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Given the name of a smaller bar by one of the nurses at work as a great place to go to in order to unwind and meet people, and with Jemma, that was always a big thing lately. Tense and needing someone to distract her a bit was just about always Jemma's mood and being lately, and so it wasn't much to want to go to this place on a Friday night, get a few drinks on her, hit the dance floor for a while, and maybe find someone to go home with or to take her home. By no means was that ever beneath her, and now that she was able to live a civilian life, she could actually do things. It wasn't always easy, she shied away a bit considering the absolute train wreck and a half that her love life was. She missed Will-- hell, she missed Fitz. That was a given, of course, but she missed more than just Fitz the best friend, and that was what left her stomach in knots.
Enough so that she knew she just needed a fun night to herself. For herself. And in a nice top and skirt, some nice earrings, and her hair and makeup done nice, it was about having a night for herself. To unwind after a long shift that had gone from the night before, and to not have to be Agent Jemma Simmons or Doctor Jemma Simmons. Just... Jemma Simmons. Thirty year old bachelorette without a care in the world. Of course, that would be giving off an image that was completely and utterly inaccurate past tonight, but maybe nothing needed to be serious.
It was as she arrived at the place, Ginger's, that she had noticed mostly ladies around. "Must be ladies' night..." she mused to herself with a soft sigh, heading to the bar and quickly getting her first beer for the night, looking around at the area and frowning slightly when she noticed no guys were around. So much for that plan.
And though the bar was a queer bar, more lowkey than she expected, Jemma hadn't noticed that fact, instead sitting in silence at the bar, drinking, and getting a fair number of drinks bought for her, which had Jemma all smiles the tipsier she got, appreciating how bloody kind everyone here was. Sisterhood was in full swing tonight, apparently. And it was after she had three in, a fourth was quickly delivered to her, causing Jemma to let out a tipsy giggle as she accepted it happily, looking over as a woman approached her-- the one who had bought her this drink. "Thank you so much, Miss. Everyone here is so nice. Is it ladies' night? Oh-- Jemma, it's nice to meet you," she said, offering a smile. Might as well make some nice conversation with one of the women who had been so kind as to buy her a drink, until any men showed up... if they did.
So. She'd tucked away maybe three, four shots of bourbon, and it wasn't even nine o'clock. And on top of that, she'd already gotten a girl's number. Not to mention she'd racked up at least two kisses. All in all, it was shaping up to be an interesting night.
Despite whatever reputation she may have managed to build over the course of eight years and some change, this wasn't Joanna's usual routine. She didn't really do the polyamory thing (Not that she judged those who were into it); she was much more comfortable with short-term, minimum-baggage relationships that ended amicably as soon as the spark was gone. Having multiple partners, to her, seemed... overly complicated. And her life was already plenty complicated.
Except... well, she didn't really have a partner right now, did she? Yeah, there was Mel. Maybe. Possibly. They'd definitely had fun that night, but it'd been radio silence ever since. Granted, she was just as much to blame for that, but part of it was that she wasn't sure what was going on between them. And the hilarious part of that was, normally under those circumstances, Jo would've cut loose by now. But... for some reason she couldn't bring herself to do that to Mel. And yet, that still meant she was kind of just twisting in the wind. Which was no bueno when the usual urges started rearing their heads.
Sighing, Ash slammed back her fifth shot of the night and began sidling back over to the bar counter for a refill. Fuck it, she figured. Blue had her cell number. She wanted a booty call, she could ask for one. Otherwise, Jo was going to try and enjoy herself. Which was why she was even trolling around in Ginger's in the first place. A ginger at Ginger's. There was potential for a stupid joke, but she wasn't going to be the one to make it. Moving like a dancer, the redheaded reporter slipped between other patrons across the polished blonde hardwood floors. The dimmed, warm ceiling lamps cast down their orange glow, her vest and leather jeans capturing some of it in their shine. Paired with the Black Flag t-shirt, the spiked wrist bands, and the black beanie seated atop her head, and she looked like she would've been more at home in a mosh with a red Dixie cup in her hand, as opposed to a upper middle class gay bar holding a crystal shot glass.
