A Dance with Rogues

In the Swagger Inn, the music was flowing, and the drinks were loud. Not loud enough, however, to drown out the sound of a growled threat for one poor lackey. 

"Listen," Captain Negaduck felt he was being very charitably clear despite his increasing urge to brutalise something. "I need a ship, and if you don't know who can get me one, find me someone who can."

Letting the poor sod go - which meant more like flinging him half away across the tavern - the fiend settled down to wait. 

The wretched cushiony booths were comfortable enough, but he was impatient. 

Freedom felt good. The stolen gold in his jacket felt even better. 

But he wanted so much more than that.

[[Followed on from the events around the Duchess of Disaster. Mostly reserved for myself and Ariana but open to pitches. PG-13, mentions of booze, dancing, standard Negaduck violence and debauchery.]]

    • DarkwingPsycho
      DarkwingPsycho

      ((OOC: Haha, Swagger Inn...))

      Ariana took a breath.  It had been a while since they had performed for such a raucous group, but money was money...  Still, she felt the effort was wasted on these cretins.  But what could she do?  She had little control over where the troupe booked themselves.

      After a rather unsuccessful psychic act, which had gained the performer two black eyes due to revealing one or a handful of rather delicate secrets, the lithe blonde dancer moved her way onto the ramshackle stage.  She could already feel the drunken eyes raking over her body, and she felt a wave of nervous energy.  As soon as the music started, though, her feet began to move, and the rehearsed motions took over her body.  She soon forgot the foul-smelling group before her and gave into the rhythm, moving gracefully, sensually, along with the bohemian music.

      • Negaduck
        Negaduck

        Lost in his own nefarious thoughts, Captain Negaduck did not register the appearance of the next so-called act. Not, at least, until the music started. 

        Hold on a second, was that the little mouse he had captured along with the Duchess?

        The way she moved though dispelled all other thoughts from his mind. 

        Not a little mouse any longer, it seemed. 

        • DarkwingPsycho
          DarkwingPsycho

          Although she wasn't a very good liar or actress, her skills had improved in her time with the Roma.  As her sensuous movements captured the attention of the patrons, dark-clothed sneaks moved stealthily through the crowd and relieved the drunken men of their purses.  All part of the act, yes, and one Ariana did not necessarily agree with.  But they had to eat.

          She started moving through the crowd now, delicately touching an arm there, a cheek...but when they reached back, she gracefully dodged and moved toward another victim.  It wasn't until she reached a certain masked mallard's table that her silver eyes widened and she almost lost the rhythm she had fallen into.  Her breath caught in her throat, and she was glad she hadn't been singing along with this dance. 

          • Negaduck
            Negaduck

            That shock. That wide-eyed despair. Possibly the greatest compliment she could've given him. 

            Satisfied, the nefarious pirate sat back, allowing her to continue. Couldn't interrupt a lady now, could he? Besides, his notoriously sadistic streak wanted to see how she managed under his most unbridled leer. 

            Oh he was going to enjoy this. 

            Not taking his eyes off her, however, meant taking his eyes off his gold. For one dance though, what did it matter?

            • DarkwingPsycho
              DarkwingPsycho

              She swallowed her initial flare of anger and kept her expression serene as best she could.  In fact, she even moved toward the masked rogue, her hips swaying and her arms above her head, winding around her artfully like ribbons.  She touched the tip of his fedora, knowing that her peers were making short work of his hidden loot, then she shoved it down playfully over his face - probably a bit harder than "playful" would warrant.

              Then she had moved on to the next victim before making her way back to the stage for the final part of the song.

              • Negaduck
                Negaduck

                By the time the music concluded, Negaduck had yanked his huge feathered hat back onto his head. Undignified, to say the least. At the sight of her though, his usually foul mood felt so much lighter. 

                Across all his travels, never had he seen anything more beautiful. Aside from piles of treasure, of course, and jewels, the quaking of his enemies, and...

                Come to think of it, his mood was not the only thing that felt lighter. 

                What. 

                Around behind the hooting and howlering crowd, two pickpockets would find themselves under the shadow of an incredibly peeved pirate. 

                "You dare steal from Negaduck, scourge of the seven seas?!

                Knocking them back with gale-force fury, blade at the ready.

                "How about I remove your hands to match your minds?"

                Takes a thief to catch a thief. And takes a pirate to make a bloody mess of it. 

                • DarkwingPsycho
                  DarkwingPsycho

                  Both looked like they were about to pee their pants, clearly not as well-trained or experienced as the others in their group.

                  "N-Negaduck?" one squeaked.  "THE Negaduck??"

