Float like a butterfly, sting like a yeener

The Cage 
The disbelief was borderline offensive. He sneered a smile over at her, an ugly sight, considering his swollen upper lip and the rosy outline of blood that framed each tooth. "Hard to believe?" He questioned.

Her forehead plummeted to land in her palm, elbow on the bar. She twisted to look back at him. "That's a made up job. You're not in the fuckin' mafia."

The roll of his eyes, once again, was painful. She was so quick to draw conclusions, and he wondered if there was ever any sort of rhyme or reason for which she pulled her accusations. Or were they simply things she fished out of her ass? The fact was, she was right. He didn't work for the mafia. He supposed the Cataclysm had been similar, but it was long gone now. Whatever attempts they had made to reconnect had been futile. All the was left was the squabbling little rodent that was Romeo.

"What a conclusion to draw, Pete." He said, feigning as if he were taken aback. "I'm more of a... mmm, freelance private investigator." Not wholly untrue, but there was certain a difference between the work a PI did and the work Echo did.

Mmmmmm, but that's not what he said though. "You're a private thug! Where the fuck do you meet these people?" Listen: Pete had heard a lot of grand claims at biker bars. Unless Echo could provide affiliation tattoos, she remained deeply skeptical, and here this little fucker was rolling his eyes.

Echo clicked his tongue at the claim, and the volume at which she made it. He glanced once about them, seeking any prying ears. None that he noticed, but then again, he only had one eye to see from. "Do you imagine there are clubhouses and public networks for that sort of thing?" He questioned dryly. She took him for some sort of amateur, mostly likely. Or, perhaps this was a game to her. Whether she believed him or not, it did not change the fact that he was being somewhat truthful.

Now it was Pete's turn to roll her eyes. "All right, whatever, Whitey Bolger. Put your knife away." Gulping down half her drink, she considered her options here and found all of them pretty shit. "So I bit a dying guy to save his life the other day."

Echo scoffed out a laugh, and swiped his knife to sheathe it once more. When she spoke up again, he paused where he was mid-drink. His shoulders stiffened, and he set down his pint to look to her. A hardened expression, as he examined her face for dishonesty. "I guess that explains it." He said after a prolonged moment, and huffed out a sharp sigh as he looked to his drink once more. "And where is the bouncy baby boy while mom is off fighting?" He questioned. He prepared for her to tell him she'd cut her ties with him, he was on his own, she didn't care. If that was the case... he didn't know how much energy he had left to drive it into her brain how that was the absolute opposite of what he was going to allow.

She had another hard look ready for him, but talking about Abhinav made it hard to do anything but slowly, miserably, deflate. "That's a good fucking question."

She had to explain, but that didn't mean she was ready to without first joylessly finishing her beer. "I shouldn't have done it. I took him back to my place after, and when I told him, he tried to fuckin' kill himself." She looked at him. "Then he fuckin' bailed."

Of course. How could he have been stupid enough to put faith in the woman named Pete, whom lost a child and stabbed him in the ear with a fucking corn dog? Echo pushed himself away from the bar top, head shaking some as he grit his teeth. His hand jumped to his knife, but he balled it there, his glare directing downward as he listened to her. He'd tried to kill himself. Why had she let him go, then? Chin tight, which was painful given the extent of the damage throughout his face he lifted his gaze to her. "You find him, then." He said gruffly. "And kill him, if he hasn't gone somewhere to slit his own throat already."

She watched him get up and give her the business with a sort of grudging dread; any other day she would have been curious to see him all wound up about something, but she was far too up her own ass on the Abhinav issue. She scowled at him, not moving. "Thanks, genius. I'm trying to fix it. My friend and I have been out looking for him."

She had already failed to finish him off and was now pretty committed to that line of action, but Echo was happier not knowing that.

Echo fixed her with a huffy sneer. "And what do you plan to do to fix it?" He questioned, the rounded vowels in his words graveled and muffled some. "What friend?" He tacked on. Another Were? With the child she'd had trailing along with her when they'd first met, he wasn't inclined to believe she was that cautious.

