Drinking Games


ethan_icon.gif nick_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Drinking Games
Synopsis Surprisingly enough, sometimes people are honest.
Date January 15, 2011

The Stop

The earlier curfew these days means the earlier people head out for drinks. For the die-hard bar patrons, there's no such time, really, as too early to drink; by 2 p.m. quite a few are happily drunk. It's a good enough establishment that the more surly or nasty types are likely to be cut off early and seen out by the management, with a polite but firm request to not find their way back. Such places can afford to lose few customers.

Nick is neither happy nor surly, but more sullen by nature, but he is currently a bit on the tipsy side, tossing back his fourth pint of Bass as he watches his opponent at the pool table try to do better than two shots in a row — the man's current record in the midst of the second game, "best two out of three."

Nick snorts as the man hits the felt rather than the ball, and moves to take his own place at the table, quickly sinking the last three balls to finish the game. "Next time try the kiddie arcade down the street. Maybe you could beat a twelve-year-old, yeah?" Nick says, holding out his hand for the twenty dollar bill owed to him.

At the far end of the bar, facing the door, Ziadie sits. He too is on the perhaps more sullen side. The older man's fingers twine around a glass, and between watching people playing pool, he glances towards the door, as if he's waiting for someone. He's not that impatient, though, and he leans back slightly against the bar, humming to himself.

"Y'ever play pool old man?"

The question is hot on Ziadie's ear, warm breath splashing against the side of his face that somehow feels cool. Most likely because the producer of such air is Ethan Holden. Leaning against the bar he glances at the door, smirking lightly. "Waitin' for someone, sweet'eart?" Perhaps he came in through the back. Either that or he's been hiding in the bathroom for hours. However he did it, Ethan made it appear as if he appeared out of nowhere.

His eyes go past Ziadie, focusing on Nick. A cold smirk sliding up his lips. "I know we 'ave business Ziadie. But I'm goin' to 'ave you earn your paycheck. If 'e tells the truth, I want you to take a drink. If 'e lies, well.. do somethin' else." Which might mean Ziadie might be not drinking for the rest of the night. Because Ethan is calling,

"Boy." Holden calls out to Nick, leaning languidly against the bar. Motioning for the younger man to come join the two geezers.

The man that Nick was playing mutters something about being hustled and Nick just smiles while getting paid. He sneers slightly at the wilted ten, five and then five ones pulled out of the man's back pocket and placed in his own hand. "Fuck, man, they're like, wet, what the fuck you doin' back there," he protests a little before his head jerks up at the Boy directed at him.

His day just got a bit worse. He picks up his glass from the corner of the pool table and jerks his chin upward in a farewell nod to his opponent before steering himself toward the bar.

"Holden," he says coolly, though not impolitely, giving a nod toward the older man. "Things all right?" he asks vaguely.

Ziadie isn't terribly startled by Ethan's appearance next to him. "Been waiting long enough, you know." He looks over the man who approaches, a faint smile on his face as he picks up the shot glass that was next to his drink and tips it back, and he nods back. The older man pushes his empty hand into his pocket, coming out with a cigarette and a lighter, the clove cigarettes that he habitually smokes, and lights one.

Ethan taps the bar and orders Ziadie his next drink. Looking down to Ziadie, Ethan holds his hand out as if asking for a clove. Looking over to Nick he gives a light nod. "York." He gestures down to Ziadie. "Meet one o' me colleagues." He doesn't introduce the man, if Ziadie wants Nick to know his name, he'll take care of it.

"Nick. You seen Eileen lately?" Ethan asks. And so, let the games begin. Ordering himself a drink he waits patiently. "Been keepin' busy?"

The young man puts his empty glass on the table, giving a nod to Ziadie as he's introduced. When the tender finishes Ethan's order for the older man, Nick orders another Bass, then pulls out a pack of his Capstans and a lighter.

"No," he says flatly. "Ain't been back to that neck of the woods since you an' me last saw each other." He lights the cigarette, taking a long drag, and then pushing the pack toward Ethan to share; Ziadie already has his own.

Ziadie pushes his hand into his pocket and hands Ethan a cigarette. The man is paying him money at some point after all, the older man isn't going to grudge a cigarette. When the drink gets to him, he takes a long sip, and then drums his fingers on the table. He's watching the other two interact with moderate interest, leaning on his arm. He flips the cigarette between a few fingers before tapping it into the ash tray, but otherwise remains silent.

Taking the clove, Ethan brings up a hand in protest to Nick's attempt to share. Placing it on the edge of his lips, he motions with two fingers for Nick to give him the light. "Too bad." The Wolff lets out, taking a light pufff, moving the clove from his house. Leaning heavily against the bar he gives Nick a surveying look. "So, Nick. What are you doing in New York City?" He smiles lightly. "I gave you a pass last time. Th'truth this time. Don't mind my colleague. He's too drunk to know, anyways."

