2007-02-10: Higher Than Thou


Eliana_icon.gif Gina_icon.gif Angie_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif

Summary: Angie tracks down Niki, AKA Gina, and Jack doesn't mind getting "experimented" on by Eliana.

Date It Happened: February 10th, 2007

Higher Than Thou

Club DnA's, New York

A spacious club with a main dance floor and a high balcony level, DnA's usually seems more claustrophobic nonetheless because it's almost always crowded during business hours. It has a reputation for being popular, but not always safe. The decor is simple: cement floors, cement walls… it looks like a glorified basement, and in fact, it is - the entrance leads you down stairs, and that is where DnA's begins. Art by the owners, however, decorates the walls, spiraling artistic visions of DNA and RNA helixes lit by small lamps. The effect is that of an underground art gallery turned nightclub. The balcony level, which is surrounded by curving metal guardrails, is full of green couches and chairs. The door to the VIP Lounge is up there (you have to be on the list to get in). DnA's music of choice is electronica, sometimes with popular dance songs remixed in.

An evening where she doesn't have much else to do finds Eliana in DnA's. Still slightly disturbed by her conversation with Sydney-called-Amber has put a damper on the journalist's mood that not even the heavy beats of the music or the mind-altering drink has helped so far. She sits at the bar, dressed in a black mini dress, white footless tights, black Converse sneakers, and a grey shrug. The most colorful thing on her is her pink hair, which has been styled appropriately for the club's atmosphere. It's not that Eliana isn't making an effort to feel better, but sitting at the bar nursing an Amaretto Sour is her prescription of choice for the Blues…at the moment. Ironically, the booze has increased her heart rate enough so that a small cloud of gas surrounds her, but it doesn't go far enough away from her exposed skin to have much of an effect on anyone around her. Yet.

In the midst of the whirling, pumping music and crush of bodies is a blonde - surely not the only one, but one of them in DnA's, at any rate. Perhaps /whirling/ isn't a fitting description for all of the patrons' view of the club, but for this girl, it's spot-on. Drugs, alcohol, attention; it's all the same. It's all a high. This is a downward spiral at its best, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be a freaking /blast/ - if there's someone who looks like she's having a good time here, it's Gina. Niki this is not. Niki certainly didn't get where she was going. The woman, dressed appropriately for the club in a shimmery pale blue dress that's rique in just about every way possible, is on the dance floor, surrounded.

Angie steps into the night club, polishing off a cigarette. She puffs out the last bit of smoke out before stepping past the bouncer. The goth getup doesn't make her stand out too much. Club wear, right? She pauses, surveyls the dance floor and upon spotting a certain someone, moving in that direction slowly, but with purpose.

A lean, youngish man dressed in a smart black-on-black suit slips through the door and strides purposefully toward the bar. His grey eyes flick back and forth as he approaches, studying individual faces with a near-predatory alertness. As he approaches, he flags down the bartender and orders a drink. She pours Jack three fingers of Glenfiddich, then the two clasp hands and exchange a few words of brief, hushed conversation before she takes off to serve other customers.

After a few minutes of silent brooding, Eliana lifts her eyes to the dance floor. Well, why the hell not, she figures, narrowing her eyes with a new resolve. She came here to feel better, and it's not like anyone will notice the side-effects of Eliana's dancing in a place like this. Taking a deep breath, Eliana tips back her low-ball glass and drains it. Setting it back on the bar, she takes out the cherry garnish and pops it into her mouth, holding the stem between her lips and enjoying the added flavor of the alcohol's embrace of the fruit.

With scant droplets left in the glass in her hand (a drink which was deceiving in its girliness), Gina starts to sashay her way out of the crowd, slipping around the other dance fiends. It takes awhile, but it's not exactly an arduous journey; she enjoys herself on the way. Eventually sidling up to the bar, she murmurs a few words to the bartender about a refill. This is a drink-run, nothing more - while she waits for the bartender, she turns around against the bar, looking out at the dance floor through half-mast, mascara'd lashes. There's a small, ever-present smile on the woman's face, a coy mix between impish and kittenish.

There's a mix on Angie's face too. Annoyance and … more annoyance. She tracks the change in location and moves back along towards the bar herself. "Coke please." Then, to the lady sitting next to her, Gina, she says, "Nice and crowded, huh? Enjoying the ol' bump and grind?"

