Manly Flowers

Manly Flowers

daniel_icon.jpg finnegan_icon.jpg ryel_icon.jpg shikoba_icon.jpg

Where: Reseda Country Club
When: June 29, 2020
What: Some of which are more thorny than others.

"Something sweet, pink, fruity and ridiculously girly." - Shikoba

Saturday nights are usually fairly busy and extremely loud at the Reseda Country Club, but tonight's band is a little known act with acoustic instruments, a little mellower than the usual groups that play at the club on the weekends. The music is decent, though, and the band seems to have a devout following up close to the stage. The crowd is growing slowly as the night wears on, as those who came with little expectations find the songs to their liking.

At the bar farthest from the stage, it's easier to be heard by the bartender and to actually have a conversation. Not that Jameson Finnegan is looking for the latter. He's on what looks to be a third whiskey (the one bearing his name). Some might recognize him as a bartender in his own right, the wolf that tends the counter at the Bottom of the Barrel, but today he's sitting on the paying side of the bar.

Shikoba lingers by the bar furthest from the stage, a Corona dangling between her fingers as she looks toward the stage with an idle, almost bored look on her face. The small of her exposed back is pressed against the bar. She licks her lips, bringing the bottle to them and taking a drink, one of her elbows resting carelessly on the bar behind her.

Though not a regular of the club by any means, Daniel came for reasons of checking things out; the man finds himself falling into the category of those who had little expectation and find the songs actually quite enjoyable. No drinks in his hand yet, but the night is still young. Once the current song is over, he slips back towards the furthest bar looking intent on securing an alcoholic handprop. Daniel pulls up beside Shikoba's resting spot, offering a light nod and friendly smile. "Excuse me," he notes politely.

Shikoba flicks her eyes at Daniel, her mouth forming a thin line as it twists into a slight moue of distaste. She tilts her head slightly, giving her ponytail a flick as she lifts the bottle to her mouth again. Her black eyes narrow slightly as she watches the man, the gold glitter of her eyeshadow catching the light behind the bar. She lowers the bottle from her mouth, pushing herself away from the bar and down a few inches to give herself space, the muscles in her well tones arm flexing. "You are excused," she quips, her voice low and throaty.

The owner of the bar comes through an employees-only door, and even those who don't know that he's the owner, that don't know who this bar belongs to, stop their conversations for a moment to look. Many people have gone these past ten years without even meeting a true Fey from the Otherworld. Handsome by "mundane" standards, Ryel also has a power that comes with his kind, an energy that is hard to describe but can definitely be felt. He smiles at those who make eye contact with, causing a couple of the girls at the bar to giggle and clutch one another: "Did you see, he looked our way?" "He totally checked you out!"

The wolf at the bar with the whiskey doesn't look up as Ryel passes behind him. When the Old Wolf pats him on the shoulder and leans down to murmur something in his ear, Finn tenses, visibly, but Ryel doesn't wait for a response, moving on and giving a nod to the other two wolves a couple feet down at the end of the bar.

Not all are as enthralled with him as the giggling girls; a couple of men nearby narrow their eyes and murmur to one another — silly, really, since Ryel can likely hear every word they say.

Daniel turns at the quip and counters Shikoba's expression with a touch wider, crooked smile that shows amusement in the face of annoyance, though not mockingly so. "You wouldn't know how many times I've heard that lately, though in a more formal setting than this," replies the man introspectively, and he returns to leaning on the bar top to flag down the bartender. In the middle of doing so, the club owner's appearance stirs the others and Daniel is amongst those whose activities are interrupted to stop and gaze in the Wolf's direction, who he interacts with, and who he doesn't.

Shikoba turns toward Ryel and thus Finnegan her head tilting slightly as she makes to listen- not only to those around her, the whispers and giggles and music and the general din of the club, but also to the Old Wolf. Her brows loft, a crease forming on her forehead as they do. She inclines her head respectfully before turning her attention back to Daniel. The trace of a smirk graces her lips as she lifts a single brow, "I think most settings are more formal than this one." The beads on her shirt glint in the light as a shoulder lifts lazily upward.

There's a growl — quite literally — from the Old Wolf at whatever the men said to one another. Finnegan's half up from his chair looking alarmed, but Ryel keeps the anger in check and turns to the bartender with a nod toward the two men. The bartender speaks into his Bluetooth, and seemingly out of nowhere, two bouncers arrive. Their graceful speed, that only the true Old Wolves possess, make the two men backing up with their hands up as if to ward off vicious dogs.

In a way, it's fitting.

"Don't come back," comes the low rumble of Ryel as the bouncers have an easy job of escorting the two men toward the door — there's no fight, and it's the two humans with their metaphorical tails tucked, rather than the wolves.

