Usually A Crutch


griffin_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Usually a Crutch
Synopsis After some pool, Griffin takes it upon himself to help Ziadie stop drinking.
Date February 27, 2011

The Stop

Liquor. It makes life a bit more tolerable, especially with recent things that have happened. Robots, H5N10, fighting atop a speeding train last night, FRONTLINE-OS out for his head…Griffin Mihangle has a lot of shit running through his head right now. More than enough that he feels that the best way to cope with such hardships, aside from finding solace in his fiancee, is to enjoy some good scotch and play pool.

Which is exactly what Griffin is doing right now. A cigarette resting at the corner of his lips, Griffin is hunched over the pool table, lining up a shot in silence while a few drunks yell at the basketball game, which Griffin periodically glances towards in silent judgement. He could make all of those plays twice as well as those kids, if it weren't for his bum knee.

Ziadie hasn't been out too much, lately, but tonight, he's decided, is one of those nights to be out.

As the old man steps through the door, a cell phone is closed, pushed into the pocket of the peacoat he wears, and the knit hat is still down over his ears. With a message left not to expect him home, the older man feels less guilt about being out, out as he is to escape from the facts.

Wary, but perhaps already more than a bit drunk, Ziadie looks around, before making his way over to the bar. Once there, the former cop pulls off the peacoat to reveal the leather jacket beneath, pulls off the knit cap, and sets about to ordering a drink, accent more Jamaica and less Harlem than it usually is.

Griffin lines up another shot, his vantage point perched at the pool table allowing him to scan the room as he takes his shot, sinking two of the balls into the pockets. He notices Ziadie, watching the older man with a thoughtful look as he snuffs out the cigarette in the ashtray, downing the last of his scotch with a slight flinch as the liquid burns its way down.

Then, leaving the pool cue leaned against the table, Griffin is making his way up to the bar, empty drink class in hand. He halts a few seats down from where Ziadie rests, setting the glass on the bar and pushing it toward the bartender. "Another scotch on the rocks, please." A green-eyed glance is cast toward Ziadie, a faint grin forming on his features.

In the time that it takes Griffin to walk over, there is an empty shot glass in front of Ziadie, and he turns it around in his hands, moody, morose. Yet he does, eventually, meet Griffin's gaze, and there's a fair bit of a delay before any hint of recognition occurs. Moving today with more of the creakiness of his joints than usual, Ziadie pulls out a cigarette from a pack somewhere inside of the leather jacket, and the zippo. The same one that Griffin picked up for him.

"Even'n'." Whether or not it was intended to do so, the utterance passes for a greeting, and the cigarette he withdrew is held at the edge of his mouth, unlit and yet giving off the subtle hint of clove all the same, as the zippo is opened, shut again. Opened, shut again.

Green eyes trail over Ziadie for a moment, before Griffin offers a slow nod toward the older man. "Hey there." He smirks quietly, leaning against the bartop as he awaits his drink. It doesn't take long, and the telekinetic soon has a glass of amber-tinted liquid with ice in it in his hand. He lifts this, ice clinking with in as he takes a long draught.

"Sorry I haven't called you yet. Life is…busy." No lies there. "What brings you out this way?"

Slowly, Ziadie shrugs. His arm's no longer in a sling, but there's still some care in the motion that it uses only his right side. "Work. Life." He shrugs. He's been busy avoiding both of those. "Shoulder's better, mostly. Haven't run into any more robots." Another half-shrug, and Ziadie stares at the empty shot glass before finally lighting the cigarette. The scent of clove drifts in the same direction as the wisps of smoke.

A small smirk meets Ziadie's statement, Griffin turning his eyes up toward the basketball game for a moment, slurping down more scotch. "I, on the other hand, have." This is said with a small smirk. "And by some miracle, both my friend and I managed to escape with no loss other than burnt clothing." He smirks quietly, turning to peer over at the older man. "Pretty interesting, really." The catbots are easy to throw. It's really fun to throw the catbots at the llamabots.

There's a nod, and then Ziadie pauses, to push his own glass to the back edge of the bar. The older man isn't particularly wasting time with raising his blood alcohol level. Or at least, not wasting much time. The glass looks to be filled with vodka. Probably vodka and something else equally high proof, but for the moment, Ziadie merely wraps his fingers around the bottom, not picking it up.

Griffin sips at his glass, arching his brows at the clear liquid in Ziadie's glass. "Got some problems you're trying to chase away?" The man arches his brows, reaching up to rub at the well-trimmed beard that covers his face. "Seem like you want to get up above driving limits in a hurry." He sips at his own beverage. He's not much of one to speak, as he does enjoy the bottle a fair deal, but…there's a smell that alcoholics tend to carry.

