Jogging Cowboy


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Scene Title Jogging Cowboy
Synopsis Jake and Buck go for a jog and plot evil. Some poor frat boy is gonna get got.
Date November 06, 2009


This is one of those slightly quirky places that some people find cute or kitschy and some people find intolerable. The theme is apparent even from the set of swinging saloon doors that marks the real entrance beyond the vestibule/hallway used for carding patrons. Inside the bar proper, the theme really takes off. It doesn't look like it was originally built as a saloon, given its rather large, open floorplan and utter lack of old-timey architectural features, but the walls have been papered with imitation wood paneling and a couple of stuffed dear heads are stuck up on the walls. The large dance floor is hardwood, raised slightly from the concrete floor beneath it. The long, polished bar sits sturdily in front of a wide selection of booze and drink specials are chalked up on boards here and there. A few posters on the wall advertise Wednesdays as 'Ladies' Night' and there are a few advertisements for area gay bars. The real feature of the place is a roped off corner on the other side of the room from the bar. It holds the pride and joy of the bar: a large mechanical bull on an amply padded surface. The music is a mixture of country and the usual array of music popular in clubs with bumping beats that the clientele certainly seem to get down with. Speaking of the clientele, they are probably some of the most conclusive evidence that this establishment does indeed cater especially to the gay community. Whether or not that was the original purpose of the bar is hard to say.

So Jake shows up around, oh, 5ish, dressed in running pants and sneakers, wearing his hoodie and a black shirt that reads: FEELINGS ARE BORING. KISSING IS AWESOME. He spends a moment squinting at the place, then tries the door.

It's really slow at the bar just now. There are only a handful of patrons, most in a group that seems to have come by after work. Buck's manning the bar on his own for now. He grins at Jake when he enters. "Hiya. Nice shirt."

Perfect. Jake stalks in and flashes a wide grin. "Hiya, Hoss, you're comin' with me. Get your running shoes." Followed by a look around at the rest of the place. "Unless you've got something more pressing to do?"

Buck looks Jake over thoughtfully. He looks athletically attired. "Huh. You gonna make me jump over shit again?"

"Yep," Jake says cheerfully. "Same deal as the last time, by the way." Cue a wicked grin and a waggle of brows. "This time no Max around to make you nervous - and no cowboy boots. C'mon, surely you've got sneakers somewhere."

Buck looks a little uncertain about it. "Yeah, okay," he says. "Just a sec." He goes into the back office and emerges with running shoes on. Steve comes out a moment later to man the bar. "But I don't think I'll be too good at it."

"That's the idea. Let's just stretch yer legs a bit first. You do any jogging anymore?" Jake turns to lead the way towards the door and out into the street.

"Not every day like I used to," Buck says, following. "Only in the middle of the week."

"That's sad," Jake says, and, "C'mon." He takes off at a liesurely jog, determined to pace himself just so to allow Buck to keep up. "So what do you do the rest of the week?"

Buck follows Jake in his jog. "I have a hangover," he replies, at least seeming in good enough shape to jog along Jake easily enough. "Or sleep late."

That gets a laugh and a smack on the shoulder. "Man after my own heart," Jake says cheerfully. "So you've been a football player and an army guy - do you miss it? The extra exercise and all that, I mean, not the going out to get blown up or jumped on."

"Yeah, I miss it," Buck answers honestly enough. "I'm a physical guy. I like movin' an' doin' stuff with my body, not sittin' around."

"Awesome." That does appear to make Jake happy, too. He's actually opening up his stride slowly. It's kind of a test, see how well Buck can keep up with him. "I need a jogging partner. Ever since Max got a job my choices are limited if I want to run off campus. You interested?"

Buck nods slowly. "Yeah," he says, "If you don't make me get up early in th' mornin' t' do it. What job did Max get?" He doesn't seem to have a problem with keeping up so far.

"He's doing something at a gym. Personal trainer or something." Cue the sidelong look. "He's just a guy, yaknow. All that stuff he did was stunts. Granted they were /awesome/ stunts…" He breaks into a grin. "But he really is just an ordinary guy." Except for that zapping stuff thing.

