Booze And Politics Don't Mix


andrew_icon.gif cat_icon.gif cook_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif helena_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif jay_icon.gif

Scene Title Booze And Politics Don't Mix
Synopsis A lesson that everyone learns one night at the Rock Cellar.
Date September 5, 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!

The Rock Cellar is vibrating with an early evening crowd, some as much here for music as they are for the social scene at the bar or the food from the kitchens. At a table close to one of the walls is Helena, blonde hair hidden under a ravenswing wig cut in a contemporary pageboy, like something a little longer than what Uma Thurman wore in Pulp Fiction. She's writing rather feverishly in a notebook, though every now and then she takes a break, looking up and around her with an observer's air.

This is going to be an awkward night. It's obvious, right this instant, just in the way it starts: three guys show up at the door, two of them in letter jackets. One flashes an ID, slides on through. Then comes Jake, who slithers after as if it really doesn't matter, doesn't even bother flashing the ID, just tries to glide by without notice. He is noticed. He's grabbed by the hoodie, caught and dragged back, less with force than with hey-you-forgot-something. A conversation ensues. He shrugs in a graphic sort of manner, hands spreading. One can almost read the conversation on his lips: Naw, man, I forgot my wallet, these guys are buying. …Of course, the owners of this establishment aren't so generous as Jake's pickup pals - they stamp his hand to the tune of protesting, and in a moment he's ushered through by the guy behind him, who also flashes ID. "God dammit," gripes the college boy as the pair abandon him to head straight to the bar. He shoves his hands in the pockets of his hoodie and stalks towards the stage to have a look that doesn't involve staring over the heads of a hundred people, green eyes narrowed in thought. Then? He begins looking the place over, hunting. Shady corners are good places to find things, he's discovered.

Helena looks up at the brief hubbub at the door, briefly growing amused. The black wig may hide her blonde hair, but they make her eyes stand out more sharply. In a way, she's more nocticable, which is exactly what she's trying to avoid. It generally serves her purpose, though. The three new arrivals are watched carefully. These are new faces at the Rock Cellar. Humanis First plants? Helena doesn't know. So she watches in what she hopes is a careful, inobtrusive fashion.
Jay has disconnected.

The three have now split up. Those first two might be regulars, might be newbies; either way, Jake was lucky enough to find them outside and tried to work his way in with them. Now they're at the bar, talking and laughing, and he… has split off on his own to roam the room. You'll have to forgive him if he looks once, and maybe twice, with a small, wicked smirk on his lips; he's at that age where everything female deserves two looks, if not more, and Helena, even in a dark wig, is worth the second look. The young man loiters for a moment, then turns and veers in that direction; apparently you weren't being careful enough - or he's just that ballsy. "Hey," he says as he comes up on the table. "Whatcha working on?"

Helena lifts a brow, and very calmly closes the notepad. "Homework." she says, without missing a beat. People do homework while in the middle of rock n'roll themed clubs in the middle of the Village? Uhhh…maybe? Maybe not. "Is there something I can help you with?" Her tone's polite, but touched at the edges with caution; she's eyeing him up and down. He might mistake it for her checking him out, and she sort of is…except the point is that she's looking to see if he has a bomb strapped to him or something.

"You're a liar," Jake says blithely, hands still shoved in the pockets of his hoodie and a wicked grin on his face. "Nobody does homework in a place like this. Not unless they're looking for trouble, anyway." It's hard to believe that grin could get more devious, but it does so. "Are you?" Yes, that was an open come-on, but really, how bad can it be? …If his shirt's any indication, pretty bad.

"Wow," breathes Helena, eyes going artfully wide. "God, I don't know how you did it," she says sweetly, "But calling me a liar, that totally got my engine running." Cue eyeroll. "No, I'm not looking for trouble, but there's a few drunk Tisch co-eds in the corner who probably are. Go bother them."

Strangely enough, he doesn't take that for the brushoff it is. Instead, he invites himself to have a seat right there at the table. "Yeah, sure, I'll go bother the coeds if they're still here when you leave. Sorry, beautiful, but you're the best looking girl in the room. That means automatically that you've got my attention - and while I /suppose/ I could give it to you from afar, I've never been much of a fan of that pining stuff." The grin is easy and lazy this time, not so much evil as pleased.

Helena is refraining hard from rolling her eyes and well - getting this guy tossed out on his tush might invite trouble Cat doesn't want. So Helena lets out a sigh, rests her hand on top of her notebook, and says in exasperation, "Look, if I let you buy me a drink and give you fifteen minutes of my time, will you go away when time's up if I ask you to?"

That calls for a pause. Thoughtful, finger-tapping-chin pause… and then the bastard smiles. "Sure. If you'll play a game with me." Hey, if he can't drink, he might as well have /some/ fun.

"Depends on the game." Helena says with some patience. She gets that he thinks she's just another too-clever co-ed, and for the moment she's content to let him think that. Smug bastard.

"Truth or dare." Might as well. "Rules: the usual - plus, if you don't want to answer a question or complete a dare, you have to take a drink. You'll have to do the ordering, but I'll pay." And he raises a hand to wave down a waiter. "Deal? It's only fifteen minutes." Have a wide, engaging, encouraging grin.

"Sorry, but no." Helena says plainly enough. She's wanted by several arms of law enforcement plus a terrorist group, stupid student tricks that will bring attention to herself is not on her agenda. "You're under the impression you're doing me a favor; let me correct that notion. I'm giving you the gift of my time, so if you want to accept it, I suggest you skip the part where you try to get me to jump through hoops. So you can order me a drink and sit down, or you can go see how many co-eds you can get to go one tequila two tequila three tequila floor."

