2019-09-09 - Tequila Troubles


Anya wanders into a new bar in Harlem to take a load off, and meets one cool bartender.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 9 04:02:01 2019
Location: Luke's

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Theme Song



The night is quiet in Luke's. The normal hustle and bustle of the regular crowd has simmered down for the evening, and that leaves the proprietor and owner in the process of cleaning up the joint.

Luke Cage stand behind the bar, rag in hand as his polishes the counter top. He is dressed like he normally is, in some generic t-shirt that just barely fits over the muscled torso, and a pair of jeans that have seen some wear and tear. As he cleans, he whistles along to some old Motown tune that is playing on the jukebox.

A single patron wanders into the bar; a young woman who's status as 'of drinking age' could be questioned. Clearly one of the Latinx population, she's dressed in slightly ripped jeans, a studded belt, leather jacket and a t-shirt that simply reads 'NOBODY'S NO ONE' upon it. Her nails are painted black, and she sports a pink Mohawk, but otherwise her usual punky/goth demeanor is relatively toned down tonight.

She looks tired. Much more weathered than someone her age ought to look.

Anya takes a moment to look around, a sense of confusion on her face for a moment, before she shrugs and walks up to the bar. The backpack, ever present, is covered in patches of all sorts, and as she gets to the bar she slings it off and hangs it on a hook under the table. "Still open, yeah?" she asks.

Looking over from the bar as the little bell over the front door chimes, Luke nods at Anya as he gives her the once over. "Sure am, but I am going to need to see some ID if you order anything other than water or a soda."

He slings the bar towel over his shoulder and moves closer to where Anya is sitting. "Though if you don't mind me saying so, you look like you need a bed more than you need a drink," he says as he takes a glass from the back of the bar and fills it with some water before placing it on a coaster and sliding it in front of her.

"Yeah, yeah." Anya's used to it, and already has the wallet fished out of her backpack, ID in hand. She slides it over for Luke, but she isn't really paying attention to him yet; her eyes are on a TV in the corner.

Late night news is covering a hostage situation earlier in the day, involving a mutant or metahuman. The footage shows the mutant and his hostage enclosed in a blue sphere that resembles both ice and fire.

"Huh?" she turns and looks back to the bartender with that startled nature of a person who forgot for a moment where she was and why she came here. "Shit. Yeah, no, what I absolutely need is a drink. El Jimador silver, two of em, por favor."

Picking up the ID, Luke studies it with the scrutiny of someone who is knowledgeable about fakes before he slides it back across the bar to Anya, "Dos El Jimador silvers coming up."

Casting his eyes towards the TV as he sets two shot glasses on the bar, he nods his head towards the TV and smirks. "Same weird shit happens in this town every day now, doesn't it. Can't go one evening without seeing some powered folk going off and doing something against some other powered folk."

He shrugs, pouring the two shots and then setting the bottle to the side, like someone expecting they will be refilling the glasses sooner rather than later. "Someone you know?" he asks as he nods towards the TV again.

The news show is captioned, and they are talking about Spider-Girl and The Wasp teaming up with NYPD to handle the hostage situation. The hostage suddenly shrinks down and disappears, moments before a NYPD Powered Crime armored cop slams into the fire-ice shield, followed almost immediately by a creature that looks like an armored insect. The two impacts shatter the shield, along with the insectoid armor that's covering Spider-Girl.

"No!" Anya retorts, and looks back to Luke with surprise. "No, I just… it's weird."

Weird to see yourself on television?

"… weird to see capes teaming up with pigs. Not something you see a lot, you know?" She sighs a bit before looking from the shot glasses to Luke, forming a grin. She reaches out to collect one and lifts it in a mock toast. "Salud."

The first shot goes down without preamble, and the second one follows in short order. "God, that's better," she says, before eyeballing Luke for a moment. She's pointedly ignoring the television. "So this is your place, huh? I heard about it, wanted to check it out."

Luke Cage arches and eyebrow at the outburst and raises an eyebrow before shrugging a shoulder and moving to grab the tequila bottle again, hovering it over the glasses until he gets a go ahead. "Yeah, my place. Sunk every penny I ever earned into it, so I hope you like what you see and decide to come back. Maybe bring friends." he says with a grin.

Luke glances back up to the TV for a bit, and then back to Anya. "Is it? I mean, I suppose it is. Usually they are trying to arrest them and not work with them I guess, not that I know much about that shit."

