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Realistic or Modern ๐‘ท๐’๐’–๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’•๐’š ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’…๐’“๐’Š๐’๐’Œ ! ๐Ÿฅƒ (๐‚๐ฅ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž๐)

Sub Genres
Action, Adventure, Historical, Mystery, Platonic, Romance, Slice of Life

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Simon didnโ€™t think it was going to be this easy. Getting into the community of course. At his last residence, which to be fair was a sleepy village with a bunch of retired old folks on the outskirts of town. But here in the city, of the roaring twenties. Things were different. People werenโ€™t exactly friendly to some young up and coming slingshot like him. But they did actually acknowledge what he was doing was important. Young folk actually paid attention to him, and he could actually connect with people. At the moment he only had two friends, but that was enough to make him shed a tear of happiness. Before he had the bingo group. Not fun.

It had been three months since he had moved into a small apartment next to some college students that he was introduced into the working class community. It wasnโ€™t posh like the neighborhood he usually scavenged. Rather it was lined with families living pay check to pay check, small business owners, husbands that came home late because of work. Though he liked it, people stuck together here. Sometimes in the nosey way, sometimes just to make sure you were still alive. Well, it was one of the nosey ways he found about the speakeasies. Which mind you, during this whole bad alcohol, no no sort of thing. Were popping up like crazy. But it was a specific one that caught his eye. The woman who spoke to him sounded nearly worried about the presence it held. Said there was some guy there he needed to talk to. She gave him the password and everything.

Was it suspicious? A little bit. Giving him the password, and suddenly there was a underground bar he needed to look out for. Which was his first tip.., a little suspicious. But he was also very eager to get onto his first unofficial lead. So, he went down there in the evening after having a good dinner so he could keep the alcohol down. Went down several alleys, nearly got lost, went to two wrong underground bars. Before he ended up at the right one, and said the right password.

Then he actually got into the place, and it was more then lively. Pretty women in pretty dresses with there hair cut short and curled. Music cascading through the air and meeting his ears, a smile coming to his lips as he came right up to the bar.

orbitalpudding orbitalpudding
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
The soft notes faded out of the song. Doris sipped champagne before the next one started. AJ had his eyes closed as he sat at the bar but he knew well enough what was going on from being here every night. He opened his eyes to find the band beginning the next song just as he'd predicted. He'd heard this one countless times but it still managed to reel him in. That was the power of music, though. Always able to make him sway or tap his foot to the beat, constantly on the edge of his seat waiting to hear the next dive or soar of the melody. After he opened his eyes, he sipped his whiskey. That was the benefit of being here every night. He had pretty much unlimited access to whatever drink he fancied. He fancied a whiskey every time.

Other than that though, there wasn't much he enjoyed about the place. The smell of smoke was so strong in that nasty old basement, it made him cough once or twice, and he had been smoking practically since he could hold a cigarette. When he looked around, he didn't see the lively patrons or the modern decor, just the dingy old walls that sconces and other flourishes tried to cover up. The space was and always would be a basement no matter what anyone else said. His father had sent him to watch over this place as a punishment and he couldn't help but find the similarities between this and a prison.

Now normally, AJ didn't have to pay much attention to the clientele. He could glance at a person and tell if they were just there to enjoy a drink or were there to rat the place out to the police. Those who fell into the latter group hardly ever made it past the door. The man who had just entered however, was a bit of a mystery to AJ. Bright eyes that wandered, full of curiosity. The guy looked like a lost child at Coney Island. He could be a threat. AJ watched him carefully as he went up to the bar, deciding to get off his chair and strike up a conversation.

"First time?" He put his hand on the man's shoulder, patting it a little more than gently. "Don't take offense, everyone's gotta have a first time." He kept an easy smile on his lips as he lit a cigarette as an excuse to do something with his hands after he removed one from the man's shoulder.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
He didnโ€™t get long to look around. His eyes scanning over the peeling wallpaper, flickering lights, and the half stares he was getting from the room. By now he was used to that. Side eye, whether it be to check him out as a foe or just to see what a young buck like him was doing here. To be perfectly honest, Simon was here because it was a lead and he was sure it had to go somewhere. Other than to get a drink in these... desperate times... despite knowing other speakeasies nicer than this where he could get a drink.

