1965-10-06 - Hyena Boys
Summary: Ambrose and Arlo meet up with some scary baddies while out on a job.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
ambrose arlo 

As the weeks have passed, a questionable if not comfortable sense of partnership has settled in between the Jackal and his erstwhile lookout. Arlo continues to build his nest egg and Ambrose continues to get away red-handed with his work at returning "lost" artifacts. Tonight is no different. Down goes the sun, up gets the Jackal to his antics. The city never sleeps, why should he?

They're in a section of Brooklyn, part of the borough where there's a bit of money…old money. Rare, like the antiques squirreled away in these homes. The mist rises off the river tonight, clinging low and cold around the shins depending on where one stands and still rising high enough to obscure sight to an extent. Nothing dangerous, the lookout will simply have to keep more careful track of what he's hearing. Upstairs in the house, left empty briefly while the owners are in the country visiting family, Ambrose is frowning at the glass doors of a case. There's…nothing in it worth burgling. How rare — a bust due to lack of items at hand. He rubs at the back of his neck, muttering to himself in Persian even as he turns to make his way back to the window opened, the point of entry to the place.

From down the street, a sudden upswing in raucous laughter, almost…hyena-like. What's the source? Human? …inhuman? It's just weird enough to make the fine hairs on the skin rise.

The mist makes everything strange, and Arlo is on higher alert than usual. This time of year rubs him the wrong way. He was kicked out right around the time of year when things were getting cold after summer. He's wearing a leather bomber jacket to keep off the damp and cold. It lends the illusion of bulk that isn't there, though these days one can't accuse him of looking like he's starving. Slender, yes, but he can afford food now.

Ambrose's own senses swim briefly, a telltale sign that Arlo is communing with him in his way. "Hold tight," he murmurs, and the words are heard by Ambrose. "Got some punks coming this way." His instinct is to protect the Jackal, such is loyalty.

Not but a few strides from the window through which he entered, Ambrose pauses. He briefly grimaces, but within a blink, realizes what's occurring even as his lookout's voice is heard almost on his shoulder. His expression melts from vague irritation to something more akin to interest, if not still a touch suspicious.

"I see," he murmurs back, certain that Arlo will hear him given the metahuman's brief connection in senses. "Mind yourself, cockerel. Your job is to do precisely as you did. I am not paying you to interact with the general public." The reminder, while terse as is the Jackal's usual manner in communication, is still far lighter than his initial habits with Arlo. He then makes to exit the window and shimmy down the drainpipe as quietly as he can manage.

Out on the street, another faint echo of the snickering, and now…the sound of multiple harsh steps. Not sneakers, no…could be boots? Hard soles. It can be noted that it's not just one source of laughter, but at least two.

"And here I was so eager to say hello," Arlo murmurs with a wry twist of his lips. He knows there's nowhere in the immediate area where he can hide, not if he doesn't want to abandon his post, which he will not do. Sure, Ambrose is coming down anyway, but that's not the point. Arlo has a job to do, just the one. He lights a cigarette. It puts a weapon in his hand, if only one he can use once.

"Jackboots," Arlo says as he exhales a plume of smoke. "Four of them, big guys. Maybe they're just out for a stroll." Though he perks an ear toward the sound of their approach just in case he can catch any of what they're saying.

There's little doubt that Arlo will catch the faint snort from the Jackal even as his own boots touch down on the rim of the wooden barrel tucked next to the drainpipe. It's currently being used as a large flower pot…with a bunch of dead violets in it. Whoops. Bad Bane. He makes his way up to where the space between house and tall wooden fence opens up to expose the front yard and street and lingers in the deep shadow there. What ambient muted light from windows and street lap catches briefly in his pupils as Ambrose scans the moderately-thick mist.

"Reminds me of jolly old London," he murmurs again, deliberately thickening his accent until it's almost unbearable. "I wonder…does New York City sport its own Jack the Ripper? Jackboots." The sound of a slow inhale and exhale. "Come towards me, cockerel. Between the house and the fence. Be quick."

Arlo will indeed have to be quick, because the first of the ones projecting the eerie snickering materializes out of the mist. Tall indeed, nearly six and a half feet at the scalp, and built far more heavily than a standard human — and no standard human sports cloven hooves instead of jackboots to match their sabre-like canines hanging out from what could be an elongated snout and black-as-jet empty sockets for eyes. Naked but for a ragged loincloth about its waist, it snuffles again before emitting another rolling hyena-like cackle. It hasn't noticed Arlo…yet.

