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How Sammy Met Andee

A gay jaunt into the memories of how Sirca's favorite couple came to be, as transcribed by CrossroadsPony

Verse 1 | Verse 2 | Verse 3 | Verse 4 | Verse 5 | Verse 6 | Verse 7 | Verse 8 | Verse 9 | Verse 10 | Verse 11

Verse 12 | Verse 13 | Verse 14 | Verse 15 | Verse 16 | Verse 17 | Verse 18 | Verse 19 | Verse 20

Verse 11: One Week

"And what guarantee do we have that these cards are actually worth anything?"

Samael felt Andee twitch at his side and he leaned forward with a warm smile before the bat could snap. "Well, Miz Sov, these li'l babies weren't just layin' around -- they was kept under lock'n key at a very important Omegite-fella's joint. Me'n Andee here worked our asses off gettin' that shit!"

"Watch your mouth around the lady, son," growled the chupa standing behind the squinting hoop leader. "We don't appreciate that kind of talk during polite business."

"Sorry, ma'am!" Samael chirped before wincing when Andee jabbed an elbow into his side. "But I can tell you there was someone else real excited to get their hands on these puppies! Y'all are in luck that deal fell through!"

Emily Sov snorted as she lifted the small mug to take a sip of the cappuccino while giving the two a measured look. She wore a glimmering black dress that was snug against her stout frame, her rich blue hide only serving to highlight the simple yet fetching outfit. Vincent had clearly inherited her mane as well, the long, gorgeous jet-black locks pulled into a neat ponytail. "I had some questions 'bout that, as a matter of fact. Don't get me wrong, that swamp mongrel was a thorn in everyone's side, but what I heard from Baskins was that someone went on a killin' spree." Her periwinkle eyes locked onto Andee. "And that don't seem like your style, bat."

Andee smirked and shrugged. "Whaddya want me to fuckin' say?" He earned a snarl from the well-dressed beast of a chupa behind Emily, though Andee didn't seem to pay it any mind. "All you gotta know is that I don't fuckin' appreciate it when someone tries to fuck me over!"

"Language," the bison chupa barked as Miss Sov made a face, then waved over a shoulder at him.

"It's fine, Michael," she replied dismissively. "Vincent seems happy with these people. If the merchandise is good, I'll deal with hearin' their street talk."

Andee scowled and then gestured around the well-lit dining room. "You bastards gotta fuckin' techno-nerd around here? Any half-decent dork is gonna be able to see how good the shit is!" he insisted, producing a card from beneath his poncho as two of the silent guards flinched and took simultaneous steps forward.

Samael cleared his throat and gently nudged Andee before smiling warmly across the table. The meeting wasn't going terribly, though that was probably at least partially due to the fact that Vincent had put in some good words to his parents after spending time with Samael. Samael still felt a little bad, but the young chupa had sprung back with unexpected aplomb from the harsh treatment at Nelson's hands for his decision to assist the rebel in his suicide rescue mission. Forgiving Samael had been an almost moot point, since he just seemed more relieved that Samael was alive and well. Well enough, anyway, considering the fresh perforations through his chest.

Andee had been quick to jump on the fact that the scion of the Honkal Hula Club was now with Nelson's crew, all but demanding that Samael arrange a meeting to try and pitch them on purchasing the security cards they'd made such an effort to steal. And while Samael certainly felt motes of the unpleasant obsession Andee had with bulking up his own business instead of focusing on things a little less physically substantial like the resistance know, his relationship with Samael, it was still admittedly nice to jump back into work with the bat again.

The two weeks they'd spent together in Xulod had taken them on all sorts of jobs, culminating in the big heist in Episemon. And as much as Samael lived for and thrived while running missions for the Movement, there was something so satisfying about partnering up with Andee. It gave him a thrill even greater than when he worked with York, and that was saying something, considering how well they'd synced up on pretty much any job they'd pulled together in the past.

...But he also forgot how stressful it could be. Lord, did the little bat just love to fly off the handle. Miss Sov's husband had threatened to cut out their tongues at least three or four times by now thanks to the fact Andee seemed incapable of going more than a couple of seconds without swearing. Samael smiled slightly all the same. He supposed that was why the two of them worked so well together, though. They'd learned quickly how to complete each other and provide support where there was a weakness, whether or not it was ever asked for.

"We done some good deals with your people previously," Miss Sov announced as her piercing gaze locked with Samael's. "That affords ya some trust." Samael gave her a winning smile.

"Well, gosh, I'm real happy to hear that, ma'am, that's--"

"However," she interrupted bluntly as she leaned over her steaming mug. "We haven't worked with your...partner." She turned her almost-silver eyes back to Andee, who promptly scowled.

"We doin' fuckin' business now, ain't we?" he spat out before growling when Samael elbowed him lightly again. "Oh, fuckin' sorry, I meant, we're doin' friggin' business now, ain't we??"

Michael Sov did not look any happier with the choice of language as he loomed behind his wife's chair with a deep-set frown. But he remained silent as she smiled wanly at the bat. "We're attemptin' to. The trust I built with this particular branch of the Movement has nothin' to do with you, however. Even Sammy here is hardly responsible -- it's Nelson who's ensured all our deals been carried through promptly and efficiently. The one thing I can say about Sammy is that he has apparently taken great care with Vincent to ensure his start in this new lifestyle goes as smooth as possible."

"Yeah, that's not the only thing'a Vinny's he's gonna take great care with," Andee muttered under his breath as Samael's eyes widened slightly while he gave an awkwardly broad smile.

Miss Sov tilted her head slightly and Samael quickly spoke before she could ask for anything to be repeated. "Uh...well, that's un'erstandable, ma'am, I gotcha...hey, I know!" He glanced down at Andee, who gave him a look Samael recognized all too well. It was a displeased one, because Samael was sure Andee also recognized all too well what was about to come next. "Andee, how 'bout we just let 'em hold onto this one so they c'n check it out, huh?"

"This friggin' thing ain't some gosh-darn sampler platter out there in these fuckers' restaurant!" Andee retorted. Michael took a lumbering step forward, his eyes gleaming furiously behind the glasses that did little to reduce his imposing presence. The bat only fixed him with a flat expression before he grumbled and rolled his eyes. "'Scuze me, I meant these assholeses' restaurant."

Miss Sov propped her head up while lifting the mug to sip from it again. "Are you just gonna keep posturin', Andee, or are you gonna accept the offer your unexpectedly smart pal made?"

Samael cleared his throat but then just shrugged, smiling slightly. He'd just gotten used to people thinking of him as an idiot redneck at this point. They weren't always wrong, after all. "Whaddya say, Andee?"

Andee glowered up at him before groaning loudly and slamming the card on the table. "Aw, fuckin'...fine, I guess," he muttered before using a claw to flick the identification card across the dented but polished surface. "But this is just a damn loaner."

Miss Sov lowered the mug smoothly to trap the card beneath it before she offered a pointed smile to them both. "Very kind of ya, Andee. We'll have it looked at right away." Samael started to exhale in relief before pausing as she continued calmly. "There's something else, though."

"Aw, of course there fuc--" Samael reached over to gently close a hand around Andee's muzzle as the bat gave a muffled squawk of indignation and shoved wildly at his arm.

"What's that, ma'am?" he asked as sweetly as he could.

She waited a moment for Andee to settle down so Samael could remove his hand, though Samael couldn't help feeling the horrible glare on him from the bat. "As I said before, we haven't worked with you two directly. So we'd like some reassurance, that's all. Nothin' too crazy." She leaned forward and took a moment to finish the cappuccino before picking up the card and holding it over a shoulder so her husband could gingerly pluck it from her grasp. "If this thing is legit, we're gonna offer you twice whatever you were askin'...but we need you to show us you're not scared of associatin' with us." Her smile was pleasant, which was more than enough to make Samael wince. "We need you two to pay a visit to some of our competition." When Samael shifted and Andee finally turned his glower back to her, she smirked. "Don't worry, nothin' ridiculous. I'm just askin' for you to make the same offer to the Hammersmith Co-Op."

Andee scowled darkly. "Sounds too fuckin' easy to be true."

She snorted bemusedly. "As sharp as your tongue, bat. I'm gonna have my people send you coordinates for the fake deal -- you get some of their reps to show up, we'll take care'a the rest." She smiled toothily again. "Then we can consider ourselves real partners." She waited for Andee to growl before adding rather purposefully: "Separate from our relationship with Nelson."

That got Andee to shut his muzzle again. Samael flicked his tail a bit, masking his concern with the jingle of his piercing as he studied his companion for a few seconds. His expression said he was contemplating the offer, but Samael could already see in his eyes that he was on board. A dedicated relationship with a hoop as powerful as Miss Sov's was a lot more valuable than sharing one with someone else, even if that someone else was as terrifying as Nelson. Seeing Andee's ambition pulse was one of those things that made Samael smile while simultaneously wondering if they were stepping into something they weren't ready fo--

"A'right, fu--I mean frig it," Andee announced with a smirk of his own. "You jerks got yourself a deal. Besides, Sammy's real damn good at gettin' people to go wherever he wants, long as they gotta dick."

Both Miss Sov and her husband gave the bat a moody look as Samael awkwardly rubbed the back of his head. But Andee only looked back across the table with a quizzical expression. "So we good?"

Miss Sov's smile returned after a moment, thin but still honest enough. "I think we got ourselves somethin' to work with, yeah. I'll relay the information to Vincent so that nothin' slips through the cracks. We'll talk sometime next week after the job is complete."

Andee grunted in agreement as Samael forced a pleasant smile. "Sounds good. Appreciate the opportunity, y'all -- I'll keep an eye out on yer kid for ya!"