The former cop winces, a bit. "I don't drive t' start with." Deflection, followed by a wince. It's a half truth, he hasn't owned a vehicle since his truck ended up in impound, and there's been no hurry to get a new one. "Jus' work, an such. Worries. Th' usual."

Griffin raises his brows, tipping his head toward Ziadie with a faint smirk, "That little thing you can do makes you a pretty bad liar, yeah?" He chuckles softly, shaking his head slowly. Then, he reaches over, gently clapping Ziadie on the back. "Come play some pool with me. You can explain to me. Perhaps, then, I might explain my own troubles to you." He lifts his drink, and without giving Ziadie a chance to refuse, makes his way back over to his pool table, fetching a cigarette on his way.

"Something like that," Ziadie says. But he picks up his peacoat and his cane, hanging the cane over his arm. Before he moves, the drink that had been in front of him becomes another empty glass, and then, a small half-smile makes its way onto his face. Evidently, he's reached the level of alcohol in his system that's finally lowering his inhibitions a little.

Ziadie draws a chair to be near the pool table, wordless, so that he can once again put down the peacoat, lean the cane somewhere that if need be, he can get to it. There's a glance at the pool cues, and he tests a few, experimentally, before settling on a third. "Have to warn y'," he says. "I's never that great at pool." And considering that he's using the pool cue predominantly with his right arm, and left merely as a guide … he's not expecting to get miraculously better at it, while drunk, with his non-dominant hand.

Griffin smirks, quickly racking the balls as Ziadie offers his warning. "I'll go easy on you, then." He isn't the most amazing pool player in the world, but he knows what he's doing, for the most part. "You really shouldn't drink so much. You look like you're already pretty good." Griffin's only on his second drink, but Ziadie is looking like he came in drunk.

The older man's brows furrow at Griffin's statement. "Wha's it to you?" he asks. His words slur, slightly, but still noticeably. Ziadie's question isn't defensive, at least not quite, or not yet. "It helps." His lips set, firmly, and that might be anything he's going to offer as to his own reasoning, and he watches Griffin set up the pool table.

"Does it really help?" Quietly, Griffin picks up the cue ball, setting it down just off to the left of the marker dot. He bends down, lining up a shot to break the ball formation, pausing the glance up at Ziadie. "Does it really ease your worries, or is it just…a crutch?" He glances toward his own glass of scotch. Yeah, he likes alcohol…but he rarely gets drunk drunk. Especially these days, when he has a son to worry about. "I've tried it myself. Never really worked too well for me."

Ziadie waits for Griffin to finish with breaking the formation of the pool balls before answering. It's more than likely that it is, for the old man, just a crutch, and he's not going to bother trying to lie. After all, he's a terrible liar.

"Don' know. Short periods of time, sure."

"It usually is a crutch. It's not one that's easily hidden, either. Did you know that there's a certain smell that those who abuse the liquor a bit too often have? It's a strange phenomenon, really, but I think it has something to do with your liver and your sweat." He shrugs, and takes his shot. Two, three balls land in the hole, and Griffin moves to take another shot, choosing solids.

"You really should try to quit that crutch. It doesn't help anything. Just makes life difficult for you and those who love you." Griffin is feeling very bluntly honest today.

Having his current faults pointed out to him wasn't exactly what he had in mind when he decided to spend the night out drinking, and Ziadie's brows furrow, slightly. Displeasure, thought, and a quiet protest. "There's no one…" but that isn't right either, and even as Ziadie says it, he realises that. It's a statement that might have been true, several months ago, but is no longer true now.

"Ne'r said it wasn't a problem," Ziadie continues, quiet admission, that tone of uncertainty in his voice. After all, he's playing pool and talking to a near stranger. "Just that it's th' better of options."

Griffin smiles faintly, lining up another shot, which sends another ball into a corner pocket. "What are the other options?" He turns green eyes toward Ziadie as he moves, lining up yet another shot. Being so tall is definitely an advantage. Makes it easier for him to line up shots. "Sobriety and…what else?" He tips his head toward the older gentleman, taking another shot. This one doesn't go in. Probably on purpose.

Ziadie considers, carefully lining up his pool cue after having walked to the other side of the table. Nothing goes in, though it was close enough that had there been a little more force behind it, the old man might have gotten lucky. "Sobriety," Ziadie muses, "never works. Not much better, 't least." More obviously, there's a reason behind his drinking more than he easily admits. Then again, drinking doesn't seem to work so well for him, either. He flicks a glance towards the bar.

