Making Friends


tuck_icon.gif jack_icon.gif bebe_icon.gif

Scene Title Making Friends
Synopsis Jack makes a new friend.
Date February 22, 2009

The Happy Dagger

This building used to be a dance club a decade or more ago, and was later outfitted into a strip bar up until the bomb hit New York City and Staten Island became a refuge of the panicked people of New York City. After this neighborhood fell to ruin, the strip bar went out of business and was sold easily to a young man from Britain with similar but less legitimate intentions for the place. And so it became The Happy Dagger, a brothel that makes no claim to be otherwise, and a bright spot on a street with similar venues, lit up with lights of pink, red and orange, with a neon sign in cursive print reading its name.

Two strapping bouncers allow people through after a quick identity check, down a dark corridor wherein people seem to move in and out continually. The front room is crowded, more nightclub than brothel. There's a bar in the corner, and stages of different shapes and heights create obstacles, along with a quieter lounge area separated only by saloon style doors. Women dance aloofly or mingle with the clientele, marked as employees of the Happy Dagger by their costuming. There is a Middle Eastern bent in style, with warm colours and lights, women with Cleopatra eyes, wearing more silks than sequins, decked in Hollywood-exotic stage jewelry. The insincerity of this place is palpable. There's spiral staircase at the other end of the large area, a structure swathed in red light and eye-catching.

Upstairs is a catacomb of dark hallways and bedrooms of various sizes. It seems less like a strip club and more like the brothel it boasts to be, with more elaborate interior design. Curtains of silk and chiffon, incense making the air hazy, the walls papered with golds and reds. Women linger in the hallways to catch the strays who come up here alone and guide them to appropriate rooms.

Breaking the illusion of decadence is the occasional security camera hidden in the corner. This place is not without it's safety measures, beyond the bouncers. You may also notice that the man enjoying a drink in the corner hasn't gotten up in a while, and another prowling around outside hasn't moved from this street. The security is kept discreet and unobtrusive, but it certainly is there.

"Sure, I waste time with Jade," Jack is explaining to Bebe as they crest the stairs and start making their way down. "But I spend time with you." He snugs his arm more tightly around her waist and gives her a brief, affectionate squeeze. "This conversation is over. Let's go have some fun, eh?"

And that's that. All smiles again, the colorfully dressed pirate leads his lady down into the pub. Red leather jacket draped lazily over one shoulder, sleeveless white shirt that's been spattered with paint both accidentally and by design, and snug-fitting black denims. All have been slept in it at least once, and a finger-comb suffices for his dark, perpetually untidy hair.

No sooner have they arrived than a girl who'd previously been sent away with one of Tucker's twenties flags Jack down. There's a brief, whispered exchange of information before he turns his attention back to Bebe. "Grab me a beer and…" he pauses to peer at the particular shape of the lounger's glass. "Uh. A soda pop, I guess. Bring 'em over there."

Without waiting for a reply, the Somali transplant pads over to the table in the back, reverses a chair, and straddles it. "Hi," he greets simply. "Can I help you pick out some pussy or somethin'?"

"Well, that— but— I—" Bebe's feeble, frustrated protests get drowned out by the pounding music of the club proper right around the moment she rounds the corner and officially declared deceased when Jack decides the discussion is at an end. Done and done. Bebe knows better than to try and revive the corpse of a dead conversation.

And this is the reason why it takes her a little while to shine up her smile again once they've both found common ground on the main floor of John Logan's hooker emporium. Clad in tight, low-cut yellow sweater and a gray tartan skirt cut about two inches too short to really be considered proper for public consumption, Bebe looks the part of a uniformed school girl gone wild. That she's attached to Jack's hip, however, suggests she's already found someone to occupy her time with this evening. More's the pity. That is, until another girl has information to relay and instead of keeping step with the pause she just proceeds all by her little lonesome right up to the bar.

By the time she's rejoined, she's found something of a pleasant smile for Gilbert but this isn't her usual 'hey, stranger' schtick.

Tuck is fairly subtle and smart as criminals go, so he knows how to comb a crowd without looking obvious about it. He registers Jack and thinks he's the man he's looking for, but he knows better than to stare outright. Instead he just slowly sips from the glass of Sprite and smokes a cigarette.

When Jack does approach, he looks up and gives the younger man more obvious attention. "Oh no, no. Your selection of…pussy is quite extensive. I'm actually here to see your boss." A beat, "Gilbert Tucker. I own the pawn shop down the road."

When Bebe approaches, she's given a smile in return. It isn't lecherous. Rather, it's…oddly friendly, oddly warm. Despite what she's wearing, he seems to be looking at her like a young woman rather than a hooker.

