NFG Season One - There Can Be Only One

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Description: In a shocking turn of events, Hawksley Moore and Buck Finley manage to spend an evening in a bar without either of them getting into a brawl. There's plenty more to keep the two fellas entertained though, including the company of Princess Lyraelle Lightheart and Kitty Fantastica.

It had been a difficult few days for Hawksley Moore. Upon hearing the news that his beloved pub 'The Dead Squirrel' had been burned down, his dark eyes actually started to fill up with tears. Since arriving in Metro City, it'd been a home from home for the Irish lad. He was on first name terms with all the staff and he'd even earned his own stool at the bar. Perhaps they'd have put a gold plaque on it if the disaster hadn't happened.

The Junko and Braun brawl wasn't the first to be held in the busy bar. His own match against Tamaki had gone down there with only minimal damage. He hadn't used a single one of his own fire attacks when fighting there out of respect but obviously Junko hadn't shown the same consideration.

Due to the demise of his base, Hawksley decided he needed to go on the look out for a new bar in Metro City. He called up his buddy, Buck to see if he wanted to go hunting for one with him.

Which is how the two young fellas come to be standing in the centre of Beat Square. Hawksley is dressed in an oversized grey and black checked shirt, a pair of faded jeans and some battered looking black boots. The slight chill in the air sees him wearing a dark grey beanie hat on his head but no doubt that will soon be removed should they find a cosy comforting place to stop and have a beer or several. His companion is still technically underage but Hawksley has no concern for such things. He's been frequenting pubs since he was fifteen years old.

"There's supposed to be a place just the other side of the square called The Highlander. It's Scottish rather than Irish but at least they're Celts. Shall we give it a go?"

"Scottish don't bother me none, my family came over from there afterall. Well, by way of somewhere in Appalachia." Buck says with a shrug. Out on the town means he's decided to dress up a little, and that also means his cowboy is showing, with his wide brimmed hat and boots that he rarely sports during brawls, as well as jeans and a black button-up with the sleeves rolled to the elbows.

He was eager to head out though, still riding high from the results of his last match, even if it was a draw. In his book a draw isn't a loss, so it's plenty of reason to celebrate. That and training has given him a hole in his stomach that needs a bit of filling.

Looking towards the arena as they pass, he lets out a soft tsk. "Would have loved to have one of my matches there, I only really got one nice spot this round." He adds with a chuckle and a grin shot towards Hawksley. "Anyway, thanks for dragging me out and saving me from another evening of fixin' up the new truck." The truck that is anything but new, at least it doesn't sound like a dying animal anymore when the engine revs.

It's often difficult for royalty and the standing leaders in any society to go out and about their business with any degree of discretion without going fully incognito. So it is for celebrity cosplayer Lyraelle Lightheart. It doesn't help when you have butt-length bright pink hair or a figure previously suited to the aesthetics of a succubus, either. This used to be a problem that the Demon Queen could get around simply by borrowing somebody else's appearance for a bit (not to mention the all-essence diet obviating the need for grocery runs). Now, though, she achieves it as best she can like any other figure of her recognisability: with a baseball cap, jeans, and a high-collared jacket.

The pink-haired lady checks something on her phone before lifting her green eyes to scan the square. Spotting her target, she starts to move purposefully over in that direction, approaching Buck and Hawksley from behind with a pace that becomes leisurely as she nears the pair.

"Well, hello, boys~" the gal greets the two as she steps up between them. She puts herself particularly close to one of Buck's shoulders, though not quite in his space, as she turns her face to his and smiles. "You know, I've been looking all over for you. Lucky me that we'd happen to bump into each other like this."

She hasn't, and she's not. Lyraelle's personal timetable is far too carefully crafted for a first proper meeting this late in the season to be anything but a calculated decision, and it's no accident that she's tracked him here. Lying, though, comes as naturally as breathing for the self-styled princess.

"Where are you two off to? Mind if Kitty and I join you?"

"Hello, mi-nyans!" By the way, yes, there is in fact a catgirl in a skintight stealth jumpsuit with a ninja sword strapped across her back standing on the other side of Hawksley and Buck and giving Lyraelle's signature sideways-V salute and winking.