Nick exhales, a long heavy sigh through his nose, causing nostrils to flare, a bit of remnant smoke along with it. "Work," he says edgily, which reads as a truth. "And I can't talk to you about it, all right? That should be enough. Eileen can tell you more, if you're so curious."

He takes another long drag of the cigarette, then sets it into an ash tray, picking up his glass to take a swallow of the Bass. "Might be leavin', anyway. Job's not done, but fucked up, so might go somewhere else." The words are true, though evasive, spoken with frustration. Nick's a bit drunk already, and a bit more chatty than he otherwise might be.

Once again, Ziadie picks up the drink, and takes another sip, turning the glass in his hands several times, and taking a second sip before putting it down, and sets the cigarette back in his mouth in order to draw out a few papers and a pen from one of the many pockets of the leather jacket he's wearing. He's still paying attention to the conversation between Ethan and Nick, but it's attention that ties with the crossword puzzle he has in front of him.

"No, Nick." Ethan says steadily. "That was your answer last time. And I let you 'ave it on account for the bad day you were 'avin. " Holden glances up to make eye contact with the other man. "You don't get to tell me that answer this time. So.. Try it again Nickie boy. And let's 'ope I like whot I 'ear."

Holden glances to Ziadie. "That sounds fair enough, don't it, old man?"

"And if I don't?" Nick says suddenly, belligerently enough that the bartender throws him a warning glance as Nick's glass comes down loud on the table. "What are you gonna do? Beat me up again? Whatever. Do your worst. Kill me? Fuckin' A, man, go ahead. Starting to think it's impossible, to tell you the fucking truth."

Nick's hand comes up to rake through his hair with frustration. "Right now, I'm thinkin' of leavin' the fuckin' country, gettin' the hell away from this insane asylum. You won't ever have to see me again, all right? Isn't that good enough for you? I ain't here to screw up anything you have going, I ain't here to 'urt anyone. I came here for work, and I fucked it up. Surprise, right?"

The alcohol in his system has that American accent wobbling a bit now and then, a dropped 'h' here, muddied vowels here and there. But the vitriol is all honest emotion.

Ziadie raises his eyebrows at the exchange between the two, and picks up his drink. His answer to Ethan's question is an uncaring shrug, and a long sip from the pint in his hand, the cigarette in his other hand tapped once more against the ashtray. There might be a little sympathy for Nick in the old man's face, but then again, he is drunk already.

Ethan places a hand on Ziadie's shoulder as he takes a puff. "Slow down the drinkin' there champ." Holden urges. Looking over at Nick. A smirk crawls up his lips. "You don't get it you fuckin idiot." Holden growls, looking at Nick with a certain amount of disappointment. Shaking his head, it appears as if whatever Nick doesn't get, Ethan's not going to explain for him. Turning away from Nick, Ethan glances to Ziadie. "You 'ad enough? We can get out of 'ere."

Nick's eyes narrow as he takes another swallow of his beer before pulling out a bill to throw on the bar. Pale eyes narrow. "You're right, I don't get it. I don't fuckin' get why you fuckin' care."

He looks like he's about to go, turning toward the door, before he brings his pale gaze back to Ethan. "I was tryin' to take down Walsh, if you fucking need to know," he says in a low voice. "Before I knew he had any sort of business with our mutual acquaintances, yeah? You bringin' me back early, he almost got me blown to fuckin' hell. You mighta heard about it. Was in all the papers and everything." His eyes dart to Ziadie then move back to Ethan's face. "Still workin' on it. Tell Eileen to be careful of him, and if she knows where he is?"

He picks up his cigarettes and lighter, shoving them back in his pocket. "I want to know."

Ziadie tenses at Ethan's hand on his shoulder, and he simply watches the conversation for a while longer. Being told things about his drinking habit might in fact be a sore spot for the old man. He does, however, meet Nick's eyes. His gaze is slightly vacant, and he picks up his drink once again as he seemingly figures out another answer in the crossword puzzle.

Glancing down to Ziadie after Nick makes his remark, Ethan smiles coyly. "Alright then, Nickie boy." Holden lets out. Folding his arms, tipping his chin to indicate that Nick should get a move on. Holden however glances after him as he goes before looking back down at Ziadie. Going to summon up the cash from his pockets to pay for the man's drinks he lets out a light smile. "Pretty soon, Ziadie. Pretty soon." It's more to himself than Ziadie, as he doesn't bother explaining what the statement means.

Nick's black brows furrow. He said more than he intended, but he isn't sure why Ethan looks so pleased. He just gives a shake of his head, and tosses to Ziadie, "I hope he pays you well for whatever you got goin'. They got combat pay, right, for some jobs? You should ask for asshole pay."

He's on his fifth beer — it's the best he can come up with.

With one more jerk of his head in what passes for greetings and farewells in men's body language, Nick heads toward the door.

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