20110516 - A threat carried out

Setting

The Basement: Bar/Pub - Grand Street: East

Cast

Ruby
Gage
Dylan
Cale

Scene

Dylan wanders into the bar almost as soon as it opens. He's looking around as it comes in, senses both physical and metaphysical extended. After a moment, he sighs faintly in disappointment. He notices Ruby and after a moment of hesitation he heads in her direction, still scanning the room a bit nervously.

Ruby is haunting the place herself, in the same booth as she was before, but nursing a coke instead of a beer. The bottle is receiving the same treatment as the beer the day before, the label lying in shreds around it. Her face is thoughtful, and when Dylan comes in, she glances up at the door opening, and then gives him a nod of greeting.

Dylan nods to Ruby in return and then says, "Hey, want some company?" He doesn't seem to take it for granted. He looks at the shredded label and arches an eyebrow. "Nervous?"

Ruby nods in answer to the first question, a flash of puzzlement in her eyes at the second, and she follows his gaze to the label. She flushes, and sweeps it into a pile, shoving it into her pocket. "No." The reply is defensive, and she takes a swig of the bottle before she adds, "Knock yourself out." She gestures towards the bench seat opposite.

Dylan nods and drops into the booth opposite her. He sighs and says, "So, how's life under Zack?" His voice is very low, obviously designed not to carry farther than their table. "I'm a little surprised that sane people are actually following him. The weaklings, idiots and damaged, sure. But healthy people? That's a surprised."

Ruby tilts her head and then shakes it. "I never said I would and nobody has asked us yet. I'm waiting to talk to Gage." She hesitates briefly before she speaks, casually, softly, "There is some talk of making a second pard under him if he'll go for it. Frank doesn't want it but.."

Dylan blinks and looks interested. "Hm. That wouldn't be a bad thing. And it isn't like they would or could do anything about it." He considers thoughtfully and then says, "Hm. Who would lead that? Gage? Frank? Dominique? Or do you have another London friend under your hat, the way that Zack is hiding out that new leopard with Crystal and friends?"

Ruby leans forward a little, lowering her voice. "Frank don't want it. I'm sitting here to talk to Gage, to see what he plans to do. Push comes to shove, the three of us'll just be the Firm, just the three of us, and see if anyone does a thing about us." She hesitates, frowning slightly, "What new leopard?"
Dylan nods to Ruby, "Honestly, that's my plan. Go it alone, if I can. I think I can. Maybe." He arches his eyebrows and says, "Big guy. I heard Zack call him 'Charles' and 'Chuckles'. He's hanging out with Crystal, Ahikam and Johnothan. Zack went to meet them at Polychrome a few days before the full moon and accepted the new guy under his protection as Ra. But he didn't show up at the pard meeting. Like he's being held back in reserve for them. Especially given that Zack was feeding them and letting them hang off him and such. He was obviously claiming them as an alpha and Ra, despite what was supposed to be Forest's word. Then Forest steps down when he's winning the fight and disappears…. Well, it doesn't take a genius to see what's going on."

Ruby listens, giving Dylan a blank stare, disbelief in her face before it slides into the empty that she wore most when they first arrived here. She leans back in the seat, folding her arms over her chest. "I'm not following some kid whose got less months under his belt than I have years." She speaks decisively, adding more softly, "Especially one that demands my obedience and then disobeys a ruling from the second."
Dylan nods to Ruby and says, "Yea." He shakes his head and says, "When he brings them back into the pard, it is basically going to validate all of their behavior. And you /know/ he's going to give them his protection. And as broken as they are and inexperienced as he is … well, it's basically asking for turmoil, trouble and damage." His expression is resigned and tired. "And that's without him apparently building up another pard himself with sending the new guy to the exiles and hiding him from everybody."

Ruby sighs, tilting her head back, nibbling her lower lip. Her eyes narrow in thought, her gaze resting on his face. "Playing silly buggers is what it is. All the sneaking around. If he was the big man, he'd just bring them back." She shrugs, taking a swig of the drink, her fingers moving unconsciously to the label, to pull some of the remaining bits off. "Worst case, we'll be living the three of us as a family, and sod the rest."