They nodded before both sliding out of their chairs and moving together toward the back of the private dining room to exit through the rear of the restaurant and back into the darkness of the alleyway. They'd planned the meeting after sundown so Andee could arrive unhindered, though Samael found himself wishing for an excuse to spend several hours in a car with the guy -- it felt like things could maybe use a bit of conversa--

"You fuckin' try'n shut me up like that durin' a meetin' again, Sammy, and I'mma knock you the fuck out!" Andee exclaimed as he flicked a wing furiously into Samael's stomach, making him double over with a wheeze. "The fuck is that, eh?! I'm the fuckin' deal-maker here, I don't give a fuck if those bastards wanna pretend they ain't street-rats like the rest'a us! We all fuckin' got grime on us out here, don't fuckin' care if they wanna pretend otherwise!"

Samael's throat clenched around his heart and he swallowed nervously, his thoughts flashing back to their argument in the sedan after Lamtha, to the bitter gale of accusations in the middle of Xulod. "I'm...I'm sorry, Andee, I didn't mean--"

Andee held up a wing with a grumble, his muzzle wrinkled but his expression already softening. "Quit it, Fiffy, quit it. It's fine." He scratched his nose before sighing. "You were just doing that thing you do, I know."

Samael laughed a bit and tried to push some of his usual confidence back into place. "I know we gotta foot in the door, I only wanted to try'n make sure we didn't lose no ground with 'em. They're a li'l bit bigger than the groups out in Lactan, y'know?"

Andee gave him a look that made him shrink a bit, but the bat's voice wasn't as harsh as it could have been. "Yeah, yeah, I get what you're sayin'. I know you're a fuckin' pro at gettin' people to stay calm'n shit." He crossed his arms and fixed Samael with a steady gaze. "But I'm still kinda ticked off. This is my deal, you're just helpin' me out. Didn't ask you to help run my show."

Samael shifted his weight and ran his tongue along the end of his muzzle. "I know, but...I thought this was our deal, Andee. We worked together to get those cards, and..."

Andee narrowed his eyes and took a step closer to Samael while pushing a claw into his chest. It was gentler than it needed to be. "I never said all that, Fiffy. Yeah, you helped, but this was always my gig. You got your damn suicidal rebel thing, I got my business. We don't need to mix our personal shit with our work." The little bat glanced away, his voice hardening somewhat. "That's what got us fucked up last time. wanna help me, that's fine." He looked back up into Samael's eyes. "But then you follow my goddamn lead. I don't care if ya think I'm gonna fuck somethin' up -- that's on me, and we still ain't on the same page for you to make that call for me, got it?"

Part of Samael wanted to falter, but he steeled his nerves and instead just gave a single nod. "I. I get it, yeah." He rubbed the back of his neck as a trickle of discomfort rolled along his spine. " there somethin' I c'n do to help out while we wait fer Miz Sov, or..."

Andee continued to give him a moody look that didn't rouse a lot of hope for Samael's emotions. "Yeah, don't try and talk to these fuckers behind my back, that'd be a good start. Don't need you telling them you're 'sorry for my behavior' or no shit like that, that shit's just gonna make me look like I'm fuckin' incompetent." Samael lowered his tail and rubbed at his shoulder -- he knew it didn't matter if he had absolutely no intention of doing that in the first place ."Look, I'm gonna head back to Xulod. I got some shit to take care of, and Pan's got a line on some new supply drops I need to check out." Samael's eyes swept back in time to see Andee gazing at him with a moment of...longing? But his yellow eyes shifted away a second later. "You get your ass back to the cliffs. Practice that fuckin' guitar so you don't embarrass me at the celebration." Andee paused and then snorted. "Actually, ya know what might help? Get closer to that fuckin' Sov kid -- you heard his momma in there, these hoopster fucks always big on family bullshit. Do that...redneck thing you do, see if he spills some beans about his folks."

Samael moved his hand to the back of his neck but couldn't help the slight smile. Vincent was different from most of the other rebels he spent time with -- his withdrawn attitude but introspective outlook on things made him a unique presence. Samael considered him a good friend already, even despite the way the poor kid had gotten trampled by Nelson's rage because of Samael. "Heh...always down fer a li'l music practice, an' Vinny's pretty much over the shit I pulled back when, uh..." He trailed off when Andee's eyes narrowed slightly. "Er. Yeah, yeah -- I'll work on 'im, too hon. He's a pal, won't be like I'mma hafta be sneaky tryna get him to talk."

Andee shrugged and waved a hand carelessly. "Whatever, Fiffy, just tellin' you what would actually be helpful." The two looked at each other for a moment or two longer as Samael's heart gave a hopeful little leap...only for Andee to grunt and take a step back. "You should gimme a call in a few days. Let me know how it's going, and if Miss-Fuckin'-Sov has a day yet for this fuckin' bullshit we gotta pull."

Samael let himself taste the melancholy as he nodded a few times. "You got it, Andee. Um..." Andee's eyes flicked up to meet his again. Samael remembered the words he'd spoken to the bat while surrounded by the bloodbath, and the words hurt. He still meant them, but now thinking of them just made him ache and wonder why it was this guy, why Andee was who he was so goddamn madly in love with.

There wasn't an ounce of regret. "H-Hey...take care flyin' back, hon." Andee snorted as he glanced away and adjusted his cap idly. "I'll be thinkin' about you."

Andee grumbled and spread his arms before lifting himself up to hover in front of Samael for a moment. Samael gazed at the bat wistfully before blinking when Andee flit forward enough to lightly bump his nose against the end of his muzzle. "You fuckin' better, Fiffy. Don't get yourself fuckin' killed in the meantime, got it?" He then flapped his wings hard and rocketed upward as Samael smiled a bit and exhaled.

He craned his head back, watching the glow of the Strip illuminate Andee before he quickly disappeared in a dark blur toward the west. "Do my best, hon," he murmured to himself before turning around and shoving his hands in his pockets as he started the walk back toward the docks. Well, at least he wasn't crying this time.

"Oh...geez," Vincent mumbled as his head flopped back against the impromptu bed, a thin sheen of sweat making his navy fur glisten in the beam of sunlight streaming down across him. "I thought the girls at school were do you do that??"

Samael licked his muzzle and grinned as he shimmied up along the other chupa's side and sprawled out next to him on the messy collection of blankets and pillows that made up his nest-like bed. "Heh, like I tell e'rybody else -- just a whole lotta practice!"

He tilted his head and then smiled when Vincent shifted automatically to nestle against him, moving to rest his muzzle on Samael's broad chest despite having several inches of height over him. Samael wrapped a thick arm around the younger male's shoulders and then gazed up at the narrow shaft in the rock through which the afternoon sun spilled into his chambers. He wasn't sure what Andee had meant by 'get closer', but...well, he'd apparently gotten over his fears of being a whore in Andee's eyes. Or at least accepted that the bat knew it was who he was.

"Do you...miss your family?"

Vincent's voice cut through his hazy thoughts and Samael glanced down before lifting his other hand to stroke through his companion's black mane. "Sometimes, fer sure. But I grew up kinda different from most -- I ain't had just one mom 'n dad like most folks, my tribe raised us as a collective, sorta. Didn't really see my birth parents no different from the rest'a the den mothers 'n fathers." He smiled as a few thoughts of his childhood drifted past. Life was simpler then, but goddamn, it wasn't as boring as some people's pre-revolution lives. "My idea of family ain't changed much, so...I kinda just make one up wherever I go! So now y'all are my family." He grinned playfully and squeezed Vincent's shoulders. "Yer my new favorite cousin to bang, and Nelson's the big scary mama we gotta try'n avoid pissin' off!"

Vincent laughed despite himself, gently pounding a fist down into Samael's toned stomach. "Ewww, don't, um...don't say that. That's gross." He tilted his head back curiously as Samael smiled easily down at him. "So what you do here, it...makes it easier to forget?"

Samael chuckled. "Shit, hon, I ain't tryna forget nothin'. Just 'cause I sometimes miss home don't mean I ever wanna forget it." He let his head rest back against the pillows again, then stretched his free arm out to blindly fumble at his nightstand, eventually grasping into a soft brush. "I know some folks wanna forget the past. Don't always blame 'em, either. But what's behind us got us to where we are now, so. Better to remember it, learn from it. Respect it." He hesitated as a grizzled, greying muzzle flashed a toothy grin, coaxing him back toward his memories. He carefully pushed the door closed instead of walking through, turning his attention to instead working the brush gently along Vincent's damp collarbone. "But don't let it run yer life, neither."

Vincent studied him with expressive amber eyes for a few seconds before reaching up to push his fingers through the white bib on Samael's chest. "What about regretting your past?"

Samael tilted his head and then released a little puff from his nostrils. "Yer askin' all the tricky questions today, sweetie." Vincent flushed, his eyes flicking away as he started to apologize, but Samael was quick to lightly nudge his muzzle back up to maintain eye contact. "Yer all good -- nothin' wrong with bein' a li'l chatty after one'a the best blowjobs ya ever had." He winked as Vincent huffed but smiled embarrassedly up at him. "I got lots I could regret, but. I learned that it's better to just accept it, instead. 'S like what I said before -- we build our today on our yesterdays. Ain't much good gonna come from regrettin' a shitty cornerstone, I say it's better to shore up around it, make it a strength instead of a weakness."

It was hard not to think of how things would have been if someone had made a different choice, if they'd gone anywhere but to those fields in Kaprime. If Tracer was still alive, how different all of Sirca would be. Or hell, if Samael had been convinced by his tribe to stay, to not leave with the outsider and join his rebellion. For all he knew, the Movement would be better off without him. He knew at least Wash would be happier. But a faint smile passed across his muzzle as he focused on Vincent's eyes again. Except then he never would have met Andee.

No regrets.

Vincent shifted atop him and then gazed back across Samael's room as he ran his black claws through his companion's thick hide. "I wouldn't mind learning how to not have regrets." Samael watched silently as the younger chupa bit his lower lip and clutched a bit harder into his fur. "I was...about to start my last year of school when my mom had me, um. Had me. Take care of someone who'd betrayed us."

