Sailin' Smiles

((OOC: Situated after Dangerous Waters. Reserved for William Connor and Amelia Hartshell. Also. I am going to die. RP overload. Halp.)) 

After finishing the paperwork for Lexi's case and his duties in SHUSH for the day, Agent Connor got ready for dinner. He changed into a casual outfit in the changing room and tried several different hairstyles before deciding to keep his usual one. 

He then stepped out of the SHUSH building with his backpack, waving goodbye to the guard posted at the exit. 

Soon, he was walking towards Fish and Ships. He wondered what they were going to talk about; he and his new friend. He hoped he could help her. He usually wasn't very helpful as he was a lower ranked SHUSH agent, unable to pull strings or break protocol like other higher ranked agents could. 

But he was glad that he had friends in SHUSH and an understanding director. They'd listen to him. And he'd be able to help her, in a way. 

Ah, here he was. 

Stepping into the diner, he looked around eagerly for the woman. If she was not there, he'd find a seat to sit down and wait for her. 

    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

      The brunette duck had arrived early but she wasn’t waiting inside the restaurant. She was seated on a bench a few buildings away on the ipposite side of the street, reading a paper and keeping an eye on her surroundings. Amelia was still leery about putting all of her eggs in one basket, figuratively speaking, since her choices in relationships and lifestyle had a rough track record.

      Was FOWL looking for her? Were they even aware that she had not been arrested with the other lackeys? Did any of her supervisors suspect her yet and had they gotten out of jail? It was a little early to expect trouble, but the ex agent did notwant to let her guard down. She might not have been much mire than a waitress and entertainer for the other agents, but she had been to several bases, along with a villain vacation resort. She was just enough of a loose thread to be counted as expendable if she fell in FOWL’s crosshairs. 

      After seeing Connor go in, Amelia checked her watch. Eh, close enough. She folded up her paper and crossed the street. As she reached for the door handle, a pedestrian bumped into her shoulder roughly.

      ”Hey watch it!” Amelia bristled.

      The pedestrian mumbled something as he kept walking.

      ”A little early to be drunk.” She grumbled to herself while she went inside. Connor’s smile would be a welcome contrast to that little incident. 

      • James Wolfe
        James Wolfe

        Connor had been eyeing both entrances eagerly, his tail a-wagging, as he waited for Amy to show up. So the instant she walked through the door, she'd be greeted by a cheerful cry and a wave. 

        "Amy!! Over here!" he beamed, standing from his seat. "I have not ordered yet! Go get what you like!" 

        • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
          A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

          “Hi.” Amy’s greeting was flat compared to Connor’s enthusiasm but she managed a polite smile. So, points for that?

          ”Go get what? Am I supposed to catch my own fish?” The duck scanned the diner in confusion. “Oh, right. Diner. Gotcha.”

          She flushed a little as she stepped up to the counter to look at the menu and pick out a combo.

          ”i’ll get a Number five with iced tea.” 

          She was used to frequenting bars and more extravagant dining options, curtesy of FOWL and their vineyard. Being a normal civilian again was not much fun, but st least this was nice relaxed atmosphere.

          • James Wolfe
            James Wolfe

            Connor also looked confused, but it was at Amy. Whut? 

            Oh. Right. FOWL. Those expensive restaurants. She must have been used to that. He hoped she was okay being taken out of her comfort zone like that. What a way to start the night. 

            Once Amy was seated, Connor got up to offer her a handshake, and a newspaper, then left to take his own order. He had to save their table, as the place was gradually filling up with people. It was a popular diner, after all. Right next to Hamburger Hippo that is. It was a ship-themed diner with good food that attracted lots of customers. 

            "I'll have three fish burger specials and a large fries!" he ordered at the counter cheerfully. "Ooh, and throw in a chocolate milkshake please! Thank you!" 

            Taking a number, he returned to his seat and beamed at Amy. "So, how did the rest of your day go? Any updates on Lexi? I would have checked on her but... paperwork," he chuckled. 

            • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
              A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

              Amy perused the paper. There were a few articles on the case she’d been a part of, but thankfully there was no mention of Amy or an unidentified brunette in it. Hopefully she’d stay off of FOWL’s radar.

              She folded and setthe paper aside when William Connor rejoined her, greeting him with a more sincere smile. 

              “The witch? No. I skipped out of the hospital soon after I saw the reporters flood in. Paperwork, ya know.” She grinned and winked back. “I talked to some of your guys, and that P.I. who was working the case. That’s been...pretty much it. It’s been quiet. I got a new apartment.”

              The apartment was a big downgrade from the one she’d had but at least she was not living a few floors below FOWL’s chief agent anymore.  She’d joined FOWL with nothing and she left it with a tv, books, a bed, etc, so she was ahead of the game.

               

              • James Wolfe
                James Wolfe

                Connor beamed, happy to hear that things seemed to be going smoothly for her. 