A nod of her head is given, indicating that she's ready for two more. "I like it," she admits. "Dunno if my squad would. I mean, they all go to these fucking college bars, surrounded by assholes. And they complain to me about the assholes. I'm like…" Anya leans forward, eyes all wide for dramatic effect. "Then don't go where the assholes are!" She shakes her head and sits back, smirking. "I grew up over in Spanish Harlem, so, I like a good chill vibe. Somewhere to just drink, hang out, not have to worry about getting hassled or groped or whatever."

She's making a point of being polite and NOT staring at muscles. Because you know. It's not polite.

The third shot is lifted and downed, but she leaves the fourth for now. It's easy to forget that not everyone knows about her enhanced physique. It takes a lot to get her drunk, after all.

"I mean… cops." She shrugs her head and gives Luke a knowing smirk. "Gotta be weird to be fighting crime while committing crime. Powered Crjme Division though?" She jerks her head to the TV as the anchors talk about NYPD's strained new division. "The world is so screwed."

Rolling a shoulder into another shrug he pours two more shots and starts to set the bottle aside, but seeing her already downing one of the shots he leaves it in his hand. "Well, I try to keep it as chill as I can in here. I can't promise anything about the assholes though. Hell, I am sure there are a few people that would label me with that, like the people I toss out for being assholes," he says with a grin.

He glances again towards the TV and hrms slightly, "Powered Crime Division? That is news to me. I hadn't heard."

"That's way different!" Anya answers. "Hell, I'll throw 'em out for you, let them label me an asshole. I don't really care."

A glance back to the TV, then back to Luke. "News to me too. Well, as long as they don't lock up any of the good ones, but you and I both know it's only a matter of time before some bullshit like that goes down."

Luke reaches under the bar and produces a shot glass for himself, filling it from the bottle in his hand. He grins, shaking his head just a bit as he says with a chuckle, "I appreciate the notion, but I think I can handle the assholes myself. I wouldn't want you to get hurt kicking people out of my bar."

He slams the shot back and pours another, "Not saying you can't take care of yourself. I know Harlem chicks are tough and all, but there are liability factors to think about. I can't go having customers getting hurt and all."

He sighs, setting the shot glass down on the counter and reaching and arm over to pick up the remote. "I wish I didn't have to agree with you, but sometimes those motherfuckers don't know their mouths from their assholes. Hell, I doubt some of them can even find their dicks if I gave them a swift kick in them." He pauses, "Pardon my language."

"I'll bet you can," Anya answers with a friendly smirk. "But I'll bet you wouldn't believe me if I told you I could handle them just as well." Harlem chicks are tough, but… nah, he has no idea. She does slam her shot back in tandem… at least she can finally feel something.

The remark about liability however, that gets a snap and a point. "You got me there. Insurance is a big scam anyway, you at least better play by their rules since, y'know, you have to have it or something." She clearly doesn't have a lot of faith in capitalism.

Eyebrows rise at the display of language, but not in disappointment or shock. "Mierda," she remarks. "El nino knows how to cuss. You kiss your mother with that mouth, hombre?" She laughs aloud, before nodding her head. "Well, folks like us ain't ever gonna get on too well with cops, but… you know they are all bastards but some of them are nice bastards. Maybe even good ones. But still bastards. Something tells me if those two capes hadn't gotten involved, it wouldn't've gone too well for anyone. You ever see that kinda shit west of Marcus Garvey?"

Pouring himself another drink, Luke smirks. "I play by the rules…when I have to. Sadly, when owning a business there are a lot of rules, insurance being one of them."

Luke looks a bit embarrassed as he is called out on his language, and nods. "Yeah, and she would be washing my mouth out with soap about now if she heard me talking like this…but it is really my father that would give me a whooping'." Fishing a few bills out of his pocket he shoves a few into an old coffee can on the bar labeled with the words 'Swear Jar'. "But what she don't know won't get her curlers in a twist."

He glances up again at the TV, and turns the volume up just a little bit so the spoken words can just be heard, but not enough to disrupt conversation. "I've know some good ones, I've known some bad ones." If she only knew.

He shrugs again, tossing the drink back, "Not really. We don't see much in the way of powered folk trying to steal sh..stuff around here. Not much to steal."

"Oh my god, you have a swear jar." Anya's eyes are wide with entertainment and mischief. "That just for you, or patrons? Cause if so, I'm fucked. Might not be able to pay my whole tab. I keep my shit clean as a whistle at home. You've never had an ass whooping until you're bent over the knee of my Abuela. The woman doesn't need a belt, trust me."

Eyeing the TV again, the news casters are apparently now talking about the recent disappearance and reemergence of Spider-Girl. She squints a bit, and reaches up to scratch at the back of her shaved head awkwardly. "Well that ain't true. You guys are dealing with the gentrifidouchetion way worse than we are, but it's bleeding. My favorite alley for shooting dice just got turned into the patio for some crappy brunch spot, complete with the big-ass EAT sign made out of lights and a dumpster full of White Claw boxes. It's terrible."

Luke Cage winkles his nose. "White Claw? Sweet Christmas I thought that stuff was just a bad joke."

The big black man shakes his bald head, "So far, it's just for me. Old tradition from a barber shop from where I grew up. Pops, just down the way. I keep it as a bit of nostalgic memory. It used to be the rules of the joint, but I ain't about to enforce it on those that don't want it enforced. If people want to, cool. If not, cool. It's no skin off my back."

He purs another shot, and offers to pour another for Anya. "Yeah, I suppose Harlem is getting to be a bit more…what is the word you used…gentrifidouchetion? But what do you do? Try and keep things in the neighborhood as normal as we can I suppose, even in the face of change."

"Yeah, it's for real. There's apparently a supply shortage. I mean, I get it I guess, but, that's why I drink tequila."

Anya leans an arm on the bar and sighs. She doesn't look as tired as she did before. Often times, that's something associated with alcoholics, but at least in this scenario, it's far from the case.

"Sounds like a cool place. I used to get my hair cut at a barber shop when I was little, those were fun places. Good people. Hell, even the assholes suddenly became, like, not assholes when they walked through that door. Weird how that works, huh?"

She sits back up and takes another of her shots. She… ought to be pretty plastered by now, but if she is, she certainly isn't showing it. "Take gentrification, throw douche into it, bam. Gentrifidouchetion. It's like… gentrification is bad enough, but this is up to eleven. Really, the whole thing isn't necessarily bad, until they start running people out and raising rents and all of that shit. You wanna clean up some spot that's been empty for years, that's cool. You know? But don't screw folks out of their homes and businesses just because you wanna be-" She raises her hands, forming quote marks in the air. "- 'edgy' and 'woke'. Some of these goons wouldn't know what to do if they had a gun in their face, and it shows."

Luke Cage shakes his head and rolls his eyes for dramatic effect, "You won't ever find that shit here. I can promise you that. Alcoholic water with fizz is not a real drink. If I want water in my drink, it best be to just partner with the gin or whiskey."

"It was. The people in there were regulars, and you are right about the asshole thing. Most the time once people walked through those doors, everyone just was. No bullshit."

He glances over at the swear jar and sighs, "I'll get it later."

"Harlem will always be Harlem. They can try to change it, but they push enough they are going to find Harlem pushed back. And it won't be pretty if or when it does."

A smirk and a two fingered salute is given in regard to alcoholic seltzer water. "Amen, brother."

Anya seems to grow nostalgic when Luke talks about Pops. Their neighborhoods have gotten on just fine, at least ever since the Latin Kings left town. She could certainly imagine the vibe. Good memories, to be sure. As to the swear jar, she reaches into a pocket, pulls out a quarter, and tosses it into the jar with hairpin accuracy. "Boom. Got you covered."

The idea of Harlem pushing back does cause her smile to falter. "Yeah, that worries me too. Guess people like us will have to be the voice of reason. Like… you wanna take a piss on a sandwich board or tag the brunch spot, really that's harmless, but, yeah. It could look a lot worse."

Watching the coin arc and make its way into the swear jar, Luke grins and nods approvingly. "Girl has game! You play ball? Maybe a little one on one sometime."

"No doubt. If Harlem really rose up, it would be a mess. It's something I don't really want to think about. If I am going to have to be the voice of reason, then things really have gone to pot." There is a pause, and then a grin forms on his face, "Piss on a sandwich board? That how you do things over on your side?"

"Do pigs roll around in shit?" Anya retorts. OF COURSE she has game. She grew up with two cousins who were basically brothers. "Any time, any where. Except when I have class."

A big, wide grin shows up on the young woman's face. "You got that whole self depreciation thing going on, don't you? I think if Harlem rose up -" She raps her knuckles on the bar. "- this is where I'd wanna be." Her grin then turns into a glare. "Hey, watch it, burro. We piss on it first just to make it more flammable."

