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One More Drink

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Fort Frolic, Sinclair Spirits

It's almost three in the morning. The streets of the great leisure district are still lit up with neon signs, but there are barely any souls wandering around. It's always like that on Sunday evenings. People have to sleep in order to be ready for work on Monday mornings.

Augustus Sinclair likes these quiet nights, more bearable than the loud ones, when Jasmine Jolene makes her oh-so-famous shows around a dancing pole. Sure, the girl is beautiful and he doesn't mind admiring her curves from time to time. But still, a busy businessman like him deserves some tranquility from time to time...

Humming one of Cohen's newest tunes that he can't get off his mind, he walks like a prince towards the bar to take a glass and a bottle of Rapture's best scotch. The liquid shines happily under the dim lights from the ceiling. He drinks fast, liking the burning sensation down his throat. Definitely a pleasant feeling. Then he takes a cigarette out of his pack and looks for his lighter in his pocket. The flame is only inches away from the tip of the cigarette when he hears something slamming. Surprised, the businessman lets the silver lighter fall on the floor.

He blinks and takes the cigarette out of his mouth. He's not really anxious but he would be glad to own a gun.

"Hope it's not a stupid thief", he mutters under his breath. "Hey who's there? It's closed."

There's no answer. He's not surprised by that. He tries to recall where the sound came from and looks in that direction. He sees nothing at first. But in fact, there seems to be something on that table at the far end of the room, where the lights are off. Carefully, Sinclair grabs his lighter on the floor and stands up again. With silent steps he walks towards the corner and this table. Indeed, there's something. Someone, in fact.

With the weak flame of his lighter he can't make out details, but there seems to be a man, half-collapsed onto the wooden surface. A man wearing a suit, and a nice ring on the left hand's pinky. His face is against the table so he can't see it. The businessman can't help but being intrigued. Who's that guy, drunk and fast asleep in the bar at three in the fucking morning?

Sinclair is amused and in a good mood: he'll wake him up nicely, not by hitting him or something. So he taps several times on the poor man's shoulder. His victim grunts slightly and moves a bit, but that's all.

"Must be very fast asleep then", Augustus chuckles. "Come on Sleepin' Beauty, ya don't wanna wake up here tomorrow mornin'..."

The bar owner sighs and decides to go for another method. He takes the guy by the shoulders and gets him upright as best he can, maintaining him against the cushioned seat. When he sees the face under the dim lights, his mouth stays open for a couple seconds. Even with that messy hair and this somehow soft sleeping expression on his features, this man stays the same: Andrew Ryan himself.

Andrew Ryan. Drunk. And asleep. Drunk and asleep in his bar at three in the fucking morning. Sinclair tries not to laugh. He wants to go home and get some sleep himself, but with that man here, he can't go anywhere. He gives some weak slaps to Ryan's cheeks to wake him up, slightly enjoying himself in the process. The founder of Rapture mutters something strange under his breath and opens his tired eyes slowly.

A touch of panic seizes him when he doesn't recognize the place. Then his gaze settles on an amused Sinclair lighting a cigarette with a sly smile on his handsome face.

"What the..."

Sinclair takes a drag and chuckles with that boyish grin of his. Smoke fills the air, waking up Ryan completely.

"Hello there Sleepin' Beauty, had a nice nap?"

Ryan still looks disoriented like a lost child, but he tries to regain his composure; not so easy with his messy hair, his unbuttoned shirt and his loose tie. He looks like a man who just lost all his money at the Pharaoh's Fortune Casino. And Ryan being Ryan, that would make LOTS of money. He looks all the more annoyed when the younger man sits opposite him.

Rapture's founder looks around him and finds nobody else. Just silence and dim lights.

"What time is it, Sinclair? And don't even try to joke."

Sinclair shows his hands to Ryan, as if to plead innocence.

"Heya Andy, don't be so angry at me alright? Sorry can I call you Andy?"

The older man sighs, too tired to even stand up against his interlocutor.

"No, but you'll do it anyway. What time?"

"Three in the mornin'. You sure slept like a lil' baby." Sinclair takes another drag and blows out the smoke, right towards Ryan's face. "What were you doin' here anyway?"

The half-drunk man sighs again and shrugs. He doesn't even remember why he came here in the first place.

"Why, drinking I suppose. I don't know. Everything is... I don't know, Sinclair, don't even try to fool me."

"There's an awful lot o' things I can't try with you Mr. Ryan..." Augustus smiles in his attractive way, half-businessman, half-ordinary human being having a chat with a commercial partner. "Say Andy... It's Fontaine, isn't it?"

Upon hearing that damned name, Ryan's face darkens. Right now his business isn't as good as it used to because of this fucking conman who smuggles shit just under his nose. Bibles... Hell, who needs Bibles in Rapture? Sinclair finds that utterly stupid too, but he never was a religious man in the first place. Some of Rapture's citizens have been; some parasites still are, it seems.

Ryan doesn't answer the question, he just nods. Then he asks the younger man for a smoke. Cigarettes aren't his thing, but that's better than nothing. At least these aren't those Nico-Time sea shell things, the disgusting ones destined to the working-class of the underwater city. He breathes the smoke out, feeling a little relieved from his tension. Just a little.

To his surprise, he even enjoys Sinclair's company. The man sure can be annoying with his jokes and carefree behaviour, but he's also understanding: just like him, Sinclair is a businessman who suffers from Fontaine's success. With that fucking bald head out of the way, everything would be better for the two of them... Ryan ponders over it.

"Sinclair?"

The younger man lifts his head to look at Ryan's.

"That's me yes."

Despite his annoyance at the black-haired man's attitude, Ryan smiles.

"Tell me, would you like it if Fontaine was out of our way?"

"Why, of course I'd like it Andy." He takes a last drag of his cigarette before crashing its butt in the ashtray. "Are you suggestin' we just go to his damn penthouse together to slaughter him? Sounds funny but I'll pass, I'd hate to stain this new shirt."

Ryan stares silently at his companion. Of course not. Killing Fontaine directly like that... He smiles again, more frankly this time. Another idea comes to him.

"And what if Fontaine had an accident?"

Sinclair's eyes go wide with astonishment. He never thought he would hear Ryan say this kind of thing to him. To anyone in fact. He grins.

"Hey there ol' friend, what're ya tryin' to do? Still drunk aren't ya?"

Ryan lets his unfinished cigarette lay half-dead into the ashtray, his smile fading away.

"Probably."

A light laugh comes from the younger businessman. His green eyes shine bright under the dim lights.

"Well I like that. Let's get drunk a little more then."

Sinclair gets up and walks towards the bar. He looks over his shoulder at Ryan's tired face.

"You'll tell me more about fuckin' Fontaine's accident and we'll have a good laugh ya and I."

To his own surprise, Andrew Ryan doesn't object. Maybe that's what he needs. One good laugh to forget about Frank Fontaine and his increasing influence over his city.

He sinks back into his seat and waits for a drink.