The Bigger Freak


Jessalyn_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif Samuel_icon.gif

Summary: Freaks are lovely, aren't they?

Date It Happened: December 16th, 2001

The Bigger Freak


Having managed to pass by the trio of bouncers and the metal-detector without getting into trouble, a tall young woman in a long leather coat pauses near the foot of the stairs. Tucking her wrap-around shades into an inner pocket of her coat, she eyes the unusual array of sights offered by Caritas and its denizens, sparing a length glance for the stage. After a few moments, she starts wending her way through the maze of patrons and tables, heading towards the bar.

There's a brand new arrival in Los Angeles tonight. Though he's barely hours off of the plane taking him from New York to California, Julian has already made it his business to seek out the nearest demon-friendly place with music. The small man has taken up a seat at the bar and hasn't budged from it during the last thirty minutes, intent as he is on getting himself liquored up immediately. What was served on the plane wasn't nearly strong enough. His dark blue suit has somehow managed to survive the trip from the other coast without getting wrinkled, but now that the man's found his new hangout he's loosened his necktie and undone the front of his vest, jacket hung on the side and sleeves rolled up. Jessalyn's arrival draws his gaze from over the rim of his tumbler and he stares for a few moments, only setting the glass down when he actually remembers he's holding it.

Jessalyn nods politely to Julian, coming to a halt a couple of places along from him. Flipping her coat out, to let it hang freely, she slides onto a stool, leaning forward to rest her arms on the bar while awaiting the attention of the tender.

Julian turns slowly on his stool, grinning to himself for a moment while he just watches the newcomer, though he soon manages to get distracted by his liquor again. It's good at fortifying one's constitution and nerves, after all. Before the 'tender quite makes it down the line to Jessalyn he's stopped by Julian, who says something to the man in low tones. It's pretty much along the lines of 'that one's drinks are on me'.

Jessalyn arches a brow, watching the exchange with some interest, before chuckling softly. She quirks a smile at the barkeep when he reaches her. "I'll have a rum and coke, please", she says, accent clearly British.

Julian's attention is quite properly to the glass of whiskey in front of him. He lifts it with one hand while swinging himself around, free arm propping up on the bar for some additional support while he takes a generous gulp the fiercely sharp beverage, unable to stop the wince and hiss that usually accompanies such a drinking method. The reflex is hard to lose. The bartender just nods at Jessalyn, murmuring "I'll have that right up," and wanders a bit from the woman to fetch the needed components for his latest order.

Jessalyn part-turns on her perch, resuming her survey of the bar and its patrons, pensively eyeing the suited individual presently carolling a Celine Dion track into the microphone. After a few moments, she shakes her head a touch, then looks back to the barman, watching the preparation of her drink.

Even at its fullest, the floor at Caritas is maneuverable- because let's face it, some of its patrons are less than graceful. Some of them also just happen to be bigger than a man; this is the bracket wherein Samuel falls tonight. Despite his curse, and despite the best suggestions of help for it, he finds himself back at Caritas like a good many of his free evenings do.

Though twenty minutes ago he came down the stairwell as a well-dressed, handsome man, Samuel now files out of the rear hall from the restrooms in his most relaxed and natural state; the naga form finds itself large compared within the karaoke club, but even those feet upon feet of snake that trails behind seems to be swift enough to carry Samuel to the farther corner of the bar near the wall. His serpentine facial features are curled into a smug smile as he claims the two corner stools for his own- the frontmost, humanoid of him has perched on one, and the other is quickly coiled onto by that long, scaly body. One fantastic thing about being a snake is that even if he is multitudes larger than another, he can still fit in the same relative spaces. The bartender is over taking care of both Julian and Jessalyn by the time Samuel situates himself, and so the Naga slings his pointed elbows onto the counter to wait and watch the other people and creatures at the bar.

It's a real shame that the screeching cries of agony currently filling the bar are considered 'music'. Julian certainly wouldn't call it that, and he's got experience in the field. Experience. Intrigued though he obviously is by the woman several seats down, Sam kind of steals the show - by being more of a freak than everyone else. As such, he gets stared at.

Jessalyn also turns her head to eye Sam with real curiosity. After a few seconds, however, she catches herself and stops staring. Instead, she's glad to have the distraction provided by the bartender arriving with her drink - darting a glance along to Julian to be sure that he really is paying for it.

Samuel would blink at Julian, save for the fact that he has no eyelids. Instead, the small man at the bar gets a yellow-green stare right back, and the Naga even turns his neck and runs a set of claws tapping over the polished top of the bar. If Julian continues his looking, he'll also get a smile- but a smile from the demon runs literally from cheekbone-to-cheekbone, his elongated features and rows of teeth giving an illusion that his mouth goes on forever. Most of the other patrons seem to leave Samuel unregarded, largely because he is such a common sight there in the corner of the bar.

Oh holy Jesus. Julian drops the eye contact as soon as Samuel starts to smile his extra-special smile, looking almost anywhere else but at the Naga. Singer. Server. Girl. …girl's legs. Jessalyn! That seems to be a safe place to look, and she's looking back. Usually a good sign. As for her drink, no mention of price is made. The shrimp is paying.

