(1941-08-05) Dangerous Men
Details for Dangerous Men
Summary: The White Wyvern Pub is full of dangerous men, keeping Valda on her toes.
Date: 5 August, 1941
Location: The White Wyvern Pub

After dark, the White Wyvern is bustling with activity. The usual mob of black-clad, tattooed, shifty-eyed, and otherwise questionable characters has invaded the establishment. There are a number of not-so-usual patrons in attendance as well, including a youth gang led by a big-eared vampire, and a big lummox that might be a half-troll that they've chosen to pick a fight with. The moment violence broke out, the pub's terrifying werewolf bouncer, Pete, leaps into the action. He might have simply tossed the young punks out, until that the vampire bites him. In a bloodthirsty rage, Pete drags the unfortunate walking corpse out to the back while a few loyal patrons stand up to ensure that his gang doesn't interfere.

Even as the back door closes on the vampire's terrified screams, the pub slips right back into business-as-usual, with drinks being served, jokes and stories being shared, and shady deals being conducted. Of course, with Pete's attention elsewhere, there is less threat of retribution for misbehaving.

"Firewhiskey, blood wine, and a Cruciatus Cocktail," Valda says as she places drinks in front of the men at one of her tables. She eyes them cautiously; while she's seen a couple of them before, none of them are regulars.

"There's somethin' else I'd love a drink of," chuckles one of the men, a burly wizard with tattoos down his thick arms. He wraps an arm around Valda's waist, pulling her into his lap. The beastly man grips her by the back of the head, forcing her lips against his. Without the lycanthropic bouncer around, bad men become bolder.

Valda's squirms and struggles against the man, even punching at his chest, but she might as well be tickling him for all the good it does. For a brief moment, she considers the worst as her mind turns to the wand in her pocket. Surely she could manage to silently cast…no. NO. Never again. So all she can do is squirm and push at the man, which only seems to encourage him as his friends look on and laugh.

The pub's wooden door heaves open and Daniel steps in with an immediate glance left. The bouncer - a man of his own trade - has stepped away. Pausing to kindle the tip of a hand-rolled cigarette, Daniel's murky green gaze casts across the pub. In Pete's absence, the rowdiness of bad men is getting out of hand. He saunters to the table urging on the burly wizard molesting the hapless waitress. The tip of his cigarette glows red as he stands, waiting. He studies the assaulter with a considering frown.

The tattooed man is far too occupied with the prize in his lap to take note of Daniel just yet. The other two at the table, however, have stopped laughing when Daniel appears. They think better of their sport, and quickly stand to excuse themselves from the scene. Valda's lips are freed at last as the tattooed man begins to suckle on her neck. She whimpers softly, but has stopped fighting back, simply a rag doll in the awful man's hands.

Daniel's sight releases a breath of smoke. "Alright, Nick," says Daniel in a low tone. But it's strong enough to be heard above the pub's din. He lifts his cigarette, indicating the door to the alley that doesn't quite block out the vampire's screams. "You wantin your guts strewn across the rubbish out back?"

The threat gives Nick pause, and he looks up to see Daniel standing there. He rises suddenly, practically throwing Valda off to the side like a discarded washrag. "You fockin' wot, mate? The hell'd you say to me?" he growls angrily up at Daniel. Even standing, he is significantly shorter than the other man, though much stockier.

Valda tumbles into another table, but steadies herself against it. Wanting no part of the unfolding violence, she slips away to the alcove leading to the toilets, watching from a safe distance, her large, blue-green eyes fixed on her attacker and her would-be rescuer.

Daniel laughs with a flash of a broad smile. Though he tracks Valda out of the corner of his eye, his attention remains on Nick. "I said if Pete hears 'bout you messing with the little barmaid, then nothin' I or any healer could do to help you." He takes another drag of his cigarette, studying Nick without much concern.

Nick pales a little, but pride wins out and he doubles down. "Well, he ain't gonna fockin' hear about it, now is he? Don't you come in here shovin' your pretty face up into my affairs, boy. I'll take you apart in a heartbeat. You hear me?!"

Daniel nods. "Hear you, mate. Easy. I aint who you should worry after. It's Tawny, you see, she don't like it when we mess with her girls. Word gets to her and you're lucky if you're a dead man. Dead and done." His smile widens further, briefly casting his dimples into sharp relief. "But let's see what I can do, eh? We'll discuss our business another night. You get going and I'll send word."

