The Opening Strains
Roleplaying Log: The Opening Strains
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Punchline in Gotham has its Grand Opening!

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: May 11, 2019
IC Location: The Punchline, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 May 2019 06:37
Rating & Warnings: G
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's a rainy night in Gotham, but that doesn't seem to be having any impact on the bodies who are showing up. Maybe the rain is even making certain that more folk looking for a new scene are willing to take a chance on a new venue.

The bar is open, already handing out drinks and suggesting that folks snag up a table on one of the risers before they're all gone. The tables on the floor have been swept away, leaving the dance floor wide open. Several people already have staked a place out on it, although they're really only talking at this point.

On the stage, there's the equipment for a band set up, but there's no one else there. Drums, a piano, and oh so much much brass shining in the stage lights.

And at the door, there's a striking brunette with long wavy locks and a strapless purple cocktail gown with a mermaid silohuette that sheens iridescent green in the light. "Hello!" she croons to one woman. "Welcome to Punchline," she says to the next two. "So glad you could make it," to the next group.


Shaking off the rain from his hair as he makes his way into the bar, even a casual observer can tell from Owen's gait that's already quite drunk. He would have to be. He stops and peers at the brunette at the door, specifically her dress and the color scheme and then says, as if to some absent or imaginary companion "Well, I guess that fuckin' answers that question don't it?" He then nods to himself, and finally addresses the girl says, "So am I. Just pleased /as/ *punch*" And with that he wanders off to the bar.

"Let's kick this off right, I'll have a double whiskey neat. I don't care which." Yea, Owen being here is a great idea. One of his best.


The thing about clubs is that there's always something more taking place behind the scenes. They're usually a front for something. This is Gotham, so pretty much -everything- is a front for something. Domino's been camping out in Gotham thanks to that whole DPS business of late. And she happens to like earning money which is commonly found through these shady businesses which are a front for something.

That said, this isn't the kind of place she would normally investigate for a source of such dirty deeds. It's a little..no..it's a LOT too classical. Usually the best action can be found at those obnoxiously loud rave joints. Yet, something drew her to this club. She's dolled up just a little though it's kept more practical than anything and still plenty dark. That she has no trouble at all skipping through the line to get inside proves that lady luck is still her co-pilot.

Now, then. What manner of opportunity might the Punchline hold for her tonight? Oh hey, a well stocked bar! That's as good of a starting point as any! At least it'll help her to not care about being soaked from the rain.

Also, -wow.- Looks like someone at the bar already got one hell of a head start tonight.


New York City is not exactly Lorna Dane's favorite place to be anymore. Not that she ever was a big enthusiast of it, not like some people who go all-in with the Big Apple pride; she grew up there, still lives there now, and works there (most of the time)… and that's about it. Her forced registration makes it easy for her to be that blase, honestly, but many of those she's come to know from her time spent in Mutant Town don't have it so simple.

Some relocated to Metropolis, because they could. Others, who couldn't, came to Gotham City instead, despite Gotham not being nearly as desirable a place to live. It's those people which Lorna has come to Gotham today to see, and — her visits over — she's heading back towards the trains that run back to New York. Or she was, up until…

"Oh, come on," Lorna mutters to herself, as the rain starts. And her in a leather jacket. She considers a moment, fingering the heavy steel-chain necklaces she wears, but after a moment she lets them go with a sigh. It's Gotham, but still — better to not be too careless by displaying powers out in the open.

Gambling on the rain stopping before long, she slips into the first place that looks promising, which — as it happens — is the Punchline, gearing up for its grand opening. "Yeah, thanks," she says distractedly in reply to the young woman greeting people at the door. The outfit doesn't seem to deter her. She's seen worse on the A train at rush hour. What seems to deter her more is that it's a bar. Of course it's a bar.

"Figures…" she sighs, before she thinks: hell with it. One for the road. She starts over herself, fluffing some of the dampness out of her green hair.


It should, of course, go without saying. It should be obvious, really. One of those things that's redundant even to mention. But just in case, for reasons unfathomable, it's not:

"Wow, Mercer."

Katherine Rebecca Kane already has her drink.

"You look like shit."

Typically, Kate makes it a point to be fashionably late to events like this. Circumstances being what they are, though, today? Today is such a special occasion, that the Kane heiress was one of the first ones through the door, and thusly the first one to be greeted by the striking brunette in the purple and green. Purple and green. At a club called the Punchline. Theoretically this is something she ought to be as sober as possible for.

Practically, she's already gone through her first shot of the evening by the time Owen Mercer makes his grand entrance.