Dylan sighs faintly and says, "Lucky you. All three of you." Which is not something that somebody says about the circumstances surrounding their society very much. He nods at Ruby and says, "And yea. He's very young and very …ah, no offense, but kind of girly. Or at least all the bad stereotypes about young girls. Sneaky, sly, manipulative all that. Not somebody I can trust. Much less follow." The bar hasn't been open very long at all and other than the staff getting ready for the day, Dylan and Ruby have the place to themselves and are tucked away in a booth far away from the door and servers. They are chatting in voices so low that there is little to no chance of being overheard unless the hearer happens to have preternatural senses.

Ruby has a bottle of coke in front of her, her fingernails working on the label which has already taken some damage, missing most of it. Her body is tense, reflecting the tension vibrating in her energy and she shrugs, apparently a repeated movement. "I'm a girl." She points out quietly, giving Dylan a very sisterly look, "At least, a woman. You might not have noticed." The light sarcasm is a vent for feelings, rather than aimed particularly at the man.

Gage steps into the establishment looking both tired and refreshed at the same time. An odd combination until someone spots the travel mug in his hand, which he takes a healthy swig from before making a small face as he draws it away. Seeing two familiar faces he pauses, a brief moment, and then takes a deep breath before letting it out and walking in their direction, "Morning." His tone is even, controlled, and flat.

Dylan blinks at Ruby. His tone is slightly surprised as he says, "I /did/ say no offense. And you're a girl, but you're not a girly girl. I mean, you're a girly girl, but not a /girly/ girly girl." He stops faintly sensing the edges of the precipice he's walking. Never has the arrival of an alpha who might be hostile been more welcome. He nods deeply to Gage, holding it a long moment and says, "Ah, morning."

"I like shoes, clothes,…" She shrugs lightly, the grouchiness obvious enough, "I just don't show you buggers." She follows Dylan's gaze and gives Gage a greeting too, a slow nod, her tension rising slightly. "Alright, Gage." The words are gruff, spoken as he approaches, and she glances at Dylan to see if he plans to move up for the alpha.

Surely it doesn't help that in public Gage is less about proper protocol and procedure, but this isn't any other day, and things are certainly… in the air right now. Reaching the edge of the booth he doesn't sit, and instead studies each of you in turn, a brush of his power against your own, a heavier touch this time around, leaving you with that lingering sensation of frowning in his warmth, however unreal it is. He doesn't say a word, and instead simply stands, waiting expectantly, his demeanor one of placid boredom, his energy bundling itself close.

Dylan blinks at Gage and his expression goes worried. He considers the alpha a long moment, meeting Gage's eyes briefly and then his eyes slide down to regard the table. His scent goes sharp with worry and a hint of fear. He's keeping his own beast low and held close. After that momentary pause, he stands, slowly, perhaps to avoid any misunderstandings and holds his breath a bit as he gets close enough to Gage to give him a polite and submissive greeting. Dylan literally has to hook his thumbs in his belt loops to keep from indulging the instinct to bring up his hands to provide some defense for his vulnerable belly and throat.

Ruby tenses at that look, but she returns it for a moment, letting Dylan greet him first before she slides to the end of her seat, rising without protecting herself, leaving both the bottle and the pieces of torn label behind. Offering Gage a formal greeting, her aim to brush her tongue lightly across his lower lip. She is tense whilst she does it, half expecting something from the man. She has to rise on tiptoes to greet him, putting her off balance, and she uses the end of the bench to balance herself, rather than touch Gage.

Gage returns the greetings, but only faintly so, a soft barely given touch with a hand on the side, a slight turning of his head. His free hand remains comfortably at his side, and not once does he go near a throat, but then, it seems he doesn't have to. Still silent he waits for the pair of you to step a bit back, or sit down, and he nods, "Good." His smile is tight, small, and he comments, "Glad to see we're still in agreement, and I trust I won't get any ill will from either of you?"
Dylan steps back but doesn't sit down. His expression is careful as he says, "Ill will for what? I have nothing against you, Gage." He looks around, a bit nervously, and still keeps his voice low. "And accepting you as dominant doesn't mean anything other than that." He looks more than a little uncomfortable at adding that last bit, but he does say it.

