2045-08-18 The Drinks Are Not On the House

From X-Factor

The Drinks Are Not On the House
Date Posted 2015/08/18
Location The Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town
Participants Kade, Sierra
Summary Even though the bartender tries to be nice. Kade comes to Sierra's bar for a drink. They banter about their kid and their work and life. It's only a little bit hostile.
There used to be glass in the heavy old frame of the door, but now several boards serve to keep the vermin out -- or, do they? You made it in.

An old hitching post greets patrons along the wall by the door, right next to a broken old jukebox that's just for show. The room itself is narrow and long, with mismatched chairs crowded around a couple (literally, two) small tables and a few crates dispersed elsewhere to sit on, but mostly it's all dancefloor, baby. The bar itself must be original, because despite it's dilapidated condition it's actually fairly well-kitted. There's a couple beers on tap, even. A sink, with shoddy plumbing, but it's a sink, coupled with a fridge whose light is always flickering, but keeps bottles icy cold. Thanks to the kid behind the bar, the collection of poisons to pick from is growing, too.

There's a dartboard at the back, with darts available from the bar staff upon request, and tacks to pin up your choice of photograph to toss at. Right next to it is the door leading upstairs to the proprietor's office/living quarters, pockmarcked by stray dart-holes. The peeling paint and mold seeping through the ceiling are barely even noticeable in the dim light from the hanging, singular string bulbs around the place. Less so after a drink or three, so bottoms up!

It is a summer night. The weather is hot and drizzling.

The Pony is fairly slow tonight, the outside drizzle driving customers away. At least that's what the proprietor tells herself. Sierra's behind the bar, pouring drinks for the few seated there and having a couple herself as she unpacks a crate of tequila bottles in between serving. Her dark hair is loose, stray tendrils plastered to her forehead in the humidity; she pauses to muss it uncomfortably and complain loudly in Spanish.

Kade isn't a completely alien sight in The Sloppy Pony. Hardly a regular, but he generally stops in when he's in New York for a stretch. Which apparently he is tonight. He strides through the door, shaking the rain off his jacket as he shrugs it off. He gives the place a long look. Eyes pausing on the patchy paint and corners where rats might be lurking. It's hard to tell how much of the nose-wrinkling is a theatricla put-on, and how much is entirely genuine. He proceeds to the bar and says to Sierra, without immediately bothering with a proper greeting, "I was hoping somebody'd be here who knew how to make a decent martini."

Sierra jerks her head towards the door as it opens, making a face as she spies who's come through it. She returns to unpacking, allowing Kade his time to judgily judge her bar //again// while she places another few bottles on the shelf. "'ey, cabron," she greets him in return, flashing an insincere - but somehow still warm - smile as she drapes herself over the bar. "How you been? I was starting to think my child support was never coming through." An easy laugh escapes her as she reaches for a cocktail shaker. It's a wonder they even have one of those here, really.

Kade smiles back, a lazy crook of his lips. It's a wry expression, but there's some fondness in it as well. Somewhere. Buried very deep. He sets the overnight bag he's carrying down on a stool, then sits on the one next to it. "I am, once again, struck by the notion that our child no longer actually lives with you full-time. So I can't help but wonder what it is I'm supporting." He finds a corner of the bar he hasn't eyed yet and fixes his gaze on it for a beat, to judge it. But he finally sighs and says, "Check your account, if you actually get service in this place. Perhaps it's magically appeared, via wire transfer." He wiggles the fingers of one hand, like a dispirited magician.

Sierra continues to chuckle to herself as she makes a poor version of a martini, splashing in... well, there's definitely a lot of gin. Extra gin, maybe. "Ohh, magic? Those magic hands of yours, hmm?" She winks, and laughs again as she shakes up his martini all-too-hard, then strains it into a glass. "We got no olives, sorry baby. You'll survive. You know it pays for my phone bill, to call that ungrateful little bitch at her school. She didn't pick up last time. Does she talk to you? You should tell her to pick up the phone for her mother."

Kade takes the drink and sips it. It's probably not the martini of his dreams, but he doesn't complain. It /does/ have a lot of gin. "You know how I do," he can't resist saying when she comments on his hands, holding a palm up and waving his fingers again. His brows arch at her complaints about their daughter. And snorts. "She texts. Usually in complete sentences. Mostly. She's aware she's obligated to spend some quality time with me this weekend. I'm going to sign her out of Xavier's Friday, when classes are done, see how her setting-things-aflame lessons are coming along. You want me to drop her here Sunday before I head back down south? Or should I just drop her back at school?"

There's a smirk from Sierra, and she drapes herself back across the bar, nesting her chin on the back of interlaced fingers. That lasts all of a second, as she bursts into gesture to complain some more about poor Nina. "Is she gonna set my place on fire if you bring her here? Por el amor de Dios! Kade, she needs her attitude to change. I raised her all those years, huh? And this is what I get? She's so nice to you. Whyyyy, why?" It's quite literally enough to drive her to drink, dramatically throwing herself shelfward at a bottle of tequila.

