Lirssa did not like it. It was a dislike that was small, bitter, and pricked at her thoughts. It was as the taint of rust on a smooth vessel. She could continue to describe it poetically, but working with Ansel was the only sound and viable solution to her predicament.
And it got her in the stars again.
Boatswain was a sound ship, there was no mistaking that. Ansel took good care of her. But she was no Moxie. The fifth argument with Ansel about the proper course proved that. His ship could not handle the strong gravitational pulls that hers could...had. It was stardust now -- and scrap. Probably ticking the heart of another ship some several systems away.
Everything felt that way. The fibers of her life unraveling once more, tickling their frail ends at her fingers as she tried to hold on. She would have to weave them anew, take what remained, and tie and twist into something solid -- for however brief.
"You'll get your pay transferred as soon as I'm paid," Ansel broke into her thoughts. He took a seat at the other control station, letting the chair rock dangerously back and groan in protest.
"Thanks. I guess that'll be in a few days then, yeah?" She kept her eyes on the viewport, not that it was truly necessary. She had landed in the Star's End docking bay 6 so many times, it was felt like a comforting blanket. A clangy, steam riddled, riotous blanket to be sure, but comforting all the same.
Ansel shrugged. "I should hope faster than that. We made good time, cargo arrived safe and secure, and we didn't kill each other." He chuckled a little with his side glance to her.
The last had little to do with the others, except that she and he both lived to collect the pay. "Yeah, well, we keep sticking to our roles in this venture, we should keep living. Pretty well defined."
"And you didn't have to uphold your part of the bargain of rescuing me from some job gone sideways."
"Eh, didn't want to have to kill anyone this week anyway," Lirssa gave him a grin. It was easier to smile over the reality make it a joke, than think on how many lives she had taken over the past year. That path lead to a rock in her throat and bile rising from her stomach. No, she would lead Ansel to think it was ego talking. Sometimes just have to embrace the rumors to make them seem unlikely. Mixed up thinking, even for her agile reasoning.
"Well, we're back, and I'll send word next job I get."
"We get." Lirssa corrected as she stood and went to gather her bag from the floor near the hatch. She had left it there earlier, not wanting to delay departure once landing gear touched bay floor.
"Right. We get." Ansel followed her to the exit. "Say, Lulu." His voice caught on her nickname, clearly hesitant to use it, but also wanting to establish some familiarity -- some bond.
"Yeah?" Lirssa turned to face him. She realized at that moment she had not looked directly at him much at all the entire week. There was no reason why she hadn't. Not that she could think of. But standing there, looking directly at him with his shadowed eyes, she knew she hadn't.
"Good work," he smiled and he was completely boyish past that scraggle of a beard.
With an upnod, Lirssa disembarked and went down the steps to hop onto the bay floor. A whistle perked up a tune, and she breathed in deep the amalgamation of ship smells. A trip to the duels and then a stop by the Inn. She felt more herself than she had in weeks.
Blast that Ansel.