Fiearius opened his mouth again to protest, but he seemed to think better of it. Instead, he grimaced apologetically. “Well, I’m sorry. I honestly thought you knew,” he admitted. “But for future reference, when it comes to Archeti at least, we’re in bed with Quinida Utara. Pretty much exclusively.”
Cyrus stared at his brother, dumbfounded. “Well,” he began, almost unable to put together words in his annoyance. “That would have been nice to know.” After an awkward pause, he ventured reluctantly, “Wait, in bed — figuratively?”
Fiearius stared back at him, entirely expressionless, as Leta stifled a snort with difficulty. A few beats passed before Fiearius concluded, “So you didn’t get the stuff, then?”
Cyrus winced in disgust, but he shook it off dismissively, and then focused his eyes on the floor in shame. “No. I didn’t get the stuff.” He drew a deep breath. “But not because he tried to poison me.”
Fiearius readjusted his lean and raised his brows in interest. Cyrus reluctantly explained, “I didn’t get the stuff because it was stolen from the donation channels.”
“Which you knew,” Fiearius pointed out immediately. “We talked about this.”
“It’s wrong,” Cyrus said shortly. “We shouldn’t be encouraging theft from people who need it.”
“We need it,” Fiearius countered.
“Not as much as they do.” Cyrus shook his head and spoke on with all the authority of an actual captain and all the anxiety of someone who knew they weren’t. “It’s wrong and you know it. We’ll just have to find another way to get the med supplies.”
Fiearius’ expression was hardened. Leta thought the explosion was coming — perhaps now would be the moment when he turned into the vicious man she’d seen earlier. But all he said to Cyrus was, curiously, “How’d you get out?”
Looking enormously relieved by Fiearius’ reaction (or lack thereof), Cyrus sighed, “Corra. She took care of the assailant. And Leta.” He glanced up at her, appreciation lighting his eyes. “She saved my life.”
It was then that Fiearius cocked an eyebrow, falling suspiciously silent. For the first time, he looked at Leta with something that wasn’t disdain in his eyes. It wasn’t even dislike. It was actually — no, it couldn’t have been. It couldn’t have been a glimmer of respect.
As quickly as it arrived, the expression shifted and he merely smirked. “Well well. Not so useless after all, eh kiddo? Nice work.”
Useless? Saving his life and his brother’s in the span of a week rendered her useless now? “Yeah, you’re welcome,” she snapped, and then gestured to the door. “And I’ve got a few more tests left to do on your brother so if you could just step on out … ”
Fiearius barked a rough laugh and shook his head. “Of course. Lest we forget whose ship this is…” he muttered under his breath, but he did turn to leave.
“‘Scuse me, cap’n!”
Just as he turned, his elbow nearly knocked into Corra who gracefully ducked beneath him and slipped into the room. Three glasses were clutched in her hands, the drinks sloshing around as she whipped towards Cyrus and Leta.
“Thought we could all use a drink after the day we had,” she explained cheerfully, unperturbed by Leta and Cyrus’ equally blank looks. “A nice cold beer for you, fearless leader. Not poison, I promise.” She handed one glass to Cyrus, who reached for it slowly, looking reluctant. “This one’s for me. And for you, my dear chika.”
A grin lit up Corra’s face as she held up the last drink, which was a violent shade of orange not usually found it nature, let alone in a beverage. She noticed both Cyrus and Fiearius were eyeing the drink wearily.
“The Dionysian Firebomb,” announced Corra proudly, pushing the drink into her hand. “Can’t tell you what’s in it. But it’s tradition. For all new crew members. And it looks like you’ll be sticking around for a little bit at least.” Her eyes twinkled, then she looked up at Fiearius. “Sorry, didn’t know you’d be down here, cap’n, but care to join us anyway?”
Fiearius cast her a blank look, and then laughed loudly. “No thanks. And good luck with that,” he added, looking disdainfully at Leta’s drink, before he turned and drifted into the hallway.
“And good riddance to you…” Corra muttered under her breath, glaring after him, but her smile came back in full force when she turned her attention back to the others. “A toast,” she declared cheerfully. “To a job well–” She paused and smirked at Cyrus playfully. “To a job done.”
Leta started to protest — she wasn’t in the mood for a mystery drink, and really, Cyrus probably shouldn’t have been drinking alcohol immediately after the incident — but just as quickly, she thought, oh, what the hell. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d actually shared a drink with decent company. Certainly not after Ren had been captured, so months at least. She clinked her glass to theirs.