Just testing out how Gavin’s little dude will move. You know, trying to give him character/ personality. BOy I haven’t animated in a long time; getting those legs to look right was like reinventing the wheel.
It’s far from perfect but this project is gonna be anything but perfect anyway lol so.
If you wanted to i'd love to see Gav using his charm and wiles to get the others lads out of trouble somehow, maybe flirting them out of some kind of mess or something?
Michael and Jeremy have been dealing
with a particularly unpleasant crew, forced into a fake civility every couple
of weeks when they go together to collect shipments or demand payments. It’s
the sort of thing Gavin would normally be involved with, at least in the early
days of establishing a relationship, but no one really wants him near this one
at all; the crew in question is incredibly unstable, more mercenaries in an
ever-shifting arrangement than anything like the close-knit loyalty of the
FAHC, and their leader is absolutely the worst of them. Some smarmy bastard
with a stupid name neither Jeremy nor Michael deign to remember – Taylor or
Tristen or Troy – he’s always intentionally rude, stopping just shy of openly
mocking the Fake’s with an arrogance that even his own people seem to despise.
would be so much easier to just kill him and move on but no matter how much
Michael and Jeremy argue Geoff won’t have it. Something about relations, how for
all Toby(?) is an asshole he’s got enough power, a nasty enough crew, that it’s
smarter to just wait them out for now, get whatever they can out of them before
it all goes south. Which is easy enough to say when Geoff’s got very little to
do with them, but nonetheless Michael and Jeremy suck it up, go to every
dealing with clenched teeth and itchy trigger fingers, and life goes on.
After one such meeting, maybe three
months after this unwilling relationship began, Michael and Jeremy drive out to
meet Gavin for drinks, Jeremy tuning out as Michael rants the whole way to the
bar because all he wants is a beer or twelve, wanted to just go to their normal
dive but Gavin had insisted on coming out to this fancy yuppie shithole. It’s still
full of crooks but mostly the rich, stuck-up variety instead of honest thugs, the
kind of place that likely only stocks pretentious brews, but Gavin offered to
pay so here they were.
Gavin’s already there when they arrive,
leaning carelessly against the bar, all fake flirty smiles and inviting angles
as he holds court, surrounded by half a dozen admirers - though two in
particular seem to be jockeying for his attention. Thing One had just turned to
growl something at Thing Two when Gavin notices his Lads coming through the
door, lazy showman grin brightening into something more genuine as he shakes
off his fans and flounces over. The group is less than pleased, more than one
throwing absolutely filthy looks that have Michael sneering nastily back while
Jeremy not-so-innocently flexes beside him, neither making any effort to hide
their weapons and quickly sending the one idiot who tried to follow into a hasty
retreat. Gavin just laughs, grabs a tray of beers before towing his boys back
towards a booth.
That should really be that, except apparently
Gavin’s not quite finished with whatever game he’s playing. It’s clear his focus
is still on Thing’s One and Two rather than the conversation happening around
him; he asks all the right questions, hums sympathetically in all the right
places, but nothing gives away Gavin’s drifting interests quite as much as the
palpable feeling of having his undivided attention. Michael asks, Gavin ignores him in favour of throwing
an all too familiar smile towards the bar, and Jeremy groans, thunking his head
against the table and wishing he’d just gone home.
It’s not genuine interest, there’s
nothing honest in the way Gavin’s eyes narrow, nothing sweet in the sharpness
of his grin, which is just as well really because Gavin certainly knows how to
pick them. Thing One is gorgeous in a poisonous kind of way, tight black
clothes and blood red lips only accentuated by the wicked looking scar curving
across her cheek. Thing Two isn’t quite so put together but is no less
imposing, big and blonde and definitely armed.
They both tracked Gavin’s movement
across the room like starving dogs, sneering and snapping at one another as
they turn back to their place at the bar where they’d obviously been sitting
together before Gavin stuck his big nose between them. Jeremy and Michael toss
each other a glance, long suffering but confident; it wouldn’t be pretty but
presuming it was two on two they could take them. That’s the grim reality of
drinking with Gavin when he’s in one of these moods; there’s no saying there will
be a fight, but you’ve always got to be ready for the moment he tires of
civilised society and pushes someone into violence just because he can.
