Graves swore under his breath for, more-or-less, the seventeenth time in the last five minutes. He could barely see through the miasma of clinging smoke and hot, spitting oil obscuring his sight. When he could see, he was not pleased by what he saw. The bacon was burnt blacker than a blasted bilgerat, and the eggs were fit only for the meanest fish in the sea.
“How’re them eggs comin’ along?” a voice drawled behind him, an undisguised tinge of mirth in Tobias’ words, “Not destroyin’ our last box of them, are you?”
Coughing, Malcolm Graves turned to face the man, leaning back in his chair with his feet up on the stained wooden table. The kitchen-come-dining area was small enough in this apartment that Graves could see the threat of laughter tugging at his companion’s lips.
“I don’t know to what you’re referrin’ to, pal,” Graves commented, making the most unsubtly un-casual “casual lean” against the nearby cabinet, arm stretched uncomfortably to prop himself up, every attempt made to obscure the smoking, singed mess behind him, “Everything is dandy on this here ship, eggs in no time.”
The dark, well-trimmed eyebrow of Tobias Fate arched speculatively, his mouth not losing that damned smile. Leaning across, the slighter man plucked a deck of dog eared and rough looking playing cards from a draw near Graves’ waist, chuckling to himself.
“Okay,” Graves gruffly conceded, lowering his now growing numb arm, rolling his wrist to get some feeling back, “Maybe they look a lil’ like 6-pound cannonballs, but I’m sure I can do better next time.”
Laughing and shaking his head, Tobias began to flick the cards out deftly to the table, laying them out in the staggered pattern one used to play Kraken Solitaire.
“It’s fine, we’ll just – dangit,” the card sharp’s composure visibly twitched with annoyance as one of the cards, perhaps a little rougher around the edges than the rest, caught on his finger and was flicked across the room, harmlessly clattering to the floor, “Could you grab that for me?”
Grumbling, Graves stood forwards and bent over, cursing for the eighteenth time as his calloused fingers scrambled to pick up the card from the tile smooth floor. He turned as he finally caught it with his nail and thumb, and found Tobias leaning forward, chin rested upon linked hands.
“Was you starin’ at my ass again?”
“Maybe,” Twisted Fate grinned, showing perfect white teeth, “I was feelin’ down, and your rear certainly is a pick-me-up.”
The flattering was one thing, but that smile. Flushing, Graves practically threw the card back at his companion.
“Stop, like, itemising me and tell me what we gonna do ‘bout breakfast,” he took the chair next to Fate, glancing across the cards, trying to hide his eyes as the man flicked down the errant remaining card to it’s rightful place, “I wanted to make you som’in nice, since it’s your nameday and all.”
His voice trailed off into awkward silence, Tobias’ slender fingers pausing atop one of the face down cards.
“Huh,” Tobias flipped the card over with a flick of his wrist and dance of his fingers, revealing a scowling Gangplank wielding his trusted pistol and cutlass, a grey diamond shaped symbol in the top left. A King of Salt. “Well, I clear forgot the date, I’ll be honest…”
Smiling, yet clearly at a little loss for words, Fate twisted in his chair to gaze at Graves, who had a smudge of black on his cheek. Licking his thumb then leaning across, Fate roughly wiped the smudge from Graves’ cheek, disregarding the man’s grumbling protests.
“Tell you what, we’ll go out today, and you can pay,” he dropped the king card, and tentatively slid his fingers over to the rougher man’s larger, rougher hand. You had to be slow in your affections, with a man who burned slower. “We can shop on the way back, make a nice breakfast tomorrow, for the both of us.
After a moment’s pause, a small smile creeped across Malcolm’s face. “Yeah, alright, I’ll write up a list-“
“No, don’t say that w-“
A sudden gargling sound, and grey water gushed from the nearby facet. A second later, from the half-filled sink, a balding man clad in now soggy grey and green pyjamas clambered from the shallow water, knocking several of the nearby utensils to the floor.
“Did someone say list?” Pyke inquired excitedly, tugging his own somehow completely dry, yet blood stained, parchment from inside his baggy top, “I love lists, lists of people I have to kill, lists of people I want to maim, lists of my favourite knives…”
Pyke trailed off as he saw the two men at the table, hands interlocked. Steam practically rose from Graves as he glared, hotter than a burning barrel in his rage. Tobias, however, started with a small chuckle, but gradually devolved into a full belly laugh.
“Fine, fine, you can help us make a shopping list,” Face waved his hand in acquiescence “ but it’s your week to take out the trash.”