                  The second one quaked and dug into his pockets to fling the pilfered gold in the villain's face, hoping it would be enough that the captain would loose his hold and he and his compatriot could make a break for it.

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    A roar as he recoiled on reflex - not from pain so much as disbelief that they would attempt such a brazen move. 

                    That came with the additional reflex, however, of taking a wild slash at their throats. If said throats did not meet the sword, it would surely splinter the timber. That was one nasty blade. 

                    All in all, assuming they were not left lying bleeding in a puddle, they would have bought themselves one tiny, teeny moment of distraction. Better use it well, kids. 

                    That said, as swift as he was, they probably had a fair to decent chance of outrunning someone with a peg leg. 

                    • DarkwingPsycho
                      DarkwingPsycho

                      And run they did, splitting up and veering away in a serpentine trail.

                      Ariana, meanwhile, was in the back milling around with a handful of gypsies.  Their final act was on stage - two contortionists - while the remaining pickpockets moved backstage to count and divide the spoils.  While Ariana didn't necessarily approve of or endorse this act, since they were at least being paid a decent wage by the tavern, she didn't say anything when her portion was passed to her.

                      • Negaduck
                        Negaduck

                        Erupting from the tavern like a zit exploding with rage-filled pus... just in time to see the thieves slip into the night.

                        "When I get my hooks into you-" Figure of piratey speech, since he still had all his working digits. "You're dead, you hear? DEAD."

                        As the final act sounded within the walls behind him, and his blood pressure returned to semi-normal levels, it dawned on Negaduck that there was somebody else he could get his hooks into.

                        Somebody who would make for a far more pleasurable visit.

                        ~~~

                        With all the cavorting and carousing that went with such a successful haul, nobody noticed the gauntlet gloves that reached out of a darkened doorway as the dancer happened past. Not even when they snatched her, one iron grasp around her waist, one over her bill, and dragged her back into the shadows.

                        ~~~

                        How fortunate that the tavern had a number of spare rooms. 

                        Or, to be more precise, only one spare room. And it was not even originally spare, but fortunately the tavern owner was able to be convinced to make it spare.

                        For a tavern in the bad lands, it was not half bad. Nice thick furnishings, nice thick barrings on the door, nice thick floorboards. The latter his captive would have a chance to inspect up close as she was deposited, not all too roughly, from his grasp.

                        "Ariana, wasn't it?" said Captain Negaduck. "How nice to see you again."

                        As everyone knew, Negaduck loved nice.

                        • DarkwingPsycho
                          DarkwingPsycho

                          She glared and made an indignant snarl as she whirled to face him, her gray eyes flashing.  "Nice isn't the word I'd use," she responded  angrily.  "Come to take your revenge?"

                          • Negaduck
                            Negaduck

                            "Revenge? And why would I seek revenge against you, hmm? For an attempted matronly mutiny? For accosting me with a meat pie of treachery? For contributing to the dismantlement of a perfectly brilliant plan, which saw me lose my ship, my crew, and my entire loot to that blasted Doubloon?"

                            Rage switched off as suddenly as it had built.

                            "Oh no, my sweet, I think we're about even."

                            Rage switched back on.

                            "Or we were, until a pair of pox-ridden bottom-feeding associates of yours were foolish enough to rid me of my gold!"

                            A mighty flash of steel as Negaduck embedded his sword into the arm of a day bed for emphasis. Honestly, what had wood ever done to him? Was no timber safe?!

                            • DarkwingPsycho
                              DarkwingPsycho

                              "Even?  EVEN?!" she shot back.  "Not even close.  I just gave you a taste of your own medicine!  YOU were the one who betrayed me first!"  

                              She folded her arms, then blinked at his last statement.  "What, the Roma?"  She laughed.  "I thought YOU were supposed to be the thief!"  His outburst she ignored, having been around rowdy pirates now long enough not to be startled at their emotional immaturity.  "Something else on your mind...?" she added teasingly, lowering her eyelids.

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                The suggestiveness caught him off-guard. 

                                "Yes how did you-"

                                Shaking his head clear, he yanked the sword free to better emphasise his point

                                "Nobody makes a fool of Negaduck!" Except for Negaduck, apparently. "You have two options here."

                                Beginning to circle, blade on her, "Either I attend another of your enthralling performances, when you no longer expect it, and slaughter those boys, and your entire sodding company..."

                                The gleam behind those eyes as he leaned in warned that he would enjoy it too. 

                                "Or you give me what I want."

                                The hard way or the harder way, it was up to her. 

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  She folded her arms, although the length and potency of his blade made her uneasy.  "And what is that?" she questioned, her eyes narrowing.  She could only guess.