He lifted his hand about to order when he was brought back to look at the man that had just planted a hand on his shoulder. Eyeing the other up and down he kept his cool. Looking as though he wasnโ€™t sizing the other up, or checking him out. Somewhere in between. A grin broke through his curious expression. โ€œItโ€™s my first time here, yes...โ€ He left the edge of mystery on whether heโ€™s been to other speakeasies. โ€œHow about you...? First time...? Come here often...?โ€ An arched brow played with his growing smile. Then turned back ordering a glass of vodka. Yes, it was way to strong for him. Yes, he would probably choke on it. But it made him look older and more experienced then he was. Usually he ordered water, or rum. Something not strong, or really sweet. Yet he put the rim of the glass to his lips and sipped on it. Placing the glass down near immediately after, extending his pinky to cushion the noise of the glass.

Before turning so his back was to the counter so he could watch the man. Those emerald eyes tracking every pluck of a string, rise and fall of a harmony, and moving his hand slightly to the beat. From the corner of his eyes he watched the other male. Wondering if he was just to check out who he was.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Emerald was absolutely the right word to describe his eyes. They were not at all unlike a sparkling gemstone, but AJ wondered why those gems weren't dangling from the neck of some woman, metaphorically speaking of course. Men often ogled the singers on stage or the ladies on other men's arms. This one though, this one didn't take his eyes off of AJ. It was a warning sign for sure. So was the way he delicately sipped the vodka, clearly trying to impersonate a more seasoned drinker.

Often pride got in the way of AJ's judgment. A man drinking something he obviously didn't enjoy could mean he was undercover, or it could mean he was simply trying to appear more impressive or manly. A man's pride drove him to do things far away from his natural character. That could be the case with... "You got a name?"

The question was a convenient excuse to not give away too much information about himself. He was always wary about revealing any truth about his life to someone he was suspicious about. A regular patron he could chat with here and there once he was sure of their intentions, but not this one. He sipped his whiskey again, listening for a name to call him by. That was one thing that he could share with the man to make him seem less like a guard and more like a friend. That was the art of getting information on people. Make them think they know everything about you when in reality they know nothing.

"You can call me Tony." It wasn't a lie, technically, but he never went by that and no one would connect the name Tony with him if they were ever found out.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Mentally he counted breaths, and eased dropped on idle conversation. A couple seats away from him a man was telling a war story. Something about being in the pits of the flurry of bullets and the iron smell that blood had. That you could never get over the stench of a dead body, the way flies surrounded one after they were bloated. That you donโ€™t have a name after youโ€™re dead, before your a solider, rank, and last name. But after youโ€™re the poor sod who didnโ€™t get to live past eighteen and meet a sweetheart. A causality lost to world conflict bigger then his mind could grasp. Then going on about some solider named Owen who writes great poetry. Then claiming that pansy shit wonโ€™t get him far in life. Simon happened to write poetry.

Then the others voice cut through the war story, through his regret of not being deployed. He thought it was luck back then, but now it weighed as heavy on his conscious as the looks he got when he didnโ€™t have a war story. Or a sweetheart. Just a pen, and some paper. โ€œYou can call me Al...โ€ It was a lie. Cold face, dead in his tracks, lie. But he had a great poker face, and heโ€™s done this get about before. Al short for Alfred Rockwell. Works for Geoffrey Fernando Vickett. Both made up people. But he was pretty good at making things up.

โ€œSo... Tony... why whiskey? Do yaโ€™ like the color? The taste? If yaโ€™ ask me itโ€™s got a pretty shitty taste. Not that it tastes like- not that I would know what... that tastes like. Not whiskey, but the other thing. I drink whiskey when itโ€™s cheap... is it cheap here..? I should probably look at prices...โ€ This part wasnโ€™t an act. Simon always spoke fast, asked questions, and forgot about tint details. Like the cost of this vodka... god he hoped it wasnโ€™t that bad... god he had to pay fucking rent. Rent... neighbors... oh ! He was here for a reason. Something.. suspicious.. He looked over to Tony, trying to under his eye level tell if he was suspicious. Probably, canโ€™t trust no one in this world.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Thomas told that story every night that he was there. He always came in early and grabbed the first poor sap who would listen, then rambled on to him as the daylight faded and the empty glasses stacked up. AJ had figured out long ago why he did it. Once again, pride was the answer. Thomas seemed to believe that the more he told that story, the less he would enjoy sneaking away at the end of the night with another young man, one whom AJ had overheard Thomas call "Owen."

