2010-06-19: Dirty Dancing



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Date: June 19th, 2010


… drastic measures.

"Dirty Dancing"

1 hour ago…

The succinct lock-and-load of a an easily concealable handgun is perfected by the hands of someone who knows how to use it. And, as it turns out, how to hide it: the small but lethal weapon is moved down to its waiting hiding spot, a woman's thigh, bare save for a holster wrapped around it, and a hint of a skirt's hiked up, silvery hemline. A bare foot perched on the edge of a chair, the leg's bent at 90 degrees while the gun is tucked along the inside; rips and tugs of Velcro sound, the black strap of material fought with as it's adjusted higher.

1 day ago…

The sounds of crying drift from a chair on a level above the NYPD bullpen every so often. Their source catches the attention of Detective Powers as she rounds the corner, files in hand. Pausing, she can't help the empathetic frown that forms when she looks on the woman curled up in blanket in the chair, the sweet-faced strawberry blonde whose artist boyfriend was recently murdered by Mandy Larson. How many times has she be to the station since it happened? How long has she been here today?

The young lady in the chair notices someone standing there and shyly looks away. There's no mistaking that Maggie is a detective: there's the borderline businesslike, no-nonsense wardrobe, for one, but it's the badge affixed to the woman's belt that seals it. She's seen so many, all she wants to do is curl up and hide away. But Detective Powers is perhaps the first who approaches not to ask questions or give orders, but to sit down next to her and touch her shoulder. "Hey," she says softly. "Amber, right? I'm Maggie. How long have you been here, Amber?"

"A— awhile. There's surveillance and stuff around my apartment but I don't really want to go home. She said she was going to find me… I can't go home." Unwittingly, poor Amber starts to cry again. She's so terrified.

"Hey," Maggie repeats, calming. Affected by the broken young thing, she tucks the comforting blanket around Amber's shoulders more snugly and leans in. "Okay, hey, sweetheart. You can stay here as long as you like."

"Are you any closer to finding her? I don't … understand— no one believes me. She just— she walked right in from the window, it was so high up, if— if she can do that she can find anyone anywhere!"

"We're doing everything we can." Unintentionally, that's not entirely true; there's no we're and it's not everything, Maggie realizes after the fact. But it sounds comforting. "And I believe you."

Amber makes a desperate, hopeful grab to the detective's arm. "You'll find her then, right? You'll arrest that— that— you'll get her, for killing Dennis."

The movement knocks her files loose on her lap, and Maggie's eyes are drawn to documents sliding up from the bottom of the stack: correspondences, questionable dossiers on women. It's a post-it bearing an address and number that she hones in on. Club — Roscoe?? is scrawled also there in her handwriting.

"Yeah," Maggie states quietly, sincere but … distant. "… Yeah, I'll get her."


Thumping, throbbing music controls the beat of the room — from the multi-colored lights vibrating against brick wall and streams of black and white curtains between booths and chairs — to the beat under the floor that absorbs into feet, shifts drinks set too close to speakers — and especially to the moving, twisting, laughing bodies of all those inside.

There is both dance floor for those of the common crowd desiring to show their moves, and elevated circular platforms near each grouping of seats, should dancing be taken up by… such ladies as were hired to do so. Rooms in the back are quieter, covered more in privacy than spotlights, but here the party thrives.

The chairs themselves are tan, with backs only up to their arms, allowing a certain maneuverability for the man wanting to bend backwards and gesture to someone behind him, or the woman lounging, her legs spread out in front of her and modestly crossed — if not for the skirt doing its best to lessen that virtue. Whatever the pose, each is filled with a guest. This club is full, though particular enough in its clientele not to be suffocating. Outside, imposing black walls and even more imposing bodyguards make sure of it.

All of this can be looked over from the position of several chairs set just enough aside, in a section bearing just enough extra curtains to signify it as 'Reserved' without any writing present that says that exactly.

Occupying one of them is Roscoe — bonafide owner the establishment — and being treated as such. His chair has a pillow. Which is braced slightly against his side, occasionally used as rest for his elbow when he hasn't got his arms stretched along those of the chair. Dressed for the evening, the leather jackets of street work are gone; the overly colorful silk shirts are, however, not. But this is tempered somewhat by the classy suit coat, the slacks — the fact that he is veritably surrounded by women. Giggling, hair down, spaghetti straps bolstering feminine assets — women.

