|nishka//loki (nishka) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-03-06 19:50:00
|Entry tags:||coyote, loki|
Raise your glass
Who: Chris & Nish.
What: Chris and Nish go out for celebratory drinks after Chris believes Nish's brainwashing is successful.
When: Friday night, after this thread.
Chris was the first one into the familiar location, directing himself and his companion -- one Nishka Bariss -- toward the same area they'd sat in the first time he'd taken her out for drinks. He felt good; none of his product was "mysteriously" missing, and Rodrigo had suddenly become an excellent employee, reporting in at all hours regarding all of his movements. Chris was so pleased with the job that Nish had done that he took her out for drinks that Friday.
"I hope you're ready to get sloshed," he remarked to his friend, flopping down into one of the cushioned, leather chairs provided by the establishment. He waved over a waiter. "You wanna see a menu, or you know what you want?"
She smiled and waved him over, already holding a drink in her hand. “You kidding? I started without you,” she joked. She held up her glass and looked at it with a dubious expression. “The waiter recommended whatever the hell this is...some kind of fruity girly drink, but I didn’t want to get drunk too fast,” she finished with a shrug, taking another sip through the straw. It was bright pink with fruit floating in it stuck to a parasol, because of course it was.
Chris arched a brow. "So it's more juice than alcohol? Because in my experience, those things are more dangerous than just taking straight shots. Alcohol hits you slower." He put in an order for his usual scotch, and looked back at Nish. His eyes carefully studied her face. "Something go well with the case? You're in an awfully chipper mood."
She smiled happily, playing with the straw in her glass. “I am,” she agreed. “I decided that the easiest way to get through it is to just not give a shit, and I’m much happier for it.”
’Chemical assistance aside, right?” she heard.
’Where have you been?’ she asked irritably.
’Suppressed,’ it replied in a scathing tone. She almost rolled her eyes, but caught herself before Chris thought it was at him.
Chris considered her for a moment longer, then shrugged. "You're not wrong," he agreed, one hand running fingers over the edge of the armrest. "Sometimes, detachment is the best medicine. How's it going, by the way? If you can talk about it." She shrugged, taking another long pull from her straw.
“Alright, I suppose. The guy still presses my murder button, but hopefully I won’t have to deal with him for much longer.” She looked up at him and then elaborated, “the pre-trial is on Monday. If I can get the State to take a deal, I’ll be done. If not, we get to pick a jury.” Which is so not what she wanted right now, and her expression showed it.
The waiter reappeared with his drink, which Chris gratefully accepted. Nish waved at the guy to bring her another girlie drink before he left.
"And do you think that's something they want to avoid?" He watched her as he took a slow pull from his own glass, the alcohol comfortably burning his mouth and throat.
She snorted in response. “I don't care what they want, I want to avoid it. A jury means a full trial, which means media, which means my name and face in the paper associated with that jackass.” She finished the drink in her hand and set it down on the table, pulling the fruit from the glass, pulling the cherry off and popping it in her mouth.
Chris's eyes rolled behind closed lids, his shoulders shrugging. He took another drink, the liquor making his muscles melt and his form sink deeper into his chair.
"So what else is going on in the world of Nish?" He tipped his glass in the woman's direction. "You can't be all work and no play. Makes for a dull girl."
Nish laughed, reaching up as the waiter came back with her new drink and winking at him in appreciation. “What, you're looking for an exposé on my social life?” she joked, taking a long drink from her straw. “I don't even know what's going on with me, why should anyone else?” The truth was, after last night she wasn't exactly sure where she and Rafe were. She'd kind of blown it when he came over for dinner and she was still so high he called her out on her new...habit. The night had ended in an an awkward place, and she hadn't had the nerve to call him yet.
Chris's head shook, a smile attempting to reassure. "No, just making conversation. Why, you got something to hide? Maybe we can puzzle it out together." He took another drink, pulling one lip over teeth. "Boys or girls?"
She grinned at him over the rim of her glass, toying with the straw again. “Boys,” she said, the fact that she’d used the plural not lost on her. “I’ve been seeing someone for a while now, but...well, things are getting complicated.”
’That’s one way of putting it,’ the voice taunted.
“He lives in our building, you might have seen him. Rafael?” A fond smile tugged at her lips, though it was slightly marred by what had happened between them last night.
The teasing excitement immediately drained from Chris's face; he tried to hide it under another drink, but the change in expression was too obvious to be utterly missed.
"I know of him," he replied, abruptly changing the topic. "Complicated... I know exactly what that's like. But there's gotta be other stuff going on in your life. Hobbies? Or do you only exist at Pax or the courthouse?" A wan smirk made an attempt to curve the side of his mouth, but it was a pale gesture.
