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Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

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Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by Anouk Ueda on Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:01 am

There had been a good crowd that night; nice, steady regulars steadily ordering drinks and downing mixed nuts. Before Nu had taken the building granted to her by King, the pub that had been here had been a loved watering hole by the local rum-pots and their fathers before them. The building itself was old as hell, so it stood to reason that it had always been the bar in this part of town, and it not being a bar she'd been told had been a sad thing. Anouk was doing a public nice thing by making the local old farts drunk and happy. Who said public service had to be miserable work?

But fucking dammit to hell if Anouk wasn't tired. She lvoed her job; always had, always would. But the difference between the Steel Rose running and the Green Dragon was that she'd had Ryosuke to help her run the bar, and when he wasn't cooking or minding the counters, he was helping with the kids, and if he wasn't herding the boys, their neighbors who were their regulars were doing it. They were all family. This crowd... They were great, but no substitute. Anouk had a small room in the back that was hard to get to that had a spare bed for nights she was too tired to come home, which was too often. Sometimes the boys would come to the bar to say hi to their mama. But during the day Ela worked; he was a knight and a guard, that was kind of what he did. But that meant Anouk was handing the business on her own, Ela was working full time, and the boys were in daycare a lot. And that... bothered Anouk far too much.

She missed her family, and needed them to breathe. She worked hard for them, and would always push through anything presented to her, but the trouble, Anouk was finding, was that there just weren't enough hours in the day. Monday through Friday, Anouk was awake at 6 to help the boys get ready to head out for daycare and school except on the days the boys got to stay home and do their work there instead, which Nu preferred. Home all day chasing the boys until around noon, when they had to go to daycare classes so Anouk could open the bar. Dinner was already done and ready, and Ela would just have to heat it up after he picked them up. And then Anouk was at the bar from one until 2 a.m., on her own with no breaks. Sure she'd munch dinner where she could, but the woman was unstoppable and would never close early just because she wanted a nap. But that left Anouk exhausted, coming home by 3, except for the nights she needed a nap and would sleep until 5 and then come home to start her day all over.

Sunday was the only day she didn't open, and it was so hard not to spend the day sleeping. She couldn't. There was laundry to do, worksheets to go over, bellies to be kissed and raspberried, and Ela's to annoy. And despite the makeup Anouk always had freshly put in place to cover the black circles and puffiness, Ela catching her falling asleep standing up in the dining room had been pretty hard to talk her way out of. So an ad had gone up begrudgingly, and the smallest sign tucked in the corner of the bar's window, so easy to miss under the neon glare against the glass. Help Wanted Oh that huuuuuuurt. Anouk didn't want help, even though she needed it. She'd gone through bigger things with little to no help, so why was the bar such a challenge?! But she knew she'd need to hire someone to give her a hand or she'd risk missing out on the three most important people in her life.

Today was Monday; the slow day. Nobody really wanted to come drown in beer knowing there was a full week ahead to suffer. Nu had skimmed through a few interviews that she hastily crossed off and had no plans of hiring; she didn't want depressed people depressing her patrons, axe murderers scaring them off, or college girls that didn't know how to do anything but gloss their lips. Yes they were cute, but Nu already provided stashes of Maxim to her bathroom; like hell she wanted to pay some kid hourly to stand there and look hot and do nothing. This one coming in today at least seemed... likeable. Will Tuck was supposed to be coming in for his interview before the lunch crowd came in, and thankfully since it was Monday, that wouldn't be much of a crowd. Mondays were easy days, and days she occasionally would bring the boys in with her and let them hang out in the office or back bedroom to play and do their worksheets.

Nu looked over the paper application again, skimming it once more. Lived nearby, decent work history, and in special training or skills he'd put piano. She took a soft drag on her cigarette, waiting. He couldn't be much worse than the other weirdos, for sure.
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by William Tuck on Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:07 am

Help wanted!~ At a nice little pub called the Salty Spittoon Steel Rose, no less. Well, it had seemed like a good place as any to start, and hey, considering he didn't see any "abstract decor" (Abstract Decor; Noun. def: Please see "Crazy Hipster Juice Bar") or hordes of woo-girls sipping at badly-watered tequila shots until they were totes uber-drunksies or whatever they called it, after the first two sips. So it had to be a real bar!~ Therefore, he'd gone ahead, a few days earlier, and shot off his resume, listing all of his valuable traits. Well, most conventienaly, he did have former experience as a bartender, mind you it WAS a lame hipster dive, but still, it was close enough for a fresh-out-of-high-school teen, as he'd been at the time. Then there was his piano, every truly classy bar had a charismatic, handsome, very taleted pianist. And if not, it had a somewhat insane hunchbacked old man that played really loud country music about rattlesnakes or poison or something. Hopefully, this bar needed the former... Though he could still totally play awesome songs like that, but still, he'd rather not think himself to be a crazy old gnome!

