Logs:Happy Hour Negotiations
Happy Hour Negotiations
|Characters:||Lilium, Peter, Roland and Gray|
|Summary:||A deal is struck. Sort of.|
Bottoms Up - Leonidas
Somewhere on worldsbeststripclubs.com, there is doubtless an article about New Orleans's many and fabled strip clubs. Bottoms Up did not appear in that article. The main rooms walls are made of black-painted plywood, with pornographic posters illuminated in black light. There doesn't seem to be a preference to the pornography -- homosexual, heterosexual, transgender. It all shares a stage here. The entire room is built around a U-shaped stage, where pole-dancers of all sexual denominations strut their stuff for a song or two. A long black-painted bar runs along the rear wall, alongside an upraised DJ booth. There is absolutely no illumination in this room, apart from the black lights on the wall and a single, bare, bulb behind the bar. Doors lead off into smaller side-rooms, each of which seems to present its own theme. Televisions are mounted at each corner, playing random music videos on mute interspersed with more pornography. The floor is ominously sticky.
Happy Hour at Bottoms Up is a chaotic experience. The single lightbulb over the bar provides juuuuust enough illumination to watch the dancers on stage -- one of which is currently halfway up a pole, dangling upside down, and beginning his spiral back down to earth. Punters of all varieties are sitting around the stage, huddling around the bar, dancing awkwardly in the available open spaces. The bass is thumping hard enough to rattle the plywood walls. Roland Durant is stood just to the side of bar, off to one side, letting two of his bartenders handle most of the actual work.
A cigarette dangles from the corner of his mouth as he watches the crowd, idly leaning against a wall. He's wearing a red leather jacket, hideously crimson-tinted aviators, and a garish blue-and-gold paisley shirt. The epitome of a sleazy strip club owner.
When the men's room door opens, there's no familiar scene within. A tall, slender man in a suit holding a briefcase steps out of a grey-stone cavern. A rush of chill air accompanies him as he steps out, bathroom door closing and most mortals subconsciously ignoring any irregularities. "Stage right, Peter enters," he states, to seemingly no one.
To those with eyes, Uratha, Kindred, and other Lost, vicious razor-sharp teeth strain reality to fit in Peter's mouth, an ivory slaughterhouse. He fixes his tie, looks up to the stage, and finds himself a seat at the bar. A roll of wadded up ones gets produced from his pocket and he casually leans forward to toss the whole wad to the pole-dancer. He turns those unusually blue eyes upon the bartender, "Do you have absinthe? Or any raw meat?"
There's something which is... surreal doesn't quite cover it, but definitely /off/ about the near six foot height of the silver-haired, elfin-eared woman stepping out from behind Peter. And it's not just the floor length black silk dress which is very definitely not escaping that floor unscathed where the hemline drags. There's probably no one here to appreciate that the exposed back of the dress is to allow for wings, or to spot the horns which take her from 5'11 to 6'4.
She looks around, blinking as her eyes adjust, and starts to back away from the first two or three people closest. The notes of vanilla body spray often underpinning the stale smoke and old alcohol scents which mingle into strip club smell for a brief moment are touched with notes of something more floral, but that is about all. Though... a six foot tall blonde elf woman probably gets some looks askance if only from uncertain patrons. "Peter... Peter..." she asks quietly as she leans in toward him, "Where are we?"
Half of Roland's job, he has discovered -- as owner and proprietor, not as supernatural bounty hunter -- is spotting the weird before weird becomes a problem. As Peter saddles up to the bar and orders, Roland is already gently straightening from his lean, idly pushing his aviators a bit up his nose. And then there's this gorgeous figure in black beside the suited man. Frankly, these two are not his regular clientele. The lean, garishly-dressed figure moves over, his combat boots sticking to the ground with every step.
"Hey, Solomon. Run down to the store room and grab the absinthe." He's addressing the bartender that Peter had ordered from, standing behind the two mysterious arrivals. "Sorry, bud. I don't keep raw meat around the place. Ain't...sanitary." His foot rips off the floor from whatever puddle he stepped in, but Roland just grins, apparently not immune to the irony. Turning to the woman -- of a height with him, it seems -- he says "You're in Bottoms Up, darlin'. Finest wining and dining in New Orleans. You two get lost?"
Rising to offer the stranger a stiff bow, Peter then offers a hand to Lillium, "It's a strip club, dear." He then gestures to Roland, "Yes, the Bottoms up." He smiles a wide, coldblooded smile and explains, "Yes, we /did/ get Lost, but... we're fine now, I think." That hand lays gently across his dark blue, dragon embroidered tie, "I am Peter Vorhees, and this regal beauty is Lillium."
He retakes his seat and points towards the stage, speaking softly to his lithe companion, "See, men and women of skill or beauty top the stage there, and others feed them money in exchange for all the lust and desire they dredge up." He grins playfully at Lilium, "I thought it was a great place to feed, my little love, I just forgot to reset the 'door'." He shoots a brief glance towards the men's room, then lets his attention return to Roland, as if the man wasn't within hearing distance of all that. "Do you vote, good sir?"
"I was Lost once," Lilium says guilelessly, nodding at Roland. She shivers at... something, closing her eyes for a moment and taking this long, /deep/ breath which ends with her looking maybe a smidge drunk? Maybe. She offers her hand to Roland, palm down, along with a warm and unguarded smile. "Hi, I'm Lilium, it's very nice to meet you...uh... Sir." She nods at herself, sticking something respectable sounding where a name might have belonged.
She blinks and looks between Peter and Roland and lowers her voice a little to ask, then, "So... they give the girls lust /and/ money? Just for showing off their skin?" She looks around, then nods at the man she came in with, the words soft, "So that's why I felt drunk when I stopped for a second. How very strange." Then at the question of voting, she looks from Peter back to Roland, her argent brows puckering gently as she seems to try to suss out what is going on between the pair exactly.
There is something behind Roland's smile now, a subtle 'tick' of awareness that things might just be skewing off to one side. Well, it's nothing new, is it? He watches Peter closely as the man explains the mechanisms of a strip club. It would take a real observer of human nature to note the way his body coils, becomes more...aware, alert, awake. He certainly doesn't change facial expression, that plastic smile hard in place. Drawing on his cigarette, he says "Yeah, that's...roughly the way it works here. Girls, boys -- like Johnny, up there now -- whatever. People pay 'em money."
