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Scene Title Empowerment
Synopsis Mortimer is confronted by Teodoro and Odessa at Old Lucy's, before a jarring situation lets Mister Jack loose.
Date March 12, 2010

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the black and cream risqué wallpapered walls lit up by neon lights and many times, the flashing of cameras from the oft-crowded floor. The mirror behind the bar reflects prices of various drinks, bottles lined up, as well as the entire saloon as seen from the bartenders; bolted-down stools line the other side, and there are loose tables and chairs placed all around, though many times they find themselves pushed back for more space within the center of the saloon. A few speakers are placed at strategic places and around a raised stage to the far corner from the bar.

Above the counter, an obviously well-used bar is hung; it is this that the girls working will use should there be dancing, which is one reason many patrons choose to come aside from the drinks. Across the bar and near the back, there is a door that leads to the back room and owner's office and a stairwell that leads the residence above the floor above the bar.

It's been a rough… well… insert preferred length of time here for Odessa Knutson. Like any self-respecting woman who lives above a bar, she's taken to dealing with that by drinking somewhat heavily. At least she's got a chaperone in the form of Teo Laudani. Not that he exactly tempers her, or that she allows him to temper her, but he will at least likely be a gentleman enough to help her back up the stairs and to her borrowed bed before she passes out, should it come to that.

Though it really is far too early in the day to be passing out due to alcohol consumption. But it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right? Odessa's drinking down her umpteenth shot of whiskey and making a face as she rocks back and forth gently on her seat at the bar. "So he says to the guy," she manages to articulate between fits of laughter, her broken hand flat on the surface of the bar and the good one gripping the brass rod that runs along the outside edge, keeping herself upright. "So he says to the guy!" Odessa's head tips forward, blonde hair obscuring her face as her own joke makes her start laughing again.

"So he says to the guy!" Her head lifts again, red painted lips pressing together in a line to keep the next bout of laughter from bubbling out, blue eyes watch Teo's expression. She did say stop me if you've heard this one, but she's trying to decide by the look on his face if he has, in fact, heard this one.

Deciding that he hasn't, Odessa finally delivers her punchline. "May I push in your stool?" Shrill laughter fills the air and the woman rests her forehead against the bar, her body convulsing with giggles.

Far be it for the writer of this pose to assume that last thing was a poop joke. Entering the bar, dressed exactly as Odessa saw him days before, Mortimer takes his black-gloved hands from the pockets of his greyish green trenchcoat, taking a seat at the bar with one stool in between the two.

He doesn't even seem to really pay much attention to her, instead casually ordering a Rolling Rock, then hunches slightly with his arms on the bar. It's clearly the same person, but his demeanor's completely different. No smiles, far more somber, not audibly writing a novel or being overtly charismatic.

He seems pretty sane.

… @_@

Teodoro has hung around with a lot of frat men in his life, but that never feels so far away as when he is sitting underneath a former terrorist nest satellite location and listening to one of Volken's apocalypse orphans talk about— pushing— in stool. If he identified strongly enough with the gay scene, he might even have been offended. As it is, he's wearing an expression that's more wry than pained, poking at the lemon slice afloat in the substrate of his half-finished hot toddy.

Naturally, his attention is all on his lovely and awkwardly inebriated young charge. He doesn't do much but look up and nod, politely, when Mortimer walks in from the snow-bright white of the outdoors, a pale eye cast briefly down over his frame to check for significant weapons bulges or whatever. Aside of yet more hopeless jokes, Teo has two of those. "Where the Hell did you hear that one, anyway?" he asks, lifting his glass to sip. "Thought you were a sheltered child most of your adult life."

Long gasps of air are taken and sides are clutched as Odessa finally manages to calm herself long enough to respond to Teo's query. "I was watching cable…" Which might really explain everything. Turning her head with the intention of inviting the new visitor to the bar to join their party (of one, really) she suddenly goes bounding off of her chair and scurrying behind Teo.

"That's the guy!" she whispers severely in the Italian's ear. Odessa pulls back the sleeve of her grey sweater dress and exposes one of the brilliant bruises on her wrist, a significant gesture. "That's the guy!"

Mortimer momentarily looks over at the two, looking more bored than anything. He even looks Odessa clear in the eyes for a moment, but he seems as if he has no idea who she is, and doesn't really register that her alarmed demeanor has anything to do with him. He turns to his bottle of Rolling Rock, and starts to take small sips.

As far as weapons bulges, with his knee-length coat, he probably has something hidden, being in this bar.

