The story was the same as it usually was in Crystal Cove, Massachusetts. Demons popped up, the Slayers did their job and annihilated the monsters as per regulations. Things went south and yet the slayers did what they could to protect the city. And though they succeeded there were some things that were unavoidable. Including the shouting as a young man darted out of the main office, slamming the door behind him, glad to be out of there. Wearing a long sleeved purple shirt and black pants, the shirt had a large white cross emblem on the front. The voice of a mightily pissed off old man was still echoing after him even through the door.
"Wow…why get so pissed off about that?"
Dakk Tribal sighed of relief though. "I think now would be a good time to Still he smiled knowing his work day was technically over. Now he had one last place to go before he would go and rest.
Though the Order of Magdalene was based in a church and had been organized by it there were some things in the place one would not expect to find nor thought would be possible to find. No doubt a bar would be the last thing anyone would expect to find in a church basement, but sure enough there was an establishment known as Paradiso located there. A half dozen wooden tables and chairs and a long wooden counter with a large silver cross hanging behind it. The look of the bar hadn't changed since the early eighties, but it was tidy thanks to the guidelines put in place by considerate managers. While it was nothing one would go out of their way to find to party at it served its purpose for those slayers needing a break or a drink to take the pressure off their shoulders.
Not a restaurant by any means, just a relaxing spot for the war weary slayers.
The twenty-one year old veteran slayer went straight to the bar and took a seat, not surprised to see no one managing the place. It was well before sunrise and as far as he knew he was the only one on the late night shift.
Taking a seat on the stood Dakk tapped the wooden counter with his fingers, patiently waiting for someone to come out. He could do it himself if need be but before he could even think of that, he saw someone come out from the back room.
His eyes went slightly wide with interest at who it was. "Serenity? What are you doing up at this hour?"
A beautiful young woman, late teens or early twenties with long curly red hair, wearing a white and pink t-shirt with the Latin word Veritas on the front as well as bleached white denim short shorts. Her face was as happy go lucky as Dakk recalled ever seeing her.
She shrugged her shoulders, "Part time thing. Besides, I got done with a late night training session with Zeig and Father Nathan. They drove the recruits hard and most of them retired for the night. Some wanted to come here for a drink and I got some barista practice in." Serenity Christopher, daughter of the previous head of the Order and rookie slayer, wasn't known to be a night owl. That and though he had known her since he was a toddler, Dakk had never seen her serve at the Paradiso. She grabbed a double shot glass and set it on the counter. "You seem to have come here for a drink too."
"Just got done with a patrol of Lincoln Square. No doubt you heard how my report went."
He was referring to the shouting he had endured from his superior earlier.
"Yeah," Serenity smiled. She knew the details of the incident from the Pastor but she wanted to hear Dakk's side of the story. "Bu I'd like to hear it in your words. What happened?"
"I was on my motorbike chasing a pair of runaway demons through downtown, avoiding pedestrians and trying to take them down. I managed to force them into Lincoln Square and after a short battle I got them…all at the cost of an ice cream parlor and three parked cars. Not to mention damage to a monument of that mayor from the fifties. No one got hurt 'cept for me getting a few cuts and bruises on my arms but I still got an earful from Sister Rose and Father Wade." Sharing incident reports between slayers was normally frowned upon, since some were sensitive missions, but as Dakk and Serenity had been working together for five years he didn't give a giggle and held nothing back as a response.
Serenity poured whiskey into the shot glass, stopping just shy of the rim. "Sounds like a typical day in the line of duty for you."
Dakk smirked playfully, "How so?"
"No one got hurt and you caused thousands of dollars of damage to property. Not to mention you got a scolding from management. Just another day for you." She went to stand in front of him and set the glass down in front of him. "Here's your reward."
Taking the glass Dakk didn't even have to ask what kind of drink she gave him. She knew his tastes in liquor. He raised his glass, "To God and Mary Magdalene."
