Heard It Through The Grapevine

Rik Caine had finished his shift and was returning to his office to slump down on his couch, pull a short from the barrel and get through yet more paperwork. He wondered to himself why anyone would voluntarily become Chief of the Boat. As he sidled into the room like a dusty lawman entering a saloon he noticed that things had changed since he'd last been there. He raised a single brow with intrigue. The lights were on when previously they'd been out for the count. In the middle of the desk floated a hat. Not just any hat, a brown felted fedora with a little card tucked into the hat band. Hidden under the hat, and giving it the illusion of defying gravity, was a bottle of whiskey. Perhaps work was not finished after all and the couch and that short of hooch would have to wait a while longer.

Rik moved closer to the foreign items that had appeared in his office like ghosts in the night. Lifting the hat off the bottle to inspect it, he couldn't help but notice the flowing lines of the glass bottle, its sturdy belly as solid as any foundation containing pure liquid gold. The neck was short and perfectly straight like a meerkat looking for danger. It was a thing of beauty. He studied the label momentarily; an unmistakeable TR on the neck band standing out like a beacon to welcome boats safely to shore. Instantly recognisable. A smile played across Rik's lips like he'd won blackjack in a casino. Templeton Rye. The drink of the era he embodied. He reached his hand out to touch it; check it was really there and he wasn't going to pull awake on his couch with the same disappointment and wishful hoping as a Joe pulling awake alone; the dame having disappeared into the night. He touched it and felt the cool glass; he wasn't dreaming.

Smiling again he then turned his attention to the fedora that had been perched atop the bottle as he'd entered. It was a thing of beauty, soft to the touch and all kinds of class. He picked it up delicately; as if it were a newborn child. His heart beat a little harder as he turned it; admiring the craftsmanship and detailing from every angle. Setting it back down he pulled out the card and it all made a little more sense. Coral lips; stark contrast against the white card. Being fairly sure he didn't have another admirer there was only one who would go to this much trouble; one who would pick up on the very meaning of him and enhance it. The redheaded dame called trouble who had had graced his door. Amelia; the dame that made him dizzy. He kissed the card and leaned back in his chair wondering what he had done so right. The thought cut off however when the doors slid open.

He didn't even bother to hit the chime. The tall blond joe simply walked in like he owned the joint and settled himself in one of the chairs in front of the desk. Looking like he'd stepped off the high seas of the silver screen, his eyes and the glasses that hung off the bridge piercing hid in the shadows of the tricorner hat with a plume large enough to fan a princess and featuring a hand painted skeleton fish. He smoothed his damask vest with the jolly rogers, skeleton fish, and spaghetti and meatballs pattern woven in as he looked at the fedora, then to the gumshoe expectantly.

Rik looked the bo over with intrigue. It wasn't often someone sidled into his office with the confidence of a fakealoo artist on the film-flam. He felt like the barkeep at some kind of drum watching his newest patron with suspicious interest. Rolling the fedora up his arm he let it rest on his head, tipped and covering his eyes slightly — if the two gents from out of time were going to dance; he at least wanted to look the part.

"Admiral Waterhouse sends his greetings." A smirk painted the tall blond's lips, and he tipped the hat upwards to bring his softly ridged forehead and his faint trill spots into the light.

"Admiral?" Rik repeated half questioning and half concerned all the while swallowing firmly. He knew Amelia's father was an Admiral but, had she told him already? A thousand questions fired through his head like the pistons of a speeding train. "You must be Noah?" he asked after a moment. The spots, the ridges showing a family resemblance. He cast his mind back to his conversation with Lily; apparently this rogue was trouble with a capital T. Rik grinned as he tipped the brim of his fedora to the elaborately dressed Joe before him. "I'd offer a seat but... Well..." he quipped nodding to the already seated position of his guest. "Care to dip the bill?"

Noah's eyes dropped and skimmed the lower edge of his lenses, then he snorted with amusement as he shook his head.

"Only if you have rum, and not that synthehol blasphemy," he answered, letting silence answer the other queries. His eyes took a meander around the room, actively turning his head to do so.

Rik chuckled to himself imagining Amelia saying something identical to the same question. This Joe was interesting that's for sure; the pirate garb, the goggles, the reaction that made no sense. Slowly he lifted his finger to his chin tapping it in concentration. Rik leaned back in his chair after a moment. “Sadly not; it's the replicator or I crack open the rather special bottle of hooch your sister left in my joint," he responded, assuming that he was the infamous Noah Waterhouse.

