I See Russia, I See France


sacha_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title I See Russia, I See France
Synopsis Sacha preaches the gospel of Ethan Holden, then gets totally shot down.
Date February 10, 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.

Shooters Bar and Bistro; not a terribly upscale place, but the pickings are slim in this area when it comes to finding a place to just relax in a casual setting. This time of night, it isn't very highly populated - a few regulars in various tables and corners, a solitary man tending bar, and a very pissed-off Frenchman with a bruise over his face centered at his nose. Not that you can tell he's French from looking, but. He's got a plate of greasy food in front of him, and a drink. Rum and coke, his usual. Sitting in such a place that his injury is visible by anyone entering the bar, rather than sitting with his back to the door.

This is way up there on the list of places Fel shouldn't be. He's clad in plain, drab civilian clothes - black shooting sweater, faded jeans, boots, dark jacket. He's weary-looking and frustrated, but apparently unhurt. He heads for a place at the bar, and quietly orders a neat vodka. The bartender eyes him as if sure he should know Felix, but the Russian's face is still and unrevealing.

Sacha looks up at the sound of someone entering. Oh, good, a new person to pester. He runs a hand over his hair, brushing at it with some irritation, sips from his drink. Food is poked at with a fork, and a mouthful eaten - french fries under cheese and gravy, for those of us keeping score - as he watches Felix silently. Waiting for an appropriate moment to make an approach, sitting a bit far away for conversation across the bar. Another sip from the glass; the way he watches Felix makes it kind of obvious that he isn't used to observing people unobtrusively.

Fel doesn't scruple to meet his gaze openly. Not bluntly hostile, but the kind of almost reptilian coldness that can too easily spark into anger. Yes, I see you looking at me. The 'tender sets down a shot efore him, and Felix knocks it back almost absentmindedly, before turning his gaze on the mirror behind the bar.

Today, Sacha isn't really in the mood to care about whether or not people want to listen to him make words. He picks up his drink and food, standing to move down a few seats closer to Felix - not next to the man, but close enough for more comfortable talking. Regardless of whether the Russian wants to be spoken with. "Good evening," he finally decides upon beginning with. Heavy French accent. "Buy you a drink?"

Of all the offers….that wasn't the one he was expecting. Fel blinks a few times, and then eyes the Frenchman in mild confusion, tipping his head down to peer at him as if over the rim of nonexistent glasses. He hesitates, and then says simply, "Sure."

Looking to the bartender, Sacha gestures idly to Felix and says, idly, "Whatever he wants." Looks back to Felix. "Another of what you just had?" A shrug. "Anyway. I do not mean to put you off, it is just that I am not really accustomed to doing this sort of thing."

"Make it a whiskey," Felix says. There's a faint gleam of amusement. "What is this sort of thing, exactly?" He seems to be in earnest.

Sacha shakes his head. "I do not, ah.." He frowns a moment, turns in his seat to face Felix. Talking through a mirror is a bit awkward. One hand lifted, he gestures to the bruise on his face, and proceeds. "This feels very silly, I apologize. I am supposed to be telling people that a man beat me up. His name is Ethan Holden. He has apparently been beating people for information and insists that I let people know." He shakes his head again. "You probably are not interested, but he is rather convincing."

The Fed's gaze sharpens, turns utterly predatory. It's only there for an instant, that sharkish look, before Fel blinks at him mildly again. "I…damn. Why'd he do that? He's out looking for info on something and beating people up to get it? What's he after?"

Sacha blinks as well. "Oh, er, I did not expect you to care." He takes a long sip from his drink, gesturing for the bartender to bring him another one, and continues, "He said he wants information about people who are missing since the explosion. Apparently he has been fighting with several people." Rolling his eyes a bit, he concludes, "I really do not know why he thought I would know anything, but he seemed very stubborn."

Felix looks down at the bar, then up. Almost demure. "I…man, I need work. I used to be okay at finding people. Worked as a PI out in LA, Seattle. Who's he looking for? I'll totally bring you in, give you a cut…you think he'd pay?" There's a whining, desperate note in his voice, much as he tries to hide it.

Another blink there. Sacha shakes his head, though, and holds his hands up almost defensively. "I do not know who this person is, I do not know why he wants what he is asking for, and I do not want anything further to do with him for myself. I.. if you were to have met the man, you would agree with me that he is probably lying about what he looks for. I do not.. why he would want to find missing persons, I do not know. He said nothing about money. He only said to tell people he is looking." Knocking back the rest of his drink, Sacha turns back to look over his plate, shaking his head. "I have no interest in seeing him again myself, I am only staying here because I think he will do worse things than hurt my face if I do not tell people what he wants me to say."

"Just anyone missing since the explosion? Did he leave a way to get in touch with him, or are you just the human voicemail, there?" Felix says, eyeing the bruise. "And who're you?"

