Drinking Buddies


asi3_icon.gif godfrey_icon.gif

Scene Title Drinking Buddies
Synopsis It's a reunion long-overdue, one that'll have to be properly celebrated when… well, you know.
Date June 18, 2020

Rikers Island Prison

The sheer amount of light in here makes this space seem infinitely more friendly than a prison should be. It can't change the fact the whole island smells vaguely of trash— the unavoidable reality of being built over a dump— but this place looks less like a prison complex and more like… a campus.

It's something the woman in black leather marvels at quietly, arms folded while she leans back in her seat in the middle of the empty cafeteria. The last of breakfast cleared out some time ago, and it's still the empty block of time before lunch. She can hear the sound of movement in the kitchen through the serving windows at the other end of the hall, the sounds of prep work and distant chatter, but her attention is on the light while she leans back in the mint-green chair at one of the rectangular tables. The fold of her arms adjusts, leather creaking, so she can unfold her arms and lay her forearms on the table, hands clasped.

Her eyes flicker an unnatural gray-blue glow just before closing as she reaches out with senses that she would be deprived of were she an inmate. In a second, she knows the cameras in the room, how they're pointed. The 'freedom' in this meeting taking place in an open space is a tightly-knit illusion, given the eye they'll be under.

The sound of footsteps in the quiet space draw her back to the present, eyes opening at their normal hue. Black hair sweeping on her shoulder, she turns back to see what she already suspects is coming— a very familiar face in a painfully familiar style of garb. The corners of her eyes soften in a smile, mouth unmoving.

"Hello, Godfrey," Asi greets him when he's close enough. "It's been some time."

“Asi!” Godfrey sounds very pleased to see her, brightening considerably. “You are a ray sunshine on a rather dreary existence.”

She’ll find that his hair is curlier than she’s ever seen before and the orange of his jumpsuit doesn’t work for him at all, but Godfrey still has that familiar smug confidence even if he looked nothing like a businessman. “I thought it would be my lawyer, but this is much better. Prettier by far.”

It was honestly a pleasant surprise for Godfrey to see Asi. Moving to sit across from her, dark eyes take in the woman in front of him. “You look amazing and… rather,” He casts a subtle glance at the retreating guard. “… freer then last time we talked.”

The last Godfrey had seen her she was still a wanted woman.

Freer is a word for it, one Asi acquiesces to with a ghost of a smile after he sits. "And you, still aflame despite all the darkness surrounding you," she greets him in return, much more muted than him but very bright about it in her own way. "They can try to drown you in drabs, but they'll only get as far as trying."

In light of a glass to lift in cheers, she tilts her head slightly to the side instead. The black leather adorning her shoulders belongs a different coat than she used to wear, this one without the bronze studs from before. The white shirt she wears underneath is thin, loose on her form as a shroud to cover a black tank underneath. When she crosses her legs, she reveals black and red plaid pants covering her legs. The boots she wears are sensible rather than platformed or combat— grunge chic. A motorcycle helmet sits in the chair next to her.

If she traded her freedom for a few leash, she's at least gone fashionably rebellious about it. But the look in her eye doesn't seem to speak to that. No, it's not introspective.

But there is concern she harbors. For him.

"It took some time to get this far," she begins to explain, deadpan. "Or I'd have stopped by sooner. And as progressive as these lot are here, I doubt my apology whiskey would have made its way all the way to you. So, I waited until I could see you in person. No… funny business, no messages through means that might raise eyebrows." She might laugh at that, but it's too serious a matter. So instead, her eyes narrow a touch. "You've had enough of your chain getting yanked around. I wouldn't dream of causing more of it."

Asi's hands settle on her lap still a clasp just a shade too loose to be prim. She looks as though she has more to say, the look in her eyes growing distant as she tries to find the words for it. Whatever thread she had, though, is lost. With a roll of her lips and a break in her stoic expression, she mutters with relief and conflict both, "God, I'm glad this place isn't a shithole."

