"I'm not sure there's a huge demand out there for voguing preachers."
<NYC> Mockingbird - Tribeca
With blacked-out windows and a tasteful but plain facade, the Mockingbird doesn't look like much at all from the outside. You'd probably miss it if you weren't specifically searching for it, and once inside you'd be informed the establishment is members-only--on a technicality, since membership costs next to nothing. Inside, the cozy club is styled after an early 20th century lounge, complete with vintage furniture, an antique long bar, and live music nightly. All of the employees and many of the regulars habitually dress in a melange of '30s and '40s fashion. The dance floor is not large, just an irregular space between tables and booths, but there's almost always someone cutting a rug.
The music is vibrant, jazzy, a trio of musicians with a crooning singer whose carefully slicked down curls and beaded tassel-y dress has certainly been chosen in keeping with the theme. Jax is making his way back to a side table with a drink in each hand, weaving gracefully through the others milling about the edges of the dance floor. His suit is a lightweight cornflower bluelinen, wide striped, wide lapelled; its color matches the blue streaks in his black hair. He sets the sidecar down in front of Ryan -- his own drink is just a lemonade, tall and sweet and icy and free of alcohol. "C'mon you already know the guitar," he's saying with aggressive cheer as he drops back into a seat beside his friend. "That barely requires skill."
The music grows subtly more muffled as Jax returns to the table, the small bubble Ryan has created around them keeping their words private but not entirely dampening the ambient noises. Beside Jax, Ryan has a deep purple zoot suit, pinstriped in slender silver. He's removed his similarly purple Trilby, spinning it lazily around one hand until Jax sets the drink down. He sets the hat aside, drawing the glass closer with a snort. "You're a huge fucking comfort. First I'd like to be able to finish a drink without spilling it on myself and then I'll feel like I might have a shot at fretwork." For now he's sticking a straw into his booze, though. "Your club hiring? I make a pretty decent bartender."
"You'd last half a shift, skip off to the bathroom to bone the first dude who makes eyes at you and get fired." Jax stirs at his lemonade with the little paper umbrella that's been stuck into it. "I bet Xavier's would hire you. We don't have any standards. You could be --" He squints at Ryan, thoughtfully. "School mascot."
Ryan presses a hand to his chest, his eyes wide. "You think it would take half a shift for someone to hit on me? I'm wounded." Not, it seems, wounded by the subsequent implication -- that suggestion just earns a bright grin. "I could MC all the school dances. Just the way I was used to growing up. Wait till I'm chiding all the kids to leave room for Jesus." His accent grows markedly more pronounced on this last bit.
Jax's nose crinkles up with his quick smile. He takes a swig of his lemonade, shakes his head. "It's a gay bar, five people would try to pick you up before you'd made it in the door." He drops his hand to Ryan's, the chill condensation from his lemonade temporarily bringing the fierce heat of his skin down to a more standard temperature. His fingers curl through Ryan's, turning the other man's hand over on the table. "There's a whole lot that you could do, you know. I don't mean to pretend that makes it no easier, Lord only knows what kind of mess I'd be if I couldn't paint no more. But it ain't all you're good at."
Ryan dips his head, taking a long pull from his drink. His fingers curl back through Jax's, squeezing tight. "Oh, I'm good at plenty," his light reply is a stark contrast to the fierce grip, "but I'm not sure there's a huge demand out there for voguing preachers."
"Are you kidding? This is New York. You start high camp church and you'll have a throng of parishioners." Jax's grimace is fleeting. "Just please don't go starting no kind of cult, you'd be a downright terrifying cult leader."
"You've seen my fan mail, man, cult leader would barely be a career change." Ryan takes another large swallow of his drink, then stands. He pulls Jax up with him, unlacing their fingers but only to shift his grip, hand clasping the other man's to tug him along. "C'mon. You're not all dolled up just to sit and watch the dancing."