And there she leans, back comfortably against the bar, dressed in a sleeveless white button-up pinstripe shirt complete with red overalls and the bowtie to match; one black slack-clad leg crossed over the other, short mop of undercut red hair kept stylishly swept back, she turns green eyes and an arched brow Owen's way, even as she catches Domino's entrance from her peripherals; to her credit, she greets the man perfectly as a passing companion might, and not as the person who had to stop him from rampaging across a much less stylish club months earlier would.

"One of those days, huh?"

Kate Kane has more experience than she'd like dealing with problematic acquaintances.


When Owen comes through the door, the brunette smiles, greets Lorna, and then decides she's done. She jerks a thumb over her shoulder (bringing attention to her emerald manicure) to one of the new hostesses that just got hired in the last week, walking away from the door and telling her without so much as a word: "Your Turn." And then she sashays into one of the back rooms, disappearing for now.

It's now the pretty redhead's job to keep greeting everyone who's coming in for the first night of festivities.

The bartender pours Owen's drink for him with a steady hand, and may even be making it a triple. Because this is how you make customers for life, right?


Now Owen is certainly drunk, and as is his usual personal aesthetic he looks very much like a cross between a rocker and homeless person with a bit of old school 90s grunge sprinkled in. His bright red vintage sneakers rest on the stool underneath him, his jeans frayed through at the knees in a way that might be trendy. He gladly accepts the triple, which is not so much a guarantee of loyalty in this case as much as adding fuel to a very poorly planned fire.

"Wow, you!"

Owen's reply is sarcastic and immediate as he turns his face towards Kate and blinks at her.

"Well, you look fantastic, so that's not helpful."

Normally he would have just turned the phrase back because it's funny that way, but well only funny if it's true. And it's not. But it still doesn't mean he recognizes Kate from their night of binge drinking just yet. But wait for it.. "Katie!" Close.

"Oh, I have a feeling it's about t'be."

He at least doesn't down the glass of whiskey but prefers to sip on it. He tries to take in his surroundings and does so a bit unsteadily. He notices Lorna's hair and he rolls his eyes, "Yea, yea I get it." Okay, now he just thinks he's being perceptive. He's not.


As more people filter in (toward the bar) Domino's keeping track and taking notes. Any familiar faces? Anyone (besides Owen) looking like trouble? What's the former door greeter up to now that she's changed out the guard? Did Dom over-dress tonight? Under-dress? Does she even care? (Not really, no.) But then comes the most important decision of the night:

What to drink.

Something a bit higher shelf. Something in a bit larger quantity. Dom's not terribly picky, it all serves the same purpose. Try as she might with the styling of that spiky black bob of hair and some careful application of the very palest cosmetics this city has to offer, she still can't -completely- cover up the nasty gash along the right side of her face. It's led to some nasty headaches. Fortunately, this place sells some cures for what ails her.

Not that she's so distracted as to miss the 'you look like shit' spoken from a redhead to the tipsy guy apparently named Mercer. "Isn't it always one of those days?" she calls out to Kate's inquiry with a dark lined smirk.

Then something distracts the hell out of her with so much -green freaking hair.- Holy crud. That either takes some hardcore devotion or a proper application of metahumanness. ..Okay, yes. Maybe she's staring a little at Lorna right now but it's not in the creepy bad sort of stare!

Okay, maybe it is just a -little.-

Long distance to The Joker: Harley Quinn chews slowly.


The green hair is fully on display, and Lorna seems zero percent ashamed of it. Most in this day and age assume it's just dye, some kind of statement, but an increasing number of people assume it's some weird mutant thing — which Lorna is also perfectly fine with. She's got done treating her status as a mutant as a badge of shame long ago. People can take her as she is.

To that end, when she notices Domino staring, she shoots the albino a wink.

Now, Lorna isn't really up on the unique color schemes and calling cards of the various 'personalities' infesting Gotham City, so she's in a blissful state of obliviousness as she gets up to the bar and leans against it, waiting to catch the bartender's eye, asking for a bottle of whatever beer he happens to recommend on tap for the evening. No need to go crazy, not like someone. Someone who is being an asshole.

Lorna gives Owen a generous side-eye. "Get what?"


Wait for it —

Katie!

"Nope. We're not there in our relationship yet."

But at least he tries.

This would be the crisp exchange that Kate flippantly offers Owen when it (finally) comes to him, complete with an easy-going smile to accompany it that's only slightly fabricated. She remembers the kind of things he did last time he wasn't in a great place. And Owen doesn't exactly look like he's in a great place now. Which means she needs to keep an eye on him.

Which means another headache on top of 'all the everything else.'

"But I'll let it slide this time. Something on your mind, there?"

But, he's still fun to talk to, so not entirely fabricated. Some things just can't be helped.

