|Dead Like Me|
|What: Apparently, coming back to life is not as uncommon as one might think.|
Even in his suit, Doug looks - and feels - pretty out of place at the Iceberg Lounge. His suit's from work, so it's not particularly expensive, and he's a fair bit younger and, let's face it, a great deal poorer, than the other patrons. Still, he'd bumped into the Penguin once, and his curiosity finally got the better of him. He wanted to see where the guy spent his time. Hopefully, Babs wouldn't freak out if she found out. Doug's on his own, parked at the bar and nursing what is, for the Lounge, a fairly cheap drink. His paycheck can only afford so many of the things here, man, he's gotta pick and choose carefully.
"Tell the Bird I ain't leavin' 'til I talk to him."
That voice would belong to none other than Jason Todd. He looks as out of place as ever, in his jeans, boots, t-shirt and leather jacket. But it almost seems as though he's trying to make a statement on purpose. How he managed to get past the bouncers is anyone's guess, but for a guy that's decided to sit himself down at the bar, not too far from the Doug, he must have some kind of pull or something. Who really knows.
"Long Island. Top Shelf. Penguin's payin' for it." is said to the bartender who may or may not actually make this drink. He doesn't like this leather jacket wearing punk anyway.
Doug really should know better. This part of Gotham city, a smart guy would keep his head down, pay attention to his own drink, and be grateful he got to go home without being mugged.
Instead, Doug casts a curious look over towards Jason, though he does at least wait to see if the bartender is going to be cooperative before he speaks up at all. "Wish I'd thought to have the bird buy my drink. Might have been able to afford something that tastes slightly less like water," he mumbles, lifting his glass and squinting at it critically. Not that he's precisely a booze expert or anything, but come on.
Maybe it's the look that Jason is giving the bartender that actually gets him the drink. Or maybe it's because the Penguin and Jason go way back. Or maybe the bartender is secretly on Jason's side and doesn't mind fixing the man a drink. There are way too many options for why a Long Island comes sliding to a stop in front of Jason.
"Everything's watered down here." Jason remarks, still not even touching his drink. It probably has been poisoned or something. He doesn't trust anybody in this place. "I don't even know why I come here. This place is SHIT!" Yeah, it seems like Jason is just trying to get a rise out of anyone and everyone that may know where The Penguin is.
Doug only really winces because Jason said it loudly. Well, and it's rude, he supposes, but he can live with rude. "I'm sure there are other bars in town," he notes, setting his glass back down to eye Jason... not quite warily, but something like it. Something is bugging him and he doesn't quite know /what/. "Why come to this one?"
"I'm enemies with the owner." Jason says with a shrug, before just turning from his drink to look at Doug. "Or I just like to fuck with people." There's another shrug that comes after that one. "Oh, it could also have something to do with the fact that I live a block from here so why the hell not!" Oh, Jason. So many lies at once. He doesn't even know what he's saying. "Look. Do yourself a favor. Don't make coming here a habit. You never know when something bad might happen."
"Good reasons," Doug muses, and he actually means it. In Doug Land, those /are/ all perfectly good, valid reasons to be somewhere. Especially the first one. "Oh, that won't be a problem. It's a bit of a hike for me to get out here. I'll heed that advice," he promises. "Thanks."
"As a matter of fact, maybe it should happen now." Jason grins and pulls back his jacket to reveal a holstered pistol of some sort. He's got this crazed grin on his face like he's been waiting to find the right person to use as a hostage for his crazy antics. "It's not like I'm doing anything else with my life. I might as well go out the same way I came in. Kicking organized crime in the ass." Jason is making sure to speak loud enough that any of the Penguins cronies can hear him. HowToPickAFight.net
Oh, the Penguin's cronies heard Jason, and so did everybody else. Y'can tell because of the way they're now watching Jason like hawks. Doug's eyes slide down to the gun, and he can't help it: he sighs. Really? Really? This is how his day is gonna go?
"I'm all for going out in a blaze of glory for something you believe in -- did that once, actually," Doug admits, casting a wary look around the room. "But you're not gonna succeed meaningfully like this," he notes in a low voice. Yes. Let's appeal to the crazy man's good sense. "You might be able to take out one or two guys before you're mowed down, but that's not even the kind of numbers organized crime really notices. They'll just get two more guys, teach 'em how to walk with their shoulders hunched way up and their knuckles dragging --" No offense, fellas. "-- and forget you were ever here."
"Man, if only you knew who I was. I could take this whole room out in less than a minute and not even break a sweat. I'm hardwired for that shit, y'know? I can't even walk into a bakery without overanalyzing the environment, planning escape options and various ways of taking down the baker in case he decides to be having a particularly violent or hostile day. It's annoying as fuck."
Jason reaches for the drink and just sips at it. Seems he's forgotten about the fact that it could be tainted or something. "Wait. You did what once?"
