2007-07-14: I'm Done with This Getting Beat Up Thing


McAlister_icon.gif George_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Summary: Three sad sacks reminisce about being mugged. Watch for the firemen and their poles.

Date It Happened: July 14, 2007

I'm Done with This Getting Beat Up Thing

Den of Iniquity, Brooklyn

Ah. The Den of Iniquity - aptly named, if the board hung in place of one of the front windows is any indication.

Tonight, the joint is hopping - a local bar filled with locals; it looks like the local 540, the fire station up the way, is in here celebrating something. Rowdily. Beer and banging rock music on the juke both flow like water.

A few other locals take up several tables; there's only one person on staff tonight, too, looks like. Ali, hair pulled back, towel tied to a belt loop - she's pretty much it. And, at the moment? She's coming back with a tray of empty bottles, setting it on the bar, taking a moment to wipe her forehead with the back of her hand.

A familiar face pops up in the back, looking concerned at first. With that many of the 540's trucks parked out front, it's natural to assume that something might be going up in flames in a hurry.

Reassuring himself that they're off duty, George heads in the direction of the bar, clapping a hand atop a shoulder or two along the way. "Hey, you were the ones on top of that garage fire last month, right? Solid work, man, keep it up." Finally, his attention zooms in on the gal behind the counter. "Oh, so there's where the fire's at. I was wondering."

"Huh?" It startles her, admittedly - zoned out as she was. But after the initial jump (which nearly, but doesn't, send bottles to the floor - thankfully) - she flashes a tired grin and gets back to work, pulling the empties and throwing them in a nearby bin with a clank and crash of glass. "Ha-ha. Very funny - not a one of 'ems hit on me all night. For the record." The yellowing bruise on her jaw is fading nicely.

"I didn't figure you for the sort that would go for the whole teamster chic thing. Oh. I warn you - I make really awful mixed drinks. Stick with the beer or straight shots. Kinda not my best talent."

"I was talking about the straight shots," he lies, gesturing to a bottle of cinnamon schnapps. "Teamster chic? And—?" He frowns at the bruise, but works out that it's probably the same one as before. He didn't get such a good look at it back then in the dark. "Well, you do kinda look like that chick from Firestarter… Margaret or something?" Well, no, but in his defense, the last time he saw it was a loooooong time ago.

"Never saw it - that's the Stephen King one, right?" Ali leans on the bar - taking this moment of simple conversation when nobody's yammering for a beer for what it is.. a break. "That's what we get here, you know - teamsters, plumbers. I think the linesman's local comes in here too, and I know we get the con-ed guys all the time. Anyway - you don't strike me as a guy that comes down to Brooklyn all that much. No offense."

Felix has arrived.

George is hanging out at the bar, talking with McAlister. "Right. And okay, I get you— but that's the whole point, taking in at least one new thing a day. Keeps you in the right frame of mind." And if he isn't one of the blue-collars himself, he does at least seem to get along with them easily enough. Speaking of, several off-duty members of NYFD Local 540 are carousing at various nearby tables, for the moment occupied with each other's company rather than haranguing the lone waitress.

Felix is a suit. Professionally, and personally. But it's Felix's day off, which is why he is no doubt the only FBI agent in the greater New York area wearing faded jeans and a Gogol Bordello t-shirt, along with battered docs. He's got a cellphone to his ear, and is nattering away in Russian, though he finishes the call and snaps the phone shut as he enters, tucking it away in his pocket as he heads for the bar.

"Fair enough." Ali allows that, her distinctive alto brighter than her smile.. which, frankly, looks a bit worn out. A yellowing bruise is fading away on her jawline; doesn't seem to bother her, at the moment, though.

"Want a beer? My treat if you stick around to drink it. Gives me an excuse to check in on you and lean, you know?"

A local down the way waves a hand - "Hey, one more?"

"Yeah, no problem." Ali moves just far enough to get into the cooler there, fishing for a beer. "I'm guessing you're a heinekein guy?" The newcomer gets a flash of a grin, a nod.

George rests an elbow on top of the bar, taking in the action in broad strokes. "Actually, I was thinking of trying the schnapps up there. But yeah, Heineken's good for the round after that." If you're only gonna have one round, you might as well not bother. "And you gotta watch the leaning thing, you could give people ideas doing stuff like that."

Felix flashes McAlister a grin in return, which takes his face from dour to bright and back again, in the space of a couple of instants. He drops into a seat at the bar, and looks around, surveying the bar with an air almost of reminiscence.

