4673/Sick dance moves

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Sick dance moves
Date of Scene: 10 January 2021
Location: Club Highline
Synopsis: Tabby, Julio, and Doug head to a club to try to forget their problems, but a whole new set of problems find them, instead.
Cast of Characters: Julio Richter, Tabitha Smith, Douglas Ramsey

Julio Richter has posed:
Dim lights, loud bass, and big crowds are the order of the hour at Club Highline this Saturday. Spring semesters have just kicked off, and New Year's Eve debauchery already seems a distant memory, so students are out to party in earnest. There's a DJ on the ground floor at the heart of a laser light show, but it's early enough in the night that the dance floor is only half full.

Still, when he arrived, Julio immediately made his way upstairs, where he's now leaning against a railing that overlooks the dancers, a frosty tumbler held loosely in one hand. He's chewing on a cocktail straw, looking unusually pensive, especially for this kind of space. His eyes wander over the ground floor, but he's not paying much attention to anyone else up on the second story now that he's already got a drink.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith is dressed in her tight dancer skirt and tight frilly top that wavers as she moves. She uses her impressive FAKE ID to sneak sneak into the crowded nightclub, saying hello to a couple of girls nearby. She seems to know these students and they laugh at Tabitha's antics, though don't turn her in. She dances through the ground floor laser show with them and then breaks away, but can't seem to get a spot at the ground floor bar, much less see over anybody there, so she climbs up to the second floor mini-bar. "Bartender, when you get a chance, I need a girly drink," she advises him. She turns and glances over at the others.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Doug's not the kind of boy to have a fake I.D. Except he totally does, and it says he's a year older than it actually is. Actually it's not technically fake, since it passes all examinations and registers him as 21 on all Government systems... it's more that it's forged. What's a felony here and there?

He's already upstairs, halfway through his second Cherry Bomb, in a T-Shirt that says 'Visit Mexico' in Japanese, skinny jeans and kicks. He's holding up his drink in one hand, while he dances - he's putting some hip-action into it.

Julio Richter has posed:
In more than one sense, Julio is definitely the kind of boy to have a fake. For his part, he's wearing a pair of artfully tattered jeans, white sneakers, an Os Mutantes T-shirt, and a hooded coat with a green and black check pattern. He's far from the Goodwill Ambassador he was when he first showed up at Xavier's, but his clubwear wardrobe is still pretty limited, and a lot of it is a little too out there for his mood tonight.

He takes a pull from his drink, realizes it's nearly empty, and heaves away from the railing with a sigh. When he turns to head for the bar, he spots Doug first, greeting him with a dip of his head and a lifted glass, then, as he gets closer to the bar, Tabby. He sneaks in beside her, leans slightly to bump their upper arms together, and then raises his eyebrows if and when she turns to look.

"Girly drinks, huh?" he says with a twist of his lip. "I guess people like us have to stick together, right?" He catches the bartender's eye with a lift of his chin and says, "I'll have a blue motherfucker."

There's a vague sense that he sees some personal significance in the choice of drink, but it's not immediately clear what that might be.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
The bartender smirks as per his job description and places the girly drink down in front of Tabitha and then gets Richter his drink too, "Oh hi!" she lets out with a grin. "Check it out, It's an Appletini. It tastes like apple," she grins amusedly, nudging Julio with her elbow. She takes her drink, has a wee lil sip and then says, "Guess you know where the party is huh? Or are you following me?" she asks him.

As she looks out at the people again, she jumps and waves at Doug, "Oh! There's Doug! Hi Doug!" she lets out loudly, nearly spilling her drink. She has another sip to make sure she doesn't.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"¡Oye! ¡Julio! ¡Mucho tiempo sin verte! ¿Como estas?" Doug calls, from where he's drinking. Despite not being one of the world's most legendary party animals, he seems to be into it now. He takes a sip from his drink, and then sets his drink down, before he wobbles, ever so slightly, and puts his hand on the table to support himself. Perhaps he had a couple more drinks than it initially appears.

"Hiiiiiii, Tabitha! Mister Kord says you're doing great!"

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio laughs, maybe in spite of himself, and agrees, "They do taste like apple." His own shockingly blue and devastatingly strong drink arrives (he already has a tab open), and he reaches over to clink the rims of their glasses together. "The blue stuff in mine tastes like orange, Dios sabe por qué."

