Penumbra
Roleplaying Log: Penumbra
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Eddie and Roy blow off some steam.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: January 23, 2019
IC Location: Penumbra Night Club
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 Feb 2019 03:41
Rating & Warnings: Language, drug use.
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

*

THEN:

Roy sits at his dining room table as Lian works on her homework at the other end of the table. He's got a FedEx box on the table, and a burner phone on top of it. His own little burner is in his hands, and he's frowning over the screen. Finally, a smile sneaks through his frown of thought, and he types out: "Let me know how the bosses liked the job. Your cuddle buddy."

Looking triumphant, he tucks his own burner away, waits until the other one buzzes with the text, then slips it into the box and seals it up. The address reads "Agent Morales, Triskelion," and the address of SHIELD's New York headquarters.

LATER:

Roy's phone buzzes with a text: "This answer your question?" A moment later it buzzes with a transaction, and he frowns, then his eyes widen, "Holy shitballs, Batman." Luckily, this is not what he types. Also luckily, Lian is asleep. Still, his surprise shows through, "Holy shit. Drinks are on me next time. You got my number now."

The texts fly back and forth after that:

"Pick the place. I need to blow off steam."

"Penumbra. Bring E, she's more fun than I."

"Careful what you wish for."

NOW:

Roy isn't in costume. You don't do that at Club Penumbra, which is a two-story club with lighting playing across the walls and ceiling in cool colors of blues, greens, and purples. It's a trippy, outer-space/astral-space vibe, and the music fades between aggressively 'high' and percussion-heavy 'low.' Instead, the crimson archer is wearing a simple black button-up shirt with a faint sheen and subtle threads of metallic red, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and enough of the buttons undone to show the neckline of the black a-shirt he wears underneath. His loose black pants are flat and well-pocketed, but unadorned, unlike the steel-studded leather belt that hides several toys behind it. A pair of asp batons lurk at the small of his back, but that's a pretty minor arsenal for a guy named Arsenal.

They set a date and time, and like a good paranoiac, Roy is there early, at a table on the main floor, nursing a rum and coke and letting the Vicodin he pre-gamed with soak into his bones along with the slow-pulsing trance music currently playing.

*

THEN:

Eddie had just gotten out of a boring meeting regarding some orientation material that Shepherd insisted she be a part of, kept awake by benefit of a heavy dose of caffeine and the need to pinch herself every so often so she didn't doze off. It was brutal. Slogging back to her desk, her eyebrow lifts when she sees the package waiting for her. With no return address, no doubt it was heavily scanned before making it into the compound, but deemed safe she has no hesitation about ripping open the tear strip and shaking out the contents. Confused for a moment as a phone spins out across her desk, but then it chimes and she checks the message.

She's frowning as she replies.

NOW:

Morales should have just stood him up. This isn't the type of situation she should be getting herself into, not now, considering what's on the line. Still, she's drawn to the club like a tug on an invisible thread and she finds herself in the thrum of music and lights and bodies that could all blur into delightful oblivion for the night.

Shortly after the time she's supposed to meet him, Roy is greeted by a well-muscled employee of Penumbra, dressed in a suit with an ear piece and looking every bit of all business. "Mister Roy?" The man's deep baritone rumbles as he steps in front of Harper's seat, hands folded in front of him as he blocks out Roy's view of the rest of the club. "You're to follow me." It might seem ominous at first, until the man sweeps a hand to indicate a private staircase. "I'm to escort you upstairs to the VIP area."

Behind the bouncer, a pair of flashily dressed women seem to materialize from the bar area. The petite brunette is toting an ice bucket and a carafe of some fruit juice while the leggy blonde has a bottle of vodka and several more mixers on a tray. It seems someone ordered bottle services. But then again, Roy did say he was buying.

*

The appearance of the bouncer draws Roy's eyebrows up, but he really can't bother to get too excited about it right away, despite the antsiness that seeped through the narcotic blur as the appointed time comes and goes. "I'm a paying — " and then he's being told to go up to the VIP area, and he slow-blinks, "The what?" He tosses back his drink, pushing himself up to his feet and drying his hand on the back of his pants. "Well hell. This is what you get when you invite someone out who goes big." Still, he gestures for the bouncer to go on ahead of him, offering a smile to the two women as they join the caravan.

The VIP area overlooks the dance floor, sound baffles in place so that the noise levels inside can be dropped to nearly nothing or raised to match the dance floor below. The couches are deep and luxurious leather, dark as the depths of space. He's been in VIP rooms before, given the fame and fortune of several of his former teammates, and he's even been in this VIP room before, but not in a while, and so he gives a low whistle. Only then does he look over the pair of drinks offered and laughs to himself, "Hey look, it's E," the juice, "and I," the vodka, "isn't it?"

*

The bouncer disappears as soon as Roy gets settled, but like with some bottle service, purchasing the package means it comes with the two devoted servers. "What can I make for you, sir?" The brunette asks as leans over the low table to flaunt her assets, cracking open the bottle of vodka and flipping over a clean glass onto a cocktail napkin. The blonde is busy setting up the mixers in a nice row: cranberry, club soda, lemon/lime soda and orange juice.

The parade of people doesn't stop, however, as three more women pour in in a giggling cluster. There is a dark skinned goddess with short shorn natural hair, an Asian woman dressed in a long gown, and a curly-haired redhead to complete the set. It's like they're all ordered out of a catalog when you're not sure what you're in the mood for. They slip into the couches around Roy like fine jewelry being draped for presentation.

"I'm Cynda." "I'm Nika." "I'm Sam." They all introduce themselves and then two start chattering to each other, while the redhead curls up to Roy's side. Her hand curves over his thigh, pressing something between her palm and his leg. "The lady said you wanted party favors?" The cooing question comes as she shifts her hand slightly, revealing a small baggie of little capsules. Ecstasy. As in E. Maybe someone should have been more specific about what he wanted brought to the party.