Jack takes two long swallows from his glass, then looks down at his watch. After a few impatient foot-taps, he drains the rest and signals for a refill. Apparently no one in this town shows up when they're supposed to. Just then, his cell phone rings, eliciting a bit of a start. Jack retrieves the thrice-cursed piece of technology, opens it, and holds it against his ear. Whatever he hears must not've pleased him because he slaps it closed and tucks it away without a word. When his drink arrives he makes short work of it, then signals for another when the 'tender comes back around to take the blonde's order. Oh, and the blonde. A man would have to be made out of stone not to notice her, and as slow as one not to see that she had trouble radiating off of her in near-tangible waves. All the same, he tips a silent nod to both her and her newly arrived, creatively dressed friend.

Too suddenly, there are people around her. Rather than rush out to the dance floor, Eliana lingers at the bar, ordering one more drink once she's snagged the bartender's attention. One more, then she'll go dance. The pink-haired woman slips back onto her stool and leans against the bar, idly watching Gina and Angie talk out of the corner of her eye. Jack doesn't escape her notice, but she doesn't do anything to interrupt his nod toward the other women or what fruit he may hope to gain from such a labor.

Gina slides a few bills from her small, clutch purse carelessly toward the bartender and swipes her drink up. Blue eyes - pretty dilated by this point in the evening, it should be added - take in Angie's appearance with a blase attitude. 'Friend' would be a gross overstatement. "Yeah," she says noncommittally in a tone of voice that pretty much says 'why-are-you-talking-to-me'. The unfamiliar goth girl is basically much ignored after that point. Jack, on the other hand, earns a sweet little smile on her way back to the dance floor, oh yes.

Angie doesn't so much as blink when Gina starts moving away. She calls over her shoulder, "Niki Sanders?" before taking a long slow sip of her coke. The young woman doesn't turn around as yet. Mmmm, coke.

Jack can't help but let out a short, rumbling laugh at the blonde's behavior. Being right is such a wondrous thing, yes? He shakes his head and pushes his now-empty glass forward in favor of another. Despite the speed of his consumption he seems none the worse for wear, at least for the moment. When he looks up, he makes eye-contact with the pink-haired woman and holds her gaze for a long moment, one eyebrow cocked curiously. Then he shrugs and returns his attention to the sweet, musky embrace of eighteen year-old scotch.

Jack's curious expression sparks a mischievous one in Eliana. The fact that he didn't pursue Gina to the dance floor and apparently has no interest in Angie helps as well. Eliana polishes off her mixed drink quickly, thankful for the fruity taste aiding in such a feat. With a total of three drinks in her now widening her blood vessels, it's not hard for Eliana to push her heart a little faster to eke out even more, more concentrated gas into the air. She sets her glass on the bar and slips from her seat to move across the room to some unclear destination, but she makes sure to walk slowly and pass both Angie and Jack, though the latter is her real target. Have a whiff, Mister Eyebrow.

Unnecessarily distracted (in her opinion), Gina swirls around. The thin red straw of her drink is poised in her mouth between painted lips. She peers at Angie underneath brows lifted. What's that expression? Contrary, that's what it is. The name 'Niki Sanders' is a surprise to hear, but it's not enough to draw the woman in question out, unfortunately for Niki. Gina sips her drink, twirls her straw about-she's not concerned by Angie, clearly. She's not really concerned about anything right now though, what with the flying-high state she's in. "Mm, sorry, you've got the wrong girl. I'm not Niki." And as far as she's concerned, that's that! The blonde turns on her heel and all but skips back into the throng of dancing bodies on the dance floor.

"Clearly not, ma'am." Did she? Oh yes, Angie did. She ma'amed Gina. Pushing to her feet, she narrowly sidesteps Eliana as she approaches, sneers at her and then moves on towards the dance floor. She struggles to move along after the woman, but she has a sort of one track mind when it comes to these things. "That's sort of the point. You aren't. Niki wouldn't be here, would she? Care to cut the crap, please?"

