A cozy bar sat tucked away in a dark corner of the street, passed by many, but not for any negative reason. The laughter, chatter, and music drifting from the interior sounded so homey, it felt nearly intrusive to approach and break the spell. a light blanket of snow was beginning to cover the ground, and the streetlights reflected off it, tiny crystals of light bouncing around the ground. New York City, city of dreams, had never looked prettier. Everyone liked to talk about Central Park, or Times Square, but this was the real treasure. The diamond in the rough. Where people softened with the light, opened themselves up, and unloaded whatever burdens they might have. And it was Va'la's home. Well, this lifetime, she referred to herself as Val. Val sat behind the bar, watching the scene play out like a movie, perched on her stool. Thigh high boot heels clacked against a stool leg as she absentmindedly swayed her boot back and forth. Swishing a bottle of Jack around in her tanned hand, she smiled faintly. It was roughly midnight, so she had a few hours left before she could go home, but the warmth of alcohol and pride she so strongly associated with this place kept her content. Another person came up for a drink, and she expertly redid her loose bun of shocking white hair before getting down to business. In a matter of seconds, filled with pouring and eyeballing measurements, and mixing and shaking, she had created another work of drinkable art, which she handed off to the young man along with a sarcastic exchange. Wiping her hands off on her minuscule black shorts, and straightening her tank top and mini vest, she eyed the crowd with momentarily harsh eyes. Frequent security checks in a place like this, especially being a girl, were necessary. Blowing out a pent up breath, she laughed. She could never put a finger on this feeling, a mix of relaxation and ultimate stress. How odd. Shaking it off, she took back her post on the stool.