Logs:Friend from the West Bank

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Friend from the West Bank

Characters: Felipe and Jeunesse
Date: 2020-02-05
Summary: Two bloodsuckers meeting for the first time.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

The Voodoo Lounge is positively stuffed full of humans tonight. They crowd around the bar, the bathroom entrance, and more lie packed together behind a pair of swing doors. Walking tours, or something. The bartender, a guy named Felipe, has just finished handing out four twenty-ounce hurricanes in plastic cups, and seems like he's just waiting for the tension to break and the crush of humanity to leave. Of course, if you're a vampire, you'll also know that he is a vampire, too. There is no mistaking it, even though he otherwise blends right in here.

Jeunesse takes her time at the door as she enters. From the sound of it, she is conversing with someone just outside--someone who is not entering with her--she ends the conversation with a moderately pleasant farewell and then continues into the dimly lit bar, lifting her eyes to examine the throng within. She reaches up with long fingers to stroke the back of her neck as she peers around and starts to walk toward the bar, but when her dark eyes fall on Felipe she stops abruptly in her tracks--at least for a moment. It's not exactly subtle, but she recovers quickly and continues on her way, no longer looking at him directly. She comes to a barstool and places her hands on it, looking askance at the crowd and licking her teeth.

Felipe asks Jeunesse loudly, "Can I take your order?" His unspoken message is clear, however: come closer. He picks up a wet glass and polishes it, doing something with his hands while he speaks just loud enough for the vampire to hear: "You on the level? Come to pay a social call, or are you looking to wet your whistle?"

Jeun still does not look directly at Felipe as she leans against the stool and observes the room with consideration. "I did not expect to be making company," she says with the distinct drawl of a local, She slowly slides up onto the stool, stretching out her legs to hook her boots into the rungs of the stool next to her, and leans against the bar. She lowers her eyelids, and slowly, tilts her chin in Felipe's direction, regarding him more closely. She watches his hands for a moment before she says, "I was hoping for a drink, but I didn't come to make no messes in your house."

"I just work here," Felipe replies, and sets down the glass he was polishing. His is an obvious West Bank drawl. "I assume you're on the level, and this ain't my turf anyway," he murmurs, "So if you want a bite, you should make your move. I recommend the pair of tourists to my left. They clearly came to this bar to find you... whoever you are." He motions with his eyes to his left, where at the end of the bar, a pair of goth tourists obviously slaver over Jeunesse's aesthetic.

Jeunesse flits her eyes in their direction, but immediately lowers them. She hunches her shoulders forward, not toward the tourists but toward Felipe. "I did want one. But maybe I'm shy now," she says quietly, her voice intentionally indicating duplicity. She glances back at them, but seems unable to maintain eye contact. The easiest thing in the room to look at is Felipe's hands right now, so she returns to them, considering. "Jeunesse, and whomever are you, 'I just work here'?"

"Hold on," Felipe says, and goes to deliberately ask the lace-clad tourists if they've been helped yet, an obvious hint to end the staring. They seem to pick it up and go out on the sidewalk, instead. Then he walks back to Jeunesse. "I'm about to go on break," he says. "Want to walk and talk? Just a few blocks down the way and back. I only got fifteen minutes anyway, so I can't go far."

Jeun watches as the pair dismissed in polite fashion, watches the way Felipe handles it, but as soon as he returns her eyes are lowered again. "I know how to do both of those things, so why not? I don't have much for the horns," she places her hands on the bartop, turning them over to reveal empty palms, as if that was the only place she might possibly be holding money, "so if we can avoid them, I'd rather not be wrestling guilt while making new friends."

Felipe listens, looking down at Jeun's empty palms, and he smiles. "Heh, naw. I work for a living." His expression is edged with wry awareness of what he just said, these two sharing the secret that they do in this moment. He pushes through, out and around the side door, moving through a crowd of tourists that nearly block the sidewalk to push down deeper, hanging a right at Burgundy and walking into a stretch of particularly dark sidewalk as he does. Only once they're clear of people and in darkness will he speak, softly. "I'm Felipe (fuh-LEEP). Mekhet. I'm involved with the Movement. I'm from round here. Worked in the Quarter about twelve years now." His hand reflexively moves down to grope a packet of cigarettes in his pocket. When he catches himself a moment later, he closes his eyes. "Who are you?"