"Ideas, huh?" The local's given his beer, the woman moving to split the difference between Felix and George. "What can I get ya? Sorry - no food tonight except the stuff on the bar; it's just me." But she tosses out to the latter, as she's setting out a napkin in front of Felix - "And what ideas? I have an airtight excuse, right?"

"Doesn't matter," George replies, nodding to Felix as he bellies up. "You could be on the five o'clock news when it was going down, and by six twenty, somebody'd be saying you paid off the cameraman." An impish look: "The trick is to ignore 'em."

"That's fine," Felix says, amiably, giving George a nod in return. "Gimlet for me, please," he adds to McAlister, expression turning almost puppyishly hopeful. I have been good, I can have booze, right?

There's a faint flush as Ali admits, to Felix - "I'll trust you on the being good, but - seriously? I have no idea what you just asked for. I was sort of just learning when I got saddled with it, you know? So - tell me how it goes together and I can make it, but no promises." The schnapps, though, is the next bottle picked, jiggered out to be a double - "Okay - you lost me. News? Last time I was on the news, I wish I could have ignored it. Rocks or straight?"

George's attention dips down to the bottle. Damn thing just keeps pouring and pouring. "Rocks, thanks. And don't worry about the news thing, I'm just being random. Although— the other night, there was almost another mugging. If the trend isn't making the news yet, it probably should be."

Felix gives Ali an owlish blink, but doesn't seem inclined to sneer at her for her ignorance. "One part lime juice, three parts gin, dash of soda," he explains, splaying long-fingered hands over the top of the bar.

Ice. Glass. Schnapps - no branch, that ruins it. Yup - Ali sets the glass (on napkin) in front of George, and sets up another on the barmat. "That I can probably do." The firemen call for another round - the jersey girl bawls back, friendly, "One sec!" Then, she goes on - conversing with both men, really, "No kidding? I wonder if it's the same guy? He went after Erin's purse the first time around."

George picks up the glass and swirls it around, catching one of the cubes with the first mouthful. "Don't think so. I didn't get a good look, but this one almost went and shot himself in the foot." Which likely explains the successful getaway. He crunches on the ice as he mulls it over, eyes starting to water pleasantly from the heat.

"Mugging?" Felix wonders, with the tentative curiosity of the long-time New Yorker who fully expects to be told to go fuck himself for eavesdropping. He gives George a sidelong glance, before looking back to Ali.

".. yeah." Ali turns her head, shows the bruise. "Sort of ran into some guys in the park." A slight shug.. and then she's working on Felix's drink. Rocks, lime juice - she has to stop to hunt the gin. "I don't know about the other one - " She glances to George - "I think I'm staying out of the park for a while. I'm done with this getting beat up thing."

This is Felix's lucky day; he doesn't get a fuck-you in English or New Yorker Sign Language. "I don't blame you. This other guy was over on the east side— more guts than brains, from what I could tell. Speaking of the park, though, how's Erin holding up?"

"Wise of you," Felix agrees, in a murmur. "Something of an epidemic above and beyond the usually generous norm for New York City?" he wonders, glancing between them.

"First time it ever happened to me - hell if I know." Ali pours gin, adds a splash of soda.. and, for the silliness of it, a little paper umbrella, setting the drink in front of Felix. "Erin? She.. well, she offered me a place. We're going to split the rent, at least a little. I figure she's doing alright - it doesn't seem to have slowed her down or anything." A grin, and Ali sets out a tray, starting to fill it with bottles again. Miller. Hi-Life. Eww. "All I know is? I'm dodging the park for a while, and I've got a roof. It works out."

"More just bad timing, I think," George offers to Felix, waiting till the firemen turn their attention elsewhere before shaking his head at their lack of appreciation for quality booze. "Sounds like it. She got roughed up pretty bad too, didn't she? Anyway, tell her I said hi."

Well, that's more good booze for him, right? Felix seems quite content with the gimlet as made. "Not bad for your first time. The gimlet, I mean, not the mugging," he adds, hastily. "I got mugged in the park when I was back in college."

Ali snorts. "I hope not the mugging - I was sore for a while, and still look like hell. Next time, I'm going to.." She bites that off, takes a breath. "Nevermind. I will, George - one sec, huh?" And that tray is carefully lifted to her shoulder… and the earstwhile bartender heads off into the clutches of the local 540. With alcohol. Let the consumption of mass quantities continue.

"Oh, you do not—" George starts to say, but trails off as the union crew demands some more attention. This, too, shall pass. "So is it a hotspot generally," he offers to Felix, "or are we just a bunch of sad sacks?"

