02.14.09 - All In A Day's Work
Location: Somewhere in Mossflower
Characters Involved: Darcy, Sivaine, Harper, John Wesley Weasel
Evening's falling but hasn't quite landed and smothered the sun; the last molten red rays lip over the horizon and leave dark shadows where the trees divert their course. While Harper and Magramba are setting up the campsite, Sivaine is picking her way through the underbrush, a growing jumble of wood cradled in one arm like a changeling child as she stoops to collect a fallen branch from the ground.
Darcy has proven not very good at fire-making. Or rather, she's kind of distractible. Maybe there's a pyromaniac deep inside - or maybe she just thinks it's pretty. Either way she's been shooed away from it and now trudges into the woods toward Sivaine, flicking the mouse a quick little grin. "Need help?"
"Hmnh?" Sivaine straightens up and looks over her shoulder. "Oh sure." The corner of her mouth twitches back and up, cautiously. It's to a smile what a wilting beansprout is to a sunflower, but she's making the effort. "Things going well at the campsite?"
"They're, uhm." Darcy glances over her shoulder, shrugs. "Let's just say they were trying to teach me to start a fire. Tee-pee something? ... and now I'm with you." Her smile is amused.
"..ah." Sivaine's brows lift. There've been no screams, flames, or foil-roasted Magrambas, so in the absence of a crisis situation she can allow herself some amusement, and quirks a crooked sort of grin. "Well, unless you impale yourself on a branch somehow this is more or less safe. The dead, dry wood works best." She kicks at the fallen tree by her feet.
Darcy takes a small step back as the kick shows just how rotten that log is. /Things/ crawl out of it. "... uhm. Well that looks promising," she says, and points, directing Siv's attention further off into the woods, where a chunk of tree hangs mostly dead and barely attached to the rest of it.
Sivaine takes a step back, twitching her nose. "The dead, dry, uninhabited wood." After last night, bugs are the last thing she wants to see. She looks where Darcy's pointing. "Good eyes." The mouse skirts around the rejected log and heads that way.
The brush rustles ominously off to the right.
Darcy keeps her gaze on the log also, though the crawlies have hidden back underneath. She steps around and over, heading after Sivaine, further away from the male-sorts and over toward the tree in question. "So .. when did you figure you're due? Or is the pregnancy thing kind of old as a topic of conversation?"
The rustling moves along, following Darcy, keeping to the right.
And it kind of matches Darcy's own rustling as she moves through the underbrush - so for the moment she's not aware of it.
The rustling stops. A quiet curse rises from the bracken.
"When you're not calling it my 'baby bump' and smirking, I value your opinion as a healer. Probably.." Sivaine's ears perk and angle at the sound; she turns, a cloaked silhouette in the dying red light, and shifts her grip on the wood. "Come here," she orders, looking past the doe. "And you, come out."
Darcy blinks a little, and turns - backing up, getting next to Sivaine and managing not to trip as she does so.
The bundle of sticks and branches nudges toward Darcy. "Take these, please." Sivaine's words are clipped at the edges, but murmury and calm; her narrows her eyes consideringly at the obscene patch of undergrowth.
A sleek figure emerges, rising up from the weeds. The figure brandishes a rusty cleaver, possibly home-made. "Stay where y'be, mousey." The weasel identifies Sivaine as the one in charge. "An' y' friend too. I's John Wesley Weasel, an' y' gonna give 'a me what e'er I ask for."
Darcy grasps the wood pile, fumbling a little. A few sticks drop but she keeps ahold of most of them. Her ears tuck backward as she considers the weasel. "... what an original name. /Wesley/ Weasel?"
"'At's right, bunny." John Wesley points with his sword. "N' do what I says. G' froo y' pockets an' put anithin' val-ble onna groun'. An' keepa mouf shut."
"Valuable. Right." Sivaine's tone is every so slightly dry, brows lifted. Her paws disappear into the folds of her cloak and emerge in short order, the left lacking the usual blue sparkle and the right grasping a rather wicked-looking hunting knife. She plucks a stout length of branch off the top of the pile. Thank you, Squire Darcy. "It's better to get an idea of your quarry before you start threatening, you know?"
"I really think I might just. Let you handle this," Darcy says as Sivaine takes the stick, though she doesn't back away or anything. Just stands, the pile of wood in her arms. If worst comes to worst she'll chuck it at him, ferocious little thing she is. "But if you need any stabbing to occur..." Her dirk is on her hip.
