“Long time no see,” Griffon said, gifting Geoff with a smirk as he sat on the barstool next to her.
"And still I come running like a puppy as soon as you called." He signaled the bartender for a whisky and a refill of Griffon's drink.
"Of course you did. You missed me."
"You know me - I never could lie to you," he smiled. "Though I have a feeling this isn't just a social call."
Griffon laughed. "I'm happy to see you, too."
She looked as incredible as ever, blond hair tied back in a messy pony tail and the hint of a new tattoo peeking out from her shirt collar. But there was a wearied tension in her face that spoke of the kind of exhaustion only sudden and extended stress could leave on a person.
"Everything alright, Griffon?"
"I never could lie to you," she echoed. Griffon smiled and thanked the bartender as he put their drinks down in front of them. "I know you guys don't really take on jobs, but I can guarantee a good pay and that it'll be worth your while. Interested?"
"We've officially been hired, assholes."
Michael frowned. "Since when are we up for hire?"
"Since Griffon‘s asking," Geoff said to a chorus of Aahs from the table, "and since this dickbag kidnapped her friend's five-year-old."
The mood instantly turned serious. They had been in this game for quite some time and they'd all done things that would be considered questionable at best, but if there was one rule they all agreed to, this was it:
"You don't fucking mess with kids," Ryan said darkly.
"Thankfully, the kid's back with their family, but that dirtbag wanted something pretty fucking important in exchange. Griffon's friend’s offered a good bit of money for its return."
"Wait- you're not actually gonna make them pay, are you?" Jack asked incredulously.
"Fuck no. Hell, we'll throw in a freebie assassination. The fucker took a kid."
"So what's the plan then?" Ray inquired.
"I'm glad you asked. This here," he threw a picture of a guy with a cocky smirk and slicked back hair onto the table, "is our dirtbag, otherwise known as Travis Seymour."
"Christ, he looks like a right slimy prick, doesn't he?" Gavin said, pulling a face. Geoff smirked at him.
“Sounds like it, too. What kind of a fucking douchey-ass name is Travis Seymour?” Michael asked.
"The douchiest of them all, my friend. Anyway, about a week ago, he returned the kid in exchange for some very important records. Griffon’s friend is a pretty well-known contractor that tends to do business on both sides of the law - meaning her records include sells and places of a few pretty important names in this city’s criminal crowd.” Geoff nodded as Jack sucked in a sharp breath.
“Yeah, this guy’s an idiot, but he’s got something pretty big with this. We really ought to thank Griffon for bringing this to our attention since the records even include our own downtown hide-out. And now we're gonna get them back.” He smiled, stroking a hand across his stubbly chin. “Travis, the girls were nice enough to find out for me, lives in a fuck ugly wanna-be villa on the outskirts of town. With the amount of security he’s got, there’s no doubt the data is in that house. We’ll move Friday evening,” Geoff relayed the basics of their plan.
“What amount are we talking here exactly?” Jack seemed dubious.
“Twenty-something guards, we don’t have any exact numbers.”
Ray let out a low whistle, raising his eyebrows. “That’s not a small number, even with six guys to go up against them.”
“Four, actually,” Geoff corrected, “two of us need to keep an eye on Travis himself, who is conveniently out at his favourite club every Friday evening.”
“Oh please no,” Ray groaned, much to everyone’s amusement.
“It’s not you, Ray, don’t worry. Obviously we’ll send in Gavin,” Gavin let out a delighted whoop, “because he’s our resident British twink and will fit right in. And then I was thinking...” Geoff’s eyes swept around the table slowly, stopping on Ryan.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding,” the man groaned, letting his head fall against the back of his seat. Jack breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Sorry, Ry, but you’re handsome as fuck. A true crowd-pleaser, if you will.” Geoff smirked, Ray nodding along seriously.
“Well now I feel somewhat offended,” Michael pouted playfully, but Geoff just winked at him.
“Don’t you worry your pretty little face, the only reason you’re not on club duty is because you’re on explosions duty.”
“Apology accepted, boss,” Michael grinned.
“So while Gavin and Ryan are keeping an eye on this little bag of dicks, the rest of us are gonna blast our way through his place. He might have hired a good amount of security, but Travis is not as rich as he likes to pretend. Meaning that his guys are many but they’re nowhere near being decent at their job. When I had Meg and Barb looking for a pattern in the security, they were puzzled for three days by the incredibly clever and unpredictable actions of the guys until they realized there is no fucking pattern,” Geoff laughed.
“What- seriously?” Jack chuckled disbelievingly as Geoff nodded.
