Shakedown Throwdown


brynn_icon.gif emily_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

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Scene Title Shakedown Throwdown
Synopsis A meeting at the site Emily first got acquainted with many of the Lighthouse goes nothing like the first.
Date February 15, 2019


The invitation was obviously accepted — Brynn has no reason not to go out and enjoy a night with Emily! Besides, despite the cold, it's good to get out and do things that are at least a little social. Right? …. Right. She'll keep telling herself that. But still, it's Em! So down to the barcade with her game face on. She can suck at video games in the arcade just as easily as on the game console!

Is she meeting us inside or out? she asks, hoping the answer is IN. It's not as cold as Canada, but still.

Joe has been introspective lately. A lot on his mind. He's not as loud and boisterous as he normally is. He walks alongside Brynn and Lance though with a smile on his face. Feels good to get out and just… do something. No clue. Probably inside though. I can't imagine she's gonna stand outside in this for however long it takes us to get there waiting. I mean that'd be dumb right? Joe flashes Brynn a quick grin and leans over, bumping his shoulder into hers as they walk. But the invite was cool. Been a bit since we just went and did stuff.

Joe turns his head to look over at Lance waving to get his attention if he's not already looking their way. When does the internship start? I don't remember what day you said. Have I told you guys I'm thinking about trying to join the SCOUT thing? Not sure they'll take me but worst thing that happens is I try and they say no I guess. I wouldn't mind doing the serve and protect thing. Put my ability to good use, and my training. And might give me a good inside look to keep an eye on the government. In so much as I can from that position but… hey. Joe not bothering with out loud speech since it’s just the three of them.

From the other direction comes Emily, one hand grasped around the strap of her brown shoulderbag while the other cradles her phone. She only looks up from the screen when she sees other people in general in her peripheral vision. Her expression is distant until the moment she realizes who she's seeing, life coming back to her. Her face brightens, posture straightens.

"Hey!" Emily breathes warmly, rushing toward the trio now that she's seen them. She comes to Brynn first, wrapping her arms around her in a tight hug. A surprise, maybe, given Emily's never really been that kind of a person. It's so good to see you! she signs as soon as she pulls back, far smoother than she normally does.

It’s only because he’s invincible and unbreakable that Hailey dogpiles on top of Joe from behind. He can take it. “SCOUT?!” She all but yells into his ear, and then cackles. “You’re gonna be a scout when you can’t even hear me coming up behind you?” Taking the piggyback ride instead of letting herself be dropped to the ground, she’s more like her monkey than anyone has ever given her credit for. At least right now.

“You’re going to need driving lessons,” she adds, giving Brynn a wicked smile, “We can teach you!”

She drops to her feet as Emily closes in, reaching skyward with a giant wave. “Hello Trouble,” she greets, then cants a quick translation for Brynn’s sake. “We’re going to give Joe some driving lessons. Brynn is the best at driving tanks.”

That comment actually has Lance forgetting to sign for a moment as he gawks at Joe for a moment, blinking twice. “Wait, what? Are you serious? You want to be a cop?”

It’s not that he doesn’t believe Joe could be a cop, he’s shocked that he wants to be a cop. He’s been the one most reluctant to trust the new government, after sall!

“Hey Em,” he calls over - and signs, remembering finally - and then there’s his sister leaping onto Joe, and he smirks over, eyebrows raising a little, “Roads suck these days. Maybe teach him how to horseback-ride instead, you remember we used to have those?”

“Wait, I’m not as fast as you!” Squeaks’ voice yelps from behind when Emily speeds off to meet up with the others. It’s not true, because if she’d been paying attention to where she was going she would have been keeping up just fine with the older girl. Instead she’s been lagging behind a little bit, tangled in trying to finish some book while marching along. That’s not easy to do, and it’s practically forgotten once she realizes who it is Em’s rushing off to.

The little red-headed teen’s eyes go all wide with excitement seeing all of her adopted siblings in one place. Together. That almost never happens. “Oh. Hi,” she chirps, still a little ways off, but watching where she’s going now. The book is closed up and hugged hard against her chest. It’ll wind up in her backpack later on, probably. Hi! she signs again, hands freeing because she’s pinned the book against her middle with her elbows.

Brynn's being hugged and laughing silently, but when Joe signs SCOUT, she doesn't know what that is. Looking Emily over, She tips her head, noting the easier movements. That, she's glad to see…. and again the lack of her crutches is something she notes but doesn't draw attention to.

Instead, she looks between the siblings, completely confused. Brian didn't teach me how to drive a tank … only a stick shift! And that, only on the land they were settled on. She shoots a grin at Squeaks, waving hello at the younger teen as she catches up.

