Cate and Jacob attempt a game of pool. Tove crashes the party.
Location: The Ruddy Clam
Related Scenes: 2237-09-11 - Commonalities
Scene Number: 500
It's late in the evening. Cate's been here for awhile. First with Van, but he's not here any longer, then on her own. She's wearing jeans and a black sleeveless top. She also wears her glum mood on her sleeve, but that hasn't stopped her from venturing over to the pool tables. She's just beaten a young man - his buzz cut marking him as a marine even in his civvies. Not a Wolf though, a local. Cate arches her eyebrows at him blandly as he grins and makes a big show of 'OMG I can't believe I lost'. The grin turns more sly as he tries to buy Cate a drink, but she holds up the beer bottle she's already got and gives him a flat brush-off that has his buddies ribbing him about the burn as they mosey back over to the bar. Cate is then alone at the pool table, taking another swig of beer before going around to fish balls out of the pockets.
Jacob had gotten off duty a bit earlier. He'd tried to hide, honestly, at several locations. But being this close to the installation, all he'd found were crowded coffee shops, bookstores, and restaurants. So, he'd opted for the bar. He was also wearing civilian clothes, well fitting blue jeans and a dark green shirt, specifically. As with most of the marine's shirts, it fit him tightly in the shoulders and chest and trailed rather lazily down to his waist. He was chewing one of his signature toothpicks as a large hand pushes the door open, eyes on the floor, and he makes his way directly to the bar. If you can't hide? Drink. "Whiskey. Neat. Four fingers." His words are short, crisp, and rather pointed. While the glass is prepared, he turns, glancing out across the bar to take stock of it's patrons. That's when his eyes fall on Cate. It draws an involuntary and entirely unsurprised smirk. They kept wandering into one another. So, with the glass of amber liquid in hand, he works his way across the room, displaying no small amount of dark confidence in his steady gate. "Playing shadows? Or would you like another?"
It is indeed late in the evening, but if looks are anything to go by, for some, including the small woman just now making her way through the doors, the night seems destined to be only just beginning. After a rather lengthy bit of conversation and three shows of her ID to a succession of bouncers, all of which seems to make the queue behind her increasingly testy, Tove finally slips past and into the room proper. For her part, she seems to have selected her attire for a much different location than a bar, slim, tailored slacks and a creamy silk wrap blouse. Cocktails, yes, shot, not so much. Still, any port in a storm, as she begins to crest the wave of the bodies filling the place. It's a bit like watching a mouse moving through tall grass. Mostly you know she's moving because you can see the people being gently, and occasionally not so gently moved out of her way.
Cate looks up when Jacob approaches the table. "Wasn't two games e..." She stops short when her eyes light on the familiar figure. There's a blink, and she takes a second to recover before waving at the table. "Sure, if you want. Did know you still played." She continues going around gathering the balls up in the rack. There's a little table against the wall where a partly-empty bottle of whiskey and an empty glass sits, but it's stoppered and Cate seems to be ignoring it for the moment in favor of the beer she's working on. She doesn't seem to have noticed Tove yet.
Jacob hasn't noticed Tove yet either, in fact. It may be because she's fun sized, and moving among the bigger candy bars. The big Hibernian man tips his whiskey back against his lips, lowering the glass with an arched eyebrow aimed in Cate's direction. "I really don't. But it's like riding a bike, right?" He wraps a hand around one of the pool cues on the wall rack, removing it from it's fastenings and testing it experimentally in his hand. He even sets his glass down, momentarily, next to the whiskey bottle to line the cue up to his eye and look for straightness. It's more the bottle than the length of wood that ends up earning his gaze, though. "Weren't you just telling me about what happens when you drink too much?"
As if to paid to the whole 'dress for the bar you want to be in' idea, once the small woman actually makes it to the bar, the top of which is tall enough that it nearly reaches to the bottom of her chin, it's nothing so strong as whiskey, nor as civilized as beer. No, it's something minty and sweet and muddled in a tall glass. Yes, a mixed drink. A foot rises to the step-ring of one of the stool, bringing her up high enough to pay for the drink, taking it in hand and using that momentary increase in height to allowing her pan and scan around the room. She almost makes it a full circuit, before her attention is caught by something off in the area of the pool tables, and so, with drink in hand, she once again dives into the sea of humanity, on her way to the slightly more open area.
"Guess we'll find out," Cate offers mildly. "You can break." She gets the rack set up in its proper position and then - almost defiantly - takes another drink from her beer. "Yeah, well, you're not the only one who's got sorrows to drown." She was never one to drink to excess when Jake knew her before, so this is something new. She's not slurring her words or anything, but she's pretty clearly past 'tipsy'. When Tove finally makes her way over to their area, the unfamiliar woman gets a brief glance in passing.
It takes far less time to get away from the bar than it did to get to it, which...well, that's not a mystery. That's just plain common sense. Tove, for her part, gets a glimpse of the happenings in the pool area only in fits and starts, as bodies part under the force of her...personality. Also quite possibly her elbows, even an occasional stomp of a heel. No, no, she'd never go that far. Finally, though, she breasts the wave, eyes catching the brunette's for a brief instant, giving her a tip of the chin though she isn't strictly speaking, heading in her direction. Rather she seems to be angling to come up behind the big man, moving, surprisingly, considering the shit on the floor, rather quietly. Alas, recon is recon, and as he comes up from his shot, she falls under his scrutiny. "Marx." She offers the glass, "Drink?" The questions send pell-mell in her direction get a shake of her head and a flash of a smile, "Well, I'll reserve judgment on the joke, but the Athena's still underway, so far as I know. Chuckles dropped me off this morning, I've been in intake all day." There's just the slightest indication of a pause, "I'm with the VK-1 now." Whether Jacob takes the drink or not, Tove will turn to offer a second smile to Cate, "Sorry to interrupt. Tove Lind, I'll get out of the way." And indeed, she mostly does stepping outside of the area the pair will need to shoot.
