1964-05-30 - Opportunity Knocks
Summary: But will Bucky answer?
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bucky lucian 


LUX is the sort of place where no one brings in balloons or cake. The high-rolling crowd might rent out the entire space for girls to dance in catsuits while an up and coming rock set from England plays. Tonight, others mingle in their own world. They need nor want extra attention. Even the lights overhead are dimmed slightly to create puddles of shadow on the ground and darkness come alive, further reinforced by silhouetted patrons and staff slinking around the darkling's treasury to all antiquities and nightmares of a decadent sort.

The high priest for the nocturnal affairs holds court in his own booth, one placed centerstage and offset a little. With a cigarette in his mouth, he makes a casual gesture to cast the embers down into an ashtray. Three girls who individually might be starlets equal to Brigitte Bardot or Ann-Margret with a heavenly edge share the space with him. Their tenure is likely to be short, though the drinks and the knowing grins are a mask for the bitter truth that no mortal deserves to know.


Dim. That he likes. He knows, intellectually, that he doesn't look like one James Buchanan Barnes tonight. The bone structure of his face is altered, his eyes are a somewhere between green and gray, and his hair's a sandy blonde….though still long enough to be gathered into a ponytail. Courtesy of a Prince of Asgard who indulges his lover's mortal pet. Though….surely Lucian can see both the mask and the face behind it. He's only dressed in plain pants, a white buttondown, and an equally sober tie. The boots, though….on his feet are no wingtips or loafers, but those steeltoes, albeit polished to whatever shine they'll take. He finds one of the darker corners of the bar to claim a seat at, settling hipshot and uneasy.


The bar is a stretch of languid glassy brilliance, attended by a spectre plucked from the depths of Hades and clad in leather pants that would make Sid Vicious bitterly jealous. Mazikeen isn't often confined to bar duties but she pours alcohol as viciously as the ancient Greek judges dispensed their pronouncements on the dead. It's enough to make a man turn Egyptian or Taoist, just to escape the pitiless gaze she assesses, executes judgment, and condemns all who cross her path. James Buchanan Barnes, no matter what he wears, is no different at all.

"What do you want?" The question is almost accusation, though not quite. Dripping in a promise of something, it could be salvation or a punch to the face.

Lucian toys with the cigarette and lifts his eyes to the incoming man. The rambling coils of smoke wreathe around his golden head, and one of the girls gets to her feet, a fog surrounding her. She says something, almost excitedly. The others move, but too slow, for he's already sliding out of the booth and stretching his gait to possibly work. He knows the taste of sin if not the source. He always has.


Like Lamont, he's a killer….and if murder's got a scent to senses like those, he reeks of it. For all that he looks, at first glance, like a nervous young man, barely old enough to drink. At Maz's question, that faded gaze snaps back to her. "Uh, gimlet, please." Simple enough, gin and lime juice, reminiscent of drinks in London. Not one of the more arcane recipes on the menu. Then he's eyeing Lucian sidelong - he's got that air of being poised to run.


"We need to get word back to Ronee about her contract. It's approved, payment sorted," Lucian announces. He has the cigarette pinched between two fingers. The burning stick is an extension of himself. Tobacco is nothing like the burnished scent, exotic and palpably unfamiliar. Base notes might tease at the depths of memory, sluggishly stirring up the cerebellum. Maz raises her eyebrows and turns to pluck one of the bottles down from the shelf. Whatever the gin is, there be no brand to name it. Pouring a drink comes to her as easy as executing a chicken for a sacrifice. Why not?

He sizes up Bucky in blond drag. The Morningstar hasn't fully committed to sitting, yet. "Corpse Reviver number four, Maz." His smile forms a faint line. "I don't think we have met. Welcome to Lux."


His expression's momentarily owlish. Clearly, this is the master of the house…..and for all the deaths trailing after him like tattered banners, there's none of the assassin's cool poise. Not like the Shadow who likes to come and stare longingly at the original source of light. "No, this is my first time here," he admits, without hesitation. (….that I can remember?) The thought might as well be spoken aloud. "I'm Jack," he says, reverting to that identity out of habit.


"Jack." Some names are good and solid. Not much music in them. Names like Ann and Pat and Paul, short and either unpoetic or full of terse hymns. He can make even a slug sing. "A good time as any to find us. Is it what you expected or did chance bring you down the stairs?" Whatever answer is given will probably satisfy Lucian. Another day, another soul, another story. What is life worth if not stories?

Maz plunks down a glass on a coaster, and then a second poured up to the brim.

The blond smirks at her, perhaps balancing the brusqueness. "All the charm of the French, isn't she? I'm Lucian."


"I dunno, the French can be pretty charming," He's mastered 'noncommital'….and manages to keep the wistfulness out of his voice, if not out of his eyes. Paris in the heady days immediately post-Liberation is a seductive sheaf of memories. "Just chance," he adds, glancing from Maz to Lucian. Then, belatedly, he extends his hand. The right one, warm and callused and dry.


Maz gives absolutely nothing in the way of a handshake. She turns away to see to other affairs involving libations and the needs of the mortal many. It might be called rude. It would be an error to assume it's personal. Lucian shakes his head and chuckles. "To chance, then." He puts the cigarette in his mouth and takes a draw of the fragrant smoke. It plays rough over his lungs and rushes out through his lips again on the exhale. Then he offers his other hand, the one not snarled by the activity of smoking. The grip is firm, warm, able. Lifting his chin, he says, "We're not your usual haunt." Not a question. "Maybe you can find what you are looking for."


