ray emaes


“This doesn’t seem fair.”

“You only say that because you’re losing,” said Ema. She took a sip of her beer and grinned cheekily. “Come on, take it off.”

“If you had said that in any other context, fraulein,” said Klavier, obediently reaching down to the hem of his shirt and pulling the whole thing over his head, “I would be happy to oblige.” He shook his head to free his hair and sat back down. “But as I am losing only because of cheating, I am slightly put out.”

“You’re the one who’s cheating,” Athena said, giggling. “Who told you to wear an undershirt?”

Klavier glanced down at his white tank top. “It wasn’t as though I was planning to play strip poker tonight, fraulein Cykes.”

“What kind of rockstar wears an undershirt?” Athena went on, muttering as she reached in to shuffle the deck. “We already had to go through the shoes and the socks and the jacket….”

Klavier raised an eyebrow and helped himself to another drink.

Ema waved her own glass. “What’re you complaining for anyway, fop? You’re not the only one who’s lost a few rounds, y'know.” She chugged the rest of her glass and held it out, expectantly waiting for a refill.

Klavier glanced at her as he poured in more beer from the pitcher. In her losing hands she had, oddly enough, elected to remove her blouse before her lab coat, slipping the white garment back on over her bra after paying her dues. She left it unbuttoned, and he did his best not to seem like he was gawking. Ema didn’t appear to notice, perhaps too inebriated to really care.

The sound of a door closing down the hall made him look up again. Apollo was wiping his hands on his pants as he returned from the restroom, still completely clothed, with not even his jacket or shoes removed.

“Ah,” said Klavier. “Herr Cheater himself is back.”

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