"I thought I told you to keep the nyans to a minimum, fuzzy," Lyraelle says with a tight smile.

"I am!" 'Kitty' chirps with a cheerful smile. Then, a beat later, she adds, "The minimum was one."

"So you've got Celtic blood in you too" Hawksley grins. "No wonder you're a good fella."

He walks along at a steady pace, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. "So what was it like to fight Genie?" he wonders. "I've not had a chance to train with her yet. More's the pity."

His gaze follows the direction of Buck's. "We still have the tournament to take part in yet. Maybe they'll hold that in the arena. I'm trying to decide if you would have liked the lake or Abigail's place better. With your love of trucks it could be the scrapyard but there's no doubt the lake is prettier. I had a lot of fun at the scrapyard myself. I reckon Chevy did too."

He gives the American man a pat on the back. "You don't have to thank me for asking you to come with, by the way. I should have gotten around to it sooner. It's about time we had a lad's night out."

It seems however that it isn't to remain that way for long. The lads have got company.

Despite her cunning disguise, Hawksley recognises Lyraelle pretty much right away. The last time he seen her in the flesh was when she presented him with his runners up medal at the closing party of the opening tournament in Southtown and called him "Hot stuff." He's also familiar with her feline friend, given that she presented the last New Fighting Generation broadcast in the exact same attire.

"Alright, cailins" he greets them warmly before turning to Buck. "Isn't one of these your sponsor and the other your bodyguard, Buck?" Hawksley seems vaguely amused by this idea.

"We're just looking to go and have a few drinks" he explains to the newcomers. "You're welcome to come if it takes your fancy."

Buck just lets out a short bark of a laugh and grins at Hawksley. "Not that I've been there myself. One day." He says, sounding certain of that much. "Though I always wanted to get one of those shaggy red highland bulls for the farm." Which has him rubbing his chin thoughtfully for a moment.

"Genie? That power of hers is like getting kicked in the face by an angry horse. She seems a good sort though, wouldn't mind taking her on again."

He doesn't jump when the two women arrive, but his grin might not be quite so cheerful anymore. When one of the sponsors tracks you down it's rarely for pleasantries, after all. He confirms Hawksley's questions with a nod of his own. "They are indeed. Though I ain't really in the need for a bodyguard." He says in a not quite pout. Buck doesn't pout. But it's a close thing.

"If you'd like, princess." He says respectfully, infusing the title with all the heavy gravitas of a country boy's "ma'am" without calling her ma'am. He's afraid that might get him thrown across the street.

"And hi again, hot stuff. Sorry that bar you liked so much got burnt down by one of ours," Lyraelle says to Hawksley with a smile that says her apology is half-assed at best. "They really should have thought better of putting our little pyromaniac in a place like that. Too much sawdust, not enough spit, I guess. Sure, we can tag along, although I might have to leave you with the delightful company Miss Kitty Fantastica before too long."

Miss Kitty Fantastica looks worryingly pleased at the prospect of being left alone with the two young men.

The nuances of expression on Buck's part don't go unnoticed by Lyraelle, and she offers him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, Bucky. Kitty's not going to be intervening in anything unless things go south. Really, there's only one student in the class that needs a babysitter, but it's not fair for me to single them out. I have to admit, I feel a little naked without my entourage. Just think of her as a really big fan of yours."

At some point, Kitty has sidled right on up next to Buck and is staring up at him in awe as if waiting for something.

"Because she is," Lyraelle adds, before reaching into her jacket and pulling out a small spritzer bottle two-thirds full of water and presenting it to the American shapeshifter.

"Here. In case you need it."

This draws a grumpy pout across Kitty's features, but if anyone looks directly at her, it will evaporate quickly.

"Oh, and there's no need to call me princess when I'm incognito. Kinda defeats the purpose," Lyraelle mentions with a smirk. "Not that I'm ever /that/ incognito. So, where are we headed?"

"Oh those cows are fecking adorable" Hawksley enthuses. "Gorgeous creatures, so they are."

He's briefly taken back to his homeland and images of his grandparent's farm. "You should come over and visit me some time in the future. I can show you the sights of Cork and Dublin and we could take a trip to Scotland too."

