No Place for Anyone


keira_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title No Place for Anyone
Synopsis A criminal and a former cop walk into a bar …
Date January 9, 2011

The Stop

The evening is wearing on, and many people have already left to go home for the evening, those who wish to not break curfew. The remaining crowd is quieter than earlier in the evening. A game of pool keeps going, and there are small groups scattered. But there are only a few people left at the bar.

Ziadie sits at the bar, a shot glass and a pint both next to him, and between staring into the distance, he's working on something in front of him, peering at it intently when he does gaze down. There's a cigarette in the older man's mouth, unlit, and a lighter in his left hand that he occasionally fusses with. The silver of the lighter contrasts against his dark skin even in the low light. A jacket rests on the back of the bar stool, faded black leather with some medals on one side, and a scarf as well.

Life is…okay, right now. Keira has moved into a nicer apartment, but she hasn't spoken to her boyfriend in well over a month. She's found a family in the most unlikely group known as Humanis First, but the man who has been more of a father to her than any other man in her life is currently wanted, on the run, and MIA— she doesn't know where Walsh is, but she's worried for him.

Probably why she decided to come out to The Stop tonight. A cigarette resting between her lips, the tattooed gangster woman slips into the bar, dressed up nicely in a long military peacoat over the business style suit that she wears. Her new family gives her a good allowance, at least, on top of all the money she's saved up over the years. Even gangsters can be frugal.

The bell rings to indicate the new inhabitant of the bar's entrance, swinging shut behind her as she makes her way up to the bar. She settles down into a seat only one down from Ziadie's, quietly ordering herself a rum and coke as she slips out of her coat. A glance is cast toward Ziadie, along with a respectful nod, before Keira Fionn turns blue eyes toward the bartender, watching him mix her drink in thoughtful silence.

Ziadie looks up from what he's doing, and ducks a nod to the woman. In front of him appears to be a crossword puzzle, one of those obscenely complicated ones, only the older man is clearly not actually working on the puzzle. Once again, he sets the pen down, and while staring into the distance, he picks up the shot glass. Whatever's in it is clear, and he downs it easily, then pushes the glass to the back edge of the bar without even looking at it. Sometimes a man has to drown his sorrows, after all.

As she receives her drink, Keira lifts it to her lips, taking a long swig. And for a while, only respectful silence passes between her and the older man. Then, finally, she turns blue eyes toward him, first looking to the crossword puzzle, then up to the old man's face. He looks…kind. Maybe. She could be wrong. After holding her tongue for a long moment, she finally draws courage to speak.

"What are you trying to drink away, if I might inquire?" She raises her glass toward him, brows raised, before taking another swig of her beverage.

Ziadie sets down the pen, and half-heartedly straightens the papers in front of him, before lighting the cigarette. The dark paper flares, and the scent of clove drifts from it as he sets the lighter on the table. His fingers twine around the pint that's next to him and he looks at Keira for a moment. When he speaks, his speech is slow, perhaps habitually, perhaps simply so that his words don't slur. He's certainly had a few drinks already.

"Just the usual. Life, worries, troubles." There's a certain cadence to his speech though, as if he never minces words, never says more than he has to. Words said, he picks up his own glass in a small gesture towards her, taking a long, thoughtful sip. "You're young to have sorrows to drown. Though I guess these days, everyone has sorrows."

Keira thoughtfully watches the man, smiling faintly as the scent of the clove cigarette hits her nose. Much more pleasant than her tobacco, certainly. Speaking of, her cigarette is snuffed out in the ashtray as she leans back in her seat, taking another pull from her drink. "Same here. Life, worries, troubles…you know the drill, I'm sure." She sips her beverage once more.

He has a nice voice. Comforting, really. She offers a tiny smile as she peers down at her drink. "I'm worried for someone who has taken me in when I needed him most, who is in trouble…but then, with the world like it is and that stupid Martial Law they put in after the eighth, a lot of people are worried for…loved ones." It's weird to say that phrase.

