Down With the Sickness

Rock'n'Bowl - Pool Hall

Dingy. At least that's what it seems like it is in here. The walls in the room are painted with a dark, smoky grey, which in no way brightens the area up. Surprisingly, the floors in this room are carpeted a near matching color - to keep the noise to a minimum, though the noise of the lanes down below can still be heard over the music. There are a half dozen pool tables set up in here as well as a snooker table, with just enough space in it to keep people from hitting one another with cues as they take their shots. Hanging above each table is a long bar which holds three lights, angled downward casting a somewhat shadowy glow upon the green felt. Recessed indentations on either wall allow for cue racks and chalk. A few small side-tables and chairs are set along the perimeter of the room, where one can leave their glass or belongings while they play.

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Nighttime generally finds Chloe out with coworkers, or hiding in a very large estate across the city. Tonight, she's slipped into the Rock'n'Bowl lanes to see if she can find Fontane's old aide. Not that she's at all sure what the man looks like, or even if he'll be here. She's just come on a suggestion from one of the girls.

The great thing about the pool hall, besides the crowded and dingy area, is the fact that there are a tight group of minds she's got to get through. Thankfully it's all the usual crap she's picking up on. Things like 'Nice ass', accompanied by a smack, and 'wonder how much she costs?'. Rolling her eyes, she tosses a dollar down on one of the tables. Grabbing a cue, she chalks it up and then sets the balls up.

Of course, leaning over the table causes just a bit of a wince thanks to the tumble she took off the horse last night. It would have been worse, really, if it weren't for the blood Will had given her. Bruised ribs instead of broken — but it doesn't make them hurt much less.

A couple of tables over from Chloe, a small group of people have gathered around Todd, who is holding a pool cue and leaning over the table with a look of fierce concentration. Each of the watchers is silent as they look on, letting Todd focus on the shot. Suddenly, with a surprisingly graceful flick of his wrist, the cue pops forward to hit the ball, sending balls bouncing around the table, several of which sink into different pockets.

The moment that the balls start to fall into pockets, the watchers give a chorus of varying noises ranging from shock to glee. Money changes hands, some people looking more annoyed and others looking gleeful. Todd just stands up, looking around at the reaction he just got with his usual friendly grin. One particularly happy (and possibly slightly drunk) man throws his arms around Todd's shoulder and asks, "So where'd ya learn ta shoot like that, bud?"

Todd just smiles and shakes his head. "I don't know. It's quite a mystery! I'm going to go have a drink now, okay? You guys have fun." The man is left slightly less happy and holding the pool cue as Todd slips away from the group and heads for the bar.

At the bar already, Kate Clarke is doing her best to blend into the woodwork. She's still in her scrubs, not having been given a proper Dallas EMS uniform yet. She probably won't ever have one, unless she stays after the disaster. Her stethoscope, key cards, etc, have all been left in her rental car though and she looks like she might just have bad fashion sense as much as anything. She's torn out her hair tie, short, bluntly bobbed blonde locks hanging down around her pale features, hiding the double sets of luggage under her eyes. The ash tray to her right hand is half full already with cigarette butts, all matching, probably all her's. It's been a long night.
As Todd comes over, Kate's head twitches just a bit in his direction. She gives a half look towards the quirky man, a bit of a ghost of a smile, but she doesn't greet yet, apparently hiding in her small hole of beer and cigarettes right now. Even Chloe isn't getting really coherent thoughts off of her. A lot of blood, as usual, but there is a sickly, waterlogged smell haunting through her brain. The scent of bloated body cooking in a hot car…

Blood is something Chloe can handle. The scent lifted from someone's mind is enough to send her cue clattering to the ground. Her body doubling over not long after as she dry heaves. That's an absolutely new sensation, and not one that she particularly likes at all.

Especially since the floor is less than tidy.

