Author's Note: This little bit came to me after reading "Gargoyles – Bad Guys" 1 - 3 especially #3 - Estranged. I just love Dingo and Robyn's Benedict/Beatrice relationship. And the other bad guys are fun too. Like I mentioned in my "Symphony of Angels" fic, I don't really imitate accents through spelling though I do try to imitate the way characters talk. We all know that Dingo has a strong Australian accent and Robyn a Scottish one. Just read them that way. Enjoy and please review!

Nightcaps

By: Silver Spider

The the late night shows were all over, and Harry 'Dingo' Monmouth was debating going out to get another soda and maybe a bag of chips. He had a strong feeling that he had made the wrong choice to do so when he spotted a silvery humanoid figure, a gargoyle, and a mutate all clustered in the hallway of the third floor of Casablanca Hotel outside of room 1307. He should have turned around and walked back to his own room then, but curiosity got the better of him.

"What's this then?" he asked in his strong Australian accent.

The trio exchanged uncertain glances.

"Hunter is... upset," Matrix, the artificial intelligence that sometimes doubled as his body armor, said finally, voice emotionless and slightly echoing as always.

"You can tell that through the door?" Dingo raised a brow, half-skeptical half-amused.

"I can sense elevated levels of adrenaline and anxiety, though her heart rate has been steadily dropping within the past two hours."

"None of us have seen her leave this day," said Yama, the Japanese gargoyle. "Perhaps someone should speak with her."

"Right," Fang, by far his least favorite member of the Redemption Squad, agreed. "I nominate Dingo."

"Me?!" the Australian looked outraged. "Why me?!"

"You are the only other human here," the mutate smiled innocently.

"That is sound logic," Matrix agreed.

"I concur," nodded Yama.

"Yeah, thanks for nothin', mates," the man muttered but he was already stepping towards the door. Glaring over his shoulder at the other three, he added. "I'm not talkin' to anyone with an audience. Find something useful to do 'stead of just hangin' 'round here."

Reluctantly, mostly because they were disappointed their curiosity would not be satisfied, the three dispersed back into the hallway. Dingo waited until they were all out of sight before tapping lightly on the door. There was some shuffling from inside the room, but he heard no sound of anyone moving to open the door.

"Hunter, it's Dingo. Open up."

Nothing. After a few minutes it became apparent that she intended to ignore him until he went away. She must not have known him too well yet. Dingo could be be one tenacious son of a bitch when he put his mind to it.

"Look, way I see it, you got two choices: open the door voluntarily or it comes down. You know I won't even break a sweat. What's it gonna be?"

More silence, then the sound of reluctant footsteps, and a moment later the door opened to reveal an obviously very annoyed Robyn Canmore glaring at him. She wore the generic hotel-provided bathrobe, and her light blond hair looked like she had just crawled out of bed. He made a move to enter, but she blocked his path, continuing to glare daggers at him. Dingo ignored her hostility.

"You gonna let me in or are we gonna have our obligatory shoutin' match in the hallway?"

"It's one in the morning," she retorted, but let him pass and closed the door behind him. "What do you want?"

"The gents an' I wanted to know what's got you shut up in this room for the better part of the day an' night," Dingo glanced around the room, noting with some dismay the litter of small liquor bottles scattered in the floor at the foot of the bed. There was a half-empty bottle of Scotch on her nightstand. "You sure you should be drinkin' all that?"

"You don't want to be lecturing me now," her tone was a warning, but not nearly as strong as it normally sounded. "We're leaving for France tomorrow. Till then, leave me alone."

Dingo glared at her, annoyed.

"Listen to Miss I'm-Scottish-I-can-handle-my-liquor. I outweigh you by seventy-five pounds easy and I wouldn't brave that much alcohol."

"Well that's you, isn't it?" she picked up the Scotch and took another swig wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

"I'm not leavin' till you tell me what gave you the sudden urge to start St. Patty's Day early and kick it into overdrive," he knew St. Patrick's Day was an Irish, not Scottish thing, but it was close enough. "An' like you said, we're not goin' anywhere till tomorrow so I can wait here all day. Got no other plans."

He leaned on the wall behind him and crossed his arms over his broad chest to make his point. Robyn looked at him than sank down onto the bed, hanging her head and letting messy blond strands fall to hide her face from him. She began to sob quietly. Now Dingo was truly uncomfortable. He did not like seeing anyone he considered strong, especially a woman, break down like that. Hunter was bossy, demanding, and controlling, not a sniffling depressed drunk pile of mush sitting in her bathrobe in the middle of the bed in a hotel room. It put his whole world view on its head.

"What do you want of me, Harry?" she rubbed her face, clearly exasperated.