He looks over at Lilium for a long moment, his gaze openly raking up and down her body. Perhaps lasciviousness -- perhaps caution. Perhaps a shred of both. When she offers her hand, Roland reaches out, takes it lightly in his left, brings it up to his lips as though he were a courtier rather than the owner of a dive bar. As he lowers the hand, he says "Peter Vorhees, Lilium. Name's Roland Durant. Call me Ro." He spreads his arms wide. "And this is my domain. Far as the eye can see. I don't vote, no. This place -- and me -- are strictly neutral territory. Only feeding I permit is potato chips and cocktails." There is just a hint of a warning in his voice.
Peter looks to Lilium after that, brow furrowing dramatically in concern. No social skills are needed to recognize any of this man's over wrought expressions. "Neutral territory, hmm, dear, I see." He looks back to 'Ro', obviously scrutinizing the man, "We wouldn't be taking anything substantial from anyone, nothing so dire, truly." He flashes a cheesy grin, trying to be playful, "I'm not sure what you inferred.."
Peter cautiously offers his hand, "Well met, Ro." Quickly adding, "We're not looking for trouble. Maybe an audition?" He looks to Lilium with an inquisitive tilt of his head, brow arched.
That briefcase in his other hand remains in a death grip at his side.
Peter leans aside, murmuring in confusion to Lilium, "Can he SEE us? What is he?"
"Huh? Audition? No... no... I couldn't possibly get everyone so riled up and then just let it sit like that... that seems such a waste," Lilium murmurs aside to Peter, her brow knitting as she shakes her head a little, "You said feed, not eat. That's not normal," she tells Peter in that same quiet voice, "I mean, if I had to guess." As if she didn't even notice how strange his asking for raw meat was.
That smile turns on Roland at the kiss of her hand and it is... nothing short of dazzling in the absolutely inhuman way that only an elf actually could indeed achieve. In fact, it's like she catches the lasciviousness and encourages rather than declines it, offering a wink in response. The gesture is so at odds with the air of naivete about her it's almost noteworthy in itself. She looks to the stage, then to Peter, back to Roland, and Peter again, indecisively, "... dancing does seem like it could be fun, but I'm probably not as good at it as singing."
Roland's smile never flickers. It's as though the expression is just painted on. But he watches Peter's discomfort with real interest, his eyes sharp and keen behind his red-tinted aviators. Whatever he is, the man is something more than just a bar owner. Idly, his left hand slides to the small of his back, rubbing at it, as though trying to massage a sore muscle loose. "I can see you," he says, his voice richly amused. "You're standin' right in front of me, big man." But he does seem reassured by the other man's nervousness, reaching forward to take his hand once he's released Lilium's.
"I'm not quite sure who you are, but... So long as we're clear, you two. Absolutely no harm to my customers." Roland's smile flashes wider, briefly predatory, as he releases Peter's hand and turns his attention back to Lilium, gaze flitting up and down once more. "You're welcome to find out about the dancing," he tells her cheerily. "If the two of you can keep the weird bottled up -- no more raw meat, please -- I don't mind ya hanging out here." As if on cue, Solomon returns with the bottle of absinthe. "Two shots, Sol." Roland studies Lilium thoughtfully, then glances aside at Peter.
"You two are new at...whatever this is. Aren't you?"
Peter looks eagerly towards the shots being lined up and nods aside to Roland, "Fairly new, still catching up to reality. I had no idea this was Accorded neutral ground, I just liked the atmosphere." He lays his briefcase across his lap, then pats the seat next to him, "Probably best you didn't dance, little love." He smiles at her, tone a little patronizing, "We wouldn't want to 'incite' anything unruly like last time, hmm?"
Peter can't help but glance curiously at Roland's waistline, as if he half expected a gun to be drawn, though not an ounce of fear shows at that. "We're sort of outcasts from our own society, working on that, but, we'll be sure to follow your rules Ro'." There's a twist of his lips, subtle distaste at the nickname, "Have you been in New Orleans long?"
There is a long, thoughtful moment where Lilium just looks at Roland. Measuring, weighing, trying to pin something down maybe. Whatever it happening behind those big blue eyes, it ends in a look that makes no pretense at anything other than apologetic. She looks from the stage to the man himself, then back to the stage and shakes her head gently at the prospect of dancing, after visibly giving it some long moments of thought at least.
"I am uh..." she frowns in contemplation as she looks down at herself, then looks back to Roland, "I want to tell you something quietly, if I make slow movements, would it be okay to get close enough to do this?" she asks. At the suggestion of /whatever/ she might have "accidentally" incited before, her cheeks grow pink, and she nods at Peter, "That's... that's fair. But I wouldn't ever do that here. I feel like here that would be dangerous." Whether that is meant more about the clientele or the owner, she says nothing to specify that. And Peter may be the only one who can see those little glasswing butterfly wings sag a little at his question to her.
Roland lolls his head to one side, idly stretching his arms out again. There's no firearm appearing in his hand, whether or not that's what nestles at the small of his back. The shots are slid toward Lilium and Peter by the bartender, who waits a moment to see if anything else is needed. Roland gestures him off with a little shooing motion, absently dropping his cigarette and stubbing it out. "Oh, I ain't Accorded, brother. I'm just mean." He flashes that grin again, as friendly as a puppy, reaching to lay a friendly hand on both Peter's and Lilium's shoulders.
"You're welcome here. Everyone's welcome here. I make sure of that." He nods affably to Lilium -- he can't see that drooping of her wings, but he can see the apology in her eyes. "You can show me something," he says, absently squeezing at each shoulder in turn. It's a gentle squeeze, almost fatherly. "I'm new to Nawleans, but not new to the life, you know? Nothing special. Just a.. independent operator. Like the two of you. Trying to be free." He flashes another smile, wide and friendly as ever. "Drink up. Tell Uncle Roland all your problems. What is it you two... need?"
When she leans in close, Lilium whispers softly to Roland, with absolute sincerity and no small amount of apologetic tone, "I'm so sorry.... before a few months ago, almost every memory after I was four years old is fucked up in some way or other, some so much so that they're just totally blank. I don't intend to read as strange, but it's difficult not to be awkward around people when you don't remember how to be one."
Peter reaches out and slams the shot back, releasing it back onto the bar to spin and finally settle. The Draconic Author draws in a deep breath, turns to Roland, and speaks.
That cold-blooded mask disappears, and the mixture of horror and resignation seen in his eyes would be familiar to anyone who's seen the brutality of combat and torture. His voice is smooth milk and honey, spiked with cyanide-like sobriety and seriousness. "We were just children when He took us. Me, a young man, her a toddler, the others in various stages of youth." A sigh, "We were closer to dreams than reality, and to that abstract realm of poetry and impossibilities were we swept. A land of knights and peasants, slaves and royalty, and one, terrible, King."
