It is the last weekend in February and thankfully rather mild for February. That is to say, it's not snowing, it's not raining, it is just the usual grey that London is used to. But this is at least a good sign for the traditional Wizarding Plunge that takes place before February ends each year. The event is of course to raise money for charity and somehow Paige has been talked into joining this year. The actual plunge itself hasn't started yet, but people have already started appearing at the lake just outside of the city where it will soon take place. There are stands set up around the lake selling warm drinks, food and souvenirs. Paige is near the entrance which is marked with a banner, waiting for the other poor souls she convinced to join her to arrive. She's dressed in blue sweatpants under a fluffy jacket and a bag with extra clothes is sitting by her feet while she waits.
Ronan has been thinking all night. He’s been thinking all morning. He’s been thinking the whole train ride out here and the whole walk towards Paige. How the fucking hell did he let her talk him into this? He’s wearing a wool coat and jogging pants, but it won’t matter in a few moments when he commits suicide by freezing water. As he gets closer, he lightly tugs on the back of Paige’s jacket. “Hi…”
At the tug on her jacket Paige spins around, grinning when she sees Ronan standing there. "And here I thought you might not show up," she teases. "But I am glad you did. And hi." She pushes onto her toes to plant a kiss on his cheek to go with the greeting. "My friend is meeting us too. And just fair warning, high chances he'll end up naked."
Tali has been here a while and he's been nursing a flask to keep himself warm. He's done this before and he enjoyed it, even if his body did not. Still he spots Paige and the mystery man and sides over with a smirk. He's wearing a long trench coat, with a sweater and jeans underneath. "Afternoon darling. Are you taking the full plunge this year?"
“I don’t know, I still might not show up,” Ronan deadpans. While it’s a joke, he really doesn’t seem excited by all this. He smiles when Paige kisses his cheek and gives her arm a little squeeze in return. When the newcomer arrives, he laughs. “Are you doing it too? How is everyone so cheerful right now?”
"Speak of the devil," Paige laughs. "I was just warning Ronan that we'll all might have the pleasure of seeing your bare arse later." Glancing back to Ronan she gives him a smile. "Ronan, this is one of my dearest friends, Taliesin. And Tali, this is Ronan." After the introduction Tali does get a 'be nice' look from Paige. "I am, yes. Gotta do my part for charity after all." She grins at Ronan. "Oh it's not that bad. There is something kind of exhilarating about it. Plus, we take shots before we jump in. Did I not mention that part?"
"Am I really the devil? I'll remember that the next time you are dropping in looking for my fancy booze." He teases before looking at Ronan. Extending his hand he smirks. "It's a pleasure to meet a friend of Paige. She usually keeps me hidden away because I am such an embarrassment to her." When Paige gives him that look, he puts on his best innocent face.
Ronan reaches out and gives Taliesin a strong handshake. He raises his brows. “You don’t say! Here I thought /I/ was the embarrassment!” With a laugh, “Very nice to meet you. Good to know mine aren’t the only pair of testicles that will be receding back to the 1700’s today.” Maybe Paige should have hidden him away too. He perks up at the sound of shots. “Actually you left that bit out! I wouldn’t have been whining so long if I knew!”
"How about we just go with you're both embarrassments, but I have embraced you and am willing to be seen with you for at least today," Paige teases them both. At the talk of testicles she laughs, shaking her head. "Well, glad it is not my problem." She smiles innocently at Ronan, "Did I? Maybe I just wanted to see if you'd come without the promise of alcohol. Come on then. Let's start the drinking then, then it'll be time to start." She beckons to them both, leading the way to a nearby stand where she'll order drinks. "What do you want, lads?"
"I think we will get along swimmingly." Tali says brightly as he releases the man's hand. "Oh mine are going to crawl into my chest, it took days for them to drop after last year. However the less you wear the more money you earn for charity so, it's worth it." Taliesin smirks as Paige leads them toward the booze. "Fire whiskey for me, it be nice to pretend that my insides are warm for a minute.
