Art Nouveau decor throughout the main lounge pays homage to an era when architecture and interior design were the perfect marriage of form, function and art. The walls are purples and pinks that blend into more subtle hues with the constant green lighting. Small tables with four tall chairs can be found scattered about the room. Large purple couches can be found nestled between the table sets, and in front of a smaller stage used for poetry readings.
The bar itself is long, taking up the entirety of a wall. Tall chairs are scattered on the patron side, and behind the bar is a beautiful greenish glow. The glow comes from the shelving where the majority of the alcohol is stored. The nearby glass racks reflect the glow splendidly as well.

You would think that, after a recent history of Bad Things going down as a result of Ivan imbibing just a bit too much of the good stuff, that he would learn to stay away.

Of course, if you'd think that, you'd be wrong. But that'd be the logical thing to assume.

The sun has recently set. Ivan, taking the afternoon to himself after a particularly trying night hours beforehand, is sitting at the bar in his well tailored and impressive looking clothing, near impeccable to the visual eye. But mentally…he isn't there. He is staring rather blankly at the glass of amber liquid resting within his grasp, eyes not really seeing what's directly in front of him.

"Man, you'd think this was pee with the way you're just staring at it." A familiar voice comes from somewhere behind Ivan — it's Luce! The debonair flirt extraordinaire, or at least so he'd like to think. "At least let *me* drink it if you're not going to. I waited too long for it to be legal again."

Ivan is not easily shaken from the realm of the unseen. It has its clutches deeply hinged upon him. But, slowly, the man blinks once, then twice, before canting his head to the side to peer at the strange voice. "What?" He deadpans unintelligently, allowing his eyes to close as he takes a deep breath meant to clear his mind.

Without even waiting for permission, Luce reaches over and takes the glass, swishing its contents around a bit and tipping it to his lips. "Mmm…green faery-tastic." His tongue flicks out over his lips, savouring the taste of the liqueur. "Are you drinking anything?" He enquires playfully.

And just like that, Ivan has his alcohol ganked from him. And the worst part is, Luce isn't even hiding it. It's daylight robbery! Now, were this any other day, the mild irritation the Fontane feels would have most likely been multiplied by a dozen. He is known for harboring a rather explosive fuse, as demonstrated by the viral video staring him. "Yes, I am. Just get me a shot of whiskey or something before I get you kicked out of here for stealing my alcohol." Someone is feeling fairly depressive and succinct tonight.

"Ooooh," Luce wiggles his free hand, still grinning at the man. "Are you really? It just so happens I've picked up your tab, handsome. You've got a fresh one coming anyway, and so do I. I thought with the way you were tuned out, you could use a little kindness, so chill, huh?" He leans a little closer, shirt flaring open for a moment, amulet sparkling and well-cared-for.

Just as he'd said, two fresh and tall glasses of absinthe are delivered for the both, set in front of Ivan.

Needless to say, Luce's grinning, open flirtation, and playful manner are at odds with Ivan's current mindset. He ends up arching his brows and leaning back, eyeing Luce warily through furrowed brows. There is one thing he picks up clear and easy, though. Because Ivan often has to deal with it. "Err…that's flattering and all, but I don't swing that way, man." Beat. "And more importantly, I have a girlfriend. But…thanks for the drink. I guess." Even if it is just replacing the one Luce stole.

Luce shrugs cheerfully, sipping again at the pilfered beverage. "Listen, *I* don't care. It isn't like I don't have plenty of trees for the barking, if you catch my drift. Mind if I join you? I'm not gonna like…undress you with my eyes or anything." He lets out a warm chuckle and motions to the seat nearby.

Ivan should shoo Luce away. He should return to his faintly hermetic vigil, ignoring anyone and anything and returning to stare at nothing in particular. But something inside absolutely cowers at the thought of returning to his thoughts. And so, slowly, Ivan finds himself lifting then dropping his shoulders in a shrug. "It's a free country, isn't it?" He points out easily enough, finally pausing to stare at the stranger beside him more clearly. "…Ivan. Ivan Fontane." He introduces himself, a hand held out to the other.

"Sometimes I wonder," Luce notes, a bit more seriously than he typically makes a habit of. When he's given that hand, he takes it and leans down to kiss it, and he can't help but laugh when he does. "Okay, okay, sorry. I just thought maybe if I distracted you from whatever's causing you to have an episode, maybe you'd cheer up. You've got way too nice a face to spend it looking like a goldfish." With that, he flops himself into the nearest seat.

Now, Ivan's a man that's exceedingly comfortable in his own skin. He's supremely confident and at ease with his sexuality, and the fact that he's not exactly the most macho of men. He doesn't spend his free time in gyms, he likes spending time on his appearance, and he dresses well enough to be a successful gay man at times. But even he is off-put by the kiss on the hand. Immediately, he jerks the arm back, scowling slightly at the relative stranger. "Dude," he grunts out, as if trying to up his man-points vocally. "Listen, I've got nothing against…that sort of stuff. But tone it down, yeah? Least when it comes to me. I can't afford a slip-up of that caliber." He has a precarious reputation to protect, and people just love posting scandalous shots of him in the gossip rags. This would be the last thing Ivan needs in his life right now.