Of course, he's been avoiding her question, but eventually he answers, "I needed to get away from the school. Seemed like getting drunk and finding someone to dance with would get my mind off things." His smile, which only appeared at her enthusiastic greeting, falters a little as he says this.

Then Doug is calling out to them, drunkenly, and he laughs again. "Jesucristo, how long has he been out here?" he murmurs to Tabby, before calling back, "Me he sentido peor, compañero."

He jerks his head toward Doug, beckoning Tabby to follow him, and convenes with both blonds at the table Doug's drink is resting on. He keeps an eye on the other guy to make sure he'll be ready to steady him if he starts listing too far over. "Everybody celebrating?" he asks, as a conversation starter.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith nods to what Richter says and then smiles, "Yeah, Kitty's Dad is back in town and everybody's all over themselves chatting it up, so I guess that's sort of a celebration," she explains to him, "I grabbed my stuff and left," she adds.

She glances at Doug and whinces, "Um Doug, check social media. I think Mister Kord's in trouble," she tells Doug, "I think we better investigate as soon as possible," she explains with great concern.

"Well, guess maybe I'll finish my drink first," she notes.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    "What? I was taking the weekend off, I sometimes have to unplug and decompress or things get a little weird--" He takes out his phone and thumbs it open, and checks his texts. "Oh." He says. "Well... that was a nice job while it lasted." He says, the color draining out of his face. "Both of them? Wow. That's not right, that's not right at all."

Then he puts his phone away. "You know what? Everything's fine. We'll get through this." He drains his drink. "How've you *been*, Julio!? You look good!"

Julio Richter has posed:
Tabby's news of tearful family reunions earns a barely perceptible 'ugh' from Julio, so you can probably mark him down for the 'grab your stuff and evacuate' reaction to heartrending scenes from a hallmark movie, too. He knocks back a bit of his drink -- but not too much. These things are dangerous if you don't pay attention.

"I have no idea who you're talking about," he informs the pair of them, raising his voice a little to be heard over the thudding bass from downstairs. "I'm great at investigations, though." This last is delivered glibly, and might not be an entirely reliable statement.

When Doug asks after him, Julio takes a breath, winces, and answers equivocally, "I've been alive, you know? Hope you're doing OK, but then, I think this might be a night for not thinking about it too much."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith takes a long drink from her Appletini and then looks at Julio, "I was working for this business-guy after school and now he's totally dead," she reports depressingly, "I thought he was okay," she shrugs.

"I guess I don't have that job now. I was getting good at being the cute delivery girl," she explains and smiles a little, depressingly ironic.

"I think everybody liked Mister Kord. Well except for the jerks who threw him off a building. Yeah, except those guys," she says, "Yeah Ric, I thought Kitty's Dad was dead but I guess not, I dunno. Nobody seems to know what's really going on with this guy."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug frowns, and then says to Tabitha, "I have a meeting with the board in the morning, I'll take care of it. I'll... take care of it. I think he was Catholic. I think." He shakes his head, and says, "Yeah. It seems like he's alive. But I can't figure out where he's been or what he's been doing, and Carmen Pryde wasn't a fool but he also wasn't a man of mystery. I... don't like it. But I also... can't crush Kitty's hopes like that. I just *can't*. So I'm DRINKING! Oh, hey! I love this song!" He says, as he Slightly Left of Centre's 'Love The Way You Move' comes on, and he begins to get down. Even in his cups, he's got great footwork, as he starts dancing like the robot in the music video.

Julio Richter has posed:
"Mierda," Julio says with a grimace. He takes another sip of his drink, bigger this time, then sets it down on the table emphatically. He looks over it at the other two with a level, serious look. "Tonight is not the night for thinking about our problems: confirmed. Let's go downstairs and dance like idiots."

His dramatic gesture is undercut a little bit when he immediately has to pick up his drink again, but it's not like he's going to leave it here when he leaves. He could get roofied! "You two coming?" he asks, stepping toward the stairs but facing backward.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith is ahead of Richter in the drinking department, finishing off her little Appletini as shes listens to his comments. She smiles, "Like idiots! Yeah!" she confirms with some conviction, raising her hand in agreement.

"Okay I'm ready," she tells them, setting down her little drink back on the table.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug keeps his drink in his hand, maintaining his footwork while he follows the others. "Bay-bee, I love the way you move! Bay-beeeee, I love the way you groooooooove-" He shakes his head, and then runs his palms along his forehead, before he goes, "Bwah. Bwahhhhhhhhh. What a day. Okay!"