Though the source isn't readily apparent, there's nothing dismissable about the light beading of sweat that breaks out along Jack's brow. Unbidden, his gaze focuses on the pink-haired stranger and follows her until she's lost from sight. An instant later his breathing begins to quicken and slowly, ever so slowly, his pupils dilate until a faint ring of grey is all that's visible of his irises. He runs one long-fingered hand through his hair, dragging it up into short, black spikes. His other hand clenches tightly, then reaches out to grip his drink. Jack downs the heady liquor in one fell swoop and waves for more, loosening his tie as he does.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for Jack, Eliana doesn't stay out of sight very long. Her excursion is simply a short walk around some of the tall tables that border the dance floor, and before long she's circling back toward the bar. In her wake, Eliana leaves broader smiles, louder giggles, and more entrancing cups and bits of clothing. She takes the seat next to Jack this time, and the gas hasn't shirked a bit. "Gin and tonic," she calls to the bartender as he approaches before she casts a sidelong look at her current experiment.

Her eyes shooting wide open, Gina looks offended - OFFENDED - at Angie, looking at the other woman over her shoulder. Maybe she's not so happy-go-lucky after all. All the more reason to disappear into the crowd - but it doesn't work so well, and in the midst of the dance floor, she finds herself turning around to face Angie. She shrugs one bare shoulder up, cocking her head to the same side coyly. "Niki's a drag," she coos. She gives her stalker an indignant look, though there's a blithe smile skirting her lips all the while. "What's it to you? I just want to have a little fun. I think she deserves it!" So, you know… go away?

Angie actually looks pleased that Gina looks offended. It has her grinning at any rate, though she's careful to wipe it off her face after a few joyous seconds. "I can certainly understand your position. Sometimes you just need to unwind, no? I was just sent to check up on her. She was expected a while ago, you see, and the people I work for, we actually, you know, give a damn about her welfare. She was seeking help. Do you think this is the help she needs?" It doesn't look much like she's going away.

Jack lets out a soft whistle of air as Eliana approaches. He watches her walk up and order her drink, then presses a hand briefly to the left side of his chest. Increased heart rate, check. Jack takes a moment to collect himself and ponder, but loosened inhibitions quickly win out over his rapidly fading confusion. "Hell of a place, wot? The name's Jack." So named, Jack offers a smooth, nimble-fingered hand that looks as if it's spent all of existence avoiding even a semblance of honest labor.

"Hello, Jack," Eliana replies with a smirk, turning her head to look at him more clearly. She hesitates in taking his hand, but it's only for a second. Soon, she's slipped her own into his, but she doesn't let it stay there very long. Eliana looks back over the bar then, her smile and the gas never wavering. "It is a hell of a place. Really gets the blood pumping." Glancing back to Jack, she narrows her eyes as she studies him. Suit and tie. Not the usual clubbing attire, and so Eliana's smirk grows a bit as she chuckles. "You come here often?"

As she reluctantly listens to Angie, she adopts an expression like a child being scolded and having to sit through their chiding when all they really want to do is go play again. By the end, however, there's a faint softening of Gina's eyes; it comes and goes, transient, and soon it's like it was never there. She juts a hip out and looks Angie up and down. If it wasn't obvious already, it becomes spectacularly apparent now that Gina is going to be uncooperative. "Well - yeah!" she chirps. More seriously, but in that uncharacteristically syrupy voice of hers, she explains matter-of-factly (or, you know, brattily, it depends on your point of view): "Getting away from her boring life just to sit in some boring hospital so she can be even *more* boring?" The blonde rolls her eyes. "This is totally the sweeter deal." She hmphs softly. "Whatever." Angie dismissed again, she turns around to find the arm of the nearest guy who will take it… which is pretty much any one of them.

"Fair enough. If at any point you decide to bring Niki to receive the treatment she was coming in for… please feel free to call us at any time. Night then," Angie says and turns away from Gina, heading back to the bar briefly to pay for her coke before she heads towards the exit. A cell phone is popped out of her pocket, flipped open and a number hit, "Yeah. It's me." Pause. "She's off her meds. It could be a problem."

"Bah. I'm a small-town boy. If I hadn't been planning to meet someone, I imagine I never would've set foot through the door. Besides, my father told me that we Irishmen aren't allowed to dance in public." Jack's crooked smile is friendly, though small lines crease his brow as the ambient temperature seems to rise another five degrees and his breaths come faster yet. "But alas, a cancellation leaves me with a free evening and my bottom already firmly planted on a stool, so I see little sense in leaving now. Tell me something, does it seem a touch warm in here to you?" Aware now that he's been going on at some length, Jack clears his throat, unbuttons the top of his collar, and loosens his tie a bit more.

