It Never Rains In Southern California


aaron2_icon.gif abby2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title It Never Rains In Southern California
Synopsis Felix is drunk and making Abigail call in a marker so that he doesn't harass Eileen who's being harbored above the bar right now. Aaron's coming around, looking for a part time job playing music.
Date April 15, 2009

Old Lucy's

Old Lucy's has a vibrant and lively feel to it, from the dark wooden floors to the shady crimson 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 owner's office and just inside a stairwell that leads a apartment on the floor above the bar.

How does that song go? Closing time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here. 9 in the evening is fast approaching, last call has happened and the heavy part of the crowd has mosey'd off to make it back to their respective times lest they face fines, delays or a night in jail for violating the law. Abigail lives down the road, and can easily skip there at closing. Most of the other bartenders have hie'd off for home or to pick up stuff as a few die hards are nursing their last drinks. The cross bearing redhead is cleaning up behind the bar, removing the tip jars to be counted later, caps put on bottles, saran wrap over the left over lemon wedges. It's been a good night at Old Lucy's who manages to stay afloat despite the severely shortened hours.

Speaking of die-hards. Ha, ha, ha. He does die, easily enough - one bullet put paid to Felix Ivanov. But there's Fel again, nursing the end of a jack and coke, as if he intended to be thrown out rather than leave under his own power. He's in a leather jacket, t-shirt, jeans, contemplating his own blurred reflection in the mirror behind the bottles with a decidedly melancholy expression. It's hard out there for a cat, apparently.

Those severely shortened hours cut into Aaron's bottom line, too. The grocer he works for closes shop at six. He used to have far more than three hours to work outside of the grocery store. Now? Not so much. He comes in after wandering outside for some time after an abruptly ended set at a nearby club. Rock just isn't in his blood like it used to be, and he can't bring himself to play it for as long as he used to. Besides that, his head is throbbing.

Not recalling ever being in Old Lucy's, he wanders in short of closing time to see if there is any way of playing some music there. He has on an old, dusty wind breaker over top his light blue button-up and dark blue jeans, and his guitar in a cloth case slung over his shoulder.

"Need me to call you a taxi Agent Ivanov?" As Abby slides some shot glasses home. She's not about to let him drive home, and if there's a hint of keys, she's confiscating them. There's an offer of coffee for the agent while she's at the counter, sliding a bottle of aspirin as well to him. The redhead's tired, worried, but otherwise the chemically induced calm that she's been riding since mid march is keeping her functioning well. The female bouncer at the door gives a grunted "last call's happened" To Aaron as he enters, the sound system playing some classic rock over it's scattered speakers right now.

The apartment above the bar is as safe a place as any to lay low for awhile, which is why Eileen has spent the daylight hours sequestered in one of the spare bedrooms with one Julian Kuhr, discussing where they're meant to go from here — only after the sun has set and shadows envelop the streets close to closing time does she risk venturing downstairs to check in on their redheaded benefactor, dressed in a fresh set of clothes that don't reek of blood and sweat, dirt and engine grease. Boot-clad feet cause the steps to creak as she makes her way below and shoulders through the dividing door, her attention split between attempting to appear as unobtrusive as possible while lighting the cigarette Teodoro Laudani lent her all that time ago. With one hand cupped around her mouth and a lit match dangling from the bony fingers of the other, she doesn't immediately notice Ivanov's presence in the bar. That's probably a good thing.

Nor does Fel notice her. Which is a good thing, considering. In fact, he looks like he's really pretty damned drunk. Not swaying on his seat, or drooling into his glass. But he's got an odd relaxation in his posture that's pretty alien to Mr. Uptight and Buttoned Down. "No, thank you, Abby," he says, voice at least betraying his weariness by having gone all Little Odessa on him, that mingling of Brooklyn and Moscow that makes him sound like he's got a marble tucked in there somewhere. "I walk here, I take subway home."

