10.10.3013: What's Your Poison?
Summary: Rook and Jane meet at the Blue Nirvana for drinks and conversation.
Date: 20 September 2013
Related: None
Ithaca Jane 

Blue Nirvana - Blue District, The Ring
Entering through the heavy wooden doors decorated with relief sculptures of flirtatious cherubs, visitors find themselves in the tiny waiting room. Only a single, plush red velvet bench sits in the small area, and the walls are covered with a darker, more rich red velvet. Opposite the wooden entry doors is the floor to ceiling black velvet curtain visitors must pass through to reach the main sanctum.

Once inside, light piano music fills the dimly lit air of The Blue Nirvana main sanctum. Unlike the cold steel found in so many other places on the Ring, the walls of the sanctum are covered in plush red velvet curtains and Arborenin cherry oak trim. Larger than the entryway would make outsiders believe, this main area is actually two stories tall, the lofted ceiling covered in similar Arborenin oak planks and golden trimmings that flow into several ornate crystal chandeliers that outstretch almost a dozen feet each. A grand piano sits at the far corner of the room, and various love seats and couches made of the same wood and crushed red velvet cushions rest in various positions for privacy or presentation. Across the back wall is a long bar, again fashioned from the Arborenin wood, where a bartender serves drinks from thousands of bottles, vials and containers lining the wall behind him. The space above the bar is a balcony stretching the entire length of the room, the upstairs wall lined with more heavy, fancy wooden doors that lead to the private chambers of business. The red carpeted staircase gently descends and curves towards the center of the room from the wall to the far right.

10 October 3013

Rook had sent a message to Jane about no longer needing lessons, but Jane had sent one back about still wanting to hang out, and maybe get Rook's opinion on her next film option. Rook isn't sure why her opinion would be worth anything, but she tells Jane she'll be at the Blue Nirvana, a brothel her brother works at. She's sitting at the bar, smoking a cigarette, and all the fancy clothes are gone. She's in a ratty, faded Hell If I Know shirt, with worn leather pants and an old, battered leather jacket. Her hair is still brown instead of back to that solid fake black, but it's mostly a tangled mess at this point. She has a bottle of beer in front of her.

Jane has visited her fair share of classy joints like the Nirvana, so her entrance is a muted affair. No fanfare, no pomp, no paparazzi - just the way she likes it. The redhead slips in through the door, closing it behind her and pausing to peer about at the day's clientele. She spots her quarry at the bar, and winds her way through toward an empty stool beside Rook.

"A whiskey, neat, and if I taste even a hint of water then it'll be on the house," she orders, settling onto her seat beside Rook. She glances sidelong to the woman and offers a crooked grin. "I like this look better, to be completely honest. While you looked dazzling in heels, you also looked like you hated it. Can I bum one?" She reaches out a hand for Ithaca's pack of smokes, but doesn't touch them unless given permission. "Not to be intentionally cliche, but — come here often?"

Rook slides the pack of cigarettes over to Jane, her expression a sort of blank neutral. "Didn't hate it," she says in a gravely tone indicating she hasn't been using her voice much lately. Or she's smoking a lot more. "Only second time here. Brother bartends," she informs the actress. She's no meeting anyone's eyes again, sucking in a deep drag off her cigarette before chasing it with some beer.

"Thanks." Jane flips open the pack and fishes out a smoke before sliding the box back toward Rook. She conjures up her own lighter from a pocket and lights her cigarette. After inhaling slowly and exhaling a stream of smoke, she looks again at Rook and squints, obviously studying the woman's profile. "You have a brother? You always struck me as the loner type. Is he working now? I should apologize if that's him." Her attention flits away for a second to look at the bartender who is sliding her whiskey over the counter with a dark expression of distaste. Clearly Jane has not made a good impression. "Is it bad that I was disappointed by your message? I think I like teaching."

"Half. Found me in August. Don't know him well," Rook admits. She shakes her head at the question of whether Lincoln is working at the moment, and flicks the ash from the end of her cigarette into an ashtray. "Sorry," she murmurs. "No reason anymore."

Jane stirs her whiskey a bit before tossing the little straw onto the counter and lifting her drink to her lips. She sips it testingly, and finding it undoctored, flashes the bartender an exaggerated grin. It earns her the briefest of smirks before the man turns away to answer another customer. "Oh, well, that's cool - right? Long lost family? I always wanted a brother, but mom only wanted one kid. It's kind of a crappy loneliness, no matter how many 'friends' you have."

Turning on her stool to face Rook now, Jane rests an elbow on the bar and props her cheek against her hand. "I'm really terrible at skirting issues when they're so obviously, and the 'wrongness' is practically oozing out of your pores. Did something happen? You can tell me to fuck off if I'm prying too much."

Rook's face goes pinched at the question, and she tips back her beer to drain a third of the bottle. "New girlfriend. Noble. Didn't need me anymore." She shrugs. There is a hollow look in her eyes, like she's compartmentalized all the pain, and feelings and just left herself numb.

"Oh, that. I thought — well, tabloid writers are full of shit anyway." Jane downs the rest of her whiskey and taps the empty glass on the counter to signal a refill. "Have another on me, then. I'm a few steps behind you still, on that subject, but it's this fear I keep tucked into the back of my mind - the whole 'when is he going to get his fill of me' thing. I do it to myself, though." She pauses, realizing this is probably not the most comforting train of thought, and decides to switch tracks. "Sorry to hear about that, Rook. I'd say all the important things like 'he's such a dickless wonder' and 'he's made the dumbest mistake of his life', but you've probably already said those things to yourself. So what will you do now? You have the freedom of your own untethered life stretching before you."