Joe's head bounces up and down a couple times at Lance's question. "Yeah. I mean you're infiltrating SESA. Even if that's not what you're actually doing that's what I choose to think you're doing. Best place to keep an eye on the government is from within. I figured SESA would give you a good up top sort of view. Maybe SCOUT would give me a good on the streets level view. And then Emily will be SESA with you. And you know I like to protect people and help people and SCOUT would let me do that. I don't technically qualify but I'm hoping between my ability and my skills that they'll make an exception. I'll just have to learn to shut up. Which is going to be suuuuuper hard." Joe's head noddles like a bobble head for a second or two. "Super hard."

He looks up as there's people all over now. "HI EVERYONE!" Joe shouts to Squeaks and Emily just in time to end up with a Hailey attachment. "Who what huh?" He asks, looking over his shoulder and seeing Hailey there. "Hi Hails. And uhhh I didn't think about that. I mean Brian let us drive some up in Canada but that was like backwoods roads and stuff. Not like driving driving." Joe ponders that, his face scrunching up. After a moment his grin is back in full force. He reaches over his head to ruffle Hailey's hair before she drops back to her feet.

"I doubt SCOUT would ride horses to trouble spots. Though it might be faster in a lot of cases. Maybe they should ride horses. Though then they'd need to teach all the officers to ride horses. Ha! Can you imagine the whole squad rolling up on horseback? Yeeehaww pardner. We're here to deal with them there rascally varmints. Joe the Mouth is gonna go in first seein as how he's bulletproof. Everyone else stack on him and foller him in."

Joe steps forwards and sweeps Emily and Squeaks both into a hug, because they both needs one. Even though neither of them are big huggers. He'll let them go quickly enough. "I hear you've been up to shenanigans Squeakers." Joe winks at her, a sly smile on his lips, and then even holds a finger up in front of them. He grins as he steps back to give them both back their personal space. "So! Add-A-Ball then?" He asks looking around at the group. "We all need a night out of just having fun and being well… young adults." And Joe very much includes Squeakers in that. She punches above her weight.

SCOUT is the evolved police special response unit thingy. Basically Evolved swat team. Not that they deal with evolved threats, though that too. Just people with powers serving and protecting is all. I think I could make a real difference. And it would let me keep an eye on the police force and the streets. Just like the Ferry did for us and the other Evolved. He reaches out a hand and loops an arm around Brynn to pull her into a quick side hug too.

Hugs not Emily's idea are very much still not in her purview, but she accepts the one Joe gives her nonetheless, side-eyeing him all the while for his reasoning for wanting to join SCOUT. "I mean, you're not wrong about your skillset, but I'm questioning your reasoning a bit," she points out a bit dubiously, shrugging thereafter. There's no real criticism to it - she's just happy they're all together. Happy to see everyone's safe and sound.

"Yes," she agrees emphatically to the suggestion of games. "Let's do something mindless for a bit." She smiles warmly enough as she looks between them, but makes no move to actually get through group heading through the front door of the establishment just yet. Her attention's on Lance now. "So this is for real, then? We're all doing the SESA thing?" There's a touch of surprise to it, mostly because it sounds surreal to her to begin with.

“What?!” All the news, adults being adults, Joe getting a real job that isn’t criminal. Lance being Lance is pretty regular though. “Yep, Joe and I are gonna be cops!” Both of the young men receive the death-glare in regards to horseback cowboy cops, “Don’t laugh… Dayton’s going to be the best police horse ever. And teaching Joe to drive is a must he can’t be a cop without a driver’s licence. It says so on the application form… so…” She looks around them and breaks into a sly grin. “Add-A-Ball? Are we gambling before we go legit or is this a straight game for the kids?” Kids being the more innocent of the group, Brynn and Squeaks.. Emily would be included except for the potty mouth.

She marches into the place. Zipping past Emily to open the door, leaving the rest of them in the dust, and immediately zoning in on the jukebox. “OOooooohhhhh Mmmyyyyyyyyyy Gaaaawwwwddddddd…” Her hand jams into her pocket and a few quarters are produced. Immediately these are slid into the slot and the beat begins as Hailey does her best rendition of hip hop dancing.

“Y’all go make me lose my mind!!”

“Whoa, wait, hold on— Hailey, you’re going to be a cop?” Lance’s whole world has been turned on its head. Is this a parallel world? Is he having one of those overlays? “The world’s gone crazy. I don’t know how to take any of this,” he declares, even as he’s laughing, watching his sister charge into the place.

He flashes a broad grin to Emily, “You’re walking pretty good today! And shit, yes, absolutely. Me, you, we’re gonna show these government guys how secret agenting is done.” That’s not exactly how any of that works.

Hugs happen, it’s a thing that Squeaks has come to know and even expect on occasion. So she hugs Joe right back, and even ducks past him to hug Brynn and Lance too. And she seems quite ready to just fall into the mix of them all, listening to all the talking and things. Like Joe becoming a SCOUT? She shares Brynn’s confusion in that, and doubles down on her wondering when Hailey says she’s going to be a cop.

But what really surprises the youngest of the group is the revelation that Lance and Emily are going to SESA. She stares at them, wide-eyed and almost grinning. The three who’ve known her longest probably recognized the barely restrained bubbling of energy.