Julio Richter has posed:
Holding his blue drink over his head so it won't get jostled, Ric rushes down the stairs. The club is getting a little more crowded, so he has to shoulder past a group moving in the opposite direction, but he does a pretty good job of parting the crowd as he moves the trio toward the dance floor.

He turns a couple of times to make sure the others are following, which looks risky, but his powers give him a pretty good sense of where people are around him. Unfortunately, one time before he can shift back to facing forward, a bigger guy in a puffy coat sees him running around like that and doesn't take kindly to the risky behavior, holding out an arm to essentially clothesline him from behind.

His powers tell him where feet are via vibrations; they're no good against something like that. Julio doesn't trip, but he does get knocked back a bit, bending at the waist and sloshing a decent portion of his drink over himself. "What the hell?" he yells, backing away from the guy and swiping booze off of his coat. "What's your problem?"

"Maybe look where you're going, dumbass," the stranger shouts right back. A girl he's with grabs his arm and says something to him, too quiet to make out, but it looks like he's itching for a fight.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith hasn't used her powers in the club, not unless they want the thing blown up or on fire or something, "Yeah Doug, you have to let me know what's goin on with Mister Kord when you're over there Monday, okay?" she asks him as she walks to the grand staircase.

She heads down the stairs slowly, staying to the railing as some other people come up, brushing past her. She can see Ricter ahead of her but is a bit behind him still when the stranger spills crap all over him. "Hey!" she lets out, coming to Richter's side, "Don't be idiots," she tells these strangers.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Fun fact about our boy Doug - while normally the last person to get into a fight, there's a reason he's not a heavy drinker, and certainly not a *social* drinker. It's because he's an anti-social drinker. So he gets stuck in there. "Hey! The guy who's five nine and all of a buck-fifty says, stepping in to defend Julio, "Why don't you apologize and go someplace else, jerk!? Or I'll decorate the club with your *face*-"

He points at the guy, leveling his index finger right at his collarbone in classic comic-book pose.

Julio Richter has posed:
"It's fine, Doug, I don't think--" Julio starts, catching his classmate by the shoulder and starting to tug him away from the confrontation. The girl with the aggressive guy seems to be trying to defuse the situation, too, but he doesn't seem to be listening to her anymore. He takes a step forward and bows up at Doug, too, before Julio can pull them out of the way. "Shaaaaaaaawn!" she whines. It sounds like they've been through this scene a couple of times.

Like Tabby, Julio definitely doesn't want his powers coming into play in here. He's a high property destruction kind of guy, whether he likes it or not. He again tries to pull Doug back away from the guy. "Look, Shawn? If you got a problem, we can talk about it outside, but let's not ruin--" he says.

He's interrupted again. "You're damn right I've got a problem!" Shawn hollers into Doug's face, in a cloud of warm, beery breath.

"It looks like your sister wants to leave," Ric tells him, peevishly. His patience is wearing very thin.

"SISTER??" That seems to do it. Shawn lunges at Julio with a sloppy left jab.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith smirks a bit and leans back "Ric--!" she lets out in a little concern the whole place is gonna get thrown into a tizzy cause of this. Then she's gonna blow junk up, get thrown out, or arrested and jailed cause her ID is totally fake. She squints as she contemplates the future, "Shit!" she adds.

"Guys, stop!" she lets out a bit louder, but she doesn't really do anything because she can't for fear of the future. She balls up her fists in frustration.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    ...Which is when Doug interposes his forearm, brushing the punch aside. "Statement." He says.

Then, with damn near precision considering that he's had more than a few, he buries a fist in Shawn's stomach. It's one of those real fast, hard uppercut-to-the-guts that'll take the wind out of you and leave you retching if you do it right, and Doug does. "Reply!" He says, before he looks at the others. "...He threw the first punch."

Julio Richter has posed:
The punch is perfectly delivered, to devastating effect, but it has consequences well beyond those Doug predicted. Shawn is, pretty obviously, an enthusiastic beer drinker, and has been indulging in his favorite hobby for a few hours at this point. Doug's fist collapses his diaphragm, sending all of the air out of his target's abdomen... followed shortly by all of that beer.