There's a certain amount of strangeness you prepare for in Gotham, though, regardless of whether you wear a batsuit in your spare time for reasons many and complicated. Thus, Kate can take the extremely pale Domino's arrival in stride (who is she to talk, really?); Lorna's appearance, meanwhile, earns a brief glance, and the upwards tick of red brows. She could see connections there, if she thought too much. Instead, Kate just takes another shot, and drains it without so much as batting an eye. Second for the evening down.

She's taking it slow today.

For now, though? For now, Kate is keeping a weather eye out; a weather eye briefly distracted by the flutter of a blink as Domino speaks up. She glances at the woman, and the gash she's very carefully failed to cover up completely — not for lack of trying. The redhead cants her head, and flashes a little grin.

"I think it's one of those relative things," she remarks off-handedly. "Some of those days are more of those days than others. Y'know?"


The brunette from earlier doesn't wait long in her disappearance before she ends up coming out on stage. With her luxurious mahogany mane catching rich red highlights under the stage lights, she taps the microphone before setting her purple lips near it. "Helloooooooooo, everyone," she coos, her voice soft and low. "I'm Lena, and I want to thank you all so much for coming and making our first night open a smashing success."

An arm sweeps out to indicate the six piece band stepping out in flashy 1920s suit. "Please give a big round of applause to this evening's musicians: the Speak Lousies! So come and dance and don't forget to tip your bartenders," she murmurs lower still. "Because, trust me, I don't pay them nearly enough."

Turning to face the band behind her, the slender woman sweeps an arm to the band. There's a word spoken there, and then she moves to clear the space. It's only a few moments after she vacates the stage, moving to cross the floor towards the bar, that the band strikes up into a bright, brash foxtrot that dares the rains to intrude on the evening.


Looking suspiciously at Kate, Owen asks, "Are you sure? I'm pretty sure we are."

Granted he's also very drunk, so he's sure of a lot of things that are not true. His face breaks into a smile as she lets it slide, but it's the wrong message, as if she is okay with him calling her Katie, which will now forever be the case. He takes another sip of his drink before realizing that Lorna is eyeing him and asking him a question.

"Noope! I'm gonna be the bigger the man."

What is his drunk ass even talking about? Whatever Lorna may think, it's probably not what he thinks he's conveying. But the answer is also kind of for Kate too, since he's working on diminished conversational abilities and thinks he's being clever in answering them both vaguely.

"I think I do." Owen is not sure he at all followed what Kate just said, but it made perfect sense to him anyway.

Turning his direction to the stage, he blinks in confusion as the woman from earlier introduces herself as Lena. Forgetting that his internal thinking voice is broken, he asks outloud, "Harley?" having fully expected that Lena Zelle was non-other than his former flame. But he didn't recognize her at the door, and his senses are finely honed and well train-.. no. He's drunk as hell and not very observant to begin with.

——

Hair, slicked back and black. An immaculate suit to match. His gloves are the locus of his craft, a pair of custom men's evening gloves patterned in black with veins and whirls of emerald marbling, all sheathed in the unmistakable sheen of food service grade vinyl. The sanitary mask he wears is similarly outfitted, though a subfabric LED underlights the mask in festive tones, adding a flash of performance to his work as the lines of lighting suggest alternately a cat's grin, a thick moustache, or random tacky internet expressions fitting in theme with the bar.

The chocolatier on staff has a small cold table set up aways behind the bar, chilled slate curling vapor from its surface as he threads out bits of semisweet and milk against the matte surface, allowing the sweet confections to chill ever just so before working them into shape. Some of the most expensive drinks at the bar are signed with this signature, a bird carved from sweets perches on a midori sour here, tiny sharks and koi filling lowball glasses of clear coconut rum there. The chocolatier folds a dollop of chilled cream into the shape of a carnation with a set of moulding knives and sets it floating in a glass of some dark Kahlua-based concoction and passes it back to the bartender, humming the tune to 'the Candyman' all the while as he works.


The wink from Greenie is easily met with one of those dark smiles and a salute from the albino with drink in hand. "Lookin' good, girl!" Whitey's diggin' it.

Kate's response on the other hand is met with a fairly dramatic eyeroll. "Yeah, I'll drink to that." Which she does. With some amount of bravado. Hell, that chick's already through shot number two. Dom's not getting outdone so easily. Game on.

Oh hey, there's the door greeter again. That's… There's something about that lady which tugs at the back of Dom's mind. The voice, maybe? Neena's already done some shadowy work in this town, maybe there's a forgotten connection somewhere in all of that mess. Brunette is one to keep an eye on, no quest—

'Harley?'

