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22 July 2007 @ 09:25 pm
Gray & Sons was a very nice little shop. "Purveyors of Timepieces" the sign loudly proclaimed. Mr. Gray hated it. Unsurprisingly, he was the 'Son'.

He particularly hated shipping his watches. Almost every time he did it, there would be a hassle at the port, the price would raise again, and the timepiece almost never reached the buyer- or worse, it would arrive in several broken pieces.

Well, this is the last one. He almost decided to keep it- it was his favorite latest project, and one of the more difficult ones. But the noble who paid for it would be very cross if he didn't receive it....not that he would receive it anyway....

He hesitates, staring at the box and debating.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
sonofthenile on July 23rd, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
It's not like Malik isn't allowed to leave the ship (although the crew likes to make sure he's weighted down with enough work that he doesn't usually have time for much exploring.)

But this is different. This is him actually being taken on a mission! A real mission! To actually do things! Only because he'd begged, in his very best English, and even then he knows he's just going to be relegated to doing whatever dirty bits of the job need to be done. But still!

He waits, easily hidden, by the edge of the dock.
Mr. Gray: Well I am not leavingnot_leaving on July 23rd, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
Gray hates his profession. He loves building and fixing watches, but this is unbearable.

He frowns at the box, as if it's offended him, then rips it open. He pulls the black-faced, beautiful watch out of it, then pulls the watch off his wrist and inserts it. A bit more of extra twine, and there it is. The buyer probably won't know the difference.

He places the new watch on his wrist and practically whistles to the dock.
sonofthenile on July 23rd, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
Malik smirks quietly at this little display of light-fingeredness. Always a decent sign, if you're trying to make a pirate out of someone. He has his doubts, still, upon seeing how...well...clean Gabriel is--not much like the Mr. Grey he's heard of, who, from what Malik's gathered, has the temper of a wild bear and personal hygiene to match. But then, Malik's command of the other languages spoken aboard the Hellequin is rudimentary at best.

He just needs to get the guy a little closer to the ship. He assumes his best distraught expression and dashes out into Gabriel's path.

"Sayyed! Sayyed, please help!"
Mr. Gray: Walkingnot_leaving on July 23rd, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
He narrows his eyes at the display. This isn't to say he's particularly suspicious, it's just his automatic reaction to someone doing something odd like...interacting with him.

He stares at the lad, and there's something quite interesting about him, he thinks. He can't quite put his finger on it. So instead of backing away and finding another route, he asks, "Help? With what?" Gray is not terribly helpful in many areas, sadly.
sonofthenile on July 23rd, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
The gills are concealed by the upturned collar of Malik's shirt, his webbed feet by an ill-fitting pair of shoes, and he's keeping his webbed fingers tightly together, but sooner or later some part of the disguise is probably going to slip.

"My--my sister. She hurt. Down there." He gestures with a flung-out arm--he can't really point very well, the way his hands are made, even if he weren't trying to conceal his fishness.

"Come quick, sayyed, please!" Just look at those giant eyes! Malik's such a cute little thing when he wants to be.
Mr. Gray: What?not_leaving on July 23rd, 2007 03:03 am (UTC)
He shakes his head, trying to come up with the most acceptable way to tell this young man that he doesn't care. But he is pleading, and even if Mr. Gray isn't up to the task of helping this poor man's sister, he still likes feeling needed.

So the head-shaking dies down and he cranes in the direction Malik's pointing. "All right, calm down. Take me to her."
sonofthenile on July 23rd, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)
The sense of urgency that Malik's trying to build up is somewhat hampered by the fact that he can't move very fast. He can't run without his lungs seizing up on him, and since he doesn't look noticeably crippled, he can't really use that to add an extra note of pathos or anything. He just pulls Gray along at as fast a clip as he can, nodding his thanks as he does.

Whoops. Is that a distinct flash of gill beneath his collar?
Mr. Gray: Anxiousnot_leaving on July 23rd, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
Okay, Gray notices that right away. His eyes widen, and he can't suppress a gasp. Something odd about this Malik, hmm? He'd apparently underestimated a great deal.

It's not until then that he wonders why they're moving so slowly. "Where is she?" he asks pointedly. He's not seeing anyone hurt yet.
sonofthenile on July 23rd, 2007 03:35 am (UTC)
Malik looks momentarily alarmed, and quickly yanks his shirt back up, but the damage is done.

Damn, and it's too late to add a fake limp, too. He pauses, genuinely needing to rest and catch his breath.

"She is--she is there, by boats," he says faintly. "Little more ways."
Mr. Gray: Pointed Reflectionnot_leaving on July 23rd, 2007 03:53 am (UTC)
Now he frowns. "I don't know if I believe you."

Of course, Gray isn't running away, yelling, or even in a defensive sort of stance- he's just standing there. So clearly, he doesn't seem to think this is worth getting too terribly upset over. He wants to see the gills again.

"Say, now, what is this all about?"
sonofthenile on July 24th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
Malik attempts to assume an oblivious, 'no understand English' expression while he works out the best course of action. Gray isn't running, this is true--if he does, Malik's got no hope whatsoever of catching him, and he really doesn't want to think about what the penalty for that would be once he got back onto the ship.

He'd really appreciate it if Harlan and Hardaway would get off their fleabitten arses and come help him, he thinks, but lord only knows where they are.

"I..I can no say. Not understand. Not much English." Truthful enough, anyway. Malik wrings his hands, revealing some of their webbing in the process.
Mr. Gray: Now see herenot_leaving on July 24th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Gray blinks, eyes widening in surprise as he sees the webbing. "Hang on, what's going on with you? Your hands...let me see them."

