Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Francis_icon.gif Moxie_icon.gif Seth_icon.gif

Summary: Seth is a Bad Influence and buys Moxie a drink. Later, Francis shows up on the scene to give them a bit of a hard time.

Date It Happened: December 8, 2001

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Gary's Last Rite

It's still early enough that things haven't become TOO crazy yet, people just keeping to themselves, nursing drinks and warming their stools, watching the UFC match on the TV. The announcer is just working himself up to a fever pitch when Moxie sticks her head inside the bar, pauses a moment, and then slips the rest of the way in. Like all teens trying to sneak into such places, she is painfully and patently overly done up, makeup even heavier than usual, hair worn down in oversized curls, a tight shirt that doesn't cover the better half of her stomach, tight pants, and over it all, the requisite leather jacket, worn and beaten up and a few sizes too big. Her gaze flickers around the room for just a moment, but she doesn't hesitate long by the door before marching right on up to the bar as if she's here every night.

Despite the ever-so-entertaining match being played out on the shiny screen, a few of the guys at the bar manage to notice the incoming girl - but Seth isn't one of them. He's far more interested in his bar-munchies and beer. There are a few hoots and whistles that might have alerted his attention, but it's not until Moxie comes up to the bar beside his seat that he actually notices her. And it's because he feels interrupted. The man turns a squinty eye on the girl and takes a long drink before speaking up suddenly and very much without invitation. "School's out already? Goddamn, they don't keep you kids occupied long enough nowadays."

Moxie flashes a coquettish grin at the catcalls, not particularly interested in any of the schlubs in here, but when you're out looking for trouble, you play with all sorts of danger to find the one that fits best… She bellies on up to the bar, ignoring the sudden comment until she's settled on one of those stools. "Okay, a) I'm not a kid. b) School is, like, in the middle of the day, really not a cool time to be drinking. And c) It's none of your business /anyway/," she replies in a lowered but pointed tone as a bartender drifts nearer.

"The middle of the day isn't for drinking? Really? I see you passed your D.A.R.E. course, Julie! Your folks must be so proud." Seth reaches down to retrieve his cane from where it leans against the bar, repositioning it on his side. The kid might get teenager-cooties on it. He leans forward and drops one forearm down in front of him to resume the business of cracking peanut shells, a grin clear on his face. "What're you having, A Shirley Temple?"

There's a momentarily flicker of … something in her expression at the mention of her folks, but Moxie mostly manages to cover by following with a huge roll of her eyes, so vast she has to move her head to capture it. "I don't need D.A.R.E. to tell me the lameness of someone hanging out in a place like this drinking in the middle of the day. Either you're an alky, or you don't want to go home. Either way, /lame/." She pulls out a folded five dollar bill from her pocket, playing with it between her fingers. "G&T, with a twist," she replies decisively. "Bet you don't have the balls to buy it for me," she dares, holding the money out towards him, caught between her index and middle finger like a cigarette. Her eyebrows lift in challenge.

It is an established Fact that Seth Ward hates kids… but this one actually seems to have some spunk, and it's apparently enough to get on his good side - at least for five seconds. Ignoring the proffered bill he leans forward, slapping the bar with the palm of his free hand and attracting the immediate attention of a bartender thanks to the glass he's just (purposely) hit off the bar. "Hey hey, friend, why don't you get Julie here a glass of bourbon on me, huh? Put it on my tab." Whether or not the annoyed barkeep complies, Seth spins on his stool to give Moxie another eyeballing. Unlike the looks she's probably gotten from a lot of guys in bars, it's not one that indicates he's ready and willing to tear off her clothes. "Nope. I don't. And if I'm any sort of alcohol-junkie, I'm a wino. I don't do the beer-binging thing."

Moxie seems impressed when the guy actually puts in an order for her - even if it's not exactly what she asked for. Like she's really going to turn down a free drink. The crumpled bill is smoothly palmed and disappears up the sleeve of that too-big jacket of hers. She's smart enough not to oversell it to the bartender, using their current conversation as an excuse to keep her face turned half-away, most of those heavily made up features therefore hidden from the bartender through that sweep of hair. The bartender seems skeptical, but the televised fight is heating up again and people are antsy to get their drinks refilled before the title match, so he goes off with a grumble, maybe to return? "So how come you don't want to go home then, huh?" she asks after finally risking a quick glance in the direction of the bar.

