2019-12-17 - I just got back from hell


Thea shows up for a drink, Luke Listens.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Dec 17 00:03:14 2019
Location: Luke's

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Theme Song



The afternoon sunlight is weak, but filtering through the streets while the air temperature drops. There's snow in the forecast, but nothing is drifting down yet as the door to the bar opens briefly to admit a single female figure. The burst of chill will rush into the room to be dissipated by circulating the warmer air.

Hair is a soft strawberry blonde, falling in loose waves against the black leather of the short trench. Her eyes are lined, making the silvery blue color pop, but other than that her makeup is fairly natural. Her face is thinner, cheekbones more prominent than before, but even a starvation diet wouldn't give her that in the short time since she was here last.

She works to unfasten the belt of her trench, heeled boots nearly silent against the floors, no mean feat. Eyes dart and take note of exit options, and other things that are all calculated in her head. The slate gray henley fits close, tucked into jeans not yet fully broken it, and black boots reach up to her knees. She'll slide up on a seat at the bar, putting her jacket on the seat beside her.

Luke looks up from what seems to be his ever present location from behind the bar. He flips the cleaning rag over his shoulder and nods a greeting.

"Thea, right?" has asks questioningly, not entirely sure he has the right name to the face. "Bourbon was it? Or am I totally off base here?"

Luke grabs a glass, setting it down on the bar in front of her, just waiting for the drink selection.

There's a slow curl of a smile, a lift upward of her left eyebrow. "Nicely done, Luke. I imagine you've seen a lot of people since I was here last." It's only been four years, to her poor mind. "Yes, bourbon. Please." Her hand trembles faintly, for just a moment, as she places money carefully to the bar.

"I did not bring any broiled cheese, however."

Luke chuckles, grabbing the bourbon from the shelf and pouring a couple fingers worth into the glass in front of Thea before setting the bottle down on the bar. "No cheese? Man, now I am disappointed."

Luke folds his arms over his chest and leans back against the bar, "Eh, I see enough people but I tend to remember the cute ones." The bartender winks before he continues, "You look different…did you do something to your hair?"

"Sorry. I haven't been by the restaurant today. Been running around, you know how it is. " The smile is quick, almost brittle as if she hasn't smiled much lately. She will wink back, and there's the faintest flush at his jibe about the cute ones.

A hand lifts to pass through the hair, pushing it back from her face. "Lightened the color a bit." She's pretty sure it was red the last time she was here. She's still trying to swim past the four years in hell that she has memories for, and no one here on earth knows passed for her. " I cut it, too." Because it had been much longer after her 'trip'.

Luke nods, "That must be it. Shorter and different color. I knew something was different."

As she talks about not heading by the restaurant, Luke nods. "No worries. I mean, if I could pull my sorry ass away from this place for more than a minute I would just head down there myself. I feel like I never leave this place. Work here, live upstairs, it is a miracle I am able to keep up my tan."

Thea reaches for the glass, lifting it slowly for a sip, eyes sliding shut. One sip becomes two, then a deep swallow before she pulls it away to set the glass back to the bar. She'll laugh, a short, slightly rough sound at his joke about keeping up his tan.

"You must love it, being here all the time, living upstairs." She looks at him as she thoughtlessly rotates the glass over the wood of the bar. "Do what you love, and all of that?"

Luke eyes the way she drinks her drink, cocking his head to the side but not saying anything about it yet.

"It has its perks, sure. But I'm not kidding when I say I never get out of this place." he says with a shrug. "At least you get to travel, or at the very least walk a block or two. In order for me to go out, I have to close down the bar, unless some of the other staff are here. But the other staff are here mostly on weekends when it is busy and I need to also be here."

Thea sees that head cock, a small little grin. "It's been a rough stretch, since I saw you last." It's so true, but he just has no idea. "I've had enough travel, lately. I think I'd like to stay here in the city… for a long time." Short, unpolished nails will drum against the glass lightly.

"You have to be here? Staff still learning, or are they just not skilled at bouncing, or are you worried they'll drink all the stock?"

Nodding at Thea's comment, Luke goes to refill the bourbon glass, "Sorry to hear that. Seems to be something that is going around. I've had a few friends hit some rough patches recently. I'll listen if you want to talk about it."

Luke sets the bottle down, raising his own glass of water to hip lips and taking a sip. "Oh, I'm fairly certain Anya can bounce easily enough. Becca, not so sure. Hod…well he is blind, but the man can cook up a storm. The only one I really worry about drinking me out of stock would be Hod, but we have an agreement and I trust him. I don't know, it's just something I have always done by myself and now I have others. Hard to let go sometimes."

There's a low laugh, slightly ragged. "If I talked to you about it, you would probably call the nice young men in their clean white coats to come and take me away." There's a reference there to an old Dr. Demento song. She will polish off her first glass before he refills it, murmuring a thank you. She'll shake her head slightly. "You wouldn't believe me."

There's a nod, looking down into her bourbon. "It's your baby, and you're having a hard time trusting the nanny. But you have to let go sometime. It's not good to hold on too tight. You need more than one thing, even a great thing, in life."

"You might be surprised about what I would believe." exclaims Luke as he takes another sip from his water. "I've seen spider-guys clinging to walls, lifting cars over their heads and swinging around on webs. I'm not sure there is much more that will be a shock."

