Stay and Chat


calvin_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title Stay and Chat
Synopsis An attempt at peaceful communication with a rogue time traveler turns violent.
Date August 16, 2011

The Rookery

A bar is a bar is a bar and Shooters is: a bar. Bare bones, brick walls, hard wood furnishing as scuffed and tarnished as the locale demands. Low lights gleam dull off dirty glasses left lying on abandoned tables and Calvin is seated at the bar proper. Middling in height and eyeliner application, his character calls as much attention as is necessary to counter the way the rust orange of his bristled mane and the tired charcoal grey of his tailcoat blend him soft against sallow light. For anyone who's had his person even vaguely described to them, his profile is unmistakeable.

For most everyone else, he's regular enough that he isn't drawing as many sideways looks as he might elsewhere.

He is smoking, which is illegal, and drinking, which isn't, cigarette notched into an ancient tin of ash so that he can reach blearily for an empty glass on his way to passing it over for the fresh one that's just been set down beside it. The seats on either side of him are conspicuously empty.

The bar is dark enough that the far corners afford some anonymity, which Nick Ruskin is thankful for; lean as he is, he barely resembles the man who did Walsh's bidding months ago in this place — not at a glance, anyway. And it's in a far corner that he bends, carefully aligning the last shot in the pool game he happens to be playing with Lynette.

Sinking the shot, he straightens, then gives her a crooked smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes, dark circles beneath declaring his insomnia and stress for all the world to see. "C'mon. Winner buys the loser a drink," he says, nodding his head toward the bar. "You need a ride 'home' after this, I can do it," he adds a little more quietly as he moves through the sparse crowd.

Lynette knows only one surefire way around a hangover. And that is to never sober up. And while she may not be able to manage never, she's made it this far. A different bar from the night before, but to the same end. And a nice, steady buzz helps keep her too mellow to start ranting. Or worse, crying. But, that buzz also keeps her feet from being entirely stable, and she leans a hip against the table as she needlessly rubs chalk on the end of her pool cue. Especially needless, since she loses right then and there while she was distracting herself with an internal appreciation of the man's ass externalized as a lift of her eyebrow.

But as he straightens, she turns her head a little to belatedly check where the ball ended up. A hand goes to her hip, as it has just about every time he's gotten the leg up (it's happened a lot), but the offer of a drink gets a smile from her. "Well, that certainly takes the sting out of it, thank you," she says, glancing over toward the bar. But as she steps in that general direction, her brow furrows and her gaze lingers on Calvin. No doubt there's some sort of alarm ringing in the back of her mind, but it may just take a moment. She's been awfully drunk for quite some time.

Calvin is paying less attention to who he's sharing Shooters with than he should be, inebriate apathy interred deep in the stoop of his shoulders and the lazy drift of his eyes after himself in the bar-side mirror. Smeary eye makeup and late it's-probably-past-time-for-a-shower hour aside, he spends several seconds checking his bad self out before that same observation leads his focus back to the cigarette burning through its papers by itself in the tray.

Calvin Sheridan, time traveling hero from the future, here to save the world and all of that.

He watches himself blow a smoke ring.

Zones out.

The Brit doesn't notice Calvin to have his own alarm bells rung — not at first. He gives a nod to the bartender and the American accent is reprised, since he's known in these here parts. "Another Bass and whatever she wants," he tells the man, before turning to peer through the smoky air, looking for familiar faces that might be cause for concern.

The face he finds is not familiar, per se, but having pestered Delia for descriptions for Calvin the clairvoyant, the phrases redhaired, dreadlocks, eyeliner were definitely uttered.

He glances at Lynette, then back to the daydreaming ginger.

Suddenly Lynette finds the spot next to her empty as Nick makes his way to Calvin a few barstools down. "Think you'n'I should talk. Outside," is muttered in a low growl.

