No Harm Intended

The Grisly Bar

Worn wooden floors stained with ages of spilled drinks (and worse), creak under the feet of patrons as they enter the dark, disordered room. Though dust has settled over a lot of the establishment, making it appear abandoned, the flow of customers would speak differently. Dirty glasses, some with sticky yellow patches in the bottom where beer or scotch has been allowed to dry, stand on one end of the bar.

Several of the windows have been bricked up to prevent vandalism, but create a great fire-hazard. There is a tarnished mirror on the wall behind the bar with a chipped and fading Art Nouveau nymph painted across the bottom.

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Just after 2 am. People are nursing their last drinks, final last call having been about five minutes ago. Kate, however, is in no rush to go anywhere. The day off tomorrow, after a solid week and change of working disaster recovery efforts, and she has full plans of being drunk to high heaven. Drunk enough that she collapses face first in bed, shoes still on, and doesn't move until the sun is halfway above the sky. Unfortunately, she simply can't drink that fast, so she's well and tipsy though not falling down yet, sipping on her most recent beer and alternating drinks of it with drags of her cigarette. She's nearly burnt through a whole pack tonight. Otherwise, she just looks like another girl at the bar. Blue cargo pants left on from work, but she's abandoned everything else with her rental car, including her uniform shirt, so her white undershirt probably marks her as nothing more than a girl who knows the meaning of hard work.

Tucker thought it would be a good idea to mix up with some people again. Although the late night crowd of the Grisley Bar probably consists of more alcohol soaked corpses than what Liam would call 'people' he ended up in this… establishment.
He is wearing his grey suit, his best and only one, with an blue shirt. He finally got to shower again, so he even gives an civilized appearance. He ordered one True Blood and tries to drink from it from time to time but always grimaces after a sip, especially since it went cold again. He got himself a corner on the bar, ignoring the barkeeper's disfavoring looks and staring into a mirror, recognizing for the first time that vampires even reflect in there (contrary to urban legends).
Well, so much for meeting people. But it was worth a try…

The order of the True Blood is what has caught Kate's attention, she a bit too drunk herself to immediately recognize that tingle across the back of her neck, but a heartbeat later she realizes she's feeling it too. He's not just some drunken frat boy wanting to try what it's like to be a vampire. No, no, he's tried and true a blood sucker. Suddenly, more of her tipsiness is melting away by the second as a low level line of adrenaline begins to pump quick through her veins. She tries not to stare, but her eyes definitely flicker towards him a few moments. Damn vampires. Was this whole town full of them?
Kate tries to take another pull of her beer, forcing herself to relax, not make herself a target. They weren't all mass murderers, right? She sips that beer, doing her best to look casual and looking more awkward every second for it.

This whole night (day?) since he got in that bar there was this certain vibe that Liam was not welcome here. It got better since the remaining crowd more and more tried to inhale the beer puddles from the bar surface, but it was still there.
Liam hates True Blood as it is, but a cold bottle just made him shiver in disgust. Pondering if he should risk to ask the pissed barkeep to rewarm it his glance scans the room, fixing the wasted woman that tries to observe him without attracting attention for some time now, failing in her drunkenness. Meeting her glass-eyed look for a short second he tries to restrain from chuckling, not able to suppress a benign smile.

In her defense, Kate's not totally wasted. There's level of alcoholism in several patrons of this bar that Kate simply does not share. She's not killed her liver yet or broken dozens of capellaries in her face due to repeated consumption. And she's too old looking for the young college girl just on her first few times around a bar. So, she's drunk, but not hopeless. Kate's eyes go a bit wider as she realizes she's been caught, pulse suddenly double timing in her throat, all of that blood too close to the skin for the amount of beer she's drank tonight.
"What's so funny?" Kate asks flatly from her few feet down the bar. She might be tipsy, but she can still read a person like a book, years of trained empathy not flagging because she's got a few beers in her. If she had hackles on her body right now, they'd all be risen.

Silently cursing to himself Liam looks away. It is one thing to call the woman obvious but another thing to stare shamelessly at her. Unintentional provoking was one of Liam's specialities. His right hand runs through his hair while he tries to set an unaware and innocent look on his face.
"Huh? Me?" he begins, slightly overemphasizing, "Nothing! Really! Just… drinking?" As he realizes that his pathetic attempt of seeming uninvolved failed, he takes a sip of the True Blood, coughing condemnatory at the bottle. Great, the calm part of the night will probably be over now. Eventually he signals the barkeeper to rewarm the blood, keen to avoid the strange woman's eyes.

Adrenaline keeps coming, just being around the blood suckers was enough to make it double time through her veins. So much for drinking herself to sleep tonight. She'd be half sober by the time she got home at this rate! Kate tries to drag in a slow, calming breath through her nose, wanting to just slow her pulse and not look like the terrified prey that she felt like.
"Well…you're drink is in your hands, not sitting in this barstool." Yes, she's calling him out on the staring, still rather nervous even if she's trying to sound like tough shit. She's fairly good at playing with the big boys, all of her tom boy rough.

