Victory Dance


eliot_icon.gif zoe_icon.gif

Scene Title Victory Dance
Synopsis Eliot and Zoe celebrate the acquisition of one of the Brill paintings.
Date March 13, 2009


The pulsing beat of bass throbs through the walls of Rapture, a high-class nightclub in the heart of Harlem. Rows of expensive cars line up out front of the exclusive club and a crowd of would-be patrons wait outside, cherry-picked by the bouncers to have only the cream of the crop on the interior, while leaving just enough eye-candy outside to entice other patrons. The club serves as a respite for the trendy and the influential from the grind of daily life.

On the inside, Rapture is as much a spectacle as it is a structure. Multiple dance floors in tiered balconies overlooking an enormous central dance floor ringed by plush leather-upholstered booths. Pale blue light shines on the wrap-around bar that curved around the back of the establishment, and the entire building is filled floor-to-floor and shoulder-to-shoulder with the pulsing, flowing sea of people dancing to the rythmic beats of electronic dance music piped through the expansive sound-system.

Transaction made and painting secured with some of the Lindy-goons, Zoe rides in Eliot's car en route back to Rapture with all the cheerful enthusiasm of a puppy. "You were amazing!" she tells Eliot delightedly. "The market value of the painting is significantly higher than what we repurchased it for, and I don't know how you managed to sweettalk that man into letting me win the bid, but you did! I thought I'd have to crack a million with that guy, he had the look!"

Eliot parks the car in his usual spot and then steps out with a light smirk, rounding around the front of the car. He opens the door for her, and offers her a hand to help her out. "You need to know how to distract people. This is what I do, right? This is why Daniel put me on this job."

"Yes, but…" she lets herself be helped out of the car, "I know the sort of people who attend those kinds of functions. He was a serious bidder. You just smiled and got him to back down, and it was just…" she blinks, smiling, "You were just amazing." Can she gush enough? Really, can she?

Over him? No, not really. Eliot learned to take compliments a long time ago. "It doesn't matter how serious you are about something: if there's a time limit? Just a quick distraction will do." He closes the door of the car and wraps his arm around Zoe's waist, smiling as he ushers her towards the club.

Zoe doesn't even notice, or rather, she doesn't even mind, as he does so. In they go! As it's a Friday evening, it's already in gear, only this time Zoe looks like she belongs there, at least at first glance.

Eliot always belongs here. He guides Zoe inside and leans over to her, whispering, "You look great, by the way." She does; especially compared to last time. Now she's turning just as many heads as the chicks in the short skirts.

"Thank you!" she says, still carrying over that enthusiasm. "Did you see that statue of Anubis? My god, if I only had the authorization, I would have bid on it. It was beautiful. Of course, I'd have had to authenticate it and that would have been awkward. Could I have a spritzer?"

"Well. You're Registered, and your ability isn't of public menace, and the auction wasn't exactly entirely legal, so it's not like they could call you on it." He leads her to the bar, and orders a spritzer for her and his usual (a half glass of bourbon). "Maybe we should've just gone for it anyway. You know, as a side venture." He winks at her.

Zoe actually giggles at that, like some college co-ed. "Even if I was using my own money, I doubt I could get away with such a purchase." A sigh. "Besides, I'd have no place to put it."

"What, is your apartment small or something? I mean, I'm pretty sure you could afford a place that could house it." Eliot grins at her, and adds, "Security might run you up a tab higher than the actual worth of the piece, though."

"That was a fairly large statue." Zoe points out. "My apartment is sizable enough, I mean, it's not like I can't afford it. God knows I prefer it to the Porter estate. I haven't been back there since I was a teenage." A pause. "I'm not even sure I still have it, actually."

"How d'you mean you don't know if you still have it? It's an estate. You should be sure if you own it or not," Eliot points out with a smirk. Their drinks arrive, and he nods at the bartender, taking a drink of his bourbon.

"Well, Daniel handles most of my portfolio." Zoe admits. "It's not like I need the place. It's huge and it's cold and it's empty. What would I do with all of it?"

