2007-03-07: Scotch and Schemes

Starring:

Jack_icon.gif Lachlan_icon.gif Eliana_icon.gif

Date It Happened: March 07, 2007

Summary: Lachlan gets a call from Jack, who has been told about the Scotsman's powers by Eliana. Jack offers Lachlan the opportunity to get in on Peter's rescue attempt, and Lachlan initially refuses. Eliana enters and gets snapped at for running her mouth off, a brief struggle ensues, and Eliana storms off into the back room in a huff. Lachlan changes his mind about the rescue, and he and Jack get drunk and discuss women and heroics.

Scotch and Schemes


Den of Iniquity, Brooklyn

Last night's meeting was.. Well, it was freakin' strange. Not that Jack minded the outcome. He's been cooling his heels for weeks on this Mendez thing. Rescuing Peter Petrelli from the Company doesn't nessescarily solve the problem, but cracking a few skulls is certainly going to make Jack feel better about the situation.

With action in the offing, who did he think of? Lachlan, of course. Irish-Scottish rivalry aside, Cass's new boy-toy seems a solid sort and an able-bodied drinking buddy to boot. And so Jack gave him a call and vaugely requested that they meet at the Den. Despite the help Lach provided at Hava Java, prudence dictactes that this conversation go nice and slow.

Where there's booze and busting heads, there shall Lachlan be. Padfoot is left outside the door, as usual, and the Scotsman enters the Den with a real sense of purpose. He's here for business (and booze). It doesn't take him too long to spot Jack, to whom he offers a wave as he wanders on over to the bar. The bandages that were on his face and head last he spoke with Jack have been removed, exposing the mostly healed bruising on the left side of his face. The only thing left is the gauze that protects the stitches from the surgical incision on his cheek. As Lachlan settles onto a seat, he half-grins. "Yer prob'ly the last person I ever 'xpected ta hear from," he remarks offhandedly.

From his place behind the bar, Jack grins warmly and lifts one hand in a brief, lazy salute. In two shakes, he's pulled down a fresh bottle of Glen Moray and and pair of glasses. "One of my customers asked for this a while back. Sour bloke, but he had good taste in drink," Jack jokes as he pours three fingers each for the two men. He seems a trifle nervous as he lifts his glass for a sip, an uncommon aspect for the oft-drunk young man.

Around the pair, there is little activity at the Den. Truth be told, there rarely is. Jack caters to a few rare and eccentric regulars, but few wanderers peek through the window and find the bar to their liking.

At the sight of the familiar bottle, Lachlan perks up even more. "Well fuck, ye got a bit o' Glen Moray just fer me, ye really must be up ta somethin'," he jokes. Once his portion has been poured, he takes the glass and eyeballs Jack with mock suspicion. "Ye dinna put out a hit on me 'r somethin', di'ye?" One gulp lowers the level of his drink a good deal.

"No such luck, boyo. You're stuck with Cass, at least for now." Jack replies, though his humor's a tiny bit forced. Strength in numbers, right? Still, the trust of many and quite possibly the life of a young man are in his hands. No pressure, though. He tips back another measure of liquor, then sets his glass down and cautiously asks, "You ever hear of somethin' that's just called 'The Company?'" Though is voice is a low, quiet rumble, there's enough emphasis in the proper places to make it clear that this is no ordinary company.

It's true that Lachlan is often dense, but he still knows when secrecy is needed. This seems to be one of those times. His lips contort into a confused frown and he narrows his eyes at Jack. "Nah," he responds truthfully, "canna say as I have. Why d'ye ask?"

This makes things even more complex for Jack. He downs the rest of his scotch, then pours more into both glasses. For a moment, he seems to be carefully considering his words. "The Company is, from what I understand, a Bad Organization. They're private. To paraphrase what I've heard, 'they exist to police, detain, and neutralize the Evolved menace.' That's people like us, boyo." Jack indulges in another gulp, savoring the smooth, heady burn as it rolls off his tongue.

Evolved? People like /us/? Whoa, hey now. Lachlan's frown turns into an all-out glare. "Dunna know wha' yer talkin' 'bout," he growls. "Who the bloody hell ye been talkin' ta?" The only people in the world who know about his powers are his sister, Eliana, and (just recently) Cass. If Cass told anyone …

"Hey. Sit. The. Fuck. Down." Each of Jack's words is sharply punctuated. He sighs. "Maybe this was a bad idea. It's not important how I know." Like he's going to expose Eliana's trust. "But my knowin' will do you no harm. Just cool it." Jack's long fingers drag his short, dark hair into tousled spikes. How the hell is he going to salvage this one? Diplomat he is not, obviously.