As they draw closer, their footfalls sound too weird. What he mistook for hard soles of boots… in his defense, nothing in his mind prepared him for hooves. "What the…" He's quick all right, nimble on his feet as he comes over to where Ambrose indicates. While he can't see in the dark per se, he can make out shadows well, making it so he doesn't trip on anything another person might not notice.

"They're not human," he whispers. "Those aren't boots." The young cockrel is milk white in the darkness, his eyes huge pools of black. He takes in everything about the creatures he can. How they move, where their joints are vulnerable, do they tend to favor sight over scent? Where can he tear into them to do the most damage. He need not be reminded to avoid those teeth.

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 8

|ROLL| Arlo +rolls 1d20 for: 20

Fleet on his feet indeed. The creature sniffs hard a few more times and then huffs multiple times, sounding like an asthmatic sufferer attempting to clear lungs. However, all that's left of Arlo is the scent and that's concentrated where he last leaned. Ambrose watches the creature in dead silence from where he froze as still as possible, still heavily cast in shadow. It snuffles around the place where the young man rested and then begins casting around, nose in the air. Another echoing cackling call to set a dog barking back three or four doors down the street. This sets the other three into motion and all appear, relatively identical to this first monstrous leader.

"Know you the old adage of those who fight and run away live to fight another day? This is not our fight, cockerel," he whispers back, barely allowing air to slip over his palate to form the words. Still, the second creature turns to look in their direction and begins sniffing hard. Arlo can likely feel the tingle on the side of his body nearest to Ambrose, when the Bane briefly surges to the surface of his control — like as not, he can also hear the rapid up-kick in the man's heart rate. He's genuinely nervous about these supernatural beings despite his own abilities.

"I'm down to run," Arlo murmurs. He looks at those cloven feet though, and the legs attached. How fast are these creatures? How agile? He has a feeling there is no outrunning these things. He swallows a lump in his throat as the Bane surges. His own weapon of choice isn't as impressive. A switchblade in his pocket, which he reaches for slowly.

"Steady," he whispers to Ambrose. "You're going to be okay." His own pulse is hammering in his throat. It's a rare night when he finds himself wishing for the cops.

The sound of a squish of a hard swallow from Ambrose's throat to Arlo's sharp ears, heard overtop the increased rate of snuffling from the creatures. They're not stupid, even if blind. Two little mice are attempting to wait them out nearby. All it's going to take is one…wrong…move. "Bloody hell, what I wouldn't give for a bigger gun right now," he whispers back, steeling himself even as he draws both service revolvers from their holsters at his belt. "They may charge when I loose the safety. Be ready to run."

And indeed. The dual clicks of the guns now live are quickly lost to a screech of triumph from the leader. All four creatures charge in their direction, not as quickly as expected with their bulk, but still far faster than an Olympic sprinter right off the start. "SHIT!" CRACK CRACK, there go the guns!

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 1

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 9

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 3

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 1

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 2

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d10 for: 8

|ROLL| Arlo +rolls 1d10 for: 3

Arlo knows he can't outrun these creatures. He's known since he saw the hooves, but he gives Ambrose a nod so that Ambrose won't worry about him. He pulls the knife from his pocket and flips it open. He runs, but only to separate them, to get at least one of them to give chase.

Which one of them does. It's an instinct-driven thing, thinking only to chase the running thing. Then Arlo stops, turns, pivots, and slashes at its face with his knife. Good luck scenting the air when one's got a snoot full of one's own blood.

Creature number three splits off from the pack immediately to hare after the young man, sensing possible weakness in lesser numbers. The thing is that this little prey has sharp claws! The creature bawls and stumbles back in shock, wiping at its nose with gnarled, humanoid hands as black blood oozes forth from the whipping slash of the knife.

The first shot from the revolvers drills a black hole between the equally-dark eyes of creature number four; a heavy thud and it scuds to a stop in the grass, now a lump of flesh. Creature number two takes a bullet to the torso and jerks to a halt, crying out as well in reaction. Creature number one, the leader?

It bulls smack into the Jackal and takes him through the wooden fence. Shards of broken boards fly as the fight tumbles into the neighboring empty lot, full of weeds and broken bottles. Ambrose sounds as if he's lost his breath and struggles for it now; the creature is all snorfling, slobbery sounds and thuds of impact on either body or ground.

The little one has claws, indeed. And tenacity. Arlo presses the advantage, slashing with the knife again, this time across the eyes. He could strike more vital blows, but he doesn't have it in him to kill, not really. He will if he has to, but it's not in his nature to go for the throat.