Jake eyes Helena for a few moments, then makes a face. "Pretty, but not so much fun. Oh well. At least you're entertaining." He's got a hand up to get someone's attention; there are usually roving waitstaff in places like these, right? Give it a minute and by hook or by crook, someone will end up wandering by. "The lady wants a drink," says the kid. "I'm paying." Note that the stamped hand gets shoved half under the table out of sheer embarrassment, but you'd never know it from the engaging grin. Expectant green eyes flash to Helena. "Go on, order up. Try not to break the bank." Not that he looks worried; he'll work it out one way or another.

Helena flicks her eyes up to the server that Jake manages to catch and asks sweetly for, "My usual?" Which will ultimately mean a Red Stripe. Smiling at Jake, "What, you mean you're not rolling in it?"

Jay gives a quiet snort. "There's a limit." And then he offers the server his card and grins brightly at the man. "Thanks." Back to Helena. "Never felt the need to roll in it, really. Why, does that turn you on?" Yeah, it's a blatant question, but there's no seriousness at all in it, and hey, she started it.

From the interior she emerges, the areas of the Cellar not open to the public. Cat, a brunette of 1.73 meters (5' 8"), makes her way to a shadowy table near a wall which lets her observe the rest of the venue without drawing much in the way of attention. She settles into a chair at that table and leans back in it to do just that.

Within a minute or two she's supplied with a pint of stout. There's no band playing on stage yet, and maybe there won't be. Whichever is the case, the sound system is playing rock tunes.

Cook picks his nose as he shoulders his way into the establishment. Okay, so he's not exactly tall, but he's intimidating! Okay, not that, either. But then, no one's stuck anything in his mouth yet. He's in plaid slacks and black Converse sneakers, and a black t-shirt and red suspenders. He snaps his suspenders. Classy.

Helena is seated at a table near one of the walls, her black wig on, a closed notebook kept so by virtue of one hand, and slowly being slid off the table to be placed in her lap. "No." she says blithely enough. "I'm trying to understand how you think you're getting anywhere, though. It's entertaining." Smile. "Like a science experiment."

"Who says I think I'm getting anywhere?" Jake asks with an easy grin. "Hell, maybe I'm experimenting on you. I'll give you this much, though - you beat the hell out of the sorors over there. There is, in fact, such a thing as 'too easy'." He leans forward, settling his hands on the table, folding them before him, and resting some of his weight on his elbows. A wicked smile flashes. "Don't tell anyone I said that. Got a rep to keep up, you know."

Helena lifts a brow at that. "You're worried about your reputation?" she asks with faint incredulousness. "Terrorists are turning this city into the America version of the West Bank and you're worried about your reputation?" She lets out a slightly incredulous laugh. "I can see how that would be incredibly important. So which highschool do you go to?"

"EEEEEEEVIE!" If Cook is gonna have fun, it's gonna start by ruining this bloke's night. He launches himself at the in-disguise Helena. He's not drunk enough yet to get confused and call her Helena. Yet.

Jake snorts. He can't help it, it just pops out in sheer derision. "Lady, we've got a ways to go before we hit West Bank territory. And for that last, present your shin, I must kick you. Christ." But he's grinning. "Columbia U, not that it matters, since I don't even know your name." What's in the damn book? It's gonna drive him nuts. Finally his eyes flick after it with a hint of curiosity, then snap back to Helena's face. "I'm Jake, by the way, pleased to meet you." And he offers one hand over the table. …Only to jerk it back and bolt to his feet at the exuberant greeting from the new arrival. "Holy shit," says the kid, and, "Guess that answers that question."

Her attention soon settles upon Miss Wozniak and the man with her, as she lifts the pint and drinks from it. A server wanders by, and Cat asks for steak with baked potato, sour cream, butter, and mushrooms. She gets a nod, the server departs, and her observations are returned to as the sound system plays a tune from the latest AC/DC release.

Helena is seated at one of the wall tables, a Red Stripe in front of her, Jay seated at the table, and Cook making his way toward in all his drunken Celtic glory. "Evelyn." Helena clarifies, and makes a face at Cook before holding out an arm for a one sided hug, "Hey, Cookie!" which quickly turns to upraised finger pressed against his lips. Her brows lift. "Did you Scope?" she asks him. Because God knows what's been in Cook's mouth before coming here.

The holy shit factor calms down quickly; Cook just startled Jay into a flight reflex, that's all. Down he drops, back into his chair, eyeing the two with curious - and suddenly slightly wary - interest. If this guy is her boyfriend, after all… well. At least it'll be entertaining, right? Of course, the reference to mouthwash completely confuses him - he falls quiet for the moment, just watching.

Cook takes in a deep, deep breath, and then exhales in Helena's face like heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehs. Yes, he Scoped. And then he drank like five beers and half a bottle of vodka, so it was all kind of moot at this point. "Who's your friend?" He offers a hand at Jay.
Cook has disconnected.

Jay sticks his own hand out to take Cook's and gives the guy a firm shake. No squeezing, no bone-breaking attempts, nothing of that sort - he's not out to cause trouble. "I'm Jake," he contributes, though Helena's welcome to introduce him. "I was annoying her for fun 'fore you came along. Want a drink?"

At the table she favors when she comes here is Cat; it's in shadows by a wall and gives her a decent view of the entire Cellar. The public areas, that is. She's enjoying a pint of stout and not calling attention to herself while three tables away Helena, in the guise of Evelyn Wozniak complete with black wig, is socializing with Jake. Cook has just joined them.