"Martini, three olives. Dirty as they come, darling," Lynette says to the bartender, but when Nick goes off to say hello, she looks back to the man behind the bar to note, "Put a hold on those, won't you?" But she's not really waiting for an answer before she comes along behind Nick. She's not entirely steady, but the boots she's got on were made for walking. While drunk. And not necessarily falling over.

There's not much of a heel, you see.

"Oh, I'd hate to be left out," she adds, not in the growl Nick gives, but rather in a somewhat wry tone with a crooked smile. It's not exactly mirthful, however.

Bar ambiance — clicking glasses, bumping furniture and low conversation — bleeds in at the sudden nearness of Nick's mug in the mirror before his address does. All the difference between the jump that doesn't happen and the slow pan sideways that does lies therein: Calvin looks them both over, with particular care and attention paid to Lynette's boots. Which, he feels

could use more heel.

Reluctant to leave the comfort and warmth of his seat accordingly, he expresses the usual warning rattle of his irritation in the form of a slow sifted breath and dead-on Nick-directed eye contact at close range afore he eases onto his feet. A squinty nod allows for them to lead the way with mock respect while he polishes off his tab with a twenty thumbed from his wallet.

Easy (or seemingly so) acceptance of the invitation earns Calvin a rise of brows and he begins to follow, one hand lightly on Lynette's shoulder. He drops his head to murmur into her ear, letting the noise of pool cues and rattle of pool balls and beer mugs to cover his words, "Don't hurt him unless you need to."

He promised Benji.

Once they reach the door to the outside, Nick glances around for any witnesses. "I just wanna talk," he says pre-emptively on the defensive. "See if maybe you've changed your perspective on things. We can help, maybe, but we need your help, too."

Lynette tilts her head a bit at that whisper, and she fixes Nick with a bit of a teasingly huffy look, "You take the fun out of everything." Honestly, what's the use of being evolved if you can't toss lightning bolts around now and then? But she'll go along with it, if only because who knows how bad her aim is at the moment?

"My friend is a hopeful soul. He believes people can change," she adds to the opening remarks, apparently not sharing the same believe. Or just being a smart ass. Or both!

Out of the bar, into the sulfur orange glow of the Rookery proper, with fog settled in the gutters stirred by the passage of tiny rodent claws. He's kept an eye on both of their asses along the way, wallet turned back down into his coat on the third try. There's a gun in there as well, butt exposed briefly to the humidity, but it's not something he acknowledges or reaches for. His coat is nice for all that it's showing its age, and the dress shirt beneath that was pressed before he buttoned himself into it this morning. His dreads are preened into sensibly(?) short disorder. His beard is kempt.

He looks, really, like any other slightly off patron they might have pulled out of a bar and isn't sure why — just that his time is being wasted. And that he has an obligation to try being tolerant first. Some sense of fair play or. Residual affection.

Which is a very long way of saying that he does not say anything to either of them, but looks flatly at them both once they've turned to initiate polite ~confrontation.~ Talk.

Nick is quiet a moment as he regards Calvin. To a practiced eye, there might be signs that Nick has a reason to have a personal grudge with the ginger — his eyes no longer have red spots and he's put on a little bit of the weight he'd lost, but he's still got a pallor and frailty of someone who's not too long ago been on the brink of death.

It's a normal place for Nick, but it's never one that's any fun.

"I'm guessing you know who I am, since most people would've asked," he begins, raising a brow for confirmation or denial of that fact. "I'm lookin' to help you put what you done right, mate. We can't undo the folks've already died — well, maybe you lot can, but that's not what I'm asking. We can figure out a vaccine or something."

He tips his head a little, blue eyes seeking blue. "You willing to come with us, talk to people about a solution?"

While Lynette also fell to a version of the flu running around this year, for her it was long enough ago that she's been able to get a pleasing enough ass back, instead of looking particularly frail. And she's also not holding personal grudges. Well, at least not flu-centric ones.

