“You’re not going down there to say hi?”
“Ah, I see these guys every day,” said Rey, waving a hand dismissively as he sat with Halliday in the lighting booth. On the floor below, he could see Kris and Anna, Kalli and Alex and Heck all getting their groove on. “Besides, I ain’t doing much dancing with this here.”
Halliday raised an eyebrow, tapped on her phone, and flashed the illumination of its screen on Rey’s pant leg. There was a ragged hole from where the crossbow bolt had punched all the way through the door of his car and sunk an inch or more into his left thigh. It wasn’t bleeding heavily, but it was bleeding steadily.
“You’re going to go get that taken care of right now, okay?” She waved away his protestations and objections, and handed him a card. “Look, as soon as it hits 8 AM, go to this urgent care at this address and ask for this guy, all right? He’ll take care of you. He owes me a favor.”
“Girl, how many people owe you favors?”
“Everybody,” she replied with a cute and insufferably self-satisfied smile.
“Except me,” he corrected.
“But of course, monsieur,” she said, pulling a roll of bills out of her pocket and peeling off several large ones for Rey. “Oh, hey, I didn’t mean right n--” he began, but he faltered as he she silenced him with a look, and then elevated his temperature further by reaching over to tuck them firmly down into his hip pocket. “There and square. I’ll get Heck later.’
Recovering admirably, the ninja said simply, “I ain’t complaining, but what was it about this lighting program that was so important you couldn’t have just made a different one for tonight?”
Halliday let her gaze travel for a moment. From his position on top of the speaker stacks, Drew flashed her a thumbs-up and a grin. She shot a mock-salute at him, a collaborator in phantasm, and nodded at the DJ. Vanya was inexplicably inside as well (no bouncer should have let him into, well, anywhere really, ever), peacefully catatonic on the ground near Drew, staring up at the lightshow with a child’s expression of wonderment.
Not too far away from the crowd, a strangely familiar shape was crossing the floor. She caught a flash of ash-blond hair, and the gleam of one shockingly deep blue eye met hers for just a moment through the booth window. Then the shape was gone.
“It just was,” Erika murmured finally.
“Well, at these rates, if you got anything else needs doing, you let me know.”
She raised an eyebrow and smirked at him. The young man flushed slightly but held her gaze and his ground, and she nodded in approval, as though it had been a test.
“First, get yourself cleaned up. What I’m-a do with a gimpy ninja? After that, we’ll see. You a traveling man?”
Rey was watching Alex and Kalli make out on the floor, to the general admiration of the crowd at large. “Yeah . I’m down to go places,” he said, keeping his voice carefully neutral. “Anyway, whatcha got in mind? Like, out to the coast?”
“Like, how do you feel about the Bay Area?”