Samael stayed quiet as he kept his muscular arm secure around the other chupa's shoulders, setting the brush aside to instead keep his companion held close. Vincent's tail curled and looped around Samael's while he continued looking at the opposite wall. "Mom's really big on loyalty. It's something that's always been important in our family. She had to kill her own brother when she was younger than me after they found out he was sharing information with the McCallisters." Samael closed his eyes but nosed Vincent's muzzle to prompt him to keep talking. Get close. "When she met Dad, it took almost a whole year before he was even allowed to be alone with her or come into any of the family homes or businesses. And she's the same way -- she values loyalty more than anything else. There was a guy who was caught skimming off of some deals in Timae, using it to help pay for his kid's tuition. Mom was mad, but just docked his compensation for a quarter, moved him to a different area of work. He still works for us. But..."

He shifted again as his long sigh washed across Samael's chest. "The guy who was kind of like my bodyguard, someone got him on video taking money from the Red Sun." Samael opened his eyes again to gaze down at Vincent. "He was...interrogated and. Um. Afterward. Mom made sure I was the one to pull the trigger. She wanted me to understand how we do business."

Samael grimaced as he nuzzled the top of Vincent's head. Wasn't a gold mine, but it was still useful. "I'm sorry, hon -- shit, that musta been rough. Makes a kid grow up quick."

Vincent exhaled quietly. "I went back to school two days later, like, um. Like...nothing had happened. I still see his face sometimes." Samael pulled him closer as his other hand massaged down Vincent's side, encouraging him to curl up more tightly against the stocky chupa. "I still regret that."

Samael told himself that was enough. But he heard Andee's voice and he frowned. A little more. As his fingers drew soothing patterns across Vincent's hip, his quiet drawl drifted out to envelop his features. "Ain't so bad, if that's th'only thing you regret, though..."

A beat. And then another. And then Samael closed his eyes again as Vincent squirmed and replied softly: "There was something else, too." Samael accepted the guilty nibble at his heart, keeping Vincent held close to his body. "I was pissed off at Dad, because he made me cancel my piano lessons so I would have more time to spend learning about the family business. I, um. I was going to steal some money from him, so I could take them in private and." He shifted his weight again, his arm wrapping around Samael's broad chest to cling to his torso tightly. "I found his...stash. I freaked out, and...and I told Mom, and I found out she's the one who...keeps him supplied." His breath was ragged and Samael rolled his head back slowly to stare at the smooth ceiling of the cavern, filing away the information even as his conscience twinged. "She told me no one can find out, because it would. Well. You know. I wish I'd never gone into his room, I...I never saw him the same after that. He's never been a bad father or anything, I just. I regret having to know..."

Me, too, kid. Me, too.

"That ain't easy,' I'm goddamn sorry you had to find out 'bout that. Some shit ain't meant to be brought to light, naw." He lowered his head again and nuzzled through Vincent's mane. "But ay. Like I said...even the worst shit, you c'n figure out a way to make that somethin' that makes you strong, then you gonna be unstoppable." Vincent's eyes lifted up curiously to him again and Samael smiled a bit. "Don't regret knowin' it. Use it to make yerself better. Or hell, think 'bout how yer papa's raised ya, an' how hard he must work to do a good job even if he's hooked on somethin'. Sounds weird, but...if yer willin', you c'n turn any negative thing into somethin' positive."

Vincent smiled back hesitantly and nodded a few times before looking down across Samael's masculine form and giving an awkward little giggle. "Not to, um. Not to change the subject, Sammy, but...your, um., uh..."

Samael gave a faint smile that wasn't seen, then released a chuckle that was a bit more genuine. "Well shit, Vinny, you ain't lyin' -- guess it got bored'a the conversation. Not that you gotta worry 'bout it if ya don't -- ooh!" His muzzle broke into a full grin when Vincent reached down carefully while tilting his head back up to drench Samael with a sheepish smile. "But if ya want, I sure as hell ain't gonna say no!"

...How often did he ever say no, after all?

"Heya, Angel -- hope yer doin' a'right, hon."

"Fiffy! Shit, it's good to hear your voice again! Quick, language swap!"

Samael blinked before giving a helpless smile at the radio while holding the microphone close and speaking carefully: "Uhhh...I am hoping to have a talking with Andee. Are you going to fetch him?"

"Not bad, fluffy! Give me five minutes, I'll send out a buzz for him." There was a pause before she shifted back to common. "I'm happy to see you two talking again."

He laughed quietly and nodded a few times before replying softly. "Me, too. Thanks, hon."

Andee had told him to call him in a few days...and it'd been a few days. A few ridiculously busy, hectic days. That was before he even started to consider all the insanity to contemplate after he'd caught York and Wash in flagrante delicto in that boat. Woof.

Samael supposed he did have good news for Andee, though, at least what he assumed the bat would think was good news. And then some...other news. Samael still wasn't sure how Andee was going to react to it. He gazed at the radio without really seeing it, hearing Nelson's speech about his goddamn loyalty issues and hating even more that Andee would probably tell him the same thing. Hell, he practically had told him the same thing after the stamp they'd picked up.

He rubbed a claw slowly against his temple. This was just another challenge, and both Nelson and Tracer had prepared him for challenges. Didn't matter that the old man himself would have been pissed at the situation Samael had gotten himself wrapped up in; Samael had been trained to deal with anything and everything the world might throw at him. He just had to keep pushing.

"Fiffy. Took longer than I thought to call."

Samael couldn't avoid the way he leaned forward as his pulse accelerated. He didn't even care that he couldn't tell whether Andee's tone was annoyed or bored or maybe even a little offended. His voice was enough to make Samael's heart race. "Andee! I, uh. Yeah, I'm sorry, hon. I been a li'l busy."

The pause was anguishing. "Well? Ya got any news for me, or you been too busy?"

Samael's heart hesitated and turned to slink back into his chest. "Naw, naw, I do, I got news!" Samael blurted before he took a deep breath and told himself to calm the fuck down. This was just Andee, he was always this way, wasn't he? "So first thing is we gotta date fer our friends in Honkal."

He heard Andee move closer to the microphone as his voice became more animated. "Heh, well that's not a bad start. Where we s'posed to get these fucks to go?

"Friday, out by the water reclamation plant near the northern rim'a Honkal. 'Round eight-hundred CM," Samael replied. "I figured we'd meet up with 'em sometime Friday mornin', show 'em a card, then get 'em to agree to the meetin' time."

Andee snorted through the radio. "Shit, I guess I can retire, big bad Samael Wurlitz is in charge of the fuckin' business now, eh?" Samael grimaced and started to form an apology, but Andee continued. "Where the fuck did that shit come from, by the way? Thought your fuckin' redneck-ass people didn't do last names."

Samael smiled a bit. "Heh. I'll tell ya if we get these bastards to agree to the meetin', how 'bout that?"

Another snort, though it was more entertained. "Sure, sure, puppy. Anyway, yeah, guess that's fine. Why the fuck don't we do it earlier, though? These fuckers like havin' extra time so they can feel like they're ready for bullshit, we should meet 'em sometime tomorrow instead, eh?"

Samael took a deep breath. "Uh, well. I sorta have a, uh. Quick job in Wortistan in the morning. I'm actually drivin' out that way after I have a snooze when we're done talkin'."

This time the silence was outright daunting. Samael put a hand to his chest to try and quell the tremble in his breast. He was eventually granted a grumble. "Fuckin' figures. Yo' momma crackin' the whip again, huh?"

"Yeah. Heh, but can't be too mad with her -- y'know what crazy shit she did today?"

The response was perfectly droll. "Walked?"

Samael blinked before snickering. "Yer mean, hon. Naw, fuckin'...Wash 'n York showed up! They had some mission out in Sampi that went sideways, they stopped by here to get some supplies 'fore headin' back to Lactan." He paused and scratched at his chin. "I uh. I was actually the one to take 'em back out that way on a boat, just got back a li'l bit ago."

"...You were out this way today?" The accusation was evident in his tone and Samael hunched his shoulders as guilt rolled through him.

"I know, sweetie, I woulda stopped by but...I couldn't stay, I had to get back here." He paused before blurting out: "But, um, remind me to tell you 'bout York 'n Wash, that's. That's, uh. That's a conversation fer in person..."

Andee snorted through the radio. "Like I give a fuck about those Freelancer fucks! Anyway..." He grumbled for a moment. "Wouldn'ta mattered, I only just got back from a supply run a couple hours ago, myself. So. Whatever. What's this gotta do with the old lady, though?"

"Oh, well, shit, only reason we got to hang out a li'l bit was 'cause Nelson actually let me throw a li'l shindig for 'em!"

"...Was the bitch stoned?"

Samael smiled a bit. "Naw. Think it were just a mix of the fact I, er. Sweetened a li'l arms deal for her earlier today an' then, y'know. Then agreed to the job tomorrow."

Andee's tone became wary. "...The fuck kinda job she got you runnin' out there?"

Samael shifted in the chair, glancing around even though he knew he was alone in the comms room. " ain't nothin' too crazy. Just gotta impersonate a Blue officer, drop a li'l present in the new server bank they got at one'a their bases out that way."

There was a grunt, then a few seconds of silence. "You done shit like that before, though." Wasn't quite a question, and Samael wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

He ran his fingers through the fur on his chest before hesitating over the familiar scar. "Yeah, I have. Normally gotta bit more time to get into place, but security's a li'l tighter, so...this one kinda gotta be on-the-fly..."

Andee muttered something unintelligible, then spoke in a short, pointed tone that made the radio crackle a bit. "We said we'd fuckin' keep business and personal shit separate, so. Yeah, this is your fuckin' job. Just." A pause long enough for a frustrated sigh. "Don't fuckin' do anything that's gonna fuck with my shit Friday, got it?"

