2007-07-11: Drinks and Darts


Aileen_icon.gif George_icon.gif

Summary: Aileen and George meet over drinks. Conversation ensues and they make a wager over a game of darts. A walk home and some flirting is interrupted by an attempted mugging.

Date It Happened: July 11th, 2007

Drinks and Darts

Midtown East - Fly By Night Cocktail Bar, New York City

It's a nice evening for a bit of a drink. Aileen, on one hand, is really just trying to relax. After last night, she wasn't really feeling up to just walking straight home after her shift, so she found her way to the Fly By Night. A cocktail sounded like a good idea. She settles in at the bar alone, waiting for the bartender so she can order a drink.

George, sitting at the next stool, glances over and waves; there's a smile, but it doesn't reach his eyes yet. "No, it's on my desk, just have someone there pick it up." He's on the phone. Judging by the rum and Coke already sitting in front of him, untouched… "I'll lose at /least/ an hour if I try to swing by there now. And—? Sure, no problem. First thing Monday morning, both points. See you then." With a sigh, he hangs up the phone and puts it away, and smiles again, this time more sincerely.

The bartender swings by and Aileen orders her martini. She smiles back over to George and his phonecall, the smile actually growing a little wider. "Work never seems to ever just stop when you leave, huh?"

George shakes his head. "No rest for the wicked," he murmurs. "What about you, who're you in here to duck?"

Aileen can't help but laugh again, accepting her martini as it arrives. "Work. And stalkers. Little of both." She grins.

George picks up his glass and takes another sip, buying some time to mull that over, see how serious it sounded (grin notwithstanding). "What line of work you in? Not many careers involve more than one or two stalkers a decade, at most."

Another laugh. "Well, I hope you're right about that. I'm a doctor.. last night, guy whose wife died at my hospital decided that I didn't deserve to live. Came at me with a syringe and everything. I wasn't even the doctor in charge, I just happened to be at the hospital at the time." Even despite the scariness of it all, Aileen still seems to be pretty upbeat. "Guess I just got unlucky."

George arches a brow. "I can see a lot of people getting mad at you there, yeah— stakes don't come higher than yourself and your family. Still, where'd he get a syringe from? And you're here, so… you just outrun him or what?"

"Well, that's kind of where I did get lucky. I got away and he kind of dove for me and fell. Not to mention the cops showed up. Someone called in an anonymous tip and they showed up. Got the guy." Aileen nods. "But, either way I wasn't quite willing to just walk home alone tonight so I decided to just take a detour and come here."

"Hope they don't lean on him too hard," replies George, "just enough to knock some sense back into him. Push too hard and he'll blame the system for that, too, his family'll get in on the act—" Beat, while he glances around and sizes up the rest of the patrons. "So you're waiting till a crowd heads that direction, lose yourself in the middle of it?" Another thought occurs to him, but he's sober enough not to voice it.

Glancing back to George, Aileen nods. "I know. I feel so bad for him. He already lost his wife, he's just grieving." She looks back over. "Personally I just feel bad."

"People do crazy things sometimes when they're in a place like that." The glass is finished off and set aside. "What department are you in? 'Doctor' covers a lot of ground these days."

"That it does. I'm a neurologist, really." Aileen grins. "Keeps me really busy. I enjoy it a lot though. I like helping people."

George purses his lips. "You don't work small, do you? Big risks, big rewards… What was the guy's wife in for?" No mention of his own line of work, but then he looks happy enough to be taking a break from it for now.

"Can't remember, really. It wasn't my department, I just happened to hear about it." Aileen nods. "He knew I worked there, he must have seen me leave and followed me. Could have happened to anyone there."

George motions for a refill. "You're probably right. We're working" (we?) "on getting some more funding heading that direction, next few years— won't do a /whole/ lot for people in his position, but at least it'll be one less thing piling on."

Sipping on her martini, Aileen blinks for a moment as she looks over. "We?" It seems she is indeed a little curious as far as what George is doing. "Funding? Sounds like politics to me." She wrinkles her nose. "I like to stay out of that area. I mean, sure, it's a career helping people.. but it's a lot easier to directly see that you're helping someone when you're excising a tumor from their brain or something."

"It is," he agrees. "And it depends what you have a feel for— I do a little better with the indirect approach. Does mean playing things by ear, a lot of the time…"

"I guess that's true." Aileen agrees. "Still.. good for you. Someone out there has to do the political stuff." She grins. "Don't envy your job, though. That's for sure."

George picks up his glass, full once again, and gestures with it. "I don't envy yours, either— and I heard some horror stories from Baylor Medical, too, I have some vague idea what a time sink it is." Not that his career path is necessarily any better. "You going to that Crane rally coming up?"