He laughs as the animal imagery continues and tries to imagine the feeling of being kicked by an angry horse. It's not one he wants to linger on for long. Besides, there's cuter animals to consider.

"How did it feel to do Tom and Lou's job?" he questions the cat girl, his eyes shifting between her and the pink haired princess.

Attention back on Buck, he adds. "You may not need a bodyguard but if you have to have one then I think you got a pretty good deal."

Hawksley's face twitches as Lyraelle addresses the atrocity of the arson. Although perhaps he's being too harsh to consider it that, especially since he's been wrongly accused of such an act himself in the past. "No doubt they'll rebuild in time. I'm not sure if I'll still be around to see it but there's plenty more pubs in the world, like The Highlander, which is where we're headed."

He glances down at the screen of his phone to confirm the coordinates and then sets off across the square, beckoning for the others to follow.

"Looks like you've got yourself a pet more than a bodyguard" he murmurs to the other man.

"I'll take you up on that." Buck confirms to Hawksley, certainly glad to have a reason to make the trek across the ocean. The squirt bottle catches him off guard, causing him to blink a few times as he takes it in hand.

"Thank you?" Well, at least he's being polite, though he does tuck it into his pocket, shaking his head to Kitty to indicate he's not going to use that. Maybe he's more of a treats and positive reinforcement kind of guy.

Or maybe he just knows the horror of being feline and wet.

"I guess you're right, I don't need the competition of a minotaur walking around after me. Making people compare horn sizes. Shameful." He laughs at his own joke, hurrying up to catch up with Hawksley as he speeds on to their destination.

"Huh?" Kitty's dreamlike state is shaking away by Hawksley's decision to address her directly. "Oh! It made a nice change, but I don't think I'd want to do it all the time," the catgirl says carefully. "I mean, I'm mostly used to writing! Plus I'm actually a little shy."

"Is that why you decided to wear a catsuit when I told you I was going incognito?" Lyraelle asks dubiously, folding her arms under her chest.

"This is my work outfit! You mean I could have worn something else?!" Kitty says, putting her hands on her cheeks. Yes, they're definitely hands rather than paws.

"Now that you've shown an interest? No," Lyraelle decides pointedly, drawing another chagrined frown from the catgirl. Lyraelle pretends not to notice as she turns back to the others. "The Highlander, huh? Is that a chain, or can there be only one?"

She saunters along after the others with Kitty taking up the rear guard and occasionally surreptitiously scouting around for threats while they all walk.

"That kind of brings up some questions I'd definitely be curious to ask if I weren't such a consummate professional," Lyraelle comments to Buck on the subject of his joke. "Although I'm sure Kitty's a lot more curious than I am. Probably comes with being a cat and all."

"Grand" is Hawksley's response to the acceptance of his invitation. He figures Buck would get on just fine with his family and friends.

It seems the other fella has a way with animals. Perhaps this is down to him spending a fair bit of time as a various selection of them. Hawksley is amiably amused by his friend's interactions with Miss Fantastica and he readily agrees with the southern boy in his summary of the situation regarding Zander. "Yeah, you don't want that fecker following you around. You've got enough bull in your life."

The Irishman seems surprised by Kitty's claim to be shy. "I wouldn't have guessed it. You just took over the show like it was all planned. It all seemed to be very polished. I mean, other than the feck up where they gave Chevy's personal email address away."

Lyraelle's joke has Hawksley laughing. "I was wondering when someone would crack that. As far as I know, there is indeed only one."

They arrive at the exterior of the pub which is painted dark blue with white lettering spelling out its name. Ferns planted in pots decorate the entrance and double glass doors give an inviting hint to what's inside. "Shall we go in?" he checks, one hand on the door.

It takes Buck a moment to catch the joke, you can almost see the loading bar behind his eyes trying to process that one. And when he finally digs out the relevant bit of pop culture knowledge, he grins and chuckles. "Let's hope for minimal beheadings."

"Cat in a catsuit seems prefectly reasonable to me." Buck says, taking the side of Kitty on this one. "It's like.. soup in a soup bowl." Perfect analogy.

He does snort softly and shake his head at Lyraelle. "I've heard all the qustions, trust me on that one. I'm in college, no one has a filter there. And the fan mail." He gives a little shudder. "Most are fine but some.. Lord help me."