AJ himself knew too much about the war for someone who hadn't seen combat. He knew the hurt it could cause. His father had fled to America just as Mussolini came into power, after the death of his wife. Now, of course, he had remarried. AJ didn't speak to her.

But all that thinking was interrupted by a change in the usual chatter. He had a name now. "Alright Al. Now I don't know how you can ask a man why his favorite drink is his favorite. Course it tastes shitty, but it does the job alright and it reminds me of gold. Isn't that what we all want?" He winked, leaning his elbow on the table as he stood across from Al. The man didn't look like an Al. He looked like he didn't belong. Between the nervous stammering and the quick eye movements, AJ knew this was either someone here to rat him out or someone who really needed to finish his vodka. "Drink's on me, by the way."

His father hated it when he let other people get free drinks and that was precisely why he did it.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
โ€œGold...โ€ He frowned and weighed whether whiskey looked like gold. Putting aside the rampant butterflies the wink gave him, he would deal with that in church tomorrow morning. Something about waking up at four in the morning to walk to church, and feel the wood against his knees made the stringing thoughts of a manโ€™s lips disappear. Because like the Bible had declared, he could not lay with a man. He would lay with a woman, because god wants him too. And god forbid he doesnโ€™t do it or hath hell like his motherโ€™s fury. He would be dust. Cremated on the spot.

โ€œI suppose the folks in California want gold. Crazy for gold up in those mountains. But in the end itโ€™s a stone, a mineral, that we put a paper value on it. Then we take that currency, and drink it away, or waste it away on temporary happiness. So yeah I guess whiskey is like gold, it gives temporary happiness... but I hope itโ€™s not what weโ€™re all looking for...โ€ He shrugged and looked down at his vodka. It wasnโ€™t appealing, even after the man said he was going to buy his drink. Hell he wouldโ€™ve ordered a Long Island if he knew the man was buying. But instead he lifted it to his lips, took an agonizing sip. Contemplated downing it, and by impulse threw it back and put on the table. It burned, scratched its way down his throat like an angel being sent to hell. God knew he was no angel.

โ€œVodka on the other hand, itโ€™s gasoline. Itโ€™s fuel. Itโ€™s every hot blooded Americans ambition to wake up in the morning, go to work, complete a routine. An everlasting circle that you can see right through... are you a gold or a gasoline type of man, Tony...? Do you like temporary happiness or routine..?โ€
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Intelligent conversation. Now that was a true rarity in a place like this. Occasionally there would be nuggets of wisdom, but analysis like the one Al had just brought up almost never was included in the talk between patrons. It actually took him back for a second. His guard dropped and he had to honestly think about an answer. By the time he realized, he feared that somehow he had divulged secrets before he even spoke. He straightened back up and decided on what he would say.

"I live for a good time, not a long time." Seeing Al still struggling to keep the vodka from lighting a fire inside of him, he knew somewhat of the answer for the other man. Himself, though, it was harder to think about. He had never thought about it that way. Money was just something they needed, something they had. Routine had never been a factor in his life. The closest thing to routine that he had was having to watch over this place every night. AJ couldn't begin to imagine working an office job or something boring like that. He was practically royalty. Prince of the underworld, destined to inherit the throne. Hell would come, but for now, things were great.

"Are you a religious man?" The question must've seemed random, but the thought process made complete sense in AJ's mind. "Personally, I think the world's too far gone to be saved. Might as well have fun." With that, he finished his glass of whiskey and pushed it across the bar. That would be the only thing he would drink for the night. He had to stay vigilant.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Listening to the other man he didnโ€™t get a lot of a response. But from that simple phrase he could deduce Tony was probably a ladies man and a one night stand type of person. He reasoned that Tony knew the limits of his own mortality ether from pessimism, risky behavior, or just lifestyle. He was putting his money on risky behavior and lifestyle. What that lifestyle was intrigued him. He was going to pursue it until he was asked about religion. That gathered a sigh from him.

