2007-12-22: Back Room Acquaintances


Niki_icon.gif Church_icon.gif

Summary: After Niki takes Church into the back room of the club, it's … like a parent-teacher meeting, only with less clothes.

Date It Happened: December 22nd, 2007

Back Room Acquaintances

Back Room - Therapy (Exotic Bar)

Queens, New York

This back room of the exotic bar known as Therapy is designed to look all the more like a psychiatrist's office … club style. Colourful framed inkblots are framed on the walls, a low, dark crimson L-shaped sectional sits around a suspiciously sturdy "coffee table" lit from underneath, and the lighting isn't just dim, it's dark and intimate. This is the realm of private lapdances.

If Niki's stern countenance and quick marching into the room was any indication, that's not what Church is in for. Unless he's into the dominatrix thing. Inside, she stands on one side of the table, arms folded just as she was in the club proper. Somewhere along the way, the bills she had on her person have been hidden away. After a few moments pass in an attempt overcome the awkwardness that comes hand-in-hand with confronting a school guidance counsellor while she's barely dressed, and making her money from being that way, she speaks up. "I want you to be careful what you say to Cam."

He should not be expecting a private encounter, but he can't help but at least think about it, even if it won't be happening. As for the dominatrix thing- no comment. As Niki hauls Lawrence back here, she has very little resistance in doing so; he is far too used to being thrown around, and knowing what exactly Niki could possibly do helps him to behave like a gentleman.

Unlike the woman across from him, Church helps himself to a hesitant seat on the empty sectional. Judging by the suspicious look in his eye, he is just sitting so that he can sit, not because Benji gave Niki two-hundred and she dragged him into a private room. Similar to with the hostess at the start of this adventure, his eyes remain on her face, and certainly not anything else. If he is appreciating anything about her anymore, it would be her hair. Church runs a hand through his own as she speaks. "Hey, uh, if this is about the Marshall things, you think we could leave it where it is?"

Truth be told, that is not his only guess as to Niki's actions. He is simply good at playing dumb.

"It's about what he can do." Either Niki sees through Church's excellent skills of dumb, or she doesn't want to beat around the bush. She stays where she is, one hip slightly cocked as she remains poised firmly in her heels, half-shadowed and half-glowing from the contrasting dark of the room and the light from the table she stands by.

"Ah." Church replies with something vague at first, adjusting himself on the seat he has taken so he's not craning his neck to look at Niki. He's glowing from that table too, but not as dramatically as she. "Hm." Another noncommittal noise, and a slight clenching of his jaw can be read as nervousness, or him generally being uncomfortable. "What- what exactly did he say that I said?"

"I don't really have time to talk in circles. I have to get back to work." What she does have time for is circling the table halfway to tower over Church. "I know you gave him that book after finding out he can freeze things — and you might've had the best intentions…" There's a but, not to mention obvious suspicion.

Towering is fine, even if he's not looking at the rest of her. Just knowing it is there. "He was interested in it. I'm not going to get him in trouble, if that's what you're afraid of." Church answers the blonde gently, but not guiltily. "And frankly, with what Benji gave you, you can probably spare a minute with me, right…?" There is nothing particularly dirty or suggestive about how he says this, despite the short upward quirk of his eyebrows.

Point taken, but Niki just squares her shoulders and stands a little tenser. "I have to watch out for him," she says. "I figure, this means you know something about…" she hunts for the right word, the right phrase, but nothing sounds right. "People like Cam." And her, but that's neither here nor there. "You gotta admit it's a little weird. Most guidance counsellors wouldn't be so … prepared to deal with something like that."

"I-" The man's breath leaves in a short, curt sigh. "I am people like Cam. Or, technically-" His hands make a few vague gestures in front of him. "Person. I'm a person like Cam. I gave him my copy of that book- you.. saw the book, I'm guessing?" Lawrence looks up at her again, brown eyes looking just a little bit nervous, though partially an act. "You know about Cam, so I shouldn't be worried about what you think of me now, should I?"