Seeing Julian's discomfort, Jessalyn instinctively glances 'round at the source of his awkwardness - and finds herself looking at Samuel once more. After a moment, she opts to raise her short, dark-filled glass to the naga, offering him a silent toast and a hint of a smile.

That tooth-filled smile sticks to the Naga's face as Julian turns away and moments later, he gets a silent toast from the woman down the bar. He sends her a cocked sort of nod back, lips closing around still smiling teeth. One set of long fingers takes a pair of locks that have fallen over his neckline in order to flick them back over his shoulder. Keeping those things back there might be easier if he had ears. Missing so many little pieces. As the bartender files down to him, Samuel leans forward to speak his order, the striations in the thinner skin of his back and shoulders twisting as he holds himself up on the bar.

There's no way Julian's going to be looking back over towards the enormous snake-fellow - he just doesn't have the guts to face something like that so soon after a very long trip. Give it a day or so and maybe he'll feel up to doing so. It's not like he's regretting his inability at the moment thanks to what else there is in Caritas to look at, and the short man takes another drink while letting the beginnings of a grin creep onto his face.

Jessalyn politely inclines her head to Samuel, takes a sip of her drink, then shifts position a touch to settle more comfortably onto the stool. Setting her glass upon the bar, she shrugs out of her coat, spending a few moments shaking it smooth, then neatly folding it over itself and draping it upon the stool to her left. That done, she leans forward, resting gloved elbows on the bar, muscles shifting in her bared shoulders as she idly toys with her drink, twirling the glass to and fro between her fingers.

It says something about Samuel when his drink comes with one of those little lime green umbrellas in it. What it says, nobody really could guess. Maybe he just likes the little paper umbrellas. The next crooner up at the stage is worse than the last one, plus the fact that English is not his first language and he is making a valiant attempt at murdering a song. Sam cannot help but peer over his shoulder with a slight grimace as the man progresses- he's not even drunk! How is it that bad? REALLY?

The singing is just getting intolerable now, and it doesn't look like Julian is happy about it. The grin that was starting fades into a half-formed scowl as he eyeballs the foreigner on stage, shaking his head in a way that very clearly conveys the singer Has No Idea What He's Doing. It's pretty sad— oh hay, shoulders. As Jessalyn leans forward Julian leans back.

Jessalyn raises her glass to her lips to take a lingering sip, rolling the liquid around her mouth to savour the taste, before swallowing and setting her drink back down. She starts to twirl the glass once more, but frowns, sighs, and stops. Making small, strange motions with her hand for a few seconds, she never lets go of the little receptacle - in the end sighing heavily and pursing her lips at it.

Samuel is all eyeballs too, not quite shaking his head, but not quite wanting to stop staring at that particular train wreck. He can't look away. Instead, he lifts the glass to his mouth in order to perhaps stray his focus. It only partially works, and in the end Sam leans back onto the bar, one palm brushing to block an eardrum out of distaste. Maybe if he muffles it.

Julian throws back the rest of his drink and sets the glass down on the bar. A billfold with a silver clip is produced from one of the half-demon's vest pockets, and then a twenty is produced and set on the bar beside the glass. Almost as an afterthought Julian lifts the glass again, then pins the bill underneath it. He's overpaying, sure, but the service was good and he's got the cash to waste.

Jessalyn lifts the glass to her lips once more, taking a longer sip, then sets it down - and cautiously, attempting to be surreptitious, once again tries to separate her gloved fingers from it. Her frown and continued grip on the glass both confirm that she seems unable to do so.

Trying to not pay attention to the singer, Samuel has lots of other seconds to watch the others at the bar. As such, he is watching when Jess frowns down at her glass after setting it back onto the bar. Usually only depressed people do that, right? She seemed fine a few seconds ago. One of the coils slung over the seat next to him shifts, as does that one it lies overtop of. One of the singer's friends also seems to have rescued him from himself and the club from his song.

Jessalyn darts a sidelong glance at Samuel in response to the sounds of coils shifting against each other, but returns her gaze to her glass once more. Now, she tests each finger individually, then in pairs… but they remain attached.

The coils slide against each other on the stool, which gives a metallic squeak underneath of them. Samuel tilts his head across the bar, with unblinking eyes and claws ticking against his glass. There is even a moment that a dark, forked tongue flickers out of his lips. "Problem?" His smooth voice floats over at Jess. Just asking.

Jessalyn starts slightly as she's spoken to, then musters a wan smile for Samuel. "Involuntarily magical effect", she says ruefully. "Been experiencing it off and on for a couple of days, after I was peripherally involved in a rather strange incident…."

Despite the fact that the suddenly-begun conversation might prove interesting it seems as though it's about time for Julian to abandon Caritas, at least for now. He slides off of his stool and plucks up his jacket, slipping it on and buttoning it smoothly before straightening out his sleeves. The man then heads in the direction of the door.

Samuel watches the woman for a few more moments, one side of his mouth twitching upwards while his coils come to a rest again. "Let me guess… the flower shop?" His recall of every person there is fuzzy, really- he remembers Edgar and the man with the gas can- mostly the man with the gas can. And the lighter. Even thinking back on that fact makes his spine shudder.