Here? Everyone is having a good time.

Among the sharply dressed men in the room is Roberto, seated next to Roscoe and looking back over the people with a smirk on his face. Crossing his leg, he almost chokes a girl that touches his neck. "Don't touch me!!" he yells and then he snaps at the woman who looks offended.

"Just feed me skittles.. all the yellow ones presently." He says with a wide grin and then he's staring the girl in the eye. Soon she is doing what he asked. He re-crosses his legs and closes his eyes as she feeds him only the yellow ones.

One of those many women is on her way. She's a tall one — very tall, past six feet; must be the heels — with dark brown hair curling at her shoulders, tousled and teased. Simple but effective make-up: bronze lids, bold black lashes, darkened eyebrows, rosy cheeks, lips painted with a hint of a red that shimmers. The straps that hold up her black top are little more than strings of elastic, and the rest is low-cut and as form-fitting as the black skirt that follows. High-waisted with two belts and a zipper all the way up the front and back, it hits about mid-thigh.

All very important, significant elements of this woman to note, because that woman happens to be Maggie.

Tonight, Detective Powers isn't Detective Powers at all, on the outside: she's someone else entirely. Someone who fits in here. Someone who could work here or at least … have reason to be here. On the inside, she's still the same person; the detective with her guard up and her eyes open, while she works to maintain the facade — which means talking to as few people as possible. Hers is not as an elaborate disguise as it could be, not especially creative; she blends without standing out (relatively). No glitz, just a bit of average glamour. And not enough clothes.

Navigating the club turns out to be a mazelike adventure in avoiding obstacles — like men who want her attention, bouncers that look familiar, and managing to make any progress at all in tall shoes. Now, in the crowd, Maggie edges toward the significantly set-aside chairs and obvious invisible reserved sign. She spies the colorful shirt, Roberto, and Roscoe amidst the … ladies, in that order, and freezes. It doesn't last. She steps behind a curtain out of sight, wider-than-intended eyes watching. Will anyone stop her if she joins their crowd? She doesn't know these rules. For now— she spies.

It's quite evident why the girls of the place prefer Roscoe's side of the two chairs than Roberto's, and they tend to crowd him in any direction that isn't touching the other man's chair, unless thus ordered to… feed him Skittles. Distracted at first by fingers against his chin, the drinks he's being offered, Roscoe does glance along his shoulder at the noise from his companion. "Hey, hey," he mutters, waving his hand, but keeping the tone good-natured; it's good times here, remember. "Be nice to the ladies, boss… they'll be nice back…"

Silly, single-syllable noises of agreement from those assembled, one of whom has perched her red-headed self on the other arm of Roscoe's chair, requiring him to let his own arm trail away to the side. Despite the display, the women are doing more of the touching than he is.

A couple of people pass by Maggie without a second glance — at least, not to her face — until the curtain hides her and she has those moments alone. Not too long moments, as it turns out. Another skimpily dressed maiden scurries out from some well-hidden door nearby, bustling to pull on a much-too-high stiletto and fix her top that's gone crooked at the same time. Hopping a few times, she reaches for the curtain for support, then second-guesses its integrity at the last minute. "Shit, shit, shit…"

You!" is echoed loudly through the room as Roberto stops eating the skittles but the woman keeps dropping them onto his head.. seems like she can't stop. "Stop that." He says to the girl, patting her on the arm.

"Sorry I didn't take my meds today.. I'm going kind of crazy." He says with a soft shrug.




With a rather loud sigh, he orders the woman to stop and then he's standing up. "I can't work like this!" he screams out and then he's sliding around the floor. "Let's dance, I'm too restless. Why the fuck do you people gather around to sit here.. huh? HUH?!" He says as he begins looking everyone in the eye, well almost everyone. Then he's waving his hands in the air and people are starting to follow him, not exactly but their dancing now.

"Dancing Queen.. only seventeen.. ohh yeahhh." He sings softly, though everyone should be able to hear him.

Skirting a somewhat tense glance between her view of the loungers and the woman who appears from— somewhere, Maggie decides that a commotion isn't the way she wants to approach this. She holds up a calming hand to the woman, dissuading her from the curtain she casually hides behind. It turns into a supportive grip on her arm. "Hey!" she half-whispers with a glance down to the woman's stilettos. She gives here a nod and a smile, friendly, sympathetic — as if Maggie knows what this dance to put towering shoes on while fixing wardrobe is like. All else is put on hold just then to watch Roberto stroll out singing, with the strange look that deserves. "… I gotcha," she finishes after a pause, keeping her voice down. The place is loud; the curtain is thin. She can't be sure what wins out, and she quite determined to go according to plan. Which, right now, involves staying behind the curtain. "What's your hurry?"