She reached the bar, and the barkeep (Her name was Krissy, Jo remembered) nodded to her with familiarity. Jo was actually something of a regular fixture at Ginger's, even when she wasn't cruising for a hookup on a given night. She liked the atmosphere, and the chances of her running into any creeps were pretty much reduced to zero. Well, sort of; she had no doubts that there were gay women out there who were just as dangerous as straight men had the potential to be, but the disparity in numbers between them was wide. Regardless, she liked Ginger's because it was a nice place to have a drink. And as such, the employees knew her pretty well, all considered.
"Yeah, can I get another drink, please? Make it a double, in fact." Jo requested, and Krissy smiled, grabbing a bottle of Jim Beam down from the wall, as well as a double shot glass. While the bartender busied herself pouring the drink, Joanna cast her eyes down the bar, drumming her hands against the oak counter top until she spotted somebody. Four or five stools down from where she was standing was a woman. Brown hair and eyes, cute earrings, currently in the middle of a giggle fit. Now there was somebody she'd love to get to know better. Pointing her out to Krissy, she spoke. "Pour her one, too. On my tab."
Krissy chuckled, but complied, grabbing another glass and pouring out some more bourbon. "I haven't seen her before. Been real popular tonight, though." Jo's lips curled up into a cat's smile when she heard that. "Can't say I'm surprised." The barkeep scoffed, pushing her drink towards her. "You are ridiculous, Jo. And I don't care if you mind my saying so." She said, picking up the other shot and turning to walk over to the new girl. "Go easy on her, will you?"
"No promises." Ash murmured, watching as Krissy walked over to where the brunette was sitting to give her the drink. Jo hung back for a couple minutes, not wanting to come on too strongly right out the starting gate. Once she felt that enough time had passed, she sauntered over to the empty stool next to the girl and took a seat, her pants squeaking as she got settled.
The first thing that struck Joanna was the girl's accent. British; she could definitely tell that much. Not RP. Her "th's" didn't sound like "f's," and it really wasn't all that nasally, so it wasn't Manc, either. But that still left how many accents in the Isles to pick from? The second thing she noticed about her was that the poor thing didn't really seem to know where she was. Jo had to struggle not to laugh, or at least crack a grin at the woman's seeming ignorance.
"Yeah, I guess y'could say it's ladies' night." She replied ambiguously, resting a hand atop her head to keep her hat on as she rocked back her bourbon. A sigh escaped her lips as the drink went down the pipe and hit her stomach. "And don't mention it. Figured the best way to welcome a fresh face was to buy 'em a drink, y'know?" Setting her glass down, her eyes met Jemma's, and she flashed her a friendly smile. "I'm Joanna. Y'can call me 'Jo,' if ya want, Jemma."
Twirling in her seat so her back was leaning up against the edge of the bar, Ash crossed one leg over the other. "So, um, I hope I'm not bein' too forward sayin' this, but I like your accent. It's cute. You from England?"
The drink she wasn't given wasn't necessarily her taste-- it was a bit too strong and harsh for her, but at the same time, Jemma was never one to turn down a free drink-- something plenty of people had learned at Sci-Tech when they wanted to get some "quality" time with her. And even tonight, though she was rather oblivious to just about all of the advances made towards her from plenty of women at the bar-- and also saw it as just women being nice and sweet to one of their own.
So she took her drink a few sips at a time, and was all smiles and giggles while Jo was talking, not a single care in the world at those moments. She wouldn't be working the next day and would have the whole day to sleep off the inevitable hangover she would be having before heading in for her shift. She was greeted with one of the same comments that had been sent her way plenty of times-- she was a fresh face, and honestly, with this kind of hospitality, she wouldn't mind showing up to this place more often! "Gosh, everyone is so great-- next drink is on me!" she told her excitedly. "If this is what ladies night is like, I can't wait to come here another night."
Even though Jemma was starting to reach her limit for the night, that still wouldn't stop her from partaking in some more alcohol to become an even bigger mess than usual. "Well it's nice to meet you, Jo!" she said with another light giggle before going back to the drink that Joanna had paid for her. As Joanna had adjusted herself, Jemma followed suit in turning her stool to more easily face Joanna, crossing her ankles as she held her drink with both hands, listening to her and nodding along, giggling once again when she mentioned the accent, shaking her head. "Oh, no! Why would that be forward? Thank you! I like your accent, too! It's very American!" she said with a wide smile and another small giggle fit. Jo was very nice so far. She nodded, "Yes! Bristol, actually! Where are you from? Around here?" she asked. She had spent years upon years in America now, but there was still a fair bit she didn't really know. "This bar is so quaint and lovely, I wonder why I haven't been here before..."
