Call And Raise


Fred_icon.gif Seth_icon.gif Gunn_icon.gif Mariko_icon.gif


The still cursed Fred stumbles upon Seth gambling kittens, she starts to try and seduce him when Gunn attempts to stop them and Mariko tries to goad Gunn into fun times.

Date It Happened: December 23rd, 2001

Call and Raise

Rick's Cafe - Back Room

Rick's is hopping tonight. The evening is just getting started and already people are making big bucks (or bets) or losing it all. Some have already lost all that they can spare and more and are leaving through the side door out into the alleyway. Others are just coming into their stride. It is those people that the old wallflower that used to call herself Fred has attached herself to. Having done away with the cute summer dresses and prided herself in tight skirts and tighter shirts, she's slinking among the crowd and attempting to find the ones that are making the big bets and the high rolling wins to latch onto. She's a smart girl, she can pinpoint those ones pretty easily and being good looking isn't really a detraction to the whole package, either.

If the skill of a gambler is measured by the content of his basket of kittens, Seth is the best blackjack player in the house - at least on this particular evening. He's on a winning streak, playing conservatively against a pair of inexperienced new vampires and an overeager witch. Adorable mewling sounds are coming from the covered basket at the warlock's elbow, and every few seconds he sneakily slips a hand into the basket to pet and caress a few of the little creatures. Every kitten won is a kitten saved. The cripple's cane is laid out across the table with its handle hooked into the loops of the kitten-basket, ready to be lifted at a moment's notice. As the latest round ends the winner - Seth - reaches forward to pull another small group of kittens towards him. He might just be cooing at them. "Kittykittykitty~."

Saved? Or maybe not. As Fred sashays (sashays?) toward Seth, she hears the mewing and slows her pace. Slowly working her way through the relatively sparse crowd around the table, she tries to make sure that she's right by the man with the basket of mewing cuteness. "Blackjack is the cheaters game, you know," she tells Seth. Though she's not trying to call him out on anything. "A simple counting of the cards. Really, it's the most simple of betting games. Easiest to win, hardest to understand. It's all math, despite what anyone thinks about it. A simple algorithm can determine the winner, I wouldn't ante up, if I were you. The odds are against you. Check."

A sashaying woman catches the attention of most men. The warlock is no exception. As for counting cards - well, the sudden tightness (which is subsequently subdued) in his jaw indicates that perhaps some card counting is taking place. Nevertheless, the edge of the basket is moved closer and the nearer half is opened so Seth can gently deposit his winnings into the thing, which has such luxuries as toy mice and jingle balls inside of it to occupy its inhabitants. "I'm not so sure I'm going to be playing another round, my dear. It wouldn't do to win too many times." The unfavorable looks Seth is getting from the rest of the table support the prospect of leaving while he's ahead, but for some reason he stays seated, waiting for the dealer to do his job. Distractedly, Seth glances up at Fred: "And you are?"

Slyly, the woman smiles and moves to try and slip a hand toward the basket. Nothing untoward! She just wants to pet the mewling kittens inside! "When there's so much more to be won?" Fred gives a half smile and then just moves closer. "Quitting while you're ahead is just so boring. Especially when you could have a whole basket filled with mewling darlings as opposed to just a few." Flicking her eyes up toward Seth, the smile turns into a full out one and she cocks her head a bit to the side. "My name's Fred. And you?"

o/~ Stop Demons.
What's That Sound?
Here Comes A Black Man
And He's Wearin' A Frown o/~

Not that anything like that can be heard, but the fact of the matter is that Charles Gunn of Angel Investigations has entered the back room of Rick's and that may or may not have caused some grumbling and what not to come from the regulars. Thanks to playing wingman to Angel a few times, ol' Gunn may have made a small enough name for himself back here. As the unstable black man with a temper.

Luckily, he's not carrying his axe. So maybe he's just here for a drink?

Seth is not a common face at Rick's, so he really has no advance impression of Gunn. Besides, he's distracted by the woman who's hovering over him and the game going on at his table. Two of the kittens in his basket mew enthusiastically and start struggling to win Fred's attention, each trying to move past the other to get to that approaching hand. "Seth," the warlock finally answers. "I'm pretty happy with what I've won."

Not one to let two kittens just fight over her, Fred gives an understanding smile and starts scratching one under the chin before giving her attention to the other. "Well, aren't they just darlin'?" She replies with a grin. The murmuring as well as the sudden entrance causes the woman to glance up and who she sees there doesn't make her skitter or even shy away. Instead the grin broadens just a bit. More to play with. "They're beautiful. You should be happy with such adorable winnings. But they just brought out a new litter, didn't you see?" Her eyes are tracking the newcomer for the moment, though.

