THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:08 pm GMT 
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Tiago watched with a glimmer of satisfaction as the men shied back from his knife. With the adrenaline pumping through his veins, he felt quick and acute. His mind was working at double speed. And yet he wasn't ready to be smug, not with the only exit still blocked.

He had begun to edge toward the door when Flick pulled a gun. Inwardly, Tiago sighed. This idiotic quarrel wasn't worth dying over. Besides, he couldn't have picked a more pathetic place to expire. To bleed out in this mildewed basement, with the French girls on the posters smiling down at him, doing the can-can... It was far too sordid. He definitely had to live.

"Listen," said Tiago, raising a placating hand. "It seems to me we're at an impasse. If you let me walk away, your pride is injured. On the other hand, if you kill me, you'll set off a chain of senseless retaliations. Neither is desirable to anyone, so here's what I propose--if you let me go, I'll never show my face in this miserable dive again. You can tell everyone that Alessandro Capaldi, Dautzenberg's man, is making himself scarce because he's afraid of you." Tiago didn't look very scared, but a knife, poison or otherwise, wouldn't do him much good in a gunfight. He quirked a brow at Flick. "I, for my part, won't put strychnine in your whiskey. Does that sound reasonable to you?"

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:03 pm GMT 
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Flick glanced over at Tiago, his hand still trembling and his grip obviously betraying his inexperience at even holding the thing.

"Oh sure thing, Capaldi?" He shoved the gun back into his pocket, his shoulders emidiately relaxing slightly. "Yeah it's just peachy, son of a bitch." Flick grumbled the last curse with a flung gesture to the ceiling. "Now listen here, I see hide or tail of you near our patch yer dead. And you tell Philips now we know he's still in town, people are gonna be looking for his thieving ass, you hear?!" Flick growled slowly backing off. His men inched their way back over to him, making sure to give Tiago plenty of space which didn't seem to impress Flick in the slightest.

"Well? Scram!" Flick yelled.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:43 pm GMT 
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Tiago smirked at Flick, tipped his hat to the bouncer, and strolled over to the stairs. He half expected the degenerates to try a tackle from behind, so he didn't entirely turn his back until he made it to the street. But when he took in a breath of cool night air, the rush of victory flooded through him. He wanted nothing more than to break into a run. Instead he took a few long, exuberant strides, a self-satisfied grin on his face. When he was a little ways down the road, he even started to laugh. Batrachotoxin on a pocket knife? How could anyone be so dense?

Not until he noticed a movement in an alley did he feel a residual jolt of fear. A moment later he realized--if anyone was watching him from the shadows, it was probably Ewan, hunkering down after having fled the dive. Any other day that might have been reason enough to turn tail. Tonight, however, he was so pleased with the smashing success of his bluff that he had to share it with someone. And after Tiago's noble gesture, taking on the gang alone, there was a good chance that Ewan would buy him a drink.

It had already occurred to him to wonder about Phillips' connection to the greasy bastard and his ilk. At first he'd thought them old acquaintances, but Flick had accused him of thieving. It was a detail he filed away at the back of his mind.

For now, he hesitated at the mouth of the alley, waiting to see if the movement he'd detected was just another tramp.

"Phillips," he called out lightly. "That you?"

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:31 am GMT 
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Ewan hushed the other with a strained hiss and waved his hand, darned man should be quiet though Ewan had spent the better part of his time in that alley feeling guilty after assuming Alex's demise. He quickly squirmed and clambered back to the alley entrance and after a cautious glance towards the bar he turned his attention to Alex.

"How are you still alive!?" Ewan exclaimed in a whispered manner. He frantically looked the other man over going so far to lift one of his arms by the wrist and turn him about a little, to confirm that there really wasn't a single mark on him.

"What you do just genie yourself out of there? You're fine right? Should have come to help ya, damned snakes could have murdered you, then what would I have done?!" Ewan ranted still in a hushed tone, the idea that some one could still be round the corner firm in his mind. Until a sudden crash and drunken argument coming from the bar startled him and he clutched his stick as if it were a baseball bat.

"Think we better scram." Ewan said, his chest heaving a little with fear.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:26 am GMT 
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He tolerated the touch to his wrist. He was still high on adrenaline or, in the wake of the excitement, at least drunk on self-satisfaction. It was impossible not to enjoy Phillips' incredulity.

“O ye of little faith,” said Tiago wryly. He should’ve stopped there, but the temptation was too great. He lowered his voice, his white-toothed grin glistening in the dark. “I told them I was Dautzenberg’s man. Then I threatened them with my pen knife. You should've seen those ingrates--scared out of their wits.”

He was about to start laughing when they heard the crash. At the ruckus he fell silent, glancing back over his shoulder. He was poised to follow Phillips' advice and scram. Then a horrid thought occurred to him. He stopped in his tracks.

“My book,” he muttered, quietly at first. As if in a daze, he started to turn. “I left my book in the bar. That's Betrand Russell, God damn it. I'm going back.”

