April 21, 2011
Guan-Ki Kwoon: Dojo - Halsted Street: Bridgeport
As with most Dojos, this place is impeccably clean. The soft dark mahogany of highly polished hardwood floors is the first thing to meet your eye, moments before the weapon racks that line the wall catch a glance or two. They are situated in such away that the more dangerous bladed weapons are farthest from the door and hang in a rack in the corner, as though awaiting the hand of a trained professional to use. Wing-Chung dummies sit in each corner, and a few heavy 400 - 500 lb punching bags hang from vaulted wrought iron rafters high in the roof. Off to the side is another door, this one also carrying paintings on its windowed front, a few more Chinese characters and the English word 'Office' set for all to see.
Morning at the dojo, and Frank is there. He's stripped down to the waist, wearing shorts and boxing gloes, and giving one of the punchbags a good workout. He's been here for a little while, now; his pasty flesh has a sheen of sweat to it, as does his bare head. He's definitely in the heavyweight category, with five very old scars on each shoulder, almost like fingerprints from where someone with huge hands grabbed him.
Dylan wanders in, finishing off a paper cup of coffee. He's wearing his standard workout uniform of knee-length basketball shorts and a muscle t-shirt under a light jacket. He watches Frank as he takes off the jacket, hanging it on the wall hooks. His expression betrays curiosity, especially about the scars and Dylan wanders over, walking between the mats, since he still has his running shoes on his feet. The alpha gets a deep nod, held a long moment, though the younger man doesn't speak quite yet.
Frank is hitting the punchbag as hard as any human boxer would, from differing angles and with different punches. He's constantly on the move, too; while normally he just stumps along without attention to grace or style, at the moment he really does float like the proverbial butterfly. He catches sight of Dylan; there's a last couple of punches and he stops, one hand slipping out of the glove so he can retrieve the towel nearby. "Dylan," he nods, panting slightly as he takes a seat on the bench the towel just vacated. At the front of his shoulders are the thumbprints to match the fingerprints at the back.
Grace is actually proped up against the wall…with her sunglasses on it looks to any on looker like she is actually watching the boys; but she's sleeping. Hard to tell who she really came with, or if she was simply waiting or showed up after. However anyone with the extra hearing can hear the slowed heart, the patterned breathing.
Dylan watches the other man make a seat and then says, "Frank. Morning." He grins faintly and adds, "Good technique. You know, for just using your hands." He pauses for a moment and then lifts his chin, indicating the scars. His voice is very quiet, not designed to carry. "What tagged you?" He glances towards the sleeping Grace and his expression is purely mischievous for a moment and then he looks back to Frank and sighs faintly, perhaps remembering an earlier conversation.
Frank grins. "I'm in a dojo," he points out, then adds, "No point kicking a punchbag." He rubs his face and then head with the towel. "What tagged me? Oh, right. Yeah, these were my eighteenth birthday present from the old man." He touches one of the scars. "Long time ago now." He too glances over at Grace, before using the towel to absorb more sweat. "I'd say I was gettin' old, except I'm not. Still. How's it goin'?"
Grace snores just a little, her hands falling from her lap to smack on the ground. She wakes up with a start. "Hum?" Looking about and noticing nothing is 'afoot' other thant he boys chitchatting sh relaxes back. "Mornin."
Dylan winces faintly at Frank's words and shakes his head once. "Rough." He grins and says, very quietly, "Well, you are. Just slowly. One of the many perks of being in the club." He glances towards Grace and that grin gets a little wider. "Might want to wipe the drool." His tone is light and teasing, though he cuts a glance at the alpha as he says it, perhaps making sure Frank isn't entirely disapproving.
Frank blinks. "Rough? Huh. It didn't hurt enough to complain about, and given the scar collections I've seen since it wasn't rough at all." The smirking Dylan casts in Grace's direction goes unremarked, Frank toweling off some more instead. "So, Dylan, if you're done tormentin' Grace, I hear you're instructin' the Pard in how to fight?"
Grace simply yawns, "I was up late last night, give me a break." But she doesn't have that snappy come back to Dylan like she normally would. In fact she quite purposefully falls to her side to lounge lazily there while the boys train and talk; seeming quite comfortable on the floor.
