Cut 'Em Up

Ice House 
Last time she had come here, it had been on crutches, in a sling. She had worn that dumb tuxedo and more or less harassed the boozy millenials around her, spoiling for a fight to which she couldn't even follow through. Had seen that psychic chick barf up on a dance floor.

She was back again, because she liked the way the noise and smells and bodies occupied her space when something awful brewed in her heart. Instead of thinking, I should have bitten him, she could pick up a guy, or challenge him to a drinking contest he was bound to lose. Instead of bubbling up with boredom and hatred and loneliness, she could make somebody laugh, she could wrestle, she could see something new. It was some of the time a way to slow herself down and not do something worse, and sometimes a way to waste time, to avoid asking questions with answers she didn't want to hear. Such as what were you thinking. where are you going with this.

Anyway, she didn't put on the tux.

She did change, though, to a ratty t-shirt her arms bulged out of like pythons, the graphic in front half-worn away. A pair of tight jeans and, capriciously, some pointy black heels, something to keep the threat of bodily injury still well on the table. She had arrived feeling more comfortable than the last time, as if this was her bar, as if everyone knew her. She settled onto a stool in the largest, loudest room and began to put away shots of mid-shelf whiskey, doing the math in her head. How much would she have to spend, and how quickly would she need to drink, to have any fun at all tonight?


This wasn't exactly his scene in any sense, but wasn't that rather the point? He'd gotten into a comfortable rut as of late, and while he was never one to complain about that, there was the dangerous chance for boredom to come down the line and turn his head. And seeing as he rather liked his life as it was right now, letting off a little restlessness in a harmless manner was probably for the best.

So, goodbye for a moment, North Glenn. Sorry, not coming to see you at the moment Belle Vista. Cedar Creek was a fine neighbor he saw less of, but was still within the realms of reasonable choice, though the venue was a bit... well, youthful. Human, even. The Cage or the Gym might have been more to his speed, or maybe even stopping at the pack's brewery, but sometimes he just had to people watch. Human watching, really.

Them and all their thumping heartbeats as they drank and laughed and danced. This place was horribly loud and he almost hated it, but that was sort of what he wanted at the moment. Not everything needed to be sunshine and roses, right? Better to flash his teeth at a stranger than at a friend.

So as he'd wandered, warm from all the bodies that didn't seem to mind him one bit and the slight flush of alcohol he'd consumed in... not exactly sufficient quantities. Social drink was alright, but it worked better when you actually had someone you cared to socialize with. Mostly he'd lurked the wall, harried a few of the drunker ones, turned away a young lady who had obviously been... well, he didn't care enough to gauge exactly why she'd come onto him. But she'd been uninteresting, in the end.

And so where he'd expected he might encounter a wolf or two here, in Cedar Creek, what he'd not anticipated was the perfectly peculiar waft of hyena. Familiar, but not immediately so--it was only a few breaths into it as he'd gotten closer that he'd been able to put his finger on it. And by time he'd sorted out that short question, he was close enough to see her.

Well, why not? With music thundering in his skull and so many distractions about, he hardly considered the approach more than to drop his elbow onto the bar in the open spot next to her and give her a good look. Voice raised just enough to ask a fellow were, "You the only interesting one here?"

More and more, humans became less interesting. Further removed from it without his family, without Katya, he could only mind them for so long before he craved the presence of someone worth his while. If there was anyone like them in here other than the one he'd just found, maybe she'd know. Either way, it was good enough of a greeting, given the scene.

Her hyena senses had been kind of...extra-haywire the last day or so, although she attributed this only to the usual rise and pitch of wild feelings that were typical for a Pete. That Becky was grumbling and spinning did not seem out of the ordinary, even as Lee's face rose to the surface of her mind, or more accurately the smell of him.

Oily. A little stale.

She looked vaguely down at the line of shots before her, feeling the bear approach. Without looking up or even straightening her spine, she popped them back, one-two-the-only-interesting-one-three. Turned her blue-eyed head to appraise a model-handsome kind of man who looked like he was dressing far below his station, a politician posing for a photoshoot with a passel of roughnecks. Interesting!

