Jack and Lost


jack_icon.gif tavisha_icon.gif

Scene Title Jack and Lost
Synopsis Tavisha goes to find a harbor. Unfortunately, he finds Fresh Kills. Fortunately, he meets Jack.
Date January 2, 2009

The Angry Pelican

A stone's throw away from the little makeshift harbor on the foreshore of the Arthur Kill river is this little even more makeshift bar. Little more than a shack, the interior barely fits more than its own stock of alcohol and kitchenware, and the seating spaces are outdoors under a rickety wooden cover decorated with fishing paraphernalia and nets. The chairs and tables are broken down cheap things that look like they've been scavenged from all over the place, mismatched but comfortable with some cushions or blankets thrown over them. The ground is sandy and dirty, as if the beach extends right under your feet, and despite being outdoors, the place is cluttered. Simple alcohol is provided - whiskeys, rums, and beers - without a chance of food, and you'll mostly find yourself in the company of thieves, considering the kinds of boats that dock here.

Across the river, the lights of— the city, is it Manhattan, Brooklyn? New Jersey, even? They're dim and not very spectacular, either way, but they make an effort to glint and glimmer on the horizon across the long stretch of dark water. It's not so special, but still, Tavisha finds himself squinting across contemplatively. The smell of the harbor he finds himself at is unappetising, and there's little romance about this place, glancing towards where a jetty sinks into the water, and he wonders why he was pointed in this direction. Maybe it was a joke, and the men he'd asked for directions had sneered a little upon their answer. No matter. It is, for all intents and purposes, a harbor.

Turning away from the water, Tavisha runs a hand through, by now, slightly unkempt hair, and heads with trepidation towards the makeshift bar set up right there on the beach. Or at least, he thinks it's a bar - it's advertised as so on a dusty sign reading The Angry Pelican in curving letters, and Open permanently affixed. The lights from the shack lend onlookers a little clarity, Tavisha's head ducked a little and hands firmly planted in his pockets, protecting the contents of his wallet.

Moving with a slinky, rolling gait of a man who spends more time on the water than off it, Jack pauses outside what passes for the doors to the Pelican and inhales deeply through his nose. His eyes drift hazily closed as he savors the scent. Bird shit, smoke, and dying sea life. Smells like home. Despite the chill, he's stripped down to a thin, dark brown sweater and a pair of cargo pants. More than enough for someone accustomed to mist and spray.

As soon as he sets foot through the door, he beelines for the 'bar' with professional accuracy. The place isn't exactly crowded. It rarely is. Still, there's a small, crooked smile on his face when he steps up beside the only man here who doesn't look like a thug, pirate, or scut. Despite there being more than enough space, he reaches out and taps the stranger on the shoulder very deliberately. "Excuse me," he mutters darkly, his face now taut and serious. "You're in my fuckin' seat."

The glass is dirty. And there aren't any coasters. This bothers Tavisha on some unknown level, but he doesn't feel inclined to bitch, considering the nature of the bar he's chosen, and he's sensible enough to know that requests like that would be laughed at. So he runs his sleeve around the outside of the glass filled with bourbon - good bourbon, at least - and takes a tentative sip, around the time someone addresses him.

Startled, he angles his head to glance up at the tall man, blinking a couple of times before glancing around the room. Plenty of seats lie in various states of dustiness, and his is in know way especially better. But this is Staten Island hospitality for you. No wonder Muldoon was so inclined to keep him away from it all at first, seeing as this new stranger is certainly not the first of his kind.

Tavisha's jaw clenches in annoyance, but he doesn't get up. "Then you'll have to make do," he says, tone icy (unlike his drink, which is unpleasantly lukewarm despite the fact it's the dark side of winter).

Jack's crooked grin is immediately back in place. He slides easily onto the next stool down and signals to the bartender for two more glasses of bourbon with a wave of a ragged bank note. "Relax, kid. I'm messin' with you. You get springs in your ass no matter where you sit in this dive."

When the drinks arrive, Jack shoves one over to his new friend and picks the other up for himself. He sniffs it experimentally to check the quality, shrugs, and takes a long drink. "So," he continues casually over the rim, apprently unbothered by the cool initial reply. "I'm Jack. And you, quite obviously, are Lost."

Three, two, one… and Tavisha lets out a sigh, tension in his shoulders unwinding and casting a resentful glance away from Jack, quite ready to dismiss him before he's seating close by and pushing another drink at him. "I was starting to think everyone on this island has an attitude," he says, rather mildly, some apology in his voice, before downing his first drink of bourbon, nose wrinkling a little as the harsh liquor goes down. Apparently not too much of a drinking man. Good to know. Regardless, he picks up his second drink with a nod of thanks, though doesn't immediately take a sip. "I asked for directions for a harbor," he explains. "But I guess you're right. I'm lost." He casts a glance over his shoulder, the outdoorsy nature of the place allowing them easy views towards the broken down place.

"Yeah… This is less of a harbor and more of a pile o' seagull shit," Jack agrees. He takes another hearty swig of liquor that leaves only traces in the bottom of his cup. With a sigh, he shoves his glass forward and waves for a refill. Some of his cheerfulness slides away as he swivels around to regard the rest of the patrons with equal parts amusement and disdain. "It gets worse as it gets later. I recommend you get wherever you're headed before the sun goes down. They're a hungry lot."

"Hungry?" Tavisha says with a slight snort, peering down into his still full glass, rotating it against the bar in slow, fidgeting movements. His hand lets it go, and for a moment, after a little bit of concentration, the glass turns on its own barely a quarter of an inch. His fingers clamp back down on it as if wary it might fall, or something more extreme. Disconcerting. "No, I think I can take care of myself. But thank you, Jack." A curious glance this man's way, almost studious for a few moments and brow serious. "You'll know better than me. Who do I talk to about finding ways back to Manhattan?"

