A Little More Conversation - Barnaby and Mattie

Started by Barnaby Goodweather, February 27, 2020, 01:27:55 pm

Barnaby Goodweather

Half a week it'd been since the business on the train. His crew had had half a week to reckon with the consequences of those events, bodily and mentally, and come out the other side however they were best able. Barnaby had, in his own way, moved on. There wasn't much else he could do. Two of his longest friends were leaving him, his pockets were next to empty, and his confidence was shattered. Tabby had fretted to him about his health and he'd had to extricate himself forcibly from her care with a promise of taking multivitamins and giving up red-meat. But he couldn't stay in a foul mood forever, now could he? That'd nearly killed him, he figured, and in this line of work you had to keep your perspective on the horizon, so to speak.

And so that went likewise for his crew. Was it really so much to ask that everyone be sunshiney and smiling all the live long day? Barnaby didn't think so. Tabby and Rian seemed to be doing alright. He knew each of them better than anyone and he knew they'd come to him if they were in need, though Barnaby made a mental note to check in with them as well. Mona and Riot were leaving and Barnaby, much as he hated to admit it, was avoiding having more than a few minutes conversation with either of them. So that left him with the new folks and he just so happened to find Mattie first.

It was hard to get a read on what her mood was since she came on board, being as nobody knew much about her and couldn't compare a good mood from a bad one. But if Barnaby had to guess, Mattie wasn't always this frowny. He found her where he'd assigned her, in the cargo bay swabbing the deck. No matter what kind of cargo you carried, if it came in boxes, those boxes had grit and grime on them and left it behind for someone to clean up. And that involved a bucket of water and a mop.

So at the stairs leading down the cargo bay he watched her work for a bit and admired her tenacity for the work. She took to it easy and went at it hard. Barnaby descended the stairs and let her notice him so as not to interrupt.

Mattie Rooney

Mattie was happy to have a chore to keep her busy, something to channel her frustration into. Or at least pretend to channel her frustration into; no matter how furiously she scrubbed the deck, the anxious energy bubbling inside her didn't seem to be simmering down one bit, and the task was mostly an excuse to avoid spending time with the rest of the crew. The betrayal in the train, followed by the all too intimate dinner full of dramatic confessions that meant nothing to her... it was all a little too much for Mattie to process right now, and so she did what she always did in times of emotional turmoil, buried everything deep within her and hoped she felt better soon.

She had yet to make the connection between this coping strategy and her increasingly negative outlook on life.

Right now Mattie was focused on scrubbing a patch of dark gunk that appeared to as tenacious as her bad spirits. She stopped when she spotted movement in the corner of her eye, standing up straight and facing the intruder. Her stomach clenched when she locked eyes with the captain, the exact person she'd been hoping to avoid. Well, in addition to pretty much everyone else on the crew.

"Oh, hey, Boss." He'd asked her to call him Barnaby, but she was finding it difficult to honor his request. There was always a very specific chain of command on a ship, and Mattie knew her place in it. It was not being on a first name basis with the captain, especially not one she'd only recently started to work for.

"I don't think that's comin' off." She gestured towards the discolored patch on the floor with her mop, hoping against hope that he was just here to check up on how the deck-swabbing operation was coming along.

Barnaby Goodweather

Barnaby came closer and looked at where Mattie was working and shook his head. That damned spot. He'd been trying to get that up for years but it was a persistent bugger. A leftover of a spill from long ago, a combination of battery acid and hard coated plastic that had melted and coalesced into the mess that was at their feet. "Aw sorry 'bout that, Mattie." Barnaby said, rubbing at the back of his head. "That ones stubborn as a blind mule. Been workin' at it since 'fore you could walk, I reckon. Shoulda said so." There were a lot of things that he should've said.

"Appreciate your effort, though." Just get to it already, old man. "Um. Well. Reason I came to find you, is I figure we should have ourselves a little talk." A lump formed in his throat, a small one, but he still needed to cough to get it out. It wasn't that it was hard for him to apologize, but talking about his failings with someone he didn't know too well... that he wasn't good at. "You and I stood and joined hands and then I wasn't honest with you. For that I'm sorry. I ain't gonna excuse it 'cept to say it felt like the right move at the time. Maybe I was wrong. Likely so. Can't change it but, cross my heart, I won't take it so lightly next time. Got my oath on that."

He held out a calloused hand for hers. "I'm glad you're here."

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