|Location||The Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town|
|Summary||Kade experiences some.|
| 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 evening. The weather is warm and fair.|
Kade is behind the bar. Working. It's kind of a lazy Thursday night for the Pony so, despite occasionally nudging the tip jar, he probably is not making massive bank. At the moment, he's pouring a beer from the tap to an older man with horns. Still, there are some people scattered around at the tables, and a few on the dance floor.
Alexandra is a pretty regular patron at the Pony, whether for business or pleasure. It's not immediately clear which tonight is as she makes her way inside, but she winds her way through the Thirsty Thursday crowd towards the bar, so perhaps that leans in the direction of pleasure. She pushes past a pair taking up way more room than they deserve and leeeeans over the bar a little like she's in the habit of flirting her orders. Except she suddenly recognizes the bartender, freezes, and then bursts out laughing.
Kade starts to wipe down the bar, after he's served the horned man. The whole process makes him frown. The Pony is a dirty place, and no amount of wiping every seems to help. The approach of a new patron makes him go, "Just a sec" without looking up. And then, he hears the laughter. Which /does/ make him look up. And sigh. Heavily. "Good evening, Miss Lexie Brady. Welcome to Thirsty Thursday." It's not the most chipper greeting.
"Oh my /God/," Lexie says, just shy of squealing. It is a very measured, thoughtful response to his sigh. "Did you have to beg? Like, did you have to literally get down on your knees?"
The look Kade gives Lexie is very arch. Way too arch for a person engaged in the task of wiping down the Pony bar. "I have no idea what you think I'd be down on my knees for." Pause. "Here, at least. I'd probably come back up with something that'd required a trip to the free clinic, given these floors." He finishes cleaning, such as he can clean. "I'm doing my ex a favor. She had some people quit." Another pause. "I mean, she has people quitting all the time. But I am between jobs at the moment, so I said I'd help out." And here he is.
"Oh my God, are you /cleaning/?" Lexie cackles, wiggling a little in place. "You don't really get the Sloppy Pony's brand, huh?"
"It has a brand?" Kade casts a long look around the bar. From the half-sober grinding of the dancers to a dart game that's embedded more darts in the wall than the board. And all the many, many tables that no amount of wiping could clean up. He sighs again, eyes going back to Lexie. "What can I get you?"
"Yeah, man. Dirty, cheap drinks. It's great!" Lexie wields her elbows to keep some others from crowding up too close on her with expert precision. "Hmm," she says, expression gone thoughtful at the question. "HMMMMMM." She's being really unhelpful now. "What's your favorite thing to make?"
"I can do up a fine margarita, if you're in a tequila frame of mind," Kade replies. "The rest of the liquor is pretty bottom-shelf." He was probably not hired for marketing. "I mean, not like it's /great/, but it's better than the gin. Otherwise, the whiskey's not bad and I can mix it with whatever you please."
"I'm /always/ in a tequila frame of mind," Lexie says, which is kind of like ordering. She clearly thinks it's an order. (That's not an order, Lexie.)
Kade chuckles. "I've noticed." He takes it as an order, at least. "One margarita. Coming up." But, before he starts making it, he arches his brows at Lexie. "Can I see some ID?"
Alexandra tosses her hair, looking bEREFT. "Oh nooooo, I left it at home." She flutters her lashes exaggeratedly at him.
Kade folds his arms on the bar, giving Alexandra a look that is all of skepticism. "You don't look over thirty-five to me, Miss Brady. I would be derelict in my duties as a server of spirits if I didn't ensure you were legal." Is he serious? It's hard to tell. Has anyone ever been carded in the Pony before? It's probably also hard to tell.
"Ew, I /better/ not look thirty-five," Lexie says, narrowing her gaze warningly on him.
"It's not /that/ old!" Kade objects. "I'll be thirty-nine in a couple weeks. I still look young!" Does he? He probably does not get carded anymore. "You can never tell." He waggles his fingers at her. "ID. We happily accept electronic images. /If/ you're over twenty-one, of course." He sounds theatrically doubtful.
"You look ancient," Lexie says, setting her hands on her hips and clearly refusing to give up her ID. It's the pRINCIPLE. "You know how old I am!"
"I do not look ancient!" Kade objects. Affronted. "If this is how you typically endear yourself to bartenders in this city, I'm shocked you ever get served." He gives her another heavy sigh. A POINTED sigh at her principles. "Fine. Say something only someone over twenty-one would say. Then /maybe/ I'll believe you." MAYBE.
"Well I can't really endear myself how I usually do it; you're dating my roommate," Lexie points out all reasonably. She's quick to come up with something for his test, though: "Mortgage pension 401k annuities anti-aging cream babies."
"Oh my God, stop." The deluge of Old Things from Lexie makes Kade wince. Perhaps because he worries about several of those things. "Fine. I admit you're probably over twenty-one. Let's do this!" And he pivots, putting a little spin on it for flair, to prepare the salt, lime, and liquor for her margarita. While he preps, he chats. "So, how is life, Lexie Brady?"