Dylan blinks and his expression goes wary as though he senses danger ahead. He nods and says, "Forest apparently gave the order." He gives a broad shrug, as though to say 'not my idea but also not my place to say no'. "I, ah, I'm a brawler. Not much with the formal training. And by 'much', I mean 'any'. But I failed Forest with Ahi, so I don't think I get the option of saying 'no', even politely, on this one without bleeding for it." He glances aside to Grace and just nods, also atypical for him.
Frank rises to his feet, dropping the towel on the bench. "Get a pair of gloves and a lid," he says, "And let's see how you do." He seems to be quite pleased about something, his Beast reaching out to brush against both Dylan and Grace approvingly.
Brigid saunters into the dojo, boot heels clunking loudly on the hardwood. Stopping just a few feet inside, she looks around to see who may be here.
It's earliest morning, Frank and Dylan are doing a little conversing, Dylan moving to get some gloves Frank dropping a towel and moving closer to the ring. Grace is simply lounging. Sprawled out near a wall, watching the boys. She's sunglasses on though so its hard to tell if she's actually watching or not. The sounds of heels catch her attention though, and its clear the girl is awake and alert., if you can call a lazy roll of a head in a hand 'alert'.
Dylan nods to Frank and says, "Got it." He grins faintly at that brush of power and goes to get the gloves and headgear, donning them with some familiarity. He glances aside at the sound of clomping boots. His eyes narrow and his nose wrinkles slightly at the newcomer, his expression a bit wary and surprised. He looks back at Frank and arches an eyebrow.
Frank glances over at Brigid, then stops to blink at her. "'Old up," he says, his accent straight from London's East End, and then the light bulb of understanding flicks on. "Oh, right, yeah, you got the Fae near 'ere. Wow. Didn't 'ave many of them back 'ome." He's stripped to the waist, and pulling on a boxing glove, presumably about to go and battle Dylan who, with padded headgear, is rather better protected.
Brigid smiles, bright green eyes wandering over the exposed man-flesh with a slow gaze. "Please do not stop on my account." she offers in a peculiar accent. Not quite Gaelic and not exactly Nordic, but somewhere in between. "Unless you are shy where spectators are concerned." Boots clomp-clomp-clomp and she paces slowly around the perimeter, heading in Grace's general direction. "I'm Brigid, and yes, I am one of the Sidhe."
Grace 's eyes, behind those glasses, follow the ill dressed woman - for a dojo. "Grace…" The red heas voice is a bit too low for her small frame, edges with a rumble that she can't hide. Lightly, testing, as if testing for a lie, Grace's power rubs up against Brigid lightly and her head nods. "I've felt your kind before, you speak true." She remains laying down for now, though there is a clear tension in her body, wary.
Dylan blinks at Frank and then back to Brigid. He murmurs, "That's what she is? Neat!" Apparently his first fairy. He looks towards the larger man for his cues and shrugs at Brigid, as though indicating he doesn't mind. He's wearing long basketball shorts and a muscle t-shirt himself, as well as light gym shoes. He shakes his head once as Grace gives the woman her name. Apparently he's read enough fantasy novels to think of that as a bad idea.
Frank nods. "Frank…lin," he replies to Brigid, then adds. "Benjamin Franklin." He pulls his attention away from Brigid, focusing on Dylan again as he heads for the middle of the mat. "Right, kid," the big Londoner says to Dylan, beckoning the smaller man to join him. "Try an' 'it me." Frank's got small scars at his shoulders, almost fingerprints, with four at the back on each side and one at the front.
Brigid laughs softly, a liquid and almost musical sound. Yes, she's used to such reactions and doesn't seem fazed at all by them. Her pert nose wrinkles and she leans against the wall several feet from Grace, staying out of the woman's personal space. "Thank you. I wasn't aware that I was intruding upon a …family… gathering." she offers. And then she just watches the two men.
It was early-mid morningish. Dylan and Frank getting ready to sparon the mat, Grace was laying on the floor up against the wall. Brigid in clothes that didn't fit a Dojo, was leaning against the same wall several feet away from Grace. The red head nods at the Fae, "it's a public place," her muscled shoulders shrug a bit, then she too turns to look back at the boys. She's wearing sunglasses, but her head fully turns to regard Frank and Dylan once again. She however is very aware of Brigid's presence near her.