Kade's eyes harden at the 'burn the place down' comment. "Maybe if you ask her nicely. The insurance on this place has got to be worth more than whatever you're making from it." He's joking, but he looks like he half-regrets saying it the moment it's out of his mouth. He doesn't want to give her ideas. He sighs. "She's fine. She's got better control than I did at her age." He sounds kind of proud. "And she's not mean to you. She's fifteen. At least she's not...whatever the hell you were at fifteen. I shudder to think." He makes a 'warding off evil spirits' sign, then takes another drink.

Sierra looks up from unscrewing the cap off her tequila bottle with cold eyes. "You watch it," she warns, anger flashing. "I could charge for that drink." She shakes out her hair, and with it her temper, drawing in a deep breath and letting it go slowly. There's tequila to be had. "How's your girlfriend," she prods, mouth pulling back into a smirk that she wipes away with a pull from the neck of the bottle. Oops, hope the health inspectors didn't see that one.

"You always charge for me drinks!" Kade retorts. "You /over/charge for this bottle-shelf paint thinner." That he's drinking quickly enough, so the taste clearly isn't bothering him that much. He just shakes his head when she drinks, directly from the bottle. But he's too busy downing his own drink to comment. It gives him some time, before he has to reply about his girlfriend. "Huh?" Like he's not at first sure what she means. Then, "Oh. Yeah. That. It's fine. I'm just kind of seeing what's out there." After that vague non-answer he asks, "How's your...uh...whatever you've got going on? Remember, if it burns when you pee, call a physician."

"Right, and the one time I don't you fuck it up," Sierra retorts in kind, using her bottle to point accusingly. "It's not overcharging! It's not cheap to run a bar, you know." She puts her peeved face on for a moment, and takes another swig from the bottle. "Hmph." There's some skepticism in the long look she fixes upon him for his response about his 'girlfriend', but she shrugs in return. "Not sure I wanna know how you came to know that advice, ha. And your job, hm? Are you still doing that thing with the thing and the office thing thinger... you know, the thing." One hand is already raising her bottle for the nest swig while the other turns big circles in the air to prompt. You know, the thing.

"I've consorted with some low elements in my time, chiquita. Even married one. My teacher has been cruel experience." Kade says that with a grin, which fades some when she mention his job. He drinks some more. And takes his time swallowing before answering. "Work's fine. It's work. We're starting a new round of testing next week. Should be interesting." He tries to sound like he's even a little bit enthused about that. He kind of fails. It's the same vague answer he always gives about his job. A different kind of vague than he used to give about his work with X-Force. He moves on as quickly as possible. "How're things going with this place?" He doesn't even sound derisive about it this time.

"You didn't invite me to your wedding?" Sierra looks wounded, and even pouts, then pokes her tongue out. "Ass." One last swig and she's done for the moment, setting the bottle aside. There must be some real sympathy for for his lack of enthusiasm re: the job, her expression softening a little as she flicks her two forefingers under her jawline quickly to signal: chin up. And moving on, with a shrug. "The rent's always due. The kids always want paid. These people keep buying drinks though, so it's all good. I wanna get a DJ in here on the weekends, what do you think?"

Kade props one arm up on the bar and raises his middle finger at Sierra when she calls him an ass. There's no particularly harshness in the obscene gesture, though. "Couldn't hurt. There's plenty of space to dance. Get somebody in here who can spin, people'd tear it up." There was sort of a non-judgey compliment to the bar buried in there. Somewhere. Very deep.

So sweet. Well, the almost-compliment is, anyway. "Right?" She turns to survey the area, clearly imagining the raging Saturday night in her head. "I miss the party. I think it'll be great in here, packed to the walls with people and the music thumping. Maybe it's got that underground vibe." She turns back with a grin, and offers, "You wanna nother drink?"

Kade almost looks like he's going to say yes to the drink, before he reconsiders and shakes his head. "I should be getting on pretty soon. I'm staying at Cody's again." As he generally does, when he's in the city. "Boy lives on the other side of the damn map from this place, and I want to get my ass on his couch before it's too late." Another sip of his martini. It's about gone. "Hey. If I inform our progeny that she's having lunch with you this Sunday, can you get her back to Xavier's before it gets dark?"

Sierra tangles her fingers in her hair, scratching thoughfully at her scalp as her other hand comes to rest lightly on her bottle of tequila again. "Hummmm, I can do that, I guess." In reality, it's fifty-fifty. "But you tell her I don't wanna have lunch with her attitude too. I bet it's some boy, Kade. God help us, huh?"

Kade arches his brows at his ex-wife. He'll leave his daughter some bus money. "It is not some boy. She's fifteen." As if that were some impossibly young age for boys. "Anyway, if I don't see you before I head back out of town, thanks for the drink." He digs into his wallet for a couple of bills to pay for it. It even includes a modest tip. Very modest. "Let me know when you get a DJ in here. Might be fun to see the place bounce."

"It is some boy, you mark my words, Kade," Sierra warns again, with that fire in her eyes. Don't argue with her, for pete's sake. She huffs, very dragonlady, and shoves the bills back across the bar. "I don't want your money," is a lie. "I said it was on the house. Stop ruining it when I'm nice to you!" Shoo, says the wave of her hands, a convenient customer down the other end of the bar suddenly needing her prompt attention.

"Later, Sierra," Kade drawls, picking up his duffel and heading back out of the bar. He leaves the money behind.

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