She held his gaze for only a split second before moving again, sticking her finger in her mouth to suck distractedly at the rat bite that wouldn't heal. Looking past him, she could see two girls vying for the attention of some fetus-faced college boy who looked like he was in his element. Beyond them another infant whose hair was a masterwork of artistry, and who undoubtedly she would have fixed onto had she not been joined by other company. She could just imagine all the ways she could ruin that hair.

Anyway, though. Yogi the Senator had gotten here first. She leaned back and turned, removing the finger from her mouth and covering the bite with her thumb. "Unless you're bringing anything to the table, looks like it." A mean, crooked grin for her bar friend. A long, spiked foot kicked up to wedge against the vacant stool, her leg nudging at his middle. Welcome to the party, friend.

Perhaps it had just been the nature of his encounters recently, but there was something genuinely refreshing about getting close enough to confirm that she was not an actual child. Or weak in her metaphysical presence. Just about average, maybe a little more, and at that age where he couldn't have told you anything about when she might have been born other than to know for certain it hadn't been this century. Good enough for him.

Though she didn't answer straight away--and his own head turned just enough to more blindly scan the crowd, as if she might really find something interesting out there that he'd missed--she did ultimately seem to come to same conclusion he had. Humans were about as fun as he imagined a herd of chatty elk might be. You could entertain yourself with them for a bit, but in the end all you were doing was wondering how quick the rest would scatter if you just brought your paw down on the closest one.

Maybe all the noise was making him cranky.

So Levka instead chose to hear her out, huffing a little at her flash of insult, though taking it as something of a challenge. He was interesting, just you wait. Heedless of her leg, her foot, of his own personal space or hers, he backed himself up to sit on the edge of the formerly vacant barstool and titled his head at her, letting his own blue gaze go from her slightly odd but not unappealing face to the row of empty shot glasses.

"Managing anything with that, or do you just like the taste?"

He shoved her leg out of the way to sit down, and unconsciously the checks began to tally: she could push, he would shove. She liked to know that right away. Letting her legs dangle, she swayed analytically in her seat. "I'm workin' on it, but you're breaking my concentration." She shot a feral grin at him, her fingers quivering deviously above the surface of the bar. "I've got about ten minutes to work with to not waste 40 bucks, are you drinkin' or a peepin' Tom?"

Seriously, all jokes aside, the drinking had to happen now or she had just blown half a day's paycheck on nothing.

First impressions... favorable so far, but they could very quickly turn. He sort of wanted to like her because he wanted a reason to stay here and not give up and go sulking back home with little to show for the event. But well... that was up to her. Despite his shoving in here like he had some intent, ultimately he could not force himself to enjoy something he simply wouldn't.

Like, well, drinking for the sake of drinking. Especially straight alcohol, which she was currently doing. To him, this was the sort of behavior one went to when one was looking to torture himself. Punishment or trying to cripple himself from anything more stupid. But something about being otherwise labelled as nothing more than an idle bystander bothered him, so while he would have also maybe just loved watching her get drunk and trying to get her into trouble in his stead, he decided, what the hell.

"You sure that your forty dollars will be enough?" Already he was reaching inside of his denim jacket to find his wallet and his own card. He wasn't a bottomless pit of finances, but he did spend little on anything outside of food, and he could definitely afford to grease the wheels on Bad Decisions With a Hyena.

Peter's grin became more grin as he reached for his wallet, and she exhaled a low heh as she worked to flag down a bartender. "I'm forty dollars in, baby. Let's get a bottle. Want me to order you a white wine spritzer?"

Now the trick of this was to get it all in right away, and enjoy the limited time you had feeling swoopy and hilarious, and then eat four thousand burgers when you inevitably lost the high. A far cry from the glory days of human benders, but you worked with what you got. Pete drank economically, feeling the world begin to loosen at the seams, and studied her new friend between swallows.

He actually grimaced. No, no, no wine, nothing related to that here. Not without the proper company to make it enjoyable. There was precisely one person who had that particular sway on him, and this scavenger was not her by any stretch of the imagination. "Preference?" he asked, but ultimately he'd whistle the barkeep over to get them more for sharing than was reasonable for two normal people.

Levka wasn't precisely looking forward to this, but it was the social equivalent of rooting around in the sandbox to see if there really was anything worth holding onto. Wasn't going to hold his breath, but who knew? Life could be terribly surprising.

