Assholes and Advice


cardinal_icon.gif pearl_icon.gif deckard_icon.gif Emilie_icon.gif

Scene Title Assholes and Advice
Synopsis …everyone has both.
Date April 4, 2009

Shooters Bar and Bistro

A place that used to be a cafe and is making a slow progression towards being a dive bar. During the day, the balcony and a good portion of the sidewalk is taken up by outdoor chairs and tables, where people can enjoy a beer as well as a sandwich or whatever else is on their menu - a decent, if simply array of bar food. During the evening, unless it's a warm night, these are taken inside, and the kitchens are closed. A wide variety of beer is available, along with hard liquor and maybe a few wine labels, but nothing fancy. The interior decor is similar to traditional British pubs, with a hardwood bar and brick wall. There's an old pool table towards the back, along with a dart board. The building is actually two storeys high, but whatever is upstairs is inaccessible to the general public.

Crack. The sound of pool balls tumbling over felt echoes in the bar this quiet evening, a pair of grey-haired bikers draped in the armour of their leathers circling the table like wolves examining a deer. A drunkard's face down on the bar, one of the tired-looking waitresses pretending to clean the bar in front of him while working a wallet out of his pocket.

On the open balcony, Cardinal's seated in a chair that he's tilted back enough to let his shoulders lean to the wall of the bar behind him, booted feet kicked up to rest on the table in front of him, a bottle of beer (with no label on it) in his hand. His shades firmly in place, he looks more thoughtful than anything at the moment. Just relaxing back with a beer and the sound of the city's population quietly killing itself.

The door to the establishment opens, a few bikers exiting, two people entering. The pair splits as it enters, revealing that the newcomers aren't a pair at all. Pearl enters on the heels of yet another biker, and turns off to head for the bar, mostly to escape the aroma trail that follows in the unwashed man's wake. The customary satchel is slung across her chest by a long leather strap, amber colored shades are perched on her nose and she seems to be voiding all direct contact with those in attendance.

That is until a six and a half foot tall, 400 pound biker comes up behind her and grabs her in a bear hug that takes her feet off of the floor. Huge, meaty arms, covered in tattoos, wrap around the artist. The biker completely ignores her kicking feet.

Dark eyes, dark arched brows, and long, shiny black hair top off the slightly punk rock ensemble currently worn by this dusky skinned young woman. A smattering of star tattoos trail over her temple, cheek, and neck, mostly obscured by the fall of thick black hair. Various bits of visible flesh are tattooed, several rings adorn her fingers, and huge dangly earrings sparkle from within the depths of her hair. A fitted vest clings to her breasts, low cut, and reveals most of her belly, zippered in the middle only about three inches. Low rise jeans hug her hips, and heavy buckled boots are worn tightly laced, bringing her 5'4" frame up to 5'7". At about 135lbs, she's curvy and lightly toned. A satchel is usually present or worn slung across her chest, stuffed with god knows what.

Cardinal tips back his beer to take a swallow — but there's nothing in it. Squinting up into the empty mouth of the brown glass vessel, he exhales a sigh, dropping first one foot, then the other down to the floor. Levering himself up to his feet he walks along back off the balcony, heading down in towards the bar to fetch himself another drink.

The little struggle near the door is ignored at first, at least until he recognizes the satchel. He slows, passing a table, and then squints at the body being crushed by those meaty arms. "Hey," he calls over, "That you, Pearl?"

An elbow is raised, and about to jab the biker in question before he says something that makes Pearl's struggling cease for a moment. She goes still, then very deliberately kicks the huge man in the shin. He just laughs, and slowly puts her down. Appraising eyes turn on Cardinal as he approaches.

Pear looks over, too, noting the direction of the biker's interest as her name is called. "Yeah, it is." She reaches down to straighten her clothing, "Jimmy likes to say hello with his whole body." She jerks a thumb toward the biker, and then punches him in the arm. The punch is solid, and connects with a heavy slap. Jimmy the gargantuan seems unmoved.

Just as the waitress tucks the wallet — now sans anything resembling cash in it - back in the drunkard's pocket, Cardinal's hand impacts her backside in a casual swat. "Get me a beer," he states offhandedly as she straightens and glances back at him sharply. The bottle-redhead swishes off to do just that, and the thief walks along over to the artist and the biker.

"Let me guess," he observes casually, looking up - and up - to Jimmy, a smile tugging up at one corner of his lips, "You did his ink?"

"And his little brother," Pearl smirks, crossing her arms as Jimmy guffaws and heads after the redhead like a grizzly in heat. Don't think about that image too long, it'll hurt. She doesn't comment on the ass smacking of the faux redhead, but she does say, "You should be careful how much you drink in this hole. Someone might take advantage of you." She steps up to the bar. "And by take advantage, I mean shank you and take your wallet."

The biker's given an easy upward-nod of respect as he heads after the redhead, and Cardinal steps along over to slide in beside her at the bar; one hand resting on its surface, his head turning her way with a bit of a smirk. "Aw, you made a shank just for me? I'm flattered. What's been up with you lately? I've been kind've busy." Which is why he hasn't been decorating her couch much.

"My couch thinks you're having an affair," Pearl replies, with a dry tone. She glances over briefly, then flags down a bartender or whoever else might be back there to get her a red wine. "Working, drinking, partying too much. I think I tattooed a carebear on a badass biker last week, but we were both too drunk to care. He'll never be able to ride topless again." She nods over, "Not Jimmy. Otherwise he wouldn't be so happy to see me."