Dylan gives Frank an amused look. "Try? Dude. There are nation-states with less acreage than you. The problem isn't in hitting you. It's in doing any damage." Fairy or no, his attention is on Frank now, recognizing the first rule of the combat situation. Don't take your eyes off the mountain that walks like a … well, mountain." And with that, he wades in. His fighting style is obviously synthetic and syncretic, like something learned from a military hand to hand instructor, rather than something learned in a dojo. He's fast and doesn't start off soft, apparently not willing to insult Frank by doing less than his best. Unfortunately, his best isn't nearly good enough. The larger man is faster than he looks, apparently, as Dylan's straight from the shoulder jab fails to connect.
In walks a cop, uniform, gun, badge, and a duffle bag screaming swat as well. The officer heads towards the changing room, only moments later to return in a sports bra and boy shorts, reasonable work out outfit in the woman's eyes as she head over near the 500lb punching bags, she starts getting limber to work out.
Frank's boxing gloves move as Frank shifts a little to one side. One arm deflects Dylan's jab, as it's supposed to; the other moves forwards at human speed. If he was moving faster than humanly possible, it's well-covered - he might just be that good at boxing. He does bear the hallmarks of the trained fighter in his movements and his stance, and his bare torso reveals five scars at each shoulder, four at the back and one at the front like fingerprints from an extra-large hand.
Brigid's gaze flickers to the petite Asian cop as she enters from the locker room, a knowing smile forming on the Fae's up-curved lips. "The scenery here improves with every minute." she offers. Looking down at Grace, she asks. "Are you next in the rotation, then?"
Grace flicks her hidden gaze back tot he Fae, then to the cop. Out of reaction Grace's senses the cop as well, noting the telltales of humanity, and regins in her energy quickly, just in case the woman had any sensing abilty at all. "You prefer women?" It was a question, directed at Brigid, but the tone was more a statement. Then she heckles…"Wow, what the fuck…you actually missed him? Come on." Dylan hasn't said his name yet, and she wasn't stupid enough to give it out to strangers. Her grin turning toothy as she watches the two once again.
Dylan blinks as Frank's counterattack comes and though he has his guard up, he's not strong enough to deflect the blow entirely. He grunts as he braces himself for an impact that doesn't come. He looks down to see the blow stopped an inch from his ribs and he winces, more in embarrassment and Grace's words than anything else. He steps back and shakes his head. "Oookay. Thanks." He grins faintly at Frank. He doesn't glance aside as he asks Grace, "You want to try him? Or me again?"
Emerald looks at Dylan, a gauge glace at the man, there is more to it than just a looks as she gets limber. The officer keeps her eyes shielded, no facial expression as she looks at the man, catching something but probably nada. But her motions become more.. sensual from some of the people watching her, hell got the body use it to your advantage.
"Not done with you yet," Frank informs Dylan, with a faint smile. He's got a London accent, East End to be precise. "Need to put you through yer paces an' see just what you're gonna be teachin'." He resumes the guard position, then beckons Dylan to start. He might look to be in his late twenties, but there's something about the way he carries himself that says his apparent age is a lie. Emerald, and all the other distractions, either go ignored or unremarked for the moment.
Brigid folds her arms beneath her bosom, giving a soft laugh at Grace's bold statement. "I always have an eye for beauty, in whatever form. Hers. Yours. Mister Franklin's there, or his un-named partner." Sinking slowly into a crouch, her voice lowers in both timbre and volume. "However, I select my lovers based on their energy and their passion." A knowing wink follows, delicate tongue wetting coy lips. Her gaze shifts between the two fighters and the woman at the punching bag before wandering lazily over Grace.
Grace almost arrogantly comments, "Sorry, I'm taken." She rolls her head to the side, still held up be a palm, elbow on the ground. A little odd for someone to be laying down in this place, but she seems comfortable enough. She chuckles at Dylan and Frank. "Get him Franklin!"
Dylan nods to Frank, similarly focused on the man in front of him. Not keeping his attention on Frank would be a mistake. He says, "Hm. I was taught by a guy who was former GAFE. Ah, Mexican special forces. Like Green Berets. So it's all attack. Quick and nasty." He amends, his tone carrying a hint of self-depreciating humor, "Usually." He lifts his arms back to a guard position, signalling that he's about to try again and launches a series of moves. Fists, elbows, knees and more rarely low kicks are employed, all sharp, brutal and fast. Perhaps wisely, he's not attempting any closing or takedown moves on somebody who probably out-masses him by two to one and certainly has almost a foot of height on him.
