|Cristobal Rodriguez ♦ Coyote (coyoti) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-03 08:57:00
|Entry tags:||coyote, loki|
yea that hair of a dog is howling hey there man,
Who: Nish & Chris.
What: Chris takes Nish out for drinks following their interview with his jailed associate.
When: Following this thread.
Notes: Completed gdoc!
Chris was only passingly familiar with CASKET, having heard of it through the same channels as any other club; why he'd picked it for this particular rendezvous he wasn't certain, but its atmosphere was quiet and welcoming in the middle of the day. He held the door for Nish to enter first, following behind her as he waited to see where she'd pick to sit -- the bar, or one of the tables scattered throughout the space to edge up next to the stage where local bands would play.
A lone bartender glanced up from wiping down the bar's counter, and a few other scattered patrons showed that they weren't the only ones to drink before 5 p.m.
"Maybe something more private?" Chris motioned to one of the small seating areas nearer to the far wall, directing them away from the bar and to the left of the entrance.
Nish followed Chris inside, surveying the interior for a moment with approval before heading towards a booth in the corner. She hadn’t had a chance to hit up any of the local bars since she’d moved, between unpacking and setting up her law practice, but now she resolved to spend more time checking them out.
She’d managed to get a little bit of work done after the meeting with Badger earlier that day, though her attention had been elsewhere. Paperwork was hard to focus on after a client meeting, and Jessica seemed a little impatient with all of the various tasks going undone. With a smile, she finally gave up and told her to go home early, vowing to be more productive tomorrow, before heading home to change out of her court clothes into something a little more casual.
She sat on the comfortable leather couch and crossed her legs, smiling as a waiter came by for their order. She checked her watch, noting that it was still early evening. “Damn, I need to be respectable, don’t I?” she mused aloud, grinning conspiratorially at the waiter. “I’ll have a rum and coke.”
"Scotch, neat," Chris replied after her, sinking into his own leather seat and waited until their server was gone from their midst to perk up any conversation. He folded his hands in front of him, elbows settled neatly on the chair's armrests. "So, what're his odds, Nish? It's OK to be blunt."
She raised an eyebrow; that wasn’t what she was expecting him to start with. “I meet with the District Attorney in the morning,” she said. It was part of what she wanted to go back to work to do, make the appointment. “I’ve met her before, and she’s fair. I think he’ll get his deal.” She may not even have to force her to swing it their way. She sighed, shifting in her seat to get more comfortable. “He’s just a kid; I doubt they want to run him through the system any more than you do.” It was a gamble at that age - a year in prison could scare them straight, or turn them into hardened criminals. She’s seen both.
Chris's head bobbed, acknowledging her words more than agreeing to them. "Community service, then? A slap on the wrist?"
She nodded, accepting her drink from the waiter once he came back and taking a sip. “Probably in combination with a fine. It’s better than time, right?” she added with a shrug. From the looks of him, Badger wouldn’t survive on the inside.
Chris took his drink, and set it on a nearby table, nodding more in response to Nish's comment than the waiter's quickly dissipating presence. "Much. Not to mention he hopefully won't be used to nose around my other business ventures." He knew Thomas was a good guy, but anyone could crack under the pressure. "So what's next? Lawsuits, another defense case? I imagine law work must be fairly exciting."
She took a deep breath and sighed slightly, thinking about how much she could say. “Well, as it is I’m doing mostly public defender work,” she admitted with a shrug. “Until I get more established here with clients of my own.” At the moment Chris was near the top of a very short list of those. “It can get a little formulaic,” she admitted with a slight nod, “but I do get some curveballs.”
He picked up his drink, taking a slow, small pull from it; the glass hovered in his hand as he looked back to her with true curiosity. "Where're you coming from?"
“Chicago,” she answered, then chuckled softly to herself. “This is my first winter with no snow. It’s hard to get used to.” She worried about summer. She had found it too warm as it was up north, what would it be like here?
Chris grinned, taking another sip and then balancing his drink on his chair's armrest. "California has snow, it just doesn't come to us. Chicago is nearly East Coast, though, it must've been a culture shock coming over here. You seem to be doing well enough, though?" She nodded, taking a sip of her drink, a wry smile on her lips that acknowledged just how different it was for her.
He swapped his drink from one hand to the other, overriding his earlier comments with another question. "Any particular reason you switched from one side of the country to the other? That's a, well, a big move."
Nish bit her lip, thinking about that. She’d moved...for a lot of reasons. None of which she was going to get into with a client. “It’s...complicated,” she finally answered, her half-smile saying everything she wouldn’t give voice to. Then, in a split-second decision, she threw it back on him. “I suppose about as complicated as what you do for a living.”
His tongue swirled inside his mouth, pushing out one cheek as he nodded. "Fair point. To be perfectly honest, I'm surprised you were so willing to take the case. Barely even asked any questions. But I guess this sort of thing is fairly normal in your line of work?"
“You could say that,” she nodded. “But to be honest, your case isn’t all that different that what gets dropped in my lap every day as a public defender. I’m just wondering,” she eyed him with a little more intensity, “how did you find me? I only just recently set up my practice outside the courthouse. I hadn’t even gotten around to advertising yet.”
