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Gavin gasped and spluttered as he broke the surface, shaking his head to dislodge the wet hair that was plastered to his forehead and dripping water into his eyes.

His ears were ringing, making it impossible to hear anything beyond a few muffled noises, and it took Gavin’s burning eyes a few blinks to be able to identify the black shape above his head as the underside of a pier.

“Ryan?” He croaked, frantically looking around once he realized the other man hadn’t come up yet.

The ocean was black beneath him and Gavin could barely make out the white tips of his sneakers.

Taking a deep breath, he dove under.


“Heist!” Geoff shouted, slamming a map of the city onto the table and causing Gavin, who had been dozing on the couch, to fall onto the floor with a loud squeak.

One at a time, the others came trickling in. Michael, Jack, and Ray, who had his nose buried in his 3DS, quickly stepped over Gavin and claimed the couch for themselves as Geoff sat down in one of the armchairs.

Ryan arrived last, wiping oil off of his hands with a rag and quickly sitting in the last chair before Gavin could. With a huff, Gavin perched on the arm of the leather chair, pushing his butt against Ryan’s arm in retaliation for stealing the last chair. He overbalanced slightly and nearly toppled into Ryan’s lap, prompting a short bark of crowing laughter from the other man.

“Oh shut it,” Gavin grumbled, repositioning himself on the arm more carefully this time.

Up close as he was, he could see there was a smudge of oil over Ryan’s brow from where he must have rubbed at his temple while working on his motorcycle. Gavin thumbed it away with the edge of his sleeve.

“If you’re done dicking around, Gav?” Geoff said, with an air of long-suffering resignation.

Gavin jumped up, displeased to realize that even Ray had looked up from his game to watch him.

“So. Heist?” Jack asked, taking mercy on Gavin. 

“Heist.” Geoff nodded enthusiastically. “I thought it’s been way too long since we’ve robbed something and Lindsay brought me some wonderful information today. Tomorrow, at 10 pm, we’re gonna rob,” he slammed a marker onto a point on the map rather dramatically, “the casino.”

Silence fell around the table and Geoff’s smirk was met with five pairs of furrowed eyebrows.

“You’re nuts,” Michael said.

“No, this is one of my best plans ever, trust me!”

“Yeah, like the one last month where Ray got shot?” Ryan deadpanned.

“Or the one with the tank?” Ray added.

“Or the one where we had the tiger from the zoo and then it ate-”

“No, no, Gavin, this plan’s nothing like those. This one will definitely work.”

“It’s just- you want us to break into the casino’s vault, during opening hours, with no more time to prepare than about a day?” Jack asked.

“That’s the beauty of this plan - we don’t have to break into the vault. The money’s being brought out to us.”

“How do you mean?” Ryan said, articulating everyone else’s thoughts.

“Tomorrow, at 10 pm, an armored truck will arrive at the casino’s back door to pick up a shitload of money and drive it to the bank. There’ll be few security to keep the entire thing more hidden, but we know about it anyway, thanks to Lindsay. The plan is easy as dicks. Gavin,” he pointed towards the younger man, “I need you to run distraction on this one. Security may be light at the back door, but you can bet your ass there’ll be a bunch of them watching the cameras like hawks. You go in the front and create a ruckus of some kind, get some of them off our backs.”

Gavin nodded slowly. “I could make it look like I’m cheating. Pretend I’m counting cards, maybe?”

Muffled laughter resounded from around the table and Michael shook his head with a grin. “No offense, buddy, but there’s no way they’d ever think you’re counting cards.”  

“But Micoo!” Gavin pouted.

Ryan patted him on the knee consolingly, trying to smother a laugh himself. “It wouldn’t be the best option anyway: there’s no way to tell when they’d catch on to you and it’d be too easy to lead you off the floor quietly,” Ryan added. “Also you have to actually be counting cards to win often enough to make it seem like you’re counting cards.”