"I am already regretting introducing the two of you," Paige quips with a small grin before ordering drinks for them all. "I'll let you make up the extra then. I'm keeping my bathing suit on. And no comments from the peanut gallery on this," she says eyeing Tali specifically.
“I can accept that,” Ronan tells Paige with a smile. Turning to Taliesin, “I completely agree. Though watch out, once I imprint, you’ll never get rid of me.” His hearty laugh soon dies down when they start talking about the cold water again. “I feel like I lost the test. Or the game. Just overall feelings of loss happening here.” As firewhiskey is brought up though, he holds up a finger. “Make that two please. And we’ll see how much I strip off. And how much this peanut gallery has to say.” That last part is aimed at Paige. “Hey, you invited me!”
“Just give us six,” Paige tells the person working. She reaches over to tap Ronan playfully under the chin. “Chin up. Soon you’ll be so cold all your thoughts will be gone,” she tells him with an innocent smile. “Well you will have to take /something/ off so I can have a shot at being in the peanut gallery too,” she adds with a smirk. When the shots arrive she passes them out. “To bring warm on the inside,” she proposes.
"So you're like a duckling then? Good to know." Taliesin says with a smirk before he looks down at his clothing. "I'd strip now, but even I know better than to do that. Besides, these people came here to see my scupled pasty white arse, I need to keep them in suspense as long as possible." He smirks at Paige and gives his faked innocent look again. "It's too late now, he's imprinted on me, you're stuck with the both of us for ever." He winks before he takes his shot holding out one for the toast. "Here's to not losing any important bits to the cold!"
Ronan smirks as he takes a glass in each hand. He then raises them towards Paige and Taliesin. “Quack, quack!” Like a one-two punch, he knocks one back after the other. “Holy f—“ annnnnd that would be the after burn. With a slight cough, he pulls himself together- or at least pretends to. “You said people came to see you too? So you play quidditch?”
Paige rolls her eyes, laughing at the two men. “I’m doomed I think. I’m regretting introducing the two of you already.” But she lifts her first shot and follows their lead, knocking the first one back. It’s followed by a wince and an ‘uughh’ as it burns down her throat. She eyes Tali skeptically as Ronan asks him if he plays Quidditch. “Do you even know how to fly?” she asks Tali teasingly. “Tali is an author. Though most of his fans don’t actually know who he is because he refuses to take photos. He tells me if is because they’re all crazy,” she tells Ronan, answering for her friend. “I’m definitely starting a rumor later that H.R. Smyth is running around naked, see what happens,” she adds brightly.
"Quack quack indeed." Taliesin says before he also do wns his shot, wincing and coughing as the burns spreads through him. "Of course I know how to fly, I even have a broom or two at home! You can enjoy flying without playing Quidditch you know." He smirks before looking back at Ronan. "Most people know Taliesin as an occasional journalist and philanthropist." He says, talking about himself in the third person. "I do not tell a lot if people about my author gig, because the fans into have are very opinionated. And fanantic."
Ronan's eyes dart back and forth from Paige to Taliesin as one explains and one follows up. A slow realization dawns on his face as he quietly repeats the nom de plume. "Is that….the Gustav book? I hope not, if so my mother is going to show up on your doorstep." He looks around the crowd, now finally understanding that this is indeed a charity event. "Ah, well unfortunately I'm one of the commoners, so I doubt I'll be able to raise much, if any at all."
“Do you? That I have to see,” Paige says with mock-shock before grinning at the man, reaching for her next shot. The blonde nearly snorts laughing as Ronan figures it out. “It is,” she tells him gleefully, beaming between the two men. “Oh Gustav, how much heartbreak he has caused in the wizarding world,” she giggles. “Oh don’t worry, once Tali here strips down, all eyes will be on him. We can just blend in with the crowd. Plus, we’re all just here for the fun of it.” With that she lifts her other shot towards the boys before knocking it back, a small sputter following.
