(2018-09-03) Crash and Bash
Ethan is just trying to run a business and Abby is breaking things.

An old-school layout puts a wooden bar in the center of this small, hole-in-the-wall establishment, lacking for things like "free wi-fi" and slick interior design. The whole place has fewer than ten small, round tables with mismatched chairs scattered across the wooden floor and one curved bar in the middle with five stools in front of it. This is not the place to come asking for specialty liquors, but it's a decent joint if you're looking for some place downtown, and the location means it turns a good bit of business on a weekend. The food menu is limited: wings, fries, chili dogs, hamburgers, typical bar-food coming out of a tiny kitchen through the back. But there are decent beers on tap, and you can get a middle-of-the-road cocktail for a not-unreasonable price. There's one, good-sized TV stuck to the wall next to the bar, inevitably tuned to sports, and every other spare space on the wall is occupied by a random assortment of decorations - advertisements for liquor or local businesses, a smattering of framed photographs of South American scenery, pennants for the Rockies and the Broncos, and a dartboard at the back. The smell of beer, peanuts, and patrons hangs in the air, often battling with whatever song someone convinces the old-school jukebox to pump out.

The Rockies eked out a win tonight, yay! But it's the end of a long weekend, and this is the kind of joint that does its best business right after work, so it's not exactly hoppin' in here. A few regulars sit at the bar, a few others are scattered around the scant tables, and Ethan's just inside the doorway, which is partially blocked by a vendor trying to wheel stuff inside. "…have to go through the back, no, I don't - fuck it, fine, go," and impatiently waves the man through the middle of the bar.

Hey look! It's your very standard sort of sports bar place. This means that a person could buy a drink here, a standard drink. Abby is down with that as she steps into the Boardroom. Well, it's more like she pushes her weight against the door and sort of rolls into it because her hands are occupied trying to pound out a text message. Or she would, except there's a vendor inside the doorway along with Ethan. The door bumps into the guy's stuff and freezes in place, waiting for things to potentially just start crashing all over the floor.

Of course things crash to the floor. I mean, that has to happen. Turns out, the guy was wheeling in a dolly stacked with cases of beer, the top two of which dislodge and hit the floor with a satisfying crunchy noise - glass, liquid, that cardboardy stuff they make beer cases out of. The box deforms, beer bubbles and fizzes and leaks immediately onto the floor, spreading toward the open doorway.

"Can I get you a beer?" Ethan looks at the mess, at the vendor (who is cursing in Spanish), and at the girl that just walked in. He sighs.

Of course they do. Abby's eyes widen in the kind of horror that only manifests when a person has really just embarrassed the fuck out of themselves in public. Which is sure to happen when you knock over a bunch of stuff. "Oh my god…" She watches as beer spills on the floor and goes past her feet, seeping underneath her shoes. "I am so sorry. Siento, lo siento? Oh shit, I am just sorry." Some of that is to Ethan and some if it is to the vendor, but it's actually a little hard to tell who she's more concerned with. The vendor is angrily cursing. Regardless, she stoops down and starts picking up a case of shattered glass and beer.

"Whoa whoa whoa whoa." That's Ethan, hurriedly interjecting himself between the broken glass and Abby. He's not to the point of bodily removing her, but he does crouch and open his hands between hers and the spill, saying something about not needing to add a lawsuit when she cuts off a finger to his losses tonight, thanks. The bartender calls into the backroom for a mop, and the vendor (in broken English) tries to assure Abby that it wasn't her fault. Everyone else in the bar swivels or pivots in their seats to watch, just to really seal the embarrassment.

"No, no. It's okay. If I cut my finger off, I can just go back to work and they can put it back on," Abby sounds only half serious about having her severed finger reattached. It's a sad, pitiful attempt at humor as an entire bar's worth of people turn to stare. It's all pretty mortifying and the red blazing up her cheeks goes to show that she's about as embarrassed as a person can be. Evidently she decides it's not her most brilliant idea to pick up the box of dismemberment because she lets her arms drop. "Tell me how much the cases cost so that I can pay you for them? I came in here to buy a beer and watch the game, not put you out of business. I swear." Ha ha.