Indeed, Lachlan is about to get up and walk out, but he hesitates just a moment. Okay, so there's a Company that wants to detain and neutralize people like Lachlan and Jack. That doesn't sound pleasant. At all. The Scotsman settles again with a scowl, but he's sitting, at least. He'll be talking to Cass, all right. She's the only one he knows that has had any contact with Jack before. Clearly, she must be the one who told him. "A'righ', then," Lachlan grumbles. "So wha's this Company an' all tha' got ta do with me? 'Ve no' had any pro'lems o' tha' sort."

"Not yet," Jack replies grimly. "But they're well organized, and well funded. I've found a chance to make myself a thorn in their side before they can do the same to me. And… A young man's life might just get saved." Who knows? Wearily, Jack rubs his eyes. "I don't give a damn if you're mad at me for knowing your little secret. What I want to know is, do you want in on the fight?"

/Seriously/? Once again, Lachlan considers, his scowl growing into a frown. Hmm. He /likes/ fighting, but he's definitely no hero. He likes keeping his body intact unless … "Wha's in it fer me?" he inquires. Because he's such a caring individual.

"Nevermind," Jack says, shaking his head. He doesn't often get the measure of a man wrong, but it happens. Still, he knows that loyalty can't be bought. "Forget I mentioned it. Now we can be friends again, yes? Let's get good and drunk."

Jack has obviously never dealt with Lachlan before. He's as loyal as … well, as a dog, if the price is right. But ah well. The Scotsman watches Jack for a moment, then shrugs and downs the rest of his drink. "If yer buyin', I canna say no ta tha'," he grunts, setting the glass on the bar once again with an audible clank.

Eliana would have gone to the Oldcastle Pub for something to calm her nerves, but ever since her recent episodes there with Lachlan, the pink-haired writer has been avoiding that particular Irish watering hole. It's not that the Den of Iniquity is the only other place in New York that can make a good Black and Tan - it isn't by a long shot - but Eliana's feet guide her here. She's still dressed for Shabbat in a black skirt and top with a pink tank peaking out at her neckline, and while the bar's warm air isn't as comforting as her aunt and uncle's or synagogue, it's better than the street. When she sees Jack tending bar and the Scotsman sitting at it, Eliana freezes just inside the door, her eyes wide for a moment, then narrowing in confusion.

"In my bar I'm always buyin', boyo." A bit of Jack's usual jovial attitude makes an appearance. One can always hope, after all. He pours a fresh measure of Moray for both men. What is this.. Four? Five? No matter, it tastes damn good. Apparently those damn Scots can get a thing or two right, after all. "Hey," he says. "You can bring you dog in as long as he doesn't—shit!" The expletive coincides with Eliana's stepping through the door. Uhh. Uhh. Not only is her /certain/ his actions yesterday have landed him hot water, now Eliana is here to see him filling in for the recently fired bartender.

The strange emphasis on the crude word gets a lifted eyebrow from Lachlan. Padfoot's a good dog, of course, and would never shit in a building. However, the Scotsman is not entirely stupid, and he half-turns to follow Jack's gaze. Pink hair. /Pink hair/. He swings around to glare at Jack, then again at Eliana and back again, his grip on his glass tightening dangerously. "D'ye know 'er?" he asks in a low growl. It's almost rhetorical. The only other person outside of Cass and Megan to know about Lachlan's abilities is Eliana.

Eliana visibly cringes when Jack curses at her, but after taking a moment to steal herself and get the gas that had started to leak out shut off again, she lifts her chin and strides with outward confidence toward the bar. She starts for a stool a few down from Lachlan, then decides to sit next to the Scotsman, giving him a horrible attempt at a flirtatious smile. It doesn't last long, as that good old guilt comes back and pulls her lips back into a frown. Eliana rests her elbows on the bartop and then her chin in her hands, staring across at Jack with a strangely blank, but tired, face.