Pale eyes blink underneath the ragged shadow of Teo's fringe. He lifts his head with the sort of lugubrious hitch of motion commonly associated by National Geographic viewers with sodden moose at creeks, and everyone else with the very sleep-deprived or the very drunk. Teodoro's only a little bit of both of the latter categories, and terribly handsome for an ungulate, though.

And he trends toward dopey and harmless, on average. On average, he benefits from looking dopey and harmless.

Does a bit to conceal the fact that he's staring at Mortimer with renewed, more intense, raptor-eyed curiosity. Curiosity that he does not bother to hide, though it softens briefly as he flicks a glance sidelong at Odessa. "Teo," he says, very abruptly, straightening, leaning over to offer the other man a handshake. Subtle as a jackhammer, "You know my friend."

Good fingers actually grip the back of Teo's shirt at one side, like that somehow affords her more protection from the man a seat away that Odessa knows as Jack. Her method of dealing with this situation would be vastly different, but there is a reason why she's chosen to let Teodoro handle this.

Odessa's method would require mopping blood up off the floor and the disposal of a body. Or, God forbid, calling the police.

"Mortimer." he introduces, taking Teo's hand with a friendly smile. He still seems utterly different from the time Odessa saw him, a point nailed home when he takes a good look at her. Know her? "Um… oh, hey, you're that woman I was sitting next to when one of the bartenders kind of freaked out, right?"

Given how drunk the temporal manipulator had made herself out to be when the thing happened with the thing, Teo is not particularly surprised to hear a detail that had been omitted from Joy's earlier discussions. He gives the other man's hand a brief squeeze, withdraws again, scraping the side of his hand down his scruffy jaw.

"That all you guys did?" There's a furtive sidelong glance at the woman, something quizzical in the slant of his brows. His shirt remains reassuringly unextricated from her taloned and white-knuckled grip. "Sit next to each other in a bar?

"You by any chance remember which bar it was, and whether there are people who tend to handle narcotics there?" He sounds like a fucking cop, that vocabulary, albeit his accent too neutral and crisp to do the part properly, and the scarred hole in the side of his face the furthest thing from legitimate authority. "Someone exploited a moment of weakness, see."

"I…" She did think she recognised the man when he approached her in the dark of the alley. I know your face, Odessa had told him. And he assured her then that they had never met. "He said his name was Jack," the spooked blonde insists.

She's not crazy.

Well, that point may be debatable, but she does know what she saw. Even if two men simply looked eerily similar, or even if they were identical bloody twins, no way would they dress exactly the same. That'd just be dumb. Right? Especially if your identical twin is a kidnapper. And probably a murderer. Even Odessa has the sense to know that that would be a bad idea.

Odessa turns her frightened gaze from Mortimer and settles it on Teo, begging with her eyes for him to believe her. "We did meet here once, and then he said he didn't know me before he—" The explanation even sounds lame to her. Tears form in her eyes and she lets Teo's shirt loose long enough to point an accusing finger at Mortimer, "It was him. I swear!"

"Jack? Oh crap." Mortimer stands suddenly, looking alarmed and just a bit angry. But that all soon turns to concern and sympathy, looking to the woman for answers. "What did he do to you?"

… @_@

Teo takes a moment to study Mortimer's demeanor and affect. Decides that the man is either an incredibly accomplished liar, which is not exactly rare, or quite possibly telling the truth. Either way, it is kind of nice to know that he isn't the type to go crowing about his sexual exploits in front of an obviously distressed woman. His thumb flattens white against the edge of the glass, and the print of the digit shows in a faint corkscrew.

As if to verify, he glances back at Odessa. Adds, corollary to Mortimer's question: "Rough sex?"

There's no way to answer what did he do to you in polite company. Instead, Odessa hides her face against Teo's back, shaking once with a suppressed sob. When she can feel his muscles move beneath his shirt, she lifts her head to look at him as he looks at her. "After he kidnapped me and it was the only way he was going to let me go." Coerced consentual rough sex.

"Great, now I need to tell him that kidnapping doesn't quite cut it as consent. I knew that celibacy thing would cloud his judgement, that and being nuts." Mortimer sits back down in his stool, taking another sip of beer. "I'm sure you're confused, I'm sure you're looking at me and thinking 'You're him, you crazy fuck'. I wish I could explain, but it sounds less crazy if I just shut up and ask if there's anything I can do for you."

There's a thoughtful look, and something seems to hit him. "Wait, he never kidnaps women without some sort of purpose. And I've never heard of him sleeping with one, which again I'll chalk up to the celibacy, but why exactly did he take you? I know there's a reason, and he must have told you that reason."

