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One Drink (One Job Part 2)

Posted on Sun Dec 22nd, 2019 @ 10:32pm by Comm Tech Wulf Edevane & Pilot Allegra Jennings
Edited on on Tue Dec 24th, 2019 @ 12:05am

Mission: The Forgotten Arm
Location: Ceres Station
Timeline: 18 Months Before the Eros Incident

It was one of those niche little bars that was neither too grandiose nor too much of a dive. A high ceiling filled with a myriad of multi-coloured lights, cleverly placed padded bench seating that was comfortably worn in and with just the right amount of shadows. Nothing too romantic, but neither was it too functional. Small space, out of the mainstream noise and clearly cared for. Original artwork on the walls, low music and quiet conversations playing out between office-worker class clientele.

Wulf waltzed in, confident and content, Allegra’s arm linked through his at the elbow as if they were old friends. He strolled up to the bar, and boldly tapped the female server on the shoulder. As she turned around to bark at the intrusion, her expression changed gear rapidly and her whole face lit up in a bright smile.

“Wulf!” She announced, then reached over the bar, grabbed his cheeks and planted a definitely platonic kiss on his forehead. Then she nodded, and turned to smile at Allegra. “I’m Darla, an old friend of his sister’s,” she explained. “First drink’s on the house, what’ll you have?”

When Wulf had said he knew just that place, Allegra had been intrigued. Just what type of place did he know about on Ceres Station to get a drink. With her arm looped through his, and her air of pretending firmly in place, she’d been pleasantly surprised. It was just one of those places that was right down the middle, not too over the top.

She was even more surprised when he reached up and actually tapped the server on the shoulder, green eyes casting a questioning sideways glance in his direction. Yet, the animated way the woman’s face shifted as her gaze landed on Wulf was one of recognition, and a welcoming recognition.

A smile plastered on her lips and Allegra withdrew her arm to prop on the bar top after giving Wulf’s shoulder a friendly bump. This was why he knew about the place. “Allegra. I try to keep him outta trouble. Whiskey?”

Big dark eyes regarded Allegra with interest as she spoke. Darla tilted her head to the side and ran a couple of fingers through tightly curled black hair. She didn’t say the obvious - Martian! - but granted Wulf an intrigued look and let her own hand fall lightly at the Belter tattoo on her neck.

“Pleasure to meet you, Allegra,” Darla said softly, as she reached for a bottle and filled two glasses. “Looks like he’s been getting you into trouble, though,” she added, resting her hand over the top of the glass she placed in front of Wulf as she spoke to Allegra. “You can use the staff washroom if you want a quiet minute?”

It had been a good long while since Allegra had let anyone’s opinion about her being a Martian bother her. Her crew was alright with it, and that was really all that mattered. It was hard though, to judge Darla’s reaction, noting the way her gaze shifted over to Wulf’s like there was some unspoken something passing between the two. It was what it was, after all, she was just here for the drink. Maybe two, depending. Just enough for some of the liquid courage to settle into her bones so they could head back to the ‘Tross.

Her brow knotted in confusion at the other woman’s words until she mentioned a quiet moment and using the staff washroom. For a moment she’d almost forgotten what had taken place. Allegra nodded, once, tossed a quick sideways glance at Wulf and straightened up from the bar. He hadn’t been the one to get her into trouble, it had just found her. Did she look that bad? “Yeah? Thanks. Where is it?”

Wulf offered up a supportive smile to that sideways look and gave Allegra’s hand a gentle squeeze that told her she was safe here. Darla, meanwhile, frowned in concern for the other woman and nodded. “Just down there,” she indicated with a pointing hand.

Allegra pushed away from t he bar, her gaze following the gesture Darla made off behind the bar and to the side down a small hallway. "No head-start." She pointed at Wulf before heading off to see just what a mess she looked like. It had to be something considering...

Giving the door a lock behind her, Allegra stared at her reflection in the mirror. Yeah...though it wasn't that noticeable. Her hair was a bit out of place, showing clear signs of either a struggle or a good roll in the hay. No wonder Darla had given her such a look. But it was the strange, look staring back at her that struck her the oddest. She had to shake this off. Allegra tossed some water on her face, patting it dry before rolling her head and exiting. It was as good as she was going to get. The drink would help.

