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I Spy - Two Spies Walk Into a Bar...


New York City, 1999

The sun had set hours before, but the city streets were still radiating the heat of the day. The sidewalk was not very crowded, only a few people still on their way home from work or on their way out for some fun. Through the scattered crowds, a man and a woman made their way down the block.

"What was the name of the place we're looking for again?" said the man, looking over at his companion.

"Ah....some club called Midnight," she said, checking a note she pulled from her purse. "It should be somewhere on the next block, Tim."

"Wish we'd realized that this wasn't the trendiest part of town we were heading for. I'm feeling like we're a bit out of place..." Timothy McHale ran a quick glance over the two of them. He was dressed in khakis and a polo shirt, while his partner, Sue Martin, was wearing a red dress. Not too dressy, but still, a bit more upscale than the rest of the people he saw around them on the street. They stood out. This bothered Tim, who generally made it a practice not to be noticed.

Noticing that Sue had stopped, Tim realized that they had reached their destination. Sue opened the door, and Tim winced as the wall of sound hit them like an explosion. As they entered the dark and smoky club, stepping past a large bouncer wearing all leather, he muttered to himself, "Yeah, definitely a bit out of place...."


You've been set up one too many times
The perfect victim for the perfect crime
You left yourself wide open to the pain
So close your eyes now
You're out walkin' in the rain


The music was so loud that it took some effort for him to make out the lyrics. As his eyes adjusted to the low light, he saw that there was a bar off to the right, and at the back, across a crowded sea of small tables, was a small dance floor, and a stage, where he could make out a wild looking woman growling into the mike. Sue, he noticed, was heading towards the bar, so he headed off in the same direction.


You've got a burning desire to be The Victim
You're bleeding from the soul
You're hurting from the heart
Things you can't be told are gonna tear you apart


As he got to the bar, he could hear Sue practically having to yell to the bartender to make herself heard.

"Guinness?"

The man behind the bar just looked at her.

"Glenfiddich, neat?"

Still nothing.

"Johnny Walker Black?"

The man frowned at her. She sighed and turned away, as Tim ordered a couple of Buds. "Remind me why we're here again?" she asked, rolling her eyes at Tim's choice of drinks.

"We're here," he said, as he handed her a beer, "because we need to get a hold of Shadowcat, and we can't reach Miss H... Kristen told us that if we couldn't reach her any other way, that we could find a contact of hers here."


Your choice of lovers, never very bright
Your father worried, but even he gave up the fight
You always think their hearts are made of gold
And you're the savior, to coax the warmth out of the cold


Turning to the bartender, he yelled, "Hey! We need to talk to Razor...any idea where we can find her?" Shoulda figured on a place like this, with a name like that... he thought to himself.

The man behind the bar looked amused at Tim's question. "You're not from around here are you? Try the stage...," he said, waving over Tim's shoulder.

Surprised, the two spies turned and gave the singer a more careful examination. She was tall, probably a few inches shorter than six feet. Dressed in dark leather pants and boots, and a dark blue tank top, her hair spiky and in disarray, she gave an overall impression of hostility and barely-restrained violence as she stalked around the stage.


You've got a burning desire to be The Victim
You're bleeding from the soul
You're hurting from the heart
Things you can't be told are gonna tear you apart

Cause you're The Victim!



Tim winced again, as the shouted words, and the screaming guitar solo that followed began to give him a throbbing headache. He noticed that Sue didn't seem to mind the volume, although she didn't seem fond of her drink, based on the dirty look she gave him when she sipped at it. How can this get any better? Tim wondered...

After one more repeat of the chorus, the song ended, and Razor disappeared backstage. "Yer lucky that her set was almost over," said the bartender. He picked up a phone, and after a couple seconds said, "Couple people out here lookin' for ya. I don't know, some yuppy loser, and a British chick.... ya, whatever." The man turned back to Tim. "She'll be right out," he said, and wandered towards the other end of the bar.

A couple minutes later, they could see the woman come out of a side door, and head over towards the bartender. They talked for a moment, and then the man pointed to the two spies. Razor nodded to the bartender and then started towards them. She moved with a strong, predatory pace, and Tim had a hard time keeping a smile off his face. Hmmm... she is kinda hot.... maybe she'd like to get together for drinks sometime...

The smile deflated a bit when Razor glanced at him briefly, and then turned her eyes on Sue.

"Well, hello there." The smile she turned on Sue made the Brit kind of nervous. "I always love it when Kenny tells me that a pretty lady is asking for me..." . Razor waved over at the barkeep. "Hey! Another drink for the lady!" She glanced dismissively at Tim, who was having a hard time keeping his eyebrows from hitting the ceiling. "And one for her friend, I suppose...."

"Sooo..." the singer said, creeping a little closer to Sue, "where do you wanna go? I know a great little club down in the Village. They won't let your boyfriend in, though."

Sue choked on her drink, and stumbled back a step. "He is NOT my boyfriend!"

"Even better...," Razor said with a grin....


Epilogue

The next day...

There was a knock on the hotel room door. Sue looked out the peephole, and then unlocked the door, and stood aside. Kristen nodded to Sue as she entered, and gave Tim a brief hello when she saw him by the window. Walking further into the room, she turned to Sue and said with a smirk, "You made an impression on Razor. She said you were kinda cute."

"Oh God." Sue covered her face with her hand, and Tim suddenly felt the need to cough.

"What's the matter, McHale? Disappointed that she wasn't charmed by your smile?" Kristen turned to Sue, who was now chuckling a little. "Don't worry about her. I think that attitude of hers is mostly an act. You'd never recognize her out of her stage makeup. She's a completely different person."

"Ah....I take it you know each other outside of work?" Sue asked.

"Yeah. We hang out sometimes when nothing's going on...." Kristen sat down at the table and said with a grin, "Hey, I heard this great joke last night...."

Two spies walk into a bar....