“Basically we go in, Michael can blast any big groups with some nice grenades and stickies, and we take out the rest via guns, because these guys are fucking idiots. I asked Lindsay to go through the purchases he made in the last few months and she pointed out an order he put in for a safe. Against all evidence I think Travis might be smart enough not to keep any digital copies on drives that are hooked up to a network, so it should all be in there.”
“You need a safe cracker for that?” Jack asked.
“Nah, Michael can just blast it.” Geoff waved him off. “Ask Linds to send you the make and model so you can prepare a charge for that. Soon as we have the data, Gavin and Ryan can get to their actual part.”
Ryan sat up straighter, decidedly more interested in what Geoff had to say now.
“I’ll need you to make sure that there’s no record that you were in that club, so kill the cameras, then take Travis out back and take care of him,” Geoff finished drily.
"See, now I don’t mind being on club duty so much,” Ryan smirked.
“I had a feeling you’d say that,” Geoff smirked back at him. “If everyone’s clear on their part then, I have a glass of whiskey to attend to.” He clapped a hand on the table as he stood and disappeared in the direction of the kitchen.
Gavin grinned at Ryan. “So we’re on club duty, huh.”
Ryan shook his head, but smiled as he stood up. “Don’t remind me. I fucking hate club music.”
He’d gotten a slight taste of the terrible wall of noise masquerading as music over Gavin’s earpiece and from the outside already, but as Ryan entered the club his dislike for the cacophony blaring from the speakers all around increased tenfold and he couldn’t help but scrunch his nose slightly.
A laugh sounded over his comm. “Don’t like what you hear, Ryan?” Gavin asked, apparently indifferent to the noise around him.
“Not particularly, no,” he replied and walked up to the bar to get himself a beer. Keeping a clear head was a standard rule on any heist, but if he walked around without any kind of drink he would stick out like a sore thumb.
“Yeah, see, this is why I really don’t envy you right now,” Ray cheerily informed him.
“I’m starting to reconsider my alliance with this crew as well,” Ryan replied darkly, ignoring Geoff’s appalled scoff.
As he waited for the bartender, the guy next to Ryan was trying and failing to subtly mix a white powder into one of the two drinks standing in front of him. Ryan clenched his teeth in anger, but settled for quickly swapping the drinks as the guy turned to throw a cocky wave at a girl waiting for him. Watching him walk towards her, Ryan smirked as the idiot took a sip of his own spiked drink.
“White knight, huh,” Gavin said over the comm and Ryan threw a casual glance around to spot Gavin leaning on a table closer to the dance floor, sipping on a bright green cocktail of some kind, “looking pretty good there.”
Ryan had not so politely declined any offers from Lindsay or Gavin to help him pick out an outfit and had gone with a classic - well-fitting jeans and a white shirt that he knew hugged his biceps in just the right way and would look good in the club lights.
“Not too bad yourself,” Ryan said as he picked up his beer. Gavin had opted for a surprisingly simple outfit as well, wearing a grey henley that was at least two sizes too small and dark denim trousers that left little to the imagination.
“If they’re going to flirt the entire time can we just cut off their feed, please?” Michael pleaded and was immediately shut down by Jack and Geoff, much to Gavin’s apparent amusement.
“Anyway, our guy is in the right corner booth touching up some poor bird,” Gavin said and kept studying the dance floor as Ryan walked past him and settled into a booth two spaces away from their mark. They had agreed that it was more beneficial for them to start out pretending that they didn’t know each other.
For some reason Travis decided to look up just as Ryan took a closer look at him and they locked eyes for a moment before Ryan let his gaze wander past him, groaning internally. Drawing attention to himself this early on was not exactly a good thing. He kept his eyes on the dance floor, pretending to be interested in watching the various people in the crowd move around.
He glanced at Travis occasionally, but it was clear that he wasn’t the only one sneaking looks as the other man appeared be looking into his direction every so often.
Ryan kept eye contact as their mark looked at him once again. If he looked away immediately, the fact that he was observing him would be just that much more obvious. Maybe Travis would mistake it as Ryan expressing interest in him, which was definitely not part of the plan, but would be preferable to being discovered.
Travis' eyebrows furrowed in an unattractive manner and Ryan made sure to lift his beer to his lips ever so casually.
"I might've been made. Should I pull out?" He muttered before taking a slow sip, just loud enough for the rest of the crew to hear him over the music.
"Nah," Gavin replied before anyone else could. Years of being in this business had taught Ryan not to flinch as long fingers settled onto his shoulders from behind him.
"Let's blend in," Gavin whispered, leaning forward to slide his hands down the front of Ryan's white shirt, nuzzling the soft skin behind his ear.
Ryan turned his head to smirk up at Gavin, allowing Gavin’s hands to pull him out of his chair and lead him onto the dance floor, which was chock full of bodies moving rhythmically to the loud music coming from the speakers all around them. They stopped at a space that would allow them to keep an eye on Travis without Gavin and Ryan being in his direct line of sight.