"Good thing," Cardinal opins sagely, watching as the red-head gets nearly pinned against the wall as he leans in like a toppling wall to her, "He's a big, big man." The beer that's been waiting for him is claimed, and he twists the cap off, tilting it her way in a vague gesture, "Shit goin' well, though? Preggo pop yet?"

"No. I'm convinced she's caring the eternal spawn. She's due any day now, but refuses to let go of the little demon." Pearl, unimpressed by the joys of pregnancy and the miracle of the reproductive cycle. She sweeps dark hair out of her eyes. "She's eating everything in sight, and I never knew one person could suck down that much milk and cranberry juice."

"Maybe she's Evolved," suggests the thief with tongue firmly in cheek, his head jerking over towards a table inquisitively as he straightens from where he was leaning on the bar, "Her power is eternal pregnancy." The bottle's brought up to his lips, and he takes a long swallow.

"Ha." Pearl glances over. "And Ha." Gosh, it's almost like she's thinking about kicking HIM in the shins next. "So did you bust out the chick and crack some skulls during that thing you told me you were going to do?" She nods to him as her wine arrives, and reaches over to pick up the glass. She checks to be sure it's reasonably clean, and that here's nothing floating around in the ruby colored liquid.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

"Yeah. Some of 'em I'm kind've regretting crackin' out of there…" A hint of irritation threaded under Cardinal's breath as he turns away from the bar, heading to lead the way in the direction of the scratched-up table that he'd glanced over to earlier, gesturing with one hand, "It all worked out like fuckin' clockwork, actually. Easier'n I thought it would be."

"You could always round them up and dump them in a river. Spray paint a number on each one, take bets on which one will float past the bridge first." Pearl, always ready with a suggestion. She drains about half of her wine glass, then finally takes a seat nearby the bar. "All that stress for nothing?"

A chair's claimed, and Cardinal drops down into it; hardly what you'd call formal posture, legs stretched out carelessly and one elbow hooking over the back of the seat. The chair's tilted a little precariously, too. "It's tempting," he admits, a bit dryly, "Really tempting, in this one kid's case. He actually stopped by the weekly poker game over at the pawn shop and told everyone he was there to vanquish evil and defeat all the crime on the island single-handedly." A pause, "I think one of the guys there was a big muckety-muck with the Triads."

Pearl almost chokes on her wine. She lowers the glass, and reaches up to sweep a splash of it from her nose with a finger. Cough. "He used those words?" She cracks a wide smile. "Stupid human tricks." There's a pause before she considers, and then asks, "Do you play for cash?"

"I swear to God Almighty," Cardinal's hand comes up palm forward as if swearing upon the bible, eyes rolling behind the dark guard of his shades and a grin twitching to his lips, "Those were the exact words he used. He also said something about, uh, 'If you're all criminals, it's okay, because I haven't seen you do anything wrong'. I think the only reason he didn't leave the building in pieces was that everyone was way too fuckin' bemused by the whole thing." A swig of beer's taken, then, and he gestures with it vaguely from his lean in the chair, "Yeah. It's a weekly game, you're welcome t'come if you want."

It's a fairly quiet night at the bar; some grizzled bikers playing pool in the back, a big tattoo'd guy making out with a red-headed waitress (bottle red, if one knows it) in a corner, the bartender trying to scrub some blood off the edge of the bar where someone's forehead made a dent earlier. Cardinal and Pearl are settled in at a table not far from the bar, chatting casually.

Emilie appears in the doorway from the street and stops for a moment to look around inside. Her eyes are quick to dart and she's just as quick to get the idea that her present spot is undesirable, which sends her feet back in motion as she avoids direct eye contact with anyone she might pass as she heads in the direction of the bar. She might or might not notice exactly /what/ the bartender is cleaning, but either way she chooses a place that has empty stools on either side and slides into her spot, gaze scanning the bartop for the requisite pretzels, nuts or chips. She doesn't even bother to call ot the 'tender, not just yet.

"Do you play for a lot of money?" Pearl's more interested in the money than the criminal attendance, it seems. Hey, she has priorities, right? The brunette kicks her legs crossed, sits back in her seat, and sips her drink. "I'm sort of sad I missed that exchange. It's always fun to give swirlies to the well intentioned." She shrugs one shoulder, and says, "I might come take your money sometime. But I hope your friends have better personal hygiene habits than my roommate."

"I wouldn't call them friends," Cardinal notes with a wry drawl, his head shaking just a little, "And it depends on how drunk we get, really. It is customary to bring gifts of booze, 'cause Tuck doesn't drink, so it annoys the fuck out of 'im." Another sip of his beer, "And tell me about it. Does she -ever- bathe? Seriously, the girl smells— " The newcomer to the bar is noticed, one finger tugging the shades down a little so he can check out the unfamiliar face over their rims.

Emilie catches at a handful of whatever snacks might be had and pulls her arm back in front of her. While she doesn't eat like a starving waif, she also makes haste of the food as the bartender finishes whatever he's cleaning and turns toward the patrons at hand. Meaning Emilie. And as soon as her mouth is empty again she speaks, softly but without broadcasting too much concern, "What's a Coke cost?" If she noticed the pair at the nearby table, she doesn't show any outright curiosity about them- which probably says something about her. Whether that's good or bad is yet to be seen.

"She just does a lot of bitching about not being able to see her feet." Pearl glances down at the wine in her glass. "I'm not really sure what this is." This is observed after several sips, so it's likely she isn't too concerned about it. She certainly doesn't seem so—as her posture remains relaxed and the glass remains in hand (instead of shattered on the bar). Her eyes scan the bar and room proper occasionally, lighting over the new arrivals, perhaps checking the disposition of the regulars. Her eyes pause on Emilie. Must have noticed Cardinal looking.

