The club's closed during the daytime. It gives the staff a chance to get the place set for the night, keep it secure, and means there's a secure rehearsal space.
Sometimes it means there's a place for John to entertain favored guests during the day, but not right now. Right now, he's off that kind of duty, and it's making him all kinds of antsy. That's what's got him down there when it's barely past noon, sitting at the piano, working through a new number.
Sure would be easier if they'd got a regular piano player. He's not sure what happened to Jimmy, but he's got suspicions that it involves the dame he'd been carrying a torch for, a couple deep games, and a short trip to the big house. Either way, it leaves John picking out a melody he half knows of a duet he'll half sing.
When the door swings open behind him, he swivels on the stool, abandoning the keyboard. "This ever gonna work, you think, or am I wasting my time here?"
Two days since the raid, and the doors reopen. There's little sign that the police were ever here, except as customers, and the bar's freshly stocked with the hooch delivered safely from the dock.
Nathan's still home, recovering, but Mike's behind the bar, a capable replacement, kept busy serving the steady stream eager to return to The Fury after a weekend's closure. The band's playing, the dancefloor's full, and the staff are busy.
John's on stage for his opening set, waiting for the cue to sound for Zeta to join him for handover, and everything's as it was a week ago.
Back in business, and ain't it grand. Let the good times roll.
He can't go to Scott's place. That's a stupid move, risks revealing Scott's address, and confirms the strong (and accurate) rumors about their relationship beyond business. Going to the club...yeah, it's stupid, but it's less stupid. At least, less stupid since Aidan's message got passed on.
So John goes to The Fury. Keys still in his pocket, going in through one of the back entrances very few people, even staff, know about, and making his way through to front of house. Very, very careful. Tread light, touch nothing. Someone's done some cleanup work, but there's still a fair amount to be done before they can open to the public again.
Primarily, getting Aidan his money for distribution.
It's just a day since the raid. John's not heard from Mr. Palin, but he's not expected to. After a raid, everyone goes to ground. And after that, going back to the club's a fool's move.
He's got to get news somewhere, though. Somewhere neutral. Somewhere that doesn't involve going to the Fury, contacting James, or exposing Scott. That's why the next morning (late morning) finds him at Rosa's, lingering over a plate of eggs and a mug of coffee strong enough to bend the spoon that's resting in it after stirring in more sugar than most people would stomach.
When someone slides into the booth next to him, he doesn't look up at first. Just raises his hand for Mitzy's attention, nods, and waves at his companion. "Put it on my tab."
Zeta's done what any self-respecting girl would do when the coppers raid a joint: She's hidden herself neatly away in a broom closet down by the dressing rooms.
She waits until the sounds of chaos have drifted away and sneaks a peek through the barely-opened door just as she hears footsteps. She's about to pull it shut again when she recognizes who it is.
"Pssst. John!" she whispers to get his attention.
John's busy, sure, but that doesn't mean that he's not aware of the sudden noise of movement outside in the corridor - and neither's his guest. Twisting free, he grabs for the key, unlocks the door, sees the commotion - and yeah, there's not many things to cause that scale of panic.
He makes sure the client's dressed and safely out, then heads back - stupid, maybe, but Scott's probably still in there and he wants to know what the hell's going on - so grabs for the nearest person, catching them by the arm, and pulling them against the wall out of the path of folk running by.
"What's the story?" he demands, without preamble, and completely ignoring the fact that he's only wearing pants, suspenders hanging loose around his hips. No shoes, no shirt. It's not a time to hang around worrying about modesty.
Tonight, Tricia is determined to leave her curiosity at the door. It's a professional weakness not to want to incriminate the Fury in her investigation, but she can't help it.
Tonight, she's going to relax. She dances to a few tunes, then joins a card game. You rarely get sharped on at the Fury, and when you do you can be sure that the unfortunate soul won't be doing it again, not here.
The game progresses nicely until the hick that's been losing since the beginning decides that it's her fault rather than that of his bad luck and poor decisions. Alcohol makes him much louder than necessary and she starts to wonder, during a particularly loud and insulting tirade of his, whether he'll be stupid enough to raise a hand against her. That would be sure to get him the Broderick from a bouncer.
She's not afraid; the Fury looks out for its customers. She's annoyed, though, quickly growing into irritated and then plain angry, and she stands up, leans close to the palooka, and quietly hisses, "The only reason you've been losing is because you're a fool, and a drunken fool at that. I don't sharp, and nobody would need to cheat to beat you at cards."
The guy obviously doesn't take that kindly and shoots to his feet, nearly foaming at the mouth. "Ain't nobody calls me drunk, roundheels."
That's when somebody steps in.
Tim hasn't had time to come into The Fury in a while, his boss has been keeping him busy playing messenger boy, which although Tim does it. It's not his favorite job. Too many pissing contests which require him to keep his temper and use words instead of bullets or fists.
Despite the fact that he threatened Daniel, Tim knows that there's almost no chance he'll ever get an order to take the man down. Daniel's good and it would create waves and disrupt business and in this case? Waves were bad.
