Bouncer/Protector
Roleplaying Log: Bouncer/Protector
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Colossus drops by Shakedown to offer his protective services.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 30, 2018
IC Location: Shakedown - Mutant Town
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 01 Jan 2019 18:50
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's about two thirty in the morning. The last of the patrons of Shakedown were shooed out just after 2 AM with a few meaningful looks from bouncers and the full intrusive power of the overhead lights. The space looks unimpressive by full light. It's just nondescript furniture and matte black painted surfaces. Somehow, like a theatre, it's transformed when the lights are low, the music is thumping and the fog machine's going.

Rictor doesn't always stay to close up, but some of his staff are still on holiday so it's all hands on deck on this warm-up night for New Year's Eve. He's moving around the space, picking up plastic cup and dropping them into a clear bag. There's music, but it's on low and it's just a local radio station playing classic rock.

* * *

Having drifted back stateside recently Piotr Rasputin is getting back into the swing of things at the mansion. With all the talk of registration in New York he found himself drawn back to the team and the work they do to keep mutants and the world safe. And while that is all well and good on the global, heoric scale, there are smaller battles to be won. Things like having a safe place to just be yourself. It's a thought that warms his heart and obviously calls to his protective instincts. Which is what drags the large Russian mutant down to this part of Manhattan.

Piotr has been in and out throughout the night, checking to make sure that Rictor is around first and then staying to have a beer before leaving with some of the more artsy crowd. But once the doors have been shut, he shows back up, dressed for the cold with a heavy overcoat that looks much more Russian than American. He explains himself to the bouncers at the door and then slips off the jacket and makes his way across the floor. His deep voice is not loud but carries easily as he asks, "Excuse me. Rictor?"

* * *

Rictor is in the middle of humming a few bars of Killer Queen when Piotr makes his way up to him. He stops, tosses a few more cups into the bag and then upnods. "Yeah? Sorry, did we have an appointment? Time has no meaning this week, it seems. It's difficult to keep track." He grins a little and looks at the other man for a minute. Then a slow dawning takes place. He snaps. "Hey, I know you. Colossus, right? Been a very long time. What can I do for you?"

* * *

"Uhh.. Nyet."

Piotr stumbles a bit as Rictor first asks if he has an appointment. He mentally chastises himself for just showing up, even if the X-Men have saved this man in the past it's not like he owes them anything. But relief washes over his face when Rictor recognizes him. He laughs, "Da, but you may call me Piotr."

He extends a massive hand for a handshake that if Ric accepts is not quite the bruising painful experience one might expect.

"Actually, I was wondering if you needed another doorman, err bouncer I believe it is called. There is trouble, nyet? And it would seem you have placed yourself where it will be unavoidable?"

As always Piotr is straightforward. There is no thought of worrying about insulting Rictor by insinuating anything, it's just a straight forward telling it like he sees it and offering help.

* * *

Given they are two men for whom English is not their mother tongue, straightforwardness is also the best way to avoid miscommunication. Rictor smiles quite genuinely, despite some ragged fatigue around the edges. His return handshake is warm and genuine. "Always welcome, my friend. We haven't closed up the taps yet if you'd like a drink of something?" He motions to the stools around the cafe section of the bar. The big heavy curtain is open while the staff cleans up.

He pauses, headtilts, then nods a little as he puts together Piotr's reasoning. "I am running a business while mutant, for metas, so yes, I guess that places me in trouble whether I want it or not." He regards him for a moment, thoughtfully. "It would be good to have someone on staff who knows how to diffuse a situation before it gets too bad. But…I thought you X-Men worked on a bigger scale than a local club." There's no insult meant in that. It's just matter-of-fact.

* * *

Smiling his big broad smile, though his beard obscures most of it, Piotr is glad to here that he's welcome. "Da, a drink would be good! A beer is fine." Finally he's learned what most Americans mean when they refer to a drink, it only took years of Logan drilling into him that vodka is not the only acceptable option to be called 'a drink'.

"Has it been getting worse? I mean besides the usual amount of troubles." He looks around, surveying the place and more importantly laying a critical eye on those who are there already as bouncers. But his attention is drawn back at the comment about the X-Men. He laughs and says "It is true. But I will not be in costume at your door." Though some of his past costumes would fit better on dance floor on certain nights to be honest. "This is more of for personal fulfillment than X-Men mission. It will not do to allow places built for mutants, and metas" which he adds as an afterthought obviously from Ric's prompting, "to be safe to turn into anything else."

