Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

amelia_icon.png finnegan_icon.png

Where: Drunken Semaphore

When: September 20, 10pm

What: Drinks are had, banter is shared, and Amelia gets what every bartender groupie wishes she could.

Thursdays are not the busiest of nights for the Drunken Semaphore, but there's enough of a crowd after the 10 p.m. exodus from the nearby college that Finnegan's not bored. It's hard to be bored when a trio of sorority girls sit on the barstools like the silly girls in Beauty and the Beast watching Finn pour beer like it takes some kind of talent. What does take at least some skill are the martinis they've demanded from him, and he finishes pouring out the third in a pretty color — this one's a pale green, likely an appletini. The girl's partners in crime have a pink one and an orange one. Because it'd be totally unoriginal to all order the same thing, right?

"You let me know if that's too strong for you, darlin'." The southern drawl is strong tonight, and there's a fresh cut on his cheekbone to highlight a bit of a black eye that wasn't there the last time he was at the Company's digs.

Making her way in is Amelia. It's both hard to recognize her right off and… not all that hard, as her hair is bright purple and she's in a sort of distressed punk get up. She doesn't look like Agent Amelia Miller, but who else would it be. There's a smirk as she watches Finn and the girls, settling into a stool a bit away from them. Enough to be private. As private as one can get in a bar, anyway. There's a knock on the bar to get his attention, which is not at all polite, but there you go.

The girl tastes a sip of the martini and declares it perfect, and Finnegan grins. "Y'all let me know when you need refills," he says brightly and moves down the bar to where Amelia sits. Arms cross on the bar top and he leans against it. "Well, if it ain't Blueberry Muffin. Where's Apple Dumplin' and Strawberry Shortcake?" he asks, rapping the bar with his own knuckles in front of her.

"What can I get you, besides my number?" he teases.

"I ditched them three blocks away. Couldn't pull them away from Sugar's strip joint." Amelia glances down the bar, but then back at Finn with a grin, "I see you're laying on the southern charm, Jamie Finnegan. What do you need the extra tips for, huh?" She folds her arms on the bar at the teasing question, though, and grins, "Something with whiskey. And keep 'em coming, I'm on my first break in days. How'd you get the shiner, Finny?"

"I do have to ask. Do Shortcake's drapes match the curtains?" he asks, turning to get the best bottle of whiskey in the house and pouring her a generous double. He shrugs one shoulder. "I don't, but it's good to be popular," he says, and while he smirks, there's something more honest in the words.

He glances around the room to take in anyone in need of refills, but everyone's happy for the time being. "I would tell you but that means I'd be breaking at least two rules." A water bottle is pulled out from below the bar and he uncaps it to take a swallow.

"It would break the bonds of sisterhood if I told you that," Amelia says before she cups her mouth to continue in a stage whisper, "But I have it on good authority that it comes from number Sixty-Six: Pomegranate." She leans back, spreading her hands as if she were so unhappy to disappoint. "Not like mine, of course," she adds playfully.

Her smile comes more naturally as he pours her that very generous double, "Are you sure you're not trying to get my number with this drink? I don't think you have to work so hard at being popular, if you want a professional misfit's opinion." His answer about his black eye gets a wider smile, though, and she chuckles a little. "Which two rules?"

He shrugs a shoulder again. "All the world's a stage, and a barman plays many roles in his life," Finn says with a grin. "I guess you're right. As long as I supply the alcohol, I'm plenty popular."

Another swig of water is taken and he holds up two fingers. "Rule number one and Rule number two, but they're the same rule, so I don't think it reallycounts." He jerks a head to one side. "Down the street a few blocks. Warehouse on Wednesday nights. They take bets and shit, you should come by sometime."

"I think you'd do alright without the alcohol supply," Amelia says with a laugh as she actually picks up her drink. She's not planning to nurse it, either, by the size of the gulp she takes. She sets down the glass with an appreciative whistle; it's good whiskey after all.

It takes a second for the reference to kick in, but when she gets it, there's a knowing, if exaggerated, nod. "I see. So you really do that? Go down and like, fight people for kicks?" She pauses to ponder that a moment before adding, "Shirtless?"

He laughs, moving away to pour a refill for someone on the far end of the bar and collecting a payment from another customer before returning. "You make it sound like I'm kicking the shit out of poor helpless people for fun. Yeah, been doing it for a while. It's a good way to blow off steam. Also, I've gotten a couple leads once in a while. Not here yet, but back in LA? This guy, no matter how hard I hit him, wouldn't even blink. And my hands were bruised to hell after I fought him. Figured out he was special after the third time he beat me. He couldn't really pack much of a punch, but even a mediocre beating going full rounds wears on a guy when the other guy isn't even feeling it, you know?"

He gives a nod to her. "And what do you do when you're not playing lady of many faces? You were working tonight?"

And she watches him go, head tilting for a moment before he looks back her way. By then she's finished her drink and is looking in a less butt-level direction. "Not a bad idea for a place to find them," she says, as if she's not one of them, "I might have to come see. Something about a couple guys beating the crap out of each other. Barbaric, of course, but hot."