Gavin crowded close to Ryan's front, taking his hands to place them on Gavin's hips.
"Relax," he laughed and placed his own hands on Ryan's shoulders, "just go with it."
He let Gavin take the lead, following his movements as they danced with their chests pressed close together, noses and cheeks brushing against the other's faces occasionally. Gavin appeared to be completely in his element, seemingly immersed in the task of brushing as much of his body against Ryan's as he could. Ryan only caught him sneaking a look at their guy every so often because he was specifically looking out for it.
"He still onto me?" He asked, lips brushing against Gavin's earlobe.
"Take a look for yourself," Gavin replied and turned them around in one smooth motion, now pressing his back against Ryan's chest. Ryan returned his hands to Gavin's hips, throwing a look past the Brit's artistically wild hair to see Travis’ hand ghosting up a girl's leg, the young woman watching with a forced smile.
"Man, do I want to blow his brains out," he grumbled.
"Don't worry," Gavin pressed his ass into Ryan's crotch, effectively distracting him from his rising bloodlust, "you'll get your chance." Ryan smirked and bent down to bury his nose in the junction of Gavin's neck, teeth scraping lightly across the line of his shoulder. He raised an eyebrow as he heard the other's breath hitch slightly.
"Getting distracted on the job, boy? That's not a very good work ethic."
"Sod off," Gavin grumbled, but moved his arm back to scrape long fingers through the hair at Ryan's nape, pushing his ass against Ryan's crotch once more.
Ryan huffed a laugh and happily pushed back, matching Gavin's movements with a grinding motion of his own. His thumb brushed back and forth over Gavin's hipbone, the other's tight shirt having ridden up to reveal a sliver of tanned skin.
It quickly turned into a contest of who could distract the other more as they waited for Travis to leave his table, and they were both equally winning and losing.
Gavin moving his body against Ryan’s in as enticing a way as possible, throwing him a smirk every so often. Gavin readily offering his neck for the other man to nuzzle into enabled Ryan to block out the terrible club music and had the added bonus of blowing away any previous doubts he’d had about this job.
“Status?” Geoff’s voice rippled through their earpieces.
“Yeah, you two doing it yet?” Ray asked and a light thud followed by an ow could be heard.
“We’re good,” Ryan answered. “You?”
“Making our way-” a loud explosion followed by Michael laughing blocked out a few of Geoff’s words- “place, should be at the safe soon. We’ll check in then.”
“Ryan,” Gavin turned around to face him suddenly, urgently, “he’s on the move.”
Travis had indeed gotten up and was frowning at his phone, which was never a good sign. They watched as he made his way towards the back of the club and turned a corner, then immediately left the dance floor to follow him.
“Guys?” Jack asked.
“We’re going after him, hold on,” Gavin muttered as they reached a slightly quieter part of the club.
To their right was a hallway that led to the bathrooms, the left was cordoned off with a chain and an ‘Employees Only’ sign, and right in front of them was a door that apparently led outside. A few people were lined up in front of the bathroom doors, but Travis was nowhere in sight.
Their mark exited the bathroom and Ryan went with his gut, cutting Gavin off by pushing him against the wall and slotting their mouths together. He moved closer to Gavin, one hand on the wall next to his head as he cradled Gavin’s cheek with the other, shielding both of their faces from any passerbys as he deepened the kiss.
From the corner of his eyes he could see Travis averting his gaze as he headed out the back door, cigarette in hand. Public displays of affection, even in an environment like this, tended to make people uncomfortable.
Ryan was about to withdraw from Gavin when his attention was pulled back to the man in front of him as Gavin groaned into the kiss and drew him closer with an urgent hand on the back of Ryan’s neck. His other hand smoothly slid into the backpocket of Ryan’s jeans to cup his ass.
He could feel the bassline of the music thrumming where his own hand was pressed to the wall as he leaned into the kiss, a soft moan being exchanged between their mouths as Gavin licked a stripe across his lower lip.
Gavin’s right hand squeezed his ass through his jeans and Ryan didn’t try to stop his hips as they pushed forward on their own account, pressing their crotches together. He moved away from Gavin’s lips, ignoring the disappointed groan to press soft kisses up his neck and to nose at his cheekbone.
“Should I make some quip about blending in as well,” he whispered into Gavin’s ear, low enough that neither of their comms would pick it up, “or is it okay if I just admit that I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time now?”
“That’s-” Gavin pulled back slightly, searching Ryan’s eyes for something that he, judging by his smile, found quickly, “yeah, that’s okay.”
Ryan smiled back and thumbed Gavin’s lower lip, the tip of a pink tongue chasing after his finger. God, he could feel the other man’s face getting flushed with arousal.