“Wait wait wait!” Like Mount Saint Helens, Squeaks’ excitement is reaching critical mass. “Wait wait!” She weaves through the group trying to get all of them to slow down for just one quick second. “Lance and Emily are going to do SESA things too?! This is primal! We’re going to take over the world.”

Joe's head tips to the side and he peers at Emily in confusion. "Wanting to serve and protect the people of New York while also keeping my eye on police activities and government stuff is not a good motivation for joining up? I mean… pretty sure it's a good motivation for joining up. Like they so often like to say… if they're not doing anything wrong then they have nothing to worry about right?" Joe winks at Emily, then glances over to Hailey and tips his head. "Yeah. Thinking about it. Gonna go talk to a couple people see what they think. Like Raquelle. Raquelle gives the best sage advice ever. But like I know I can pass all the physical portions of the training. Just worried about the lack of military slash police experience. And also the lack of a degree though it did mention that if someone is currently in school they'd make an exception."

Joe's shoulder pop upwards in a quick shrug. "Worst thing they can do is tell me no. Also are you allowed to bring your own horse to police duty? I mean I don't see why not, but maybe they need to be like department certified horses? Also Add-A-Ball is a Barcade. They won't let us drink but we can play the games and act like… kids for a bit." He grins at Hailey, then laughs and loops an arm around Lance's shoulders. "Keep up bro." He reaches a hand up to ruffle his hair before he starts towards the door, well behind Hailey. He pauses, hanging back when Squeaks starts yammering about SESA. There's a definite HMPH from Joe. Everyone got an invite but him! There's definitely a pouty sort of look on his face. Not that he'd probably join SESA but still! It's the principle of the matter.

Brynn's having the devil of a time keeping up. Even with everyone signing, she can only actually watch so many hands and Joe's hands are flying and Squeaks is bouncing and good grief! The deaf teen just grins at the exuberance around her and lets it all flow over and around her, committing this moment to her memory for drawing later. Everyone looks so happy. Except for Joe's pouting part, which she gives him a gentle elbow in the ribs for. I love you, brother darling, but seriously… SESA would not be a good fit, she grins. You need too much action and shooty and talking, not something that requires keeping secrets. Are you serious about being a cop on the streets? Cuz it might be a good fit.

A wry grin pulls at one side of Emily's mouth as Lance comments about her walking, and she rocks on her heels once, looking down at her feet before glancing back up at him knowingly. "Yeah, doing pretty good so far. If I'm lucky, it keeps." Instead of shooting him a look of concern for how seriously he talks about secret agenting, she just laughs instead. "Fuck yeah, we will." she says with a smirk, her own recent escapades starting to crawl to the forefront of her mind before being violently shoved back. Now wasn't the time for any of that.

"You know, Joe, if you don't out yourself like an idiot, they'll serve you." Emily points out, quizzical as to why they wouldn't get drinks. She only shakes her head at him, thoughtful. Hailey's sprinting past and heading in already, Emily glancing after her but not too cold to rush in immediately after.

Besides, there's a Squeaks explosion imminent, and it's the likes of an event she's rarely witnessed. When the younger teen finally gets her words out, it takes a second to catch up with the implications. Then Emily blinks, looking back to Lance with a note of alarm. "Wait, Squeaks, you too?" Her look asks Did you know about this? before she's looking back at Squeaks. The surprise fades and she lifts one hand for a high five. "Well, am I fucking glad to not be alone out there."

“Hey back off!!”

Hailey’s shout can be heard through the glass door. Inside the barcade, she is in the middle of a group of men, roughly shoving one of them into a pool table. He staggers, bumps into the edge, and then springs back with one fist in the air. “What’s your problem, bitch?” his voice is louder and more aggressive than hers, his sizeable frame also a bit on the intimidating side.

“I said don’t touch me, asshole!!” Another rough shove, and the man… who Brynn, Joe, and Lance would all immediately recognize, falls into the door. Moose. And he’s with friends.

“Botswarf!” Lance is shocked and delighted all at once, grinning broadly as he admits to Emily, “No! I didn’t— holy shit, Squeaks, that’s primal! The three of us are gonna kick some ass — Rhys is never gonna know what hit him, we’re gonna be the best agents ever.” He holds his hand up for a high-five after Emily gets hers, the three of them trailing back a bit while others go inside, “C’mon, let’s celebrate, this is grea— “

Then there’s that shout from inside, and he’s moving instantly to push the door open, which shoves it right into the man again. “Moose, what the fuck,” he’s barking out, glaring at the gathering of his sister’s ex and friends.

“Me too!” It’s not quite as bad as Mount Vesuvius, but Squeaks’ energy keeps her from standing still. She’s walking backward while all the older teens keep walking forward so she can face all of them at once while she talks. “I got a letter in my new real name and Mom said it’s okay and everything. And Rhys is who recommended me.” That part is colored just a little bit with wondering, she’s not sure why she was even chosen.