Ryel turns to lift a brow at Finnegan. "Coming to my aid, were you?" he says, his voice tinged with an accent that is not from any country any human has been to. He doesn't wait for the answer, but glides back out of the bar to the door he'd come through.

"Touche," Daniel adds in a low chuckle back to Shikoba, his eyes not having left the path of the Old Wolf and bearing witness to the events unfolding. The subsequent growl and actions draw up not just Finnegan from his chair, but Daniel's posture at the bar turns from leaning to standing stiffer, expectant. Even as the bouncers show out the two humans, Daniel does not seem to approve. Opinions are kept quiet, lest he too be unexpectedly shown out. Only after Ryel's through the employees only door does Daniel breathe out a sigh, and with a shake of his head makes eye contact with the bartender and orders scotch on the rocks. A sidelong glance shifts to Finnegan, brief and examining.

Setting her bottle on the counter, Shikoba visibly tenses, one hand gripping the edge of the bar. The sound of the wood bending under the force of her grasp drowned out by the noise of the club. Taking a breath, she forces herself to relax, releasing her grip on the bar as the men are removed from the premises. She looks at her hand briefly, then makes a fist, her knuckles cracking as she down before shaking out her hand.

Expelling a breath, Shikoba picks her bottle back up and peers into it to find it about half empty. She gives it a swirl,, the lime inside the bottle kicking up a slight fizz as she takes a drink. "That could have been exciting," she murmurs as the doors closes behind the Old Wolf.

Finnegan's glower is lost on the back end of the door as it closes, and he turns to look over at Shikoba when she makes her comment. "There's a Chinese curse that says 'May you live an interesting life,'" he says, a Southern drawl coloring the words as he lifts his own glass to his lips, draining it and adding it to the other two empty glass for a trio of dead soldiers.

"I'd rather do without exciting tonight." There's a fading bruise on one eye and where he grips his glass, one knuckle has been split, sometime in the past couple of weeks. His eyes narrow just slightly as he takes in Daniel. "You look familiar," he says, though not in a way that makes it sound like a good thing.

"Exciting's best left up on the stage," responds Daniel wryly to Shikoba as he sips his drink, himself looking like he'd rather dismiss the events witnessed just now from his mind and gut as well. But to Finnegan's statement, he stares back uncowed by the roughed up look of the other. "Better than looking interesting?" he offers cheekily.

Shikoba wears a look on her face that is a blend of emotion (none of which seem to be the softer more pleasant emotions) as Finnegan speaks to her. Her nostrils flare slightly as she inhales then huffs out the breath. For a moment, she looks like she is going to roll her eyes but, remarkably, doesn't. Instead, she stares directly at the man who just spoke to her her black eyes unflinching. She brings her bottle to her lips and simply shrugs.

As Finnegan turns his attention away from her and onto Daniel, Shikoba takes a moment to study the banged up man, her eyes flicking up and down as she gives him a once over before following his line of sight over to Daniel. She brings her bottle to her lips, taking a long pull on her beer, the neck dangling between her first and middle finger as she tilts it upward. She finishes off the brew and sets the bottle on the bar, pushing it away from her.

Lifting her hand, the obviously Native American woman looks at her nails for a moment before letting it fall back to her side. She pulls a ten dollar bill from her pocket and sets it on the bar, tapping it once as a signal for another. Eventually, the bartender sets a Corona, a lime wedge and a salt shaker in front of her and makes off with her money. She takes a pull from the bottle, emptying it down the neck. "Looking interesting is not such a bad thing, but being interesting is far more entertaining in the long run," she says as she shakes some salt onto the lime, then squeeze the lime into the bottle and forces it through the mouth and down the neck. The beer fizzes as the salt hits it, threatening to spill out the mouth, but never quite doing so.

"I'm none of the above, except to people who think anyone with eye shine is special just because they got bit by some damn dog," says Finn, with a jut of his scruffy chin toward the girls at the other end of the bar who — without Ryel to make moon eyes at — are now checking out Daniel.

"Fucking groupies," he says wryly, reaching for his glass and finding it empty. Four might be pushing it, given that he has to fight after closing. He stares at the empty glass a moment before lifting his hand for the bartender to bring him another.

Daniel files away Finnegan's commentary on his state. Shikoba's addition becomes his ground. And for the girls by the bar, but he at least acknowledges the ladies looking his way with a nod of hello. Yes, he's a wolf too, they would know. But he's not Ryel the Unapproachable. "Everyone here's just looking to get entertained, I'd say. They're just here for a good time, right?" remarks Daniel with a second drink of his scotch.

Cocking her head to one side, she looks past Daniel to the girls at the end of the bar making eyes at Daniel. She licks her lips as they giggle at one another and whisper to each other. Her mouth quirks into a lopsided smirk as she huffs a laugh out her nose and gives a shake of her head, lifting her now calmed bottle of beer to her mouth and takes a drink.

