2019-12-04 - Temporarily Suspending the Swear Jar


Anya gives Luke the low down on what happened with Morlun. Lots of tequila is consumed and the swear jar is temporarily suspended from duty.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Dec 4 00:00:00 2019
Location: Luke's

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Theme Song



While no respectful business desires real down time, it happens, and it's a double edged sword of sorts. It means no revenue, but it's also valuable time to get shit in order and ready for the next rush.

The lunch rush has passed, and there comes those valuable few moments where the bar is void of patrons. Anya didn't necessarily come here to work, but there's work to be done, so she jumps right in. However, once the last patron has left and she and Luke are alone, she puts down her rag and looks up from the table she was cleaning, and fixes Luke with a deadpan expression.

"We got him," she says. "We killed Morlun."

While Anya is wiping down the bar, Luke is busy carrying supplies in from the back room to restock the bar. Since nobody is currently in the place, Luke takes advantage and is doing some heavy lifting as he moves large heavy boxes as easily as a box of tissue paper.

As Anya speaks, Luke stops in his tracks and looks over towards her. "Killed?"

The big man sighs, taking the box and dropping it onto the bar. "I didn't think you spider types went that route…but at least this guy won't be coming after you again."

"Yeah." Anya's expression darkens. There is a turmoil of emotion behind her brown eyes; anger, guilt, justification, and so forth. It doesn't extend beyond her minimal eyeshadow, but after two seconds of eye contact extend for what feels like far too long, she looks away.

"It had to be done," she says quietly, and picks up the rag to get back to cleaning. "Nothing else would stop him. Believe me… we tried."

Luke watches Anya in silence for a moment before he places one of those big, meaty hands on the bar and vaults it, moving to and locking the front door while flipping the sign to read 'CLOSED'.

"Grab a bottle. I've seen that look. I've had that look. Spill."

Hesitation prompts Anya to delay, to stand there and watch as Luke goes off and closes down the bar on her account. The guilt she feels is palpable; it reminds her to some degree of what Peter feels all so often. He's turning down patronage on her account. The young woman is about to argue over this, but she relents. The towel is tossed onto the half cleaned table begrudgingly, and she turns for the bar.

A webline is cast, grasps a bottle of Espolon, and zips it into her hand. Another pair of weblines strike two shot glasses and do the same; her accuracy with the spinnerets is almost alarming, even to her.

"He kept beating us, breaking us, and he wouldn't stop," she tells Luke. "Jesus, Luke. It was like… like he didn't need sleep, like his muscles didn't produce toxins. He went after everything, and all he wanted…"

She pauses, choking for a moment on the word.

"All he wanted was… to… to eat Spider-Man. Like a god damned cannibal."

Moving to one of the booths away from the front door, Luke slides into a seat.

"Eat?" he says with a look of utter revulsion upon his face. "You mean, like actually devour flesh from bone? That's…well that's just fucked up."


Anya quickly pours two shots. If Luke doesn't take the other one, she'll happily consume it herself, after all. The clear liquor is chugged quickly, and she pours herself another, but leaves it sit for now.

"We found out he was weak to radiation, of all things," Anya tells Luke from the other side of the booth. "Of all the things we tried, all the things we looked for? Radiation." She reaches for the fresh shot, but her hand remains curled around the glass, not yet lifting it.

"So I got hold of four x-ray machines, rigged them up to put out four times their max power, and fried him. No." She shakes her head, as if it's the wrong word. "No, I… we cooked him. And even that didn't stop him. It only slowed him down."

Looking up from her shot glass, her eyes seem lost, confused. "Luke? How… how do you even tell someone that you're basically an accessory to murder? I wasn't the one who pulled the killing stroke, but… I was part of it. And I wanted it. I wanted him dead. Not just for me, or Uncle Rico, but for everyone else he was after. And I'm… I'm disgusted with myself, but I'm happy." Her eyes grow a little fierce. "I'm happy the mother fucker is dead."

Luke reaches out and takes the shot, downing it in one quick motion. He is quiet, letting Anya tell her tale before he speaks again.

"You don't. Sounds more like self defense or justifiable homicide than murder. From what you just said, it certain;y doesn't sound like there would be any other way to contain him, unless you were to just chain him up in a nuclear reactor."

Luke reaches for the bottle and pours himself another shot, downing that one as rapidly as he did the first. "You're alive. You have a right to be happy about that."

Luke sighs, pouring himself a third shot. "I'm sorry you have to go through this, but you're don't have to go through it alone."