"I'll try not to decree any unnecessary ones," Lyraelle says blithely on the subject of beheadings. She crinkles her nose a little at the comparison of catsuits and soup bowls, but otherwise doesn't touch it.

"You know, I'd love it if you could teach Zander how to do what you do, but in reverse. Like, if he could change his bull parts into human parts? For polite company's sake, I mean," the erstwhile succubus says. "I'm sure he'd kick up a giant huff about it if I tried to get him to do it, anyway, though. How do you do that, anyway, exactly? I've heard rumours, but..."

She goes ahead and carries on into the bar, keeping her attention halfway over her shoulder toward the other two as she does.

Meanwhile, one of the employees behind the bar looks up nervously at the sword on Kitty's back as the catgirl slinks inside. "Oh no, not again. Before you start, NO sword fights in here! If you're going to duel, do it outside on the sidewalk!"

"Ah, it's not a night out without at least one beheading" the Blaze brawler banters with Buck and Lyraelle.

He moves inside, the heat hitting him in the face and the noise filling his ears. "They've got a fecking bagpiper" he calls out over the sound of the player. "I think he's playing The Proclaimers."

The interior of the pub is made mostly of wood with polished floors and slabs of marble serving as tables, around which carved oak chairs are placed. The bar itself is long with a vast variety of Scotch served, alongside Scottish themed cocktails and Highlander beer.

It's pretty packed and there's an audible buzz of conversation that can just be made out over the music, though not clearly enough for any actual words to be heard. Unless you have the hearing of a cat perhaps.

"There's a table over there" Hawksley announces, gesturing towards it. "If someone wants to grab it I can get the drinks in."

He passes an interested glance towards Buck as Lyraelle questions him on his powers. He's wondered about that himself. As for the fuss about Kitty's sword? It's all part of the fun for the Irish fella. He flashes the feline female a grin. "I hadn't even noticed you had that back there. I was still getting past the cat ears and tail."

"Better story for over drinks. But before I get yer hopes up, it ain't something I can teach. Though I think he looks fine as is." Buck grins brightly. He actually like's Lyraelle's parade of minions, they add character to the home base.

He humms a few bars along with the bagpiper. "Needs some banjo and cowbell." He says, perhaps with that one phrase creating the most awful music band to ever to be conceived of.

He nods, taking off his hat, "I got the table. I'll have um.. bartender's choice. And by that I mean you." He says with a nod to Hawksley, trusting the man to know what the good drinks are versus his own in experience.

When he reaches the table though, he pulls out first one chair for Lyraelle, then another for Kitty before he even deigns to consider sitting down himself.

The kitty kunoichi pulls a face at the barman who's commented on her sword. "It's a prop," she lies loudly over the din of bagpipes and bar chatter. She looks just a little uncomfortable with the level of noise, especially whenever the bagpipes go a bit squeaky-high.

Lyraelle, for her part, also looks mildly disappointed at the revelation that Buck's wild shaping is an inimitable attribute, though she doesn't say anything aloud on the subject for the moment. "I'm going to be boring and order a ginger ale," Lyraelle declares with a thoughtful expression. "Actually, I'll be a little more adventurous. Make it a Shirley Temple instead. They'll have grenadine, won't they?"

"I'll have a vodka and lime," Kitty chimes in.

"Don't give her too many of those or you're definitely gonna need the squirt bottle," Lyraelle mentions before turning to follow Buck to the table.

Both women park pert posteriors on the chairs that the American pulls out for the pair.

"Aww, such a gentleman," the princess poseur praises.

"Thank you!" Kitty says with a grateful smile.

"So, how have things been with the rest of the Thundies, Bucky?" Lyraelle asks the shifter as she lounges comfortably.

I'll hold you to that" Hawksley chimes in at Buck's promise of a good old tale over drinks.

His eyes stray to the piper dressed in his dark blue and dark green tartan and he calls out to him "Do you do requests?" but the question is lost amidst the noise of the bar.

He nods in aknowledgement of Buck putting him on drink duty. "Two pints of Highlander then and a...Shirley Temple I guess. I suppose they'll be having grenadine. Then a vodka and lime for Kitty."

