Wish You Were Here


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Scene Title Wish You Were Here
Synopsis Emile Danko finds himself making the acquaintance of Nicole Nichols.
Date March 12, 2010


This is one of those slightly quirky places that some people find cute or kitschy and some people find intolerable. The theme is apparent even from the set of swinging saloon doors that marks the real entrance beyond the vestibule/hallway used for carding patrons. Inside the bar proper, the theme really takes off. It doesn't look like it was originally built as a saloon, given its rather large, open floorplan and utter lack of old-timey architectural features, but the walls have been papered with imitation wood paneling and a couple of stuffed dear heads are stuck up on the walls. The large dance floor is hardwood, raised slightly from the concrete floor beneath it. The long, polished bar sits sturdily in front of a wide selection of booze and drink specials are chalked up on boards here and there. A few posters on the wall advertise Wednesdays as 'Ladies' Night' and there are a few advertisements for area gay bars. The real feature of the place is a roped off corner on the other side of the room from the bar. It holds the pride and joy of the bar: a large mechanical bull on an amply padded surface. The music is a mixture of country and the usual array of music popular in clubs with bumping beats that the clientèle certainly seem to get down with. Speaking of the clientèle, they are probably some of the most conclusive evidence that this establishment does indeed cater especially to the gay community. Whether or not that was the original purpose of the bar is hard to say.

What is there to find in gay bars if not gays?

This one in particular is shorter, balder and older than the average Desperado patron, but you don't have to be a Teodoro Laudani to pick up loose assholes in a theme bar like this one. Not this late and not with this much drinking going on.

Danko's dressed in all black, as is to be expected, worn leather and dark slacks offset by fine pinstriping down through the collar and button of the dress shirt underneath. He's doing more talking than anyone who knows him "well" would expect to see, jacket lapel occasionally tipped aside with just the right amount of lean against the bar to subtly showcase the semiautomatic holstered black under his shoulder. He even smiles from time to time, and the more time goes on, the more the shrimpy 30-or-so year old he's chatting up seems intrigued by tales of grisly investigations and narrow escapes.

Because tonight, Emile's an investigator with the FBI, you see. One named William Henrickson. And he's buyin' the drinks.

The occasional non-gay slips into Desperado now and again. Truth be told, Nicole Nichols enjoys Desperado more than most of the other bars she likes to blow off steam at. Maybe it's the fact that the women here seem to understand when she explains she's trying to escape the men.

But probably it's mostly watching people being thrown from the mechanical bull. That's always a bit of a good time. Her lips on a straw, sucking down a strawberry mojito, she watches the latest contestant go bucking about before ultimately eating dirt. Or cushioned mat, as it were.

With no one else lined up to entertain her, Nicole turns her head and glances to the men in the seats just to her left. She smiles to herself. It's kind of cute to watch the two talk and - dare she say it? - flirt.

Danko's spent a lot've time watching people lately, and a lot've time being watched. Normally in an environment like this, he'd think twice before deciding to give a damn, but if he didn't, this'd be an awful short scene and the bad guy isn't supposed to go home with the girl besides. …Boy. Whichever.

Once, twice and thrice his colorless eyes flick pale past his quarry and his scotch (scotchy scotch scotch) to focus on Nicole instead, and after a muttered exchange that has the desired effect of temporarily clearing out the young man that's been the focus of his attention so far, he's looking at her dead on.

"William Henrickson," sounds more like an introduction than a random name, even if it does come after a beat or two of unsettling silence while he sips and leans and looks her over the way people do when someone looks awfully familiar somehow. "I feel like I know you from somewhere."

"Nicole Nichols," the woman offers in return smoothly. "This always sounds conceited when I say it, but you might recognise me from television. I was on Jenn Chesterfield's campaign." There's a hint of sadness at that admission, but it doesn't last long. This isn't the time or the place to continue mourning the passing of a friend. Instead, she puts on a smile and offers one hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mister Henrickson." Had this been any other bar, she'd have called him William. But being somewhat assured that she isn't the man's type, she'll stick to the polite title.

"Nichols," echoed with a twitch at grey-touched brows, as if that must be the key, he takes her hand in his (it's warm, against all odds) and squints just so, measuring out her features with the bare beginnings of a sidelong smile even as he shakes his head. Not from TV.

"Any relation to a Colette Nichols-Demsky?" With enough of a hoarse southern drawl that he might just belong in a bar called Desperado after all, he produces a tidy box of cigarettes from somewhere in the midst of his coat and a lighter after that, watching her face all the while. "I don't mean to pry, s'just the resemblance is uncanny," flhick goes the lighter, "and you could say I'm somethin' of a friend of hers. And Judah's."

Nicole's hand is likewise warm to the touch, almost as if it'd been resting upon a heated surface rather than wrapped around an iced drink. At least she had the good sense to discretely wipe away the moisture on her electric blue minidress before shaking. Her brows hike upward when he mentions her sister and her adoptive father. "That's right," she says with a nod and a touch of uncertainty in her smile. "Colette's my sister."

A strand of dark hair is tucked behind one ear. "We are fortunate enough to bear a strong resemblence, I think." Since the man has decided to smoke, Nicole retrieves a menthol cigarette of her own from a pack in her beaded clutch. She leans forward just slightly, proffering her cigarette. "Would you mind?"