Cat's observing what occurs over there, while the sound system plays a tune from AC/DC's latest release.

And in comes Leo. He's in black from head to toe - fatigue pants, t-shirt, boots. He's had one of those fits of being tired of dealing with curly hair, and thus he's clipped it back almost to the scalp again. He heads for Evelyn, not really looking to the right or the left.
Helena is just collecting herself a man-garden. "This is Cook." she says as she moves to kiss Cook's cheek. "He's a friend." To Cook…and Leo, as he approaches, she remarks, "Jay was just trying to impress me with how savvy and politicaly acute he is with a game of truth or dare."

"Truth or Dare?" Cook brightens up a little. "I LOVE TRUTH OR DARE." Of course he does.

Jake snorts. "No I wasn't. Good god, woman, how many boyfriends do you have?" He eyes Leo with just a bit of concern here as well. "Not everything is about impressing the girl, yaknow. Sometimes it's just fun. Until someone tries to turn it into politics." Not pointing fingers, oh no. Pale brows sneak up and he offers the other guy his hand as well, since that seems to be the greeting 'round here. Cook, though, will get a grin. "The drinking version. If you don't want to, you take a drink."

While drinking her stout as this goes on, Cat inwardly groans. She hopes Cook won't start to eat pieces of the Cellar or the property of the Cellar. Or in any other way expose himself as having a cast iron stomach. Despite her trepidation, she still does nothing to draw attention on herself.

Helena rolls her eyes. "Well," she says, "You two can play all you like." Her eyes drift over to Cat, a silent, you see what I've been putting up with? on her face.

Leo does not volunteer to join thegame. He nods affably at the men already there, and settles at Helena's table without an invite. "I'm not a boyfriend, just a friend," he corrects, lazily.

"No fun without a lady involved," Jay points out, withdrawing his hand, and settles back into his seat. "But hey, if you're buying, I'm game." To Cook.

"I wasn't involved to start with." Helena's quick to point out. Yeah, the girl wanted by several law enforcement agencies wants to get plastered and make a very obvious idiot of herself.

"How am /I/ buyin'?" Cook looks at Jay with a blink. "Are y'callin' me a Leprechaun?" He narrows his eyes at Jay and stands on tippy-tippy-toes.

Give Jake a minute to parse that. "What? Fuck, no." Here, have a snort of derision. "Dude, you scare the piss out of me. I'm saying if you buy I'm game. No ID." Cue the deep, heartfelt sigh, followed by a flash of his stamped hand. "Left my damn wallet at home." Yet he had no problem producing a credit card earlier to pay for the drink he bought Helena.

Her glass lifts as Helena looks her way, and she nods. There's a hint of smile showing for a moment, just before Cat takes another drink.

Leo orders a root beer, nothing stronger. Baptist past coming out, maybe. He doesn't offer an opinion on the game, just eyes the other men rather cynically.

"I don't have any money," Cook says with a shrug. "I was gonna mooch off Evelyn." He sidles over to Helena and makes a pouty, puppy-eyed stare.

"So you stole that credit card, then?" Helena inquires sweetly. "I'd be careful about that. The boss doesn't take too kindly to fraud, and the bouncers especially don't." To Cook, she sighs. "You've probably got a tab here, Cookie. Go check at the bar." Cat will undoubtedly give the nod if he does.

"Damn," says Jake to Cook, because no chance the woman's gonna buy for him. To that particular accusation, he rolls his eyes. "I didn't steal it. I happened to have it in my pocket. Got my name on it and everything." Not that he's offering to produce it. "But hey, if she wants to finance our game, I'm up for it. Though I suspect she's more likely to boot my ass. I'm pretty sure our time's up." He checks his watch, lifts both brows at Helena.

"A tab?" Cook's eyebrows shoot up with sudden love and admiration. It's a dangerous thing, to offer someone like him a tab. He turns around and heads for the bartender to ask him if he does, indeed, have a tab.

She's watching and, while it seems none but Helena have noticed her presence, she can hear too. Cat catches the eye of a server passing by, and cants her head to draw her over. When she's joined, she speaks to the employee in a voice meant only for her. "The boss would be very unhappy if anyone was served who appeared already drunk, or rowdy to begin with." Not that they don't know this; it sometimes has value to reinforce things. The server nods and moves on her way, stopping next to relay things to the bartender.

"HE has a tab? This is going to be epic," Leo opines, slow amusement spreading over his features.

"Don't know if he does or not." Helena says with a shrug. "Just saying he might." She lifts her drink and waggles it to and fro briefly before taking a swig. "How are you tonight, Leo?" Then, almost belatedly and sidelong to him, "You're a friend who's a boy, aren't you?"

Since outright dismissal doesn't seem to be in the cards /just/ yet, Jake falls quiet and listens, still settled at Helena's table. Hey, he can be pretty ghostlike when he wants to - though of course, if asked, he'll leave the pair alone and go bother Cook - or those nice (and drunk) sorority girls over there in the corner. You can learn a lot by keeping your mouth shut and being unobtrusive, and Jake's pretty good at both - which would surprise some people if they knew it, but hey, he can't /always/ be a brash bastard.

It takes a minute or two, but when Cookie comes back he comes back with two large mugs of ice cold beer. Which he's already drinking. One sip from the lager. One sip from the dark brew. One sip from the lager. One sip from the dark brew. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

"I am a boy, and I am your friend. But I ain't your boyfriend, not how he means it," Leo agrees, shifting his weight back on his stool. He eyes Cook thoughtfully. "A two fisted drinker. I am impressed."