"Hell, I don't know. Maybe some day you'll want a family or something," Eliot suggests, lips twitching a bit. "A couple rugrats running 'round, making a mess… husband coming home from work… You know. A normal life."

Zoe can't help it, she laughs. "I love kids." she says. "Have you ever met Dixon's little girl, Anthea? She's beautiful, and I'm one of the only people in the building she talks to. I made her a frog once.' Taking a sip of her spritzer, "But you know, a husband, me? I don't know. I barely manage conversations."

"You seem pretty animated right now," Eliot tell her, smiling. "I bet I could even get you to dance a little if I asked jussssst right." There's that twinkle in his eye; a hopeful tone in his voice. He's such a charmer, even without his gift.

"Well, you know, we got one of the paintings back and it was something I could actually do, not that I'm saying you didn't have a big part in that! And I - um, you know I only know how to ballroom and things, right?" Aside from learning to tango in Europe.

"I'm just saying," Eliot states, "that if you're animated and talkative, you're much more likely to get someone who might get to know the real you. As for the dancing, well, you know, the kind of dancing they do in here?" He points at the dance floor, where people bump, grind, and generally have a whole mess of mostly-clothed metaphores for sex. "It doesn't get taught."

Zoe puts a hand to her cheek. "There was someone during my graduate studies. It didn't work out." She looks out over the dancefloor. "Well. Um. Okay, but don't embarrass me, please? It's really not the sort of thing I'm used to."

"I wouldn't dream of it." Lies. He finishes his bourbon and slides off his stool, offering her his hand to take. "C'mon, then, we can keep a modicum of decency, just in case someone's snapping pictures."

"Someone's snapping pictures?" She should realize paparazzi show up in places like this. she takes a big swallow of her spritzer for some liquid courage, accepts his hand, and lets him lead her onto the dance floor.

"Someone is always snapping pictures around here. I've even got a few employees who snap pictures and post them online for free so people can say 'I was at Rapture!'." Eliot rolls his eyes and slides his hands around her torso, swinging behind her and resting his chin on her shoulder.

He is awfully close. Surprisingly close. And he smells really good. Then faintly, "Well, you know, if you're embarrassed to be seen with me…" She's actually kidding, for once.

"I can answer that in two ways," Eliot says. "A) why would I be embarassed to be seen with you? And B) why do you think I get embarassed?" Period. Seriously, this is not a man that seems to have much shame, if any at all. He wraps his arm tighter around her waist, and pulls her close, thigh sliding between the back of her two legs as he moves, slowly.

Zoe lets out what can best be described as a squeak, and starts to back away, but for the arm about her waist. So she just kind of…goes with it, and keeps her face along his shoulder, so he doesn't see it as she struggles not to be embarrassed. She has rhythm, shockingly enough. This is just not anything remotely like she's used to.

Eliot smiles, because the squeaking is a good sign. He rests his chin on her shoulder and slides one hand down her hip, to her thigh, the heel of his hand pressing down to make her bend at the waist. You have to bend. Bennnnnd. Oops, that's telling.

Zoe knows how to dip, that's not the problem. "What are you - " DIP. As she comes back up, she's just red, and struggling not to be. "This would be so much easier if it was a tango."

"If it was a tango, it wouldn't be in this club," Eliot points out as he slides his hand over her stomach again, grinding just enough to make her nervous. "And hey. You're good at this."

"I'm not entirely a klutz." Man, she's going to need more alcohol. Her stomach flutters slightly under his hand, evidence of nervous breathing.

"I'd say you're a bit farther away from 'klutz' than you often give the appearance of being," Eliot compliments, pressing his mouth to her cheek and kissing her softly. "Need a break?"

Zoe stills when he kisses her, not that he hasn't kissed her on the cheek before. She sighs. "Sure." she says. She starts to say something else, stops.
Eliot pauses before pulling away, slinking back against her and asking, "What was that?" Those little nuances of behaviour don't escape him. He can't afford to let them, if he's going to keep up appearances as an empath.