The lightbulb goes on in Dom's mind. No shit… Hah! Okay, this joint just became a LOT more interesting!

..Alright, she can't help herself. She idly toys with her drink while picking her way closer to where Lorna is at the bar then turns to hook both elbows back upon the surface. In regards to Owen, she sides to the green haired gal "At the rate he's going he won't be bothering anyone in another ..thirty minutes," she thinks with a slight shrug. "Though an argument could be made that Red there'll knock his ass flat before then."

Huh. That chocolatier's workin' a pretty classy angle, himself. Dom didn't expect to find a place quite like this out in Gotham. This city does have its charms, if you're willing to first dig under the top layer of soot.


There is a generous pause while Lorna processes the response, and, well, everything about Owen Mercer in this particular moment.

Her gaze turns to Kate. "Is this your friend? Because I think you need to cut him off." A pause. "Unless he's always like this, which is also likely, from the look of him."

Lorna sagely pulls her drink over. "Then again, he's still smart enough not to finish whatever… 'thought' that was, so maybe he's fine after all."

Her attention turns back to Domino as the pale lady sidles over. "Watch out," she warns the other woman, with a tilt of her green head Owen-wards, "we got an asshole over here." Domino's assessment of Owen's likelihood of either collapsing in thirty minutes or being punched out much earlier makes her laugh, though. "I'll put my guess on him getting his ass kicked first, at this rate."

Her green eyes travel the bar — the young woman up on stage, the chocolatier — wait, the chocolatier? "…You ever seen one of those in a bar before?" Lorna wonders. "I've been going to all the wrong bars."


'Lena' doesn't seem to have realized that a jig may very well be up. Because it's a foxtrot that's playing! Get it?! JIG? FOXTROT?! Fine, whatever. Anyway, people start going out to dance, and that's what matters.

Meanwhile, the brunette crosses the floor with a sway and six inch stiletto heels in a lovely purple velvet.

She uses a stool to give herself just a little more height, and then leans over the counter of the vintage styled bar with all of the airs of owning the place - because she does in all of the ways that matter - to pluck up a cup of maraschino cherries. Of course, this earns her the ire of the bartender, but he doesn't actually take it back.

She looks at Owen, where - with the right lens - he'll see a pair of all too familiar blue eyes in a less familiar frame of heavy cats eye eyeliner. There's a twitch of lower lids, and then she smiles to the ensemble. "We've got the best bar in town, I'll promise," she says, having only caught the tail end of the conversation. "You should see it when he makes the little shot glasses. Truly! Take a little goldschlager over and see if he won't make one if you ask. I'll give out the shots for free."

She eyes Owen. "Except for you," she says, pointing her finger coyly. "You may have had a little too much already."


"If by 'like this' you mean ridiculously charming and attractive, then yes."

Owen is deep into it tonight and that's not helping him notice the chocolatier or help him realize if he can in fact even recognize the woman on stage. But in his mind, it's helping his snappy one-liners be absolute fire. Lord help all in his vicinity.

As if to protest even the mere mention of being cut off, Owen takes a big gulp of his drink and cradles it protectively against his chest. He looks at Kate and then back at Lorna at the asshole comment. He stage whispers to Kate, obviously far above a whisper "We got at least two by my count." With a head tilt over towards Lorna. "Though she's probably right about the ass kicking." He just doesn't expect Kate to be the one dishing it out. He's rather banking on his inability to not make an ass of himself and get thrown out by either staff or Harley herself.

When Lena approaches, he fixes his best intensely scrutinizing look on both of them. He doesn't remember their being two Harley's, except in that one dream, err.. nevermind. As she slowly becomes one person and talks to him and the group. He tilts his head at her and says, "Or have I?" As if this were some interesting comeback.


"There's not a whole lot I'm sure of," Kate Kane begins in response to Owen Mercer, with all the wisdom in the world,

"… but I'm absolutely, positively sure of that."

A half a second's poignant pause follows before she adds, just so:

"Owie."

Not to be confused with the expression of pain, of course, which — well.

Maybe it's appropriate.

Empty glass sliding across the bar's surface, Kate pushes up off the bar, hands tucking comfortably into her pockets as she casts Domino a backwards glance with a single, lifted brow. "Aw. Sweet of you," she declares of the odds the other very pale woman places on her. She's got a follow up all locked and loaded - because of course she does - but, well.

Harley?

"Her?"

Owen has a way of stealing attention in the moment.

Dark brows furrow. Kate's lips press into a slow frown. Fortunately, it coincides with Lorna asking after her friendship with Owen, and so passably comes off as a reaction to that. Either way, it's gone again in the wake of the apologetic smile she casts the greenette's way, shoulders lifting in an ambivalent roll. Her lips part —

And then Owen's aside comes.