โ€œI was raised in a traditionally catholic home, Roman Catholic to be precise. Sicilians and there religion...โ€ Simon shook his head a bit with an affectionate smile. โ€œSome people might take that as answer. But, yes I go to church every morning, I attended confession at least three times a month, I pray before I sleep, and pray before I eat. I might sound like a very religious man to you. I wouldnโ€™t blame you... But I see the traditional catholic god as a dictator of sorts that rules in a patriarchal system...โ€ He stated simply and matter of factly. He was catholic without reason of belief other than he was raised in such a way.

โ€œIโ€™m a man of routine as you can see... but I believe in people. I believe we are capable of good, and evil. I believe in those minds that change the world for good or bad... I believe in the ways of the universe and the future we create together. Society and itโ€™s history is my religion...โ€ He looked at the bottom of his cup. โ€œI must not sound very fun Tony. But I believe the world is just going through a steady change. There is no saving us... just moving forward... there is no down.. only up...โ€ At the โ€˜pโ€™ he made a little pop of his lips.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
One should never assume someone's lifestyle without any concrete proof. AJ knew that all too well. If he had been able to hear the other's thoughts, he would've pointed out several inaccuracies. A life with his father had taught him not to take any risks. Everything was done only after the outcome was known and success was guaranteed. That was probably why he didn't spend time with too many women. There were a few, sure, but he didn't seek out any short-lived romances.

Even asking the religion question was calculated. The Sicilian features didn't blend well with the curious, questioning eyes. A man of de facto faith, wondering why he believed the way he did but too afraid to question it. By now he had decided that he had distracted the man well enough that even if he was here to investigate, he wouldn't look for anything suspicious. Still, he had to keep the act up until Al left. Finishing the job was the most important thing. Putting the polish on, so to speak.

Luckily, Al was making the job easy. If he kept talking, this would be a breeze. The philosophical waxing was sort of endearing. Going on about history and the nature of mankind. AJ decided he liked Al, which really meant nothing. In his position, there was no room for friends. But the way he pronounced the word up made the corners of his lips turn up. "You're an interesting guy, Al..." He moved his lips into a full smile.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
"Interesting...?" Simon arched a meticulous brow with a gentle smile. "Maybe, slightly out of the ordinary for sure. But not so much out the ordinary you could spot me in a crowd of blank faces,.." He shrugged as through that made perfect sense to him and then went back to starring at the paint peeling on the walls. By now he figured it was time to bring the rabbit slightly out from the hat. "Say, ever heard of any gangs or that lot about...?" He tried to remain casual as he looked to the other. "My buddy was going on yesterday about how some up and coming crime guy stole his girl at a club, I told him it was better then getting skinned. He agreed, but we went on talking about them like there myths and legends ya' know. I guess what's there supposed to be. Don't want to get caught carrying the cash and all... an interesting way to live if you ask me.." His gaze went down to the pealing stain on the table paired with carved initials.

"Read about those Peaky Blinder folk across the waters with the razors in there flat caps, scary stuff thinking you might have something similar here. Take as they please and start street wars and all..heard they nearly ruled London..." The story was true, but he dug up this information after sending a decent amount of letter, going after dead ends, and digging through archives. It wasn't information that one would've just happen to come by or could scrape of the floor. In fact he was still getting replies and droplets of information. Though he gave up researching on that organized crime years ago when he found out they were jailed and worse. "The kings with the crows are in there everlasting tombs now... so I guess that leaves room for bigger swords to conquer the kingdom.."
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
"I have quite a knack for remembering faces," he mused back, only just beginning to drip with the charm that could gush out of him if he chose to let it. The few seconds of silence in which Al stared at the walls and AJ stared at him were just as good entertainment as anything else. He hoped Al would come back. They could be...acquaintances. That was all AJ needed, really. If nothing else, Al was something to look at. A pretty face and a mouth full of nonsense.

Until he wasn't. AJ straitened up reflexively at the mention of gangs. It was glaringly obvious that Al, if that was even his real name, was just here for information. He didn't even listen to the rest of his story. It was just a cover to make the question seem sensible. He'd seen it time and time again. This time though, he found that it stung just a little more. There was a sort of dull ache in his chest as he realized that Al probably wouldn't last too much longer asking questions like that.