Resting her hand on one edge of the pool table as she shakily gets back to her feet, she turns around and smacks one of the men who sought to be fresh and play grabass to help her up. "Perv," she mutters under her breath, her eyes scanning the room as she tries to lock the scent to one of the people in the pool hall.

Knowing her luck, it came from the lanes.

Todd is oblivious to thoughts of rotting bodies, falling people, and even Chloe's ass! He is focused more on getting a nice drink with the money he just earned on that pool game. He smiles at the bartender, and asks, "Can I get a martini?" There is a beat, in which his expression does not alter from the friendly smile, before he says in the same tone of voice, "Shaken not stirred." The bartender bursts out laughing, but Todd is merely politely puzzled by this reaction. The bartender retreats to get Todd's drink, leaving him to wait next to Kate. He glances over, smiles vaguely, then comments, "You look tired."

Of all the people in the pool hall, the most likely candidate is the only one wearing medical scrubs. Unless someone got really, really unlucky and stumbled upon the worst find of a body in a long time. But just Kate's body language alone speaks of someone who's had a day beyond the normal level of roughness. Unfortunately, she's oblivious to the effect she's having on Chloe, tossing a look just a moment over her shoulder behind her at the sound of someone dropping, but she just assumes another drunk. Off duty, she doesn't get up to get them.

Todd's words, however, flicker a gaze back in his direction and she gives him a half smile, "Just a bit…double shift. It happens." She responds with a husky, two pack a day voice.

Chloe needs to build up a defense mechanism of sorts. The type that fires back when something sends her to the floor heaving. A jolt, a bolt, a rotten image of her own. Perhaps Will can teach her that before he goes ahead with the turning — if he goes ahead with it. Being as how he never showed up after the wedding, she's not even certain it'll be happening.

Lighting her eyes upon Kate, they narrow just a little bit. « Granted, I know you're a Shifter and all that, but do you have to include scents with the thoughts you shoot out into the crowd? »

After all, she wasn't actively scanning anyone!

Todd nods a little. "Well, that sucks. You should get some rest," he advises. "Or have some coffee or something." About that time, his drink arrives, and he looks up with a slightly surprised expression. "Oh, thank you!" He picks up the glass to take a sip, and there is a long awkward pause as the bartender waits to be paid, before Todd just turns to wander off.

Annoyed, the bartender calls after Todd, "Hey! What the…Come back here…" Todd is oblivious, as he heads back to the pool table, leaving the bartender to choose between abandoning his post or letting the drink-stealer go.

The echoing back in her head draws a jerking, annoyed sort of look. Of course, as Chloe mentions scents, it's there again, the baking, wet sun scent even deeper now that Chloe's forced her to actually, actively remember it. And a flash of faces… Three people in a car, one in the trunk, in shock… The one in the trunk had probably been dead for two days at least. And yet the family drove, desperate… confused. Hopeful. «Stay. Out. Of. My. Head.» Kate mentally spits back at the woman, her eyes glaring sick daggers, exhaustion thickening lines around her gaze.

Fortunately, the off putting mental conversation is drawn away from as Todd gets his drink and just takes off. Kate blinks, looking behind her again. She shrugs a touch to the bartender and tries to call over the crowd, voice still rasping, "Hey! Kid! You need to -pay-!"

« Quit thinking so damned loudly and I wouldn't be in it in the first place. » Chloe shrugs her shoulders, trying to roll off the stench as it's heightened by the woman's thoughts. The nausea seems to be winning out, and suddenly the red head dashes toward the door marked 'Laydees'. They know it's spelled incorrectly, but no one ever seems to care — nor do there ever seem to be enough women in the pool hall to complain about it.

Crashing the door open with her hand, Chloe disappears for a few minutes, at the very least.

Todd turns to look back with a series of puzzled blinks. He looks from Kate to the annoyed bartender with a slightly disoriented expression. Then, suddenly, he smiles and heads on back, already digging in his pockets. "Sorry! Sorry… Absent-minded me."

