"So your name's Ivory, then? Like a piano? Go on, then, play us a song!"
The man is drunk, belligerent, and Ivory could end this now, but Adamo doesn't like it when they kill civilians, and so far Rook's been the main problem but Ivory doesn't want a reputation. He prefers to be a shadow, forgotten, until he can strike swiftly and silently and leave no one to tell the tale.
"I bet he can't," pipes up another, a man closer to Ivory's age than anything, and probably here on his father's money.
"Oh, do you?" Ivory replies, because while he hates people and hates attention, he also hates being seen as inferior.
"Bastion, Tate, this kid probably don't even know what a piano is!" guffaws the first man. The second names a sum, and then they both turn and smirk at Ivory.
In the Dragon Corps, there is no place for comfort, no place for moments of rest. So they all make their way to the whorehouses to find some semblance of it in the arms of a well-paid woman, and sometimes it's about the sex but mostly it's about the change of pace. Ivory doesn't even pay for a woman, not often. He's never had that need for skin-on-skin contact, and nothing much really turns him on anymore. But tonight he smiles back at the man who's grinning like he knows it's his lucky day, and opines to end this bet a different way than usual.
The piano lives in the back of the common room, untouched tonight, though sometimes one of the women or some strange, reedy man will play it for the mood. No one stops Ivory as he makes his way to its corner, and no one even seems to notice when he sits at the bench and presses a few keys experimentally. He rather likes the sound they produce.
The tune he coaxes from the piano is improvised and exceedingly simple, but the men are too drunk to notice. In fact, they make to leave as if they've forgotten, and so Ivory leaves the piano to waylay them at the door. He ends up having to use his knife anyway, and returns inside a bit richer and with a streak of blood on his pants from where he'd cleaned his knife.
Ivory almost gets another drink and forgets about it all, but as he walks in he spots the piano again, and a twinge of curiousity fires in his brain. So he returns to the bench, and tries again. Simple patterns, experimenting now that no one is going to be getting money from him, but he finds himself entranced. He never had time for music before. He probably still doesn't.
Some of the others have heard the story when he wakes up next day, or so he surmises from Raphael and Luvander's gesticulated conversation. Ivory doesn't really pay them much attention as he leaves the Airman with a vague idea forming in his head.
He returns much later than day with a shop boy and a large, heavy crate, and Adamo sees them pass through the hallway but doesn't seem at all surprised. Word travels fast in the Airman.