Cue: the mildest of grimaces.

"… That's definitely overstating it," she begins, slowly, and so wonderfully vague about whether she's responding to Lorna or Owen's extremely subtle and hush-hush observation. The brunette is never out of the peripheries of her vision as she approaches, though. Harley? Of course. Of course.

"I think he's just having some problems with the ex."

Ugh is her single cogent thought. Just…

Ugh.

Which is why, seconds later, a pale hand rises to land on Owen's shoulder. She's so focused on the immediate powder keg that she doesn't quite notice the chocolatier as her kohl-lined green gaze falls briefly, evenly, on Lena, who is definitely absolutely not Harley. Again.

Ugh.

"Yeah, I just bet you do. Mercer — maybe there's better places to find a drink, huh?"


Domino grins at Lorna's response, once again eyeing up Kate and Owen. "Hell, I'd pay money to see it." Gauging how quickly Kate's slamming those drinks home it just might be a sucker bet. 'Will kick ass for booze.' Neena totally gets it.

As far as that chocolatier goes she gently shakes her head to Lorna. "First time for everything. These guys are pullin' all the stops tonight. It must be a real trick workin' that angle with fancy gloves."

Her attention gets divided a little further as 'Lena' approaches the bar. It really is a curious transition, Dom's still running the memories of her previous encounter with Harley back through her mind and looking for the connections. If it is the same lady then she wears this alternate persona quite well. Voice, mannerisms, the full presentation. Maybe this is what she's like when she's back on her meds..?

The way Owen keeps pushing his luck Dom's tempted to put twenty on Lena breaking character long enough to slap him. It's a fun little game she plays in her head.

But, why ignore another opportunity in the process? This time when she turns to regard Lorna it also comes with an introduction. "Name's Domino. Still getting a feel for this city—oh, here we go," she trails off until the words are just loud enough to be carried over the music.

Kate's hand has fallen upon Owen's shoulder. Houston, we have touchdown. All systems are go. Is tonight going to involve some complimentary action or is the albino going to have to dig a little deeper into this ash heap of a city to find some oldschool entertainment?


Lena's lips, infused with an entirely professional sort of calm, continue to smile. "I think the schoolyard petulance is likely all of the evidence I need," she tells Owen levelly. "Feel free to dance it out and prove me wrong if you like," she adds, after pushing another cherry is past her purple lips and plucking free the stem. "I'll pay for a round for you, too."

As Kate puts her hand on his shoulder? The brunette sends her eyes casually down to the cup of garnish, and rustles around in it looking for the one with the next longest stem. "Just be certain to look at the bottom of your cup, before you put it down and go if that's the plan. Some of them have the most wonderful little dots painted on them that mean prizes. Wouldn't want to lose your chance at those."

A cherry is plucked out, and then held up for inspection in the dim light of the Edison bulbs. Great for ambiance. Awful for actual need-to-see light.


If by 'like this' you mean ridiculously charming and attractive, then yes.

Lorna regards Owen, completely nonplussed. "I changed my mind, he has definitely had too much."

Her gaze turns away, but that doesn't mean her attention is off Owen. And with that stage whisper that really isn't a whisper at all about 'at least two assholes' being present?

Lorna's eyes flicker. A cocktail pick someone left on the bar counter sloooowly rotates and then makes to give Owen a poke right in the small of the back.

Lorna smiles brightly at Domino afterwards. "Nice to meet you," is her answer to the introduction. "Lorna Dane. I don't usually come to this city myself, the people often leave a lot to be desired."

The cocktail pick waits for further use.

But it might not need to be — Kate has let fall The Hand upon Owen's shoulder. The Kane heiress's explanation about Owen's state has Lorna's eyebrows climbing towards her hairline. "Tough luck, but yeah… maybe you should take him elsewhere. The triple whiskey isn't gonna fix that." Lorna, advising against alcoholism.


Owen is blissfully unaware of people talking about him unless they are specifically indicating him which means that most of the comments are going right over his head. It doesn't help that he's trying very hard to figure out what the hell Harley is doing. He's now at least sure that Harley is dressed up as Zelle, but he's been sure of quite a few things tonight. He is mid-stare when the pick pokes him in the back.

He swats backwards clumsily and looks at Kate with scowl, now that she has her hand on his shoulder. "Did you just poke me?" Yes, he feels dumb asking this question but well, he's asking anyway.