“Just go for drunk and disorderly or something, start a fight maybe. Shouldn’t be too hard for you to fake,” Michael added, grinning, and Gavin stuck his tongue out at him.

”Nothing big enough that they’ll call the cops though, we’d rather have to deal with them later. The rest of us will be waiting at the back of the casino, just out of sight of the cameras. Soon as the armored truck rolls up, we take out the people in the front. Ray?”

The younger man visibly perked up. “Teargas?”

Geoff nodded. “Teargas. We’ll shoot in a window and you get to throw a can inside. If there’s someone in the back as well they’ll get the same treatment. After that I’ll need you, Ryan, and Michael to deal with the casino’s people. Be as fast and efficient as possible. Jack, you and I pack the money into a bunch of black bags that Caleb got for us.”

“Getaway by car then?” Jack inquired, but Geoff shook his head.

“Soon as security is onto us, you slip out as quietly as possible, Gavin. Make your way over here,” he tapped a finger onto a small pier near the casino, “and listen to the police scanner. If they’re two minutes out and we’re still packing up money, you alert us that we should haul ass. We get to the pier as well and split into three groups of two people each.”

“Why?” Gavin looked confused.

“Because,” Geoff smirked, “there will be three beautiful boats waiting for us. Everyone grabs a bag and gets on and we take off into different directions. Cop cars should be coming in at about that time: they’ll see six people with six bags and won’t have a clue if everyone has money or if it's all on one boat.”

“So we won’t have a car chase with the cops to worry about. They’ll sure as hell send boats after us though.” Ryan threw into the room, the others nodding in agreement.

“Sure as dicks, even. But there won’t be as many boats as there could be cars, and while the cops may have guns, we have guns and sticky bombs. I wager there’ll be about two cop boats to one of ours, three at the most. We blow the fuckers to hell, get on land at different places and meet at the pub for drinks. Easy enough, right?”

Nods and noises of agreement came from the others and Geoff sat back in his chair with a satisfied smirk.



From his hiding point between a few cars of the casino’s employees, Ryan had no problems watching Michael and Ray as they clamped their hands over their mouths to stop themselves from outright laughing. Judging by the muffled sounds from behind Ryan, Jack and Geoff weren’t faring much better.

For the past five minutes they had been listening to Gavin, in a very convincingly drunk and slurred drawl, insult the casino, its employees, the mayor, Nicolas Cage, and the USA in general.

“You know what’s wrong with this bloody country? You don’t have Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry makes everything better,” he said in a wistful, faraway voice.

“Sir?” The timid voice of an employee that had been trying to stop his tirade for a while now was audible over their earpieces.

“No, no, no, no. You don’t understand. You’ve just got bloody stupid people here. Smegpots, all of them. And where the hell is your queen?” Gavin appeared to be getting enraged now and Ryan could picture him wildly flailing his skinny limbs about.

“Excuse me, sir.” A much deeper voice joined the conversation: Gavin had caught the attention of security. “We must ask you to leave the building.”

“No!” A thud and a groan as Gavin presumably fell off of his chair. “You can’t tell me what to do, you mingey smegma! You’re not the queen!”

“Sir, please. You’re disturbing the other guests.”

“And we’ll never be rooyaaaaals!”

“Brilliant, Gav,” Geoff snickered. “Just a bit longer. Guys, the truck’s here.”

They sobered up instantly. All of their gazes were glued to the truck as it slowly drove past and stopped in front of the back entrance of the casino.

“Go!” Geoff whispered and Ryan took aim with his assault rifle as Michael and Ray rushed across the small parking lot. The truck’s window was cracked within seconds and the guards inside hardly had time to shout before Ray launched a tear gas grenade at them, the cab of the truck filling with yellowish smoke instantly.

Shouts of alarm sounded from the back door and Ryan moved to Michael and Ray as they stepped in, taking down the few security people that came at them and barely paying any attention to the cowering employee in the corner as three more guards burst into the room and were instantly shot down.

