|Jocelyn Klaes || Hel (tohelandback) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-07-12 18:38:00
|Entry tags:||fenrir, hel|
And I guess I'm still pretty angry
Who: Abel and Jocelyn
What: Jocelyn decides to drown her anger
Where: A bar, far from all the festivities
When: (backdated like woah) Sunday, June 11th, early evening
If asked, Jocelyn would admit that she wasn’t normally the one to frequent dingy, hole-in-the-wall dives. Back in Toronto, she had often gone out clubbing at whatever trendy new dance club or bar was hot with the entertainment crowd, since dancing was a good way to blow off steam and see and be seen.
She also wasn’t much of a drinker. Sure, she kept a carafe of sangria in the fridge during the summer, and she was known to have a drink when out for dinner more often than not - but she wasn’t the type of person to sit down at a bar, and start working her way through a bottle of Canadian whisky with dogged determination, one shot at a time.
And yet...here she was.
By the time she had returned to her apartment from Nishka’s after their argument, she had already felt shitty about the whole thing. It took all her willpower not to turn around and go back to apologize right away, but she hadn’t been ready to face her friend, who had every reason to still be angry. Long experience had taught her that she needed to give Nishka time to cool down. So she had waited, and gone this morning to apologize, only to see Jen and Nishka leaving for the Pride Parade.
Jocelyn had chewed on that a bit - first frustrated, then angry that her friend would blow her off from plans that had been set for a week, only to turn around and go somewhere with her girlfriend on the spur of the moment. If Nish was looking for a place to not be around people, the middle of one of the country’s biggest parades was a fantastic option. Finally, she decided she needed a drink, and preferably somewhere where she wasn’t likely to have an awkward run-in with Nish and Jen.
Which is how she found herself here, in a nearly empty bar miles from most of the festivities, trying to drown her unhappiness. She waved the bartender over for another shot, and sat staring into the honey-gold liquid.
The seat next to her suddenly filled with a body, who raised a hand and waved a quietly spoken order at the bartender, before turning its attention to her.
"You know, that's a quick way to lose a liver," Abel chided, his words brighter and more chipper than they should have been in light of recent events at the Pax Letale apartment complex. He smiled at the bartender as his drink was delivered to him -- a beer, paltry in light of Jocelyn's chosen alcohol -- wrapping a hand around the cold bottle. He sipped before he spoke again. "Someone piss you off?"
Jocelyn downed the newest shot, and signalled for a refill. “I don’t see how that’s any of your business, Mr. Parrish,” she said. It was likely only the deceptive courage brought on by excessive alcohol consumption, but for the moment she showed none of the prey-like fear from their last encounter.
Her bite only seemed to delight him, for some reason Abel's inner mind immediately began to puzzle over. "It's not," he agreed, putting the beer bottle down on the counter in front of him between both hands, leaning forward on his elbows as he remained turned in her direction. "But I hear it's how you get to know other people. Showing interest, asking questions. Though, I'll grant you, most people wallowing in whiskey aren't usually looking for conversation, but you are in a public place..." He shrugged. "And I've been told I'm not a half-bad listener. Try me."
The bartender came over to refill Jocelyn’s glass, and she slid a hundred dollar note across the counter. “Why don’t you just leave the rest of that here,” she suggested to the man, who nodded and set the bottle down.
She half-turned to look at Abel. “Considering I’m in what’s gotta be the only empty bar in Los Angeles on Pride weekend, I think I did a damn fine job finding a place to ‘wallow’ where I wouldn’t be bothered.” She drank, then set the shot glass down. “I’m here because I’m hiding - what’s your excuse? I can’t imagine this is your usual haunt.”
Abel shrugged. "I'm not a big fan of the Pride festivities," he admitted without shame, though he followed that admission up with more context. "Moreso, I'm not a fan of the tourists. Even down here in Newport Beach we get too many of them, and they just clog the roads and anything interesting there is to be had. So, sorry that your hiding place got spoiled, but I think you would've been better off staying in... Are you even staying in Pax, now, or is Nish still lording the power of rent control over you?" His tone remained teasing, his eyes dancing a little as he waited for Jocelyn's reply.