"Shit— what? Oh, thanks, hon," This girl is visibly younger than Maggie, concern etched around her highly painted eyes, but she talks the talk with a flick of her hair over her shoulder as the shoe gets on feet and she can stand on the merits of her own two feet. Hands to her own bosom, she preps one breast and then the other till they're basically popping out over her shirt. Next her fingers dabs at one eye, then the other. "The make-up?" She quizzes Maggie, waving a hand quickly at her own face, "Is it /terrible/?" Closer examination of her face will prove it to be familiar to someone as diligent as Detective Powers when it comes to studying dossiers. Especially shifty ones about women who came here illegally. Her accent is, remarkably, flawless, considering her youth and, on paper, time spent in this country. "I was supposed to dancing up there, like, this forever and ago!" Okay, maybe not flawless

"Heyyy…" another lackluster protest from Roscoe as Roberto gets to his feet, insulting the art of lounging and being attended to. "The girls are dancing…" Actually, his eyes narrow somewhat to the empty circular platform in front of and in-between his and Roberto's abandoned chair where a girl is, in fact, not dancing. Hand raising away from the red-head's very curvaceous figure, he presses palm against his chin, fingers splayed in easy-going fashion across his cheek. He seems to feel not at all compelled to follow Roberto where he goes, only choosing to yell humorously after him, "Try something this era, boss," while subtly leaning over to pluck up a — not yellow — Skittle from the selection.

As the mobster turns around he catches Roscoe committing a sin. "Touch another one without asking and I'll cut your balls off." He says in a singsong voice but then he's back to dance and tapping and clapping his motherfucking hands. Oh hell no. Ru Paul come get ya girl. Roberto grins as he shuffles to side to side and cackles madly. He's fun at least and looking F-A-B-UL-O-U-S.

Maggie takes the young woman's head in her hands on the assumption of intently checking her make-up. Her study goes further than that. "It's fine!" she assures the dancer with an upbeat bob of her head, brows lifted. "You're beautiful. Go ahead." She maneuvers around the illegal import carefully, the look over her shoulder is thoughtful, and regretful, but she turns away.

When she can only presume the dancer is readying to take the — stage? Is that platform considered a stage? — the very unofficially undercover cop takes a moment to pause, back turned, very still — perhaps remembering her cover, or … steeling herself; once prepared, she takes looks into the crowd for signs of Roberto (and finds him, being fabulous) before taking a different track in the opposite direction of the dancer. She circles around the arrangement of seats, sauntering — damned shoes — up from behind. Right behind the gangster known as Roscoe.

In short order, there's a presence at the back of his low-backed chair, leaning over his shoulder in a pose that must be … provocative. And there's a low husky voice warning in his ear, on the opposite side the redhead occupies. "When you recognize me," Maggie says, "Don't act surprised."

There's a bit of re-organization from the other girls when another takes to the chair; the redhead passes inspection on Maggie with focused intent as she makes to scoot herself just that bit closer — staking her claim. A hand on her leg from Roscoe halts her, though. Skittles are no longer important — he's only the time to roll his eyes at the perceived threat from Roberto — before a languid head-turn puts him glancing as this new addition to the set-up appears behind him.

Before Maggie can straighten, his hand near her cups her face, not exactly roughly but possessively. It isn't a grab from one law officer to another, that's for sure. Then, while her dark hair creates its own curtain to hide what they're doing so close… his blue eyes on hers become absolutely steely. If it's a message… it's too brief to come across.

Soon enough, Roscoe's leisurely turned forward, tossing his head back and then tipping it lazily towards the red-head there. "Go get yourself another drink," he commands and, with a flounce of disappointment, she peels herself off the chair and obeys.

Maggie may have been the one to warn against surprise, but in the instant she's touched and met with the close, steely gaze of Laurie — or Roscoe — she doesn't follow her own advice especially well. Fortifying against her twitch of surprise, she's a statue, until the redhead is waved off. Still unmoving, she states in a voice no higher now that the other company isn't quite as close, "I'm not supposed to have any contact with you." Does this mean Maggie is breaking rules?

