Marney's Night Off

Danielle plays detective.


One bad thing about working at a dance club is the hours: You work late into the night, so you definitely need to sleep in. Yes, your day is generally all messed up. Not that it bothers Danielle much; get a little shopping done in the afternoon, watch a movie, grab a bite, and come in for her shift. Decked out in casual wear that includes a black tank-top and a pair of snug jeans, she comes backstage and liberally hands out greetings to fellow dancers and bouncers alike. She heads directly to her dressing table, tossing her backpack on to the chair before taking a moment to glance around the dressing room. Yes, that Private Dick mentioned Marney Tisdale….

Tonight was supposed to be Marney's evening off, but sometimes you have to fill in when people are irresponsible and don't show up for a shift, and tonight is one of those evenings. Sitting in front of a well-lit mirror and swaddled in a theme of smoked-jade lingerie, she is leaned forward against the table and using a not-so-steady hand in an attempt to cover the darkness beneath her eyes with a cream base. A closer look might bring out to the person looking a vague sense of haggardness about her.

Well surprise, surprise. Didn't expect to find Marney here tonight! But as long as the other girl's around, well, why not? Danielle makes her way to the lingerie-clad dancer, thumbs hooked in the pockets of her jeans, all casual-like. "Hey baby." She greets as she comes up behind her co-worker. "Don't you have the night off?" She watches the other girl in the mirror but keeps it conversational - no point spooking the other girl!

Marney Tisdale isn't as glamorous as once she was. In her younger days, she was probably stunning, but life and labor have taken a toll on the woman, and the make-up that she's artfully covering her face with is a path to job security. Her eyes, a color that is a striking match for the theme of her clothing, glance up at the mirror and take in Danielle for only a second before turning back to what she's doing, "Eugh. Hi, Rubes..". Her greeting is less than enthusiastic and given with a voice that is a testament to a smoker's life. She doesn't seem happy to be here, "Yeah. I did. But Ebony skipped out and I have a family to feed."

Danielle chews on her bottom lip and bobs her head sympathetically to Marney in the mirror. "Seriously, she needs to get her act together, but hey, at least you make some extra cash." Stepping to the side, she pulls a nearby chair over and plops down next to the older woman. "You okay?" The redhead asks, leaning forward and resting her elbows on her knees, and peers up at Marney. "You're looking a bit… tired. It's not that deadbeat ex of yours bugging you again, is it?"

With a deep sigh, Marney replies, "You're tellin' me, kid. Her loss is my gain though. Momma needs a new pair of heels.". When the question comes of whether she's fine or not, the woman shrugs and says, "Life is life.", but the way in which this is said should be taken in tandem with the way that she grows even more intent on what she is doing in the mirror with her make-up. She's focusing really hard. "Haven't seen Dale in a month now. Good riddance. Scumbag. There's not a pretty enough dick in the world to make a woman put up with a failure like that..". Her attempt at a joke pulls a laugh out of herself, but the sound is strained more than it should be.

"Good for you." Danielle is all supportive, smiles and all, even reaching out to give the older woman an encouraging pat on the knee. "Hey baby, you're not in any trouble, are you? Like I said before, if you need help, you can let me and the girls know. We take care of our own, right?" Yes, the redhead is watching Marney's expression, and she's opening up her feline senses to try and pick up on the woman's emotional state.

When Danielle goes to give Marney a pat on the knee, the jade-clothed woman /flinches/ in a way that cannot be ignored, but the effort to regain her composure right after is heroic. Even more intense now is her act of putting on that cream-base, until she finishes with it and shoves the small container back into her purse, digging around for something else. "..I'm too old to get into trouble..", she trails off, pulling something out of her purse and slipping it into the pocket of the robe that is hanging upon the back of her chair, the side opposite of Danielle, "Yeah. We take care of our own..". It doesn't take supernatural senses to notice that she seems distressed, perhaps even slightly agitated with the questions being asked. Like a skilled stage performer, though, she tries to cover it well.