Surely, he's mistaken about the man's hands. But everything about him is odd, so why not this? He holds out his own hand and waits impatiently.
sonofthenile on July 31st, 2007 10:47 am (UTC)
Malik looks at him now with undisguised anxiety. Gray doesn't seem angry, horrified, anything like the angry men back home who used to call him a demon--but looks can be deceiving, Malik knows that all too well, and if Gray wants to hurt him, there's no way he can possibly escape. They're too far from the water.

Slowly, he holds out his hands, palms up and fingers spread, and trains his eyes firmly on the ground between his feet.
Mr. Gray: Lensesnot_leaving on August 1st, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
Gray waits for him passively, but when he sees the man's hands, his eyes widen and he smiles like a child.

After nearly a minute of unabashed staring, he says, "That's brilliant. You're an excellent swimmer?" It's not really a question. In an alarming invasion of personal space, he takes the man's hand in his own, touching the webbing as if he didn't believe his own eyes.
sonofthenile on August 3rd, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
Malik flinches, but the pride in his voice as he answers is instinctive and undisguised. "Yes! Yes, I swim, sayyed."

He neglects to mention the whole 'breathing underwater' thing just yet. He knows that's the strangest part of it, and he certainly doesn't yet trust Gray. But he does, after a moment's hesitation, take off his shoes (he hates them anyway, and it's a relief) to reveal the webbed feet as well.

"Swim better than...than run."
Mr. Gray: Pointed Reflectionnot_leaving on August 3rd, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)
A bright smile appears on Gray's face as he sees Malik's feet. "Yes, yes, I can see that." He inspects Malik's feet, bending over to look at them. When he straightens up, he looks so curious he's almost desperate. "So...er, can I see it? The swimming?"
sonofthenile on August 3rd, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)
Malik shrinks visibly from the request, but after a bit of quick thinking--they'll have to get much closer to the docks, if he's to show Gabriel how he can swim, and surely if they're that close, Harlan and Hardaway can grab him while he's distracted watching--he offers a tentative nod and smile.

"Best place for swim is there." He points to the area of water near the Hellequin. He's not lying, either--it is his favorite spot.

In spite of himself, he's excited. Nobody's ever been this impressed by his freakishness before.
Mr. Gray: I love this conversationnot_leaving on August 3rd, 2007 06:37 am (UTC)
"All right," he says, with that grin still on his face. Malik could, honestly, tell Gray that he'd swim best in a dark alley with men who have blunt weapons, and Gray would agree to follow him there. Near that ship over there? No problem.

He'll follow Malik wherever he's pointed, excited to see how well Malik swims.
sonofthenile on August 9th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC)
He doesn't feel bad about this, per se. There's nothing wrong with it, after all; they're just adding another member to their crew. People do this all the time.

But all the same, he wants to enjoy his little chance to show off first. He strips off his rags with a sense of relief and dives into the water without a second thought, darting off under the surface, swimming in a quick circle. He's already been underwater longer than most humans could stand.
Mr. Gray: Starenot_leaving on August 9th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
Gray watches with an intense expression on his face. The enhancements allow for exceptionally speedy, graceful swimming. It's really very exciting.

He leans over the water, tracking Malik as if he wants to be right there, next to him. And the time Malik's been under! Why, Gabriel could barely swim, himself. It's amazing.
hellboundknaves on August 9th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Harlan and Hardaway did not necessarily choose to come on this little recruiting venture with the same vigor as the fishboy did, and besides, it's always a lark watching him swim. Why, sometimes they throw him aboard just for the sport of it. Nevertheless, their fun must come to an end, and while Mr. Grey is leaning over the water seems a perfect time to strike.

Hardaway, being the more fit one, brings his stave down firmly over Mr. Grey's back as Harlan keeps a watch for any nosy do-gooders who might try to intervene.
sonofthenile on August 9th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
Malik winces a bit, keeping well underwater while this all goes on. This is...not his favorite part of this sort of proceeding.

He thinks he'll apologize to Mr. Grey once they're all back on the ship. It seems proper.
Mr. Gray: Not feeling wellnot_leaving on August 9th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
Gray realizes the setup the second he's hit. Unfortunately, since he was just hit rather hard while in a compromised position, he can't do much more than roll onto his back on the docks. The box he was carrying bounces on the ground, rolling to a stop six feet away. He hopes they only steal that watch.
hellboundknaves on August 9th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
"Hail and well met, Mr. Grey!" Hardaway will have none of this lounging about after being struck, not on his watch! "On your feet like a good lad or you and my twig here will be having a little rawn-day-vous of a most unpleasant nature!"

Harlan saunters (which is not a pleasant sight) to the edge of the dock and waves at the fishboy. "Come on, fish, no call to be such a priss. You did a damned fair bit of villainy, and I expect you'll be after some type of reward." This will, of course, be entirely lost on Malik, and Harlan sees no reason to give a fig about that.
Mr. Gray: Pointed Reflectionnot_leaving on August 10th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)
He looks up to the men, confused. He'd expected them to beat him unconscious then take his belongings. But they want him up, so he slowly gets to his feet, standing up to his full height. Gray stares down at Harlan with almost an offended gaze. "What do you want?" he asks.
sonofthenile on August 10th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Malik exhales unhappily in a stream of bubbles, and after a few moments his head pops out of the water near the other three. He hangs onto the edge of the dock, looking up at Gabriel with a noticeable lack of need to blink water out of his eyes.

"Your cousin tell us fetch you, sayyed. Come quiet, yes? Is best."
Mr. Gray: What?not_leaving on August 10th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Gray is actually glad to see Malik again- he was worried that the interesting man would disappear while he was being accosted.

But what Malik says is rather confusing. He frowns. "My- but I don't have a cousin." Mr. Gray's family was very small, in that it only consisted of his mother.