Some of the flying body parts get through Frank's defences, but most don't, deflected, nudged or simply avoided. Frank may look like a man-mountain, but he's considerably quicker on his feet than anyone his size has a right to be unless they've been trained in fighting from childhood - which, given the condition of Frank's ears and nose, is a distinct possibility. Frank's style is mostly boxing, but he knows what to do with kicks as well - there's a certain amount of street fighting involved. Every now and again, a fist launches forward to show Dylan a weak spot.
Brigid laughs softly at Grace's brusque rebuff, but it rolls off of her like water off a duck's back. "You may be taken, but it does not prevent me from looking." she declares. Pointing across the way to the fighters, she asks. "What about Mister Franklin, then?"
Grace notes the leaving Cop and spares only a glance before it goes back to the fighti. Noticably her body shifts, for Brigid's benefit. "Can't stop you from watching," her gruff words don't match her body though, obviously she enjoys the attention. "Mr. Franklin is taken as well." A shoulder shrugs casually, long fingers taping on her thigh. "Your kind are odd."
Dylan finally takes a step back as it becomes obvious that he's completely outclassed. He lowers his guard carefully and says, "Ok, it's pretty obvious /you/ should be the one with this …ah… task." He shakes his head and grins faintly, "And I'd hate to get on your bad side." A pause, "Any thoughts on what I can do to improve?" He glances aide to Brigid and Grace, having caught the last bit of the conversation and shaking his head. "And not shy, that's for sure."
Frank grins as he too steps back; he rolls his shoulders, settling muscles back into place. "Yer not bad," he says. "Not bad at all. But yer defence is so religious it's performin' miracles, an' you keep over-extendin' on your left foot. Could'a put you down a couple'a times with that, an' then you'd be stuffed. You gotta remember that not everyone stays down when you put 'em down." He pulls a hand out of a boxing glove. "Overall, yer fit to teach. Right, where's my towel gone?"
Brigid gives Grace a peculiar look at the observation. "We are odd, you say, because we take such a casual view of sexuality? Or because you are unfamiliar with our customs?" Her look shifts to Dylan as well, now. "You should know that Faerie are notoriously infertile. I am over twelve hundred years old. I have conceived only once, dispite a prolific sex life, and that was with a human." She rises slowly and gracefully, legs straightening like uncoiling springs. "Fae are not permitted to marry other Fae prior to conception, and adultery is punishable by death."
Grace turns her head fully towards Brigid, "Open as well," she notes towards Dylan with a hint of curiosity. "I only know one of you, and she's odd…and your odd." Grace shrugs. "Odd isn't always bad," the red head notes. "I suppose its my turn?" She falls back tothe ground all dramatic like, lazy was in her blood today.
Dylan nods to Frank and then actually grins at the praise. After a moment, his expression dims a bit and he says, "Ah. I may have the skills but not the aptitude. I kind of suck at teaching. But the advice is more than welcome." He looks at Brigid as she speaks and actually blushes a little. "Um. Wow. Ok. Well … thanks for the info-dump. And if it helps, you don't look a /day/ over a thousand!" While Dylan speaks, he wanders over to where the stack of clean towels is piled nearby and grabs a pair, tossing one to Frank before using the other himself.
Frank catches the towel Dylan throws, sauntering over to join Grace and Brigid. He finds himself a place on the bench to sit, setting first one and then the other glove down beside him. "Give me two minutes," he says to Grace, cheerfully, though he does give Brigid a curious look.
Brigid chuckles softly at Dylan's remark on her age. "Thank you. I find that I am frequently 'carded' at Chicago bars, until I show my Bureau I.D." A glance around, then she clarifies. "I work at the Bureau for Human, Fae Relations. Basically, I'm the person that the police call whenever there is suspicious Faerie activity in the city. I am not in charge of the other Fae, but they know the could ultimately answer to me."
Grace blinks up at Frank and nods, though she begins to rise. The languid grace is undenible, now that the cop is gone she feels more comfortable. The red head rising to her full short heigh and stretching with a big fat jaw popping yawn. "Ohhhh rarrrrr," Arms moving back up over her shoulders, back arcing in a smooth line. "Sure Frank, i'll let you catch your breath again old man." It makes her giggle, eyeing over at Dylan, "You…are such…a slut." The girls head shaking with a toying expression upon her face, removing her glasses and looking between the fae and Dylan. Her eyes are Yellow, there is a reason she kept them close. They are sat down beside Frank's gloves and she pats him on the shoulder as she passes to go stretch.