It's the latter paragraph of — combined confession and heartless inquiry that really strikes Teo to the core. He's left staring mildly aghast. The frinkle part of him, anyway. Ghost, on the other hand, thinks he's met something of a kindred spirit. Rapists unite. They should form a union, a registration process, possibly invent a secret handshake. You'd never think so looking at Teodoro, either.

"You should leave," he says, finally. "Before le donna here squares away that bit of trauma by killing you. Possibly with a very large sword. I am a great believer in female empowerment, you see— the gender equality mode of feminism, and I wouldn't have you believe your— friend, brother, or other-self," it does happen sometimes, "deserves anything worse but death by uncomfortable phallic violation. Don't let her pallor fool you.

"Fuck off. Pray she doesn't find you, or pray she does." Teo lifts his hot toddy, and salutes the other man with it.

"Oh, what? So now it's my fault?!" Odessa wobbles back a step so she can get a better vantage point to look at her companion. She listens to him speak. Listens to him stand up for her, defend her. How does he know she wants to get her hands on a large sword anyway?

In Odessa's mind, the very least Mortimer deserves is a punch in the nose. Especially with this lame excuse of a story he's throwing their way. It's sweet of Teo to step up, but she does want more justice from him.

"Clean his fucking clock, Teo!" The demand is slurred drunkenly, and - perhaps diametrically - childishly. Beat him up for me!

Because violence solves everything.

Clean his— Teo's squint slides like it has greased wheels attached to it. His eyebrows do not launch right off the top of his head, but they come close to doing so, quizzical and surprised. Really, he's being as tactful as a hammer, here, but all three of them are quite the set of interpersonal geniuses, it seems. "That'd be disempowering," he clarifies for Odessa, as an aside, before he squares his stare on Mortimer.

His brow furrows. "If you were being fucking rational, you'd know she isn't going to be fit for this conversation. You either don't rape a girl, or you get to talk to her about sex. Not both. If you can get that through your thick fucking skull, please get. The fuck. Out of here. Chemically castrate him if you have to." The toddy cup nudges toward the doorway, unlocked, plateglass a bright and clear depiction of the snowy road beyond. "As it is, you're probably not going to be invited back."

Odessa does have to admit that Teo has a point. It is disempowering. But she also kind of wanted to watch him punch Mortimer in the face. That would have at least been satisfying even if it wasn't empowering. That's almost as good, right?

"He saw me in an alley, threw me in the back of a van, drugged me, threatened to cut me the fuck open," with each item on the laundry list of things Jack subjected her to, Odessa's voice rises in pitch, "and then threw me up against a wall." Where the rest of what happened is left up to the imagination. Those aren't details she wants to offer. She's offered too much already. The emotion is heavy in her shrill voice, seeming to thicken in her throat and suffocate her. "Just get out," she pleads. "Or I'll throw you through that window." She jerks her head toward the plate glass along one wall.

"If he tried to rape you, I'd have been able to stop him, that's why this is all so confusing." Mortimer's standing, taking his bottle as well. "He can't hurt people. Rough sex is one thing, but… I know there's more to the story I'm not getting. I'm sympathetic, because I know getting kidnapped by him isn't a very pleasant experience, but there's definitely some huge pieces of the puzzle missing."

He starts heading for the door, shaking his head. "I won't come back. I don't really appreciate this half-truth stuff. I was trying to help figure this out, but, whatever then." are his annoyed last words, before intending on slamming the door behind him.

There's a disbelieving stare at Mortimer's back; Teo raises himself out of his slouch partway. "You say that like you, he, and the girls he's kidnapped before all have the same fucking idea of rape," he calls out. "Don't let the fucking doorknob get you on the way out." Even as he speaks, he slings a boot to the floor, starts to pull himself upright, his drink still unfinished but little visible interest in consuming the rest of it.

The only thing that tips anyone off to the fact that Odessa has finally snapped is a furious sort of battle cry before she actually rushes toward the retreating man, grabbing a handful of his trench before he can make it to the door. Momentum on her side, she swings him around and throws him up against the glass window. She really doesn't have the strength to put him through it, but she can at least shake him violently enough that his head will hit the thick glass behind it, maybe with enough force to stun, or maybe just enough to make him wince.

"I was high!" Odessa screams in Mortimer's face, a small fleck of saliva landing on his cheek. "He preyed on me because I was stoned! Does that make it right?!" Before she can slam him back one more time, the Italian acts, wrapping his arms around the blonde's waist and lifting her off the floor, sort of twirling them both one-hundred-eighty degrees so he can set le donna down again at more than an arm's length from her victim.