The Bartender is already rolling its eyes (all seven of them) as Gunn approaches the bar. There's some leaning over and questions are tossed in its direction, but the demon that's manning the bar and pouring drinks of varying styles and blood types doesn't really seem to be cooperating with the black man at the moment. Which is why, in a sudden lurching of black muscle, Gunn is grabbing the demon by the shirt and practically growling as he asks the question of the night: "Where's Waldo?!"

Responses to the sudden violence are varied. Some draw away, some increase their outwardly aggressive attitudes, others ignore it. For his part, Seth chooses the safest course: retreat. The kitten basket is abruptly slapped shut by the warlock's hand, cutting off Fred's access to the little creatures and very possibly catching her fingers between the lip and the lid. "I think it might be time to take my darlings elsewhere. If you'd like to come along I'm not stopping you." Paranoia and a guilty conscience? You bet.

The bartender, whatever his allegiance does not like violence. Neither do the bouncers at the door, who quickly move to try and extract Gunn from the many-eyed bartender. "I don't know any Waldo! Sir!" The nervous bartender manages to squeak out.

Fred, for her part, pouts as the kittens are put away. Stretching her hand back, she sighs and folds it across her, well, flat chest. "I'm never one to turn down a cute pile of kittens," she gives something almost like a smirk to Seth. "Though a girl has to ask where in the world she's being taken before she agrees to go off with a man who is basically a stranger."

Gunn finds himself releasing the bartender and holding his hands up. "My bad, my bad. He… he just owes me twenty bucks." Hoping this lie will smooth everything over, he ends up looking around the Back Room to see if he can't spot the Waldo that he's looking for. And, well, instead finds himself looking at someone that's a bit more familiar in (lack of) shape. "… Fred?" This last part is mostly mouthed to himself as he goes to push past the bartenders and head off in the direction of Fred and Seth. Huh.

"Have you no sense of adventure?" Seth pushes up to his feet with an uneasy chuckle and holds the table with one hand for support, the other reaching out to fetch his cane. "I'd think a girl would be more interested in meeting someone tall, dark, and mysterious than a dullard." Except that the Violent Crazy Man is suddenly heading in what Seth considers to be the Wrong Direction. "—But then again, maybe women just enjoy being ignorant. I never got the attraction to mystery."

"Sweetheart, I love adventure," Fred purrs a little, almost like those kittens he has in the basket. "Dullards are the bane of my existence." However, there's someone who has finally caught her attention and what kind of Southern lady would she be if she didn't address his questions as well? Seeing Gunn approach, she just smiles at him, bright as day and tilts her head little. "Why, Charles Gunn. I do declare. What brings a boy like you to a place like this? Isn't he just a sight for sore eyes?" She ribs Seth a little.

There's a bit of screeching to a halt that Gunn's feet do and he's suddenly tilting his head to figure out what in the hell he's listening to. Because it sure as hell ain't Fred. "Okay. Fred? When we agreed you should get out of the hotel more, I don't think this was on the list of places to go." is remarked, regardless of whether or not they made a list in the first damn place. And eyes are immediately headed in Seth's direction, in relation to what may be going on with the Fred. Peer. Just in case he's done something to her! Suspicions!

Okay, obviously this is not a normal situation. Seth takes a step back and smoothly lifts the basket of kittens from the table, clutching it close to his side with its base resting against his hip. "Ex boy-toy?" It's a valid question. Fred seems like the type! The eyeballing that the warlock is getting from Gunn isn't really reassuring, so he moves another pace. This time it's behind Fred. Because obviously she has, like. Hidden claws or something.

No no, nothing about Fred is normal at the moment. Not that Seth would know that. "No no, nothing of the sort. Maybe an ex-boy-toy waiting to happen." The woman gives a short laugh and then rolls her shoulders at Gunn. "When did you ya'll decide where I should and shouldn't go? I thought ya'll wanted me to have a good time? Get out more? See LA? Well, that's what I'm doing. And so, I don't see what you're problem is. Other than accosting bartenders, that is. Is that what Angel pays you for?"

"… Actually? Yeah." And that's an honest answer that comes from Gunn, before he's back to reeling from the shock of what's come from Fred's mouth. "I don't know when you rolled over and become like every other girl in this town, but it's kinda' freakin' me out, Fred. So… why don't we go back to the Hyperion and see if Wes has anything more constructive for us to be doing?" It's a question, but he's already reaching for the frail woman's arm. Black Power?

Hyperion Hotel. Angel. Wes. Facts are falling into place for Seth, even considering his current state of distraction, and he suddenly finds it a good idea to defend the defector from Angel Investigations. He reaches around Fred's side and attempts to block Gunn's reach with his cane, grinning at the other man. "Don't rain on her parade just yet, kid. Let the girl live a little. She's old enough to know and decide what she wants. Go get yourself some polish for that marvelous skull while you wait for her to totter on back to you. Bonus points if I can see my face in it when you're done."