Peter rises to monologue, caught up in his own story, looking off into the distance as he takes a step away, "What do we -need- you ask? We need the depth of ecstasy that wanton abandonment leads to, the fear that swells in the breast when one faces a sea of oppression, the ash of regret on the tongue when one verbally salt's the earth of a cherished relationship."
He turns back to Roland, "Feeling, emotion, travesty and love, we need it all in different doses, and no harm comes to those we take it from." He splays a hand across his chest, "I soften the edges on the blade of fear." A loving look to Lilium, "She dims the heat on burning desire... But nothing is stolen, Roland. Not in the sense that we were, nothing so unforgivable."
For all of Peter's waxing poetic, Lilium looks from the back of her hand that Roland kissed to the man himself, cheeks flushing a faint pink color. It's no stretch to picture her as at home in such a place, given that the gown looks like it could have come from some dark Court (advanced fashion 5: elf princess). She bites her lip and exhales softly, then tells Roland, "I uh..." It's a weak defense, and it's all she offers, clamming up a little in the face of feeling so exposed by Peter's telling.
When Lilium leans in to whisper in his ear, Roland does not flinch away -- he listens. And there is something akin to pity when the bar owner pulls back enough to look into her eyes. The Lost Boy -- himself a victim of kidnapping and engineered change -- seems to grasp her discomfort on a fundamental level. He reaches up from her shoulder to touch her chin lightly. There is no smile on the killer's face, no hint of the mocking humor that had been in place a few moments before. "It's alright, kid," he says softly. "In here, be as weird as you like. Nobody'll fuck with you, so long as you don't fuck with anybody. Or I'll kill them. 'kay?"
He turns his attention to Peter, listening to the creature's story solemnly. There is subtle anger in his eyes, perhaps hard to see behind the lenses of his glasses. But if someone were attuned to human emotion, they would feel it, just as Roland can feel Peter's pain and exposure. This man is hard as marble, cold as marble, ready to kill -- and he's angry on their behalf.
"For now," he tells Peter softly, "You're welcome here. Shoot your shot. Drink up." He pauses for a beat. "And when you're ready to tell me more, little Peter Vorhees, I'm here for ya. Now... I guess this is the time where I tell you about my other services." There is enough chaos in the place that he seems secure in saying, quite baldly, "Pay me enough, and I'll go after anything that hurt you. And I don't lose."
Stepping off his imaginary stage, Peter looks at Roland in confusion, "Did I say Vorhees again? It's Vorhman, I think." A small, self-conscious laugh, "I forgot my name sometimes... often."
Peter retakes his seat, shaking his head lightly as he reaches for the second shot, "As much as I'd like to believe you could eliminate Him, and... let's face it, /I/ could take you, and He is practically an abstract concept, a daemon lord from another realm... I'm too poor to send a mortal into a nightmare." He looks to Roland, with a warm smile, "Still, thank you for the offer."
As an afterthought, while he digs out two cigars, "I mean, Lilium's rich, not me though." He offers a cigar to Roland
The dark lashes Lilium smiles through are wet and sparkling around brilliantly blue eyes when she gives a tremulous smile at Roland. Her words are soft when she says quietly, "I could ask no man to face off against... that." She looks to Peter and shakes her head as she smiles a touch, "Even if you had more money... though..." Whatever she started as there, she blinks and shakes her head a beat before asks the besuited man, "Would you like more money? I think there's still a lot if you want more. I don't mind sharing. You saved my life." She reaches for Peter's shoulder and gives it a firm but not painful sort of squeeze.
Looking back to Roland, Lilium says softly, "I can promise you now: Unless it is to defend myself from imminent danger of death or dismemberment, I will not act to do bodily harm to anyone here or anywhere within the boundaries of the property." She offers Roland a smile then, and says, "I thank you for your protection, and will do what I can to offer you the same," with a sort of graciousness and gravity to match that of Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones when speaking of oaths to Brienne of Tarth.
"Jason Vorhees. Horror movie. Seems to fit you really well. Honestly, though, I'm half-deaf in one ear." Roland accepts the cigar, his smile -- and his mask of debauched indifference -- both returning. He doesn't seem too offput by the notion that Peter can 'take him', or that the other man believes he can. Roland doesn't seem too offput by most notions, possessing that ridiculously arrogant belief -- inherent, it sometimes seems, to men of firepower -- that he's perfectly in control of any given situation. He bites off the tip of the cigar, spits it out, produces a Zippo with some military crest or other engraved on it. "Key to killing things you think can't be killed, kiddos, is changing the rules." In a move that has to be practiced in front of a mirror, Roland raises his left eyebrow slowly, slowly, upward.
"They cheated when they took you. They cheated when they changed you." He emphasises each point by puffing on the cigar, rich scent of tobacco filling the air. "They cheated when they fucked you for fun." A knowing look, for some reason, at Lilium. And there is real bitterness in his voice beneath the ironic tones. Clutching the cigar between his teeth, he lays his hands lightly once again on Peter and Lilium's shoulders. "But it's your call, kids. I don't force nobody to work with me. Just remember -- whenever the big bad wolf comes knocking, Uncle Roland is only a phonecall and a bag of cash away."
Lilium's reaction -- the smile, the look of near tears, brings a more genuine response from the man, a warmer smile. Again, almost avuncular rather than sexual, despite his appearances -- though, whenever his gaze flickers past the pair to some woman or other, there's that too. This man is... in some ways, at least... as basic an archetype of a would-be Alpha as can be imagined. "I tell you what you can do for me instead, Lil, sweetheart. Dance sometime and gimme eighty percent of the money from it." He looks from one to the other. "Though, on the offchance.. Look, I've heard about your kind. Sometimes you can make some real posh shit, right? What if I let you two feed here as often as you like, in exchange for something... useful to me?"
Peter flinches a little beneath the hand, as if he's unused to being touched, though he doesn't move to pull away. "You're strangely reassuring. I like that." His gaze wanders to the crowd, then back to Roland, the air briefly chilling as if the night-time air somehow found it's way inside. "I'm not that kind of being. 'Making' things... an intriguing idea."
"Is there somewhere private we could talk? I'd like the chance to f-uh... eat here in safety, but my skills lay elsewhere." He strokes his chin, "But I've many friends who could help." The way he says that seems foreboding, but the cackling that comes after seems like a caricature of villainy.
Roland nods expansively as Peter explains. He doesn't appear to notice the flinch, not outwardly, but there is a sense that very little escapes the grayhound-lean mortal. His hand on the other man's shoulder provides a gentle, reassuring, squeeze. When the other man proposes that the three of them go and speak somewhere more private, Roland hesitates for the first time since he's entered into the conversation. It's not fear, nor even caution, so much as a grave consideration of the ask. And it's a big ask, really.