"Yep, I'm his creator and tormentor." Taliesin smirks. "Though I'd be grateful if you didn't sic your mother on me, I already had to hide from an heiress this week and I only have so many hiding places." He runs his fingers through his wild hair and shrugs. "What can I say, I have a beautiful Arse and it's a shame that so few people get to see it. I'm doing the world a favor by being naked."
“Well it is indeed a pleasure to meet you! I’m sort of an event planner and I host a few gigs around town. If you ever want to do a book launch, or party, let me know. I know my mother’s reading club will be first in line. You can keep your clothes on for that one.” Ronan grins and pats his jacket. “So when does the damn thing start? It’s either now or never and I’m getting real close to never.” He says this more towards Paige.
And as if on cue a portly man steps up to the side of the lake, pressing his wand to his throat and casting a Sonorous charm. "Ladies, gentlemen, plungers, hecklers, welcome to the 132nd London Wizarding Plunge!" His voice echoes across the space. By this point a crowd has gathered filled with adults, but there are a few younger children. People start moving towards the lake as the announcement begins. "Plungers if you've done this before, you know the drill. If you're new, just follow the others! Those of you too chicken to plunge, we expect cheering, drinking, and don't forget to make a nice big donation." At the lake there are three piers jutting out into the water and people are already stripping down to their swimming suits at the edges. The first brave souls seems to be a father and son pair – the son being into his 20s already – both wearing brightly colored swimming trunks. They take off running down the middle pier, the older of the two doing a cannon ball, while the younger does a flip into the water causing the cheering to take off. Once they're in the water others start following suit. The plungers that have been in swim back to the side of the lake after and are helped out by a crew waiting for them with big fluffy and warm towels. "Well, there we go, come on then," Paige says to Tali and Ronan, leading them towards the lake. Once there Paige kicks off her shoes before dropping her jacket on top of the pile. She has a sweatshirt on underneath which she reaches to pull off revealing an Arrows-blue bikini top. There is a tattoo visible across her ribs on her left side, just under the thin strap of the bikini, a rather intricate Celtic symbol. And across the front of her ribs on the other side is a rather prominent scar. She wiggles out of her sweatpants next, dropping them with the rest. She already has goosebumps, but besides that is totally ready for the icy plunge.
"Oh shit, I didn't mean it," Ronan moans as the party lights up around them. If he had a plan to escape, it's completely gone. He follows the group as they walk up onto the pier. Taking a look around, he shakes his head as people run into the lake like fools. It's only once Paige disrobes that his attention is drawn away from the fray. His eyes definitely linger longer than what a gentleman would allow. Luckily, Ronan is no gentleman. He pulls off his coat, sweater, and with a deep breath, his pants- revealing bright green boxers with four leaf clovers on them. He grins at Paige, and mouthes the word "SORRY" then lunges at her. He ducks low and grabs her by her legs, folding her over his shoulder as if she weighed nothing at all. He sprints all the way down the dock, letting out a war cry the whole way, then jumps into the frigid lake.
"Oh, I like him." Taliesin says as Ronan tosses Paige over his shoulder and goes running toward the water. "I'm keeping him if we're ever not friends Paige!" He calls out, waving to her as she's about to be plunged into the water. He slowly walks toward the dock, removing bits of clothing as he passes until he is down to a tiny banana hammock once he is at the edge of the dock, he reaches down and removes the g-string and flings it at some cat-calling women. Granted, they're all cogars, but he's there to give a show. "Tali-Ho!" He yells as he goes running down the dock and cannonballs into the water. Because there's nothing like going balls first into freezing cold water!
Once her clothes are in their little pile Paige looks back at the two men, grinning slightly. If she notices Ronan's lingering gaze she doesn't comment, but does take a peek herself as he strips down to her boxers. "Irish all the way—-" she begins, but is cut short as Ronan picks her up and throws her over his shoulder. Paige squeals in shock, flailing a bit as he goes running towards the water, "Ronan!" she protests, hitting her hands lightly on his back, wiggling to try to buy herself freedom. It's no use though, and between the protests she's giggling, There is a brief murmur of "Oh shit," that escapes her before they plunge into the water to more cheers. Paige emerges seconds later, sucking in air before letting it out with a little cloud of steam. She comes up just in time to see Tali complete his cannonball, balls and all, laughing through the chattering of her teeth that has started. She treads water for just a moment, waiting for the boys before starting to swim towards shore.