"Well," Helena says mildly, "He is Irish." Leo is regarded with some speculation, and then she calmly tugs the notebook out that she'd been holding onto and offers it to Leo. "Hang onto this for me, would you?"

"Ah'll two-fist you summat what…" Cook trails off, not sure what he was going to say. He tips one beer back, and then the other.

She continues to enjoy her stout, observing the others two tables away and occasionally glancing at Jake as he seeks to pick up the sorority women. Cat's food arrives, she starts eating it in the manner of a person brought up in society.

The look Leo gives Cook….surely it's not meant to be -sultry-? "You're really not my type, big boy," he coos, though it comes out gravelly. "But you get enough booze in me, I might make an exception."

Helena looks faintly annoyed, and nudges the notebook at Leo again. "Leo. Hang onto this for me, please?" she asks of the Southerner.

Cook scrunches his nose at Leo. "I bite," he offers, deadpan.

All of this gets taken in with brows raised, thoughtful interest, and in Leo's case, a bit of a skeptical smirk. Still Jake says nothing, but his eyes do flick to that notebook. All he needs is a passerby getting too close, a bump on an elbow… is it worth wishing to satisfy his curiosity? That's the tough part. That right there ain't homework. Wonder if she's a writer? Probably jotting story notes or something. Not worth it for that. Back to eyeing the lot of 'em, mouth closed and green eyes attentive.

Seeing Helena try to give Leo the notebook and not succeed, Cat rests eyes on her and holds a hand out briefly, suggesting she'll do so if handed it. Her other hand lifts the pint again, that knife and fork having been set down for the moment.

Leonard obediently takes it from her, and eyes Cook thoughtfully. "Long as you don't draw blood or maim…." He shrugs, looks down to the notebook in question.

"I think we might not be compatible, then," Cook retorts, still deadpan. He takes a long, long, loonnnng gulp of his beer, and smiles at Leonard widely. Sex with Cook is a dangerous proposition. Especially if you have dangly bits. Motion attracts predators, you know?

Helena murmurs a thank you to Leo as he takes it, not seeming to mind when he opens it. Helena looks to Cat apologetically "Thanks." she tells the other woman gratefully despite her guard dog managing to get the bone first. Cerberus needs something to gnaw on. Wouldn't Jay have enjoyed a first-hand look at the latest speech of the infamous Phoenix rabble-rouser Helena Dean?

Oh, Jay would've been /rather/ interested in that. Oh well - at least this way he doesn't end up in a pickle of serious trouble /just/ yet. Helena had better watch that writing in front of him in the future. Now his attention lands on Leonard, though. This oughtta be interesting. "So what /is/ your type?" he finally speaks up to ask, brows in the air.

"Blonde. Fair," Leo says, with complete aplomb, even as he slips the notebook into a pants pocket. "Fairly tall."

"Then why were you givin' me th'eye? I'm not blonde, and I'm short!" To be truthful, Cook /is/ fair. But that's one out of three!

Helena notes playfully, "I'm too short for Leo. I'm tiny." She gives the man a nudge. "But I can at least make him smile."

"Not blond either," Jake observes of Helena and her wig, still eyeing Leo. "Don't suppose you're interested in buying a poor guy who forgot his wallet a drink?" Pure innocence, right here - utterly shameless in preying on these particular preferences of Leo's, too. No one ever said Jake was a good boy.

Leo contemplates the state of his manicure, or lack thereof, considering how clipped short his nails are, with an amused air. "I don't always go for type," he says. "And I like messing with people." He shrugs at Jake. "Sure, why not? Name your poison."

Cook sits down next to Helena and leans on her, aiming to rest his head on her bazooms, because she has the large, pillowy kind, and that's just comfortable.

Helena sighs in an aggravated fashion, and absently pats Cook on the top of his head while it bobs from her sigh. "He has a credit card, Leo. He bought me this beer." She peers at Jay. "You do realize I'm not going to let you rip off my friends?"

That's how you get a grin out of Jake - well, all right, that's an easy thing to do, but this did it quite well. "Hey, I'll pay for it if money's the issue. Just a matter of being allowed to actually drink it, apparently." Another aggravated sigh, and, "Swear to god, that's the last time I'm gonna forget my goddamn wallet." Really. Honest. Because /that's/ the problem. Anyone know where Jake can get a fake ID? Ha. "I like beer, actually. Nutritious, heavy on the stomach, and doesn't overdo the buzz. Something imported if you're willing - otherwise Bud." All that last is directed at Leo.

"All one to me, since you get the one," Leo says, laconically. He's still nursing his own bottle of IBC, and in no apparent hurry to finish it.

Cook is comfortable with his head on Helena's chest. He takes another long long gulp of his beer and glances up at her. "Have I ever tol' you, luv, tha' ya've th' comfiest cans've ever had th'pleasure'a restin' me head on?" It should be a compliment. Should.

Helena shifts and damned if she doesn't try to put her dainty little feet in Leo's lap, she's got her own personal entourage of boy-pretty. Looking down at Cook, she tells him conversationally, "If you drool on my chest, I will break your nose. You know that, right?"

"Awesome. You order, I'll pay, I drink," Jay says to Leo, and raises a hand to summon wait staff. He's slouched at Helena's table, which also contains Cook, Leo, and Helena herself. Cat's at her own table last he checked, keeping an eye on the lot of troublemakers over yonder. "Hey," says Jay to the passing waiter he just grabbed. "I'm buying him a drink. You mind?" And Leo gets an expectant look from the waiter.