As the Thunder crew catch up on team news, Hawksley moves over to the bar, bellowing his order at the barman. The accents he can hear around him are mostly American but there are a smattering of Scots present. Perhaps they are tourists or expats looking for a piece of their homeland in the big city. He gives out several smiles before accepting the drinks on a tray once they're ready and carrying them over to his drinking companions.

"Well, I mean, I should hang out with Ichika and Chevy more." Buck says as he drops down into a chair. "And I haven't really spent time with the new recruits." HE rubs his chin looking thoughtful about that for a moment, still not sure what to make of the newer teammates. "Been kinda busy fixing up my truck and training. Working on a new move I need to break out at the right moment."

He grins at that, an almost devilish smile passing over his features for a split second. "It's not an easy one to pull off though, so we'll see." He shrugs, his grin returning to normal as drinks arrive.

"Bondin' with the Scots over your mutual regard of the English?" He asks, maybe a bit too chipper. "Like when I meet someone I can complain about Texas with." He snickers, even dressed close to being a cowboy, he ain't gonna accept being called a Texan.

"Well, in case you haven't been keeping up on the goss, you'll want to be careful if you spend any time around Junko," Lyraelle says with a slightly lowered voice, leaning over the table a little to make sure she's heard without giving her opinion away to all and sundry. "She's a real little firecracker. Like, M80 or whatever. And Hated R, well, he's marmite." She gives a vague shrug as she makes the comment. "He does well in the ratings, though. I still need to meet him at some point. Probably. Red's hanging out with him for now."

When Hawksley presents the party with their beverages, Lyraelle takes her red mocktail and swirls it before sipping.

"Delish. Thanks, Hawksley."

Kitty takes her own drink, slurping it through her straw while watching the others talk, tail swishing back and forth behind her. Apparently she's a real catgirl. Or maybe she's just really into animatronics.

"I've heard Hawksley gets along just fine with the English," Lyraelle mentions off-handedly. "Along with the Americans, and Iraqis..." She props an elbow up on the table while stirring her drink some more with a tiny sword stuck through a Maraschino cherry. She smiles at Buck. "Good luck with busting your new money shot. Hopefully the cameras'll be on you when it comes out. I know I'm interested to see it."

Then, she adds, "Maybe you'll get a chance against Hawksley, depending on how things work out. You can always practice on Kitty in the meanwhile if you need a partner."

Kitty's eyes suddenly go wide and turn toward Lyraelle, face going as red as her employer's drink. "What?!"

"Well, you guys have been training, too. Might as well get some sparring in while you're at it," Lyraelle says with a smirk.

"Yeah, none of us can get enough of the feckers" Hawksley responds drolly to Buck's ribbing.

"What's so wrong with Texans? Are they too big for their cowboy boots?"

Apparently Lyraelle's drink isn't the only thing she's stirring. "I'm glad you're enjoying your drink, princess and that you take such an interest in my life. I'm gonna be heading over to The Thunderdome sometime soon to pay you all a visit. I'm kinda hoping Hated R will be around. The guy is a fecking nutjob. I love it."

He takes a seat between Buck and Kitty and then a long slurp from his pint glass, holding the beer in his mouth for a moment before swallowing it down. "I've not tried this one before. It's almost got a caramel taste to it or something."

The temperature is more than warm enough in here, so he pulls the beanie from his head, sticks it in the pocket of his shirt and then runs a hand through his short hair. "I wouldn't object to another match against Buck. The last one was a blast." His face lights up at the memory and then quickly darkens as he recalls what happened afterwards. Time for a swift change of subject.

"So I wanna hear about the whole shapeshifting powers, Buck. Now we're all settled, are you willing to share?"

Accepting his drink, Buck takes a quick sip, letting it linger for a moment before nodding his approval. Just because he's technically not supposed to drink doesn't mean he hasn't. "They're.. them." He says on the subject of Texans, "Think they're the best at everything." He shrugs.

"Yeah, wouldn't mind a rematch, almost had him last time." He says to his mentor wit a sideways looks to Hawksley with a grin to let him know he holds no actual ill will from the match.

Then a, "Only if she wants too." In regards to Kitty, who doesn't seem to him to be that thrilled with a sparring match.

