Cut 'Em Up

Ice House 
Last time she had come here, it had been on crutches, in a sling. She had worn that dumb tuxedo and more or less harassed the boozy millenials around her, spoiling for a fight to which she couldn't even follow through. Had seen that psychic chick barf up on a dance floor.

She was back again, because she liked the way the noise and smells and bodies occupied her space when something awful brewed in her heart. Instead of thinking, I should have bitten him, she could pick up a guy, or challenge him to a drinking contest he was bound to lose. Instead of bubbling up with boredom and hatred and loneliness, she could make somebody laugh, she could wrestle, she could see something new. It was some of the time a way to slow herself down and not do something worse, and sometimes a way to waste time, to avoid asking questions with answers she didn't want to hear. Such as what were you thinking. where are you going with this.

Anyway, she didn't put on the tux.

She did change, though, to a ratty t-shirt her arms bulged out of like pythons, the graphic in front half-worn away. A pair of tight jeans and, capriciously, some pointy black heels, something to keep the threat of bodily injury still well on the table. She had arrived feeling more comfortable than the last time, as if this was her bar, as if everyone knew her. She settled onto a stool in the largest, loudest room and began to put away shots of mid-shelf whiskey, doing the math in her head. How much would she have to spend, and how quickly would she need to drink, to have any fun at all tonight?


This wasn't exactly his scene in any sense, but wasn't that rather the point? He'd gotten into a comfortable rut as of late, and while he was never one to complain about that, there was the dangerous chance for boredom to come down the line and turn his head. And seeing as he rather liked his life as it was right now, letting off a little restlessness in a harmless manner was probably for the best.

So, goodbye for a moment, North Glenn. Sorry, not coming to see you at the moment Belle Vista. Cedar Creek was a fine neighbor he saw less of, but was still within the realms of reasonable choice, though the venue was a bit... well, youthful. Human, even. The Cage or the Gym might have been more to his speed, or maybe even stopping at the pack's brewery, but sometimes he just had to people watch. Human watching, really.

Them and all their thumping heartbeats as they drank and laughed and danced. This place was horribly loud and he almost hated it, but that was sort of what he wanted at the moment. Not everything needed to be sunshine and roses, right? Better to flash his teeth at a stranger than at a friend.

So as he'd wandered, warm from all the bodies that didn't seem to mind him one bit and the slight flush of alcohol he'd consumed in... not exactly sufficient quantities. Social drink was alright, but it worked better when you actually had someone you cared to socialize with. Mostly he'd lurked the wall, harried a few of the drunker ones, turned away a young lady who had obviously been... well, he didn't care enough to gauge exactly why she'd come onto him. But she'd been uninteresting, in the end.

And so where he'd expected he might encounter a wolf or two here, in Cedar Creek, what he'd not anticipated was the perfectly peculiar waft of hyena. Familiar, but not immediately so--it was only a few breaths into it as he'd gotten closer that he'd been able to put his finger on it. And by time he'd sorted out that short question, he was close enough to see her.

Well, why not? With music thundering in his skull and so many distractions about, he hardly considered the approach more than to drop his elbow onto the bar in the open spot next to her and give her a good look. Voice raised just enough to ask a fellow were, "You the only interesting one here?"

More and more, humans became less interesting. Further removed from it without his family, without Katya, he could only mind them for so long before he craved the presence of someone worth his while. If there was anyone like them in here other than the one he'd just found, maybe she'd know. Either way, it was good enough of a greeting, given the scene.

Her hyena senses had been kind of...extra-haywire the last day or so, although she attributed this only to the usual rise and pitch of wild feelings that were typical for a Pete. That Becky was grumbling and spinning did not seem out of the ordinary, even as Lee's face rose to the surface of her mind, or more accurately the smell of him.

Oily. A little stale.

She looked vaguely down at the line of shots before her, feeling the bear approach. Without looking up or even straightening her spine, she popped them back, one-two-the-only-interesting-one-three. Turned her blue-eyed head to appraise a model-handsome kind of man who looked like he was dressing far below his station, a politician posing for a photoshoot with a passel of roughnecks. Interesting!

She held his gaze for only a split second before moving again, sticking her finger in her mouth to suck distractedly at the rat bite that wouldn't heal. Looking past him, she could see two girls vying for the attention of some fetus-faced college boy who looked like he was in his element. Beyond them another infant whose hair was a masterwork of artistry, and who undoubtedly she would have fixed onto had she not been joined by other company. She could just imagine all the ways she could ruin that hair.

Anyway, though. Yogi the Senator had gotten here first. She leaned back and turned, removing the finger from her mouth and covering the bite with her thumb. "Unless you're bringing anything to the table, looks like it." A mean, crooked grin for her bar friend. A long, spiked foot kicked up to wedge against the vacant stool, her leg nudging at his middle. Welcome to the party, friend.

Perhaps it had just been the nature of his encounters recently, but there was something genuinely refreshing about getting close enough to confirm that she was not an actual child. Or weak in her metaphysical presence. Just about average, maybe a little more, and at that age where he couldn't have told you anything about when she might have been born other than to know for certain it hadn't been this century. Good enough for him.

Though she didn't answer straight away--and his own head turned just enough to more blindly scan the crowd, as if she might really find something interesting out there that he'd missed--she did ultimately seem to come to same conclusion he had. Humans were about as fun as he imagined a herd of chatty elk might be. You could entertain yourself with them for a bit, but in the end all you were doing was wondering how quick the rest would scatter if you just brought your paw down on the closest one.

Maybe all the noise was making him cranky.