"It's…" Niki sighs, herself. She moves to take a seat on the other section of the L-shaped couch, perching on the edge. "He said it was an accident how you found out— but I've been telling him to keep it secret all the same. I'm just trying to protect him," the current foster mom/stripper tells Church, her tone still firm. This is either the lamest back room show ever, or the weirdest parent/counsellor meeting ever. Blue eyes hone in on Church's. "I just need to know that you'll do the same."

Either? How about both? Though it is not so lame in terms of the former, because Niki is mostly naked, even if Lawrence isn't looking there. The man shifts in his seat to better face Niki when she sits down nearby, keeping both forearms leaning on his knees, and one hand still idly moving its fingers against his palm. Church is able to meet Niki's gaze without a great deal of effort, a growing smile on his face. "It was an accident, but that doesn't mean it wasn't meant to happen. People like us must be magnetized, y'know?" The smile breaks into a laugh, and Church looks away for a moment. "But- I do the same for all those kids, including Cam. And more recently, especially Cam."

Niki sizes up the off-duty counsellor, seeming, gradually, to be reassured. Bit by bit. "Is— " She cuts herself off with a shake of her head. Not the place or time, again. "I'll talk to you at the school, if … there's anything to talk about. He's a good kid, he doesn't deserve the trouble he's been getting." She pushes to her feet.

Is this the end? Because it seems like it is leaning that direction. When Niki rises to her feet, so does Lawrence a second or two behind. With her in those heels, they're not quite the same height, but he is still able to look her pretty much in the eyes and speak more softly because of their close distance. "I agree. He doesn't. And I- I really had no idea you…" Church pauses, only now chancing a look over the rest of Niki. All of Niki. Hello Niki. "No idea you worked here, sweetheart." When he looks back at her face, he has that same charming, bubbly sort of smile from when he first came in.

"Yeah, well." Niki, hands going to her hips and the black strings of her … outfit that sits there, smiles briefly and chances a light laugh, though there's not much mirth in it. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell the PTA."

As if he had nothing else on his mind, ever- Lawrence lifts his hands to unbutton two more buttons on his shirt (there's a total of three undone now). "It'll just be one more little secret, mkay?" One pair of fingers lifts up over his smiling lips in the universal 'zip', and the other hand makes sure to go up and ruffle his hair into disorder. What? He's making this 'back room' look good.

At first, when Church starts to unbutton his shirt, Niki gives him an 'are you crazy?' look — until she realizes it's all for show and she grins. The grin turns into a sincere smile after the fact. "Thanks." She leads the way out of the room, despite the view she inevitably grants Church, and holds the door open. The music is suddenly much louder, now that it drifts through the air instead of the speakers hidden about the room. "You know, Lawrence is my…" Significant Pause. "…husband's middle name."

Only a tiiiny bit crazy. Church follows Niki a step behind to get as much viewing time in as he possibly can- you can't seriously blame him for that, right? He passes her by to exit the room just as she speaks again, and she gets a tilt of his head and a (mostly genuine) look of curiosity; true to form, though, Church knows all about D.L. It's better to play curious than to play disinterested. "Is it? Hm. I don't… have a middle name." A vacant glance passes over his face for a split second. "If it helps, just Church. Or- call me whatever you'd like, barring insults! I think we're well past the 'just acquaintances' stage, aren't we?" The man even spares another laugh, grinning as he steps the rest of the way out of the door.

Niki steps out into the club as well, welcomed back by some flashing lights and the din of the crowd. Her only answer to Church — "Church" it is — is a smile to his grin. Her smile is a little brighter than it ought to be, if only because it's only half genuine. The rest is for flash and show, made of the charm and confidence you have to have to be working here. It's also apparently her goodbye, because she turns away and walks off along stages, toward the dressing rooms. "Not really," she says under her breath when she's presumably out of earshot.

Church smiles even as Niki departs, swiveling slightly on his heel and swaggering back over to where he had come from and sitting back down. Read'em and weep, boys- is the look that he gives to those men that were previously sourfaced at Benjamin. Church came for the show, and he ain't leavin' til he gets what he came for. Ladies~.

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