Tom Foolery and the Shenanigans

Cast: date: 'October 8, 2012'
place: 'The Crow and the Caper'
participants: 'Denton, Imogen'
synopsis: 'Must love dogs. And dogs must love jazz.'
log: "The Crow and the Caper is a good place to go for a cheap drink. It's a good place to go for an expensive one, too, but most of the people taking up tables and stools at the bar aren't here for the top shelf. In one corner, a couple people have brought out guitars and started a drunken sing-a-long. Most people don't seem to mind in, in fact, a little entertainment never goes amiss in here. \n\nImogen is behind the bar tonight. Not alone, but it seems to be a night for extra hands. Or maybe she was just bored behind the front desk. Whatever the reason, she stands behind the wooden counter, setting drinks in front of already bleary-eyed customers. \n\nLooking less bleary-eyed than her current clientele, Denton blows in to the Crow & Caper like a stiff breeze. The stiff part being his back, the man tries to hide his hobble as he finds a spot at the bar to lean against, not quite sitting upon the stool. “Oy, Imogen!” he hails of the closest bartender. “Toss me a Richard?” After calling his order, he ever so gingerly seats himself onto his chosen chair. A quick glance is sent down the line, extracting any familiar faces amidst the regulars and exporting nods of greeting their way - should they look.\n\n\"Well, if it isn't our man, Denton,\" Imogen says with a crooked smile as she sets a beer down in front of him. Like any good bartender, she seems to remember her regulars' favorites. \"To what do I owe the pleasure,\" she says, leaning a hip against her side of the bar, \"Off duty, I hope.\" Not that it weighs too heavily on her, since she didn't ask before putting the beer down. There are a few other familiar faces about besides Imogen's. Other regulars, some people he's arrested in the past, for sure, but with enough alcohol, everyone's friends here. \n\nGrasping for the bottle before he answers, Denton takes a quick sip just to prove that he’s not about to worry about duties for the time being. Eyeing the woman behind the bartop and her crooked smile, he reflects the crooked part in his own features once he sets the beer down. Half gone already - the man’s drinking it like a tonic. Something must be up, if his briefest of grimaces is saying anything. A lingering look on Imogen’s face also prefaces his not-an-interrogative inquiry, “Have you ever heard Audrey Caine? Sings sweet as a nightingale, even if her subjects are always dark as a cathedral at midnight.” He refers to a rather unknown name. The entertainers in the corner of drunks might have more rep than the name he dangles out.\n\nImogen lifts her eyebrows as he drinks down half in one go, and it's concern that colors tired features as she folds her arms across the bar to give him a more serious look. \"Never heard of her, no. Should I have?\" There's a shout from down the bar, but her fellow barkeepers take one glance her way before they pick up the slack themselves. Not good to interrupt the boss lady when she's in conference. \n\n\"Looks like she's made your day a difficult one, if you don't mind me saying, Denton,\" she adds, with a nod to the beer.\n\n“Hm?” Denton’s distracted with the call just down the countertop - or, by something else niggling at his mind. And his back. “Oh sorry. Yes you could say Ms. Caine’s being a thorn, but she’s not the reason for this sorry Jack,” he replies with an added groan of soreness. “Figure I slept wrong on it. Or, this is just called having a go at chasing wild dogs down dark alleys.” He lifts his beer, a short “Cheers” preceding the disappearance of the second half of the bottle’s contents. The bottom thunks hollowly on the bar top. “That’s what the Chief’s got me on this time, you know?” he adds with a gesture for another beer. “Claims of packs of dogs terrorizing the neighborhood at night. What do you make of it? A passive demotion? Trying to pull a rug out from underneath me?” The last few questions are muttered, rhetorical in nature and not quite edging into self-pity. Denton’s not the type for that.\n\nThe Chief knows one thing though, that Denton himself doesn’t quite notice about himself. This kind of thing actually interests the detective, gripe as much as he will about it over an open beer. And, they know, the detective has a way about investigating the weirder things of London town. “Wait. Add a shot o’ whisky to the tab.” At the pace he’s going…\n\n\"You didn't sleep with his wife, did you?\" Imogen lifts just one eyebrow there, into a suspicious, but playfully so, expression. Another beer gets set on the bar before she turns to snatch up a bottle of the good whiskey and a shot glass. \"So, pack of dogs? Doesn't your lot have a division for that sort of thing?\" She pours out the required ounce, but instead of putting the bottle back, she sets it down in easy grabbing distance. \n\nThe bark of laughter carries out a little louder than Denton intends, but he’s quick to rein back in and switch it with an amused reproachful look. The second beer this time gets just a swig. “Lot of good it’ll do us. Animal Control’s been called out to more important things like swinging cats from trees,” he notes with a shake of his head. “But no, this one’s harder than their catchpoles can loop around I think. These ones, well. Seems like they’re hunting for something more than the day’s rubbish.” He considers the shot glass, not tossing it back but sipping it all down for the slow burn. A deep breath mixes the vapors along with the smokey taste. Now that’s nice.\n\n“And,” adds the detective, “you’d never guess it but this pack - if you want to call it that - seems to enjoy jazz.” The realization comes out with a huge tone of disbelief chained to the man’s own statement. He doesn’t believe it himself, even if it’s what he’s heard. “They’re bird-dogging the bird, all around town. Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, and next thing you know it I’ll be sittin’ at the 606. Put that John Major down, where she goes, that’s where they’ll be.” He nods sagely, working this out aloud to nobody else save Imogen it seems.