“We’re clear for the moment, Geoff.” Michael informed the two men still waiting outside.

Jack and Geoff rushed inside just as Ryan walked up to the employee who seemed to be on the verge of having a heart attack.

“The key, if you would.” He said in his most monotone voice, staring the guy down through the holes of his skull mask.

With shaky, sweaty fingers, the man pulled the keys to the wheeled metal box out of his pocket and held them up to him. Ryan took them wordlessly and tossed them to Jack, who caught the keys one-handed and unlocked the lid at the top of the large box without losing a second of their time.

Ryan knocked the guy out with the butt of his rifle and joined Michael and Ray at the door that led to the casino as Geoff and Jack quickly packed bundles of money into a row of black sports bags.

“Security just got alerted,” Gavin’s low voice came over the comm, “you’ll have company in a few moments.”

“Alright,” Geoff nodded as he continued packing, “get to the pier and watch the scanner.”

The next two minutes went by in relative silence. The money got divided into the bags by Jack and Geoff, while the three others picked out anybody who even dared to poke their head into the hallway that lead up to the back door.

“Done,” Jack announced at the same time that Gavin spoke up again. “Coppers incoming.”

“Let’s make like a dick and fuck off,” Geoff said, Michael and Ray snorting with laughter. They hefted the bags and quickly dashed off into the brisk night air. The sprint from casino to pier took less than a minute and Gavin was waiting for them with a wide grin, having already claimed a dark green speed boat for himself.

“We alright?” He asked and grunted as Ryan threw a bag into his arms which he quickly dumped on a seat to catch a second bag.

“Everything’s going as smooth as a baby’s ass,” Ray commented drily, checking his rifle’s ammunition in the dark brown boat he and Geoff had claimed for themselves.

“Michael, you good with the money?” Geoff asked and the younger man answered with a grumbled ‘Yeah, yeah’.

The familiar wailing of sirens made its way up the street and everyone still on the pier quickly untied the lines and jumped into their respective boats.

“Gav, scanner!” Geoff called and Gavin tossed the small box to the boat on the far right just as the cops’ cars screeched to a halt at the end of the pier. Ryan trained his rifle on the cars as Gavin started the boat’s motor, Jack and Ray doing the same in their boats. They pulled away just as two cops came running up the pier, Geoff waving at them with a giant grin on his face.

They separated into different directions quickly and heard the crackle of the police scanner over Geoff’s comm. “We need water support immediately, and as much as we have. The casino was right: it’s Ramsey’s crew, all six of them. They’ve separated onto three boats and they all had bags - we don’t know where the money is. Ramsey himself is in a brown boat going north and Haywood is going south in a dark green one. If the money isn’t split up between them all, chances are it’s with either of those two.”

Gavin groaned as Ryan laughed. “Maybe I shouldn’t have partnered up with you, now we’ll have more coppers on us than the others.”

Ryan lightly snipped him on the nose. “Well that’s the plan. Keep them off Michael.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. How many stickies do we have?”

“Five. Should be enough.” He looked around. So far, no cop boats were to be seen. “Anybody got cops yet?”

“First boat is pulling up - you shoot, I’ll drive, Ray?” Geoff answered first. Ray mumbled something back and Ryan figured he’d leave them to it. They’d tell them if anything unplanned happened.

“Nothing here yet,” Jack replied, laughing as his passenger angrily wiped some water off of his glasses.

“Ryan,” Gavin said, pulling on the sleeve of Ryan’s leather jacket and pointing towards the water behind them. Two blue lights, flashing at regular intervals, were steadily coming closer towards them.

“We’ve got two,” Ryan informed the others and turned towards the small bag they had previously stashed the bombs in, checking to see they were safely stored away. So far the plan had been going smoothly: a bomb getting blown up prematurely by some cop’s lucky bullet would be exactly the kind of bad luck they tended to have on some heists.