The table Cat occupies, by herself, has food. A plate of steak, mushrooms, baked potato with butter ans sour cream she's about halfway through eating. It's in the shadows and near a wall, about three down from Helena and company. She doesn't do anything to draw attention on herself, if anyone observes the 1.73 meter (5'8") brunette eats like someone raised in society. Her eyes rest mostly on Helena and party.

The Rock Cellar, with no band on stage this evening, has music playing through the sound system. A cut from Metallica's Death Magnetic album starts up.

It's early in the evening yet, the place only moderately filled.

No objection from Leo at being made into a footrest. He slants an amused look at Helena, but doesn't comment. "That turns the tables. Two bottles of Sweetwater, then. Reminds me of home."

"Aaaw." Cook looks up at Helena again and smiles. "I'd never drool on you, luv. Not unless you asked very nice like." He takes another long long drink of his beer. He finishes them both, and sets the mugs on the table.

"Don't burp in my face, either." Helena tells Cook, and after a moment, darts her eyes toward Cat, tilts her head. Come on over, lady. Helena seems quite content to nurse her one bottle of Red Stripe.

"Sweetwater?" queries Jay a bit mistrustfully. "What's that?" But the waiter disappears - with his card again, he's buying incrementally tonight - and will be back in short order with the drinks. He's not complaining just yet - he'll have to wait and see what it tastes like.

Rising to her feet, Cat collects some of the items at her table and moves to one next to the group. They're set down, she goes back for the pint of stout and brings it along before settling into a seat. Her table in the shadows, the customary one, is thus abandoned.

A quiet chuckle escapes at Helena's contentedness from having one man's head on her chest and her feet in Leo's lap, but she doesn't otherwise voice commentary. Instead she's looking to spot that notebook from earlier.

A cut from Metallica's Death Magnetic album is playing on the sound system, there being no band booked tonight. Cat's eyes briefly sweep across the moderately filled Cellar. Still a bit early for things to be extremely busy.

The door opens to admit a man in his early to mid forties, who walks over to the bar. "A pint of Murphy's please," he requests of the barkeep in his faint Northern Irish brogue. Not long after, he is handed a pint of stout, which is paid for with a five dollar bill.

"Microbrewery in Atlanta. They make a good ale," Leo says,by way of explanation, even as he tickles Helena's feet.

Cook pulls his head from atop Helena's boobs and grunts, heading over to the counter again for more beer. He might just get one of those large pitcher things. And ooh, maybe a bottle of something harder. He'll be paying off his tab for years.

Helena's foot twitches from Leo's attentions, and starts to say something to Cat, when she notices the new arrival. He may or may not seem out of place, and she can't hear his brogue over the music. She does seem a touch more at ease with the guy with the scary mouth no longer so close to her chest, however. "So if you think we're a far cry from the West Bank, what do you make of us now?" she asks Jay curiously. "Belfast?"

Though she certainly isn't working tonight, Delilah happens to find that sneaking through employee doors makes her various trips around the building much faster. It's now that she winds out from behind the door to the rear of the bar that Cook comes up to, virtually just as he gets there to find something new to drink. She brightens a touch when she sees him there, stepping out from behind the bar- as now she is a patron and technically isn't allowed back there, right? Right.

"Oy, Cookie."

"DEEEE! Lass!" Cook launches over and swings his arm around Delilah's neck, pulling her over to kiss her temple. His mouth on a person usually causes terror. He glances back at the bartender and says: "And a pint fer me luv-leh lady friend!"

"Belfast is a start." Drinks have arrived. "It'd be about right - isolated actions rather than full out military involvement." Jay's focused on the drinks, though - he reaches forward to snag one as soon as the waiter's gone, nods appreciation at Leo, and keeps his stamped hand /well/ out of sight under the table. Of course Cat's going to get a look and a grin, but that's just Jay - harmless, honest. Nevermind that he tends to look a bit sharklike when he flashes all those teeth. "Are we getting into politics again?" Grumble.

Andrew takes a drink of his stout, and hears a mention of his hometown. He heads over. "What's that about Belfast?" he asks in a friendly tone, his accent more audible, having walked over to where the voice came from.

The notebook she looked for isn't in sight, and she starts to return focus to eating her meal, but Helena's eye contact, the starting to say something causes Cat's attention to remain on her. She just doesn't say anything, opting not to interrupt the conversation at hand.

But after a few moments she looks around the interior, spotting the Northen Irishman, then Cook and Delilah having arrived. Andrew is studied as he makes approach and seeks to join that conversation.

"Please, let's not," Leo says, in a slow drawl. He waves lazily at Delilah, as she appears. He lifts his bottle in lazy salute to Jay, and then pops it open to pour into his glass. He rubs Helena's instep with absent affection.

"And you consider groups like Hammas and the PLO to be full out military involvement?" Helena asks curiously. What is she, a poli sci major? She looks up at Andrew a little warily as he more or less bugs in on the conversation. It's not that she'd normally be inclined to be hostile, except well…Humanis First is bombing every Tom, Dick, and Officer Friendly these days. "We were considering how the current terrorist climate here in New York rates with other parts of the world." Only then, at Leo's prompting, "Sorry. Change of subject! How about them Rangers?" Except it's not hockey season yet.

Drawing from her more girlish side, Delilah swings along with Cook's arm as he ropes it over her, giggling and somehow flinching just a little when he puts his lips to her head in a smooch. When you know what he does with that thing- it's a whole new thing to think about!