"Pearl." The tattoo'd young woman is considered with a rather wry look from Cardinal, "You ordered wine, in a place like this. You're lucky that he didn't serve you turpentine, f'r Christ's sake." That said, he nods his chin up to the bar, murmuring against the mouth of his beer, "Haven't seen her 'round here before, you?"

Emilie is told, in a growl that implies that the question isn't terribly welcome, the price of the drink. The dark haired young woman looks chagrined but not surprised. Thing is, she reaches into a couple pockets to pull out crumpled bills before lifting her gaze to the bartender and nodding her ability to pay. After a moment's pause he starts moving and it's only then that the girl checks the bar area again in what appears to be a nervous habit.

"It might be turpentine," the tattooist replies with a slight grimace, right before she takes another sip of the wine. "It's not like I asked for a two hundred dollar bottle. But this tastes like grape pee." Yep, still drinking it. Pearl shakes her head a little, hoop earrings glittering from within dark locks tangling to hide her ears. She reaches up to sweep dark fringe from dark eyes, and says into her glass, "No. She looks a little young and small to be running around out here alone." Translation: She looks like a mark. Pearl's eyes scan the bar to see if anyone's taken untoward interest in the young lady munching bar pretzels or peanuts or whatever it is they have in the bar bowl today.

They were pretzels earlier. A bit stale, but they still had salt on them at least. The chair that the second-story man's leaning back in tilts forward, legs clacking against the floor again as he leans forward to rest an arm on the table proper in a casual slouch forward. The beer in his hand is set down, and Cardinal muses under his breath, "Yeah. Looks can be decieving, 'specially around these parts, though. And quitcher bitchin'. I'll steal you a bottle of somethin' nice if it'll shut you up."
Emilie is given her soda but the bartender doesn't leave immediately. Whether tabs are allowed or not, the girl isn't given the option. She counts out the bills and pays the man before shoving what she has left, which isn't enough to make the effort worthwhile, all back in a single pocket. But in her favor she doesn't ask for anything else. No straw, no directions, she just lifts her soda to take a sip before settling it down on the bar so that she can, to all appearances, divine meaning in the carbonation.

Pearl's brows draw together in a slight frown. The slight downturn at the corners of her lips comes last. Yep, that's a frown. She shoots a look at Cardinal, "Like I need you to steal for me." She reaches up to slide the amber colored shades (which aren't really effective against sunlight so much as fashionable sometime last decade) off, and then reconsiders, and perches them on her nose again. "You're right. She's probably a super ninja in disguise, with the strength of ten men, and a side of awesomeness." The woman finishes her wine. "If nothing else, she's about to have a sugar spike. Unless that's a diet." No, don't mind the pair at the table staring and conversing just quietly enough to be creepy.

"You could always consider it an apology to your couch," Cardinal rolls his eyes behind those darkened lenses, which he's pushed back up along the bridge of his nose, "Or a bribe to get you to get you to stop fuckin' whining about being served vinegar that claims it's wine. I mean, you could always go to the Dagger if you want quality." And if one doesn't mind walking into a brothel/nightclub and spending money through the nose, that is. He absently toys with the bottle between his hands, watching the girl at the bar thoughtfully before snorting a bit, "Don't joke. I've met too many weird people lately."

Emilie has seen the neighborhood. It's probably no accident that the girl at the bar isn't butting in. After all, curiosity killed the cat and she has decidedly fewer lives than a cat. Still and all, Emilie does move again after a few moments. Just the faintest turn and tilt of her head as she reaches once more for the leftover snacks sitting on the bar.

"If I wanted tits in my face, I'd go talk to your mother," Pearl replies to Cardinal, with more than a hint of bitchy attitude infusing her tone. So much for the dry sarcasm. Eyes are still on Emilie.

"She's dead," Cardinal deadpans. No pun intended. Then he lifts his chin in a nod up to the girl at the bar, and he calls out casually and carelessly, "'Ey, girl. Never seen you in here before— you new, or we just have different hours?" It could be a pick-up line. Or maybe he's just bored. Whichever it is, he takes a swig of beer.

Emilie is a split second in debating, or maybe she's just neat. Whichever the case, the girl pulls her handful of food back toward her before she turns far enough to look out the corner of her eye. When she realizes it is her that the man seems to be addressing she continues the motion, her gaze landing on him though her body's still turned partway away from him. "New to New York. Always wanted to see what the city was like," is her explanation, offered in a neutral voice, no doubt intentionally so.

Pearl heaves a sigh. "Fine, if I wanted tits in my face, I'd dig up your mother." See, she can roll with the proverbial punches. Mutter. She continues to watch the girl in question, but waits for her response, should the small one decide to respond to Cardinals ever so couth greeting. "It's a great town if you don't mind the murder rate, the shitty drinks, and the smell."

Cardinal can't help but crook a bit of a grin at Pearl's words, one hand raising up to scratch at the stubble covering his chin. Or maybe it's a goatee. If it is, he should guide it a bit better with a razor or something. "The occasional nuclear explosions," he drawls out, "The fascist jackbooted bastards who like to make people register for things and then vanish mysteriously in the middle've the night…"

Emilie's eyes shift to Pearl and hesitate for a long moment. There's no threat in her gaze, maybe she just noticed the ink and is trying to quickly puzzle out whatever portion she sees. But then her gaze shifts back to the man who had done the hailing, and she responds, "I had a friend. He told me once, the city was something I had to see." Her tone implies that she means it's a good kind of amazing but her wording leaves the exact meaning of the sentence somewhat ambiguous.

