Legend of the Water Glass: A Manny Prequel

When I learned the first scene where Manny talk to each other was known as the Water Glass Scene, it flashed this quote into my head and the story soon followed. I hope you enjoy it.

Robansuefarm

Legend of the Water Glass: A Manny Prequel
by Robansuefarm

“It was only by accident that he had put his lips just where [she] had put hers….Nevertheless, it had a curious significance for her. They two had drunk from the same cup. She remembered idly that an old aunt of hers used to say that when two people did this their after-lives would be linked in some fashion, whether for good or ill.”
– L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley

“So this is Millennium,” Danny thought, as he walked up to the front door. It had been hard to get a parking spot, the crowd was spilling out the door and the music blared. It looked like the place was doing very well. It hadn’t been open very long and Danny had never been there yet. He liked predictability in a club, someplace not in the first waves of “in”-ness, a place where they knew him by name, said “Mr. Santos” in a respectful tone, took him to his regular table and brought him his regular drink with a crisp, “Your usual, Mr. Santos.” Only the girl changed, almost every night he went out. However, this time he was alone.

His brother Mick was working at this club now. Mick had said this place had “potential.” Mick never used a word like that and it had made Danny nervous. Mick had his own way of doing things. There had been the beginnings of quiet rumbles around town. Mick was escalating his drug pushing and use. It made Danny sick. He had no use for drugs at all and once he finally took over, the Santos family would never be involved with drug deals again, but he couldn’t get Mama to see things his way. There had also been a little instance of a shiner that Mick had attempted to hide, but failed to a couple of weeks before the club opened. If there was going to be trouble over whatever “potential” problems Mick was planning at the club, Danny preferred to head it off before it happened if he could. That’s why he was here tonight and for the very first time, Danny Santos stepped into Millennium.

***

Michelle Bauer was on another date with Jesse at Millennium. If you could call it date. Technically Jesse was working as he was almost every night. He still seemed a little uncomfortable in his skin in the role of manager that Drew had pushed on him. He had not yet learned to delegate and was doing way more of the work himself than he should be, Michelle knew. Drew was no help with this because her natural good business sense was being overridden by her constant scheming to get Jesse’s time and attention. As much as Drew Jacobs wanted Millennium to succeed, and Michelle knew that Drew had invested a lot of herself in making it succeed, Drew wanted Jesse more. She was quite willing to use whatever it took to get his attention, even if it meant encouraging his newbie obsession with micromanaging everything that went on in the club. For what seemed to be the 100th time that night, Drew had “borrowed” Jesse for a pressing “business decision.” Really it wasn’t even Drew’s stunts that were the problem. It was Jesse’s reactions to them. No matter what Drew did, Jesse seemed to make excuses for her. He stayed friends with her and even would get mad at MICHELLE for her reactions to these stunts. “It’s only Drew,” Jesse would say as if that explained everything. What was up with that? She kept telling herself that she was over reacting due to her insecurities due to her father’s infidelity to Maureen, Marcus’s infidelity to Dehlia, Blake’s infidelity to Ross, Holly’s infidelity to well, everyone,…. “Stop it, Michelle!,” she told herself sternly. Michelle was practically vibrating with irritation now. She had had enough.

A new song came over the speakers and Michelle didn’t even hear or care what the new song was. She went over to Jesse. “Sorry Drew, but I really NEED to steal Jesse back.” Michelle flashed a killer smile. “I love this song and we just have to dance to it.” Michelle had won this battle, Jesse had obediently followed her out on the floor and taken her in his arms, but as she peered over Jesse’s shoulder at Drew, Michelle was certain this wasn’t the final battle.

***

Danny heard the door of Millennium go closed behind him and he quickly scanned the room around him just as he had always been trained to do. Small tables cluttered the bar area all around him. They were all full tonight. “Well, Mick was right about how hot the club was,” Danny thought. To his left, someone had done a rather amateurish take on Edward Hopper’s “Night Hawks” as a mural on the wall. To his right,  was an L shaped bar and some kind of stupid curtain blocking a doorway at one end through which most of the music was pouring.  A second door was closed behind the bar area. Three possible exits. In his world you always had to be very aware of that kind of thing. Danny detected no possible threats and no one who he knew in the young, mostly college age or just out of college crowd. So where was Mick?

The door behind the bar opened and Mick came through it, carrying a plastic industrial dishwasher tray of clean glasses. He set it on the bar and began to put the clean glasses away beneath the bar. This both pleased and worried Danny. He was glad that Mick actually seemed to working, something he hadn’t done in quite awhile, but Danny knew that if Mick was well and truly on his game he should have spotted Danny the second he came through the door. Mick not being aware of his surroundings could very well mean he was back using his own product again. A very dangerous practice. As little as Danny tried to know about the drug side of the business he knew a dealer who became his own customer usually ended up dead sooner rather than later. Danny frowned as Mick continued not to notice his presence across the room.