It gives him time to consider Lilium's reactions to his words -- his strike out in the dark, which seemed to bear some grim fruit. Her offer to let him 'see' her. "I think that'd be aite, sure." A hesitation. "Two things, though. My place is my haven. You fuck with me in my place, I kill you both. Don't think I can't. Sorry, just a formality. Gotta say it. Also -- you gotta like cats."
Peter rises to his feet, slipping the briefcase to his opposite hand to keep it further away from Roland. "I adore them, actually. We can use my place," he gestures to bathroom for some reason, "Or yours, whichever suits." Then, more solemn, he adds, "I've no intention to pull one over on you or 'fuck with you'. We'll behave ourselves."
"I love cats," Lilium says immediately, with as much caution as the Fool Card personified. "And... alright, yeah, it... it probably goes without saying but when I do that... it will leave me basically totally vulnerable, so... really I'd be a fool to try and start anything, but I understand your caution. Well, anyone's caution in similar circumstances." She looks to Peter, and says, "It might be less safe in the moment to go to his place, but if everything goes to shit, it would be nice to know we can still step into ours pretty easily, as I'll be too weak to just... walk off in two steps." Whatever that means. She looks a little nervous! But the smile is entirely real, and genial, genuinely friendly.
Basement Apartment - Bottoms Up - Leonidas
Behind a deadbolted, steel-reinforced door marked PRIVATE, a staircase leads down to a basement storage space. Kegs and liquor boxes are stacked neatly on all four walls, reaching up to the ceiling, with a narrow passageway leading through them. UV lamps dangle from the ceiling at even intervals, usually left off. On the other end of the storage unit is another secure door, opening into, perhaps surprisingly, a rather nice living room. This door, on the interior, has several massive steel bolts that can be slid into the concrete on either side, and a security panel that feeds into a hidden camera on the other end, providing a clear image of who waits outside.
Apart from this fortress-like feature, however, the living room is downright luxuriant. The floors are concrete, varnished a deep, glossy maroon. Persian throw rugs are scattered strategically through the space. A long leather couch is anchored by two standing lamps, looking over at a huge widescreen television with Playstation, XBox, and Wii all hooked up. Two comfortable reclining chairs are set at angles around the television as well, and an old tavern-table has been sawed down to work comfortably as a coffee table. Along one wall, an entire feline obstacle course has been constructed -- scratching posts, pegs mounted to the wall, miniature rope bridges. The rest of the living room is decorated with canvas prints of photography from different national parks.
The kitchen, off to one side, is utilitarian in brushed steel and concrete countertops. Bamboo cutting boards, and a collection of pans and pots, all dangle from a ceiling-mounted pan rack. A wooden knife-holder contains a set of exquisite Japanese cutlery. The refrigerator has a collection of pictures on it, mostly of a single gray-striped cat, ranging from the time it was a kitten to its current full grown state. A litter box sits to one side of the fridge, along with two small bowls. Two other rooms lead off from the living room -- one appears to be an office and library, the other a bedroom.
"Nah, I believe you two don't mean me any harm. But like I say, some things gotta be said out loud. Just so there's no misunderstandings." Roland rises, absently pinching the tip off the cigar and sliding it into the pocket of his Hawaiian shirt. "Come with me." He moves over to a door marked 'Private', unlocks the deadbolt, holds it open. It leads to a staircase, which in turn leads to the liquor-room, which -- in its own turn -- leads to a bunker-like door on the other side. He doesn't really seem to be concerned about Lilium's comments regarding escape -- if they need to flee, after all, that's fine by him. Means he's still alive.
Roland punches in a combination, standing in front of the door. There is the sound of automatic locks releasing. "Now, come in quickly, alright? Don't let Chairman Miaow escape." Opening the door into his rather luxurious apartment, he steps in quickly and crouches down, attempting to fend off a bolt-fast blur of gray and black stripes as it darts for the door. "Hey Fallon? You home? I brought us some visitors." The call is casual, but there's a hint of warning there as well. He's alerting someone new to their presence -- an item that, explicitly, he hadn't discussed with them until now. Once everyone is inside, presuming they don't suddenly rush away, Roland shuts the door and slams the heavy bolts into place.
The cheerful background noise of Ru Paul's Drag Race is just about what one might expect of the basement apartment, frankly. It's certainly in keeping with the ongoing theme of 'eclectic wtf'. It is, at least, tidy. Perhaps surprisingly, Ro doesn't live in bachelor squalor. Though there's the distinct scent of melted cheese and pepperoni in the air...
"We're outta kitty litter." As the door opens, this is the initial greeting, offered in a feminine tone with just enough of a husky timbre to immediately suggest Marlboro Reds. And it's coming from the kitchen, obscured for the most part by a Japanese style paper screen divider thingy. That's the technical term, right? After a moment, the owner of said voice rounds the end of aforementioned screen, in the midst of a mammoth bite upon their pizza slice. There's a blink as she realises her roommate is not alone; eyes of an eerily pale blue regarding the strangers accompanying him. The young woman is tall, with a swathe of highly-processed white blonde hair left loose about her shoulders and a multitude of tattoos covering what can be seen of her skin. And that's err.. rather a lot. Still in her 'stage clothes', Gray stands unabashedly in towering platform spike heels, paired with miniscule denim hotpants and a plaid bra-top adorned with a Sheriff's badge on one side. Alright, so she was in the cowboy themed area. One hopes. The stetson, thankfully, has been abandoned in favor of pizza; still lying where it had been tossed on the couch. Working through her lumberjack-sized mouthful, the blonde thumbs a smidge of sauce off her lower lip and tosses the rest of the slice back into the box on the countertop, snatching up a paper napkin to briskly wipe off her hands. "Mmm.." Chomp chomp.. "..hi!" Chomp. Swallow. Grin. A hand is offered out in cheerful greeting by the scantily clad creature, toward whoever's closest.
A soft 'mrrrp?' precedes the arrival of a dainty little grey cat, too; twining precariously around her ankles and that lethal looking footwear.
Tall, dark, and by some measurements handsome, Peter arrives behind Roland looking like a very well-dressed insurance salesman, black briefcase included. Taking Gray's offered hand, he gives it a quick shake, "Peter Pan, well met fair Lady." After that, he takes in the apartment in curiousity, flashing a smile at the cat below, before taking a few steps around.
"This is something we can get out, little love, nothing to worry about." The man in the fancy suit, dark blue, dragon embroidered tie, black Italian blazer, silk white shirt, turns to face Roland again, "Imagine revealing your emotional scars to strangers... This is near to that. Be kind." Those last two words are the closest to threatening he's intentionally been all night.