"Sister?" Earnest surprise lifts at Emile's brows as he leans in enough to (kindly) light her up, speech muffled aside out've the corner of his mouth until he can drag the smoke away long enough to reach back for his drink. "S'all the more pleasure to meet you then, Ms. Nichols." He has a slow way of speaking, like maybe this isn't his first drink, or he can't be bothered to hurry where he sees no reason. For the untrained eye, it's near impossible to make out the way he's taken to savoring every cool second in the silvery pallor of too-intent irises and the slant of his half smile.

"We've done some work together. Rustling cattle." He says so like he expects she knows what he means, sideways look the right amount of lazily conspiratorial without being pressing. "S'been busy lately, behind the scenes. Feels like the first time I've been out in six months."

Nicole takes a careful puff of her cigarette as the flame is held under it, careful to hold the smoke in her mouth until she's leaning a respectable distance back, letting it stream between her lips slowly. "Thank you," she murmurs, taking another brief drag and blowing the smoke out the side of her mouth.

Cattle rustling. Her smile polite, she doesn't exactly understand what he's hinting at, but her expression doesn't let on. She rather suspects it's good that she doesn't know what that means, but she can't help but wonder if she needs to wring her little sister's neck the next time they see each other. "I can sympathise," she offers. "Work can be all-consuming. I'm finally enjoying a bit of a breather myself."

As ominous as rustling cattle has the potential to sound in a city built on unfortunate euphamisms, Danko almost seems too fuzzy and laid back to be the source of any real trouble. He's mellow and polite, at least vaguely charming despite his cadaverous countenance and the way his pale eyes are sunk deep into their sockets. "You should talk to her about takin' a break if you get the chance. One light show too many and she's gonna burn herself out like a fluorescent lamp, all flicker and pop." He chuckles at that, sandpaper over gravel, and notches his cigarette into a nearby ash tray to reach around for a side pocket instead.

"Tell you what — I got one've them new cellular phones a few days ago, with the camera in it and everything. …But I haven't had cause to give it a try." He grunts, and out comes the phone with a flip and a click between swallows of near-empty scotch until that too is set aside.

It bothers the elder Nichols at first that the stranger in the bar knows about her sister's ability, but that's getting to be more and more common these days. At least one of them can keep their secret under wraps. Then again, one of them isn't quite so altruistic as the other.

Nicole is perhaps just tipsy enough to be game for what she suspects William is getting at. She giggles and inclines her head to one side, "Sure! Why not?" She notches her cigarette next to his, green ring and gloss lip print identifying it as hers even if they were to somehow get turned around. Sliding out of her chair, she comes to stand next to him, fixing her hair with one hand while she waits for him to set up the shot. "I'm sure her mind will be blown. She's always a little weirded out when she discovers it's a small world and we know some of the same people."

To be fair, Nicole is definitely always perturbed when she discovers her little sister is keeping the company of the same people she is.

"Seems to be the case more than ever, lately." All too comfortable about the process of sliding his shoulder in next to Nicole's, the faded bristle of his burr inclined affectionately her way, he holds the phone out as people do, locates the appropriate button, and: click. In the neon lights of Desperado, Emile Danko and Nicole Nichols smile for the camera. If — really — his 'smile' is more the kind of insidious, monitor-lizard smirk that's the difference between a baby laughing or crying at the end've a round of peekaboo.

"Maybe it's the weather. Hemmin' everyone in. Now I think," he leans away, cigarette retrieved near immediately in the process, "I should have her in here if the address book transfer did like it was supposed to…" Flick flick flick flick, he ticks through number after meaningless number. Of course, God and everyone else already knows Colette Demsky's has never been among them.

Nicole's smile is a bit more of a smirk with an upward quirk of both brows as if to say See? I've caught you, Sissy. She's oblivious to the way the man next to her is… well, sort of creepin' it up for the camera.

Reclaiming her seat and her cigarette, the woman retrieves her phone and pulls up her sister's contact info, displaying the phone number on the BlackBerry screen before holding it out for Danko to see. She's not generally so naive, but something about him makes her want to trust him. Maybe it's the fact that he isn't trying to charm the pants off her in a nearly literal sense the way most of her male contemporaries do. Such is the bonus of running into men (who aren't John Logan) at Desperado.

"Here," Nicole murmurs, "this is easier than searching forever."

"Quicker fingers," remarked offhand, potentially apologetically in light of his age and so inevitable failure at all things technological, Danko tips up a brow as he takas the the appropriate number in, followed by a short, simple message: Wish you were here. :)

A tap of the send button and an idle scratch at the back of his fuzzy head later, he's exchanging cell phone for wallet and last sip of scotch for a flat hundred dollar bill clamped under the glass's damp rim in a sift and rattle of melting ice. Apparently terrorists (and cattle rustlers?) tip well.

"Well, Ms. Nichols, I'm glad to've met you but I sent Harry out ahead to heat up my car and I have a feeling if I don't get on out there I'm gonna be driving home in a cab."

Nicole smiles. It must be nice to have the kind of confidence Mister Henrickson possesses. "You best get a move on, then," she chuckles. "I'm sure you boys hate to be kept waiting just as much as us girls. It was nice meeting you." She offers a polite wave of her hand before turning back to her drink and letting the man walk off without being watched.

Head tipped in mild agreement, Emile lets the faint upturn at the corner of his mouth do his talking for him. Most of it, anyway. "See you around," manages not to sound at all like the chilly threat it is, and then he's prowling off for the exit before the panicked phone calls can start.

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