Smoothly, Jack's poker face slides into place, betraying no emotion. "We're aquainted," is his simple reply to Lachlan. Bracing himself for Eliana's approach, he tosses back half a high-ball glass of scotch in one gulp. When she sits, his nimble hands have already put together the Black and Tan they both know she'll order. Setting the drink on a round, tagboard coaster, he slides it across the bar to her. "Anything else?" he asks mildly.

"Yeah, I bet ye bloody well are," Lachlan snarls in a none-too-friendly fashion. "Doesna matter how ye know 'bout me, eh?" He turns a cold glare on Eliana, the awful attempt at a flirtatious smile going quite ignored. "Who else ye been runnin' yer fuckin' mouth ta?" Oh no, the Scotsman is very much not happy.

If you fight fire with fire, certainly you fight ice with ice. Eliana straightens when Jack serves her her drink, and a shivering sigh suppresses another influx of gas, though it's less successful. The stuff hovers over the relatively thin fabric of Eliana's sweater and skirt, and it comes out a good two inches from her skin. "A copy of your last will and testament," she retorts coldly. Lachlan is pointedly ignored.

This is too much for Jack. Eliana ignores Lach, Jack ignores her. However, the Scotsman's comments are more than enough to get under his skin. Leaning forward, he plants his hands on the bar and meets Lachlan's eyes squarely. "Mind your damn manners, or you'll soon be seeing the outstide of my bar." The unspoken implication of the method Lach's evacuation will take hangs heavily in the air.

Being ignored does not help Lachlan's disposition any, and neither does being threatened. He turns a nasty sneer on Jack, lips curled back not unlike a snarling dog. "Yeah? Mebbe ye should teach yer /girl/ here 'bout manners, an' while yer at it, mebbe ye should teach 'er tha' when she makes a deal, she better fuckin' keep it. 'M sure she'll no' /like/ wha' I've got ta say 'bout 'er."

That's it. Telling someone you're close to in confidence is totally different than selling said information and putting someone in danger. Eliana pushes to her feet, sending the stool she was on sliding across the floor a few inches as she lunges forward in the same motion to grab Lachlan's shirtfront, her face twisted in a deep scowl. For once, Eliana uses the gas intentionally, letting the adrenaline take her heart and soar with it, the air around her quickly filling a thick, unseen cloud. "My manners are just fine, Haggis-breath." It's unlike Eliana to use ethnicity as an insult, but it just shows how riled up she is. Last nights events are still a potential factor, however. "And you're not sitting pretty in a little cell, now are you? Besides, even if you were, Olf Fool Jack here'd just go break you out. Even if this /is/ the first time he's ever thrown back a few with you." Eliana's Anger Bucket tends to spill.

"It's the second time," Jack protests weakly. This is all wrong. More than anything, he wants to run out of his own bar and hide. By God, Eliana can be terrifying when she's angry. Then he shakes his head and regains some of his composure. "Never mind that," he growls. "I /would/ help him, even if he is a complete /asshole./" Jack spares a moment to sneer at Lachlan. Irish/Scottish pub fight might not be far off, after all. "I hope if it were me who got locked up, you'd have the stones to lend a hand. I wouldn't hold my breath if there was any risk involved, though."

Maybe he didn't finish high school, but Lachlan's not an idiot. He knows what Eliana can do. The instant she jumps up from her stool, he gulps in a breath and holds it. He can't be gassed if he's not breathing the bad air. When he's grabbed, the Scotsman surges to his feet and steps back away from Eliana while simultaneously pushing against her shoulders, attempting to put some distance between himself and the woman. "Get the /fuck/ offa me!" he snaps. Jack, for the moment, is ignored. The Scotsman's well-being is in jeopardy and this takes priority.

Eliana staggers back some, but she lands on her stool with a soft growl-like grunt. Her eyes don't leave Lachlan for a moment, but her expression doesn't change much when she looks at Jack again. "I would, but you're /different/," she says, the sincerity of her tone lost in the cloud of anger (ah, irony!) around her. Even after all of this, Eliana still has feelings for Jack. "And I'd more than likely die doing it. You're just so hard-up for action, you're going in after a guy you don't even fucking /know./ Risking your /life/ for him." Lachlan has slipped back into nonexistence.