"I know," Aaron says hastily as he sidles past the bouncer and closer to the bar. "Only here for a question or two." His gaze travels from one side of the establishment to the other. To him, few people have much color to them, but then, a lot of people are in pain right now. When he gets to the bar, his guitar slides down and lands silently on the top of his shoe. "Is the owner around?" he asks in his soft and deep tenor.

"Shit, he really does have nine lives." This from Eileen, as she takes the opportunity to sidle into a seat at the bar itself… all the way at the other end of the counter. She wouldn't normally be so bold or brazen, especially not here on Manhattan Island, but Old Lucy's is Abigail's turf even if it happens to fall inside the agent's jurisdiction. Neutral territory. What's he going to do, arrest her? Aaron's question, meanwhile, receives jerked thumb in response, the gesture directed squarely at Abby. While it might not be entirely true, it may as well be for the sake of the discussion — Isabelle is nowhere to be found and hasn't been for a long time.

"The owner is gone, I'm the temporary manager" Well, she was. Abby and Brenda apparently, or so says the power of attorney that was dug up. Twenty and she was part manager of a bar. "How can I help you?" Eileen hasn't gone unnoticed - see she can keep a secret! - and there's a glance to Felix, wariness rising in the former blonde, wondering if Felix is going to be an ass. You never know with him, and she's ready to call in her markers if she has to. "Play nice" A gentle warning to the federal agent as she turns her attention to Aaron fully.

Be an ass? It's his default setting. That has Abby getting a perplexed look from Felix, bleary and narrow-eyed, before his gaze swings around to settle on Eileen. There's that almost canine curl of his lip, showing a glint of teeth, before he looks back to Abby again, question in his eyes. You calling one in? Because Felix, unlike the healer, does not give unstinting….and he does keep count.

Aaron brushes his hand through his hair, "Gone?" It's almost said with disbelief, but stranger things have happened. He all but stares at Abby a moment. So grey. "Oh," he says, shaking his head slightly. "I was just wondering if there was any chance of being able to play a bit of music here every now and then. The other venues are kind of drying up. Trying to help pay the bills, you know?" Because he can't spend that twenty thousand and change he spotted in his account the other day. That can't be legal, can it?

Eileen can play nice, too. Just you watch. Pausing to take a long drag from her borrowed cigarette, the young woman's gray-green eyes take on an almost catlike quality when Felix lifts his lip, the corners of her mouth creeping into an impish feline grin. When she blows the smoke out through her nose, it leaves her nostrils in the form of murky tendrils reaching lazily for the ceiling. "So," she intones, her voice a low and throaty purr. "What have you been up to lately? Apart from getting shot and washing up on the beach."

"Don't touch her please. Consider it one less favor of the… four or something that you owe me" That's all the warning Felix is going to get, though it's spoken with some amount of affection that she has for the FBI agent. "What do you play? We could use someone and the we can pay you a fair amount. We had someone, but they don't like playing early enough to make it worthwhile" In other words they didn't show up for before 9 before the curfew, what was the point now. 'What times are you available?"

Felix half-lids his eyes, as if to conceal the weight of annoyance. From drunken relaxation, all that piano-wire tension has rushed back into him. And he's wasted so much money on booze, this evening. "All sorts of things," he says, voice very low, almost conspiratorial. Perhaps to keep it from shaking with rage. He looks back to Abby, as if looking at the healer helped with the restraint, and takes care of tab and tip. His motions are made with great deliberation, as if liquor has made him clumsy….or perhaps to show that he's got no intention of going for his weapon. It's a little sheaf of bills he lays on the counter, reserving the golden dollar for the juke in the back. It takes a moment for it to cycle as he's heading for the door, before Tom Waits' growl rumbles out from the cracked speakers.