Edging off close toward the bathroom door. Really, toward any doorway that doesn't appear to be closed and locked, but does appear to have a door, Lilium is dressed in a floor length fucking princess dress that looks to have been hand sewed, with its hemline absolutely wrecked thanks to being drug all over the floor of the club. She offers Gray a perfect, Courtly bow as if Gray were a literal Lady.
And whenever she goes to straighten, what appeared to be a 5'11 woman with body modified elf ears and white blonde hair is actually an elf woman with silver hair, a crown of horns that looks distinctly draconic, and glassy little pixie wings... which that very expensive hand sewn dress is measured to fit around and allow movement of. It is revealed when they give a pair of fluttering movements, and the Mask falls away like the rose petals that fall in the wake of each step, the air around her scented richly of blossoms carried on warm spring breeze. Her gaze is a demure thing, downcast, and she looks for a long moment like a waiting Lady from some tower in a story. Inhuman but terribly delicate, as an easily crushed flower.
It's as though everything else is forgotten, when Gray steps out from around that dividing screen. Roland turns away from the other two entirely, taking a few moments to just drink in her appearance. If Lilium thought he had been ogling women upstairs -- well, this is as though someone has Tasered him. It's positively flooding the air, the buzz of testosterone-pressured appreciation. And then the cat comes out, and Roland is ducking down, cooing. Yes, cooing. "C'mere, Miaow. C'mere, buddy." He raps his fingers on the concrete floor as the dainty little cat comes prancing up. "Boy, am I sorry I missed your dance, Gray. And, uh. Brace yourself."
The warning is delivered too late. He turns to face Peter and Lilium after Peter's last comment, and comes full-face with what Lilium has morphed into. Instinctively, he half-steps between her and Chairman Miaow, shielding the cat from harm with his body. Gray, it seems, needs no such protection. Whatever the stripper is doing down here, he apparently either doesn't care if she comes to harm, or has every faith in her ability to defend herself. Miaow needs his help. "Hoooooo-ly shit." It's a very human reaction, his hand flicking up to press his red aviators up onto the top of his head to get a better look. He clears his throat, looking from Peter to Gray before speaking, trying for a more neutral tone.
"I mean, you look real nice. It's not that different, really. Not really."
Regarding the dark-haired gent with open curiosity and a lingering curve playing across her lips - Gray really isn't much one for subtlety - the woman returns the handshake firmly, along with a simple introduction. "Gray." She doesn't bat a heavily mascara'd lash at the name given. Not even a Hook quote. She's adulting today, apparently. Casting a look askance toward Ro, however, her expression does bear a trace of 'okay, what..?' for him alone. There's only a little time between the wash of approval and immediate warning from her employer. Honestly, she was still watching the little feline skipping across toward the man, so when she glances up she clearly doesn't immediately gather what exactly she's supposed to be 'bracing herself' over.
On the plus side, she's not currently holding a beer. She'd be mad if she wasted a beer.
As Ro turns, taking up that chivalrously defensive stance between the newly arrived woman and the Chairman, she's prompted to follow his gaze toward Lilium. Gradually, as that facade falls away, the confusion blurs into wary uncertainty.. and ultimately blatant wonder. "Ohhh.." she breathes, in open admiration. Never taking her gaze from the fae creature, she eases down, bending her long legs, to scoop up the little cat into her arms, absently rubbing at it's velvety chin in a soothing manner.
Seeing something this plainly supernatural, right here next to her pizza, is.. unsettling, to say the least. But entrancing, all the same. Similar to the way one might admire a deadly snake for the predatory beauty but likely refrain from offering fingertips out to pet it. Appreciate from a distance. That's what her instincts say.
Peter smiles, watching Roland and Gray's reaction, then turning an affectionate gaze upon Lilium. Slowly though, his features begin to crack, fault lines forming across his face and hands, pieces falling off like ceramic breaking, which vanish into nothing when they hit the floor. Beneath, his blue eyes seem to hold an infinite sky within them. His skin has a pearlescent sheen to them, and close inspection would reveal he's actually scaled like a snake. His mouth is obscenely filled with razor sharp, incredibly long teeth, as ivory as the wickedly sharp talons erupting from his fingers. His shadow looms longer than before upon the vault door behind him, shifting and contorting as if he's illuminated by firelight instead of steady, electronic lights.
Gravely, he makes a sweeping gesture between himself and Lilium, "We are the Lost, stolen and now returned." In an instant, his visage returns to normal, plain, Human.
There's a faint flush of pink in Lilium's porcelain cheeks at Roland's unease, and she bites her lip for a moment, before revealing, in soft words, "I'd never... I've never... tried to show someone who couldn't see it before, but... I'm guessing it worked." No shit. She gives the cat a soft smile, and it's less self conscious than the ones offered to people, at that. Her words are soft when she tells Gray, "Apologies, my Lady, I've no intent to alarm you, I wished only to let your... to let Roland know, what I actually looked like. I find it impossible to enter into a relationship of any kind in good faith if you have no idea who or what you are engaging with from the outset," she reasons, softly. It's probably missed on any present, but there's a hint of an Estonian accent clinging to her words, the barest ghosts from childhood clinging.
"I was taken during World War Two, when the Russians came to occupy, but I was... not old enough for school even, at that point. And Peter brought me back at the end of the year last year. But everything between the two is... muddled. Dreamlike. Impossible to make sense of." She looks down at her hands, going quiet. She adds, softly, for Roland's benefit, "To be fair... the being responsible is... as best as I can gather... the inspiration behind the dragon on the Welsh flag. As... for why Peter had the response he did."
And then speaking of Peter... There's /that/ display. Where his seems to clear up in moments, however, her own plainly inhuman state lingers. She looks to Roland and says softly, "And I do wish to deal with you fairly and offer you what protection I can. Little as it may be. You are the first person to say that to me who was not there with me. And so... I wanted it to be from a place of honesty if we were to be there to help or protect or whatever, Peter and I with you, or you with either of us." She reaches to touch Peter's shoulder, then, her hand lingering there. The two steps that bring her close to him see a rain of petals in her wake that dissolve like mist on hitting the floor.