Uh oh. Mad as Jack might be at Eliana, he's not about to stand by idly while a larger, drunker Scot manhandles his lady. At least he thinks she's still his lady. In any case, nimble Jack has already set one foot on a low shelf behind the stool to increase his reach and cocked a fist behind his head, presumably to sock Lachlan, when Eliana's words penetrate through the fog of anger and drink that clouds his vision and judgement. They hit home, too. Jack's not used to sitting idly by and letting the answers come to him. Not only that, he /trusts/ Hiro. If Hiro says they need to rescue Peter, they need to rescue Peter. Turning his narrowed grey eyes back to Lach, Jack considers him for a long moment before lowering his fist. As good as a fight would feel right now, it would hardly serve a purpose. Besides, Lachlan isn't who he's really mad at, anyway. Damn women and their damn logic and damn sweet dispositions and damn boobs and damn tempers. Damn. Jack sighs, frustrated.

The moment he feels as though he's about to be attacked, Lachlan whips around to face Jack, raising his fists defensively. Oh, he's /more/ than ready for a good brawl, even if he's still healing from the last one — but the blow never lands. Damn it. The Scotsman glances between Eliana and Jack with a scowl, and then it dawns on him just what Eliana is talking about. Hey. She doesn't /want/ Jack to go off and be a hero? /Well/ then. Lachlan's sneer turns into a vicious little grin and he glances to the Irishman. "Hey," he grunts, jerking his head at the man, "ye say there's gonna be a lot o' action, aye? At this rescue thing ye were talkin' 'bout?"

At this rate, Eliana will fill the entire drinking area of the bar with at least a bit of the gas. Despite the fact that Jack's defensive gesture was, in it's way, noble, Lach's words send her over the edge. "Damned fools, the lot of you," she grumbles as she picks up her drink and storms off toward the back room.

"There is," Jack admits to Lachlan grudgingly. However, his attention is far more focused on Eliana. Her decision to play it safe on this one is like a wall thrust between them. He doesn't quite glare at her. If anything, his eyes are a little sad as he watches her leave. Jack's Irish. Occasional spats are to be expected.

/Precisely/ the reaction Lachlan was hoping for. Maybe his grin is also helped by the fact that he's starting to get a bit of a buzz from the gas he's been trying very hard not to inhale. But hey, a guy's gotta breathe /sometime/. The Scotsman settles on his stool once more, taking hold of the glass he left on the bar. "So tell me more," he utters with a bob of his head. And hey, Jack said Padfoot could come in. As soon as the door opens to admit the next customer, the Doberman will come trotting in and settle on his belly next to his master's stool.

Finding the door open, Eliana wrenches it open and walks through, making sure that it slams good and hard behind her. Stupid door. Stupid Lachlan. Stupid Jack.

This sudden change of attitude in Lachlan is enough to make Jack mighty suspicious. Reluctantly, he tears his gaze away from the 'PRIVATE' sign on the now-closed back door. At least he'll probably get another chance to talk with Eliana before she splits. "I'm not so sure I feel like tellin' you now, you cheeky little fuck." Jack crosses his arms and fixes Lachlan with a level stare.

Such /temper/. Lachlan shrugs in an offhanded manner, palms turning up briefly and lower lip jutting out a moment. "Ye want m'help 'r no'?" he questions. "Yer the one tha' called me, lad." He scoots his empty glass forward invitingly, ignoring the back room door. "This Company place got dogs?"

That thought is enough to pause Jack's mental reel of beating Lachlan and throwing him into the street. Have another drink. That always helps with solidarity, after all. Lifting the nearly depleted bottle of Glen Moray, he splits its contents between his glass and Lachlan's. "They probably do," he admits. "That's why I called you in the first place. That, and I figured you wouldn't be able to turn down a good fight."

That gets a big broad grin from Lachlan (the scotch helps). "Do love a good figh'," he chuckles. He likes it /more/ when he's actually getting something out of it — which he is /now/, on some level. Yes, he's quite satisfied with these terms. It's almost better than selling Eliana out. He takes a healthy gulp from his glass before clearing his throat softly. "When's it all goin' down, then? An' where?"

"First we try, then we trust. We've got a couple of days for me to decide if I feel like dragging you along." Despite his words, Jack seems relieved. Not only is he probably not going to have to fight Lachlan tonight,(which is a pity in its own way) but he may be able to justify dragging the other man along, after all.

Shrug. Lachlan knocks back the rest of his drink and pushes the glass forward once again. "Fair 'nough. Wha' d'ye want from me?" The Scotsman's pretty much made up his mind about this thing. He'll do whatever he needs to do in order to be part of it.