The least AJ could do was throw him off course. So he smiled, letting the charm finally flow with full force. "Fascinating, isn't it? I think I might have something you'd be interested in, but it's not safe to talk here. Come with me." He stood, and held out a hand in Al's direction. In this position, he seemed trustworthy. Just an honest man with an honest smile and an honest offer. It wasn't honesty that the smile portrayed though, it was the feeling of knowing that he was most likely saving someone.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
He noticed the sudden change in the other demeanor. The extended hand, sultry tone, twinkle in his eyes. To your typical doe eyed man or woman they wouldโ€™ve been swooned, swept off there feet. He sure wouldโ€™ve been too if he wasnโ€™t on strict business. โ€œSorry, I donโ€™t take candy from strangers. Where you taking me boss...? Better be a church or somewhere where I can see those hands...โ€ Simon reached out with his pointer finger extended and pushed the hand gradually down. The momentary contact making him shiver. Then turning his attention back to the music. Suddenly it roared, the piano competing with trombone as it bounced off the old walls. Some couples getting out onto the floor. A particular girl with short cut hair, and a loose dress stared AJ down.

โ€œBesides, that sheba there looks like she wants to put her claws in you. Donโ€™t tell you me you donโ€™t want a part of that action...โ€ He shrugged with a grin. It was a plan to get the man away. So he could analyze what made AJ want to take him somewhere but here. Deducing he hit something, a nerve, a lead, a nugget in a goldmine. AJ knew something. And eventually he was going to find out. Maybe not tonight though.

โ€œEther dance with the girl, or go with me to an art show... your pick small fry..โ€
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Small fry. Small fry! AJ was not that short! Sure, the types his father surrounded himself with tended to tower over AJ, but Al was only a few inches taller at most. Still, comparatively, AJ knew he was, in the grand scheme of things, a small fry. That was what bothered him most. It threw him off his train of thought about Al figuring out too much enough that he didn't notice the scheming that was going on behind the other's eyes. Or the pretty girl staring at him.

Finally, he did manage to lock eyes with her and smile. She was quite attractive, but he did have a job to do. Business, not pleasure. An art show did sound awfully boring though. He turned back to Al. "Alright, you've got me. But only if you promise to come back soon." He nudged Al's arm gently. "Unless you'd like to stay and see if she has any friends for you." He was already halfway into the woman's arms though. She introduced herself as Molly as they danced to the music. By now, AJ let the idea of Al and his suspicions slip out of his mind.

Pretty girls were distracting, what could he say? But he still let the thought of Al linger in his brain a little while as he pressed up against the warmth of Molly. He did hope he would come back and wouldn't do anything rash. The last thing he wanted was for Al to end up dead in the street somewhere.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
He smirked as the man mentioned him coming back soon. And nodded in return to the manโ€™s words, watching them dance for a bit. Taking in the splendor of the in synch movements and dilated pupils. When the room got to hot for him he made his way out. Onto the streets of the night. Finding his way home, not bothering to process the information as he got to his small apartment. Simply going to bed as he hit the mattress of his humble abode.

Simon didnโ€™t return the next day, or the day after that. As the first day he spent at an art show, it was requested of him by his boss to write about. Which he did, taking note of how some pieces spoke about capitalism, others about unhealthy conflict in love, another was a portrait of a beautiful man... by a man. It raised quite a few eyebrows and widely was frowned upon. He hoped the man didnโ€™t get arrested or worse. After the art show he asked the old woman that gave him the lead what she actually suspected. To which she was too scared to talk but mentioned something about the mafia.

The second day was digging into areas he trusted, and areas that trusted hun about mafia in the area. Which he learned of mafia that had a code, went by race, or just how you hold a knife. Bits and crumbs of information was given to him. And he was left hungry and starving after typing up his report that night.

Though the next night he planned to get what he wanted. Going back to AJโ€™s bar and ordering a water on the rocks. Then briefly searching the room for the other.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
That night ended the way you'd expect it to. And AJ woke up alone the next morning unsurprisingly. In any case, he had more important things to do than worry about where the girl left to or if she would be back. He had a full day ahead of him and a full night too. Normally he dreading having to spend another playing watchdog at the speakeasy, but now with the promise of someone to talk to, he didn't think of having to go back with utter disdain. AJ felt the slight danger of the situation creeping in on the corners of his mind. He couldn't get too attached. That would be disastrous in more ways than one. But deep down, AJ could feel that he wanted to. It was a thought he tried hard to push out of his mind.