*

The brunette's flaunting is appreciated, because, well, Roy's Roy. He gets himself an eyeful and then lets his attention wander into the drinks as he drops himself languidly into one of the couches. "Sure, I'll have a vodka-cran…" he sounds amused by the idea more than anything… and then there are three more beautiful women draping themselves around him and he coughs, "Cynda, Nika, Sam, Blondie, Boozie." There's something a little apologetic in the last two nicknames, but they didn't introduce themselves, so they get nicknames. The touch to his thigh draws his eyebrows up, and he's about to make some crack about her being very forward for a working girl when the purpose of the question becomes clear. He sighs faintly, the sigh turning into laughter, "Yeah, sure. This was all a little extra anyhow." Extra as in 'E.' "The Lady knows what makes a party." There's something a little disappointed in the statement, but he flashes a grin again.

*

Sam gives a little laugh as she takes the packet back away, cracking open the ziplock seal to start passing pills to Cynda and Nika. The two bar service girls don't partake, but they are working, even if they look a little disappointed about that fact. "She's at the bar, says her name is Training Wheels? Whatever." The redhead shrugs and points downstairs to where the dark haired SHIELD agent is standing with her own drink. Eddie seems to know she's being talked about, and gives a salute up towards the VIP area with her glass. "She said she won't be joining us though? Something about straight and narrow. What a buzzkill." Sam continues on prattling as she puts a pill on her tongue and offers it to Roy in the most forward manner of trying to sit forward and kiss him. Meanwhile, Eddie turns back to the bartender and seems to be abandoning her drink, about to high tail it out of there.

*

Roy gives a little sigh as the rather expensive pills disappear onto the tongues of the escorts, but the mention that Eddie is at the bar causes the archer to frown, sitting up in the plush couch even with his hand extended toward Sam for a pill. Then Eddie is saluting and turning away, and Sam is leaning toward him, and Roy lifts up a finger to place it across Sam's lips, "Shh, Sam. You enjoy that one. Just a moment…" He digs out his burner and typing a text one-thumbed to the phone he sent her, 'Oh, hell no. I did not get fresh out of the package everything for you to blow me off with girls to blow me.'

*

Eddie frowns as the phone on the bar buzzes again, unlocking it to check the message. She blows off the bartender with a raised finger much like the one Roy is busy giving Sam. 'Just a second' on her tab. A gaze is flicked back up to the VIP before she answers in kind. 'Can't party, so enjoy.' And then she thinks on it for a second before she fires off another one. 'I appreciate the effort.' Before she stows the phone away and pulls out a crisp twenty from the bank and puts it on the bar. Seems she's okay spending Roy's money upstairs, but she's likely blown enough of it for him to add her whiskey to it. Then she's stepping back from the bar and into the crowd to try and thread her way to the exit.

"Come back baby." Cynda requests as Nika throws a booted leg over her lap and nuzzles against her neck, likewise shooting Roy her best come hither glance.

*

Roy rises up from the couch and starts toward the window overlooking the club. He looks over his shoulder at the two women who have gone from talking together to necking together, and he squeezes his eyes closed for a long moment, then opens them up and stares up at the ceiling like he's asking Ceiling Cat, 'Why my Furry Lord, why me?' Letting out a long, hissing breath, he eyes the three lissome young women on the couch, then looks down to the phone, typing, 'You didn't drive all the way down here for one drink at the bar. If this is a test, it's fucked up, but I like winning more than I like popping.' Debatable. More than he likes popping Ecstasy, certainly. Let's not talk about the smooth rush he's already on. 'I'll listen to you vent about whats keeping you from having fun, and then you can pay me back by telling me what you paid them to do to me.' Looking back to Cynda, Nika, and Sam, he sighs again, "Total buzzkill."

*

Can Roy feel the eye roll from downstairs, because Eddie's pretty sure even the weakest satellite can pick it up from space. At least her path diverts from a quick exit to an annoyed stomp through the crowd, shoulder checking a tall dude who gives her a 'what the hell' look. She's dressed in a black sweater dress and a thick pair of grey leggings with her usual combat boots, grey leather jacket and gloves, so it's easy to track her progress across the dance floor amid all the party clothed party goers. She progresses just far enough to start a quarter way up the stairs where she stalls, not daring to come any closer to the VIP area and the pill popping harem inside. It's there she just waits for Roy.

*

Roy watches her stomp and ascend, his brows lifting slightly as she stops. Then he looks back to the twining young women who are likely getting either annoyed or relieved right about now, and he notes, "Speaking of buzzkills, I'll be right back." And then he departs the insulated comfort of the VIP room to step into the color-splashed cacophony of the club proper, descending the stairs to meet Eddie, "I felt that eye-roll from up there. Harsh." At least he says it with a grin, leaning against the wall a step above her as he does. Raising his voice a little to be heard under and around the music, he adds, "Should I clear out the Temptations so you can hear yourself think when you savage me for being a paranoid idiot?" Yup, he can definitely make fun of himself, too.

*

Eddie greets Roy with a cross of her arms over her chest and a lean against the railings. Her eyes are somewhat downcast, just keeping the man in a sliver of peripherals. "Look, you asked for E, you got it. But it's not like that's the best drug for me to be dropping. Something about getting all touchy feely and my current …condition. Not really conducive to a good time for me, y'know?" Is that a pout? It might actually be a pout. Of course the reality of his little riddle doesn't dawn on her that the E is Eddie and the I is Illya, even though she should have been tipped off with the paranoia bit. "So go, have a good time."

*

Roy looks confused, and then laughs, shaking his head, "Oh shit. No… I meant Eddie not Illya." He gestures up toward the door to the VIP area, chuckling with perhaps a little relief, "I don't need uppers in my life, man." Even if she's definitely not a man. "I got plenty of things to do for fun when I need a rush." He pushes off the wall, reaching across the stairs to try to clap her on the shoulder, get her turned upwards, "So come on, we'll kick out the wonder triplets — nice set, by the way — and you can tell me what's got you so pissed off, and because I'm gonna be good and just listen and commiserate and not try to fix it, then you can tell me what you paid them to do to me." There's a pause, and then he grumps a little, "What you got me to pay them to do to me."