..there's better places to find a drink

Owen knows that's true. He even nods and says, almost mechanically, "Yea. That's true. But on the /other hand/.." He looks at Zelle with what he intends to be a meaningful look. She tells him to dance it off and his face shows that he just does not comprehend the words, or much about what the hell is going on with this situation. And again, his internal voice becomes audible as he holds up a hand.

"What the fuck are yo- OW! What the hell Katie?!"

Owen turns his head now to look at Katie for what she's jabbing in his back while he tries to drunkenly accost his ex-girlfriend or at least the person he's now convinced himself is his ex-girlfriend.

——

The chocolatier pauses thoughtfully, looking up. He's watching the small exchange quietly as the owner speaks with the group, and is watching just in time for the small dustup. Haltingly, he raises a hand to the bartender, who prepares some shots. Banana creme pie, in specific. Using a small folding knife, he chips away at a set of tiny clinging monkeys, festooning each chilled glass with the ornaments, and threading a tiny chocolate curve to affix to each monkey's bottom. Perhaps a few free drinks might soothe a little bit of the savage beast? Not bloody likely! But then, it's not for the rank and file to question. He sends the drinks back with the barkeep to deliver to the owner to do with as she likes. His LED mask paints a neon grin across his face as he gets back to what is probably going to be the magnum opus of the night — a little chocolate carousel, festooned with lime and grape gumdrops, with cream cheese icing for the piping.


Did you just poke me?

Kate, of course, having no idea what on earth Owen could possibly be talking about—

"I swear we've already been over this, but:

"You're not my type. So no."

— takes it to its logical conclusion.

She came here on a hunch. But if that's Harley, that's one hell of a poker face.

Which really just might make it worse, in Kate Kane's expert opinion.

The evening's already proven to be all kinds of unusual as it is; there's plenty enough for the Kane heiress to try to digest without adding the sad and potentially volatile state of Owen to the mix. This is PROBABLY when she'd smoothly transition into offering Domino and Lorna some Mercer-free tours later before graciously shuffling the drunkard away. But it's when 'Lena' speaks next that Kate pauses; green eyes flutter in a blink. She looks towards her emptied cup.

"Huh. Really?" Sounds pretty ominous.

"Sounds pretty fun."

And there she is, slightly inebriated (more like 'proper buzz' levels), hand on Owen's shoulder, leaning -just so- to grab her shot glass, just in case. It seems like an opportunity to get more information, at the very least, because 'probably Harley Quinn' plus 'HEY LOOK A PRIZE FOR LUCKY VICTIMS WINNERS' seems like it ought to be looked into. And as she begins with a, "Yeah, it is true, and there is no other hand. I'm going to see if I got a golden ticket and then I'll take you to the fanciest place to get shitfaced you like. You can even have ten whole seconds cry gently on my-"

*LORNA-INDUCED POKING GOES HERE*


"-shoulder-"

What the hell Katie?!

And so there Kate stands, paused, shot glass hoisted in a way, by sheer coincidence, and likely only to the extremely drunk, would make it look like a prodding implement.

"I have literally no idea what you're talking about."

"… what the hell kind of drinks are those supposed to be-?"

Kate Kane:

Knows her priorities.


"I've been noticing that," Domino bobs her head a few times to Lorna's assessment about the people of this city. Not that Whitey has much high ground left to stand on after she spent two evenings trying to murder someone she had previously never met in cold blood. It's just how it goes sometimes.

Greenie's comment about the triple whiskey brings about a bark of laughter from Dom! "More a call for a double detox on the rocks, huh."

Wait, what now? Little dots on the bottom of glasses? -Prizes?- That's ..unconventional. One of Neena's brows hooks upward as she peers down into her own glass, swirling around what little of the amber fluid yet remains. Wait—scratch that. She just tried out a magic trick and made it disappear.

Lorna's pick trick escapes her attention, partly because she's looking for those mysterious dots and partly because it's such a subtle use of power. The resulting 'OW!' from Owen sure gets her attention, though! "Aw crud, don't tell me I missed it." At least she didn't hear anything which sounded like a punch or a slap just yet…

The delivery of those shots similarly draws her attention which then easily transitions to a lingering examination of what the choclatier is up to. Cripes but that's some detail he's putting into his work! If his creation didn't use chocolate and frosting as base elements then it would be a hard sell to eat artwork like that. But, since it's chocolate all bets are officially off.

Is..is that -actual cream cheese frosting?- "That is some high level devotion," she thinks aloud.

To Kate's call of what kind of drinks they're supposed to be, Dom grins and calls back "If you have to ask, you haven't had enough of 'em!"


Owen's outrage about the repeated poking mounts.

Lorna looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. What poking? Nothing's going on.

The pick ceases its reign of terror after the second go, at the least, before things get too heated between Owen and Kate.