"Slip-up, oooh." Luce shrugs his shoulders. "What are you, some kinda soap opera celebrity or something?" He takes up his tall glass of absinthe and tips it to his lips, smacking them afterwards and fluttering his eyelashes melodramatically. "At least I got your mind off whatever the hell it was on. I mean, are you more worried about someone seeing you get your hand kissed by a crazy gigolo or someone seeing you stare into space for like half an hour and look like you're high?"

The precedent has been set. Ivan's suspicion has proved to be well-founded. And so, can anyone really blame him for the stiff way in which he inches away from Luce, lips pursed tightly as he lifts the glass to his lips to sip at. "Perhaps," he gruffs when Luce inquires as to what Ivan actually is. Vague is the name of the game. "The former, obviously. Dumb question to ask. Staring off into space is hardly gossip fodder." Beat. "Especially not with a face like mine." It's true - Luce has succeeded in distracting Ivan fairly efficiently. It's evident in the way Ivan reverts to his ego-stroking.

"Right, right." Luce, however, isn't quite so easily put off by it; he knows people far too well, even such strangers, to believe lines like that. But it doesn't seem to put him off his absinthe, quite the contrary in fact. He's clearly a seasoned connoisseur of the drink. "Yeah, well, I don't mind saying your face looks like a mop when you're staring like you were. It's a lot handsomer now than it was in the past thirty minutes."

"I didn't look quite so terrible, I imagine. You were staring at me unprompted for thirty minutes, apparently." Ivan points out in near monotone, green eyes rolling to the heavens as he swirls the glass of alcohol in his hand, before taking a hearty swig. Once the post-alcoholic cringe is done with, he returns to staring at the wall directly in front of him in a dispassionate manner. "Who are you, again?"

"I'm a spirit from the worlds beyond, that's why nobody made any move to stop me or looked sensationalised when I kissed your hand," Luce explains, with a fully straight face. At least, as straight as he ever gets. "You can call me Luce. Or call me anytime, I don't care. Hopefully after you've had a few."

It is with a very mild sense of amusement that Ivan looks to Luce here. One brow lifted above the other, head canted to the side ever so slightly. There is no filtering, no bothering to examine the words that are about to spill out of his lips. "You're like…a caricature. An exaggeration of some sort of…gay shock jockey. Why? Why put forth all this effort into putting on a show?" Ivan inquires. There is no hesitation, nor is there any question associated with his assessment of Luce.

"*Bisexual* shock jockey," Luce corrects, quite blissfully. He doesn't look offended. If he is, he hides it especially well. "Anyway, because you need the distraction. I have a pretty good idea about this because I've seen it before." He doesn't clarify about that subject, but then he doesn't really have to. "So let the stick fall out of your ass for about half an hour and enjoy your time with me, huh? Who are *you*?"

"Ah, but therein lies the difference between you and I. You'd never find a stick in my ass." Ivan is not preoccupied with how his words might be taken, whether he offends or not. In the grande scheme of things, this interaction is of low importance when compared to the rest of the young man's troubles. "Yeah, but there are other ways to go about distracting someone. A simple 'hello, how are you' would have sufficed. Who am I, eh? I'm…some guy."

"If you were some guy," Luce again corrects, "you wouldn't be so ass-hurt about oh my god somebody might see." He sets down the glass at his side, looking satisfied at his own pronouncement. "And frankly, you could've fooled me regarding stick plus ass. Also I can't say I've ever had the pleasure. I don't usually go for trees, y'know. Pagan, sure, arborophile not quite." He bounces his eyebrows again, teasing but still in high spirits evidently.

"Perhaps I just don't want word to get back to my girlfriend? Ever consider that?" Ivan points out, countering Luce's point without offering any additional information to go off on. "Of course I can fool you. I can fool anyone." Disinterested, Ivan runs his hand through his curls slowly, his conceit having reached the point of it becoming fact to the man. "Pagan, eh? Pagan and bisexual. You certainly don't waste any time in throwing yourself out there for the world to see and judge."

Luce shrugs casually, not all that concerned obviously. "Sure you can," he answers, although the words drip with sardonic attitude. "If you're done kidding yourself, maybe we can talk about more interesting things. We can push past the stereotypes, et cetera, who gives a shit frankly."

"What's the matter? You dislike being judged by the merits of those two particular descriptors?" Ivan is genuinely surprised by this, although there is something of a knowing curl to the corner of his lips. "You brought them up. Now you don't want to talk about them. You're sending me mixed signals here - Luce. And apparently, you give a shit. You're the one getting snippy." The rest of the absinthe compliments the lucidity of his statements as it travels down his throat.

"Frankly I don't give a shit about them," Luce replies, with brutal honesty, leaning a bit forward and taking his glass in his hand again. "If I'm getting snippy, I guess I'm the last to know." His tone continues on in a fairly jovial manner, even if his words might go back and forth along the borderline. "So what signals do you think I'm sending? I mean, let me know here."