He's looking forward to a relaxing night off, gets a drink and finds an empty table. Tim lights a cigarette and exhales slowly, eyes gazing around the room checking for trouble before he relaxes a little.
It's been a long night.
Not physically long - the hours are the same as ever, set list same length, still the same stragglers left to be hoarded out at the end of the night for closedown, but it's harder to keep the facade up when the knowledge of the stiff from earlier's haunting the back of his brain. Which makes it a relief to shoot the bolt on the door behind the last customer, kiss the final performers goodnight and usher them out the back, then head down to the hall for a last check.
It's not quite empty. John's not seen Mr. Gill since the afternoon, but he's positive that Mr. Gill's still in the club. Probably in the office with the firmly closed door.
Nathan's still there, too, and John heads across to the bar, sits down heavily on a stool, and rests folded arms on the polished wood. "Hell of a night, huh?"
Bobby sits, in the dark, feeling slightly woozy. He thinks he was at an apartment somewhere downtown, but can't remember how he got from there to here. Although the blond in the bed might have some recollection. Somehow he doesn't want to wake her up, as he has a strong memory of a very annoying nasal whine issuing from her mouth. Just another dumb chippy he'll have to get rid of sometime later. And of course he's wide awake, even if certain parts of his body feel half-asleep. Must be the snow. Or that stuff they were smoking. Or the gin, gin always makes him unable to get some shut-eye.
You know what will make him feel better? Talking to a pal. That's always swell. A compadre, a fellow gossip, a lover of wine, women and song.
Well, wine and song at least.
It takes him a little while to find the phone under the bed, how did it get there? and Bobby rubs his eye with two fingers, stretching his face in a yawn and then shaking it abruptly to help him focus on the numbers. Round and round his fingers go, and his eyes follow them before remembering he's not alone, and so with effort, he picks himself up off the floor and struggles over to the window sill, his shirt undone and trousers loosely buttoned, rooting about for a deck he knows he has in his pockets and lighting up, blowing smoke out the window.
"So ya know, I was thinkin'," he starts as soon as he hears John's slightly irritated voice on the line, "you an' me, we could make a killing selling your memoirs. All those people, the dames, the daisies, all under a nom de plume, of course, we couldn't draw attention to you that much, but all the intimacies, the whispers in the dark, the looks, the touches. Hey, and if you wanted we could make some of it up, heck, I do for god's sake, some of the time, and I'm sure you must do otherwise you're the busiest boy in town." He pauses for a tiny moment. "Are you busy now, John? Cos if you are, I can ring back, later, maybe, or come in this evening, I can do that if you'd rather, but you know, I'm sat here thinking about the fact I can't even remember how we met the first time apart from your smile and the way you flipped me a quarter for a drink, that was impressive, I gotta tell ya."
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."
It's so late, it probably classes as early in most people's lives. John's life isn't like most people's, and he's just had a very forceful reminder of that.
It's a trade he makes. Willingly. Protection and security for his talent to entertain, his ability to charm, his quick wits.
It's his body that's been on loan this evening. Someone Mr. Gill can't afford to offend. Needs to please. Someone who doesn't have any complex or even particularly unpleasant demands, and physically, it's no trouble for John to accommodate him. Emotionally, it adds another smut to the tarnish coating what used to be his idealism. Long lost, but he's still in the showers behind the dressing rooms, hoping the rapidly cooling dribble of water is going to be enough to clean off the physical effects.
Anything else is three Hail Marys and more time on sore knees.
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.
Brendon chews on his pencil, leaving teeth marks in the wood as he reads through what he'd written earlier. He's not even really dressed yet, bracers holding his loose trousers on over his undershirt. His hair's sticking up on one side and he has a trace of raspberry lipstick smudged across his lower lip; he's gotten distracted mid-way through getting ready. He mouthes the words, shifting on the stage to curl his feet under him comfortably. He's still working on this piece, the phrasing isn't flowing right, it isn't funny, it's not fun. Usually he wouldn't overly concern himself, he would just let it flow on stage. But he's tried this on stage already and it flopped. He hates failing on stage, not getting a laugh for twelve solid seconds.
Brendon switches some words around, changes the inflections in his head before trying it again, voice flamboyant, outrageous, obviously an affectation. He takes a deep breath before saying in a more normal tone, his real voice, though it's quiet; he's only talking to himself.
"Now, am I subtle or clever with this?" He chews his bottom lip, looking as young as he actually is, "Or do I sound like a complete punk?"
He spins around to call out into the room, at the others getting ready for the patrons who'd be there soon, "Hey! Do I sound like a punk?"
It's a quiet night. It's always a quiet night at this time. Before the club opens, after the stores close, after the office workers have gone to their safe little homes and before the nightowls hit the streets. It's quiet, and some people would love that, but for John, it's just the start of his day.
( Some people start earlier )
Hands shoved into his pockets, John saunters down the stairs, past the gaming tables and over to the bar, one foot resting against it as he leans against one of the barstools. "Open for business, Fillion?"