"Oh really?" Fred turns her tone more silky. Just like as she was petting the kittens, she attempts to reach out and run a hand down Gunn's arm. "Oh, darlin'. Wesley's already had too much fun for us to take. He's all tied up back at the Hyperion. That place is dead. We're out to enjoy ourselves, aren't we?" With Seth's intervention, she just beams. "See, we're all out having a good time. Why don't you join us and the kittens? We'll paint the town red, as they say. Have some fun. I think there's a taco stand somewhere near here. You know me and those tacos."

Gunn's eyes are now into the realm of narrowing. Because Seth is crossing the line here and that's bad for business. Personal business, of course. "You got about four seconds to be out of my face before you don't have one anymore." His tone is, of course, angry. But that probably just has the bouncers looking over in his direction once again. Eyes move back over to Fred and his expression is lost, confused and almost a bit hurt. "Look, I'll buy you the damn taco stand. Just… come on. With me." Not that weird dude that he's about to knock the hell out.

Fond though he may be of making life difficult for strangers, Seth isn't keep on getting his head smashed in. He backs off a step or two, smiling at Gunn as he does, and takes care to avoid making contact with Fred. "Enjoy your evening. Don't have too many tacos." Without waiting, Seth proceeds to move around the other side of the table, heading for the door. A hasty retreat is in order.

Not even getting a chance to enjoy Seth, Fred pouts a little when he walks right out the door with his kittens. Not only were they cute, they also looked delicious. That's before she turns her attention to Gunn again. At least she's not been left totally unoccupied, let it be said. "You chased him away, silly," she says softly and then edges closer to him. "A whole taco stand? Just for me? Why Charles." She bats her eyes at him. "The things you tell a girl. But what if I'm not done yet?" Instead of her normally shy self, she moves to entwine her arms around his waist in a very comfortable manner. "What'd you say about that?"

Mariko walks into the back room, passing through the door. She doesn't give Seth a second glance; but does look appreciatively at his kittens. Glancing around at the old-fashioned room, she takes note of the various patrons - and the couple cuddling near one of the gambling tables. She heads for the bar.

AWKWARD. That's the look on Gunn's face, since he's in the process of using his MASCULINE BLACK ARMS OF POWER to weasel and push his way out of the gripping arms of Fred. "Then we'll get a couple burgers or seventy." He's already making it a point to reach for Fred's -hand-. Because hands are safe. And easier to lead by. "Let's just get outta' here before you start riverdancing on the bar or somethin'."

"I'm not about to Riverdance." Fred laughs, giving a glance to Markio but not sure whether there's anything els there but a glance. "And you just promised me tacos. Are you goin' to give me burgers when you promised me tacos?" Despite Gunn's best attempts to just wiggle away and take just her hand, she's going to keep trying to put arms around him in varying degrees. No matter how much he backs up and how much he tries to remain platonic. "I think we can figure out something better than burgers to get a couple or seventy of, doncha?"

Mariko sits down at the bar for a few seconds, crosses her legs and waits for the bartender, whom is busy polishing a glass. While she waits, she listens to the - very strange sounding couple near the table behind her. Siffing the air, she decides they smell human. Though she has been wrong before, at times, she muses to herself.

Swiveling the barstool around, and feeling slightly mischevious, she calls out, "Hey tall dark and handsome. If you don't want her, there's always others in the bar."

Gunn blinks. Just what the heck kind of night is he having. Being hit on by one girl that makes no sense and one at the bar. Did he wear cologne tonight or something? And there's actually a moment where he sniffs at his shirt, just to make sure. "Uh, raincheck?" is tossed in Mariko's direction, before he's back to fighting (gently) with Fred to try and lead her towards the exit and keep himself from being hugged. "Tacos. Focus on the Tacos, Fred. Mmmm. Tacooos." Yeah, food should keep her distracted from his chocolatey goodness. Right?

"See? There's other takers? Why not go home with someone you know?" Fred shoots Mariko a look over Gunn's shoulder, which she can just barely see over. This mark is hers, thank you. "Tacos, hmm? Is there somewhere private we can eat them alone? Hmmm?" Maneuvering the man backwards, she's already making for the door with him. "Because if so, that seems like a great idea. The best idea, even."

Mariko waves a hand in Gunn's direction. "Typical." she says, nodding as the barkeep comes over. "Thats just the sort of night I've been having. They all run off, or have company." What in the world is she talking about?

"Just relax, Fred. I'm gonna' take care of everything. Including getting you alone." Charles realizes how that sounded, but just continues to disappear out of teh door, with a rolling of the eyes at his own slip of the tongue. Fail.

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