He quickly moved back in to press their lips together once more. Opening his mouth to deepen the kiss even further, Ryan moved his hands lower, hooking them high behind Gavin’s thighs. He was on the verge of hoisting Gavin up the wall, a plan that the other man seemed very on board with, when they were interrupted by an annoyed voice.
“The fuck’s going on, guys? Did you lose him or what?” Geoff grumbled, less than pleased by their minute-long radio silence.
“Uuh, no-” Ryan reluctantly let Gavin drop down the good inch he’d already lifted him up, “he went for a smoke.”
“Good. We’re about to open the-” another explosion cut Geoff off. “Goddammit Michael!”
Jack’s voice followed. “It’s here, in print and digital. We’ve got it.”
“Alright, we’re moving out. Ryan, Gav - go time,” Geoff relayed their orders.
Gavin and Ryan glanced at each other, smirks playing on their lips. Ryan leaned towards the other man, who had slid down the wall slightly, and placed a soft kiss on his forehead before stepping back.
“I’m going for the cameras,” Gavin said, pushing off the wall.
“I’ll keep him outside then.” Ryan snatched a half-full glass off of a nearby table and stumbled towards the employee that was languidly trying to keep an eye on the back door and restricted area. As he was walking past him, Ryan swayed to the left at the last second and crashed into the guy, spilling the drink all over his front.
“Aw, man, sorry,” he slurred, lazily wiping at the man’s shirt. His hands were pushed back and the employee angrily frowned at his clothes.
“Just- fucking leave it dude.” The guy shook his head and walked towards the bathroom as Gavin neatly slid under the chain holding the ‘Employees Only’ sign and made his way towards the office.
As he was listening to the low clicks of a keyboard, Ryan positioned himself next to the back door in case Travis decided to cut his smoke break short.
After a few low ‘hum’s and ‘ha’s, Gavin huffed out a laugh. “Footage is wiped and the cameras are offline, we’re good to go.”
He returned to his place next to Ryan, smiling up at him before pulling on his arm with one hand, both of them stumbling outside into the warm night air.
Clutching at each other in what was supposed to look like an attempt to keep their balance, Ryan ruffled Gavin’s hair as the other pressed a sloppy kiss to the stubble on his jaw.
“Fucking fags,” Travis, who had been about to go back into the club, spat next to them and Ryan turned to squint at him.
“The hell, man?” Gavin asked with an exaggerated pout as he stumbled to the side to cut off Travis’ way once more.
Ryan flung out a hand to grab Travis’ shoulder, which the guy tried to shrug off, frowning when he found himself unable to do so.
“So, Travis,” Ryan said, his grip on Travis tightening until it was painful, all indications of drunkenness disappearing from his demeanour. Travis instantly turned white as a sheet.
Gavin provided Ryan with a knife from god knows where, Ryan thanking him with a sweet smile as he put the knife’s point against Travis’ lower eyelid.
“Let’s take a look at the list, why don’t we? You’re a homophobic bastard, you chose to exploit a single mother’s weakness and-”
“-you took a fucking child,” Gavin finished and swiftly descended his foot upon Travis’ kneecap, its owner crumpling to the floor with a sharp cry of pain.
Gavin grimly smiled down at the man on the ground, then stepped over him to walk towards the gate that separated the alley from the main street. “He’s all yours, Ry.”
Travis’ eyes widened as he realized he was not getting out of this alive. Ryan’s face became an expressionless mask as he pulled the struggling man up by his collar and onto his knees, clamping a hand over his mouth to prevent him from calling for help. Flipping the knife in his hand with a practiced motion, he went to work.
A few moments and a significant amount of blood later, he joined Gavin at the gate and they climbed it swiftly, disappearing into the darkness.
“We’re done, the dickhead’s taken care of,” Ryan informed the rest of their crew.
“Nice job. Any cops or other tails?” Geoff asked.
“None. We’ll be making our way to my place now. See you all tomorrow,” Gavin answered for both of them.
“What, like… both of you?” Ray snickered, Michael huffing out a laugh over the comm as well.
Gavin blushed slightly, glancing at Ryan from the corner of his eyes.
“Cutting off the feed now,” Jack grumbled, much to Gavin’s relief and Ray and Michael’s protests.
“So,” Ryan began, taking out his now silent earpiece as Gavin did the same, “was that just a slip of the tongue or did you mean it?”
“It was supposed to be an offer, actually. But I have a feeling you’re gonna say yes,” he smirked at the other, sneaking his hand into Ryan’s.
Ryan smiled, nodding as he squeezed the hand in his own. They easily fell into step with each other as they walked through the darkened streets in the direction of Gavin’s apartment.