Buck shrugs at that information from Jay. "I know," he answers, although there may be a bit of the sullen teenager in his tone. "Why you tellin' me that?"

"Cuz," Jake says, "Star worship is great and all, and I have it a bit myself. Max doesn't need fans, though, he needs friends." Round a corner and, "I don't run in the morning with other people. I like the quiet. …And half the time I have hangovers anyway. Afternoon, though? It's a social thing."

"Afternoon's good," Buck says. "An' fine. I don't even know 'im." He pauses the talking to retain a little breath, then continues, "Look, I didn't meat t' embarrass him th' other day. Or you," he says, looking at Jake thoughtfully to see if he's the one who was more bothered by that. "I never met a TV actor before, that's all. An' I used to watch his show every day. But I ain't botherin' him now."

"Shit, naah, I think he was flattered." Jake flashes a grin. "At some point he's gonna run into the rest of my frat and get mobbed by the kinda guys who watch Jackass." Snicker. "And dude, I almost jumped off a roof because of that show." Cue a quiet laugh. "My brother and me got up there and thought we were gonna do a nice landing on a mattress or something. James the smartass got the idea to go ahead and do a test run with something about the right weight before we jumped off. We totally busted Dad's stereo."

Buck grins at the story. "Man, I bet a couple active brothers get into a helluva lot o' trouble." Buck squints. "But I don't think I get what you're sayin'."

"I'm sayin' Max rocks, just don't be disappointed if you catch him with a hangover or he blows up your cellphone or something." Jake snickers suddenly. "Fucker almost killed my iPod twice." And there's a busy street ahead. Jake veers, looking left and right, skids over the hood of a parked car, and weaves through slow traffic to the tune of a honk or two.

"Blows up my cell phone?" Buck asks, bewildered. But he doesn't dash across the street like Jake. He jogs up to the corner and goes across there. Finally he catches up once more. That is, presuming Jake waits for him. "Hey, did I say anything bad to ya when you came in the bar? I was pretty drunk."

Yeah, Jake waits - hell, Jake comes to meet Buck, and keeps moving, jogging in place, climbing several feet up a light pole and dropping down, and otherwise jittering, until Buck makes it through. "You called me a twink." Which comes with a grin, quick and light. "Which is okay, I suppose, because it's better than what the dude at the hair salon called me." That comes with a waggle of brows, and Jake takes off again - down the sidewalk once more. He aims for a mailbox - stuff needs jumping.

"Well, you ain't one o' those," Buck corrects. "I didn't mean t' say that." He follows along. "What'd he call you? Or don't you wanna say?" He follows along but doesn't jump the mailbox.

"He called me a bitch," Jake says, and laughs. "At the time I was riding bitch on his motorcycle, but I think he more meant because I sleep around. I'm gonna go see about getting a job at his place, too, I need the money." Damn gift. "Oh, 'bout Max - he's Evo. Zots tech - used to do it by accident but he's better controlled now."

"Do you sleep around?" Buck wonders, not sounding too fazed by the idea. "Which place?" he adds, not yet having put the pieces together. "Wait, he is?" That's about Max. "Really?" Buck looks puzzled.

Jake slows down. Must not confuse the brain damaged one. "Max is Evolved. It was all over the news when HF tried to blow up his set and he defused the bomb or something." Deep breath. Next topic. "Yeah, I'm a man-whore bedhopper from hell." As if the shirt didn't give it away. "And this dude I talked to the other night, who called me a bitch, he owns a hair salon or something and he offered me a job. It's not that far outta range, I could jog there pretty easily - just not right before curfew."

"Oh. I don't really watch the news," Buck returns easily enough. "Or maybe that was when I was in recovery." This topic-division stuff is working for him. "Huh. Well, at least you're gettin' it, I guess. But don't the girls get mad at you?" He nods about the hair salon business. "You gonna cut hair?"