“You know, you’d think that, but it turns out…” she wavered a little in her seat, as the effects of the whisky started to catch up with her. She raised one finger, and took a deep breath. “It turns out...that if I stayed in my apartment, she’d know where to find me. And since I needed have a drink or three, I needed…” Another pause. “I needed to find a place where I wouldn’t run into her.”
A nod followed the admission, a small 'ah' of realization escaping Abel's lips before he took another swig of his beer.
"You know, they say friends make the worst roommates and coworkers. I know the latter is definitely true," he lied easily, never having had any close friends to really know the truth of that statement, "but I've been sadly lacking in the roommate department. What happened, she 'borrow' some of your clothes without asking?" The last bit was said teasingly, perhaps a touch too mockingly so; but there was no real malice in the words, despite what they might seem.
Jocelyn snorted. “Like she could fit into them if she had.” Nishka had nearly a half-of foot of height on her, and a far more generous figure. Secretly, Jocelyn was jealous - between her height and her slight build, she was constantly being mistaken for being much younger than she really was. Hell, the bartender had carefully scrutinized her ID when she sat down at the bar tonight, certain that it must have been a forgery.
She was certainly making him work for it, wasn't she? He tipped his bottle into his mouth again, golden liquid filling his throat.
"Cat throw up? C'mon, clearly you wanna talk, and I'm giving you an open ear. You want me to go away, just say the word. Hints are for people who like games." Which he wouldn't discount himself from, but at the moment he was playing with only part of the deck.
Jocelyn topped off her shot glass, then turned in her seat to give Abel a long, considering look. She raised her shot in a half-sarcastic salute, then downed it. “Bullshit,” she replied, her voice commendably steady, her lip curling into a smirk. “I think that you do like games. And you know why I think that?” She set her glass on the bar with a loud clack, then continued on, not giving him a chance to reply. “Because if you didn’t, you’d have left me alone three shots ago, when I told you it wasn’t your business.”
His smile tempered a little, though didn't disappear completely; his face, though, grew a little darker.
"Excellent observation," he replied, trying to win some of his confidence back. He took another sip, his beer nearly empty. He nodded at the bartender. "So is that what we're going to play? A game? How many guesses do I get, then?"
Even though she had just downed a shot, she carefully poured another, to gain a moment to think before responding. She’d only encountered Abel Parrish once before, and it had not been among her fondest memories of her time since arriving at Pax. More importantly, Nishka apparently did know him better - well enough to warn her friend to stay away. So all things considered, she wasn’t sure exactly why she wasn’t trying to get away from this situation. Though she suspected it had a lot to do with the fact she wasn’t sure she was still sober enough to walk straight…
She sighed, and ran her index finger slowly around the rim of the shot glass.. “I could let you guess all night, t’ be honest...prob’ly be more interesting than real story, yeah?” She tilted the bottle towards him. “Y’ want any? I can have…” she gestured towards the bartender, “bring you a glass.”
The grin that unfolded over Abel's face was less than the malicious, playful look that he usually wore; instead, it seemed wholly genuine, or at least as close to it as he was able to come. Something about this girl, even after their less than auspicious first meeting, reminded him both of his sister and of the birds he used to catch in his grandmother's backyard; the fluttery little things he'd hold in his hands, struggling to get free until he broke their necks with little more than a finger in the right place. That wasn't to say he felt aggressive toward her; he'd not felt aggressive toward the fidgety little lives that he held between his palms. Merely curious.
He took another small drink, shaking his head. "I think at least one of us needs to be able to call a cab, don't you think?" He motioned at the bartender, asking for another beer. "But that doesn't mean I won't drink with you.
"So, guess number one -- assuming you don't know many other people in the building, other than Nish, so a new neighbor moved in and they're driving you crazy?"
“I am perfe’ly capable of calling my own cab,” Jocelyn insisted. She might be drunk, but she didn’t think she was drunk enough to completely ignore Nishka’s warning about this man. “And no, it’s not a new neighbor.”
"Mhm," Abel throatily replied, finishing his beer and accepting the second with a smile. "So someone already there. Back to square one, whose name is Nishka. She's not getting up to her old tricks again, is she? Not everyone's as into that kind of lifestyle, I imagine." He left the thought open ended, waiting to see what might emerge from his drunk companion's mouth.