                "I've got plenty of things sorted out for you," he told her with a smile. "You're now under the witness protection program, and at your request, we can deploy guards to watch over you. You can change your identity too, if you think it's necessary. And I think I got you a job... that is, if you want it," he went on. "The director thinks you could be a valuable informant on some of FOWL's activities, and you'll be paid for your trouble. He offered for you to be a SHUSH agent too! We have a ton of departments to choose from! But he also said that if you were tired of the spy life, he has a few connections with other companies and they can secure you a job!" 

                Ooh, look, their food was here. Fast, wasn't it? 

                • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                  A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                  Amy’s eyes widened. A new start and a guaranteed job? “Wow. I- Wow. I...don’t know what to say.” 

                  She quieted when their food arrived, mulling over the information until the server left.

                  ”Uh... Thanks for watching my back. I,,,guess I should talk with your director to figure out what would be a good fit. Do you guys travel a lot? On cases I mean.”

                  • James Wolfe
                    James Wolfe

                    "I can show you the paperwork, if you like!" Connor was in the process of pulling out his laptop for Amy. 

                    "And it all depends on the job!" he answered cheerfully. With the food arrived, he forgot about the laptop and hungrily bit into a burger. "You can be a field agent, like me. Although I'm still a rookie..." he shrugged. "But your expertise should bump you up a few ranks above mine!" 

                    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                      “You mean I could potentially order you around, Connor?” Amy grinned. She chuckled. “Nah. I doubt I’d be all that useful to you guys. Even if I did somehow end up floating above my previous paygrade by some miracle,I wouldn’t jerk your chains. As long as I don’t have to scrub the latrines and wash everyone’s uniforms and undies, I’m good. Or do other services on the side, like fanning a certain head honcho with a palm branch and dancing in a hula skirt...” 

                      The duck rolled her eyes. “I should have quit that first time I was summoned for-... But I thought it would get better over time. Joke’s on me. It was fun at times, though. I imagine the boys will keep hanging out at their regular spots since they’re creatures of habit. Even if I do go on to work somewhere else or move out of St. Canard next year, I’ll still help you guys out.”

                      She put some malted vinegar and ketchup on her plate. “I’d like to look at those files. After we eat. Nothing’s getting between my fingers and these fries.” The duck winked and smiled playfully before dipping a couple of fries and chomping them. 

                      • James Wolfe
                        James Wolfe

                        Connor blushed at the thought of Amy being his superior, but it was mostly out of amusement than embarrassment. 

                        "I'm sorry you had to go through all that," he told her sincerely. "I promise, no matter how scary or weird we are, we will never treat agents like that in SHUSH," he said, putting on a solemn face with his hand over his heart. 

                        He grinned at her as he started stuffing his second burger with the fries. "The feeling is mutual." 

                        • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                          A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                          Amy felt her cheeks warm at the sincere gesture. She believed him. 

                          “I thought I heard you guys had a shark tank, too?” She couldn’t help prying for information while still wearing a smile.

                           

                          • James Wolfe
                            James Wolfe

                            Connor nearly choked on his burger, then laughed nervously and tugged on his collar. 

                            "That's... um, recruitment procedures. We don't kick people in for fun. And the sharks are well taken care of and trained to avoid killing... but they can still bite hard. SHUSH demands the best of the best agents, after all. I had to go through it myself, but it wasn't so bad," he shrugged. "I'm grateful to have a short tail for once."  

                            • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                              A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                              “Really? You guys train sharks to train recruits with? Boy. And here I thought you all were a bunch of stuck-up, stick-in-the-mud sissies.” Amy shook her head in amazement.

                              “Do you guys do any team sports for fun? That’s one thing I enjoyed about my time with FOWL. Beach volley ball, indoor dodgeball, darts and pool and table tennis. Heh, you’d think with all the activities off the clock, the guys would have better aim and reflexes on the clock.”

                              • James Wolfe
                                James Wolfe

                                Connor chuckled. "One of them loves belly scratches when not in attack mode." 

                                "We have those activities too!" he lit up. "Sometimes it's turned into training sessions about reflexes, teamwork and discipline, but we get to have fun. This agent from the UK... he makes the best tests for agents!" 

                                • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                  A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                  “Really? Hmm. Maybe I’ll look into a position at SHUSH then. That sounds more interesting that being a stocker at a grocery or department store.” Amy grinned. “Although the paperwork and legal stuff sounds like a pain.”

                                  • James Wolfe
                                    James Wolfe

                                    "You were planning to work as a stocker?" Connor exclaimed. "What a waste of all that work experience! Although... I guess it might be hard trying to reorient yourself and work with us instead of trying to kill us," he teased. 

                                    Then he sighed. "You have no idea. There's soooo much paperwork to do. You have fill out like five hundred forms before going on a mission! And then after the mission, you get twice the load! You don't want to know how much I just went through this afternoon." 

                                    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                      Amy frowned at the joke and averted her gaze, filling in the awkward silence by sipping on her drink. 