As they clearly weren't gearing up for sophisticated conversation over drinks, high alcohol content was key here. And frankly, once he got his own shot glass between his fingers, all he could do was stare at it a moment. Terrible idea? Terrible idea.

But he was all in for the moment as he downed it, committing to whatever this was.

He was insufficiently offended by her drink suggestion, and insufficiently interesting as he stared at his shot glass like it had the capacity to take him out. She had put away a startling amount of whiskey, blackout drunk amount, stomach pumped, but her helpful little virus played cleanup. Again she reached out a leg, digging it into the side of Yogi's stool and swiveling him slowly away from her. "I'm winning," she gloated quietly, taking the bottle and pouring them both another shot. "Do better, Tiger."

He thought to correct her with a swift 'not a tiger' but he had just put down another shot and was contending with the fact that she was messing with his seat, and so he didn't, instead snorting in cranky brands of frustration. "You call this winning? I was not aware we were racing to being dizzy," he said, but with this said over his shoulder to her he put his hand to the counter and twisted himself back around the long way.

Alright, alright. It was a stupid thing to get into contention about, but he rose to the peer pressure with all the grace of, well, a bear. "Fine, I will see if we cannot alarm the barman together."

Though she was doing that just fine on her own, he was sure. Still, he'd stop pacing himself. The click of glass on the counter a bit more frequent and he huffed several shots in. "Should have just asked for a real glass."

Shots were tedious!

Oh god, what a cranky old baby! She heh, heh'd as he fussed at her and wrestled back to face the bar. She blew an undignified raspberry at him, lacing her fingers together and flipping them palm-outward for a knuckle cracking stretch. "Two more, go go go." Her tone irritable, jokingly authoritative. "Gonna mop you off the floor after this. Did you really come down here to hang out with the Little People?"

She had meant, though it was impossible for him to know, that he really did look like a very rich person pretending to be working class. Vomit on that denim jacket would help, though.

He didn't even know why he was doing this, but that became less and less important with every terrible swallow of... what was this, some sort of whiskey? Having not cared enough when he'd ordered it, some people might have been more alarmed about ingesting what was essentially an unknown substance, but arguably there was little that could kill him even if this was more suspect than binge drinking hard liquor.

Took a shot, glowered at her out of the corner of his eye, mostly annoyed by her tone, but just the right overtone of... slightly amused by her. Some desire to push her off her stool surfaced, but was stilled in favor of picking up that second shot as she so demanded. Humor her, then he could mess with her, that was a plan!

It sounded more fun at the time, he thought in answer to her question, but it didn't quite make it past his filter. Not because he thought better of it--no, not that at all--but just because the path between brain and action was a little longer all of a sudden. Instead he commented sharply, "Did you already drink all of yours?"

Had he done one or two? He couldn't remember, so he poured himself a third.

There was no sharper or more primal natural high for Pete than the act of wrestling someone stronger than herself into doing what she wanted. Watching the man huff and puff and still pick up the shots, still grimace them down, made her dial her smile all the way up, even as he snapped.

And dutifully kept pouring drinks.

Trying to reign it in, she pressed her lips together and blinked sweetly at him, her legs swinging, giddy. He didn't look particularly thrilled to be pushed around, so she shook her head and held his gaze expectantly, a challenge. "Nope."

He took down the third while giving her a stare that might have been wrathful if he hadn't shuddered somewhere on the tail end of it. Naturally warm and warmer still for the attempt at intoxication, he poured a fourth mindlessly for himself, auto-pilot something of a traitor, and then shoved one over for her as well, plinking his fingernail against it a few times.

"Then whyyy are you just looking at me?" he said, "Stop gawking, put your lips together on that."

It made sense to him.

No match, she thought viciously, baring her teeth again and picking the small glass up delicately between forefinger and thumb. "If you feel sick just let me know. I'll sneak you in past your mama." And then put the shot back with typical barfly stoicism, feeling it paint her insides bright. "Just lemme know when you're ready to stop."

It took a great deal of resolve to not just be horrible, to instead be smiling and still on her stool. But it would be worth it. What was the old commercial?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

How many shots does it take to get to the center of a sloppy-drunk bear?