Roland, now that Chairman Miaow is safely in Gray's hands, edges backward until he's standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the woman, gazing at Lilium with unfeigned fascination. "These two," he says to Gray without taking his eyes off of Lilium, "want feed off the emotions upstairs. They tell me it won't fuck with our customers at all." He's answering her earlier unspoken question -- quite possibly forgotten -- about what the heck these two are doing down here, in what is typically considered a private haven. "Sorry to spring it on you," he mutters. Because he is absolutely going to hear about that later, and fair enough. Bringing a pair of Lost home with you is probably something you should text your roommate about. When Peter himself begins to transform -- and when Roland sees those teeth -- his hand idly swivels to the small of his back, resting lightly there. It's not a threat, so much as a habitual gesture.
"Well," he says after a few silent beats, watching the now-human figure closely, "I can see why you're pissed at that King you were telling me about." Understatement of the Century. Millenium, perhaps. The bar owner listens quietly, taking note of Lilium's story, gathering his thoughts. His habitual canine smile -- the sharp-toothed look of a man in search of a meal -- has been replaced with something quite serious, businesslike. Not frightened, though there is an element of caution here. He looks aside at Gray for a moment, then back to the pair.
"It's like this," he finally says, carefully enunciating each word. "I don't have the luxury of being generous. You two, you came into my bar without asking me, and you fed on my customers." He lifts a finger, as though to forestall any commentary. "Now, I like you. I feel bad for you. But if you wanna keep coming here... there's a price. I already said. You tell me you got friends who can make us some shit to help us in our work. Is that real, or is that smoke?"
After a moment, he adds "We don't need much in the way of protection. Kind as the offer is. What I can always use, though, is supplies."
Gray's eyes have drifted, inevitably, to witness the transformation of the man accompanying Lilium. That's rather less of a fairytale, isn't it? More Voldemort than Galahad. The gaze remains steadily upon Peter until he reverts back to his human impression.. and a moment longer still. "I'm okay. I'm fine. I'm good." The blonde mutters this under her breath, though whether in response to Ro or the Princess Amalthea figure before them is anybody's guess. Maybe even just to herself, some sort of mantra to keep her from freaking out entirely. "This is fine." She tries again with the self-assurance. But there's a hint of the wide-eyed fawn about the young woman that wasn't there before, her breath drawn and loosed through slightly parted lips. Focus, Gray.
Returning her attention to Lili, she does indeed appear to hone in on what's being said. And, after a near audible gulp, she inclines her head in a fractional nod of understanding. "That's.. fair." she agrees, without being entirely certain what sort of business relationship any of them are implying, as yet. This is hands down one of the weirdest places she's ever worked.
The little cat, still a youngster and nowhere near full grown, begins to tire of the now unthinking affections offered by Gray's fingers and squirms abruptly. She releases him without question, gently setting him down on the concrete floor, where he promptly tippy-toes across to butt at Lilium's ankle. Typical. Runs hare-brained around the place for no reason at three in the morning, but purrs and snuggles aplenty for supernatural visitors. What a little shit.
Lifting his own, totally human looking finger, Peter counters, "We haven't fed off anyone yet, to be clear." He wanders slowly over to one of the two closed doors nearby, but doesn't attempt to open it. "We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams. It shouldn't be very hard to procure supplies." He lifts a fist as if to knock on the door, "All I have to do is ask, and something can come here to make many, many different things. If it can't be made like that, well, then either Lily can buy it, or I can use my magic to procure it."
His lips curl into a wide grin, "It isn't hard to get things. What do you need?" He shoots Lilium a reassuring look and a subtle nod.
What the cat finds in Lilium is that she promptly kneels, dress be damned, to scratch behind both ears and smile with warmth and wide eyed wonder at it. "Who's the cuterest? Aren't you a sweetheart..." she asks the cat, angling her fingers so the barely there edge of her nails can get at the underside of the feline's chin. She looks from Roland to Peter, then back to Roland, before saying softly, "I can do that elsewhere if you prefer I didn't, the music can be very loud, I mean. That said though..." The silver-haired Fairest says softly as she scratches behind both of the cat's ears and croons at it softly, "... I can, and will, gladly help fund what you wish. It's good to have people watching out for each other. You seem better equipped than most, and if you can get a good foothold, you will no doubt protect men, women, and children alike from various nightmares, if I read your demeanor right." She tells the cat, as if the cat cared, "You wouldn't have liked my bird, he was made of sapphire. Your poor teeth would've never survived that hunt, little love." And if she has any qualms about calling the cat the same thing Peter called her upstairs... well, it's clearly meant as a term of affection, in whatever case. She smiles softly at Gray, and then says, "I can put the wings and horns away again, if you prefer. I know few who are not used to seeing such things remain settled at all while such remain visible."
Wordlessly, Roland reaches aside to try to lay his arm lightly around Gray's shoulders. He doesn't take his other hand off what is, undoubtedly, a weapon concealed behind his back, but there is no sense that the man is preparing to erupt into a blaze of gunfire. Instead, despite the caution, there is still that sense of...empathy, from the gun for hire. As though he grasps at least a part of what has been done to them. Still, there is that protective gesture, and the way he shifts closer to Gray after Peter's response.
"I want armor. Armor from ya'll's sort of people. Armor for me, armor for my friend here." He grows a little more visibly uneasy as Chairman Miaow decides that Lilium is a friend -- and as Lilium kneels down to stroke at him, talking softly to the cat. Roland idly chews the inside of his lip, considering for a few moments, before he continues. "We don't need much in the way of normal shit. But if your contacts can make our gear better, our weapons more dangerous? That'd buy you access to my customers. That's what I've heard about you guys. That you can do that."
He is watching the cat closely, protectively, like a father guarding a child. At the notion of defending men, women, and children from a variety of nightmares, however, one eyebrow ticks upward. "Sure, we'll guard people from the big bad wolves. Like I said, we're just a phonecall and a bag of cash away."
"Nah, that's.. that's alright." Eyeing Lilium as she offers unreserved affection to Chairman Miaow, Gray visibly reaffirms her 'I'm fine' stance, setting her shoulders back a touch just as her companion's arm settles around them. "Just.. not gonna lie, I kinda wanna go as you for Halloween now." The way she says it, it's really difficult to tell whether she's joking. But probably not, knowing her. There's no mention of opinion on Peter's appearance, though. In fact she's avoided glancing his way again, thus far.
As Ro speaks up, setting out the terms of negotiations, the young woman looks up and aside to regard him in profile, expression contemplative. Does she approve of this notion? Whether she does or not, she's clearly not going to strike up a debate upon it, here and now. She merely leans a little into his side, taking some measure of comfort in his solid, bar-smelling presence and nods in wordless assent on the matter of protecting folks. Well.. she does. After a fashion.