                                  • Negaduck
                                    Negaduck

                                    "The gold," Obviously. "Or a ship."

                                    Twisted smile to match the twist of the blade, not necessarily aimed at her face. 

                                    "Don't play coy with me. I saw that magic you flashed around during our last encounter. A talented minx like you ought to be able to wriggle something up."

                                    Wriggle being the key word here. 

                                    "Or should I say.. witch."

                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                      "I am NOT a witch," she hissed indignantly.  To her, that was the lowest of the low, the basest form of magic-wielders, concerned only with themselves.  She preferred other terminology - sorceress, enchantress, etc.

                                      She sighed in exasperation.  "If all you care about is gold, here."  She tossed her purse at him carelessly.  "Now leave me alone."  She moved to go past him, giving the blade a wide arc.

                                      • Negaduck
                                        Negaduck

                                        "Where do you think you're going?" 

                                        Except it was a far more jovial tone as he reached to catch her by the wrist, falling back into a chair.

                                        Had to offer the sorceress had a comfortable seat, right? Right in his lap.

                                        "Help me count it."

                                        The purse dropped onto the table in front with a clink, ripe for the fondling.

                                        What a nice feeling that was.

                                        Getting his way.

                                        • DarkwingPsycho
                                          DarkwingPsycho

                                          She fell back into him, then stiffly sat up.  She would have immediately moved off - except for the blade.

                                          "Why, not too good with numbers?" she muttered spitefully.  She wanted to be done with whatever this was about.  "I thought you just wanted gold back.  What is this really about?  I'm not doing anything for you, not after what you did."

                                          • Negaduck
                                            Negaduck

                                            "I'm a pirate, honeybeak, I'm not after any favours."

                                            Not of the sort given freely, anyway. 

                                            Confident that she would not be fleeing for the moment, his hands moved from her waist to guide her own delicate fingers, savouring some liberties with her form as he did so. 

                                            Purse open, coins stacked in columns of ten. Easy to count. At least he didn't have to read them.

                                            "Come now, let's just see that you're not short-sailing me and I can look to letting you go."

                                            The feel, the smell of her - a weaker outlaw would have been a puddle by now. Except for the Liquidator, who already was. 

                                            "If you play along, maybe we can discuss how I can make it up to you..."

                                            A taunt, and a hint, as what else he wanted was becoming ever more clear.

                                            • DarkwingPsycho
                                              DarkwingPsycho

                                              She wasn't a stranger to advances, as many a pirate had tried - and failed - to bait her.  Negaduck had tricked her once, never again.  She wasn't going to play his game.  At least not this way.  Still, she shivered beneath his fingers.  It was an insistent but gentle touch.

                                              For a moment, she relaxed, moving against him and seeming to fall prey to his suggestion.  "Oh...?"  She turned her head, flashing him a flirtatious smirk.  "Well, that's a conversation I look forward to..."

                                              In one swift movement, she jerked her hands out of his and punched him full on between the legs.  It was then she took the opportunity to run for the door again, foregoing the gold.  Some things were more precious to her.

                                              • Negaduck
                                                Negaduck

                                                "YARRRGHH!"

                                                And that was not a hearty piratey yarrr. 

                                                Right there? Right then? Eegods, the pain.

                                                Coin scattered, the table flipped, as he lunged. As fast as he could while he was still seeing spots...

                                                "Come back here you little...!"

                                                It was a matter of pride now. And stubbornness. And a few other things... 

                                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                                  She grabbed for the wooden bar that - well - barred her way, and she had just flung it up when Negaduck came lurching after her.  She snatched for the door knob in a panic, trying to squeeze out before he could stop her.

                                                  • Negaduck
                                                    Negaduck

                                                    Bar slammed down, Ariana spun by the hips and slammed back against the door. 

                                                    "You would run from me?"

                                                    Of course, he took it as a compliment.

                                                    "To what, out there? To those cretins and lager louts, not one of them worth a sliver of your beauty?"

                                                    Touching the feathers of her cheek, their softness a pure contrast to the roughness of the arms that had entrapped her. 

                                                    "Stay, and I will show you how I can properly appreciate your talents."

                                                    Patron of dance, that Negaduck. 

                                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                                      She shuddered involuntarily under his touch, and her heart was pounding with adrenaline.  She didn't understand.  Was this him being...gentle?  Just what was his game?

                                                      "Wha-what are you talking about?" she breathed, shying away from his fingers against her face.  "Th-they're my family...they'll be missing me...please..."  She looked at him through her long lashes, her large silver eyes resembling a trapped doe.  "I'm...I'm nothing..."

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