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2045-08-17 Territory

From X-Factor

Territory
Date Posted 2015/08/17
Location Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town - New York City
Participants Vega, Nicodemus, Alexandra
Summary There's drinking and not drinking and a detective from Mutant Affairs who doesn't get much love.
Related Logs 2045-08-17 Tacit Truces
 
That pony sure is sloppy. If there's no particular answer as to why the place is named such (though there's a definite 'down and out cowboy' sort of decor), it's true enough that the bar has become a staple of Mutant Town to the locals since it opened a bit over a year ago. Nicodemus Barns is a very new local, but it seems he's working on incorporating himself. He sits at the bar, squinting up at the neon sign for some beer brand that twitches and flickers behind it. He's got a beer set in front of him, though it doesn't look like he's touched it, yet.

"Not gonna drink itself, you know." Alexandra's voice is a bright sparkle as her presence gets all up in Nicodemus's personal space. Not actually by intent as much as necessity: there's a sliver of space at the bar next to him, and she's taking ruthless advantage of it to lean over the bar and try to get the attention of the bartender for a drink of her own.

"It might," Nicodemus replies, lifting his head to regard the woman who's wedged herself in beside him. "Stranger things."

"You're right," Alexandra agrees with more of a laugh than the comment deserves. "It might be someone's mutation, you never know. Drinking by looking! Convenient for particularly lazy people."

"That would be..." Nicodemus squints a little as he tries to imagine it, "...does that mean you'd taste with your eyes?"

"Or would they taste at all," Alexandra wonders solemnly. "Maybe they'd just absorb the nutrients, but miss out on the delicoiusness."

"That seems disappointing all around," Nicodemus replies, dragging a fingertip down the glass and leaving a clear trail in the condensation. "Maybe they don't have a mouth at all. Like mayflies."

"Well, this is getting depressing. Pick a new topic," Alexandra directs him, although her voice remains bright, and she seems distracted from her search for booze.

"I didn't... um..." Nicodemus frowns softly, staring at the pattern the grain makes along his spot of the bar as he considers what sort of topics he has to offer. "Ever been to amateur hour at Oddball?"

"Never on stage, but I've wound up there a few times to witness a few disasters," Lexie replies with a crooked grin. "Shit, I wanted booze, didn't I. HEY." She redirects her head just in time to not yell the last bit into Nico's ear, waving a hand insistently for the bartender to finally come take her order. Then she has the audacity to rethink her drink order. "Can I get -- no, wait, hold on, I think I'd rather -- yeah, margarita. No, on the rocks. Thanks!" She finally straightens out of her lean to shove her hand at Nicodemus. "Lexie." Hello we're meeting now.

"Ones I heard weren't bad." Despite Alexandra turning her head before she shouts, Nicodemus still squinches one eye shut in a faint wince. She gives her order, Nicodemus continues to ignore the drink he bought, and then there's a hand all hanging out in space and waiting. He removes is own from around the beer to briefly shake Lexie's. "Nicodemus."

Alexandra's handshake is as brisk and bright as the rest of her attitude. "You look down, Nicodemus. Whyever would you be down stuck in the ass end of a shitty bar in Mutant Town?" The curve of her smile belies a definite affection for such ass end places, though.

"I do?" Nicodemus asks with a small lift of his brows. "I don't think I am, especially. You're very... not down, though. Maybe it's the contrast." He smiles faintly. "You live in Mutant Town, or are you a tourist?"

Alexandra bites back a laugh. "Tourists don't come to Mutant Town," she says. "Refugees, sometimes. Homeless mutants. But not tourists."

"Refugees," Nicodemus replies with a soft smile. "I like that. These days, I think we're all refugees."

"Yadda yadda yadda, government sucks, et cetera et cetera." Alexei flicks her fingers in a dismissive gesture to complete the sentiment. "American dream, right?" The slash of her smirk is grim and hardened.

"We're not Americans," Nicodemus replies quietly. "We're not anybody's. On our own." He gives the beer a little nudge further away.

Alexandra heaves a loud, melodramatic sigh that is exaggerated to the limits of her ability. "Okay, I mean, yeah, but you're killing me here. Are you not even going to drink that?"

Nicodemus shakes his head. "You want it? They don't let me stay if I don't buy anything."