Noah's attention turned to the bottle for a moment, before his eyes found the bottom of his glasses again. His gaze slowly drifted left towards the display case in the shelves. "Smith and Wesson .32 double action 4th model?" He said this hesitantly, slowly, and as if he was reading it, as he turned his attention back to Rik and pulled a flask from a pocket inside his vest.

"You come prepared with your own hooch I see," Rik quipped, taking admiration at a man who could not only get away with wearing garb he'd expect to see in a swashbuckler movie; but carry a flask around too. Rik took out a tumbler from his drawer and twisted the lid off the bottle breaking the seal with a satisfying crack like knuckles at the start of two hoods squaring up for a fight. As he pulled the stopper out he could smell the deep, rich amber nectar within; inviting him in like a temptress siren beckoning sailors. He poured a measure, savouring each and every moment of the process and parking Noah's comment about his gat for now. "What are we toasting to bo?" he asked after a short pause and stealing a first sip of the hooch that had appeared in his office just like the dame who had supplied it. It was smooth, with just the right amount of kick. Easy to go down and a classy tipple, much grander than that he had offered Amelia on their first encounter. He'd have to get her to try it. Have to repay her. Have to thank her. As his mind wandered slightly he was almost caught off guard by the reply.

"To the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for touching us and filling our lives with so many wonderful things," Noah insisted as he lifted his flask upward before bringing it to his lips for a taste.

Rik inclined his head unsure by what Noah meant and raised his glass upwards as if making an offering to the sky. "So while we're sat here chinning — maybe you can spin the yarn as to how you've come to know your gats — not many who'd recognise her," he said nodding to the case on the shelf to his right.

"Let's just say a red-headed wench is coaching me," Noah answered, stealing another sip from his flask. His eyes dropped to the bottom edge of his lenses, and he nearly spit out his drink as a string of words in Klingon tumbled from his lips — what little the universal translator could pick out spoke of his mother and thanking pasta she was back at the shipyard.

Rik watched the man with interest, the way he was speaking and reacting to things it was almost as if he were a parody of spy talking too obviously to someone in his ear, but Rik couldn't spot any clear signs of communication devices about the man dressed as a pirate sat before him. "Problem with the hooch?" he asked after a moment before quickly adding, "and that's an interesting garb you've got on your back; there a story behind it?"

"No, no, the rum's fine. Smooth as silk, made it myself. Wanna try?" Noah held the flask out in offering, and his eyes darted downwards again. "This is my Friday's best. Dad wanted me to make a good impression, and he's–" He paused. "He'll probably regret asking it of me." He grinned wide.

Nodding slightly, Rik took the offered flask, taking a quick swig of the liquid inside before handing it back in one move. It was as smooth as he said; like drinking silk and the subtle bitter notes of alcohol didn't leave much of a burning in the back of his throat. "Some mighty fine hooch you've cooked up, quite a talent," he complimented before returning to his own glass of Templeton Rye. Rik paused again watching the man talk, correcting himself. Something was amiss but he couldn't quite place his finger on it. "A planned visit then?" Rik enquired, his whiskey-hazed gum-shoe mind racing like sprinters to the finish.

"Mum and Dad asked me to look in after Pond called Mum for advice on your treasure there," Noah explained, nodding to the whiskey and the fedora.

"I notice you call her Pond," Rik commented picking up on the nickname Noah used. "How'd she come by it?" he asked interested as to its meaning.

"Mum and Dad named her for a character from an old earth show, Doctor Who — Amy Pond," Noah answered with a shrug. "When she was young, Dad would tell her, 'Come along, Pond' since that was a thing the Doctor would say to Amy. It just kinda stuck." Another sip from the flask, and he leaned forward, gesturing with it. "Dad in particular was curious about you after reading your service record. He does that sort of thing because they don't like to let him actually repair things, y'see. Brass aren't supposed to get dirty, right?" He laughed, looking to the fedora again. "It suits you. Pond'll be pleased."

