There was a lump at the end of the bar.
A flash of red and blonde hair, black leather jacket, and impossible black and swirled green neon designs on jeans that could only come from Japan. Next to the lump was an empty pint glass and a fedora that held various small bills of money, trinkets, and the remains of a broken magical hockey stick.
The lump twitched, stirred, slid off the barstool, rummaged through his pants pockets and brought out an iridescent pearl shell. He placed it into his ear.
“Hartlan, this better be good.”
“It’s Vegas, I have a job for you.”
“I dinna need the business lass. Besides I got yer game figured out. Tis na interesting.” The mishmash of Newfoundland, Scottish and Irish accents blended together.
“I’m in a bit of a bind here.”
“You dinna realize tha meanin’ lass.” Rory sat back down on the bar stool, looked to his upturned hat, found a crumpled twenty and placed it on the bar. A pint and a sandwich appeared.
“I need your help Hartlan.”
“Work alongside ye? Wit whose dice? Got me own. Loaded them meself. Nay thanks Vegas. But ye get points fer contactin’ me like this. Nice effort, ah’ll be in touch if’n Manchester takes on-”
“I- I- for a favor.”
Hartlan stopped the pint from reaching his mouth. The bar turned and looked at this event.
“From yer hesitation lass, ye do know the meanin’ o’ that word in my world. An’ ye kinna even begin ta calculate tha’ odds on how things will change fer ye once I call in tha’ favor. Tha’ serious?”
“Lives are on the line Hartlan. And I do have the grimoire on the numbers to calculate the odds.” Vegas stated plainly. “As a bonus, I’ll give you unlimited access to my library. Just because it’s Tuesday.”
Hartlan put a finger to the shell and mouthed the word, ‘Tuesday?’
The bartender chuckled and nodded.
“Right then, I’ll be right o’er. Put tha’ kettle on.”
“You’ve got 4 hours till it happens again.”
Rory plucked the shell out of his ear, placed it into his pocket. Then sorted the contents of his hat into various pockets. He began incanting, readying the travelling charms, then heard from the bartender.
“Take that outside Canuck.”
“Sorry. Force o’ habit.”