Holy Water's Grievance Hotline

Holy Water

At first glance, Holy Water looks like a proper upscale bar. Simple grey floors and walls, wine casks and shelves filled with several varieties of wine take up the majority of the room. A light oaken bar is surrounded by several matching chairs. The entire wall behind the bar is a lighted glass cooler of various whites and roses. Several large signs state 'NO VAMPIRES ALLOWED' and 'ANY VAMPIRE ON THE PREMISES WILL BE SHOT WITH SILVER ON SIGHT'. It is no wonder that Holy Water is a favored hangout for those the align themselves with the Fellowship of the Sun.
There is a hidden secret within Holy Water; a secondary lounge in the lower level which most refer to simply as 'The Cellar'. This area contains two billiards tables, a disc jockey booth, and another bar that sells everything except wine, as that can be found in abundance upstairs. Couches and booths line the walls, and a small dance floor is situated in front of the gaming tables.

Monday night is generally a slow night for Holy Water, and tonight is even slower than usual due to the weather. Raven is standing behind the main bar, trying glasses and putting them away with a soft tinkling sound. She appears to be much more relaxed than she has been since Valentine's Day and every sign of holiday decorations has been painstakingly removed. There is a faint citrus-y scent hanging in the air from the GooGone used to remove the tape residue. But for a handful of customers at tables scattered around the bar, the bartender is alone and seems content with that fact. Even if it does mean that she can't look forward to a lot of tips tonight.

After the recent events of the past few weeks, Mischa has found himself doing more drinking than ever. Tonight is no exception. He moves over to one of the tables, taking a seat as he waits for the bartender or a waitress to get to him. Of course, he spots Raven and waves at her — then turns somewhat green around the gills remembering the last two times they saw each other. Regardless, he seems in decent spirits if not totally good.

Since it's such a slow night, most of the rest of the staff has gone home leaving Raven to tend to everyone herself. The waitress that is still on duty has apparently stepped out for a moment, so Raven steps out from behind the bar without even noticing just who it is that just walked in. It's not until she's already halfway across the room that she realizes who it is and a genuine smile replaces the business-like one she was wearing moments before, "Oh, hi. Mischa, right?" She may have been in an altered state of consciousness the last few times she saw him, but she does remember the librarian, "What can I get for you tonight?" The smile slips the tiniest bit when he turns green, but she doesn't mention it.

"Yeah, that's me. Mischa. Juuuust Mischa." The man chuckles before he smiles at Raven, nodding to her. "How are you? It's been a few days since I've seen you. And I have to admit that everything from that day is just the slightest bit hazy, y'know." He chuckles very quietly and reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, looking around the bar for a few seconds before sighing. "Nothing too strong. I want to be able to drive home tonight…" Mischa trails off there for a minute or so, laughing before he glances back to Raven. "I'll let you decide for me. I trust your judgment. I do want to be able to drive home though." He says, waggling a finger at the bartender.

"It's good to see you again, Mischa." Raven shrugs faintly at the question, not looking the least bit non plussed at the mention of the last time she had seen the man. She licks her lips a little, the tip of her tongue just barely visible, "Yeah, that was a nice evening, wasn't it?" And it's apparently a good memory for her. She chuckles softly at his request, "A glass of sherry then?" There isn't much alcohol in a single glass of wine as long as you stick to just one.

Mischa can't help but laugh. "Usually my 'nice' evenings consist of me sitting at home with a good book or two… but it was different, that's for sure." He nods to Raven at her suggestion. "That sounds fine, thanks. How have you been since the other night, anyhow?" Since she's not really busy, he figures that it won't hurt if she makes a bit of small talk with a 'faithful' customer. In the mean time he takes his wallet out of his pocket and hands Raven a ten for his drink. "Slow night in here. Then again, I guess it is Monday."

Another light laugh for his thought of a 'nice' evening, "I haven't found anything worth reading in years. Not since I started working here, honestly." Raven nods a little at the question as to how she is, "I've been well enough." She taps at her right temple, "Headache free so far tonight." And that has her estatic. She nods again at the observation of the state of the bar, "It's a little slower than usual… Probably because of the snow we've had lately." She rolls her eyes, a faintly amused smirk on her face, "People here in Texas just don't know how to drive if there are even a two snowflakes falling within five minutes."

"I guess I'm lucky that my parents taught me how to drive then. They're used to Russia's roads. But I know what you mean. I've seen people with snow chains on their tires in two inches." Mischa laughs at that before he smiles at Raven, nodding to her. "Glad to hear that there's no headache. Do they bother you often?" He asks curiously, reaching up to scratch at the side of his temple as he listens to her. "Well, reading is a passion of mine. I wish I could say they paid me to say that, but… I'm just a big dork, I suppose."