Rik nodded. Amy, Amelia – made sense. He made a mental note to check out the show clearly so important to the dame he was dizzy for and her family, before the colour drained out of his face like paint being poured from a pot as Noah mentioned that his and Amelia's parents were already familiar with him and his record. He couldn't help but wonder what the Admiral would make of a roguish gum-shoe being sweet on his dame of a daughter as he back-pedalled the conversation. "He... Read my jacket?" Rik questioned, swallowing slightly.

"Of course he read your jacket," Noah returned, a sly smile tugging at the corner of his lips instead of a trademark grin. "He trusts Pond can take care of herself, but she's still his little girl. He takes an interest, y'see." His eyes skimmed the bottom of his lenses again, and he snorted. "Though, it's really Mum you should be worried about. Dad can meddle with your career, but Mum... well, she's the one who taught Pond how to be the deadly creature she is."

Rik swallowed uncomfortably again, he was behind the eight ball and shifted awkwardly in his seat. "From... what I could tell in that painting of yours... equally scary and damn impressive," he said after a moment trying to get his thoughts out. "And your mother knows her 20's Earth hooch, I'm impressed." He paused again. "It's a mighty fine hat too." He took it off to admire it once more, before picking up the white lipstick-stained card from his desk and tucking it into the band. "From the sweetest and most beautiful dame I've had the pleasure to lay my peepers on," he finished forgetting who he was talking to, momentarily lost in the thought of Amelia.

Noah chuckled, shaking his head slightly. "He really is dizzy for the dame," he said, almost as if he was talking to someone.

Rik cocked his head sideways like a child listening outside a door they weren't supposed to. Too many inconsistencies, private moments shared with no one visible in the room. Off the cuff comments not related to the narrative of their conversation. Like the cogs in a watch ticking away Rik's investigatory mind kicked into gear. His brow lowered slightly in concentration as he tried to hear the muffled sound of an audio device. Nothing. He glanced over the pirate sat before him before landing on his face. Eyes up and down like a yo-yo in a school yard. Goggles. Like having a light switch pulled on Rik allowed a small smile to creep across his face as the puzzle finally fell into place. "I sure hope you can tell the folks that I'm no tomcat foolin' around — I suspect they're making their own minds up literally as we chin huh?" he said inclining his head and raising his glass by way of a greeting, in case that thing had a camera built in.

"I was wondering when you'd catch on," Noah returned with a chuckle, his eyes dropping to the bottom of the lenses again. "Mum says thank you, she's getting dinner at Valanna's next time she and Dad are on Earth. Dad thought you'd take longer to catch on... but either your service record doesn't give you enough credit, or he was giving me too much."

Rik took a sip from his glass and set it back down on the desk. "What can I say; Starfleet jackets are often littered with nonsense and diatribe. Wanna test the mettle of a Joe? Watch him go to town on a hood and elbow him into the slammer after twelve hours solid in an interview room," he commented, taking another swig of the smooth whiskey he had been so graciously provided. Rik knew of Valanna's, but had never been himself. "I hear it's good, happy to oblige," he quipped raising his glass to the goggles again.

"Dad's translated a few service records for me, he's usually good at sorting out the reality behind the fleet bull," Noah insisted with a shrug. "Though maybe it's just parlor tricks because he knows the people in question." His eyes dropped to the bottom of his lenses again, and he smirked. "Mum says that made Dad squirm. Do you suppose I was near to the mark?"

Rik chuckled. "Well I would imagine he'd need a special brand of universal translator for that one bo." Letting the smile play over his lips a little longer he reached for the glass and took another sip of the liquid gold it held. Like a bee to pollen Rik was hooked on the hooch. "He should consider himself a lucky Joe — you could be stepping him into a dive in the Tenderloin for gagh so bad it'll make ya heave a full sundown later. He's got it lucky, classy joint is Valanna's from what I hear." He couldn't help but let out a small chuckle as he shook his head slightly and took another swig, draining the glass of its contents. Here he was, sat with a pirate in front of him, having a third party conversation with the parents of the dame who'd driven him dizzy.

"Actually, they might go for it if it was somewhere like the Tenderloin, Mum just loves putting muggers in their place," Noah returned with a chuckle. "And Dad likes watching her in action. Though if the gagh is shit, she wouldn't want to go."