"… The rats, the crappy apartments, the slumlords." Oh look, it's a litany of the best things about New York from the table near the bar. Pearl thinks about it for a moment. "Great pizza, chinese food, and—" She glances back to the girl and notices her looking, but doesn't seem to take any issue with it. "There's nothing like New York. Hard to leave. And if you do, you'll be back."

"That's why I don't pay rent," Cardinal points out to Pearl, one shoulder rolling in a shrug, "You get more mileage out've the city that way." The bottle of beer's tipped back, and he squints into it dubiously, admitting as he estimates how much he has left, "It's definately something to see. Of course, this's the shithole part of it, but this's where it's at its most honest, too."

It might well be the man who is giving every impression of greater kindness, but it's the woman that catches the girl's attention and Emilie's gaze flickers to her once again. A shadow of a frown, or grimace, passes over her features before the girl trains them back to something much more neutral. She doesn't acknowledge the change with any follow-up questions and eventually relaxes a bit more- she turns back to the bar to get her drink and pop a pretzel or nut into her mouth before returning to the conversation, "I'm not exactly high rent myself." Probably an explanation for why /this/ part of town.

"I'm pretty sure my roommate paying our rent on her back is what landed her in the den of raging hormonal fluctuations and swollen ankles," Pearl comments, with a glance over at Cardinal's bottle of beer. Her glass is still empty. It's not hard to read her train of thought. No honor amongst thirsty thieves. Or thief and tattoo artist. Whatever those two at he table are. "High rent's just code for over priced. You can get everything you need from this part of town if you know where to look for it, and how to avoid the business end of any number of lethal implements." She nods to the bar. "Never order a mixed drink here." Good deeds aren't out of Pearl's reach. She regards the girl for a long moment in a silence that stretches on. It might unnerve someone in polite company, but you'd be hard pressed to find any of that around here. Alive, at least.

There is perhaps a swallow or two of beer left in that bottle where it rests just shy of Cardinal's fingers. He's not looking at it, just now. This may be her chance. An exhalation of breath comes in a snort of humor, and he jerks his chin up a bit towards Emilie. "Well, then," he offers, dry as bones in the desert, "Welcome to Staten Island, babe. Good luck gettin' out of it. Logan's supposedly only hirin' on willing prostitutes these days, but it wouldn't be the first time that had a pretty flexible connotation. You got anything worth selling, hit Tuck's. He'll only rip you off a little."

Emilie shifts her gaze between the two again, offering a light smile as she nods to Pearl, "Thanks, I'll remember that." And then to the man, "Not quite my line of work, I'll keep the warning in mind." Whether it was one or not. "Is it even worth asking if there's anything available that might not get me arrested?" The last is for the pair of them, her eyes shifting one to the other to include both.

A hand reaches out and over for the bottle, with just a slight lean from Pearl. Her rings tink against the glass a fraction of a second before her hand closes. She pauses, and kicks Cardinal under the table. "You do not greet women by pointing them to the nearest pimp, asshole. Jesus fucking christ." Now she's definitely taking his beer. "You're such a goddamn prince. Who let you out of your cage this week? Jesus." There's a shake of her head, and the tattooed brunette drags the beer bottle to her side of the table. At the question from the young woman at the bar, Pearl grins, a wide grin, and the grin is followed by a chuckle. "You're on the wrong island if you're looking for legal. Or… y'know. Boring." She chuckles again at Emilie, sits back in her seat with Cardinal's stolen bottle of beer in hand, and gives the bottle a sniff. She uses her other hand to slight adjust the strap of a satchel that crosses her chest, and drops her hand to rest atop it.

The masculine number of the pair that apparently make up Staten Island Tourist Board just rolls his eyes at the brunette, though given his glasses it's hard to tell. "That was more in the way of a warning, actually," Cardinal drawls out—grimacing briefly at the sting of that boot's tip to his shin before leaning back once more. His beer bottle's been taken, but he doesn't say anything about it yet. He sweeps both ars to either side, though, noting casually, "Nobody gets arrested here. NYPD won't touch the Island. Out of its jurisdiction."

Emilie decides that she likes Pearl, or at least the woman's attitude, and shoots her a quick, genuine smile. She's just starting to put a response together when Cardinal speaks and the girl shifts her gaze back, "What do you mean 'out of its jurisdiction'?" The way she asks the question implies that she understands each of the words individually but not necessarily together.

"The lack of cops does take some of the fun out of felonies," Pearl notes, ruminating on the status of their fair island. She gives the beer another sniff, but doesn't seem to be in a hurry to drink it. Could be Cardinal cooties, or could be she doesn't really want it. Probably that. Probably just took it to take it. She turns the bottle on the table's edge.

Brown leather jacket open to the relatively tolerable cold that occupies the Rookery tonight, Deckard enters the bar scruffy and alone. Nothing unusual there. His sunglasses are folded down onto the collar of the dark t-shirt he has on beneath the jacket on his way over to the bar proper, with no real effort made to canvass the clientele that's amassed so far. It's Shooters. Spend too much time thinking about what half of the people in here would do to you given the chance and you'll never get any drinking done.

"It means that since the bridge blew, and people've had to use boats to get here…" Cardinal's arms fold behind the back of his head, and he tilts the chair back a little, one foot bracing against the stand of the table, "…the cops won't even fuckin' set foot here. No Man's Land." As the door opens and a familiar face waltzes in, he slides one hand from behind his head, raising it in a casual wave. "Evenin' old man."