Ethan double-takes at the idea of reattaching a finger, but this isn't really the time to get into the miracles of modern medicine. Instead, he makes wavey-hands to suggest she back up a few steps, carefully doing that which he stopped Abby from doing, piling up a couple chunks of debris onto the soggy cardboard. "No, seriously, don't worry about it. I told the guy," he punches the words, glaring up at the vendor (who chooses that moment to slink toward the backroom with what's let of his wares), "not to come through the front door for a reason!" The shout is so his words will carry, see, and in comes the dishwasher with all the equipment needed to clean up this catastrophe. See how nice it is to have a couple NPCs around? "Lemme get this cleaned up and you can sit down and we'll get you a drink. On the house. Seriously." Seriously.

Abby looks after the vendor as he disappears into the backroom with what's left of the beer order and winces, attention dropping back to Ethan. "I guess I'll just get out of the way then…!" It's said with a perky attitude that doesn't quite seem natural for the circumstances. But she does get back up and self-consciously brush her hands off on the front of her pants, smiling awkwardly at the dishwasher coming through to clean up. Does she mouth sorry at him too? Yes, yes she does. Since the place isn't completely packed tonight, she'll just head right on over to the bar where she'll briefly rest her head against the counter before sitting up straight. There's an occasional glance back at Ethan and the dishwasher.

The most level-headed person in the room is the bartender, who - having caleld for reinforcements - spent the rest of the time watching a post-game breakdown on the TV. When Abby sits down, he turns his hefty self to face her, and asks pleasantly, "How 'bout something on tap, kiddo?" And laughs at himself heartily, which seems to defuse much of the interest in the situation. Patrons resume talking among themselves, Ethan helps the dishwasher deal with the mess, and the vendor can be heard talking to a woman in the backroom.

"And so today becomes the day I was never allowed to have bottled beer at the Boardroom ever again. Mark it on your calendar." Abby replies to the bartender's joke, offering the first pretense of a smile she's allowed herself to have since crashing everything onto the floor. "But yes, please. Something on tap." Anything, apparently. She digs her phone out (hastily shoved into her jacket during the beer crashing incident) and plunks it onto the counter. Her fingers itch toward it but then stop. Remember what happened last time?

"We'll put your picture up next to the no-checks people," with a big chuckle, way bigger than the joke called for. The bartender gets that beer together while he's still laughing, then throws a towel across at Ethan - who is now holding his hands in front of him like they're plague-contaminated while the dishwasher mops up the soggy floor. "I gotta case of grenadine coming tomorrow," Ethan comments when he arrives next to the bar, wiping his hands. He also eyes Abby's suddenly appearing phone like it might bite him, even while adding, "You know, if you're really looking to make an impression."

Is there really such a wall of shame? Abby swivels around to try and spot it before narrowing her eyes onto the bartender. But he's laughing, even if the joke isn't exactly that funny, it manages to squeeze another smile out of her. When the beer arrives, she thanks him. Ethan returns, cleaning up his hands and she looks at him for a long moment before drawling, "No, that's okay. Unles… is there anyone in particular you want me to knock it over in front of? Maybe even on?" See, Abby is useful. She's trying to help Ethan.

The bartender hitches a thumb at some really bad pictures (lifted off the surveillance cameras, which are about a thousand years old) lined up next to the register, names written in a shaky-handed red sharpee; wall o' shame.

Ethan glances at the line-up, like its existence is news to him, then uses his sorta-clean towel to wipe up the bar all around Abby's phone. This while answering, "I gotta ask, what's your play if I say yes, as a matter of fact, there is someone…?"