She narrows her eyes slightly, flicking them at Finnegan, a wry smile on her face as she drinks her beer. «Pack Mind: More than just a run of the mill dog bite I'd say.» She lifts a brow at him, as if testing, then glances to Daniel, her eyebrow still lifted.

The fourth drink is delivered to Finn and he drains it, then tosses a twenty on the table. It's really not enough to cover it in any normal bar, but the tender takes it and doesn't ask for more. "Good luck tonight, man," he says to the wolf, who nods in wordless thanks.

«Doesn't make me interesting» is sent back to Shikoba, his gaze sliding off toward the stage where the band seems to be wrapping up. "They look like they'd be happy to entertain you. Bet they'd even entertain you at the same time if you wanted. May as well play the Fey card and get something out of it, right?" His slate-colored gaze slide back to Daniel, but despite the teasing comments, there's not much humor in the look.

Shikoba flags down the bartender, turning to face him, her belly pressed against the bar as she does. She pulls a twenty from her pocket and smirks. "Two drinks for the ladies at the end of the bar. Something sweet, pink, fruity and ridiculously girly. Or whatever they are already drinking. Tell 'em they are from him." She tilts her head at Finnegan. She pulls her lips back from her teeth (which are perfect: white, straight, and gleaming) in something that almost resembles a smile. She turns this look on Finnegan for a brief moment before her lips slip back into place over her teeth.

"You wouldn't know how many times I've heard that lately, though in a more formal setting than this," repeats the lawyer with much more humor than his counterpart. He looks further amused as Shikoba pulls a twenty for the girls at the end of the bar. "Well that's noble of you," he says to Shikoba for her "sacrifice".

The bartender smirks, and looks at Finnegan for a moment, expecting an argument, but the man just sighs. Another five is slid on the table for a tip, and he rises from his barstool.

"While I wouldn't say no to being entertained, I have a strict no-groupie policy," he says, his drawl a bit thicker now that he's got the alcohol of four straight whiskeys coursing through his blood.

"See ya 'round." The latter is said with a bit of flat resignation rather than any form of hope.

"I am very interested to hear about this formal setting where so many interesting phrases seem to come up." Shikoba says, lifting her beer to her mouth, but not taking a drink. She holds it steady for a moment, then lowers it. "I'm Izzy by the way." She lifts the bottle again and takes a drink this time. She turns her head for a moment, looking through the crowd and furrowing her brow before turning back Daniel and Finnegan. She watches as Finnegan rises. "Groupies? Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I suspect they are your run of the mill naive girls out for a night on the town giggling over a good looking man while they stew in their lovely buzz from sugar and alcohol- like hummingbirds ready to strike at the next shiny flower." She looks at Finnegan, then Daniel. "Manly flowers of course."

Another crooked smile, and Daniel gives his good bye (and good luck) to Finnegan in the form of another nod. "Daniel," he says with a turn to Shikoba, "and a pleasure to meet your acquaintance." All manners for the moment of actual introduction, he swaps out afterwards for a less formal laugh. "I'll have to take that as a compliment. Manly flower." After a pause, he adds to the woman, "So I take it by the slow drink on a light beer that you're sticking around 'til closing?"

Finnegan snorts at Shikoba's phrasing. "I'll leave the naive girls to someone else, sister." He nods once more to Daniel just as the girls get his drinks and giggling, look his way.

Time to make haste.

He turns tail and heads out, though anyone watching him for more than a moment will notice he doesn't head for the exit, but instead an unmarked door to the side of the dance floor.

"Ditto," she says, lifting her drink in a gesture of friendship (or possibly acquaintance, or greeting or whatever). She lowers the drink to her side as Finnegan makes his leave. At the next question, Shikoba frowns and lifts a shoulder in a lazy shrug. "Don't know yet honestly." She looks to the stage, then down the bar. "I haven't decided if I want to stick around that long."

She flips her hair, her eyes roaming to the unmarked door for a moment, or maybe just roaming. "I've heard the after parties tend to get a bit wild here. I don't know if I'm quite up for it yet. I suppose it will depend on my mood and how able I feel to get up for my morning run by the end of the night."

The unmarked door doesn't get a second glance from Daniel, either that he's noticed before or that he hasn't. "Can't blame you there," he agrees, "though you'd have to admit it'll definitely be… interesting.

On that note, though -" Daniel pauses to polish off his drink, pulls out his billfold, and places one and a second twenty down on the bar. "- Next drink's on me." He appears genuine on the offer, making sure the bartender of the night knows it, and excuses himself a second time before heading towards the direction of the head.

"Thanks," Shikoba says, for the first time a genuine smile gracing her features. She lifts her drink and finishes it off, setting the bottle on the bar. She dips her head as Daniel makes his leave as the bartender brings her another beer (complete with lime and salt). She takes her drink and wanders off into the crowd.

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