"No, I don't want some strange guy's beer that may or may not be roofied in wait of someone to ask why you aren't drinking it so you can offer it to them," Alexandra says with a snort. "Why don't you just order something you want to drink?"

"That would be pretty elaborate," Nicodemus replies. "Do most creepers sit quietly and wait until someone asks for their beer?" He rests his chin on his palm. "They wouldn't let me stay if I just asked for water, either."

It's a fairly busy evening at The Sloppy Pony. Among those people at the bar are Nicodemus and Alexandra, chatting to each other. Nicodemus has an undrunk beer in front of him.

"I dunno, but /someone/ might try," Lexie says, chin lifting stubbornly. "I meant something /besides/ water. You could at least, I dunno, order a /soda/ or something." She's standing, wedged between Nicodemus's seat and someone else's like she owns the space now.

Busy is good. Good for business. Good for information. Vega gives the crowd a brief scan as she walks into the Sloppy Pony, dressed in jeans, her black boots, and a black button up shirt that's been rolled up at the sleeves. Seeing that the room doesn't contain what she is looking for, she heads for the bar - looking like a woman looking for a drink or at least a bartender.

Nicodemus only wrinkles his nose at the suggestion of a soda. "I swear, I feel that stuff actually peeling the enamel off my teeth," he replies with a small shudder. Then his head lifts and he draws a sharp breath in through his nose as Vega steps into the bar. He ducks his head, shoulders hunching. "Ah, hell," he mutters quietly.

"What?" Alexandra follows his gaze to the newly-arrived Vega. She half-squints in the way of someone half-recognizing someone else, but unable to quite place her. "Do you know her?" she wonders of her new companion.

Fingers tapping on the bar once, then twice, Vega scans the length of the bar with a narrowed gaze. Eventually, around the bodies, that gaze fixes on Nicodemus. She both sighs and smiles at the sight of him. Pushing off from the bar, she winds her way through the crowd over to where they are. "Evening," she greets mildly, if pleasantly enough.

"Yes," Nicodemus replies quietly to Lexie, though he hasn't actually looked at Vega since she came in. "Cop." He doesn't look when she comes over, either, though his shoulders grow rounder and the hair on the back of his neck prickles. To Vega he offers, his eyes fixedly on the beer he doesn't want to drink, "Officer Zhong."

"Oh yeah, you arrested me that one time!" Alexandra says, brightening with recognition. Possibly more than that one time.

"Zhang," Vega corrects with a quirk of a smile. Looking towards Alexandra, she lifts her brows as recognition strikes. "I did." It's a reasonably friendy sort of recognition. "Not in awhile. So I assume you're keeping yourself out of trouble," she adds, a broader smile. "Either of you seen the proprietress or that bartender she keeps around?"

"Mmm," Nicodemus murmurs for the correction. His brows lift and he glances at Alexandra as she cheerfully recalls being arrested. "Haven't seen the owner. Someone's tending bar, though."

"Oh, totally," Alexandra tells Vega, eyes wide and innocent. "I am 100% keeping out of all trouble. Just doing my job." To the officer's question, she offers the most innocent of shrughands. Whyever would she know such a thing?

Vega sighs, tipping her head to the side as if she means to shake it, before she stops herself. Just doing her job. Right. "Glad to hear it." Pulling a photo out of her pocket, she shows it to them. "Either of you know this face?" It's a nondescript enough sort of man, brown hair, rudding skin, a combination of facial hair and ears that gives him the appearance of an orangutan.

Nicodemus quirks a small smile at Alexandra's reply. He doesn't even bother to glance at the picture Vega holds out before he answers, "No," and curls his hand around his much neglected beer.

Alexandra's reaction is similar to Niocdemus's: her gaze doesn't even drop south enough to see the picture before it's returning to Vega's face, eyes still wide. "Never seen it before in my life," she claims.

Vega doesn't even bother to roll her eyes. "Thanks for your time," she says mildly as milk, slipping the picture back into her pocket. "Stay out of trouble." That may be more of a warning, even if it is paired with an altogether /too/ sunny smile. She shifts away to step into the crowd.

Nicodemus lifts his head. "This is our corner," he informs the officer, "and we're not the ones causing trouble, here."