Aileen laughs her agreement. "Yeah, it's a bloody mess. Quite literally sometimes. Don't have much of a life outside the hospital. But I enjoy it. I help people and that's what matters."

George nods. "I'll drink to that." And so he does, visibly relaxing another notch, if you're looking for it. "Well, I dunno, this counts as a life, doesn't it? Not like you're pounding back beers by yourself in a corner." Which someone else /is/, but they're way down at the other end of the bar and won't overhear any of this.

"Well, I don't know about that." Aileen grins a little. "I could be the one tossing back beers, but I prefer martinis. Well, that and I just happened to run into you. The handsome gentleman I don't even know the name of." She offers a hand. "Dr. Aileen Kincade, at your service. And you are?"

Instinctively, the corners of his mouth turn up a bit, as he returns the handshake. "George Dawson. Pleased to meet you, Dr. Kincade— for however long it lasts?" He glances over at a tangle of people as they get up and stumble their way toward the exit, the commentary on tonight's eleventh inning having finally started to wind down a bit.

"Well, here's to hoping it lasts a while, Mr. Dawson. I don't plan on getting killed by stalkers anytime soon." Aileen grins again and sips from her glass. "After all, what'd be the fun in that? It'd just be more depressing news for people to hear about."

George waves a dismissive hand. "Oh, yeah, that'd be terrible. Besides, you'd leave behind an awful corpse. Red isn't really your color, I'm thinking." He's still sober enough to manage a reasonable deadpan.

Aileen likes that answer. "I think I'm more of a black, though. Don't get much warrant to wear a little black dress though. Except when there's a benefit for the hospital. Then they make you go or they fire you." She grins. "Not so bad drinking champagne and eating snacks when you get paid for it, though."

George shakes his head. "Hard to argue with that. You think about it, though… wearing black at a hospital, especially if a lot of people do it at once. Isn't that kind of like setting up for a funeral?" Yeah, he saw that one episode. "You could make green or blue work pretty well, I bet."

"Green's a pretty color. Reminds me of the time I visited Scotland. They've got the prettiest green hills there." Aileen nods a little. "I could settle for green. Just need something pretty for it." She snaps her fingers. "Goes with the eyes too. That's why it'd work."

George peers at you, at that point— he may have been thinking along the same lines, but lets the look speak for itself. It's all about subtlety. "When'd you go to Scotland? I did an overnight in England once, but I was too young to remember much of anything about it… outskirts of Manchester, I think."

Another grin. "When I was a teenager. Grew up in London for most of my life. Took a trip to Scotland once. Walked the whole way across. You can make it in a few days. It's kind of amazing." Aileen looks back over. "You should check out England again. It's great. I might be biased though. I can get you a great deal on hotels, too. Me mum works at one. Manager."

George snaps his fingers. "I knew there was an accent, but I was thinking closer to… I don't know, maybe Toronto? Anyway, things are probably staying busy here for a while, but I'll keep it in mind. At least there isn't a language barrier to speak of."

Aileen grins. "Torono's a good guess. But no, it's London. I'm pretty Americanized now, though. Did all my schooling here in New York. So I'm a bit of half and half." She laughs. "Yeah, could be worse. I could be from France and know not a lick of English and then where would we be?"

And there's that deadpan again. "I think," George quips, not missing a beat, "we'd be somewhere much quieter and I'd be feeding you croissants for breakfast. Little butter across the top. Mug of coffee, cream and sugar… Only so much you can do when you can't talk, you know?"

"Bloody hell. The French get all the fun." Aileen laughs, finishing off her Martini and ordering another. "Yeah. But there's only so much intellectual depth you can get to when you don't communicate in the same language. I suppose intellectual depth is overrated these days, hm?"

George shakes his head, dropping the serious facade now. "Varies from one person to another. Even if you go in for it, you still need a break every now and then." A glance is spared in the direction of a dartboard in the corner, visible now that the football crowd has mostly cleared out.

Aileen laughs, giving a nod. "Yeah. I belive that." She glances over at the dartboard as well. "Fancy a game, Mr. Dawson?" She grins. She studies him for a moment.

George considers the idea. Starts to say something— then stops, shaking his head. Must keep things interesting. "Depends. What're we putting on the line?"

"Oh, we're wagering now, are we?" Aileen grins at the idea. "Now things are getting interesting. Alright.. if I lose.. I'll buy you a drink.

George nods, getting up and working through the last bit of round two. "All right, and if I lose?"

Aileen folds her arms, looking back over at him. "Mmm, that I'm not sure of. I can't make all the stakes, can I? What do you offer." She grins, reaching for her glass.