"Nothing." she says quickly. "We're both going to Staten Island, right? Kain would say it's no place for me."
"Oh, that. Well. Kain doesn't mean it. He just likes to pull your leg, babe." He takes her hand and leads her back to the bar. "C'mon."

"Kain does mean it." she says. It's not quite why she was sighing, but she's assuming he's giving her the empathic get out of jail free card. "He makes fun of me for staying in the archive, but at the same time, he's always suggesting I can't handle the uglier side of things." She lets him lead her back to the bar. "Except of course, when he wants me to do something like read a body-part." She grimaces mildly. The idea that she may have to recount something from the murder scene she was sent to makes her wince.

"That's just how Kain is." He leads her to her stool and helps her sit, with a smile. "He's testing you, babe. He wants you to get out there and brave it, but thinks the only way you will is if he attacks your pride."

"Or you know, in ten years he might still be calling me Spooky no matter what." she says as she takes another long sip of her spritzer. "What about you?" she asks. "I mean," she makes a vague gesture with her glass, "Are you testing me? Or do you just have a thing for redheads?" Was that - did she just flirt back? Success (and alcohol) do make you brave!

"Why would I need to test you? I'm an empath, I know what you're feeling." Eliot grins at her, that knowing grin he learned to fake years before. He does so very well. "The whole red-head thing is contributing, though."

"Alright," she says, finishing off her spritzer. "What am I feeling?" she grins at him, resting elbow on the bar and chin against her knuckles. Alcohol also makes her ask stupid questions, apparently.

"You're happy. Excited, actually. You like the rush of having done something and have had it come out not well, but extremely so. You're feeling empowered, like you can do things you previously though unwise." Eliot pauses, and then takes a short drink of his bourbon, before adding: "You're also aroused and attracted to me." OH SNAP.

Zoe straightens like he slapped her. Oh god, she's going to hit a record for blushing tonight. "Um." She catches the bartender. She needs another. Oh god, yes she does. She doesn't deny it, though. She laughs weakly. "I'm sure you get that all the time." she murmurs, not looking at him.

Eliot stirs his bourbon a bit, pleased with himself. He gives her an amused smile and shrugs. "You asked," he says, as if to remind her some buttons are best left unpressed.

"I did." she says, but adds, "You needn't enjoy my discomfort so much. Wouldn't you rather see me happy than embarrassed?" The bartender brings her second drink. She thanks him profusely and takes a long sip.

"Yes. But then you make it so that whatever I say embarasses you, and who's fault is that?!" Eliot grins and has a drink of his bourbon. "I'm just trying to be honest."

"It is when you deliberately say things in such a fashion as to cause a specific reaction." she chides. "Nontheless, I'm sure you'll be a gentleman about the issue, so I have nothing to worry about."

"About what issue?" Eliot asks, as if he's forgotten about it already. Heh. He is being a gentleman. That, or he's luring her into a false sense of security!

Zoe is naive enough to assume the former! "I think, after this drink, I'll catch a cab and head home." she says with a slightly less nervous laugh.

"Are you sure? I can have someone drive you, instead," Eliot offers with a brief smile.

"Six of one, half dozen of the other, though I suppose - hmmm, it might be wiser." It's not like they just got back from a black market purch - ohnowait.

"It's always wiser if it's safer." He waves at the bartender and tells him to prep a car for her, to take her wherever she wants to go.

Zoe drains her second spritzer, and gets off of her barstool. Before she goes, though, she reaches out and touches Eliot's hand. "Hey," she says, less nervously, her gaze clear, "Thank you for helping me tonight." And shockingly, she actually steps close and moves to press her lips to his cheek.

Eliot raises a brow at the kiss and grins at her. "Any time, darlin'. They'll be waiting in the back exit for you to take you home." He points the way for her, and smiles. "Sleep well. You did good."

March 13th: Foot In The Door
March 13th: The Perfect Date
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