"Honestly, I don't know yet. For now, let's just get shit-faced, yes?" Grinning, Jack reaches under the bar and produces an unopened bottle of Moray. He breaks the seal, pops the cork, and pours another liberal dose for the both of them. A voice in his head whispers that he probably shouldn't get roaring drunk before trying to talk to Eli, but it's mercifully quiet compared to his desire for drink.

If getting drunk is the only thing Lachlan needs to do right now, then he's /more/ than happy to do it. "Well a'righ', then!" he laughs, grinning broadly and slapping the bar top jovially. But more questions, because the Scotsman is just /full/ of them. After the scotch is poured and he takes another shot, he shakes his head with a sigh. "So how long ye been fuckin' 'er?" The question is delivered with a jerk of his head toward the back room.

Jack peers down into his glass and lets out a sigh of his own. "A couple weeks," he replies. "But I'm mighty fond of her. She's a good woman, even if she can be a thick-headed strumpet sometimes." Lifting an empty glass, Jack very nearly throws it at the back door. Then, at the last second, he sets it down gently. Scowling, he admits, "She's right, you know. When the fun starts, we'll be trying to spring a young man I've never met from a cell in a place I've never been to. I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't going along with it just to dent some head."

"Wha's wrong with tha'?" grunts Lachlan, who would shoot an obscene gesture at the door if he hadn't witnessed Jack's protectiveness of the woman behind it. He's not stupid — usually. "Way I figure, tha's a good bloody reason." And then he grins. "Couple weeks, eh? Fuck, she's got 'er claws /righ' deep/ in ye." Taunt taunt taunt. This is Lachlan being a hypocrite.

"Bastard," Jack jibes back half-heartedly as he reaches out to jab a finger into Lachlan's chest. "You're right, though. I'd do damn near anything for that girl. And as much as I do want to dent some heads, I'm more concerned about the boy who's being held against his will. It just isn't right." He quaffs another generous drink and takes a deep breath. Freedom, after all, is the right that's to be most prized. Taking it away is unthinkable.

Pffff, nobility. Lachlan has no such thing, really. His grin grows when he's jabbed, and he leans slightly away from Jack, raising his hands peaceably. "Yeah, yer bloody whipped, lad. 'S a righ' shame ta watch." More good-natured ribbing. He leans his elbows on the bar again and drains his glass once more. Ahhh, scotch. "Nah, s'no' fun ta be locked up, can tell ye tha'." He's had more than his fair share of jail time. He's never enjoyed it.

For a moment, Jack looks on the verge of being offended by Lachlan's teasing. Then he gives a minute shrug. What's the point, after all? "If you'd tasted that, you'd be just as eager for a whippin' as I am, boyo." He grins and tips Lach a roguish wink. "Anyway.. I've got people I answer to. If you really want in, I'll see what they think." Sure, 'people' and 'they' are French for 'Hiro,' but Jack still feels like it'd be wise to ask first.

"There's no' a woman on this planet's worth tha'." Another jerk of his head toward the back room and Lachlan grins. Then, he raises a hand to point at Jack — or, well, somewhere in the /vicinity/ of Jack. His aim's not quite what it was when he walked into the pub. "Ye talk ta whoever ye gotta talk ta. Ye've got m'number, ye can call me whenever." Then, he grows somber, sitting up tall. "Yer a good man, Jack," he states. Yeah, anyone who gives Lachlan free scotch is a good man.

"I used to think the same. But you know, she's worth it," Jack muses. Despite his amazing constitution, he too is feeling the effect of a great deal of drink. Shaking his head, he brings himself back to the theoretically more pertinent topic. "Anyway.. Yeah. Talk. Call. All that makes sense. Should be a rousin' good fight from what I hear."

"Tha's grand, grand." Lachlan bobs his head agreeably, but all the talk about worthwhile women has got him thinking (shocking as it may seem). Since conversation seems to have run its course here, the Scotsman slaps the bar again and rises to his feet. "Lemme know, then. Ye take care o' yerself— " he glances at the door to the back room, then at Jack with another grin "— an' dunna let 'er get the better o' ye." With a wink, he turns and sets off for the door, Padfoot trotting alongside. The Scotsman's not drunk enough to forget to dip and pick up the end of the Doberman's leash before he heads out into the night.

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