About six shots ago, Levka might have thought better of this. At this point, though, he really had stopped thinking about how there was literally no point to this--what was he trying to prove, and what could he possibly gain from it? Nothing at all other than probably some regret. Entertainment could have been had without burning his throat and leaving his mouth dry.

But this was the path he had apparently chosen in a moment of whim, and on the bright side it seemed to take some of the edge off of how loud the place was. Much easier to focus on the yet-nameless woman leering at him. Cackling hyena--that's what she reminded him of, half-literally.

"You stop first," he said in a bit of pointless posturing as yet another glass of the stuff dared to be consumed. The thing that was stupid about it was he most certainly would have like to call it quits, but pride was a bitch. This wasn't even a contest--no one was sober enough to be counting.

She was cackling, or more accurately rumbling with that low, foolish giggle that made her sound like her IQ had dropped. A croney's laugh, but she could think of no other response to the idiocy of a man who pledges to drink to show off and can't hold his liquor. While paying for her to drink too! See, she knew it was a good idea to come here!

He kept measuring out drinks and, feeling a bit swoopy herself but mainly focused on finding buttons to push, she stretched her legs back out, very confidently, to try to settle them in his lap. While they were encroaching, she shot out her hands to readjust the two glasses closer to him, then jerked them back with the bottle in one hand and took an industrious (exaggerated) swig. Think fast!!

First impression, questionably accurate: she was dumb but in a fun way. He wanted to bully her while not fully realizing that she was winning that particular game already. They hyena was on the move and he was slow to process it, half-registering her stealing the bottle from his control. Just enough to make his next action an impulse in retaliation.

The brief weight of her appendages drew his attention. The lack of personal space wasn't an issue, but maybe it was as good an invitation to get physical, himself. Physical plus impulse equals... hooking his hand to her leg , reaching just below the knee to yank her sharply off her stool with hopes of watching her fold between the stools and to the ground.

hit, if only just


She was still feeling intensely proud of herself at having found such a slow mark, and felt delight spike into her like an actual drug as his attention moved sluggishly from her hands to her face to, at last, his lap. She was polishing a sense of victory when a hand hooked under her knee, and with the kind of force that only came into play with other Weres, she found that leg yanked forward, dragging her unceremoniously from her stool.

She shouted in surprise and offense, splashing them both with whiskey as she landed on her back between the stools, her head kranging into the bar. The bottle, half-empty, stayed closed in her white-knuckled hand, because contrary to all appearances Pete had been raised with certain morals, Don't Spill Your Liquor being one of them. Lightly stunned and more drunk than she'd planned on, she growled at him and bared human teeth.

Did she want to start a fight? Not particularly, when it meant being thrown out of a bar and perhaps ruining the deep friendship that here was beginning to bloom.

Did she want to fuck him? Again, not especially. He was a little slow.

Tumbling mentally through her options, she struggled to a seat on the floor, grabbing for his foot and missing (she could never hit bears, why was that?). "That's illegal, buddy. Disqualified!" She scowled ghoulishly up at him, waggling the bottle. "Now how're we gonna tell who wins?"

miss (so close)


It was beautiful and satisfying, and he felt a laugh deep in his chest that was muffled only by his clenched teeth. Sure, he smelled like whiskey now--which was going to stick with him until he dragged himself home, ugh--to a greater degree than he would have from just drinking it. And sure, it had been entirely too easy of a thing to do. But his drunk self was very good at stroking his own ego by picking obvious wins.

He peered down at her and moved his foot out of her attempted retaliation, and chuckled some more.

"New contest. If you can get back onto your seat you win. And if you can get me off mine, you win!"

She wasn't going to do it. Neither of them. He was completely convinced. And this actually made him feel rather enthused at this thing he had just come up with.

Undoubtedly he was prepared to try and push her away if she tried to get back up into her space. Really, she was better off if she just tried to dislodge him from where she was. But he wasn't going to give her that very sound advice. She was welcome to learn the hard way.

Seated on the floor, she watched him laugh at his joke with an eagle eye that was only moderately impaired by whiskey. He was pleased with himself, which was fair, but the trouble with Pooh-bear was that he moved slow. She tilted her head in reluctant confusion as he went on, the face of a girl who doesn't get it but is trying to pretend to. And then she threw her weight up and away from the bar, grabbing onto the elbow of his jacket with her free hand and heaving him bodily to the floor.

