Red and Black


deckard_icon.gif pam_icon.gif

Scene Title Red and Black
Synopsis Pam has some questions. Deckard inadvertently nearly manages to recruit her to a cause that he is not actually a part of in the course of answering as vaguely as possible.
Date December 21, 2008


The color of the world

Is changing

Day by day…

In through the door, the blast of warm air that greets them both would be enough to convince even the most obstinate hater of naked people that they've made the right decision. Deckard nods a lazy greeting to the bouncer at the door, who frowns at him. Familiar routine, there.

And on to a table. Witty enough not to select one close to the stage, he leads her around to one near the back corner of the bar instead, where he sets to shrugging out of his overcoat and mumbling an order for whiskey and 'whatever she wants' to the waitress who slinks after them.

Pam doesn't hate mostly naked people. She's not into self-loathing. Also, everyone is naked under their clothes, or so some people say. "I'll have a beer," Pam tells the bartender, tugging her hood down and starting to pull her coat off. "So," she says as quietly as she can and still be heard over the music, "Guys who go around possessing people?"

"Yeah," says Deckard, who's having some minor difficulty disengaging the brown leather jacket beneath from black overcoat. When he finally manages it, he slings the overcoat over the back of his chair and drops down into it. Whiskey is met with ill-disguised relief when it's brought, still numb fingers tapped quickly around the glass before he lifts it for a sip. "I can't actually help you much there. Some intangible asshole with a god complex thought it would be funny to fuck with me for a couple of days while I was trapped in the back of my own head."

Pam nods, raising her bottle to her lips and taking a long sip. "I talked to Teo about it a little, but he didn't make much sense. Is anyone going after this guy? He sounds dangerous."

"Dunno." Helpful as ever, Deckard busies himself with the process of flicking out a fresh napkin to set his glass on once he's drained about half of it. "I'm not really in the know. I see things but don't get a lot of explanation. Kind of like watching TV with the volume turned off."

"Oh. Kind of like me," Pam says, nodding. "Except in a lot more trouble. A whole lot more trouble. Mike, you are in some serious shit, even I can tell that. Why do you stick around?"

"I was going to shoot him but Teo stopped me. Probably wouldn't have killed him permanently anyway." All spoken in an undertone while he tugs off his sunglasses, like casual but maybe slightly inappropriate conversation, Deckard keeps his eyes down on his glass. Her next question earns a frown, and he's slower to answer, the clean-shaven lines around his mouth drawn deeper without scruff to soften them. "New York isn't a bad place to hide, as far as holes in the ground go."

"I saw," Pam says, looking into her own bottle. "The almost-shooting. I peeked. It was a dumb thing to do, but I peeked. Do you go around almost shooting people often, Mike?"

"I know. I saw you too." One of Deckard's restless hands folds the glasses over so they can be hooked into a pocket within the confines of his remaining coat, flashing the holster beneath in the process. The other goes back to the whiskey. "Only if they really deserve it."

Pam bites her lip as she observes the holster, quickly looking away and taking a longer sip of beer. More of a gulp, really. "I'm Pam, by the way. I figure it's only fair, since I know your name now." She starts picking at the label on her beer bottle. "This is all… Evolved and non-Evolved stuff, right?" Her voice is pitched low, because this whole conversation is not one anyone wants anyone else overhearing.

"Pam," echoes Deckard into his glass, "is a way better name than Honeysuckle." He does look at her after that at least, and her beer, expression inscrutable. "Something like that. I don't really know where the phantom guy fits in. I think that was just a drive by fucking."

"Honeysuckle is my middle name. It was gonna be my first name, but my dad put his foot down. I'm grateful. My mom is a pretty big hippie," Pam chatters, still picking at the label of her bottle. "Are you, um… PARIAH or whatever it is?"

Deckard doesn't quite smile at that, but the shadow of the sentiment is there, twitching up at the corner of his mouth behind the guise of a shorter sip of booze. Whether it's about the history of Honeysuckle or PARIAH is pretty hard to tell. Maybe both! "No."

"Flaming bird people?" Pam further asks. "You didn't shoot at the president, did you? Why am I asking this? I don't want to get shot."

"Nope. And no. If I was going to shoot you I wouldn't do it in the middle of a crowded strip club where everyone knows who both of us are." There's a sickly cheerful edge to that line of logic, and Deckard does smile this time, however falsely.

"Well, no," Pam says, nodding. "That wouldn't make any sense." She peels off a little more of the label; she pulls a scrap loose, which makes her frown more. "And the, um, the Asian guy…?"

"Suffice to say, if he comes in here looking for me again, which—" Deckard's eyes roll slightly to the stage, where there's a dance currently in progress, "he probably will, you won't want to know anything about him."

"Good point," Pam says, weakly. She has another, longer pull of beer, shaking her head. "Mebbe I should just go back to Texas and avoid all this. Put my head in the sand again."

"That would be boring," Deckard observes without a tremendous amount of mercy. His own drink is set aside with some filmy amber residue still swilling around the bottom of the glass.

"Boring is smart," Pam points out, gesturing toward him with her beer bottle. "Do you really want to be in all this?"

