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I Need A Drink - Printable Version

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I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 11-24-2017

She'd been in this "Hub" for a couple of days. Long enough to get settled in the Tower, long enough to find out that none of the other Avengers were from her universe, which was both comforting, because it meant that she was as far as possible from the problems she'd been trying to avoid, and inexpressibly lonely.

Natalia had been tempted to spend a day in her flat, wallowing in her feelings, but the Black Widow had no tolerance for such weakness, and Natasha found being cooped up boring, so that had lead to a decision to go out and explore the Hub.

Which had lead her to a bar, which was good, because she could combine exploring, getting the lay of the land, possibly make some contacts, and as an added bonus, attempt to drown her sorrows in large amounts of alcohol.

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 11-26-2017

This month had been long. It hadn’t been bad, of course. He’d been able to hang with Kaalth, get the lay of the land a bit more, and, of course, gone reaping a lot. When you had a quota of souls, you needed to make it, and what better time than when the boss was gone and you were sure that you weren’t going to have anything better to do with your time? Which, of course, led to the other thing about the month: He was on a huge dry spell. Oh, sure, he lived with a bunch of hookers, but most of them seemed to steer clear of him since Jaya took a shine to him, and also he still wasn’t sure who all here was real and who wasn’t, which apparently was a little bit of a turn-off for him.

Today, he was tending the bar, after the regular bartender had come down with something that they were calling ‘Rigelian Flu.’ He hadn’t figured out exactly what it was, but it was apparently bad enough that a decontamination team had gone into the guy’s otherwise-sealed room three times in the past couple days. So far people had just wanted their drinks straight, which worked for him. “One more vodka,” Jax said, refilling the hot redhead’s glass, needing practice getting two ounces out in one move. A professional bartender, he wasn’t. “You here for the show or the booze?” he asked, nodding to the stage where some alien girl was currently dancing. Not that he didn’t think a girl would be into the show, but she didn’t have the interested air about her as she sat at the bar.

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 11-26-2017

Natasha nodded in thanks as the bartender poured her another shot. The vodka was good, and she had had enough to put a layer of alcohol between her and her sorrow, which was a good thing. The bartender-or unless she missed her guess, substitute bartender, this guy was no pro, and this looked like the kind of place that would have a pro working the bar-was at least managing to keep her glass refilled. Obviously a thug-she didn't recognize the club that his cut referenced, but she'd met enough bikers to know that it wasn't just for show. Thug was fine with her, she'd spent plenty of time around them, and she'd trust most of them over the government spooks who made up the rest of her professional acquaintance. He was easy on the eyes as well, which was always a bonus.

Interested in her as well, at least mildly so, which was interesting, given that the dancers at this place were obviously for rent. Maybe he didn't like to fuck where he worked, which, she had to admit was probably a sensible policy, given the way her life had exploded recently.

"I'm here for the booze." Natasha replied "The show is good, but I'm enjoying the view right here." not that she was blind to the dancer's charms, but she wasn't sure how she felt about hair that could move independently. Besides, she tended to prefer men, and to prefer partners who weren't doing a job. She'd used her own sexuality for the job often enough to know how it felt from the other side, and didn't like the idea of making someone else feel like that. "This is a nice place." she added, looking around. And it was a nice place. Most strip clubs she'd been in were a little seedy, especially if they doubled as brothels, but this place was top shelf. The club and the girls both looked clean and well maintained, with no signs of being drugged or used roughly, and she'd noticed that the girls weren't drinking on duty, another good sign. Even if this guy wasn't running the place, and it was a good bet he wasn't, it still spoke in his favor that he was working here, rather than some place less decent.

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 11-29-2017

That was a little odd. Usually if people were there to drink and not to get laid, they were at least there because they wanted to be able to see boobs through their increasing alcohol-haze to cheer them up. This one wasn’t hiding it, she just wasn’t as interested, and hell, she was possibly throwing her cards in at him. That pretty much never happened. He wasn’t complaining, of course, it was just odd enough to make him pause.

