The hideaway was still as ancient and creaky as ever. The old mansion still had rotting floorboards and broken, boarded up windows, with grime on the walls and ceiling, but Sable had to give the gang credit—they'd tried. There was significantly less dust everywhere, and the most of the dirt-on the floor, at least-had been swept up. They'd even fixed up some of the doors that had been hanging off their hinges.

Guild members surrounded the long, empty table in the dining room, chatting happily. Oreo was already seated, his cloak reversed so that the white was showing. He beckoned her over when he spotted her. Sighing, Sable pulled out a chair and dropped down next to him.

"I didn't think I'd be seein' you today!" He grinned.

"I didn't think so either, in all honesty," Sable shrugged. Tossing her knapsack onto the table, she dragged out a small bottle of mead, cracked it open and took a swig. Oreo made a face at his companion.

"You shouldn't drink so much, Sable," a voice chuckled from behind her. The muscle-for-hire sighed heavily, putting her bottle back on the counter.

"You say that to me every time you see me, Amy," she grinned at the girl who came and sat down on her other side. The newcomer was of average height, with braided black hair and bright, golden eyes. She smiled back, revealing a pair of impressive canines.

"Maybe that's because you're drinking every time I see you," Amy replied with a raised eyebrow. At that, Sable laughed.

"Point and match," she admitted readily. A loud whistle split the air and everyone's heads snapped to the front. A tall man the color of death stood at the head of the table, lowly lowering his hands from his mouth.

"Dinner's done in the kitchen; we need help carrying everything out. And no snacking while you're doing it, either!" Several people jumped up at his command, rushing into an adjacent room. Slowly the table began to fill with all sort of imaginable and unimaginable foods and drink.

The feast started long before the last person rushed back to their seat, with everyone helping themselves to everything within their reach. Amy even poured herself a (albeit very small) glass of deep red wine.

"Be careful that isn't blood," Sable hummed from next to her, cutting into an unidentifiable steak. Oreo flinched from next to her and the blonde couldn't help but laugh.

"It isn't," Amy muttered, taking a tiny sip. "But I have the feeling there's a story behind that reaction?"

"Oh, hell yes."

"Sable," the small thief whined from the side. "Can't you not?"

"Nope," the older woman laughed loudly, drawing the attention from several of her guildmates while Oreo only sunk lower in his seat. "Do you remember the time we went hunting that enchanted lute? The one that changes the weather depending on how well you play it?" Sable asked, turning her attention back to Amy.

"Well, of course. You two almost got killed."

"Yeah, well, you see, the lute was owned…by a vampire," Sable beckoned Amy to lean her head in closer, snickering softly to herself. "A lady vampire. With a certain preference for small, black-haired men."

"Oh my god. You didn't."

"So," the mercenary snickered, "I send in Oreo to act as though he'd just escaped bandits, and had thought the castle was abandoned so he could rest in it, right? Well, everything goes according to plan and he winds up the vampire's plaything—but it takes almost a week of living with her before he could find the lute. And at every meal, all that the woman had to drink was blood-wine. So that's why," at this Oreo groans, burying his face in the crook of his elbow, "that's why Oreo can't stand blood anymore. Not the sight of it, or the smell of it, or especially, god forbids, the taste of it. I'm pretty sure he lost his taste for pale girls that week, too!"

"I'm done," Amy announced, chocking on laughter. "I'm so done. Oreo, is that why you turned down Veronica when she asked if you wanted to go help her with a job?" The robber muttered incoherently under his breath. "It is, isn't it!"

"Oh, just stop," he groaned, rubbing at his face, harassed. "You two are a pair of hellions," Sable took another swig of alcohol and slapped her friend on his back, almost pushing him face-first into a plate of mashed potatoes.

"You know we only tease you because we love you, kid," she laughed. He huffed angrily, crossing his arms.

"You're drunk, you old maiden," but his face softened nonetheless, and soon enough they were all laughing at more stories passed between them, some from the present duo, some from Amy of her and her brother's Roy infamous fumbles.

When all the food had been devoured and guild members had moved to the large main room of the headquarters, the tall, corpse-colored man stood again and commanded attention.

"I feel the need to address you while we're all here. It's been a good year so far…let's keep it continuing on into next year, too," he raised a half-full glass with a deep red drink as though to toast to his guild, and the room erupted in cheers from the half-drunken thieves, assassins, and swords-for-hire. And so the night ended, with all the family gathered, some falling asleep on the surrounding couches, others still quietly conversing.