\n\n\"Just thought I'd check. You never know how you coppers get yourselves into trouble. And I hear a badge improves a man's desirability, too. Recipe for trouble, you are.\" It's hard to say if she means the general 'you' or him specifically. \n\nWhile he explains… such as the explanation is, Imogen refills that shot glass as soon as it hits the wood. her brow crinkles, and there's a moment of silence after as she works it all out. But when she does, or does for the most part, she straightens up a little and glances around them just a bit. But satisfied that no one's listening, she leans back on the bar again. \"Sounds like she needs a bit of help, yeah? It's not just you on it, is it?\" She seems… concerned, possibly for his safety. It's all very sweet. Yes.\n\nSecond shot poured, Denton loses the interest of immediate drunkenness as he falls back to that habitual tell of pondering the stranger clues on his case. “No, she’s been fine enough to lie,” he muses with a glance to Imogen. “I happen to think she’s blissfully unaware just how dangerous having a stalker or two might be. But I haven’t had cause to do anything more than sit and listen to her singing. Which, by the way, is as good as any stairway.” He has to smile a little, remembering the performance.\n\nBack to the shot, he slings this one back with some more vigor to it. The grimace could be for his back or for the warm burn. A brief hand waved over keeps the refills away, at least for a minute. “And,” he continues thoughtfully, “whoever it is that’s after her should only be so lucky to run into the likes of me. I’m the nice copper, right?” Lies and slander. Denton isn’t any better or any worse than his coworkers and colleagues, he’d like to say.\n\n\"Is there such thing, luv?\" As a nice copper. Imogen's smile turns a touch crooked, but after turning to put the bottle back in its place, she looks back to him. \"Have you seen the… stalkers? It isn't just some ex-boyfriend giving her a hard time, yeah? You seem to be in here complaining about the weird cases more often than not. Unless you really did mean dogs. Can never tell with you East End boys.\"\n\nImogen turns a couple of the bottles so the labels are facing out again, but she comes back over to the bar again before long. \"Highlight of my week, you and your weird stories.\"\n\nThe chortle from the copper can’t be said to be “nice”, but neither is it ill-meant with sarcasm. Denton’s amusement at the copper-bartender relationship is ever present. Taking a moment to ponder his choice of words, the detective picks out his answer. “I meant less derogatory and more… descriptive, with that,” replies the man in purposefully enigmatic phrasing. “No self respecting ex-boyfriend would stoop so low, would he? So far as to grab some buddies and gaslight the poor girl. Unfortunately for her it doesn’t seem that being a fan is a crime. Stalking, trespassing and other tomfoolery could be, though.” A beat skips into a swallow of beer. “But for a straight answer, Imogen, no. I haven’t seen the ugly mug - at least not in plain light. Maybe they’re carnies, for how short they all are.” He shrugs helplessly. “Who am I to judge tastes in men, though?”\n\n\"Well, it isn't the self-respecting ones you need to watch for, yeah?\" Imogen's hands get firmly planted on her hips at the riddlespeak, but that's hardly unusual, when he starts being purposefully difficult.\n\n\"I'd like to see you arrest someone for Tomfoolery, Denton.\" Her hands drop, landing back on the bar as she smirks over at him. \"Tastes do vary. And they say size doesn't matter, you know. Especially if they're busy harassing people. You're being careful, aren't you? While you're doing all your detective inspecting?\"\n\nTilting his beer at her, Denton gives the woman a “just-you-wait” gesture with the bottle. “Tomfoolery and suspicious shenanigans,” he says in a high-brow stuffy mocking, only to break down to a rather East End boyish smirk. The grin wanes only slightly, replaced by genuine appreciation for her words. “I being careful about it,” he states honestly, “what with the world being as woolly as it is. On the bright side, this-” he thumbs back towards his back “-is just a matter of not sleeping correctly.” He takes another gulp of beer down, peering around the bottle at the lingering bartender. Slowly this time, the bottle is consumed and set down gently on the bar. “Besides, where do you think we are? America?”\n\n\"What about monkeyshines and carrying-on? Just a slap on the wrist?\" Imogen smiles warmly for just a moment, a brief break in the exhaustion, even if it does all come swooping back in. Apparently him being careful is good news. \"Seems to me like you need a new mattress. Or to stop falling asleep over your paperwork.\" As he goes on, a wry expression forms, particularly as she grabs to bottles to clear them away.\n\n\"Of course not. If we were, you'd have a bigger gun.\"\n\n“Carrying on will get the harshest sentence of them all, I’m afraid,” the inspector remarks as he invites another beer onto his tab and in front of his person. “As long as it gets done, my paperwork will make an ample mattress thank you.” So reminded of that back pain, Denton stretches up a bit to relieve it. “Though you do have a point. Sleeping on cuffs is almost as uncomfortable as sleeping in them.” He leans upon the bar, a second stretch helping the alcohol along in loosening up tight muscles. “Were we in America, this would now probably lead to an innuendo filled, badly lit scene of inappropriate nature.” It’s his turn to smile crookedly. “On second thought, that isn’t a bad idea is it? They might be on to something.”\n\nBeers are easy to come by here, especially when they get added onto steadily growing tabs. But his crooked smile gets another arch of an eyebrow. \"These people aren't paying enough for that kind of show, Denton. Plus, I can't possibly agree to bad lighting.\" There's a call from the far end of the bar, and a cry for help from her overwhelmed employee. So Imogen glances that way, and then back to Denton to add, \"But I can promise my cuffs are always comfortable.\" She taps a finger against the bar next to his drink, \"Stay as long as you like, Detective Inspector.\" But she's heading thataway to handle a disgruntled customer. "
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