“And bars,” she added with a smirk. “I’m really not that interesting, to be honest. Rafe has made my life a little more interesting, but I think now I have about as much ‘interesting’ as I can handle.” She took another long pull from her straw, the second drink disappearing faster than the first.
’Also, you hear voices and take drugs.’
We can't all be drug dealers, Chris mentally agreed, taking another long pull from his glass. Before he had an opportunity to ask another question, a third party intercepted the conversational ball.
"How're we doing over here? Everything all right?" Julian, clad in a pinstripe dress jacket over a button-up black, collared shirt with jeans and dress shoes hovered just a foot away from their table. He motioned to Chris's scotch. "Freshen that for you?"
Chris shrugged, downed the rest of his drink and offered the empty glass to the club owner. "Yeah, thanks. Do you, like, live here? Because I swear, you're always here..."
Julian just offered a wide smile to the semi-rude comment. "Business doesn't run itself. I'll be right back."
Chris waited until the man had left their vicinity before looking back to Nish. "Guy kinda creeps me out. Reminds me of Stephan somehow."
Nish watched the exchange between the two men with curiosity, her eyes moving between them as they talked and then following Julian back to the bar. “I know what you mean,” she said, not looking away from the waiter, watching as he went behind the bar to fill Chris’s order. “Every time I’m here alone he...hovers. All those other patrons to keep happy, but he keeps coming back to me. It’s weird.”
"Yeah I was...here with Daniel the other night, he was very overly friendly. Which, I guess, shouldn't be that weird for someone trying to make sure his guests are comfortable, but just..."
His voice faded as they could see Julian returning, holding Chris's freshened drink with a new napkin. He offered it to his seated patron, and Chris did not leave him waiting long. Julian waited, glancing between the two.
"I believe I saw you here during Valentine's Day," he said, smiling, nodding in Nish's direction. "Did you and that gentleman have a good time? It seemed like you'd really hit it off."
Nish’s eyes widened in horror, glancing between Julian and Chris before forcing her expression back into something a little more normal. “Uhh...not exactly,” she evaded, not elaborating on which of the questions she was answering. She went to take another drink from her straw, only to find she was holding a cup of ice. “Could you get me another, please? They’re very good.” Anything to get him away from her. Once he left she turned her eyes on Chris with a ‘what the hell’ expression. “See what I mean? Not. Appropriate.”
Seriously, Chris mouthed back at her, though his curiosity was piqued about Nish's Valentine's Day. He filed the thought away into the back of his mind, instead concentrating on his drink when Julian came back all too quickly.
"So that means you're both Pax residents, right?" Chris's brows shot up, but he looked unwilling to dignify the question with a response. Julian glanced between them, as jovial and friendly as ever.
Nish took her drink from Julian and sipped probably too much at once from the straw. She was getting a nice buzz, and along with the lingering effects of her earlier hit it was starting to give her a pleasant floating feeling, despite her racing heart. She met Chris’ eyes with a very subtle eye-roll and then nodded. “Yeah, that’s right,” she said, hoping to humour him until he went away. “Hey, do you have appetizers or something? I’m actually kinda hungry.” Anything to get the guy to walk away...
"We do, let me tell Samantha to bring over a menu," he offered, waving at a waitress who quickly supplied the requested item to her boss with a smile. Julian offered the tri-fold out toward Nish. "I was just curious -- how are you two enjoying your living arrangement? Some very odd rumors have been attached to that place over the years. It's always nice to get a firsthand account, if you don't mind me asking."
She skillfully hid her annoyance behind a forced smile and took the menu from him, shooting a dark look at Chris before opening it and glancing at the offerings. “It's no different than any other apartment I've lived at,” she lied smoothly, “why, what rumours?”
Julian shrugged. "Strange things happening at the building. If you don't know about them yet, I suppose they're nothing to worry about." His gaze slid toward Chris, who was all too happy to completely ignore him. It was at this point that the club's owner seemed to take a hint.
"But don't let me interrupt your evening any further. Please, if you need anything, let us know." His head dipped in a farewell bob, one hand pressed to his shirt, and then he was turning on his heel and departing.
"Why do I keep coming back to this place?" Chris murmured faintly aloud, draining his second glass of scotch nearly to the dregs.
Nish tossed the menu down on the seat next to her, slightly disappointed. She actually was hungry, but didn't want to do anything to encourage the owner to sidle back over to their table. Instead she took another drink, and then pulled a piece of pineapple from the skewer. “That was fuckin’ creepy,” she agreed, popping the fruit in her mouth and watching Julien’s progress as he headed back to the bar.