Dylan grins at Brigid and says, "A Fae Fed? Fab." His tone is vastly amused, though he tries to keep it understated. He looks to Grace and says, "Good luck." He mops at his own face and neck with the towel and stretches a bit as he cools down. He arches his eyebrows at her and says, "Ahhhh, no. You have me confused with Tripp. And that's one of the reasons things, um, well, things are the way they are, as of last night." He shrugs at that and looks back to the Fae. "Which is not to say that you're not attractive and all, lady, but I've read a little too much of the Romance poets to dip in that particular pond, thanks."
Frank looks Brigid up and down, then meets her eyes. "An' you're tellin' us all this 'cause you fancy the kids?" Yes, kids, even though they don't look that much younger (if any younger) than he does. He gets back to his feet, retrieving his gloves. Off the mat, there's no sign of the butterfly-like floating - he moves in the way his build says he should, with heavy steps and a certain amount of gravitas.
Brigid looks really amused, giving Dylan a playful smile. She also eyes him like a side of meat hanging up at the butcher's shop. "You have, have you? You should not believe tales of Faerie abducting people for hundreds of years, or of people being Fae-struck by a look or the sound of a voice." The smile brightens, then she adds. "At least not in all cases, for such are not -my- talents at least." Turning to Frank, she replies. "I'm telling you this because my people were nearly wiped out in Europe out of fear. Knowledge is the antithesis of fear."
Grace gets to the middle of the mat, no gloves, no head protection. She takes a stance, it is notibly a Karate stance, with some extra in there. her legs are stable but apart. She's sideways to her opponent to make a small target. Front foot forward, back foot turned out. Right fits back by her shoulder, left forward and up, to be able to block. She smiles at him as he comes up.
Dylan gives Brigid a wary but amused look and shakes his head once. "Hm. I'm not planning on wiping out anything higher on the food chain than a nice, rare steak. But yea, as Keats put it: 'Full beautiful, a faery's child, her hair was long, her foot was light, and her eyes were wild.' You seem to fit the bill pretty well. So I think I'll err on the side of caution. For once." He looks back to Grace and Frank and grins faintly. "And here comes what they may have referred to as 'ye olde beatdown' in your youth."
Frank nods. "Reasonable," he replies to Brigid. "I'm not scared. Wary, like any sensible person is, but not scared." And he's telling the truth. He takes in Grace's stance as he moves to the middle of the mat, pulling his gloves back on; he's not wearing head protection himself. "You know the Japanese don't consider karate to be a martial art, right?" He assumes the guard stance, and beckons.
Brigid's smile becomes softer, and she nods to Frank. "I am pleased to hear that, Mister Franklin. It means there may yet be hope for us." she replies. Looking Dylan over once again, she adds. "Who was it said 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'…?" Giving him a soft chuckle, she shakes her head. "No offense taken, young one." Of course, that applies to everyone in the room as far as she's concerned.
Without anyone else in the building, she simply goes after him, not pulling her reflexes back. It's a "quick" series of jab punches meant to distract while a back leg moves up to in a round house kick to finish off the set. She didn't actually think she'd connect, but the kick did. She pauses, almost flinching as she actually 'attacked' him. Clearly the only fighting she's done is for position so it forces her to shrink back a little, waiting for the retaliation of the Alpha. Grace says, "It's what I was taught." She says to him, "Why do I care what the Japanese think if it works?"
Dylan grins at Brigid. "Wow. How very New World of you." He blinks as Grace gets in a kick and watches the fighting carefully, as though trying to pick up tips to one or both of their fighting styles and the interaction thereof.
Brigid watches the fight with open curiosity, clucking her tongue at Dylan. "Do not mock your elders, young one." she chides, folding her arms beneath her bosom.
Frank blocks the punches, still moving at human speed, but he can't get a hand in the way to block the kick without dropping all pretence of humanity. "Good one," he says, as he straightens again, "But you 'it like a girl. Stop cringin', I told you to 'it me an' you did. Now let's do some sparrin' an' sort out where your weak points are, okay?"