Emilie might otherwise not have noticed, but as Cardinal greets someone and Pearl moves away, the girl glances at the newest face. There's an almost visible gathering of her almost relaxed demeanor but she checks herself and uses the distraction to turn all the way around in her seat so that she faces the table where Pearl and Cardinal sit. Once situated, she takes another sip of her soda before letting the glass lower to rest against her thigh before speaking again, "I think I could learn to like it here."

"I'm forty." Forty isn't old. Well. Forty-two. Still. The sideways look Deckard gives Cardinal at his table as he sits himself down at Emilie's opposite side is shadowed by ill-suppressed annoyance for a nickname he's heard more and more lately. A squat glass of Crown is thumped down onto the bar near his hand without benefit of an actual order being placed, a few sad blocks of ice left to melt rapidly near the surface.

"Hey, means you're still breathin'," Cardinal points out without shame for having utilized that nickname, arm sliding back behind his head to fold with the other there, his chair rocking precariously upon two legs. Then he jerks his chin up towards Emilie, asking over casuall, "So what's your name'n biz, girl? Haven't caught it yet."

Pearl, meanwhile, slips off towards the powder room. If she's lucky, the powder migh be left-over coke. Hopefully she won't catch anything from the stalls.

Emilie considers Cardinal for a long moment, a shadow passing behind her eyes, before she bobs her head slightly in a gesture that seems meant for herself, "Em, mostly. Sometimes Emma." She doesn't finish the answer in favor of a question of her own, "And you?" At the moment she doesn't go out of her way to be friendly to the newest arrival, very likely for the same reason she didn't initiate conversation with Cardinal and the now-absent Pearl.

"He's a little bit of everything," is Deckard's helpful contribution from the side, wanted or not. Glass lifted and sipped, he rankles his nose against the film of water that's already thinned out the whiskey at the surface and sets it aside again to stir it with paired fingers. Hopefully they're clean. They look clean. …Mostly. "Sinner, saint, he's your hell, he's your dream and nothing in between. Like Alanis, but even more annoying."

"Holy shit, Deckard," Cardinal's smile crooks up a bit wider at the other man's words, craning his neck to look around Emilie to him, "I should hire you to do my promotion. I bet I could climb my way up that Most Wanted ladder in no time with you barkin' about me." That said, he leans back again, replying casuall, "Cardinal."

Emilie turns her gaze to Deckard, though her expression stays closed until Cardinal responds. It's then that she once more relaxes somewhat. But she turns back to Cardinal before speaking again, "Does that make you Ali Baba around here?" A faint smile follows the question.

"Well, with all the work you've been doing to get my name out there…" Chilly eyes narrowed in cynical acknowledgement of that craned look, Deckard swipes his whiskey'd hand down the side of a jean leg and stretches for the nearest bowl of peanuts to drag it over within easier reach. "Maybe we can race to the top."

"If you're lookin' to hide your name, go somewhere people don't know it," replies Cardinal with a dismissive snort of breath to the other man's chilly demeanor, "Or change your hair. Wear a hat. A name-tag? I don't know." A faint chuckle at the question, "Please. I'm way better than forty thieves."

Emilie mm's softly to herself before nodding and pointing out, "Depends on your outlook, I'd say." But she doesn't argue the point any futher, instead following the direction the conversation has moved, "/Is/ there a boss around here, then?"

"She doesn't know my name." 'She' is Emilie as indicated by a tip of Deckard's head, only to be followed up with, "Well. She does now. But — she did't before you said it. Anyway. It's an appearances thing. I can't introduce myself to women as Flint Deckard, arsonist and murderer. It's hard enough for me to get laid when I'm just 'that creepy guy in the jacket.'"

"Well, there's always the — oh, yeah, guess that's not an option," Cardinal admits, though the exact cause and definition of whatever he was saying is left behind as he gives his head a shake, one hand sliding to scratch at the side of his neck, "And, hey, some chicks, they like that whole 'dangerous man' deal." At the question from Emilie, he grunts, "Depends on where y'are. And who you ask."

Emilie's expression does snap closed as her eyes find Deckard. It's a wonder the girl doesn't get whiplash, or seasick, whichever. Sliding from her seat she spills some of her soda on her leg before remembering she has the glass in her hand. At the same moment she splutters, "Murd- ho, whoa, that's a violent crime," as if he didn't know that, "Maybe I'm on the wrong side of the street after all." What she forgot was that he's between her and the door and from the frightened deer look on her face, she's not likely to realize it all too quickly either. There's no indication that she even so much as heard Cardinal.

"Relax. I'm innocent." Deckard doesn't look innocent. He's watching her too closely when she gets up, the washed out blue of his eyes focused sharp in the shadow beneath hooded brows, long face speculative. Evidently not all that deeply bothered by the recoil within the context of Shooters, he sips his whiskey again and glances back to Cardinal. It's very much an I told you so, kind of look. "And even if I wasn't, Richard here secretly has a hard on for heroics. He'd save you for certain."

"See? That there just lost you the promoter job." Cardinal seems entirely unconcerned about the other man, even as he works quite hard at the task of terrifying the young woman that's fairly new to the city. A hand rubs under his chin, rasping against the stubble there in thought as he dryly observes, "Not a hero. I'll leave that to other people."

Emilie uhhh's in what was, probably, supposed to be something more coherent as she takes another step backward. Seems she doesn't believe Deckard completely. Or at all. Lifting her hand to put her glass back on the bar she misses and it tips, spilling all over the bar, at least one barstool and the floor. All of which she fails to notice. If she heard Cardinal, it couldn't possibly have helped, but she isn't willing to look away from the other man long enough to try and respond.