"I know. It's pretty funny." Raven looks faintly sheepish, "Not that I'm much better than most of the rest of them. I've lived here in Dallas most of my life." She grimaces faintly at the question about her headaches and sighs, "Unfortunately. Usually at least once a week and it refuses to go away completely for three or four days." She smiles again, "Well, good for you. I know some people wouldn't touch a book with a ten food pole." She waves off his supposition about being a dork, "You're not a dork. I actually think it's neat that you enjoy that." She holds up the money he'd handed her and turns back toward the bar, "I'll be right back with that sherry for you."

Mischa grins at Raven a bit, nodding. "Well, I was born and raised here. I guess coming from Soviet Russia, at least in heritage, gave me the heads up." He chuckles as she says that it's not nerdy at all, looking unconvinced by that. When she wanders off to get his wine, he reaches into his wallet and takes out a business card, giving it a long few glances that do not exactly express friendly interest. He eventually pockets it again and reaches up to run his fingers through his hair. Had he his glasses on, he would probably be adjusting them too.

It only takes a couple of minutes for Raven to return with the wine, seeing the business card get put away as she's walking back across the bar, "So how've you been doing anyway? Spending lots of time at home reading?" See? She listens to people! The dark haired bartender stands easily, absently wiping her hands on a white towel hanging from her black apron.

"You could sit down if you wanted, Raven. I don't think anyone here is going to care." Mischa takes a conspiratory glance around the bar before he laughs, shaking his head. "I wish. It seems like every time I start to relax, someone is busting down my door, or they're calling me." He takes the wine and reaches up to rub at his forehead with visible exasperation. "I just got home from work earlier today when some woman who I don't even really know knocks on my door and demands answers for something I can't account for." Mischa sighs, shaking his head as he looks down into his glass. "Sorry. I didn't mean to dump on you or anything."

With a small smile and a glance around the bar to make sure that everyone else is good, Raven slides into the chair across from him and puts his change on the table for him, "Thank you." Pause, "You know, you can call me Ray if you want. Lots of people do." She grimaces in sympathy for him not being able to relax and leans forward, lowering her voice to a soft whisper that isn't likely to carry beyond the table, "Well, I managed to get a hold of some more of that stuff we had the other day. If you think you could hang out until closing, I'd be willing to share." She sits back, her voice louder but still low, "Sounds like you could use it." She waves off the apology, "Don't worry about it." A small smile pulls at the corners of her mouth and she winks, "Just think of it as part of my job."

Mischa nearly chokes on his first glass of wine at her suggestions. He shakes his head a little bit, chuckling after he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "No, no. That… was kind of a one time thing for me, I think. I guess I'm a control freak. I need to be in control a lot… it's really one of the only things I have, in some skewed way." After he says all of this, he shakes his head a little bit and sighs. "Sorry, again. Oversharing, I guess." Mischa reaches out for one of the napkins at the bar and wipes at the back of his hand, taking in a breath. "Ray it is then. You bartenders and waitresses really oughta be getting paid a Helluva lot more for having to listen to problems coming from guys like me and whoever else all night and day."

Raven shrugs a little, giving him a concerned look at the choking, "Just thought I'd offer since you sound like you've been having a rough time of it lately." Another smile appears for the second apology and she shakes her head, "Don't worry about it." She sits back and scans the room for a moment before her attention returns to the man across the table, "Just think of me as a free counselor." She chuckles softly and offers as dramatic a bow as possible from a seated position, "Well, thank you for thinking that. Most folks don't ever think twice about telling us things." Just then one of the customers at another table signals that they need something and so Ray slips out of the chair, "It really was nice talking to you again, Mischa. Just let me know if you need anything else."

He finishes off his wine rather quickly and nods to Raven, smiling at her. "Sure thing. I'll come in at some point later this week, if we don't randomly bump into each other. The random bumping seems to happen a lot lately." He clears his throat after that and gets his wallet out again, putting a five dollar bill down on the table as he moves to stand up. "Have a good rest of the night and be safe, Raven… err, Ray." With that, he's moving out of the bar as quickly as he came, putting his wallet into his back pocket.

"I'll look forward to it." Raven's just glad to have gotten out of sitting and chatting with someone without having a headache sneak up and attack her out of nowhere. She laughs softly at the comment about bumping into each other, "You know, it really does, doesn't it?" She offers him a bright smile for the tip and gives a little wave, "It was good to see you again, Mischa. Drive safe."

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