Fandom: Machine City Knights
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Summary: Time marches on, new replaces the old... and Astri's well-timed escape gets very interesting very quickly.
Notes: "I don't know if I should be cackling with evil glee or apologizing or both. Probably, yes.
Astri Silver glanced out at the crowd, curious and almost happily surprised by its size. She had no stake in the auction that evening, but she'd been invited around for the preview and a backstage seat by its host. The hospitality had been lovely, and the schmooze level had stayed tolerable. However, she wasn't going to make a decision on future participation til after she saw how the bidding went.
Nothing had caught her eye as being too rare or terribly much of a surprise - things that would bring a lovely profit, yes, and a few things that probably shouldn't have been there - nothing that made her stomach threaten to turn, though.
Astri recognized a few faces in the crowd and looked expectantly for Kilroy only to be disappointed. The next familiar form, however... She sucked in her breath, swearing softly. Astri stepped back into the shadows, frowning - he wasn't there for her, after all. She was merely a spectator.
Carefully, she glanced out again in case Agent Mithras Surya - Tall, Dark & Bloodthirsty himself - had just been a figment of her imagination. But no, he was still there. Astri exhaled and watched him for a moment.
Either he was doing a spectacular job of feigning boredom while waiting for things to begin or he was actually bored. Astri rather hoped the former, for everyone's safety.
And then those red-and-amethyst eyes flicked over in her direction, catching her, staring right at her.
Quickly, Astri retreated to the relative safety of the wings, reminding herself that there was nothing he could have on her because she had nothing. Metaphorically. At the moment.
But it didn't stop the nagging feeling that she wasn't going to escape the evening without a close encounter.
She did her best to be jovial and chatty, making connections where she needed to and finding appropriate comments on items and their final prices without spending too much time checking her surroundings. Aside from a lack of Kilroy and an excess of Surya - and really, he wouldn't be that bad if she knew why he was there - the auction was just what she'd hoped. Next time, she would be an active participant.
Towards the end, Astri peeked out at the crowd again and was pleasantly rewarded by a noticeable gap where Surya had lurked. Either he'd given up (unlikely) or gotten his mark (likely) and left.
The last few items didn't interest her. Things were winding down. It was time for her own exit.
She'd made it all of three steps and turned a corner to wrap around behind the audience before very nearly walking straight into Surya.
"Watch where you're going, little one," he said as he clamped down with one hand on her shoulder, effectively stopping her.
"Stop being in my way," Astri replied. "I know you're not here for me."
At first, Surya's reply was only a maddening smile that Astri half-wonder if she was going to spend the night locked up anyway.
"And yet here you are."
"Not for long, if I can help it." Astri reached to remove his hand from her shoulder, fingers wrapping around his wrist--
--when the shooting started amongst the rival gangs in attendance.
Instantly, Surya had Astri behind him as he readied for combat. But no sooner had it started than it was over. Astri exhaled and tried to peer around Surya. It wasn't anything she hadn't seen happen before, but she didn't want to stick around. Surya apparently felt the same, though Astri got the feeling his disinterest had more to do with potential paperwork than anything else.
The audience seemed split between wanting to stay and wanting to get as far away as possible, even as the gangs themselves beat a hasty retreat with their injured comrades.
Astri kept herself safely behind Surya until the next item was announced and bidding started. Surya cleared his throat, which was when Astri realized that she still had a hand closed tight on the material of the back of his jacket.
"Well, to keep you between any crossfire and me," she said as she let go.
Surya chuckled as he turned and gestured that they should both be leaving. "Good," he replied. "Though then you'd complain about the blood."
"Ruins my clothing, too," Astri noted as she followed his lead. While she had a lovely budget for fashion, she had no desire to senselessly dip into it.
There was yelling, again, as the bidding on the item ended - it didn't sound good and when Astri moved to see what happening now, Surya pulled her back.
"I don't think you want to get involved at this point," Surya told her as he hooked an arm around her shoulders and guided her away.
"And you don't?"
"Nothing of interest in there," Surya replied, a hint of disappointment in his voice - Astri wasn't sure if he was referring to the auction, though, or the latest scuffle.
"Fine." As much as she didn't want to admit it, she rather agreed with Surya.
He still had an arm around her.
Normally, Astri and geometry were on friendly terms - this aberration of being unable to determine volume was obviously the result of ongoing distraction and not having nearly enough information. How she was going to get that information - well, she was sure she would. That was the obvious end result of her current situation, which, well, was quite pleasant.
She hadn't ever expected to find herself pinned between a glass elevator wall and Surya, though, caught in one of a series of kisses while his hands--
Astri was momentarily more concerned with her own hands and attempting to get a diameter or circumference because if she was doing the math correctly - and honestly wasn't sure that she was - finding somewhere that would fit...
Yet she was quite willing to bet that she'd found one of Surya's few unmodified parts.
Astri cursed under her breath when the elevator came to a stop far too soon and Surya pulled back.
"Come along, my dear," he said as he reached to guide her along.
Astri nodded and tried to chase away the little voice that warned her that despite the presence of strings, she was going to get all tangled up.
Turned out that Surya could do otherwise maddening things with his tongue that didn't involve talking.
Turned out that she'd still underestimated size in general - but at least she hadn't had to pause the proceedings to negotiate orifices. And everything had somehow defied formulas anyway.
Of course, Surya didn't exactly seem like the cuddling and breakfast in the morning sort, which left Astri wondering just how to properly extract herself from Firerose Tower. Well, once she made it out of Surya's bed.
It would be awkward, she knew - she didn't have any idea where most of her clothing had landed, though at least it would be easy to find amongst the pervasive black of the rest of the room.
Surya shifted beside her. He hadn't stopped touching her, gently, almost soothingly. Finally, he pulled back-- Astri supposed she'd need to quickly hope her legs would hold.
She didnít have to worry, though. Not with the hungry look he was giving her and the unmistakable pressure against her. Astri nodded - an encore performance would be quite enjoyable.
In fact, she hadn't had a single complaint, which was a bit of a disappointment unto itself because she'd been hoping to save one for the next time Surya threatened to arrest her.
Which, hopefully, would at least be after breakfast.
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!