Samael looked down and slowly moved the microphone close to his maw. "Y-Yeah, of c--"

"Hey, Fiffy." Samael froze. "Take....take care. You ain't no good to me dead." A faint smile crossed the rebel's features. "Fuckin'...drop me a line when you're back so I know if I gotta do this shit solo Friday, got it?"

Samael chuckled as his hand moved away from his chest, a gentle warmth spreading through his body. "Got it, hon. Thanks, to you soon."

"Did...did you say your name was Lieutenant Franchesco?"

Samael masked his grin, shaping it into a cool smile as he nodded and fired a smart salute at a passing private, who hurried to yank his rifle into position across his chest while slapping a hand to his brow in return. "That's right, Technically Special Melbont! An' that's 'Lieutenant Francis Franchesco, sir', by the way!" He continued to march briskly forward as the paunchy chupa stumbling along beside him tried to keep up while poking wildly at the portable device on his wrist.

"O-Oh, of course, uh...s-sir," the frazzled Blue soldier stammered as he glanced at the supposed lieutenant before staring at his pockcom again. "It's actually Specialist Technician Temblon, uh...sir?"

Samael smirked and continued his confident stride, pushing his way through a set of double doors and then sharply peeling off another salute as a pair of recruits swiftly froze to present themselves mid-conversation. "At ease, men! Damn, y'all sure do keep 'em lookin' fresh! I gotta come out here 'n check out all this fine Wortistan stock more often, y'all got enough beef to fill a gatdamn extra-stuffed burrito, hold the green 'n double the cream!"

"W-What?" The specialist nearly tripped as he tried to process the far-too-smooth words, burbling like a crystal-clear stream from the maw of the apparent superior officer. 'Franchesco' glanced slyly over at Temblon before puffing his chest out in a show of pride as he shoved open another pair of doors and made his way toward the server room.

"Ya heard me loud'n clear, Technicalist Belmont!" he announced cheerfully. "Now am I gonna be able to inspect the new equipment, or am I gonna be lookin' fer a new nerd for this here base!?!"

Temblon's eyes widened slightly while he jogged to keep up with Franchesco despite the fact he was nearly a foot taller than the stocky 'officer'. "Uhhh, again, it's Temblon, sir. Also...wait!"

Franchesco stopped abruptly and twisted neatly around on a paw to glare up at the technician with the sternest glower he could muster. Temblon was probably just over six and a half feet tall, covered in a powder-blue hide that looked about as soft as the poor soldier's attitude. His straw-colored mane was pulled back into a braided ponytail -- it would be assumed he'd done it up himself, which was impressive, to say the least. His build wasn't exactly threatening, which was likely attributed to the fact that the specialist was clearly here first and foremost as the technical engineer for the base, not as a soldier...even if he had a standard-issue assault rifle on his back.

The imposing glare up from the officer seemed to work well enough, since Temblon's height did not do a damn thing to stop him from leaning backward and half-covering his face with his portable computer. "S-Sorry, sir! But...I'm just confused, says your first name is 'James', not, uh...not 'Francis'..."

The impostor squinted for a few seconds of tense silence, then crossed his arms over his barrel-like chest. "Well, shit, color me fuckin' red, we got us a heretic in our midst, ain't we?!"

Temblon's eyes bulged further as he waved his arms wildly. "Wait, what!? A h-he-heretic?!"

"Ya ain't even gonna pull up my file enough to see that I changed my name to Francis, 'cause'a my Pappy, he died fightin' the hordes'a crazy Red bastards tried'n overrun his base out'n Valley Desmigo, but yer li'l file ain't show ya that, so you jus' gonna assume I'm some kinda liar!" Franchesco spun back around to march right up to the security door of the server room while gesturing furiously with one hand. "You probably go 'round doubtin' everythin', like whether or not Lord Omega's really our god'n savior!!"

The technician winced and quickly stared around them, flinching again when he saw a few other soldiers milling about all turn to fire suspicious glares at him. He rubbed the back of his head and raced past Franchesco while babbling anxiously: "Geezus, no no, of course not, uh...s-sir, but..." He glanced over his shoulder and then grimaced at his fellow soldiers' expressions before a tiny whine rose in the back of his throat. "Th-that same file says you're also six-ten." Frenchesco slowly leaned toward him as the pudgy technician bent away in the opposite direction, his countenance growing fearful. "...With a dark purple hide."

Franchesco only continued to push his muzzle forward until it pressed against the end of Temblon's snout, squinting dangerously up at the wide-eyed specialist. "Son, you know what it sounds like?"

Temblon could not hide his nervous whimper. "Wh-what?"

The officer's voice trickled out low, each word seeming to jab lightly into Temblon's chest. "Sounds like yer file might be wrong...'n that yer gonna need some verification."

Temblon blinked and then began a nervous nod. "W-well, yes, uh...sir? That would be--!" He froze mid-sentence, staring stupidly when the officer's fingers slid smoothly into one of the supply packs on the technician's hip to produce a card key. Temblon could do little more than gawk as the thin bit of plastic was drawn slowly up along the side of his body before the officer's piercing blue eyes offered him a wink as he inserted the card into the lock on the server door.

"Then we're gonna get us some gatdamn verification," Franchesco breathed out, the whisper of his baritone tickling across Temblon's features to elicit a shiver down along the Blue soldier's spine. Temblon was petrified in place as the door clicked open behind him, and the impostor held back his grin while Franchesco slipped the card back into its pouch, then reached past the quivering technician to push the door wide.

The false officer's azure eyes danced excitedly as he simply strode forward, pressing bodily into Temblon and causing him to backpedal into the server room to avoid collapsing against his steady momentum. "S-S-Sir! I'm going to h-have to ask you to p-p-present your official d-documentation!" he managed to stammer even as Franchesco forced him backward against a server rack while the door swung shut behind them with a secure click.

"Oh, that ain't gonna be no problem," Franchesco rumbled, letting the gleaming armor that barely fit across his broad chest grind against the specialist's uniform. "But how 'bout you present yers first?" One of the officer's hands glided down to grasp into Temblon's waistband. The gasp that escaped the specialist's jaws would have made a lesser man blush.

"Oh g-god, y-y-you're not Lieutenant Franchesco at all, are you?!" Temblon squeaked, his hands flying to his muzzle as he stared with what must have been a mix of terror and embarrassed arousal, considering the way his body was responding to the singular motion that effortlessly whisked his pants down across his legs. "Ohmygod..."

The impostor offered a grin up to him and rolled his head leisurely between his shoulders. "Heh. Guess I might not be. It'd probably be easier to holler my real name when the next bit starts..."

Temblon's eyes could not have widened any further. "N-next bit?"

"Call me 'Sammy'..."

"S-Sa-uh...hnn...g-guh-god, oh god, Sammy!"

Temblon -- or rather, Trevor, since that was way cuter -- panted heavily in his disheveled state, various pieces of his uniform scattered and mixed with parts of the impostor's armor. His mane was matted down with sweat, the ponytail a disheveled mess that hung over one shoulder. His chest still heaving as he gawked at the tattoo carving through the rippling musculature of his companion's back, unable to avoid noticing the fresh scars indicating a line of bullet wounds through his torso. "'re...really a r-rebel?" he mumbled over the hum of the servers. "You...oh god. Oh god I'm gonna die, we're both gonna die a-a-a-and..."

"Aww, we ain't gonna die," Samael reassured while carefully tapping out a command on the keyboard before squinting at the directions he'd produced from one of the nooks in his borrowed armor. "Yer the only one with access to this room, ain'tcha?"

"Unless someone from Headquarters shows up!" Trevor wailed, throwing an arm over his flushed features. "I...I can't believe I let you...let this with a rebel!"

Samael flashed a grin over his shoulder, his tail flicking a bit before he paused and then pouted at the lack of jingle. Stupid disguises. "Hey now, yer gonna make me feel ugly, ya keep actin' so ashamed like 'at," he replied with a dramatic sniff. "You seemed like you were into it, hon!"

"W-well...I was!" Trevor replied awkwardly before he shrunk back into himself with a whine. "But I thought...I thought you were some...crazy soldier who was taking advantage of me! Not a...a heretic!"

Samael paused and then cleared his throat as he peered back at Trevor again. "You, uh. You were gettin' off purdy gat-damn hardcore if that's what you thought was happenin', sweetie."

Trevor's tail looped around itself awkwardly as his toes curled with his embarrassment. "H-hey. I'm not judging you..."

Samael was all grins again. "Y'are a li'l bit, treatin' me like I'm some horrible nasty bad guy, gonna get ya killed." He waved a hand dismissively. "I'm jus' takin' advantage of yer big, cute ass to get access to yer fancy-ass computers 'n shit!"

Trevor gave his own pout before wincing when Samael suddenly spun around and dropped down to a crouch across from him, his grin replaced with a genuine smile. "I'm jus' teasin', hon." He hesitated and then raised a finger. "Well, I mean, I was takin' advantage of ya, but!" He beamed and placed both hands on Trevor's shoulders as the paunchy chupa trembled under his fingers. "I don't wanna leave ya all high 'n dry!"

"I don't think either of us are very dry," Trevor mumbled, avoiding Samael's eyes and then glancing past him at the console with a squint. "What do you mean? And...what are you doing?"

"I mean that when I finish doin' this here hackin'-shit, I wanna bring ya back with me!" Samael replied cheerfully, spinning around again and tilting his head at the screen. He could feel the way Trevor's face morphed into one of shock behind him. "You ain't happy here, hon, not by a goddamn long shot. We could use someone with yer skills back at base, an' you wouldn't be treated like shit, neither..."