Danielle abruptly pulls back her hand when Marney flinches so dramatically. Wow. Straightening up, she lifts a hand to brush a lock of red-gold hair from her face, intent on acting casual. The secretive 'thing' Marney transferred from her purse to her robe is indeed noticed, but she decides against bringing it to attention right now. Instead, Danielle takes note of where it's been stashed, and rises from the chair. "Let me know if you need anything, baby." Beat. "You're up first tonight, aren't you?"

"Yeah. I am. I have to get out there in a minute. The kittens don't eat if momma doesn't shake those money bags.". The way in which Marney Tisdale says this does not allow for her to keep the slight edge of self-aimed venom out of her voice. She stands up as well, and with the coloring applied to her face, there's a certain hint of youthfulness once again. Whether she's good at her job or not, Marney the Were-Cat is a skillful deceiver in the area of facial enhancement through art. Zipping up her purse, she gives Danielle a very short and meaningful look before saying, "Thanks. I will. Have a good night out there, Rubes.". She's quick to turn her body away, and as she heads for the door a hand comes up to her face in a brief wiping motion.

Danielle gives Marney an encouraging smile as the older woman heads out, and just to complete the illusion, she turns to head back to her dressing desk. Except she doesn't - once Marney is out the door, Danielle follows to make sure she's not forgetting anything and coming back. She's not, right? Taking just long enough to ensure she won't get caught snooping about, Danielle returns to Marney's desk and quickly searches through the robe. Of course she's looking for that mysterious item Marney secreted away…

After a scant few minutes, the music drives up a notch from out in the area of the stage, and the sound of the DJ can be heard with ease, "Alright, you fabulous gentlemen! Let's give it up the cat that ate the canary! The wonderful, the elusive Jaaaaaaade!". That would be the all-clear sign, as it would be a rare course of action for a woman to leave the stage at the beginning of her show. Digging around in the pocket of the smokey-green robe that hangs on the back of the chair will reveal a gel-cap that's filled with a deep red liquid, and two small strips of paper that look to be torn up pieces from something bigger. Both of them have writing on them.

<Staff> Excalibur says, "If you're reading them, the lettering that is on the scraps of paper is not elegant, but being as it seems to be two torn strips, there are only a handful of words that can be pieced together. Your, a 'PM' that follows something that could be a 0 but could also be a 9, and the word Kid twice, once on each strip."

The redhead frowns and studies the gel-cap, turning it one way then the other curiously. Unable to tell what it is, instinctively she brings it close to her nose for a little sniff. The paper strips are peered at next, with a tilt of her head. A number preceding 'PM' - she quickly decides it's referring to time. The 'Your'… well, 'your place', maybe? But it's the word 'Kid' that draws her attention, because that's what she's looking for. Despite so, she can't draw anything conclusive from them, so it's back to the gel-cap for a closer sniff.

The liquid inside of the gel-cap isn't as fluid as water. It also isn't reminiscent of a cap from off of a factory line, so much as it appears to be the homemade sort that anyone can make with the right vegetable cellulose shells from any number of vitamin or health stores. Almost without doubt, the scent that emanates from it is blood. It's off, though. It smells.. sweet.

As soon as she figures out it's blood, Danielle holds it away abruptly in disgust. "What the hell…" She balks, but her preternatural senses do detect the oddly sweet scent that isn't usually found in blood. Frowning now as her imagination runs riot: a missing child, a blood capsule, a haggard exotic dancer? "I don't like where this is going." The redhead murmurs to herself. But having nothing else to go on, she decides to pocket the gelcap, before glancing around Marney's desk for further clues. Hmmm, her purse? Sparing another glance at the door, Danielle quickly picks up the purse and starts rifling through it.

