A Grinning Woman and a Gypsy Meet In a Chinese Dance Club (Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One Before)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s not yet been to Chinatown. Sarita prefers to be the one who can speak in languages people around her can’t understand, not the other way around. But she’s certainly willing to give anything a try. She pulls the VW Bus up to the curb outside the club, turning it off and killing the Pink song blasting from the stereo. She gets out on the street, taking a drag off her smoke and looks the place over before she heads for the door.

[Gina McClaren] *Ming’s was a subpar dance club and bar in east chinatown, lost amidst residences and squeezed into the end of a locally owned stripmall. Techno and Jap-pop thudded from behind brick walls spiced up with artistic graffitti, and several bored youths smoked their cigarettes outside the door, chatting idly to a fat necked asian bouncer. Likely one of the local On Leong, given the tattoos crawling across his forearms.

Inside, its not exactly crowded. A dozen dedicated barstars flail and bump each other on the small dance floor. A bartender watches a small corner tv, images flashing strange in the dim blacklit depths of the club. In a back booth the thick frame of a curvy indian woman sits curved over a crossword puzzle, a drink in one hand, a pencil in the other.*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little as she slips inside past the bouncer, into the darkness of the club. She’s perfectly comfortable in seedy places, and she moves like she belongs in them. She makes her way through, nodding a bit to the beat in order to fit in until she sees Gina and heads that way. She slides in across from her.

“Five Down is Galapagos.” She has no idea if it is, she just likes the word.

[Gina McClaren] Hmm. Island wi’ beg fuckaft lizards. Sae et es.

*Gina smirks, setting her pen down and closing her book, The better to appraise the woman in front of her, brown eyes near black in the dim of the club. The pikey isn’t dressed for clubbing. A long cotton gypsy skirt and satinny tank top hardly the “is it a dress or a pillowcase” sort of costume she preferred for such things. No, she’s dressed for comfort’s sake.

A sip of cherry whiskey swallowed hard.

She’s drinking for comfort’s sake too.

Her head tilting, Gina lullabies above the music.*

Sae, how’s yer necht?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh Christ. Let’s see…my sister’s dozing from painkillers which is good ’cause she’s kinda bitchy right now when she’s not, a Gaian kin got all freaked when a Ragey Fury showed up, I had to break some heartbreaking news to another kin who just wandered off, I had to leave so I didn’t hit said Ragey Fury in the back of the head and then get my ass kicked by her and her packmate, and…yeah, that about covers it.”

A little shrug. She’s had better.

“How about you?”

[Gina McClaren] Och christ, who died the now?

*Dread and exasperation in equal measure, Gina’s head falling back into the cushioned booth. Tired.*

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Howard.” She doesn’t beat around the bush with it. It’s certainly not uncaring…the Strider is sad he’s gone. She just doesn’t do Gina the disfavor of pussyfooting around the topic.

[Gina McClaren] Och. Dinane kain hem. Thank christ.

*That wasn’t entirely the truth. Gina had met Howard once before, but she couldn’t be bothered remembering him or his obnoxious cohort. Met and dismissed as irrelevant to her life. Her response is a bounce of shoulders and a sigh.*

Were ye close?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a bit. “Chica, I’m not what I would consider ‘close’ to anyone in this city yet except my sister, Bridget, you, and Kyle.” She shrugs. “I knew him a bit, and I liked him. He was a pain in the fuckin’ ass, but then so am I, so it fit.”

[Gina McClaren] *The pikey nods, fingers tracing along the edge of her glass as she tries to reconcile being straightforward with the Strider in front of her. The ~strider~. She grasps for chitchat, eyes on the dancefloor.*

Sae who’s yer sister?

*It figured. She left town, and when she got back it was crawling with Striders. Things seemed to work that way in Chicago. People came and went, met by marvelous coincidence and disappeared without a trace. City a whirlwind, no doubt the fault of the greedy totem at the heart of things. Maelstrom. A nine letter word for Fucking Drama. *

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Amy. Or Amunet. She prefers Amy. She’s kin, and my half-sister.” She flags down a cocktail waitress and orders a “tequila on the rocks, no ice.” After the confused waitress heads off, she looks back to Gina. “Awesome person. Except when we’re at each other’s throats.”

[Gina McClaren] O’ course. Reckon tha’s the way o et wi’ women. Leave tae o oos en a room taegether tae long, an’ ye’ll find nae but bones left.

