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au, fanfic100, fic, pryde/wisdom
095 New Year
Title: Auld Lang Syne
Prompt: 095 New Year
“I think I’m drunk a little, I think.” Kitty’s speech slurred slightly as she proper herself up against the stone wall of the bar.
“You think?” Pete snorted. “Pryde, I think that bottle of gin that you left in your wake back there wants to comment on the strong possibility that you are completely and utterly drunk.”
“Don’t forget the tequila shots.” Kitty held up a hand, wobbling unsteadily on her feet as the maneuver threw her off balance. “That stupid kid from MI-5 bet me twenty pounds that I couldn’t take him.”
“And take him you did.” Pete snickered.
“Oh, like you’re so sober.” Kitty’s finger pointed accusingly.
“Who me? I’m insulted. I will have you know, that I…I’m pissed as fuck.” Pete shrugged, and Kitty giggled.
“I can tell I’m drunk when I start giggling. I never giggle.”
“Yeah you do.”
“I do? When?”
“When you’re drunk.” Pete snorted.
“Wow.” Kitty pulled her battered pack of cigarettes out of her pocket and began the process of extracting one. It was taking a little longer than usual, due to her somewhat compromised motor skills.
“So, Pryde, what do you think of my little operation?”
Kitty shook her head in an attempt to clear it. She wanted to be able to answer with some semblance of logic, but it was going to have to fight with the booze for control of her brain. Finally, she formulated what seemed like a reasonable answer.
“I think that it’s actually sort of impressive, Pete. The staff is knowledgeable and competent, and the whole thing seems to run pretty smoothly.” She shrugged, somewhat sluggishly.
“Yeah, we do pretty well. It’s got kinks like any organization, but I’ve got good people and they’re good at their jobs. Too good, in fact.” He scowled slightly.
“What in the hell does that mean?” Kitty raised her eyebrows. “How can you be too good at intel?”
“They’ve gone and made themselves ruddy indispensable, is what they’ve done.”
“Who has?” Kitty stubbed out her cigarette.
“My assistants. I like to call them the filthy assistants. Saves me having to learn all of their names all the time.”
“Of course you do.” Kitty rolled her eyes. “I should never have bought you Transmetropolitan.”
“But you did, and I’m grateful. It is my personal opinion that Warren Ellis is a genius.”
Kitty snickered into her hand.
“You would think that. You’re both disturbed and insane older men.”
Pete stole her cigarettes out of her pocket and lit one for himself off of the end of his little finger. She shook her head. “Those are mine.”
“Possession is nine tenths.” Pete shrugged.
“Does that work in England?”
“It works everywhere.”
“Right. Okay, so your assistants—“
“I’m not committing copyright infringement for you, Wisdom. You’re on your own there.” She shook her head again, leaning it back against the brick of the wall. “Now, let me get this straight. Your assistants are too good.”
“Yes. And, I realize that I should have then all murdered in their sleep, but they have seized complete control of our daily operations and twisted procedure to their filthy will, so without them we would be helplessly mired in confusion and paperwork. They are clever traitors. They know I cannot kill them without crippling my MI-13, and so they live.”
“Wow what?” Pete flicked his cigarette butt into the gutter.
“It sort of disturbs me that it’s hot to hear you say my MI-13, but it is.” She folded her arms across her abdomen.
“What, you mean like this: my MI-13. Over which I have complete power and control? Because I am the Director? That MI-13?” He moved closer to her, propping one arm on the wall beside her head.
He leaned in and Kitty braced herself for the kiss that had been coming since she’d come to England in the first place. She knew she probably should have thought about stopping him, but, honestly, just couldn’t fight the current of alcohol just long enough to care.
“Kitty? Wisdom?” Alistaire Stuart stepped out of the pub, looking around for the missing members of the evening’s drinking ensemble.
Pete, to his credit, managed to look as though he wasn’t planning Alistaire’s demise. He did, however, drop his arm and step back from Kitty.
“What is it, Stuart?”
“It’s nearly midnight. Meggan was worried about you two missing it, and so she sent me to find you.”
Pete raised his left arm, checking his watch.
“Ah. So it is.” He turned back to Kitty. “Ready for the champagne toast, Pryde?”
“I could use another drink, yeah.” Kitty nodded.
“Right. Let’s go, then.”
The return to the interior of The Crown was met with waves, cheers, and catcalls. After all, most of the pub’s regulars were well familiar with a point in time when Pryde and Wisdom’s brief absences from the pub had meant something quite different than just a cigarette break.
“…Fucking spooks.” Pete shook his head, dropping back onto the bench where he’d been sitting before they’d gone outside. Kitty sat next to him.
“I got us champagne!” Meggan gushed, coming back to the table with a tray of flutes.
“Les has champagne?” Pete asked, craning his neck to see the bar. He couldn’t believe that the surly manager/owner of the Intel community’s favourite watering hole would even know where to buy champagne, let alone keep it in stock.
“Yep. He was handing it out for the midnight toast!” Meggan was, as usual, all smiles. She distributed the glasses. Brian nursed his club soda, and Kitty had to admit that she was proud of her old friend. He didn’t look the least bit morose about it.
A look around the group revealed them to be in much the same condition they had been when Kitty had gone outside with Pete.
Alistaire was slightly tipsy and hiding it poorly, Faiza was, of course, not drinking, Dane was making up for both of them, and Jaq was hanging all over the stone-cold sober Eric, and Meggan was slightly more giddy, but that really only made her more amusing.
The next five minutes passed easily with light conversation, happy chatter, and wit well-lubricated by alcohol.
Finally, though, it was time for the count-down.
“Ten…Nine…Eight…Seven…Six…Five…Four…Thre<!--<wbr>--><!--</wbr>-->e…Two…One! Happy New Year!”
All over the Crown there was hugging and kissing and cheering. The thoroughly intoxicated table of MI-6 agents broke out singing “Auld Lang Syne,” and the entire pub seemed compelled to join in.
Pete, however, wasn’t singing. Kitty noticed this halfway through the second verse. He was watching her. Not in a merely interested way. No, he was staring at her out of the tops of his slightly dilated eyes that seemed blue to the point of pain to her, at that moment.
“Can I help you?” Kitty cocked her head to one side, trying to evaluate his regard.
“In a myriad of ways if I remember correctly.” Pete smirked, and Kitty felt the bottom drop out of her stomach. Her brain was telling her that this was probably a really stupid idea, but she just didn’t care.
“You’re a sick man, Wisdom.” She shook her head.
“Want to make me better, Pryde?” He winked.
“Sure.” She shrugged. Stifling a giggle at the way his eyes bugged out. However, the expression of surprise was gone by the time it registered fully.
“Right then. Let’s go.” He stood, picking up his coat off of the back of the bench.
“Wait, now?” Kitty stood, too, picking up her coat, as well.
“I can’t think of a better time, Pryde. We’ll ditch this inebriated lot, go grab a cab, go back to my flat, and start a New Year’s tradition that I’ve always been particularly fond of.” He grinned, the smile nearly splitting his face.
“You know what, Wisdom?”
“What?” Pete’s grin faltered for a moment, as though he was afraid that she was going to retract her offer.
“That sounds perfect.” She took his hand and, without a word to the rest of MI-13, they disappeared through the front door of the Crown.