Rik couldn't help but let a laugh escape at that comment as he mulled over the unusual situation he was in. Meeting Amelia's parents without even being able to see them. His inquisitive mind couldn't help but wonder what they thought of the ol' gum-shoe. "Well I can see where Amelia gets her fire." He paused and smiled to himself. "If you do head out that way, ask for Gra'ak; tell him Jim Gordon sends his regards and he may crack open the good hooch. As for the gagh, it's as rough as sandpaper with the flavour of death itself. That dive is full of bindle stiffs, chippys and molls looking for an easy time, all of them there for underhanded business and to forget their woes rather than have a decent bite. Hell, its one raid away from being classed as a low down creep joint,” he concluded with a devilish grin, remembering his time undercover and spending a lot of time getting into just enough trouble to be convincing.

Noah laughed as his eyes were pulled to the bottom of his lenses again. "Mum wants to know what the name of this dive is? She's curious what quality hooch name dropping will get her, and she's so terribly bored since settling back in at Utopia."

Rik couldn't help but let another charming but devilish grin play across his lips. "It's a little joint called the Grey Targ round the back of Ada Court, look for the grey door that has no place being there and knock four times. They keep themselves to themselves and... Maybe leave the uniform at home, Starfleet ain't exactly a welcome sight," he explained.

"Considering Mum takes any excuse to ditch her uniform, even if she's on duty—especially if she can get away with it on duty—I don't think that'll be a problem." Noah shook his head with an amused grin.

Rik chuckled and shook his head, understanding more about Amelia as the conversation went on. "Well fair play; if you need a change of pace and don't mind roughing it where quality is concerned, head on down to that dive; you'll get hooch by the barrel and some good music to boot from an impressive canary with a solid set of pipes," he added.

He poured himself another measure of the Templeton Rye. "Sure I can't tempt you with a short, bo?" Rik asked his pirate guest before pausing and adding, "and I forgot to mention when you sidled into the joint; you're a talented artist."

"She's let you up for air long enough to notice the artwork, huh?" Noah asked with a smirk. "Have you seen the new painting in her office, or just the two in her quarters?" He considered the bottle of whiskey for a long moment. His sister had raided her personal stash to spoil this man who'd made such an impression on her, and this particular bottle had come to her by way of Uncle Spiegel — there was no doubt about the quality of it. "Okay, I'll give it a try."

Rik cocked his head and raised and lowered both eyebrows quickly, saying nothing. "Well I might-a missed that bat'leth hanging on the wall," he admitted. "Only seen the ones in her joint, yet to visit her office," he said, his mind wandering briefly before snapping back to the room and remembering who it was he was talking to. He cleared his throat. "Good call bo, it's mighty fine," he said pulling another tumbler from his desk drawer. He poured out a measure and slid the glass down the desk and accidentality clipped a PADD onto the floor by Noah’s chair. "Well that was supposed to be a whole lot more class than it was," Rik said with a wince.

"You missed the bat'leth?" Noah shook his head slowly as he collected the PADD from the floor and the glass from the top of the desk. The PADD lit up, and his eyes dropped to it automatically — like most people who read regularly, words drew him like a moth to flame. "Batman, huh?"

"I missed the bat'leth. I was... distracted," Rik admitted, thankful Noah hadn't called him on the less than impressive glass slide. "As for that..." he said nodding to the PADD before continuing. "I have an affinity with the character; cut from the same cloth I suppose. I guess in a way those stories saved me from becoming a snowbird and a low down hood." He paused for a moment not sure how Amelia's parents would take to that part of his life; or even how much of it they already knew. "You know of the Dark Knight?" he asked eventually breaking the silence.

"Snowb–" Noah started to repeat the word, a confused tilt to his head, as his eyes were drawn to the bottom of his lenses again. A simple 'oh' silently passed his lips, and he read for a second more. "Dad said to relay his condolences about your parents." His eyes dropped to the PADD again. "A lot of my early drawing used Pond's comics as reference. She's got some Batman in there, though she favors the Turtles and Wonder Woman."

Rik lowered his head slightly and took an intake of breath. He wasn't used to people discussing his past; let alone offering sympathy. "Thank you," he said, simply not knowing how else to respond. He let the silence linger a moment before continuing. "Wonder Woman is an interesting dame; the turtles I don't recognise; Amelia chinned to me about the painting hanging in her joint; how I learned of them,” Rik admitted before pausing. "Say bo, you may be able to help; I've never been able to get the batsuit to update in that software the way I want it, a lot of the source material has been lost. Don't suppose I could trouble ya for some artwork to plug into the program?" he asked, hopeful that Amelia's brother could assist. "Only if it's no trouble you understand, happy to pass along some latinum, or rum, for it," he added.

