20101026 - Unreliable cars lead to introductions

20101026 Tue Oct 26 02:04:57 2010 - Fall

Setting

Dick's Last Resort - Division Avenue: East
The atmosphere of Dick's Last Resort is certainly different than your typical restaurant. The waitstaff are rude, slovenly, sarcastic, and generally up to no good.. and that is the primary appeal of the Last Resort. Cat calls, yelled insults, and occasionally the odd swear word are all heard here. Bartenders loudly accuse customers of being drunks if they order a second round of drinks, waitstaff often toss handfuls of napkins and straws at tables after the orders have been delivered, and it's not unheard of for the staff to lock folks in the bathroom if they go in there too often.
The floor is covered in weathered wood and stained and scarred with a thousand dropped plates and spilled drinks. Despite that, however, it's clean and offers a wide variety of food. Steak, seafood, pasta - you can be assured you'll get your fill of Dick's.

Cast

Scene

It's after midnight, which means that the Last Resort is in full swing. It's crowded, loud, and smokey. Charley is sitting at a smaller table between the bar and the front door eating from some appetizer baskets while reading a newspaper. Yep, that's right. A newspaper. At two AM.

The front door is opened, cautiously, and a petite woman with a ponytail enters, her movements revealing a bad mood. She heads directly to the bar, tense as she tries to get the attention of the bartenders. While she waits, she gives the crowd short, nervous glances, and finally, her gaze lands on Charley. The nerves are given away with a bite of her lower lip, even if someone couldn't sense it and she hurriedly turns back to the bar.

Charley at first doesn't pay any attention to the new people that show up, and that includes the small pony-tailed woman. At least until something brushes past his senses. At that point the newspaper is lowered a bit and he looks around before finally setting his gaze on Jandra. Being mistrustful of leopards as he is, he peers at her curiously.

She is still failing to gain the barstaff's attention, possibly being too small, and too polite. Jan turns her head slowly, as if she feels the weight of his gaze on her back, and she meets it and then drops her gaze down. She hesitates, before moving across to him, to stand beside the table. "I apologise if I intrude. The car broke down…" Her voice is low, soft enough to avoid the humans' attention.

Charley watches the woman approach and lets her speak without interrupting. Even when she's done he takes a moment to look her over, check her posturing and such. Finally, he sighs and shrugs. "Eh, can't be helped then, can it? You don't have a cell phone? Getting someone's attention in this place can be a bitch."

She relaxes slightly, indicating a chair opposite him before she sits, "Battery's dead." The rueful smile reaches her eyes, lightening the grey. "Jan. I'm pard. I guess you know that." She hesitates before offering her hand, clearly uncertain as to the correct protocol. "Perhaps if I order a round they could notice me."

Charley doesn't stop her from sitting down, and in fact makes sure that all of his stuff is off of her half of the table. "Charley. I'm Indie." He does take her hand and give it a single shake when he's done rearranging things. "That'll get you noticed, but it's fifty fifty on how the staff will take the extra work." He reaches down to his pocket and slides his own cell over. "Easier this way."

The smile he gets for that is warm, a mixture of friendliness and gratitude. "Indie? Forest didn't mention there were any but I guess, he can't tell me everything. I just got into town." She takes the phone, quickly dialling the number for someone, who answers. "Cale, your car broke down…inside some bar called the Last Resort." Her gaze flickers up to Charley and then away again. "No, it's ok. Someone called Charley. Yes…See you." She hangs up, offering him the phone back. "Thank you."

Charley was looking elsewhere while she talked, and afterward nods as he takes back the phone and tucks it away. "No sweat. No real reason to mention the indies. We're all nice and quiet like. Plus, there's always the chance he doesn't know about us. Your previous managers may have neglected to bring it up."

"Forest only just took over, I think. I never met the previous managers." She hesitates before she uses the last word. "Can I offer you a drink? To thank you for the use of your phone." Jan's shy smile is quick, there and gone, and she moves to rise, to get drinks.

Charley grunts and shrugs. "Never turn down a free beer, that's my motto." He sits back and waits for her to get back, taking the time to delete the last dialed number from his phone. "can't say you missed out on not meeting the last bunch of prisses. Real jewels, let me tell ya."

Jan does get attention this time, the money in her hand apparently a draw. A flash of amusement crosses her face as she orders a coke and a beer, and she returns with them quickly, drinking her coke from the bottle. "Prissies? Forest is so laid back, I think he may fall over." Close to the edge of a lie, that, and she hesitates, correcting herself. "Well, mostly. Tell me about them?" Her grey eyes are serious, interested.

Charley takes the beer with a nod, but shakes his head as Jandra sits down. "Sorry. And when I said 'prissies' I meant colossal assholes. And I'd rather not talk about them, thanks. They put me in a mood to rip off heads." He pauses to sip hsi beer.