So Levka instead chose to hear her out, huffing a little at her flash of insult, though taking it as something of a challenge. He was interesting, just you wait. Heedless of her leg, her foot, of his own personal space or hers, he backed himself up to sit on the edge of the formerly vacant barstool and titled his head at her, letting his own blue gaze go from her slightly odd but not unappealing face to the row of empty shot glasses.

"Managing anything with that, or do you just like the taste?"

He shoved her leg out of the way to sit down, and unconsciously the checks began to tally: she could push, he would shove. She liked to know that right away. Letting her legs dangle, she swayed analytically in her seat. "I'm workin' on it, but you're breaking my concentration." She shot a feral grin at him, her fingers quivering deviously above the surface of the bar. "I've got about ten minutes to work with to not waste 40 bucks, are you drinkin' or a peepin' Tom?"

Seriously, all jokes aside, the drinking had to happen now or she had just blown half a day's paycheck on nothing.

First impressions... favorable so far, but they could very quickly turn. He sort of wanted to like her because he wanted a reason to stay here and not give up and go sulking back home with little to show for the event. But well... that was up to her. Despite his shoving in here like he had some intent, ultimately he could not force himself to enjoy something he simply wouldn't.

Like, well, drinking for the sake of drinking. Especially straight alcohol, which she was currently doing. To him, this was the sort of behavior one went to when one was looking to torture himself. Punishment or trying to cripple himself from anything more stupid. But something about being otherwise labelled as nothing more than an idle bystander bothered him, so while he would have also maybe just loved watching her get drunk and trying to get her into trouble in his stead, he decided, what the hell.

"You sure that your forty dollars will be enough?" Already he was reaching inside of his denim jacket to find his wallet and his own card. He wasn't a bottomless pit of finances, but he did spend little on anything outside of food, and he could definitely afford to grease the wheels on Bad Decisions With a Hyena.

Peter's grin became more grin as he reached for his wallet, and she exhaled a low heh as she worked to flag down a bartender. "I'm forty dollars in, baby. Let's get a bottle. Want me to order you a white wine spritzer?"

Now the trick of this was to get it all in right away, and enjoy the limited time you had feeling swoopy and hilarious, and then eat four thousand burgers when you inevitably lost the high. A far cry from the glory days of human benders, but you worked with what you got. Pete drank economically, feeling the world begin to loosen at the seams, and studied her new friend between swallows.

He actually grimaced. No, no, no wine, nothing related to that here. Not without the proper company to make it enjoyable. There was precisely one person who had that particular sway on him, and this scavenger was not her by any stretch of the imagination. "Preference?" he asked, but ultimately he'd whistle the barkeep over to get them more for sharing than was reasonable for two normal people.

Levka wasn't precisely looking forward to this, but it was the social equivalent of rooting around in the sandbox to see if there really was anything worth holding onto. Wasn't going to hold his breath, but who knew? Life could be terribly surprising.

As they clearly weren't gearing up for sophisticated conversation over drinks, high alcohol content was key here. And frankly, once he got his own shot glass between his fingers, all he could do was stare at it a moment. Terrible idea? Terrible idea.

But he was all in for the moment as he downed it, committing to whatever this was.

He was insufficiently offended by her drink suggestion, and insufficiently interesting as he stared at his shot glass like it had the capacity to take him out. She had put away a startling amount of whiskey, blackout drunk amount, stomach pumped, but her helpful little virus played cleanup. Again she reached out a leg, digging it into the side of Yogi's stool and swiveling him slowly away from her. "I'm winning," she gloated quietly, taking the bottle and pouring them both another shot. "Do better, Tiger."

He thought to correct her with a swift 'not a tiger' but he had just put down another shot and was contending with the fact that she was messing with his seat, and so he didn't, instead snorting in cranky brands of frustration. "You call this winning? I was not aware we were racing to being dizzy," he said, but with this said over his shoulder to her he put his hand to the counter and twisted himself back around the long way.

Alright, alright. It was a stupid thing to get into contention about, but he rose to the peer pressure with all the grace of, well, a bear. "Fine, I will see if we cannot alarm the barman together."

Though she was doing that just fine on her own, he was sure. Still, he'd stop pacing himself. The click of glass on the counter a bit more frequent and he huffed several shots in. "Should have just asked for a real glass."

Shots were tedious!

Oh god, what a cranky old baby! She heh, heh'd as he fussed at her and wrestled back to face the bar. She blew an undignified raspberry at him, lacing her fingers together and flipping them palm-outward for a knuckle cracking stretch. "Two more, go go go." Her tone irritable, jokingly authoritative. "Gonna mop you off the floor after this. Did you really come down here to hang out with the Little People?"

She had meant, though it was impossible for him to know, that he really did look like a very rich person pretending to be working class. Vomit on that denim jacket would help, though.

He didn't even know why he was doing this, but that became less and less important with every terrible swallow of... what was this, some sort of whiskey? Having not cared enough when he'd ordered it, some people might have been more alarmed about ingesting what was essentially an unknown substance, but arguably there was little that could kill him even if this was more suspect than binge drinking hard liquor.

Took a shot, glowered at her out of the corner of his eye, mostly annoyed by her tone, but just the right overtone of... slightly amused by her. Some desire to push her off her stool surfaced, but was stilled in favor of picking up that second shot as she so demanded. Humor her, then he could mess with her, that was a plan!

It sounded more fun at the time, he thought in answer to her question, but it didn't quite make it past his filter. Not because he thought better of it--no, not that at all--but just because the path between brain and action was a little longer all of a sudden. Instead he commented sharply, "Did you already drink all of yours?"

Had he done one or two? He couldn't remember, so he poured himself a third.

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