"I'm sure the city has its lovely points," Lorna allows musingly. "I just haven't quite found them yet." Her voice softens. "They do seem to be taking in people who've been displaced from New York by the registration laws — haven't really seen much grumbling about the influx." Probably because Gotham's traditionally had worse to deal with than some immigrant mutants, but who's counting?

At mention of prizes, however, Lorna looks at her glass with some renewed interest. She drains her glass and has a look.


Harl—-Er, LENA ZELLE, who is still in no way Harley Quinn, pays a lot of attention to her cup of candied cherries. A whole lot of attention.

And people will discover, as they look, purple dots. Yellow dots (or maybe white made yellow by the horrible speak-easy lighting). Red. Or maybe one of the turquoise ones.

"Please," says Lena, a hand unfolding towards the confections with a smile as the band switches to a rendition of Pennsylvania 6-5000. She looks backwards to the chocolatier and wiggles those perfectly manicured fingers in his direction to indicate her gratitude for his timely intervention. And then, after a last glance at Owen, one that might be thought to last a little too long, the brunette gets up onto those teeter-totter heels from where she'd been leaning with increasing heaviness on the bar stool and pulls the confection down to slide it in their directions. "Don't be strangers," she purrs in that same, soft voice that has persisted though the exchange. "New business survives by word of mouth… Oh!" As cups turn, she scries them like a fortune teller. "Open bar visit on another night," she tells Lorna. And then she strains to see Domino's. "Ah! And that's a free seat at an upcoming comedy night."


The LED grin on the mask causes Owen to peer harder at the chocolatier for a moment. But despite Owen's best efforts in throwing himself at the Big J, twice, off a roof, they have never quite reached the same level of intimacy and as such drunkOwen fails to see any bit of resemblance to the face he remembers laughing inches away from his own. But still, even that light brite smile is enough to cause him to lose his taste for sweets.

Kate's protest about the poking not being her just adds another layer of unease to Owen's night. He frowns and looks around, now wondering if he's been poisoned. Look it's a very real possibility, he's not just paranoid. He is that too though.

People are checking their glasses after Zelle mentioned a prize. Talk about prizes he does not want to win though, if the color scheme and general feel of the place is any indicator, hard pass. He downs the drink and sets it on the bar pointedly without checking the bottom..

"Yea, you're right. I should go." He says this mostly to Kate.

The last meaningful look from Zelle though, is just returned with a very confused look from Owen. He doesn't get what this is. He doesn't understand a lot of things right about now.

He unsteadily makes his way toward the door though, turning back just once to look at Zelle as if trying to reassure himself that he's not losing his damn mind, before heading on out into the rain.


There's a whole lot off about basically all of this.

For one thing, that chocolatier is just weird, and something about him, and all of this, at a very basic level, is setting Kate on edge, which in turn is rapidly sobering up the buzz she had going, which in turn is annoying her even more. It's for the best, of course. All of this? Requires a certain degree of sobriety.

But she's free to think it's the absolute worst night she's not going to be able to enjoy the most bizarrely creative liqueurs she's ever seen.

As it stands, the the more methodically-minded wheels in Kate's head are already turning even as she presents that carefree face to the world. Owen's leaving; that's good. This could have rapidly escalated into something much worse. People are getting prizes — very conventional ones, at that. That's… not unexpected. Mentions of a comedy night just make her frown internally, though. As for the rest? …

Green eyes slide to where Owen shambles back out into the rain in a look that can be easily construed as concern; and in a way, it is. Her gaze turns back towards Lena as she starts to leave, brows furrowing in mild thought.

"Damn. Am I the unlucky soul who won nothing?" she wonders, a hapless smile painting her lips. It's fantastically short-lived as a snort follows after, in the wake of Domino's observation.

"Wiser words, never spoken," intones the Kane heiress with all due gravity. And with that, she raps her knuckles once against the countertop. "I… should make sure he didn't wander into traffic, or something. Enjoy the sweets. Fun place, though. Might have to come back here again."

She definitely, absolutely is.

And, one hand slipping into her pocket, she offers the other one in a wave, jaunty smile accompanying it. "Kate. Kate Kane. You know — this city's not all bad. If you two are around for a while, maybe we'll bump into each other again, and I can show you some of the places that won't try to kill you. Or rob you blind. Or…"

And Kate lets her words trail there as she turns, hand lifted in an off-handed, parting wave.

She has a lot to think about.


Sloooowly Domino looks back to Lorna who is being -entirely- too cool about what's going on with poor Owen over there. Dom's response is silent, merely hooking a brow upward with a slight motion of her head in his direction. 'Is that you?'