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:41 am GMT 
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It took a long moment for Ewan to catch on and react to Alex's declaration, his attention mostly focused down the street and on multiple imagined scenarios ending in a very messy death. When he finally realized what the other man was about to do, he was just out of arm's reach. With a quick movement, which would have caused Ewan to be deadly impressed with himself if he wasn't at that moment flying into a sputtering panic. Ewan threw his stick up enough for him to grab a hold of the bottom and then swing it down, hooking the well worn handle into the waistband of Alex's pants.

"Wha! What are you doing Al?" Ewan hissed in another harsh whisper. "Jumping back in like a mad man, for a book?" Ewan grunted shifting back and getting a firmer hold on his stick with both hands. "Like hell I'm going back in there and neither are you." Ewan said knowing in the back of his mind, even with his upper body strength the sourpuss could easily break away, the bitter thought had a nervous grimace plastered over his face. "Heck I'll buy you all the books you want. We don't even have a gun between us Alex." Ewan pleaded with him, genuinely scared at the thought of Alex walking back in then being stabbed in the back and it being all his fault. "Please."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:15 pm GMT 
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The cane against his back startled him into awareness. What was he doing, indeed? Turning back for the book had been a knee-jerk reaction. He wouldn't actually have gone back and walked down those stairs. Probably. Possibly. If Phillips hadn't been there, he surely would've regained his presence of mind. Though...there were times he found himself in the midst of a situation with little memory of the preceding events. Left to his own devices, would he have forgotten this moment in the alley altogether?

It didn't matter now. What mattered was the fact that he'd been snagged like a dumb sheep. He turned, snatching the end of Ewan's cane. For a split-second it seemed like he might snap it in half. "I'm not a mad man," hissed Tiago. "And I'm not going back. There's no need to treat me like wayward livestock."

He thrust the cane into Ewan's arms and stepped away, his irritation fading into weariness. "I don't want you to buy me books. If you're going to buy me anything, then for God's sake, buy me a drink."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:40 pm GMT 
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Ewan struggled to catch hold of his cane as it was thrust back at him but when he did he had it tucked between his folded arms as if he were trying to hug it. He mentally sighed with relief as the worried expression and tension eased away and he pouted exaggeratedly.

"Grumpy draws." He said affectionately before another crash from the bar had him scooting behind Alex. "Well if it's a drink that's called for I'd say you deserve it Al, let's go." He turned and leaning heavily on his cane Ewan aimed to put as much distance between himself and Flick and his goons as possible.

Later on with a slightly damp brow and aching knees Ewan found courage enough to turn back to Alex and give a slightly out of breath cheer. "To tell you the truth sourpuss I weren't listening too hard to your story, but you say you chased that mob off with a pocket knife?" Ewan asked eyes wide and filled with mirth. "Though they seemed to be after me over something, I don't have a clue about what though." Which put a slither of worry back into Ewan's mind, as that man Flick had definitely known him well enough to pick him from the crowd, though glancing at his cane as they continued down the street, maybe he had been schooled by some one else?

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:32 pm GMT 
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He was glad for the promise of a drink. To go through all this trouble and then go to bed sober would constitute a failure. As they both knew, however, it was too soon to relax. The men were still after Phillips. That begged the question, of course--what had Ewan done to Flick? Cheated him? Robbed him? It occurred to Tiago to be vexed. If he hadn't thrown that ingrate to the ground, the situation wouldn't have escalated. But if Phillips hadn't pissed him off in the first place, there would have been no situation at all.

Ewan's denial of any involvement only made it worse. Tiago hated being taken for a fool. Even the mention of his pocket knife victory gave him no pleasure; he ignored it.

"You don't have a clue?" he repeated, scornfully. "Oh please. You knew those men. He recognized your face. Granted, I don't know much about St. Louis, but I should think they'd have a reason for wanting your head. And given that I just risked my best suit on your behalf, I think I deserve to know."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:37 am GMT 
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"Oh, what would you know Al?" Ewan answered sharply, his foul mood from earlier raising its ugly head at such an an accusation coming from the other man. He stopped in his tracks and glared at the Alex, it was very funny coming from some one that'd been overly trusted and handed favour after favour from himself. The thought left a very bitter taste in his mouth. Though Ewan had to admit Alex had saved his life back in the bar, he still wasn't happy at the other's tone but since his oh so precious suit had been in danger, he would give it to him straight.

