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Angels in the Architecture: Day Two: Natalie

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Over in a corner, Jeremy sat slumped against Dan -- who was, in turn, slumped against Casey -- as the three of them demonstrated, not for the first time, that Natalie's grandmother could drink them all under the table, and she'd been dead for nine years.

Natalie couldn't help the smile that threatened to overpower her indulgent scowl, though, any more than she could help the smile that bloomed when she thought about that night's show. Ass had been kicked and names had been taken.

She held her hand up for a high-five, which Dana gave her without question. They were just that good.

"You know," said Dana, toying with her drink as if she hadn't just knocked back enough booze to float a medium-sized schooner. Schooooooner. Schooo-- Okay, so maybe Natalie was a little drunk, too.

"I don't think you're listening to me," Dana said, as Natalie tried to see how long she could make the oooooo last before running out of breath.

"Schooorry, Dana," Natalie said. She sat up to attention, poised and ready for whatever wisdom Dana and her five neat vodkas had to impart.

"You know," Dana started again, "that was a good show."

"A damned good schoooow," Natalie agreed.

"And you know why?"


"Because we are one hell of a team."

Natalie nodded fervently, catching out of the corner of her eye Danny trying to gesticulate with Jeremy still leaning on his shoulder.

Her nod was maybe a little too fervent, and she had to catch herself to keep from falling headlong into her own drink.

Behind her and to the side, Kim's laughter rang out, a joyful peal that probably wasn't directed at her. She muttered a warning, "Kim," though, just to make sure.

"And you know why we're one hell of a team, Natalie?" Dana asked, drawing the attention back to her point with a vodka-downing flourish.

Breathing in deep, beaming with happiness, Natalie sat back to listen to the answer, surrounded by peace, love and her team.


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