Into the Black (pt.5)

((JP - See Previous))

“What is it you do, Lawrence?” Serena asked the new passenger, sliding a tea cup and fresh bowl of sugar in front of the two men. “I mean, I’m a deck, and he’s a deck and Patch is a mechanic and Tim is a pilot and Jago is a captain, and the doc is a doctor, and you are?”
Having Serena interrupt having a conversation with Jackson irked Lawrence. Her rapid fire speech was getting to be rather annoying, but he gratefully took note of her particular lack of attention, having already forgotten about the mob asking about him.
Who had been after me? Surely those oafs hadn’t been wise to my plan so soon…
The girl's newest question got a rise out of the corner of his mouth, giving him a shy smirk. He wondered about making a new identity before remembering his attire. Having forgotten to change out of the paster-esque clothes left him with little choice.
“I guess you could call me a preacher. I travel the Verse looking for those that seek peace and salvation with the hope that I can give them the answers they desire.”
“The people askin’ on you didn’t seem to be seeking peace, but it’s understandable. Sometimes when I don’t get the answer I desire, I get uppity too.” Serena replied with a shrug as she moved the sugar bowl to finish cleaning around the mugs on the table.
"Whaddya gettin' uppity about now?" Patch said as he came in from the doorway leading to the engine room, having only managed to hear the last bit of the conversation. The big man looked about to see life in the galley and smiled with satisfaction. "Everyone gettin' comfortable. Nice." He said with a grin before spotting the freshly made pot of tea, letting it an excited little "Ooh!" as he headed over to pour himself a cup not thinking to clean his hands first.

“I wasn’t gettin’ uppity, it was the people who were looking for Lawrence, bein’ uppity” Serena said, ticking her head towards the preacher. She scowled at Patch’s grimy mitts.

"Hooboy" Patch said in a mock worried tone. "What'd ya do, Padre? Collection plate come up light?" he snickered as he poured himself a cup, leaving smudges on the pot handle, his mug, the counter like a trail of greasy breadcrumbs leading back to the mechanic.

“Patch! Hands!” Serena chastised, wiping all of the smudge prints with the soapy towel. She looked at Patch and sternly pointed to the sink.

Patch jumped at the young girl's admonition, put down his cup and hastily complied with her silent order.

Vas snickered into his mug watching it all play out like a Panto during the holidays.

Serena grumbled as she wiped down the mug.

The old mechanic dutifully washed his hands as he gave the girl a sheepish look, collected his mug and took a seat at the table.

The teen tossed him a final glare for good measure as she wiped the sink faucet, shaking her head. If she told him once - she told him a thousand times…
The mound of grease and sweat named Patch nearly brought Lawrence to tears as his scent passed him. If the man ever bathed, he clearly had not been trained properly. He couldn’t decide how to respond to the man’s jest in fear of having to take a deeper breath when the girl chastised Patch.
Lawrence gave a light chuckle as he looked to Patch.
“I see who truly reigns amongst the crew. As for the group after me, I can not say what it is I did. I left Persephone on what I believed were good terms.”
He chose to look deep in thought after this comment, hopefully appearing to be thinking of a possible source of hatred against him.
"I hear ya." The old mechanic nodded as he took a pull from the steaming hot mug of tea. "'Sides, whoever heard of a crooked holy man, eh?" He added with a laugh.
“You poor naive old man …” Vas chuckled.
Jago walked in pouring himself some tea. He couldn’t argue that tea quality since he had hired little orphan Annie and her pet Rottie. “Should I be breaking out the tea biscuits or something?” He asked dryly.
Serena shrank back behind her brother, just in case.
“We have biscuits?” Vas asked, perking up.
“No jackass and if we did I ain’t sharing ‘em with you.” Jago snorted.
"Awww" Patch whined, crestfallen, "I love tea biscuits."

“Buy your own.” Jago suggested.

“Buy extra,” Serena said quietly, giving Patch a thumbs up.

Patch gave a smile and a wink to the girl, returning her thumbs up.

“Ya’ll done with your tea party? Can we get back to what you're paid to do? If you got time to lean …” Jago started.

“... you got time to work.” Vas recited putting his empty mug in the sink.

“Oh, good you know it so I can’t stop having to repeat it!” Jago said slurping his tea.

The main man entering the galley brought a swift halt to any small talk. While grateful, it was a terror to be near Jago.
Finally taking a cup of tea, he moved out of immediate glare range to nurse the brew. This social trip had so far been a failure seeing as the woman he wanted to see was a no show. Perhaps another time then.

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