*

Oh. Oooh. Well that makes sense, too. Eddie's mouth rounds out with the realization as she's clapped on the shoulder and directed upstairs. "Didn't have to drop a dime on them. I just gave them the drugs and told them a movie star was looking to party upstairs." Morales tells him, slightly smugly, as she plods upwards towards the VIP area, the pair not stopped because she's escorted by the 'actor' now. "Allow me." She says of the girls as she slips into the private area.

"Party's over, super sluts. He's upgraded to something of a higher caliber." The cold look she gives the trio of near-writhing women is enough to snap them momentarily out of their revelry as they quickly collect their things - heels were already being shed - and scurry to the exit. Sam stops long enough to eye Roy with a sense of longing and a muted, "Pity." Before Eddie actually hisses at her so she'll skitter off.

"You too, ladies. We can pour our own drinks. Don't worry, he'll still leave a hefty tip for you." And that's all the bottle attendants need to hear before they too vacate.

*

'Movie star' causes Roy to blink, then smirk, evidently taking it as a compliment, running one hand along his jawline. The request to deal with the girls herself causes him to start to grin wider, and then he chokes back laughter at the harsh words, carefully composing his face to add on a light, "Sorry, Actor-Producer things to talk about." Sam's eyeballing causes him to call after her, "I'll call your agent!" He holds in his laughter until all five of the locals have departed and the door is closed, and then he guffaws, "Casting Couch? Really?" He sounds very, very amused, bent over with his hands on his hips to try to stop the laughter, "How much porn have you been watching?" There's a lightness to the question, a lack of judgment — or maybe even approval — that may keep it from being cutting. "I mean… it worked like a charm, but really, Eddie? I'm insulted. And hilariously amused."

*

"Oh, you are not insulted." Eddie declares as she flops on the couch and leans forward to fix herself a drink. Adding ice to a glass, she merely gives it an ample application of vodka sans the mixers. From her jacket she produces a stainless steel straw that she jabs into the liquid and leans back to lounge. Her hand falls on the abandoned packet of pills on the cushion and she flicks it with her middle finger to count how many are left. With a frown, she just shoves the leftovers into the seam of the couch for the next party goers to enjoy.

"So all new clothes, huh? Looking sharp there, tiger. Shame you're wasting it on me. What's the occasion? You think we're going to cuddle again?"

*

"Okay, so maybe just hilariously amused." At least Roy has gotten his laughter under control. He goes to collect the vodka-cran from the assortment, taking a sip and grimacing a little, "Wow. Yeah. No." It gets set down and he pours himself a hefty screwdriver instead. "All new clothes, because I figured that way you could actually relax a little, not worry too much if you happened to bump my elbow or something." Okay, so maybe there's a few feathers ruffled — maybe he didn't want to cuddle again. "Or, you know, dance without being totally blitzed out of your head." He drops himself into the couch as well, leaving half a cushion between them as he does. "Don't worry, they won't go to waste. So what kinda steam were you looking to blow off?"

*

Relax, he says. "I can't remember the last time I 'relaxed'." Eddie confesses to her straw, and then on a whim she turns sideways and kicks up her feet, draping her legs across his lap. "Better?" The question is asked with a wisp of a smile as she crooks an arm and rests it on the back of the sofa, threading her gloved fingers into her short crop of hair.

"I just needed to get out of the Trike. Not think for a while, that's all. Things are…complicated in SHIELD right now, and I have a lot riding on this. It's just heavy, you know? And made worse by the fact that I'm trying to stay clean. Seeing you…makes me want to get dirty."

*

Roy 'oofs' softly as he gets legs in his lap, then shrugs, "Hey, whatever helps." He leans back into the softness of the couch, watching colors change on the far wall of the club and dropping his right hand to her shin and listens. Well, he said he would. About the time she mentions she has a lot riding on SHIELD, he looks from the wall across the building over to her, taking a sip of the screwdriver in his left hand. "Yeah. The rats scratching in your brain don't help with thinking." He doesn't have any rats scratching in his brain at the moment, neatly flattened by Vicodin, but he does have a needle-scratch in his brain at the last statement. He closes his eyes for a moment, a grin starting to spread across his lips whether he wants it to or not, "You did not just leave me with a straight line like that, did you? I'd suggest doing something really dirty standing up so you didn't feel anything from this super-comfortable, probably super-gross couch…" and then he admits, "But I know you meant drugs. If it makes you feel any better, I'm not gonna give you anything stronger than booze." Which he decided only moments ago, despite the three more tablets of Vicodin burning a hole in his pants pocket.

*

Eddie lifts her foot slightly to give his thigh a little nudge as he closes his eyes. "It's not like we really know what each other looks like sober," Though the closest they came was their frolic through the bowels of the hotel, and even then, it was chaotic. "So why start now, hmm?" She sips loudly from her straw. "Rats are a good analogy, but I prefer crows. Pecking at my brain matter pulling it out in little strings of grayish pink. You say rats and all I can think about is that viral video of one dragging a pizza up the stairs. My brain definitely is not covered in pepperoni."

There is a bit of a self-chiding laugh and her gaze drifts away as well as an attempt to pull her feet out of his lap. "See what happens when I relax? I talk too much."

*

"Hey, I was sober last time in Gotham," Roy protests, "I mean, almost entirely. Besides getting drunk at the end." Which would be the time they spent actually talking to one another. "Oooh, crows are good," he enthuses, "Even if that's absolutely disgusting." He doesn't sound all that disgusted. Then again, he changed diapers for several years. "And I bet it could be covered in pepperoni if you wanted. I mean, I bet they'd order a pizza if you wanted." He might be slightly distractable at the moment. When she tries to pull her feet out of his lap, he gives her shin a little pat, not precisely trying to keep them there, but providing a touch of resistance — or encouragement to leave them there — before letting go, "Hey, I don't have a whole lot of people who know both sides of me and don't, you know, poke their noses into my business," which is a grumpy guy's way of saying 'demonstrate concern for my wellbeing.' "It's not so bad to have someone to just talk to." Yeah, he's definitely too mellow to not be on something, unfortunately.