He heard a quiet shift, a few mumbles, and then a long sigh as the specialist awkwardly climbed to his feet, then carefully approached Samael from behind. Samael smiled slightly but resisted the urge to look back, choosing instead to trust the nervous technician. "'re doing that all wrong. That's gonna take twice as long, and it isn't even encrypted so they're gonna know you're...ugh." The sigh was powerful enough to ruffle the back of Samael's skull and the rebel held his grin back, waiting patiently for the slender arm to inevitably snake past his thick form to quickly fly over the keyboard. "Here, just...let me..."

Samael smiled and finally moved to one side as he glanced back at Trevor, who huffed but couldn't avoid flicking his eyes down to the half-dressed rebel. "By all means, sweetie, you go on right ahead -- we jus' wanted to leave a li'l gift in the Blue network, help keep us a few steps 'head'a the game."

"I don't wanna know," Trevor mumbled even while he scooted closer and kept typing away as his other hand joined the first to dance over the keys. Samael gave a low chuckle, shifting to stand behind Trevor while one arm slid around his waist to massage gently across the technician's belly -- his military targets weren't often out of shape, and he took considerable pleasure from the experience of intimacy with someone who wasn't a chiseled soldier. And it spoke to him about more than just his physical conditioning...if the Blue Army didn't mind him being a bit out of shape despite being an enlisted and ranked soldier, it meant he was more than just a half-capable troubleshooter. He was willing to bet the guy had some real talent with technology.

Samael delighted in the shudder and the way Trevor pressed back into his stocky frame, smiling again while leaning to the side so he could watch him work. And a few seconds after 'not wanting to know', Trevor was muttering away while frowning at the files Samael brought. "No, won't work if you guys do it that want to put the clean-up batch files in the -- oohh, g-god, I'm...s-still sensitive!"

Samael stifled his snort, his tongue idly tracing along his lips. "Heh, sorry, hon. Jus' tryna help ya relax..."

"You're making it do the opposite of relax!" Trevor complained, though Samael couldn't quite help but notice the way he pushed back against Samael and let out a breathy little whimper while making a few more modifications to the files. He kept plodding away as Samael's fingers did their own gentle work against the soldier's body. Trevor panted softly again, his eyes flicking back again before he tried to keep his voice steady: "What...what if I...s-say no?"

Samael shrugged easily while his tail drifted up along the inside of Trevor's legs. "Then I leave ya here to keep workin' fer these assholes, duck on out 'n head back somewhere you'd be appreciated while you keep wastin' yer talent on this pointless fuckin' war..." He saw Andee's face, and for a moment, it was all too clear why he and the bat got along so well. God, if only Andee would remember that.

"I...I could turn you in," Trevor murmured, the greenish glow of the terminal illuminating the guilty expression that accompanied the poor attempt at intimidation.

Samael was gentle all the same. "Ya could...but ya don't seem too keen on doin' that," he replied against Trevor's back, the brush of his muzzle along his spine enough to make the specialist's knees wobble again. "You deserve better, hon. An' I know we're still fightin' against this damn thing, but I promise you we're better than all'a this..." Samael paused long enough to hear the conversation with Andee echo in his thoughts. This was who he was. But he was good at it. "It's worth it, Trevor. It's worth it 'cause you c'n help change the goddamn world, instead'a just havin' it shove you around." He gazed past the soldier, seeing his skeptical expression reflected in the console screen. "An' if ya don't believe you c'n made a difference, then at least y'know yer doin' it of yer own free will. Not 'cause no one told ya to, not 'cause some fuckin' asshole on a throne of shit said it's what you gotta do."

Trevor sighed softly as he shifted his weight, then continued to type away for a few seconds in silence. Samael remained calm, however, letting his fingers drift through the specialist's light-blue fur and drawing out a shiver now and then. Trevor eventually lowered his hands and then exhaled. "It's done." He lifted one arm when Samael poked his muzzle into it, glancing down awkwardly to see the shorter male peering past his side. He smiled despite himself, then pointed to the screen. "The program you brought No offense, but a little...primitive."

Samael smirked. "Toldja we could really use someone like you..."

Trevor huffed, then murmured: "I modified the trace routine to use an older Blue Army relay instead of the hacked House node you guys had in there. I am impressed someone managed to piggyback that, but it's also more likely to get spotted sooner." He pointed to the screen. "This shouldn't raise any flags. It's depreciated, but the army uses old relays all the time as backup, so. It probably won't ever get spotted as suspicious traffic."

Samael grinned broadly and let his hands squeeze gently, which made Trevor yip and buck softly against him. "Shit, I got 'bout...a third'a that, maybe, but it sounds like you did some fancy nerd shit for this dirty rebel just now, which means..."

Trevor bit his lip, glancing down at Samael while removing the portable drive and holding it out to him. "I...I still dunno, Sammy, I might not be happy, least it's safe, and..." He trailed off as his eyes drifted toward another monitor a few rows down. A frown slowly crept into place before his eyes suddenly widened and an arm thrust out toward the screen. "Oh...oh shit! Shit, that's..."

Samael blinked and peered at the camera feed, the screen depicting a tall chupa in pristine armor with the markings of an officer. He smiled slightly and glanced back to see Trevor fumbling for his discarded pockcom, hurriedly flicking through the menus and then whining loudly as he shoved it out for Samael to see. "Th-that's Lieutenant Franchesco! The...the real one!"

Samael chuckled in the back of his throat as he calmly began to don the armor. "Heh, sure is. Well, Trevor, if yer ready to sign up, I'll get you outta here." Trevor stared at him in confusion while a hesitant mote landed on his features. "Otherwise, I c'n knock ya out 'n you just tell 'em I beat yer ass up when you wouldn't give me the code, or somethin'..."

Trevor fidgeted for a second or two and then finally cursed and quickly started scooping up his own uniform to hastily get dressed. ", geez, y-yeah, okay. Oh christ, I can't are we gonna get outta here?!"

The confident grin was back in full force as Samael tightened his chest plate and tipped a self-assured wink. "You leave that to me. Stay close, an' when the bullets start to fly..." He paused long enough to remember his reason. "Then you keep yer head down 'n let me deal with it. You ain't got no armor on that uniform, and I can't get my ass shot again; I gotta hot date tomorrow." He smiled and reached out to grip Trevor's shoulder, meeting his eyes calmly. "Welcome to the Movement, hon." Trevor took a deep, shaky breath but nodded once as Samael reached for the server room door. "Let's get you home."

Andee scowled and rubbed at his arm as he fidgeted on the tree branch. This fuckin' puppy, he said he wouldn't miss the meeting. He made it sound so easy, like it was no big deal to mix his stupid fucking suicidal rebel life with helping someone other than all of Sirca. Like there wasn't a chance that every fucking pointless job he did for those goddamn Movement assholes would leave him wounded or...or worse. And what the fuck was Andee going to do with the fucking corpse of some heretic most of the ring would never even know existed, unless they'd had the pleasure of his goddamn whoring skills? Was he supposed to bury him next to Tracer's shrine, sell tickets to see the ass that rode more dicks than all of Omegrad's red-light district on a Friday night? Christ, it was stupid to think this would work, that Samael would actually come back in one goddamn piece, that he could actually devote himself to someone that wasn't his precious cause.

Andee's features tightened as his claws dug into the branch, the bat glowering coldly through the leaves and at the warehouse near the edge of town. He'd seen a car pull up five minutes ago, no doubt with the Hammersmith hoopsters inside, looking to do a bit of early scoping out of the location. And even though Samael had radioed him last night to tell him he was on the way back to Sidewinder, that he was just running a little late because the last job got messy...Andee didn't take that fucker at face value. Not after that shit he'd pulled with York, Andee wasn't ready to just trust that dumb redneck. Sure, maybe he'd said he was fine, that he didn't get hurt. Except what happened last time the bastard got shot four times in the chest? He'd fucking driven Andee back through the pouring rain, carried him into Xulod like he wasn't bleeding through his bandages, like he hadn't been a few goddamn inches from having a lung or his heart punched through. What the fuck did "fine" really mean when you were a goddamn lunatic who pretended like being shot wasn't something to fucking fear?! For all Andee knew, "fine" might as well have meant that Samael was missing a goddamn arm, or had his ass strapped to a set of wheels like that fucking she-beast who kept sending him out on these fucking jobs...

"Fine, whatever. I can handle this shit on my own," he muttered as he shuffled along the branch and flapped his wings once. The sun was just starting to come up, this was at the edge of a shitty little town -- it wouldn't be that difficult to get over to the warehouse without being spotted. Whatever, he'd just go back to doing things the way he was used to. It was easier that way, it was less stressful. And it was definitely less noisy.

He snorted and started to search the area, only to pause when he heard an engine approaching. Andee frowned and twisted his head around to squint through the branches, narrowing his eyes at the sight of the rusty coupe bouncing along the dirt path toward the small copse of trees. He could already see the dumb puppy's face, even through the cracked windshield. Andee suddenly wished he had just gone ahead alone, since he'd forgotten about the way his heart twirled awkwardly at the sight of Samael, the way he felt emotions that were in no way helpful for the task ahead, emotions that weren't helpful for anything except feeling...

He forced the thoughts aside and replaced them with a deep-set frown as the car twitched to a stop near another tree. The door squeaked loudly when it was opened and Andee glared expectantly when the stout rebel emerged from the car. His face was scrawled with apologetic nervousness and the bat tried to spot whatever injury the jackass was hiding. But as Samael gazed up into the branches, turning in place while calling out Andee's name softly, Andee didn't see any casts or gauze. He wasn't limping, nothing was missing...he didn't even look fucking thirsty.

Andee smiled faintly to himself. That was a lie. His stupid fiffy was always thirsty. "Ey, over here, jackass."

Samael spun around, his features immediately brightening when he caught sight of the bat. God, his spastic excitement over the dumbest things was so frustrating. Didn't matter that Andee felt his confidence surging at the way the chupa drowned him with such genuine adoration -- he was still a dumb puppy. "Andee! Sorry, hon, I --"

"So not only are ya fuckin' late, but ya brought the fuckin' shittiest thing on four wheels -- yo' goddamn crippled momma probably has a higher top speed than that bucket of rust 'n fuckin' broken dreams," Andee complained as he thrust a wing toward the jalopy.