There’s probably more to the story, but there’s some yelling from inside and then Lance goes pushing past and storming into the barcade. That causes some confusion, and the youngest of the group turns around, her steps slowing so she starts falling behind again.

Joe gets elbowed by Brynn and he turns to stick his tongue out at her in clear defiance of her sense making. He wants to be pouty dangit. Though there is a crinkle of the skin at the corners of his eyes suggesting a held back smile. He puffs out his cheeks at her question before dipping his head. I love you too sis. And yes, I'm serious about it. Haven't decided yet, but it is something I am giving serious consideration. I wanna go talk to Raquelle about it. Raq has the best insights into life stuff. But I'm giving it thought. It's somewhere I could really make a difference. And totally keep my eyes on the cops and low level government types. He smiles and leans over to bump his shoulder against Brynn's.

"She's been walking a while now. She's a pro at it. You should have seen her storm off on campus a few weeks ago. Would have thought she'd been huffy storming off all her life." Joe's grin is back in force as he teases Emily, then uhhhhs. "Well I'm not a very good liar. So if they ask me if I'm 21 it's going to be suuuuuper obvious I'm not. So I guess I won't order a drink and you guys can?" There's a quick laugh from him but it dies when he hears Hailey's raised voice. Joe goes from goofy happy go lucky Joe to action Joe in less than a second. Cry of alarm. Cry of alarm from a familiar voice. Joe is at Lance's side instantly, ghosting back half a step to let Lance to the door first. "Oh Mooosey poo. Did you just raise a fist to our sister?" He asks in a calm, smooth tone as he gives Lance room to work, a hand moving out towards Moose's jacket, intending to pull the guy out of the establishment and out into the street, a proper way to figure out and or settle what's happening.

Because she's busy watching Joe's hands and obviously can't hear Hailey's shouts and such, Brynn doesn't realize anything is wrong until Joe's face changes. It shouldn't surprise anyone who knows Brian and how they grew up, but the things that happen in those next few moments as Lance and Joe move forward are a bit interesting. Brynn's instant reaction to Joe's expression changing is to step left and give Joe room to maneuver. Her gray eyes seek and find Lance next to see what's going down, and her hand shoots out to grab Squeaks' arm because the younger teen is in front of them and was walking backward so whatever it is, she didn't see it. A light tug is intended to bring the younger girl back toward Brynn's side, where the deaf teen has her covered, and a jerk of her chin as she catches Emily's gaze is meant to tell that companion where to move to so she's out of the line of fire if push should come to shove.

But it's the sight of who hit that window that changes everything about Brynn's body language. Pure, undiluted rage flashes across the silent young woman's face. Squeaks can feel a tremor in the grip on her arm as Brynn accidentally squeezes tightly. Moose. Unconsciously her free hand has already balled itself into a fist.

"Whoa whoa whoa, hey!" One of Moose's companions are shouting now that others have come into the picture. There's a scramble as their group has suddenly separated. The other three who are with him follow Moose as he's shoved outdoors, one reaching out to grab a handful of Joe's shirt and shoulder to yank him back from the doorway so they can join Moose first. The second moves to shove Lance into the wall beside the door to keep him from heading back out. The third seeks to de-escalate things pretty much the only way he knows how. He swings an arm out to grab Hailey by her hair, growling out, "Tell your friends to back the fuck off!"

Much like Moose's friends are shouting, the tattooed bartender's voice joins the chorus, encouraging everyone to get the hell out of there before he calls the MPs on them. He's not interested in any property damage tonight.

Emily had been in the process of starting to wonder why her letter had been different, without any clear recommendation, brow furrowing. "What's that make me, the diversity hire?" she mutters while turning in the direction of the noise, her look going blank as she observes the rapidly escalating scene with Hailey in the middle of it. Oh, shit.

When Moose stumbles back to his feet outside, she lifts one hand with widened eyes. "Okay, whatever is going on, let's take it easy here," she cautions firmly. She's blind to Brynn's own reaction, and complete willingness to slug this one out.

The bartender is… Out. Of. Luck.

As Moose's friend grabs Hailey by the hair, Moose recovers and rushes back inside. He takes a swing.. not at her but at Lance. He'd lived amongst them for long enough to know who his targets should and shouldn't be. Between little Hattori Hanzo and little David Dunn, he takes his chances with Hanzo. Brynn, she's not even a consideration. Yet.

As Hailey is grabbed by the hair and pulled against her ex's friend, a rattle can be heard amidst the cacophony of the fight. Squeaks is the first to hear it, then Emily, the scratching of hundreds of little nails. Then the cover comes off of the vent overhead and all of the patrons are showered in greasy, smelly, sewer rats. They, like Hailey, aren't afraid.

They're angry.

And they're scrambling for the man with a fist full of empath hair.