Sssnap. Deckard's fist closes slowly around a pair of peanut shells, crackling through the husks on a deliberate delay while he watches Emilie aaand the drink, now everywhere except in the glass that it started in. "Jesus," muttered more to himself than current company, the next look he gives her very nearly qualifies as one of reproach. Peanutty debris is dusted down into the bowl atop more intact representatives of the species and one papery red nut is thumbed up into his mouth before he twists his head back to Card again. "Well, somebody needs to get her a ride back home."

"Hey, don't look at me." Cardinal's hands raise, both palm forward as if to ward the idea off, "I'm not headin' back to the mainland tonight, I've got shit that's got doin' tomorrow." Those hands drop back down, one to his thigh and the other to the table, fingertips drumming against the scratched wood as he snaps, "Emma. Re-fuckin'-lax, the man's harmless. Except possibly to your ego."

Emilie watches Deckard and his peanut show with the same expression she's had for the last few seconds, though begins to get some idea that things aren't what they seem when he gives her the same look other authority figures always have. Not that she completely believes, but she does manage, "I.. there is no 'home'… to, uhm.." Okay, so fear isn't the best time to talk. She gulps, shuts up, looks over at Cardinal and really wants to believe, it shows in her eyes. In fact, it's important enough to her that she moves in his direction as if to put him between her and Deckard even as her eyes return to the latter. It's only as she gets closer that she asks, "Y'sure?"

"Like I don't?" Innocent people to kill, apartment buildings to burn down, annoying orphans to…take care or something wholesome like that. Who knows what he gets up to during work hours these days. Deckard keeps chewing up his peanuts regardless, scruffy jaw working slow as ever while he watches Emilie's retreat towards Cardinal and tries really, really hard not to look irritated.

He fails.

"Harmless is stretching it a little far. I mean. I'm sure I could cause harm, if I closed my eyes and wished with all my heart." Crrrunch. Another peanut meets its maker. "You on some kind of field trip or something, princess?"

A shrug of one shoulder, Cardinal's tone a touch dry as he notes, "…well, maybe harmless'sa bad word, but I'd say you're not going t'go around hurtin' innocent girls in the street, anyway. Maybe try and get them to sleep with you, but…" A roll of his eyes behind those shades reflects his feelings on the entire scene, and he reaches over for his… his…

"Motherfucker, she took my beer."

Great, now it's gone from murderer to… irritated authority, or at the very least, elder. Which works fairly well to help calm Emilie. And the comment helps too, even if it isn't altogether true. But the girl accepts enough of it to relax, especially considering Cardinal's continued input, though she stays where she is, "I'm no princess, and I don't have anywhere to go. If you did, would /you/ be here?" One can guess she doesn't mean Shooters specifically.

Glare swept briefly around the bar, Deckard finishes chewing, swallows, and reaches back for his whiskey again. If he had somewhere else to go, would he still be here? "…Probably." And then, to Cardinal: "What, to the bathroom?"

"I bet she took it out the back," Cardinal observes suspiciously, glancing in the direction of the bathrooms, "Just 'cause she'd know it'd annoy me." A sigh tumbles past his lips, and he glares in the direction of the bar, as if this was somehow their fault.
Somehow, that thought strikes her as extremely funny. Probably because of the tension. A beer in the bathroom. A smile, faint and then fuller, crosses Emilie's lips as she imagines the scenario. A woman in heels like Pearl had shimmying out the window. With a beer. That was almost empty.

Yay, leftover coke! Everyone loves leftover coke. Unless it spills on their black pants. Dammet. Pearl returns some time later. Could be everyone thought she left, or drowned. Shit happens in these sorts of restrooms. Har har. Very funny. Pearl returns dusting herself odd a bit, and frowning down at her hand. One of her rings is a little bent, and there might be some blood on her knuckles. You should see the other guy's face! No fighting spread to the bar, so it must have been limited to the restroom. Whatever it was. Probably some biker passed out face down in the john. Or maybe she just scraped her hand on a broken toilet paper dispenser. Cardinal's beer bottle is nowhere to be seen. Kidnapping! Thievery. Oh, wait. Everyone's used to it around here. "You look like someone keyed your car." The tattooist says this to Cardinal as she returns, finally, to the table. "You just now figure out your beer went AWOL?" Smirk. "Or'd my roommate leave you more voicemails… You know she practices that voice."

"She's definitely in the restroom," confirmed with a special kind of flat neutrality in the minute or two before Pearl reappears, Deckard nurses off a longer swallow of his drink and falls silent to watch her through the duration of her return. If he saw whatever else happened in there first, well. Apparently that's between here and the broken toilet paper dispenser.

"You." Cardinal points a finger square at her chest, "You took my beer. I am taking my due from your fridge." When, exactly, he may raid this fridge is left unspoken. As is anything involving the blood on her knuckles and a bent ring, because obviously she came out the better in that situation. He starts to lean back, then pauses, brow furrowing, "…why exactly does the Whale have my phone number? Or are you jus' saying that so you can leave me drunken voice-mails and then not be blamed?"

Emilie begins to pull herself together as the conversation gets a great deal more normal. Or something similar to that anyway. Being the new kid, the 'princess', she chooses, probably wisely, to stay quiet for the time being. And to take a halfstep backward from Cardinal, so his chair doesn't bump her if he leans back again.

