On the Tequila


gina_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title On the Tequila
Synopsis A conversation of sorts takes place in Niki Sanders' kitchen.
Date April 7, 2010

Niki's Home

“Wait. Let me make sure I've got this right.”

The combined kitchen and dining area is cramped, but made to look more open with full length floor to ceiling mirrors set against ageing panels of dark wood, reflecting the room and each other, being as it's a corner that's been mirrored. Set in that corner is a small, round café style table that really only seats two comfortably. However, there are three chairs set there. Two are set against each of the mirrored walls, where the table would need to be pulled out to fully utilise them – a space-saving measure – and one sits at an angle to face both mirrors.

“What now?”

All three chairs are occupied.

“Oh, this should be good.”

Three identical women are making conversation (though some are making a better attempt at it than others) over drinks. Each dressed in grey lounge pants and a white tank top, one wears her hair down in loose waves, the one to her left must have styled her hair in curls earlier, but they're falling out by this hour of the night, and the woman to her left wears her hair straight, neat.

“I just want to make sure I have this right,” the girl with the fading curls insists (slurs) as she grabs a bottle of tequila from the middle of the table and pours it in the shot glass in front of her. “First, you take the lime, right?”

“No, no, no. Okay, you need to watch,” the woman with her back to the kitchen mutters, bringing her hand to her mouth so she can lick the curve between her thumb and forefinger, grabbing the salt shaker from in front of the girl to her left and shaking it over her hand until enough clings to the moistened area. She pours herself a shot. “Salt first,” she licks the salt from her hand. “Then the shot.” She downs the shot, pulling a small face as she does so, “And then you take the lime.” A wedge is plucked up from a bowl on the table and sucked on.

Meanwhile, the woman with the straight blonde hair watches the other two with a mixture of derision and amusement. “She's never going to learn, Niki. I don't know why you keep trying to show her.” She sips at a glass of tequila on the rocks, garnished with her own lime wedge. She's not in any hurry to drink it down.

“I will so get it,” Curls proclaims, holding up her shot glass. “So shot first, and then the salt?”

Gina! I just did this!” Niki drags her fingers through her hair and sips instead at her tequila sunrise. “Salt. Lime. Shot.”

“Ohhhhh.” The lightbulb finally seems to go off over Gina's head. “Okay, I've got it now.” Tucking a curl behind her ear, she mimics Niki's earlier actions. Salt first, then shot, then lime. She's left coughing and sputtering when she's done. “Ugh. That was terrible.

“You're the one who said you wanted to do shots.” The straight-haired woman points out.

Gina narrows her eyes at the woman reflected in the mirror across from her. “But you never said tequila was going to be gross,” she says defensively. “I don't get it. Margaritas are awesome.” Not to be accused of being a wuss, she lines herself up for another shot.

The other woman at the table receives a warning look from Niki as well. “Jessica…”

Jessica just grins around the rim of her glass, plucking up an ice cube after she's settled it back down onto the table. She passes it between her lips and chews it audibly, watching Gina with an unkind expression that crinkles around her eyes.

Gina knocks back another shot and immediately grabs her stomach. “Oh, I don't feel so good.”

And neither does Niki, suddenly. “I think you'd better quit,” she advises her other third. Maybe they all had better. Niki still isn't sure how all of this works. They haven't been in the habit of holding civil conversations for very long, but the three of them have determined that it's in their best interests to attempt to communicate more on a direct sort of level. It comes in handy for survival.

If you want the truth, it was Jessica's idea. She's always been the protector anyway. Let it not be said that she's merely a blunt instrument. She's willing to recognise that she can't always be in control, and after their run-in with Linderman's errand boy, she's decided that details need to be shared more freely between the three women.

Gina pushes away from the table suddenly, dashing past Jessica and to the sink, which physically exists over Niki's shoulder, even though the young blonde is leaning over it over Jessica's shoulder instead. She has the courtesy to rinse the basin when she's done. “I feel much better now,” she says in a meek voice.

So does Niki. She finds it odd that she doesn't feel sick burning the back of her throat, but is too drunk to really dwell much on how odd the disconnect is. “I think you should call it a night,” she advises.

Gina agrees, heading back the way she came, turning her back once she reaches her chair and padding through the living area before turning right to head to the bedroom.

Niki turns to regard the empty living room and the left turn to the bedroom when the perpetual-teenage personality has departed, as though she'd gone through the apartment the way anyone else would, rather than through the mirror image of it.

“If you think that's weird,” Jessica murmurs, “try looking at it reflected twice.” She waves a hand toward the direction Gina went off in, though her own reflection doesn't wave back at her.

Niki can't quite wrap her head around that, either. “It's not true what he said, you know,” she says quietly, addressing the elephant that's lingered in the room for the past week. “I have self-respect. I just… took the easiest route I knew at the time.”

Jessica nods silently. For a moment, it seems as though she isn't going to reply at all, but she eventually intones, “I know.” John Logan cut Niki deep with his reminders that their son is dead. Or that his body is dead. He's not alive in a traditional sense, and that's bad enough to grieve. “I think it's time I go back to work,” she suggests.

“With Elisabeth?”

“Yeah.” Jessica sips her tequila, gauging whether she's going to have to assert herself over Niki in this case or not. The pensive feature is so typical of Niki. It's so weak.

Niki finally nods after sucking down more tequila sunrise through a thick, red straw. “I think that's a good plan. Micah needs justice.” She closes her eyes heavily, successfully fending off the tears threatening to prick at the corners of her eyes and spill down her cheeks.

Jessica inclines her head once in agreement. “Don't worry, Niki. I'll take care of everything. I'll make them pay.”

When Niki opens her eyes again, she's seated on the opposite side of the table, staring out from the other side of the mirror.

Jessica rises from the table, taking the glasses and dumping their remaining contents in the sink before shelving the tequila. “Get some rest, Nik'.” She turns her back as she rinses the pooled tequila from the low spots in the sink – which shows no signs of having been vomited in.

Niki's eyes blearily trace the curved line of the tattoo peeking out from the strap of Jessica's identical tank top. Slowly, she rises. “Just… don't get us put back in prison,” she suggests. She then makes her way through the living area, and turns right.

“Good night, Niki.” Left alone in the kitchen, Jessica makes quick work of pouring the bottle of tequila down the sink and leaving the empty bottle to sit on the counter with a poker chip-styled token left in front of it. “One day at a time,” she mutters, leaving the relic from Alcoholics Anonymous out as a reminder.

Deed done, she steps out of the kitchen, flicks off the light switch in the living area.

Turns left.

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