* * *

"It's the calm before the storm right now," says Rictor as he goes behind the bar. He sweeps longish hair back behind his ear and then pulls down a couple of pint glasses. He fills it up from a tap that's labelled with a microbrew emblem. "Everyone's on-edge, but I think no one is trying to think too much about it." He sets the one pint in front of Piotr, then draws a second for himself.

Once his second is poured, he circles around from behind the bar and takes a seat at one of the stools. "One of the reasons I bought this place is that I was afraid it would close if it didn't get a meta owner. I knew it needed someone who would fight to keep it open and safe. And if people don't have a place to feel normal, it all gets worse." He motions around. "But this also makes us…." he whistles and mimes a bullseye on his head. "…a big target. I won't turn down your help. Just so you understand that I am very much preparing for trouble, and I will fight for this place and this community."

* * *

Pulling the beer glass close, and taking a sip, he nods at Ric's run down of the current situation. Piotr knows that he's made it back in time for the big X-men briefing on the situation so that will be interesting, but it's good to hear from someone outside their group what is actually happening. He knows the feeling of being to insular within the team and losing touch with the world around him. It's one of the many reasons that he's here offering a hand.

He shakes his head and says, "Yes well, I have never known mutants to not be a target. I am glad that you are willing to take the risk, it is good for people to have a place, hiding is not going to solve anything. However, we can not pretend there are not risks." He looks towards the door and asks, "Are the doormen powered? I would assume?" Mostly because getting humans to protect metas would likely be a very expensive line item.

* * *

"All the staff are some kind of meta. Not because I want powered staff in case of trouble, but because metas have harder times getting and keeping jobs, especially…" Ric nods to a young woman sweeping the floor with a wide green tail and scales over her body like a lizard, "…the ones who cannot hide what they are." He makes a soft sound and sips his beer.

"The bouncers, yes, the bouncers I did hire because they can control a crowd if it gets bad. That is the one area where abilities comes into play. I have a few staff members who work as servers but they do not look like they can handle themselves. They know to step in if something really bad happens." There is a note of pride in his voice despite the fact that he's talking about running a business in a way that no one else would have to deal with.

"And what of the X-Men? What are your plans for this shitstorm that will hit us inevitably?"

* * *

Piotr nods as Rictor explains the particulars of his particular business. It makes sense and he grunts out affirmative noises at the appropriate parts. He has known plenty of mutants and meta who could not pass as human like he can, and is glad to see someone doing something for them. The institute is good, but it's not the answer for everyone.

"That is good. I will look forward to meeting them, and working with them." Yes, he has fought aliens, gods and just about everything in between but he has no ego about his abilities or working with others.

At the question about the X-Men, Piotr takes a long pull of his drink. "We are closely monitoring the situation. And planning." In truth Piotr doesn't know the answer to that. Hopefully this week will bring some of that. But even if he did, how much he would be willing to say immediately is questionable. Working for Rictor is one thing, talking about X-Men business is another thing altogether.

* * *

And that kind of structure is why, despite being an ally to the X-Men, a friend, and having similar goals, Rictor has never worked particularly closely with them. The earthquake mutant is a man who has strong opinions about the way things should be done, and a certain lack of big picture diplomacy. He takes everything very personally. But given his history, it's hard to blame him.

So it's no surprise that Piotr doesn't outline X-Men plans in detail. He shrugs and pulls from his beer. "Well, you know I will help you as well. I owe you all a debt I can never fully repay. Not just for what you have done for me, but what you have done for others." He lowers his voice and leans in. "I have…started helping the most vulnerable get out of the state. In a way they can't be easily tracked. If you know of people who need that kind of help, send them my way."

* * *

Piotr watches Rictor's face carefully as he 'outlines' the X-Men's plans. It's a pretty clear indicator that Rictor is outside the circle of trust or whatever, but it's good to establish that now if they are going to be working together.

But then Rictor is offering to help and Piotr smiles and says, "We can always use the help if you mean that." Of course Piotr is thinking of slapping some blue and golds on the man, and Rictor is likely not.

At the mention of helping the most vulnerable, Piotr's eyes widen. He inclines his head and quietly answers back, "This is good. I am sure we will be needing to do this more often. I imagine there will be many who will not or can not register. And if you need help with this, we have … resources. I will speak with Jean. We will help this." Piotr is a sucker for helping the weak, and what are the X-Men for if not protecting those who can't protect themselves, even if it's in less flashy ways.