As he was collapsing, inevitably, she slouched onto his seat and bit the edge of the bottle. They were definitely getting thrown out.


Being King does not protect you from the forces of momentum and gravity, which really sucked right about now.

It was one thing to be slow at the hands of the woman you love. It was another thing entirely to be bested by a woman whose name you didn't even know and had a tendency to cackle.

It was a good game until he hit the ground and lost immediately, yowling in that brief half-second as he fell. Insult to injury as she took up his spot like this had been king-of-the-hill, and for a winded moment all he could do was be confused as to how this had just happened. The drinking... probably did not help.

He cursed something out in Russian, but it ended in a laugh that he couldn't help, wanting to fight her but deeply enthralled by that sensation. Unable to get up just yet as the world spun a little too much, he instead lashed out with his foot. But either his aim was awful, or he'd simply been aiming to kick the stool out from under her.

Which was impossible, when the stool was bolted to the floor. Even with a solid heel to metal, there was little to show for the drunk bear's efforts.

Heh heh, stupid. He looked disoriented and drunk, a comically lightweight man lugging around the gravitas of a bear. The fact that he seemed mostly amused by her antics was a little disappointing, though; she would have picked a wrestle over anything. It was real hard to find someone who could whoop your ass in a fight when you were a hyena.

He made a very poor show of kicking at her stool, and she removed the bottle from her teeth and inserted a finger into the opening, swinging it in a small, lazy circle. She broke into a condescending smile. "Can't hold your liquor?"

Boy, this was why he only drank like that when he wanted to torture himself. He could burn through alcohol at a considerable pace, and his tolerance was decent--though perhaps a bit light considering his origins--but if he hit the bottle hard enough it all came up on him like it was actively beating him to death.

Her words earned a scoff, and he decided he wasn't quite done with her yet. Uneasily hauling himself up to sit, swaying a little in the motion, he managed to brace himself with a palm to the sticky, shoe-scuffed flooring. The effort it took to do this annoyed him, and some of his amusement faded as she continued to lord over him. She was as blasted drunk as he was! Wasn't she?

Reaching for her leg, he just really really wanted to pull her off the stool again, because if he was going to be down, she had to be, too.

trash-tier miss


This little shit!! He was swiping at her again, about as subtle as a neon sign, and she split her legs quite nimbly in the face of him, looking a little like she was riding a SkiDoo for a second before she decided what was appropriate here.

Namely: take free hand, insert finger in mouth (it was the bitten one). Swing wet finger into offending bear's ear for a surprise wet willy. Hopefully he wouldn't be too drunk to notice??

miss tho :((((


He didn't realize exactly what she was doing, but he did notice a hand coming at him out of his periphery and NOPE. He leaned and twisted away from it, in towards her and her stool--and more importantly, towards her stupid evasive leg.

He was gonna get it this time... and that was about as far as his plan went as he moved to drag her off the stool. And into the space... that he already occupied himself. Hardly elegant, he didn't feel incredibly well right now, but he did feel pretty triumphant in spite of his oversight.

HIT finally


He managed to evade the spit finger, which sort of glanced off of his hair and pointed urgently outward as the man grabbed her again by the leg and hurled her forward into space. Were strength, man! She was into it!

Also now she was onto it! It being him. She didn't think about it much, only considering in a bar, staff starting to intervene, sitting on a bear. She cocked her right arm and punched him square in the nose, even as she felt somebody's hand grabbing the back of her shirt, yanking ineffectually back as she waited with delight to see what the bear's response would be. She had not held back on that punch!!!

coming in with another critical hit >:U


Success came at a price, and the pain from a too-quick-to-track blow was familiar and sharp and had a way of clearing the alcohol fog for a vivid moment. It yanked a yelp from him, eyes watering as he reeled back, only partially aware that there were non-were presences making an effort to get involved--which bear-brain did not approve of in the least.

This was between him and the hyena!

Who he took another opportunistic attack on--a little less playful this time as she'd upped the ante and he was aware he was bleeding or some such nonsense. He felt a hand on his arm, trying to hold him back, but it may as well have been made of paper as he yanked free in a forward swing meant for her face but went a little low--still the back side of a fist to the neck and jaw was a good bruise to story about.