*

"Mmm, yes. But talking in my line of work is what tends to get you dead." Eddie does end up recoiling her legs, but only to tuck them underneath her and kneel closer to him on the couch, her weight depressing the cushion so she's leaning towards him, kept from toppling over by benefit of a hand braced near his head. "So what are you on, anyways? Oxy? You're a little too mellow for it to be heroin." Maybe she can just live through him vicariously. There's no harm in that, is there? But now she's toying her bottom lip with a play of teeth and she can feel that familiar burning in her veins. It's making her antsy which is just as dangerous as talking in her book.

*

"True," Roy admits. "Then again, I already know what line of work you're in, so there's that." As she looms up over him, he turns his head toward her, his brows lifting too-innocently, "On? Nothing," he lies. "Nothing I've got for you," another lie, "because you said you were being good." He takes a slow sip of his vodka and orange juice, watching her lower lip curl under her teeth with intent fascination. "So you can just imagine this is me being totally relaxed in your presence." That statement makes him chuckle, a broad smile spreading across his face like the oil across a hot pan. "You really thought I was planning to try to feed you E? What did you think I meant by I? Did you think I typoed from Oxy?" That's probably not any better, talking about all the various drugs, "I might have to change my mind though. Illya might be more fun, even if she's a lot less interesting than Eddie."

*

"Uh-huh. Then if you know what I do, then you must also know I'm pretty good at spotting a liar when I see one." And that when she wants something, Eddie's not above manipulating her way into getting it. She remembers the goose flesh that she raised back at the hotel by tracing his scar, and so there has to be some sort of attraction there. A gloved finger traces the shell of his ear, her gaze held rapt there. "I thought you suddenly were just flexing your proper use of the English language. Ecstasy is more fun than I." She fills in the blanks regarding her way of thinking. "So not Oxy…" Gets murmured in thought. "And you don't reek of weed…"

*

Roy protests in a purely pro forma manner, "I don't know, you could be a crappy spy." Clearly, he's joking. The caress to the whorls of his ear causes his eyelids to flutter, and he turns his head in toward her, "I have proper use of the English language? Plus, nothing's more fun than I." Dodging her guesses by ignoring them entirely, he tilts his head to one side. When he speaks, his voice burrs a little huskily in his throat, quite against his intentions, "Or maybe Eddie's just as fun as Illya, if that's what Eddie does for relaxation, cutting loose and taking good looking guys into the bathroom to get a little loving…"

*

"Something like that." Eddie responds with a deliberate purr in her voice as to the lack of difference between her and her fake image for the night. "Less questions are asked when people think there is a language barrier." She shifts again, this time to set aside her drink and relieve Roy of his as well, setting both to the table. Before he can protest at being without his drink, she gives him something else to focus on by slinging one knee across his lap and settling her weight lightly on his thighs. Leather clad fingers capture his chin, directing his gaze so it meets hers. "Now are you going to share with me or what?"

*

Roy does his best to think back to the night in question, "Yeah… that's…" and then he's distracted by losing his drink and gaining a lap-partner. "…what was I talking about?" It's half a joke, half a serious question. His hands settle at her hips, and he quirks his head to one side, "Look, you're a big girl, and if you want it, you're gonna get it." And then his hands reach up to grasp for her wrists, and his smile goes both tight and broad, lazy mischief dancing in his eyes, "Just not from me. Unless you're gonna take it from me." Not that she knows what it is, let alone where it is.

*

There is a sharp intake of breath when Roy snags her wrists, not unlike the hiss she gave the girls moments ago, it's a warning that matches the flash of something slightly dangerous in her eyes. Thankfully it's tapered quickly off with a curve of a smile, "Be careful what you wish for." Eddie repeats the words of cautionary advice in a singsong voice. Hands rendered ineffectual for the moment unless she fights his grip, she just leans forward and licks the tip of his nose. "Damn right I'm gonna get it." Her arms snap outward to break his grasp, and then drop to try and start fishing in his pockets near her knees. "But just so you know, I play dirty."

*

Roy doesn't hold on hard, especially not after Eddie leans forward and licks his nose. Predictably, he jerks back (a half-second late) and goes, "AUGH!" One hand goes to his nose, while the other ducks down to his back-left pants pocket — which does not have any drugs in it. In fact, it doesn't have anything in it at all. "What the hell? And not even the right kind of dirty. Are you like eight, Eddie? That's just gross." Which doesn't make sense at all, given that Roy is quite a fan of licking in other places. But apparently the nose is right out. "You keep that up, I'm gonna give you a wet willy."

*

Eddie falls for the dupe, chasing after the fingers that go for his back pocket, digging in roughly and coming up empty. "Please, Roy." Her voice turns pleading, her eyes rounding out so the full irises are exposed. Puppy eyes to the nth degree. "Just a little taste to tide me over. I'm sure I can explain it away if it comes up. You know, I've had this terrible toothache…" Her voice soft, her body pliant as she leans forward against his chest, her right hand dancing along the back of his neck. "Take the edge off for me." Her front teeth saw against her bottom lip again.

*

Roy rolls slightly, making it easier for her to get to his — empty — back pocket. "Are you trying to grab my ass?" The pleading causes him to groan though, even as he swats at her grasping hand, trying to roll back onto it to pin it beneath him as his other hand goes for her belt for a heartbeat, grasping tight and then releasing, "Should've gone for the crows excuse." He does his best to stifle the shiver that runs down his spine at the toying at the back of his neck. His right hand digs under her thigh, into his front right pocket, under his wallet, and pulls out a little flat case. His hand closes over it immediately, and he leans forward, close enough that his nose nearly brushes Eddie's. Where he was teasing a moment ago, now he looks serious, "Hey… E… I'm serious here, you want to stay clean, I'm getting rid of this. There are always other ways to get rid of an ache. But if you want it, it's yours." He's not helping that much.

