Word Count: 1000+
Summary: The one with Medieval Times.
AN: Cheating, and gifting this one to both surreallis (who wanted Traci/Jerry and Sam/Andy at Medieval Times) and legalliquid (who wanted a dinner party).
“So,” Sam says. “We seriously have to pre-game for this thing?”
The four of them are sitting on the floor of Andy’s living room, a bottle of wine and the remains of some stuffed peppers between them on the coffee table (well—Nash and Jerry are sitting on a low-lying futon, guests get priority or whatever, but Sam refuses to count that as furniture, so). The whole evening has been like that, this weird mix of high- and low-brow, McNally and Nash knocking back shots in the kitchen as the bruschetta cooled.
“They don’t serve alcohol,” Jerry says now. “And trust me, my friend—” He claps Sam on the back, too heartily. “You’ll want to be drunk.”
Sam blinks, takes another pull off his beer.
(Ever since he and Andy went public at the barn—or as public as they’re ever going to get, meaning she no longer makes him drop her off half a block away—Jerry’s been trying for some kind of male-camaraderie thing. Sam supposes it makes sense, what with Nash and McNally so tight, and it’s not that he doesn’t like the guy, but—the memory of the goatee lingers.
It’s possible Sam’s already drunk.)
“Apparently the experience ‘isn’t complete without it’,” Andy parrots, tucking one cold foot under his thigh. She thinks she’s being stealthy but Nash is one-hundred percent on to them, has been since they answered the door just a hair too slow. Sam doesn’t much care; he reaches down for Andy’s frigid ankle, rubs.
“It’d be better if we were high,” Traci adds, “but apparently that wasn’t a dream, and we all really are officers of the law, so. Legal substances it is.”
Sam laughs. “Didn’t you go to this place with your son?”
“Yes.” Nash surveys him from a top her futon coolly, high-heeled boots stretched out in front of her like a gunslinger. “And I wanted a toke then too.” Sam holds up his hands, palms out; fair enough. “We should probably get going, eh?” Traci continues. “S’getting late.”
“Okay, yeah.” Andy scrambles inelegantly to her feet, hair swinging down over her shoulder. She pinned it up in this vaguely fancy set of twists for the occasion, fussing in the bathroom mirror while Sam shaved away his last shift, does this look medieval to you? It’s mostly loose now, what they got up to right before Nash and Barber arrived—Sam’s been catching dirty looks for that one all night. He kind of thinks they’re more for the hair than anything else.
“Take these,” McNally mutters to him now, three plates and the bottle shoved into his hands. Sam smiles. There’s a distinctive difference between the way she’s been treating Nash and Barber and the way she’s been treating him, this guest/not-guest divide. And that’s—well. It’s possible Sam’s not too put out about being the hump who busses her dishes to the sink.
“Okay,” Jerry says when they pile into the car, a family-friendly clunker he bought on account of Nash. “Is everyone ready for this magical adventure?” It’s dusk, Christmas lights just winking on along Dufferin. Andy and Traci obediently chime in with the affirmative.
The evening is freezing, heater taking forever to warm up. Halfway through the drive McNally unbuckles her seatbelt, slow and secret in the inky darkness, slides over to the middle seat. Sam tucks her hand inside his pocket.
(How this whole thing got pitched to him:
“Trace and Jerry wanna take us to Medieval Times,” Andy said, after shift one night and both of them dozing on his couch. Her hair was still wet from the shower she took back at the barn, soapy-sweet where it fell across his mouth. “It’s their dorky couple thing,” she told him earnestly, “and now they want us to like, share it.” The way she said share; like it left a funny taste in her mouth. “So we aren’t allowed to make fun.”
“Okaaaay.” Sam kissed her neck, unsure if he was trying to lull her back to sleep or wake her up for other activities. “So the fact that we’re going—that’s just a given then?”
“Completely.” She was shifting on him, bony knees against his ribcage; wake up for other activities it was then. “Whatever, we can just drink there or something.” Which: yeah, that turned out to be a lie.
Sam finds he doesn’t mind so much, being hosed.)
“The red knight is super hot,” Traci announces once they’ve taken their seats, row E, halfway up. The whole place is tiered, like a hockey arena went and installed a bunch of banquet tables. It smells like hay and horses but also a bit like French fries, kids running up and down the aisles. The whole effect is of a sporting event gone medieval, which Sam supposes is exactly the point.
“He has a ponytail,” Jerry mutters. Directed at Sam, like maybe this is something they need to address as men.
“Ponytails are gross,” Andy pronounces, taking another swig off the Nalgene bottle of mystery alcohol Nash stashed in her purse, then chasing it with the complimentary garlic bread (it’s going to be fun kissing her later; Sam is oddly undeterred by the idea). In any case, he tosses Jerry a look, like, clearly you’re alone with this one.
Nash snatches the bottle back. “They work on certain men, all right?”
“Oh, and the red knight is certain men?” Jerry jumps in, and then he and Nash are off, this Abbott and Costello patter. They’re holding hands on top of the table.
Suddenly everything goes dim, a spotlight coming up to skitter across the sand-covered arena and mounted knights pouring in from below, armour glinting blue and red and white. An announcer tells them that this is the magic of eleventh century Spain; they are asked to please turn off their cell phones, enjoy the show.
Sam glances over at McNally, just barely visible in the glow from the recessed lights at the edges of their banquet tables. She’s put her plastic tiara on. They were handed out by a smiling girl in green robes at the door, compliments of the establishment.
She’s noticed his stare: “Too cool for crowns, huh?” Her eyes are lit up. She’s kept her coat on, the wide-open arena drafty and cool (just like a hockey game, she’d told him. But, you know, Medieval. You’ll see.
“Infinitely too cool,” he tells her. She slips him a smile, pressing her lips together.
“Not even while drunk?” She gave him a breathalyser outside in the lobby, tongue edging into his mouth and Traci and Jerry safely ensconced in the gift shop, buying a foam sword for Leo. She told him it was for science, fingers in his belt loops and her sharp nose nudging against his. When they broke away an elderly couple was smiling at them from the programme stand.
“Not even while drunk.”
She scoots her chair close to him anyway, his and hers matching royal titles or not. The tiara’s prongs dig into his shoulder as she leans in.