Lifting fingers — nails painted, for perhaps the first time in decades, a dark shade undefined in this lighting — from where they had been digging into the back of the chair, the temporary brunette steps back only to claim the redhead's former spot on the arm of the chair. The view of the club is good, and she has less angles to worry about watching. Unlike the former resident, Maggie sits more or less on the far edge and tugs at the hem of her skirt, trying to make it look casual. All legs, not enough skirt. The modest gesture doesn't take her eyes off of the undercover Laurie, however. Her study of him is tinged with a brand of wariness that was never there before.

Low tones or not, the voice of the detective is clearly intact, important and all-serious. "I don't want to jeopardize your operation…" But…

And that's when Roberto comes back over. He tilts his head at Maggie and Roscoe. Apparently he's done dancing and then he's flopping back into his chair and staring up at Maggie, making direct eye contact with the woman. "Hey." He says, it's said in a way.. that could be considered.. normal??

He grins widely at Maggie. "Dance for Ros here? A real good dance? Pretty please? With cherries and stuff on top? Or skittles?"

"No, you're not~" The utterly relaxed Roscoe purrs out, as though there's no reason at all to hide what he's saying. Gaze sweeping the crowd, the entertained masses oblivious to much else but their own sins, he spares Maggie nothing even as she climbs atop his chair. Nothing — but a bemused snort at what is her follow-up act after the red-head's advances. A bit of a smile, at her expense, creeps out. The hand away from her rubs his chin, tracing stubble, eventually stopping over his mouth, a finger pressed below his nose. It covers his lips' movements from the crowd somewhat, projecting towards her. "Maybe if you looked less like you hated being here— "

His distraction to eye her is somewhat of an undoing, as he doesn't spot Roberto until he's much closer. Flickering gaze to the boss, the hand on Maggie's side slides to her side, bracing there as if to give her a hearty push in the other direction. But the eye contact, Roberto's focus, has him relaxing the touch against her more naturally. A chuckle. "Oh, you'll give her the Skittles…" Head turning sideways, he sniffs; dismissive, "Yeah, they ain't all dancers. Some people just booze it up at clubs— boss, you want booze?"

Every muscle under Roscoe's arm is tense. Before Maggie can say something like 'I do hate it here' — the words which seem on the tip of her tongue — she's watching Roberto, for those few, casual seconds that he happens to look at her. Thus turned away from Roscoe, her dark, styled hair hides her face, the contrary and fiercely indignant look she gives the gang leader hidden from view.

When she looks back…

She slides off the arm of the chair with a heavy click of her heels.

Determinedly, she plants one hand one arm of the chair — smack — and then the other — smack — and leans in toward "Roscoe". It's somewhat mechanical: she moves down…. then up — movements that, while somewhat fluid, have no rhyme nor reason. Her uncharacteristically showy choice of wardrobe provides most of the reason in the form of skin and curves. Maggie is, as it turns out, not much of a dancer, but she's committed to going through the motions, amateur as they are. She keeps her head turned away from Roberto — she looks ready to punch someone in the face, throughout this ordeal — but doesn't make eye contact with the person around which this so-called dance revolves, either.

"This wasn't part of my plan," Maggie tells Roscoe through her teeth. She represses what seems to be the beginnings of a roll of her eyes while taking that colorful silk shirt collar in hand. It's a lap dance; she begrudgingly climbs on in a straddle. The synthetic fabric of her short skirt can barely stretch far enough with her knees apart, let alone without revealing the fact that she's armed. It's only in this pose, hands at his neck making meaningless gestures with his shirt, that the dark-haired detective looks down at Roscoe and, her mouth a stern line, gives him a softer, faintly pleading look.

What Roscoe was expecting — or not expecting — her to do based on that command is moot by the time it's started. There's only the speaking of lone raised eyebrows before he settles back. The hand that was near his mouth stays, folding fingers are in consideration, for an expression utterly unforgiving to however uncomfortable the detective might be — and entirely acknowledging, instead, what her outfit is saying. It's even there in the eyes she won't meet. Lust. Appreciation. The certain pitying amusement a man is obliged to give a woman clearly trying so hard without practice.

"Like I said," he asides thoughtlessly to Roberto, "Ain't all dancers…" A judgment interrupted, perhaps detoured somewhat, by the soft grunt as she slides on him, legs shifting but not displacing her.