This did make the staff more insistent on trying to remove them from each other, however, and he felt an arm hook up under his shoulder and haul him back from the entanglement.

now we're talking with some hits!


God, the look of him after that punch. Fucking delicious. She felt maybe a little turned on about it up until the point that a fist swung back at her, and she lurched back to take a big giant bear fist to the neck and jaw instead of the noggin.

Pain shot up in fireworks around the impact, and two bouncers and a handful of patrons swelled up with more shouting and pulling and shoving, someone ripping the back of Peter's t-shirt as she lurched forward with a haymaker aimed at the side of Levka's head. But there was too much interference, and the bear was maybe paying a little more attention now. She swung at air, squinting through the pain and still avidly fixated on her new friend.

They would have to stop. Both of them were being jumbled toward the exit, and she allowed some of the jet fuel to drain out of her, panting and really unable to hide that she was enjoying herself. "The mouth on this guy! I can't believe you let trash like this in here!"

this fool missed


One of the bouncers caught a booted heel to the shin and didn't seem much to appreciate it, got a little rougher. Levka managed to miss a blow from the hyena more likely because of the forceful human than any of his own attempt--but at least he'd seen it coming. Hauled up, he put up a token resistance, but he was still a bit too swirly to put his heart into it. And besides, going much harder was likely to end in the sort of spectacle he didn't want. On wolf territory, no less, there had to be some restraint, even after hitting the bottom of a bottle.

He heard the hyena say something--something about him--but the exact words were somewhat lost between the noise of the club and the bouncer growling and ushering him out. Snapping back something borderline unintelligible even if you spoke Russian, he winced when they got outside and the quality of light changed.

Something about getting out of there or the cops would be called was offered by way of parting as the bouncer shoved him out onto the sidewalk. Loss of footing and he was down on his knees on the frigid concrete, panting and shaking his head. Maybe the effect of the alcohol was fading, his head was starting to hurt. Or maybe that was from the fist he'd taken to the face.

Oh, he, look, yes, he was still bleeding. Losing focus on the woman who'd done it for a moment, he gingerly dabbed it on the sleeve of his stupid denim jacket, feeling turned around from the abrupt change of scenery.

They were tossed out into the cold night air, and the laughter hit her, a private cackle at the stupidity of two shifters deciding to fight in a human bar. What dumbasses! What an excellent find!

Her heels were giving her trouble, and that made it easier to remember to calm the fuck down and not start all over again with Pooh Bear; instead she hobbled the few paces over to him and leaned down, grinning brightly in his face. "Did I getcha?"

If he took another swipe at her legs, she was fucked. But she decided he'd earned it.

The lack of grating music, the cold air, the slightly clearer head--he wasn't about to lunge for her and take her to the pavement, if he even could have. But her pleased sort of gloat rankled him--even if he did find her liked her, her stupid attitude, and her penchant for trouble.

But that didn't stop his bloodied hand from coming up to tap her sharply on the cheek, just so she didn't think she was getting away clean with being a smartass.

Then he fell back onto his butt, currently too blasted from the headache and the 'this should have been alcohol poisoning' feeling he had to think about getting up just yet.

"I do not think they liked us," he decided, then laughed--cut short by a wince.

hit btw


His hand swung up and cuffed her, and from nowhere a feeling of immense fondness welled up in Pete, the conditioning of a hundred thousand brotherly headlocks and slaps causing her addled brain to write him in, at least temporarily, as family. She recoiled slightly, a hand brushing over her cheek, and shoved him companionably. "Shithead."

That taken care of, she leaned forward to brace against the ground with one hand while she removed her heels with the other. She would never get home in these. "'Bout what you wanted from a night at Ice House?"

She shoved him back, called him names. There was a thin line between affection and insult in his world, and she was erring towards the former. Though she was just some awful hyena, entirely too bold for her station, probably mostly unaware of what she had pitted herself against tonight... she kept at it with just enough bluster--but not too much--that Levka figured she knew her limits.

Stupid. But smart.

So while she wrestled herself out of terrible footwear choices, he squinted at her, grateful he could still see straight, even if he felt weird and tunnel-visiony.

