Martel loved to dance. Oh, not fancy dancing, like at some of the parties the bigwigs had, where everyone wore uncomfortable clothes and stayed arm's length apart. Nothing so formal and boring. Martel'd grown up under the plate, like Greed had, where it was dark and damp and smelled of sweat and garbage and mako exhaust all the time. It was a shit place to live, and everyone knew it, but most didn't have a choice. That led to more than a little anger, but since ShinRa ruled with an iron fist, people kept it under the surface. Found their own release valves. Not surprising then that even when Greed'd been a hungry street tough ten years before Martel'd been born, the popular music in the lower sectors was angry, driving, heavy on beat and best listened to loud enough to make your ears ring. Most of the songs didn't have lyrics, because the only ones that could have gone with that kind of anger would have earned the band a one-way ticket to a labor camp. But, wordless or not, they were fine to jump to, to stomp to, to scream with, and that was one thing that didn't change.
It suited most of the Pack just fine.
It was always Martel that browbeat them into going out. She hated to go out alone, and they'd all learned that it was easier to give in every now and then than to have her jittery and irritable like a junkie without her fix. Hell, Greed would go just to watch her, sinuous and strong as a snake, to slide up behind her every now and then and chuckle in her ear when she tried to elbow him or break his foot like she did all the others who tried to get too close on the packed dancefloor. She'd laugh and lean back into his arms, and they'd grind just so and maybe end up writhing together in some shadowy corner before heading to the bar to get a drink, where Law would loom companionably and Dorochet would rib them both about making out in corners like teenagers.
When the rookies joined up, things changed a bit.
Greed elbowed Dorochet. "Eh, watch. Here he goes."
Dorochet squinted out onto the dance floor. "Where...oh, I see."
"What?" Elric looked bemused, blinking owlishly in the dimness. The three empty whiskey sours on the table in front of him might have had something to do with that.
Dorochet pointed with his chin. "Kimberly's going to try to put the moves on Martel."
Elric wrinkled his nose. "I hope she guts him."
"Not on the dancefloor, but she might break a few bones," Greed assured him, tipping his bottle to his lips again. THIS was going to be interesting. Kimberly'd been watching Martel all night, either from the table or from somewhere on the dancefloor. The kid wasn't a bad dancer himself, lean and graceful and he knew how to move to the heavy beat. Certainly easy on the eyes, no doubt about it.
Wouldn't keep him from getting his foot broken if he said something stupid, but still....
Greed had to admit that the kid was smart. He'd watched and waited and finally came up to her during one of the slower songs. The kind that begged for a partner to grind against. He'd not tried to put his arm around her or even touch her (probably because he'd seen guys limping away with crushed testicles from trying that approach), just sliding in front of her with a grin.
She'd scoffed, her lips shaping, Get lost, Kimberly.
His smirk hadn't wavered, one eyebrow raised. Aw, pretty lady, don't you want to dance with me?
She'd smirked back. You can't keep up with me, boy.
Kimberly chuckled. Try me.
Her eyes had narrowed, and she stepped close, chest to chest, one foot between Kimberly's and an arm around his waist, a battlefield grin on her face. You asked for it.
Kimberly looked taken aback at the suddeness of it all but recovered his composure quickly enough. And boy, did the two of them make a pretty sight, both lean and lithe and not backing down an inch.
"Did she hurt him yet?" Elric was investigating the bottom of his last drink, poking at the ice.
"...uh...no...." Dorochet whistled through his teeth. "Damn...."
Elric's glass hit the table with a thump. "You're KIDDING. Where...oh for god's sake...." He sniffed. "Well, I suppose there's no accounting for taste."
"...damn...I thought she didn't even LIKE him...." Dorochet took a long drink off his own beer.
"The lady protests too much...or something like that. Like someone else I know." Greed slid a look over at Elric, but he wasn't paying attention, scowling out at the dancefloor like it'd insulted his mother.
Dorochet choked on his beer, coughing on a laugh. "Twenty says he tries to kiss her."
Greed knew that grind to Martel's hips. Yeah, lady protesting WAY too much.... Kimberly'd had her attention since he showed off those gloves of his. Martel had a thing for guys that could blow shit up with their almost-bare hands. "Drinks for the rest of the night says she drags him off to the back."
"Hah! You're on. Speaking of drinks, where the hell is Law?" Dorochet tried to look out over the crowd towards the bar.
"Flirting with the bartender. Oh, and you lose."
Dorochet's head whipped back to the dancefloor just in time to see Martel leading a slightly stunned-looking Kimberly off the dancefloor, and NOT towards the table. "WHAT? Aw, man...."
Greed waggled his empty beer bottle at Dorochet, and Dorochet sighed. "Right, right. You want anything, Elric?"
Elric shook his head and over it Greed mouthed 'water' at Dorochet. Dorochet grinned and saluted with a finger before stepping out into the crowd towards the bar.
The kid was still scowling out in the direction Martel and Kimberly'd left, and after a few minutes, Greed nudged Elric's leg. "Jealous?"
"Hell y--NO! Why would I be jealous of her...er...or him...oooor either of them?" Elric tried to hide his slip in his drink, but the effect was kinda ruined by his glass still being empty.
Greed stretched out his legs, his arms over his head. "Oh, maybe because they're getting some and you're not. Could make a man feel left out. And you seem awful tense."
"And you're pouting."
"I am NOT!" That got his attention, gold eyes flashing over at Greed in a TRULY becoming manner--must not molest the rookie must not molest the rookie oh c'mon Martel's doing it why can't I...?
Greed held up his hands. "Okay, okay, fine. You're not."
Elric blew out a whiskey-scented breath. "Look, I don't care who sleeps with who, really I don't, s'long as everyone's still friends and no one's knifing each other in the back and we still get the job done I don't...I don't care. Really. And I...never exsh...expected that anyway, when I joined up, so it doesn't...doesn't matter."
Well, that's more opening up than he's done since he showed up. He's LYING, but still.... "OK," Greed said. "Just making sure."
Elric dredged up a bit of a wry smile. "I'm fine. Don't worry about me. Dad."
Greed kicked his shin. "Hey, now, I'm not that old. Oh, good, beer. Thought I'd die of thirst." He took the bottle from Dorochet. "Find Law?"
"Flirting with the OTHER bartender now. Huge guy built like a truck."
That made an interesting mental image that Greed enjoyed until ten minutes later, when Martel led a dazed Kimberly back to the table, and the jokes started about wow that was quick and someone's stamina not being up to the task and then even more laughter when they realized that Kimberly was apparently so out of it he couldn't even form a snappy comeback.
"Damn, Martel, you found a way to shut him up!"
"Give the woman a medal!"
"All of you bastards," Kimberly enunciated carefully, "can go to hell."
And by the time they'd all fully taken advantage of drinks being on Dorochet and stumbled out into the sticky night, Kimberly was smirking and making snide comments, and Elric was smirking right back at him, and Martel was blissed and loose-limbed, and Law was smug and a bit tipsy, and Dorochet was mostly sober and laughing at them all.
It was, Greed decided, a good night, all around.