"I'nno if I need a drink. I'm a bit ragged already. But if it's on your tab…" Delilah eyes the young Irishman and smoothes her skirt with one hand, then lifting it to wave back when she notices the few folks over yonder and Leo waving first. "…I could be persuaded."
"Corse y'can, lass." Cook pokes the pint towards her and then grabs the two shots of Irish Whiskey and tosses them into his pitcher of beer, before hefting it up. "C'mon, I'm sittin' with Hel." He heads over.

"When there are tanks involved, it's official," Jay says firmly to Helena. "This is more Belfast of the seventies. Lots of police action behind the scenes, lots of private groups doing their thing. It might get pretty bad." Fatalistic, that look on his face, and rather grim - but then he flashes Leo a grin. "Sorry. Had to say something. I'm not nearly buzzed yet." Andrew gets a look over, then a smirk, then a loft of the beer - which he promptly tips back and gulps down, fast. Because someone might just take it away if he doesn't. Jay wipes his mouth on his sleeve a moment later and sighs deeply. "Christ." Irked, that vague statement, but he doesn't bother explaining it.

Andrew nods. "Ah. I was just wondering, since after the bomb I've not heard my hometown mentioned much if at all. Even the Real IRA, as they like to call themselves, never used a nuke, and they went so far as make a bomb threat and then bomb somewhere else - the exact place all the civvies were evacuated to. I can understand not liking that Catholics were all but a second class citizen there, but there are boundaries you just don't cross. At least the Provincials mostly stuck to RUC and British Army targets."

Listening to the conversation at hand, and with Helena still having chosen not to say whatever she was about to, Cat returns to enjoying her meal and drinking Guinness stout. "I think the Rangers should have a good season," she opines. "It was heartbreaking the way Washington got away last season." But, she hears, her attempt to join Helena in subject changing is fail.

Leonard accepts the apology with a languid wave. He's never particularly loquacious, nor a ball of energy. But he's particularly short on words tonight. ""Where you from?" he asks Jay, as if he'd forcibly wrench the conversation onto another topic.

"I think he said Belfast was his hometown." Helena notes. He'd know who Bobby Sands was, but she doesn't mention him. Instead, it's: "Do they have hockey teams in Ireland?" and then to Jay: "And what's your major at Columbia? You never mentioned."

Delilah wraps a hand around the cold pint when it is slipped to her, tailing Cook and his pitcher over to where Helena and the others are and immediately voicing something in between audible questions from the people seated there. "Anybody busy on Monday? I'm thinking burgers and hot dogs up top…"

"Belfast?" Jay asks, wrinkling his nose. "No, I'm from Provincetown up in Massachusetts. Not actually /from/ there, but lived there last. Lived in this state before then - Silver Lake, if you've ever heard of it." So this is getting pretty crowded; he eyes Delilah and Cook as they return. "Good god, I've stumbled into a convention." Of weirdos. Of course, Delilah's getting that second look he earlier gave Helena. Cat, not so much - pretty though she is, she's quiet and doesn't draw much attention, and he's been a bit distracted till now. "Dee, was it?" Yeah, he heard that. The people across the /street/ heard that. Jake grins. "Nice to meet you. I'm Jake."

"No, I think she thought that your friend was asking me where I'm from. Which is indeed Belfast," Andrew points out to Jay. "Aye, there's hockey in Ireland; it's not particularly popular over there though. Foo - I mean soccer is usually more popular," he then answers the question, correcting himself mid-word.

Nodding toward Delilah as she mentions food and up top, Cat avoids elaborating on it in the presence of people new to them all. Her eyes move from Jake to Andrew, then over to Helena before returning to her food. There is eating, and taking another drink from her half-filled Guinness stout.

"Sounds fun," Leo opines, in his low voice. He finishes his beer and says, with a faint hint of regret, "I should be getting along. Work tomorrow morning."

Helena aww's and starts withdrawing her feet from Leo's lap as she notes, "What he said," indicating Andrew. "He's from Belfast, you," she repeats to Jay, who might not have heard her ask the first time, "I asked what your major at Columbia is." Leaning forward, she plants on Leo's cheek before he departs.

"A convention? Of what? It's a bar, of course it is full of people." Up close and personal, Delilah's accent is more discernible, and her hair flamingly red. Brown eyes take in the new faces- though frankly, Jake far more than Andrew. And not wholly his face. She can't help herself. At least he can't object that she is staring at his boobs or anything like that.

"Yeah. Dee. Delilah. Hullo, Jake." She grins, tilting her head towards Leo as he finishes his drink. "I never get to see you for long anymore. I'm making you a casserole or something. And goodness, take a day off." Because it gives her excuses to see people, the whole 'handing over food for a week' deal.

"Oy," Cook says, his own brogue /strong/. "Why are you callin' it /soccer/." He narrows his eyes at Andrew. "Ain't you got neh pride?" He stands up, pretty insulted at this point. "I don't mind it comin' from'em," he says, motioning to the rest, "but you should kno' betteh."

"Sorry," Jay says to Helena. "All the confusion. Too many people talking." That's it, yeah. He lofts the beer, grins, gulps down a quick swallow, and lifts it in toast to Leo. "Hey man. Thanks for the drink. Look me up some other time." Like that'll be easy - but hey, Jay might come back, maybe that'll help. Back to Helena, "Haven't decided. Declared as journalism but I'm really not into the family business."