"I'm still Jeunesse," she says, after having followed him quietly, and just a touch of a step behind. Once out in the crowds, she is much more willing to make eye contact with the people that she pushes through, and those she is forced to touch. There is more power behind those eyes, or at least something more willing to engage directly than she was in the bar. But once they are alone, she relaxes, wrapping one arm around her waist and lifting her other hand to idle toy with her hair in a way that might seem vapid, but others might see as practiced. "Jeunesse Perriloux if you wanted to Google me. I don't think you'll find anything, though, Felipe. I grew up here, but I didn't...make it...here. I got dragged along on some centuries old idea of adventure, but my dutiful tutor decided to take a long nap, so I came home." She looks back to him, meeting his eyes more intentionally this time, searching them. Her own pupils flit back and forth as she considers each of his. "I'm a Haunt. Pleasure to meet you. I make my own with the Second Estate, but--don't worry--I'm not some kind of crusty hardliner. I like y'all and what you're about."

Felipe is a full-blown Quarter rat, a perennial inhabitant of this place, reliant upon it and the throngs of tourists for their lifeblood. Even the Shadow's Curse has not yet apparently pried this man from the chains of his financial circumstances. It should be no surprise that he belongs here. "Well, welcome back," he tells Jeun. "This fucked-up city is still here. Same old problems. You make your landing okay?"

Jeun rolls her shoulders in a reluctant shrug and looks around slowly, as if just noticing for the first time what the state of the city might be. "Okay enough. I landed in a box. Not comfortable, but safe, I guess. Learned it from Mister Nap-Time." She wrinkles her nose thoughtfully, staring at Felipe's shoes for a moment before looking back up at him. "Twelve years, huh? All twelve right here? I grew up in Viavant...but haven't been back. I'm, I don't know," she uncurls her fingers from her hair and wraps her hands around one another tightly, staring him in the eye, "...figuring it out. Alone for the first time and all."

"Marrero," Felipe replies, his West Bank drawl deepening. "Well, okay. We're both from the sticks, but at least you ain't West Bank trash." He grins back to Jeun. "Hey, look. I don't know or trust anyone around here, but you're not so bad. You're from here, and you don't seem bougie. Yeah, I got a couple of jobs out here when I was nineteen. It works for me pretty well, these days. More than you might think. Coloring in the lines means you don't stick out, you know? Being able to disappear helps, though."

"Oh yeah? We did a jaunt with Higgins for some museum visit thing. You Higgins?" she asks, looking away again. She focuses, momentarily, on a shuttered and locked window. "I guess we probably weren't near in years, though." She laughs, a much raspier laugh than her voice would suggest she possess. "I'm only bougie as far as I can fake it to get me some dinner. I meant what I said--all of my fine clothes and cashflow got left behind when the old man fell asleep. I'm just...home. Everyone I know is alive, but, I don't know that I them at all. Disappearing is our blood right, I guess. Serves me well, but I need to figure out where I'm settling, and I don't want to do it in a way that makes me look edible."

"Nah, that ain't my name," Felipe says. He seems to focus on Jeunesse, taking in her disturbing Nosferatu incongruity with some morbid curiosity. "You looking to go in on a spot?" he asks. "I could be talked into it. Worst case scenario, I just go back to squatting like I been doing."

Jeun shifts her gaze from the window to looking down the street. She narrows her eyes and scrunches up her nose again. Absently, her left foot taps against the stained concrete. "Yeah, maybe. I, was thinking about stealing into my old house, but like I said--haven't been back. Sort've squatting too. I don't like it. Feels dangerous. I got used to sleeping beneath a fucking castle," she laughs again, raspily. Finally she looks back at him, and just stares him in the eyes for about ten seconds past comfortable before she reaches into her shirt and pulls out a chewed on black bic pen. "Give me your hand."

"You really lived it up out there, huh?" Felipe asks, cocking his head to the side, seemingly looking at her in a new light. "Where you been, then?" Then the staring. "Um," he says, breaking the silence once. Then she asks for his hand, and he extends one to her. "Okay."

"Lived it up, if you mean lived for someone else," she says under her breath, but not trying to hide it--at least not from Felipe. She takes his hand and begins to scrawl on the back of it--a phone number--tucking her tongue into her cheek as she struggles with getting the ink to come. "Only getting to come out of your room when you're called for ain't exactly a good time, even if the ambience was nice. France," she adds, answering the question. "There. That's me. Call me. We'll talk, make plans, make deals, wheel in the shadows and scare the old ones that got something to lose until they kill us. Sound like a deal? I hope it does, because, uh, I'm leaving now. Bye." She drops his hand, tucks the pen back into her neckline and then, without further word, walks off.