*

"I think if I were trying, you'd know." Eddie leans back though, raising her hips a little, so he can go digging for the little case. Her eyes dance with amusement as he pulls the drugs out from his hiding spot. Her gloved hand leaves his neck to wrap around his knuckles that are caging the prize away from her grasp. As his nose comes in close proximity to dancing with hers, she lifts her chin slightly so her lips return the favor with a whisper of touch against his as she says. "Told you I play dirty. And I play to win."

She's smiling triumphantly as she sits back up in his lap, "And like you said, I'm going to get it from some where. Might as well be someone I trust." Trust. A heavy word to use. And it's said with the weight it deserves as she closes her eyes and opens her mouth slightly agape, waiting for blindly for the pill the be deposited on her tongue.

*

Perhaps surprisingly, Roy shows that he has some restraint. He doesn't go after those teasing, temping lips. He said he played to win, after all. His fingers stay locked under hers, and then his brows lift, "Trust? Now you're pulling out the big guns, aren't you, E? Think you can get me with that one?" Squeezing the little case, he hefts it a little, frowning at the rattle inside. Evidently, however, she is going to get him with that one, because he pulls his hand back from her and pops open the case, gathering up a single pill and offering it out to her tongue with a sigh.

*

Trust is subjective, because Eddie cracks one eye open to judge where his hand is and if it is in fact going to deposit the pill. To ensure it finishes its journey she bobs her head forward and nabs it neatly with her teeth. "Thanks, sport." She grins wryly and flops off of his lap, stretching out on the couch with her legs flung back over his lap.

"So what's the plan? Wait for this to kick in, drain some more of that bottle, and then go get sweaty on the dance floor?" Her hand lulls to the side to pluck up her drink, though she's already dry swallowed the pill.

*

Roy is cogent enough to wonder if he actually helped with that pill. But, too late now if he didn't. He snorts when she flops back, "Tease." Leaning forward over her legs, he grabs his own drink and takes a sip, "Well, that was the original plan. I mean, Valium, booze, dancing. The VIP room and bottle service was a twist. Guess you do know how to live." He pauses a moment, considering, "You know… up here there's nobody else to bump into, which is kind of awesome and kind of missing the whole point." He considers for a long, slow moment, and then he nods, "Yeah. That's the plan. Whaddya think of the plan?"

*

"It's not too late to call the girls back in, if it's bumping you're looking to do." Eddie replies drolly, "But typically that's not something I care to do sober. It can get…overwhelming." She smoothes a palm back from her forehead, dragging away peaks of hair before letting them flop back and she gives them a little fluff. "Sorry not sorry for twisting. I tend to like to be in control. Consider it a fault if you like, but it's kept me alive this long."

*

A snort greets her 'suggestion' to get the girls back in. "Figured. So then the VIP room's a good thing. Can turn the music on, still dance, not have to worry about being moshed somewhere that isn't covered." Roy settles a hand back on her shin, squeezing lightly a moment and then letting his head loll back into the pillow-softness of the couch. "And is this fault something I should worry about? You carry handcuffs around with you everywhere?" The flirty tease is accompanied by a slow, crooked smile, but not pushed with any real intent. "Naw, I get it. You touch something, you could go down for the count. That'd turn me into a control freak too." He doesn't seem to consider the fact that some people might take 'control freak' as an insult. "Nightwing was the same way. I mean, not touch-y, just always had to be in control. Me, I learned a while back that sometimes you gotta go with the flow." He snorts hard, "Boy howdy did I ever. But no, I'm not havin' any problems with the twist. Wasn't expecting a payday outta that job, so all this is bonus to me." His head rolls over so that he can study her directly, "You do that a lot? Pay people after they do you favors? That a control thing too? Don't like owing anyone?"

*

"I used to be better at controlling it. Now it's like they control me." Eddie's eyes close briefly, giving the drugs a quiet moment to seep into her system. She could easily just slip into the rhythmic sounds of the music and hum of voices below, letting it ride out in a blissful haze. There is even a smile given as he reminisces about people she's never met, but maybe eventually she'll learn their names and what they mean to Roy.

But then he mentions the money. He mentions the money like Owen did. She might imagine the note of disdain there but it worms its way into her thoughts and eats at the edges of her budding buzz.

"Well, when you say it like that." Eddie says flatly, and her legs jerk off his lap with little chance for him to stall them this time. "Guess we outta keep running up your tab so you leave here with less to feel controlled about." Her hand slaps onto the bottle, dragging it back to the couch with her.

*

And Roy steps in it again. It takes a moment to a frustrated look of confusion to settle onto his features, and by then she's already pulled her legs back and nabbed herself the bottle. "I'm feeling very even steven right now, E," he protests. "Don't go spending because of little ol' me." There's a pause, "I did say I was buyin' drinks though. So grab what you want." The weeping glass of rapidly-being-watered-down vodka and orange juice is wiped off on a napkin, and then placed between his knees so that he can stretch his legs out onto the table before the sofa and tuck both hands behind his head, "I'm just trying to get a read on you. You're real good at being a moving target. Almost like you're a spy or something." That flashes a broader grin across his lips. "You know you can just smack me when I piss you off, right? Don't have to get…" he searches for a phrase that isn't 'all huffy' and finds, "all cold and shit. It'll ruin the mellow anyhow."

*

Eddie's lips thin at her manner being called cold, and she shoots him a side eye. "I buy my friends, is that what you wanted to hear me say? You think you're just doing a favor for someone because they did you a solid, and hey, money. Everyone can use that, right? But apparently that's not what friends do. So apparently I'm just paying you to hang out with me. I mean, that is why you asked me out, right? Obligation." Despite her words, she never raises her voice. It stays even, like she's trying to detach herself from the words coming out of her mouth.

"I don't…do this. I don't make friends, I make contacts. I don't hang out, I have meetings. And I really should get back to what I do best."