Today, however, he had a few good things coming his way. Captain Custody Case, it seemed, was stuck in her ski resort in Lokheim, after a tiny volcanic eruption disrupted a few flights, so the kids were his for the whle week, util the ash settled, byahaha!~ Therefore, they got to go with daddy (daddy being William; smart boys knew who the Big Scary Bear-Man was, to William's amusement) to his interview, because he well... Had nowhere else to take them, honestly. But hey, he could trust them to behave. Hopefully they could find something to occupy their little minds and hands. Not likely a bar would have the best toys, but they could make do until he took them for ice cream later.

"Okay, so who remembers their "Walking With Daddy to the Nice New Bar He Hopes Will Pay Him to Work For Them" Rules?~ Kaimi?" William walked backwards along the sidewalk, casually disconcerned with the fact he could potentially bump into scary dangerous thuuuuuuugs and stuff, as two pint-sized child-things trailed along behind/in front of him. They looked a lot like him, except they both had darker skin than him and dark crimson-brown hair, the differentiating factors between the twins being Haere's hair was permanently unkempt and messy, and Kaimi was just a bit shorter than his brother. The messy hair was probably one of the many things William passed along to the lads, much like EVERYTHING ELSE. They were so obviously his kids, psh. Andtheyweresoadorable.

"We don't uuum... Do that thing!"

"Yeah, yeah, we're not a'pposed to do that, right?" William had to crack a smile and fought badly the urge to burst out laughing. The joys of children...

"Aaaahhh, good enough!~ And remember the other stuff like don't drink anything that doesn't smell like apple juice, and if it does smell like apple juice, ask me what it is first, and if I say it's fine for you to drink it, then it's fine, but if I don't say it's fine, and you do it anyways, your crazy mommy will send the big scary bear-man to eat poor defenseless me. Everybody say womp-wooooomp." And, on cue, chimed two little voices imitating the classic trombone-y type noise from every awesome cartoon ever, heads hung in mock dejectedness. "Aaaaaand that's all the rules I have for right now, mkay? Mkay!~ Nowq be on your best behavior, guys."

And with that, he stepped into the Steel Rose, holding the door briefly to let in a pair of little ragamuffins behind him, who quickly went ahead of him, scanning their environment. As he closed the door and turned to look around, he smiled in delight as he saw a nice little stand-up piano in the corner. It was old and dusty, and he walked over briefly, wiping a bit of the dust from the cover over the keys. Very nice...

But it seemed as he'd been pre-occupied looking at the piano, Haere and Kaimi had found his potential employer first, in their quest for something fun. "'loha miss bar-lady!~ Are there some toys you have that we could play with while you and daddy talk about working and all that stuff, do you think?"

"Or if you got any apple juice, but only if it smells like apple juice, 'cause daddy said sometimes apple juice isn't really apple juice in a bar." Stumbling over a chair leg, William made his way over from the piano to the bar, giving a grin and a wave to the poor lady who'd been assaulted by the concerns of small children. "Haere, Kaimi, mind sitting down for a minute...?" The kids nodded, looking to the woman one last time as they walked away to a table to sit at, as if she could have them from having to wait in boredom. Still, it had to beat going to a daycare! "Hehe, sorry if they interrupted anything or something; I much prefer taking them with me everywhere to finding someone to watch them for me. Bad enough their mother has the majority of partial custody... Oh, my manners, haha!~" He extended a quick hand to her, in greeting, with a smile and a friendly wink. "Tuck. William Tuck, to be exact!~"
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by Anouk Ueda on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:11 pm

This would be a nice slow lunch crowd; as noon rolled around, not even so much as a a ding from the door. Then again, this was a pub, not McDogfood's, and people didn't just come in for a burger (though over the years the Vegas woman would argue that that fast food had nothing on her fare). The reamaining applications she had been sifting were stacked on the bar beside her, carless notes scribbled over each form, one or two of the discarded ones serving as coasters for her glass of soda.