She smirks at the question, amused, "Now, if I tell you that, it'll ruin the magic. I wasn't supposed to be working, but they asked me to come follow up on a lead for our favorite disappearing Doctor. Didn't go anywhere, though, so now I'm here."

The whiskey bottle is grabbed and he pours her another double that's more like a triple — likely will come out of his tips in the end of the night to make sure inventory matches. "Fucking doctor," Finn growls. "I hate that smarmy asshole."

The money is put in the till and his gray eyes skim the room for anyone in need of a refill, but his job's apparently easy tonight. "You feeling all right? You shouldn't work so hard. Make sure you're 100 percent. The suits can deal with it. I'll work s'more of your shifts if you need. I can get them to let me quit this gig. It's not doing much besides lining my pockets with not-very-much tip money."

"Apparently, we're all worried about his eventually return to fuck everything up. But for now, I'm just glad he's gone and I don't have to dig around in there anymore." The thought of it is motivation enough for the telepath to take another drink. "I'm alright. Overworked, underpaid," she says, joking a bit. "Just sometimes have to take a moment to come see my favorite bartender in Vegas."

She's probably just trying to make him not worry, given how little she's been seen lately and how much she's drinking. "It'll be aright, once they don't need my special talents everyday, yeah?"

Brows quirk into a sympathetic expression at her words before he reaches for the empty pitcher of a college kid and refills it with the cheap shit on tap. "One day you'll be a man and drink the real stuff," he teases the young man buying the Coors Light, but then Finn brings his gaze back to Amelia.

"So," he says. "How much do they know about me from people with your talents? I mean, the stuff I didn't volunteer." There's no criticism or censure in his words; if she's looked into his head, he doesn't blame her.

"You think I'd snitch?" Amelia folds her arms on the bar to lean in a bit. "I only pass on things like finding out you're a communist spy or about to blow up Shaw's office. What you all decide to tell them or not is up to you." Whether or not that's actually the truth, she's pretty convincing in it. "Think of me as like a priest. Unorthodox."

Which, of course, doesn't deny at all that she's looked.

He huffs a laugh, but doesn't seem irritated. "Thinking of you as a priest is a waste of daydreaming time, Muffin. That'd be more Nobara's kinda thing, I think."

Finn nods to a couple of people as they make their exits, then picks up their glasses and the napkins, wiping down the bar that's already clean by most people's standards. "So you have free time, and you came to spend it with me? I think that's even sadder than me spending all my free time getting punched in the face. What's wrong with us?"

"It's almost halloween, I'm sure there's a Sexy Priest outfit out there somewhere." Hell, it's Vegas, they're probably year-round. Amelia takes this drink a little slower, probably because the previous one is settling in. Her smile's already a little sloppier, but it's probably the only time she's not playing one role or another. When she's drinking.

"Something to do with being over stressed, I'm sure. Unhealthy coping mechanisms— although, I don't think mine's all that bad." She even toasts her glass to that point. "I would punch people, too, if I didn't have to worry about how bad a black eye would be in my lines of work."

He grimaces at the idea of a sexy priest. "So many things I'd rather see than that," he says with a chuckle. "And there are unhealthier things, I think. Your liver might disagree, of course." He's mostly joking.

"Bridget used to skydive on her weekends off," he says abruptly — the first time he's mentioned her, and by the casual drop of her name, it's clear he assumes she knows who Bridget is — his partner back in LA that was killed on the job. Whether or not she knows Bridget was more than that, it's hard to tell. "Drove me nuts. I'll jump out of a plane if I need to but it's not something you do for fun, you know? All your faith in a big ol' piece of silk."

"It might, but it doesn't get a vote."

Amelia's wry commenting stops when he mentions Bridget, and it's pretty clear that she does know exactly who she is. "Piece of silk, big metal machine with a crazy person at the wheel, we all put our faith in something totally crazy. You have to, or you go a little nuts. But I'm with you on jumping out of a plane. It's not exactly the type of thing I'd volunteer for."

"Tell you what," Finn says, pulling out a key ring and then prying off one of the keys on it and setting it on the bar. "You take a cab," he begins, a little sternly, "to my place, and when I get off work, we'll either be super healthy and wholesome and watch Disney movies or something and make egg white omelettes or some shit like that, or totally unhealthy and eat raw cookie dough while watching Quentin Tarantino flicks and drinking vodka straight. Your pick."

"Oooh, that's a hard choice, Finnegan," Amelia says, sucking in a breath through her teeth. "I'll let you know when you get there. I hope you don't mind I'll be wearing your shirt when you come home. Can't do Disney or Tarantino in this mess," she says with a gesture to herself and the outfit she's wearing. There's just too many zippers for it to be comfortable.

She picks up the key and finishes her drink before she leans over the bar enough to kiss his cheek. Then she slides off her stool, pockets the key and starts for the exit. Because that's where the cabs are. Hopefully.

"If you can find a clean one. The cleaning lady don't come 'til tomorrow," he says with a chuckle, but obviously he has more shirts than a week's worth of dirty laundry. He watches her go. Only once she's out the door does he shake his head, breathing out a slow and drawn out, "Fuck," before turning back to check on the trio of martini girls.


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