Jade didn't much care for the club scene, she really didn't. Sure it was fun hanging out with her friends, messing around and generally having a good time, but she could do without all the crowd and noise. Not that she would ever complain.

"-I mean, this place is still kind of shit, and not even in any way that could be conceived in any universe as ironic. There's no way in hell any of this is up to code either. The other night I was in the back room and I swear there's like a hundred live wires just chillin' out in the open like, ' 'sup, bro, come over here and touch me and see what happens'. Like we could play Russian roulette with these things, finding out who dies and who's left impotent for the rest of their life." Dave was rambling on beside her, his hands getting involved as he gestured every which way, still maintaining his poker face the whole time.

Jade giggled, quickening her step to be keep pace beside him. She could handle the chaos and insanity of the club, just so long as it meant she got to hear Dave ramble. Not that she would ever say that out loud, that seemed like a thing best kept to one's self and she intended to keep it that way.

It was easier to hear up here along the balcony they were walking. A floor below them the music was pumping through the speakers, a sea of people writhing and jumping on the packed dance floor. Jade could hear the music, a seemingly senseless beat that just kept repeating, but at least up here she could hear Dave speak.

"Not that this discussion of your hypothetical erectile dysfunction at the hands of faulty electrical equipment isn't fascinating, and giving me plenty more to document in my analysis, but you are aware of where we are going, right?"

Jade jumped at Rose's words, she had forgotten that she and Kanaya were even here.

Dave gave a dismissive sort of snort, not even looking back at the two girls. "Of course I know where we are going, I work here."

"Dave, you got us lost in your own apartment building once."

"To be fair, it was a pretty big building."

Jade glanced over her shoulder, suppressing a laugh. She wasn't sure if Kanaya was being serious, or taking a second jab at Dave. The taller girl offered Jade a smile, doubled by Rose, as the two walked arm and arm behind Jade and Dave, as if they were too classy for hand holding.

Dave frowned. "Really? I take all three of you to see where I work, take you behind the scenes to see all my sweet tech and all you do is trash me. I see how it is. You all only like me for my ability to get you into clubs. You're all just using me. I am both disappointed and wounded."

"What did I do?" Jade laughed, putting on her most scandalized face. "I have been nothing but grateful!"

"This is true. You would never turn on me Harley, at least I have one person in my life that I can trust not to kill me if my back is turned." As if to emphasize his point he looked over his shoulder, shooting a glance at Kanaya and Rose. "You tell me if Lalonde is going for me, and I'll let you know if Maryam looks like she's gonna make a move for you. They can't take both of us."

Jade giggled, making a 'watching you' gesture back at the girls behind her who only grinned their all knowing smirks in return. "Don't worry Strider, I got you."

"I wonder who would win this death match," Rose pondered, her head turned towards Kanaya as if to block out the other two, though her voice rose in volume. "Two classy, well educated women versus a feral child and white trash." She grinned as Jade stuck her tongue out at her.

Kanaya's hand raised to her mouth to stifle her giggle.

"Shit Jade, you gonna take that? Rose just called you white trash."

Jade laughed out loud, unable to keep the ear splitting grin off of her face. She knew it made her look like an idiot, but she never much cared about things like that. Being with her friends just always made her so much happier than she had any right to be.

"Jade, dear, your shoe is untied," Kanaya informed her gently, tapping her shoulder to pull her out of her silly thoughts.

"Oh! Thank-you." She took a step out of Kanaya's way, allowing the others to pass her as she bent down, taking care that her skirt didn't ride too far up on her leg. Her green converse probably weren't appropriate for the club scene, nor was her knee length skirt, but fashion wasn't really her department. That was always more Kanaya or Feferi-

And suddenly, her mundane thoughts were interrupted as all hell broke loose.

Three rapid-fire cracks exploded over the music, which cut almost immediately. A flash of light almost blinded her and she could smell the smoke instantly. People were screaming and glass was shattering. Jade was slammed to the ground with a force she knew would leave bruises later.

For one ridiculous moment she thought she had been shot, obviously knocked to the ground with the blow, squeezing her eyes shut as if that would make it all go away. Taking a steadying breath she opened them, finding herself facing the wall, her back to the floor below. In complete panic she refused to move, entire body tense under the extra weight. Extra weight? She glanced down, searching for both for an explanation and a bullet wound, but she found none of the latter and little of the former.

Dave's arm was curled around her waist, his larger frame engulfing hers with his back to the chaos of the floor below. She turned slightly in his arms, not quite daring to move from her safe position facing the wall. "Dave?"

He was close enough that she could see the outline of his eyes behind his glasses, certainly wider than what was probably usual. His breath was just as heavy as hers with adrenaline. " 'Sup Harley?" She meant to move again but his grip on her tightened, holding her in place. "Don't you dare move."

Her heart was slamming against her chest, blood running hot through her veins. "I don't," she took a steadying breath; "I don't think that was a gun." The smell of smoke hung in the air still, but not gunpowder.

Dave's took a few breaths as well before speaking. "I think you're right." His grip on her loosened as he turned to look behind them, over the balcony.

Despite his protest, Jade lifted herself up on her elbows, wincing a bit. There would definitely be some bruises tomorrow. A little way down the hall were Kanaya and Rose, sitting on the ground, both arms clutched onto one another, their already pale faces completely devoid of color. She cast her attention to the floor below, where chaos was still in full bloom.

Some people were curled up on the floor, heads covered as they tried to flatten themselves out. Some people were on their feet, moving around in a panic, and a handful of others still were lying motionless on the ground, surrounded by broken glass.

"Oh my god!" Jade gasped, pulling herself to her feet. She had been right, it hadn't been a gun. It looked like something in the rafters had given way and a line of lights had fallen, exploding in glass and sparks upon impact. "I think people are hurt!"

"I told you this place was shit," Dave said, his voice as monotone as ever. There was something a bit more hollow about it at that moment though.

"We should help!"

Dave shook his head. "We've got a medic here, they'll take care of it until an ambulance gets here. I'm going to go see where they need me, you three just get out, before the whole damn building collapses."

Jade turned her head back to Rose and Kanaya about to call out, but paused as she watched Kanaya helping a still shaky Rose to her feet. For some reason they had looked closer to her when she had been on the ground. They were almost at the other end of the hall, a good 50 or so feet away. Hadn't Dave been in front of them?

Her ears were still ringing and limbs a bit weak, but things were starting to click in the most unexpected of ways in her head. Because in an emergency situation, despite being at the other end of the hall, with Rose and Kanaya between them and in just as much danger, Dave's first thought had been her.

And she hadn't said anything. She hadn't thanked him for his heroism, nor had she called him an idiot for putting himself in danger like that. A situation like this probably warranted a kiss or a slap, and all she had done was stare at him like an idiot. Pulling herself together she turned back to him, but he had already disappeared.