His gaze drops what it can to the grip on his shirt as it happens, the delicate wrinkling fabric. Conveniently, while just looking down, he makes his first real move since she got off the chair arm: a touch, to her. His palm press at the thigh is not shy, even passing indulgent to be rather utilitarian. Fingers spread in a search till he finds the edge of that weapon the skirt wants to betray.

When his eyes lift to Maggie's, nothing's changed in the way he looks at her— no answer to that plea. Only words that aren't meant for her: "But I always say— I say 'don't underestimate the women— " a visual search of this one, every inch, in a practiced manner of depravity, "— they have other talents." What was one hand is now two, other thigh, same position. With a nasty chuckle, he gets a good grip on her, either side, and then hefts the secret detective into him. Not just for fun — it gets her securely around his waist for when he stands, bouncing Maggie once to adjust her position — or maybe that was for fun. He's certainly grinning enthusiastically at her. "Boss, you'll excuse us." A pause; flatly, with a glance to Roberto, "That means we're going to have sex." Incase the other man was entertaining the idea of following or anything. If he still is…

"C'mon, honey," is to Maggie. Lower, encouraging. Probably telling her not to let it show that she hates him, too, just yet.

It becomes increasingly difficult, for Maggie, to keep a straight face — or any face that doesn't express the varying levels of alarm, indignity, or surprise from such bold touches that Roscoe provokes so easily. Not usually a problem, for the detective, keeping her thoughts out of sight, but to say she's out of her comfort zone would be an understatement. To say she's a hundred miles out of her comfort zone would be an understatement, too. But she manages. It's projecting something else that appears to be the greater challenge.

So, head down, she plays along: her body has to make up for the actress she isn't. Maggie wraps her arms around the neck of the apparent gangster, after she's jostled — what's more, legs follow, long calves locking to secure herself to Roscoe for this little journey. A hand snakes up the back of his neck into his hair slightly too roughly than necessary as she cozies in close as if to say something illicit in his ear. Instead, disdain: "I suppose this is an average day for you."

Between lashes made long and dark by mascara, Maggie's eyes roll sideways away from the direction of Roberto — if he's even still there; she doesn't chance a glance. There's more heated murmuring in Roscoe's ear, though not the variety an observer might assume. "This was the only way for me — as a woman — to even have a chance of getting in here. It's ridiculous that this is what I had to do— " Maggie might be just a little bitter on the subject… but until they get wherever it is they're going, to have all of that nonexistent sex, it's her only subject. No word, yet, on why the dolled up detective is here in the first place.

Roscoe's lips disappear for a fleeting grimace when his hair is engaged none too kindly. He mutters, "Ahh, the life," not at all as jovially as might be expected. But for the rest of it, the sweet nothings his clinging strumpet has to say? No response, nothing. The presumed lucky gangster laughs once on the way: a deep, excited noise that resettles Maggie again. Otherwise all the extremely bitter dirty talk is her domain.

Most of the club crowd is avoided by way of Roscoe moving behind his chair, taking to the curtained space the wrap-around detective once hid inside. No second-guessing involved, he reaches right for a near invisible black doorknob on a black wall in this dim-lit back alleyway like construct. The click-clicking of another door releases two giggling girls from one of the others several rows down, and they're spared a glance by the club's owner before he steps in to occupy this one.

Moody lighting inside does little to cut into the shadowy colored decor; spots flare off of a crystal chandelier hanging low and a bottle of Merlot that's been left sitting out on top of the small bar to the side. To the exact tune of the door snapping shut, his feet hitting carpet, the hands vanish from on Maggie. As does the smile, the look in his eyes — a certain something in his posture that now makes him look incrementally less proud. "Powers, Powers, Powers…" Whimsical — perhaps on first sampling — turns sharp, dry. A distinctly unhappy quality with a smile he lets show as forced.

The change of locale has Maggie disentangling herself in short order — legs then arms. In the spike heels instead of her usual boots, their height is exactly on par — and it's from that leveled face-to-face that she replies to Laurie's chiding, and studies the changes in his features. She's only sheepish about her presence for a moment. She might despise it, but she's determined to be here, and her resolve is as firm as ever as she momentarily finds herself staring down Laurie. "I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be doing any heavy lifting," she points out — lightly in contrast, and with clear doubt, even as she says it. Terrible patient.