*Gina’s smirk is wry. A hand teasing long hair loose from its ponytail. Tonight was about as much comfort as she could afford herself. Her smirk broadens into something warmer and more genuine as she watches a giggling asian girl kiss up on her nerdy boyfriend, before dragging him to the bar.*

S’human nature, reckon.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “A little bit, I suppose.” She leans back in her seat and follows Gina’s attention to the girl and her boyfriend. A little smile lights her face and she chuckles, then looks back. “So how about you? How was your day?”

[Gina McClaren] Aulrecht. Borin, but ah’d rather tha than wyrmy fookin madness, sae ah’ll count me blessings. Took meself on a hunt fer a flat. Hotels are drainin me savin’s recht quick.

*Her glass is brought to her lips, pressing the color from them as the tawny Indian enjoys the chill against her mouth. *

Stell, dinnae reckon ah’m sae fond o stayin en wan spot fer tae long. Tae easy tae find.
Ah’ve a fang wha wan’s me tae move entae a place near hem, but reckon tha’s askin fer trouble n’ than some.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Why is that?” Her head tilts, watching the kinfolk curiously. She’s not trying to be coy, or at least not overly coy. Certainly, there are reasons she can imagine why someone would find that to be asking for trouble, but she’s not familiar with the situation. Thus, she asks for clarification, with a bit of a smile.

[Gina McClaren] Well, ee’s a silverfang darlin. Trouble enough, but ee’s also a Silverfang lookin tae be mated. An’ ah’m the sort o lass wha ‘as a reputation. Wan ah reckon a Fang kin esnae gintae like ‘avin walk through tha door tae borrow a cup o sugar.

*Gina laughs darkly, taking a sip of her whiskey. Lips pinched together as she considers the topic at hand, and finds it leaves an unpleasant taste in her mouth whiskey can’t quite dispell. A burn in her stomach that had more to do with deep dissatisfaction than sweet corn-liquor. Brown shoulders bob dismissively.*

Es jes trouble ah’ll nae court, effen ah can avoid et. Ah’ll find meself another place, oor buy meself a plane ticket, an’ start anew.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little. She’s more the type to say ‘fuck formality’ and anyone who has a problem with a reputation is not someone she thinks she needs to work to impress, but she knows some people are past that point…burned one or twelve too many times. “Fair enough. So no luck finding another place yet?”

[Gina McClaren] Well, need tae be a place me warder willnae look fer me. An’ as me darlin Fang pointed oot, those places are oot o me price range.

Sae ah’ve tae be a gypo aboot et, an find me an easy mark fer a bit o’ hard dealin. Tha’s aul.

Jes takes time.

*One thudding techno song has given way to tonal wailing, and with the pause in conversation, Gina’s ears focus in on the next available sound – terrible jap-pop. Suddenly aware of the horror being passed off as music, she squeezes her eyes shut with a grimace, exclaiming in labored singsong.*

Jaysus fookin christ, they skinnin a cat en tha back? Fer fooks sakes, wha es thes bollox?!

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins at that, apparently able to tune out the music. That’s what happens when you have a habit of blasting Ke$ha while heading down the road.

“It’s pretty fuckin’ terrible, no argument.” She gives a casual shrug and leans back. “What would be a better option is if we got said Warder to fuck the fuck off and leave you alone. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

[Gina McClaren] Fancy fookin chance o tha. Ee’s a madman. Best ah can hope fer es tae fin’ me a mate, oor tae scrub tha owl aft me.

*A bitter snerk. Or to kill him, but the last garou vs kin battle she’d witnessed had ended in cannibalism. Caramel colored skin washes a shade whiter in the dark as she swallows. A forlorn glance to her empty whiskey glass. Her cellphone rings, and one glance at the number tells her its going to be a long conversation.*

Strider loves, ah’ve tae take thes. Ken en mournin, needin a shoulder.

Ye’ll be aulrecht on yer own?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little nod. “I’ll be fine. If it’s Bridget, Rain or Cordelia, tell them I said hi and I’ll see them around.”

[Gina McClaren] Ets nae, but ah’ll dae jes tha effen ah see em.

Goodnecht, n’ good luck. Ye seem an aulrecht sort.

*Seem. That much she could do. A tilt of her head in goodbye, and the pikey is weaving towards the door. Ducking under arms and between bodies with the confident ease of anyone under 5’3, in a big kid world.*

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