The low cracks of Ray’s sniper rifle shooting and Geoff’s laughter whenever it hit came across his earpiece and Ryan decided to tune them out as he hefted his assault rifle up, pointing it towards the approaching boats. Gavin moved closer to him, standing directly by the sticky bombs as he pulled his gun, pointing it towards the ground for now as he looked back and forth from where he was driving to the police boats behind them.

Ryan looked at him and saw a hint of concern in the furrow of his eyebrows as Gavin looked out at the approaching boats.

“Y’know, if you hold it like that,” he began, nodding towards the gun, “you’ll end up shooting a hole in the boat and we’ll go down like a popped dinghy.”

Gavin looked at him with disbelief written across his face, until a smile slowly spread on his cheeks. “You know how everyone says you’re like a crazy murdering psychopath?”

“It’s come to my attention.”

“I mean you are, kind of. But really, you’re just a huge dork,” Gavin grinned, turning around to watch if they were still on course.

“I don’t know whether to feel insulted or flattered,” Ryan replied honestly and Gavin shrugged.

“Both, probably.”

Ryan shook his head with a smirk, then turned towards the police boats, which were now close enough to start the usual “surrender or die” spiel via megaphone. He rolled his eyes, took aim and shot megaphone cop once they were close enough.

“Gavin, bomb!” He held out his hand and was rewarded with a sticky bomb a second later. Using the chaos that had ensued on the one boat due to the shot cop, he lobbed the bomb at it, satisfied when it stuck to the hull with a dull clang.

Instead of a central detonator that they tended to use whenever they had to blow up something big, each bomb had its own detonator this time, but the boats weren’t close enough to each other and he would rather blow up two at the same time. Firing a few shots into the night air that were nowhere close to hitting anyone, he used the distraction to throw another sticky bomb at the second boat, but it hit the rim and bounced uselessly into the water.

What it did do, however, was alert the cops to their plan.

“They’re throwing explosives!” A woman on the boat shouted and Ryan groaned.

“Pick up some speed, Gavin!” His answer came in the form of wind whipping faster at his clothes and after they had gotten further away from both boats, Ryan detonated the first bomb.

The explosion brought a satisfied smirk to his face, watching as the boat got first thrown back and then ripped in half, people screaming as they were being burned, dumped into the water or simply thrown further away.

“Woah! Someone blow one of them up?” Michael’s voice came over the comm.

“Yeah,” Gavin grinned at him, “Ryan sank a boat.”

Ryan grinned back. He had a feeling that Gavin could usually tell what expression he wore, even with the mask. “Only got the one boat left now, so we’ll-”

He broke off with a groan as he saw a third boat approaching in the distance.

“Scratch that, there’s another one incoming. This’ll be annoying.”

Gavin huffed, then turned back around to look where he was steering the boat. Ryan could physically feel him freeze on the spot next to him.

“Uuh- Ryan?” His voice could be described as panicky at best.

Even before he turned around, he heard it. A low and rhythmic swishing noise, like long thin blades cutting through air at a very high speed.

“Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

A string of concerned questions came from the others, but Ryan and Gavin could only stand still and stare at the sky for a moment before the dam burst.

“A chopper! The fucking cops brought in a fucking chopper!” He shouted until he realized that it wasn’t exactly conducive to calming down Gavin, who had turned a bit pale as he watched the helicopter closing in on them rapidly.

There was a stunned silence for a moment. Boats they could handle, but a helicopter was undeniably on a whole other level. Then Ryan took action.

“Gavin!” He clasped a bony shoulder with one hand, thumb reassuringly pressing into his shoulder blade. He waited until the younger man looked him in the eyes, trying to convey as much calm as he possibly could. “I need you to bring us closer to the coast. Now.”

Gavin swallowed heavily, but, to Ryan’s relief, nodded resolutely and turned around to change their course.