Mick was shifting the glasses quickly and expertly. They’d all learned many of the skills of the restaurant business working summers in their uncle’s restaurant in California. Danny knew Mick could be a good bartender, but why he suddenly wanted to be one continued to be the worry. Danny pasted on a smile and slowly moved across the room towards Mick wondering just how close he could actually get without Mick spotting him. The answer did nothing to put Danny’s fears at rest. He actually had to speak to Mick before he drew his attention.

“Hey, barkeep, what’s it take to get a little service around here?” Danny asked in a silky, arrogant, slightly insulting tone.

That did it. Mick’s eyes shot up and met Danny’s, relaxing into a smile when he recognized who was speaking to him. He took just a second to long to do so and between that and his dilated pupils, Danny knew he was either using again or at least more buzzed than he should be out in public.

“Bro,” Mick replied.”So you finally came to check my little club out, did you?”

“Your club?,” Danny asked. “I thought you just worked here.”

Mick waved the thought away as a mere technicality. “I’ve got a vision for the future of this club. And it’s going to be fantastic, you’ll see.”

“And the owner sees things the same way?”

“She will. Don’t worry, little Drew won’t be able to resist ‘The Pulsating Mick Machine.’” Mick wasn’t liking the direction the conversation was going and he wasn’t about to run his plans past his little brother. “For right now, I’m on the clock, so…” Mick drew himself up to attention and clicked his heels together, mocking the kind of service he knew Danny liked. “The usual Mr. Santos.”

Danny rolled his eyes, “Sure.”

Mick pulled a frosted glass out of the under the counter freezer. He put some ice in it and then pulled a bottle of high class bottled water and cracked it open. He poured half of it in the glass and then reached in the refrigerator unit and pulled out a lemon wedge and stuck it on the edge of the glass. He sat both the bottle and the glass before Danny. “There you go, Bro!”

Danny’s voice dripped with so much sarcasm it could almost have been Ben Warren’s, “Gee, Mick, however did you know.” It definitely was not Danny’s usual.

“Don’t thank me. It’s good for you and it’s on the house. Bartender’s treat.” Mick grinned at Danny, pleased with himself.

Maybe things weren’t quite as bad with Mick as he feared if Mick was capable of laughing and joking and he seemed to be doing OK with the job. Danny avoided the lemon wedge on the side of the glass and took a long pull on the water. It actually tasted pretty good. Maybe he had been hitting the hard stuff a little too often himself lately. He heard from his memory Father Tomas’s voice intone, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Maybe he was overreacting to Mick’s situation. He could give it some time to see how it would play out.

Danny sat down his glass and as soon as it touched the bar top, Mick grabbed the water bottle and opening it, refilled the glass so it looked untouched. “Got to keep in practice to get those tips,” he joked. “Hey, on second thought, you know your way around a bar. You can earn the water.”

“All right. What do you want me to do?” Danny asked with an exaggerated sigh. It felt good to be bantering with his brother again.

“You can take this tray and stick it in the back.” Mick handed Danny the now empty dishwasher tray and pointed to the door, Danny had seen Mick come through earlier. “Put it down on the counter in there and then take the steps down. I pulled about half a dozen liquor bottles for restocking earlier and you can bring them up for me.” Danny gave him his patented Santos salute and picked up the tray and headed to the door, leaving the water where he had been standing at the end of the bar near the curtained doorway.

Mick moved down the other side of the bar and opened the door for Danny.  Once Danny was through, Mick closed the door again and let his gaze wander around the room. It WAS his club. He’d see to that. Poor little rich girl Drew wouldn’t know what hit her. To him this was more than just some little sideline. It was the cornerstone of his future. Mama (“The Boss”) had made it quite plain that Mick would never have a role in running the Santos organization. He was good enough to do their dirty work, but she didn’t think he was smart enough to run things. Well, maybe he’d never be Joe College like his little brother had been, but Mick was plenty street smart he knew and the coke he’d been snorting had just made him a little sharper. If he didn’t take too much. He knew he’d overdone it that night before he went to the docks or that “Uncle Nutso” would never had been able to beat him up and take the blackmail tape. He still couldn’t believe he’d listened to Ben and not made a back up. He must have been a little too high that day, too. Still they had been incidental. His real future was here at Millennium. He was already dealing coke from behind the bar. Soon he’d move out into other drugs, he’d been debating whether an old standby like heroin or LSD would do better with this crowd or some of the new designer drugs they’d been coming out with that these stupid, rich, “respectable” college kids could convince themselves were just a little dangerous, but not a “real drug.”

The next step would be prostitution. That Selena Davis said she was out of “the life” now, but that never lasted long, did it, and if it took a little physical reminder of men and women’s relative places in the pecking order, well, he was just the man for the job. She was already working there and once he pulled her back in, she could help him recruit some luscious newbies from the college girl customers. A good hooker always could spot another girl who’d be willing to be one. Maybe he’d even get Drew out turning tricks for top of the line customers. She already dressed the part. Of course he’d bag her himself first. He had to get her to stop moping over this idiot Jesse. He was beginning to think eventually he’d have to take him out. For the moment though, having a complete idiot for an “official” manager was playing right into Mick’s hands, so he’d leave it alone until the time was right. Then he’d go after that looker Michelle. Maybe he’d take both of them to bed at once, blond and dark, short and tall, feisty and slutty. Yeah Michelle and Drew sounded like the perfect version of a double-decker sandwich to Mick. He’d build his own Santos Empire and it would all start right here at Millennium.