Luke laughs a deep and hearty laugh, raising his hands in a show of surrender. "Relax, I wasn't judging. I was amused. You piss on all the signs you want, as long as it isn't mine."

He eyes Anya up and down for a moment, and then shrugs as he grabs a cocktail napkin from the stack to his left. "Alright, you're on chica." He jots down a phone number on the napkin and slides it across the bar, "Anytime you want your ass beat, you let me know. I'll make the time."

He glances around the bar, and shrugs. "I guess this place is as good as any to ride out the storm, but something tells me that if push came to shove and it broke out into what I suspect it would, even places like this might not survive the brunt of it." He pauses for a moment before adding, "But we would rebuild. We always do."

"Don't do nothing that earns it, it won't happen," Anya sasses, though there's a twinkle in her eye. Something tells her that would never happen.

At the cocktail napkin, her eyebrows lift up and she smirks. "A cocktail napkin? Really? Old school." She breaks out a cell phone and taps the number in, recording it simply as Luke Harlem. "I'll be sure to invite some friends so they can put your epic ass whooping on Instagram live. We'll tag the bar, it'll be great promo. I might even let you win. Got a soft spot for local business owners. It's like flipping Corporate America the bird."

Her tone sobers, and she glances around the place with an approving nod. "Yep," she agrees. After all, she's seen it before. She was a kid during the last reign of the Latin Kings, and knows all about mending bullet holes in the dry wall. Best to handle it yourself, because the landlord never will. "I will bring some friends here. Don't worry, I don't hang around with no riff raff. These kids are NYU's best, we all look and dress weird but we're harmless."

She knocks back the last of her shots before reaching again for her wallet. "I'ma have to pay up, Abuela needs milk and if I don't hit up la supermercado on my way home, I'll get an earful." She pulls out a debit card and offers it over to Luke. "It's Anya, by the way." A pause, and a slight darkening of her skin. He checked her ID after all, and there's her debit card with the name on it.

Luke grins, tossing back the poured shot before he reaches for the card. "So I am old school, so what."

"Yeah, I'll keep that in mind, but if I smell even the hint of urine outside my door, I may just have to track you down." He raises the card in his hand, and grins, "I mean, after all I got all the info I need now, right?"

He chuckles, running the card through the machine and speaking as he waits for the bill to run through, sliding the card and paper over. "Bring your friends and maybe I give you the first round free to get some new blood in here. If we can attract the college folk, that will certainly help with the costs around here, and I will make you a promise that I will make sure the regulars don't bite."

Wiping his hand on the bar towel still draped across his shoulder, he offers it over, "Luke Cage. It has been a pleasure, Anya. I'm serious about the ball game. You can bring cameras if you like, but you tag the bar and you will be repainting it."

"Old school's cool, don't worry," Anya assures him. "Your cool card is safe." As far as tracking her down? She lifts a hand, makes a fist, then cranks the air with her other hand while slowly raising a middle finger.

"Let 'em bite," she advises, while signing the receipt and delivering a proper tip. Its rare that she drinks at a proper bar, the tip is well deserved. "Some of them could use it."

The backpack is swept up off the hook and slung over her shoulder, before she turns and takes the fellow's hand. She's got one hell of a grip. "Same," she agrees, before rolling her eyes and pulling her hand away. "Dude. A tag. Like a hash tag. Y'know?" She shakes her head and laughs. "I'm changing your name in my phone to 'Old School', swear to god." Grinning, she flings two fingers in the air, offering a wave. "Thanks for staying open for me, Luke." Her expression sobers for a moment, and she looks at him earnestly. "I really needed it."

"Oh, that kind of tag." He shrugs a large shoulder and looks a bit sheepish, "Yay, that kind of tag would be cool."

He chuckles at his own stupidity and shakes his head before looking a bit surprised, "You got a good grip on you, girl. Impressive." Luke's grip wasn't weak, and it felt like he was holding back.

"Anytime. You take care of yourself getting back. Don't want to find your name up there." he says pointing to the TV, "Stay safe."

Anya glances at the TV, then back to Luke. "Uh… no. That's not me on the TV. I…" She stammers. "I don't end up on TV. Come on, I know my shit." She then smirks. "I'll totally text you when I get home, dad."

Turning, she hoists the backpack and kicks rocks, before she can make another slip of the tongue. Dammit… she's really, really bad at that part of this whole secret identity thing.

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