Ryan looked at the boats still following them and the helicopter coming at them. They should be there at about the same time. He stuck two of the remaining bombs to the hull of their own boat and kept the third in his hand.

“Ryan?” Geoff’s voice came over the comm. He sounded serious in the way that Geoff only did when he was trying to mask his concern.

“We’ll be fine, I’ve got an idea. Carry on with the plan.” He adopted his best no-nonsense tone and could practically see Geoff giving a sharp nod in reply as a low ‘See you later’ came across the comm before it turned silent once more, everyone waiting with bated breath as the boats and chopper closed in on Gavin and Ryan.

“Hey Gavin,” he shouted as the chopper was almost directly above them, “you can swim, right?”

Gavin snorted and Ryan smirked when he realized that the younger man was surprisingly relaxed. “Of course I can, you knob.”

“Good,” he said, threw the last bomb onto the belly of the chopper and flipped the switches for all three bombs, which were set to three seconds until detonation.

Then he turned around and tackled Gavin into the water.




Gavin had caught up to Ryan’s plan just in time to take a deep breath before they hit the cold water.

Ryan held on to him even underwater, pressing him close with one strong arm around his back and one hand settled at his neck. Gavin grabbed on to Ryan’s leather jacket. It was of no use, however. 

Gavin could only describe the sensation of first sinking, then being pressed further underwater by the explosion of their own boat, only to be pressed even further down as the helicopter went up in a ball of flame, as really, really odd.

By the first explosion, they had already lost their grip on one another. The second one pushed them so far away from each other that Gavin could no longer see Ryan in the black water. His feet scraped against something and Gavin realized that it was the ground, stones covered in layers of algae. They must have gotten closer to the coast than they had realized.

His lungs were burning, the sheer force of the explosion combined with the cold water leading him to gasp out most of the air in his lungs. He settled his feet against the slick stones as best he could and pushed upwards, further and further, guided by the orange light of burning debris.

Gavin gasped and spluttered as he broke the surface, shaking his head to dislodge the wet hair that was plastered to his forehead and dripping water into his eyes. He greedily gulped down air, coughing when he accidentally swallowed some salt water with it.

His ears were ringing, making it impossible to hear anything beyond a few muffled noises, and it took Gavin’s burning eyes a few blinks to be able to identify the black shape above his head as the underside of a pier. Some distance to his right were the burning pieces of three boats and one chopper. He could see a few bodies drifting by the debris, but he didn’t care if they were dead or alive.

“Ryan?” He croaked, throat raw from the briny water, frantically looking around once he realized the other man had not come up yet. They couldn’t have been thrown that far apart.

The ocean was dark beneath him and Gavin could barely make out the white tips of his sneakers.

Taking a deep breath, he dove back under.

For a few seconds, he could see nothing but an almost complete darkness. Then a few pieces of debris shifted and the area under the pier was illuminated by a faint orange glow and thank god-

There was Ryan, at the bottom of the pier. Alive, as he was moving around quite a lot, but somehow, somehow he wasn’t coming up and Gavin realized he wasn’t just moving, he was struggling, pulling on something at his foot. Ryan was stuck and shit, shit, he was starting to move slower, he was drowning.

Gavin dove down. With a few strong strokes, he was in front of Ryan, who didn’t even seem to see him as his struggles were getting more and more sluggish.

He reached out, fingers grasping the edge of Ryan’s mask and pulling it off in one move, letting it drift off into the murky water. This finally seemed to alert Ryan to his presence and he looked at Gavin, eyes half-lidded and slowly falling closed.

Gavin clasped Ryan’s face, one hand threading through the hair at his neck and the other holding onto his chin. He slotted their lips together, opening them just the tiniest bit and pushed his air into Ryan’s mouth.

The reaction was instant. Ryan’s eyes flew open, finally taking in Gavin in front of him, and his hand moved up to clasp at his shoulder, his collar, his face. An indescribable combination of emotions crossed his face as he watched Gavin’s eyes staring into his own.