"My ex-wife is a pissy bitch." That pretty much covers it. Seth takes another drink and then makes a face, frowning down at the beer. He's not really a fan of the stuff, but it's cheap and convenient. "And what about you, Julie? Got an eighty-nine on your last super-special SAT prep and feel the need to cry into a bottle about it and have irresponsible intercourse?" Apparently the man doesn't care in the least that the girl next to him is probably not of an appropriate age to be spoken to in his normal vernacular.

"I think ex-wives are supposed to be. It's in the job description or something," Moxie points out. "But if she's your /ex/-wife, I don't see what that has to do with you going home. Unless you mean, like, she took it all in the divorce and sitting around in your basement apartment on your lawn furniture makes you want to kill yourself." Her eyebrows lift a little. "Dude, who's crying? I'm just out having a little fun. But I guess someone as grouchy as /you/ wouldn't recognize it. And you're going to have to buy me a hell of a lot more drinks before sex even becomes an option." And even then, but hey, if it gets her free drinks, she's got no qualms leading the pervs on a little - or pushing the buttons of someone making fun of her. Either way, really.

Seth can't help but laugh at that, shaking his head. "Julie, you're way too young for me. Give it about ten, fifteen years." He twists further on his barstool until his back is to the bar itself, and then leans back against it with a contented sigh. "As for the woman, she still lives in my house. Or I live in hers. It's weird, but it works - and you should stop trying to manipulate your way into more booze, 'cause as far as I'm concerned I've just cut you off for being a little tartmuffin."

"It's more than weird. That's messed up," Moxie pronounces judgement on his living situation. Though it's spoken more conversationally than challengingly, for once. "I've heard of people living together /before/ they're married, but after? What's the problem? Scared to be alone?" Well, the lack of challenge could only last so long. "And I wasn't /actually/ going to sleep with you, gross. No offence," she tacks on carelessly, turning back to see what is taking so long with her darn drink.

The delay with the drink is probably caused by the broken glass that needed to be cleaned up before anyone else really got served, and so the bartender only now finds the time to fill the requested glass. It's brought over and dropped off without a word, though the 'tender certainly doesn't seem pleased. "You're damn right I'm scared to be alone, Julie. There are things in this world that just shouldn't be faced on one's own, and if you think I'm dumb enough to go toe-to-toe with them without backup, you'd best get yourself back to eighth grade. It'll only be a one-year delay for your graduation." Seth drops his now-emptied glass off behind him and threads his fingers together, resting his hands over his stomach with a smile. "Seriously, though. You're not old enough to be here. What gives?"

It certainly improves her mood when she /does/ actually manage to score the drink. Moxie sits up a little straighter, taking the glass up quickly before anyone can retract the offer, and flashes the bartender a winning grin, before turning back to face her drinking buddy, as she's coming to think of him. "Alone's not so bad once you get used to it," she offers with a shrug, taking a careful sip of her drink. She's smooth enough not to hack it back up, at least, but there's no helping the sour face as it goes down. "Haven't you ever heard that thing about confronting your fears?" She swivels a little on the stool. "It's not complicated. I like a challenge and I like danger. Here, I get both. That's all there is to it," she says, maybe a little too finally to be believed.

"You'd be better off trying vampire hunting. Gets the blood pumping, as it were, and tends towards a good cardio workout." Okay, so maybe Seth has had a bit too much to drink. Or maybe not - because it's unlikely that he's ever going to see the girly-girl beside him again. With any luck. "And as for facing fears, that's bullshit. The stuff I'm scared of is the stuff that everyone else runs screaming from like a little girl of your relative age."

Moxie's arched eyebrow suggests she's not yet aboard the 'yup, vampires are real' train yet. But of course, him being drunk also works in his favour, since she assumes he's just talking crazy. "Geez, is there a movie being filmed or something, because people are /obsessed/ with that stuff around here," she remarks with a shake of her head, before taking another careful sip of her drink. "Then maybe you should take it from a little girl of my relative age that you need to man up and stop hiding behind your ex-wife." It's so easy and fun to judge.

Seth squints over at Moxie, lifting an eyebrow. "Maybe we're obsessed with it because there's something to it, Julie. Ever think of that? Huh? And as for my wife, I'd rather she get eviscerated by some sort of horrible demon than have it be me that ends up six feet other. Hiding behind her is just good business." The man smiles, winks, and then taps the bar again. It's probably time for him to have another drink. "I'd rather be a girly wuss than a dead manly-man. Hey, hey. Barkeep. This girl hasn't even read Catcher in the Rye in school yet."