"Let go of me!!" Hailey screams as she twists, too full of adrenaline to feel the pain of her hair being torn by the scalp. By the time she wrenches free, he is left with a clump and she is leaping for Moose's back, trying to keep him off of her baby brother.

There’s a hand shoving for Lance’s shoulder, but he’s already moving into combat stance; the attempted shove is intercepted as the young man grabs the moving arm at wrist and upper arm, twisting to use his own inertia to send him face-first towards the wall instead.

“Big mista— ” Bam! A sucker punch from his sister’s thug of an ex-boyfriend takes him in the jaw; seen not soon enough to dodge, but he rolls with the strike at least, head snapping to the side from the impact.

Being tugged and moved into someplace is a thing she's gotten used to happening while out with the older siblings. Squeaks goes with it when Brynn tugs her closer — she's already aware of something bad happening, so it's easier than when it's been a surprise — but she twists out of Brynn’s grasp when it changes from tugging to squeezing. A confused look pulls from the yelling and shoving to the deaf girl then back in time to see Hailey jump on one guy and Lance get decked by another.

Seeing the older siblings getting roughed up is enough to squash the curious feelings and make them angry ones. The youngest girl looks up at Brynn and then Emily, trying to figure out what to do about it.

Take it easy? Nah, this is past take it easy now. This is LHKs gonna beat down some punks time. Joe doesn't rush in to help Hailey either. She can handle herself, just like he knows Lance can handle himself. Joe lets himself drop back with the tugging motion of his shirt, throwing his body weight back into the tug actually, then pushing up with his foot. Joe is shorter than most guys, so a duck down and then a push up? Equals a reverse headbutt in the freaking jaw. He uses his backwards and downwards momentum to spin around and throw out a straight legged side kick right for the guy's guts, smiling in satisfaction at the solid impact that runs up his leg.

"Trust me buddy, stay down." He remarks to the guy before he spins back around to assess what is going on, just in time to watch Lance catch it in the jaw. "Bad form Bullwinkle!" He shouts, quoting Hook, and Rocky and Bullwinkle. Look, they watched what they had when they were kids okay. "And the ref is calling a two minute penalty for a punk ass cheap shot." And Joe literally launches himself at Moose, throwing his bodyweight into a forward tackle at Moose's waist.

Do you know how much force a human can exert when their body isn't restricting them to stop from being hurt? Most people don't. Joe does. Wonder what happens when a Joe missile hits Moose in the stomach and a Hailey bomb jumps on his back? Pretty sure that ends up with a Moose face first on the pavement. "We'll be out of your hair in a sec barkeep! Just gotta take out the trash. They didn't bring enough guys!" Then his eyes spot the clump of hair in someone's hand. "You're reeeeeally gonna wish you hadn't done that." Joe leaves him be, cuz soon enough he's gonna have the rat mob on him. Joe is looking around for someone else to hit.

Shiiiiiiit. It's on. It's on in ways Brynn hasn't seen in years. She is fully capable of stepping into the fray, and when Hailey gets free of the guy who has her by the hair, the deaf teen goes taut. Seeing what Joe's aiming for, she takes three steps — one forward and two to the side — and when the massive guy doubles over, she sweeps the leg to make certain he goes down hard. Then she dances backward out of the way again, her gray eyes turbulent.

Holy shit, did that girl just rip her own hair out to get away from him? Before the thug can admire Hailey's dedication, the vents in the ceiling come undone and the rat rain begins. He doesn't even have to see them all scrabbling his way to want to get away from them as quickly as possible, shrieking. You know, in a totally manly way. The doorway jammed with people, he takes off down the hall toward the arcade rooms. Exit thug one.

The one Joe headbutted is bleeding from his mouth, tongue bit on impact. He staggers from the kick, doubled over and clutching at his face to deal with the pain just beginning there. "Fuck you," he manages to say before Brynn's dusting his legs out from under him. He's on his back with a groan, still holding his mouth. Down goes thug two.

Face into the wall, the guy Lance threw is turning around to re-enter the fray. From where he stands, Moose seems to be having some trouble, but there's the girl standing on her own right there — Brynn. Much easier target, and attacking her might get some of the pressure off of Moose. So, he's lifting a hand, curling it into a fist when suddenly —

From behind the bar, the bartender has picked up a shotgun, the noise of him racking a round in it carrying even across the crazy din. The few other patrons he had are all scattering thanks to the rats, and he doesn't want none of this anymore. Least of all to have to explain to the owner what's happening in his establishment.

"I said get out, and take the rats with you!" The shotgun is aimed indiscriminately at the group of mostly-underaged troublemakers.

Unexit thug one, and he has more friends with him. Friends who are taking stock of the situation, shotgun and all, meanwhile he with hair still clutched in his hand, is barrelling for the door to try and flee the rats. Three surge for the Joe/Hailey/Moose pile, the fourth swinging at Lance.