"I do, but they might think I'm talking about a bunch of bloody poofs running around in armour and helmets," Andrew points out to Cook. "If I call it soccer, at least they know what I'm talking about."

"Will do," Leo says, but his tone lacks conviction. Perhaps the earlier flirting was sheerly for form's sake. He offers a little salute to the others, and leaves his bottle to go wandering out.

"Are you the secret heir to Randolph Hearst?" Helena can't help but ask Jay slyly, and notes to Andrew in a friendly enough fashion, "I've hung around enough Europeans to know what they mean when the word 'football' comes out of their mouth. I only double-check when they're English, to make sure they're not actually referring to you know, Quidditch or something." Tee hee!

"Boys, boys. It's only a word." Dee leans away from Cook as he fluffs himself up at the other Irishman, slinking closer to the seats and Helena. "I'll Quidditch you. Lemme sit and maybe I'll let you catch my Golden Snitch." Already onto the badly formed jokes, it appears. Delilah smiles jokingly as she says it, motioning that she'd like to join Helena at the table, effectively rearranging now that Leonard is gone.

"You don't feel like the journalist type." She also mentions offhand to Jay. "At least- not television and newsprint.

Cook's snarl is low for Andrew. "Wha'evah." He doesn't seem to approve of this coddling of the colonials, but he isn't going to make a big(ger) scene of it, it seems. He tips his pitcher back again. MORE BEER.

Speaking of more beer, Jay's about on his last inch or so of that one. "Not a chance," he says with a sputtering laugh to Helena. "Come sit over here," he invites Dee with a wicked grin and a waggle of blond brows. One knee tugs out away from the table and he pats it in invitation. "And someone get more beer in the Irish boys." Swig. There goes the last of the beer. He looks at it woefully. "And me too." The bottle gets set quickly aside, the gesture swift but still flashing the stamp on the back of his hand.

"You know you're going to kill your liver doing that?" Andrew points out, changing the subject as he takes a mouthful of his stout. He then sits down in the vacant seat, since no one seems to object to his presence.

Helena grins sidelong at Delilah, "I think I'm no longer the prettiest girl in the room." She flags a server and orders herself another Red Stripe. Her attention turns to Jay. "So who's your family then, that journalism is a legacy?" To Andrew, "I'm Evelyn, by the way." Her blonde hair actually isn't - a raven colored wig worn in a modern pageboy cut gives her an almost Snow White air, with her pale skin, blue-green eyes, and rosy lips. Who said fairy tale princesses and rock and roll can't go together? "Don't eat him for trying to be kind to the poor savage colonials, Cookie." she tells the mentioned young man in amusement.

Something about a new face being so keen on you must be quite fulfilling, because Delilah takes the invitation; she sidesteps over and perches herself on Jay's knee with a slight tuck of her skirt and a playful smile. "I think the Irish boys have their blood replaced with whiskey at birth. I'm sure they'll be fine." As for her drink, she occupies both hands with it, and despite being quite tall, manages somehow to seem dainty with the process.

"Sooo, Journalism at Columbia… you living on campus, or are you a lucky bug with your own bachelor pad?" Delilah also takes a page from Magnes' book and stretches her arm up, only to put it around the back of Jay's neck. Though unlike the boy the redheaded girl pulls it from, her version is not intended to look natural.

Cook raises a brow at Andrew and then rolls his eyes. He's young, early twenties at the most, and he's still downing the pitcher of beer like it's water. Really light water. He gulps some more down and gives Andrew a nasty, feral grin.

Both arms go around Delilah now that Jay doesn't have a beer, and he tugs her closer with a wicked grin. "There, that's better. Now you have a backrest." Really. That's the reason, honest. But there are questions to answer, and some of them more serious than others, and Jay sighs and sets his chin on the woman's shoulder. "My dad's Marcus Vega." Who pays attention to that stuff anymore anyway? "He writes political opinion pieces." In the last few years, they've been about the Evolved. This guy won a Pulitzer for his work in South America. That'd require a bit more interest than usual in journalism to know, though. "I'm living on campus still, got a room with my brother." An impish smile flashes up again and he snaps his teeth at Dee's ear playfully. "Want a drink?"

Andrew shrugs. "Your liver; just thought you ought to know," he says drily, completely unintimidated by the grin. "I've seen people die from alcohol poisoning and it ain't fuckin' pretty. Still, it's your liver to wreck. Does that stuff at least taste good?"

"Vega. He's the one who's inferred that despite the natural imbuement of abilities encoded into the DNA sequence, the premise of power corrupting absolutely is still universally maintained?" That's right, the brunette will talk politics, science, and philisophy, while the redhead sits in Jay's lap. However, as Helena speaks, her smile broadens, at a few points she passes her hand over her mouth as if to keep from laughing. Something is funny, and she's not letting anyone in on the joke. She keeps looking at Delilah, though!

"Another one, maybe. We'll see how I feel after the first is gone." Delilah still holds the first one given to her off of Cook's tab. As for the arms and the nipping at her ear, she takes it in stride. At least, she has not socked him in the nose yet. Let us hope that does not happen. Dee's got a mean right hook. And she ain't so fun to mess with so closeby. She listens and absorbs, eyes roving over Helena when her look is met, all the while thoughtful as she nurses the pint.

"Ohh, foo. That's like saying that dictators have it encoded…" Delilah scoffs, looking back over the curve of her shoulder to Jake, a pair of big brown eyes looking quite forlorn. There may just be part of her lip sticking out. "Do you agree with that stuff too?"