Moxie doesn't seem swayed over by the drunken ramblings, just rolling her eyes. "Yeah, the something that's to it is that you're really drunk." He must be, to be prattling on about these things, right? When he goes and tattles on her though, she gives him a dirty look. "Hey!" she exclaims in a betrayed tone. "I thought you were cool." Well, nothing to be done for it but to toss the whole drink back in a few good swigs before someone can wrest it from her slender fingers. So that's what she does, finishing up with a subdued gagging noise, which makes it a little harder to sell the refreshed 'ahhh!' After wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she sets the glass back onto the table and gives him a smug grin. "Calling you a girly wuss gives girls a bad name. And who needs to read some dumb book that'll just turn you into a killer."

'Cool' is a relative term. Seth slides off of his stool as the bartender comes over to start demanding Moxie's identification, fetching his cane as soon as he's on his feet. "Julie. Trust me when I tell you that you really shouldn't be in a place like this; you'll get eaten by something unpleasant." He pulls his coat over his shoulders with one even movement and then holds his free hand out towards the door. "C'mon, I'll walk you out. And home. It's not safe."

Moxie narrows her eyes at both the narc and the bartender, but after a moment of weighing her options (and mentally weighing that bartender - man, he's big), she gives a grudging sigh, and takes some dark pleasure in flicking her glass just hard enough so that it slides over the smooth surface of the bar and crashes to the other side. At least they might still have the broom out? "/Fine/," she agrees, not least of all because someone very large is bellowing about how she's outta here. Ignoring this, she slides from her stool, having to hop down to the ground, and wavering just a little on those incredible heels she's got on. "But why would I trust you? You just totally sold me out." And yet she goes with him, so she can't be that angry.

"You'll trust me because I'm not trying to stick my hand down your pants." Seth waits for the girl to reach him and then turns towards the door without bothering to hide his smirk, sticking his right hand into his coat pocket while the left stays free to navigate with his cane. "I'll buy you a nice bottle of wine to make up for it. But you shouldn't be doing your drinking here."

"The one thing about a perv is you can always figure out his angle," Moxie points out as she catches up to follow, brushing her hair carefully back from her face in such a way that it doesn't actually do anything, and that side sweep of bangs still covers one eye. But the offer of wine brings back that upbeat attitude, her grin maybe a little more effervescent for that drink she tossed back. "Really? I'm gonna hold you to that," she warns, as if she has any possible way of doing that.

Seth can't help but laugh again. "Julie, I'm definitely a perv. But I'm not the kind of perv that fools around with little girls." He waits for Moxie to go ahead of him once she finally catches up, waiting expectantly for her to move. It's a matter of habit; the man is a relatively slow walker, and he's been pushed around too many times to appreciate trying to go first out of bravado.

"Trust me man, this little girl is more than you can handle anyway," Moxie blusters with a smirk, slipping in front of him as he allows her to, urged on a little by the sight of the annoyed and very big bartender still watching to make sure she gets herself /all/ the way out. The cane and the slow walk don't go unnoticed, but they go unremarked upon - for now, at least. "So, about that wine…"

Seth steps out of the bar after Moxie. One has to admit it looks bad - an underaged girl exiting a bar followed by (and talking with) a much older guy. He rolls his eyes and stops on the sidewalk, glancing around for a few moments out of sheer paranoia before looking back at the girl. "So. Where are we heading, and is there a liquor store in easy walking distance? Because if it's far, I'm voting we take a cab. I'm not so keen on the walking thing."

Boy, does it ever look bad. Which is why Blue-Eyes there is giving them a watchful stare - really, Frank's nominally here to get a drink somewhere where no one gives a damn about his badge or his salary, but the instincts are reflexive. And then his gaze sharpens in recognition, though he doesn't greet Seth aloud. He's in leather jacket, jeans, t-shirt.

"Okay, geez, Moneybags. Must be nice, taking cabs everywhere," Moxie replies irreverently, sticking her hands into the pockets of her own leather jacket - a few sizes too large, but meant to go with the bad girl/jailbait look she's working tonight. "I live in South Central, so I'm guessing a scaredy cat like you is gonna want to do the cab option. I've got a liquor store about a block away."