"You were the most interesting thing in there," he concluded. "M'not sure what else I was asking for."

She made a snorting sound, grinning down at the little straps that split off to free long, white feet onto the pavement. She did love to be appreciated. "I fuckin' knew it."

She straightened up, grunting, and danced a little from one cold bare foot to the other, zeroing in on a headache as well but apparently far more practiced at dealing with it. "You need me to carry you to your car, I won't tease you about it." Her tone was sweeter, now that she had gotten what she wanted and burned off a little of that furious energy. She could be satisfied with being nice. "Bag-a hamburgers'll make you feel better."

His face hurt. Bruising was inevitable, and he didn't think anything was broken but... Well, he was a bit numb to the real depth of pain, thanks alcohol, so only time would really tell. Either way, he wasn't bleeding anymore, just an absolute mess for her efforts. And his own. The headache was eager and his teeth felt like they hurt.

"You want to... mm... Пойдем со мной." English tried to dart away from him, but he focused on her for a squinty moment. "Sit," he clarified a little. "In my car. Then food."

He didn't even know her name, and he was starving, but he had to get a little less of the punched-in-the-head feel before he could get out of the parking lot, let alone get anywhere of worth.

Without the immediate drive of bullying her or otherwise making a scene, he was mostly wishing Big Bear was closer because he needed something heavy to rid him of memories of whiskey.

"Come with me."


She gawped at him with her hands on her knees, trying to piece together the fragments of thought that he was blowing over to her. Eventually it became clear: an invitation!

This made all the gears in her brain go off whirring again, ready to rev up for another round of shit-shooting or fighting or fucking, and she shambled toward him at a crouch, slapping lightly at his arms as she went past to perform a tumbling forward-roll on the freezing sidewalk. She was still good! She still had it! Never mind the purple-red mark on her cheek and the torn shirt. Popping back up (ow) to standing, she assessed the bear. "You need a cup-a coffee first, or something?"

She was excitable and he watched her feeling perplexed but amused and not at all like he could have done the same thing right then. Going to wrinkle his nose and then wincing instead when that proved stupid and hurtful, he put his hands behind him and tried to get his heels under him so he could stand as well. "Maybe we walk somewhere," he decided, then joked, "Unless you go back into Ice House and see if they have any."

The mental image of her walking in just to be ushered straight back out pleased him more than it should have.

But really, a meander down the street in search of something was actually a better idea. Every moment out in the open air shifted him further from 'decidedly drunk' into 'this is a headache I hope to forget' territory.

Pete was still frolicking, although with less energy and more squinting than when they'd started the night not so long ago. She did the twist for a second and grinned toothily at his suggestion. "Better if you do it, you got blood all over your face." Because I fucking punched you, you twat (heh heh).

If he were less enormous, she could have swept him up in a fireman's carry; she could tell he'd get mad at her if she tried, though, and definitely they would end up fallen over on the pavement. She bounced forward, peering through her headache and down the street. "What's your name, Yogi?"

He was up! And oh yeah, a glance at his hands and her comment reminded him he was currently disaster zone central. Maybe getting coffee was a bad idea then? Or... eh, he didn't actually care. Surprise, bodies had blood inside of them. He was just glad he wasn't wearing one of his better shirts, mostly. Again, gingerly rubbing at his face--vanity suffering a little, but not as bad as it would later when he got around to looking in a mirror--he rid himself of a few more streaks but it was largely a lost cause.

Yogi was not a reference he understood, and he started blankly at the back of her head for a moment before he shrugged and offered, "Levka," because 99 times out of 100 he'd offer his name or nothing at all. "What is yours, chuckles?"

Like, genuinely he wanted to know. She was too good to leave a mystery phantom that was a story and nothing more.

Levka, so Hrussian. What on earth would bring someone from Russia to Mountainside, and Cedar Creek of all places? "Peter," she replied immediately, mostly because her brain was working too slow to come up with a snappy alias. There were more lights on the next street over, and her hyena nose could absolutely smell hash browns. "Diner this way, roll out!"


He was going to have to get her number.

Hopefully he remembered after drowning himself in diner food that he'd inevitably love even if it wasn't as good as Big Bear.

So off he went in her wake, more than happy to follow her lead.


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