Maggie backs up several steps — slow, steady, gauged steps — and, when she's quite distanced herself, and smoothed her skirt objectionably over her thighs after that unplanned method of transportation, her arms fold strongly across her midsection. She spends some time glancing about the dim chandelier-lit room before she comes to her grave announcement. "It's Mandy Larson."

She could nearly be psychic; Laurie freezes in the unconscious act of rolling that so recently injured back and shoulder — caught when she says it, murmuring out an impatient noise that goes with his narrowed eyes. It's something less than menacing, though, more akin to a child told to eat his vegetables or no dessert. As she makes herself acquainted with her surroundings, he pilots himself a direct path to that mini-bar. It's the bottle of wine, precisely, that he grabs for, rubbing the thick of his hand over its mouth-piece before indulging in a drink straight from the source. His back remains turned to her during this entire exercise, though not in any way to hide what he's doing, when all the movements are easily recognizable. "What's Mandy Larson?"

"The reason I'm… here— " Maggie steps to align herself with the mini-bar, though she makes no move to approach it, or Laurie. "Like I said: it's not my intention to put you in danger by entering into this world — I don't want to be here— " Her arms unfold, hand gestures matching the important, fervent nature of her voice. "But while you're in here, and all of this is going on, she's out there. She's back, and she's killing again, and she's smarter. No one else knows what she is capable of and I'm not supposed to touch the case."

Not supposed to contact Laurie, not supposed to be involved in the Larson case, not supposed to know to even come to this club or that "Roscoe" even exists— she's doing a lot of things she's not supposed to…

Despite this rule-breaking behavior from the notorious rule-follower (never mind what Sam says), despite the detective's appearance tonight that wildly contrasts her norm, it is not Opposite Day. She takes a step forward, intent, firm. "Miles." The name is spoken quieter than all else, taboo here. "Will you help me."

All of this. Music is clearly audible from the outside, entertaining clubbers who have no idea two — well, one and a half — detectives are brooding inside the private chambers. Laurie crooks his gaze in that direction, to that identity, mulling something else over before he regards Maggie, and all that Maggie has brought to bear. It seems like one of those supposed tos distracts him more than the others, has him tilting his head, working his jaw but never asking.

In a moment, he's guessed, anyway. Which is a suitable substitute.

Tap tap tap — a nameless tune against the bottle — tap tap tap — or maybe something more systematical, compulsive than that — tap tap tap — yes, it's too even. It's almost a march. The tapping goes with the thinking, all as back is turned. Until his name, she asks…

When it comes to facing her, he spins, twisting on booted heels and smiling as the sun shines. "Honestly?" He squints, eyeing her pretend-warily, "You didn't know the answer to that one a little bit already?" Fingers pinched little. "Partners, right?" A gesture between them indicates: you and me. Me and you. Then he quite suddenly slams his hand on the bar, using the pushing momentum to shove himself around it, towards her in a leaping step. "Alright," he says, faux-thoughtfulness covering for a revelation he had a while ago. Hands spread from together outwards in front of her, sloshing the liquid in the bottle still in his possession. "Alright, but you do something for me, Powers. Fair's fair."

Something like relief washes over Maggie visibly — though it seems more linked to her study of Laurie's more familiar gestures than the fact that he agreed. Her head bobs in a gracious nod and she smiles, just as sunny, but faster to cloud over.

"Well I wouldn't have come if I didn't think there was a good chance you'd want the chance to help me put her away," she admits, even a bit good-naturedly smart alec. She waves a hand down, indicating her get-up — and immediately folds her arms again as if regretting drawing attention to it too late. The tough pose, paired with her makeover, has the unintended effect of making her look more than a little haughty. "This isn't what I normally do on my off-time." With that said, Maggie waits expectantly for Laurie to go on, lifting her brows in a curious, and vaguely wary, arch, studying him for hints. "Aaall right…"

"How gracious of you," Laurie hums, leaning a slight ways away from her to take another drink, his eyes free even during to wander exactly where directed by her helpful hand-gesturing, then to her decked out face in short order. When he's dropped the bottle down, is wiping at his mouth, he detaches the hand straight from that motion to point aimlessly over her shoulder, at the room — or beyond. "This is exactly what I do on my off-time." There's much comical about that; it's not only in the way he says it, but, perhaps, the very notion that he has 'off-time'. Then again, that begs the question: is he off when he's Roscoe, or when he's Laurie…?