Ziadie nods slowly. He doesn't mention that the reason he's drinking is because he's caused worry. "There are many things tha' cause worry, these days." He offers her a smile in return, before moving his cigarette to his hand and taking a sip of his drink, and though the smile may not be a large one, it reaches his eyes as well. Easier to smile when it's someone else's troubles, after all. He turns just slightly, so that he's partially facing the woman he's speaking to, then leans back a little, as much as the bar stool allows him to. "And there're so many more troubles."

"Yeah…pardon the language, but we're living in some pretty shitty times right now." Well, it's not so shitty for her. Keira's mostly just horribly worried for the only man who ever willingly assumed a position as a father figure in her life. It's rather bittersweet, really. He and his daughter don't get along, she never had a dad. To Keira, at least, it was as if they were magnetic, drawn to each other like flies to honey.

"I know I don't have it nearly as bad as some people do, though." Like the people whose shop she blew up before Christmas. "I guess it's selfish, but I take solace in that much. There's always someone who has it worse than me, y'know?"

The older man just nods and listens, cigarette at the side of his mouth, finishing the last bit of his drink and tilting half a nod to the bartender as he pushes the cup back. As he listens, the beer is refilled and pushed towards him again. "You have someone to worry about," he says. "That's more 'n many people." More than he could say for himself up until recently.

He picks up the pen again, and crosses something out on the paper, adding a note above whatever he crossed out, then looks back towards Keira. Listening is something he's good at, even when he's getting towards drunk; he spent enough years listening to know how to sit and nod and such that people are comfortable talking. Better yet, it means he doesn't end up having to say too much about himself.

The redhead leans against the bar, smiling. "More than I could say for myself a year ago." She sips at her drink. "I just…hope he's okay." She was never one to worry for people. Not after all she's been through in her life. But she's worried about Walsh. "He's…he's like the dad I never had some times." She sighs softly, draining her drink, and pushing the empty glass forward to indicate that she wants another.

"And it's funny that I worry about a guy who acts like a dad more'n I'm worried about my boyfriend. Or even finding out about the guy who I think is my actual dad." She taps her chin. "Sorry, don't mean t'babble. You're— easy to talk to."

"Eh, it's a bar. Talking makes it easier, sometimes. Makes it easier a' deal wi'. An' … it was more than I'd often say for myself, too." The former cop goes silent for a while. "I'd retired, moved out of this hellhole. A lot of my buddies, though, they didn't. They died in the Bomb, the weeks after …" Ziadie takes another long sip from his drink. "I didn' think there was anyone I knew lef', not when I firs' came back."

Now he knows there is, and he's out in a bar getting himself drunk enough to stop worrying, instead. Alcohol, to solve the fact that Ziadie dislikes the person alcohol has made him into. Real smart.

Keira tilts her head toward the man, listening. "Th'bomb was pretty crazy…I wasn't in town when it hit, but I saw the cloud. It was…fuckin' scary." She sips at her drink as the bartender sets it down, her eyes hooding slightly as she feels the gentle pull of alcohol on her muscles. "I left town real quick, went and stayed at my mom's." She pulls out another cigarette, resting it between her lips. "When I came back…it was chaos, y'know?"

Ziadie nods. "I only came back this last year. Was nothin' left for me where I'd left to." There's a hint of pain, though masked as carefully as one can when drinking, in the old man's voice. "Tonight, though … mebbe I ought have stayed there. Here's no place for an old man. No place for anyone." He turns the cup the beer is in around a few times on the bar after he's taken a sip, looking at it more than drinking it.

Keira tilts her head toward Ziadie, nodding quietly. After a moment, she offers a faint, if sheepish smile to the old man. "Well…maybe I can help? Maybe…I dunno, we can meet here, same time next week. Talk a little, yeah? I mean…I don't know about how it is for you, but for me…talkin' to people can help sometimes." Even if she can't talk about things in detail.

Ziadie smiles, a smile that seems to be as much for himself as it is for Keira. For whatever reason, he likes the young woman. "Next week, then." He glances at the clock as he straightens the papers in front of him. "Don't get yerself caught by th' curfew when you leave, hm?" Slowly, he stands, leaning on a cane that had been tucked underneath the bar, and extracts a few bills, tucking them under the now empty cup. Once he's standing, he puts on his jacket, then his scarf, then takes the papers and puts them in an inside pocket. He ducks a nod to Keira, and disappears up the stairs.

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