*

Roy's grin fades at the response, and continues fading as Eddie continues responding. "I'm not looking to hear anything in particular, E. You can throw all the money you want at me — and I'll like it too, especially if it comes in singles," he just can't stop himself, even when he's being serious, "but nobody's going to buy my friendship. So you can just get that shit outta your head." He takes another sip of his drink, setting it back on his legs, "And no, I didn't ask you out for obligation. I asked you out because you don't give me shit about what I should be doing, and you like having a lot of the same sort of fun that I do." There's a pause, "Not just…" he gestures to… something that might vaguely suggest pills and booze, "…the adrenaline too." There's a long pause there, and Roy's smile returns, a teasing lilt to his voice, "You don't do 'this'? Did you just admit you're makin' a friend, E?"

*

Eddie bows her head for a moment, hands digging into her hair as she cups her scalp. She's fucking this up. Again. And the thought has her cradling her skull like it's going to burst. "Just. Shut up, Roy." It's not that anything he said is particularly untrue. It's probably more like it's too close to the truth. It's time to get back to not caring what they should be doing but clinging to what they have in common.

Her head snaps back up from its bow, and after a bracing drink from her pure vodka-filled glass, her mischievous smile returns. "Fuck it, let's dance." The decision decreed, she pops up from the couch and turns to walk backwards towards the exit, crooking a finger for Roy to follow. "I might not be good at making friends, but I'm positively stellar at bad decisions." It's easier than dealing with things and sorting them out. Easier than figuring out the right way to do this because like with Owen it just leaves her feeling inadequate and vulnerable. Both places she's loathe to be.

*

'Just shut up Roy.' Roy has heard this many times in his life. Usually in a frustrated tone of voice. So he shrugs it off, finishing off his drink and starting to lean forward to get another one for himself. And then she's announcing her desires to continue the program they laid out before, and he shrugs, taking a swig straight from the neck of the bottle and gasping a little at the burn. "Whoo." He sets the bottle down and peels himself out of the couch, "Don't worry, they're pretty much the same thing in the end. So back to the plan." Roy follows her to the door, "Just to warn you, if they go all like, up-tempo and shit… I'm gonna be totally disappointed." The slow-pulsing beat of the trance music seems more fitted to his current mood — or medication.

*

"Then we'll make our own music." Eddie grins widely, hand snaking behind her to hold onto the door's handle for a moment until Roy catches up. The pause is enough to put them into the same personal bubble before she cracks open the door behind her and spills out with a laugh caught in her throat.

"We wouldn't want you being disappointed in your evening, after all. Mister Movie Star." The last is said teasingly, but it seems she's all too happy to keep up the ruse she's created for him. In fact, as they pass by some other party goers, she says overly loud. "I can't believe you and DiCaprio are up for the same part. But your agent tells the casting director thinks he's far too old."

*

"That sounds like a dangerously good time, E," Roy is back on his game by the time he catches up to Eddie, or at least as on his game as he ever is. "But there might be some property damage." And then he's laughing too as they burst out onto the stairs down from the VIP room. "I know, I can't believe it. It's like, you've got your Oscar now, man. Leave some of the good parts for the rest of us." He glances over the back of her neck, checking where the sweater-dress lays, and then slings an arm low around her shoulders, where it won't run into the bare skin of her neck, "Once they get a little gold dildo-man, it's all over. They're unbearable." He leads the way toward the outskirts of the crowd on the dance floor, then lets his arm slip free, reaching back for her hand so that he can play icebreaker through the mass of slowly-moving people. Finding a mostly-empty spot, he turns about and gives her gloved hand a little tug to draw her toward him as his hips and shoulders begin to move with that slow beat.

*

It's an odd thing to be hesitant to take someone's hand, so there is a moment of fingers chasing after one another until she finally slides her hand into Roy's to be lead. By the time they find a vacancy on the dance floor, Eddie feels comfortable enough again to sling her clothed arms to hitch over his shoulders and step into the rhythm the music and his own body has set.

"I gotta tell you, it's not often I'm the envy of every woman in the room. Nothing spreads faster than gossip. Can't you feel all the hungry eyes on your…wallet? I should call an arrange a limo to pick you up at the end of the night. Really seal the image." Despite talking, her words are lazy and drug hazed, as are the fingers that flirt with the hair near the nape of his neck.

*

When Eddie doesn't take his hand immediately, Roy glances back, as if expecting her to have disappeared entirely. The placement of her hand in his flashes a little surprise onto his face, but it fades into a smile as she steps up to him and folds her arms around his shoulders, and he dances slow and close. "Pretty sure there are a couple watching you, not me." Beat pause, "You've gotta account for the lesbians." He lets the music move him around and with the secret agent, one arm curling around the back of her shoulders, the other sinking to her hip for a moment before it drifts away with the music. "I like it better when their hungry eyes are on my ass. The edge that sometimes sharpens around her dulls as he sinks into the opioid haze and the clinging tendrils of alcohol in his system, and then he's just enjoying the moment, "That feels nice, by the way. That's okay to say, right?" The question is accompanied by a lazy smile, "Not gonna put your back up?"

*

"Man, you really are obsessed with your own ass, aren't you?" Eddie says wryly, of course she merely glosses over the thought that anyone might be looking at her, and yet somehow it doesn't fall into the realm of modesty. More like subtle self-deprecation.

"Little do you know this is just my evil plot to turn you into a pile of putty before I exploit you for my amusement. And by that, I mean I'm seeing how compliant I can get you before making you sing karaoke. Which I will film. And then post the internet to see how many 'likes' I can get for your public shaming." Despite that, her fingers still toy as if taking advantage of the tactile moment she's allowing herself.

*

"I just like to draw attention to my best feature." Roy apparently has little shame, at least about that. "Besides. Tell me you don't check your own ass out in the mirror. I'm assuming it's pretty awesome, even if you don't show it off. I haven't met someone in either of our lines of work without a nice ass." He pauses a moment, considering, "Besides The Blob, but that's different." Breathing into the continued caress of her fingers, he lets his eyes close for a long moment as he continues to move with the music, "And the only way I'm doing karaoke is if you're up there with me. Because I'm pretty sure neither of us want video of us spread all over the internet. But hey, if you want a duet, I rock 'Summer Loving.' Or pretty much anything from Grease." Which is probably way too much information.