* * *

"Aiee, unofficial help." Rictor waggles a finger. "Your colours are not my colour if you know what I mean." He winks and sets his beer back down on the bar. "But know that I will fight, and I have friends that will fight, should the need arise. Or should we need to protect ourselves."

And that's really the line. He doesn't care what will happen for mutant and meta rights in the big picture when his friends, his neighbourhood is on the line. He'll make a noise. He'll make things worse in the long run to save lives and livelihoods in the short term.

"I would…ah, I am not too proud to admit that would be most welcome. The mutant community, it is not rich. People help where they can. I give what I can. But resources, they are quite tight."

* * *

"We will see." Piotr nudges him with an elbow indicating that he is full on expecting to recruit him to an active team member at some point. Not that Pete actually expects Ric to join up right now, but it's funny how many allies of the team end up on a roster after 'unoffically helping' here and there.

"Da. Well, we know of some deep pockets and there are those outside the immediate who are willing to help." Warren's name isn't spoken outloud, nor is Roberto, not that he would be Piotr's first thought. "I will see what I can do to setup something. There are official plans to get this repealed, to get this straightened out, but we can not wait for perfect. And at least for now, I will work here. However, if my presence draws any unwanted attention, we may have to rely on less visibly helping.."

He hasn't even started yet, but it's worth mentioning that Piotr knows X-Men do tend to draw worse trouble sometimes. And the last thing he means to do is to make this place more of a target or less safe in anyway.

* * *

Rather than argue, Ric just makes a low sound, grins, and sips his beer. "If anything would make me join up, it's all the spandex on so many athletic people." He chuckles, quite amused at his own quip.

"It's possible you might draw attention, but if you work when it's dark, if you wear sunglasses, everyone just comes here to have a good time. They aren't paying much attention to the one who guards the door or checks their ID." He exhales and looks around the brightly lit club. "You know, I never saw myself as a business owner. This is the first time I've put down roots. Of course I had to do it in the first state that wants to register us."

* * *

"I will keep that in mind for our next recruitment drive, make sure we highlight that. But it is not spandex anymore, but do not worry, costumes are still very, very tight." He laughs a little too loudly at his own joke and takes a big swig of beer. The pint glass looks like tiny juice glass in his oversized hand.

He listens carefully about the ways to mitigate the exposure. He nods and says, "That is true. It will only take one or two incidents for the jig to be up though.." Assuming he has to transform into his steel form to deal with it, is left unsaid.

"Yes. Remind me not to be taking advice from you on business ventures." He smiles good naturedly and says, "But at least your heart is in the right place my friend."

* * *

"But that's a very good reason not to join up if you haven't got the physique for it," Rictor pats his stomach. He's not pudgy, but he doesn't exactly have cheese grater abs either.

"Mhmm, well, if it comes to a full-scale incident, it might be a good thing to let it be known that the X-Men will step in. If it gets that bad, this neighbourhood will need you." He looks around again, like he's still sort of taking in the place. "Fucking stupid business idea, right? I should've stayed a PI maybe. But I was getting tired of working for bad people."

* * *

Piotr glances over and smiles at Rictor patting his stomach, "This is why we train so hard. Zhir potatoes in tight clothes are not very intimidating." He lifts up his own shirt, showing ridiculously cut abs for a big guy and laughs, "Not quite steel, but most get the picture."

Finishing off the beer he claps Rictor on the back, "I did not say it was stupid. Only bad timing. But it will work out." He stands up from the stool and puts a card down on the bar, identifying him as an art instructor at Xavier's. "Give me a call with the details. And I will hopefully have more information for you about your moving business when I come."

* * *

Now that's just cruel. Rictor looks while trying to pretend he's not looking. He turns away and swallows a good mouthful of beer and coughs a little. "Uh, yeah, yes, I will." He picks up the card and gestures with it. "Don't suppose you're free on New Year's Eve, are you? I'm a little short-handed and it might get a little rowdy." A beat, "…normal kind of rowdy, not…political."

* * *

"Sure. I do not think I have anything terribly pressing." Piotr assumes there will be a smattering of things he could do, but honestly nothing that really needs his attention. He smiles and says, "I will be here for the club opening then?"

He extends his big hand again to shake Ric's. "I am looking forward to this."

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