Bebe's arrival is greeted with similar pleasure from Jack, though his is more open. He winks, snags her by the back of her sweater, and points none-too-Discreetly at his own knee. "Thanks, m'dear. Do have a seat, won't you?"

"And you," he continues, waving at Tucker. "You're here to see Logan? You and everybody else, mate. Logan ain't here. Logan gone." From his weary tone, this is a routine that he plays out all too often here at the Dagger. He retrieves his beer and pushes the fresh Sprite across the table. "S'there somethin' I can help you with? 'Cuz frankly, you're makin' the girls nervous."

Bebe's encounter with Gilbert's slightly alien expression — that look — causes her to take pause. No one around here really ever looks at her like that. Not even Jack. There's always something else less-than-savory to be seen suppressed behind their eyes or hidden between teeth and tongue of any extended smiles.

Sweater snagged. Invitation accepted. Bebe momentarily debates whether Jack's knee ought to be ridden Western or sidesaddle but eventually makes her way up into the man's lap as if it were just the most natural thing. S'her reserved seat when they're both at the bar.

"When I go somewhere for business, I keep it business," says Tuck as he leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees. And he's never been in here before now. Maybe in a back room somewhere to talk to Logan, but never has he lingered in the brothel proper. He purses his lips and looks over the top of his glasses at Jack. "I wanted to ask Logan if he collects any particular…form of art. You see, I owe him, and I have thieves who looted some good shit in the riots that I want to find a buyer for. Wanted to ask him where his tastes lie so I could keep my eye out."

When his gaze does go back to Bebe, it's much more like the neighborhood father appraising one of his kids' friends, or maybe the girl behind the counter at the corner store. He looks her in the eye. "You know, I just had a hair clip pawned that would suit you to a T, missy. If you're allowed to wander, come by my shop. I'll give you a good price." If one wasn't observing him closely, that might seem to be a lecherous statement. At least on the surface.

Jack tilts his head to the side consideringly, allowing Tuck's words to soak in. After a long moment's contemplation, he shrugs and adjusts Bebe into a more close and comfortable embrace. "First of all," he says, still smiling good-naturedly. "This one's mine. If you want to play daddy, try the redhead at the bar. Jade'd love to get inside your wallet. Second, I don't speak for debts owed to Logan. I know he's a collector of sorts, so I'll pass along the message, yes? If you owe him, I'm sure he'll get back to you."

Mine. Possessed. Property status confirmed. It's a designation that Bebe has long been conditioned to not only take in stride but enjoy. And she does. But, that's certainly not going to stop her from being friendly, especially since Tuck seems so nice. "I am allowed to wander," she says, turning her head in order to subtly escape out from under where she'd insinuated her herself beneath Jack's chin. "I'll stop by when I get a chance, you can show me what you've got." That, too, probably sounds less than chaste, but the odds are slightly skewed in Tuck's favor as to which of them meant to sound more innocent.

Tuck wrinkles his nose. A twitch ricochets through his whole face. Hard to say if it's the implication of cradle robbing or something else that draws up that distasteful look. He manages to suppress it quickly enough with a bit of a grin and a tilt of his head so that the lenses of his glasses and the frame distorts his eyes. "I would be foolish to move in on the girl of a man such as yourself, sir," says the fence as he looks up to meet Jack's eyes now that he's schooled his features back down to neutrality. "I was just offering a little jewel for your crown, is all." He nods towards Bebe. "It's an antique piece. Very classic."

He purses his lips, looks around, then stands. "Well. I won't waste your time anymore. If you could pass on my message, I'd be grateful." He scoops up his jacket.

"Wait." It's not a request. Spoken boldly, even brashly, it's obviously that Jack is a man accustomed to being listened to. "You're up the street, y'said?" Though he glances up at Tuck for confirmation, it's a mostly rhetorical statement. Absently, he brushes fond fingertips over Bebe's scalp and drags them through her hair. "I know the place. I'll be by to see you later, maybe deliver Logan's answer personally. You and I can be friends, I think."

Aw. That's sweet. While Jack's making friends, the whore is his lap has half-lidded eyes. "I look… forward… to seeing it," burbles Bebe happily, tone slightly salacious while she's ensnared by softly scritching fingers. She is just a little bit of a proper kept pet, isn't she?

Tuck doesn't dart for the door, but he doesn't pause his movements either. He zips up his jacket. He's accustomed to listening to people - but only to those he owes money to. And at the moment, he and Jack are square. That's not likely to last, but at the moment he only needs to stay neutral with him, not kiss his ass. "Well," says the fence with wryness in his tone, "…I can always use more friends."

The reaction of Bebe and her apparent happiness has Tuck looking a bit…wary, a bit put off. That doesn't seem right, somehow. But it's not his place. "Well. You both know where to find me."

February 22nd: What Purpose
February 22nd: About Those Hands
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