*

"A fan of the classics." Eddie says with amusement lingering around the edges of her voice. Slowly she turns in his embrace, hands skimming along his arms to draw one around her midsection and the other to her thigh, forcing fingers into a curl so they dig into her leggings and draw the hem of her dress up just slightly. "Alright. So. No karaoke."

Her chin turns slightly into her shoulder so she can speak lowly over the curve of it back to Roy. "Have you thought about what Registration is going to mean to these old friends of yours?" The question is dropped casually, but that word 'registration' carries its own weight.

*

Roy nods sharply, "Of course. That's the good shit." When she turns, his hand reaches across her body of its own accord, matching her motion without delay or any prompting being needed. His other hand, however, is caught up by hers and drawn down to her thigh. Surprise paints his features for a moment, and then he goes with it. His fingers pluck slowly at the hem of her dress, as if they were playing the strings of a guitar. Once the hem is pinned by his wrist, his fingers smooth back down over the leggings, "Awww, you're not going chicken on me, are you E?" He closes against her back as she dances close, his right thumb stroking along her side as he tucks his head in close to hers, "Yeah. They've got it covered." After all, Titans Tower stands vacant, as far as can be seen, the Titans moved elsewhere. "Just like I do with all the stupid-ass V-laws here." Curiosity touches his features, drawing down his brows, "How about… your employers?" Which is a much better way to say 'how about you?' "Pitching a fit?"

*

"There is the fun kind of public expression, and then there is the humiliating kind. You should know by now which one I'm into." And while exploiting his hopeful tone deafness, she doesn't seem inclined to do the same. Eddie's gloved fingers continue folding and tangling with his, smoothing out and scrunching up along the meat of her thigh. "My employers are …complicated. And divided. I'm not sure how things are going to come down in March. It might be time to come up with a contingency plan."

*

"The humiliating for others kind, of course. Like every good watcher ever." Roy's right arm tightens all the way around Eddie's midsection, nearly wrapping back to his own waist. It draws his body close against hers, a fact which demonstrates that there is indeed attraction there without much of a shadow of a doubt. His left hand pinches up some of the material of her legging between his fingers and the heel of his hand, but instead of tugging on it, he looses the cloth once more, squeezing her fingers between his instead. "And just when you got hired on. Bet that's disappointing. Divided's not good though. Especially not from your employers. Could mean trouble for other folks, yeah?"

*

There is a deep exhale at being drawn so close, the tail end sounding dangerously close to a purr in the back of her throat as Eddie's head lulls slight to the side from the trance the drugs and the music and the nearness are putting her under. Still she finds some thread of the conversation too important to simply let go of right now. "I have to be more concerned about myself right now. Being exploited. Knowing what I can do. How it can be used…Can I trust you, Roy?" She twists her upper body then, at least enough so she can see more of his face than just the vague shape of it in her peripheral.

*

When she half-turns, she can see the violets, greens, and blues painted across a face with eyes closed, paying not a whit of attention to anything further away than the waves of bass washing over them — and of course the razor-sharp thread of conversation being paid out between them. Roy lets the question sit for a moment, and then slowly opens his eyes, meeting her gaze in the closeness of the embrace. Eventually, he responds, "Pretty far." His right arm loosens to facilitate her half-turn, fingertips pulling slowly across her stomach, "I don't know you well enough to say 'forever' or 'to the death' or any bullshit like that. But yeah. Beyond the fact that you can turn me in pretty easy too, yeah."

*

Those fingers that have been toying, dragging along her thigh in a lazy war with fabric, are momentarily bereft of Eddie's own before her gloved fingers return and slip something cold and metal beneath the press of his fingers. A small key. "If I disappear. If I don't contact you at any point for two weeks. You go to the First National Gotham Bank. A safe deposit box has been opened under Roy Morales. Likewise, if I disappear, someone is under instruction to leave the appropriate identification you'll need at the place we first met. I left instructions inside the box what you're to do with the contents. Will you do that for me?" Even though Morales is giving him a 'mission', the dancing continues, just a slow sway of hips and press of the curve of her body moulding back to his.

*

Without thinking, Roy palms the key, tucking it between two fingers. Her murmured words, however, cause him to frown, some of the haze slipping free of his gaze, but only some. He listens without interrupting, his fingers brushing down the length of her abdomen unthinkingly, sternum to navel and back again, but his brain is churning through his daze. "You don't think you're gonna make it out." His left hand slips from under hers, covering it instead and giving a little squeeze. "Yeah. I'll get it. I'm not gonna kill anyone, but anything short of that, I'll get your revenge." There's a pause, and then that slow smile spreads across his features, "Or bust you out. I'm pretty good at rescues. Which one do you think it'll be, E? Rescue or revenge?"

*

Eddie's chin tips towards her chest with a little laugh, a fringe of hair falling around her eyes. "That's one hell of a promise from a man whose last name I don't even know, so I had to rent the box using my own." Which begs the question if she's getting him a fake I.D. why didn't she just make up a random last name to begin with. "Trust me. What's in that bank will be enough revenge that you won't even need to get your hands dirty. So…" She flicks her head to get the hair out of her eyes before she turns in his grasp again, hands this time sliding low to hips. "Thank you." And with that she rocks up on her toes slightly to give his cheek a chaste kiss.

*

"I kind of assumed it wasn't a proposal. I don't know you that well." The promise causes Roy to nod, "All the better." As she turns, the hand at her hip loosens, so that he doesn't accidentally grab anything more delicate than her thigh — perhaps for a wonder he doesn't 'accidentally' grab anything more delicate either. The hand at her stomach loosens to allow her to spin within it, ending up at the small of her back, his thumb brushing down her spine. The thanks causes him to shrug, the press of her lips to his cheek twisting it up at one corner, "What are friends for, E?" Maybe that's an apology for bringing up money earlier. "I'm totally curious though. Good thing that guy won't be dropping off the ID unless you need me to pick it up. You know how to tease a guy, don't you?"