“I didn’t do nuthin’,” Wulf told Darla once Allegra was out of earshot. He held up his hands in a gesture of innocence and surrender. “Promise.” And he watched that slow wry smile cross his sister’s friend’s face.

“Sometimes doing nothing is just as bad,” Darla pointed out in a tone that suggested she’d personally experienced the aftermath of such poor decision making. “She looks tough, though. Navy or Marine?”

Wulf shrugged. He didn’t really want to get into it. But he protested with a stern frown as Darla picked up his drink held it hostage. “Navy, I think,” he answered, dismissively and then tried to change the subject. “How’s business?”

Darla ruffled his hair despite the look of sufferance on Wulf’s face and nodded. “It’s good. Not seen you for an age, kiddo. You back?”

“Just passing through,” Wulf said, and he looked towards Allegra as the pilot hove back into sight. “Hey,” he greeted her with a bright smile. “Looking good.” He ignored the look he could feel Darla aiming at the side of his head, and handed the glass to his fellow crew member as Allegra retook her seat.

“You say that to all the girls.” Allegra stated as she slid back onto her seat. She took the drink, holding the glass up and gesturing a quick thanks to Darla. The plan had been to have one drink, but now here they were in a semi nice place with someone Wulf knew. It made the little visit all the more interesting. And it the one drink really qualify if it was on the house?

“So,” Darla addressed them both. “How’s life on the Albatross?”

Wulf’s eyes went wide. He hadn’t been expecting that level of intrusion, though he supposed he should have known they’d be keeping tabs on him.

Allegra took a gentle, taster sip of the whiskey, intrigued green eyes watching the other woman over the rim of the glass. It wasn’t very often. No, actually it was rare that any of the crew took others somewhere where they’d know someone. Unless it was a contact for a job.

“Oh, it’s just grand. All the testosterone."

As he looked from one woman to the other, Wulf shook his head and frowned. This was a little surreal, and he was starting to doubt the gut instinct that had sent him here to familiar turf. Allegra seemed calmer, happier and settled though, so he forced himself to relax as his crew mate answered Darla’s question.

Darla chuckled politely and leaned on the bar, interested. “Ah,” she noted with a sisterly roll of her eyes. “You’re the only female?” She added, with a sympathetic look to Allegra and a shake of her head towards Wulf. “Must be awful.”

The comms tech picked up his whiskey and downed it slowly in one hit. "Awful? No. We're downright adorable," Wulf said.

Allegra was just tossing her own drink back when Wulf spoke, causing a light snicker just as the amber liquid started down her throat. She slammed the drink back down on the bar top, a bit harder than intended, as she coughed. At least she hadn’t choked. Or maybe that would have been less embarrassing than someone thinking she couldn’t shoot whiskey.

“Yeah.” She responded to Darla’s question. Though it really wasn’t all that awful. Not all the time.

“No,” Allegra turned sideways, “I’m downright adorable. You like to use that clever tongue of yours and spout words in all those languages.” She turned back to the other woman and shrugged, “There’s truly no tellin’ what he’s sayin’ about any of us, really.” Subtly she pushed her glass over for a quick refill.

For a second, it looked as if Wulf might be about to try and give Allegra the Heimlich manoeuvre, but then he settled as she spoke.

"(2)Zachem mne govorit' chto-to gnusnoye o vas, dvukh umnykh i poryadochnykh nezavisimykh zhenshchinakh?" Wulf asked, his impish grin brightening his dark eyes as he looked from one to the other of his female companions. "It's not my fault you're paranoid," he added, the grin still caught on his features. "Round two?" He asked Allegra, as Darla gave them a refill whether they liked it or not, then wandered off to serve another patron at the other end of the bar. Dude looked as if he'd had a rough day at work, but he had a half-smile for the bartender.

"I do have a clever tongue, though," Wulf quietly agreed, a lopsided smirk infusing his words with humour.

“See.” Allegra stated right matter of factly as she turned back to face the other woman. “Just don’t know what to do with him. Andddd, ” She drew the word out slightly, enjoying the distraction the interlude was presenting. “What’s that got to do with bein’ paranoid?” But it was the grin on his face that caught her attention, usually it meant that Wulf hadn’t said anything that she would need to threaten to kick his ass over, but one never really knew. Maybe it was just that grin that gave him a free pass.