George waits for a moment of proper distraction before deciding on a reply. "I lose and I'll get you breakfast tomorrow. Sound good?"

Sipping from her glass, Aileen is a little caught off guard by that. Setting her glass down, she eyes George before grinning. "Sounds reasonable enough for me."

GAME: George has rolled DEXTERITY and got a result of GOOD.
GAME: Aileen has rolled DEXTERITY and got a result of AVERAGE.

Space is cleared. Darts are thrown. And, despite a couple of wobbly shots that make it look as if George might be trying to throw the contest on purpose, he winds up ahead on points at the end. "Too much time working with targets right up close?" he suggests, thumbs hooked into belt loops as he leans back against the wall.

Aileen wrinkles her nose as he gets ahead, and she can't help but smile a little. "Guess I should have drunk a little more first. I usually get better after a few rounds." She dusts off her hands. "Alright then, what will you have?"

George shakes his head. "I don't know— surprise me?" he offers, stowing the darts for the benefit of the next group of people heading over that way. Leather jackets, beards, scent of many rounds of cheap beer… uh oh, better give these guys their space.

Aileen glances over at the group that goes for the darts next, chuckling a little. "Drat. And I was going to challenge you to a rematch next round after I've polished my skill." She can't help but laugh. "Mm.." She glances through the menu, then grins, ordering a pair of drinks. "Here's something you might like. You can only get it imported from Scotland. It's the only place they sell it. Smells like orange creme.. but it'll hit you." She winks. "Drink it if you dare. It's called 'Wicked'."

George scratches idly at the back of his head as he steps out of the way. "Double or nothing? I thought we weren't supposed to hit on each other until after the third round." He blinks at the mention of said round's name, but rather than guessing, he just waits to experience it for himself.

"Well, that's entirely up to you." Aileen grins as the shots are brought over, looking at the orange liquid. "Mmhm. Haven't had this since I was sixteen." She can't help but laugh. "Lives up to its name, I'll tell you that."

George picks up the glass, holding it up and peering at the light through it. "I'll take your word for it." By this time, his own native accent is starting to become more pronounced. (Lots of countries have a south!) A sip, then— "Huh. Kind of like a screwdriver, only with Orange Crush. You'd think there'd be a bigger market for it…"

"Well, you see, Mr. Dawson, that's a pure 40% of alcohol you're drinking right there." Aileen grins, throwing her head back and taking her shot. "It's some good stuff." She picks up on the accent, a bit more of a grin spreading across her face. "Cute. Didn't expect you to have one too."

"It is?" George works on it a bit more before setting it down. "Okay, so the Orange Crush /is/ the vodka. I'll have to be careful around you before you get me into trouble. —Have one what?" He's lived with the accent for so long that he doesn't notice it cross the threshold.

Aileen already has downed her own, grinning a little. "The Scottish can really drink. Hold their own. Legal drinking age is like sixteen over there. Well, sixteen for public bars. Most people drink in their home at a much earlier age. Pretty daring if you ask me. Means they can hold their own." She laughs. "What I wouldn't give to be Scottish. They've got a much better accent, I think. Least on their men. Though the Southern U.S. is as good a place as any to pick up accents. Am I right?"

Acknowledging the region, George pantomimes tipping an invisible cowboy hat. "You can do a lot worse. And yeah, I don't think the US ever quite completely recovered from Prohibition… I want to say there are still some counties out there that're completely dry, at least on paper." A quick look around. "As for that double or nothing, I think we'll have to find a different game first."

"I think we could probably find another game." She pauses, seeming to think about that. "Mmm, but what.." Aileen grins. "I'd say we could play a drinking game but I'm pretty sure that we'd both lose by morning."

George pauses for just a moment - morning, hmm? - then shakes his head. "Playing a drinking game's not a good idea in a crowd, unless you're part of the crowd. Besides, didn't you mention something about heading home at some point?"

A laugh. "Oh, yeah. I have to actually wander back home eventually. Thankfully I'm off shift tomorrow." Aileen nods. "So basically I'm good til whenever. Got a suggestion for a new game?"

George scratches at his chin. "Maybe we should head outside?" he suggests. "I could go for a pool game, but by now, those are gonna be crowded too. Once you get past a certain hour, it's basically Denny's or home, unless you want to not be able to feel your head the next day."

Peering over to the group of drunkards playing darts, Aileen offers a smile. "Yeah. I wouldn't mind heading outside. Wouldn't mind pool either.." She trails off. "At the very least, I wouldn't mind a walk home. Wouldn't wanna get ambushed by another stalker. Red's not my color."

Nodding, George picks up his glass and finishes it up - all the more quickly as one of the darts goes astray, narrowly failing to land amidst the tables. "I could handle that. Where am I walking you to?"

