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Harley walked in to find an idiot sitting on one of Garion's work tables. The idiot was Reuben, shirtless and gormlessly eating a sandwich like their shit didn't stink. The worst part was that if they'd done something, Harley hadn't heard about it. Yet.

But Harley suddenly understood why Reuben ever had shirts that looked decent; Garion was bent over his table next to them, carefully cutting cloth and busily cursing Reuben out in that muffled way that meant his mouth was full of pins.

Unsurprisingly, Reuben saw Harley first. They grinned at her, lifting a hand to wave a greeting. Harley grunted in reply and Garion froze, then groaned.

"Oh, go away," Garion complained, which was worth every bit of awful she was about to put herself through.

"I said I was going to get that outfit and I mean to collect," Harley said, leaning against the wall behind him while he worked.

Garion took the pins out of his mouth to keep complaining, "You...were very drunk. And also trying to get into Sol's pants, probably. Which makes the whole thing invalid so stop being an asshole because I don't want to do this."

Harley refused to blush, even though she had been trying to get into Sol's pants a little. It had worked, but that wasn't even the point. What was the point was, "If you don't want me in Sol's pants so bad, you better make me some of my own."

"You were really drunk," Reuben interjected, making Harley's hackles go up in irritation. She sent them an absent telepathic Shut up before strolling around Garion's table so that the vampire had to look at her.

"I have money, Garion. You saying you don't want money?" Her voice was sugary-sweet enough that even Reuben edged away.

Garion, unfortunately, was immune.

"Even if I needed your money, which....I don't, just to be clear, I don't want to know what would happen to my beautiful clothing if it got put on your body."

"But Reuben gets to wear it?" Harley said.

"Reuben doesn't count," Garion shot back, earning a complaining 'Hey...!' from Reuben. Garion said, "You owe me approximately a grand in shirts, Reuben. I don't have to count you if I don't want to."

Reuben considered the point, then shrugged and crammed the rest of their sandwich into their mouth, their cheeks bulging out like a chipmunk. Reuben was an idiot in the fact that they annoyed every inch of Harley, but they were not actually an idiot. Sometimes they knew when to shut up.

Sol wasn't exactly enjoying her drink, but it was keeping her social contacts greased in case she happened to need them for anything. Assuming she survived the mission to rescue the kidnapped vampire. Which she probably would.

All the hunters around her were rather more drunk than she was pretending to be when an oddly familiar face walked in. She couldn't place it at first, and then the man's hands began to sparkle. God only knew why that was the bell that sparked her memory, but it was.

Five minutes later, Sol had Reuben's fuckbuddy Vesper out in the alleyway behind the bar, scrubbing at her face and trying to make sure she was really hearing precisely what she thought she was.

"So...just to make very sure I'm understanding made a deal with something to give you power?" Sol asked.

Vesper nodded, "I didn't really make a deal, so much as I just let the magic have all of me for the power and it's really been working out, I think."

Sol stared at Vesper in disbelief for a long moment before finally saying, "Uh-huh."

"And I needed the power so that I could protect the supernatural people, help them come out of hiding."


"And hunters are very dangerous to supernatural people, everyone knows that--except you, you're cool--so I figured I'd do some magic on the hunters to leave the supernatural people alone."

"Wow," Sol said, her voice a study in awe, "I can't believe you are actually dumber than I thought you were."

"I'm not dumb--!" Vesper argued, but Sol raised her voice to talk over him.

"You gave your entire body to something you didn't understand for power you didn't need in order to help people who neither want nor need your help!" Sol snapped, making Vesper flinch back in alarm. "And as if that weren't enough, you really thought you were going to be able to cast the sort of magic that would cause 15? Maybe 20 people go against their nature? If that's not dumb, I don't know what is!"

For a brief moment, Vesper seemed to consider her words, his shoulders sagging with disappointment.

"It seemed like a good idea."

"It wasn't."

Then Vesper brightened, "I'll figure out another way to help!"

"No--" But he was already merrily trotting off.

Sol was too old for this shit.