She nodded in agreement, definitely needed a round two, the corner of her lips twitching upwards as Darla refilled their glasses. Allegra had said she needed a drink, but clearly that meant that drinking just needed to happen. And clearly that did not in fact mean just one, single solitary drink.

“Hmmm.” The noise rumbled out over the rim of the glass as Allegra lifted it to her lips. She wasn’t going anywhere near that remark. Then as if just having the thought, moved the glass out to hold it in mid air, her gaze moving from it to peruse his boyish face, “This was one of the best ideas you’ve had, Wulf.”

Round Two was definitely a go, and Wulf had a definite suspicion that they might sneak in a couple more. He tried not to think about Soto and Mickey’s opinion on said delay, or Ken’s reaction when that damn part was delivered to his waiting hands an hour or so later than expected. It really wasn’t too difficult to distract his mind in other directions - well one very specific direction - not with that gorgeous blond Martian sat beside him gifting him her full attention as well as compliments. Hell, she’d nearly even smiled.

“Skoal!” Wulf toasted, as he clunked his glass against hers and beamed with happiness. “(3)A grandes ideas y compañía hermosa!” He sunk the second shot, made a face that suggested that had probably not been such a great plan after all, and then reached across the bar to grab the bottle and refill them both for Round Three. “Maybe we... struggled to find that part for the Albatross, huh?” Wulf asked, his eyes optimistically searching Allegra’s for complicity while his brain avoided considering how obvious the lie would be when they were late back. He lost himself in that verdant gaze for a longer moment that he had originally intended, expression contentedly wistful.

She really was gorgeous. Dangerous. A little vulnerable. And downright adorable.

Truth of the matter was that Allegra wasn’t doing too much thinking at the moment. Thinking meant remembering what had happened earlier, what she had done to protect herself. The drinks, they didn’t help so much as the company did. Which was why she smiled as Wulf clanked his glass with hers. Sure they might get into a bit of trouble for coming back late, and quite possibly more intoxicated than they wanted, but sitting there right in the moment it was going to be worth it.

Allegra was a half a beat later than he for tossing back her own drink and a bit late in catching whatever it was that he’d uttered. Though, her attention and her gaze turned towards the bottle as he poured them each another round. The second drink had definitely been needed, this third? Allegra shook the stray thought away and lifted her gaze to meet his. And totally forgot the question. There seemed to be an unspoken one was well. Allegra blinked once, then twice, “Yeah, yeah.”

She cleared her throat and reached for the third round, the spoken question finally sinking in, “But we did. That’s why we got the two of ‘em.” Not that their story would be believable when they showed back up smelling of alcohol.

He couldn't tell if it was working - his alcohol distraction - because she'd dropped into a quiet semi-funk now. Allegra was thinking, which was the exact opposite of his intention. In the absence of clever words, Wulf relied on another dose of alcohol and wondered just how much it took to get a Martian Navy pilot drunk.

Was that even a good idea? He didn't know. Right now he just wanted Allegra to be safe and, if possible, happy.

"Well," Wulf pointed out. "One more won't make much difference, right?" Though a dim voice in the back of his mind tried to remind him that pilot, drunk, ship was not a good combination, the tech pushed past such trivial concerns.

A pause as he regarded the quietly pensive blond Martian sat beside him, and then he piped up again. "I worked here for a month once." Long time back now. When he'd first left home. "Hated it," he added with a smile. "But Darla looked out for me, and learned a lot from listening to the customers. People tell you things when they're drunk..." He let his voice trail and let a pair of dark eyes look up from under his brow to regard his companion in a look that clearly said - if you want to talk, I'll listen.

Third round having been tossed back, Allegra didn’t hesitate to reach for the bottle and pour herself another. Why? Fuck if she knew, but it not now, then when? After this little venture she wasn’t sure just when they’d be able to even partake of anything that would make their heads spin. Kinda sorta like hers was just starting to do. Even being former MCRN, it didn’t take too much to get the pilot a bit on the tipsy side. Allegra held the bottle up, giving it a tiny wiggle in question as to if Wulf was joining her for another round or not.

‘Oh really?” Now that was something interesting to learn about the com tech. Allegra shifted on her stool, angling more so she could face Wulf. Green eyes held onto his, the corner of her mouth lifting upwards into a smirk. Just what was he getting at here? “If there’s somethin’ you’re just dyin’ to know, babycakes, all you gotta do is ask.”