Gavin gave him as much air as he could and then reluctantly let go of Ryan’s face to try and help him free his foot, but Ryan, as it seemed, had other plans. He grabbed Gavin’s collar and pulled him back in, pulled their mouths together once more and kissed Gavin. A proper kiss, not the life-saving sort that Gavin had just given him and Gavin could practically feel Ryan’s frustration at not being able to open his mouth.

A hand came up to cup his face, a rough thumb stroking across his cheek and then Ryan let go of him.

It couldn’t have been longer than a second, but it felt much, much longer.

Gavin shook off his daze, focussing back on the task at hand. Ryan’s foot had gotten caught in a slick piece of rope that had become unbound from one of the wooden poles of the pier. In trying to swim upward, the rope had only become tighter around his ankle and had effectively trapped him. With a few determined yanks, the rope came loose and Ryan drifted upwards, pulling at Gavin’s arm and they swam towards the surface as quick as they could, both sets of lungs burning.

The second time he broke the surface, Gavin’s ears were no longer ringing, but he was still frantically gasping for air, burning eyes searching out Ryan, who was treading water right next to him and pushing his hair out of his face.

“You okay?” They croaked at the same time, grinning and laughing as they looked the other over, although their laughing was a lot more coughing than anything else.

Suddenly Gavin became aware of muffled noises in his ear and he laid his head to the side to shake the water out. With a dull plopping sound, the muffled noises turned into several voices all frantically speaking over each other. He looked at Ryan, who had apparently made the same discovery as him.

“Guys?” Ryan rasped in what was apparently the loudest voice he could manage at the moment.

Every single person fell quiet and then, a very hopeful Jack spoke up. “Ryan?”

“Yeah,” he coughed, “got Gav here, too. How’s things?”

Before Jack could answer, Geoff’s voice shouted through everyone’s earpiece. “THINGS? HOW’S THINGS? I’ll tell you how it is, you guys goddamn vanished from every way we could possibly make contact with you, then all we hear is gurgling and blubbering and water and then you-”

Gavin was staring at Ryan, ignoring Geoff’s tirade. Ryan was looking back at him in what Gavin assumed was an equally mesmerized way, thinking the same exact thought, thinking I cannot fucking believe we’re alive right now.

Then Gavin grabbed for Ryan’s jacket, pulling him in and slotting their lips together for the third time in about as many minutes. It wasn’t ideal because the water was cold as dicks and they were still both catching their breath and their very wet lips were making kind of loud smacking sounds and whoops- “and oh my god are we listening to you making out right now are you fucking kidding me.”

“Look Geoff,” Gavin rasped as he appeared to have a bit more voice left than Ryan. “We’re kind of wet and really cold and this all,” he looked to the side, giant pieces of burning debris still floating around, “is kind of a lot to explain. Let’s just meet up at the pub, yeah.”

“We might take a bit longer,” Ryan added.

Jack let out a huff of relieved laughter. “We’re docking right now, should be there in about 15 minutes.”

“Yeah, we’re almost at the dock, too,” Ray said.

“Good,” Michael started, “because I’ve been sitting in this goddamn pub with Lindsay for half an hour, had the money stashed even longer and all I’ve been doing is drinking and listening to you people almost die about a thousand times so now get your goddamn asses here or I swear to god I’ll drag you to the pub myself.”

“Someone’s pissy they were left out of the action,” Kdin remarked.



“Here’s the thing though: The money never actually leaves the land,” Geoff revealed with a proud smirk.

“Come again?” Michael looked at Geoff as if he’d gone crazy.

“You, Michael, will be an absolute key player in this part of the heist. You see, the police know the six of us. They have a vague idea that there’s probably more people working for our crew, but we’re the ones that do heists. If they know where the six of us are, they won’t pay attention to anything else. Like, say, a car innocently parked a street from the casino.”