"Shut yoo mouf, mousey. I dun wanna be choppa yoo wid me Big Nife." John Wesley gestures wildly with the cleaver. "Bunny migh' get hurted."
"Will you /stop/. With the 'bunny'," Darcy grunts.
"And I'd rather not do something unfortunate to your lower regions, though I doubt you should be reproducing in the first place. Be off with you, or tell me which eye you don't need." Sivaine takes a step forward and in front of Darcy and murmurs, "Watch for more. Have the whistle?"
"And the sticker," Darcy replies, smiling all sweet-as-honey at the mustelid. "Maybe I can even use both at the same time. You know. Call for the manly men to come rescue us damsels." So, so dry, she is.
John Wesley.... looks puzzled. "Ima keep bof me eyes. Now, yoo juss giv me da val-buls an' John Wesley goes 'way."
"No, I don't think we will. But you can go away all the same." Sivaine flexes her fingers, adjusting her grip on the knife, and brings it and the impromptu cudgel up to 'ready' positions. "Amazing he's survived this long with this strategy," she remarks to Darcy as casually as if she were commenting on the quality of tonight's dinner. "Although he might be the idiot distraction while the competent ones circle 'round. If you hear any more rustling, blow."
Idiot, maybe. Distraction, not so much. Even so, John Wesley Weasel decides it'd be a good thing for the ladies to think he's got back-up, and idly rustles the grass with one foot while he continues the extortion attempt. "So witch 'a yoo woomuns ees gonna geeve John Wesley hees val-buls firs'?"
"Amazing. Stunning. I am /riveted/ by the .. wow. Putting this down now." Darcy's smirk is rather mean as she drops the heap of wood, digging out the whistle worn on a string around her neck, and slipping her other hand to the hilt of her dirk. This is pulled out. The bunny is armed! "Also? You sort of mixed up the gender pronouns there, John Weasley. Go away please."
"John Wesley norra like da way yoo talks. Giv val-buls before I cuttee tungs." The weasel steps closer, and in the half-light its becoming clear that he's rather short. About Sivaine's height. Maybe shorter.
... but not as short as Darce.
Sivaine resists the urge to roll her eyes. "Right," she mutters, and advances with quick strides on Wesley Weasel, weapons raised and expression intent. "Shut up." As she comes close, she flips the knife in her grip and brings the pommel down hard toward his forehead.
John Wesley is quicker than he looks. Or rather, quicker than he sounds. The weasel pulls his head back, avoiding the blow, and swings his cleaver at Sivaine.
Darcy sidesteps, giving Sivaine room. Leave it to the pregnant chick who's been trained by a monster gay otter. She lifts the whistle to her lips, but doesn't blow yet.
Up comes the cudgel to block; the blade sinks into the wood with a dull 'thock' as Sivaine draws her knife back, flipping it blade-out again, to slash at Wesley's cleaver-holding wrist. "I meant it about the eyes."
John Wesley Weasel realizes that his cleaver is stuck. He spends a short instant trying to tug it free, notices the knife angled towards his wrist, and simply tackles Sivaine.
".. is this about when I stab him?" Darce quips.
Sivaine wasn't expecting that, but has enough presence of mind to toss the branch-and-cleaver aside when John Wesley looses his grip. Her slash changes course - she sticks the thing straight out instead for the weasel to impale himself on, with any luck, bracing her feet - but she's never been heavy, and has to throw her other arm out to catch herself as she goes down with a crackle of branches from below. "Blow, /then/ stab," the mouse grunts.
Blow then stab. Darcy bypasses the first of these, stepping forward, wielding her dirk like a hammer as the weasel sprawls on top of Sivaine. There is no neck-stabby this time. She whacks him on the back of the head - hard. Once, twice, and he's out. On top of Sivaine. Darcy's ears tilt back as she looks from the would-be robber to her friend. "Hey. Still in one piece?"
"Ngh. I am, but." Sivaine unceremoniously shoves the unconscious form off her and sits up, dropping the knife to cradle her belly, head bent and expression concerned.
Darcy's expression is immediately concerned. She takes ahold of the weasel, helping to haul him away from Sivaine, then kneels. "Let me." Her hands move to lightly touch the mouse's somewhat curved stomach, carefully.
Sivaine's hands withdraw but her fingers flex and she watches intently, eyes creased at the corners. "He didn't /hit/ me there, but.."