"Y'are damn righ''s mah liver, mate." Cook grins at Andrew. He tips the pitcher back again and guzzles some more beer. He glances at Hel and Dee with a smile, and then just shakes his head, slumping in his chair. He knows something you don't know! Cook doesn't really care about politics. Politicians taste funny anyway.

Jake winces. "Let's not talk about my dad, all right?" Yeah, this is a sensitive topic; he covers for it by nuzzling Dee's throat. Inappropriate, sure, but at least if she slaps him the discussion won't be about his father anymore. "He doesn't mean it like you think he means it, all right? He's just trying to make some sense of it all without… I dunno. Surrendering to the madness and flailing around like the rest of them are doing." Crud. There went his buzz. He eyes Dee's drink a bit jealously.

Andrew shrugs. "I can sympathise; there are some Evolved who really do need an eye keeping on them. Some have truly dangerous abilities and the governments of the world don't know that those abilities won't be used to hurt people." He then adds hastily, "That said, the general public don't need to know who the Evolved in their communities are; Evolved have as much of a right to privacy as anyone else. Or at least they should…"

"Of course he doesn't mean it," Helena's voice is positively dulcet. "He doesn't mean it when he supports legislation that effectively revokes the civil rights of anyone who's Evolved. But we don't have to talk about him." Helena cocks her head, studying Jake. "Let's talk about you, and the fact that you don't agree with him. Why?" She notes to Andrew, "If Registration was voluntary, it wouldn't be an issue, but it's not. And the governments of the world don't know which man in any given moment will walk into a classroom and start firing, or which woman will crash her car into a cafe with a bomb in the back. And a fanatic without any ability whatsoever is a truly dangerous person."

For her part, Delilah shoos Jay's face away with a hand, the other one keeping the drink her her lips perhaps a bit too long for just a sip. Her eyes dart to Helena in question, but otherwise she seems to let the matter go. At least she has no real reason to poison him.

"Oh, my little cousins make that face when they want ice cream." Delilah even lifts up the mug to his face a la grape-girl, vague smile and all. She'll let Helena talk. Dee is enjoying herself! Can't blame her.

Cook tips his head back and belches with true skill. "I don't know why it's still an issue. Doesn't the government unnerstan' that by puttin' Evolved in a defensive position they foster the emergence of so-called potential disasters?"

A sigh spills out and Jake straightens up. "I'm sorry, miss," he murmurs to Dee. "Not my cuppa tea. Gimme your hand." And if she does, he'll scribble his number onto her palm with a pen produced from the pocket of his hoodie. To the rest of the table, Jay says, "You guys have a good night, all right? Time I got back. My brother's gonna worry."

"I never said I agreed," Andrew points out. "A fanatic of any stripe is a dangerous person. A man with a gun is a dangerous person. Anyone with the right training is dangerous. The fact is, regular old people are running scared, and I can sympathise with that. I never said I agreed, but I can sympathise." He nods at Cook. "Exactly. If you alienate a large group of people, you've no one to blame but yourself when it bites you in the arse. Given what some Evolved can do, it's liable to be one hell of a nasty bite. Later," he adds to Jay.

"Ya damn righ' s'a nasty bite," Cook mutters.

Helena waves her hand a little as her second Red Stripe comes, and she takes a sip. "I never said you didn't." This to Andrew. "I'm talking about Jay here, who doesn't agree with his dad's point of view. I'm curious as to why he's not in step with Dad's party line."

"I know a bar that you'd like. Maybe I'll call you, mm?" Delilah slips off of his knee with a grin so that Jay can finish his number right side up. Perhaps a bit of her wants to keep an eye on him too, for various reasons. "See ya'round, sweetcheeks."

Cook watches Jay go, and gulps down more beer. Suddenly, there's a loud CRUNCH, and when he puts his pitcher down, he's chewing something, and then swallowing. Say, where'd those shot glasses that he dumped into the pitcher go?

Jake flashes Dee a bright grin, but it slides off his face as he stands and looks at Helena. "Thanks for the chat, guys, it was fun." Yeah, right, if it were fun, why's he leaving? Might be that crunch, which gets a rather wide-eyed look, before he goes, heading for the exit, no longer smiling in the slightest. Figures New York would start picking at /that/ old scab. If only he knew what he just stepped into.

"Maybe it's just teenage rebellion, maybe he's evolved himself, or maybe he simply disagrees," Andrew speculates. "Either way, the subject clearly makes him uncomfortable, and the reason's not really any of our business," he adds with a shrug.

While this discussion is ongoing, the Ivy League educated political scientist among the group has finished her meal and more of her stout, Cat's pint is nearly empty. And thus far she's not said a word to either of the two men they met this evening. She does glance at Cook a bit oddly when she hears crunching noises from some of her establishment's glasses being eaten, but still avoids drawing attention on herself.

Helena laughs a little. "He's a liar." she says. Not that any of the three heard him say it, but her tone mirror's Jay's when he accused her of being the very same. She looks over to Andrew. "Yes, I'm sure we'd all accompish so much more in life if we politely refrained from challenging the status quo." Her eyes flick Delilah, and then Cat. "I'm tired. Going to seek out slumberland." A hand reaches out and flicks Cook in the temple with her finger. "And you should know better." she chides fondly, before rising. "It was nice to meet you." she tells Andrew.

"Ain't your business 'til they're kickin' er door down an' pinnin' your to th'ground for bein' a /freak/," Cook tells Andrew with a shrug. He finishes his pitcher and sets it down, empty, not looking any less sober than he did when he came in. He stands up, and snaps his suspenders with another burp. "I dun know nuffim'."

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