Mortimer winces hard when he's thrust against the glass, in fact the pain is enough to jar his mind, his entire demeanor changing to that of a raised eyebrow and mild confusion, then wincing again when the pain hits once more.

"You're that morphine addict. And what sort of dump am I hanging around in today?" Jack asks as he looks around, rubbing the back of his head, and taking a good look at Teo before turning back to Odessa. "And you made me cheat on my Southern Belle! I'll never be able to face her again. That's the thanks I got for trying to help you!" he says in a bit of outrage, as if he's a completely different person.

Everybody's a completely different person from the last person you met them, around here. Well. Teo would reconsider that in Odessa's case, maybe, despite that she's short a sword. "Bastare," he hisses into her ear. "That's enough. That's enough. Not the fucking time. Go!" The latter command is for Mortimer, whose lack of sympathy is as predictable as his self-pity. Teo knows what that's like, too. Being raped by somebody else wearing your own body. Funny, where the blame goes.

Whole thing leaves him feeling unnecessarily old. "Cut off your dick if somebody else is running away with it. Jesus fucking Christ."

Odessa looks up at Teo with a very serious expression. "I would find it extremely empowering right now if you would kick his ass," she tells the Italiano. "I'd do it myself, but," she holds up her splinted hand as an excuse. She might injure it further in a scuffle! Okay, so she could just eliminate the scuffle, but then she'd just kill the bastard and Abby would likely not be happy about it.

Okay, not likely. Abby wouldn't be happy if Odessa shanked Mortimer Jack with a scalpel like she's totally envisioning doing right now.

Blue eyes come up to give Teo a puppy dog-like stare - if a little drunken. Pleeeeease?

"No one's running away with anything, and I really think you're seriously mistaken about who you're talking to. Assuming I just stepped in the middle of one of Mortimer's petty fights, I should warn that unlike him, I will cut you open, figure out where your spleen is, and then feed it to you." Jack says with the most wide of slasher smiles. This is the person Odessa met the other night, and he peers at her with almost pure hatred in his gaze. "I took you from the street, high and drugged up on morphine. I had one of my doctors check you, I took you back to my hideout to ask you what the root of your problem was, and what did you do? You seduced me, you made me break my vow of celibacy to my Southern Belle, you… you… harlot!" he exclaims, pointing at Odessa accusingly.

Annnd they're halfway out into the street, too, and he with an armload of junkie or that might have been the defining moment that Teo swooped down and did proceed to gun Mortimer down for being flagrantly offensive to his fragile sensibilities. One does not threaten to cut the spleens of bar patrons out in an establishment owned by Abigail Beauchamp, no matter what the bar patron may or may not have done to deserve it. "Bren," he shouts backward. "Call the NYPD.

"Tell them there's a man here threatening to murder patrons, and he's stone cold sober." Winding an arm around the little blond's waist, he lifts her bodily off the floorboards, steps backward in a grating, slightly off-balance hitch of strides. Not because she's heavy, just that this is a remarkably awkwardly composed carry. "Get the fuck out. I don't care who you think you are. There's such thing as proportionate fucking response and you've fucking lost it, douchebag."

"You want to know where to find the spleen?! Hold still, let me show you!" Odessa's legs flail in the air when Teo lifts her from the ground. "Harlot?!" The blonde cranes her neck over her shoulder to look back at Mortimer even as Teodoro is doing his best to put distance between them. She can't quite summon anything intelligible to say, and she knows better than to tell Teo to put her down. If he thought that was a good idea, he wouldn't have her in such a tight embrace of sorts. She'll settle for glaring daggers for now.

"You keep that harlot away from me! I never want to see her again! And if you see Mortimer, tell him I'll kill him if he ever sets foot in this bar again!" Jack heads for the door, violently opening it, but yells back, "Don't be too nice to her, she'll take advantage of your kindness and ruin all chances with your soulmate."

And… he's finally gone.

And to think, Teo could be hanging drapes in a handsome brownstone shag pad, right now. Never mind. He handles his situation with as much grace and aplomb as he possibly can; calls Bren off the moment Mort bangs the door shut behind him, and wields his sulking, shrieking female cargo toward the stairs. "Another shower and a nap," he recommends, his voice rough with the effort of concentrating on staggering them up there. "Maybe Pavlovian conditioning to shut down and chill the fuck out is going to be the key to your recovery."

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