His handshake's firm enough, though he doesn't linger over it. "Well, a change's as good as a rest, as the saying goes," he offers. Banalities….but he's starting to look at Lucian as if he presents a puzzle. There's a subtext here he's missing. A glance around shows men and women, so it's not one of those sorts of bars, presumably. "Maybe so," he adds, and hoists his glass in salute, but offers no toast, beyond an echoed, "To chance."


Chance. As if there's any such thing. What matters more notably is the punch that drink delivers - a hell of one. All it takes is a few sips to realize the expert blend has a silen doom waiting under the surface, a trace of a burn almost citrusy.

"Hmm. We do need to replace Lynn." His thoughts are stirred up idly. Lucian is probably audible to Maz, and the music isn't loud enough to make for a good cover. "What's your line of work, Jack?"


There's the tiniest cock of his head at that. It should be comical, nearly canine - all His Master's Voice, as he looks guilelessly up at Lucian. But even death hasn't been enough to entirely dislodge his rider, even if Ded' Moroz can't take the wheel as easily as he used to. And the Dark Passenger has a very definite opinion on that open-ended question. *He knows* asserts that inner voice. *He knows what I am* There's no outward altering of Buck's expression, no tensing beyond that fractional motion as if he were simply trying to correct for damaged hearing. But it slides through his eyes like cloud shadows. "Me?" he says, making a faintly exaggerated little moue of uncertainty. "Between jobs, right now." There is, in that dark corner of the back of his mind, bleak laughter at that. Oh, Americans and their euphemisms.


"Good fortune goes both ways, perhaps." The Corpse Reviver Number Four is still untouched on the bar, sweating a little in the ideal temperature. Darkness laps at them. Lucian is somehow bright in spite of it. The kind of calm that endures a century, a lifetime, a night for those with such good spirits. He slides his finger up the bridge of his nose and knocks away a dark blond strand. "It so happens we have an opening you might be suited for. Only if you're interested. I will not push an opportunity where it is unwanted." His gaze tips down to the floor, then back up. "You seem the sort capable for what I had in mind, a bit of security and such a detail. Pay's well. Better than construction."


His throat works, an almost swallow, before he takes a swig of the drink, not stopping to savor it. EVen the ember that glows at the base of his throat after isn't enough to offer liquid courage. "No, thanks," he says, calmly. "Not staying in town long enough to really look for work. Just visiting friends. New Yorks's too expensive and too crowded for me." As if he wouldn't stick out like a crow at a parrot convention in any given suburban or rural community. There's a gleam of sweat on his upper lip and at his temples, now. Perhaps the booze. Maybe sheer nervousness. *You're blown. Leave now,* insists that only-barely-verbal instinct. *Soon as you can get away without making it look like panic* This was foolish, but recrimination over possibly wasting Loki's gift can come later.


"Good answer, no harm." Lucian smiles slightly and reaches for the ashtray, finally dashing the long ashed end of the cigarette. "Given the boots, figured you might be looking for something of the sort." He rotates slightly to the bar, altogether aware of the effect of height and looming on another soul. Not out to be rude, this one. Or this time. Rubbing thumb and fingertip, he gives a good dash of the cigarette again and finally butts the cancer stick out.


Bucky looks down at his boots, accusingly. Stupid shoes. Should've known better. "No," he says, a little bleakly. And then the corner of his mouth curls, ruefully. "Thanks, though," He forces himself to take a more temperate mouthful of the booze. Calm, calm….at least the drink can explain either pallor or flush, depending. Then he cocks that rather bleak eye at Lucian. "'sides, you'd need someone a lot classier'n me for this joint, even just to bounce."


"Not hard to put a man in different shoes. Hard to find someone skilled or that knows their way around people." Lucian gives a small roll of his shoulders. Agreement can be found on common logic. Maybe it will never be discovered. "Can tell plenty by the way you drink your liquor and approach it. You were polite enough with Maz. So that's reason enough to consider it. Offer stands if you change your mind."


There's the tightening of muscles in his jaw. The Soldier would be more skilled at faking his way out of it. But….refusing him even the inkling of control's enough to gum up the old instincts….even if James's feeling as naked and exposed as a sniper inadvertantly outlined against the horizon. He nods, mutely, trying not to hunch. "I'll keep that in mind," he says, after a moment. Then there's another of those half-smiles…..and this one isn't nervous. It's wicked, as impish as any of Lucian's older and lesser servants, the ones like Screwtape tasked with the temptation and torment of an individual mortal. Damnation handcrafted, one soul at time. Does this man recognize him in earnest, the blue eyes behind the green, the gloved hand with which he oh so carefully handles that drink?


The young man ought to be wary. Mindful and careless people have done much worse concealing themselves, and they certainly aren't immune to the failings of mortalkind. Not when the ancient tips his head up. Smiles again as he plans to step away, though not before nodding politely. Blue eyes as green, whatever they are, can't stop the windows of the soul from opening. From the man meeting his eyes, the mask wrapped around a horror beyond horrors who kindled galaxies and spun stars together at the will of a creator. A creator beyond comprehension. Those lines and lies are wrought together, bound in an iron glow, perceiving their own likeness.

They will all go down in history, as it matters.


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