He steals a glance at the Jackal. "Ambrose!" he says. "Give it a hug." What he means is 'duck in under its attack range and use the Bane' but 'give it a hugs' is what comes out. Go figure.

Across the empty sockets of the eyes the knife flies and the sabre-toothed man-creature number three lets out another louder, more pained bawl! It swats out blindly with a free hand, the other still clutched about its snout. Black blood spatters and hisses on the sidewalk. This draws the attention of creature number two, still attempting to figure out why it suddenly has a very sick stomach. With an ululating howl, it turns and moves to join in hounding Arlo. It's slow to move, crippled but very interested in spilling the metahuman's guts all over the pavement to eat.

A hug is all well and good when one isn't busy scrabbling through the knee-high weeds to avoid being skewered by the inch-long spike-like nails worn by all of these creatures. Ambrose rolls left and then right, abandoning his revolvers entirely in the moment in order to keep his hands free to push against the loam beneath him. He has no voice to reply, only ragged pants and a kick upwards at the crouching creature's chin! A solid hit, but only enough to stun and set it backwards to stumbling, shaking its head. The Jackal tries to get to his feet, but something's funny about the way his lower ribs look, especially on the left-hand side — and the way he's breathing now, sure to be heard if Arlo sharpens his ears enough.

Arlo presses a hard advantage. He means to keep the creature on the defensive. His latest slash whiffs the air, though. The creature lunges, and Arlo's senses save him; he sees it coming and he whips to one side. Another slash bites at empty air. Could be worse. He could've gotten caught.

"Hang in there, pal," he tells Ambrose. He knows that breathing doesn't sound good, and it makes him all the more determined to beat these guys. So he can help the sarcastic, persnickety, bossy boss man he's loyal to.

And here comes creature number 2, absolutely looking to declaw the small and spiteful prey! For the whiffing slash of knife, it aims a broad-palmed slap at Arlo's immediate person. Creature number 3 is dancing away with its face turned into near ribbons. Zorro would be proud.

Working for air, Ambrose wraps his left arm around his torso even as he draws a wicked-looking trench-knife with his dominant hand. "Piss-poor fighting there," he hisses thickly at the lead creature. The thing doesn't understand English at all, much less with so heavy of an accent, and then swings at Ambrose with those claws again. He turns a shoulder as to take the cuff on his left and yelps as four short gashes open on the outside of his bicep. Then comes his counter-swing and the trench-knife opens up a long slice across the creature's chest, making it snarl and yelp and dance away. Not so easy after all, eh?!

Arlo flies ass over tea kettle from that slap. He lands hard with an oof as the air is pushed from his lungs. Arlo has no snappy comeback. He's too dazed to notice much of anything at the moment save for the glint of his knife just within reach if he crawls. He's not too proud to crawl.

The sting of the slap is still ringing in his ears as he draws himself to a crouch. He's still seeing double. He can smell, though, the blood of human and creature both. It helps him figure out where Ambrose is in all of this confusion and he makes a mental note not to lunge in that direction slashing.

Creature number three hangs back now, too wary to continue harassing the sharp-clawed little prey. Creature number two takes a moment to sniff at its claws. Aw, no blood drawn. No tasting the vintage of this scrappy human. It lets out a garbling call and goes for Arlo once again with a broad palm held high, all the better to be brought down upon the crouching lookout with concussive, bone-splintering force!

"Ruddy bastard!" Now it's Ambrose pushing the attack, a move suicidal at best. The knife glints again in his swing and he opens another long slice on the creature's arm. It shrieks, making the other two pause and turn their heads, completely distracted in their near-hive mind state. The smiting hand is upheld above Arlo in stasis now. Hunched over in pain, creature number one is privy to the sudden driving THUNK of the trench-knife into its back. Ambrose holds on to the hilt like the true lunatic he is as the monster wails and begins to buck. A slap of his left hand on the thing's head and the air around them both draws thick and close as the iron rhythm of one's own heartbeat. The Bane does its good work. An audible thud as the leader crumples to the loam. Ambrose is thrown to roll away and lie panting raspily in a patch of crushed weeds, the knife left momentarily embedded in the creature's back.

The moral of the creatures falter. Two and three look at one another and then back to Arlo. That upraised hand?

It still rises even as creature two lets out a feral snarl of rage and makes to smite the young man!

Arlo lunges at the creature as it comes bearing down on him. It forces the creature's swipe to reach past him, exposing vitals. Arlo slides his knife between two ribs, then jerks it out. Then another stab, and another. Just because he doesn't want to be deadly by nature doesn't mean he doesn't know where to puncture. Here a lung, there a kidney.