"You draw attention to yourself deliberately, but then claim to dislike it when people define you by your own categories. Stereotypes, I suppose, is the word you used. It'd be like…like me jumping around, speaking fluent Greek and waving a Greek flag around, but then complaining when people start referring to me as that 'Greek guy' because I don't want to pigeonhole myself in the 'stereotype'." It is with a cool, almost scientific precision that Ivan inspects Luce. "The psychology behind that is fascinating. It really is. O, what a piece of work is man and all that."

Luce tilts his head to one side, then slowly to the other. "…no, totally not. I *love* it when people pay attention to me. The labels and stuff…I don't care, define or don't. That's your problem." He mouth curls into a grin, and it looks as if he's not really all that affected by it. He takes another hefty sip of his absinthe, then sets the glass aside. "Yeah, what a piece of work, whatever. You still haven't told me what to call you, so I'm going to call you Agamemnon, is that cool?"

"You're a liar. You care, or you wouldn't have brought attention to 'pushing past the stereotypes', and so forth. It's funny, though. How you think it's a problem. It's human nature - categorizing is how we process information." Ivan is confident and unrelenting in his well-versed declarations, not hesitating one moment when it comes to revealing his level of education. His parents would be so proud. Scarlett would be so surprised. But here, Ivan lets out a snort of amusement. "Heh. What, has my witty repertoire and incredible good looks affected your memory? I told you my name already. But, sure, I'll bite. Why would you call me Agamemnon?"

The sun has very recently set, and the atmosphere in Absinthe is easy going and laidback.

It's a night for absinthe — the drink, not the bar. Though the stuff served here isn't real absinthe, it's close enough for Desiree. She walks into the bar, her head erect, not so much moving as stalking. Her slender curves seem to blend into the music as she moves deeper into the bar, taking a seat at one of the only empty booths around. Slow, sliding into the seat like she was part of it, sitting quietly, eyes staring ahead of herself until the waitress comes by. It's possible the two men at the table near her can hear what she orders, but that doesn't seem to matter much to her. "Absinthe," she says, making the word seem almost seductive. "And an order of strawberries in cream." One of the delectable foods offered by the bar. After her order is given, she will then look at her surroundings — from bar to entrance, including the tables. If those two young men look at her, she will smile politely, and nod. If not, then she will turn back around and stare at nothing until her drink arrives.

"All you said was 'some guy'. And I'm totally not calling you 'some guy'." If Luce is offended by all the wordplay, he doesn't show it very well. When Desiree walks in, however, he turns to notice very obviously and offers her a pleased little grin. "Strawberries and cream…can't be sweeter than you." If she hears him, fine. If not, he's not sweating it. When he turns back to Ivan, he waves his hand and then uses it to take up his glass again. "Because you said something about Greek, even though you don't really look Greek. Maybe I should get you to put on a himation, traditional-style."

"No. I told you my name, inverted Bond-style, in fact. Then you proceeded to kiss the back of my hand and…well. Here we are, aren't we?" Once thing is for sure. Luce has inadvertently succeeded in distracting Ivan - even if it was at his expense in a certain way. "My grandfather is Greek. One of them." He pauses then, his nose crinkling with distaste. Originally, he was planning on ignoring Desiree altogether - after all, he is not in the habit of acknowledging complete strangers as they walk by - but something that is said hits home. "Egh. Strawberries." Clearly, Ivan has a distaste for the fruit.

She has good ears, and the music isn't that loud, so of course she hears. A faint rosy pink stains her cheeks as she blushes prettily, turning to look at the two men from the side of her eyes. "Thank you," is murmured quietly, said more with eyes than words. Then she brushes her hair back over her shoulder with a hand, and smiles as the waitress returns. The pale green faux-absinthe looks just like the real thing, and it shouldn't be long before real absinthe is legalized in the United States anyway. The conversation from next door isn't ignored, but neither does Desiree insert herself into it. Rather, she seems lost in her own thoughts, amused by both men's reaction to her order. The plate of fruit is set in front of her, a small container of whipped cream beside it. Money exchanges hands, a generous tip is given. Then, Desiree begins the process of fixing her drink: a sugar cube in a spoon, over a small glass, heated. Delicious.

"Fruit of fertility," Luce purrs, wiggling his eyebrows again, clearly fond of the fruit, or perhaps just fond of the woman who ordered them. "Freyja's fruit." His mind has to curl back in time before he finally settles upon it. "Oh, right. Ivan. Totally not a Greek name." He glances over his shoulder, turning a bit to smile at Desiree again. "You're welcome," he purrs, then turns back to Ivan. "Now there's some class. There's a lady who has an image. Observe and absorb."

"Twisted fruit of death." Of course Ivan, deathly allergic, would develop a natural aversion to the treat. But with a low chuckle, be gets to his feet, stretching his long limbs as he slides away from the counter. "No, I suppose it isn't a Greek name. Anyway, I'll leave you to your absorption. Glean from her image what you will - and take that in whichever perverse way you'd like. I'm out. Thanks for the amusement." And with the most casual of movements, Ivan's hands slide into his front pockets as the lad slithers away.

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