That brought back some memories. Images of the red haired woman flash through Liam's head, showing her dead body lying on the ground, empty eyes staring at him. The faked innocent look on his face vanishes and makes room for an actually terrified look. Not just because the woman was threatening him, but because of what he was capable of if he lost control again. And he never wanted to do anything remotely like what he did to the ginger again.
He blinks, facing the woman now. His eyes started filling with slightly red tears although he did a good job to avoid actually crying.
"Listen, I really don't want any trouble, Miss." He looks sad but honest, all muscles in his body still tense from his flashback.

Either those are real tears, or he's a really good actor. And if he's good at reading emotion at all, Kate's not really being threatening. She probably doesn't know how to threaten if her life depended on it. She's scared and defensive, that's all, hackles up in efforts to frighten him off without actually having to do anything more than talk. It's her best attempt to defend herself non-violently. Her gaze narrows, however, as she sees those tears. It actually makes her stop to think a moment before she just shakes her head to him, beginning to stand and pull out her wallet.
"You and me both, buddy… you and me both. So you drink your nice synthetic and let all these nice people go home safe and sound, and there won't be any trouble what so ever…" That might sound like a threat, actually, but there's no hardness in her voice that makes it seem like she'd actually carry it out. She just tosses the money down for her beers and prepares to go. Best to make a hasty retreat.

Tucker shakes his head as he now gets a totally different emotional wave from the woman. He knows that trying to understand a drunk mind at that hour probably is not a good idea but he just did not get what this woman was up to.
He snorts, fixating her with an sharp glance, his eyes narrowed. "Why should I harm anyone here? You think I really want to feed from fat, sweating guys, soaked in alcohol? The blood probably smells like gasoline, so I'm going to answer that for you: Thanks, but no, thanks." His head goes to a drunken biker guy next to Kate whose head rested peacefully on the bar.
Liam is actually surprised how sophisticated that sounded, somehow enjoying that he can already play the scary vampire card a bit. On the other side, his cold back felt even colder and it made him think. Did he already start to lose feelings, mutating into one of those mindless killing beasts?

His explanation of not wanting to feed from a biker makes the now half sober Kate pause slightly. She still frowns, looking over to the drunk biker almost snoring away, and then to a few others around the room. "What about the cute college girls in the corner. They're not all alcoholics in the room, and food is food, isn't it?" She accuses quietly, not that easily won over by innocence or logic, it seems. How's she to know how young he is? All she knows are the hairs risen on the back of her neck and the quicker pounding of her own pulse.
"But… I couldn't stop you if I wanted, really. So, I just gotta hope you're being honest. Enough vampires in this damn town that if one of ya did go on a killing spree, it'd be hard to figure out who the hell it is anyway." That bothers Kate, her frown deepening as she does realize when the inevitable happens it's not going to be an easy finger pointing game. She's continuing heading for the door, but she doesn't really want to turn her back on him, so it's slow going.

Tucker, not sure why the woman is telling him the whole last part, frowns at the lady. His pulse would be pounding now, if he had one. Since he has not even quite accepted what he is and can be, he could not blame her for it. But somehow it made him really angry to be accused like that.
Without turning he just adds in an provoking overdramatic tone: "Yeah, as soon as I'm finished with the True Blood here I'm killing all the pretty girls in here. Of course I leave you driving home because you are kissing a tree at eigthy miles per hour anyway in that condition. Maybe I lick your blood from the tree later as dessert, since food is food, right?"

Those words halt her in her tracks, an actual moment of belief in her features, fear and anger, before she forces herself to think with her mind and not her instincts that say she's food. No, if he were a patient, he'd just be lashing out in anger and pain at something. She knows that sort of lashing, the sort that bites the hand that protects it. Kate frowns, her brow furrowing, the pain hidden behind his words enough to sightly bring out the protective reaction in her no matter how she hates it. Her arms fold casually across her chest.
"For one, I'm not stupid enough to drink and drive. I'll flag down a cab." Oooh, yankee girl is SO not from around here if she thinks she can just go outside and flag down a passing cab this time of night. "And for two… no, I don't really think you're going to do that. But I know a lot of vampires who would. So… just… be careful not to turn into it, okay? I dunno if you can even help it." Kate admits, a frown crossing her alcohol flushed face as she tries to piece his kindness together.