"Get me some reference, and it should be easy enough," Noah returned with a small shrug. He eyed the contents of the glass in his hand, and drug it under his nose for a smell. It certainly wasn't his rum, but it didn't smell bad either. "If you don't have it, I'll just borrow some of Pond's Batman comics. I'll tell her you and I had been talking, chinning you call it? And I just need reference for a painting or something. As for paying me? Don't even worry about it, I only ever do art for hire when I need something. Right now, I've got a working ship and I'm a welcomed guest on this boat. Hard to be in less need of money."

Rik smiled. "You sir, are a gent," he commented as he got up abruptly from the desk and almost bounded over to the shelving unit. Crouching down he slid open the door and rummaged through boxes muttering to himself. "In here somewhere... I know you are." There was a momentary pause as, like a kid at Christmas, he exclaimed with excitement when he found what he was looking for. Standing up, he headed back to the desk, dropping the graphic novel on the table as he retook his seat. "Should be a starter — and you're spot on; chinning is exactly what we're doing bo. You'll be fluent yet,” he added. "Could you... Add it into the program if you hand the access codes? My skill is lacking in that area."

Noah watched with a smirk and a sip of the whiskey as Rik retrieved the treasured tome from its hiding place. He could see the overlap in personality with his sister, and could see him as a good match for her. Hopefully nothing insurmountable lurked with the skeletons in his closet. If the chatter that scrolled across the bottom of his lenses were any indication, he'd quite won parental approval too.

"I can make things look pretty, but if you want it to feel right, you might want to ask me Mum to install it. Though, there is where danger lurks, she's a genuine lunatic," Noah cautioned with another sip of the whiskey. Not bad, considering it's not rum, he mused to himself.

Rik grinned as he picked up his own glass and took a sip of the whiskey; it went down smooth without the usual burn that followed. It was as classy as the dame it came from. "A lunatic?" he asked after moment of pause with a single brow rising above his ice blues that were looking at Noah and the goggles which allowed his and Amelia's folks to chin; or judge him. He hadn’t quite worked out how this was going — hard to read people when they weren't physically present and what they said came second hand.

"Well I'm one for danger and I'm intrigued by what she could do to dial the program up; getting a little stale these days," Rik admitted hoping it could be revived.

"Are you s–" Noah started to protest, even as his eyes skimmed the bottom of his lenses. A snort escaped along with a small head shake. "Well, no time for second thoughts now, she's accepted... insists even. I'll put together the look of it, send the results along with your program and access codes, and she'll send back your torture. Does Pond know about the program yet?"

Rik finished the contents of his tumbler with one swift action and set the glass down before producing another PADD from the inside left drawer of his desk. "Excellent news!" he exclaimed sliding it over to Noah. "Here's the PADD with all the program details and access codes; apologies in advance for the poor coding. You can double-blink or whatever fancy thing them goggles do to transfer data," he said with a grin and a glint in his eye. Rik paused and shook his head slowly. "Ain't got around to telling the dame that I dress up as a bat and go fighting hoods in Gotham," he admitted as he poured himself another measure.

Noah glanced at the PADD as he set his drink on the desk, but didn’t pick it up. His fingers fell to his leather wrist band, and a couple of flicks brought up a holographic one handed keyboard. His fingers danced, and the PADD turned on. Data scrolled across the PADD's screen and Noah hardly paid it any mind.

Rik watched with interest as the wrist band kicked into life and the data flew across the screen of the PADD that remained untouched on the desk. "Engineering voodoo," he commented, not to anyone in particular as he watched; impressed with the pirate's toy.

A corner of Noah's lip curled up in amusement at the gum-shoe's remark; it was a phrase his mother slung happily at his father, as well as two uncles — one blood, the other not. He reached out to tap the PADD, shutting it off.

"She'll probably want to play with your program. I think the Batman comics she had were the ones with the female Robin? What was her name?"

"Stephanie Brown," Rik said without much hesitation. "She made a damn good Robin — shame what they did to her," he added after a moments thought. "And I'll have to invite Amelia to Gotham," he concluded with a smile to himself.