All of which is observed through the doorway, Emily still standing outside with Squeaks. "hhhhholy…" is about as far as she gets in commentary, not even sure where she'd insert herself into that madness if there was even room for it. Not to mention the rats.

Like the thug who runs out, she hates rats. She doesn't have sympathy for his current plight, though, so she trips him and sends him sprawling on the pavement, scrambling to recover and keep moving.

Some trouble?

With Hailey still on his back, Moose is wheeled around and around dizzily. And then falls with both her and Joe on top of him. “Don’t you dare get up!” The empath roars, clinging with one arm around his neck while she uses her other fist to punch her ex in the side of the head… repeatedly.

The rats outside disperse but the ones inside follow the object of Hailey’s wrath, right now that’s Mooose. Their little bodies swarm around his feet, like a boiling mess of smelly, greasy fur. The few that can, dart up the man’s pant legs clawing and biting their way upward.

As if expecting the thug that’d been thrown into the wall to come back, Lance twists to one side and snaps a kick back without even seeming to look, driving his heel into his stomach and using the inertia to push off and into a run, ducking under the oncoming bunch and dodging out of the place and through the door. The guy that Emily’s just tripped is hurtled, and he twists around to back away, checking on the others, “Hailey!”

As Brynn runs in to join the fight, Squeaks sidesteps closer to Emily. That becomes a step nearly behind Emily when one of the fight-pickers comes barreling out of the barcade. “That's what you get,” she shouts at him, when the older girl tangles his feet and makes him stumble. She kicks the ground to send slush and whatever other yuck after him when he scrambles to get away.

"Yeah nope!" Joe calls out, reaching for the guy who had Hailey and is running from the rats. That one is not getting away. But then there's an Emily foot and the guy goes sprawling. “Thank you Em. And Squeakers!” Joe flashes the littlest sister a grin as he steps over and swings a foot very precisely into the side of the guy's head, aiming for a knockout, before he turns and spots the guy he saw taking a swing at Brynn. "Dude. Not cool. Swinging on the deaf girl? Not cool." He sees motion out of the corner of his eye and turns just in time to catch a fist to the side of the head from one of the three that moved towards him and Hailey. The impact rocks his head to the side but doesn't seem to have any further effect on him, other than to draw a quick laugh out of him.

"Just like old times eh Bullwinkle?" He hollers at Hailey’s rat besieged ex boyfriend. Joe grins and ducks in towards one of the reinforcement thugs, the one that punched him in the head. There's a flurry of blows from him, hands moving fast in precise strikes. One hand short punches into the guy's hip, another smashing into the lower curve of his ribs, and then a final one swinging up under the man's jaw to connect from beneath. "Bro!" Joe calls out for Lance as he spins behind one of the other guys, ducking a punch and gives him a kick to the back. He doesn't have the leverage to make it a damaging kick, so he pushes against the other guy's back trying to shove him in Lance's direction. "Take care of that for me!" He calls out. Joe is enjoying himself despite the danger. Maybe because of the danger.

Given the fact that she has no choice but to keep her eyes on the guy swinging at her, Brynn can't follow what's happening outside of her sphere of influence — it's why she's a liability in a combat role. It is, however, clear that she too was trained with Hailey and the boys. The huge fist coming in her direction is diverted and she side-kicks him. She would have hit his crotch, but he had the presence of mind (not really — just the luck) to notice that the bartender is racking a shotgun and turns to look incredulously over his shoulder. So she kicks him hard in the hip, knocking him off balance without taking him down. She falls back into a ready stance, expecting him to come back around and try again.

He decides, to give credit where it's due, that a strategic retreat is in order. Also known as hauling ass in the opposite direction of the shotgun. Moose ain't a good reason to get shot.

The opportunity allows Brynn to fall back and get out of the line of fire so that she's not a distraction to the others.

"Go on, out!" The bartender shouts as he comes around the front of the bar, shotgun raised on the group. He is remarkably calm in the face of all the rats frenzying, likely because he knows someone in the group had to have called them here. He's a smart cookie. "And the vermin go with you!"

The guy who Joe delivered an uppercut to is incensed, snapping back and grabbing ahold of the back of Joe's shirt. Using the momentum from the spin, he shoves Joe at the doorway to separate him from the group. Coincidentally, throwing him out the door is the direction they've all been ordered, but this guy's too angry to do anything but leave by force or with his friends.

Even though the group is slowly hauling itself out the door! Probably not fast enough as far as the bartender is concerned, though.

The last thug that had been in the tangle of bodies grabs Hailey under her arms, meaning to haul her off of Moose. Maybe if the empath goes out the door, so will the rats? He's keen on trying to achieve that result before the rats bite through his jeans.

When Lance makes it out, Emily looks a bit relieved, skittering back to avoid scattering rats and willing and unwilling bodies that escape the bar. She gives one look down to Squeaks, bewildered. What the hell is happening?