Inside of the purse are all manner of personal belongings, most of them the sort that don't seem out of place. There's a cellphone, various forms of make-up, a tampon that hasn't been used, a decrepit-looking pack of gum, several bent cigarettes that look to have fallen out of the pack, three lighters, a small black book, a larger book that appears to be a battered copy of 'The Last Song' by Nicholas Sparks. Everything seems mostly normal, except where a pocket inside of the purse is crammed with strips of shredded paper.

The 'normal' items are bypassed, but the black book is pulled out and flipped through for a quick glance for anything out of the ordinary. But the shredded paper strips? These are emptied out on to the desk for a quick jigsaw-puzzling. Unless, of course, there are simply far too many of them to put back together…

The little black book seems to be a collection of phone numbers, most of them with names scrawled out to each side. Marney Tisdale has the handwriting of a hen. Sandwiched into the middle of it though, there is a flattened number of bills, the outer-most being just a single dollar. The strips of paper have been torn apart rather thoroughly, but not in such a way that they cannot be put back together with the right amount of time. Only a small portion of the note is assembled together once again, before the door to the dressing room is pushed open as if a parade were coming through. Practically strutting, a tall black woman shatters the silence of the room as she makes a line right for a table, "Oh /hey/ Red Rydin' Hood. You workin' tonight, gurl?". She doesn't even stop to look at the woman for more than a passing glance.

Danielle's so intent on solving the jigsaw puzzle that the unexpected arrival of another dancer makes her =jump=. She's startled, but is lucky to get an opportunity to recover her wits since the black woman barely pays her any attention. "Hey Di. Yeah, I'm working all week." She quickly fashions a casual reply, using the other woman's inattentiveness to sweep the pile of paper strips on to an open palm. The black book is slipped back into the purse, and the paper strips shoved into the pocket of her jeans along with the gelcap. "So… you notice how beat up Marney's been lately?" Danielle starts making her way back to her own dressing desk, but decides to ask the other woman.

Di kicks the chair out of her way with a strong, well-built leg, throws her purse down on the table, and then goes digging around inside of it in pursuit of whatever it is that she's looking for. The question asked of her doesn't come as a surprise, and the tall black woman shoots back a rapid response, "Guuurl, you /know/ why she looks like that. That damn man of hers. She needs t'stick her size six in his tight white ass. Stand up for herself. Dem white boys won't respec' you until /you/ respec' you. I'd do it for her. But she ain't ever asked me.". Sassy, this one, and just from sight, probably descended from Amazon stock.

Danielle makes a sad face at Di in the mirror. "She just told me she hasn't seen him in over a month. She doesn't have a new man or something, do you know?" Now that she's back at her dressing table, Danielle picks up her backpack and drops it on the table top, where she can unzip it and start unloading her make-up and 'work dress'.

The tall black woman lifts back up to her full height, tube of mascara in hand, and pulls those masculine shoulders up into a shrug, "Don't know much about it. Las' I knew, she was still wit' his abusive white ass. She'll come around. Or maybe she already did.". Di looks herself over in the mirror, stretching her arms straight up and then turning slow to admire herself in a highly narcissistic fashion, "What she needs t'do, is go an' get herself a sugar daddy that's gonna treat her right. Hell, that's what /I/ did.". At the admission of that, Di flashes Danielle a feline smile in the mirror.

The redhead turns a smirk in Di's attention. "Are you serious? I've never pegged you as a girl who needs a sugar daddy. I was actually betting you'd snag yourself a boytoy some day!" Meanwhile, she pulls a compact makeup box out of her backpack, and after a momentary consideration, Danielle slips the stolen gelcap and paper strips into the box for safekeeping. "I need to go use the little girls' room. If Marney finishes early, can you go in my place?" Already, she's heading in that direction, the box in her hand. "Thanks baby.""

"Sure thang, gurl. Take care of what you got to take care of..", comes the response as the tall black woman continues to practically undress herself with her eyes. As Danielle leaves, Di's voice trails off from over her shoulder, "Tch. Boytoy. Why can't I have both?".

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