That decides it. "Cab," Seth says simply, his tone clipped. "I'm not willing to kill my leg for the sake of walking, Julie. It's just a bad idea." No, Seth is never going to ask Moxie what her actual name is. He's perfectly cool with calling her by the name he's given her. His own name doesn't seem to be forthcoming either. He manages to not notice Francis' approach as he hobbles to the street's edge, holding hand and cane out in an effort to hail a cab.

"Seth!" Frank's tone is bluff, cheerful, as he comes rolling up, though the grin doesn't really reach the blue eyes. "Good to see you. How's tricks?"

"Some of us don't have a choice," Moxie points out with just a little bit of attitude. She doesn't immediately turn when the guy behind them calls out, but as he approaches, she rotates slowly on one of those killer heels, looking between the guy and … Seth, is it? Well, she's got that much now, and so her smirk seems to point out.

"Tricks are good." The cab-catching isn't doing so well, though. Seth gives it up and turns to face Francis, sparing a moment's glance at Moxie. "Fancy seeing you again, Frank. What can we do for you?"

Francis is just Mr. Congeniality tonight. "Who's your friend?" he wonders, still beaming like it's all a grand old time, really. Moxie gets a looking-over - not the usual lascivious sort of checking out, but a sort of kneejerk assessment.

"Sorry boys, I don't do sharing," Moxie responds to Frank's question in an almost bored tone. Of course, it's just an offhand remark, inappropriate to try and get a rise out of someone, but that's it. Not that she's explaining any of this as she stands there, blandly looking between the two.

There goes Seth's emergency plan of claiming Moxie as his daughter. Snap. "An idiot kid who thinks it's a good idea to wander into bars. I'm doing my part for the community and seeing her home without incident. Anything wrong with that, Frankie?" The cane in the warlock's hand clacks down on the sidewalk to give him a place to lean.

"How very chivalrous of you," Frank says, in mock approval. "Why, nothing at all," He grins at Moxie, as if ever so tempted to pat her on the head. "That's okay. I'll forgive you this time," he notes to her.

Moxie rolls her eyes as Seth goes with the lamer option of basically telling the truth, how boring. "Forgive me? Who the hell are you, a priest?" Ordinarily, she might pick up on a few more contextual clues, but she's a wee thing and that one drink she managed to toss back is going to her head. However, something seems to be slowly permeating that brain fog, since she's starting to look a little suspicious. "The hell is going on?" she asks, more towards Seth, but open to both gents.

If Moxie is suspicious, Seth is ready to alert the national guard. Frank is creepy. The warlock frowns at the creepy man, squinting a little bit as he does. "Julie, I think Frank here is one of those pervs you were talking about. Not my kind of perv - the other kind. I think you should hit him with something."

"I don't know what church you attend, if you think I look like a priest," Frank says, eyes crinkling in amusement. "But no, I am not a priest. I just ran into Seth the other evening, was surprised to see him here, out and about. No, I'm not a pervert."

Moxie doesn't seem to think Seth's idea of hitting the large man is a very good one. Or at least not for her. He's the one with a cane right at hand! So she indicates as her gaze flickers to it and then back to the two men. "I dunno. You seem kinda pervy. Awfully interested in what's going on. People 'round here usually know better than to ask too many questions."

"You set things on fire. I don't really think that qualifies you as a friend of mine, so kindly step off and let us be on our way. If you want to be helpful, you can grab us a cab." Seth never has any luck with cabs. It might even be a curse he doesn't know about. He turns his attention onto Moxie again, nodding along with her. "He's definitely a perv. One of those unsavory types I was warning you about."

Francis tips a nonexistent hat. "I'm just naturally curious," he says, sunnily, before turning on his heel to head into the bar.

"A pyro? Cool," Moxie remarks, though it doesn't seem to be cool enough to get her to stop being suspicious. "Yeah, see, that's kinda creepy!" she calls after Frank, as he makes his leave. "You got some really weird friends. I can see why you're so desperate for /my/ company," she goes on in a normal voice, giving Seth a knowing nod.

Seth sneers at Francis' back just to make himself feel better, nodding back at Moxie. "No kidding. Well. Time for you and I to get going, kiddo. I don't think it's safe to stick around here."

Moxie will overlook the 'kiddo', since he doesn't refute the bit about being desperate for her company. "Yeah, fine. Lemme see if /I/ can track down a cab then," she says in that world-weary tone of know-it-all teens everywhere. If you want something done right… She hops down off the curb and moves a few feet out into the nearest lane, leaning forward to peer for the sight of a cab.

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