"I was stupid. Believed him. Trusted," Rook says quietly, and shakes her head. "Doesn't matter." She grimaces at Jane's question though. "Never been free. Still not." She shrugs. "No plans. No hopes. No dreams. Just repeating the days." She glances askance at the actress and asks, "So what movie?" Subject change.

Probably the wisest idea to change subjects. Jane has nothing left to say on the touchy topic, and so she exhales a quiet sigh of relief as Rook brings up the movie. The actress takes a moment to tip ash into a nearby tray before taking a drag. "Something that I think will be a little controversial about a Hostile who, after a run-in with a human, basically switches sides. Like she decides the Hostile mission is misguided or maybe she finds her sense of humanity. I don't know all the deets. I read the script and liked it, but haven't spoken with the creatives yet. Need to audition still. Not sure if I'd make a good Hostile, though. What do you think?"

"Cut your hair. Blue lenses. Look just like the captive one," Rook notes. That indicates that the citizen has actually seen the captured Hostile. Strange. She takes another deep drag off her cigarette before she adds, "When you audition, make it about free will. Choice."

To say that Jane is astonished is an understatement. Her mouth gapes open and her cigarette drops into her fresh glass of whiskey. "Fuck," she mutters, dusting ash off her scanty blouse before glaring down at both the lost cigarette and now the lost whiskey. "Refill please? I'll pay for this one too, before you get your panties in a wad." After a deep breath or two, she looks back to Rook with wide eyes. "You've — you've spoken to the Hostile? I-argh, no. I could spend forever picking your brain, but I don't want to be a pest. You don't seem like you tolerate pests well. Short hair, blue lenses - bluer than my eyes are now? Or different altogether? Is it all blue or just, like, do they have irises? What shade of blue? Am I too pale? Free will and choice? Do Hostiles not have free will? Shit, I'm doing it anyway. Sorry."

"All blue. Glow," Rook says quietly. She shrugs at the question about talking to Sarah. "Like camera lenses. Pale is fine." The rest she doesn't answer. What a Hostile looks like isn't super classified info. The rest she really doesn't want to get thrown into another cell over.

"Well." Jane sighs quietly, squinting as Rook falls silent. It's obvious by the woman's demeanor that she is not going to wriggle any other information out of her. "That is something for me to chew on, definitely. I owe you a huge solid for this, Rook, and I mean it. If you ever find yourself in need of something, you know where to look. Drinks are on me today." She shakes her arm until her bracelet drops down onto her wrist, and she holds it out over the counter for the bartender to scan. "I like you, you know, even if you don't care for me. I hope in time you can let him go - I mean, really let him go. For your sake."

"You're nice. Don't dislike you," Rook says quietly, as she begins peeling the label off her beer bottle. "But no one gets in. No one. Let him in. Won't do that again." She gestures to the tender for another beer since Jane is buying, and stubs out the tiny remainder of her cigarette before pulling another from the pack.

Jane nods, curling her fingers around her fresh whiskey glass. "I get it; I do. Maybe you will, and maybe you won't, and I won't tell you what's right either way. Six knows I ain't got my shit in line. Never have." She pauses to take a sip of her drink, enjoying this one at a slightly slower pace than the last. "You got work, then? Something to do to take your mind off things?"

"Security Analyst. Luc Corp. Computers," Rook replies. Which likely means she's working for almost free to pay off debts. Good old Gentleman Johnny. "Saving up. Need to remove tattoo."

"You have a tattoo?" The question is polite. Jane is not surprised that Rook would have some ink, but she does lean in as if interested. "What does it look like? If you want, I know a guy in the business. I could give you his info. Tell him I sent you, and you can get a nice discount." Of course an actress would know people who do body modifications, right?

"Have lots. Just need to get rid of this one." Rook lifts up the side of her shirt to show the tattoo on her right side, of a blue snake nestled in white flowers, with a black bird held in its mouth. It's a large tattoo and it's going to hurt to remove over her ribs especially.

Jane squints in the dim lighting of the room, leaning forward to examine the tattoo. It looks beautifully done, and she is appropriately in awe as she brushes her fingertips over the snake just briefly. Oops, inappropriate contact, right? Blushing, she jerks her hand back and clears her throat. "Sorry, sorry, it's just so well done. It's exquisite work, to say the least, but wouldn't be impossible to remove, I think. Painful, though, but not impossible." She turns back to her drink, picking up the glass and swirling amber liquid around in a furious vortex. She carefully avoids asking why the tattoo should go. "Hey, I think you're the first person I've met who works for Luc Corp. Like your job?"

Rook flinches at the touch, her mental armor back up when it comes to avoiding physical contacts. "Not really," she notes. "No choice. Only job I can take." Especially now that she has an arrest record at the Blackspyre. "Paying off debts."

"Debts are tricky things." Jane finishes the last of her whiskey, but waves her hand over the empty glass when the bartender reaches to refill it. "I'm good. Two is my limit on workdays." She shifts on her stool, glancing sidelong to Rook and realizing that the conversation is going to die any moment. Or perhaps she realizes she's done more than enough prying for one day's meeting. "It was good to see you again, Rook. If you ever wanna have a drink again or something, you've got my 'Sphere address. Put the rest on my tab today. I'll see you around soon?" She pauses, standing beside her seat now and squinting at Rook once more.

Rook nods. "Good luck. Audition," she says in what is almost a human-type farewell.

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