Peter lowers his hand, brow wrinkling in consternation, "Armor? I suppose I could ask Madame Thimblestitch to come by, but that'd be more trouble than it's worth!" He chuckles heartily, then gestures to Lilium, "You could get Jewels to bless something of his, but ... well, that doesn't last very long." Peter glances down at his briefcase, then quickly shakes his head, "Mm, no. Not /that/, either "
"Blood and ashes, this is hard. We weren't made for this purpose..." He taps his chin with a finger, growing frustrated, "I could have a hobgoblin make you... chainmail? Or would you prefer leather?" He shakes his head, "But you want /additional/ power, /additional/ protection." He purses his lips, "That can be done. We'll need the thing or things you want to improve. Of course, I can't spin you infinite 'gold straw' for permission to harvest emotions here. Some specific amount would have to be agreed upon. Like... Two items a month?"
"I had to turn into a dragon to keep the rest of the people like us from swarming on Peter last time I had aught to do with them," Lilium tells Roland softly, gesturing to Peter, and adding, "He may well be able to help. Honestly, all I can really do is sing." She smiles softly at Gray and offers, "I have some extra dresses if you like?" As if to demonstrate said singing talent, she starts to. Not to Roland. Or Gray. Or Peter. No, to the cat. Brushing her fingertips over its fuzzy little body, she murmurs softly, hums a couple bars, and then starts to sing in a voice that... holds a century's worth of pain and loneliness, despite her youthful looks.
Somethin' filled up My heart with nothin' Someone... told me not to cryyyyyyyy."
Her voice some cross between Erutan and Amy Lee, she continues in soft tones, as she looks into the cat's face, "Now that ...I'm older My heart ...is colder And I can see that it's a liiiiiiiiiie."
Her foot taps lazy rythm to the Arcade Fire song she's singing, "Children, wake up, Hold your mistake up Before they turn the summer into duuuuust."
With a level of feeling respective to the original artist that is matched in few covers outside Johnny Cash's Hurt or Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, she continues, the words soft so her voice cracks just barely with the delivery, "If the children ...don't grow up Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up We're just a million little god's... causin' rain storms
Turnin' every good thing to ruuuust."
And all of a sudden she seems to just get tired of singing and drops it, turning her attention to Roland, "I can help in a few ways, like... entering dreams or walking through mirrors... or becoming a dragon or a dove, help someone do a given thing a little better or worse than usual for a short time, or even help heal a person, like if you got shot up and didn't want to visit a hospital?"
Roland's grin sharpens as he glances aside at Gray. He murmurs softly, "New stage act," perhaps in response to her wish to costume herself as Lilium. The glance brings him into contact with her own gaze, and he meets her eye for a few moments. As she leans further into him, he neither relaxes his grip nor tightens it. But he straightens a bit, growing more proud in his stance. Less like the sleazy strip club owner, more like something that he used to be. A good woman can bring that out in a man, sometimes. Sometimes, it just takes an alright one. "Two items a month?" He glances sidelong at Gray, inclining his head faintly. The rest of Peter's chatter seems to go right over his head -- hobgoblins, Madame Thimblestitch. But then, there's a flicker of alertness behind his vibrant blue eyes, a sharpness. He's taking mental notes, count on it.
Roland looks aside at Lilium, taking his eyes off Peter for now, as she mentions turning into a dragon. When she begins to sing to his cat, the bounty hunter tenses subtly. Perhaps he's heard fairy tales of creatures being entranced by a song. Or maybe he's just... the most overprotective cat-father ever. But the haunting song is...well, it's gorgeous. His hand tightens reflexively on Gray's shoulder, drawing her more tightly against him as the music winds to a halt. "Damn," he says softly. "Bitch can sing." The pejorative seems to be reflexive rather than intended as an insult.
He inhales sharply through his nose, focusing back on the matter at hand. "Alright. How's this? Our man Peter here supplies our two items a month -- whatever we want, right? Peter, how long will they be gone each time? Sorta matters." He points at Lilium after asking the question. "But you, Miss. We'll hold you in reserve. One favor apiece, once a month. If you really can do all those things." A glance down at Gray, questioning. "Whatcha think?"
Peter lets the singing wash over him, closing his eyes, placid until the song ends. He calmly watches Roland, listening intently, until his expression sours at the use of the word bitch.
"Me and the hob would need a few hours, to half a day, depending on complexity." He shoots a glance towards Lilium, "Don't be /too/ generous, little love. He's offering something we can just walk outside and get for free." And if that's true, why go through all of this to begin with? He finishes with a smile, "It's up to you." He gestures to what is perhaps the bedroom doo r, "We can leave too, if you're uncomfortable."
Yeah, Gray's alright. Reaching up slowly with her outside hand, she twines her fingers with those of Ro's hand at her shoulder; either for comfort or reassurance. But this she does unthinkingly, still regarding Lilium with a hint of awe in those dark-lashed eyes.. and a slow-burning smile at the offer of a dress. She'd probably have to grow a few inches and lose about half her bodyweight to fit in it.. but it's a sweet offer, so she doesn't say so out loud. Honestly, the blonde's still looking a little dazed. This is kinda the adult equivalent of waking up to find Santa bustling about your Christmas tree. But then, if vampires and werewolves are a thing.. yeah, why not. She can accept there are far stranger things in the world than she's aware of.
And then the singing begins.
Gray listens. And not because she's under some sort of thrall or bewitchment.. but merely for the enjoyment of it, the beauty in the soaring melodies and the skill of the vocalist in conveying the nuance. The Chairman has much the same response, blinking up at the fae woman with those big kitten eyes, purring deep in his chest and offering a deliberate headbutt to her wrist as the song draws to a close. As for Ro... he earns a sharp nudge of his companion's elbow into his ribs for his coarse manner. Hey, she never claimed to be a saint. But these two have the sort of regal air that probably doesn't encourage profanity.. right?
She's struggling to imagine the silver-haired figure as a fearsome dragon, though. She's just so dainty.
Peter lets the singing wash over him, closing his eyes, placid until the song ends. He calmly watches Roland, listening intently, until his expression sours at the use of the word bitch.
"Me and the hob would need a few hours, to half a day, depending on complexity." He shoots a glance towards Lilium, "Don't be /too/ generous, little love. He's offering something we can just walk outside and get for free." And if that's true, why go through all of this to begin with? He finishes with a smile, "It's up to you." He gestures to what is perhaps the bedroom doo r, "We can leave too, if you're uncomfortable."