Irritated by the change of tone from sentence to sentence Liam is angry and calm at the same time. Somehow he admired the woman for her balls, he sure as hell would have been long running by now. His right hand grabs the bottle again with a firm grasp. He sips from it again, refrains from spitting the blood out and turns his head to the woman.
"Let me tell you something. While you were doing your funny self-pity drinking session here today and probably the last few days, too, I had to endure some shit, too. And I so wanted to do what you are doing right now. Drink a Scotch, and then another one. And when the bottle was empty I would be drinking tequila until I pass out drunk on the floor. And I so want to feel like crap the next day, I really want it. But…" He shows the bottle, making a clinking glasses gesture with it. "I have to drink that stuff. It tastes like a dead cat, it does not help me cope with anything and I only pass out on the floor if I do not drink it. And you can. But you do not enjoy it a bit, no. Instead you are feeding me your crap about killing and food is food. No wonder all vampires would actually do that." He snorts, starting to search for his wallet in his pockets.

That's something Kate has, if nothing else, metaphorical balls. Hopefully not literal ones, because she's got a decent set of tits too. She keeps her arms folded across them, standing stiff and straight as someone half in the cups can, but her eyes are definitely clearer than when he first set down. She's good at thinking through, or at least burning off, the booze when she needs to. She's used to dangerous situations, it seems. Probably why she can still stand there facing him right now.
"And just what the hell would make a guy like you want to drink himself to oblivion? You got eternal life. Power. You can make people love you with the blink of an eye, from what I hear… Just about the only things you don't have is regular eating habits and sunlight." She accuses quietly, but her voice isn't really all that angry. More earnestly interested in his answer, perhaps a touch worried, if she'd let herself worry about vampires.

"I got eternal—" Liam repeats, shaking his head stunned by the bluntness of the woman. He actually gets up from the bar stool now. His eyes are filling with red, but it is hard to tell if it is an upcoming rage or just bloody tears. He still holds the bottle in his right hand, his hand shaking a bit.
"You have no idea, you sad little creature." he hisses, definitely angrily. "Maybe I have eternal life. But I have no power. I cannot make anyone love me and I cannot fly, turn into a bat, make things move or any funny other magic trick you might think of." He steps forward. "But a week ago I had a family. I had a ten year old daughter, a job… a life!" he growls, hardly able to control his anger. His right hand really started shaking now. Just a second after he finishes his sentence the bottle clashes and breaks into pieces.

Kate's dealt with vamps before, she's felt the glamour, even if she often can't resist it, and this isn't it. The paramedic stares up, into his eyes, drinking in every bit of his story and all of it reads True. Hate her instincts or not, right now, she trusts them. The poor guy wasn't any more a mass murderer than she. Just another of their victims. A victim in the worst of ways. Her harded, cold defenses crumble, arms unfolding from her chest as she stares into his eyes, expression now all apology and guilt.
"Oh fuck… fuck… I…" There aren't even words, her husky voice faltering a bit, "I'm… sorry. Fuck… I… you're just another victim. Just someone else they've fucked over in the long line of atrocities most vampires have committed. God… I'm sorry, buddy… I really am." Kate shakes her head quietly, reaching one hand out, trying to touch his shoulder if he'll let her.

He backs off before the woman can reach him, still holding the broken bottle neck in his hand. The glass cuts his skin and blood is dripping down on the floor. But his grasp does not seem to ease.
He points with his left hand at her, shouting, "I don't need your fucking pity!" he turns around, his eyes scanning the room. The sleeping biker guy woke up again, staring at him. There was fear in the biker's eyes and one can hear one of the girls in the corner whimper. He looks at his right hand which opens almost immediately. The bottle neck falls down on the floor, rolling in one or two circles till it stops. Bloody tears run down his cheeks as Liam stands just there in the bar, all eyes directed at him. He opens his mouth and only a sore, whispered "Fuck…" leaves it.

The shorter blonde before him has practically done a complete 180 now, no longer defensive and scared. She's in control, ready to give direction and be at full operation even if a bit too much alcohol swims in the back of her head. She steps closer to him, especially as she sees that blood running down his hand, still trying to reach out. God, could he even heal himself? Her expression is all concern, though professional for it. It's her job to take care of people.
"Hey… hey… calm down…. why… Why don't we just step outside and talk. I didn't mean to make things worse… really. We'll just step outside. I can look at that hand for you. I'm a medic. I swear… just take a bre-.." Wait, he doesn't need to do that, "Just relax… and we'll go outside, finish this. We don't need to disturb anyone else." Her voice is all calming and soft, the sort of voice she's been trained to use with panicking patients.

The bar got really silent. There was still music playing but all conversations stopped while everyone was watching the crazy mad vampire Liam was right now. His rage was still there but he really had nothing (or no one) to let it out right now. While his anger was on hold now embarrassment had a chance to lurk its way in his mind. "Fuck, fuckedy, fuck, fuck…" he said, turning to the woman for a short second, then back at the crowd.
The one second he stood there, staring, the other second the exit door swings as he darted out with vampiry speed. You may feel the wind his incredible fast movement generated. From outside you can hear a male scream and then some wood breaking…

This is stupid. This is so stupid. Kate repeats that mantra in her head, so loud that any psychics in the room are probably half mentally deaf now, but then she dashes towards the door and outside after him. Bleeding heart Kathryn Clarke, it really was going to get her killed one of these days. At least they're in a bit of privacy now, she looking around for that scream and the breaking wood. He couldn't have gotten too far.
"Look! I'm sorry… seriously… try to… just calm down. Let me see that hand. If you can't do things can you heal? If not… you might need stitches. Just… let me help. This is my damn fault…I'm sorry…" Kate can't say it enough, the genuine guilt in her voice half heart broken.

From somewhere Liam can hear the womans voice but it was far away now. Not physically because Liam is kneeling on the far end of the porch of the bar, but mentally. He finally seemed to have found something to let some anger out. With his left hand Liam propped himself on the porch while his other hand was sunk in one of the wooden slats. There he is, not moving at all. His eyes staring into space, not moving at all. If you are familiar with it you can tell he got into his /retracted mode/ although it is questionable if he did it voluntarily.

Kate doesn't know much about retracted mode, but she knows catatonia, and that's what it looks like to her. She curses beneath her breath, dashing over to his side and bringing herself down to her knees next to him. "I'm so sorry…" She repeats again, reaching out gently to try and ease his hand out of the deck, wanting to see how bad the damage is, even if she doesn't have much first aid equipment on her other than the few things in the pockets of her cargo pants. "…I… I'm Kate. I'm a paramedic, and apparently a real bitch. But… I do want to help… if you let me." She murmurs quietly to him.

There is no resistance in his arm as the hand is guided out of the splintered wood. The clenched fist shows some scratches, some even bleed, but nothing too serious. His hand had obviously enough force run right through the deck undamped. His palm has some deep cuts from the glass but they already stopped bleeding. Slowly, slow enough to miss it, the skin heals.
Liams pupils are dilated, his body does not move at all. He feels someone touching him, somewhere, but right now he just does not want to face reality again. He never got into that retracted state, he did not even know it existed, but it was oddly refreshing. And he enjoyed it, for now.

Well shit. Shit shit shit. Kate's eyes widen a bit as she sees him completely not paying attention to what she's doing or saying and seemingly content to stay in his catatonic state. She has no clue how bad it might be. She shakes his shoulder a bit more gently, "Hey… buddy… come out of it, please… I don't know where your home is. Dawn'll be soon enough, you gotta get somewhere safe." She shakes him again, really trying to snap him out of it though being as gentle about it as possible. Her eyes drop to his palms, inspecting each cut, but as she sees the cuts looking better than they should over just a few minutes, she at least answers that question with a sigh of relief. He can heal.

Something seemed to shake Liams body. He already forgot about all the chaos he caused and he drifted around in his mind, getting his thoughts in order, thinking of good and happy things. He sees the porch where he kneels, but it seems like peeking through a telescope. The woman is still talking and it startet to unnerve him. With all the shaking he had no choice but coming back.
All of a sudden the porch was back. Liam can see his left hand and feel his right hand inspected. He frowns and turns his head to his right. From the hand he eyes the hands touching him, still a bit absentminded, then looks up to Kate. Of all the nice things he could have said now, he just manages, "You can't stop talking for just one second, can you?"

The fact that he's come back quite so nicely, and not fast enough for Kate's minor heart attack but plenty fast otherwise, means Kate can exhale. She forces herself to pull back from him, not wishing to startle him further. Apparently, his return is enough to shut her up for a few seconds as she pushes herself gently to her feet and takes a respectful step back from the man. His question draws a wiry smile, but it's relieved. If he's aware enough for a mean jest, then he's probably doing just fine.
"Not when I'm drunk, apparently. I'm glad you're… back. I'll let you alone." She promises a moment later, retreating another few steps before turning around, moving to step down off of the porch. It seems she has no issue turning her back to him now. He wasn't -really- one of them.
Kate has reconnected.

As he notices the hole in the porch Liam remembers the past few minutes. But instead of anger he just feels the embarrassment coming back up. Still kneeling he takes a look at his right hand, watching the wounds beginning to close.
"Hey…" he mumbles, almost soundlessly. He does not turn, actually he does not seem to move at all. "Thanks." The words sound honest, with an overwhelming softness. His vampiry calm was back and Liam really needs it right now. "You could have killed me." he realizes, again no vibe of anger or emotion in his words, at most a bit of surprise.

Kate pauses just a heartbeat, looking back, shrugging…"I don't kill people… I help them." That's all Kate says, simple, honest, not bragging, it's just logic to her. Once she says that, she lets him to licking his wounds, physical and emotional, as she goes to lick hers, and sleep for some bit of work in the morning.

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