Eliana can't help but giggle, and if one didn't know better, it might seem as though she were falling victim to her own influence. She nods to the empty fingers of scotch before she regards Jack with another smirk. "If you can't hold your liquor like an Irishman, then maybe you're free from the dancing stipulations." Explanation for warmth? Jack is clearly drunk. Clearly. Eliana's drink arrives, and she takes a careful sip of the more potent beverage. "But I can guarantee it's hotter out there than it is over here," Eliana adds with a tilt of her head toward the dance floor. She glances away and catches a bit of the somewhat hostile exchange between Gina and Angie, and while she can't hear them over the thundering bass, body language is enough of a clue.

Strolling through the crowd with a dance partner to-be, Gina glances in the direction she left Angie from; seeing no trace of she's thus out of sight, out of mind. It's a win on her part, but as she passes one of the club's works of art, a vague RNA strand shaped out of mirror shards, Niki lets her unexpected alter ego know how out of sight, out of mind Angie is not. If she could follow the dark-haired young woman out of the club and straight to the Company, she would, but it's just not happening tonight. Gina's only response? A sweet smile, then she's off dancing and getting lost again.

Jack's frown deepens briefly, then smooths out again. "'Tis strange. Though I'm not proud to admit it, I've drank twice as much and then driven home across two counties more times than I care to think of. If I didn't know better, I'd think somebody slipped me the mickey. No matter, all's fun that stays fun, yes?" A glimmer of mischief lights across his eyes as they roam over the dance floor. "As for that jungle, I'd only be willing to tackle it if you were leading the way."

"Or this stuff has got a little more oomph?" Eliana offers with a lift of her eyebrows. She takes another sip of her own drink, then glances once more to the dance floor. "I think I'm up to that challenge, but only if you've got a machete I can borrow." The pink-haired woman winks, then takes another, longer drink from her glass. The threat of mickies and rufies is one reason not to leave it here, but dancing with a drink in hand is something she doesn't want to mess with, especially given her own increasingly tipsy state and what that means to those around her.

Jack lets out another rumbling laugh as he pushes back from the bar. "Sadly, I forgot my machete. Still, I think we'll find a way to manage." He tugs his tie the rest of the way free. wads it up, and tosses it negligently into a trash can a few feet behind the bar. "Shall we then?"

Determined to only leave a little bit in the glass, Eliana takes a final drink from her glass before she sets it on the bar. She slips two fingers into the front of her dress and pulls out a bill neatly folded to obscure the amount, and slips it underneath her glass. Smiling to Jack, she cocks one shoulder and winks. "We shall," she says before she slides off her stool and heads for the dance floor, the gas trailing in her wake.

Jack pauses long enough to pass one open hand over the bar, palm down. A crisp one-hundred dollar bill is left in it's wake, which he barely glances at before hurrying after his new friend. He unbuttons his jacket on the way, his once-alert eyes a touch unfocused.

As Angie already said, it's crowded, and the dance of choice is the old standard club-groove, the bump and grind. Eliana doesn't jump right into though, mostly for the sake of the fledgling clubber, Jack. Still, it's not the sort of traditional Irish dance, and as Eliana starts to move with the skill of a city brat, the gas in the air grows thicker and spreads out in a larger sphere around her, though it's broken by the tumult of bodies that crowd the dance floor. People draw closer to one another, hands on fabrics become much more interested in textures, and if the dancing alone didn't inspire a sweat, the proverbial monkey wrench in the works sure does.

Considering the ambient mood, even Jack has little difficulty getting into the spirit of things. After a few minutes he's gotten noticeably less awkward, a sure sign of intoxicants (alcoholic or otherwise.) He sidles closer to his dance partner, his wide, friendly eyes fixed on hers. "C'mon, lass. Show me a thing or two. I might be a simple boy, but I'm not that simple." One side of his mouth pulls up into a grin as he speaks. Obviously, the last of his inhibitions have melted away now that he's reached the dance floor.