Rather softly, Lilium says, "I... can offer that, though... the dragon form is largely cosmetic. I can fly, and probably carry one of you on my back, but likely not both at once, but something like using crazy dragon breath to melt through a safe's metal wall would rely on firebreath I don't have, and so can't promise, for example." She nods softly at Peter as she smiles, "That's true, Peter, but... if they really /are/ protecting people... imagine someone had helped most of the people where we were not to have to be there, you know?" She shrugs helplessly at that, "I'm not looking for a place to draw that, not really. I mean, I've gotten by pretty well singing in Jackson Square so far. But it's what could be done for one another that makes for such rich potential. Not now, but after there is some better baseline of trust or comraderie or something." She looks back to Roland and says, "There is the possibility, you would find something else more useful than you know to ask for. But I feel like that's... that's something for once we know one another a little better." She smiles at the cat and leans down, careful not to get the kitten with the diminutive crown of horns and instead attempting to nudge one corner of her lip over the cat's shoulder as if marking it. "Whether it be an ancient pact or one with the roses and their thorns," she says softly, with a significant look to Peter, and with zero explanation of what either of those might be or mean.
Roland absently squeezes Gray's hand as she entwines her fingers in his, perhaps as unaware of the gesture as she seems to be of having taken his hand at all. His glance aside at her notes the smile slowly curving across her tattooed face, and Roland smiles slightly at the sight. Some of the tension begins to ebb from him as he reads his companion's mood, apparently using Gray as a sort of weather-vane. If she's ready to relax and enjoy the music, well. That's a good sign. So much so that, finally, Roland's hand comes away from his concealed weapon. And then he catches that elbow in the ribs and grunts softly. He looks over at her mock-reproachfully.
The sight of his little devil-cat becoming so affectionate with Lilium still seems to trouble him somewhat. But when Peter begins to make his barter, Roland looks over at him. There is a smile as the man offers to walk away, through the bedroom door -- how that will work, who knows? Probably just a way of emphasising his point, right? "Hey," he says agreeably, "Any of us can walk away, any time. But I think you're here 'cos you wanna be, Pete. You wanna feel normal again." There's no mockery in his voice, simply an acknowledgement. "It's alright. Listen -- your friend wants to go with this deal. Take it, and it'll be sweet for us both, huh? You come here, enjoy your time. Enjoy my customers and friends. Enjoy my protection, same as everyone else in my bar." As though the other man really thinks he needs protection.
He glances at Lilium as she presses her lips to his cat, inclining his head faintly. "And we get to keep...helping people." Right. Because that's why they do it. For the purposes of good. "For what it's worth, Peter? I give you my word I won't abuse the deal. Two items a month, one favor a month. In return? Bottoms Up is open to you. Seeing as you swear that what you want won't hurt my people, that is." He smiles suddenly, tilts his head to rest lightly against the top of Gray's. "Whatcha think, bro? Friendsies?"
Roused from her reverie, Gray turns a quietly unconvinced look upon Peter. It's all in the slight arch of a single, perfectly pencilled brow. She's not buying it. People don't barter when they can just take. Why would they? But, she didn't begin the brokering.. and so, incredibly, she stays out of it; deferring to Ro with her silence. Well, for a while. It never lasts long.
"I'm not about fuckin' people over." she remarks, backing her companion's word in her own way. "If you can help us do our job and we can help you with.. feeding.." The blonde offers the term uncertainly, as if not sure it's the right syntax or something. "Then I see it as a win-win. Free, after all.." This much, she directs to Peter alone, as Miaow laps up the attention from his ethereal counterpart. "..rarely means 'reliable'."
As an afterthought, in the wake of the man's gesture toward one of the closed doors, she adds, "..I wouldn't. Unless you're of a mind to wade through a sea of shoes, books and underwear." The blithe smile that accompanies suggests she has no shame over the state of the room, if that's indeed the truth of it.
Returning her gaze to Lilium, having given her words some thought apparently - maybe the peroxide hasn't begun to seep into her brain just yet - the young woman addresses her quietly, in that throaty manner she has. "My dad and his friend? They created an organisation fundamentally based on trust and camraderie." Beneath the words, there's a discernible hint of firm resolve. "I've no plans to squander that legacy anytime soon."
Huh. Maybe Durant isn't the only one to take into account. Don't let the hotpants and spike heels fools ya.
There's a moment of consideration as Peter mulls this over. Eventually, he nods to himself, tell Roland and Gray, "No, you're right. And it's not much of a cost." He looks to Lilium and adds, "I won't seal this with magic, we can just have a normal, completely humam agreement."
He knocks on the bedroom door, singing softly, "All is swell, at the bottom of the weeellll," and when he opens the door, a dark, grey-stone cavern can be seen beyond, the loud trickling of water heard within. "I'll come by tomorrow and we'll begin upgrading your things." He holds the door open, chilly air sweeping into the room, "If you're not ready to retire though, my little love, you know the song in." Whatever exactly that means.
Nodding softly, Lilium pulls to her feet again, reluctantly setting the cat aside, "You're a little Prince, and I am bringing you treats the next time we come," she tells the cat. Offering Peter a nod and a smile, "Seems very /normal/, right?" she asks, with a wink that is just goddamn surreal considering circumstances. She smiles softly at Gray and says, "I draw the energy to do magick from excess lust," she says, gesturing above, "It's... what it is. I've never even actually... or... not here... not clearly." And she avoids meeting Peter's gaze on that admission. Some awkwardness for them to resolve in... the well? The cavern? Whatever that dank stone hole he opens leads to. Though to be fair when she steps in, little tufts of velvety emerald moss covering much of the stone grow lusher until they are like pillows. "Another day?" she asks, sweeping into a curtsey to both Gray and Roland. "It was very nice to meet you both."
Roland doesn't seem to take offense when Gray begins to speak up -- in fact, the brashly-clad man seems rather pleased, nodding along. He looks down at Gray with a briefly amused expression, however, as she counters the arguments Peter has made. "What she said," he murmurs, jerking his left-hand thumb in the woman's direction. "Exactly what she said." And that seems to go for the bedroom, too. He lifts a hand as though to stave off Peter's entrance into that space, perhaps for the man's own good.
But it's too late. And... And, well... the bedroom just isn't there. What is he looking at? Unconsciously, Roland takes a step toward that cave entrance, leaning slightly as though to scent the cold air that blows toward him, nostrils flaring. "Hooooo-ly shit," he says again, echoing his earlier response to Lilium's unveiling. Her commentary on lust doesn't seem to surprise the bar owner very much -- perhaps he's guessed at least a part of it, during his interactions with the Lost upstairs. After all, something provoked him to draw them both down here. "Nice... meeting you both. Take care, huh?"
Slipping into thw cavern, Peter says, "Au Revoir, new friends," and then he closes the door behind himself. Once opened again, the door leads where it should with no signs of any hookum or chicanery.