As Todd produces the money for the drink and then some, the bartender seems to be appeased. After all, there's no fight, and he didn't even have to go after Todd! "Sorry about that," he repeats, with a bit of embarrassment. "Thanks, ma'am."

A hint of worry crosses Kate's eyes as she sees Chloe go into the bathroom, almost feeling a bit more guilty about it but she just tries to shake the thoughts clear. She can't help the things that haunt her, one never knows what it will really be, even after well over a decade on the job. She sighs and looks back to Todd then, relaxing a bit as the young man comes back to pay. She waves off the comments, "No issues… I know how it is to be distracted… It happens."

The one bad thing about being out at night is that Chloe doesn't generally carry a toothbrush with her. Never got in the habit. Didn't need to. She never had braces. Coming out of the bathroom, hand in front of her mouth, she approaches the bar. Trying to stay a bit of a distance away from the Shifter, while giving Todd a bit of an odd look.

"Vodka," she says beneath her hand, "Neat." She waits for the drink to be poured, then drops money atop the bar. Lifting the glass she takes a gulp of it, swishes it around in her mouth, then swallows. Probably a bad idea, but it does kill the taste in her mouth.

Still oblivious to all the mental conversation going on, Todd sips at his drink, looking curious at Kate's admission. "You do? Well, /that's/ a relief! It's nice to know I'm not the only one." From Chloe's perspective, Todd might actually be a relief after all the dead person smell coming off of Kate. He's more of a blank slate with occasional random, disjointed thoughts thrown in. It all makes perfect sense to /him/.

Her drink now finished and paid for, and Todd's drink paid for, Kate stands drowsily, the beer hitting her enough that she might actually be able to sleep. "Well…both of you be safe. Feel better… I don't think I'm a comfortable…addition to this conversation. I'm going to go attempt to sleep. Here… for the thoughts…" Kate murmurs softer to Chloe, putting down enough money to cover the woman's neat vodka and some tip. Once that's done, she gives a quick salute to the pair and heads for the door. Hopefully she'll get back to her hotel.

"Thanks but it's not nece — "

Kate is already quickly heading out the door. Chloe would need to grab the money and run. Instead she does something she deems as humanitarian. She slides the money toward Todd, smiles and nods toward the pool tables. "Go have some fun."

Then she orders a second vodka whilst downing the first to get rid of the rest of the taste in her mouth.

Todd blinks a little as the money is handed over to him. He considers this for a second, thoughtfully, then sets his drink down and reaches for the notebook in his shirt pocket, trying to figure out where he knows Chloe from. "Hm. Well, that's really nice of you…" he says, finally, when he doesn't find a relevant entry.

"Don't mention it," Chloe offers to him as she sets her first glass on the bar, picks up the second and downs it quickly too. At least the smell of alcohol will kill the smell of the vomit for whomever she's talking to. Exhaling a sigh, she glances around the pool hall once more. No political aide in here tonight. Which means her time was wasted, which is not something she overly enjoys.

"It's Chloe," she says once she realizes he's searching for a name.

Todd glances up from the notebook, brows lifting. He gives a slow, self-conscious smile, and nods. "Hi, Chloe. I'm Todd. Do you like pool?" he wonders suddenly, with a little gesture toward the area full of tables.

"Honestly? Not really." Chloe smirks a bit as she sets the second glass down on the bar. "Came in here looking for someone, but he's not here." Such is usually the case in her life. Grabbing a napkin to dab at the corner of her mouth just in case there are any traces of the incident left. Folding the napkin in her hand, she shoots a glance at the door. "I should probably take off myself," she offers quietly. "Got a bit of a bug." Hence her quick run to the bathroom, right? It's the best thing to explain it.

Todd smiles, blankly. He doesn't seem to remember her 'incident'. "Okay, well…I'm sorry you couldn't find who you were looking for. Maybe next time!" He salutes with his drink, finishes it off, then leaves the glass on a nearby table. "Nice to meet you. Have a good night!" And then he's off to play some more pool.

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