Jessalyn lifts a brow, then nods slowly. "Yeah", she says cautiously. "Were you there as well?" She darts a glance towards his tail.

"I was, yes." Samuel draws the glass to his mouth again, and it is clear that it has taken a lot of practice to avoid drinking like this and not have it splashing out of the sides of his mouth. Practice does make perfect. "I had met someone there- he has your problem."

Jessalyn's other brow lifts this time. "Really? Now, that IS interesting. That rules out the probable cause I'd deduced", she muses. "Unless he was one of the paramedics…?"

Samuel snorts audibly, but it is more throaty than usual. Almost a grunt. He waves his free hand once and then plucks the little green umbrella from his glass. "Goodness, no. He is not. He was far more interested in the.. flowers and throwing of clay pots."

Jessalyn laughs softly. "I was aware that someone threw something, but I was heading for the gunshot victim. I - thankfully, I think - missed out on much of what happened…."

The Naga lets out a drawn 'mmm' in response, his own mouth turning in a slight frown. "It appears as if anyone there must have.. caught something." At this point, he's eyeing the bartender from a couple of stools away, the scales on his face squeezing in an expression of impaitience. He's got his targets locked and he looks like he is waiting for the man to get closer. Unless someone else intervenes and comes up to him, the poor guy is in for it.

"Caught… something…?", asks Jessalyn uncertainly, head cocking as she eyes the naga with increasing wariness. "From what you said, I wouldn't have thought you had the same problem…"

Just as expected, the bartender does get a little bit too close. Samuel reaches out to take him by the side of his shirt- the Sanctuary is doing nothing because this isn't violence. Even though the bartender is caught Completely Off-Guard and makes an attempt to tug himself away, Samuel has already brought him close enough to plant a Very Awkward kiss on his face. There's a loud 'Mmmrrngph!' from both of them, really, and when the naga lets go, the man is pretty much fleeing to the other side of the bar, wiping his face and sputtering.

For her part, Jessalyn is just about managing to keep her mouth closed. But she's staring, clearly astonished, at Samuel - sparing the occasional swift glance for the unfortunate employee.

If a snake could really purse its lips, Samuel's face would be the picture of displeasure when he looks back to Jessalyn. His claws even threaten to scrape against the glass. They don't. Lorne wouldn't like it if he started finding his wares with little Naga-scratches all over them, would he? "Not the same problem. A problem nonetheless." His voice has even adopted a telltale hiss.

Jessalyn swallows, manages not to grin like an idiot, then nods weakly. "Ahhh… involuntary urges?", she ventures cautiously.

"Dear, can you just imagine when I went to find help? I knocked over the poor man's paperweight climbing onto his desk…" Then he mutters something about ties and leashes. Samuel makes a quick attempt at drawling out that joking tone, glancing sidelong at the bartender(still in shock). His palm lifts to cup the side of his own face, and soon enough the Naga is back to leaning onto the bar and shifting his coils as if pondering another leave. Maybe Edgar was right.

Jessalyn winces sympathetically, though she doesn't appear inclined to move any closer. "Fortunately, my own… problem's not caused any real difficulties as yet. I've confirmed that it's not a physical effect, in origin, but… I've not made much progress otherwise."

The forked tongue in Samuel's mouth flickers out. "He told me to stay at home and wait it out… perhaps that is not a bad idea, considering." He stares down the bar again at the tender, who is still making a face and giving the demon an evil eyeballing.

Jessalyn fails to entirely stifle a low laugh this time. "That… might be wise. So long as it _does_ pass, and doesn't become any worse. Certainly, I'm hoping that this wears off for me, soon."

In just a few more seconds and a quick downing of the drink in his claws, Samuel smiles dryly and plucks the little umbrella from his glass. The coils around his seats have started to uncoil onto the floor around him. "If it gets much worse, I may find myself in trouble. I will be back." He offers the latter up for the air before turning to slither back into the restrooms- he can't keep a wallet in his pockets right now, obviously, as snakes cannot wear pants. He seems to come back out, dressed, in a short time, maybe record time, and the first order of business for the demon-now-a-man is to put down a bill under his empty glass at the bar. Samuel also has less mouth now, and so his white, human smile is far more charming and far less creepy.

Jessalyn is still there, though her drink is nearly finished. Upon his return, she eyes Samuel, then nods slowly. "You do look somewhat familiar. For myself… I'll be waiting here for a while. Good luck getting home without further incident."

Samuel pauses beside Jessalyn on his way past, and for a moment it almost seems as if he is going to have one of those urges again. "I can run fast, for a demon having no legs." No kisses. He just gives her a smooth smile at the corners of his mouth. "I will see you around, hm?" With that, Samuel rights his head forward and moves to exit the bar.

Jessalyn nods politely. "I'd imagine so", she says with a hint of a smile, before turning her head to watch Samuel depart. As he disappears from view, she raises her glass to her lips once more, taking a sip before setting it down and resuming trying to free her fingers….

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