"Sounds boring," Alexandra half-calls after Vega as the officer turns to go. Her brows lift in surprise at Nicodemus's response, and she has to catch a laugh in the press of her teeth against her bottom lip.

Dark eyes meet Nicodemus's look as he lifts his head, Vega's smile flattening. "New York is my corner," she corrects him. "Mind your paws." Sketching a lazy wave, she slides her hand into her pocket and saunters back into the crowd towards the office.

"The rest of New York is your corner," Nicodemus replies, "you work for them. Against us. And out there, if you want to smile your smile and tell us to 'stay out of trouble' which really just boils down to 'don't be mutants', I guess you can. But these are our streets, our city, our territory. This is our bar. And you're not welcome." Which would be, maybe, more compelling if the officer wasn't already on her way out.

Alexandra tosses her long waves back over her shoulder, smirking across the bar at Vega. "Sounds like he's marked your territory out for you, officer," she says.

"Sounds like he wishes he could," Vega says with a shrug of her shoulder. She doesn't bother to look back at the pair, not stopping until she reaches the office and knocks politely on the door.

Nicodemus's lip curls and a sound eerily similar to a growl grumbles up from his throat as Vega heads into the office. Then he snorts sharply and glowers at his beer.

Alexandra watches Vega go, the smirk fading into a more thoughtful expression before she turns her gaze back on Nicodemus. "So," she says. "You didn't really go pee on anything, did you?"

"Huh?" Nicodemus blinks over at Lexie. "No. Though I almost wish I had, now." He rests his chin back on his palm. "I hate when they come around. Cops."

"Yeah, they're a pain," Lexie agrees easily, fluffing a hand through her hair. She considers Nicodemus, her head canted. "You do something doggy, then, or do her jokes suck /and/ make no sense?"

"I turn into a wolf," Nicodemus replies. And then, rather flatly, "Aroo."

"Oh, cool!" Lexie's curiosity is open and interested across her expression, and not at all phased to be chatting openly amount mutations with another mutant. It's Mutant Town, after all. "I'm an electro," she shares right back.

"Electro?" Nicodemus asks. "Like..." he lifts a hand, pointing it towards the other side of the bar with his fingers spread and angled forward, "Zzzap?"

"Zap," Alexandra agrees, laughter in her voice. She mimics the spread and point of his hand, but hers actually has a crackle of electricity between her fingers. "Electrokinetic."

Nicodemus's eyes widen and he (perhaps ill-advisedly) leans a little closer to get a better look at that crackle. "Woah," he murmurs in quiet approval. "I mean, wow. You come with a built-in taser."

Alexandra is adept enough with her powers to make sure the crackle settlings back into her skin before Nicodemus gets close enough to hurt himself. "You could say that," she says, her voice warm with the edge of another laugh. "Except, like -- ten times more awesome."

"Just ten times?" Nicodemus asks, a smile lifting the corner of his mouth. "What did she arrest you for? Our friend the cop?"

Alexandra flaps the hand that was moments ago crackling with electricity in a dismissive gesture. "Oh, nothing much. Just sniffing around the wrong place or ~whatever.~ I'm a private investigator; sometimes we don't get along with the cops."

"Oh, yeah? Really?" Nicodemus asks. "What kind've stuff do you investigate? You ever need, like, a nose?" He touches the side of his own. "Or better ears?"

"Whatever they pay me for." Lexie flashes a grin, which morphs smoothly into a more considering expression as she taps a finger against her lips. "A nose, eh? I could think of times where it could come in handy."

"Nose, ears. I can tell when people are lying a lot of the time. Heart rates, and I can smell when someone's afraid. Or angry. Or, well, feeling most things," Nicodemus replies. "I could use the work, so if you ever need the help..."

"I can certainly keep you in mind," Lexie chirps, one hand gesturing with a particular swipe and press in the air that makes it clear she's working where only her Eyes can see. "What's your number?" she prompts, hand hovering in the air.

Nicodemus gives a phone number, resting his chin back on his palm. "Thanks," he adds. "Appreciate it."

"No prob." Alexandra finally grabs her margarita that's just been /sitting/ there and offers Nicodemus a wink as she finally steps away from the bar. "See you around, Nico," she says as she slides past him.

"Seems likely you will," Nicodemus agrees, nodding to Alexandra as she heads off.

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