*

"Always have to think of a fail safe. This way you can't go snooping about unless it's utmost necessary." Eddie's lips twist up wryly, a flash of teeth as her smile goes supernova for a split second before it's smothered down into something more subtle even though her hands are less so, with their sprawl of fingers on the higher curve of his most favored asset. With thumbs hooking into his waistband, she gives a little squeeze that may pass for a hug. "But sure. Consider it teasing." Her head tilts slightly, "By the way, no sign of your toys down in the tunnels. I hope your fingerprints weren't on them before you were in costume."

*

"And you think I'd snoop without your permission, E?" Roy's smile brightens as hers flashes incandescent, and then his brows shoot up as she settles her fingers on his backside, and he laughs, returning the squeeze at her back with a little more intention to the hug, "I've lost them before, I'll lose them again. There's actually a special coating on them that makes it hard for fingerprints to stick. Not my invention, sadly, or I'd make a million dollars off it." His hands trail up her back, and he steps close toward her, so that one of his feet shuffles between hers, aiming to press their hips close as he murmurs, "Did you find what you needed down there? The case? Or did someone else clean everything up?"

*

Eddie folds into the closer embrace seamlessly, knees splitting around his so there is nothing left between them but layers of fabric and public decency. It seems for a moment that she's about to lay her forehead on his shoulder, unthinking, but then stops herself with a blink. "Damn." She mutters with a laugh, "I forgot how little it takes when you go clean for a while. Sadly, it's nothing like that first high." Or low. She'll be chasing that forever, no matter how many meetings she goes to, or how many times she slips.

"Mm. No case. No unconscious bodies. And no remaining trace of our presence once I was done. I am very…thorough. Coating, hmm? Clever. Too bad we can't Teflon anything we may touch."

*

The slow headbob toward his shoulder and back up causes Roy to note, "New shirt…" then he shrugs a little, "But yeah. There's really nothing like it. Kind of pisses you off, always chasing something that matches it, yeah? Or tops it." There's definitely something sad about it. Nobody ever said that Roy doesn't know just how screwed he is, just that he doesn't have the lever to pry him away from the chase. "Yeah. Whole process. That's why I usually try to pick 'em up. Saves on having more made, or trying not to fuck it up myself. Must be hard being so good at what you do… what'll you ever aspire to, E?"

*

"New shirt." Eddie repeats, and then with a close of her eyes she drops her temple to his shoulder, her face tucking against his neck. She's happy just to dance with him for a quiet moment in the beams of color changing lights, an indulgence she seems to relish more than the drugs in their system. There is an inhale of breath, a tentative start to a sentence that just seems to die off after the, "I…" Stopping herself from whatever was going to be said perhaps in answer to his question. Instead, it takes a full turn as her next words come out far more confident. "You know if I try hard enough…I could see you dressing…"

*

With the pulsing beat and the slowly-shifting light, Roy actually finds himself enjoying the slow motion of their bodies together, the closeness that isn't the harder press and roll that he usually enjoys on the dance floor. One hand slips up her back to touch the back of her bobbed hair a moment, then settles back between her shoulder-blades. The abortive start lifts his head a little, turning it toward Eddie, but before he can muster up the thought to respond, she's speaking again. And he blinks, working his mouth, and it takes nearly another full turn for him to respond, "Well yeah. I… hadn't thought of that." There's another pause, and then he adds, "There are easier ways to see me naked though. If that's all you aspire to."

*

"Uh-huh. Like dragging you off to the bathroom again? Sorry, tiger. This is already pushing the limits of this high. Bouncing me off the stall walls takes a whole different caliber of party favors." Which is why it was probably a sore subject he touched on when he happened to mention Morales probably hadn't gotten any in a while. "And I'm not going to waste what little of the Vicodin I have left trying to push myself to visualize you getting dressed. Or in what room. Or if you were alone. Or if you're a boxer or briefs man."

*

"Come on, I've got more class than that." Of course, Eddie has evidence to the contrary of that statement. "I'm just giving you shit though, E." He actually thinks about it then, frowning, "But that probably takes some real Kama Sutra shit to make it not a total nightmare. Damn…" He opens his mouth to respond to her questions that totally weren't questions, then shakes his head, "Nope. No sense teasing you with details. Just enjoy dancing, E." Okay, he can't totally resist, "Boxer-briefs. Better for running and tumbling, not totally banana-hammock-y."

*

"Yeah, well." Eddie says of things being a total nightmare. Leaving it at that as she lifts her head from his shoulder and fixes herself with a bright smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. Thankfully it's dark, and with the shifting lights, perhaps it will come off as genuine because she doesn't have the wherewithal right now to perfect the ruse. "A banana. That would explain things." Her eyes shift from his face downward with the attempted joke. "But speaking of bathrooms, I have to go use the little spy's room. Why don't you go pour us a few more drinks upstairs and I'll meet you back up there in five?"

*

Roy seems taken in by the smile, laughing with a shrug, "I could've said 'bratwurst.'" Her excuse, however, washes away the smile, and he nods, "Yeah. I can do that." His arm around her back squeezes slightly, then he looses both arms and steps back, trailing one hand down the outside of her sleeved arm to clasp for her hand, "I'll clear a path off the dance floor." So she doesn't have to knock into people and risk any contact at the wrists, neck, or face. As they clear the crowd, he gives her gloved hand a little squeeze, then heads straight for the stairs, letting her head off to the little spy's room — or the door. He's totally expecting her to head for the door and not show upstairs again. Still, he ascends without a glance back (it takes a hint of restraint, which surprises him), flashing his best movie-star smile to the bouncer, and then pours a vodka on the rocks for her and another screwdriver for himself and dropping into one of those disgustingly-soft couches, "Never gonna happen. She's in the wind again." He shrugs, glancing at the key she gave him for a moment, then tucks it carefully into a safe pocket.

*

Eddie's eyebrows lift when Roy takes her hand again and he offers to clear the way and split the crowd. The gesture. The act. It's enough to give her a stab of guilt as she splits off from him towards the bathroom. As soon as she is certain she's out of direct eye line of the stairs, she veers off, doubling back through the club and slipping out the front.

She's in the wind indeed. And damned if it doesn't feel even colder out there now.

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