It sprays uncontrollably at both Doug and Julio, the latter of whom staggers back into a void quickly created by everyone else nearby rushing away from the splash zone. His arms are held wide and shaken violently, in an attempt to fling away the vomit, and Julio hollers in vicious, rapid Spanish, "¡Maldito pedazo pinche de mierda asqueroso!"

"Oh my God, Shawn, you are disgusting!" his date cries, hand over her mouth. "That's it -- I never want to fucking see you again!" She rushes off into the crowd, leaving Shawn clutching at his belly and swiping futilely at his mouth.

There's a bit of a scrum off in the distance; the club's bouncers are trying to push this way.

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha looks kinda peeved when the vommit sprays all over everybody like it's some kind of horror movie or stupid comedy show, except she's not laughing. "This is stupid," she mutters, "I forgot my vommit vacuum," she adds. She grabs at Richter's arm and says, "The security is coming over here, Ric..........." she tells him with assertiveness. She shakes his arm. C'mon, pay attention.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    Well, the problem is, sometimes when you've been drinking you don't see clearly more than a few actions in front of you, do you. So the guy barfs on Doug. All over him, really. And for a moment, he stands there, looking surprised.

And then Doug pukes. Right there, on the floor, because that was gross, and that's what you do when you're drunk and somebody barfs on you. You go *urp... urp!* And then you just empty your guts all over your shoes.

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio doesn't fight Tabby as she pulls him back -- the last thing he wants is contact with any kind of authorities. But then Doug joins Shawn's spew party, and Ric raises his eyes to the heavens (or at least the second floor) and mutters, "Dios mio," before lunging forward to grab Doug's arm and hitch him to the departing train. "Let's get the hell out of here, yeah?"

Other clubgoers are only too willing to part and let them pass, considering the state of their clothes. As they move, Ric turns one footfall into an especially hard stomp, using the vibrations traveling through the floor to look for...

"Turn right," he suggests to Tabby. "Stage exit." They've got to get all this heavy DJ gear in here somehow. "I'll have to come back for my ID," he grumbles, but obviously sees the wisdom in a hasty retreat. He takes one look at his drink, but from the color, it's obvious that it didn't escape Shawn's spray, and he sets it down on a subwoofer as they pass.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug lets out an *urp!* as he's pulled out, and as he stumbles along beside them, he doesn't... really say much of anything - at least not until they're out in the fresh air, when he puts hands on his knees and sucks in a deep lungful of fresh air, and then wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, and straightens up. "This is why..." He says, before he stifles an aftershock belch, "...I don't drink much."

"But I can promise you one thing, that guy will *never* do that again."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith mutters, "I'm gonna have to take these damn clothes off," she comments as she tugs on Julio and then tries to repeatedly motion Doug to follow. "Uhh, I don't want to hear the comments," she adds quickly, realizing what she's said.

She quickly dodges the other clubgoers and exits the club, then steps back for Doug to help him if he needs it, "You okay Doug?" she wonders.

Julio Richter has posed:
Once they're out in the alley behind the club, Julio peels off his coat in spite of the chill, and flops back against the opposite wall. He looks down at himself, evaluating the situation in disgust. Between Doug and his coat catching most of the blast, his own T-shirt is mostly dry except for a section near the collar. Unfortunately, this puts it right under his nose. His jeans didn't fare as well, and he doesn't want to even think about the implications of the stylish tears in the denim.

"I'd make a joke, but I'm right there with you, Tabby," he says. "Did anyone bring a change? Eugh."

He wrinkles his nose at Doug and adds, "Maybe. But let's not do that again ourselves, either, OK?"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug takes another breath, and then straightens up. "Sorry guys. We all have our ugly sides, and this's mine." He rolls his shoulders. "S'why if I plan on drinking a lot I try not to be around people I know." He rubs the back of his neck, and looks around, beofre he lets out an eloquent "Oog. I smell like... like... this alleyway."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith wrinkles her nose, "Ew, it's drying on my leg," she comments. She sighs and shakes her head, then sniffs the air. She sniffs again. "Something reeks," she comments, "Could be us. Could be this alley. What a great awesome night," she states. "Aw shit, I forgot my jacket," she tells Doug and Julio, "Now I'm getting cold."

Julio Richter has posed:
Julio stands back up, swaying queasily, and gives Tabby an apologetic shrug. "I'd offer you mine, but..." He holds it out toward her. It's a mess.