Nick kicks off the proceedings, and Lynette nods along. "We're terribly fond of the the possibility of redemption. We know the right people, if you are, in fact. Willing." An eyebrow lifts, anticipation rather than judgment in the expression. "Not to mention, of course, we'd like to put a stop to this mess." Any number of messes, but this one, definitely.

Oh god. This is worse than church.

Spinal column stretched subtly out under the fine cut of his coat, Calvin flexes his fingers and toes and manages not to roll his eyes or yawn or otherwise fall asleep on his feet.

"I'm not interested," he cuts in — at some point. Probably crosstalk over Lynette about the time his patience sands down to the bone. Loud enough to be heard. Level. Flat. Closed to argument or protest.

"However," he waits for silence, then, if there is to be a silence, hands lifted out from his sides as if in the promise of an alternate offer. Dramatic sleeves and a dramatic lean forward — more of a tilt of his shoulders that slants attention down to his pelvis, really. Precarious, given his current state: "If you'd like to kneel down, Subhuman," if there's any question of whether or not he's addressing Nick, it probably helps that he's looking blearily at him, "I will accept any and all propositions you might have on the subject of ssssucking me off."

When Calvin cuts off Lynette, then continues, Nick watches him, attention hinged on that however. The posturing makes his eyes narrow, and some part of him probably knows what is about to be suggested before it is spoken.

Another few seconds tick by before it registers.

And despite his warning to Lynette to keep things civil, Nick is suddenly rushing across the few feet between him and Calvin, one hand grasping for collar while the other swings at the ginger's face.

So much for peace talks.

And Lynette can really only bring a finger tip up to rub at her forehead. That was fast, anyway. She doesn't step back or stand around gasping and fretting like a more stereotypical female, she just folds her arms to watch. Not jumping in, not asking them to stop. At least, not yet.

The worst part about all of this is her buzz slowly fading. Which makes her annoyed.

Slick as Calvin can be while sober, in his current state he is — slightly less agile. An anticipatory step back and aside is quick enough to keep him out of easy grasp nonetheless, knees bent crooked and shoulders stooped. A hand flagged out aside simultaneously keeps his balance and calls his attention to a cab rusting out at the curb —

Not that there is any shortage of metal in the vicinity.


He spends a queerly deliberate beat considering his options before he begins to conduct, a magician's sweep of his sleeve rending the cab's rear door from its hinges and burying its edge through a discus arc and chop several inches deep into the concrete at Nick's feet. Temporary diversion of assault. Hand the right reaches to warp a light post down from the night sky; there's a poisonous electric crackle and snap when a power cable tied into the mix twists down into the street and his eyes ring soulless, animal blue in the sudden spill of darkness after it.

"Fuck," Nick hisses, reeling away from that car door and in a spin of his own that could be seen as graceful — to see the light pole coming down and the sinewing cable crawling like some insidious serpent.

The Brit's pale eyes dart to Lynette, to make sure she is safe; he then looks back at Calvin and shakes his head, raising his hands up.

Empty, palms forward in a settle down sort of gesture.

"You're right, mate. I should have declined more politely, but I just didn't feel like doin' you any sexual favors when I spent weeks coughing up my lungs and bleeding out my eyes, thanks to you," Nick offers dryly. "But I'm not suicidal, and I wasn't lookin' to hurt you. Do you have any message for the rest of 'em? The people who thought you were their friend, that thought you were here to make things better, not just to play your own personal agenda?"

Lynette's fine, if watching in wariness as things start to fly about and fall over. As Nick takes the mature approach, she isn't retaliating (or preempting, whatever), but she is ready to. Her fingers rub together as if in elaborate preparation for a snap, but the sound never follows. This time, she isn't backing up Nick's words with her own, but she's not opposing them, either. She can play nice.

A secondary twitch after Nick's raised his hands pops the cable's far end; it falls limply across the street and lies there under a sporadic spit of spark and fire from a nearby transformer. Deeper shadows are contrasted by flashes of blue and white accordingly, Sheridan's face pale and drawn in unnatural light. Too intent. He is not quite ready to stop being violent.