"Girls hated me in high school. Nowadays I guess they're bedhoppers too." Jake flashes over a grin. Then, "Sure, I dunno, I guess. He claims there're girls working there who'll be all over me, so I call that win win. Guess we'll see what he actually wants me to do - he said sweep up hair or something. So long as I get enough hours and get at least minimum wage, I'm happy." That's gonna cut his time down too, but… "Maybe I will learn to cut hair, give massages or something." Jake grins wickedly. "It's a day spa too."

Buck nods slowly at that. "Oh. It ain't Rocky's place, is it?" he wonders about the salon, on learning that it's a spa as well. "He comes in my bar a lot…" Buck frowns on the subject of Jake gtting around. "I been strikin' out a lot m'self."

"Sucks," Jake opines, and "Dude's name was Raquelle. I dunno why a girl's name, but he's totally a flaming fruit with an awesome wit on him. Made me laugh my ass off. 'Course, I was drunk." A grin flashes. He takes this little jog thing around a corner and down an alley. "So who you been after? Cuz if I count in that strikeout list, I shouldn't." He's not even on the menu, by his way of thinking.

"Yeah," Buck says, "I call him Rocky. He's nice. Came in with his boyfriend the other night. I know that guy, too. Small town." Buck clears his throat and rounds the corner with him. "Welp, you shot me down an' then I looked an ass in front of Max, so then I was tryin' with this guy Felix who I've talked to a bunch o' times, but his boyfriend showed up an' so I was tryin' t' get this other guy but he went home before I closed up."

"Man, that does suck." Jake now has his mind on getting Buck a date. Probably a bad idea for someone. "Hey, they say gay relationships last like, a tenth the time of regular ones. Wait a few weeks and maybe he'll be free? 'Course, then you'll have to worry about jealous exes, but who doesn't have those?" He makes a face. "I'd think with that bar of yours you'd get crazy amounts of tail."

Buck lifts an eyebrow at that comment. He can't decide whether or not to be offended. It's an offensive comment, maybe, but then Jake seems to be in favor of short relationships. "I don't, really. Never had much of a relationship, I guess."

"Me neither," Jake replies cheerfully. "Too busy and none of the girls I really liked would put up with my filial duty to steal my brother's girlfriends whenever possible. If I'm not careful he might get serious, see, and then the dumb bitches will break his heart and I'll have to pick up the pieces." Yes, Jake is really rather callous regarding love.

"Damn, who burned you?" Buck wonders. "Or are y' just that worried 'bout gettin' hurt?" His expression is pretty blank when he asks, so it doesn't seem intended to hurt Jake.

"Nobody." Cue a blank look. "He's my brother. He has horrible taste." Jake snorts. "They gotta be perfect, like him. Athletic, smart, artistic, pretty… he could do without the pretty part, he says, but he's never picked a plain one." Jake rolls his eyes. "Very first girl he ever dated started hitting on me one night. So I rolled her and let her think I was gonna date 'er, so she broke up with him and I broke up with her. Bitch deserved it."

Buck shrugs at that, nodding. "I get it," he answers, whether he does or not. "Well, good thing he c'n still do okay, get plenty o' girls…"

"Eh," Jake says, "He's more careful now. I think that's why he's not talking to me right now. He's got another one." Snort… and then a smirk. "It's probably a good thing, I was running out of bedhoppers to bang." Which is purely a joke, and a horrible one, but it's easy to see how Jake fits in with the frat crowd.

Buck nods at that, too, although he doesn't seem to have a lot to add. Maybe he's uncomfortable. He runs quietly along.

Down another alley they go. This one comes to a dead end. "Shit. Well, let's see if I can pull this off sober." And Jake increases speed again, straight for the wall's corner. One foot bounces off brick. The other shoves at it. He grabs the top with both hands, and… dangles. "No." Drop. "Damn."

Buck just stop running stretching quietly whie he waits for Jake to try his wall-jumping tricks. "I can't get over it even if you can, prob'ly." Buck's mood is perhaps more sedate than usual.

"It's called a tic tac." Jake falls back and stares at the eight foot wall, frowning. "You run, get up enough momentum, and sorta bounce back and forth till you're high enough to go over." He draws back further, and tries again. This time he makes it onto his stomach on the top, sort of. Not very graceful, not very elegant at all, but it does work. Sort of. Down he drops again, and grumbles, "Max makes this look easy." Slump of disappointment. "You wanna try?"