Chris prolonged the silence before his answer with another pull from his glass -- the contents of which were disappearing perhaps a touch too quickly. "Connections. I heard about a new lawyer in the area with your skillset, figured you'd be an outside party without any preconceptions to slow things down. Makes my job easier, gets my guy out of the frying pan quicker, so to speak. I've lived around here my whole life, so you could say there isn't a whole lot that happens without my knowing about it." He quickly undermined the way he'd sold himself. "Of course, I'm not saying I'm omnipotent, but maybe the next best thing." The grin he shot her was toothy and wide, confident of its place on the food chain.
“My skillset or my neutrality?” she wondered aloud. She was aware that a lot of lawyers tended to lean on one side or the other, only taking clients who were obviously innocent, at least as far as they knew. She had no preconceptions in that area - everyone makes mistakes, and some people royally fuck up. But they all needed her help, and she’d help anyone who could afford her. Her own personal sense of morality didn’t always match up with the State’s, but it didn’t waver.
A smile tugged at her lips and she sipped her drink again. “Good to know.” It would be useful later, she was sure, if she ever needed dirt on someone to use in court. She slipped that tidbit in the back of her mind for later.
He swirled his glass in a small semi-circle, eyes never straying far. "So why California then? There are other places besides Chicago that are both not Chicago and more cold. You picked a very desert region to move to."
And the truth was, she really didn’t know. She’d asked herself that question many, many times since she got here, and always came up empty. She hadn’t really had a plan when she left Chicago, maybe to head back to Alaska to where her parents came from, but it seemed as if she blinked, and when she opened her eyes, she was here.
She shrugged instead, not revealing any of it. “I wanted to see if I could get Brad away from Angelina,” she smirked.
His brows climbed his forehead, and he smothered his smile in more Scotch. Chris licked his lips to clear them of any lingering traces of the alcohol, but before his next question could enter the fray, a third party introduced themselves.
"How's it going over here?" A tall, thin man with semi-slicked back black hair smiled through his goatee at them. "I'm Julian, owner, and I just wanted to check in that everything was going all right."
Nish looked up at the man and smiled pleasantly, tipping back the last of her drink. “Great,” she said. “Is this your place? You might want to set up a golden barstool for me right there, I’ll probably be here a lot,” she said, pointing vaguely at the bar with a grin.
Julian returned her grin with a wide one of his own. "We'll make a special nameplate and everything, though that's gonna be on top of your tab," he said with a wink. "If there's anything I can get you while I'm here...?"
Chris shook his head, glancing at Nish to see if she had anything to add. She shrugged and held up her glass of ice, “a refill?” she suggested. Julian's grin widened and he accepted her glass with a nod, mentioning that he'd return with it shortly. She watched him head back to the bar, her eyes not shifting off of him as she addressed Chris.
“So, you gonna tell me about your leg?” As far as she was concerned, it was new. And if he was being stalked by kneecappers, that was something she needed to know.
The inevitability of the question caused light frustration to color his face rather than surprise. He finished his scotch before finally offering up some explanation.
"Bad break when I was a kid," he lied confidently, so smoothly it was difficult to detect any falsehoods. "We didn't have good medical insurance back then, so it didn't heal properly. I wear a brace instead of using a cane. Why, you gonna make me a charity case? I don't mind saving a few dollars at the cost of my ego."
She laughed softly, “no, I just want to know if I need to put bars on my windows.” She knew what he did, and she knew that life wasn’t safe. For him, for his employees, or for his lawyer. “I need to minimise my risk as much as you do. I’m just being cautious.” She looked up as Julian came back over with her refill and smiled at him in thanks, watching him head back to the bar.
Chris handed off his own empty glass to the retreating bar owner, declining the offer of another. Once Julian was gone from their vicinity, he raised a hand with three fingers like a boy scout.
"I do solemnly swear that no one, that I know at least, will be ransacking your apartment," he quoted a little teasingly. Then he dropped his hand into his lap. "Seriously, though, I don't even know where you live...yet," he added as a caveat before Nish could interject. "But B&E's aren't really my thing. I make too much money to need to do that." Anymore anyway, he thought to himself, but it was unnecessary information for the party he was drinking with. "Anything else you need to know so you don't feel threatened by me? And I mean that in the most friendly manner."
She laughed at his mock salute, sipping her drink and relaxing back against the booth. “Well that's good to know,” she said, mirth in her eyes.
“As long as you don't try to seduce me to get cheaper rates, I think we're good,” she replied. Joking, but not. She didn't get involved with clients. Anymore. Too messy.
He nodded, smiling, arms folding back to fall onto the armrests as he settled into his chair. "Trust me, I don't like to mix business with pleasure, either. There are some things that just don't go together." He let his head settle back. "Anything else?"
She lifted an eyebrow and her glass in a mock toast. “Jobs to keep me in business,” she grinned. This looked like a very lucrative arrangement for her, and she was happy to have a client with a sense of humour for once. Now all she needed was twenty more like him and she was set.