Ruby takes her seat, but she keeps her eyes on Gage, her awareness of the man obvious in her cautious movements. "Ill will, no." She speaks carefully, her tone holding respect, politeness, as she returns that smile, her eyes tight. "But you have to know why I'm here. What my family do depends on your actions." Her words are blunt enough, despite the respectful tone, and she is tense, her awareness of how it could be taken showing.

Gage nods to each of you, and snickers at Dylan, "Don't test me," is said quietly, simply, and most certainly in warning. Then he says to both, "I've acknowledged Zack. I am his Second." He pauses, giving you a breath, "For now." He makes those last to words more important than the others, a significant look given to both in turn, "And for now, I expect you to do the same. You submit to me? You follow me? Then it's time you showed it. The alternative is to leave the pard, and get the fuck out of our territory. Or make me remove you from the city."

Dylan sighs and stares at Gage. "No. Fuck no. No way in hell. If and when you lead, /lead/. But given all the shit that Zack has pulled and the way he was /given/ Raj, rather than having proved he can hold it? No. My leopard can't accept him. And neither can I. Less than two days before Forest bent over backwards and let Zack fuck him, Zack was out in public offering the exiles his support. He claimed a new leopard and then /hid/ him from us at the full moon. So no. And if you come after me, then I'll fight. And if I fight, you'll lose leopards. I promise you." He turns and starts for the door.

Ruby goes absolutely still at the first words, giving Gage a steady look. "Define for now." She replies slowly, pushing her bottle of drink away, returning his look steadily. "We'd follow you, Gage, but we're not following a kid with less months under his belt than I've got years." She moves then, sliding along the seat, getting to her feet next to bench, her body tense, watching Dylan go, waiting for Gage's reaction. "We don't want to move again but if we have to, we'll find a piece of territory and hold it ourselves." She is speaking for her family now, the three Londoners, with confidence that they would agree.

Dylan doesn't get to simply walk past Gage: not after showing submission, and not when Gage isn't going to physically let him. His hand moves to catch the front of his shirt, and simple harsh pull drags him back to the table. Upper thighs hit the edge, and gage continues to push, this time adding muscle behind it - the lad is shoved back onto it, sitting almost atop it. "Listen close," he says, now to Dylan, Ruby shot a look that almost dares her to try a similar stunt. His power, in check before, is now fully out, and pushed over and around Dylan, his beast captured and held oh-so-close to the surface. "Both of you," and Ruby will get the definitive idea he isn't including her in that. His voice drops to a low growl, his eyes flashing to those of his beast, and something wholly inhuman looks out through a cat's eyes, "You're not going anywhere. For one moon you acknowledge him. You are not leaving this pard. Try it again and I'll smash your legs into so much gelatin." his head cocks, and he grins, something feral and dark, "Understood?"

Dylan makes a startled noise as he's grabbed and pushed down. That sense of Gage's power and the sudden violence him go white and a cold sweat breaks out across his body. He looks at Gage and then looks away, swallowing heavily. "No, you won't." His voice is tight and both the slight waver in it and the sharp scent of fear in his scent show that he's scared. He looks back to Gage and adds, "First, you had the balls, you'd be leading not following somebody you /know/ isn't worth it. The same way /we/ know. And second, you'll be providing the humans with a hell of a show. So let go. And quit trying to pretend you're anything more than a pissant Passant." All of which would be more convincing if his leopard weren't doing the metaphysical equivalent of wetting himself, flaring wildly at the stress and giving the sense of snarling and throwing itself at the prison of flesh that is Dylan's body, wanting to to get lose to defend himself.

Gage's movements raise Ruby's tension levels, but she doesn't move, keeping her gaze on him, returning that look steadily, blankly, giving no clue as to her intent. She folds her arms over her chest, moving her feet to give herself a steady base, preparing for her turn warily. Her beast moves under the surface, Gage's bringing hers and she takes a deep breath, shuddering slightly as she feels that power. Her hands clench, her internal struggle obvious as Dylan's reaction doesn't help her control.