The cab's interior lights flutter on sickly yellow behind him.

Door ajar.

"Like father," he drawls, at length, venom wet at the split of his tongue, "like — irrefutably pretty — son. Do you even know who you're talking to?"

A show of his teeth is uniquely unfriendly, hyena white beneath the steady glow of his eyes.

"More relevantly, do you have any idea who you are, while we're on the subject of personal agendas and long-distance relationships."

Nick shakes his too-long hair out of his eyes — his usual nervous gesture of raking hand through hair might be too quick of a motion when someone has an electric cable at their command, after all.

"I know who Benji is, what she is, if that's the long-distance relationship you're talking about, Rosen. And I know I failed her, and her mother." He looks sick to say it, especially in the false light. His pallor against dark hair and dark circles beneath his eyes make him look almost vampiric.

"I told Benji I'd support her wish not to send a fuckin' lynch mob after you — I'm starting to think that was a mistake, but I'm not going to go back on my word now." The words are flat, honest, and spoken with the realization that they're ironic as hell.

He tips his head, glacial gaze jumping over to the cable and back again. "Can I ask why? I think it's a fair question to ask." Nick narrows his eyes. "You know, as one of the targets, intended or not."

"Never ask why, darling," Lynette says as she comes up behind Nick, slowly enough, but she isn't much worried over the cables. "You'll never be satisfied with the answer. I think it's fair enough that we decide to part ways here, since it seems we won't be coming to an agreement. Unless you boys are spoiling for a fight," she adds the last with a bit of a feline smile.

"Never ask why, darling," Lynette says as she comes up behind Nick, slowly enough, but she isn't much worried over the cables. "You'll never be satisfied with the answer. I think it's fair enough that we decide to part ways here, since it seems we won't be coming to an agreement. Unless you boys are spoiling for a fight," she adds the last with a bit of a feline smile.

She. Her. Cruel disbelief at careful political correctness coaxes forth another grin at Nick's expense, less personable than the first and accompanied by a lax, lolling shift in his shoulders. Which, in turn, settles into a chuckle that he endeavors to muffle for manners' sake, scruffy chin tilted down and then back.

Haa — a.

It ceases being funny abruptly and a fist snapped to heel cracks the downed wire to call as well. Relieved of its electrical connections, it lashes — twang — hot for Nick's ankle and jerks taut, a solid yank enough to drag him off his feet if he lets his balance slip. "Stay and chat," he says, indicating the crooked lamp post, "won't you."

The steel-toed Doc Martens he always wears — even in the heat of summer — prove practical tonight as coil connects with thick leather — practical enough not to cause too much pain, anyway, when he is dragged off of his feet.

At the mercy of the mad puppeteer, Nick hisses. "Lyn, get out of here… he has no issue with you."

Hands clawing at the metal coiled around his boot, he spits out at Calvin, "Disappointed you didn't get to tell me what a crap father I was? Sorry to spoil your fun, mate. If you aren't going to answer our questions, then it's a bit of a one-sided chat, yeah?"

"Oh, please. It's like you don't know me at all," Lynette says, same wry tone that she's had pretty much all night, although a little sharper here because, hey, he doesn't know her that well. But she doesn't leave a man behind, it just isn't in her style. It makes it hard to live with herself after.

Her hands lift, electricity jumping between her fingers, gathering brightly in her palm and making her smile spread a little wider. "Besides. Our new friend wants to play." She doesn't make any real demands, but she doesn't start firing off bolts his way, either. But he does have her ex-lover's daughter's future child's father in tow, so.

Unholy eyes fixed upon the pulse of lightning in Lynette's hands, Calvin has drive enough to complete his own circuit despite the promise of imminent electrocution: the thick cabling bound around Nick's ankle pulls stiff to suddenly haul him ass over elbows into the air, opposite end catching round the crooked light post to suspend him pinata-like above the sidewalk.