Ronan bursts through the surface of the lake like an ungraceful mermaid. He inhales quickly but goddamn it if the air here aint cold either. Before he can get his bearings, he sees the majestic blur of a man's genitals flying overhead like some kind of breaching whale. The color in Ronan's face drains to a pasty white as the cold starts to hit him, but oh boy is he laughing hysterically. "Paige! Paige did you see?" He splashes around in circles until he spots her and paddle over. "Fuck me, it's cold. Did you see him Paige? I wish I had the balls to do that. HAH. BALLS. GET IT?" Clearly the hypothermia is setting in.
As Ronan surfaces and makes his comment Paige bursts out laughing. “Well too late now. You’re not going to see yours for days at least after this cold,” she teases with a grin as she swims. Her own face is looking rather pale from the cold as she swims. When she reaches the shore two people reach down to pull her out, wrapping her in a very big warm fluffy towel which she pulls tightly around her before turning to see that the men get out okay.
Taliesin resurfaces with a yelp as he feels all of that lovely cold water going places that he didn't realize cold water could go. He quickly swims back to shore, letting himself be yanked up on the dock and of course waggles his ass at people before he puts a towl over himself and shivers. "Merlin's saggy arse, I always seem to forget just how cold it's going to be. I think my meat and two veg have crawled all the way up into my throat."
Ronan laughs again, swallows some water, and decides to just keep his damn mouth closed. He follows suit and swims back to shore. “Tha…nks,” he chatters as he’s wrapped up. The poor man shivers violently. “I don’t even remember what my life was like before this moment.” He looks at Taliesin and shakes his head. “Why would you ever do this more than once?”
“You need to see some more sunlight, Tali, your arse is pale,” Paige teases her friend though chattering teeth. She pulls her towel snuggly around her, moving closer to them as they get out. “No? You do remember you owe me dinner and not the other way around though, right?” She gives Ronan her best innocent grin in her frozen state. “Who wants to jump in again?” She deadpans, eyes twinkling.
"Yes, because we authors spend time in the sunlight. I worked hard for this pasty arse thank you very much." Taliesin says with a smirk, but keeps the blanket and towel around him. He doesn't mind flashing the world post jump, but afterwards? There's nothing to see! "Nah, I'm good, once is enough. Now… more booxe right?" He starts looking for his clothing so he can at least find his pants.
"When do we find out how much money you guys made? For charity of course," Ronan asks, searching for his pants. "My bet is on Taliesin. Sorry Paige, but I don't think you showed enough skin." He winks at her. "Oh yeah! I'd like to be drunk as soon as possible please." Luckily, a band of volunteers arrives with everyone's clothes. Huzzah!
“Hey, not my fault. I try to get you out all the time.” Paige nods though at the idea of more booze before looking at Ronan. “Once all the plungers are out usually,” She tells him before grinning. “Oh is that so? And what about you? Hiding behind your lucky clovers,” she teases, meeting his gaze briefly. “But I’m with you. My money is also on Tali.” She bumps her hip against Tali as she says this. When her clothes arrive though she grabs her wand, drying her bikini and the boys’ too if they want before pulling her clothes back on. “More firewiskey?” She suggests.
"Gustav is a fickle master, but you know I try to go out as often as I can between books." He looks toward Ronan and smirks. "Which is why I am here, that and the charity, that's how she convinces me to come to these crazy things all of the time." He smirks as he drops his towel and shoves his pants back on. He'd grab his g-string, but someone else has claimed it. "Yes, more of that for sure." He says as he dives back into his sweater and shivers off the cold.
"These might not be so lucky, actually. Seeing as they betrayed me today." Ronan laughs and quickly pulls on his clothes. "Glad to know that I'm not the only one who got suckered in," he smirks back at Taliesin. "I promise I'm not being a sourpuss on purpose, I just feel like I lost my dignity back in that lake."