Samael blinked and then looked awkwardly back at the car before smiling sheepishly. "Hey, it...was the only one I could borrow on short notice. The truck I brought back from Worty was, uh..." He scratched at the side of his head. "It got a li'l shot up 'n shit."

Andee made a face but reminded himself this was why they were going to keep their lives nice and separated. "Whatever, Fiffy, As long as you don't fuck nothin' up this morning, I don't give a fuck."

Samael gave him a pained look and Andee snorted even while glancing away to avoid the emotional display. "Yeah, I'm...I'm good, hon. I had to take the ferry, so I'm sorry I'm runnin' late, but I think --"

Andee grunted and waved dismissively before gliding out of the tree and past Samael to flit into the car. "You're here now, so let's fuckin' get going!" He heard Samael's sigh but ignored it as he dropped into the passenger's seat and squinted through the windshield, very purposefully avoiding eye contact when Samael slid behind the wheel with an uncomfortable mumble. "Pull up right next to their car so they don't think we're tryin' to pull no shit -- this is supposed to be a fuckin' deal, not an ambush."

"Yeah, got it," Samael murmured as he glanced over at the bat, then steered the car out from beneath the trees and toward the warehouse.

They crossed the dusty expanse mostly in silence, until Samael hesitantly piped up. "So...that job actually went purdy good!" Andee crossed his arms and wrinkled his muzzle. "I did my thing, I got in an' out purdy quick, got another guy recruited, an' even though they was onto us an' started shootin' 'n shit, I thought 'bout what you sa--"

"Can it, Sammy," Andee interjected as he sliced a wing through the air. "I don't wanna hear about that shit. That's your business." He ached even as he said it, even before he glanced over to see Samael shrink miserably backward. Andee grimaced and then rolled his eyes, gazing out through the passenger window with a grumble. "Look, if this shit goes well, you can...tell me all about your stupid job afterward. Deal?"

He felt in Samael's voice how weak the smile was, but at least it was back. "Heh. Yeah, okay, hon. Deal."

Samael pulled up to the far-nicer sedan and Andee scowled at the sight of a burly chupa standing in the open doorway of the warehouse with a shotgun held across his chest. "Christ, they have their own were-mutt, looks like," Andee muttered.

Samael studied him as well while turning off the engine and pocketing the keys. "Shit, I think he's that big even without bein' no warwoof," the rebel commented. "Let's try not to piss off that one, eh?"

Andee huffed and slapped at him lightly with a wing. "That's why you let me do the talkin', ya goddamn chode..." He shoved open his door and dropped out of the car while fixing the sentry with a glower. "Ey, ya two-ton fuck! We're just lookin' to set up an exchange, what the fuck's that big-ass dick-compensator for??"

The massive chupa curled his muzzle into a snarl. "What the fuck did you say, you little bastard?" He took a step forward and before Andee even registered it, Samael was at his side with a disarming grin, even as one hand hovered near the small of his back.

"Hey, hey!! Now don't go 'n get my li'l buddy here all riled up, yer boss ain't gonna be too happy if he adds a tax on this sweet-ass deal he's got for ya just 'cause yer bein' kind of a shithead!" Samael purred.

Andee grinned while muttering in an aside: "What happened to not pissin' him off, eh?"

The guard glowered between them, then opened his muzzle...only to be cut off from an annoyed voice inside. "Bulldog, do your fucking job, check them for guns, and let them in!"

Andee exchanged a brief glance with Samael, already knowing what the redneck had tucked into his waistband. He frowned in thought for a moment, then jerked his head toward the sentry. "Fine, then -- these fuckers must actually wanna deal. Give 'im your piece, Sammy."

The guard's eyebrows lifted slightly as he shouted back over a shoulder: "It sounds like they brought a gun, boss!"

The exasperated sigh made Andee feel somewhat better, ironically. "Then...take it from them, Bulldog."

"Oh, okay, boss." His beady eyes focused on the two again and he thrust out a meaty hand. "Gimme your gun and then you can go inside."

"Yer boss is a careful fella, eh? Well that's a good thing, help y'all live longer," Samael replied as he gingerly pulled the pistol out from his waistband. Bulldog continued to hold the shotgun in one hand, watching warily while Samael placed the weapon into his waiting palm. "There ya go. But don't go gettin' it lost or nothin', big man -- I just cleaned the shit!"

Bulldog stared blankly for a few seconds before grunting and nodding slowly. "I won't lose it. I'll put it on a table." God, Andee hoped the rest of them weren't as brainless as this meatsack. "And you don't have any other guns?!" Bulldog suddenly added as he leaned down threateningly toward them.

"I mean, I got somethin' that shoots a pretty good load if ya wanna do a li'l pat-down, but nothin' that'll kill ya," Samael replied cheekily before wheezing when Andee elbowed his side hard. "N-nope, big man, all clean," he added in a strained voice.

"Hrgn." Bulldog pursed his muzzle and then grunted and jerked his head toward the door. "Okay. You can go in."

Andee resisted another eye roll as he led Samael into the dark warehouse. Only a few of the overhead lights appeared to be working, casting down weak, yellowish beams that made the building feel a lot more mysterious than a mostly-empty warehouse would normally feel. Ahead, three chupas stood under one of the lights with a table between them. Andee was going to guess the guy wearing the sunglasses and the bowler hat was the boss. He made a big show of glaring all around them before calling out as they approached: "What's the big idea with the show'a force, ya motherfuckers?! I'm just tryin' to sell you dumb mooks a fuckin' fine product, but you're givin' us the goddamn suspicious squeeze!"

The boss snorted and crossed his arms over the polo shirt that clung to his dark orange hide. One of the chupas at his side had the same coat, though the other squinted at them from features marked with light blue fur. None of them looked particularly impressive -- Andee wondered if Bulldog was one of their more recent hires. "Word travels fast, bat. We all heard about The Garden, no one wants a fuckin' repeat performance."

"Then don't fuckin' screw me over," Andee replied bluntly before he reached under his poncho. The boss's two compatriots both reached for their guns, but Andee was quick to produce the plastic key with a groan ."You fuckers always so fuckin' paranoid," he added in a mutter. "Anyway, what the fuck do I call you, since I assure you I ain't gonna fuckin' just call you 'boss'."

The hoopster studied him through the shades for a moment, then nodded once. "Rosco."

"Well, Rosco, let's get this fuckin' show on the road," Andee announced as he waved the card around. "Now, please tell me you fuckers actually listened to me 'n brought a fuckin' computer or some shit?"

Rosco pointed at the chupa with a similar fur color. "This is my cousin. You can call 'im Sharky."

"I'll do my best not to," Andee replied dryly as Samael stifled a snort.

Rosco and Sharky both glared before the latter dug around in a backpack at his feet to produce a laptop. "Sharky's pretty good with technology and shit, so..."

"I'm sure he is," Andee muttered drolly as both hoopsters leaned over the computer and whispered furtively to each other for a moment. The bat took the time to glance up at Samael, who was standing calmly with a half-smile. The redneck had been silent so far. He supposed that wasn't the worst start.

"Uh...okay. Give us the sample," Sharky ordered as he thrust a hand out.

Andee cocked an eyebrow, then hopped up onto the table and shoved the card into his hand. "Better not fuck it up, ya dumbass..."

As if on cue, Samael took a step forward as well and chuckled while the three all gave Andee a horrible look. "What Andee means is that these cards are pretty fancy! We wouldn't want you guys accidentally lettin' the House know 'bout our location 'cause ya did somethin' wrong 'n set off some kinda alert on the Network...right?"

Sharky and Rosco both blinked a few times before sharing a look while Andee squinted over his shoulder. Samael pulled that right outta his ass, didn't he? Rosco cleared his throat before announcing quickly: "Hey, don't fuckin' worry about us! Sharky knows what he's doing..." He paused long enough for his cousin to look up from the laptop and then nod wildly on command. "Yeah, so. You better make sure you didn't fuck anything up when you were stealing these, or this whole deal's off the table!"

Andee smirked, his self-assurance ebbing back comfortably. "Listen, ya low-rent bastards, you're the first ones to take this seriously." Rosco gave him a wary look, but the bat pressed on smoothly. "Baskins ain't interested 'cause he's an idiot. Delacroix thought he'd pull some shady shit instead. And no one else even bothered to check the card because they're too stupid to not pass up a good thing." A small smile quirked his muzzle. "Maybe you fuckers are actually gonna be worth somethin' since you're willing to believe that me and this jerkoff actually busted our asses liftin' these things..." He hefted a thumb over his shoulder at Samael, who crossed his arms and grinned broadly.

Rosco and his guys all took a moment to peer at the confident duo before the leader whispered quickly to Sharky again while gesturing emphatically at the laptop. It took Sharky a moment to reverse the direction of the card into whatever shitty interface he'd quickly plugged in, but after a few seconds of awkward fumbling, he gave several hesitant nods. "Uh...uh, yeah, yeah, Rich--I-I mean, Rosco, this thing is legit. We could use these to get into anything...I think. I mean. I know."

Andee was willing to bet he had no fucking clue what he was looking at, but that wasn't his concern, was it? He puffed his chest out a bit and put his hands on his hips. "Well about fuckin' time! Your little band'a misfits is gonna finally be more than some speck'a dirt on the Honkal map, eh?"

Rosco scowled even as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Listen, asshole, we're plenty big-time! But we just don't have all that family money like those other bastards, so we have to work hard, get it?"

"Oh, I get it plenty," Andee retorted as he held out his hand with a flat expression. "Now gimme that fuckin' card back and let's arrange the fuckin' trade." Rosco and Sharky looked at each other again before the latter nodded and pulled the card out to hand it to the bat. "Good. We're offerin' five per card. How many ya want?"