“You and me both, luv,” Godfrey says genuinely relieved at where he has landed. “Though the piano is shite. Needs a good tuning, much like myself.” Yeah, that’s probably an innuendo. He smoothes the jumpsuit, giving it a tug like he was straightening a suit jacket. “Wouldn’t mind a bit of chain yanking, either. A bit of excitement. It’s a bit dull around here.” He glances back at the door and the guard, which exposes the faint yellowing of a nearly healed bruise, towards the back of his neck on his shadowed jaw. “Though the library has decent books.”

When he turns back, Godfrey rests his forearms on the table and leans forward with that bright cocky grin of his. She came to see him after all. “I have so very much missed my drinking buddy. Now that you’re not lurking in shadows, once I get out, we can actually have a drink again. In a pub. No screen between us.”

The smile fades a little at the edges as Godfrey truly studies her face, her dress and manners, “You doing alright, luv? It feels like ages since we got to meet face to face.”

Asi doesn't bother hiding her reaction, arching an eyebrow at seeing the discoloration on his jaw. "That bruise says it was somewhat exciting at one point…" she offers up as a counter, no real energy behind the needling. Her head tilts mildly at him.

The lightness in her demeanor leaves her at his question, giving it serious consideration rather than brushing it off. "I've been through a lot, Godfrey. I've… undergone quite the redemption arc, and it's not even complete. I think some part of me will always look over my shoulder from now on, wondering when the next betrayal will come. My team turning on me after the Mazdak allegations…"

Her eyes flit to the table, something about the intimacy of the comment making it difficult to maintain eye contact. "It hurt. I worked with them for a decade. They were the closest thing I had to family. Closer, even. I worry I'll begin to trust Wolfhound the same, only for them to turn on me, too." The clasp of her hands shift, hooking around her knee instead. "But the most I can do is be prepared for when that happens; to never anchor myself in any one place again." Now she smiles as she looks back up. "I've taken up a lot of contract work. I'm doing more than I have in years, stretching my legs in ways I could previously only do in secret. It's…" Her eyes narrow in thought at it, but she looks back up to Godfrey again.

She seems surprised. "It's something I never dreamed I'd get to do again, to be honest. This is the closest I've been to happy since the Midtown Explosion."

"I'm just well-aware of what it's built on. The sacrifices it took, the risks involved. I'd like to say I'm telling myself enough to just appreciate the moment before it passes, but…" Asi folds her arms on the table in an echo of Godfrey's own posture, a glint entering her eyes, a teasing lean coming into her tone. "Well, I've not got a drinking buddy to remind me, when I start to slip. You should really work on getting out sooner, to fix that problem for us."

“Yes, well… Some people have opinions about me it seems,” Godfrey says tenderly touching the yellowed bruise along his jaw. “You know some of these types, they feel the need to assure their dominance.” Dark eyes roll with annoyance. “If I didn’t have a chance to get out of this mess, it might have been a different story, but we do what we must to placate the judicial system.”

It’s funny. He didn’t expect the ramble, just a yeah or a no. At least it wasn’t boring and he finds himself listening with a small smile on his lips. “I assure you, I’m working on it,” he says, studying her face when she leans like him. “Kaydence and Monica have taken an interest in getting me out of here. In fact, I’m to meet my lawyer soon.”

What smile Godfrey has fades away slowly as he adds, “The sooner the better. Pretty sure I’ll have a target on my back in here. I gave up everything about my old colleagues… not to mention I tried to off Garza and helped SESA in the raid.” Or that is how he saw the events in his head.

Asi hadn't expected to be so forthcoming either, but it had been some time since they'd seen each other, and who knew when the next opportunity would come up. The holistic insight might not have another chance to come out, or by then, they could be properly papered over and glossed past.

She was trying to do a better job of letting her friends in, though. Even if they happened to be in prison.

"I'll hope for the best, then. For some kind of parole. If you keep playing ball, taking hits on the chin like that… at the very least, they should move you out of the line of fire, eventually." The corner of her mouth pulls back. Wishful thinking, perhaps, that they'd do better than let him hang in the wind, but with enough people fighting for him…

"While I'm here, though, is there anything else you want to ask? Want to know?"