"I can play whenever," Aaron says quickly, and then pauses. "Well, anytime after six, seven on Thursday, unless it's Friday or Saturday. I work at the grocer just like, three blocks away. Those are my days off, and they close at six, seven on Thursday and Friday. So I'm available whenever I'm not working there. It's only a ten minute walk." He teeters slightly, the head of his guitar case in his hands. "Oh." He nearly forgot to answer the other question. "Classical, pop, light rock, classic rock. Been known to throw out a little country here or there, but only the good stuff."

Eileen's gaze tracks Felix's progression, eyes glued to his hands in spite of his apparently laid-back demeanor. She's never seen him drunk before, and although she recognizes the signs, she also realizes that his ability gives him an edge, inebriated or not. The nervous energy crackling in the space between them appears to dissipate somewhat, though it never leaves entirely.

"Thank you Ivanov, see you next time" Comes Abigail's voice in between the tom Waits as he heads for the door. She eye shim carefully before there's a nod for Aaron. A bar napkin is produced, and the dates and times that work between his work schedule and their open hours. three nights a week. Just for starts. "We'll try you out. The others will enjoy it" The redhead murmurs, her cross dangling as she leans over to write it down. "Eileen, you need anything to drink or eat?" Because Abigail's spending the night here at the bar it seems what with her guests upstairs.

Fel's out the door and gone. Only to live a smear of blood on the brick, when he socks a fisted hand into it, skinning the knuckles raw, before he slopes off at a rather uneven walk to head for that nearest subway. Drunk enough that he's momentarily confused when the station lacks the crystal chandeliers and the paintings of the noble proletariat he remembers from the underground back home.

"Thank you," Aaron says as he watches Abby write it down, his eyes moving along the contours of her cross. There's only the slightest grit of his teeth. "I'm Aaron, by the way. Aaron Michaels." He even offers his hand.

Eileen gives a shake of her head that sends ripples through her long, grease-slicked hair. No food or drink for her, apparently — content with her cigarette and sounds of Tom Waits filling the bar, she leans forward in her seat, rests her elbows on the counter and allows her eyes to close, relaxing in Felix's absence.

"It's tough times. We have to help each other out where we can" Speaks the redhead who is decidedly dressed a little more than most of the other who work here. The proffered hand though, is eye'd before hesitantly before she accepts it, hand warm and firm in his. "Abigail Beauchamp, bartender Classic rock will probably do better here, light rock now and then. If your okay with that. Do you want something to drink that's not alcoholic and where are you from?" Eileen is watched, looking over her shoulder to the other woman, sympathy on her face before Aaron has her attention once again. "They don't much like each other"

"I got that," Aaron replies, a brief nod going Eileen's way, only to be polite. "Classic rock's fine." He looks the bar over. Sure, he's old enough to drink, but alcohol really isn't his thing. "Just club soda with lime juice would be fine, thank you." He takes a seat at the bar in the recently vacated stool, pulling his guitar close. "Queens, actually, born and raised. We moved to Midtown … I guess it was ten years ago. I was lucky I attended NYU. I had an apartment in one of the formerly evacuated sections of the village here. Rent was too much to go back."

"Rent here is terrible, but you find the odd place that's affordable. There's the Village Renaissance, it's.. fairly affordable." Forget that she unknowingly knows the owner. "Louisiana" OR so for sure says her southern accent. A cup is pulled from behind, the club soda tap pulled and button pressed to fill it and a squeeze bottle of lime juice added to it before it's slid across the bar top to him. "Welcome to Old Lucy's. The ladies dance on the bar every hour on the hour, We're open till just before curfew, payday is every second week. If you want, you can play a song right now and see if the other customers like it" Since Tom Waits singing about a drop of poison seems to be dwindling down. The blue eyes keep switching back and forth between him, the rest of the people in the bar and Eileen who's resting at the other end.