He takes another sip of the beer, considering for a moment. "Hmm.. well.." He purses his lips, thinking over where to go. "So, I found this old shrine on a hiking trip I was taking with some friends around the Alps. Apparently belonged to some old nature, well, god for a lack of a better word. And supposedly if it wasn't the mushrooms we foraged for dinner, I got this vision of what I think was my ancestor long back who was a favored champion of the god or something like that."

He knows he sounds a little crazy recounting it so he looks over to the others to judge their reactions. "Anyway, getting there kind of reawakened the powers passed down in the bloodline from what I can tell. Mostly guesses and feelings, my sponsor there ain't exactly communicative. Just the one vision."

"Oh, I just keep up with the goss on everyone," Lyraelle assures Hawksley with a smile from behind her crimson drink. "Just especially so when it comes to Team Thunder. When I'm not the one purveying the gossip, that is."

She gives a cheeky wink, then turns to listen to Buck's story.

Kitty, while having seemingly become incredibly shy about the idea of being subjected to Buck's mystery 'money shot,' doesn't appear to actually be unhappy so much as flustered.

Her mistress steadily drains her Temple while she listens, her expression darkening ever-so-slightly at the description of his experience. Once he finishes the retelling, she chimes in, "Well, be careful with all that. It's great getting a brand new grab bag of powers, but you gotta watch out for the fine print with those elder entity types. Your 'god' might be keeping it hush for now, but that could just be part of some grand scheme further down the line."

She pushes her chair out and reaches into the back pocket of her jeans, pulling out a card and setting it down on the table. "I'm actually gonna hafta haul butt to my next meeting, so you three feel free to pay for anything you need for the night with this. I'll cover it. Kitty, two drinks maximum. You remember what happened last time."

"I don't, actuall-" Kitty starts to say.

"Exactly," Lyraelle interjects before turning away from the table. "Have fun, guys," she bids with a wink over her shoulder before pulling the brim of her cap down as she starts sauntering off toward the exit.

"Almost" Hawksley winks at Buck, drinking some more of his beer as he listens to the other man tell his tale.

When the American is done he lets out a low whistle. "That sounds like the plot of a film to me. Who's gonna play you in the movie version of your life, Buck?"

He sits back in his chair and his face takes on a more serious expression. "It must have been an amazing experience. Do you think you were drawn to that place, so you could have that vision at that specific time? I'm guessing you had no idea about your ancestors having these abilities beforehand?"

The Irishman's interest in the subject is genuine and his mind is racing with questions. "It makes me wonder if there was ever anything in my own family. You know with the fire and all."

Lyraelle's words of wisdom make him wonder if she's had experience of such things herself but he stays schtum, not wanting to pry and besides it seems the pink haired princess is leaving. He eyes her card as she places it down on the table. "I'll be paying for my own drinks but thanks for the offer. Maybe Kitty and Buck can get theirs on it, since they're part of your team."

He offers her a wave as she wanders off and then turns back to the other two. "So what's it like being Buck's bodyguard then, Kitty? Does he give you much trouble?"

Kitty blushes and shakes her head, sending her long locks bouncing. "It's a pretty easy job really! I'm just glad I didn't get the fire one. Oops, no offence to yourself, Hawksley."

"Yeah, like I said, part of me wondered if it was those wild mushrooms we had with dinner." Buck mutters into his drink. "But obviously.." He waves a hand, nothing happens to the hand, but it still puts a period on his comment.

"Maybe I was pulled there because I wandered close, dunno. But not like I know about anyone in my family doin' what I do. Though I did try to get Beau to sign up for the NFG, too." He says with a laugh.

He goes wide-eyed as he looks at Hawksley. "I thought all Irishmen could do the fire thing." He manages to keep his expression shocked for just a few seconds before he breaks into laughter. "Who knows? Maybe."

His eyes go from Lyraelle, to the card, and back. And there's that devilish grin again. Which knowing Buck his evil plot is three rounds instead of the two he was originally considering. "Aye aye, pri.. er.. Lyraelle."

He let's out a soft, "Psh. She mostly just gets to watch me train and tinker. Probably boring is what I am."