For all that he proposed conversation as a pretense to Nick's continued presence, he flatly ignores the younger man's efforts in the interim. Lynette's finally gotten his attention with something other than her ass.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" is not quite an earnest query. "Rebels to aid, internment camps to burn down."

As he is upended, Nick manages to grab the gun from his waistband before it falls loose and to the ground, though a few coins and his keys manage to rain down like candy from a pinata — at least he hasn't been broken open yet to spill anything more vital.

Bending at the torso upward, he tries to unlace his boot to get himself released, to no avail.

"Psychopath," he mutters beneath his breath while trying to focus — despite the blood rushing to his head — on Lynette and Calvin.

"I don't bring work home from the office," Lynette says, one eyebrow lifts upward as she looks up toward Nick's dangling form. It makes her frown, it does, and she's all too willing to let those little charges in hand leap out together to head for Calvin in a larger bolt.

She does like her bar brawls, after all. And a touch of irresponsible behavior.

Nick's mutter draws Calvin's eyes tell-tale, their backlit glow fixed in a glare that doesn't manage to fester past a jut at his lower jaw before he spends the next second or so incapable of thought as a bit of tin in the microwave and the seconds after that lying on his back.

For everyone else to perceive in spectrums beyond pure pain, lightning tangles into his chest and down one pant leg to knock him flat with a bit of smoke and an acrid metallic stink.

Predictably, the cable bound around Nick's ankle falls slack from the light post.

Unfortunately, so does Nick.

The second the cable starts to loosen around his ankle, Nick tries to right himself like a cat in the air — unfortunately with less success.

He is neither a gymnast nor a cat — despite seeming to have nine lives.

The end result is that he manages to bring his legs down to the side so he is less vertical, knees tucking into a ball while his hands reach out to greet the concrete before his face can.

The sound of a bone breaking is — unfortunately — a familiar and sickening one that comes just before the rest of his body hits the ground with a dull thud.

Blood trickles from his temple as he hugs the ground for a long silent moment, no breath in his lungs to expel and too shocked to take in one quite yet.

She may have put a little too much English on that one, no pun intended. But when Nick hits the ground, she comes over in his direction, electricity still present, which might be why she doesn't move to help him up, but she is in a sort of protective stance.

"Sorry, hun," she says to him, although she's watching Calvin, "You can walk still, can't you? It might be time for a graceful exit, if you can manage." Carrying him would be a downer, but you know, do what you have to.

"Fffuck," says Calvin. Quietly and to himself. And the sky, a slow blink thinning the buzzy haze that bristles about his vision's fringes.

One hand is eventually lifted sluggishly to feel at his chest; his head turns slightly aside.

Alive. Not in any hurry to hop to his feet.

Finally sucking in a breath, Nick manages a nod, though his eyes are half-lidded, dark lashes grazing his cheeks sleepily as he pushes off the ground — slowly — with one hand, the other cradled to his chest, blood seeping onto the white v-neck he wears under his leather jacket.

Compound fractures are the worst.

He moves like an old man, every joint protesting against the weight of his body, and when he walks it's not quite in a straight line.

"You're gonna have to drive," he says, nodding to the keys that have fallen. He means the boat of course, but he's not about to say as much.

Glancing over his shoulder at Calvin, he trusts Lynette to cover him. "Stay the fuck away from anyone I know," he growls — as if he'd won the fight and not simply because he had the good fortune to have an electrokinetic at his side tonight.

"Not to worry. I'm an excellent driver." Courtesy of her fancy lawyer father and his passion for sailing. Lynette does, in face, do the covering, keeping an eye out as she follows Nick in a sort of backward walk. It's cool with her, if Calvin decides to lay there a little while longer.

Nick's little warning gets a bit of a chuckle, a smile coming back to her. "Are you kidding? This is the most fun I've had in weeks and weeks." She's not getting laid anymore, see?

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