Grace brings her leg back and nods. "K, sorry, I just ain't use to it like this." She retakes her position and for all her 'formal' training, its clear that she's simply taken a couple classes, probably before her infection, and the rest has been figured out by simply brawling with in the Pard. She doesn't have the higher end training or the knowledge of how to actually spar without out right fighting. She comes at him again, her style a mix of kicks, punches and blocks. And even with Frank moving at human speed she had a hard to blocking his sheer strength. Her weaknesses revolve around her strength and the fact that for her size she actually isn't as fast as most shifters.
Dylan glances aside to Brigid, laughter bubbling up under his voice as he says, "I mock /everybody/, ma'am. It's my defining characteristic. The single constant in an ever-changing and chaotic universe. Dark matter? Entirely made up of my concentrated quippage and sarcasm." He looks back to Frank and Grace, snickering at that 'hit like a girl' remark and goes back to watching the bout.
"Left side's weak," Frank says as he brushes aside yet another fist. "Over-extendin'," he adds as he twists, a foot whistling past his thigh. "Some of us know what to do about that one," he says, having stepped back from a kick at his knee. Some of the blows get through, definitely - but not as many as Dylan managed to land, and Frank shrugs them all off with the aplomb of someone who's been getting hit for decades. His own attacks come more frequently, with a quiet, "Stop," every now and again to show Grace where the hit would have landed and explain why.
Brigid laughs softly, nodding to Dylan as she watches the fight. "I like you. Even if you -are- afraid to tell me your name." And yet there's no hurt in her voice, only amusement. Sliding a business card from the left cup of her corset, she offers the curved, warm thing to Dylan. "For Mister Franklin, should you or yours ever need to contact me." It has her phone number and name, and that's pretty much all.
Grace accidentally runs into the 'stopped' fist occasionally with an oof. Against Frank she looks like a realitive child, in appearance and skill. Her anger is there, just under the surface, each time she is stopped, but his explanations cool her down and she nods. Whether or not its anger at herself or the fact this is happening in front of the others is hard to tell. She heard Dylan's snickering at Frank's comment and looks over, the card being handed off, another weakness.
Dylan smiles at Brigid. "You can call me whatever you like. Well, almost anything. Nothing like Fluffy or Spot or something like that. I have to save face in front of the guys." Arching an eyebrow as where it was stored, he takes the card with a deep nod towards Brigid that is oddly formal, given his bearing. "I'll pass it on, ma'am. And I'm sure that my, ah, superiors, will be happy to have the contact information." He lifts the card, as though instinctively thinking about sniffing it for scent and then stops the gesture and pretends to be peering at it, a bit near-sightedly and probably not fooling anybody. And then another grin, "You know, they make purses. Even purses that go with the whole dominatrix business casual look. But hey, I guess if I'm not willing to carry one, I shouldn't wish them on women. But, ah, I would say thanks, but more of those legends. Like I said, I'll make sure Big Ben over there gets it."
Looking away from the opponent is never clever. Frank's glove clips Grace around the ear. "Pay attention," he says shortly. "Never take yer eyes off the fight." And then it's back to educating Grace, which is a lot like educating Rita but with rather less words involved and a lot more violence.
You sense Brigid's card smells strong and musky, the woman's aroma overlaid by the scent of several females along with the hint of lion and wolf.
Brigid returns Dylan's smile with one of her own. "Purses are superfluous, but thank you for the suggestion." she replies. Giving a general wave, she offers. "Pleasure meeting you all." And then she's moving towards the door with strides that are both rapid and liquid-smooth.
Grace gets a sharp clip to the ear, it lands her on her ass. She weights little in this form and her strength is not big enough to stand up to such a punch to a sensitive area. This said, she doesn't cry or scream or anything else. Just a grunt, shaking her head a little and gets back up to continue. Less talking, more fighting, it always helps.
Dylan chuckles as Grace takes a swat and or two and then goes over to put the Fae's card on Frank's towel. He looks towards the two of them and says, "Ok, off to shower and go do the office drone thing. Good luck you two. And Frank, I'd like to speak with you later, if you don't mind." He waves and heads off.
Frank nods approvingly when Grace's attention returns to the fight at hand. "Gotcha," he says after Dylan's spoken; he's not taking his eyes off Grace, but he is aware of the room as a whole and what other people are doing in it.