Conversations with his father, going out to a nice dinner and then he was back before he knew it, choking on the thick smoke that made the place hazy and covered in grimy soot. Al wasn't there yet. And he didn't show up for the entire night. Or the next night. AJ assumed, darkly, that Al was probably being kidnapped or dead already. Asking questions like he did to anyone else would've gotten him killed. But AJ hadn't killed him. He hadn't even hurt him at all. He had let him go, even. Dangerous thoughts danced across his psyche yet again as he waited there the third night.

Then there he was, ordering water while he thought no one was watching. AJ smiled and walked over to him. "I see you made your way back here." He sat down on the stool next to him. "Couldn't get enough of this place?"
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Almost a little shocked he saw the man return besides him with a little jump. โ€œYeah something about this place keeps bringing me back...maybe itโ€™s the smoke... or the music... or maybe itโ€™s...โ€ His eyes traveled up and down the man with a small smirk, even winked at him. It took a whole lot of courage, and confidence to do all that though, even more so to turn and look away. To not engage and just let the other be flustered.

Once he was given the water he nodded his head in thanks and slid the bartender some cash. Before raising the glass to his lips and taking a sip of the water. In comparison to the vodka he looked more at ease when drinking it. Even taking two sips before placing it down on the counter. โ€œSo whatโ€™s new with yaโ€™ kid..? Check off any items from your bucket list? See anything interesting...?โ€ Shrugging he gave the other his full attention as he propped an elbow up on the counter, putting his chin in his hand.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Well if he had been thinking dangerous thoughts before, the wink made his mind practically hold a knife to his throat. The way Al looked him over like he was a mouthwatering meal made his stomach turn in a strangely familiar way. AJ had always known in a way, that he was...like this. Disgraceful or something of the sort. He just hadn't cared too much since it didn't affect him until now. He had been perfectly happy with the girls and hadn't ever let his eyes linger this long before. The more time he spent with Al, the deeper he fell in.

Al and his water on the rocks and his dainty sips, conversing so casually as if he didn't just go against his supposed religious principles. Maybe AJ was just misreading it. He could very well be projecting the "unholy" thoughts in his own mind into Al's. Better to ignore the whole thing altogether just in case. "My life is about as far from interesting as you could get, Al." It was a bald-faced lie to anyone but AJ. Being the prince of a crime kingdom came with all of the stifling boredom one might associate with royalty. "What about you, cat? I'm sure you get up to all sorts of antics." He sipped his whiskey, still mostly full as the night was young.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Frowning he arched a brow at the manโ€™s comment about not having an interesting life. No matter who you were, to Simon there life was interesting. From a bird they saw in the morning, to maybe bow there coffee turned out. Needless to say it wasnโ€™t hard to entertain him, or keep him talking. โ€œI donโ€™t believe you AJ, the way that girl was lookinโ€™ at yaโ€™.. you know what they say... a pretty girl always makes your life interesting..โ€ Maybe he asked because he wanted to know if he really went home with that girl. If they were a thing now, and Simon had missed... No, he had a job to do and it wasnโ€™t whatever was happening in his mind.

โ€œSure, lots of antics. Went to an art show, I only got one feee glass of wine... it was very boring by the way. Iโ€™ve danced around looking for other crowds to haha with, other bars yโ€™know... nothing quite has the charm.. this place has...โ€ It wasnโ€™t a lie. He had been to other places and nothing compared to the charm this place had. Even stumbled in on a bar that was for men that liked men, that was an experience.

โ€œThe art show wouldโ€™ve been a lot better with your company, kinda hurt that you choose a girl over the art show...โ€ He shook his head and did a mock dramatic sigh.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Right. Molly. The girl was old news by now. A distant memory of the past. "She's ancient history, don't worry too much. I'm not looking to settle down just yet." He wasn't looking to settle down ever, actually. The domestic life just wasn't in the cards for him, he figured. Being in his position, it would be difficult to keep a girl safe enough to marry her.

He had a feeling that was the answer Al wanted to hear, and he had been correct in assuming that. "I'm not much of an art guy, Al. I prefer to see art in life. Look. See the people dancing over there? That's art. The way they move and breathe and feel. A person is the greatest work of art there is." He turned his gaze completely obviously to Al, wetting and then biting his lip flirtation subtle enough to the outside, but hopefully clear to Al.