Nick points a finger at Daniel. "I don't need some kid comin' 'round, tellin' me what to do. I will leave, but only because I don't like the stink in 'ere no more." Delivering his feeble attempt to save face, Nick huffs and stomps off toward the door.

From her hiding place, Valda watches Nick go. She can still taste his boozy breath on her lips. Blech. She turns to disappear around the corner, leaning back against the wall of the alcove, taking deep breaths to steady herself.

Daniel drops his cigarette to the floor and snuffs the red glow beneath his boot. The few watching with idle interest return to their raccous merrymaking. And Daniel heads off in search of Valda.

Having kept track of Valda out of the corner of his eye, Daniel finds her with ease. Hands in his pockets, he studies her, blocking her path out of the secluded alcove. His voice is soft and gentle as he asks, "You alright?" He even seems to loose all the harshness of his cockney accent.

Valda gives a start when Daniel steps into the alcove. She looks up at him like a cornered kitten. Slowly she nods. "No yes, I am alright." Her cheeks are moist from crying and her clothing is rumpled. She doesn't look entirely alright.

With a sigh, Daniel draw his handkerchief. But he doesn't offer it. He steps in close and curls a fingertip under her chin. Lifting her face towards him, he dabs her tearstained cheeks with the soft, pristine fabric. "I don't see how you could be," he says softly.

Valda jerks a bit, as if to move away, but there is really nowhere to go, as she has tucked herself into a corner. The moment his finger touches her chin, she settles, merely eyeing him with caution as he tends to her. "It is not first time," she mumbles. "Men here like to touch, when they are thinking they can get away with."

"Ah, but they can't get away with it. Not as much as that." Daniel steps back to survey the pixie-faced girl. His lips quirk into a broad smile of dark mirth. "I've seen Pete work. There aren't many repeat offenders, are there."

Valda shrinks into a shrug. "Most only touch…my bottom. I do not say to Pete what they do. He might break hand off." She shakes her head. "It is not such bad for to have Pete punish them."

"Well, I think Nick would get far more than a broken hand." Daniel cants his head, studying the young woman with her haunted eyes. He rests a hand against the wall beside Valda's shoulder and again lifts her chin with a curled finger. "I'll make sure he doesn't try something like that again. And I'll have a word with Tawny — see if I can give you the rest of your night."

Valda's eyes flit to the hand on the wall which is blocking her exit. Her quiet tension has her a bit jumpy, but she is pliable to his touch, lifting her chin to look at him. "Please no…Tawny will say to Pete, and Pete will hunt the tattoo man. I do not want to be reason for a man to die. Please."

Daniel studies her with a slight frown. But with a nod, he releases her chin. "Alright. I'll let it be. But you will do something to rest well after. Treat yourself." He draws back and takes her hand. He drops a single, gleaming galleon into her open palm. More than she could hope to earn in a week. He closes her hand over it. "And if he does bother you again, don't think Pete is your only option. I'll take care of him."

Valda boggles at the gold coin in her hand: a true fortune for someone in her position. "I-…thanks you." She dips her head in bemused gratitude. "You are very kind, sir." There is some hesitation in her words. In her experienced, the worst devils have the faces of angels.

"Danny. Danny Smith. Send an owl to the Natrix." Daniel brushes a finger under her chin - a little nudge. "Got that?" He gazes down at her with a gentle smile.

Valda isn't sure if it's a suggestion or a command. Either way, she nods obediently. "The Natrix. What is this 'the Natrix'?" The foreign girl doesn't get out much, particularly into Muggle London.

Daniel's smile widens. "A dance hall. Out in Muggle London. Don't worry, the owls know their way there." He tilts his head, watching her eyes with interest.

In spite of her nerves, Valda can't help the warmth in her chest at that dimpled smile. She glances down abashedly, but her eyes are drawn back to his face. "You…live at a dance hall?"

Daniel chuckles. His laughter is rich and gentle as he shakes his head. "Seems that way. But no. I work there. And its where your owl will reach me fastest. Now. Tuck away your well-deserved galleon. Forget these arseholes and instead think of what you intend to do with that galleon. Alright?"

Valda obeys, slipping the coin into a pocket sewn into the inside of her skirt's waistband, to keep it safe from pickpockets. She peeks up at him curiously. "Danny…why does you help me? The men here are dangerous."

Daniel's smile quirks wider, bringing out those dimples more than ever. His eyes gleam with dark mischief. "So am I." Stepping back, he gives Valda a slight bow. "Good night, little one." With a subtle wink, he leaves her standing alone in the alcove. And he's gone by the time she emerges.

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