Buck looks thoughtfully at the wall, then at Jay, shaking his head. "Nah, I don't wanna bust my head open."

"Damn." Jake meanders back on over to Buck and sets his back to a wall, leans. "Okay. Normally I'd go trying that a couple dozen times till I got it right, but I'm too tired. Had a long day. You wanna walk back?" Both hands go into the pockets of his pirate hoodie.

Buck nods slowly. "Okay," he agrees, starting up a slow pace back in the direction from whence they came. "How come your day w's so long?"

"Class. Practice. Assholes." Jake meanders, letting his legs relax and move at their preferred pace. "I need to get my grades up. Too damn much to do. Not used to not having James to help me do homework."

"Oh," Buck says, nodding. "Yeah, I wasn't too good in school, myself." He jams his hands in his pockets, too. "Too cold," he comments unhappily.

"Mmhmm," Jake agrees, and, "Let's run." He's happiest when running, and it's patently obvious. He breaks into a jog, breath coming fast now. "So Buck, how's your gay-dar?"

"Uh, okay, I guess," Buck says, following him in a run. "You can't pick out ev'rybody, though," he manages between breaths. "I usually just try out anybody I like! But sometimes it gets ya into trouble!"

"No kidding!" Jake says, and laughs at the idea. "Man, you guys are fuckin' brave. Seriously, no shit. People still get killed for this shit." In the day and age where Evos are the big target, you'd think violence against homosexuals would go down, but… alas. "One of these days I'll have to run the guys at my frat by you. I'm pretty convinced some of them are under cover and bein' all macho just to hide it."

"Yeah, I know people get killed," Buck says with a frown. "I come from Texas. I try t' back off 's quick as I can if somebody don't like it. That's just respect." He frowns at the idea of frat-screening. "Well, I dunno. If they're hidin' it, I can't say f'r sure. Only way t' know f'r sure is t' ask somebody, an' if he lies to y', then you just don't know."

That gets a thoughtful, guileless blink, then Jake, ever the rogue, suggests, "Or get 'em drunk." Cue a smirk. "I dunno, it'd be nice to have some insurance against some of those seniors. They're all vengeful dicks." And he's getting sick of getting picked on.

"How come you're in a frat wtih people y' don't like?" Buck wonders innocently. "Can't you quit?"

"Dad was in it," Jake explains. "And they're not all horrible. Hell, sometimes they're a lot of fun. You should /see/ the keggers." That might just be a look of bliss on his face. "Besides, it gets me points from the coach. He's trying to recruit me to football games, but… too much risk of injury. I'm not into the flashy shit."

Buck shrugs at Jake. "Fair 'nuff," he answers. "But you must get tired of it. Anyway, your brothers? If they like guys I reckon either they don't know it th'mselves or they'd do anythin' t' hide it. I know how it is."

"It's sad, kinda." Jake meditates on this for a long moment, running silently, and then, "Yeah, I get tired of it." He probably wouldn't admit that in the company of most people, but… not like Buck cares about Jake's image. "Part of why I'd like to have something on 'em, but I can get that without putting their nuts in a vise." His tone is distant and a bit thoughtful. "Plenty of alcohol in there and most of them didn't learn how to drink 'fore they got here."

"Too bad y'all can't let eachother be yourselves," Buck reflects after a long stretch of silent running. "If you'd all own up t' stuff or figger out who you were f'r a second maybe it'd be better." He shrugs. "So you think some o' the real big-bad ones 're coverin' up?"

"Almost positive," Jake says, and, "That dude who lead us there? I don't think he knew it was a gay bar, but damn if he wasn't appreciating the eye candy. And the punch was almost a dead giveaway. Almost. I could be wrong." He snorts. "I should try and kiss him or something." There's a hint of disgust in his voice, though. "Don't think I could mean it, though. He's the guy who made the pigswill that cost me like, six hours of my life. Didn't remember a thing afterwards."