And Gavin is definitely in a mood, openly
playing the two against each other every time he passes on his way to the bar;
brushing against one, flashing her a secret little smile, only to make eyes at
the other on his way back, the man half rising from his stool as Gavin laughs
and trots back to the booth. When Thing One ducks into the bathroom Gavin
steals her seat, leans right into Two’s space and orders them each three shots
before slinking off again. When Thing Two walks off to answer his phone Gavin’s
back to buy One a drink, something straight and dark and far more impressive
than his own neon cocktail.
So goes the rest of the hour; it’s blindingly
obvious by now, at least to anyone on the outside, that Gavin is driving
headfirst into one hell of a fight with no sign of hitting the breaks. His
admirers are getting steadily drunker, louder and nastier with one another as
they try to compete, and Gavin just keeps throwing fuel on the fire.
It finally comes to a head when, on yet
another bar run, Gavin brushes past them both and zeroes in on a third man who’d just arrived, abandoning
coy touches and heated looks for his thickest accent and most charming smile. The
three at the bar clearly knew one another, the Things had been friendly enough when
greeting the third, but the longer Gavin stands there chattering away the
cooler their interactions become, shoulders growing stiff and tight as fists
clench and voices rise.
Seemingly oblivious Gavin keeps stirring
the pot, whispering something to one, winking at another, brushing off someone’s
reaching hand only to skate fingers down the other’s arm, until eventually he
tosses his head and stalks off in a huff, triumphant little smirk sneaking
across his face as an all-out fight breaks out behind him.
Michael, who’d been growing snippier and
snippier all night, is fed up with pandering to Gavin’s nonsense when he and
Jeremy actually had to work today. He gets himself going on tirade about just
wanting to drink and forget the assholes Geoff has them dealing with, not watch
Gavin flutter his eyes at idiots and destroy their friendships for his own sick
amusement. Jeremy tries to agree wholeheartedly but Gavin interrupts him with
an exaggerated pout that quickly bubbles into laughter as he croons back, as
infuriating as ever, aw Bois, don’t I always
do right by you?
Timing as spot on as always Michael doesn’t
even get to snap a reply before an almighty crash has the three of them
spinning around just in time to see Mystery Man #3 tripping over the floored
bar stool, turning just far enough in their direction to reveal himself as none
other than Todd (Tommy? Theo?). He’s reaching into his jacket in a way that has
half the bar twitching towards their own holsters but its already over, Thing Two
grabbing at his arms while Thing One ducks in from behind, rapid jerky motion
of her arm unmistakable as she makes good use of a knife.
There’s shouting now, people moving in
every direction as even the bartenders pull out weapons but Michael and Jeremy
just turn back to Gavin, eerily synchronized in their surprise, and Gavin
smiles. Climbs to his feet and buttons his jacket as casual as you please, all C’mon lads it’s getting a bit too loud in
here innit? Like the bane of their last few months isn’t bleeding out on
the floor, like Jeremy isn’t still open mouthed in shock, like Michael isn’t choking
back laughter all vicious and brilliant, adoring affection so familiar on his grinning
Tomorrow Geoff will get a phone call.
Will hear that Travis was taken out in some kind of scuffle, died slow and
bloody in a bar just outside the city. He’ll hear that it was an inside job,
some escalation of a drunken argument between Travis’ people, that their whole
crew is in uproar and already splintering apart, not much of a threat to anyone
besides each other. Geoff will know that despite their desire Michael and
Jeremy couldn’t have had anything to do with it, death witnessed by far too
many to be a frame-up, will know that even Gavin, who’d been sniffing around
the deal ever since his precious Lads started complaining, can’t possibly have
forced Travis’ crewmates to kill him. And yet, tomorrow
Geoff will glare at the three flopped all over his couch, faux surprise at the
news doing nothing to hide the way they’re as unapologetically self-satisfied
as overgrown cats, and will know with the absolute surety of any harried parent
that somehow, in some way, this mess was absolutely their fault.
For now, though, three friends spill laughing
out of the bar, hopped up on petty vengeance and unmatched camaraderie, on the
sweet victory of their chosen reality; the night is young, the city is theirs,
and the Lad’s remain untouchable.