This was wrong. He knew that. For so many reasons too. This had to be business and he was letting it get personal. It wasn't just dangerous for AJ himself, he could end up hurting Al too. He had to stop and yet he couldn't. Not at all.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
Visibly he seemed to relax when he heard that the pretty girl was old news, and he didnโ€™t need to worry... The conflict made it to the front of his mind. Part of him insisting that this was wrong, that he was wrong to be thinking this. The other part of him willingly agreeing, followed by looking at the couple the other was pointing out as art. Watching for the sways of the hips, nearly in synch breathing, and the chemistry that dripped off of them. Then his eyes found the others and suddenly all sides had decided to watch the other wet his lip, and bite it. It sent him for a moment.

The tips of his ear getting a little red as he couldnโ€™t quite tear his eyes away from the manโ€™s lips. Almost entranced with ideas on what they felt like, what they would look like gasping. Maybe saying some interesting things. Then he heard someone stumble in the back, and a glass shatter and his attention was diverted. Thankfully. For a moment he watched some poor drunk dude stumble out from the place speaking in a slur of Italian. Then hearing him fall as he got out the door. All the while planning how the fuck he was going to match that.

Gulping he looked over the man. โ€œCan I give you some advice...?โ€ He didnโ€™t wait for an answer, instead leaned over to whisper into the manโ€™s ear. The tone of his voice low and close to a growl. โ€œYaโ€™ keep lookinโ€™ like a ripe peach, you might actually get eaten. Be careful what you ask for.. kid...โ€ Then pulled away with a grin and went back to his place picking up his cup of water and taking a sip. โ€œI do agree dancing is art though..,โ€
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Shattering glass was both a reality and an excellent metaphor for how looking away from Al felt. The distraction was well-timed and amusing, but Aj couldn't help but wonder what might have occurred right then and there if they had kept looking at each other right that. Nothing good, certainly, but almost definitely something fun. It really was a shame that the poor sod had to stumble his way out of there like that at that exact moment.

But as Al spoke again AJ may have looked like a peach but he felt like a cherry. His whole face burned a bright crimson that was luckily somewhat hidden due to the dark and smoky nature of the basement. Never had AJ been so grateful for that layer of smoke. He still felt the other's hot breath and the way his lips brushed up so gently against his own burning hot ear. He didn't even mind being called kid.

"Maybe I want to, Al," he whispered back after contemplating whether or not to for a minute. "Ever thought about that?" His heart was racing in his chest no matter how much he wanted to deny it. He had feelings for Al. Real feelings that he couldn't just push away and ignore. There was nothing quite like it.
 

HouseplantSimon

Hand over the pothos plant.
No, he hadnโ€™t thought of that really. Nor had he thought the other was going to respond in such a matter. Actually at the moment he was flying by the seat of pants, but he gathered the other would be outraged by his advances. Or perhaps just casually play it off as nothing happened. Which was probably for the best, due to how increasingly dangerous it was to like men and be a man in this day and age.

โ€œYou talk like you know what youโ€™re getting yourself into. Iโ€™m no pretty lady, sweetheart... in fact...โ€ He eyed the man with a sly smirk. โ€œIn this situation you would be playing the pretty lady, still sure you want that, huh?โ€ It was more of a challenge to see how far the man would go. To see if he would continue or just play it off.

Simon took another sip from his drink looking to Tony then back at the floor. Though his words portrayed him as a cool and in control man. In fact he was waiting anxiously for a reaction, pull of cords, just something to indicate the bigger picture.
 

orbitalpudding

probably a cryptid
Now it was too far. The flirting was cute, the daydreaming and wondering were just fine, but now it felt real. As much as he liked Al, he couldn't let the other man's charms distract him from what he actually needed to do. Which was protect him. Certainly, any sort of relationship would be about the farthest from protection he could get. AJ knew the whole concept of protecting him in the first place was probably equally as dangerous, but he just couldn't let go.

He leaned in, whispered quietly in his ear with a smirk. "You just want information." He pulled back and took a long sip of whiskey. Tonight, he decided, he had earned a second once he finished this one. He played it off as a sly comment, but a part of him knew it was true and knew he couldn't get any closer to Al. It would only hurt them both.

"In another life, Al, in another life." He ordered that second whiskey, drank it faster than the first. He just wanted the other gone at this point. It would be easier that way.
 

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