The best places in the bar were hard to get to; Nu had made sure of that. The kitchen ran alongside the bar, and at the end of the kitchen was a door that led to the office, which led to the backmost room she'd turned into the nap-room for those nights she wasn't coming straight home or when she brought the boys. There was a little TV tucked in there, and Kitaro knew how to use the office computer enough to print coloring book pages Anouk had saved for them. Right now they were back there, Kitaro helping his mama by keeping an eye on Ken. Violet eyes arelessly glanced up at the clock, wondering if this one was going to show or not when the door finally chimed. She blinked in mild confusion as the person who bolted right up to the bar and attempted to climb up the stool was a lot smaller than she'd expected. And younger. And doubled. A playful, motherly grin crossed her lips as she spotted the man she could only assume was Tuck went straight for the old piano she'd salvaged.

"'loha miss bar-lady!~ Are there some toys you have that we could play with while you and daddy talk about working and all that stuff, do you think?"

"Or if you got any apple juice, but only if it smells like apple juice, 'cause daddy said sometimes apple juice isn't really apple juice in a bar."

"Aloha kids," Anouk laughed, watching as Tuck wrangled them over to a booth. They seemed well-behaved at least, the kids planting themselves at one of the high-backed booths where they could be watched. It wasn't often kids were in here, but this was a pub, not a schoolhouse; until now only her own kids had ever come into the Steel Rose. But because of that, Anouk did keep certain things on hand behind the bar for such pint-sized customers, a well as for her own non-alcoholic needs while working.

"Hehe, sorry if they interrupted anything or something; I much prefer taking them with me everywhere to finding someone to watch them for me. Bad enough their mother has the majority of partial custody... Oh, my manners, haha!~ Tuck. William Tuck, to be exact!~" Friendly, cute offspring, and a firm handshake. Not a bad start. Nu grinned, shaking the man's hand, taking mental notes as Nu kept an eye on the table. Force of habit. She reached under the bar and pulled up an empty glass with a little ice in it.

"Anouk Ueda," she replied, reaching for the tap gun as she first refilled her own glass. "Soda? They're cute; dunno if I have any apple juice boxes left, but I should still have some fruit punch and a few boxes of animal crackers in the kitchen." Grocery day was coming up anyway, so it wasn't like the boys would exactly be deprived. "Sometimes I bring my monsters here, so there's some kid stuff set aside."

The button pressed down, the dispenser pouring out Dr. Wham with a lovely hissing fizz before she passed the glass onto her applicant. "Gimme a sec and we can start." Slipping out from behind the bar, Anouk walked through the swivel door of the kitchen and after a moment came back out with two Elmo juice boxes and two boxes of animal crackers and hoped there wouldn't be anything to fight about as she sat them down on the bar for Tuck. "That should keep them happy for a few minutes." While she knew she had coloring materials in the office and that Kitaro probably wouldn't mind meeting some more kids his own age, Anouk wanted to hold off on that just yet, knowing that if by chance she didn't hire the man it'd only confuse the little boy.

She waited for a moment, taking a slow sip of her own soda as she glanced at Tuck's application once more. He was the one who said he was a pianist, and the fact that he went first to the piano when he came in evidenced that pretty well. It could do with some cleaning, restaining, and probably a tune-up, but that wasn't going to happen unless she had someone to actually play it. hell if she could dink out more than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Taking one last good drag of the ciagrette she'd left hanging in the ashtray, she snubbed it out and fanned away the smoke. "So, Tuck. Bartender and piano player? This isn't really a fancy place, so most of the people here don't order too many mixed drinks. Mostly shots and beers. But I'm kinda hoping to draw in some more people on slow days like this... So tell me. How're you with cranky old farts who don't like change much?" She was picking on her regulars in the most loving way, but it was the truth; she knew what they liked and knew they came for how easy things were here. She didn't want to lose her regulars, but dammit she needed more than a few hours a week off to sleep.
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by William Tuck on Sat May 25, 2013 1:08 pm

Anouk Ueda? Had a nice ring to it, it was a nice name. He smiled as she offered him something to drink. A pleasant bit of hospitality for a job offer. And as he listened to her voice as she asked, he picked up a certain accent, from somewhere outside London. Couldn't quite place it, though. Vegas, maybe? Ah well. "Yes, thank you~ Dr. Wham, if you have it." He had to grin as she went on to compliment his little tyke bombs. "Yeah, they get it from their mom, haha! Thankfully, they got my personality, though; dunno how I'd survive if there were two more of her..." At the mention of animal crackers and juice, the aforementioned twins' ears perked up, and they grinned at each other, before straining to look at her with their most adorable faces of thankfulness. They could convince Scrooge to give them all his money with faces like that...