It's most likely a combination of the alcohol in Eliana's system and Jack's accent that spur her on into a more vigorous dance, moving almost as close to him as the other couples and groups undulating with the beat. She catches his eyes and returns the grin before she slips into that almost trance-like state that envelops the majority of club-goers. Sometimes, you just need to dance.

Jack laughs as the tempo picks up, his own dancing growing increasingly more compentent as the moments pass. He rises to the challenge as Eliana draws nearer, matching her move for move and beat for beat. His grin grows wider as the song the song dies down, and he cups one hand briefly to his partner's cheek just before the music cuts. "Och, my blood's flowin' now. Why didn't someone bring this bit o' dancing around my way sooner? As far as I know, men are still flailing around and punching their relatives where I'm from."

It takes time, of course, for one record or CD to be replaced with another, but the pause in the music isn't that long. It is, however, welcome. It gives Eliana a chance to breath, and when Jack takes her cheek, she places her palms on his shirt. "We're a kinder, gentler folk over here?" she offers with a chuckle. "Or maybe the music isn't so inspirational to violence." Or something like that. Some writers are worse, not better with words when they're on the sauce.

Jack nods sagely. "It's true, violence abounds among our people. Even those of us who've found our way to the merry old U.S. of A. I must admit, I like it better this way." His voice is a low, rumbling purr as he moves closer, his long fingers moving to rest lightly on Eliana hips. Then a new disc picks up and free-for-all of moving bodies starts once again.

But those fingers won't stay there long, as, when the music starts up again in a more ethereal techno style, Eliana slips down, rolling her shoulders. She's soon on her way back up, however, and if those fingers are still ready, they will be able to find their earlier resting place soon enough. "You catch on quick, Jack," Eliana calls out above the din with a beaming smile just shy of coy.

Jack allows his fingertips to move freely up and down, his breath coming faster once again. He steps back for a moment, slips his jacket off, and tosses it aside with as little care as he gave the tie. He leans close again and speaks into Eli's ear so as to avoid shouting. "I haven't a clue what to blame it on, but I know it's getting hotter in here now." He's all mischief once again, and he does indeed let his hands find their way back to his partner's hips.

Unlike those around her, the only thing altering Eliana's state of mind and lowering her inhibitions is the amaretto and the gin. "It's call having a good time," she answers with a laugh, turning her head so she can speak in Jack's ear in turn. She gives the side of his face a quick kiss before she pulls away just slightly and continues to dance, turning so that her back is to the Irishman and moving as the crowd seems to, en masse.

This is no deterrent to Jack, who cozies up behind Eli and returns her kiss with one his own, just below her ear. Having long ago given over to the spirit of the occasion, his carefully composed mask is down for the first time in memory. His expression is one of boyish delight, a young man fully immersing himself in a new pleasure for the first time.

It is getting hot, and Eliana isn't about to deny it or pass it off for something else now. Like Jack, her inhibitions are all but gone, and she isn't being careful at all in controlling her heart rate, letting it soar with the 'exercise' and alcohol. But after this song comes to a close and all that pounds in the air and the floor is the low bass that will carry over into the next song, Eliana makes a grab at Jack's hand in an effort to pull him away from the other dancers who move as if possessed by Dionysus himself in the urban Bacchanal. "It's hot," she offers as explanation. "Let's sit down." Or leave. Either is fine with Eliana in her current state.

Jack sighs gratefully and allows himself to be towed off the dance floor. "I thought you'd never ask. I'm broiling so bad I just threw away a jacket I was actually father fond of." Despite his words, Jack's expression clearly shows that he considers the cost to be most justified. "I'd ask if you cared for another drink, but I'm not sure that I should have one myself. Which is to say that I feel positively stellar. Want to get out of here?"

"God, yes," Eliana answers with a broad smile and her eyebrows furrowed upward in a relived and slightly pleading expression. That hand in Jack's slips up to his arm to hold him securely, if only so that Eliana remains steady on her feet. "If there /is/ more drinking, I think water would be best." But if Eliana remains in Jack's company, she's sure to sober up before he does.

Jack places a hand over the smaller one on his arm and smiles back, just as wide. "I wholeheartedly agree. There's a lovely Korean market below my apartment. They have water in bottles of every shape and size you could desire. Let's get a cab and I'll show you, yes?" With a wink, Jack leads his companion out the door and into the cold night air.

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