Taking a good long pull from an unmarked bottle, Nikolai grimaces as the alcohol traces a fiery trail down his throat. For a moment, he tastes bile above the burn of alcohol, but it settles in the next. He leans heavily against the corroded iron railing that lines much of the Arena's halls, peering down at the brawlers below. He blinks. They are nothing but blurry ballerinas, poised for their queue, elegant and graceful even in complete stillness. He snorts, scrubbing a hand hard over his face. Shit, he must be either drunk or his brain more rattled than he thought to be thinking such stupid crap. He'd arrived in Chicago a little over a week ago with another operative by the name of Surkov. A weedy little shit that could take more hits than should be physically possible. They'd both been transferred to the tender care of the North American Branch to "gauge and defuse the situation." Right. It'd sound like a piss-all task at the time, but they'd only been in the city two days before he'd had his god damned skull ground into a mushy pulp against the unforgiving pavement of the city streets. He was still having trouble with his balance and eyesight as a result.Throwing back another burning gulp of alcohol, he settles in to watch the fight. The press of bodies around him is uncomfortable, their screams and shouts sending spikes into his damaged skull, and he can barely see the fighters themselves, but...The bitch always gave a good fight. He'd give her that. She'd nearly torn a strip off of his scarred hide within the first five seconds of their fight. Nikolai had won. Barely. When he'd stepped out of that arena, he'd had seven broken fingers, four cracked ribs, a knocked out tooth, and a generous amount of internal bleeding.Nikolai snorts again, swishing the numbing alcohol around his mouth before swallowing. He should probably find some poor hack to scam out of their money, but he was comfortable where he was. He'd probably make a fucking fool out of himself if he tried to move, anyhow. Still, he wished he knew who the other fighter was, he'd missed it in the roar of the crowd.
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