After midnight, and the Last Resort is in full swing. Crowded, loud and smokey. Charley and Jan are sitting at a smaller table between the bar and the front door. Charley has a beer, and Jan is nursing a coke. "That tells me a whole deal there now." She sighs, shaking her head. "This pard is massively … some of them are very…" She shakes her head once more, giving up on trying to form that sentence.

Charley raises a brow as he watches the woman, then shrugs again. "Well, you know better than I do. I gave up on trying to keep in touch with what goes on in the other groups. A guy can get stabbed in the back only so often before he says fuck 'em all." Another pull from his bottle is taken.

Jan bites her lower lip, a gesture of nervousness, "I'm sorry, I didn't know… It feels like whereever I open my mouth around this pard I put my foot in it at the moment." She leans back in the chair, taking a sip of her coke, to cover the faint wince at her error. "Dysfunctional."

Charley shrugs yet again, swishing the bottle around slowly. "Eh, can't be blamed for something you didn't know, so don't sweat it. Although it should be clear that many people ain't been happy with the past pard, so…just a little warning."

Jan leans forward, resting her elbows on the table, the bottle between her hands. "I'm getting that feeling. Even members of the pard seem to be broken." She shakes her head slightly, her forehead wrinkling. "I thought the pard we left was bad. This one is …like half of it hates the other half." She glances up, with a flicker of a rueful smile. "And I should stop running my mouth off."

Cale will come into the Last Resort quickly at first. HIs firm touch on the door lost amid the bustle of the customers and the music. Then he slows after the first few steps and his head turns, eyes flicking here and there. His nose twitches and after a moment of taking in the atmosphere, a slight frown comes to him. A tiny thing drawn up by a passing thought. Easing away after a few moments as the thought passes. It will take him a moment to pick Jandra out. The stimuli of the place providing an uncommon level of resistance for him. But he does spot her after a few moments and approaches, edging past people carefully.

Charley smirks a bit at the woman and shrugs again. "Yea, it's bad I guess. And you probably should, now that I think about it. I imagine not everyone would be happy to know you're talking about family to an outsider, let alone an indie." As cale closes in Charley looks over at him briefly. "This your ride?" he asks Jandra.

Cale's arrival brings Jan's head up, and her mouth curves into a soft smile and she turns in the chair, offering a hand to Cale immediately. The warmth of her greeting is obvious to anyone watching, along with a hint of relief. "Yes, it is. And I should. I talk too much, I know that." She glances between the pair, "Cale, this is Charley. Alpha of Indies. Charley, this is Cale."

Cale smiles, h is own relief palpable as he comes up to the table, largely ignorant of the past talk if his relaxed expression is any sign. HIs hand rises up to take hers once he is in range, squeezing firmly, but comfortably. In truth, he almost forgets Charley before Jandra introduces him. His head turns then and he smiles. "Thank you for watching after her," he says, standing for the moment beside her chair. There is a pause, he looks towards Jandra, then back to Charley before he says, "I'm still new around here.. Indie? Independents?"

Charley raises a brow slightly at Cale, smirking only a bit. "Cale. Yea, that's right. Independents. And she hasn't been here /that/ long, so no worries. And she bought me a beer, so that makes it better." And speaking of which, he takes a drink of his beer.

Jan leans into Cale, the movement natural, "I'm capable of looking after myself, you know." She murmurs, a gentle protest against that assumption. "If anything, I'm making a nuisance of myself, interrupting his quiet time." She nods towards the newspaper on the table, before looking up at Cale. "Apparently the old pard leaders upset him." The comment is phrased carefully, almost tactfully.

Cale seems to grasp the concept quickly, at least in a general sense as he nods, thoughtful. He studies Charley for a moment before he nods and a light grin comes to him. His hand releases hers only to have his arm move over her shoulders lightly. The grin grows a bit at her protestations, though the history talk dims it just a bit. He nods his head to that and looks towards Charley. "Seems there was a lot going on in the past. Hopefully things will be more quiet now. Though I'm not really one to say. But I tend to be a quiet kind of person."

Charley shoots Jan a look. "And yet you keep bringing them up." He snorts, then looks back to her friend. "Yea, well…I suppose only time will tell. You'd actually have to /try/ to do worse than the previous administration, so I'm thinking your new group should do fine. Mostly."

Charley's comment and look gets a quick nod, with an apologetic look tagged on. "Yes. Sorry." She rubs her head lightly against Cale's arm, as she leans into his embrace. "How many independents are there? I ran into a student who is a snake…" Curiousity did kill the cat but this one is still alive.

