2046-02-14 Want To Be Lucky?

From X-Factor

2046-02-14 Want To Be Lucky?
Date Posted 2016/02/14
Location Mutiny - Mutant Town, NYC
Participants Mikhail, Rohan
Summary Mikhail sees an opportunity. Its name is Rohan.
Mikmikhail.jpg Rorohan.jpg
This bar has little to recommend it save the price of its drinks - beer and hard liquor only - and its tendency to not ask questions of its customers. The place is poorly lit, perhaps intentionally so, with close tables and booths that always seem to be a little sticky with something. The dim interior is colored with flashes of orange and red and yellow from the constant, strobing flash of the neon signs in the front window. The only decor in the place is a twist of thick, fraying rope that drapes one wall on its way to an iron anchor: the remnants of some long-forgotten nautical theme. There are often card games of some nature at the larger tables in the back. Rocco, the ever-present owner, tends to know just about everything and everyone in Mutant Town. He'll often give odds on just about anything it's possible to give odds on, and provides information on the Town's not-so-secret mutant fights, or where to obtain illegal items and substances, if he likes the look of you.

It is a winter night. The weather is cold and flurrying.

It is Valentine's Day night at the Mutiny, which--doesn't really seem to affect the bar at all. It's not a date sort of place. Mostly it's singletons drowning their sorrows. Or seeking solace at the card tables--which is what Rohan is doing at the moment. He's gathered at a table in the corner with a few others, playing poker for a growing pile of cash. Rohan is doing well, although he's lost enough hands to indicate he's probably not cheating tonight, just coasting along on his own skill and charm.

Mikhail has nowhere in particular to be on Valentine's Day, and there's not a single member of Obtshak running loose in Mutant Town, which makes the city his oyster. Metaphorically speaking. Maybe the impulse that has sent him out of his newly-acquired apartment with his hair tousled a little more carefully and his leather jacket brushed clean has to do with seeing just how many lonely souls are drowning their sorrows. Or maybe it has to do with those card tables. He stands at the bar's entrance, his hands shoved into jeans' pockets as he stares at the crowd inside, tracing faces both familiar and not. And then he hooks on Rohan, and just like that he's grinning, striding past tables and chairs as luck encourages Rohan to get up to grab another drink.

Rohan has no objection to grabbing another drink. He was thinking about it to begin with. So, with the pull of luck at him, he scrapes his winnings up, tucks them into his jacket, and excuses himself from the table with a grin, arising to turn toward the bar--and see Mikhail. He blinks at him, and offers, "Hey."

"Hey," Mikhail echoes, although the word sounds just slightly more formal when edged by his accent. His smile remains wide and pleased as he watches Rohan hitch up at the bar. "You are Rohan, yes?" he recognizes. "Are you playing?"

"Yes, that's me," replies Rohan, gesturing to the bar keep. Close up, the man looks tired, and a little less cheerful than he is trying to be, but a few drinks and winning hands have given some truth to the cheer. "Mikhail," he adds, by way of greeting. Easier for someone to keep track of the one Russian recruit, than for the one Russian recruit to keep track of the entire team. "And, yes. I don't play much any more, but I needed some pocket money, and," his mouth flickers in a brief, sad smile, "had some time to kill."

"Pocket money, yes," Mikhail says, and his smile is warmer, completely charming and infectious. I mean, look how infectious that smile is, Rohan. "It is good? The bets, I mean. Good money?"

Rohan reaches for the bottle the bartender hands, and considers Mikhail and his infectious smile. So infectious. "When I was new in town, used to keep a roof over my head with the winnings," he says. When he wasn't sleeping on park benches. "Good money, if you win. And keep on winning."

"That is always the key, no?" Mikhail's smile spreads just a touch wider. It's also /charming/, remember. "Of course. If someone were to win too often. That might not be so good."

Rohan considers. He might have moral scruples, but that's a very charming smile. "No," he agrees. His voice is low. "The key is not to _always_ win."

"And," Mikhail suggests, more quietly now (and minus the charming smile, but he's hard to resist, still). "Also. If someone were known to be particularly lucky. I think the game may not go so well. No?"

"Not if it's known as a concrete fact, no," replies Rohan, tilting his head back to take a long swallow of beer. He speaks before he drinks. Easier that way. He swallows, and wipes his mouth. "Some might if it is only a rumour--a sort of dare--but not if it is clear to them the deck is loaded."

"Ah, yes, you see the issue," Mikhail says, his smile flashing again. "In Mutant Town, I think people know each other, yes? X-Factor, we are here a lot."

"I think we might be in the Pony a little more," considers Rohan. "But, yes. We're around. We're seen. We're _known_." He eyes Mikhail and adds, "Even more after...recent events."

"But you would like pocket money," Mikhail says practically. "And I also would like pocket money." He straightens a little, fixing on Rohan directly as he asks, serious, "Would you like to be lucky tonight, Rohan?"

Rohan watches Mikhail for a long moment, his mouth twisting a little. "I don't think even you can give me the kind of luck I really want, kid," he says quietly. The twist of his mouth becomes the faintest smile. "But I wouldn't say no to pocket money."

"I can give you luck," Mikhail says bluntly, watching Rohan with a curious tilt of his head. "You can do whatever you want with it. Luck is very flexible."

"If I was really lucky, I wouldn't be sitting in the Mutiny playing cards tonight," says Rohan quietly. "You can't get everything that matters with luck, kid." He gestures to Mikhail with his beer bottle. "But I'll accept the kind of luck that'll earn some money."

"No," Mikhail agrees readily. "But if you /can/ get it with luck--" He breaks off, giving Rohan another moment's study before he lifts his hand to brush against Rohan's shoulder. It hovers there in a pause. "Fifty/fifty split?" he says.

Rohan snorts. "I have my own skills, you know," he points out. He drains his bottle, and sets it down on the bar with a hollow ring. "Oh, all right."

"Trust me," Mikhail says, and grins as he settles his hand firm on Rohan's shoulder. "This is very different." And luck flows into the other man, several hours worth of heady cocktail that makes anything and everything Rohan wants to do seem to just... happen. For the most part.

Rohan does not immediately prance away to run wild with his luck. Instead, he remains leaning against the bar for a long moment, staring at the bottle, thoughtful. Then he straightens up, puts his fingers to his forehead, flicks them toward Mikhail in a lazy salute, and wanders back to the card table, armed with luck.

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