"Not much better? I have to disagree there." Griffin chuckles, stepping up to the table once more, though he catches the glance to the bar. He glances toward his own scotch…and decides that he's not going to finish it. His pep talk is just as much for himself as it is for the older man. He needs to lay off the bottle himself. "Take me for example. I'm here playing pool and drinking, and shirking my responsibilities." Another ball is knocked into one of the pockets, though the next one doesn't make it.

Ziadie circles the table once before choosing an angle, and this time, does manage to knock one of his balls into a corner pocket. "I suppose," the older man says. "I've tried," he adds. "I done tried, and I don' have much luck, when I've tried. 't least drinkin' turns th' world down a bit." He grimaces, as this time he fails to do more than send the white ball rolling across the pool table uselessly. He looks off, distantly. "Sooner or later …" Sooner or later he ends up drinking again.

Griffin shakes his head slowly, watching the man thoughtfully. "It works for a little bit, but is it really worth it? I'm sure there are people who care about you. Who need you and depend on you." Like his son. Griffin holds back as he watches Ziadie take his shot, brows raised. What the hell is he doing here, playing pool and enjoying alcohol, when he should be with his son, or looking for the ones who murdered his sister? What is he doing with his life?

Ziadie shakes his head. "I don' know," he admits. He's thoughtful. And then, again, the thought that there's no one, crosses his mind, dismissed again with the involuntary wince. "But no matter whether I try…" he shakes his head. The old man has lived in a self-enforced layer of numbness for long enough that he's uncertain of a lot, and he steps so that he's next to Griffin, so that he can't be overheard. "I should," he admits. "I should. I got me a job waiting, everything, but I can't do it."

Griffin tilts his head toward Ziadie, quietly regarding the man at his quiet admission that he should quit drinking. There's silence as the tall man works through a few things in his head, watching the older man. "We both should, sounds like." He suddenly raises a hand. Griffin knows that he'll likely have a much easier time than Ziadie. Which is why he's offering. "Let's help each other, yeah? I can ensure that you can do it."

There's a hint of a nod, and Ziadie reaches into his pocket, pulling out a cigarette, lighting it, the last one having been long out. "Sure," he says, a hint of uncertainness, but the tone of his voice suggests that maybe, just maybe he's ready to be done with the habits that he's used as escapism for so long now. His brows quirk upwards, slightly, though, with the words that the other man said coming off as truth. "Y' can, hm." It's not a question. Not really.

A slow nod. "I can." There is truth to this, as far as Griffin is concerned. He's confident that his method will help. Really, when you can snatch away their liquor without any warning, it's quite easy to keep someone from drinking. "You said yourself, you have a job waiting. Maybe it's time to get away from the bottle." He has a son waiting. Griffin nods, pushing the scotch away from himself.

Ziadie's gaze drifts across the room, to linger on the bar once more. His heart may be in the desire to stop drinking, but his current drunken state isn't quite. So rather than say anything stupid, which is … likely, in his lack of judgment at the moment, he just nods, laying his pool cue down on the edge of the table.

A conversation one pool table over starts to get less pleasant, accusations being thrown and lies along with it, and involuntarily, Ziadie winces, more receptive to his ability at the moment. A little uncertain, the former cop glances about, grabbing his cane and his jacket, and backing himself up to lean on a wall, which puts a good ten foot radius between him and anyone else.

The lanky fellow peers thoughtfully over at Ziadie, before gesturing toward the door. "Here. Let's get the hell out of here and go for a walk. If you hang out with me for a few days, I can get you straight, guaranteed." He can babysit an old man for a few days before he goes back to his son on Pollepel. At least he can rest assured that the boy has been inoculated for H5N10.

The peacoat gets put on over Ziadie's leather jacket, and he nods. He's amicable to the idea, though he leans on his cane and his steps are unsteady, a little off balanced. "Let's get s'where, less people," he says, agreement. "Otherwise, I gon' have a headache twice o'er." The first from the alcohol. The second from his ability.

Quietly, Griffin offers an arm out to Ziadie, to assist him out the door. No need to have the old man fall over under his watch. "I'll take you by the place I've been staying. It's not too bad." It's not the best place in the world. Just an old abandoned apartment building, but it's quiet, and there's nobody in there, usually, save for an occasional homeless person who collapses in the front lobby to sleep in shelter.

"'d say 'd go by home 'n grab stuff," Ziadie says, musing. "But best not. Mayhaps t'morrow." He lives with a cop, after all. "Plus, it's … far, and it's late, and." He nods, and lets Griffin lead, quiet but grateful for the aid in balance. The older man is … definitely drunk. As he gets outside, after a block or so, he draws out his cell phone, indicates for Griffin to pause while he dials, with the intent of leaving a voicemail.

"Ivanov?" There's a pause, despite that it's the answering machine. "I be home in a few days." Click.

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