Pearl drops into her seat again, and kicks her legs crossed, sprawling back in the chair like she never learned the meaning of posture. She casts a dark eyed glance askance at Cardinal, and murmurs, "You replace what you take or I'll shoot you for real this time." Real friendly folks, these drinkin' buddies are. But she's probably kidding, right? Riiight. "Didn't you give it to her that night you decided it would be fun to finish a case and she kept whining for you to go get pickles and icecream in exchange for doing your laundry for a month? Since we had that discussion about slept in five day bender not being a look that's in this season." She glances around again, to get the lay of the land.

The lay of Deckard's land at the bar involves some thoughtful staring at the region of Pearl's ass before it's dropped back into a chair. With his whiskey running on near empty and the bar tender in no rush to hook him up with another round, he sets to lighting up instead, a flimsy box of cigarettes produced from the interior of his coat. A cheap lighter follows it out, and soon enough he's in business. Also, performing a familiar kind of reach around for the wallet tucked into the back of his jeans.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

The tattooist gets a long, suspicious look from Cardinal. On the one hand, he's pretty sure she's lying to fuck with him. On the other hand, he… does not remember that night very well. "You," he finally declares with a rough snort of breath, "Do not play fair. That's it, I'm dragging you t'poker night. Other people should have t'suffer too." A tilt of his head, checking Emilie to make sure that she's not still lingering there. Trying to pickpocket him or anything.

Emilie is lingering, sort of. She's nearer to Cardinal and is keeping him more-or-less between her and Deckard. But all she's doing at the moment is listening to the goings on, watching how the others relate. She's probably still trying to figure out who's dangerous and who's not. Or who's /more/ dangerous. Lucky Cardinal, there's every evidence that Em's chosen him as bleeding-heart pro tem.

"You just hope I piss them off to start a fight while you sneak off with the cash and blame it on me," Pearl seems unaffected by the heavy implication, nay statement, that she's just as much fun to have around as a bundle of shattered rainbows rolled in powdered unicorn. She drops a hand onto the scuffed tabletop, her rings impacting lightly before she drums her nails. Her eyes peruse Deckard slowly. He's sitting near enough for a good, pointed study.

Deckard pries his wallet open once he's retrieved it, cash thumbed through with a private count muttered 'round the base of his cigarette. A few bills are flipped out onto the bar, along with the order for a beer in the stead of more whiskey, which…he picks up to take with him on the way to Cardinal and Pearl (and Emilie's?) table. It's Pearl he opts to park himself next to without invitation, rickety chair creaking under the undesired weight of him so that he can smile knifishly back into her inspection at closer range. "Hi. Mike Burrows."

"Would I do that?" A brief grin crooks upon Cardinal's expression at the accusation from the tattoo'd lady, and then he shifts a bit to pull the chair in closer to the table. As the older man introduces himself, the thief twists at the waist to look back to Emilie, noting dryly, "Sit down or shoo off, I don't like people lurking behind me like that."
Emilie halfsmiles and bobs her head gently before moving around to Cardinal's side, where she takes the leftover seat. For a moment she stares at him but chooses to let whatever she's thinking pass rather than interrupt the conversation. Especially as Mr. Burrows introduces himself.

Pearl reaches up to slide the rectangular amber shades from her eyes. With a flick of her wrist, she tosses them onto the table. They skitter a few inches, then come to a stop atop a deep furrow in the wood. "Seriously?" That's to Mr. Hey Here's My Full Name. "That sounds painful." A glance is cast at Cardinal before she shakes her head slightly and returns her gaze to Deckard. And his cigarette. "Pearl." Her inspection then continues unabated by the proximity. Mighty helpful of him to move closer.

Tall, lean, middle-aged, probably had his hair colored recently, scruffily in need of a shave. Deckard blends better on Staten than he does most places, the same kind of worn in and depraved as the bar they're all currently occupying. "You a friend of Richard's?" The innocent question calls for an innocent lift of his brows, which is followed up by an equally innocent sip of his beer. Said beer is then tipped to Emilie, who is quiet. "This is Emma. She's running away to join the circus."

The introductions and questions are left to be what they are by Cardinal, who just leans an elbow on the scratched and dented wood of the table and buries his chin in the palm of his head as he watches the exchange. It's hard to say what he's thinking, though, thanks to the shades that he's wearing.

Emilie blinks at Burrows as he explains her intentions in life, but lets it pass because it, and he, are seeming more and more harmless. Which circumstance reflects in her ever-growing sleepiness as she continues to relax. Where ever she's been, seems it's finally catching up to her. Her eyes drift almost closed before she manages to get them to open completely again.

There's an annoyed little glance down at her hand before Pearl raises it to her lips, briefly licks her knuckles, then rubs her hand against her thigh. The blood is rubbed off and onto the dark cloth there which hides its presence. Her hand drops to the table again, ring still bent, but there's no sign of injury. Must have been someone else's blood. Her eyes find Emilie again, noting the girl's new position. She smiles very slightly, but it's a brief expression, just a quirk of the corner of her lips. It lingers just a little longer than it might otherwise have, what with Deckard's particular question and all. "Friend isn't the term I'd use for some jerk who follows you the fuck around like a stalker and doesn't even replace the shit he eats out of your fridge, or put the fucking seat down when he breaks in for a midnight pisser." There's not a lot of vehemence in the words, just casual conversation from a casually caustic chick. "I've been thinking about putting a bullet in him for kicks, but he'd just bleed on something important like the asshole he is." She nods then. "Everyone loves the circus." That's said very seriously. "But I always hope the tigers will eat the trainers. Never happens. Still. Every girl has to dream a little dream."