"No." No point in lying. Deckard's chair creaks as he sinks against the back, more lax than he should be considering their current location. "Most of the time no, anyway."

Pam has another sip of beer, glancing sidelong at him. "So are you in it because, um, you're…" Evolved?

"Sometimes it's nice to feel like you matter. In the big scheme of things." It's an answer earnest enough that it makes him visibly uncomfortable — there's a tip of his head, and a wrinkle of his nose. Cannot unsay. "That's the short answer. The longer one is classified for your own protection."

Pam turns her head to regard him for a long moment, just watching his face, and the nose wrinkle, and looking thoughtful herself. "Teo thinks I might be."

Deckard's face doesn't fit him that well at the moment. Bare of scruff and with his hair organized into a respectable flatness, there's a seriousness in the long lines and harsh angles around his jaw and brow that doesn't help the whole age thing much. "You don't know?"

Pam blinks, shaking her head a little, hair bouncing on her shoulders. "No. I don't think —- I'm just good with animals, that's all. I'm just good at reading them. That's not Evolved. That's not an ability. Lots of people can do that."

There is a pause from Deckard's side of the table at that. His brows twitch down, then up again. Happy memories! "I thought I was insane for six years. Before the word 'evolved' was really a thing."

Pam bites her bottom lip. "Six years?" she echoes in a murmur. "Really?" She extends a hand to touch his forearm briefly. "That's awful. What do you see?"

Deckard glances to the forearm touch a little slantily. Midway between surprise and discomfort, it's a moment before he answers. With a shrug. "Most everything. Except snow. And ice." Kind of a pain in the ass, really. "I'm probably not really that sane at the baseline anyway, so I wouldn't worry about it too much."

Pam pats his forearm twice, briefly, and retracts her hand again. "…Why do you come to a strip joint, then?" she asks, bemusement in her tone.

"Booze," he ticks that off on one finger, "And I can look at naked people all day, but most of them aren't attractive, and almost none of them are dancing. Especially not in my lap," is ticked off on the next one.

Pam considers this, then nods. "Makes sense," she admits after another sip of beer. "I'm not really sure what to do with all this."

"Depends on what you have to live for, I guess. Although, call me crazy, I'm personally of the mind that having a bunch of kids running around the city playing real life G.I. Joe is a bad thing." Cynicism twists into another fake grin, and he lifts a hand to gesture the waitress back over for another round.

Pam blinks several times. "…Kids? How young are we talkin'?"

Oh. Hm. How young. Yeah. Deckard hesitates more transparently there, jaw stretched open while he does hard things like math and looks Pam over again. Not in a creepy way, for once. Just, you know. Estimating. "How old are you?" he asks finally, followed by a more muted, "Thanks," when a fresh glass is set down in front of him.

That gets an amused little smile out of Pam. "Twenty-five," she says. "And I would consider that too young to go around leadin' La Resistance, probably."

"You would…fit right in." Whether or not that's a good thing is open to interpretation. Deckard's personal opinion takes the form of a privately resigned look and a really long swallow of whiskey.

Pam has another sip of beer, shaking her head. "I'm not sure if that's a good thing. It don't really sound like it." The accent keeps wavering in and out, though it's never as thick as it is when she's being Honey.

"It's not a good thing," Deckard opines bluntly, just in case she might not have been sure or something. "People your age dying and having their lives ruined. But they all seem pretty invested, so," he lifts his glass in a mock toast to whatever is in Phoenix's water.

"Oh. So it's mostly a lot of Teos and, I suppose, Brians?" Pam murmurs, eyebrows going up. "That's… kinda depressin'. Anybody over the age of forty? No?"

"No idea." Not entirely true. Maybe there is a point in lying sometimes. Flint glances down to his hand splayed around his glass, then up again, but at the girl on stage rather than at Pam. "If you're interested in taking a census, you should probably talk to someone else."

"Mm. Good point," Pam tells Deckard. "Sorry, din't mean to put you on the spot." She rolls her eyes upward. "This is real messed up, all this."

"Yep." That he can agree on without pause, even while he watches the stripper on stage shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Pam has just one more gulp of beer before putting it back on the counter and nudging it away from herself. "Well, shit. I'm just gonna go home, I think. Y'all take care, alright? Don't go around shootin' no one're gettin' shot."

"I won't if you won't get yourself kidnapped and tortured for information." This might be translated to mean 'no promises.' He smiles again anyway, no more honestly than before, and starts the dull process of fishing around in his coat after his wallet.

Pam pauses, pulling her coat on, one sleeve at a time. "Um. Okay. Merry Christmas, Mike." She leans over to give him a chaste little peck on the cheek unless he flips out ninja-style to dodge.

No ninja dodge. In the prolonged company of Abigail Deckard seems to have developed a (mild) tolerance for gestures of affection that do not lead directly to him getting laid. The line of his mouth takes on a more sarcastic slant, but that's about it. The wallet is flopped out onto the table, and there are no return good holiday wishes.

Pam's smile, dredged up just to wish him happy holidays, fades a little. She backs up two steps, turns, and makes her way toward the exit.

December 21st: Bad Influence
December 21st: We Don't Serve No Stinking Bitch-Drinks
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