She was really throwing those shots back, which worried him. Maybe he should have taken her straight back to the ship? There was a tiny internal chuckle at the thought - as if Allegra would do something just because he’d asked her to.

Wulf shook his head in a last ditch attempt to remain the sober one here. He needed to get them home safe. Then he changed his mind. He’d allow her, he decided, to fill his glass, but he’d sip it. Yes. That was a good plan. Babycakes though? There it was again. The tech rolled his eyes at the ceiling, but as he lowered his gaze hers still sought his and he froze, caught in her spell. The girl from Mars.

A wince. He didn’t want to be babycakes. He steeled his resolve and flashed a confident grin. They were alone in a bar. Then, just as Wulf opened his mouth to ask something, Darla turned back to them, stole the whiskey bottle back and shook her head at them both.

“Easy. He wants to know if you like him,” Darla teased and she ignored the dirty look that bought her in return. “Probably after a kiss too,” she added, with brutal disregard for the tech’s shame.

Allegra wasn’t drunk enough to miss the wince that crossed his boyish face, but she was just buzzed that the slight warmth from the uniform jacket was starting to bother her. Even while she was normally one that didn’t hold back certain things, those ...however many drinks she’d had already created a looser tongue that usual. Whether such was a good thing or a bad thing, was going to be up for debate. Later. When sanity and clear thinking obviously returned. She lifted a finger, lightly poking Wulf in the shoulder as she accentuated her words, “Ya don’t like my nicknames for ya, do ya?” Though she doubted any of the crew really did.

Green eyes stared after Darla, or well the bottle she’d stolen back from them before the woman's words registered. Allegra blinked once. And then twice. And then she turned her head back to Wulf. Of course she liked him. She wouldn’t be sitting here drinking….ohhhhh. Was it like, like? Or just like. “Is that so?” Allegra quirked a questioning brow upwards.

Her finger delicately jabbed at him and Wulf reached up and placed his hand over hers. His gaze sought Allegra’s, caught in a question. She was relaxed now, happy to pick at him, but that moment back in the workshop still lingered heavily in the forefront of the tech’s mind. Joking and Darla’s obliviousness aside, he couldn’t push this the way he might otherwise have been tempted to right now.

“I don’t think nicknames are sposed to be liked, are they?” Wulf asked, his tone amicable and his expression relaxed, accepting of the joke at his expense. A shrug, and he reached up to bounce the ball of his thumb lightly from her chin. “I’ve had worse,” he admitted. “But I’ll admit - babycakes - not my favourite, no.”

He watched Allegra watch Darla, and blushed some as the Martian Navy pilot caught up with the Belter bar owner’s drift. If it hadn’t been for Handsy McSpanner-in-the-Face back at the shop, the comm tech likely would have risked a swift lean in to steal a safe kiss on her cheek. But here, and now, Wulf opted for humour as an escape mechanism from the pressure of the situation.

“I think maybe Darla’s projecting. She loves a good kiss,” he said. And a bar towel flew through the air and smacked him lightly in the face as a response. "More whiskey please," Wulf's muffled voice requested from beneath said towel.

He had a point. Though, it took a few moments for the words to register, roll about in her addled brain. Nicknames weren’t exactly supposed to be liked. But wasn’t that part of the fun? She gave her head a light shake no, stopping suddenly with green eyes widening. That was not a good idea. Had she had that much already?

Allegra tried then to glance down at her chin as Wulf pulled his hand away, her eyes crossing slightly, “Welll,” Her Martian drawl thicker than normal as she stretched the single word out, “you don’t like Wulfie, either.” What else was she supposed to call him?

“Oh? So you don’t want to kiss me? He doesn’t wanna.” Whiskey tended to make whatever was on the brain come tumbling freely from her lips. But the mention of whiskey turned Allegra’s attention back towards Darla and the stolen bottle of liquor, her last statement aimed at the other woman. “Yes! More whiskey!” The question of just how just knew Darla loved a good kiss disappearing from her mind as Allegra focused on the prospect of another drink.

Wulf shrugged, towel still on his head, then pulled the cloth away and offered up a big dumb grin. Whiskey permeated his system, choosing that moment to catch him up with his swiftly consumed intake and his dark eyes shone.