“Unfortunately, they don’t allow conjugal visits so that is out of the question for asking.” Godfrey says, clearly joking. Maybe.

“Seriously, though, ask about what, luv?” Godfrey asks arching a brow, curious about her line of questioning. “What do I need to know about you and what you’ve done?” He leans forward a little more, his dark eyes on hers. “Nothing is what. At least until I get out of this bloody place.” It is clear he holds no judgement on his friend or his situation.

Still, something occurs to him and his head tilts a little with a smile playing on his lips. “But, you could do something for me.” There is still mischief in his eyes as he lays out his request. “We need a new drinking spot, just in case our old one is out of the question.” Leaning back, he gives a wave of his hand, “You could scout out some new options.”

Conjugal is not a word in Asi's vocabulary.

Correction— was not in Asi's vocabulary. Her eyebrows slant downward after her eyes flicker an unnatural shade of grey-blue, darker than the bright, neon hue they used to carry. "Godfrey." she scolds him reproachfully, sitting more upright in her chair, lessening her lean. "If you expected me to arrange for someone, you are sorely mistaken. I would do many things for you, but that is one intermediary role I will not play."

When he moves on, her mood becomes less severe quickly. She even goes as far as to arch her brow at him when he suggests she find them a new spot. "Are you anticipating Yamagato will outcast you? Surely not."

If only because it would be a travesty they'd lose access to City Slickers.

"You still owe me a photo with a cowboy hat on that head. I will smuggle you in if I have to." Asi threatens that with the touch of a grin, meeting mischief with mischief.

The fact that Asi totally misinterprets her role in getting him laid amuses him to no end, but Godfrey decides better of correcting her. To be fair, he hadn’t meant it, having only done it as an attempt at a bit of fun. This was so much better, especially since he didn’t miss that flash of color in her eyes.

“Hold on. I saw that.”

Godfrey straightens, looking a bit like a kid in a candy store. “You had to look that up didn’t you? Oh ho… what you must have seen in that Google search.” Godfrey can’t help but tease the technopath. “Oh, you have so much to learn about this world, my dear lady.” Who better to teach her.

“But fine… fine, we’ll have it your way,” Godfrey says with a sigh, like he is conceding defeat. “We’ll celebrate m’ eventual release at City Slickers and you’ll get your hat photo, if you get on that bull.” He seems to think better of it and holds up a finger. “Actually, strike that. Convince Marlowe to get on the bull.”

Asi takes in a breath to reply off-handed and immediate.

And then her brow furrows, words dying on a silent exhale. Oh, that's just being difficult, now.

She looks off to the side and then back, relenting "Fine." with a raise of one hand, pointed finger extended at him accusingly. "But should it be Marlowe, you're wearing the spurs." Arching an expectant look back his way, she waits to see if they've reached an agreement.

All the better to avoid sweeping back to the topic of sleeping partners. (Legally-bound? sleeping partners.) And implications just made regarding them.

Yes, she'd rather waste her time on this childish bargain, she thinks.

“Maybe a pair of assless chaps to go with the whole ensemble, yeah?” Godfrey asks with a suggestive lift of his brows, motioning at himself with both hands like he’s showing off some merchandise. “I’d have you shake on it…” there is the sound of someone shifting behind him, though Godfrey ignores it. “But I’d rather not end up with my face smashed into the table.” The guard behind him relaxes, even if he looks annoyed at the accusation.

“Either way, we have a deal, luv,” Godfrey says with a put-upon sigh. “Though I think I’ve got the easier end of the deal.” Asi had to convince Marlowe to ride a mechanical bull or to even occupy the same space as him.

The amusement fades a little at the edges as he watches his friend, “Of course, all of this requires you to take care of yourself. Stay safe, yeah?” It is clear Godfrey worries about her, much like all those people he considers friends.

"I'll do my best," Asi promises as she pushes herself to her feet. "They've got me working with law enforcement again, though." With a faux-grimace, she keeps her eyes on Godfrey rather than the guard lingering nearby.

She confides with some mirth, "And that is always the best way to get into trouble."

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