Back to William, the pianist chuckled at her mention of her own little monsters. "Ah, kids... They're the loveable little balls of destruction and silliness that make the world go 'round~" Nodding a thank you, with a warm smile, always customary of him, he accepted the glass, taking a sip. Nice, cold, and refreshing, unlike some of the bars he's worked at, with warm drinks, filled with more ice than the actual drink. As Anouk returned, bearing animal crackers and Elmo juice boxes, his little rascals hopped up, quickly darting over to retrieve their treasures. As they carried them back to where they were sitting, they chattered to one another, pondering the important stuff in the world. "Oh, wait, we forgetted ta ask daddy if we are supposes to drink this, 'cus the um... That rule! 'Member, Haere?" The slightly taller of the brothers pondered this, scrunching his face up in deep thought, before turning to Kaimi. "Nuh-uh, it's fine; we can always trust Elmo, 'cus uhh... Well, 'cus he's Elmo, right? Yeah!" Kaimi sat down, and blinked for a moment, taking in this new revelation, before grinning excitedly and opening his box of crackers. "Oh yeah! That makes a bunch'a sense~" Ahh, the joys of being seven.

William chuckled, watching the two chatter amongst themselves. "Yeah, should keep them quite happy, I think, haha~" He took another sip of soda as his potential employer read over his papers again, before taking a draw of a cigarette, and looking back to him to speak. And what she said... Inwardly he grinned, with a little more than a hint of mischief, while outwardly, he looked positively terrified.

"W-what!? Cranky? Old farts? That don't like pretty drinks with frilly umbrellas!? Oh dearie me, oh my, oh my..." He stared down at the table for a moment, seemingly about to cry or something, as if simply horrified by the prospect of such an old-fashioned pub. And then he quickly looked back up, after a pause to let her mind ponder his pretend reaction to such things; "Mrs. Ueda, I think I've died and gone to alcoholic Heaven~ Those folks sound like my kind of people, and definitely beat those dang hipster joints I've been working. Sounds like I'll even get to play some real bar music, instead of," He paused briefly to shudder, with a wince, as he recalled the dreadful sounds he'd once had to play. " ambient electronic jazz-dubstep..."
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by Anouk Ueda on Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:36 am

Tuck's two little monsters were adorable; Anouk couldn't argue that one little bit, and the left back burner of her mind was already pondering play dates and if her eldest would get along. Sometimes he got on with other children, and sometimes they just pushed all of Kitaro's little buttons... which resulted sometimes in Anouk getting a call from the office, which was never a good afternoon for any of them. They'd been getting better about it, but without a counselor of some kind it made it rather difficult, but as much as Anouk knew Kitaro needed one, there was the underlying worry that once they'd heard about the fire, Takatori, and worse, some of the things her baby had confessed to her she'd lose both her children. And she couldn't let that happen. So, other means of venting it out would have to happen, and playdates would just have to be carefully selected and supervised.

The boys at the table seemed happy enough with their juice boxes and animal crackers, Anouk's present nic-fix sated. "Well, if they get bored I am armed with coloring pages and crayons in the office, and extra worksheets. Not a lot of stuff, mind you, but they generally exclude bars from "Take your child to work" day." Anouk chuckled lightly, looking back to Tuck. He seemed at ease in the bar, and wasn't giving off any creepy vibes, and his criminal background check came back clean. And his references came back generally positive, and while those didn't matter as much to Nu, they did help. But Tuck being so at ease so far was the biggest point in his favor. Anouk was finding him easy to talk to and bea around thus far, so it was a better chance that her beloved cranky old farts wouldn't mind him.