"Five hundred?" Rosco inquired warily, earning a scoff from the bat.

"Shit, try again, asshole -- five grand, this shit ain't no powder been chopped up with talc!" Andee brandished the card again. "You know this is gonna pay for itself after one job!"

"I dunno, Andee, that's pretty fuckin' steep," Rosco began as Andee snorted and started to argue, only for Samael to gently interrupt.

"Now don't get gun-shy at that price tag," the rebel rumbled in that oh-so-soothing drawl. "You know the product's good. And yer still the first who's actually taken the time to look -- be smart 'bout this." He strode up to the table and placed a hand on Andee's shoulder. The bat twitched but kept his eyes on Rosco, watching the way he was visibly drawn into Samael's words. "We ain't sayin' ya gotta get the whole batch. An' if yer happy with it, we got lots more -- so how 'bout you just get yerself a handful fer now, eh? Y'all gotta be able to scrape up enough cash to get you three or four, then I guarantee you'll be callin' in a couple weeks after ya see how well the shit works."

Sharky squinted at the rebel. "Well...why don't we just buy a few and then...keep using them? We don't need more..."

Andee blinked even as he masked his surprise -- these assholes hadn't shown more than three neurons firing at once so far, he wasn't expecting a thoughtful question. This time he wasn't as upset when Samael kept talking, relaxing minutely under his gentle grip. "Aw, sure, that's true, that's true...'cept only problem is, even as good as these damn cards is, they still gotta unique signature. Use 'em more'n a few times, they's gonna catch on 'n get it locked out." Samael offered a pleasant grin while sweeping his other arm out to the side. "Then you better have another card ready to roll, or ya risk gettin' caught." All three hoopsters shifted their weight before looking between the bat and rebel. "But once other folks hear how good these things work for ya...don't expect my li'l friend's stock here to last too long!"

Sharky leaned up to whisper something to his cousin, and Rosco eventually grumbled and then squared his jaw. "Three-grand, but we'll get four for now."

Andee sneered, leaning forward but not breaking out of Samael's light grasp. "Fuck you, ya cheapskates! Four each, that's four for four, ya ain't gonna get a better fuckin' deal than that."

Rosco started to reply, but Samael's silky addition slid into place first, like warm syrup gliding over Andee's crisp patter. "Tell ya what, me 'n Andee got another group rarin' to look, but if yer ready to make this shit happen...we c'n bring the goods into town by tonight. Lock it up 'fore anyone else gets their grubby mitts on any."

Rosco glared between them, doing his best to project superiority instead of the poorly-hidden indecision. "Hmph, that sounds like you're tryin' to know. Force my hand."

"Ey, asshole, this ain't my home turf! Every minute I gotta spend out here in this sandy fuckin' bitch of a territory is another grain of salt ridin' up my ass!" Andee barked as he thrust a claw toward Rosco. "We ain't tryna force shit, we just wanna start makin' some coin for all the hard work me'n this fiffy did, ya feel me?" Rosco shrank back slightly, which brought a smirk to Andee's features. "Anyway, you get your asses out to the northern water plant this afternoon, we got the stash near there. Sometime around eight-hundred CM, got it?"

Rosco made a face and shifted his weight as he looked between his companions. "That's only five or six hours' drive...why the hell do you twenty hours?"

Andee was ready for Samael, silently pleased by how quickly the redneck picked up the slack. "Shit, hon, we toldja we got other folks lined up, can't just fuckin' skip those meetin's, how'd you feel if we ducked out on meetin' up with you, eh? But the only differences is, y'all ain't a buncha dumb assholes, y'all ready to deal." Samael offered a broad smile. "So we'll jus' have a quick chat, tell 'em we gotta' that they're shit outta luck!"

Rosco opened his muzzle, but Andee calmly stepped in: "That is, unless you decide you ain't gonna be smart and back out on us. Then the fuckin' market's wide open again!"

"I think we should do it, cuz, this could be our big break!" Sharky whispered while Andee tried to not let his ears flick too obviously. Dumbass chupas kept forgetting he wasn't nearly as fuckin' deaf as them.

Rosco grunted and bit his lower lip before crossing his arms to shove his inflated cockiness in front of himself again. "Okay, okay, fine. That's fine..." He scowled at Andee before glancing toward Samael as well. "We'll have the fuckin' cash. But don't even think about fuckin' us over -- I'm gonna have all my guys there, so you two assholes better not pull any shit!"

"Please, like we'd fuckin' dream of it. We're tryna get paid, not shot up like a buncha stupid bastards," Andee muttered while flicking his wing at them dismissively and then turning on a heel to throw himself into a loose circle around Samael's head. "Don't be fuckin' late, eh? Or we'll assume you changed your minds and wanna keep fuckin' swimmin' in the kiddie pool!" Rosco wrinkled his snout but nodded a few times, and Andee chortled before clipping Samael's skull lightly with a talon. "A'right, Fiffy. Let's get the fuck outta here. And don't forget to get your fuckin' piece back from Special Ed at the front door." He jerked his head back to the trio of hoopsters. "See you this afternoon, losers!"

"Yeah, well...we won't be losers for very long!" Rosco shouted back before clearing his throat awkwardly and cursing under his breath while Andee and Samael both attempted to restrain their amused snickering.

Andee kept his expression as neutral as he could while he and Samael headed back into the morning light, the rebel exchanging a quick flurry of words with the slow-witted sentry before having his pistol handed to him. He shoved it back into his waistband, then joined Andee at the rusted coupe so they could hop into the front seats together and slam the doors shut.

Andee exhaled while Samael coaxed the engine to life. "Guess that wasn't too didn't even fuck nothin' up, Fiffy..."

Samael smiled quietly as the tired vehicle rumbled awake, driving slowly away from the warehouse to avoid making themselves look overly suspicious. "Aw, shucks -- ain't that sweet'a ya to say." He paused and licked his muzzle apprehensively. "We...we jus' sent them fellas to their tombs, though, eh?"

The bat rolled his eyes, even if a pang of guilt accompanied the motion. Stupid soft-hearted puppies. "Feh. Fuck 'em, they'da gotten themselves killed soon enough, anyway." Samael sunk slightly into the seat and Andee snorted, then gave a small smile. "You really did do good, though, Sammy. Fuckin'...I fuckin' mean that." Samael glanced hesitantly over at him, looking as if he was fearing some sort of hidden reprisal. But Andee only smirked and then pointed through the cracked windshield. "C'mon. Quit thinkin' about what the Hula fuckers are gonna do 'n think about me, instead. I gotta get back to Xulod before dark, so find us a quiet spot up there in those fuckin' hills so you can tell me about all your borin' bullshit before I head out. Deal?"

Samael's smile felt less hesitant, and Andee couldn't help the touch of warmth he felt. "'Kay. Deal."

"No, no, I'm serious, hon! Just...fuckin' Full buck naked, li'l guy was still buried inside 'im, two'a them still all...afterglowy 'n shit!"

Andee scowled horribly, plucking at a bunch of grass and then flinging it into the air around them as the late morning sun beat down over them both. "Ugh, fuckin' get outta here, you fuckin' serious? Look, obviously York don't care what he fuckin' fucks, he fucked you, after all --"


"--but...Wash? I didn't think York was that fuckin' desperate..."

"Heh, I dunno...I think they looked kinda cute..." Andee made a face and glanced over to see Samael smiling up at the clouds, his fingers laced behind his head. The two were sprawled out together in the soft grass of a meadow atop one of the rolling hills bordering Honkal and Timae, resting side-by-side as Samael recounted the last few days. "York ain't never said nothin' 'bout Wash to me before, though, so...I 'unno, maybe it was jus' someone's ruff or somethin'...but damn, did they look happy!"

Andee snorted loudly and reached over to slap Samael's arm a few times. "Ugh, quit talkin' about those two. Gonna ruin a perfectly good daydream 'bout all that money we's gonna get from the Hula Club..." And he was thinking about that. This had the makings of a sweet deal.

...He just didn't want to admit he was also thinking about Samael. A tiny bit, at least. What the fuck were York and Wash doing shoving their dicks into each other when Andee hadn't even yet laid claim to his stupid redneck? Feh, whatever, it wasn't worth his goddamn attention, who gave a fuck what those dick-hungry chupa-fucks did to each other.

Samael laughed quietly. "You really think Miz Sov's gonna hook you up, huh?"

"She better!" Andee warned before smirking again and reaching over to smack Samael, then letting his slender arm stretch out across his muscular chest. "And she's gonna hook us up, stupid puppy. Don't forget I'm keepin' you around, which means I get a cut of your cut!"

"So why give me a cut at all?" Samael teased.

"'Cause I gotta have a reason to keep the Oh So Amazing Samael Wurlitz around so he can keep gettin' his ass fuckin' kicked instead of me," Andee grumbled as Samael peered over at him, then smiled happily. The bat caught it and huffed before elbowing him lightly. "Don't mean you got my goddamn permission to get shot again, asshole..." A thought came back to him and he jabbed a claw into Samael's side. "Ey, wait -- you're 'aposed to tell me about where the fuck Wurlitz came from!"

Samael blinked and then gave a soft smile to the blue skies again as Andee felt his fingers moving gently over his wing. He remembered the iridescent cave...and considering Samael's ginger touch, he clearly hadn't forgotten, either. "Heh. Guess ya ain't wrong," he mumbled as his blunt claws traced carefully along the leathery membrane. "Y'know I ain't doin' this fer no money, though...right?"