"Maybe it is like riding a bike," Cate observes when he sinks his first ball. She hitches a shoulder to the comment about her drinking. "Guess you don't know me as well as you think," she says dully. Then he's greeting Tove and Cate looks taken aback. The way his eyes light up when he sees her - that definitely demands another drink of beer. She looks between the two of them, studying. When Tove apologizes, she makes a vague dismissive gesture with the beer bottle that probably means not to worry about it. She doesn't offer a greeting though, as she waits for Jacob to take another shot since he sank his first ball.
Jacob's initial question gets a smirk and a tilt of her head, her expression not wavering as he takes the drink, tries it, which seems to bring the woman no small amount of amusement, and then gives her counter argument. "Well, I do like to stay minty fresh. Also, I went a bit native during some R&R on Scorpia. It's a thing there." Apparently. Tove reclaims the drink, and with it now offered and accepted, she moves off to a goodly distance from the table, so that she can watching without cluttering up the work space. If she notices either that her greeting wasn't returned or that Jacob had to hesitate in the greeting, she gives no indication, only accepting the taller woman's name with a nod, "Good to meet you, Rhodes." Because last names are a thing. "Impressive, Marx."
Cate's eyebrows lift slightly when Jacob stumbles in his introduction, waiting to see how he finishes that sentence. Old friend. Her lips draw together into a thin line. "Just an old friend though. Not a current one. We're just professionals." Despite the deadpan snark, she has not lost all semblance of manners, and does at least nod back to Lind's greeting. "Yeah, you too." She retrieves the scratched ball from the pocket and sets them back up again. Then she takes her own shot. Like Jacob, she sinks the first ball. Unlike Jacob, she just bounces the second one at a bad angle and doesn't scratch. She backs up to let him have his turn.
"Impressive marks? You're doing it again." Those icy blue eyes shift from Lind to Cate, his head tilting in observation as Jacob raises his whiskey glass again. It's not so much a sip this time, as a rather impressive mouthful of the dark amber liquid. The consideration takes the entirety of her shot. And when his turn comes up, the big Hibernian man simply continues standing exactly as he had been, watching the taller of the two medical professionals. "Cate and I haven't been seeing a lot eye to eye. Once upon a time, we meant quite a lot to one another. Based on experience? We don't anymore." The words finally kick him into motion. He lines up another shot, sinking another ball. And as he chalks the tip of his cue, he looks back up at Cate. "So who the hell knows. Did they at least let you play in the tribe wars?"
"Well, I like to have my cake and eat it too." Tove tips her head, at Cate's expansion of Jacob's introduction, the woman's salty response getting a curious look from the the nurse, "Sometimes all you can do is do the best that you can with what you've got to work with." Her eyes fall to the table, seeming to take no small amount of interest in the game, making no move, though, to try to insert herself either in word or deed. "If by play you mean wade through a veritable sea of bodies during a rotation in their emergency clinic, then yes. Fun times." And that deadpan delivery is spot on.
Cate's jaw tightens when Jacob speaks. "Yeah. And who's choice was that again?" The feigned ignorance is biting. Cate was already a raw nerve before either of them arrived, and all this is too much for her to handle. She picks up the bottle of whiskey that was sitting on the table by the wall, and sets her pool cue across the corner of the table. "Why don't you play," she tells Tove. "Maybe you'll have better luck. I should go." And she seems poised to do just that.
"Years ago? Mine. Lately? Yours." Jacob fires back, setting his own pool cue down on the table to join Cate's. "I keep showing up. I keep trying. And I keep beating my head against that particular wall. Go if you want. But don't expect me to keep coming back for you, Catey." He removes his silver toothpick holder from his pocket, shaking a small sliver of wood out into his palm and sticking it into his mouth. Immediately, it finds it's teeth and gets itself chewed. Finally, as his eyes follow Cate, the tall marine shakes his head and looks down at Tove. "Cake?" He breathes, clearly attempting to wrestle his temper. "I thought you were trying to get off that stuff."
"Well, I do tend to have fantastic luck. But I don't play pool." She lifts a free hand, flexing her elbow and then straightening it, as if to indicate the length of her arm, "Haven't got the reach." Seeing the two of them getting into something that has nothing at all to do with her and is unlikely ever to, Tove is content to let the two fight it out, before she steps back to the table. She makes no move to keep the medic from wandering off. That is not a brush fire she seems inclined to put out right about now. "I was. I tried. But I just can't quit it."
Jacob's words land like blows, causing Cate's face to twist in a pained look. Tove's response, sadly, barely registers. Jacob may be wrestling with his temper, but Cate is wrestling with her composure, which is clearly fraying around the edges. Tears spring to her eyes and she opens her mouth as if to say something before apparently thinking better of it. With a stiff little headshake, her and her brush fire start to walk away.
Jacob actually takes three steps forward, moving to follow Cate with toothpick in mouth and drink in hand. Something, though, causes him to stop. It causes him to watch her, that splinter of wood crunching audibly between his teeth. "Stay in the room." He finally offers, his head shaking. "I'll find somewhere else to go tonight." He looks back at Tove, and then around to Cate again. He, too, opens his mouth to say something to her, but, instead, he falters, seeming at odds with the idea of closing his mouth. He raises his whiskey glass instead, using the dark liquid to occupy both mind and lips. "I wonder if there's anywhere we could get a slice. Cake sounds damned good right now."