He's silent as he unleases his pent up adrenalin. No battle cry, no suave display. It's almost uncomfortably intimate, how he moves with the creature, pulled close, stabbing and stabbing.

It's like being stung by a particularly persistent insect. Ouch — ow — youch — eep — YIKES, a kidney shot there, and the creature yowls in terrified rage. It rapidly begins to crumple, no longer a shocking six and a half feet, but a more accessible four feet with rounded shoulders. Creature number 3 is seriously considering bolting as it holds both gnarled hands over its blooded nose.

The echoing cry is impetus for the Jackal to sit bolt-upright. Spitting a long stream of profanities in Persian, he scrambles to find the trench-knife nearby and then the two revolvers, left closer to the busted fenceline. In a dead run, he stoops to sweep them up. Around the corner of the fence he comes, guns upraised, nightshine flashing in his eyes. The lead creature had enough life-energy in its body to reverse the damage of multiple broken ribs as well as lacerations. Bloody fabric belies the damage once shown. He appears and immediately zeroes in on the fracas; both revolvers are lifted and aimed. CRACK CRACK!

Arlo rises to his feet to loom over the now crouching creature. He winces. He doesn't want to kill the thing. It's pathetic and howling, but more importantly, he doesn't want to be a killer. He stabs muscle this time, just enough to hurt but not threaten its life. "Get out of here," he hisses. "Go on! Run!" He kicks at it.

Ambrose, with his no-compunctions gunfire, gets a start from Arlo. He's moving in ways he shouldn't be able to… oh, of course! the Bane has healed him. He relaxes at the thought of Ambrose not in deadly danger. Still, he shoves the monster. "Go!"

Even as creature number three turns to flee from the small and dangerous prey, the guns fire. The bullets thud into its torso, low and high, and it has time for a keening cry before it collapses to the middle of the street. Ambrose, with both guns raised, continues to approach, all business and no mercy.

"Get back from it, Avery!" he shouts, all whip-crack, militaristic command. The man was a lieutenant for good reason those sixty years ago. Creature number two continues to whine pitifully where it curls upon itself on the sidewalk, sensing that it's now alone and the prey once thought weak has turned the tables with such shocking violence.

Arlo falls back. Ambrose has guns blazing. Ambrose can handle it from here. He grimaces as the creature is hit and crumples. He told it to go! Of course he has sympathy for the devils. He has sympathy for Ambrose, too. It's in his nature.

"Finish it if you're going to," he says, his voice shaking. "It's scared." He shudders. He's going to hear those whimpers in his nightmares.

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 6

"And it attempted to kill us both," the Jackal reminds the young man in the same sharp tone, nearly snarling the words. "It will continue to attempt to kill. What, you would have it enter one of these houses and kill everyone inside? Think of the children." He continues until he's within fail-safe range of the creature, now leveling a single revolver on the thing. "Turn away if you must, but I will not let this bloody thing threaten anyone else."

The creature continues to whimper, bleeding freely from its wounds. Down the street, the dog continues barking and someone finally opens the front door. The dim cone of a flashlight shows in the mist from that four doors down. Its reach isn't far enough to showcase their little drama, but it does wink in their direction regardless. Someone asks if the cops have been called and another voice confirms this as of two minutes ago. Clock's ticking.

Arlo does look away, and he says, "I didn't say spare it." He knows. He knows! "Do what you gotta do. I don't trust myself to know where to cut." It's a convenient lie. He knows full well where the pulse is deepest, where it would bleed out the easiest. He's not a soldier, though, and he's not a predator like this thing is. He's nothing like this thing is.

"Cops are coming," he tells Ambrose. "Time to pull the trigger and beat feet." He could run now, save himself, but he's not going anywhere without the Jackal.

"It bloody figures." The venomous hiss is then followed by one final CRACK of the revolver. Quick, one shot and done. The last creature moves no more. Then comes the dual clicks of safeties and he holsters the guns. "Follow me." His tone has lost its feral edge, but not that sense of command. He takes off down a nearby alleyway, fulling expecting Arlo to be hot on his heels. After all, the sound of approaching sirens announces the cops long before the misty red-and-blue lights of their arrival —

— to no bodies left in the street. Only black stains of blood on cement and one dog very insistent that something was up, he swears!!! The creatures have all but evaporated into the nether once well and truly dead.