Clearly she doesn't have any issue with this development if it's true. No issue -at all.-

"Afraid I can't offer to show you around, Evergreen. Not for a lack of interest, mind. I just happen to know more about the seedy underworld than the prime tourist attractions."

Lena's call about having a free seat is met with another peer at the glance and a softly voiced "Huh. Go figure." This winning glass is inspected for a moment longer before she offers it to Lorna. "Then again, maybe I -can- offer you a little something."

Lorna can take it or leave it, Dom won't be offended. She might be a bit ticked off at her phone suddenly trying to harass her, however. Pale eyes roll as she fishes it out, taps the screen, then mouths 'Of course' with a defeated look.

Away with the phone. To Lorna, "Maybe we'll cross paths later. I'm easy to spot in a crowd." The pun is coupled with a smirk and a light tapping of a fingertip to the black spot around her left eye.

Kate is given a single thumbs up and "I'll hold you to that!" Some cash is left on the bar to cover the albino's drink, more than necessary.

Next it's Lena's turn. One of those cherries is neatly plucked from the bowl in passing, then Dom leans in over the back of Lena's shoulder long enough to say "Love what you've done with the place, Davidson."

Either it's Harley and the nickname means something or it isn't Harley and it doesn't. No skin off Dom's back. Either way the cherry and stem easily become separated as she, too, heads for the door.


Is that you? implies the arch of Domino's brow. Lorna gives the most self-satisfied smile in response.

As far as Domino's remark on her specialties when it comes to city knowledge? Lorna's own brows skate upwards with interest. "I'm not really a tourist attractions kind of person, anyway," she says. "The seedy bits are always more interesting."

She drains her glass a moment later, with a little bit too much practiced ease, before examining the bottom to find that there are some dots after all. Open bar visit on another night, scrys 'Lena' of the pattern. "Oh," says Lorna, torn between 'awesome, free booze,' and 'really, I shouldn't be drinking.' Domino's offer of her own 'prize' has her looking up a second later, internal conflict forgotten. "Not a fan of comedy nights? Thanks, but I've got something. Maybe she likes a comedy night, though." A jerk of her green head towards Kate, who seems to have won — nothing, poor Kate.

Kate's subsequent offer draws a nod, and a wry, somewhat self-aware smile. "Didn't think how I'd sound to a native. Maybe I'll take you up on that."

Domino's parting words — easy to spot in a crowd — draw a grin, green eyes turning back to her. "Hey, so am I. Flag me down if you see me again," she says, setting aside her empty glass and turning to pay her own tab. "Get home safe." It seems like the parting phrase of choice, for a place like Gotham City.


Departures all around seem to not really bother the proprietress all that much. Lena looks to the band as they start up their next tune and the number of bodies on the dance floor starts to grow, and then turns her attention to Lorna. She sees the look that Owen gives. Hears the name that Domino speaks, and her pale eyes merely widen attentively.

"I should probably check in with everything," she says once they've all taken their leave with the striking Kate Kane, taking up the wondrous mantle of Responsible Bar Owner for a brief and shining moment more. She pushes her dark hair behind her shoulder, and murmurs towards Lorna: "You really can't leave these people unattended for a moment, I swear! I'd heard tale, but until I actually had them in my employ…"

Her eyebrows bounce once, with meaning. "Anyway, I hope to see you around again soon! Enjoy the party?" To the bartender, a word more as she wobbles the bowl of cherries and takes it along with her. "These are coming with me!"

And with that - and a final showman's bow of farewell (which is likely the most animated she's been too date) - she's off! But first, to thank that very talented chocolatier.


The artist, for his own credit, contents himself far too much with the finishing touches on the unicorn he just placed on his carousel, chocolate shavings sitting on his cold table just as he affixes the work to the pole, fixing a puzzle piece at the charger's side with a squeeze from a sugary unguent bag, the warm sauce chilling rapidly as it makes contact with the rest of the ice cold confection. In the face of that, one would imagine that he is far too engrossed in his craft — and the audience he is starting to gain — to pay any mind to the exiting group, placated narrowly by fond promises of banana cream and ganache gorillas.

Even so, the barest flicker of a green-eyed glance does rise over the big top of the partially completed circus, watching the rowdy ne'er-do-wells take their leave. Just as Lena makes her appearance at his table. In eerie time, his bright neon grin disappears, and is replaced by the lulz. Literally, the letters 'LOL' flicker across his facemask. He doesn't move, he doesn't say anything directly to his boss, absently folding petals from a twirl of white and yellow icing, lacing together the form of a flower for her as he watches.

Then he turns his attention from the group in the form of a single nod, just once, very mild, very curt.
It's really all that's needed, isn't it?

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