"It's one of my special powers, being able to talk you into doing stuff you don't want to," Paige jokes to Tali, grinning as some color starts coming back into her cheeks. She turns to Ronan batting her eyelashes in playful innocence at him before laughing. "What about me? I was kidnapped and basically thrown in!" Though it really doesn't seem like she minds, but she does flick his arm playfully. "Don't think you're off the hook for that one, either," she adds with a smirk, before gesturing for them to follow her back to a booth where they can buy warm drinks. "Who is the lucky lady creepily going home with your underwear this year?" she asks Tali as they wander through the crowd.
"At least your dignity was hidden under your not so good luck charm." Tali winks at Ronan before he shakes the water out if his shaggy hair. "Oh you loved every minute of it Paige, don't lie." When he is asked about the G-string he shakes his head. "There are mysteries in life I never want solved."
"Yeah well at the time, you certainly deserved it," Ronan replies to Paige, batting his eyelashes right back. He feigns hurt when she flicks his arm and quickly rubs the point of contact. Looking over at Tali he grins and offers a chuckle. "You got me there, mate. I…I couldn't do that. Maybe I'm not man enough after all."
When they arrive back at the drink hut Paige orders more drinks, not bothering to ask the pair what they actually want to drink. She pretends to look affronted. “I did not deserve it!” But she grins at Ronan. She passes out drinks, looking at Tali, “I bet there is a club of people who collect your g-strings.”
"Probably, I am a national treasure after all." He winks to Paige and waffles his brows as he takes water drink she ordered. He's sure it'll be something warming. "Dipping my balls in freezing water hardly makes me a man. Insane maybe. "
Ronan takes his drink and offers a quick cheers before taking a sip. "It's not necessarily what you did, it's HOW you did it. What flair. What panache. What luxurious tiny underwear. Maybe I should have taken it, I bet I could make a quick buck selling it on the fan market. I'd split 50/50 with you, of course. I'm not a MONSTER," he jokes.
“Fan of his underwear, hm?” Paige asks Ronan with a grin. “When is your birthday? I’ll keep that in mind as a gift,” she teases. She takes her drink, taking a sip and giving it a moment to enjoy the warmth. “So what are we doing? Staying here or getting our asses home and warm?”
"I am glad to see that my dear Paige is not dating a monster!" Though Tali preens himself at the praise and smirks. "Well next year we will get you in one and ypou can join me. It is for charity after all." He winks. Looking to page he smirks. "Home and warm thank you. Starting to feel like a prune in uncomfortable places."
Ronan shrugs, grinning. "What can I say, I know when I've been beat. And…August. Hopefully you'll save me one until then." He nods at Tali. "You're absolutely right. It'd be selfish of me to deprive the world of a view of my ass. Next year it is! But we should probably hang out with our clothes on until then, right?" A bromance for the ages is budding.
Paige coughs on her drink a little at Tali's comment about dating, but hides it with another sip of her drink before grinning back at the men. "Oh that I want to see. I'll get you both Arrow's g-strings," she jokes. She nods at Ronan. "August then. You know what to expect in your present." She finishes her drink, setting the glass on a tall table somewhere to the side. "Home it is. We can grab some take out somewhere if everyone is hungry?" she suggests before another grin engulfs her face. "I think I said this earlier, but what have I started introducing you two."
"I am impressive, so do not worry if you feel outdone by the best." Taliesin says with a sly smirk before laughs. "Clothing is overrated, but if it makes you feel better, I will at least wear pants to our next outing, and keep my g-string contained." Turning toward Paige he smirks. "I'll wear it so long as you sign it. We should definatly get some take-away, something warm so my insides thaw."
Ronan laughs, having walked straight into that. He finishes off his drink and nods towards Paige. "Yes, please. Can we go somewhere with pie too?" This man needs some pie.
"Something warm and pie, got it." Once they finish their drinks and collect all their belongings the trio heads off to pick up food and pie of course, taking it back to Paige's place to eat around her coffee table where much laughter and good times were had by all.