Jax smirked while he looked around the bar with her. That little comment was something he’d been trying to figure out for himself since he got there. He’d run a brothel before, and he’d done his damnedest to make the place classy, clean, and safe. This place, though, was cut from an entirely different standard than what he’d known, with the aliens and the crazy technology and the weird shit that came from the Hub. Was this place nice, or was he just from a world that was unadvanced enough that everything from the future (like Jaya said she was from) looked amazing to him (and apparently this girl)? “I’ll tell the boss you think so,” he said, setting another glass down and filling himself up a shot. “Probably would mean more to her coming from another woman, guys are biased,” he joked. He had to wonder what this lady would think if she’d been here when Orion pheromones were floating around. “I’m Jax,” he said, drinking his free shot of whiskey that Jaya would pretend she didn’t know about and he’d pretend he’d been sneaky enough to keep secret.

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 11-29-2017

The boss was a woman. That was interesting, and did help explain the quality of the place. Not that women couldn't be just as viciously abusive as men could, but it was less surprising to find out that the employees were treated well in a place that a woman was in charge of. "Natasha." she replied, letting the comment about his boss go for the moment. "So, have you been in the Hub long?"

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-04-2017

“Hard to tell,” Jax admitted. “Spent a lot of time just traveling through all the weird places that are wrapped around this place. This was where I ended up landing. All things considered? I’ve been in worse places.” Well, most of those ‘places’ were metaphorical, but that still counted, right? Of course, there were also some pretty hellish places he’d ridden through before he’d made it to the middle of the Hub… but were they the Hub, too? “Hard to tell sometimes if you’re in a world or if you’re still here. I’m starting to think that there are some whole roads you can ride down that’ll take you from one world to another, but that’s for someone else to figure out. I’m done riding for a while, I think. How about you? You don’t look like you’ve been here that long.”

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-04-2017

"I just got here a few days ago." Natasha confirmed "I was supposed to be taking a portal from one place to another-weird as that still sounds, and instead I got dumped out here. Wherever here is. So you can just walk from one world to another? That sounds like it must be a real trip." as she spoke, she started to revise her plan. Initially, she'd been planning on using this dude as a distraction, a way to avoid thinking, but this guy seemed like he'd be worth talking to. Which wasn't her normal expectation when it came to mid-to-low-level thugs but clearly the universe was a large and strange place. "Was that how you got here? Took the wrong turn?"

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-09-2017

Jax shrugged a little, she was getting far too much into aspects of the Hub that he didn’t exactly get. “Feels like it sometimes. I don’t really know how I got here, all I know is that I ended up riding through some crazy places until I got to the center here, and I might have only gotten here through luck.” He wasn’t going to go into some of his weirder ideas, he didn’t think she looked like someone who wanted to wax philosophical about life on the road and where the world ended and the road began. “Yeah… something like that.” ‘Into the grill of a semi’ was, after all, easy to consider a ‘wrong turn.’ He still didn’t know how that resulted in him ending up here, though.

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-10-2017

"That sound a lot like life." Natasha obverved, idly tracing the rim of her shot glass. Being drunk often made her more philosophical, she had always assumed it was a natural side effect of being Russian. "You travel and end up at the center, and you're never quite sure how you got there, or exactly where 'here' is." then she tossed back her shot, and motioned for him to pour another.

"So." she asked "What do you do when you aren't filling in as a bartender?"

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-15-2017

Jax considered switching to a higher shelf vodka, but decided against it as he poured her another from the bottle that was already down. Drinking high shelf liquor was good when you started, but after a while, it was just wasting good booze when you were too drunk to appreciate it. She was probably getting close to that point, and he wasn’t a huge vodka guy anyway.

“Yeah, don’t I know it,” Jax mused. “Sounds like the world, at least. People don’t know how much happens outside their little lives anyway.” Hell, people would never understand the life he’d led. His father had been right about that much, when you lived outside the protection of society, you lived in a world where savage brutality was your only protection. How did the Sons do what they did? Simple: They had to to survive. They just hadn’t been a part of the civilized world that everyone else lived in.

Jax considered her question as he poured himself another shot, too. He could say that he’d been a mechanic, but it would be more than a little disingenuous. He could say that he’d been a gun runner, but he’d never liked being a gun runner, he spent more time trying to stop being one than being one. “I’m the bouncer,” he finally said. “Keeping the girls safe was what I was pretty good at on the outside, this place works for me.”