"Am I hitting too close to home?" Lexie almost looks sympathetic at that. ALMOST. She slides onto a stool. "Well, it's better now that Ciel's not super depressed."
"You a salt or no salt girl?" Kade remembers to ask. He's wielding the shaker like a salt partisan, but he does not know her margarita tastes. He IGNORES her question about hitting too close to home. But the bit about Ciel gets a nod. "Yeah, the whole thing with Christian did a number on her. But! He is back. Not /quite/ as we left him, but back in one piece is better than I was thinking might happen, truth be told. So I will take it."
"Um, come on, you know I'm /super/ salty." Lexie winks. It's not really flirtatious because it's actually super, exaggeratedly ridiculous. "That's actually what my powers make me hungry for if I use them a lot. Because science." She props her elbows on the bar and watches him work. "Yeah, it's fucking nuts. Have you seen him? I haven't seen him."
<FS3> Kade rolls Mixology: Failure. (4 2 2 3 4 3)
"I'm more a sugar-guy, recharge-wise. Because I'm super-sweet," Kade says to Lexie, flashing her a grin. He readies the salt. But, before pouring anything, he does an exaggerated air-toss routine with the glass. Up in the air, behind his back, twirling once as he does it. It's all very dramatic. Then, he misses catching it, and it drops and shatters. "Uh." Sigh. "I'm a little rusty at the performance part of this." He gets a broom. Your drink will have to wait a minute, sorry. "Nah. I've heard the basics, but I haven't had the chance to meet him again. I can't even imagine where that kid's head is at right now. That is a hell of a trip."
For the second time this visit, Lexie bursts out laughing. It's probably great for Kade's self-esteem. "Oh my God. There's not going to be shards of glass in my drink, are there?"
"There are no shards on bar!" Kade objects. Though he does, subtly, pick up the rag again and do a sweep. For shards. He does not want to impale Lexie's innards. It doesn't take him long to finish his sweep of the floor. Then, squaring his shoulders like he's psyching himself up for some great task, he gets back to making that margarita. "You think Christian's old enough to drink now?" It suddenly occurs to him. And weirds him out.
"Well, I haven't seen him, but Ciel said he's a bunch of years older." Lexie frowns faintly. "I guess he could still be under 21. I don't know. This is weird. You know, I used to stalk him."
"Stalk...?" Kade mouths the word, before his brain puts it in a non-malicious context. "Oh, right. When Ciel was still trying to figure out how to react to the whole...long-lost half-brother thing." That thing. He does not do any twirling with his glass. He /does/ pump the shaker enthusiastically as he mixes the tequila and other alcoholic fixings, but his earlier failings mean he keeps it in his hands. So, Lexie eventually does get her drink. Intact glass rimmed with salt. "You think he ever noticed? The stalking, I mean."
Lexie's frown slips into a grin as Kade tries to translate her. And then it looks downright /affronted/. "/Noticed/? I'm a /professional/, Caruthers." She pulls her drink closer with a sniff.
It smells like a magarita. The Pony keeps a decent stock of tequila, whatever its many other failings. Kade does another sweep of the floor, once he's done with the cocktail. For illicit shards. He finds no shortage of things to put in the broom's dustpan, given the Pony's floor. "Sorry. I did not mean to impune your stalking abilities. How is stuff in the PI business, by the by? Hope our adventures in time and space didn't hurt your client base too much."
"Ugh. Well, it wasn't exactly easy picking up where we left off," Lexie admits, propping her cheek on her fist. "So much of our business is word of mouth, and dropping off the face of the planet in the middle of handling someone's case doesn't exactly encourage them to go chat you up to their friends."
"Yeah, Ciel mentioned having to work to get some clients back. You guys have a solid rep here in Mutant Town, though. That doesn't go away after just a month." Kade makes another effort at cleaning, before giving up again. With yet another sigh. "I've got a couple job interviews lined up next week." Because he /needed/ to say that right now. "I remind myself we're lucky, all things considered. I had moments where I was afraid I'd step back here and find out like twenty years had gone by."
Alexandra draws in a slow, sober breath through her nose. "Yeah," she says. "Like my brother. Except -- I guess the opposite for him."
"I never talked to Sikorski much about his experiences in the alt-universe," Kade says. Like he regrets it now. "Though I know the basics. I will take a lost month." Someone at a corner table starts waving to him. In less of a 'Hello' way than a 'Come fetch me a drink' kind of way. Kade suppresses another sigh. "I think I'm being summoned. You need anything else while I'm at your service, Lexie Brady?"
Alexandra glares down the bar at the man who is /stealing/ her /bartender/. "Ugh, fuck that guy," she declares. But, because Kade needs to make his tips, she sighs forlornly and says, "I suppose not."Kade makes an 'Ugh' face of agreement. But, it must be done. He winks at Lexie, before he goes. "If you want another drink tonight, I'm totally convinced you're legal." With that, off he goes. With a little twirl-pivot, as he makes his way over to the rude guy's table. He does not try anymore fancy glass tricks, though. He has learned his painful lesson.