Cale sees that they're staying a bit, so he liberates one of the nearby chairs to pull over and turn. Settling himself down next to Jandra. His arm having to move away for a moment, but it returns, lower about her back once he is comfortable. Her words listened to, he only gives a slight nod of agreement, content for the moment to listen. Not uninterested himself, by his expression.

Charley smirks and raises a brow. "Now that's a bit of a secret, but I will say there's less of us than you might think. And no, no snakes in the group. I don't do the automatic membership for rare breeds thing. I'm real picky about who I let in. Helps to keep me sane, don'tcha know."

Jan nods slowly, accepting the rebuff with grace. "Anything that keeps people sane must be a good thing." She comments softly, turning to lean her back into Cale, watching Charley thoughtfully. "He seemed a nice guy, anyhow… But I guess you can't take everyone." She glances up at Cale, a brief questioning look.

"He did seem to already have some sort of family," Cale reminds Jandra. Not too certain himself. Jandra's look gets a grin and he opines more generally, "I'd say that how one lives is for them to decide." He looks towards Charley. "Which includes groups. I can see benefits to being selective and benefits to being more open. I don't suppose you have a means of contact? Should any new ones without a home come by.. I could alert you to them for consideration? It can be quite overwhelming to be new and a lone in a place like this for our kind."

Charley hrmms, getting a curious look on his face at the exchange between Cale and Jan. "No, no I can't accept everyone and I wouldn't want to. Way too many trouble-makers out there. The Independents don't seek out prospective members; the Indepenedents /get/ sought. Still, I'm not one to turn away a helping hand." With that he pulls out his wallet and pulls out a card, which is then handed out to Cale. "That's my cell. Someone needs something, don't be afraid to give it a ring. But at the same time it doesn't guarantee my help, just so you know."

Jan turns her attention back to Charley, a faint blush rising in her cheeks, "We know." Her voice is low, and the smile that goes along with it is a faint one. "But if we need someone who wants help, you are alright with us passing it on?" Her hand idly rubs across Cale's leg, the movement automatic, seeking touch. "Send them your way? Or do you prefer Cale just call you?"

Cale reaches out to take the card and nods. "Well, the only way you get looked for is if people know you're there," he says. "Might be the odd one that doesn't find, so a little help to do that is good. And of course I can't force you to accept anyone, nor would I. I might.. try and put in a good word, but I don't have illusions about that either." He smiles, the card slid into his jacket's inner pocket for now. He smiles at Jandra and gives her side a soft rub, but his attention doesn't drift long from Charley.

Charley shrugs and sits back. "Naw, feel free to drop my name and send 'em my way if they want. It's a poor doctor that doesn't accept walk-ins when he doesn't make house calls, right?" He chuckles for a sec before finishing off his beer.

Jan's smile widens, becoming warmer, creasing the corners of her eyes. "I'm glad his piece of junk car broke down." She reaches for her drink, finishing hers, giving Cale a questioning glance as she does so. "We'll send people your way for sure. It isn't easy to deal with it, if you are new, alone."

"Hey! That car isn't a piece of junk. Got me all the way here, didn't it?" Cale gives Jandra a firm look. "Just need to get her a tune up, once I get settled." He shakes his head, then nods once, looking towards Charley. "If I see anyone who looks like they need someone, I'll give them your number. Let them call and they can present themselves. I'd assume that's how it works, right?"

Charley gives Jan a bit of a wink then nods to Cale. "That about sums it up, yep. But if you'd use a bit of judgement when handing out, that be great. No punks, gangers, fit-throwers, criminals, etc need apply. A little extra filtering, yea?"

"Even more reason to call it a piece of junk. It broke down, didn't it?" Jan's replying look is laughing, widening her eyes slightly, her mouth curving into a grin. "A little filtering. We can try." She shakes her head, straightening, giving Cale a sidelong glance. "Home, James?"

Cale nods to Charley and grins. "Yeah.. I'll try and not send real troublemakers your way." He then gives Jandra another firm look. "Once I take a look at the car. I can get it running again, usually its just a small adjustment that it needs. But I wanted to come find you first." He grins then, expression softening. He rises and will offer a hand to Charley. "It was good to meet you, Charley."

Charley leans forward again and takes the offered hand, nodding as well. "Nice to meet you guys too. Drive safe and don't let the family drive you nuts. Yer better off there than you are here." He smirks and settles back down in his seat, taking up his paper.

The firm look doesn't do anything but bring a look of mock innocence to Jan's face, eyebrows raised, corners of her mouth tugged down, and her eyes widened. "But I was fine. I never said I wasn't safe." She rises, hesitating before offering Charley a warm smile. "Speak to you soon."

Cale nods. "Keeping her safe is my job," he says, giving Jandra a grin. His hand seeks hers and he nods once to Charley. "Later, man." And with those casual words, he'll start out, again careful of not disturbing the people he passes too much.

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