Disclaimer: Full Throttle and all related characters, settings, etc. are property of LucasArts.
All To Chance
Hey, I've got a joke for you.Yeah. Girl walks into a bar, runs into a guy she hasn't seen in six months, and the first thing he says is, What the hell are you doing here?'
He blinked at her, unfazed. I don't get it.
Mo smirked into her drink. That's funny, neither do I.
Silence lapsed between them for a while. Then he asked, So what are you doing here?Had a meeting in El Nada this morning. Kinda stressful. Thought I'd stop. Didn't know you'd be here.Would you have stopped if you'd known?
She sat back a little in her chair, arched her back a little straighter. He could see the thin curve of her back through her black suit jacket. Funny, but he didn't remember her looking that soft. Amazing what six months could do.
What sort of question is that? she asked at last, drawing his attention back to her face. She was frowning.
He shrugged. Just a question. she said, swirling her gin around in its glass, if it's just a question...then yeah, I would've stopped.
He raised an eyebrow.
She took a sip of her drink, watching him over the rim of the glass all the while. A tiny trace of a smirk tugged at the corner of her lips. What, did your limo break down?
She leaned back in her chair, taking a casual survey of the room. The rest of the Polecats were still keeping their distance. They'd seen the looks on both their faces when Mo had walked into that bar, and they didn't want any part of it. As a matter of fact... she began, setting her glass down, no. C'mon, Ben. You know me. You think I couldn't fix a limo?You could fix anything.You're using the past tense, Polecat. She fixed him with an almost angry glare. He'd gotten in a hit straight to her ego with that one, he knew. It showed on her face--it never used to.
You've gone soft, he said flatly. Wrench might break a nail.Or I could just take that wrench and break it over your head, she shot back.
He sat back, a slow, wary smile creeping over his face. You could, he said, but I don't think the guys would appreciate it. She returned his smile with one that was downright devious. But it'd be worth it.Nice to know you haven't lost your temper.Nice to know you haven't lost your dry wit. She tossed back the last of her gin and dropped the glass back down onto the table. The resulting rattle echoed in the silence that followed. So, how's the bike?
He blinked at her. It never had a warranty. Corley Motors isn't going to fix it.
She leaned forward in her seat, folding her arms up on the table and staring him straight in the eye. Are you trying to tell me, she said lowly, so that only he could hear, that you went and wrecked that bike not even a year after I fixed it up? She snapped back into a more casual posture, shaking her head. I tell you, Polecat, nobody respects their mechanics anymore.The bike's fine, he answered thinly. A couple new scratches, maybe, but she's fine.That's good. She made a grand show of studying her fingernails in the dim afternoon light. I just got this manicure; wouldn't want to wreck it trying to piece your hog back together.
This time, he didn't even blink before shooting back a response. You use that attitude with the other suits?I tried, she said, throwing him a wicked grin, but they don't appreciate it like you do.
He downed the last of his beer in one gulp. Their loss.
She smiled. You want another drink? he asked, motioning to her empty glass.
She picked it up, contemplated it for a bit, and then set it down again. she said, standing up and brushing some wrinkles out of her suit. I'd better get moving--got another meeting back at the factory tonight.
He didn't move a muscle. Too many meetings'll make you soft.Softer than I already am, you mean? She smirked. Don't worry, Polecat. If it makes you feel better, I'll punch a suit or two for you.You'll wreck your manicure.I can always get a new one, she answered, motioning to her driver and a guy who looked suspiciously like a bodyguard. They got up from the bar and headed for the door. Hey, Ben?
He looked up, hiding a grimace. Something in her tone of voice reminded him a little too much of the last time they'd parted ways.
She paused, as if picking the right words to say. Then, Don't be such a stranger, okay?Only if you don't go soft.Don't worry. Mo smiled and then disappeared out the door like she'd never been there. But Ben could still smell the twin scents that seemed to follow her everywhere she went--asphalt and trouble. He sighed and ordered another beer.
Darrel waited until after Ben had taken a swig of the beer before he approached him. He almost dropped down into the seat Mo had just vacated, then thought better of it and just stood there.
He looked at the place Mo had been, just shaking his head. Since when does oil under a girl's nails count as a manicure?
Ben took a long drink. It doesn't. Unless you're Mo. He looked up at Darrel. She didn't really have a meeting in El Nada, did she.
Darrel snorted. No. Driver said she dragged him out here. She's been tracking us on the news, he said. Looking for you.
Trouble, asphalt and trouble, he thought, shaking his head and staring at the beer bottle. She doesn't know when to quit.You're a matched set.If she weren't a suit, he answered absently. He was still contemplating the dark glass of the beer bottle. Unless you think I'm going soft.
Darrel held his hands up in surrender. Wouldn't dream of it, man. I'm just sayin'. He looked at the bar's door. You going after her?
Ben just shook his head. I chased her around the desert once already. She's proved she knows how to find me. So I say let her. If she gives up, she gives up.And if she doesn't, we get to put up with you two sniping at each other all the time. Because let's face it, she's not going to quit making up excuses to show up, and you're not going to quit pretending you're surprised to see her. Darrel shook his head and walked off, muttering all the while, Man, you two are a matched set. You're both certifiable.
Ben pretended not to hear him. It looked like he was still focusing on the bottle, but in reality he was staring past the bottle at the empty chair across from him. He had to admit--he sort of liked the smell of asphalt. Trouble, not so much. But then, they were a matched set. He'd deal.