Luke shrugs a shoulder, "Yeah, it is my baby. I got nothing else to hold on to, so I might as well cling onto this. Maybe I am a bit…married to my job, but something has to fill the time. What else am I gonna do?"

There's another smile, though faint. "I'm familiar. If your Anya is my Anya, she could totally bounce someone out of here. Probably with lots of sassing thrown in for free." She nods. "I've met with the spider types, often. Depending on what you know about what they've dealt with, you might believe me."

She takes a quick swallow back of bourbon. "You could get a hobby. Take a vacation. Some classes in something that interests you. Hell if I know. I am my job." There's a snort.

She'll look at him, and those silvery blue eyes will look less like they belong to a pretty young woman, and more like they should belong to someone…violent. "I've been in hell." Another sip. "Not a metaphor. Not like.. biblical hell. But everything was red, gray or black. There were things most people would call demonic, and it was.. grim."

"Yeah, sounds like my Anya." Luke says with a grin. "Well, not MY Anya. Not like that, but you know what I mean. The Anya that works here."

"I've heard a few things. Sounds like they went through the ringer here a bit ago. Didn't sound like a good time for any of them."

Luke shrugs a shoulder, "I have hobbies. I lift weights. I read. I…run a bar. That's a hobby, right?"

Ok, not what he was expecting, and the look on his face shows that. "That doesn't sound pleasant. I've been in my own kind of hell, but nothing nearly as…supernatural."

"Well, she's not my Anya either, so yeah, I know what you mean. And yeah, it was… rough. I'm sort of the clean up crew, when they get seriously injured." There's a shrug. "No, running the bar is not a hobby." She'll roll her eyes.

There's a snort as he looks shocked. "Right? I mean, I've been in personal hell, but this was different. Still don't know how the person I ended up there with and I got there, and I'm not entirely sure I know how we got back. But I was there for four years, and here? Not even gone long enough to be missed. So that's screwing with my head too." There's the rest of that bourbon tipped back. "Definite pushing of my limits, there. And now, I can't find my … partner, so to speak. No idea where she is. So that's what I've been doing. Resting after years of hell, alternating with looking for her. "

"Partner as in partner, or Partner as in Partner?" Luke asks as he goes to fill the bourbon again. "I mean, either way has to be rough. And for four years? Shit, I'm not sure how to process that. I've seen some things, and I believe you, but it is hard to swallow you know?"

Luke takes a sip of his water, "If you were there for four years, how long was it here?"

Thea blinks at Luke, when he's trying to sort out her connection to Neena. A rough edged laugh. "Parter as in teammate. Not partner as in romantic partner. I like her and all, but we're not that way." There's a soft little smile. "I'm just worried about her. She was taking some things a little harder than I was, over there." A shrug. "I promised her we'd go for a spa trip." Her voice is quieter, almost as if she's worried her friend is dead.

"Same day, here. As best I can figure, a year there was like three or four hours here. No one had time to miss me, no one knew I was gone. Which is good, I guess, for the most part? But everyone will expect me to just keep moving like normal, and right now, that's not my normal."

Luke nods. "Got it. I mean you and she were trapped for four years, you can never be to sure, so I figured I would just ask and get it out of the way before I ended up saying something stupid or something." he says with a hint of a shrug. "You have connections if I recall, right? Pull some strings and see if they can help you find her."

"Wow, only a day? That's messed up. I can't even imagine loosing 4 years of your life in a day like that. Maybe take a vacation, a real one. Sort things out so when you come back things are normal, or at least a new normal that is better than the normal you have today?"

Thea chuckles. "She's not my type. Why, what would it have gotten in the way of?" There's just that touch of sass, before she'll inch that bourbon closer. "One more, if you would please, Luke?" A nod is given. "Truth is, I don't want to tug on those strings, unless I'm desperate. I don't know if that would endanger her more, or whatnot."

"Right? Totally messed up. You should have seen my doorman when I showed up - he didn't know me." Of course, he doesn't recognize her often. "Yeah, I have four years of hell, deprivation and nightmares, and no one even knew I was missing. It's a bit of a mind screw." She'll shake her head. "I'm not setting foot out of New York as long as I can help it. Especially not until I find Neena."

"Nothing that I know of." Luke says with a chuckle. "I'm just saying that when you are alone for a while, things can happen. You know, like what can happen in prison. I just didn't want to assume one thing, and find out it was the other. Now I know."

Luke reaches out and refills the glass of bourbon, "Fair enough. But at least you have that option should the need arise, right. It's better than not having any options."

"Yeah, missing friend. Sorry, that was stupid of me to even suggest in hindsight. Well, the drinks are on me tonight. Least I could do."

"And here I thought you were flirting with me. Sigh." Thea makes a mockingly dramatic face, before she watches him refill the bourbon. She's silent a long moment, not really focused on any one thing.

"I'd probably go to Anya and some others, first. I know I can trust all of them to trust /me/, and just ping me if they see her." Neena is pretty distinctive.

She smiles. "No, you're suggesting the thing most people probably suggest after someone has been through hell, albeit is more likely metaphorical in most cases. You're thinking I probably need a break before I end up being what breaks." The smile that flashes is sharp, like the gleam of a blade. "Take my money for an Uber later, then. I want to get drunk." And so she will, under Luke's likely watchful eye.

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