Darcy presses just lightly, searching for the little lump that's the itty-bitty rodent, her expression focused. "But?" she prompts, touch light, eyes narrowed.
Sivaine's ears are laid back with contained worry. "But I don't know. Falling isn't /good./" There's a touch of anxiety to her tone. "This is why I like polearms. Keep things at a distance."
There's no obvious sign of distress from the unborn, though. Darcy shakes her head. "Falling's normal. Unless it's /off/ something or down steps you really don't have to worry. The babe's fine." She stands up, brushes off her hands and offers one down to Sivaine. "Let me know if you start hurting in your abdomen, though. Cramps or anything. /Then/ I'll get worried."
And following this, Darcy glances off toward the direction of camp, then down at the Wesley-Weasel-thing. She lifts the whistle, and blows into it.
Sivaine moves her hands over her abdomen when Darcy pulls away. They linger there for a moment, gentle and careful, and then she grasps Darcy's hand and pulls herself upright. "Right," she nods, keeping her other around her midsection. Just to make sure: "It's fine?"
It's not long before Harper is trotting through the trees and into view. His eyebrows are up, askance, "Oy - what's up?" he calls. Completely. Oblivious. The lump of vermin isn't visible from his approach.
"It's fine," Darce reassures, smiling at the mouse, then skirting her gaze around to Harper as he approaches. "Oh, we got lazy. Figured we'd make you carry back the firewood."
And there's a smile in return. A funny little crooked thing, but genuine, with the slightest of nods. Then Harper arrives. "Nothing anymore," Sivaine responds, slipping her ring back on before she stoops to retrieve her knife, which she inspects for weasel-bits. Finding none, it disappears under her cloak again. She eyes the unconscious mustelid, then trots over to retrieve the length of wood with a crude cleaver stuck in it.
Harper comes closer and then - oh. /Oh/. Harper... stops. Dead stops. "What-?" He blinks, looking from doe to mouse and back again.
"... oh and." Darcy gestures down at the weasel. "Dinner." Straight face.
Another 'chunk' as Sivaine pulls the cleaver out of the branch and tosses the latter near Darcy's feet. "Leftover pasties with a side of stupid."
"Why didn't you call for help!" Harper sounds distressed. He walks towards the unconscious weasel, peering down at it. "Are you both all righ'?"
Darcy smirks, shrugs. "I blew the whistle didn't I?"
Sivaine eyes the cleaver with distaste. "Cheap quality," she mutters, flicking the blade, and returns to the prone form. It's given a light kick, and not in a nice place. The mouse meets Harper's gaze. "Meet John Wesley Weasel. Apart from the tackle, he's the worst bandit I've met."
"I mean.. so awful /I/ could even take him out," Darcy adds onto this.
Harper just looks from one to the other. "Just... all right. We'll break camp 'n' find somewhere else, then."
Darcy crinkles her nose at this. "Why?"
"Or we could set a watch, get rid of this thing-" Sivaine holds the cleaver up, a pale shape in the dusk, "-and let John Wesley wake up in the top of a hawthorn." After a moment, she adds, "I'll leave the fighting to you two, I think."
Harper looks between the pair. Uhhhhh. "Because breakin' camp would be the, uh. Simpler way? You're right, I'm crazy, let's tie him up 'n' we c'n put on a puppet shoe for him when he wakes."
"A puppet /shoe/, Harp?" Darce asks with her brows lifted. Grinning. She glances over at Sivaine. "Hey, mister, relax. Let's just leave him tied to a tree, eat our dinner, and whatever. It's getting dark anyway."
Harper looks uncertainly between the pair. Shrugs. "... Fine. All right." But he's not going to like it!
".. though. I kind of want to see you perform," Darce mutters, her muzzl breaking into a sort of mischievous grin. Taking out baddies and teasing Harper, all in a day's work.
"Well," Sivaine says, giving Harper a steady look. He said it, she didn't. "Thees bandits everywhere, Harper, and at least the resident one here we know is incompetent. We should start keeping watches every night anyway." She smirks good-naturedly in Darcy's direction. "How many of us could we fit in a puppet shoe?"
"Three of me," Darce responds, "only one of each of you. Maybe two-thirds of a Harper."
Sivaine makes a 'hmm' sound. "I don't know. He might fold up pretty well with some proper prodding."
"There's a lot he can do with the right amount of prodding," Darcy inserts.
Sivaine says, "I'm going to pretend you mean 'giving up information' for the sake of getting you to help me haul this body. Have a cleaver, Harper."