Gage's grin remains in place, and he looks over to the right of you, "There's a door there. It leads into the storage basement." The bar itself is all but empty this early in the morning - only one lonely waitress there besides Gage himself, and she is rather pointedly avoid looking in this general location. "So. Either I drag you down those steps, or you go down them now. Either way - you hit the floor down there you won't be getting up. Not today. Make your choice." Leaving is not one of them, clearly. You're with Gage on this, or your… down in the basement. "I won't challenge until the next full moon, I don't want any naysayers whining I didn't follow protocol. Zack knows where I stand with him, and that he's likely going to lose everything come next month." He cocks his head, and turns his gaze on Ruby, "Keep it in check, kitten." And just like that his power slides from Dylan to her - but now in the opposite fashion. The strength of his power envelopes her, and dampens her beasts desire to be free.

Dylan considers Gage a long moment and then says, "Or I walk right past you and leave. You're an alpha, sure. But you haven't got the guts to go with the wattage." And that having been said, he starts to try to disentangle himself from Gage, obviously having no intention of following the man anywhere or getting stuck in a basement by somebody he obviously doesn't feel he can trust.

Ruby's eyes are turning leopard until the moment Gage turns that power on her and she does take a step back when she feels it, shivering slightly, before she nods at him, her fingers tight around her upper arms. She is a silent witness though, watching his challenge with Dylan, letting her decisions wait on the Alpha's pleasure.

It's morning, long before the bar itself is actually open, so the only people within are Gage and a waitress - who is quickly finding someplace else to be - and Ruby and Dylan. Something is going on, as Gage's power is a quiet storm, most of it currently wrapped around Ruby, pacifying th beast within the woman. That is, until Dylan speaks up and begins to move past Gage. With nothing more than a thought, his power moves, Dylan caught in that warmth as Gage seeks out the beast within him, and urges it free. The shift is now imminent, but slow, the struggle between the powers felt rather than seen with Gage the victor.

Cale has been having great luck the last few weeks. So to speak. He pauses once he crosses the threshold into the pub. Not for any visible reason, but for the feel of extended power that encroaches on his senses. Tension settles into him, but he takes a moment to glance towards the source, easily traced. It makes the woman's brush past him far more understandable a thing. He purses his lips and has a moment where he seems he might follow her. But.. then he decides to move inward slowly. Not directly towards them, but inward enough to be noticeable.

Dylan starts to give Gage a tight-lipped, 'told you so' smile as he tries to go past and the alpha doesn't stop him. Physically. At that first call to his leopard, Dylan turns around, the cold sweat of facing down Gage suddenly more intense, like a junkie without a fix or a person who is feeling their body starting to tear apart from the inside out, against his will. He tries to force his beast down, doubling over with a strangled sounding noise of pain and looks back up to Gage, his eyes already bleeding from dark brown to the muddy gold of his leopard. He takes a step towards Gage and winces again as his flesh and bones start to ripple and crack. Whatever he was going to say is reduced to a whining, mewling noise that just shouldn't come from a human throat.

The energy that was helping Ruby is suddenly gone, and she takes several steps back, retreating from the situation warily. As Dylan moves past Gage, her gaze doesn't move from the alpha, so absorbed that Cale's arrival goes unnoticed. Her backing up hits on of the booths and she slides down to sit on the floor, wrapping her fingers around her shins, and watching the pair. Her expression is empty, her eyes still human, as she follows Gage's instruction and keeps it in check.

Gage is fairly focused, his attention wholly on the man now at his feet. He takes a simple step closer, and wraps his hand around the hem of Dylan's jeans. "Sorry Kid," he growls out, his scent truthful, "I warned you." And with that he begins dragging him towards a door in the back of the bar - one that leads to the storage don below. Rather than take his time though, he uses preternatural speed, and reaching the door opens it. he then rather unceremoniously throws the still shifting body of Dylan down the stairs. "See. You touched the floor. I /told/ you what was going to happen…" and with that he moves past the door's threshold, closing it behind him, though it doesn't lock.