"As far as eyes for an eye go, I owe him a bullet myself, but he strikes me as a little too…I dunno. Amorphous. For it to stick. If you know what I mean." The and I think you do is silent in the quirk of one brow while Deckard watches Emilie excuse herself and slide off again before they can get much further. The bartender watches her out as he towels over the place she was originally sitting, likely because she made a mess. Whups.

"Tigers only seem to eat people in zoos."

"I put the seat down," is the only statement in that array of sins that Richard Cardinal sees fit to object to, with the faintest hint of offense slid through his tone, "It's the Whale that doesn't. Fat-ass doesn't need it down to sit on the damn toilet anymore, it's actually pretty disgusting." There's something in the other man's statement that brushes away that blithe banter for a moment, though, regarding him in silence for a long count before saying quietly, "You know there was jack'n shit I could've done there. That's hardly fair, only man."

Pearl's smile answering Deckard's words is enough of an answer. Yes, she knows what he means. In increases just a little more, and a slight dip of her chin changes the tenor of the smile. Gosh. Could be she thinks a bullet could stick under the right circumstances. A glance sideways at Cardinal follows, and she briefly notes Em's departure. "Seems like you make friends everywhere you go, GTA." She pauses, then asks, "How'd you feel about a trip to the zoo?"

Brow furrowed at Cardinal's description of toilet failure on the part of this mysterious Whale person, Deckard pushes his beer in a lazy line across the table before him, drawing condensation out of its original ring in a thin line. "You're probably right. And everything turned out fine in the end, didn't it? I mean — as long as no one's keeping score in terms of sanity." And nobody is, right? What a waste of time that would be! Scruffy head tilted just slightly enough to inquire along those lines, it completes its turn to take in Pearl again, this time with a less subtle up-and-down glance to go with it. "You asking me or him?"

"Trust me, old man," Cardinal says in quiet and serious tones, head turning a little to look away from the other man and back across the room, "In the end, he'll lose by that score, too. I guarantee it." The tips of his fingers drum loosely to his jawline, and he adds afterwards in a quiet murmur, "Whichever one've us answers her first."

"Both." She narrows her eyes briefly at Cardinal. "I need someone to talk to while I wait for the screaming to start." Pearl's arm slides a little across the table as she leans in, upper body resting briefly on it as she imparts a little friendly advice. "You know if you get used to calling her the Whale, and you say it when she's in earshot, that thing in her womb will probably eat your face. That is if she doesn't bludgeon you to death with a peanut butter chicken leg." Pause. "…Which I might pay to see. Carry on." Yep. Making friends and annoying people. Pearl straightens again, dragging her fingernails over the table toward herself again. Scraaaape. Tap, tap, tap. She briefly, lightly drums her nails. A trilling from her satchel draws her attention. No wait. It's not so much a trill as a laugh. Nay, a cackle. A cartoony witchy sort of cackle. Witch Hazel? "I'm moving out once she births the spawn, assuming my bones don't turn to ash and my flesh melt off when I sight the beast." Must be the roommate ringing. Pearl rises.

"Think so?" Deckard fails to inquire after more explanation as much as he fails to offer detail of his own, cold eyes scraping back after Cardinal past the lifted neck of his beer. Go team. "She seems nice," isn't departed until Pearl is already on her way up, if still within easy earshot despite the phone's witchy warning. "Where the fuck do you people live?"

"You're moving out?" The tone of the question is more than a touch surprised, Cardinal's head canting just so to give her a quizzical look at this news - the first he's heard of it, but then, he's been rather busy of late running to, fro, and everywhere. A lift of his head is offered in a nod, "I'll stop by later, a'ight?" That said, he turns back to his 'friend' at the table to observe dryly, "I don't live anywhere that has a door, personally. Why?"

"Gentleman, thank you for a…n evening." Pearl's pause is noticeable. Her eyes linger on Cardinal as she says that. A nod is turned to Deckard. "Pleasure." And then she's off, completely missing the tail end of the conversation the two men resume in her absence. She walks with the resigned resolve of a knight walking into battle with a dragon. A knight who needs more weapons. And by weapons I mean ritual sacrifices for the beast, aka snack foods. A wave over her shoulder is all that answers Cardinal's visitation assertion. Zoom.

"I dunno. S'just. 'The whale.'" Why would you live with one when there are perfectly nice rat-infested abandoned buildings caving in all over the place. Deckard's bafflement is psuedo-tangible, there and gone in the time it takes him to turn around and watch her out the door. Past that he's quiet, the cigarette burning away in his left hand finally raised back to his mouth again.

"There's safety in numbers," Cardinal observes, one shoulder lifting in a slight shrug before it falls once more, arm resting on the table flat and his smile fading for the most part as he looks back to the other man, "An' two bodies can pull in more money'n one."

Safety in numbers. Sketicism is familiar in the fuzzy lines around Deckard's mouth. There's no actual argument, just. The stink of disagreement about him while he pushes his fingers through the condensation trail he made a minute ago and avoids looking up.

"Anyway, old man…" The thief pushes himself up to his feet, saying quietly, "Don't think that he got away with this scot free. I do more with my nights than jus' fuck around. Have a good one." A step past, one hand reaching out to clap on Deckard's shoulder as he heads for the door.

"Well if anyone can see to it that there's justice, it's you, Boy Wonder." Voice muffled through a gruff exhalation of smoke, Deckard flicks damp fingers aside so that he can scrub the same hand back over his head. His shoulder is a little stiff accordingly. Grumpy old asshole.

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