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-16-2017

"Half of it they don't believe if you tell them, and the other half they don't want to know about. Honestly, I like it better that way. The real problems start when they realize what is going on, get scared and start making rules. Because the rules they make don't actually make anything better, or safer, they just make the life harder for the people who have to live on the outside." Natasha might not be an outlaw in the same way Jax was-she'd been a government agent of some sort for most of her life, but even if she was a guard dog that didn't mean that she got invited inside to sleep by the fire. It just meant that she wasn't technically a wolf.

"You get a lot of trouble in her?" she asked, looking around. It seemed pretty quiet, but maybe she was reading the place wrong.

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-16-2017

Well, it wasn't exactly Jax's experience, no, but it was kind of close, he supposed. "Laws are already there," he said, shrugging a little. "They just... don't get it. 'You don't have to do those things.' Shit like that... when you tell them that in your world, people get killed, people get hurt... they don't get it. Some people aren't made to live in a little duplex with a couple kids and call the police every time something rustles in their bushes." And wasn't that the truth. He'd tried... he'd thought that maybe he could have that in his life, but his life was so incompatible with a civilized life that it had just fallen apart. His kids... well, his kids were safe now. Nero and Wendy would make sure they grew up right, grew up protected from the madness that he'd been raised with.

He looked around the bar as she asked about the problems they might get, and Jax just gave her a little shrug. "Nah, I guess we don't," he admitted. "The regulars are all pretty calm and low key. Some of the people just passing through are a little on the sketchy side, but we try to weed them out before they can really start anything. The girls know how to deal with most of the assholes they might come across, guys like me are just for emergencies and manual labor."

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-16-2017

"They don't get that they get to live those safe lives because there are people doing the dirty work that makes those lives possible. Or that there are some things that don't fit in that world, that shit has to be moved around, that people need to go places and things need to get done without waiting for permission, or worrying about following proper procedure. That the job can be more important than the rules. Like you said, the law is there, but that doesn't always mean anything."

"I'll keep that in mind." she replied "Its always good to have a place to drink where the drinking won't be interrupted by a bar fight-not that I've got anything against a bar fight, but there is a time and a place-and the scenery isn't bad. I might come back here again."

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-21-2017

Somehow, Jax got the idea that he and this girl weren’t really talking about the same sort of thing, but eh, who cared. It just meant that he wasn’t going to be too keen to tell her what, exactly, he was talking about until he had a better idea of her. “Your world must be pretty crazy,” he commented idly. “What kind of messes are you used to?”

He supposed that the place could be considered quiet if those were the points she was judging it on. “I’ve had to throw a few people out, but yeah, mostly it’s quiet. I think that more people might’ve started getting thrown out since I got here. Not that they can’t handle things, but I just really hate letting the girls calm someone down who’s causing trouble. Too much like rewarding bad behavior. If you’re going to be a prick, you don’t get to rub up against pretty girls, y’know?” Not that the girls at Diosa had been against using their considerable charms to defuse a situation, but Jax had always tried to make sure that they didn’t have to deal with anything dangerous. Sometimes it had actually worked.

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-22-2017

Natasha knew that they weren't exactly talking about the same sort of thing-in the end she was a guard dog, and he was a coyote, on opposite sides, at times anyway, even if the world they moved in meant they had more in common with each other than the sheep that she protected, but still they moved in the same world, or close enough anyway. "Name it." she said with a grin "Nazis, Hydra, who are worse than regular Nazis, alien invasions, mad scientists, and sometimes just garden variety terrorists and gun runners." the last accompanied by a brief raise of her eyebrow, she suspected that he might have dabbled.

"I can't disagree with you there, but honestly, if they weren't pricks, would they have to pay for it?" Natasha said, pitching her voice low to avoid offending the customers.

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 12-30-2017

Fortunately, Jax’s previous life had equipped him to see the answer to Nat’s question and how it related to the Hub. “Well, some of them are pricks,” he admitted, also lowering his voice to keep from driving business away. “Or they could just be on the move too much to manage otherwise. Especially in this place… Relating to people can be crazy here.” Jax knew how it went… sure, some of his brothers just weren’t any good for relationships (which could be translated as being a prick, sure) and that’s why they ended up grabbing hookers here and there. “Sometimes you just needed to take a night, spend a few hundred bucks, and fool yourself into thinking that everything was all right and not have to worry about being turned away again.” Not that it always worked… he remembered his last attempt at that before he’d taken that long last ride on his world… "Sometimes it's just your life that's no good for anything else, not you." Yet another example of the comforts you gave up living outside civilized society. This one didn’t make it more dangerous, it just made it more… sad. Lonely, even, he supposed. It was why the club never really held back with the affection to their brothers that other people might find so contradictory to their life, but some things you just couldn’t get from your brothers. For those things? There were always hookers.