"I mean, semantics, maybe," Anya says. "It's not like this was some dope sick addict with a knife or something."

The second shot is downed, and she slides the shot glass over, suggesting Luke pour her another.

"I know you're right, I know it's not… not wrong that I feel this way. I'm not stupid, y'know, I just…" She shakes her head. "Now I have to deal with it. It doesn't matter what I know or what I feel, it's gonna be there. I'm always gonna remember his shriveled up body, begging us not to kill him, just like I'll always remember what it sounded like when that no good bastard crushed Uncle Rico's head."

The third shot is taken. Enhanced metabolism can be a real bitch when you want to feel the effects of booze a lot quicker than they actually happen for you.

She finally looks at Luke again when he reminds her that she isn't alone, and a smile forms. "I don't think any of us feel any different about it, y'know. None of us like it, but we all… we all knew what we had to do."

Luke pours Anya's next shot, then downs his third before going to fill his again. He is about to shoot that one when he pauses and sets the shot glass down rapidly.

"Wait, what? What did he do to your uncle?"

It dawned on her that she never had a chance to tell Luke what happened. There just wasn't enough time. Apology is mixed with grief that will take a long time to undo. "You don't know," she says aloud, and her voice trails off for a moment while her eyes drift away, to look out the window at passing pedestrians.

"He must have followed me home, after his first hit," she says quietly. "I was trying to get back in touch with everyone else, so I didn't see. He came right through our front door."

Her eyes go back to Luke, glazed over. "He crushed Rico's head. Like… like a grape."

"Motherfucker…" says Luke in a hushed whisper of shock. "Oh my god, Anya, I am so sorry."

In one simple move Luke grabs the bottle from the table, then casually pushes the table away from between them and has moved across the bench to sit next to Anya, arms open to offer a supportive embrace. There are no more words than come from him at the moment. What could he really say?

She's cried a lot, mostly in solitude, some with her family. There aren't any tears this time, but the comfort is readily accepted. The young woman sinks into Luke's arms and just closes her eyes, feeling both his physical and metaphysical strength where hers is momentarily stagnant.

"It wasn't even about us," she says quietly. "It was all about luring Spider-Man. Like bait. Me and my family were like… like cheese on a mouse trap."

Her arms come up and hold onto his biceps, strictly to be reminded of something strong.

Luke squeezes lightly, offering his strength up as support in the only way he can now. Forgoing any more decorum he lifts the bottle to his lips and just takes a swig straight from it before offering it over to Anya.

"I don't have the words, Anya. I know what it is like to loose a loved one, but not like that. Never like that. That is barbaric." Luke exclaims softly. "If he wasn't dead already, I'd go find and kill him myself. That isn't human, that is just an animal that needs to be put down."

"I know," Anya agrees. "It's broken up my whole family, y'know? And I can't talk about it with most people, because… I still have to keep things secret."

She sighs and reaches to take the bottle, chugging two gulps. Now she can feel something beyond the burn.

"If you throw anything in that damned swear jar I'll kick your ass," she suddenly says, and laughs. It's the kind of laugh one experiences at a funeral home; the pent up emotions needing something that isn't anger or grief. Leaning away, she gives Luke a knowing grin. "I think, if there's ever a time for Pops to give you a pass, it's now."

Luke chuckles. He can't help it. It's that same kind of outlet that Anya herself is feeling. "You're probably right." he says, "It wouldn't be the first time either. Pop used to have is own passes now and then…always saying he would 'get it later'. He probably did, too."

He takes the bottle from Anya when she is done, lifting it in a toast. "To Pops. To Riva. To your uncle Rico." he utters before taking a few healthy swallows himself. "May they rest in peace."

Another time, she'll ask about Riva. Not today. "Salud," she responds, then rises from the booth, and walks over toward the front door.

The latch is undone, the sign slung around, and the bar is open again. "Here's to a good happy hour," she calls to Luke, "and making up for all the money we just drank."

She goes back to her unfinished table, but hesitates a moment. "Luke?" she says. "Thanks for… Y'know." She smiles, and finally, she seems to be herself again. "For everything."

Luke rises from the booth and moves the table back into position, cleaning up the shot glasses from the floor and arranging tings to some semblance of normal.

"I think we will be ok. Chalk it up to a business expense." he says with a smirk, picking up what is left of the bottle and capping it. "I'll just stash this in the back for our personal use."

As he heads towards the back room to put things away, he turns and looks over his shoulder at Anya. "Anytime. I've got your back."

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