2007-02-20: His Name is Jack


Jack_icon.gif Laurel_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif

Summary: Three strangers hang out at a club. One splits off to find her own way and two go home together.

Date It Happened: February 20th, 2007

His Name is Jack

Club DnA's

What are we going to do tonight, Brain? The same thing we do every night, Pinky… Mara Damaris may not be trying to take over the world, but she is doing the same thing she does every night her partner decides not to go out for an after-hours beer - she's drowning her sorrows at Club DnA's instead of some quiet, cop-friendly bar. The drink of choice is a Tom Collins. On a cocktail napkin, she draws a circle inside of a square.

Farther down the bar, Jack nurses a neat glass of Glenlivet. He's out for buisness rather than pleasure, in search of a woman he's only seen here once before. Fruitless, we all know, but Jack never claimed to be a detective. Well into his third hour of waiting and drinking, he lets out a long, exasperated sigh. Long night. Very, very long night.

Almost simultaneously, the actual detective lets out a similar sigh. She glances down the bar and lets her hazel eyes settle on the man and his Scotch. If she gets his attention, she smiles faintly and raises her glass in a silent toast before taking a drink.

While there's plenty of people already at the bar and on the dance floor, one young lady just managed to get inside. Stumbling a bit on the cement floor, Laurel glances over her shoulder as if to accuse someone of tripping her up, and then continues on towards the bar. She's almost so distracted looking at the lamps hanging from the ceiling, that she doesn't realize how close she is to other patrons, until she very nearly bumps into Mara's shoulder, "Oh, sorry!" she says suddenly, raising her voice to be heard over the music. "I was looking at the— sorry." She offers an embarrassed smile, glancing down the bar towards the man she'd been looking at, and then settling down into a seat. "Um… What do you recommend here?"

Jack rubs his grey eyes wearily, but smiles at the gesture of the young woman down the bar. Perhaps he's too much of a gentleman to ignore her, or perhaps the HOURS of sitting at the bar are finally starting to get to him. Either way, he hoists his glass in a return salute, then drains it. The bruises and cuts across his visage have finally begun to face, but he still looks a bit the worse for wear as he slides off of his stool and approaches. Unfortunately the collision bug is catching, and he almost runs into Laurel en route.

"Careful there," Mara drawls to the girl that nearly collides with her. "Try a bombcicle or a fruit brute," she recommends. When the man appraoches, the woman smiles, lips parting to reveal a small gap between her front teeth. "Well, hi there." The accent is very Southern Belle, but with a hint of Stiff-Arsed Brit.

"Oh, sorry!" Laurel can't help but apologize again, this time to the man who nearly intercepted her. She must have been distracted by the lights and the everything else. She scratches embarrassedly at the back of her neck, and turns to order as instructed, choosing the second of the two, "I'll have a fruit brute, thank you," she says politely. Her own accent is very much upper class New Yorker.

Jack lets out a soft chuckle and guides the second woman away from total catastrophe with his hands. "Geez, crowded in here for a weeknight. Another Glenlivet, please." This last bit is directed to the bartender as Jack tries to find a bit of free space wide enough to wedge into.

Mara seems only too happy to oblige, scooting over on her chair to give Jack a bit more room. "It's strawberry and peach schnapps with Sprite," she tells Laurel before flashing another smile to Jack. "You look like you've been stood up."

"Oh, thanks," Laurel says, looking around the man to give thanks as the drink is handed to her. She's definitely never tried it, but— she happens to like most schnapps, so she guesses it'll be pretty good. With the first drink, she's glad to see she's right, and being so close to the two of them, squishing in it's impossible not to listen in, though she stays quiet.

Jack's smile is wide and rueful. "I guess you could say that," he admits to Mara. Gratefully, he slides in to lean against half of her chair. The press of the crowd isn't exactly kind to his battered body, and being stuck between two females is both more pleasant and more forgiving. Turning, Jack beams a smile at the quieter of the two women as his drink arrives.

Mara makes a silent count on her fingers before ordering another drink for herself. "Happens to the best of us," she consoles Jack. "Ya got a name?"

The smile is returned, to the point hints of dimples appear on her cheeks. Luckily, Laurel looks legal age, and she would have been carded as she came in and got the stamp. For the moment, she's content to nurse her drink and listen, waiting to hear the man's name, since it was asked of him first. She can't help but feel as if she's easedropping!

"The moniker's Jack." So named, Jack extends a long-fingered, baby-smooth hand for shaking. "How about you and your quiet friend?" He turns a brief, friendly-yet-appraising glance over his shoulder in Laurel's direction.

Mara takes Jack's hand and shakes. "Mah-rah," she enunciates in a playful manner. "It's a pleasure, Jack." She turns an expectant gaze to Laurel, "How about you?"

"Oh— I'm…" The younger of the trio looks a little embarrassed, "Laurel," she finally finishes, smiling again. She's usually not this quiet, but she's a bit out of her element in this particular night club. "It's nice to meet you— Mara. Jack." Again, she has to raise her voice just a bit over the music, but at least they're fairly close to each other.

"Well it's certainly a pleasure to meet you ladies." A consummate, old-fashioned gentleman, Jack gives Mara's hand a friendly squeeze, then turns to take Laurel's and give it the same treatment. He peeks at the second, far more nervous woman's eyes. "Don't worry, I'm not a biter," he reassures.

Mara's eyes sweep over Jack once and mutters something into the rim of her glass that /may/ have just been 'pity.' She takes a long sip from her fresh drink and then smiles again. "I can guess what brings you here, Jack, but what about you, Laurel?"