He drank it in one go. The cinnamon flavor was sweet to the tongue and it sent a jolt up his back.
Setting the glass back on the counter. "By the way, Miss Christopher, is it legal for you to be a barista at your age?"
He wasn't close to be being drunk but his humor was always a trait of his that Serenity appreciated and admired. She knew he was joking around. So she responded with one of her own. "I don't know, Dakk is it legal for you to be out past curfew?"
The slayer chuckled, "Good point." He traced the edge of the glass with his finger. "Think I could have another?"
"I'm not buzzed in the slightest. I'll also be heading to bed once I leave here. I'll sleep it off."
Trusting him Serenity took the glass and decided to take the opportunity to show off her skills. "Okay, but I want you to taste test a drink I came up with recently."
Sitting up Dakk nodded, "Sure. What is it?"
She moved with such speed and precision Dakk knew she had put a lot of time and effort into practicing her skills. Liquor shaken, not stirred with a minor amount of ice added. Dakk didn't know how the process worked nor had he felt the need to know any fancy drink combination. All he knew was that by the time she was done, Serenity gave him a drink that had a blue color and some ice in it.
"Here." She handed the glass to him. "I call it the Saint."
Thinking it was a simple title Dakk took the drink in his hand. The blue color was a bit off putting to him, reminding him of those blue Jolly Rancher candies but he thought little of it otherwise. 'Don't want to disappoint her.' He shrugged his shoulders, "Well you only live once." He took a sip.
The sweetened taste was more powerful than the whiskey had been, like a fruit cocktail with a mountain of sugar added to it. Yet once the initial contact passed and the drink went down his throat Dakk couldn't help but take another sip. Then another, and finally a third that finished off the drink entirely.
"Wow…" he said as he set the glass back on the counter. "Holy mother of God that was sweet." Then he added with an unapologetic flirty tone and looked her right in the eye, "Beautiful, just like you."
Serenity was bashful at his sincerity and a noticeable blush as red as her hair came over her cheeks. He was a known flirter, and no one knew that more than her. "Ha, thank you."
Getting up from his seat, knowing if he had another he would have a dizzy spell, Dakk decided to make his exit. "Well, I best get to bed. The cycle of doing God's work never ends."
She took the empty glass and started to clean it while the music on the jukebox went to a slow rock song from a 80s hair band. "I agree."
"But it's all worth it." He took a few twenty dollar bills out of his front pocket and set them on the counter in front of her. "Here you go."
"Dakk you don't have to pay for the drinks."
"I know. That's your tip."
Though there was a limit on how much people were free to drink, there was no price on any of it thus money wasn't necessary. Knowing she wouldn't accept it otherwise, Dakk pushed the cash towards his friend.
She knew he wouldn't take no for an answer Serenity smiled and took the money. "I suppose I owe you a favor?"
"Well, if you want to be nice I wouldn't mind some of that strawberry cheesecake you make," he replied, unable to hold back the biggest grin Serenity had ever seen. It was a smile that made everyone around him, even those with a stone heart, appreciate having Dakk around. Serenity was a good cook, having helped make the meals for charities and the like, but her personal desserts were a favorite with her close friends. That meant Dakk was at the top when it came to taste testing. Serenity couldn't turn him down. "Sure. I'll make one this week."
Dakk immediately was ecstatic. "Yes! Thanks, you're the best."
"No problem," she looked at the clock on the wall. "Well, you best better go rest before your next shift." Then she added, "As well as get the liquor out of your system."
The corner of his mouth curved into a smirk, "Yes, ma'am." He got off the stool and grabbed the sword he had brought with him and held it in his left hand. "Good night, serenity."
She looked her close friend in the eye, seeing how tired he was, grateful he was going to rest. "Good night Dakk."
He gave her a wave before turning and walking out the door.
There was work to be done, and while there was no rest for the wicked, for every slayer rest was important. Even for a hard worker like Dakk Tribal.