The narrowing of the eyes turns into a full on squint as she tries to read the names and make out the grainy photographs. "You need better cameras," she tells the two men after a moments consideration, as if she's an authority. The beer is being gently nursed when Ethan comes up with his response. "If there really was someone you wanted me to knock grenadine all over? Hm." She's thinks on it over another more lengthy drink from her glass, "Well, I figure that I owe you one. So I'd do it. But I don't think your vendor is going to deliver through the front door again."

"If it ain't broke," the bartender says with a shrug, and one of the regulars a few seats down supplies, "Give it a minute and she'll break it for ya!" They laugh.

Ethan does not laugh, though his lips tighten before he folds them, purses them, refuses to let them twitch into a smile. "Gimme a sec," he finally relents, putting his elbow on the bar in between him and Abby, turning his head and lowering it into his shoulder (which shakes a little).

Abby slowly turns to look at the patron and then back at the definitely not laughing Ethan, before she puts her elbow onto the counter and palms her chin with her hand. It's okay, no, no. Get it out of your system. She can wait.

Ethan sniffs a couple times while he masters himself, finally coming up only a little redder in the face and with the corners of his mouth still twitching occasionally. It probably takes him a good thirty seconds, though. At length, he wipes his hand on the towel, and then offers it to Abby, without really straightening up all the way. "Okay, I'm good now. Ethan, nice to meet you?" The verb sounds wrong, hence the question-mark.
GAME: Save complete.

When the towel is handed to her, she looks a little puzzled but accepts it. She actually didn't touch the crushed cases of beer, so escaped completely unharmed. She takes the cloth and kind of just pushes it off to the side. "Are you sure? Do you need another minute?" Abby wonders, watching him gain mastery over his facial expressions again while indulging in more of her beer. "Abby Thatcher. Yeah, I don't know if 'nice' is the right term. Lets call it a memorable introduction."

Look, you show up and smash a case of beer, maybe the owner thinks handing you a towel is a good idea. Don't question these things. Ethan doesn't. "Nah, I got this. I'm good." His mouth twitches. "Seriously." He clears his throat. "I like it. Here's to memorable introductions." Not that he has a drink to clink with hers, but the spirit of the toast is there, and the bartender - who appears to be absorbed in watching the TV - does the honors by lifting his own mug. "And accepting my apology that things went sideways right when you walked in? We're, ahm, working through some transitional issues, so please don't take it as indicative of how we normally treat our customers." Now his smile is more appropriate, less at Abby's expense and more proprietory.

The bartender seems to watch a lot of tv when he isn't calling other people to help mop. Not that Abby is going to comment on it, just kind of looks his way and then up at what's playing. She gives Ethan a sort of side-eye glance when he's mentioning an apology, before taking a healthy swallow from her beer. The expression he's met with is mildly skeptical, "I did walk into your bar without looking at a single thing around me. I have a tendency to just barrel around." There's an erratic, waving hand motion to indicate that this is actually more or less business as usual for her. Maybe just with heavier emphasis on the 'more' part this evening. "Anyway, you're fine. Everything is fine. And I apologize for causing mayhem."

The bartender don't need none of your sass, mmkay?

"Don't worry about it. I promise not to have a case of beer literally right in the doorway next time, you promise to put your phone in your pocket before you walk in, win-win?" Ethan pushes away from the bar while saying that, preface to untangling himself from the conversation. (Maybe to go, like, deal with the vendor that rolled into the back room a while ago?)

"I promise," Abby returns, lifting her beer in confirmation. Ethan looks like he's making his grand exit (into the back), so that leaves just Abby and the bartender who doesn't need her sass (or does he). She'll ask what team he's cheering for and then do her level best to drag the poor guy into an argument about how he's dead wrong for the rest of her time there.

Ethan smiles honestly, not at Abby's expense and not in an effort to win clientele, and raps his knuckles on the bar a couple of times on his way around it. "Enjoy your evening, then, Miss Thatcher." The bartender (and the funny patron a few seats down) are all too happy to bend the pretty girl's ear for a while about the Rockies, segue into the Broncos, and on and on and on; sports are like religion, just without the magical sky-wizard and all the virgins.

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