“Have you seen anything ‘strange’ in our building?” she asked, trying to sound playful but not quite getting there.
’Of course he has,’ she heard the voice gloat, ’and so have you.’
Chris shook his head; he hadn't seen anything strange, necessarily. "Not seen, no. I mean, I've had some weird dreams since moving in, but that's not exactly grounds for concern. Not in my book, anyway."
She paused, looking up at him, and before she could stop herself answered “me too…” She chewed on her lip a little and then leant forward. “What did you mean earlier, about the moon? You said something the other night, and I swear I had a flashback to a dream I had.” It was strange and a little nerve-wracking talking about this, because it sounded crazy even to her, but something told her she was right. The voice had insisted that they owed him, and that couldn't be a coincidence.
He was, perhaps unsurprisingly, slow to respond. He lifted his glass, only to be greeted by the sight and sound of ice tinkling against the edges. Chris put the empty drink on a nearby table.
"I had this dream the other night. Weirdest one I've ever had, by far. It was about this bird being chased by an eagle, and a coyote in the moon helped him out by throwing stars. Sounds like some Looney Tunes shit, right?" He did his best to keep an amused tone in his voice, but he watched Nish's face for sign of recognition.
As he spoke, flashes of the dream came back to her, and she could see it. The ground far beneath her, the texture of her feathers, the city drawing nearer in the distance. The panic. “It was a hawk,” she said without thinking. “The eagle, it was chasing a hawk.” She met his eyes, somewhere between triumphant and panicked.
Chris started to shake his head, then let out a barking laugh. "I can't believe this is happening again," he said. He leaned forward in his seat, sliding his ass up so that he could sit more properly. "So you remember it all? I...I kinda knew it was you, but it wasn't you, necessarily. There was just...something familiar about the bird. And I don't know about being a motherfucking coyote much less being in the moon, but..." He trailed off.
"Maybe they're pumping some laughing gas or something into our rooms at night, and Julian is part of the giant cabal sent to control us." The statement was meant more as a joke, but it felt all too serious the more the words left his brain and emerged from his mouth.
She laughed at his ridiculous theory, but she didn't think that's what it was.
’It's not a dream, Nish, it's memory. My memory.’ She frowned slightly, feeling like she was holding a handful of puzzle pieces that didn't fit together.
“Right,” she agreed with Chris, laughing dismissively, as if that's all she thought it was too. But then something he'd said caught her attention. “What do you mean ‘again’?” She'd had other dreams too, different ones. And then there were the nightmares.
Chris's face immediately adopted an 'oh shit' expression, as though he hadn't realized the earlier words that had slipped out of his mouth. He desperately wished he had another drink to prevent his answering, but instead one hand plucked aimlessly at the end of the armrest. He shrugged, trying to distract her.
"Nothing, just...it's not the first dream I've had. But this one was definitely weirder. And the fact that we shared it...is a cause for concern." He fell quiet for a moment, his eyes unfocused. He looked back to her, a calculating gleam in his eyes. "But you? You've only had the one?"
She didn’t push him, because she understood that sometimes dreams were better left in the dream world. Even as the thought occurred to her he asked the question, and she paused by taking another drink. “One good one,” she admitted. “Usually...well, it’s usually nightmares.” She never remembered them though, except for the panic and dread she always had when she woke up. “My mom used to say that dreams were memories of a past life. If that’s true...I mustn’t have been a very nice person.” She swallowed thickly, glancing away, because deep down she knew it was true.
Chris frowned. "That's one way of looking at it. A very depressed way of looking at it. But who knows. Weird dreams are nothing like, I dunno, hearing voices or something. I think that's the benchmark for thinking you're crazy."
Nish’s eyes shot up, catching his with a startled look, but then almost immediately softening into a smile. “Yeah,” she agreed with a half-hearted laugh. “I guess so.”
’Hear that? Guess you really are crazy,’ the voice taunted, laughing.
“You know what, I was thinking of getting some nachos...want to share?” she asked, deflecting.
"Yes," Chris replied immediately, glad for the change of topic. He scooted to the edge of his seat, lacing his hands together on the tabletop. "I'm starving. You're gonna get it with jalapenos, right? It's not really nachos without them."
She laughed at his immediate reaction, grateful that the previous subject was now safely dropped. “Absolutely. And olives...and chicken. I didn't actually have dinner. Maybe that's why I ordered these,” she said, holding up her half-empty glass. “Nutritional value.” She smirked and waved a waiter over, ordering a large plate of fully loaded deliciousness.