Jocelyn raised an eyebrow, and downed the shot, albeit a bit more slowly than its brethren. “Like I give a shit if she’s got a girlfriend.” Truth, but there’s a slight emphasis to the last word that might be a hint of something more...interesting. “My degree is in theater, for chrissake - she’s not even close the first bi girl I’ve known.”
Abel shook his head, a frown crossing his lips.
"Not that," he replied. "I mean the drugs. You know about the drugs, right?"
She hesitated, shot glass still in hand. She’d realized that Nishka hadn’t exactly been the most...together after Heather died, and hindsight made it clear to her that her friend was probably doing...something. And she wouldn’t really be all that surprised if she had been using during her time living in Chicago, but…
Beer bottle swirling in hand, Abel shrugged. "Few months back. Word was all over the building, she'd overdosed -- suicide attempt, I think, though don't quote me on that -- and I think there were some other problems following. Heart trouble?" He took a sip of his beer. "Though I can't say I'm that great of a source, despite the fact that we're neighbors. Don't think she likes me, much." He almost sounded sorry for the fact, though he was merely making a passable attempt at emotion. He was never lacking for playmates when it came to his particular tastes.
“Oh, she absolutely loathes you,” Jocelyn agreed, refilling her shot glass. She thought about Abel’s revelation, and decided she would ask Nishka about it, once they were talking again. A thought occurred to her, and she peered at him through narrowed eyes. “You didn’t have anything to do with that, did you?” Nishka did have a bad track record when it came to men - not that Jocelyn could talk...
Abel laughed, a dark sound considering the topic of choice in their conversation.
"I think she'd like everyone to believe that," he said, sounding more honest than he was being. "Shortly beforehand, someone got a hold of her journal and spread it all over the apartment lobby. Was all taken down by the time I knew about any of it, but, easy to say, plenty of people in the complex were pretty upset with the things she'd written.
"So, no, I cannot take credit for that, even if I wanted to," he finished, sipping his beer again. "Why? What's she told you about me?"
“Just that you’re dangerous...” she drained the shot. “And that I should stay far away from you.” She tilted the shot glass at him. “As you can see, I’m not so great at following directions.”
He laughed again, this time a little more quietly. The beer bottle went to rest on the counter before him, as he leaned into it, his head always tilted in Jocelyn's direction.
"You don't think your friend can be a little...what's the word," he replied, his free hand swaying in the air as though that would recall the memory. "Dramatic? I mean, do I look dangerous to you?" Emaciated might have been a better word; tall, or willowy, but then again there was something around the edges that said there was more beneath the surface.
She looked him over carefully, glass still in hand.“You’re either dangerous, or a raging asshole. Haven’t quite decided which yet,” she replied with a shrug.
He chuckled again, hiding his laughter behind tipping his bottle into his mouth once more.
"A lot of people can be labeled raging assholes; I assume you've gotten the frigid bitch one once or twice. All women have," he retorted, clearly completely unfazed by her assessment. "But at least good on you for making your own decisions, and not letting someone else make them for you."
“Hmm, yes. Been called quite a bit worse than ‘frigid bitch’ t’ be honest.” She considered the bottle, then sighed. “Not since I moved here, though.”
"California is full of nicer people," he agreed, his head bobbing. He put his beer bottle between both hands. "At least, that's been my experience."
“Or at least, better actors,” she commented, somewhat cynically. She waved the bartender over and asked for a glass of water, while she fished her cell phone out of her purse and began to flip through the screens. “Then again, I haven’t exactly gotten out and about much since I’ve moved here…”
"Well, when you do, there's plenty to keep you occupied," Abel replied, watching Jocelyn's motions. Why he was being more tolerant of her than he had been anyone else was a complete mystery to him; probably for the best that she was about to take her leave, which would give him time to mull over the interaction. He did leave the conversation with one last barb.
"Sure you can dial in your address right?" He teased, smirking as he lifted the beer to his mouth once more.
She ignored his barb, though she tapped in her destination into the app quite a bit harder than was strictly necessary. She finished her glass of water and dismounted from the stool with only a minimum of swaying.
She glanced over at him. “Well, Mr. Parrish...I’d say it was a pleasure seeing you-” She grinned, almost wickedly. “But I think we both know better.” And with that, she slipped out the door to meet her cab.