“You’ve lost me,” Jack admitted.

“Look, we take about nine, maybe ten bags. Only two or three actually get filled with the money, the rest we’ll just fill with bubble wrap or something. Just after we leave the casino, four of us will head to the pier with the empty bags,” he pointed at the corresponding parts on the map once more, “Michael however will head one street over with the actual money, to a car in which Kdin will be waiting. You swap places. Kdin joins us at the pier and we wait for the cops to arrive and see us get away, all six of us. At night, with a beanie, they will easily confuse Kdin with you.”

“And then Michael just… drives away with the money,” Ryan concluded.

“Exactly. You put the money in the car and wait until the cops have seen us drive off in the boats and have dispersed, to talk to the people in the casino or get back to the station or whatever they do. Then you drive off, stash the money, and chances are you’ll be at the pub before any of us. Easiest way to secure the goods ever,” Geoff smirked proudly.

“I don’t know,” Michael huffed, folding his arms over his chest.

“Aww, you just dislike it because you don’t get to ride in a boat,” Gavin teased and Michael glared at him.

“Well, get over it,” Geoff said, “because that’s the plan. Now scram, kids, I gotta make some calls about some boats.”




“Fucking finally,” Michael grinned and signaled the bartender to get drinks for the newly arrived Jack and Kdin.

Next to him, Lindsay slammed an upturned shot glass onto the table, loudly proclaiming her victory.

“No, no, no, no, that does not count. I was distracted!” Michael protested, but Lindsay just shook her head and grinned.

“You mean you let yourself get distracted,” she held out her hand with a raised eyebrow and Michael grumbled, searching through his wallet and slapping a fifty dollar bill onto Lindsay’s hand.

“So,” he sighed, “things seemed to be going pretty smooth for you guys.”

“Yeah, we only had the one boat,” Kdin nodded.

“That’s because they were all out for Ryan’s ass,” Geoff stepped up beside him, clapping a hand onto Jack’s shoulder and grinning at everybody.

“Yeah,” Ray flopped into the seat next to Michael, “so was Gavin.”

Geoff snorted into his glass, shaking his head. “You people are gonna be the death of me one day.”

“Same,” Ray threw back, expertly dodging the coaster Geoff threw at him.

“So,” Jack began, “looks like Gavin and Ryan are gonna be a while. Anyone fancy a game of cards?” He pulled out a beat-up deck of cards, sliding it into the middle of the table.

“Well, we do have some new money to gamble away,” Geoff grinned and pulled up two more chairs for Kdin and himself.

After some debate they settled on Mau Mau, Michael quickly getting on everyone’s bad side by playing one trick card after another and causing Geoff to unleash his rather impressive vocabulary of swear words.

Lindsay called Jack out on cheating by slipping a card from his hand into his sleeve occasionally, after which it was collectively decided that Jack had to start every round with two extra cards - not that it mattered, as Ray was the guy that would very, very quietly get rid of all of his cards only to throw the last one down and reveal it as a trick card.

After several rounds of cards and drinks, Gavin and Ryan finally entered the pub, the former of the two loudly complaining to the other about his still-damp and very dishevelled hair.

They had changed out of their heist clothes and the wild state of their hair as well as the redness of their lips left little question as to what exactly Ryan and Gavin had been up to.

“Gross,” Ray muttered goodnaturedly while Lindsay leaned across the table to enthusiastically fistbump Ryan.

Gavin was pulling on the hem of his dark blue shirt. It hung on his lanky frame very loosely, the long sleeves falling over his fingertips and the loose neckline revealing a collarbone with a dark bruise on it. His jeans appeared to be held up solely by his belt.

“What, you’re late by over an hour but still didn’t have time to swing by Gav’s and pick up some of his own clothes?” Michael asked.

Ryan and Gavin looked at each other, then back at Michael.

“No,” they said in unison.