"That does sound like it'd get pretty tiring, after a while. I'm starting to do that a bit -- you know how nervous I feel right now, with my back to the door?" Doug asks with a laugh, reaching for his horrible, watery drink. He will have some more of it now, thank you.
Once he's swallowed, Doug looks to Jason again. "Went out in a blaze of glory. Sort of. Someone was going to shoot my friend," he explains, and taps himself twice on the chest, right in the middle. "I jumped in the way and was dead for... three years? Something." He waves a hand. He is not concerned about sounding like a lunatic in front of someone who is clearly pretty messed up, himself. And besides, talking about it isn't something he gets to do often, and if it keeps the guy from shooting the place up, why not. "Woke up a few months ago. Dunno how."
"Seriously?" Jason keeps his eyes narrowed on Doug throughout this entire storytelling. He just kind of stares at him like he's lost his marbles. "Ditto." Jason then takes another sip from his Long Island. "Okay, I mean, ditto on the coming back to life thing. My death was way worse than yours. I got beaten by a lunatic with a crowbar for hours and then I got blew up." He turns to look at his glass as if it were going to explain all of this. "And all because I was trying to help people. Sucks."
Doug does not not spit his drink all over the bar, thankfully. It's a close thing, but he manages to duck his head and tilt his glass just in the nick of time. "Seriously?" he asks, grabbing for a napkin to wipe his face off. Ahem. Nothing. Dignity, always dignity. "Shit, I thought it was just me. I'm sorry."
"Shit is crazy, right?" Jason seems less crazy and now more worried about why he and this other dude are both back to life. "I'm not even sure how I'm alive myself. There's theories. My family has theories, anyway. It gets too complicated for me to think about sometimes. So what do I do instead? I go around kicking ass and taking names until I find that bastard that killed me. Then it'll be his turn." Oh shit. And there goes Jason's crazy eyes again.
"Man, I don't even have theories. I'd love some theories," Doug admits, absently tugging his tie a bit looser and his collar undone. Bite him, dress code. That done, he drops his chin into his hand and frowns pensively. Is Jason looking crazy again? Eh. Doug thinks he can understand why. "You know who did it?" he asks. "I mean, I guess it'd be hard to prove he murdered you if you're not dead anymore. That's awkward. But. Do you know?"
"Oh, I know. Boy, do I know. And my family? They know too. They knew. And they did nothing about it. I don't even know how long I was dead. But come to find out that he's still just wandering around a free man, hurting and killing other people. All because..." Jason has to catch himself. He can't be giving away too much information. More Long Island sipping. "Life just sucks, man. And so does death. And so does coming back to life after death. No wonder we're sitting in here drinking alone..." Pitiful.
After a moment's thought, Doug grabs his glass and moves the couple of barstools down to sit next to Jason, instead of simply nearby. Why not. "That blows. I hope you can find him," he says, and he really does mean it. There are times for legal avenues, and there are times when someone was savagely beaten to death with a crowbar and the justice system did them no good. Maybe being with SHIELD /is/ having an effect on him.
"Yeah. Well. I've got a whole group of people that want to stop me from finding him and killing him. Which I don't understand because, oh I dunno, the psycho's a murderer. And here I am under the apparent delusion that getting a murderer off the streets would be a good thing. Silly me." Jason runs his finger around the rim of his glass. "Do you, y'know, ever feel like your brain's not the same? Like, I find myself doing shit I never would've done before, now. Hurting people I don't want to. But it's like... I can't stop myself sometimes." Oh, Former Dead Guy Therapy.
"Nothing quite like that," Doug admits, frowning thoughtfully at Jason. "I think I'm still more or less the same. But I wouldn't know if I'd changed, would I? I mean. Not necessarily." Talk about thoughts that keep him up at night. "Maybe whoever or whatever brought you back screwed with your head, though. Maybe not even on purpose, maybe it's just a... a weird-ass side effect or something. I've heard weirder things. I think I /am/ weirder things, at this point," he grumbles, rolling his eyes.
"As for the people who want to stop you... they probably just don't want to see you turn into a killer," Doug notes, taking the leap that Jason probably wasn't a murderer beforehand. Right? Hopefully? "They can't understand what it's like. It's hard, but cut them a little slack, if you can. There might be another way, even, but none would be quite so..." What word does he want. "...therapeutic."
"Yeah, well, let's just say after putting my sister in the hospital... I don't think I'll be invited to any family gatherings soon." Jason rolls his eyes at this point, since this is starting to get him nowhere. Penguin's not coming out and he's already said too much to this guy he doesn't even know. But at least something has been said to him that may help him get his head on straight. Hm.
Jason finishes off his drink and slams the glass back down on the bar, sliding off the stool and dropping a couple hundred dollar bills on the bar. "Thanks for the chat, man. Have a couple real drinks on me. But seriously, don't ever come back here. It's not safe. And who wants to die a second time, right?"