He was about to say he did not want anything, but his own resolve hardened. "I want you to tell me what needs to happen for you to get back in the saddle and start steerin' the rest of us straight. I don't think you threatened to send me back to prison once today."

"I've said it enough times that you can play it back in your head."

"If that's the best comeback you got, we're all in trouble."

"I don't owe you anything. I've got my own problems," her head snapped up, blue eyes ablaze with anger.

Oh good, Dingo thought with relief. We're communicating. Anger he could handle. He did not feel as guilty for yelling at her if she yelled back.

"Let's start with the fact that, yeah, you do kinda owe me. You were the one who dragged me outta the Outback," he reminded her. "You're the boss of this crazy team, so the way I see it, you owe everyone to at least help give us a fightin' chance of stayin' alive. Right now I don't even see you helpin' yourself to anythin' but another bottle of Scotch."

"Oh, but you can?"

"Maybe. If you tell me what's wrong."

"One of my brothers is in prison and paralyzed. The other is a genocidal terrorist. Can you help with either of those?" Dingo stared at her, startled. "I didn't think so. Go away, Harry."

He regarded her for a long moment then pushed back from the wall and crossed the room to sit down on the bed next to her. The cheap springs protested at the addition of his significant weight.

"They here in New York, your brothers?" she did not respond. "You went to see them, didn't you? That's the cause of all these waterworks."

"I just..." she shook her head despairingly. "I just wanted to see if there was any hope of getting my family back."

"And?"

"The one at Riker's might heal, physically anyway. The other... I don't know what else I can say. I'm afraid I lost him forever, and the whole thing scares me shitless. After our father was gone, it was just the three of us. Thirty-odd-years-old, and I've never been apart from them for this long. Never been this alone."

She probably would not have said anything if it was not for the alcohol, he realized. Hunter may have known most of her team's dirty little secrets, but none of them knew anything about her beyond the general public knowledge items. She was not exactly the sharing type. Not usually, anyway. Robyn buried her face in her hands and wept quietly.

"Hey, now, no more of that," Dingo wrapped an arm around her shoulders and wiped the tear streaks from her cheeks with the pad of his thumb. "Shit happens. A lot, in our case, but we deal with it. Make new teams, new families. Sure this bunch of ours's not perfect. The 'tengu' and hairball are always at each other's throats, and heaven knows what's goin' on in that hive-mind of ol' Terminator 2. We work with what we got. You're not alone, Robyn."

Dingo half expected her to argue the point, but instead felt her body relax against him. Whatever desire she had for conflict earlier fled to be replaced with quiet acceptance. Apparently his words had done some good after all. They sat in silence for a long time, so long that he thought that perhaps she had fallen asleep, until she called his name so softly that he almost did not hear it.

"Harry..."

"Yeah?"

She said nothing else but instead leaned forward and kissed him, first on the corner of his mouth then moved across his lips, deepening the kiss. Her loose robe revealed the curves of a pair of firm creamy breasts that pressed against his black muscle shirt. Dingo felt his pants grow uncomfortably tight. Suddenly the strong taste and smell of alcohol hit him, and it had the instant effect of a bucket of cold water being dumped over his head.

"Oh no, no, no," he bolted from the bed. "Not a good idea, sweetheart."

"Why?"

" 'Cause you're really drunk, an' it wouldn't be proper. 'Sides," the corner of his mouth turned up in a lopsided grin, "when it does happen, I want you to be able to remember it in the morning. It's a male pride thing. You understand."

She looked like she wanted to protest, but somewhere amidst the haze, a spark of sobriety must have surfaced. Robyn leaned over and chastely kissed his cheek this time.

"Thank you."

"What for?"

"Steering me straight. And for not taking advantage."

Dingo looked momentarily offended that she even suggested he might have, then shrugged nonchalantly. "Yeah, well, it'd be a waste of my charm anyway."

"What charm?" Robyn gave a very unladylike snort.

"I'll show you when you're sober," he flashed her a smile. "Now get to bed. You're gonna have a terrific hangover in the morning, but nothin' to be done 'bout that now."

Robyn nodded wistfully, slipping under the covers and letting him literally tuck them in around her. By the time he finished replacing the empty liquor bottles with a bottle of water and two aspirins, she was fast asleep. Dingo smiled, shaking his head as he quietly closed the door behind him.

So she was not all that bad. Hell of a lot better than the company he used to run with in the past. He'd take the bossy tough-as-nails Robyn Canmore over any of them any day.

Author's End Note: And the moral of the story is... a nice guy may bring you flowers and chocolate, but only a keeper will look out for you when you're drunk. ^_^ So I'm a sucker for hardcore bad guys who actually turn out to be gentlemen when the opportunity arises. *grins* I heart Dingo and Robyn. Might even have another one-shot with these two brewing, one where no one is drunk. Can't wait for the finished trade paperback to be out.