Nope. That was exactly more high horse tone that she was willing to tolerate from the world's ugliest carnie. Her expression hardened, and her answer came like a warning snap. "Me and some five-year-old are gonna corner him and ask if he needs a hug. You weren't fucking there, so maybe ease up on the throttle if you don't want that knife up your ass."

A bark of a laugh that did nothing to shroud the crooked, ugly teeth of a man that had made a severe mistake. Echo shook his head roughly, his eye falling shut as he brought a hand to his sore mouth and sighed sharply. "Right." He breathed, his shoulders swelling some as he picked his silver gaze back up to her. "Well, tell him Uncle can't wait to meet him." He said, and moved to slide from his seat. "And if you want to try and salvage whats left of him," He paused to look to her gaze, "Pray this knife doesn't find him before you do." If she did not stop him, he'd leave her. Fucking. Hopeless.

She watched him carefully as he orchestrated his exit, and his words were tolerable up until that last sentiment. A threat. With that she was out of her seat and in Echo's butchered face in an instant, balling his shirt up in her fist. "Back it up, shitmouth," she growled just about into his mouth, her hyena a sudden snarling presence. "It's not your mess. You are not the best equipped to handle this. You catch a single fucking whiff of hyena, what are you going to do?"

Her intention was to knuckle into the bruises at his chest, but her angle was poor. Still, she held him in place and stared him down, Becky and Pete both in alignment: this worm might be kin, but he was a weaker animal, and if he tried to insubordinate her, she would thrash him a second time and leave less behind.



His boots scuffed against the nut shell littered floor of the bar as she rounded on him. His lips peeled into a snarl as she balled her fist in his shirt. She was taller, by a me're inch or two, but it drove a boot into his already wounded pride as he looked to meet her eyes. So close, her beast was looming, snarling and bearing down on his in a fashion that was anything but playful. Both Echo and the hyena stilled, defensive but not cowering. It grated against every impulse not to pull the knife from his belt and drive it beneath her chin. Instead, he met the gaze, looked past the woman and into the eyes of a creature that was stronger than him. And while the fat, vulgar mouth attached to it was insufferable, there was an undeniable respect in the show of strength.

Echo breathed sharply from his nose, his jaw loosening some as he made to speak. "If I find him, and he's made a mess of himself, caught some attention..." He'd slit his throat. "I'll toss him back to where he came from." He jerked his chin toward her."If." He moved to wrap his fingers around her wrist firmly, "You show him this." He looked to her hand at his shirt, "You're no fretting mother, and he's no lost child in the mall. Don't let him go again." He implored, in his own particular way. Reasoning wasn't entirely something he found the need for, when a solution was often found at the edge of a blade. The last thing they needed was some reckless new hyena running through the city without direction. If she found him, she couldn't coddle. It would do none of them good.

She looked at him with black eyes and an expression of malice that was absolute. This secretive, smug little know-it-all had the gall to answer her threat with — sensei bullshit. She let him go with a shove, breaking her wrist away, but continued to loom in close. "You don't know me, and you don't tell me what to do, did I not make that clear?" By then end, her voice had risen so she was almost shouting. Echo might have been trying for advice, to hit home a point, but it had been a misstep if what he wanted was to be heard. Her temper ignited, Pete was ready now to run him straight out of the Cage.

He took the shove with a staggered step backward, his lips pulling shut over his teeth as she rose her voice. Eyes turned to them, and they didn't need to see more than they already were. "You've made it clear." He said gruffly, hands moving to surrender at either side of his head. She knew her worth, knew her strength, and yet sat before him deflated and miserable about a fucking hole in the condom. She'd made herself clear. She was an animal that needed stroking in the right direction, at the right angle. Anything else earned him a bite to the hand. It wasn't fucking worth it.

If that was it, if she was done flashing her pseudo-dick, he would leave her.

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