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 12-30-2017

Natasha listened to what he said, carefully considering it. It did make a certain amount of sense-especially the part about it being hard to meet someone, or relate to them. "Yeah, I can see that. i'm still getting used to this place, I haven't quite figured out all the ways it fucks with people's heads yet." she didn't mention that she'd never had that problem, because she was well aware that it was easier for a woman who just wanted to get laid to get the job done.

To his second point, though "I always figured that if your life was that dangerous, it was better to stay away from everyone, instead of finding someone who was going to end up collateral damage, even if you don't give a shit about them, and they don't give one about you." Natasha wasn't a good person, and was at peace with that, but Natalia insisted on minimizing damage, not to mention that Black Widow looked on sex as a distraction.

She'd told him about her world, and it was only fair that she got an answer from him "So, tell me about your world. Anything exciting?"

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 01-06-2018

Jax shrugged a little at her suggestion. Looking at what had happened to his family, he was hard pressed to really argue with what she said. “It’s probably a good idea,” he admitted. “Show me anyone who’s really good at staying away from everyone, though. It doesn’t really work. No one wants to let you do it, either. Me? I was an outlaw. Classic biker thug, born and raised. Ran guns, protection, hits, escorts… Probably had my hand in every shitty thing a person can do. Can’t do that alone, and when you live that hard with anyone, they’re going to get in close to you, and none of them are going to let you make yourself miserable being a lone wolf. None of mine did, I know that much.” He shrugged, pouring them out another shot of vodka each. “Maybe it’s a lot different in a crazy world like yours. In mine, everyone tried to keep out the collateral damage. It’s kind of funny, really. Everything started as this big push, my dad and his friends, to live free, step outside society, and what you end up with is a whole separate set of laws. You stayed away from kids, you stayed away from families, you followed the outlaw rules… when you didn’t, you ended up with everyone putting aside all their problems to smash you down before they went back to their fighting.”

RE: I Need A Drink - Natalia Romanova - 01-06-2018

Natasha nodded at that "Tell me about it. One day I'm living my life, working freelance, the next I've got a bag over my head and two nice men explaining to me how much better my life will be if I decide to join SHIELD." she'd agreed, and not just because she'd know that, one way or another, she wasn't going to be able to continue making life interesting for Nick Fury. She'd also done it because she was tired of being alone, and had no problem saying as much "Me, I was raised to be an assassin, I got picked for it when I was a kid, barely five." she snorted "They told my parents that it was a special school for gymnastics. So I was taught to work alone, and I still like that, but its good to have a team behind you when the shit hits the fan."

When Jax started talking about the way the outlaws had ended up developing their own set of rules, she couldn't help but let out a little laugh "Welcome to life after the revolution comrade. Any way of coming up with a better way to live always runs into the problem that people are still going to be people, no matter what the poetry and songs promise."

RE: I Need A Drink - Jackson Teller - 01-11-2018

“You know, come to think of it, I think I’ve had a few meetings like that,” Jax admitted, favoring her with that cocky grin. “Usually it was telling me I wanted to tell the nice gangster who was stepping in on his drug trade and not trying to get me to sign on, but it’s been a long time, I’m sure I’ve heard that one, too.” Hell, he’d probably given that one, too, but that was beside the point, wasn’t it?

When she mentioned a revolution, Jax just made a face. “Hell with that. I don’t want to change the world, I just want the world to leave me the fuck alone for the most part.” Actually, they’d fought damn hard to make sure that the world stayed the same for a good while, hadn’t they? It was probably best that he was here, because there really wasn’t any way that Charming would be going back to the way it was, and after all the struggling he’d been doing to get things adjusted, he’d realized just how tired of it he was. All of it. He still was… except for the times that he missed it like hell. Funny how things worked, wasn’t it?