Staring at the stray dart, Aileen laughs. "It'll be good to get out of here, I think. Anyway, it's actually not too far over here. Midtown apartments. This happened to actually be on the way."

George nods, making his way toward the exit with you. "So you're coming from Mount Sinai?" he asks, pointing down the street as he walks, glancing back and forth between the apartments in the distance and the presumed direction of the hospital behind.

Closer to the apartment building, a man in a ski mask hides within the darkness of a side alley, waiting for a promising wallet to wander by. He's about to get a two-fer.

Continuing towards the exit, Aileen nods again. "It's a nice bit of a walk. Find it easier to walk in New York than to try and drive. Driving in the city's so much of a headache."

"Oh God, I know," says George, dropping back a step so he can hold the door for you. Handsome /and/ well-trained! The hit parade just keeps on going with this one. "You practically have to allow as much fudge time for a car as you do for public transport. 's why it caught on here— not so much out west, or even in Washington if you're coming on in the Beltway." Time to mugging, two minutes fourteen seconds.

Well, Aileen's impressed by that. Not so many gentlemen hold the door anymore. She steps through, waiting for him to follow. "Oh, yeah. Only thing with public transit is that you have everyone and anyone on it."

George's expression sours, at that. "Well, that's true of private transit, too, just in a different sense." M minus one minute thirty. "That bombing attempt last week? That could have happened with a roadblock… though it would've changed what sorts of targets they could go after."

"Yeah, I heard about that. You really never know what you'll get anywhere. I mean, you'd be surprised where I get all sorts of accidents coming in from. For the most part I just get the special cases, but occasionally when they're shorthanded I work E.R. and the like." Aileen shakes her head. "New York's a dangerous place."

"I bet I can imag—"

M minus zero.

The man in the mask remains in the shadows, noticed only because he reaches out and taps the passersby on the shoulder, once each. With the barrel of his revolver. "Wallets!" he hisses, his voice not carrying very far beyond the encounter point.

Talk about the irony. Aileen blinks as she stops, a glance going over towards George as she slowly and carefully reaches for her wallet. "Alright.. no one has to get hurt here." She murmurs.

George makes no sudden moves; he fishes out his wallet, holding it up to show that he hasn't fished out anything else in its place. His own gun, brass knuckles, cell phone…

Some people do better with the indirect approach. Inwardly, he focuses his thoughts, knowing that he'll probably get spanked for this later:

GAME: George has rolled KARMA LOAN and got a result of GREAT.

…and just as the wallets are about to be handed over, the other man tries to switch the gun to his other hand to keep it steady. One sweaty palm and one quick little slip later, the weapon goes off, missing his foot but shattering asphalt and scratching up his leg something fierce. He doubles over in pain…

"Run for it!" George calls out, grabbing your free hand with his and taking the hell off toward the nearest streetlamp up ahead.

Grasping the hand as hers is grabbed, Aileen makes a run for it. While she was definitely startled by the gunshot, the fact that it misfired and they're managing to get away is nothing short of a miracle. So she's more than willing to run for her life.

Operating on instinct, George rounds the next corner with you, heads another few paces away from the main road, then flattens himself against the nearest available patch of wall. The wallet is stowed once again before he reaches out and pulls your body tightly against his own. So the mugger won't spot you if he chases after! Really, he's not just macking on you. Off in the distance, the would-be assailant does recover from his mishap, but it sounds like he's heading further away instead of closer.

Shoving her wallet carefully back into a pocket, Aileen takes in a deep breath, silently waiting as George basically pins her in against a wall. She holds it, heart thudding in her throat as she listens for footsteps. She simply freezes for the entire time, waiting to hear if she can hear anything. Finally, after there's no chance that there's anyone coming, Aileen's gaze slips back from the street to George. And their very, very close position.

George's hands, squeezing tightly at first, now relax and find their way to… oh, the small of the brain doctor's back will do, as he leans in and whispers something in her ear. Handsome and gentlemanly /and/ impulsively romantic.

"There's a jagged corner right behind me. I think the shirt's a loss."

What? He said something? Aileen was just momentarily distracted by his eyes. And the fact that he was quite handsome, gentlemanly, and quite implsuively romantic. So what was that he just said? "Are you alright?" She murmurs.

George starts to— no, he's being distracted as well. British accent and three rounds is one thing. British accent and three rounds and adrenaline rush and close contact /and/ whispering is something else. "I'm okay," he whispers back, "but I think I need to come inside with you for a bit."

Aileen nods quickly at that. Well, she's very jumpy, considering there was a gun and they could have gotten shot and, well.. yeah. "Lets go." She manages to get out, still sort of staring at him dazedly.

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