Nathan's fully recovered, well, as fully recovered as he needs to be to get back to work. The cuts and bruises have mostly healed, and he can walk without pain. His shoulder's a little touchy, but as long as he makes no sudden movements it'll do.
It's time and past that he's back behind the bar. He's missed being here, missed chatting with the staff and customers, worried that Mike might not be able to keep up... He's heard whispers of confirmation on that last in the short time he's been back, and has vowed to himself to work with Mike. Can't have The Fury's reputation shot to hell because a barkeep can't mix a proper cocktail. Might seem to be a minor thing with all the other troubles in the air, but it's the only one he can do anything about, so he will.
The joint's really jumpin' tonight. Card tables full, dance floor fuller, sounds of music and conversation fill the air. Yeah, he's missed being here, and the smile on his face as he greets his next customer shows just how happy he is to be back.
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.
Nathan takes another drag on his cigarette, the one provided by Det. Walsh, using the opportunity to give thanks the man had been in tonight. He'd not had much contact with the detective before, tended to keep to himself which Nathan respected, but what he'd seen tonight, he'd liked. And not just because he'd kept them all from being hauled downtown. Turns out, 'Sandy' has a rather quirky sense of humor, and Nathan likes that in a person.
Shaking himself out of his reverie, he turns to the bouncers, sending Rob off in search of Scott and setting the other two to righting the tables and chairs, before joining Kate and Bren.
"Let's see about cleaning this joint up some, shall we."
( Tic, tac, toe, let's see who's made detective here. )
"We have orders to bring the staff in," Officer Soontobewrinkled retorts. "Orders from a detective."
Oh. That complicates matters. But it's nothing Aidan can't deal with and he knows for a fact (or hopes with all his heart, anyway) that there will be a lot of gratitude down the line for the hushed conversation he's now having with the officer. Well, there will be a lot of gratitude if Roth doesn't just decide to cut off his hands for having let this happen in the first place. Could go either way.
He finally talks the officer around and looks at the people that have been rounded up. That one, the bartender, in conversation with the pretty singer and the funny kid, but the barkeep's probably the most trustworthy one and Aidan heads for him, gait relaxed. "Word in private." Not a question, but a statement.
Bren's a high strung person at the best of times. These are not the best of times. He's all but jittering, hands wrung together. He still has on his stage makeup, of course, he hadn't even gone on yet, but he's taken off his tie, his hat is long gone and he's pacing like he can't sit still. He can't. Brendon's balled out and scared.
He'd been on his own for a while, but dealing with the fuzz in a business way was new to him and he wasn't dealing well.
He was actually quiet.
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.
It was early in the day, enough that the Fury was mostly empty.
Early enough that Bren was practicing on stage, tap dancing across the stage absently.
After a terse phone call from Scott just forty minutes ago, Nathan's at The Fury hours earlier than usual, with good reason. Seems someone absconded with their latest shipment of booze, and Scott wants to know the exact amount of hooch they still have available. With good reason.
Oh, not that they don't have a goodly amount on hand - as Nathan counts off each of the bottles in the cellar, he marks it on his inventory sheet, which he'll turn in to Scott as soon as he finishes - but if something happens to the shipment tomorrow night? Getting through the weekend is going to be a challenge.
Watering down the drinks is out of the question. One of the reasons their customers keep coming back is that they know they can trust the quality of their drinks. Change that, and soon you're on a downward spiral of lost business, closed doors, and joblessness. Not to mention regular encounters with the more unsavory aspects of life in Towertown. So skimping is out of the question.
As is a change in hours, or any other solution he can come up with. Which makes him extremely glad he's not the one who has to decide these things. He'll just do what Scott tells him to. Like getting on with this inventory so Scott knows how the situation stands.
He rubs his eyes, and gets back to counting bottles.
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?"
Tricia doesn't come here much at all anymore. A few years back she
would have been called a regular, but life takes you places, and her
life has definitely been taking her a lot of places. Not that she's
complaining, not one bit.
Still, it's nice to be home, which is what Chicago is, home away from
home. Her first real freedoms were found in this city, and a lot of
them she used to exercise at the Fury. It's good to be back.
The bouncer remembers her; it's always nice to know she's made an
impression. Might just be that even here, you don't see that many five
foot ten blondes riding Harleys, but she doesn't mind that either. She
smiles at him on her way in, and keeps smiling on her way down, but
not at anyone. Not unless you're going to think of the Fury as
someone. Tempting, when it feels so alive. Vibrant. Vibrant with the
sound of the piano, the rumble of conversation, and she's hoping that
John is up for a set soon; she hasn't heard him in too long. If he's
even still here.
She spots a free stool at the end of the bar, and who is she to refuse
that perfect location. She can relax, enjoy a drink, and bask in the
memories as she surveys the room. There's a bit of nostalgy from the
time she used to spend here, the life she used to have here, but it
ain't a bad thing. She tilts her fedora back a little, shrugs out of
her trenchcoat and wraps it on the arm of the barstool. Now she'll
just have to wait for the bartender to head over her way, and her eyes
are scanning the crowd to check for familiar faces.
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.
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?"