"There's a ley line that runs pretty close to the school," he says. "If we can find one on this end, I can warp in and get us all bathrobes or something?" He grimaces. "Or maybe we should just do some emergency shopping. I left my card inside, though."

He takes a deep breath, then turns a little green. That was not a great idea. "So much for not thinking about our problems tonight."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug looks up, and then says, "...Don't blame yourselves." He says, before he takes out his phone. "This is my fault. I'm going to call us a ride." He mumbles, "I'd normally get flack for expensing this, but... the boss isn't exactly around to yell at me right now, now is he?" He sends a text message, and then says, "They'll be discreet. Just one of the many perks of working for a tech billionaire who can't - couldn't - say no."

"Man, I'm gonna miss that employee sauna."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith looks wide-eyed at Julio and says, "What? No, I'm not wearin your bathrobe!" she lets out. She quickly backs up from Julio before he expels a projectile at her. She stands there and crosses her arms quickly, because she's starting to shiver and look cold.

"Come onnnnn guys, let's go. Let's go!" she encourages them.

Julio Richter has posed:
"I wasn't going to give you mine..." Julio starts to explain to Tabby, but he quickly trails off. It wasn't a great idea, even in the version he was really proposing. Doug's late boss's private uber service sounds a lot more sensible. As Tabby edges away from him, he holds up his hands and tries to look gastrically undistressed.

He follows her toward the road, where presumably this taxi service will be able to pick them up, and tries to shake out his coat the best he can. "Dios, I need a shower."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
The service... is actually a hovercraft. "It's sort of one of Mr. Kord's working experiments, the viability of one-upping Uber or Lyft with low-flight transport taxis. It's several years away from any sort of beta, though." He climbs aboard, and waits for the others. "You'll have to hose this out when we're done, steve. Got into a little bit of a thing in the club."

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith elbows Doug and mutters, "Douuuuug," she whines, helping hail a taxi cab that /isn't/ concerned with getting crap all over.

She piles into the taxi and sighs, "Gawd..." she mutters with a pout, "I'm sneaking in the back, I don't want anybody to see me."

Julio Richter has posed:
"Dios, who's Steve?" Julio is not eager to make a first impression on anyone in his current state. As he climbs aboard the hovercraft, he nearly runs a hand back through his shaggy hair, only to think better of it at the last second. Still, at least the interior is warm. "Tell me this thing has some kind of science fiction pine tree air freshener, at least."

Leaning toward Tabby, he suggests, "If this thing can fly, it might be able to drop us off through our dorm windows, or on the roof." Technically, he could also buzz them in through the hangar, but there's no way this Steve character is cleared for that.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
    "Actually it's S.T.E.V.E. - Self-Actuated Transport and Emergency Vehicle Expert. It's another Kord experiment, this one in more advanced automated Virtual Intelligences for self-driving vehicles." He waves his hand through the hologram that is the pilot. "All right Steve," Doug says, "I'm going to give you coordinate where you can drop these two off. Me... you'd better take me back to New York." He looks over at Tabitha and Julio, "Will... will you two be all right?"

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith flicks something off of her, and eyes Julio, "The roof? If there's ice, we could fall to our deaths," she explains.

She motions to herself as Doug questions her, "Us? Yeah, I'll keep an eye on Richter this time," she mutters.

Julio Richter has posed:
"It's barf, Doug, not poison," Julio points out. "Only my self-respect is hurt. I'll be fine once I've had a long, hot shower." He raises his eyebrows at the other boy. "Are /you/ going to be OK? You seemed more drunk than either of us. And you, uh..." He makes a sort of rolling gesture. Yes, we remember.

To Tabby, he explains, "Not the /roof/ roof. The little patio section. Stairs right down into the dorms. Not a bad way to sneak in." Not that he's ever done anything like that...

Tabitha Smith has posed:
Tabitha Smith mutters, "You gotta teleport us or somethin cause Hank can smell anything, even in a shit storm," she explains.

After the helpful taxi driver lets Doug out, Tabitha crosses her arms impatiently, "Not the roof roof. Fiiiiine, but it better be close to the windows. Turn up the heat!"

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug is quiet, during the flight back to the school. Apparently the day's events have taken a toll on him. When the hovercraft drops them off, within a discrete distance from the school that's not going to set off its security system alerts, he says, simply, "Guys... I'm sorry, OK? This is my fault. It's my fault."