"Look I didn't know the guy or his goons and even if I had met him before, it was during a very patchy time for me, memory wise. Which if that is the case I could have slept with him and still be none the wiser about why he's after me now!" Ewan's breathing was heavy as he stood feet braced and fists clenched, unsure if he was truly angry with the Alex or just emotional after speaking even vaguely about what was a tender subject. "Now I'm going to get a drink and you are to, mentioning or even thinking about what just happened," He swung his cane across a shoulder to point back from where they'd came. "Is off the agenda for you, permanently ." His tone was level and much more serious than he'd ever been with Alex, gaze fixed onto his needing to know that he'd drop the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:01 am GMT 
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For a moment, Tiago was surprised, more by Ewan's uncharacteristic anger than by his admission of dark times. Of course Ewan had gone through some proverbial shit. You didn't get mixed up with this sort of crowd unless you had. Tiago was not interested in backstory for the sake of backstory, and the hint or two he'd heard did not leave him wanting more. The thought of Flick and Phillips in bed together was too horrible to contemplate. He dismissed it with a silent shudder.

By the time Ewan had made his vague confession, Tiago had recovered from his initial surprise. His expression was not disgusted, but not especially sympathetic, either. "I assure you, I have absolutely no desire to discuss your sordid past. I didn't ask about your connection to Flick for my own amusement. The fact is, those men now have a grudge against us both, and they're a bit of an unknown quantity."

Tiago, cold though he was, seemed to believe that Ewan had no memory of the men. And he didn't press him further.

"If you're quite finished haranguing me, let's get the hell out of here," he said, taking a few hurried steps. "I've been completely sober for the last three months."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:18 pm GMT 
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Ewan let out a short humph at Alex's response but let it slide, the admission to unintentional sobriety was enough for him to follow along, all be it much quieter than he would have been otherwise. He was thinking, not that it was a rarity on his part but the scare and the sourpuss' voiced concerns had his mind churning away, about what sordid thing had come back and was currently biting him in the ass.

Slowly but surely Ewan filed away his thoughts on the matter as the pain in his legs started to grow from its usual dull ache into a sharp pain. He urged the other man to be humane and catch a motor bus or tram, with promises of paying the fair and knowledge of a fine bar, that wasn't expensive at all.

"You'd like it, full of the overly educated." Ewan puffed bending over slightly to rub his poor right knee. "Most times I've visited I've had a student or allumni of such, a such, school try and talk my ear off about it. Try and flirt with a bookworm and all I seem to get is how jolly fun their school days were or about how some old dead poet was the greatest man alive."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:06 am GMT 
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Tiago was more than happy to catch a tram. He'd been walking everywhere in this damn city. Now that the adrenaline had worn off, he didn't feel like running, or trudging, or moving much at all.

He was a bit surprised to hear that Ewan wanted to go to a halfway decent place. The sort of dive they had been in tonight was obviously not his cup of tea, but at least he compared favorably to the rest of the clientele. Now he wondered vaguely if he were underdressed. He was more comfortable lording it over lowlifes than looking slightly shabby among equals.

At Ewan's assessment of the 'overly educated,' he made a face. "I hate poetry. You couldn't pay me to read a sonnet. And as for jolly old school days...well. I don't suppose you've ever been to Catholic school?"

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:27 am GMT 
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After paying the fare Ewan fell into the nearest seat and sighed. He was half listening to Alex, brow furrowed slightly at the throbbing that had started in the soles of his feet; spent too long on them which meant another pain to add to the pile.

"Huh?" Ewan said his expression tense at the mere mention of catholic school, "Unfortunately I have, never took you as coming from a catholic family though." His lips twitched slightly with amusement at the tit bit of information.

"Though with your dour attitude to most things not sure why I ever thought otherwise, one thing I took away from school was how they sucked the fun out every thing." He added with a cringe and nervous giggle, this night seemed to have been plagued with uncomfortable topics.

"Not saying you don't know how to have fun mind, just that maybe you've not been exposed to, uh, life's varied joys?" Ewan quickly added with a gentle pat to Alex's arm, realising how he must have sounded poking at Al's sourness. Which wasn't out of the ordinary but after earlier even he knew it wasn't wise to aggravate the other man too much, especially if their little pact over the promise of alcohol was to be kept.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:45 am GMT 
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He watched the city slide by outside, calculating in the back of his mind how long it would take to walk. Public transportation was often brutal and humiliating, but he still preferred the streetcar to trudging about on foot. Tiago looked out the window as he spoke, his breath lightly fogging the glass. "I wouldn't have pinned you as a Catholic. Or a recovering Catholic, as the case may be."

It was difficult to imagine Ewan at Tiago's old school. The other boys would've eaten him alive. Unless he had a few tricks up his sleeve, which at this point did not seem unlikely.

"My parents met at church," said Tiago, without the faintest hint of affection. He almost went on to say that his family was Portuguese, but in the end he resisted the impulse. It was an unnecessary detail, and to his mind, did not reflect well upon him. Instead he added, with the pride of a true contrarian, "Now I'm an atheist."

As for "life's varied joys," he couldn't really argue. He didn't know how to have fun. He had no idea how to talk to girls (or to anyone, for that matter). At twenty two, he was a crotchety, neurotic virgin, and was eager to blame religion for that fact.

Rather than getting irritated, he nodded, in glum acknowledgement. "Of course, now that I'm free to do whatever I like, I'm penniless..."

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