"I didn't say I didn't want to," the tech said, and he pointed at Darla. "I just said she did. Darla's a really close personal friend of my sister." He turned serious for a nanosecond and added. "Eh, I don't mind Wulfie so much, Allie-gator. I can deal." His face and demeanour flipped instantly back to happiness personified. "But y'know, you could use a good kiss," Wulf stated and he leaned in as close as he could get to Allegra without physically touching her face.

“Does she? How could I refuse?” Allegra lifted her empty glass, forehead wrinkling in a mixture of confusion and frustration at finding it empty. A groan of disappointed rumbling as she held it up even further to inspect its emptiness. “Me thinks you’re jus’ sayin’ such to make me feel better, Wulfie. So Wulfie’s good, eh?” She set the glass back down on the table, her attention turning back to her drinking companion. He was a cutie, that was for sure. Those deep brown, puppy eyes of his were definitely a killer.

“Yeah.” She agreed, she probably did. He was so close that Allegra could smell the whiskey on his breath..but then again, with as much as they both had consumed already it could have been from either of them. It wouldn’t take much, just a small lean forward to press her lips to his. But somewhere in that small distance, Allegra lost her balance, her perch on the stool becoming precarious and she slipped, started to slide from her seat. Reaching out, her hand latched on to Wulf’s arm to keep herself steady. And she burst out laughing at herself.

“Wulfie’s not good, no,” Wulf corrected, shaking his head and laughing. “But if it makes you feel better…” He tried to read that look in her eyes, tilting his head as if that might help him to understand her better. She was really studying him now, her gaze locked on his, shared whiskey heavy in the tiny piece of air between them.

For a second he thought she might just steal that kiss he didn’t dare risk. But then she lurched, her seat unforgiving, and he grabbed Allegra’s arm at the same moment she caught hold of his for support. Her laughter was contagious, but Wulf’s first priority was still making sure the Albatross’ pilot was okay. Both his feet nudged her stool’s legs back into place, safe and evenly on the floor, and as he didn’t let go of her arm, Wulf heard himself speak the words he didn’t want to say.

“We should probably head back…”

"Yep." Allegra struggled the single response out between fits of unnatural giggling. Unnatural because it wasn't quite normal for her to succumb to such. But then whiskey and good company tended to loosen most anyone. Sobering, from her laughter at least, Allegra gave Wulf's arm a light squeeze and then a good few taps before she withdrew her own hand and straighten up enough to lean the opposite direction and prop against the bar. "Though," her watery gaze sought his, "I'm not sure I can walk straight. I think, I think...I don't think they'll be too happy with me."

To prove her point she slowly stood, hands smoothing down her hair as she weaved slightly on her booted feet, "Oh! Gotta pay the bar lady. Think she'll take a kiss for payment, Wulfie?"

It made him grin to hear her giggle. It made him grin a lot, and Wulf told himself he was totally in control, sober and the adult in the room. Right up until Allegra let go of his arm, he stepped off his own stool and suddenly sat down on the floor. That made him laugh too, a rich rolling sound of childish amusement, as he dragged himself back up to stand. There were tears in her eyes.

Tears of laughter? Still he lifted a hand and wiped a gentle thumb beneath her left eye, dropped his smile to a worried gaze and tilted his head in a frown.

"C'mon, Allie-gator," Wulf decided. "Lean on me. We're going home."

He propped her up with a supportive arm placed underneath hers and wrapped about her back. "I gotcha," the tech said, and he did in fact feel stronger and sturdier than he looked, more than capable of assisting the Martian pilot in their new venture at least. But no, Wulf didn't expect their XO would be happy with either of them. Right now he didn't think too much about that though, all he cared about was getting Allegra back to the Tross. "We can do this together, okay," he promised her.

Darla scowled at them both and handed Wulf a sealed bottle of water. The tech regarded her as he considered Allegra's question with mock seriousness and while he pushed through that sense of comfortable drunkenness.

"No, I don't think she will," Wulf answered with an dramatically comedic roll of his eyes. "Not from me anyway."

"Your money's no good here, setara mali," Darla told him as she gifted the tech a hard stare. "Go fo xom," she added, but there was something the way she said it that implied more than the simple meaning. Go home.

End Scene.

(2) Russian:'Why would I say anything nefarious about either of you two intelligent and upstanding independent women?
(3) Spanish: ‘To great ideas and beautiful company!’


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