A three parter I've been wanting to write for a while. Expect the next part fairly soon...

Enjoying the Consequences Part One

He had a plan, and Dark Ace liked to stick to his plans.

The plan was very simple:

1. Find establishment with alcohol that wouldn't murder him on sight.

2. Get utterly pissed out of his mind.

3. Enjoy the consequences.

He knew of one place, fairly close to Cyclonia. The Terra was something like a neutral party; independent, but they paid a nice sum for it. It was, without a doubt, the closest thing to a safe establishment Dark Ace would ever find in his life. He had fond memories of it. The people were good to him.

Tonight, however…

"Oy, sonny," A trader exiting the bar called to him. "Old friend of yourn in their. Young, cute. Screamin' fit to wake the dead."

Dark Ace's first thoughts were of Dove, but it couldn't have been. She was back on her own Terra. He had to fly to her for them to do anything, a fine arrangement in his mind. Girls who sought you out turned into a messy business.

So what had happened here?

He was not two steps into the bar before he saw the patch of unruly purple hair, and two more before he recognized her hips and neck.

"Starling?"

She turned, and he quickly registered the drunken sway and bloodshot eyes of a girl who has had one too many. When she lunged for him, he caught her, even though it drove them both out of the bar and onto the path. He didn't mind. She wasn't wearing armor tonight; she was a light, comfortable weight on his torso.

"You…bitch…" She growled down at him.

"I could say the same of you," Dark Ace said with quite a bit of dignity for one pinned to the ground. "What on earth are you-"

"Lonely¸ are you? In need? Unloved? Horny, dammit!"

"I distinctly recall being that, yes."

"You lying little whore," She breathed down, and his lip curled at the stench of alcohol. "Taking advantage of my paternal instincts!"

"Maternal, actually-"

"Shut up!" She dug a knee into his chest. "It's whatever kind of damn instinct I say it is, dammit!"

"Okay," Dark Ace shrugged as best he could. "Why don't you calm down, and tell me what this is abo-"

"Raven."

He searched his memory. "Raven" struck no significant bells. "Pardon?"

"That girl named after the bird. With the stupid accent."

"Now, Starling," Dark Ace said. "That's racism."

"Dove! That's her name. Dove."

"What about Dove?"

Starling opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated. A puzzled look crossed her face, and she sat up on his chest. "I don't remember."

"Well, while you're doing that, let's give me a little breathing room," Dark Ace sat up, usurping Starling of her perch. "It's good to see you again."

"I bet it is," Starling sniffed dismissively. "You need me."

Dark Ace smiled ruefully. "A little."

"A little!" Starling snapped dismissively. "I'm all you need, dammit! Sex on legs! It's all here, big boy!"

Dark Ace cleared his throat, halting the chuckles struggling to come up his throat. "It certainly is, Starling."

"I don't know what you're running to some little foreign cunt when you've got me…" She narrowed her eyes suspiciously before crying out, "That's what it was! That's what she did. She stole you, that little…"

"Dove stole nothing," Dark Ace corrected her sternly. "If anything, I stole her."

"Privately! On your stimmer!"

"Skimmer. Wait, who told…?"

"Oh, I have my sources," Starling's tone was becoming maniacal. "I have my sources…" She was laughing brokenly. When she suddenly stopped and slumped forward against his chest, Dark Ace wasn't surprised.

He'd made a plan that night, and he wanted to stick to it…

…but maybe he could go ahead and skip part two…