"Thanks," Aaron says, taking a long drink. "Haven't had much to drink since I got out of the Rock Cellar. Can't stand some of the people there." He takes another drink before pulling his guitar case up onto his lap and unzipping it. The guitar comes out, a nice solid and somewhat worn guitar, with a sapphire finish on the face, which matches his eyes perfectly. He takes the strap over his shoulder and pulls a pick from a small plastic case in one of the guitar case's many pouches. He taps the pick against the face eight times before he begins to strum what might be a familiar rhythm. His voice, as it turns out, is well-suited to classical rock and sounds of experience and training, which is true. He used to be in a local band. The Lightbringers.

"Got on board a westbound seven-forty-seven. Didn't think before deciding what to do. All that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies, rang true… Sure rang true…"

"Seems it never rains in southern California. Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before. It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya, it pours, man it pours."

"Out of work, I'm out of my head. Out of self-respect, I'm out of bread. I'm under loved, I'm underfed. I wanna go home. It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya. It pours, man it pours."

"Will you tell the folks back home, I nearly made it. Had offers but don't know which one to take. Please don't tell 'em how you found me, don't tell 'em how you found me. Give me a break, give me a break."

"Seems it never rains in southern California. Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before. It never rains in California, but girl don't they warn ya. It pours, man it pours."

There's a few people around the bar who listen to the young man start to play, one laughing at the song itself, the others just trying to make their last drinks draw on through the song, knowing that inevitably they're about to get booted. Abigail leans across the bar though, an oddly calm expression crossing her face as Aaron sings on. Her hand drifting up to tug and twist on her cross, and a slow smile spreading across her face as he comes to the end of the song. It's a moment or two, another glance behind her to Eileen before her silence is broken. "Izzy, I'm sure, won't mind you coming in and playing, when she ever shows up again. Your hired for sure Mr. Michaels"

"Thank you." The color back in at least one person. And yet Aaron still doesn't put two and two together, probably because he has a bit of a thing against the evolved, and will probably take a lot to admit he is one, let alone see it in the first place. People do, after all, see what they want to. "In retrospect, it's a bit of a depressing song." Of course, his abilities don't just function while he performs, but that's definitely when they're at their strongest, especially for Abby, since she's so close to him.

"Words are words and have a meaning. But if you take it away, substitute them for something else that's not so depressing, it becomes a different song" Says the woman who's songs frankly consist of lots of praise Jesus and little white churches. She turns away from Aaron, reaching up to ring the big cowbell that hangs above the bar. "Out the door. Harold, gimme your keys. Your taxi's out front. You know the deal. It'll be at the corner store in the morning. Time for you all to go home. God speed!" Eileen the only one who doesn't start to get up and shuffle off. The smile on her face remain in place for now, thank you Aaron.

Aaron packs up his guitar with care that clearly shows up much he would protect it. Heck, he lost a great deal of his worldly possessions preventing it from being stolen in the flurry of madness that followed the bomb. He wouldn't die for it, but it was one of the few things to keep him sane through all the insanity. "How much do I owe you?" he asks, pulling out his wallet.

"Nothing Aaron. You paid for it in song" Abby's come around the bar, joining his side, though not straying close, just watching the people shuffle out. A few stop by, leave tip and take off out the door. Harold leaves his keys, a good bless you, drunkenly uttered to the young woman, who just says it back to the man. "Harold Johnson. You'll see him every night" The man's keys slid into her pocket. "I'd let you stay but I have guests I need to see too and clean up. But, see you then" A gesture to the square of paper napkin.

"Harold, huh?" Aaron takes the napkin and sticks it into his shirt pocket. "Some people need to find something better to do with their time than drink themselves into oblivion," he says quietly as he picks up his guitar case and slings the strap over his shoulder. "I guess I'll be back. Have a good night, Abigail."

"Sometimes Aaron, drunken oblivion to them, is better than the real oblivion" Heart on her sleeve. That's Abigail normally. Sucker for strays if Eileen is any example. "You too. Don't get caught in the curfew. Come around when have you. Drinks on the house so long as you keep them entertained and drinking" No parting handshake, just a dip of her head as the redhead scoots back around the bar, starting up a song under her own breath, humming some unknown tune.

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