Prompted for his demands, the wily consultant flattens hands together in front of his face, tapping their combined sides against his mouth as he eyes her over the tips of fingers. "Never," he starts, twining the fingers together so most can curl down while one remains raised, "Ever, ever, ever," one pops up for each repetition, "Ever—" wait for it… "ever put yourself, knowingly or unknowingly, in the company of that man out there again. Do you understand."

Down go the arched brows. "Completely." Maggie's response is without hesitation, one-hundred percent committed. Her guarded glance past Laurie, to the door they came through, to the club beyond where Roberto presumably still lurks, darkly expresses her dislike of the man after only a few seconds of being in his presence. "There's something about him. He's not right, " she states like the fact it is. She coolly suppresses an unnerved squirm and, instead, looks to Laurie, tipping her chin up. "He's the guy, isn't he. The boss. What's his deal, anyway? Paranoid delusions?"

"He's my boss," Laurie affirms, thoughtlessly switching out one crucial word of hers for another, "Among his many other charms. There's a slew of technical disorders, but they're much too rational. He'd be better off with a cult, really, than a gang." Bitter, almost — at least somewhat miffed about Roberto's lack of grasp for organized crime. "But he's dangerously fickle," he tips the bottle warningly at her, "A scorned child with a weapon. He'll lash at whatever's closest." His voice evens out as he, unmoved yet by the sentiment, muses instead with interest: "Isn't it true— you can't be all right. Not in this world." Taking a step backwards, then to the side, he puts on paces this time to drink. "Everyone's a bit broken."

"I suppose they are. A bit," comes the airy reply. Considering — wondering, with a look that manages to be both faraway and honed in — Maggie's head tips to one side. "I'd like to think some people can be fixed." She meanders to the side in the opposite direction from Laurie, her high-heeled footsteps slightly heavy and dragging now that there's no one to convince.

"He sounds unstable," she notes of Roberto, "How long before this whole thing breaks open? Sam says it won't go on as long as…" she trails off quickly with barely a pause between picking up again. "He seems to think it won't be long." The questioning undertone doesn't seem to put much stock in the viewpoint of Agent Wright, however.

He lends this some thought, curious, obliging. "Only some? Is there a queue?" It's a joke, isn't it. Laurie treats it as one, light-hearted, finding he's reached some other part of the room with something else to play with rather than face Maggie. Convenient for his drop in mood, the heavier hand that weighs down his shoulders while his own braces another countertop.

"As long as…" The prompt would mean to capture her at her original meaning, but it's too much regretted. Hemming and hawing past the trailing words, over her questions, he's only got a noncommittal noise as to the progress. "It'll happen… what Agent Sam Wright is asking…" Reassuring, or ominous.

"But I've gotten you distracted," he pipes up apologetically, leaning his weight towards her with a glance. "You're here about Mandy Larson. If we don't talk about what you're here for, you might be peeved later about the whole," indicating her, "dress, dancing thing."

Lightly said does not equal less meaningful in this instance. The pointed question — that is what you're here for… — can still be read in the air.

"I got what I came for," Maggie answers as she turns about with one of her steady gazes — back to truer form despite being out-of-sorts in her disguise — on Laurie, underneath a delicate lift of her brows to indicate him, his answer. A hint of a smile at the farthest corner of her mouth. It stays just that, a hint. Bare shoulders shift her shoulders in what appears to be a shrug, though it occurs as she unfolds and re-folds her arms tightly. "This isn't really the best venue for talking about Larson," she states. "So."

Under the spots of light made by the chandelier, she takes a path to one of the couches. It's only the arm she sits on, crossing one leg and leaning down to mess with one of the zippers on her shoes, though her main goal is to not be standing on the things anymore. "The question is. Where do we go from here. We'll need some way to work this out under the radar. You're the one with secrets to keep."

"Everybody's got secrets." Having returned her eyebrow raise earlier, Laurie remains watching her, smiling good-naturedly through his casual challenge. "The difference between keeping them and not keeping them is merely a point of sanity…" He lifts a hand as though in demonstration but it simply ends up in his pocket, rifling about, while he seems to continue to the next topic, "And the radar, being inconveniently taped to my body, is somewhat easier to keep track of." Hand in pocket surfaces with a phone of the cheap, grocery store variety. "But also my problem to keep." Tossing it once between his hands, he then lobs the phone underhand to Maggie. "So while I'd just love to be at your beck and call— " lacking in sarcasm, even when it perhaps shouldn't be, "— I'll find you first."