"Oh, I didn't think you did— I just…" Laurel says, returning the handshake, but not quite as firmly. It would seem she's really not used to the obvious reasons that people might come to this nightclub, which is probably why she's called on it. "I usually come to places like these with friends, but someone handed me a pamplet for tonight, and— I decided to stop by. At least have a drink or two. I couldn't reach any of my friends, though…"

Jack chuckles at Laurel's nervousness, the sound rich and unmocking. Mara's comments cause him to smirk into his own glass as he takes a long sip of single-malt. Most other days Mara's assumption may have been correct, but today he was all business the moment he set foot through the door. Now that he's decided to call it a night, however, there's no reason a person can't have a bit of fun.

"Here to have fun, then? Good for you, sweetheart." Mara raises her glass to Laurel and takes another long drink. This time, she wavers just slightly when she comes back up for air. Her smile is easy - slow, and lazy. "I'm here to unwind…" Her gaze flits to Jack briefly, but long enough to raise her eyebrows at him before she goes back to pretending she's not flirting.

As if noticing the flirting, Laurel takes up her drink and says, "I think I'm going to walk around and enjoy the music, while I'm here. It was really nice to meet you both." Sharing a warm smile, she begins to push herself down from the chair, allowing Jack some scooting room, which she doubts he'll take. "Thanks for the drink advice," she adds, raising the drink in a 'toast-like' gesture, before looking around on how to make her way to the dance floor, and the other sights of the club.

Jack lifts one hand in a lazy salute as Laurel makes her way across the club to find what trouble it may hold. He slams down the rest of his scotch before meeting Mara's gaze with one of his own. Not above a bit of flirting, he winks roguishly at her. It's obvious that between the two of them, they've downed a generous share of alcohol.

Mara leans forward, propping her head up in her hands with her elbows on the bar. "You've been in a scuffle recently," she observes almost casually. "Ya beat some poor sucker up?"

"Me? Hardly. I'm a lover, not a fighter." Jack runs the tip of one thumb alone the worst of his cuts, which crosses his right eye from forehead to cheekbone. "There was a bit of an incident at my favorite coffee shop."

Mara's eyes widen. "The explosion? You were there for tha'? My God." The surprise causes the woman's accent to thicken up, but in the other direction. This time it's far more British than Southern. "You're lucky that's all tha' 'appened ta you! I'm sorry I teased ya abou' i'."

"Worry not, lass. I've seen worse. Jack strong like bull." Jack grins and waves for another drink. "Besides, from what I'm told, women like scars in proper moderation."

"I can't speak for other women, but this one certainly isn't bothered by them." Mara grins lopsidedly and orders another drink. "You got any other scars?" Her hazel eyes make a slower sweep of Jack's body this time, absolutely shameless. "Tattoos? …Piercings?"

Jack laughs at Mara's open, frank line of inquiry. "Scars? All over. And I have seven tattoos. Never much got into the piercing bit, though." When his scotch and her Collins arrives, Jack sweeps one open hand over the bar, producing a twenty to pay the tab seemingly from nowhere.

"Tha's all righ'," Mara allows with a devilish smile. "No risk of havin' anything pulled ou' on accident, tha' way." She slaps a ten down over his twenty, "I'm pre'y sure I drank more than twenny. The 'keep deserves a nice tip, too."

"I know I drank more than twenty, but paying the staff in increments keeps them happy." With one fingertip, Jack slides the ten back in front of Mara. "This one's on me, yes? My way of saying thanks for rescuing me from boredom."

Mara slides the ten back into her pocket and shrugs. "And you rescued me right back." Slowly but surely, her accent is finding that happy medium again, now that the initial shock of the circumstances surrounding Jack's scars has died down.

Jack smiles agreeably, his thumb tracing the raised line of the cut across his eye and cheek once again. "Well then, we've done each other a service. I love it when everybody wins, don't you?" His query is aggressively playful, and his grey eyes sparkle.

"Mmm. I don't think either of us has won yet," Mara says coyly, "But I do believe the finish line may be in sight." She brings her drink to her lips and knocks back a quarter of it before she sets it down again.

Mara's bold statement elicits a wide smile from Jack. "Really?" he murmurs. "And do you usually complete a race so quickly after meeting a battered stranger?" His tone takes the heat off of his words, turning the statement into a playful line of inquiry.

"Life's too damn short to beat around the bush, sometimes. I think this is one of those times." Mara shrugs and looks off into the space above their heads almost absently. "I mean, I /could/ give you my number and you could give me yours and we could play all the games that boys and girls are supposed to play. I could lose your number, or you could second guess yourself on the rule for how long you wait to call, or one of us could lose our nerve. And then where's the fun gone?" She gives an absolutely admirable pout when she levels her gaze with the man again, "Down the bloody tubes, that's where."

Jack tosses back the rest of his scotch with practiced ease and sets his cup down on the counter. "You're right, of course," he agrees. "But it's rare to meet so practical a female in the big city." His gaze is frank and appraising as it roams over his conversation partner.

"Practicality… Maybe not always my strongest point, but I do like to think I possess it from time to time." Mara downs the rest of her drink quickly. "Is your place close?"

"Reasonably." Midtown isn't exactly close, but it could be farther away. The corner of Jack's mouth twitches as he thinks of Eliana, who's certainly asleep in her apartment right now. Then he shrugs. It's not as if they're married, and it isn't even certain that she's interested. Jack tosses a few more bills on the bar, then sildes a pack of cigarettes from one of his coat pockets.

Mara retrieves a cigarillo from an inside pocket of her vest. "Fine by me, then." She holds the smoke between the vee of her fingers, bringing the white plastic filter to her lips.

Jack produces a lighter from the same pocket, sparks it, then holds it out for Mara before he lights his own cigarette. "Shall we?" he inquires.

Mara slides off her bar stool carefully, wavering only once. "Love to," she drawls, possibly waiting for him to offer his arm.

And Jack does, tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow as he leads her toward the door.

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