs to the holiday spirit and sets his concerned expression aside.
"Well, you certainly have the habit of picking the wrong guys", he notes, with his odd crooked smirk returning.

"Hey, you picked up me." Lola reminds, giving one of the bell-ed antlers a flick. "Ah was hidin', doncha remember? Ah was just tryin' ta be a law-abidin' citizen and call the cops on yer ass. Besides, ya should be nicer ta me. Like Ah done said, last time Ah saw ya, ya was promisin' ta get me outta the hospital. Don' remember seein' the Diogenes Limosine Service at mah door." She sticks her tongue out at him agian.

"We pulled up at the wrong hospital. Blame the driver, he was Turkish." The cigarette is glanced at, and then duly extinguished, even if it met merely a couple of uses. Beer is favoured, and is diminishing quite quickly. "Well", he pauses, reaching out with his now vacant hand to unwrap the crumpled paper companion. Leaving Lola to fetch a pen from his nearby coat, he scribbles a phone number on the shabby piece of paper. "Normally, it's the female that is doing this", he remarks as he writes.
As soon as he is done writing, he passes the piece of paper to Lola. "Don't abuse what little shred of my trust you have gained. I myself don't know the full extent of my cruelty, and I'd rather not find out."

Lola takes the number with a small smirk. "Ah'll send ya a sweet little Christmas text ta make sure ya got one a my number. What name ya know me as again? Ah'm tryin' ta seperate the names ta the phones so Ah don' get mixed up." She pulls out one of the phones that has 'Mary' written on the back of it, waiting for his answer. "Ah have ta wonder ya don' know how cruel ya could be. Ah thought fer awhile Ah was gettin' like that till somebody asked me ta be cruel and just…inside mah tummy turned upside down at the thoght of it."

"Lola will do", he replies.
At the mention of cruelty, his lips twitch into a momentary grin, though it subsides as quickly as it appears. Nothing is said on the matter, implying that Diogenes prefers it to stay in the dark. Or perhaps he agrees with Lola in silence, wordlessly noting that his idle threats bear no substance. Perhaps uncertainty is a weapon greater than even his own ability.
As he watches her scribble on the paper, he murmurs: "Through all the chaos and our self-obsessed monologues, we often forget the little things. How do you intend to spend your New Year's Eve?"

"Sittin' at mah window, watchin' ta make sure somebody' don' get shot. A lot of somebodys. Or if Ah get mah…ahem, special delivery in on time Ah'll be free ta do as Ah wish an sit back an tilt a few." She looks at him, reaching for the cigarette he snuffed out and relighting it. A few harsh drags are taken - she is, after all, a rather harsh woman so it should be no surprise that most things about her - such as her accent - are rather harsh. "Why, you lookin' to make a night of it?" She reaches into her pocket and pulls out an unmarked phone, beginging to dial into this one now so that she can save his number. "Got more fuckin' phones and guns than Ah know what ta do with…" she grumbles under her breath.

Lazily - or drunkenly, as some might see it - Diogenes rises from his seat, along with a heavy sigh and a hand that takes the girl's phone number. "No. No, I don't. But tell you what - if I get really lonely, I'll make sure to dial your number so we can go and hang out. Kill a few homeless. Have fun." Momentarily, he eyes the re-lit cigarette Lola snatched for herself, at which he simply shakes his head with a faint smirk. "Guess the job isn't paying well, huh." It's hard to tell whether he is being patronising, but once he puts on his coat, he draws a couple of cigarettes, placing them before Lola on the bar counter. "I have matters to attend to", he lies. "Try not to get impair your locomotive abilities with alcohol, that's one paralysis I can't undo."

"Yer one ta talk. Ya know if ya wander out in the street just now an get run down by a semi then Ah'll be out two fellahs fer mah holidays. So stay in one peice fer my amusement, woncha? Much more fun when Ah got somebody ta torture with the sound a mah voice." Well at least she's honest about that. "An try too hard not ta get picked up by all them hookers out there, specially with them bein' able ta make horny jokes." She taps her head, to indicate that he is still wearing the antlers.

Amusingly enough, Diogenes is well aware of the antlers he's wearing, as he is sure to flick the bells that come with them. His smirk only grows, and with that self-content grin he wanders off, claiming the faux antlers as his own, abandoning the Cellar to wander in solitude, foolishly disregarding the dangers such a venture might present.

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