"I've never done mushrooms myself" Hawksley reveals. "Well other than in mammy's casseroles. I've not tried any drugs truth be told. Other than this stuff." He gestures to the beer. "Oh and I smoked some weed once but it wasn't for me."

The piper is now playing a stirring rendition of 'Flower of Scotland' that seems to be moving several of the bar's patrons to tears. Two of them stand by the bar swaying back and forth as they sing along.

"It would have been mad to have your brother in this with you. Although you probably would have had no trouble battering seven bells out of him from what you've said before. How much age difference is there between the two of you."

His pint is now gone and he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "I bet you've not got a boring bone in your body, fella. Isn't that right, Kitty?"

Kitty sitting pretty, simply smiles and nods. Her green eyes seem to have somewhat of a glazed expression in them.

"I suppose us Irish fellas are a fiery bunch but not quite in the way I am" the Cork City lad chuckles. "I'm gonna get another drink. Anyone else?"

Kitty perks up. "Another vodka and lime please, Hawksley! Make it a double."

"Well, same there." Buck says, tapping the side of his glass. "Pretty sure we had some normal wood ears, nothin' out of the ordinary. Though once I ate some brownies I didn't know had stuff in it. That was.." He coughs and shakes his head.

He's watching the crowd by the piper with a bit of a smile, obviously enjoying the sight. "Maybe I should move, I said if I win I'm gonna use my winnings to getmyself a cabin on a lake somewhere, never said it had to be in the States."

He laughs. "I dunno. Beau is.. tough. He's only three years younger than me, but he's been doing rodeo stuff for a few years now. He'll face down a full grown bull and lasso it no problem. Figured that has some use in a fight. I'm the better brawler, but he's quick and strong to boot."

He drains more of his beer and raises his mostly empty glass indiciating he's definitely in for round two.

"Where would you move to?" Hawksley asks, curious about the plans of the other fighter. He's not sure where he will end up himself once the season is over. If he ever feels his thoughts drifting too far into the future he forces them back to the present. It's easier to stay sane that way.

Beau sounds like he could come for a beer with us" the Blaze brawler decides. "I wouldn't wanna compete with him in that rodeo shite though. I'd probably last about a second on the back of a bull. I suppose that could be another use for the Zander fella but I can't imagine him being too happy with the idea."

He takes the empty pint glass from Buck and grabs the card from the table. "Round two coming up."

Whilst he's away, Kitty edges a little closer to Buck, her tale smacking into his leg as it swings back and forth. "So Buck, do you have a girlfriend?"

"Scotland is sounding nice. I've grown fond of having the ocean close by, and I could get one of those shaggy cows I like, a few chickens, a dog. It'd be great. Far from family, though." That has him frowning a little.

"Yeah, the rodeo stuff was never my thing either. Prefer caring for the animals to trying to ride them." He shrugs as he relinquishes his glass to Hawksley.

Kitty's question has him looking at the catgirl ninja dubiously. "Er, no." He answers, still giving her a bit of a sideways glance. "No one back home clicked, and college kept me too busy to worry about it." He rubs his neck. "Man, I'm going to be so behind once I start classes again." Maybe it's an attempt at changing the conversation that obviously has him looking a bit awkward. He takes off his hat and fans himself a bit. "Man, bit warm in here, ain't it?"

"I find it to be the perfect temperature" Kitty practically purrs before giving out a girlish giggle. She doesn't try and press Buck further though and returns to draining her drink in preparation for the new one.

Hawksley has managed to get served pretty fast at the bar. It could be his big mouth, sharp elbows or beaming smile. Whichever of the three, he's soon back with Buck and the catgirl at their table.

"So Scotland hm? You wouldn't be too far from me there, fella. Well, that's if I go home. I might stick around the States yet. That would be kinda funny if you ended up over there and I was still here."

Kitty grabs at her new vodka, tapping pointed pink nails on the side of the green tinted glass as she inspects the contents. Seemingly satisified she takes a sip, sitting back to let the two men continue to chatter.

"Is there anyone you're hoping to get to fight in the tournament?" the Irishman asks Buck. "I know you said you'd like another go at Genie and myself but how about someone you haven't faced yet."