He’s strong enough and given Hailey’s stature, it doesn’t take much for Moose to heave himself to his feet. Rats are stomped, squished, thrown away from him bodily, until the smell of death keeps them at bay. She is still on his back, pummeling him with one fist as she hangs on for dear life with the other. He doesn’t put up with it.

Reaching back with one arm, Moose grips Hailey by the back of the shirt and flips her over his shoulder, slamming her on her back. She lets out a huff of air and gasps, unable to breathe due to being winded.

“Jesus christ, Hailey!” He roars, stepping over her and moving toward the exit. “I was trying to apologize!!”

She can’t answer, she can’t even yell back at him. She just wheezes on the floor, waiting to either be kicked, hit, or even worse… swarmed by very protective, greasy, little rats.

“You get your fucking hands off my sister,” Lance shouts back into the bar-cade as he sees Moose flip her off his back, his eyes going cold as he shifts his stance to something less defensive. He’s not eager to engage a bartender with a shotgun, though, but his fingers might be noticed in a flick towards the bully of an ex-boyfriend marching their way.

There’s a lot of sounds that people take for granted. The rustle of our clothes on skin. The steady beat of a heart’s chambers. The whisper of breath going down airways and back again as lungs inflate and deflate steadily. They’re all sounds that Moose abruptly can’t hear anymore, only the pulse of blood through his head, the exhalation past his lips and his own words. Psychologically, it’s a problematic position to be in.

Squeaks doesn’t quite know what’s going on either, except that the siblings are all fighting with some other people. She stays indirectly involved, mostly adding insult to injury by kicking slush at them and throwing the occasional snowball. “You better run,” she yells as one such handful of packed snow and ice is flung at the two coming out of the door. “You don’t know who you’re picking on! Better hope we don’t see you again!”

"Oh dang! Lance is pissed. RUN MOOSE RUN!" Joe shouts as he laughs, and fights. He gets shoved and he goes with the motion, kicking a foot out behind him in the direction of the knee of the guy who shoved him. It's not enough to break it, hopefully, but definitely enough to make him hurt, and limp. If it connects. That kick thrown out he's facing off with the guys outside, and Joe really moves into the fight, no longer just playing around, now he's looking to put a stop to the fight. Lance is getting mad, Hails is getting thrown, and even Brynn is getting swept up into the fight. So Joe goes into full combat mode.

There's no more quips and jokes, instead just strikes, quick unflinching strikes. He doesn't have to worry about breaking his fingers and hand with a quick jab to someone's solar plexus. He doesn't have to worry about the bones in his feet delivering hard kicks to solid bone such as the thigh bone. Can Joe's bones break? Yes, but it takes a heck of a lot more force than what is being slung around to make it past the kinetic barrier that is his skin. Joe does not want people getting shot, especially his siblings, so the fun and games are over and it's business for a few moments as he lays out some actual pain.

The strikes are meant to HURT but not to do permanent damage. Well a broken nose or a seriously bruised ear might just serve as a good lesson to some of them. His strikes target nerve spots on bodies, spots intended to take the fight out of the guys and hopefully send them packing down the street and away from his family. And yes, Joe fights dirty. Shots between the legs are taken if they’re available.

The difference in Joe's body language informs Brynn that Shit's Gettin' Real. She has years of experience with that, so she backpedals out of the fight, moving to be in position to cover Squeaks and Emily if someone comes directly at them, but otherwise just removing herself from the battle. Because it hasn't gone beyond fists and feet — for which she's eternally grateful — she doesn't see any need for fear or panic. Or even worry, really. She also can't hear the bartender or his shotgun, and he's out of sight behind the doors — she might worry more were she aware of it.

Moose is still getting death glares from the deaf teen.

When the fight breaks outside and Joe leans into it like nothing she's ever seen before, all Emily can do is stare at first, watching the back and forth. The unfair strikes he doles out are met with opposition by equally stubborn opponents. The three-on-one seems to be incredibly going in Joe's favor, save for when he kicks one of the thugs in the groin to take him down. A larger foe is suddenly upon him from behind, arm wrapping around his neck and locking into place tightly as the thug grips his wrist with an iron vice. The figure standing over six feet grunts as he lifts, trying to suspend Joe off the ground by his neck. Anything to take this guy down, really.

Fuck. Emily is able to catch a glimpse past that, indoors, and spots the shotgun for the first time as the bartender continues to step closer to Hailey and the thug bleeding from his mouth. When he said everybody out, he meant everybody out. No victims deserving quarter, in his eyes. Fuck.

"Hailey, come on!" Emily shouts, worried. The thought of pushing past whatever is about to happen between Lance and Moose is tempting, but she can't justify running right at a guy holding a gun.

The urgency of Emily's voice is what bring Hailey to, more than anything else that's happening around her. She can see the barrel of the gun before the bartender reaches her. She can hear the shuck of the pump action as he gets ready to fire. All she can do is roll and slowly climb to her hands and knees to crawl frantically out of the way.

