It's late afternoon when Tim wanders into The Fury and bellies up to the bar. His gaze runs over the crowd as he waits for his drink, noting those he knows and cataloging those he doesn't. When his glass gets there, he takes a quick swallow and exhales slowly. He hears someone walking toward the bar and looks over before he turns so that his back is not to them.
John's not usually the first to arrive at The Fury.
It's not unknown, though. Coming down in the afternoon to open up, get some rehearsal time in. Sometimes audition a new act, if he's not had the chance (and he rarely does) to get over to whatever joint they're currently playing and size them up.
Today, he's got new numbers to work on for his own set. George and Ira have been busy bashing them out over in Tin Pan Alley, and he's got to keep the club up on the latest hottest music. Fascinating the rhythm might be, but it's a bitch to learn.
He turns down the alley to the club entrance, and stops. There's a shadowed heap by the doorway, old tarpaulin carelessly thrown or drawn over something. Someone. He can just pick out a hand protruding from under the tarp. Well, it's not the first time that some ossified bum's decided to sleep it off in their doorway.
This one doesn't respond to being kicked. Or shouted at.
Senses sharp, stomach heavy, John bends, peels back the tarp, and rocks back on his heels. No. This one's not going to respond to anything this side of the pearly gates again. This one's bitten the big one.
It's not a drunken hobo. This guy drinks - used to drink - in The Fury. Not every night, not often enough that John knows his name, but often enough to be recognizable. And now, he's been bumped off and left on the doorstep wrapped in a tarp.
Carefully, John folds the tarpaulin back over the corpse's face, covers the hand, and heads back to the main avenue, heading for the nearest public telephone booth. Requests a call be placed through to Mr. Gill, and doesn't fool himself there aren't a dozen taps on the line.
"Sir? I think you'd better come in to work. We've got a situation."
Nathan's standing behind the bar, sleeves of his white shirt rolled down and buttoned at the wrists, wiping down a glass as he surveys the room. It's a busy night, as usual, but at the moment no one's in need of a refill, so he's able to take a moment to listen, really listen, to Brendon's routine. He laughs along with the crowd when Brendon hits the punchline with just the right note. Looks like the time John took to help him out is paying off.
Placing the clean glass with the rest, he hangs the towel on its designated rack and wipes his hands on the apron he wears to protect his trousers before pulling his cigarettes out of his shirt pocket and tapping one out of the packet.