Twice Lucky - universe

The club

Part 2 – Four months later.

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

"With all due respect, Mister Nakamura, we cannot stay out here in the cold like this." The older oriental man was sitting on the bench - and had been sitting there, day and night, for the past four months - not budging and being incredibly stubborn. 'Like father, like son,' Ando thought with a sigh.

Ando sighed again and looked out at the mass of people, were milling about their daily business without minding them. Hiro was stuck, who knew where, while they were stuck in the cold.

Ando didn't know what to believe anymore; the small part of his world, the tiny box office he had lived in for so long had suddenly become so large. Expanded ten-fold, to include Heroes who could bend space-time, turn themselves into fusion bombs and, hell, even eat people's brains.

It was like some whacked out B-movie.

As if remembering, Ando's finger brushed the ring in his pocket. Pulling it out, he studied it for a second and held it up against the morning light. A smile and a plan started to form in his mind. "Mister Nakamura, there's a place that we could go that isn't far from here, somewhere we could get some breakfast, maybe some coffee."

Mister Nakamura grunted and continued looking out at the crowd.

"Hiro knows where it is and will know to find us there." The older man turned his head and looked at Ando sideways. He narrowed his eyes dangerously and Ando suddenly felt as though he were looking into the eyes of the dragon from the Kensei story.

The old man looked at Hiro's innocent friend, who had been caught up in this mess like so much debris in a tornado, and sighed.

"Very well," Kaito conceded finally, and Ando's eyes lit up like a child at Christmas. "But we will not stay there long."

Ando inclined his head respectably. "Thank you, Mister Nakamura. You won't regret it."

A small smile crept up on the old man's face and he stood. Ando leapt to his feet and paused, suddenly knowing exactly where to go; the instructions appeared in his mind, as though embedded and then opened up, like a safe with a time lock.

Strange…

He shrugged it off as another weirdness of Manhattan, just like the fact that, the other day, he could've sworn he'd seen a blonde-haired man flying across the cityscape with angel wings.

He started moving and weaving his way through the crowds of people, Hiro's father following suit. Eventually, after about ten minutes, they found the place in a non-descript alley. He had no fear of where he was, as Hiro's father was more than capable of fending off any assault.

As they walked toward the doorway that Ando was certain was the entrance to club Cartias, a very large black man stepped out and eyed the two. He was broad–shouldered, bald and wore an expensive-looking suit. His muscles bulged as he moved. The man saw Kaito Nakamura and bowed respectably, Kaito bowed back.

The black man looked at Ando with a critical eye and smirked. "The sun is shining…"

Ando stopped, stuttered and then remembered what the man who had bumped into them had said. "Ah, wait, but the ice is slippery."

Kaito arched an eyebrow upwards and watched the exchange between the two. The big black man bowed again. "Where is Hiro Nakamura?"

Ando was stunned that the man knew Hiro's name, but it was Hiro's father who answered before he could open his mouth. "Hiro is away on a business trip."

The bouncer nodded, and pushed the door open. As Ando thanked the man, he noticed that the bouncer was also wearing an emerald ring.

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

"So, Xander gave you a ring without filling you in on any of the details of our world?" Ando was staring, his mouth slightly open as the person with bright green skin and horns - yes, red horns - was talking to the two of them as casually as if he were discussing the weather.

The green 'demon' looked between the two expectantly and then sighed when he didn't receive a response. He shook his head, "Well, fellas, let's start off by getting you a drink, that normally helps with the introductions."

He got them both a drink: Ando, a whisky, and Mister Nakamura, some variety of sparkling drink. The old man grunted his thanks and took a sip. Satisfied it was okay, he placed it down on the tabletop and kept his hand wrapped around it.

"Well, chuckles and sweetcake, my name is Lorne, and if you haven't guessed by now, I'm a demon." He pointed at the red horns, "And, no, I don't have a tail."

"Well," Lorne leaned in closer, "Some of the ladies say it's a tail."

The green-skinned demon smirked when Ando choked on his drink. "So, the world you know is bigger than you realise, it's all just a sugar-coated topping made to blind you from the truth."

"Kinda like the metahumans?"

Lorne blinked his red eyes in surprise at Ando, "Yes, something like that."

"Oh, how do you people keep it away from the general populace?"

Hiro's father grunted in amusement, "People see what they want to see."

Lorne smiled. "Xander said something like that, except his was more cryptic; something along the lines of," Lorne waved his hand, "The clouded mind sees nothing."

Kaito turned his full interest to the demon; this Xander would be interesting to meet, alas, if there was enough time.

"We must get back…"

"Certainly," Ando bowed respectably to the demon. "How much?"

"Don't worry about it. If Xander gave you the rings without so much as telling you why, he obviously thought highly of you." Lorne grinned, "Don't be strangers now."

They made their way back to the spot and Kaito sat down and sighed. It had been a nice break from the troubles of his mind. He ordered Ando back to the office so he could get a brief moment of peace. When the young man came back with the newspaper, Kaito opened it and a picture fell out.

Kaito leaned down to pick it up and, with shaking hands, turned it over. The Godsend sign was on it. "Where did you get this?"