The Jackal keeps up his run, leading the way through a veritable maze of backways and darting across streets silent with lack of traffic. Once he's put at least five city blocks between the two of them and the scene of disaster does he come to a puffing halt in the shadow beneath a fire escape in another alley yet. "Avery?" he says by way of slant role-call, turning to look for the lad.

Arlo follows Ambrose without question. He still does his job, keeping his ears open for danger. His long legs keep up pace with the Jackal, and when they finally get far enough away to rest, he's panting for breath.

He doesn't have a scratch on him, though. A bruise on his cheek where he was his with the flat of the creature's hand, but his blood is still where it belongs, inside him. "What the hell was that?" he says.

"Fuck if I know." Ambrose stalks past him and to where he can see out of the alleyway. He holds up a hand and listens into the relative silence that follows. This part of Brooklyn is just as quiet as the scene of their crime. Very little stirs, just the sounds of a city in the dark of night. A car rolls by heedless of them and then he turns to look back at Arlo. Nightshine flashes through his pupils again. "I don't mince words with hellspawn like that. I fancy myself masterful at staying alive and many times, that means not engaging unless I have the upper hand — especially when dealing with the supernatural."

Arlo wipes his blade off with a handkerchief that is now stained black in long smears. "Yeah, I don't know what the hell that was, but I don't think I'll be having a nice long conversation with them either. This is New York, we're not supposed to have that roaming the streets. Shit." Of course he can't not think of the years he spent huddled in alleys, before he had a place to live. To think there were things like that out there? Brr.

The Jackal, now leaning against the brick wall, pulls out his own trench-knife again. It's a doozy, tactical steel with its varied edges and all of them lethal…and all stained with the tacky black blood. He grimaces and rather than using a handkerchief, he wipes it on his black pants. Like anyone's going to see the stain.

"Every city has its underbelly. Still…not like that. Normally the monsters are humanity itself, not the truly monstrous," Ambrose mutters before spitting a curse in Persian. "And the bloody case was empty. Entirely a fucking waste of a night." He leans back his skull against the wall and grinds teeth as he reins in his temper. "…you'll get paid, Avery, have no fear. You did no wrong," he's sure to add in a tight mutter.

Arlo puts his knife away once he's cleaned it as best he can. "I know you're good for it," he says. He wipes the blood on his hands off on his jeans. "How are you doing? I saw you take a pretty bad hit." He also saw Ambrose recover from it. He studies the man now to see how he carries himself for hints of how hurt he might be.

"At least we made it out of that with our lives," he says. "I thought I was a goner when that one hit me. I'm not used to being disoriented." From the sound of it, he's decidedly not a fan.

Ambrose nods distractedly even as he squints at one of the ridged formed curves of his trench-knife. A bit of blood stuck there yet. He rubs it on his pants again, the motions quick and yet mindful not to slice through cloth as well as skin. "You took the blow well. You must have a thick skull than usual for an American. Normally, their bones shatter just as easily as the rest." Good lord, what a comment to make, especially in such a blase manner. "I am perfectly fine. The one attempting to eviscerate me paid his dues."

"I turned into it," Arlo says. "At the flattest part." Combat awareness, he has it, even if he doesn't have the tastes for combat. He touches at his cheek and winces to feel the shiner taking hold. Still, all things considered, he's walking away from this in great shape.

He wraps his arms around his middle and shivers. "Did you see? They disappeared. The cops aren't going to find anything but smears on the pavement. I've got to rethink everything. I thought they were wearing jackboots with hard soles because I'm not going to think of hooves! Except now I know how those sound, so."

Blowing across the blade to get some impossible speck of dust from it, Ambrose then sheathes it and folds his arms. He glances over at Arlo now and nods once, sucking on his canine tooth behind his lips.

"I don't expect you to recognize every sight and sound and sensory experience that your mind processes," he says after releasing the suction with a soft pop of sound. "However, I do expect you to remember them flawlessly — if not flawlessly, then with reason. There is no margin for error in my line of work." Not 'our' line of work. "That they disappeared is no surprise to me. I have dealt with the supernatural over the years. I deeply respect that I am crunchy and taste good with tomato paste," he quips drily. "It is safe to assume that if it doesn't want to kill you, it wants to do something else terrible to your mind or soul."

"I've really only just dealt with the archangel," Arlo says, "and half the time I think he's just a crazy mutant who's got delusions of grandeur, because I can't think in terms of archangels. Now there's hyena men?" He shakes his head. "I'm okay not knowing about monsters." He waves a hand, then. "I won't forget about what I sense. I have a good memory for stuff like that. I just didn't have a frame of reference."