Cale flicks his eyes towards Ruby, her posture seeming to call out to him in some way, his brow furrowed. But only briefly as Dylan's obvious impending shift tugs harder.. along with Gage's just being Gage. He starts forward a few moments after Gage starts to move, round about when Gage is throwing Dylan into the room. His eyes flick to Ruby again then. Not distracted enough to forget her presence, but he doesn't distract from the moment, moving in close to the door
Dylan is in no shape to resist given that he's in the midst of changing. Perversely, he's still trying to slow it down or stop the transformation, pitting his will against Gage's and obviously losing. It does, however, make the experience even more drawn out and painful. He struggles as Gage lifts him and as he's tossed down to the bottom of the steps, his sound of protest is more the rumbing roar of a leopard than a man's shout. The bones snapping from hitting the floor join the ones that are snapping and rearranging as he changes, healing as soon as they are broken in that surge of power and life that comes from changing shape. By the time he stops tumbling below, it is a leopard, slick with ecoplasmic goo and fighting his way free of the shredded remains of Dylan's jeans and shirt that cowers before Gage.

Ruby's gaze is stuck on Gage, and she scrambles to her feet, her face empty of expression, as she returns Cale's look, and then turns her shoulder, moving towards the door to open it slightly, her movements speaking loudly of caution to avoid offending Gage in this particular moment. Her own struggle with her beast is under control, but it can be felt, pacing under the surface.

Gage makes his way down the stairs casually, his speech continuing, "Well. That won't do. It's not your legs I said I'd pulverize, after all. It was Dylan's." He 'tsks' softly, a sound more like a hiss, and his power once more reaches out to envelope the man, "Come on back, Dylan. Come on out so you can face up to this Passante leopard." He snickers, and again the sound is a low grumble. "Watch closely you two," the voice of his echoing back to Cale and Ruby. "I'm a man who keeps his word." And upon reaching the bsae of the stairs he turns, and moves to an empty keg, his hands grabbing it and lifting it. With far less of a struggle, Gage begins to bring the man back from the beast even as he turns and moves to stand over it, the keg held casually as if it weighed nothing.

The tense atmosphere does prod at Cale's own tension level, but he comes in fresh, control steady for now. He's tempted to try and comfort Ruby, yet the quiet leaning is only subtly hinted at and, for now, ignored. He doesn't crowd her at the door, but leans in just a bit as she cracks it open, his eyes rolling downward as he focuses on listening in. Though when Gage speaks, referring back to them, he glances at Ruby again, his brows lifted slightly. He'll nudge in first, pushing the door open to ease into the storage room. But for now he only moves to the edge of the top step, pressed to the side a bit to make room for Ruby. Better to stay up here.

Dylan's yowl of protest and terror is loud enough to echo off the walls and the leopard is crawling on his belly across the floor towards Gage, weak and stunned, when the first spasm hits. If a feline face can be said to show apprehension and horror, Dylan's does, screaming out another protest and looking up at Gage as the flesh and bones under his fur start to flow and reform and break again, the second time in as many minutes. The transformation is slower this time, taking several minutes, simply because the metaphysical reserves are already so low from the first forced change. After a torturously slow change, Dylan is in human form again, naked and covered in the goo that results from the change, on his stomach in a spreading pool of that same, weird substance. He's barely conscious at this point and tries to reach out towards Gage's foot, but can't quite find the energy or get the neurons to fire more than sporadic bursts that leave him twitching and groaning.

Gage's summons is obeyed, slowly, cautiously as Ruby slips into the storage room, ignoring Cale entirely as she moves half way down the stairs. From that viewpoint, she can see, and she sits, curling her arms around her knees, her gaze on the two of them. She keeps her expression empty, but her tension shows in her beast as it rolls just beneath the surface. The effort she is putting into keeping her own shape shows in her grip around her legs, and the tension in her shoulders increases at Dylan's yowl.