Buck sets his hat down on another chair instead of back on his head. For a moment he looks like he's going to put it on the table, stops, has a mental conversation with himself that comes with a wince, and decides the chair is better. He gratefully accepts his beer, and takes a good big gulp. "Cooling."

"At least the Coco and me rumors seem to be dying down. The way she pummeled me helped." He laughs a little, still awkward though.

"Man, a real go at Iris where no one is interfering like at the end of the rumble. Maybe a chance at Nixie." His voice dips a little lower. "I'd really like a chance to kick Buford's sorry butt across town after what he said to Ichika. I'm just glad I'm not the new guy on the block anymore, too."

"What about you? I'm sure there's some people you're itching to light up." He can't help but shoot the Irishman a knowing smirk, as if he knows what people already, he doesn't, but the beer is starting to loosen him up. "Need to watch your brawl with Chevs, still. I was waiting on that one."

Buck treats his headwear with a lot more love and care than Hawksley. As he places it down on the chair, the Irishman looks at it with interest. "I wonder if I could pull off something like that. Wear one that is. I'm not asking to pull it off your head" he adds with a laugh.

"I did hear about your supposed thing with Coco Pops" the Celt admits. "Kitty here was gossiping away about it on the last broadcast, so she was."

He looks across at Kitty who has the decency to look shamefaced. "I was just giving the fans what they want!" she claims.

"So there's no truth in the rumours then?" Hawksley pushes playfully. "Don't worry about her pummeling you though. Chevy kicked my Irish arse all over Abigail's scrapyard. She was on fire or not as it happens."

His tone is lighhearted and followed by more laughter. It seems he isn't too upset about his defeat at the hands of the hydromancer.

"Of people I've not fought so far, I think Ichika would be interesting. I'd like a crack at Buford too. Then there's Junko. Fire on fire and all that. Plus she burned down my pub, so I reckon I owe her a punch or two."

He takes a long drink and then continues on with the conversation. "Iris was a lot of fun. I'm not sure the goths were that impressed by us going at each other though. Nixie is tricky. She's hard to read too, so it can be tough to get a connection going. She's all about the business and she's bloody good at it. Fair play to her."

"You can pull it off if you got the confidence to pull it off." Buck says simply. "Just a matter of feelin' like you can wear it if you want to. A good pair of boots to go with it helps." There's a tapping from under the table as he clicks the heels of his boots together. "Stirrups. Now that takes guts to do."

He's quick to shake his head, a fervent enough to get his brown hair flopping. "Nope, nothin'. No offense to her, but Coco is so not my type. And I can't think I'm hers." Despite the comparisons often made between himself and the Irish brawler." He looks over to Kitty. "You can quote that one if you broadcast again."

He nods his head at Hawksley's assesment. "I barely beat Chevs the one time we sparred, she had my on the ropes the whole time and I think it was just luck. Ichika handed me my butt, so careful if you ever get in the ring with her. Honestly, I'm almost thinkin' she's gonna be the one to take this whole game in the end. And with the rankings bein' so.. fluid. I mean I went from second to last to second with just the rumble..." He lets his thought drift off. "Anyway, I wouldn't put anyone out of the runnin', but definitely not her."

"I ain't lacking in confidence, fella" Hawksley laughs. "I think you make a better cowboy than me though. I'll probably stick to my own style, whatever that may be."

He considers Buck's words on Coco. "I wouldn't say you weren't her type. I get that she's not yours though. She's definitely high maintenance but don't tell her I told you that. She'd probably have a tantrum."

Kitty has taken her phone out and is furiously tapping away on the keys taking notes. Perhaps she's acting on Buck's suggestion to quote him.

"I don't underestimate anyone in this competition, especially Ichika" Hawksley assures the other man. "You're probably on to a good bet there by backing her."

The two fellas continue to drink and chat, hours passing them by and pints slipping down their throats. At some point Kitty falls asleep with her head on the table, letting out little mewing sounds, which Hawksley finds hilarious. Being a perfect gent, Buck offers to escort her back to The Thunderdome. It seems that for tonight, he will be the one acting as the bodyguard.

Log created on 18:08:43 10/16/2023 by Hawksley, and last modified on 11:30:49 10/18/2023.