This is a collaborative effort between myself and TheWyvernsWeaver. In a fit of mutual inspiration, this brainchild came into being. Gods only know how, but I don't care. It's too good to not write. Reviews and feedback are always welcome. On we go!
Nick checked his pockets one last time as the door closed behind him. His wallet, phone and Coins were all where they should be, as was his Collar. Amused disdain flitted across his face as he graced the oily metal scales with his touch as though still unused to their feeling against his fur. To the casual eye, it was a rather suggestive piece of jewelry. Out of place, perhaps, but not unattractive as it rested snugly on his neck. It lent mystique to the figure who wore it, or so the mammals he passed on the street believed. Quite a few of those mammals looked for longer than was strictly necessary or polite. He was not concerned. It was only to be expected that he would attract attention of a sort. His kind often did.
As he made his way along the sidewalk, a spark of indigo flame ignited on the tip of his claw and it kiss the cigarette in his lips to life before vanishing. The walk from his hotel to the bar was not a long one, but Nick took his time. It had been a long, long time since he had been this little slice of reality. Too long. There was something about the place that he simply could not get enough of. During his long life he had spent as much time as he could there. It was just so satisfying; the smells, the sights, the textures. The flavors. Yes, the flavors of this place were certainly worth the trip all on their own.
He took a moment to recall his latest flavor, a lovely young vixen he'd found as a celebratory treat for himself last night. When he had arrived, he knew immediately what he wanted; what he had been deprived of by his imprisonment for far too long. One thing that the infernal wardens knew all too well was how to deprive their prisoners. He had missed the thrill of the hunt for all that time imprisoned. The previous evening was a good start on making up for lost time. As was the rest of the night. And morning. He did feel a small touch of pity for the poor thing, but only a touch. He had devoted the better part of his life to carnal pursuits and his skill reflected that.
He also still had her number, so if he needed a snack (and she wasn't too broken) he could have a second helping. That might not be necessary, as so many other dishes made their way past him on the street. This city was a veritable paradise as far as the fairer gender were concerned. Perhaps he would be doing himself a disservice by taking seconds, when there were so many exquisite delicacies to sample. His musings carried him to the bar and through the door to the scent of smoke, violets and lust.
Once inside, he was met with the sight of his comrade in arms. The little fennec fox was sitting on a stool at the bar, propped up by a pair of telephone books, surrounded by empty beer glasses as tall as he was. The bartender, a morose looking dromedary, looked uncomfortable as he placed another in front of his smallest customer and snatched his hand back. Finny had a tendency to snap at anyone who got too close, especially anyone who touched his booze.
As he slid into his seat, he made sure to brush the crabby fox with his hip. "Hello, Finn. Didn't go for the booster seat this time?"
"Screw you, Wilde."
"You're not my type." Nick replied languidly.
"The only being in three realms that fits that description, from what I've seen," Finn groused into his quickly emptying mug.
Nick grinned suggestively. "You want to change that, big guy?"
"Hell, no!" he sputtered. "You keep that harpoon of yours away from me!"
"Don't worry. I will." Nick assured the smaller predator, waiting until he had a mouth full of beer before adding, "You'd pop if we did, anyway."
Nick did so love tormenting the little creature. He was small and feisty with a fuse so short it was practically non-existent. A spray of beer and cursing was followed shortly by a wad of oiled canvas slapping into Nick's chest.
"What else would it be, pervert?"
Finn snarled, "You have what you came here for, Wilde. Leave."
It was one thing to play games. It was another entirely to attempt to give orders. Nick had a great tolerance for many things, but insubordination was not one of them. That was how he had attained his rank in the first place.
As he spoke, he began to slowly lift the veil on his power and let them seep out. "I think you might be forgetting who's in command here, short stuff."
"What? You think I'm taking orders from you? If that's what you think you can sho- oh- ho…"
Now that the effects of his power were being felt, there was no need for subtlety. The seep became a flow and it was felt. "I can what, Finn? Do I need to demonstrate why I'm the one giving orders? Perhaps by demonstrating what I can do?"
"No! no. I'm- um… I'm good. Uh, Sir?"
Finnick was bad at the whole formality thing and Nick used that to his advantage ruthlessly. "You sure? Because I could make you beg for what you just turned down and my Collar wouldn't even register the power I'd need to do it. Are you sure you don't want to see if you'd… pop?"
"Please, no…" His cringing was cute.
"So, we understand each other, do we?"
Nick let the power slip back under the veil and he leaned back on his barstool. "Finn, I have no issue with you hanging out here and drinking your way through this tour. I can take care of this idiotic job myself, but if you challenge for rank, I promise you the internet will be flooded with more Fennec fox porn than you can even imagine and you'll be starring in all of it. You may not have anything riding on this, but I do. Either help, or stay out of the way until I give you orders. Either is fine by me. You cause me problems and you will hurt for it. All the way back home."
"It's not my fault your dumb ass backed the losing side in a coup." The fennec grumbled bitterly before shooting the rest of his mug and banging on the bar top for another. "You have no one to blame for that but yourself. Your fault." The smaller fox spit the last words with undisguised venom.
Nick was not impressed, or phased. "Of course, it was! That was just a lark. The brass just has no sense of humor. Five centuries was way too long a sentence for something so minor."
"Something so minor. Yeah. It only cost you your rank, smartass."
"And yet, I still outrank you. Something to think about." Finnick growled as Nick slid off his stool and headed for the door. He could hear liquid being guzzled as he walked away. "Thanks for this, Finn. I'll be in touch. Try to sober up once in a while, you little imp you."
The door swung shut on Finn bellowing for another round and Nick smiled. Another successful meeting with his team. A cigarette bloomed into fiery life between his lips as he meandered back towards his hotel room. He had his gear to look over and a few minor things to do before he had to get to work, but first, he was feeling a bit peckish. If that vixen was still around maybe he'd have those seconds. It did not pay to work on an empty stomach, after all.