Jack's head snaps toward the glass that'd only been visible in his peripheral vision. His eyes narrow curously, but after a moment he shakes himself off and continues.

"Got stuck out here, did ya?" he queries lightly. "Lot o' folks did. I s'pose I'm as good to talk to as…" he trails off abruptly and turns to peer at his new friend. Several seconds pass as he studied the curve of lips, cheeks, and nose more closely. "Hey. I remember those eyebrows. You look a lot better than you did when I hauled you out of the water."

When suddenly he's the one being studied, Tavisha goes still, as if wary, but then said eyebrows raise up a little. Oh. A slight, if uncertain smile, turning his gaze back to his drink. "Dr. Filatov is talented," he says. "And Muldoon spared no expense, I guess." A generous sip of bourbon and the customary nose wrinkle the accompanies it goes by, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth, before offering his other for proper introductory handshakes. It's slightly awkward, as if not used to doing so, but he can make exceptions for a man who didn't leave him to drown. "Tavisha. Thank you. For hauling."

"Uh… No problem. Tavisha." Jack seems off his guard at first, but an instant later his crooked grin is back. Instead of shaking Tav's hand, he reaches past it, grabs the other man's wrist, and gives a firm tug. It's an old-fashioned greeting normally reserved for sailors and warriors, given freely to a man strong enough to float downriver for a few hours without dying. "You know that sounds like a girl's name, right?" he teases. "If anybody here asks, your name is Tav."

Jack is given a smile more suited to this man from another life, before his world did a 180 - shy and unassuming despite the taunt, though it vanishes reasonably quickly once he settles his arm back onto the bar. "Tav," he repeats in mild agreement, gaze down. "It's… Hindi." He could explain further, but doesn't, choosing to keep those cards to himself for the time being, and knocking back the rest of his drink. It works wonders in keeping him warm, that warmth unfurling deep in his chest, relaxing him. "I don't know if I want to leave the island yet. But I thought I should see how easy it is. I have money." Sort of. He has Muldoon's fast dwindling stipend of a couple of hundred dollars.

Immediately, the immigrant pirate holds out both hands and shakes his head. "No way. Once I pulled you out the water, you and I became like crewmates. We can only make money together, never off each other. S'against the rules." Tav's smile is met with a toothy grin as Jack claps him on the shoulder heartily. "The good news is, I'll take you back whenever you want. The bad news is, you'll have to work your passage. Tell me, have you ever fired a machine gun?"

And again, Tavisha's eyebrows lift, and he glances around the bar to see if anyone looked their way— and no one batted an eye. These are interesting times. And that is a good question: has he ever fired a machine gun? His own lack of answer gives him hesitation, mouth opening without formulating a response yet, before simply shaking his head. "I, uh. No, I don't think I have," he says, studying his emptied glass. "It's— probably not worth it." …but wait— He looks back at him, eyes narrowed in puzzlement, "You use machine guns a lot on boats?"

Jack's easy, lopsided grin stays in place as he leans forward comfortably against the bar. "Not really, but you can never be too careful." He can't quite stifle a laugh at Tav's baffled response. Graciously, he pushes his own drink across to the other man. "Drink that, you look like you need it worse than I do. Look, kid… Things are different out here. This ain't Manhattan, and things aren't exactly friendly, y'know what I mean? People started getting bold and dangerous when the cops stopped coming over the bridge."

Can't say no to that. Tavisha shrugs his gratitude as the drink is pushed to him, takes a breath, and then a sip. Finding his way back to where Muldoon had set him up should be an interesting endeavor. "I'm getting that impression," he says, eyes hooding a little as the bourbon does it's thing, creating some invisible blanket of warmth that the cold of the evening can't really penetrate anymore. He lets the glass go, hand still hovering over it, but nothing moves out of turn this time. He tilts his head as he adds, "I'm not sure who I'm supposed to be trusting over here, which is why I want some insurance. I can work, I guess, for a free passage to Manhattan whenever it— becomes necessary."

"Tell you what. You can help me load some cargo, and then next time I'll let you touch the machine gun." Grinning wider than ever, Jack pushes away from his stool and drops a few more notes on the bar to cover their tab. "Either way, I think it's time we got outta here. Riff-raff will be out in force soon. You got someplace safe to crash?" He jerks his head over his shoulder toward where his boat is tied up. There's an implied offer in the combination of words and gestures.

As Jack goes to stand up, Tavisha makes quick work of finishing his drink, carelessly tossing the alcohol back before setting the glass down with a definite clink! of glass against wood. Muldoon had told him not to stray too far if he knew what was best for him, and likely he's more or less out of bounds already, but that was the point. He reads the offer Jack doesn't completely vocalise, and nods a little, getting to his feet. "I could use somewhere," he says, that same awkwardness coming to the fore once again.

"Sure, sure. We'll get you bunked up for the night and I'll show you around in the morning." Jack slaps Tav on the back again and chuckles in a companionable fashion as he leads them toward his speedboat. "You seem like a good kid. A little out of sorts, maybe, but we'll get you back on your feet. And when you get back, you tell your friend Muldoon how nice I was. He smelled wealthy to me."

Out of sorts? More than Jack knows. But there's something blandly comforting about this relative stranger's amicability, as unknowing and unwitting as it is. It helps that the man doesn't know He Has Amnesia, has voices in his head that talk to him independently and more importantly maybe, perhaps, sent New York to hell a couple of years ago. No, Tavisha is more than happy to be bought a couple of drinks, called 'kid' and offered work, feeling more or less like a teenager on his first day at highschool. This is, after all, his first day of freedom. "I will," Tavisha says, simply, because that's what this is. It's simple.

February 2nd: Seek To Know
February 3rd: I Need My Momma
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