"It used to be crawling with cops and firefighters, last I was here, but that was some while ago," Felix says, glancing past George to survey the crowd, such as it is. "I don't know about you, but I'll own up to occasional fits of sad sackness."

George nods. "Everyone's Shelley Levene for at least fifteen minutes these days. I just moved here late last year— where'd you move away to?"

Felix looks back to George. "First San Francisco, then Seattle. Gone for about six years. Nice to see it's all much as I left it." He's apparently sincere, of all things.

Ali manages to head back - flipping off one firefighter with a grin - "You and your mother." But hey, she's shaking her head with a laugh as she moves back for the bar. "Firefighters. Gotta love 'em, but .. geez, you know?" The tray's laid aside soon enough, the woman dumping the empties she brought back with her.

George works through the rest of his first shot, then leans over and motions to the guy who just got shot down. "Aww, don't tell me you tried the 'hey, my hose is as thick as a flashlight' line again? That line never works!"

Felix is nursing the gimlet with no particular sense of hurry. Somebody must be a cheap date. "Yeah, I do," he says, wryly.

Cheap date? Probably Ali - she's the only one here drinking a coke. One she pours herself, in fact. On the rocks, though. "… I liked that line, though. He tried the 'ever seen a firepole' one." A grin. "So they finally hit on me, right? Must be drunk enough for the beer goggles to kick in." She leans on the back ledge, a bit of weight off her feet.

The guy's friends are giving him ribbing - it redoubles at George's comment. It's gettin' raunchy over there, honestly.

George picks up a napkin and throws it toward Ali, though it misses by a mile. (No, really. A whole mile.) "Oh, stop it, you're as bad as my dad— 'hey, lookit that one, she's a real dog, huh?' When they start hitting on him, then you know the goggles, zey do somezing." A nod serves to indicate Felix. "No offense."

"No offense taken," Felix says, drily. "I know I'm too much man for most people," he adds, with a certain air of mock wistfulness. "I just have to live with it."

McAlister mock-flinches.. but then, laughing, leans down to pick up the napkin, "So? It's true. Don't get me wrong - it's better that way. Doesn't make it less true." But she gives both men an arch expression. "Too much man what?"

George shakes his head. "Ask me about it later." He knows better than to butter her up in earshot of that many firemen. Then, as Ali questions Felix, he raises a brow, waiting to see how he fields that one.

Felix's expression is perfectly bland as he meets Ali's gaze. Someone's been working on that pokerface. "To handle," he says, evenly, before knocking back the last of the gimlet.

"Uh-huh." Give a girl credit for not walking into that one. Instead, Ali takes a swig of coke and rolls her eyes.. snagging a handful of peanuts from a dish behind the bar .. leaning back to take a break as she can. "You two should come in thursday - darts night. It's gonna get cut a little short this time, but, definitely worth the visit, you know?"

"Darts are good," George agrees, "as long as none of the players are hammered enough to start hitting random folk sitting at the bar. Why cut short?" The peanuts are eyed, but left alone for the time being; they go better with the upcoming beer.

Felix arches a brow, but George has asked the question foremost at his mind at the moment.

"'cause I have to close by eleven." Ali crunches a peanut, offering a wry grin. "I'm only supposed to be the afternoon shift - now that my other job's kicked in… " A shrug. With some exasperation, she adds, "So. Since it's just me right now? The door locks. Thankfully there's a couple of off-duties that are nice enough to wander in here about then, right?"

George scratches his head, turning back to look at the entrance— but then a couple of the firefighters were hanging out right by the doorway when he came in. With a shrug, he turns back around and nods. "Well, you've got the gold shift for the other gig. All the morning shows are full of guys who'd be wandering the streets begging for scraps if anyone ever copyrighted 'Twofer Tuesday'.

Felix takes care of his miniscule tab, and adds a generous tip. "Yeah. I'd not care to be you, otherwise," he says, a bit somberly, as he heaves himself up from the bar.

"Heh. I get to play what I want, when I want - it's.. yeah. I wouldn't trade it, even if it does mean I get stuck with daytime TV." The woman looks curiously at Felix - "Yeah? It's pretty safe here- the guys know me, you know? And the neighborhood keeps an eye out."

"And you get people listening who really appreciate that, not a bunch of half-awake commuters." Finishing off the second glass, George does reach for a handful of peanuts now. His face is going red by this point, but hey, it's worth it for the good stuff!

Felix just nods, gravely, and lifts a hand in farewell salute, before heading for the door.

McAlister chuckles, and heads out to check on those firemen - "No kidding." A wave to Felix, and she's off. Working waits for no one, it seems.

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