"We'll be better prepared to deal with those…hyena men next we cross paths with them then," Ambrose agrees quietly. "I won't tell you of the other beings I have seen throughout my long years, since you wish to keep your naivety. I make only partial mock of it. It is a beautiful thing to have, never to be regained once lost…not unlike one's virginity, now that I consider it. The world really does fuck us all over in the end…" he muses darkly, his eyes lingering towards the end of the alleyway at a foreign sound.

"You know what? I actually had this thing happen recently, where if I was a virgin, I would've been able to do something cool. I can't really explain it, but you're right. Once it's lost, it's lost. Can't undo it." He can't explain because he promised he wouldn't talk about seeing a unicorn. See, that's the kind of supernatural thing Arlo likes to encounter. Angels and unicorns.

"You can tell me the coolest supernatural thing you've ever seen," he says. "Not the scariest, just the coolest." He's already starting to recover from the scare. He's nothing if not resilient.

Arlo gets a dubious side-eyeing for this proposed ability now lost to him due to extenuating circumstances. "That's…enlightening," comments the Jackal, deliberately making note of the general vaguery of the thought as a whole. He then shakes his head, shifting in his lean against the brick wall. "I have nothing 'cool' to tell you of. Every single supernatural being has been very interested in either disemboweling me, killing me, or seducing me against my will. My bias against them is well-grounded, I assure you."

"Turns out archangels count," Arlo says, taking a small thrill of delight in that dubious side-eyeing. The Jackal needs his sensibilities tweaked once in awhile. "I have to admit, everything supernatural I've encountered up til tonight has been pretty cool. I'm going to tell Michael about these guys. See what he has to say about them. If they're killing people, someone's got to stop them." Like tattling to an archangel isn't overkill.

Extreme overkill, but still — "By all means, tell your winged lunatic about the creatures. If he's truly as you say, no doubt he has the means to end all of our trouble with one fell swoop and swing of a mighty sword." Ambrose rolls his eyes, but doesn't make further fun of the archangel. Probably a bad idea, cosmically-speaking, and these days, he'd rather not be abruptly picked up and flown about.

"You're too hard on him," says Arlo, who has never been picked up against his will and flown about willy nilly. "He means well. He just doesn't know how to think like people think. And he gets curious about stuff, and he wants to know it." He glances at Ambrose with some contrition. In a certain skewed light, perhaps it could be said that some of this is (maybe) his fault. "I told him to be nice to you, though. And not to fly off with you. I can't make him listen, but I told him."

"And that's all well and good, you telling him this, but a lion does not lose its teeth if chastised for biting." A snort and Ambrose moves off the wall to pace down the alley a few feet. He listens for the sounds of any sirens or approaching vehicles. Yet another drives past, a cruiser, and he's very still in the shadows — but there's no searching of spotlight or slowing down. Another problem somewhere else in the city demands attention. "As I have said before, you may keep him to yourself and I will endeavor to remain civil if the situation calls for it. Otherwise, I will be excusing myself." At a brisk run.

"Hold up," Arlo says before the cruiser drives past. It's reflex now, to listen for the cops. He follows after Ambrose, hands shoved in his pockets. "If he finds us again," he says, "I'll try to create a distraction so you can make a getaway, but you need to remember, with things like cats, if something runs away from it, they gotta chase."

He looks up into the sky, perhaps imagining flying up there amidst the cold breezes, wrapped in warm arms. "I haven't seen him in awhile," he says. "I can't help but thinking one of these days he'll just stop showing up, but I try not to let it get me down."

Ambrose gives the young man a thoughtful look over his shoulder. Rotating in place, he then checks the opposite end of the alleyway visually before it took receives the all-clear. "…I doubt he's left you," he finally says, his voice unusually quiet. "I never got that impression from him, brief as my interaction was initially. Without sounding trite…perhaps have a little faith." He then scowls, annoyed at the world as a whole. "Come along, Avery. We'll nurse a stout. Bitter medicine, but necessary after a night like this." Walking away, Ambrose then heads unerringly in the direction of the King Maker. His tab, of course.

Arlo arches a brow, but then he grins. It's such a warm and amiable thing, his eyes squinting into little crescents of pure happiness. "Yeah. He's probably got important angel business to attend to. He'll come around when he can." He picks up his pace as a stout is mentioned. He'll drink on Ambrose's dime any old day. "Yeah, after tonight, we gotta get a drink." He'll drink himself silly. It's the only way he'll get to sleep tonight.

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