Andee remained silent as he tipped his head back to gaze up at the drifting clouds as well. Yeah, he obviously knew that. Andee could force as much separation as he wanted, try to compartmentalize his emotions a safe, padded distance from his ambitions, his drive to do whatever it took to come out on top, to be more than what he started as. But it wouldn't change the raw honesty that seeped out of Samael whenever he was around, the way Andee found it so hard to deny the plain, simple, agonizing truth...which was that Samael's words out in that dark, bloody jungle weren't just fueled by adrenaline and overwrought emotion. He'd meant them, despite the fact Andee wasn't ready, despite the fact Andee wasn't made for that, wasn't the one meant for this goddamn puppy.

"Yeah, Fiffy. 'Course I know that, ya fuzzy shortstack," he grumbled, fidgeting a bit but leaving his wing still under Samael's tender ministrations.

He glanced over again to see Samael smiling again, although it was steeped with melancholy. "Wurlitz, though. It was, uh. It was one'a the times I was with Tracer."

"With him, or...fuckin'...with him?"

Samael cleared his throat. "Guess technically he was within me."

"Heh." Andee shook his head a bit but smiled slightly all the same. "No wonder he got along with Sage -- those two old bastards always did like 'em young. Anyway, I'm surprised you remember anything considerin' how he musta blown your dumb kiddie ass away back then, probably had you wet before he even got halfway in."

Samael huffed and Andee enjoyed the way he could feel his chest flushing with embarrassment. "Hey, I. Look, I told you I got better. But um, yeah. We were, er. Just finishin' up and he looks down at me. He'd told me earlier that I needed to figger out a last name, 'cause we'd hafta be fakin' paperwork 'n shit. I still hadn't come up with nothin', and..." Samael trailed off as Andee looked over at him, watching the chupa reach up with one hand like he was caressing the face of a memory while the fingers of his other hand squeezed silently into Andee's arm. "He says, 'Wurlitz. You're gonna be Samael Wurlitz. That was my mother's family're just as stubborn as she was, and you're gonna grow up to be just as strong as her, too.' And I. I ain't sayin' I cried or nothin'..."

"But of course ya did, that dumb, charismatic pedo always knew just what to say," Andee murmured in response. He felt Samael flinch, but already knew the chupa wasn't so blinded by his love for the dead bastard that he didn't recognize the dark corona that tinged what had been one of Sirca's brightest lights, before it'd been cruelly extinguished. "I wish...I wish he was still here too, Sammy. know if he was, what he done to you..."

"He made me who I am, Andee," Samael replied quietly before a heavy sigh slipped through his muzzle. "Fer...fer better or fer worse..."

Andee grimaced and looked up at the clouds before tipping his head back toward the chupa. "No bullshittin', Sammy. old were you when..." He watched silently as Samael squirmed, seeing the way the rebel flicked his gaze toward him nervously, something he hadn't done since the last time Andee had gone off on him. "I ain't gonna judge you, jackass. Y'know that, right?"

Samael sighed again as his entire body seemed to sink into the warm meadow beneath them. "I was runnin' my maturity quest a...a coupla years early." Andee set his jaw but remained quiet. "I...I was twelve when I met 'im. When he came into my life an'...changed everythin'..."

The bat watched him quietly for a few more seconds, then let his eyes glide back to studying the passing clouds. "Who else knows?"

"Day I met Nelson, I told her 'n everyone else I was fifteen," Samael murmured. "She saw right through that shit. She usually does. An' I know she was close 'nuff to him that...she knew 'bout all his stuff. But...purdy sure everyone else thinks I'm 'round twenty or so, now..." He paused and looked awkward for a moment. "Guess one day I better tell York, uh...when we met, I was --"

"Aw, don't fuckin' get side-tracked with all your other stupid pedo-boyfriends," Andee interrupted with a huff, using the wing laying across Samael's chest to smack him a few times. "All I'm sayin' is...ain't always good to worry about what mighta been. Yeah, Tracer was the shit to everyone in the Movement, even to us bat-folk...but...ain't gonna be but a few people out here who be all understanding and shit -- you'd be better off just tellin' the world he saved your ass, not that he was tappin' it, too," Andee grumbled.

Samael squirmed a bit at his side before he gave a faint laugh. "Hey, I don't wanna tell anyone, not even 'bout him savin' me, you li'l jerk, I don't wanna be known as--"

"Ey, Sammy." The abrupt interjection made the chupa stumble to a halt as he tilted his head toward Andee and the two met each other's eyes. "Quit livin' in the past. You's here with me now. And you're doing plenty to live up to the name he gave you, so...stop torturin' yourself." He gave a small but playful smile. "That's my job now."

Samael took a moment, then hesitantly smiled back while his fingers worked a bit more intensely into Andee's wing. "Heh...a'right, hon." He looked thoughtful for a few seconds. "So I told ya 'bout Wash and York--"

"Ugh, yeah, like I need to think about those two fuckin'...fuckin'," Andee droned.

Samael chortled. "An' ya heard 'bout Wortistan, the new recruit I hustled on over..."

"Ya mean the guy you sucked 'n fucked 'til he was too fuckin' sex-drunk to say no," Andee deadpanned with a roll of his eyes. All this goddamn sex talk. He thought back to Krainen, to that shitty subway shower...moments Mutt would have mocked him for, if he'd known how damn close they'd gotten. He didn't exactly know Andee for his hesitance. The bat wrinkled his muzzle and told himself to ignore the dull heat that began to thrum in his core. "Is that how you fuckin' get all the newbies to join? Swallow their dick 'til they can't see straight, lure 'em back to Nelson while they's still dazed 'n shit?"

Samael showed a refreshing lack of shame this time, giving a helpless grin over to Andee. "I mean...maybe. I'm pretty fuckin' good at it." Yeah, this was better. Andee knew his puppy was a goddamn whore, and it was way more satisfying when he wasn't being a fuckin' baby about it. Samael cleared his throat and Andee quirked an eyebrow curiously. "That actually reminds me, uh -- y'know you told me to, uh. 'Get close' to Vinny?"

Andee rolled onto his side, pretending his pulse hadn't started to quicken as his breaths grew shorter. "Who the fuck is -- oh wait, that the Sovs' kid?" His tongue darted out, tracing past his protruding teeth to briefly flick his nose ring. Samael was too busy smiling wistfully into the clouds to notice while his fingers continued their light dance over the bat's wing.

"Heh, yeah, yeah. I uh...I got him back to my room eventually, gave him a li'l Sammy Special, managed to learn a li'l bit." The pounding in Andee's ears subsided momentarily. "Lord, though, it was kinda adorable -- definitely wasn't his first time, but the noises he made when I was--"

Okay, Andee was back to not listening, which was very frustrating, because he wanted to know whatever dirt Samael had gotten from Vincent. He wanted to hear every goddamn last secret the coy redneck had extruded through the hoopster kid's dick. That was something he could use Samael for, to make any deal sweeter, to learn information about someone or something, to exploit for his own advantage. And if Samael was willing to do it for free, because he claimed he...loved Andee, well, that was on fuckin' him. That wasn't Andee's problem...or rather, it shouldn't have been. Having this dumb puppy attached to him should have been a simple transactional relationship, something he could stay nice and distanced from.

No, the real problem was that Andee had come to enjoy dragging Samael around. He savored the way he could tug on that leash, the way those azure eyes locked onto him like the rest of Sirca didn't matter when they were together. The way he recognized Samael was a damn slut, even with what he'd done with that stupid York, but that for whatever brainless, inexplicable reason...he came crawling back to Andee every time. Andee wasn't a nice guy, wasn't some beacon of affection and selfless adoration -- he didn't really get it. But Andee was a bat who took what he wanted. And now he wanted this goddamn idiotic redneck.

~ * ~ * NSFW * ~ * ~

It was easily a minute before either of them at last came to a trembling halt. Andee breathed hard, his whole body heaving while his head remained lolled back against Samael's strong shoulder. He could feel the dampness across his chest, condensation from how hard Samael was breathing, though he blinked in surprise when the chupa started to lift his head and pushed something wet into the bat's jaw. He lowered his head somewhat to peer at Samael before failing to hide the shocked look at the tears running down Samael's cheeks. "S-Sammy?"

The rebel cleared his throat but smiled shamelessly before nuzzling the side of Andee's neck and hugging him back against his chest with both arms as his own breathing continued harshly for a few seconds. "Sorry, hon...sorry, I...I just...I been waitin' so share this with you..."

Andee snorted softly and forced himself to not glance away abashedly, instead just pushing his muzzle into Samael's before letting himself relax back against the chupa while Samael flopped back into the grass. "God, you're gay, Fiffy," Andee muttered even as he closed his eyes and traced a claw along one of Samael's thick forearms. He refused to admit how much he'd apparently ached for it, himself. His redneck was the whore, after all, not him. "Of course our first fuckin' time's gonna be out in the middle of some shitty field in the middle'a nowhere," he grumbled while smiling quietly toward the sky. He didn't mind.

"I jus'...I jus' don' want it to be the last," Samael murmured into his ear before nibbling at the silver ring and sending a quiver along Andee's backbone. " know yer more'n just..."

"I know, Sammy," Andee replied quietly as he clutched into Samael's arm for a moment. "I know. Look, let's just...keep takin' it one fuckin' step at a time, okay?" He exhaled but didn't feel Samael stiffening up this time, the chupa remaining peaceful underneath him as he squeezed the bat silently. "Okay. Good." He let out a little puff of air, closing his eyes in the blissful afterglow. "Let's see how this fuckin' thing with the Hula Club pans out...'n then we gotta lotta work for the party comin' up at Xulod. And you bet your puppy ass you're gonna be helpin' me, got it?"

He felt the smile from Samael again, and it gave him more reassurance than he wanted to admit. "Yeah, y'know I'm ready to help, hon. I'm here for you...fer anything."

Andee smiled a bit as well before exhaling and closing his eyes again as the two savored the welcome silence. No point ruining Samael's happiness with a reminder of what 'anything' meant, after all. He could wait until the next time.

Red vs Blue © Rooster Teeth. Halo © 343 Industries. Concept by Myshu, assisted by The Department of Chupapology.

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