Jack was seriously contemplating closing early for the night, it was almost ten thirty and her last customer had been around eight. It was a damn shame too, a few more beers and she would have had enough to pay for something other than rent that month.
The door to the bar squeaked open, jolting Jack out of her thoughts and revealing a tired looking man with messy, brown hair. He looked half asleep, slouching over, eyes half closed, his legs just a little too far apart to be balancing easily. He looked like he might drop any second and the last thing Jack needed right now was a blackout drunk on her doorstep.
But when the man's eyes met her own, they seemed to glimmer in the low light, and he swaggered up to her and leaned casually on the bar as if you couldn't smell the alcohol on him from five miles away.
"Can I get a cocktail? Or something fancy?" He slurred, pulling out his wallet.
Jack thought about her options. One, give this clearly heavily drunk man his drink and risk killing him, or two, refuse him for his own good. Or three...
"Sure I'll get on it," she said, turning back to her drinks, she spun a few bottles around for show, then poured a glass of two parts water, three parts lemon juice, and one part tomatoe juice. She then turned back to the man and placed the drink in front of him.
"Ten bucks," she stated.
After handing over the cash, the man stared for a moment, picked up the glass, examined the bottom, then took a small sip, as if testing if Jack had poisoned it. He then set it back down and looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
"I asked for something fancy," he said.
Jack rolled her eyes a picked up one of the little, pink, decorative umbrellas and placed it in the drunk's glass, backing away with some jazz hands for flare.
The drunk snorted at the short show and nodded, gulping down the drink in one go and holding out the glass to her.
"Can I get five more of these?" He asked.
Jack was very happy to have gone with option three.
Somewhere between "alcoholic" drink number eight and number ten, Jack and the drunk began chatting. Even through his heavily slurred speech and Achievement City accent, the guy told some pretty funny stories. Even if Jack thought half of them were bullshit, they guy had an interesting mind.
It wasn't until the early hours of the morning, when door squeaked open once more that either of them stopped talking.
A man in dark jeans and a suit jacket looked around the establishment. When he spotted the drunk at Jack's bar, he scowled and stomped over to him.
"This is where you've been!?" He said, grabbing the drunk and harshly turning him so they faced each other, "I've been up all night waiting for you to get back to the base, and you've been bar hopping!?"
"I've only been to two bars," the drunk tried to defend himself, but the angry man went on as if he hadn't spoken.
"I thought you got got! Do you know how anxious I got?! What would we do if something happened to you, huh? If you suddenly went missing, or ended up dead in an ally somewhere because you stumbled into a Charon tagged bar? What would I tell the guys? What would I tell Gavin?!"
This seemed to sober the drunk up a bit, he cleared his throat and looked up guiltily, "I'm sorry, okay? The last run was stressful, I needed to let off some steam before I came back."
Jack slowly leaned against the far side of the bar, a part of her feeling like she wasn't meant to hear this. It was awkward.
The angry man huffed, crossing his arms, "Yeah, well, at least text me or something the next time you do this, got it?"
The drunk rubbed his neck, "Yeah," he sighed, "I got it."
The drunk turned back to Jack, pulling out his wallet once more, "Thanks for the drink. Here a tip." He slapped a few bills down on the table before walking past the angry man, who looked like he'd just realized Jack was there, "a bit expensive for lemon water but the talk was good. You should go places."
Jack watched the two men exit with something like confusion and awe, Unsure if she had witnessed some kind of business deal or a lover's spat. She then looked down at the bills the drunk had given her as a tip.
Five hundred dollars.