***

Michelle had actually kept Jesse’s attention for three whole dances before Drew had come up with another excuse to talk to him again. However, it seemed to Michelle that he’d been way too happy to go when she did.  Michelle couldn’t go on just standing there waiting. She was so thirsty. She needed a drink. Michelle pushed her way through the curtain into the bar area. She stopped short when she saw Mick was the only one on duty. There wasn’t another bartender or waitress in sight.

She’d avoided Mick like the plague ever since he gave her that creepy line about a perfect face. Mick was at the other end of the bar, looking totally lost in his own little world and Michelle sure didn’t want to be the one to bring him back to this one. Just then she spotted a glass of water, perfectly poured, waiting on the end of bar. Michelle figured Mick had gotten it ready for some customer. “Oh well,” she thought. “He can always pour another one and the least Drew owes me is a bottle of water.” Michelle picked up the glass and bottle and nipped back behind the curtain to the dance area. She found a place to sit on the couch looking out at the dance floor. Drew and Jesse were nowhere in sight. “Great, Drew found a way to get Jesse alone in the office or stockroom. Just peachy!”

Carefully avoiding the lemon wedge, Michelle put her mouth to the water glass and pulled a long drink from it. Her lips had, by chance, touched the very spot where Danny’s had been when he drank from the same glass. Suddenly, Michelle felt a tiny thrill run through her, as if she had somehow received a shock of static electricity, but she hadn’t moved or touched anything else when she felt it. “Where did that come from?” she wondered.

***

“Where did that come from?” Danny wondered. He’d been taking a step on the wooden stairs, his arms full of the bottles Mick had wanted when he felt a tiny spark of static electricity. He should have been grounded. He didn’t understand at all. He finished carrying the bottles upstairs and when confronted with the closed door and his full arms, he’d kicked at the door to let Mick know he’d returned.

Mick had still been standing at the door, lost in his dream world where he had already accomplished everything he wanted to at Millennium, where drugs and prostitutes were at every table, there was gambling in that big now empty basement (it was big enough to hold a second club, he thought with a laugh), and Michelle and Drew were fighting to see which one could give him the most pleasure in bed. The look on Mick’s face had kept more people than Michelle from disrupting his fantasy.  Mick heard the kicking and opened the door for his brother, somewhat sheepishly realizing that he’d been out of it for awhile if Danny was back already. He really was starting to use a little too much, he had to remember to cut back….. a little bit.

The customers were glad to see someone else behind the bar and Danny was pressed into service helping Mick catch up on the drink orders he’d missed while he was daydreaming. Finally there were no more orders and Danny went to retrieve his water, but it was gone. Danny shrugged. He faced the curtain that blocked his view to the dance floor.

***

Michelle drained the water glass, refilled it from the bottle, and drained it again. She left the empty glass and the bottle on the coffee table. This was it. She’d had it. Michelle stood up and strode towards the curtain that blocked her view to the bar area.

***

Danny started to reach for the curtain. The music was great and he was a good dancer. Then he hesitated, he didn’t want Mick to think he checking up on him before he was actually having to. Maybe it would be just as well to wait for another time. Mick seemed OK, but something told him this wouldn’t be his only visit to Millennium.  As he turned away a stray thought popped into his head that whatever started the static charge he felt before was right behind that curtain and that he should look for it. “What a strange thought.” He shook the thought out of his head and turned away, but still when he caught a movement of the curtain out of the corner of his eye, he turned back to face it.

***

Michelle’s hand had actually fallen on the curtain and started to move it, when she felt a hand on her arm. “Gee, Michelle, I’m sorry I took so long with Drew, but I promise the rest of the evening will be all about you.” Michelle was only partially mollified by Jesse’s little speech, but she dropped the curtain and allowed Jesse to lead her back towards the dance floor. She looked back over her shoulder, somewhere in a corner of her mind a tiny voice was saying she should have gone through the curtain that something important was just on the other side. Michelle shook the thought away.

***

The motion of the curtain stopped. Danny turned back toward the door and giving Mick another Santos salute, he headed toward the door. It was still early enough that if he’d hurried, he could probably still phone Ray before lights out at the seminary and he wanted someone to talk about what to do about Mick. Should he do something to intervene or give it some more time? He just didn’t know.

***

And even if the curtain never opened that night, two lives were linked forever after for ill or for good with a sip from a water glass.

UPDATED May 14 2016: Preparing to reblog this I re-read it and caught a couple of typos and added my signature block.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Legend of the Water Glass: A Manny Prequel”

  1. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Revisiting one of my favorite fanfics I’ve written.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: