A Bet You Can't Lose

Cast: date: 'October 11, 2012'
place: 'The Devil''s Court Clubhouse aka The Courtroom'
participants: 'Cedric, Christian, Gwyneth, Naz, Yuki'
synopsis: 'Potential alliances are formed, potential enemies are made, and much drinking is done, all for a good cause.'
log: "It looks like any seedy dive bar anywhere. The stools at the small bar in the corner are wobbly enough that it's probably a good idea to keep both feet on the ground when sitting on them. The glasses might not always be the cleanest. The few tables scattered about the room have tops scarred with knife gouges and cigarette burns. A beat up old jukebox on one far wall sometimes needs a good kick to get it to work. The two billiards tables, however, are in pristine condition and appear to be the recipients of a re-felting on a regular basis. A single hallway leads further into the building and a banner above the doorway reads; Devil's Court Motorcycle Club along with a picture of a devil's head and two bone gavels positioned much like a typical skull and cross bones.\n\nGwyneth has recovered from excessive drinking. And she's all dressed in something pretty for once. Usually if she's not in scrubs she's in jeans and a shirt she stole from Christian. But today she's wearing a pink dress with cap sleeves that buttons all the way down the front. The skirt is flared and falls to about mid-thigh. The bodice isn't tight, but the top few buttons are left open to reveal the lace on the chocolate brown and pink bra she's wearing under it. There's a brown belt around her waist, and she's even wearing a pair of chocolate brown heels and some stockings. Someone should take a picture because this doesn't happen very often at all.\n\nIt's an annual thing, the Devil's Court MC's fundraiser. It's normally a pretty good time. The year before last, or maybe the year before that there might have been some business about a drive-by or something, but who really keeps track of that kind of thing? It's for the -kids-, man, for the kids. The Courtroom is all decked out in Autumn fare with pumpkins and little ghosties and ghoulies and even a big barrel over there in one corner where a person can pay to bob for an apple. Find the apple with the candy worm inside and win yourself some prize or another, or so the sign says. Drinks are free, food is finger snacks but also free - and no one ever really asks how they can manage this and still manage to raise enough to buy all the coats they do for the miniscule cover they charge, but they do it.\n\nA Prospect desperate to earn his patch mans the front door, taking in those cover charges.\n\n…and Christian leans up against the bar, back to it, elbows on it, watching the place slowly begin to fill up. \"You…\" He points at Gwyn. \"…look good enough to eat, c'mere.\" He waggles that same finger all 'come hither' and reaches up to lower his shades just a touch with his free hand so he can look over them.\n\nAlthough Cedric hasn't done fundraisers of this type before, and certainly the hour makes things a little complicated, but hey, it's for charity, and that's not something he's ever been against. Besides, it's time he got out of the office and was social for a change. It's been a while since he's done that. Dressed in a burgundy polo shirt that sets off his complexion and crisp jeans, with Doc Martens for shoes and a plain black jacket thrown over all, he pays the cover charge - and a little extra - without demur. It's a little awkward, since his right hand is splinted along the knife edge from fingertips to past the wrist, and most of it is wrapped to the point of immobility, and he's fishing out the necessary note from his wallet one-handed and with his off hand. He seems to be accustomed to the difficulty, though, and takes it in stride, even allowing himself a laugh. \"S'my punishment for being a damn fool,\" he tells someone near the doors in a low, rough baritone that holds wry laughter.\n\nGwyneth is clearly dressed to impress. And her intended target seems to have taken notice. She lifts a chin as she smiles towards Christian, then walks over to stand in front of him. Her hands are lifted to either side, palms raised to the ceiling, and she does a slow little turn so he can see the full ensemble. Not that it's especially interesting from the back. \"I hope the children appreciate it. It was difficult to find a pair of stockings without ladders in them.\" Her accent is distinctly out of place in this biker bar, but she herself doesn't seem to be. She's certainly quite comfortable with her surroundings.\n\nNaz strolls into the Courtroom in almost her usual attire, except for she's ditched the workboots for nicer boots, she's wearing hoop earring that would be dangerous in the shop, and there's a splash of color from the dupatta settled about her shoulders. She even has a bit of lipstick on. A bit uptown, but we're not getting excessive here. The prospect taking the charges at the door actually chokes back a snicker, so Naz shows him her middle finger, which rather ruins the effect really. That done, she glances over the decorations, and the people gathering.\n\nYuki wanders down, definitely not dressed for a fundraiser, nor for a bar or bike club hangout either. A white t-shirt with faded brown and green stains, faded denim jeans, and, most damning of all, white sneakers. All in all, she looks to have just wanders in by chance. Stepping into the room, the man guarding the door grabs her shoulder before pulling his hand away in surprise, Yuki turning to face him as she brings a hand up to hold her shoulder, \"Sorry, 'm I not s'posed t' be 'ere? I'm old 'nough! 'Onest I am!\" she tries to excuse, not exactly picking up immediately that it might be a fund raiser. Nor thinking to try and apologize to the guy for the shock of cold he felt on grabbing her shoulder. But just in case she's not welcome, she doesn't try to proceed in any further. Yet.\n\n\"There's at least one little boy that certainly does,\" Christian murmurs before pushing his sunglasses back into place. They do a decent enough job of hiding his black eye and very nearly hide the little pieces of white tape over the stitches above that same eye. He reluctantly pulls his gaze away from Gwyneth to track the activity at the door. For him? The hard work is seeing things as they look to everyone else. All he needs to do is stop concentrating on that to see the nightmares beneath; to tell the difference between the Touched and the Not. He lets go of the effort to see what's normal for the briefest of moments as he checks out the crowd. His brow furrows a little, nostrils flare, and then he's leaning in to whisper, \"Go tell Buns I said let the little girl there through, yeah?\" Even with Gwyneth, he's obviously used to getting what he asks, because he doesn't really wait for a response before he kisses the good Doc's cheek and makes his way behind the bar for a glass of… orange juice.\n\nBeing several people ahead of Yuki, Cedric apparently hasn't seen her yet, because he doesn't acknowledge her. Instead, he makes his way over to the bar and leans against it, tucking the wrapped hand close to him and raising a hand to be noticed. He flashes a genial smile at those around him who look at him, and fishes from his left-hand pocket a pack of cigarettes and a lighter before looking up and down the bar to see if anyone else is smoking before lighting up.\n\nAnd Gwyneth is used to complying. She nods and reluctantly turns to head for the door to tell 'Buns' that Yuki can come in. Then she adds, \"If you can stop staring at my tits long enough, that is.\" Oops, busted. And staring at the VP's old lady too. The prospect snaps his attention away from Gwyn and tells Yuki to go ahead in. But who can blame the poor guy? It's possible that no one in the MC (besides Christian) has ever seen her in a dress before. And she did go and leave those buttons open.\n\nNaz is scowling a bit as she makes her way to the bar, muttering under her breath. The man with the wrapped hand draws her attention, as do the cigarettes. \"You need me to get that for you, mate?\" she asks, almost in a nice tone of voice. It still sounds a little bit growly though. \"Nice of ya to make it out though,\" she informs Cedric.\n\nIt's a good bet that just about every other person in the joint is smoking. It might even be a safe bet that some of the ones in the darker, more shadowy corners could maybe be smoking something that's not quite legal; they aren't being obvious about it if it's happening, but this ain't no kiddie party. That'll happen with the pumpkin carving and fun house and whatnot in the parking lot later in the month.\n\nIt's Christian himself that asks Cedric, \"What can I getcha?\" …around nursing his OJ. The man is proudly sporting his MC colors just as every single member of the Court is tonight. \"Careful there about letting Naz light your fire, rumor has it a man's never the same after.\"\n\nYuki looks between Gwyneth and 'Buns' for a moment, not really catching just what is going on. It would seem she really did just wander in off the street. After a moment, though, she looks at Gwyneth and gives her a playful little salute, then looks back at Buns, \"So'ry 'bout th' trouble,\" she apologizes, even without knowing just what kind of trouble she might've caused. And hoping it'll alleviate the cold burn she likely dealt to his hand. Turning from the two, she wanders into the room, mingling a little amongst the others, but keeping a little distance too, trying not to wander too close to large collections of body heat.\n\nGood. Seeming satisfied with what he finds, Cedric goes to fish a cigarette from the pack one-handed, but stops when Naz addresses him, and flashes another genial smile at the woman - and at Christian as well. \"Just a diet Coke, thanks. Every woman's fire will change a man,\" he adds. \"Just depends on whether you get burnt.\" To Naz, he adds, \"Mind getting one out for me? Bloody hard to do one-handed.\" He offers the opened pack to her, opening first.\n\nGwyneth nods to Yuki and explains, \"We're doing a fundraiser for coats for kids. Help yourself to the food.\" She doesn't follow when the other woman wanders off. Instead she turns her sights on any of the other newer arrivals. She weaves her way through the crowd chatting and offering to get people drinks, while at the same time warning them that she's a terrible waitress. At least she has a good memory, being a doctor and all.\n\n\"Oh get stuffed,\" says conversationally to Christian. \"I'm supposed to be friendly tonight, people don't give money when you're bitchy,\" she informs him. \"Gwyn's dishy tonight ain't she?\" she grins and waggles brows at him, and settles herself on a barstool nearby, swinging outward so she can peoplewatch. She takes the pack from Cedric, and taps out a cigarette for him. Apparently, she's not unpracticed. \"So, th' other guy come out worse?\" she grins at him, nodding towards his hand.\n\nBooze and food for relatively next to nothing when the cost of a night of booze and food might cost other wise? Well, it draws a crowd. Of course with the nature of the establishment and the owners of it, not all that crowd is going to consist of upstanding citizens. The place is filling up and, while respect might have colors not being flashed, it's obvious that some of the crowd likely fly their own on a regular basis.\n\n\"I think getting stuffed's probably a lady's job,\" Christian retorts, just as conversationally and along with a raise of his own eyebrows almost challengingly. \"I don't know how you drink this diet shit,\" he offers along with a shudder as he serves up one diet coke to Cedric.\n\nYuki wanders a bit, she does manage to make her way around the room to the bar. Fundraiser, huh? No idea. Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out twenty crumpled-up quid and looks to the man behind the bar, waiting for him to free up. Once he seems to have a moment, after serving whoever that diet coke, she reaches over, waving the notes, \"'Scuse me? I w'nted t' 'pologize for crashin' in like this, c'n you take th' donation, please?\" she asks, leaning forward a little, trying to make it obvious she's not taking no for an answer on this one. If no one takes it, she's making sure she can see a safe place to drop it.\n\nGwyneth heads to the bar and then behind it, informing Christian, \"I need two beers and a cola.\" She then starts to close the opened buttons. Since not everyone here's part of the MC, not everyone realizes it's a 'look but don't touch' sort of deal. So she's decided to try and avoid bloodshed by putting the girls away.\n\n\"Do I look like a bar tender?\" Christian asks. Of course right now? Well, he sort of does look like a bartender. He quirks a little half grin in Gwyn's direction. \"Don't blame me if they have too much head on them.\" He pulls two mugs from under the bar and starts the process of filling them from a tap. \"Take that little girl's money before she bursts all over the place.\" The words come along with a nod in Yuki's direction. He puts one filled mug on the bar and starts on the next, but in between them, he raises a hand to tap on the edge of his shades before pointing to Yuki again. \"Girl's trying to donate here, Gwyn, chop chop.\" It's said teasingly, with fondness.\n\nThe banter between the bikers draws a low laugh from Cedric, and he takes the cigarette and puts it in his mouth, holding it while he lights it for himself. He seems relaxed enough, although the place filling up does draw a glance from him. Only when he's lit up the cigarette does he take it from his mouth and breathe out, courteously not in Naz's face. \"Hard to win a fight with a brick wall,\" he tells her wryly, although there's a self-deprecating laugh underneath the tone as he takes the barstool next to her and rests a hand in his lap.\n\nTo Christian, he just laughs and takes the drink. \"Gave up regular Cokes when I started working out regular,\" he explains. \"A bit stupid to order water in a bar, yeah?\" Gwyneth's \"girls\" get a look of appreciation, but she puts them away, and he turns his eyes back to Naz; he doesn't seem to have seen Yuki yet.\n\n\"'S not what I hear,\" Naz claims in Christian's direction. \"I ain't a lady though, I don't know nothin' about such things.\" She mmmms sympathetically to Cedric. \"That's ungentlemanly now, pickin' a fight with something that can't fight back.\" She shakes her head. The Yuki waving money around draws her attention thoug, and she calls over, \"It's an open party, sweets, you ain't crashin'! Come have a sit.\"\n\nGwyneth flashes Christian another smile. Her regular serious demeanor seems to be absent tonight. She's going to have fun, dammit! She skirts around the tall biker informing him, \"If someone complains about free beer, I'll just dump it on them, yeah?\" Then she stops in front of Yuki and holds her hand out to take the money. She's just holding her palm out flat so Yuki can drop it or something. \"You want a drink or something?\"\n\nYuki smiles at Gwenyth as she comes for the money, \"Thank y' kindly, I'll jus' 'ave a shot of somethin' 'ard though, once it's not a bother,\" she offers the woman a smile, laying the bills in her hand, freezing cold for anything being held in someone's hand. She leaves her be after that though, turning towards Naz and Cedric, though not seeming to see the latter, moving over to take the offered seat near her, \"I didn' know there w's anythin' goin' on, 'onest. Just thought I'd see w'at w's 'ere…been by a lot, b't never stopped in.\"\n\n\"Reckon it fought back well enough, yeah?\" Cedric's chuckle is good-natured. \"I'm with him,\" he adds, canting his head at Christian. \"Don't fancy being the receiver, if you take my meaning.\" It's then that he notices Yuki, as she approaches and speaks to Naz. \"Oi, Yuki. Wouldn't have figured you for a place like this,\" he remarks, concern lacing the words. \"You get uncomfortable, say something.\" Suddenly, he's just a bit less relaxed. \"You know what they say, better to give than receive.\"\n\nThere is WAY too much head on that second beer. Really? A bartender this biker is not. Before he starts on getting the soda, Christian taps his glasses again, right at the corner and then points a finger at Cedric all 'bang, bang, shot'm up' style. He winks along with the gesture. \"Oh, I don't know. I suppose any fight you have with a brick wall that leaves you standing is a win, yeah?\" Shot of something? That's easy. Soda pulled from a fountain and set up on the bar, the little blonde biker turns around and snags a bottle from the wall behind him. It's nothing special, middle shelf whiskey, but he's generous with the shot he pours, it's more a double than not. \"Here, Sunshine,\" he calls out before he slides the glass down the bar in Yuki's direction.\n\nGwyneth isn't entirely certain what to do with the money now that she has it, so she tucks it in Christian's pocket while she's standing behind him. After slowly withdrawing her hand, she picks up the three drinks, clanking them together loudly. She's got a 'crap I hope I don't drop this' look on her face as she carefully makes her way over to the table she's delivering them to.\n\n\"Well, how 'bout that? You must be lucky, to come in at just the right time!\" Naz informs Yuki, adding in a conspiritorial whisper, \"The boys'll be on their best behavior tonight, you be careful if you come back later, yeah?\" She rolls her eyes at Chris' beer dispensing abilities, and hops of her stool. \"I'll help with that,\" she says.\n\nYuki is careful in snagging the shot as it's slid her way, and as she picks up the glass she looks at Cedric, giving him a nod and smiling, \"I will,\" she agrees, the smile turning to a grin before she lifts the shot up and has…well, it's not a sip, but it's hardly slamming it back either. A bottle here and there in the rubbish bins does not a drinker make. But at least it's not a sip. Still, she doesn't react much to it, she's clearly had a drink or two before. She sets the glass down, and leans over near Naz, \"I c'n 'andle it if they don't,\" she assures, giggling a little after, picking her glass back up once Naz takes off, her attention going back to Cedric, \"Fancy meetin' you 'ere,\" she offers with a grin.\n\nThe comment from the blonde would-be bartender draws a low, genial laugh from Cedric. \"Reckon you're right there, mate. Doesn't feel like I won, though.\" Cigarette still in hand, he picks up the diet and takes a healthy swig of it, shaking his head and setting it down. He's been immobilized for long enough to get at least mostly used to it, it seems; the cigarette is a little trickier to shift again, but he does, taking another drag. His eyes follow Naz as she moves back behind the bar, but Yuki's presence next to him, coupled with her voice, helps drag them away. \"Always up for helping kids out,\" he explains. \"Not often I get to, and I hadn't been to a place like this in a bit. Just wandering through, were you? How are you?\"\n\nSee that little grin Christian's wearing when he steps back out of the way and lets Naz take over the bartending duties? That is a smug little grin if ever there was one. He looks over the young woman's head and raises his eyebrows in Cedric's direction along with a little 'see how it works' nod of his head. Pretend you can't and a woman'll do it for you -every time-.\n\nThe place is really getting crowded, probably nearly beyond legal capacity. It's not that big joint really. Bodies are pressed in at the bar, the tables are filled, apple bobbing, billiards and darts are happening, the jukebox plays low and mellow in the background and they're still letting people in the doors.\n\nNaz seems to be rather an expert alcohol dispensing beast of burder, though perhaps oddly she pours *herself* a diet cokeafter wiping the glass out first. She sips inbetween servings, folding up her dupatta and stashing it out of the way so it doesn't get a bunch of crap on it.\n\nGwyneth slips back behind the bar and wraps an arm around Christian. \"Naz, you look lovely tonight. A splash of colour between all these hairy oafs is a beautiful thing.\" Her 'hairy oafs' comment is said fondly. She loves the MC. It's her family now, sorta.\n\nYuki sips down the rest of her shot in short enough order, before moving from her seat to the one next to Cedric, who may note a chill forming in the air. She brings the empty glass with her, but doesn't make any move to request another yet. \"A fundraiser, huh?\" she asks him, looking his way, \"I 'ad no idea…I jus' passed by a lot over th' years…never stopped in though. Thought I might w'ile I w's in th' area,\" she explains, her smile softening a little, \"I'm fine…jus' thinkin' I should see w'at th' 'ardest they've got is…not easy t' get drunk,\" she explains, giving Naz, Gwyn, and Christian a look, giggling a little bit, glancing back at Cedric, \"Friends?\"\n\nThe nod of his head earns Christian a flash of a grin from Cedric, one that quickly fades as the jostling at the bar hits him the wrong way. \"Ouch! Watch it, mate.\" \"Sorry.\" Scowling and taking another drag from his cigarette, he keeps his eyes on Yuki. It /is/ getting crowded, and probably rather warm as well — not an introvert's first choice of hangouts, but he says nothing for now. Instead, he finishes the cigarette quickly and crushes out the butt in a nearby ashtray, then proceeds to start working his way out of his jacket. Slowly and carefully. \"Nah, just talking for a bit. You know not to leave that drink if you have to use the loo, right?\" he asks of the blonde girl.\n\nNaz brushes her forehead with the sleeve of one arm. With all the people crowding the place, and the fact that she's now hopping around filling drink orders, it's getting pretty hot in here. \"Thanks, doc,\" she tells Gwen. \"Surpised you ain't started any fighte yet,\" she winks up at her. Yuki's comment about drunkness garners her a raised eyebrow as she takes a moment to slurp down the rest of her soda. \"You party a lot then?\" she asks her curiously. \"I used to, don't do that anymore. Bet even Chrissie could drink me under the table now.\" She nudges Gwen teasingly, with one elbow.\n\n\"Hey, I'm not hairy,\" Christian complains. Of course he is, just a little, perhaps not by biker standards though. \"I'll take that bet,\" he asides to Naz. \"Right here and now even.\" Oh, the challenge has been issued. Gwyn gets a light nudge from him as well, one that warns: Let her put her money where her mouth is. Never mind that he's a total cheat because booze? Does not do a damned thing to him. \"Not usually this kind of crowd in here,\" he explains, voice raised just a little bit in Cedric's direction. \"Cheap booze brings them out of the woodwork.'\n\nA drinking challenge? \"I don' really party at all,\" Yuki answers Naz, smiling a little, though it's starting to look like she might be forcing it just a bit, her skin starting to get a little bit of extra color. \"I'll take a challenge like that, then,\" she offers, nodding to the small group as she odd person or two brushes up against her. She doesn't react, but each person that winds up in contact more than second with her reacts as if they were shocked by something, and Cedric is bound to notice the air immediately around her dropping in temperature. That slightly-forced smile, the way she's staring straight forward now, Yuki's concentrating on remaining comfortable. It takes her a moment to look back at Cedric, nodding, \"I know…don' even know w'ere the loo'd be though. Don' really 'ave to go.\"\n\n\"I suppose that's probably true of most of us,\" Gwyn says to Naz. \"Depending on what we're drinking, of course.\" She looks up at Chris as she sneaks under his arm to lean against him. She'll get a little cuddle in now while she can. Until he has to go off and do other things. \"No, I don't suppose you're quite as hairy as the rest of them.\" And the look she gives him makes it known to anyone else nearby that she's familiar with Christian's body-hair situation. \"Though I'm not inclined to find out.\"\n\nSomething in Naz seems to slam shut at that, and she stiffens \"I told ya,\" she says quietly, \"I don't do that shit no more.\" She moves away to fill more drink orders, though she seems relieved perhaps, that Chris might have been talking about Yuki instead of her. She glances between Yuki and Chris. \"Really? What will you have then?\"\n\n\"Right,\" Cedric says quietly, repositioning himself so that his hand doesn't get jostled by the crowd. Whether that's directed at Christian or at Yuki is unclear, although the former does get a nod of acknowledgement. Some of his genial good mood seems to have been siphoned off by the contact, although he does chuckle at some nearby conversation. \"Getting into a drinking contest, are you? Should make it a game,\" he suggests, watching the two of them thoughtfully. \"That ought to really warm you up.\" His eyes are on Yuki for the last sentence.\n\nYuki nods at Cedric, \"Well, if I'm gonna burn, it may as well be w'ile 'avin' some fun,\" she says, though her words make it clear she's concentrating on avoiding that situation. Tonight would've been a great night to have had her jacket back. Turning her eyes back to Naz, she shakes her head a bit, \"Wasn' gonna ask y'to do nothin' of th' sort. Jus' sayin' if there's a game, I'm up t' th' challenge…an' I'll 'ave w'atever the strongest you're givin' out is.\"\n\n\"A'ight, someone set them up and keep them coming. If I lose? I'll give the girl a five bucks. If she loses? She has to come in here and clean the place twice a week for a month, bathrooms included.\" Christian wraps his arms loosely around Gwyn's waist and rests his chin on her shoulder. He turns his head a little to hide the smile he's wearing and the little laugh he breaths out into her neck.\n\nGwyneth shakes her head at the mention of a game, \"Oh no. I got too far into the bottle last night. I think tonight I'll stick to water.\" Or maybe some other illicit substances if they turn up. But she doesn't vocalize that. It probably wouldn't instill confidence in her patients. She laughs at Christian and murmurs something to him.\n\nGwyneth whispers \"You're a rogue.\"\n\n\"Oi, that's not a fair bet, mate,\" Cedric protests, glancing quickly at Yuki to see if she caught that. He leans forward just a little, although he does flash a genial grin of understanding at Gwyneth. \"Can't drink anyroad, doc's got me on meds,\" he explains. \"Reckon I'd just watch.\" No fun there, says his resigned tone, but he turns back to Christian and Yuki as if debating whether to say more.\n\nYuki raises her eyebrows at that kind of wager, sitting up a bit, her back brushing against another patron, causing him to let out a short string of curses as he twists away from her. Whether or not she likes it, there are a few people starting to keep an eye on her. \"Five 'undred quid, 'e says? I'll drink t' that!\" she grins brightly, leaning against the bar on her elbows, \"Shall we get started, then?\"\n\nNaz slaps down a glass before Chris and another one before Yuki. She considers for a moment, then brings out a large bottle of Bacardi 151. 75 percent pure alcohol, baby. She fills up the shotglasses. \"Better keep that fucking lighter away, mate,\" she warns Cedric.\n\nChristian picks up his glass, raises it in a toast to everyone that's watching, and tosses the thing back with one smooth bend of an elbow. The man does not even -flinch-. He doesn't gasp, he doesn't blink, his eyes don't water, he doesn't sputter. He just calmly places the empty back down on the bar and taps the edge of it. Refill please. He gives Gwyn a little squeeze and leans forward to murmur something back to her.\n\nYou whisper \"You bet I am.\" to Gwyneth.\n\nYou whisper \"But I'll pay the waif if she ends up losing, for the work she does.\" to Gwyneth.\n\nGwyneth whispers something back to the man, then releases him so he can focus on his game with Yuki. She'll run up and down the bar filling orders (sorta) while Naz keeps the glasses full for Christian and Yuki.\n\nGwyneth whispers \"I know you will. It's part of why I adore you.\"\n\nA glance to the man she's challenged, then a look to the glass placed before her and filled. Yuki takes the shot and raises it to her lips, drinking it slowly but continuously, showing as little regard for the effects as the man. Sure, it has that pleasant burn against her throat that alcohol is wonderful for, but that's something she's at least familiar with. Her glass emptied, she giggles a little, holding out her arm, glass in hand, \"Another, if y'please,\" she asks of Naz, who seems to have been left in charge of keeping the drinks flowing.\n\nNaz deftly repours into the shotglasses, even managing to keep things exatly even. She raises one brow, and gives a little salute.\n\nAgain, Christian tosses the shot back as if it was nothing more than water and places his glass on the table. The man looks like he's drinking water, really and truly. He winks at Naz and then turns his attention to Cedric to ask, \"So really, why'd you deck a wall?\" Inquiring minds want to know these things.\n\nNaz fills 'em up again, her eyebrows raising higher and higher. \"Well, fuck me,\" she mutters under her breath. \"Hardly seems fair.\"\n\nCedric is about to protest again as the contest gets underway, but Yuki's comment about five hundred catches his ear, and he relaxes. So he'd misheard, then. \"Fair dos, then,\" he replies, resting his good elbow on the bar, his other hand beneath, his lighter between him and his hand to watch. At Naz's admonition, he glances at the bottle and nods once. \"Right.\" He straightens long enough to tuck cigarettes and lighter into the pocket of his jacket, then continues working to worm out of said jacket. In this press, doing so without elbowing someone or jostling the injured hand is tricky, but he manages it and jams the jacket onto a hook on the underside of the bar before returning to his previous position.\n\n\"Got pissed off at m'self,\" he answers Christian quietly, a low tone that has an edge to it. \"Lost a mate and couldn't do a damn thing. Stupid to deck a wall over it, really, but I wasn't thinking too sharp at the time.\" He takes another swig of his drink and looks between the two, shaking his head in disbelief.\n\nYuki downs her own shot as quickly as Christian, though more elegantly and less badassly, following the refill with a third sip back. Her eyes are starting to focus again, concentrating. When Naz reaches over for another top-up, she's sure to come across the sensation waving her hand through an ice box, the area around Yuki turning cold, and very slowly starting to emanate out and around her, \"Could do this all night,\" she says, actually making a boast to Christian, giving him a friendly smile, or at least a smile showing determination to win with friendliness masking it. Her stubborn streak starts to show through.\n\nGwyneth has wandered back to watch the show now. She looks at Cedric and motions for him to hold out his hand. \"Let me see?\" She doesn't much look like a doctor tonight, so it may be surprising.\n\nNaz snatches her hand back close to her body as she detects a chill, though she merely casts a suspicious glance around her, including over her shoulder, rather than looking at Yuki. Still frowning, she grabs the bottle of Bacardi to do refills, but she's distracted, some of the alcohol sloshing over the top of one shotglassso it won't do but to fill the other one up to the brim too. She shakes her head slightly, as if to clear it.\n\n\"Me too,\" Christian replies before he downs a third as easy as the first. With him there is no look of concentration or determination, there's just him… drinking. \"Look where you're sitting, mate,\" he points out for Cedric. \"Want to take a guess what it costs us to patch the holes in the wall in this place every month?\" He tips his head in Gwyn's direction. \"My girl there has a magical touch.\"\n\nYuki works quite well at taking the alcohol, and for the most part she doesn't even look to be as lush as she should, \"Th' shots are so small…\" she laments, before taking down another, holding her glass back out afterwards and giving Naz the warmest smile she can manage while putting out as much cold as can be. It's no coincidence that the bar is starting to clear around her as people make for the warmer areas, though no one seems to quite blame her for it. For now, she's managing to hold her comfort level after the short close calls before, \"I'm glad I stopped in 'ere tonight,\" she mentions offhand, looking at Christian, \"Fin' a friend, a good drinkin' game, an' even a cutie pourin' th' shots…this is 'ow more nights should be.\"\n\nThe mention of patching holes in the walls makes Cedric look around him, and snort laughter. \"Least I'm in good company, right?\" he answers Christian, relaxing some. \"Splints should come off in a week or two,\" he tells Gwyneth, holding out the injured hand for her to look at. The splint is along the knife edge of the hand, and is thoroughly wrapped. Not a cast, but it's not going anywhere. His attention is now taken by Gwyneth, though, and he watches her carefully, shoulders tensing as if steeling himself.\n\nThe mention of patching holes in the walls makes Cedric look around him, and snort laughter. \"Least I'm in good company, right?\" he answers Christian, relaxing some. \"Splints should come off in a week or two,\" he tells Gwyneth, holding out the injured hand for her to look at. The splint is along the knife edge of the hand, and is thoroughly wrapped. Not a cast, but it's not going anywhere. His attention is now taken by Gwyneth, though, and he watches her carefully, shoulders tensing as if steeling himself. The chill in the air actually feels pretty good, given how hot a crowded bar tends to get in a hurry. He, however, seems to have no doubt of its source, and he absently toes Yuki's leg under the table.\n\nChristian's nostrils flare slightly, but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the drinking and a whole lot to do with his softly, but firmly, mentioned, \"Stop it.\" It's aimed at Yuki and it's spoken with much more knowing than should be possible. \"You're freaking the bloody normals…\" That's said just as quietly and just as firmly, with the way the space around them is clearing out? No one is likely to overhear him but those -right here- and all of them but one? He knows … know. He even tosses Cedric a little glance, a raised eyebrow, and a curl of one corner of his mouth upward. Oh yeah, he knows. \"Should do this another night, when the place isn't so crowded. Or move it to the back.\"\n\nGwyneth holds Cedric's hand gently and wiggles fingers, presses her nail lightly into available bits of skin, and basically does all the things that some other doctor has probably already done. She tests his range of motion, and then she starts examining the splint and bandaging to see if it's been done properly.\n\nNaz hasn't decided to flee yet, but she's clearly nervous about *something*. She manages to pour another round though, her eyes narrowing as they search the crowd before her, and the corners of the room, as if they were expecting to *see* something. Yuki's comment is heard, and even gets a distracted grin, but she paces a bit, going to the end of the bar and standing on her tiptoes and just *looking* out at the crowd. \"Bloody fucking hell,\" she murmurs under her breath.\n\nYuki shakes her head a little as Cedric nudges her under the table, and though she knows exactly what Christian means, she puts on a small front incase someone else doesn't, \"That a sign y' mean to quit? I ain't even gettin' started,\" she says. But her look of concentration is gone. The chill remains, but it slowly starts warming up again. She takes down another drink, and sits her empty glass on the table, tilting her head as she eyes Christian, \"Jus' tryin' not to get m'self burned 'ere. But I'll wa'ch it,\" she assures.\n\n\"Quit? What's that?\" Christian replies before he reaches out for the bottle. \"Naz, why don't you go check the thermostat.\" He looks up. \"We're almost sitting right under a vent, but I could have sworn I turned the central off for the season.\" Lie, lie, lie! But it sounds like the truth and there is a vent sort of right there, off to the right a little, maybe if the little flaps are aimed right? If he can snag the bottle from the mechanic, he refills the shot glasses himself. He drops the rest of the conversation with nothing more than a nod in Yuki's direction.\n\nYep. Manipulating that hand draws a couple of winces - more than a couple - from Cedric, and an indrawn breath or two. He clamps his lips down tightly, his shoulders tense, but he says nothing. Not here and not now. A biker bar is not a good place to admit to pain. He casts only a brief glance at the other two as the drinking continues.\"\n\nGwyneth frowns a little and shakes her head, \"How long did you wait before getting this treated?\" she asks Cedric. She's got her serious doctor face on now, and she's not especially pleased with what she's seeing.\n\nDespite the chill, Naz's forehead is gleaming with a sheen of the cold sweat of fear. \"What?\" she blinks at Christian for a few moments, his words taking more time than usual to set in. \"Oh. Sure thing.\" She wanders off towards where the thermostat is all too gratefully. Her eyes, however, continue to sweep the room meticulously.\n\nYuki gives a nod to Naz, then to Christian, trying not to focus too much on anything else. Not Cedric, not the uncomfortable temperature in the room, just the drinks. And for a girl of Asian heritage, especially one that claims not to be a partier, she's not doing a bad job of knocking them back herself. Her cheeks aren't even flushed! Well, actually they wouldn't be, but that's as much beside the point as the fact that she can't actually win. She doesn't seem to intend to lose, either. \"You're not bad at th's, are you?\" she asks Christian, grinning, holding out her glass for another, \"Such a fine gent, ready t' poison a lady jus' t' get someone t' clean shop.\"\n\n\"Didn't. Slipped on a tube platform a couple of weeks back.\" Cedric scowls at that memory, but tilts his head at Gwyneth. \"You a doc?\" It's a friendly enough, but serious question, and he shoots a look at Christian before looking back to Gwyneth uncertainly. Yuki's comment gets a look, and a shake of his head, but he turns back to Gweyneth to wait for the answer.\n\n\"Grew up right here in this building,\" Christian replies as if that's an answer to the question. It really sort of is? This is his -life- from day one. \"She's Doc enough to pull lead out of my hide,\" he offers Cedric. Not the most reassuring answers that? \"What's got you all squirrely, Naz?\" he calls after the mechanic. One more drink poured, one more tossed back, another poured. \"Good help's hard to find,\" he informs Yuki.\n\nGwyneth sighs heavily with exasperation. She's used to the whole male 'oh, it's fine, I don't need to see a doctor' thing. And, of course, by the time she sees the male in question, whatever the issue is has become ten times worse. \"Yes,\" is her curt answer. \"Could we go in the back, babe? This splint has to come off so I can make sure everything's healing properly.\" She has no idea who Cedric is. But she has that doctor personality where she has to FIX EVERYTHING.\n\nYuki sits back in her chair, but scoots it in a little closer so she can still reach for the next drink, she tilts her head just a little, smirking, \"You're still goin' t' be lookin' after this,\" she warns, her skin starting to redden just a bit. She looks around, muttering something and standing, \"C'n we take this somew'ere more secluded-like? I 'ate t' make th' crowd feel like lightweights…\" An excuse, of course. But suddenly developing a sunburn is going to raise more questions than a surprise coldfront.\n\nNaz returns after staring at the thermostat, offering Christian a \"Says it's workin' fine,\" when she does. She pulls out her Dupatta from its hiding place and nestles it aroud her shoulders again. Perhaps it's comforting. \"And…nothing,\" she lies. \"Just thought I might have seen…\" she shrugs. \"Doesn't matter. What are you on now?\" she asks Christian and Yuki.\n\n\"We can move this party into the Chapel, yeah and you can go over to the apartment to get your things.\" There's an odd note to his tone, a little bit of warning. It's as if whatever he thinks Gwyneth might be implying isn't something he's willing to allow. Christian snags the bottle off the bar along with his glass, all in the one hand, and jerks his head in the direction of the door leading back to the hallway. He raises free hand to put fingers to lips and let out a LOUD whistle that's followed by, \"Buns! You guys hold down the fort! I'll be in back!\" Lord, but he's loud. When he stands? There's not even a hint of that 'fuck me, didn't think I was that drunk' stagger. Water, it's like he's been drinking nothing but water. He leads the way toward that hallway and most of the crowd has the sense to move out of the VP's way to clear them a path. \"Fourth, fifth? I don't know. Grab another bottle just in case,\" he calls over his shoulder to Naz.\n\nA quick headshake at Gwyneth is deadly serious, and curiously enough, the gaze from Cedric that goes with it is sharply focused and dark, his entire demeanor tense. He's about to say something to Christian when the man beats him to it. Grabbing his jacket and taking his injured hand back, he looks Yuki up and down. \"All right there?\" Yeah, he's going to be carrying her back, no mistake. If he can.\n\nGwyneth gives Christian a confused look, then realizes what he's saying. \"Oh, yes. I forgot I'd left my things at the apartment.\" To Cedric she says, \"You go with them. I'll fetch my kit.\" The man may have just told her non-verbally to back off, but if he did, she didn't catch it. She looks at Naz and offers her a comforting smile.\n\nYuki nods to Cedric as she stands, grabbing her glass in one hand as she stands. She shakes her head a little, less like she's drunk and more like she's growing delirious, \"Yeah, 'm fine, I'll be spittin' shots 'fore 'e drinks me under,\" she assures her friend, looking back and smiling at him. Her face is turning a touch too red though. She walks off, looking every bit as calm and orderly as Christian about it as she follows him into the back. The girl is confident. May as well be. She knows well enough where who drops their trash, and what they tend to trash. She's sorted through more than her share of it over the years.\n\n\"I guess we'll have to start over again,\" Naz comments dryly to Christian, but she scoops up another couple of bottles nevertheless, holding the necks in one hand. She catches Gwyn's eye and relaxes slightly. Though she wouldn't be Naz if she didn't twirl one finger around one temple in the universal sign for \"these people are fucking crazy\" with a saucy eyeroll for Gwyn's benefit.\n\nSix doors line this simple hallway, the first five are marked with numbers with the last one on the left being clearly labeled, 'The Chapel'. A pull down set of stairs, much like those that would lead to an attic, lead to the roof of the building. The walls are simple wood paneling. The far wall is covered in pictures of Devil's Court MC members, both past and present.\nThis room is dominated by the large table at its center. It's a heavy oak monster of a thing with a Devil's head and two bone gavels, lending it the appearance of a skull and cross bones. Eleven chairs sit around the table, five on each side and one at the end. This is where business is conducted, votes are taken, and decisions are made.\n\nChristian leads the little group down the hallway and into the 'Chapel'. Once inside with the doors closed, he takes a seat at the right of the Big Chair at the head of the table. He settles his glass down, fills it from the bottle he had, and shifts his attention to Yuki. \"Ready?\" He taps the table beside his glass with one finger indicating she should put hers there for a refill. The rest of it? He quirks a half grin in Cedric's direction. \"She won't cut many fingers off, promise.\"\n\nYuki sits down in the seat to the left, taking a second to gather herself as slowly, very slowly, her skin starts to fade back to its usual color. She sets her glass down for a refill, and takes the brief moment between one and the other to run her hands over her arms, \"Ready an' willin' now,\" she says, smiling again. Glancing back to Cedric, she nods, \"Are you a'right? Not gonna 'ave t' 'old your hand w'ile som'one else stitches it back on, am I?\" she kids, trying to lighten things a little for her friend.\n\nNaz fixes Chris and Yuki with a baleful expression. \"If either one of ya decides to honk on the floor, I'm *not* cleaning it up,\" she mutters, stepping to the side and folding her arms after the refills have been issued.\n\nCedric doesn't appear to be listening to Christian right now, instead studying each of those unfamiliar in turn as he walks down the hall. When he gets to Naz, though, he stops, and frowns sharply, the genial gentleman he was withdrawing. Finally, he comes out of it and nods to Christian. \"Long as she doesn't blindside me, reckon it'll be fine,\" he says carefully, then chuckles at Yuki when she speaks. \"Don't worry about me. It's not so bad as all that. Have it and I'll see you home later.\" He flashes her a reassuring smile, then tosses his jacket over a chair and sits down in it, resting his hand on the table and watching the others.\n\nGwyneth doesn't follow the group to the back. She's notably absent as she goes off to fetch her kit.\n\nChristian picks up the pace with the pouring and the drinking and the pouring and the drinking. One after another after another rapid fire. He shows no mercy, he backs off not even a little bit and if Yuki keeps up until the first bottle's gone, he raises one eyebrow and asks, \"Whatcha say we get rid of the glasses.\" Naz brought two bottles back, right? He does finally aside to Cedric, \"Gwyn's good at what she does, she saved my boy's life and she's saved mine a few times.\" Bright blue eyes, still hidden behind dark glasses, turn toward Naz. \"Nah, if she barfs, I'll make Alfie clean it.\"\n\nYuki does keep up, admirably so, certainly taking down more alcohol than her slender frame and apparent heritage suggests she should be able to. Then when Christian asks about dispensing with the glasses, she takes her own and gives it a good slide down the table, the shot stopping somewhere a little past the middle. \"Didn' think you'd ask, but certainly 'oped so,\" she says, relaxing back in the chair. Slowly, that sort of slow that's hard to notice when watching, her skin completely returns to normal, the apparent sunburn fading. Back to normal, apparently, and that chill starts to surround her again, \"I won' be chuckin' anythin' t'night. Never 'til th' nex' day…I wager by then we'll 'ave some sort of conclusion t' th' whole affair.\"\n\nWhile Yuki and Christian are going at it, Cedric looks over at Naz, and flashes her one of those smiles, laced with concern. \"Oi. All right there?\" There's a hesitancy there, too.\n\nGwyneth shows up a little while later with her kit. She sits down next to Cedric and pulls out a pair of scissors. She's planning on cutting that bandage open. But at least she's got supplies to replace it with. \"So you hit a wall, then fell on it at the tube station? Who checked it over for you? Who wrapped it?\"\n\nNaz looks dubiously between Chris and Yuki. \"Fuck, really?\" she gasps. \"Chrissie, don't get nobody killed right when there's a shitload of people right out—\" but she closes her mouth tightly, and puts the a bottle in front of each one of them, and backs off. She steps back to where Cedric is, clearly expecting *someone* to start spewing eventually and getting herself out of target area. She pulls her dupatta even more tightly aroud her. She smiles up at Cedric with a shrug. \"Eh. Just…thought something weird was going on, 'sall. Guess I'll have to ring someone to take a looksee 'bout that thermostat eh? I'm handy with a motor, not so much the electronic shit.\"\n\n\"I can do this clear up into the next day,\" Christian informs Yuki with nothing but the utmost confidence in the fact that he can, in fact, do just that. \"I can do this into the day after.\" He reaches up to pull his sunglasses off, eyes squinting against the light in the room. He winks at Yuki and holds picks up his bottle and twists the top off. \"Still up to it?\" he asks, attention on still on the cold one. …cold he hasn't said anything about this time. \"Name's Christian by the way.\" His intense blue eyes remain leveled on Yuki, but his words are directed at Naz when he speaks, \"Got a feeling there won't be anyone checking out here tonight, but Gwyn's here anyway, if it gets too bad.\"\n\nYuki take the bottle, looking at it appreciatively, \"I've never been much a reg'lar drinker or nothin' like that, but if y'manage t' find a bottle in th' rubbish, y' don' jus' pass it up,\" she says, looking up at Christian as she twists it open, leaning back in her seat and grinning, actually looking a little giddy, \"Can't say I ever 'ad a taste for it neither. But a drink is a drink, an' sometimes y'ain't got water…\" she says. She leaves out how one never finds the good stuff, or bottles with more than a little in the bottom, usually thrown out by a drunk. No, that's too much talking. It's time for drinking. Well, introductions, and drinking after perhaps. \"Yuki, an' don' worry none. I'll be 'appy to leave soon's both our back chompers are drownin' deep,\" she says, giggling a little before raising the bottle to her lips, letting the liquid pour in and roll down her throat.\n\n\"Right.\" Cedric nods to Naz as well. \"Was getting hot in there anyroad. Maybe it was reacting to all the people.\" The cold washes over him again, and he doesn't comment on it either this time, just gives her a /look/ and a shake of the head before turning back to Gwyneth. \"Private doc,\" he explains in a lower tone, tensing again but leaving the hand out there. \"Couldn't go national. He set it and splinted it, and it was all right for a couple of weeks. Slipped on the train platform and landed on it. Know I went back to him, but don't rightly remember what happened. It's not so bad now as when I first did it, mind.\" He cuts himself off and holds up a hand. \"Just one thing, doc. Make sure I'm playing attention before you do anything, right?\" Dead serious.\n\n\"One of you is going to have to piss sooner or later,\" Gwyn comments without looking over. Her attention is focused on Cedric's hand. His request doesn't seem to bother her either. \"I'm just cutting this bandage off for now. To make sure there's no swelling or signs of infection. If this is due to come off that soon, you shouldn't still be on prescription pain killers. How long have you been taking them?\" She also has no comment about private doctors. 'Cause that'd be her calling the kettle black and all.\n\nChristian tips his bottle back and it's honestly like the man has no tastebuds, seriously it's a little insane. He chugs, yes, chugs, but he doesn't completely finish the bottle before he lowers it and asks, \"So, either of you lot part of any sort of Neighborhood -Watch-.\" Oh Chris, so subtle, only not really. The MC's been the dirty little secret bed partner of the Watch for round about half a century now, but that doesn't mean Christian's met every last one of its current London members. Hardball question out of the way, he lifts the bottle again. When he lowers it, he adds, \"Pissin' isn't quittin'.\"\n\nYuki doesn't have the same hangup as Christian, only lowering the bottle at all to catch her breath, and she does eventually set it down, once it's empty. That's a lot of alcohol. That's a lot of burn on the throat. Even she needs a moment to take that edge off. She can drink like a fish, but even a fish will occasionally come up for air. She shakes her head a little, finally answering Christian's question, though whether or not she understood it herself is thrown right into question, \"Not 't all, thought 'bout it once…but seems y'need t' 'ave a 'ome in th' neighborhood, or a home at all, 'fore they'll trust ya,\" she says. Another deep breath, and she raises the bottle again, making sure she's gotten out every last drop.\n\n\"Too damn long,\" Cedric counters, watching Gwyneth intently as she works. His breathing deepens and steadies as he watches her every move. The others might as well not exist right now, his free hand going to the side of the chair, to hold it. \"Use 'em only when I've got to, now.\" Christian's comment cuts through his focus, and he glances up only briefly. \"Later, mate.\" The comment is a tacit acknowledgement and admission, but his focus is elsewhere. \"Enjoy your piss-up and we'll chat later, right?\" With that, he returns his attention to Gwyneth, resuming that deep, steady breathing. \"Doc wanted me on 'em to keep me out of trouble, I reckon. Something to that but can't say I like it.\" More quietly, he admits, \"Makes a good excuse not to get pissed in a crowd of people I don't know.\"\n\nGwyneth drops the bandage off to the side and lifts Cedric's hand. She examines it but doesn't touch anything right away. \"Well, your circulation is fine. Colour is good.\" She lets his hand rest in hers then asks, \"Can you flip it so your palm's up for me? And straighten your fingers as far as you can without pain.\" She's watching closely but she concedes, \"Pissing isn't quitting, no. I was just commenting.\"\n\nChristian flicks a glance in Naz's direction and mumbles something about going out to check the front. He waits until the little mechanic's gone and until after he's polished off his own bottle before he comments, \"You're not going to win this,\" in Yuki's direction. \"It's just not going to happen. Liquor has absolutely no effect on me, none. I meant what I said when I said I could do this into tomorrow and the next day. I can keep it up and the need for sleep will put me out before this does. So, you have a decision to make. You can give it up and come clean the place twice a week for a month for fifteen quid an hour or… we can keep at this and you can lose and clean the place twice a week for nothing.\" His focus seems to be completely on the girl now, one hundred percent, Gwyn and what's going on with Cedric's hand is background noise for the moment.\n\nCedric does as instructed, the muscles in his arm rippling as he does so. He manages to mostly straighten them, although not far beyond the position they'd been splinted into. The first three fingers are fine, it's the back two that don't quite go all the way. There's quite a bit of flaking of dead skin beneath the bandages as well, but he says nothing about it, seeming to have drawn into some quieter place. It's a reserve, yes, but not truly hiding.\n\nYuki shakes her head a little, setting down the bottle, completely devoid of any thing resembling alcohol. \"S' w'at you're sayin' is…y' gambled w'th loaded dice?\" she asks, leaning forward, placing her arms on the table, \"I 'ardly call it anythin' but cheatin' then…but if y'care to define it some other way, I'm listenin' for now,\" she says. Her tone is probably the most serious it has been all night, \"I ain't immune…jus' slow on the knackerin' there. Can't say I'm much f'r 'onerin' a fixed bet, though…can't exactly lose if y'can't win. There 'as t' be one with th' other…\" She may well be playing with fire at this point, but she doesn't exactly seem thrilled at this little revelation. Far as she was concerned, she'd made a fair bet.\n\nCedric does as instructed, the muscles in his arm rippling as he does so. He manages to mostly straighten them, although not far beyond the position they'd been splinted into. The first three fingers are fine, it's the back two that don't quite go all the way. There's quite a bit of flaking of dead skin beneath the bandages as well, but he says nothing about it, seeming to have drawn into some quieter place. It's a reserve, yes, but not truly hiding. He can't spare a lot for Yuki or Christian at the moment.\n\nGwyneth nods as she watches Cedric's hand. \"You've already been told to let it rest, haven't you?\" she asks, looking up at him and quirking a brow. She's got a half-smile that suggests she's pretty sure what he's going to say to that. She sets his hand on the table and digs through her bag to get a fresh bandage. A frown and a look is sent in Yuki's direction, then she glances at Christian. But it's not her business, and her man knows what he's doing. So she digs in her bag some more. This time she pulls out a syringe and a vial of liquid.\n\nChristian lofts an eyebrow. \"And your bet was fair, with you not knowing then what you know now about me? Seems I'm the one that came clean about it in the end; did the right thing. While you were just going to keep on with your 'delayed reaction time' that no normal could keep up with. I coulda screwed you, I didn't. Consider it a lesson in smart wagers.\" He rolls a shoulder in a shrug and adds, \"Hey, you don't want the money, that's no sweat off my back.\" …and that seems to be the end of it with him. Now he turns his attention to Gwyn and Cedric. \"Next time you fight a wall, stop by here, yeah?\"\n\nYuki shakes her head, \"Wouldn' play a game I couldn' lose…but not one I couldn' win either…only took the bet 'cause I thought it'd b' fun to see who lasted longest,\" she says. She leans back in the chair and rolls her shoulders a bit, but as Christian seems to be through with that, she looks over at Cedric and Gwyneth, smiling at her friend, \"Your 'and alright over there, Ced?\" she asks, starting to finally sound just a touch tired.\n\nAfter a moment of silence and not answering, Cedric simply shakes his head. \"Why, fancy a pop at one?\" The low tones are laced with some of that genial humor. \"I don't. There's enough shite out there without punching walls, right? Reckon you know that as well as I.\" His attention, though, is still on Gwyneth. \"It will be. Hope the fall didn't arse it up too badly.\" Or what happened after that, but he isn't discussing that part. \"If work'll leave me alone for a bit, I can rest it proper. There's some as don't have the sense to leave well enough alone when I say I'm under orders.\"\n\n\"Have you had a steroid shot for it yet?\" Gwyn asks of Cedric. She pulls out another vial of liquid, then a sterile packaged needle. Everything is set out on the table in full view. And then she fishes around for some alcohol swabs.\n\n\"You're full of shit,\" Christian was ready to let it drop. \"You know damned good and well that if I wasn't Touched, you stood no chance of losing that bet and you didn't know when we started. You were out to screw me from the start, it just didn't work out that way for you.\" He doesn't seem exactly angry, but irritation is definitely on the table. \"But if you want to keep on getting your food from trash cans and not work an honest job to put real food on the table, that's your deal. I catch you in my trash? Rooting around in my shit? Discarded or not… you won't like the end game. Keep away from my building, my generosity only goes so far. You call me a cheat when I was offering you a fair earnings? That's where it ends.\" His focus moves back to Cedric and Gywn with, \"Patch him up, babe, so he can see his friend back to her dumpster and out of my clubhouse.\" He does add, \"Our door's always been open to Neighborhood Watch sorts, Ced is it? Whether it's punching walls in a fit of stupid or other… work related incidents and Gwyn's good at what she does. Seems despite his irritation with Yuki, that invitation still stands.\n\nYuki finally seems to drop her usual cheery nature too, even letting out a bit of a growl, \"I know damned good an' well if you wasn' Touched, as you put it, that you would've 'ad a 'arder time of it, sure! But I also know you're Touched. I knew w'en I saw you! Skinny, ink-black, no way you's normal…neither's the waitress-nurse,\" she points out. She stands, placing her hands on the table, \"If I'd lost fair, I'd 'ave done th' work fair. But I am more than willin' t' gamble, y'right arse! From th' very firs' momen' I c'n remember my life 'as been a gamble! Tha' place people go, th't they can't remember? I grew up there. I spent twelve FUCKIN' years of m' LIFE there. Y'think I'm afraid of a l'il 'onest work? You're off your fuckin' rocker!\" she says, every word stressed, trying not to scream out her frustrations, trying not to make it sound like she thinks she's had it hardest. She doesn't know his story, there's no telling who might've had it worse off. And if he wants her gone and for good, that's fine. But she's not letting it roll as easy as to call her scared of anything like that. She straights up, backing away from the table and turning to start off, \"I know better th'n t' eat the shit thrown out in these neighbor'oods any'ow,\" she finishes, reaching into her pocket and pulling out what's probably the last of her money, a fifty given to her by a friend several days before. \"For th' drinks,\" she says, tossing it onto the table and starting off towards the door.\n\n\"Nah, not yet. Do what needs doing, doc.\" Cedric seems accepting enough of the entire situation; it's as if he's only half-listening to the exchange between Christian and Yuki. \"Cedric,\" he does answer Christian. \"Cedric Moseley. Thanks for your help,\" he adds quietly. He's about to say more when Yuki cuts him off in a fit of rage, and every muscle in his body tenses up. \"Bloody fucking hell,\" he mutters, a rough edge under the low baritone that is almost a snarl. He's hurting, right enough, and the tirade didn't help; now he seems to be tightly leashed. \"Sorry about that. Right, let's get this over with. Bloody newbies.\"\n\nGwyneth pulls a dose from one vial and injects it as delicately as she can. \"This'll help speed the healing. Don't try and rely on this sort of thing any time you get hurt, though. It's fine on occasion, but it can go bad if you abuse it.\" She pulls a dose of the second vial. \"This'll keep you in the game for the next couple of days, yeah? Just… Try and swing with your other hand if you can.\" Then she's got the splint back in place and is wrapping the bandage around as fast as she can in case he wants to chase Yuki down. \"You're going to feel like it's all better for the next couple of days, so you're going to have to be careful with it. Because when this wears off you'll feel everything you didn't feel between now and then if you don't take it easy.\"\n\n\"I never said you were scared of it. I said you weren't willing and you just proved me right with your self entitled, woe is me little tirade. Get out.\" Christian doesn't even look at the girl now. \"Lot's safe, you can wait for him out there.\" Blue eyes, now reflecting the light in the room and making them look all the more intense, shift to Cedric. \"S'alright, mate. No worries, she's not your responsibility and she's not mine. Sooner she realizes she's not anyone's but her own, better off she'll be.\" Yes, he's talking about her like she's not even in the room. \"Fifteen quid an hour, I thought it was bloody well a fair wage for a little bit of cleaning. Sure I'll find someone willing to do the job. If you run across any newbies that don't feel they're owed because they had it shitty, send them my way.\"\n\nNot pleasant and not fun at all, but Cedric handles it okay, carefully not trusting himself to speak while she does her business. Once the needles are away and she's doing the rewrapping, he finally does. \"Your man's right, I'll find her right enough. Rather you do this right.\" While she works, he seems to relax some once the splints are in place, losing the tension through back and shoulders. \"No, but she'll use her powers in a heartbeat and she hasn't got a bloody clue when /not/ to … and reckon she's fair trashed, or will be when it hits her. Rather be sure she /doesn't/ do something boneheaded in public.\" Yep, he's a Watch agent all right. \"Right, seems fair to me. I'll do that. Who should I send them to?\"\n\nGwyneth gets Cedric's hand wrapped up again. She's pretty good at it. She might be a surgeon by trade, but she does her fair share of things that a nurse would normally handle and wrapping broken bones is one of the more common ones. \"There,\" she says and starts cleaning up her stuff. She even has a little biohazard container to put the needles in. She looks over at Christian, assessing his mood.\n\n\"Tell them to ask for Christian or Alfie. Or Gwyn here if the two of us aren't around.\" He reaches for his shades to slip them back on over his sensitive eyes before he adds, \"Stop by tomorrow if you get a chance. You know anything about those dead hookers? If so, I'd like to hear what you got. So far it hasn't been any of our girls.\" Man seems to have no issues with admitting that the club has -girls- but it's not like the Court probably doesn't have a file a mile long with the Watch anyway. \"But our girls generally only do high class calls with the occasional trip to an allied club. But I might be able to put some feelers out, talk to some people that wouldn't necessarily be willing to talk to just any Joe the Man that shows up.\" He stands and offers the appropriate hand to Cedric, so that the other man doesn't have to shake with the busted one. His mood doesn't seem particularly fouled by the turn of events.\n\n\"Haven't,\" Cedric admits, standing up and shaking firmly with the left hand. That he is one of the Watch's muscleboys would be a fair guess. \"Been out of it for a bit, though, so maybe someone else got something. If I don't stay out of the office, they'll find something to do with me; that's how I ended up taking that fall. Thanks ….\" he trails off, turning to Gwyneth. \"Didn't catch your name.\" He includes Christian in that.\n\n\"Gwyneth,\" the doctor offers, standing and offering her left hand as well. \"Henderson. I know you lot have your own doctors, but anyone from the Watch is my second priority.\" After shaking, she links her arm around Christian again and smiles up at him. She does glance to the door though, \"Hey, if you lads have a little business to discuss, I'll go keep our girl company while she waits.\" She's got everything packed back into her bag and she'll just take it with her, but she's still looking up at Christian.\n\n\"I'm Christian,\" he offers. \"A'ight, well, pass the word along that the Court's willing to help if they need it. Might end up that we need to look into it on our own before it starts hitting too close to home.\" His handshake is firm without being one of those deals that challenges for dominance. He knows when to pull the alpha dog out and when not to. \"We got a safe house in the basement, she's got a clinic down there. It's just not something we advertise outside of the Club and the Watch.\" Gwyn's smile's returned, maybe a little strained. \"Well, if Ced's got anything needs discussin' sure. Just don't leave the lot? It's late, we had a huge fucking crowd here and we still don't know what the Gladiators might do.\"\n\n\"I understand,\" Cedric answers. He's not playing dominance games either, and in fact seems to be holding to that quiet reserve. \"I'll pass that on, but I haven't got anything right now, and I've got to get back anyroad. Streets are no place for me alone, not with this, and I've got to track down the bird and see her home. Pleasure to meet the both of you, and I appreciate the help.\" Suddenly, he pauses, and fishes his wallet out. From that, he offers Christian a 20-pound note. \"I don't see charity often in this business.\"\n\nGwyneth gives the tall blond biker a nod. \"Lovely to meet you, Cedric,\" she says, then she grabs her kit and heads for the door and off in search of Yuki. Except Ced's right behind her. \"Oh,\" So she stops and just lets them go. She was hoping for just a minute, but she's not going to butt in.\n\nChristian takes the note and it's a guarantee that it'll go where it's supposed to. \"We do what we can to give back to the community.\" Odd words coming from… well, him? But they're sincere. This community has been the London chapter of the Devil's Court MC's home for a very long time. \"…and we don't have a thing without our kids.\" That's sincere too, so very much so. \"Speaking of, I should check on my boy anyway, it's been a long day. Haven't seen him since lunch. Come by whenever, doors are open.\" He lets all three of them trail on out before settling down into that chair at the right hand of the great big one to reach up and pinch the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index fingers. Might be he actually relishes the peace and quiet and solitude for just a moment.\n\nThis large lot is home to the Devil's Court MC clubhouse, appropriately named The Courtroom and the club owned custom motorcycle and repair shop, Devil's Hogs. The two buildings sit close to one another, the former on the right, the latter on the left. The clubhouse is a long, single story building with a flat roof while the garage itself is a two-story. Surprisingly, the parking lot is kept in good condition with little in the way of cracks and loose stones in the pavement. The entire thing is surrounded by a ten foot fence topped with barbed wire, lending the appearance of some sort of compound rather than a clubhouse and a shop. Gates large enough to drive a truck through for deliveries swing open at the front of the lot. The entire area is monitored by security cameras, some hidden and some in plain view. Of course anywhere from two to two dozen assorted motorcycles is not an uncommon sight.\n\nYuki has wandered off near the end of the fence, leaning against it, one hand supporting herself as the other has folded over her stomach. There's no mess, she's kept control of her stomach at least, but by the looks of it that control has the potential to be lost.\n\nGwyneth still has her kit with her when she comes out of the club. She looks around for Yuki, then heads towards the other woman. \"How're you feeling?\" she asks as she approaches.\n\nYuki shrugs as she turns around, looking back at the woman. She stumbles back against the fence, and winds up lowering into a squat, \"Heh, 'onestly? Like I jus' walked out 'f th' Gloom again…\" she admits, revealing just how much what transpired upset her on a personal level, before shaking her head and closing her eyes, \"I s'pose I w's a bloody stupid cunt for my end of it, though. But I don' like bein' accused of bein' somethin' I'm not. I'd 'ave 'ad no problem if I lost fair…but I s'pose that don' amount t' much…\"\n\nGwyneth sets her bag down and leans up against the fence too. \"Chris is a good man. He means well, but… he's a man. He was trying to offer you something he thought you needed in a way that didn't seem like charity. I don't know what happened to me there. He does at least in part. He's the one who came and got me.\" She pauses and ask the question that's thus far been overlooked. \"Do you ''want'' a job?\"\n\nYuki takes a nice, deep breath, settling herself a little before she nods her head, \"I do, th' job offer ain' th' issue,\" she says, drawing her arms in, leaning against her legs as she holds her stomach, \"It's not 'avin' a choice 'n th' matter. Damned if y'do, damned if y'don' or sommat. Jus' like the Gloom. No choice…you do, or y'die. I never 'ad a choice, not since I w's a child. Then I come back 'ere an'd I…\" she trails off, standing and leaning back against the fence again, reaching out to touch Gwyn's arm with the back of her hand. She's cold as ice, but and when she draws her hand back, there's a bright red mark where it touched Gwyn's considerably-warmer skin, \"Any 'eat at all an' I burn. That, no ID, an' no education have been w'at kept me on the streets. But out 'ere…I'm free. I 'ave choices, I c'n choose t' be anywhere, anytime…nothin' to force me down in fear or terror…\"\n\nGwyneth recoils and takes a step back. There's a moment where it seems like panic is going to overtake her but she pulls herself together, swallows, and exhales slowly. \"If you want the help, we'll give it to you,\" she says, though she's now staying out of touch-range for whatever reason. It's easy to tell that her own Gloom demons are haunting her. \"You want to come and work here, you'll be treated well. But don't turn the offer down just because it wasn't made in a way you're happy with.\" She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a notepad and a pen. \"I'm Gwyn. Here's my number.\" She holds the paper out at arms length.\n\nYuki smiles, but she shakes her head, \"Thanks kindly, but I don' think I can…not 'ere…not yet,\" she says, \"An' don't be afraid of me…I jus' touched you. If I'd wanted t' do any harm, you'd prob'bly 'ave a case of frostbite,\" she points out. Her powers do run deeper than air conditioning. She laughs a bit, if uneasily for the alcohol, \"These blokes Cedric works for…they've offered me already…an' I aim t' accept, soon as they feel I'm ready. They've offered tutorin' an' other help. But 'ere…\" she shakes her head, taking a soft sigh and looking at you, \"…If we 'adn't gone int' th' back…I w's 'bout t' break out in blisters an' burns. I wouldn' 'ave been able t' cool 'em down like I did the burns I did 'ave.\"\n\n\"And they're leaving you out on the street while they decide?\" Gwyn asks, frowning. She tucks the paper with her number on it back into her pocket. She's not going to force herself on Yuki or anything. \"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you. I've only been back a couple of months myself. I still have issues.\"\n\nYuki shakes her head again, \"No…they put me up 'n a safehouse. Four years back, an' it's th' first real bed I 'ave any mem'ries of sleepin' in,\" she says, squatting back down and holding her stomach again, \"I fell in w'en I w's five. I don' remember m' life 'fore that. I didn' get out 'til I w's seventeen. I remember almos' everythin' clearly. I don' think I'm owed anything…an' I'm willin' t' work…but it's the firs' time 'n my life I 'ave the choice of w'at to do. I'll make th' choice for better or worse, an' live with it. An' I don' feel comf'rtable 'ere now. Prob'bly my fault…\"\n\nGwyneth picks her bag back up. \"If you need a doctor, you know where to find me. Good luck with the neighbourhood watch.\" She came out to say what she wanted to, and her sexy blond biker man is getting ready to sneak free of the crowd of less appealing bikers. She wants to be there when he heads for home. \"I'm sure your friend will be right out.\"\n\nYuki nods, staying where she is, near the exit from the lot, squatted down and holding her stomach, leaning back against the fence, \"I'll wait for 'im an' th'n b' off,\" she says, giving Gwyn a soft smile before looking down and closing her eyes. Going to be a hell of a hangover in the morning.\n\nThe front door to the Courtroom swings open… but it isn't Christian that walks out through those doors, not at first anyway. Someone else comes tumbling out of them followed by a bellowed, \"…and fucking stay out you twatmonkey.\" Did Chris just say… twatmonkey? Yes he did! \"I catch you around here again and I'll cut your thieving hand off!\" Oh shit. Stumbling dude scrambles to his feet aiming to run across the lot and probably through the gates. Shadows, three or four of them, different shapes and sizes, linger just inside the doorway; probably other MC members backing Christian up.\n\n\"Shit,\" Gwyn says. She steers clear of the twatmonkey, and out of the way in case someone needs to chase him down or shoot him or something, but she's circling around to the front door of the club. She's muttering to herself, \"What kind of idiot steals from an MC?\"\n\nYuki stays there at the gates, just inside, then turns her head. That's all it takes as she falls to her knees and loses a good half of the alcohol she'd drank. On the slightly-less-unpleasant side, it's all liquid. Seems she didn't have anything for dinner. The real fun starts as the booze splashes against the ground. Hard to see at night, especially from a distance, but it freezes like water, highly uncharacteristic of alcohol. A nice patch of ice, surely not to stay that way for long, that the aforementioned twatmonkey may well be stumbling towards.\n\nChristian doesn't give chase and no shots ring out in the night. But when the Twatmonkey looks over his shoulder and the lights from the streetlamps hit his face just right, Gwyn will recognize him as one of the newer prospects. \"A fucktarded one,\" he informs his Doctorlady. \"He was dipping into the funds we collected tonight.\" \n\nTwatmonkey catches the ice patch with one foot, slips, stumbles, falls, shoves himself back up again, tries to run, falls again because his too loose pants are starting to fall down… it's… it would be comical if the MC's VP didn't have murder in his pretty blue eyes.\n\nYuki barely takes notice of the scene, or cares if she does, moving back to a sitting position near the gate, still awaiting Cedric.\n\nGwyneth is startled. You'd think a prospect would be even less likely. That guy must have a few loose screws. Gwyn stays out of the way until the moron is out of the yard, then she steps inside and around Christian. So much for her sexy biker man heading for home. But she's got to take her kit back down to the clinic and get rid of the needles and all that fun stuff.\n\n\"Twenty-four hours!\" Christian calls out. That sounds like a definite threat, like maybe it's the head start he's giving the man? Generous really, all things considered. His nostrils flare, man he looks pissed. Those intense blue eyes fall on Yuki and there's more of that bullish nostril flaring. \"You decide you want a life that ain't about feeling sorry for yourself for what you've been through, I might still have work for you then,\" he calls out loudly enough to be heard, but blunted and strange sounding from the way he squeezed it out of his clenched teeth. \"Fucking idiot.\" He's probably talking about Twatmonkey there, maybe.\n\nYuki ignores the man for now. She's said her peace, and she's done. Nothing to be said, nothing to be gained. His mind is made up on her, she figures, and for now she's surely made her mind up about him. Rather than make the situation worse, she curls her knees up, leaning forward and resting her head against her knees as she continues to hold to her stomach.\n\n\"S'what I thought,\" Christian offers in reply to the nothing. The words come out along with a little snorted grunt of a sound and he's turning to head back inside right after.\n"
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