""W-what!? Cranky? Old farts? That don't like pretty drinks with frilly umbrellas!? Oh dearie me, oh my, oh my... Mrs. Ueda, I think I've died and gone to alcoholic Heaven~ Those folks sound like my kind of people, and definitely beat those dang hipster joints I've been working. Sounds like I'll even get to play some real bar music, instead of...ambient electronic jazz-dubstep..." Anouk couldn't help but laugh there. She had no idea what the fuck a dubstep was, but chances were, the men here would beat someone for it, no matter how cute they were. The piano had been a lucky find, but they probably wouldn't mind piano as a nice switch up from Nu's normal selections of hard and classic rock and a little country. Billy Joel songs came to mind, and her gents were old, crotchety, and nostalgic, often times loving to drown themselves in beer telling Anouk how the world was back when her parents would have been young.

She took a sip of her own drink, moving around the bar to sit on a stool one over from Tuck, wondering if he'd catch that tiny cue. "None of.. whatever that is. Most of the people who come in here remember when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Lot of ex-soldiers and sailors. Occasionally they bring their wives, but we don't get too many ladies in this bar apart from an occasional lady named Florence." A hooker who worked for herself was something Anouk wouldn't complain about since she understood not to bring any trouble. Anouk took another sip. "I don't over-pour drinks, but I do make them heavy; you're expected to, too. As you get to know the regulars you'll learn how they take their drinks. It's usually a pretty easy crowd here, but since it's just me, I haven't got any security detail or bouncers. As such- how do you feel about handling firearms, Tuck? This isn't the greatest patch of London, and I have had a few attempted robberies. Attempted. So if it comes down to it, how'll you handle someone coming in here who is armed and asking for the till and the safe?"

It was kind of a heavy-hitter, but an important question. All of the robberies had been attempted and failed for a reason: Anouk had kicked their asses, or fired a round from Mr. Blasty into their asses. Her insurance covered the Remington behind the bar since most of the time it was only loaded with rock salt, but there were shells in the drawer just in case and a notice abover the door that clearly stated in black and red ROBBERS WILL BE SHOT. SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN. Their own stupidity if they tried it, but Anouk couldn't have someone at her bar who'd go to pieces because some crackhead punk with a pistol thought he was hot stuff.
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Anouk Ueda
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by William Tuck on Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:52 am

William chuckled as she mentioned the wonderful tools of magic that every parent knew how to wield in order to turn a chaotic ball of adorable destruction into a docile little thing, happily venting energy on things like coloring, rather than running around the room tearing everything apart. "I'll be sure to keep those in mind, then, hehe. I think the snacks should suffice for now, though." He really did wonder, though; how awesome would it be to actually HAVE "Bring Your Kids to Work Day" at a bar? Ehhh... Likely wouldn't end well, no... But it'd be amusing to watch the little creatures scamper about, bothering the old dwarven types of men that so loved establishments like these. At least half of them have secret soft spots for kids and hearts of gold anyways, like in the movies, probably.

As he went on with his little spiel, his potential employer laughed, to which he grinned. For one, it was always a good idea to showcase your charisma and charm at a bar, when applying for a job, and being capable of humor went a long ways; everybody likes a good-humored bartender, just as much as everybody likes a bartender who genuinely cares about the barflies. In a way, they were one and the same. But possibly more importantly was the simple fact that he liked making people laugh, even outside of the job application process. It was just of his nature; had he chosen to take such a route, he could have made a splendid career as a comedian.

After she took a seat a stool away from his own seat, he listened as she (thankfully) told him SPECIFICALLY not to play any awful music, to which he grinned most appreciatively. "I'll be sure to burn that awful sheet music once I get home, then; may grab a thing of brain bleach on the way, haha~" As she went on, she mentioned former soldiers and sailors, which did pique his interest a bit; as a man of the high seas himself (despite his seasickness...), he'd certainly have to have a chat with some of the sailor types. "May not look it, but I was a sailor once, myself; me and my buddy Sun, we were out in the southern seas for a good few years before we caught sight of land again. Lotta beauty out there... Though it's definitely the kinda thing that'll toughen you up, 'swhy sailors tend to be so huge and manly. Have to trade some stories with them someday, heh."

As she went on, she began speaking a bit about the job description. He nodded along as she went, first about how to pour drinks, and the real basics of it all. "Nah, overpouring wouldn't do, not at all; no worries in that department~" And indeed, given his experience behind the bar, he was used to not overpouring, and due to his own tastes, he was certainly good at pouring a heavy drink that gave the most bang for a buck, without ending in bankruptcy. The next question however, was a serious one, and his grin dampened down into a thoughtful expression, a slightly more serious face. What would he do? "Hmm... Well, I do have another job right now as an agent of Creta's IC-IC branch, so I've got a fair bit of hand-to-hand training, and if it ever really comes down to it, I carry a Five-seveN at all times, just in case; never an off-duty job, y'know?" And it was true; he was experienced when it came to self-defense, if anything, and could definitely take down the vast majority of potential robbers. Though killing usually wasn't his thing, not at all. Hence why he mentioned the unarmed skills. "Ah, but don't worry about having to clean any certain stains; unless I absolutely have to do otherwise, I really do prefer tranq ammo to anything else. Much less messy, and while they won't really suffer any pain then, they get to be the laughingstock of the prison once everyone finds out they got put in by a pansy who doesn't even use real bullets, haha~"
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Re: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

Post by Anouk Ueda on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:01 am

Nu smiled softly, satisfied. Tuck had mentioned on his application that he had another job and military background, which did make her wonder what he could want with a part-time gig that paid so much less than what he was already making, but everyone had their reasons. He was a music-lover, so maybe this was so he could vent a little passion somewhere. Given how much she missed Kendo, she could relate to the feeling entirely. So Tuck could mix drinks for old coots, play piano, and shoot a gun, and actually preferred to shoot tranqs instead of live ammo. Perfect. "Well, under the bar is a Remington shotgun, and a box of shells. The top box of shells are all filled with rock salt to keep them from being fatal, but they sting like a bitch. The box underneath them are live, however, and there in case of emergencies." She took another sip of her drink, glancing to Tuck's contented kids and then the kitchen door before looking back to her potential employee. "I'm sure you can discern when live ammo is needed, given your training. And don't worry about the stains- there's cleaner, and I haven't shot anyone since Christmas."

She had done very well about not getting robbed and had built a reputation for beating the ever-loving shit out of people who came in and tried to start shit with her. Most of them were just average punks and tripped-out druggies who thought they could indimidate the black beast of a woman who ran the dark little tavern, but on occasion they were something else. Gang members trying for initiation, and sometimes people coming in trying to politely threaten Anouk for protection money. The last time someone came in asking her for protection money she broke his arm and a few ribs before tossing him out, telling him that was his payment and if it wasn't enough she'd be happy to set him up on a payment plan. Nu was waiting for the day when someone from RIOTE happened upon her for a quick drink and a grudge match; she could use the workout.

"That said, emergencies DO come up around here from time to time. If anyone on your shift comes in trying to lean in for protection money, house rules are to warn them twice before you're allowed to physically stop them, but no firing shots until they pull out a weapon and make a move with it. That's legal rules, not mine, but I'm sure you understand." If Tuck was with the IC-IC, then he was probably more than aware about the red tape and protocol and really nice, fluffy bullshit that was made to give all the rotten motherfuckers the legal advantage when they're the ones who started it. After months of hunting and killing on her own, Anouk had developed a habit of not being the one who waits to draw and draws first blood; she'd learned quickly to take any advantage and kill them as fast as possible, preferably before they knew they were about to die.

Lavender eyes moved back to the boys, watching as they munched and played with their animal crackers. It was always more fun to make them gallop around the table before you bit off their heads or buts and then made them run around more with missing parts. Her boys did that, too. So did she and every other kid in the world who ate the little cookies. But seeing them, Anouk did wonder. So maybe coming to a dinky bar like the Steel Rose was to vent passion, and maybe not. Tuck wasn't a bad-looking man, and divorced with two cute kids, and a job in Creta's military. Bars were watering holes, good for talking, meeting people, and more than anything, losing yourself to hide from what was eating at you. People came into bars to drink away their troubles and forget, and except for the college kids working at bars just because they loved the atmosphere (at bars where younger people went to, anyway, because it sure as hell wasn't the pay) people who worked steadily at them were right there in the same boat as their patrons. They all had something they were working on, too. But that might have just been human nature. Her attention moved back to Tuck. "So, next question Tuck: are you running to, or running from?" The answer changed for everyone, and sometimes you could be more than one depending on the day and circumstance. But generally the feelings for people were consistent, and Nu knew which one she was and waited a moment to hear which category Tuck fell under.
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Anouk Ueda
MOTHER'S SCORN

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