Buck frowns and shakes his head a little. "He shouldn't'a hit you," Buck says darkly. "But 'f you kiss 'im for a joke he'll knock you out. He'd only ever get with somebody he don't know, I reckon. Who wouldn't tell on 'im. But he prob'ly don't even /know/ nobody, cuz he's prob'ly been bullyin' em long enough they stay away. He oughta pick on somebody his own size."

"Dude's huge," Jake points out. "Probably compensating for something. I can't stand guys who only work on their arms and abs, like that's all anyone ever looks at. Gotta work the legs." He probably has no idea how that sounds. "Heh, maybe I'll just catch him in the locker room and take pictures. That'd do the trick." And would be evil enough to make him feel guilty, if the guy somehow turned out nice after all.

"I bet I could take 'im in a fair fight," Buck claims. "But maybe you c'n help 'im out somehow. Your frat kick out gays or just don't take 'em in the first place?"

Jake shrugs. "Don't think it's ever come up. My suspicion is that they'll laugh out anyone they figure out is a fa… uh… gay guy." Right. Ahem. At least he has the common sense not to say that word. "They find out I'm working at a salon, I'm gonna get ribbed. A lot." And maybe punched again.

Buck lifts an eyebrow but doesn't scold Jake for his original word choice. "Don't let 'em hit you," he says. "They do an' I'll bring my gay soldier ass over an' bareknuckle box 'em all one by one."

The offer gets a grin. "I can take a punch or two. It's when they gang up that I get worried." And since he hasn't got his gift, well… "Nice offer, though, I'll keep it in mind if they keep being dicks." Jake is taking a more direct route back to the bar; they're almost there now. He slows to a walk again. "You evere meet people you think really just need to get hit on the head by one big cluebat and then they'll be okay? That's those guys."

Buck shrugs and nods at Jake. "Guess so. Maybe sometimes that's me. I don't always catch up too quick. So…you want me t' try t' lay this guy 'r what?" he asks suddenly, although his expression doesn't reveal that he's asking anything especially unusual.

Jake's reaction might reveal that he considers the response unusual. He shoots over a look, pauses… then shrugs. "Hey, sure, yeah, if you get the chance. Just don't let him give you a disease or something." He frowns. "Or hit you. Cuz frankly, I rather like you. You're the only bar-owner gay cowboy ex-army dude I know. I'd have to knock his lights out and that'd get me in trouble."

Buck shrugs. "If he hits me, I'll kick his ass," Buck insists. "I got US Army training. An' I pack heat." He shrugs. "I dunno, maybe I'll just see if I c'n talk to 'im an' see what happens."

"You pack heat? While wooing guys?" Jake laughs at this idea and looks over. "You carrying right now? Isn't that illegal?" The rest of that is left where it lies - he's fine with it, apparently.

Buck shrugs. "I always pack," he says. "I don't really know 'f it's illegal. Never got caught. Maybe I oughta get a permit. You c'n get a permit for concealed carry. I got one from Texas. So if I get caught I'd just say that I w's visitin' from there, I guess." Evidently Buck hasn't thought this over much.

"But dude, you own a bar. They hear about that, they'll know you aren't just visiting," Jake says earnestly. "Man, you gotta be careful about this stuff. New York's fuckin' paranoid. They'll probably lock you up and test you before you can say boo. And even if they don't, well… you really want cops giving you the hairy eye?" He winces. "Cops worry me."

Buck frowns thoughtfully at that. "Huh," he says by way of agreement. "I guess I oughta figure that out. Thanks, Jake." He takes a much-creased and crumpled piece of paper and a stub of a pencil from a back pocket and notes 'gun permit' down.

Jake grins. "We really oughtta make a dain bramaged society." Out comes a notebook, which gets waved and shoved back in his pocket. "Though that's really because Max keeps killing my phones." He snickers.

"No wonder I had to find a payphone that time," Buck answers. "So…how'm I gonna meet yer friend?"

"Dunno," Jake says thoughtfully. The bar lies up ahead. "I'll work something out. Maybe bring him in separately. …Or you could come see me on campus, though you'll have to be careful. Those guys are scary in numbers."

Buck nods slowly. "That's why I wanna make sure I get 'im alone."

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