Gage watches in silence as Dylan changes back, his head cocking, and for a brief moment pure blue eyes look at the man on the floor. His eyes are sad, pitying, but then the moment passes and he just shrugs, "Don't come looking for mercy now. I don't want to appear weak, do I? Just remember. You had warning." And with that he lifts the keg into the air above the other man's legs. It crashes down atop them with something just shy of Gage's full strength, the sound something fairly hard to put into words. On the bright side though, Dylan will likely pass out from the first blow alone, given his state. Not that it stops Gage from lifting the cannister off of his legs and clearly moving to bring it down again.

Cale moves down just a bit, only e nough to see and not be in the way. His head tilted slightly, expression softly tense. Still quite aware of Ruby, his eyes slipping towards her now and then. Keeping tabs, but otherwise he leaves her alone. Of course, once Gage starts proving his point, that gets more of Cale's attention. His eyes widen at the first raise of the keg and despite himself he winces at the first hit. It's clear that he isn't quite.. in agreement with what is happening. But despite not liking it, he does seem to accept it, if only with his silence.

Dylan is just aware enough to realize what's happening and tries, feebly, to get out of the way. That first crushing blow, shattering his legs in a way that would be permanently crippling, overloads his already exhausted ability to stay conscious and coherent. The second one isn't even registered on more than a biological level, though his whole body jerks as bones are splintered and shivered like firewood split by a wedge. The scent of blood from a few shards of bone protruding from the flesh adds to the scent of terrified man and leopard and Dylan is still, though he is still breathing. Just far, far from conscious at this point.

Ruby doesn't look away, a slight flinch showing her reaction to the injuries, but her lack of expression suggests she was expecting it, Gage's threat having been sufficiently clear for her. She too remains silent, watching the pair, her hands moving to grip her shins, her fingers whitening. She doesn't look at Cale at all, her eyes fixed on them. Her beast moves restlessly though. When Dylan passes out, she moves slowly, rising to her feet but not moving forward, her voice low, "Can we heal him or do you want him to stay like that?" The question is neutral, and totally serious.

The keg, now fairly bent out of shape, is tossed aside after only the second blow. His back to the pair of you, neither can miss the shiver that rolls through him. He shakes his head, "Do whatever you want to do with him. First thing is first though - get him out of this room. There's an exit in the back." He doesn't explain more, and leaves it to you two. After a moment he turns around, his hands bleeding, cut with the force he gripped the keg, that blood mixed with plenty of Dylan's. "I've made my point clear, Ruby? I trust you can pass on what I said to Cale?" His head cocks in a catlike manner, and without waiting for a response he nods, "Good. Once you get him out of here, clean this mess up. One month is all I ask. One month. Push me again. See what I destroy next." He'll be moving to push by both of you on his way up the steps. His voice is a strange mix - anger and disgust, his power a heavy warmth that fills the small space of the room. He is sure to look into both pairs of eyes as he passes.

Cale glances towards Ruby as she asks an obvious question. And his eyes linger on her, it more pleasant than watching what Gage is doing. No real point after the first two. When Gage starts talking, his eyes snap back to the man and when he moves up the stairs, Cale shifts aside without hesitation. His head dips and cocks to the side, but he does sneak a glance up at Gage. He says nothing still, waiting for the man to pass and depart.

Ruby nods slowly, first to the permission to take him and get him healed, and then she nods once more. "Clear, Gage. I'll tell Frank and Dom." She doesn't make a promise on their behaviour, stepping back against the wall to let him pass, dropping her gaze to the floor submissively as he looks into her eyes. Then once he is past, she slips down the stairs, to kneel next to Dylan, to look at his legs in a way that suggests she has seen similar injuries before. "Cale, can you call that number? Those buggers you work for?" That is the first time she has acknowledged him, and she speaks without looking at him.

Gage moves past without looking back. Any sense that he enjoyed that is not originating from him, not… exactly. The man himself is slumped, unhappy, but his power is warm with the triumph. As he passes the door he reaches into a pocket to get his phone, then moves to grab his jacket. He is sure to have words with the waitress on his way out, letting her know that he needs to run home, and he'll be back later.

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