There's a bit of a pause and then he walks his shoulders backwards, precursor to a defensive crossing of his arms over his chest. "For the record, this is one of the better venues I've plotted subterfuge in. Though, on that note, I'd ask that you leave it and never come back."

Leaning ahead with her attention having gone from her deathtrap shoes to Laurie, Maggie sits up just in time to catch the phone out of the air. It's glanced at, accepted wordlessly, and her fingers curl around it, mostly entrapping it from view. "Gladly." As if she hasn't expressed her aversion to this entire establishment enough. "The only time you'll see me here again is if it's with a warrant and team of armed officers, when this is all over." Even that's unlikely to bring the detective herself around; there's not much liveliness to the statement.

Maggie eases off the arm of the furniture and makes her way to the room's exit, though she stops just in front of it only to turn around, arms crossed yet again in an unintentional mimic of Laurie. She casts a very vaguely hesitant glance behind her to the door, steadied and simply thoughtful by the time it travels back to the consultant-turned-gangster. "Hey. Miles— " A few fingers tap against her elbow, and Maggie leans her head toward her shoulder. There's a silent start-and-stop; whatever her intent was, it isn't what she says, which is, ultimately: "You think we've been in here long enough?"

Eyes on her, he waits out the change, that thing she won't say, and what she does instead brings the smile around past the almost knowing concentration Laurie had been focusing before. As he openly debates his answer, there's some busywork with hands that sweeps through his hair to disturb the careful styling, shifts his belt around, plays here and there with the fancy fabric of his shirt. He's undoing a top button when he meanders up next to Maggie. "I think Roscoe's reputation can survive it, yeah." A vague glance up at her from the shirt button. "And if that's the first thing on your mind…" Comical squinting, "Yeah, much too long."

When his head turns to also glance at the door there's no hesitance, only a subtle shift — like a ripple — that affects every way he's standing. Tipped to the side, his look back to her is fully dismissive in its satisfaction. His voice, thick and unapologetic: "Don't follow me right out," he instructs coolly, "It's terrible when the beautiful ones are also pathetic." Since she's in front of the door, as it takes it in hand, it's only opened an inch or so to start. There's a moment where one side the music and lights and party-stylings of the club filter through, and on the other side there's Maggie — disguised but undeniably herself — as the gangster consultant holds the divider between them, preparing to leave.

"Well," Maggie replies with excess consideration, making a blockade of herself a few moments longer, too stark still in doing so. The shift from Laurie to Roscoe and the comments that follow are met with a subtly heightened guardedness from the detective, who doesn't overlook any of the changes in attitude. "I think I've got pathetic down." On that note, her arms cross further around her midsection. She side-steps regardless, away from both Laurie — Roscoe — and the door.

Once she's out of the way, Maggie speaks up again. "Just be careful." For such a solid command, it's unmatched by the way Maggie eyes him with a wary concern, sentiment half-shielded by some barrier or other. Despite that, a mild little smirk for: "A tall order, I'm aware." This is Laurie she's talking about. "Not just with the … subterfuge." The word is he used is repeated with weaker conviction than the rest — the less she thinks of this plan as unlawful, the better. "With everything." A blue-eyed glance to the club and back. "This. You. I want my partner back legitimately some day. You know they made me work with Sam."

He might've brushed her off as soon as she moved, but the three particular words from Maggie cause Roscoe to pause, body turned to the opening but head tilting over his shoulder to her. Fingers tap — one, two three — against the door. "Powers, Powers. Still so demanding, Powers." His smirk is rather nasty, but that's just the way the enforcer's face moves, and when he tightens his grip to swing leaning towards her, the mouth flattens into a thinner, factual line. "You know they made me, too." Reversing the motion pulls him once again towards the door, towards leaving, and he even gets another step forward before he — once again — is compelled to wait.

"Well, I'd hate to disappoint you." A sentiment distinctly lacking in the second half that would make it the reassuring it was designed to be. No 'so'… No promises. Stripped, it's only a statement — and one he delivers before he catches those blue eyes for the last time. "Remember to want what you have, detective. They say the rest…" hands spreading, the one knocks the door open the rest of the way and he side-steps over the threshold while watching her carelessly, "You can't always get." One hand juts away in a salute towards her before he's turned, moving back into that other world.


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