Shaking his head, Sacha starts in on stirring his second drink, idly. "That is another reason that I think he is lying about what it is that he wants. He did not tell me how to find him, he instead checked my ID so that he could find me." Pause. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as they say."

Fel shakes his head, with a rather rueful air. "And that's why you bought me a drink. Strangest reason I've yet heard," he says, quietly. "Who're you that he'd think you might know? Me, I'm looking for a few friends lost, too. Girl named Eileen. Skinny little thing, tends to dress gothy. Guy named Gabriel."

Sacha allows a small smile to crack. "Well, this would seem to be an appropriate place for such discussion, non? Potential crime and such.. I do not know." A shrug, there. "I am afraid I do not know anyone who would have been involved in any way." That he knows of, in any case. "I think… a night or so before our encounter, I saw him here with someone who had robbed me, and, ah.. it is complicated." An awkward pause, wherein he scratches the back of his head, and then thrusts forward a hand a bit overly forcefully. "My name is Sacha, in any case."

Fel takes it in his own. "Nicolas," he says, lying blithely. "Pleased to meet you. He shows up here a lot?"

As is the French custom, Sacha's handshake is terribly wimpy. "Enchantée. It would seem so, non? I do not imagine that he strays very far, but again, I cannot be certain. He is terribly rude and crass, the sort of person who can make you behave more poorly than you may realize you are capable of."

Fel's grip is firm enough - his hand is terribly thin, and callused. "I can imagine," he says, with some sympathy to his voice.

Sacha nods, clearing his throat a bit, allowing for another slightly awkward pause. "As I said, the whole business seems very silly and I do not know why he chose to involve me. He refused to explain, and instead was very.. insulting. I was on the island visiting a friend and got too curious, he probably decided that I was easy to take advantage of." He frowns, pinches the bridge of his nose. "That is enough, I think. Do you live on the island?"

"I don't. But I'm here, now and then. If you find out what he wants and it looks likely, leave a message here with the 'tender," he suggests, nodding at the one behind the bar.

"That is not why I was asking," Sacha notes, with another vague smile. "I had not seen you around, and wanted to ensure you were not someone else. I wonder if perhaps you would like to talk more somewhere else. It is difficult to carry on a real conversation when you are in a place like this."

That has Felix looking a hair less certain. Is that a pass? "I'm me, for what that's worth," he says, humorously. "Talk about what?"

Sacha pushes his food aside, turning again to lean toward Felix. "You are indeed not someone you are not." He nods. "This is a place for discussing crime and other unseemly things. I am not a person who belongs here, nor do you seem to be. I thought perhaps it would be good to get to know one another. It is always nice to meet new people, non?"
Unseemly things. What a wonderful term - Fel grins, despite himself. "It is," he concedes, quietly. "I don't have long, however. Got to make it off the island before too late."

With a bit of a broader smile himself, Sacha nods a few times. "If that is the case, perhaps then another time. I am not a man who likes to have to hurry through conversation." One may get the impression that he's using innuendos at this point.

"Some other time, perhaps," Felix says, amused. "But…." He summons the bartender, orders a last round for the both of them.
Another smile, at that. "I will, however, be sure to leave a message if my 'friend' gets in contact with me. To let him know someone is interested. I imagine he will not let me leave without bothering me again."

Felix nods to that, sagely. "I wonder why you," he muses, still looking Sacha over curiously.

Blushing, Sacha shakes his head. "Ah.. when I saw him here, with the man who robbed me, he gave me the man's phone number before he left. When he spoke to me last night," and here he gestures to the bruise on his face, "he.. I believe he thought that his friend and I were fucking."

"You're confusing me. He thought you were involved with a friend of his, who robbed you?" Fel's tone is very quizzical.

Sacha thinks it over for a moment. "I am not sure they are friends. Business partners." Pause. "Homophobe."

He splays a hand over his chest, further confused. "What? Who? Me? Them?"

A light laugh, there. "I apologize. Him. Um. His.. the other man, looked at me strangely before they spoke. Holden speaks to me like I am a woman. I think he does this also to insult the one who robbed me, but I think they also work together. It is confusing to me as well."

"I see," Fel says, lip curling. "Odd."

Sacha shakes his head. "Insults to make himself feel better, like school children do. Compensating for something. Afraid of his own tastes, perhaps."

"Too often true," Felix opines, as the bartender sets down another of their respective drinks before them.

After a long sip from his drink, Sacha lowers his head a bit in another nod. "You would not like him," he says, finally. "He may have money to spend, but I am sure there are better places to earn it. A real job, perhaps. In the long run they have more to offer, anyway."

To that, Felix notes, quietly, "Beggars can't be choosers." He's apparently off to reach that ferry - he rises from his stool, claps Sacha gently on the shoulder.

Sacha blushes a bit at that. "I apologize." He sets a hand on Felix's hand as his shoulder is touched, but only for a moment. "Good evening, then. I will let you know if I learn anything."

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