At her vantage point, Brynn can see that Hailey is having trouble getting completely upright. The fighting men are between her and escape from the shotgun.

Having spent almost three years in Lighthouse company, Moose isn’t as confused by the silence as most would be but it is visibly unnerving. He makes a beeline for Lance, his meaty paws curled into angry fists. Lance can see the wild mix of anger and fear in his gaze, sure of his own capabilities but not of Lance’s. It’s been a couple of years and so much could happen between then and now. Still, he charges, as moose do.

It’s been years, and at the time? Lance wasn’t willing to really engage Moose, since he was still dating his sister — however much he disliked the brute of a teenager. There’s blood trickling from the corner of his mouth as he grins at the bigger man, hands spreading in welcome of Moose’s anticipated charge.

If he impacted, things would probably go poorly for the smaller man. Unfortunately, Lance is done fucking around.

At the last moment he side-steps, a hand going around Moose’s outstretched wrist and the other clapping to the back of a thick neck— twisting around and pulling him around and down in kubi-nage to bring him down using his own power towards the asphalt.

“Stay down, fuckface,” he barks out, letting the silence break and noise rush back in.

Returning to where Emily’s standing, Squeaks looks up at her and then follows her gaze to the barcade. She finds all the fighting, Joe and his mob and then Lance with some big guy. And then there’s the bartender holding a gun. “Hailey-Joe-Lance!” There’s urgency in her voice, like guys we gotta go Right Now kind of urgency. As she shouts, she grabs Brynn’s arm with one hand to get her attention, the other points at the shotgun.

Joe doesn't miss a beat. The other guy grabs him around the neck and grabs his wrist? Joe drops his center of gravity downwards, letting his body turn into deadweight to drag the other guy lower. Then he SHOVES upwards, using a similar move to earlier to headbutt the guy in the jaw from beneath. As he's doing it his other fist is arcing up over his head to smash at the guy's face. His legs aren't still either, after he shoves upwards he kicks out with one leg, clipping the chin of the guy he kicked in the jewels, dropping him to the concrete like dead weight. "This doesn't end well for you guys. You should really run. Like now. I'll let you go. No more broken bits."

Joe doesn't seem at all worried about the three versus one. Or rather now the two versus one. Potentially 1 versus one depending on just how much damage he's done to the guy that grabbed him around the neck. "Barkeep! No shooting anyone! Cuz I'm bulletproof and I whill come in there and beat you with that shotgun if you hurt one of my friends!" Joe shouts loud, loud enough to make sure the guy hears him, even over the tumult. Joe talks. A lot. And Joe can project. He can be very loud when he needs to be. He even takes a moment mid fight to point at his eyes, and then point at the Barkeep. Joe's watching you bruh.

“Moose. Take your thugs and go dude. You want to apologize to Hailey? Pick a better time.” Joe will drop the rest of the guys if they decide to stick around. If they don’t? He’ll move over to try to get between the barkeep and his siblings. Because he is not going to let them get shot if he can do anything about it.

With her wrist captured by Squeaks, Brynn's gaze is drawn where little sister points and her gray eyes go wide. Two fingers in her mouth and a piercing whistle in a short, sharp pattern sounds. She can't hear what she's doing, can't respond if such a signal were given, but the Fall Back signal is unmistakable. Pulling her arm loose, she signs fast and dirty to Squeaks and Emily, That way, Meet you around the corner! Then she ducks low and heads for Hailey to get an arm under her sister and try to get her out of the fray and into retreat while Lance and Joe cover their fallback.

Finally, the bartender thinks to himself, they're dispersing. Not a moment too soon, before anyone else starts bleeding all over the sidewalk. When Hailey, Brynn, and the other thug make it out the entrance, the shotgun is lifted so it no longer threatens anyone but the ceiling. He takes a good, hard look at the scrappers that remain, doing his best to commit their faces to memory.

Moose stays down, at least until Squeaks yanks on Lance's arm to pull him along with the other Lighthouse Kids while they cut their path away from Add-a-Ball. He rejoins his friends as they peel away from Joe, roughly shrugging off their concerns as they do his for them. They're fine, they're all fine, they say — even the guy who clearly needs to be headed to the ER. Moose shakes his head to himself, casting a look over his shoulder as he heads the opposite direction from the other group.

Elmhurst Hospital isn't far off, at least.

Emily gets herded along with the rest of the Lighthouse Kids to where they regroup at, a bewildered expression on her face. Serious as it all had been, the boys still find room to grin and pass a few quips before the group as a whole rallies around Hailey to get to the bottom of what really happened to cause the fight to break out, and to make sure she's all right. Emily, meanwhile, lingers at the outside of the ring that forms around the animal empath.

She's known what the gang was capable of, through stories and admissions and ribbing. She'd had her suspicions about it from the getgo, besides.

But seeing it happen was something else entirely. This was something she'd not stand to forget. She sees it tonight as clear as Moose's friends do:

You don't fuck with the Lighthouse.

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