A bartender (Not Krissy, a different one who Jo didn't know on a first name basis) came back around to top off her bourbon while the cute British girl seated next to her expressed no small amount of enthusiasm in regards to the alleged greatness of Ginger's patronage. And then proceeded to announce that she was buying the next round. Whether she meant just for the two of them, or for the entire bar, Joanna wasn't a hundred percent certain. But if Jemma was willing to live with the very noticeable dent in her savings account, she wasn't about to judge her. So instead, Joanna flashed her a grin and tipped her drink, the glass in her hand chiming as its rim knocked against her front teeth.
She twisted the streak of blue which poked out from underneath her hat around her finger, gently bobbed her head to music only she could hear. No two ways about it, Jo loved Friday nights. She didn't work the weekend editions of the Bulletin. Not in the office, anyways. Sure, she'd chip away at articles that needed to be ready to hit the presses by the allotted deadline, but that was decidedly low pressure. No, Fridays meant she had free reign to go hog wild. It was like coming up for air after days of drowning. And she had felt like she'd been drowning recently; between Doom, the Butcher, and this new killer running around, she'd been up to her neck in heinous shit. So to say that she relished the chance to just drink, flirt, mingle, and maybe-hopefully head back home hand in hand with another woman would be an understatement.
There was a temptation to make a crack about it always being Ladies' Night at Ginger's. Couch the truth in some ambiguous humor. But the imp in her wanted to string Jemma along, see how long it took her to cotton on to the fact that this was, in point of fact, not a co-ed bar, so to speak. And when she had five, edging in on six shots of firewater sloshing around in her belly, the imp always got what it wanted. So instead, Ash gave the woman an ambiguous smirk. "That sounds like a good idea." She said, her tone tinged with only the lightest hint of whimsy.
Joanna sucked down the rest of her bourbon, rolled her shoulders as the liquor went down, her vest creaking from the movement. The comment about her own accent being "very American" caused her to laugh out loud, Adam's apple bobbing up and down as the air left her throat. "That's me. As American as blue jeans and Lucky Strikes." Not that she'd ever touched a pack of Luckys in her life. American Spirit had been her cancer stick of choice, back when she still indulged. And the idea of referring to herself as being definitively American, even in jest, was a laugh; ask some of the politicians she spoke to on the job and they'd say she was un-American, and a pinko Commie, to boot. And those were just the ones old enough to have shook McCarthy's hand in their prime. "Still, good to know my voice ain't gonna make your brain start leakin' out your ears."
Ash spun in her seat again and uncrossed her legs. There was a chorus of squeaking, reminiscent of a balloon rubbing against somebody's scalp, as leather rubbed against leather. Her eyes lit up with recognition when Jemma revealed she hailed from Bristol. "South West, right?" She asked, silently confident in the fact that she was, in fact, right. Jo had gone through a Brit rock phase in middle school, had to learn everything about her favorite bands that hailed from England; where they were from, where they recorded, so on and so on. She knew for a fact that the band Specimen was Bristol-native. Funnily enough, her Brit rock phase had coincided with her goth rock phase. Upon being asked whether she was a local, she shook her head. "God no. I'm from Jersey, originally. Lil' piece of nowhere called Lodi. Ask anybody here, not droppin' the accent is a dangerous life choice. New Yorkers hear it an' it's like when a shark smells blood in the water." She chuckled upon saying that. "But at least I ain't from Boston." The one thing that brought New Yorkers and New Jerseyans together in near-perfect harmony: shitting on Southies and Townies and the fuckin' Red Sox. Jo wondered if ill feelings toward the Big Apple had a similar effect on Boston and Providence.
Soon, Jemma was once again musing about the welcoming atmosphere of Ginger's, wondering why she hadn't been told about it before. Once again, Jo was tempted to just come out and say it; "It's a gay bar, girl. You're up to your gills in lesbians and bi chicks right now." And once again, her inner imp quashed all that. "Eh. Place has only been around for a coupla years." She said with a shrug. "So ya been in the city long?"
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