"She'll like that." Noah collected his drink from the desk and took another sip.

Rik let a warm smile play across his face as the thought of him being able to share Gotham with Amelia played on his mind. From the sound of it; she'd enjoy what the game had to offer as much as he did which only served to widen his charming grin. As his mind wandered to the redheaded dame he eventually snapped himself back to the room and cleared his throat. "So what will be done?" he asked with excited intrigue.

"I'm going to make your batsuit look good. What Mum decides to do once she gets the physics right on the cape and such, well, only the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows... she certainly isn't the sort to give warning." He slowly shook his head again; his sister's toy really had no idea what he was in for. "Mum's responsible for many insane holodeck programs. Pond should have a copy of the family holoprogram collection here, and it'll be available for anyone to use. If you want an idea of how masochistic you are, look through the collection. Tennis should give you an idea of her warped sense of amusement, particularly with the realism dialed up to eleven."

Rik's eyes sparkled with excitement at the prospect of a better Gotham playground — and that he would be able to share this with Amelia. "Insane holodeck programs huh? Sounds sure swell to me," he quipped as he listened with interest to the collection. "I'll have to ask... and... Tennis?” he queried, not really sure if this was some unusual version of the sport that had been cooked up. Amelia certainly hadn't mentioned an interest in tennis.

"Long ago, before Pond or me, Mum was on a special assignment that involved high risk of encountering the Borg. You may or may not know of them, but last I heard they weren't a risk anymore," Noah explained, twirling the whiskey in his glass. "She made a training program on how to handle an encounter with them, and during the first years after the threat was eliminated, she still wanted Pond and me to prepare, just in case their elimination hadn't been effective. That's the Tennis program. As she relaxed the longer it'd been, she added more cartoonish game play and such, still with useful and truthful undercurrents to the play to teach all the right survival skills just in case."

Rik nodded with interest. "Sounds like fun; I'll have to ask Amelia for a game of Tennis," he said with a grin before pausing and letting his mind replay over the commentary from before. "Oh... and, flying... what now?" he asked after a moment realising the term had cropped up before and he was still none the wiser as to who or what a Spaghetti Monster was, why it could fly and how that linked to the man before him being dressed as a pirate.

"Flying Spaghetti Monster," Noah repeated; quiet, firmly, carefully. "The deity of the Pastafarian faith, of which I’m an ordained minister."

Pausing Rik opened his mouth to speak but couldn't find the words. He looked at the man slightly puzzled and reached for his glass and drained the contents. "The Flying Spaghetti Monster... Pastafarian?" he asked before adding "I'm sorry bo, can't say I'm familiar."

"It's okay, I'm used to people not getting it," Noah insisted as he snorted softly, and shook his head with a bemused smirk. "The important thing is that we love everyone as the Flying Spaghetti Monster does, and we learn and explore to experience all that he's seen fit to touch."

Rik nodded. "Well I don't fully understand what a Spaghetti Monster that flies is, but sounds like a solid philosophy to me," he said still not sure he understood but made a mental note to read up on it and ask Amelia any questions about her brother's views he may have.

"Here," Noah said, reaching into a pocket inside his vest. He pulled out a small book with a soft red leatherette cover with a gold foil picture of a wad of spaghetti and meatballs, and gold leaf on the edges of the pages. It had certainly seen better days. "I'm due to recycle that one soon and replicate a new one, so just see that it gets back into the replicator when you're done with it." He stood up and held the small book out to the gum-shoe.

Leaning forwards Rik outstretched his arm and took the book with a small nod of his head sealing the action. As he leaned back in his seat he took a long look at the worn book, finding the image of pasta and meatballs fascinating. He flicked through the pages briefly before setting it down on the desk next to the Fedora and bottle. "Will do and that's mighty swell of you bo; I'll give it a read — still think my hat is better though," he said with a wink and a devilish grin letting his hand rest on the Fedora and running his hand over the ribbon band lightly.

"You would think that, what with fancying my sister and her giving it to you," Noah observed with a tip of his hat. "But I made mine." With that, he turned and headed out the door.

Rik couldn't help but chuckle as the pirate turned to leave. "True enough bo, true enough," he said. He rolled the fedora up his arm and rested it over his eyes as he brought his legs up onto the desk and crossed them leaning back slightly in the chair. "See ya around!" he called out as the door shut behind Noah.

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