                                      “Five hundred forms? What for? Insurance and liability and plan of action and permission to use weapons? Speaking of, do you guys carry your own firearms like the police or do you sit there unarmed until you check them out of a locker?  I like carrying a couple of micro guns.”

                                      She smirked, purposefully not revealing whether she still had them or not. 

                                      • James Wolfe
                                        James Wolfe

                                        "That and more," Connor confirmed. "Also... permission forms to fill up said forms..." he rolled his eyes and waved a hand. "I know. It sounds silly. but they exist." 

                                        He looked her in the eye seriously. 

                                        "Yes. We all carry guns," he broke into a grin again. "But we go through tests and mental examinations before we are allowed to have one. Do you have those micro guns?" 

                                        • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                          A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                          “Eesh. Sounds like S.H.U.S.H. should grow their own trees. I hope they at least recycle and reuse some of that paper.” Amy shook her head. “It must make S.H.U.S.H. realll popular with Bushroot.”

                                          She leaned forward and batted her eyelashes playfully. “Hypothetically speaking...if I said I do have guns, what would you say?”

                                          • James Wolfe
                                            James Wolfe

                                            Connor snorted. "I've said so, and the Chief Agent just gave me more paperwork to do." 

                                            "Speaking of which, I don't think I should tell you this, but we've been employing Bushroot!" he beamed. "Harmonizer vouched for him and Hooter decided to give him a chance! Of course... he's trying to get through the paperwork first..." 

                                            His eyebrows went up. "Well, err... I'd say to hand them over and we'd give you a mental evaluation for a month before giving them back to you." 

                                            As they spoke and ate, the sea water sloshed gently against the restaurant. 

                                            • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                              A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                              “Fun.” Amy rolled her eyes at the mention of more paperwork for offering a suggestion. She straightened and looked at him with interest when Connor mentioned Bushroot was working for S.H.U.S.H.. Intersting... Steelbeak would have loved that tip off.

                                              Argh. Don’t think about FOWL, especially not in front of a S.H.U.S.H. agent! 

                                              The duck smiled wryly and nipped off the top of a fry. “I thought as much. Hmm. S.H.U.S.H. sounds like a pain in the pinfeathers to work for. Evil organizations are, too, though, so I can’t complain. It all comes down to who you trust to cover for you, and how well you can watch your own back.” 

                                              She finished what she wanted of her cooling lunch and nudged the tray aside. 

                                              “Hypothetically speaking again... Would all of the mental jingo and paper jargon be reduced if, say, an applicant had experience with previous employers? Will I have you and your l- ... Colleagues watching over my shoulder while I rip open boxes and price and stick stuff on shelves? Or if I end up flipping greasy burgers or do anything remotely paying in this city? Or can I try out being a totally non-threatening normal person for a while without worrying about agents on either side of the law breathing down my neck? Is that even possible?” 

                                              She frowned, wondering how much time she had before/ If FOWL noticed her absence and possibly started looking for her. Maybe if she got a job in Duckburg or Spoonerville instead, maybe she’d reduce her chances of running into anyone familiar? Or was she always going to be a hamster in a cage, running the same path every day no matter who oversees the cage she’s in? 

                                              • James Wolfe
                                                James Wolfe

                                                Connor looked at her sympathetically, as water splashed beneath his feet. "Like I said, you'll be getting a fresh start. With a new identity and a job. You can do whatever you want with your life now, and there wouldn't be people spying on you unless you want them to-" 

                                                Wait a minute. Water. Splashing beneath his feet. 

                                                What. 

                                                The entire diner started to sway from side to side, and there was a loud creak. People started screaming. 

                                                "Uh oh. Uh, Amy, I think we should get out of here..." 

                                                He started to escort her and a few other patrons out the door when there was a louder creak and a crash, and the floor disappeared outside the diner, replaced by the sea. 

                                                A child screamed as she lost her balance, about to fall into the unforgiving cold waters, but Connor lunged forward and caught her in time, handing her off to her relieved mother. 

                                                Then, a voice floated around them. 

                                                "Having a particularly bad day? Unable to eat without worrying? Have no fear, theeee Liquidator is here to wash your worries right away!" 

                                                • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                                  A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                                  “Unless I want them to?” Amy echoed but she was also wondering why her feet were getting wet. “What the honk?”

                                                  Amy hurried with the other patrons toward the exit but she already had a sinking feeling that the exit was not going to solve their watery problem.

                                                  ”Ugh. What does that Dripface want? None of us are loaded with anything besdies calories here.”  

                                                  She paused to take in the scene. Maybe they could use the decor or furniture as temporary boats until Licky made his demands known? Although running away still seemed like the safest option. Except any smart villain would pay attention to the main exit if he wanted hostages. The better bet was to make a beeline for a different exit, like the side door, or the delivery exit through the kitchen. 

                                                  • James Wolfe
                                                    James Wolfe

                                                    The diner miraculously stayed afloat as it strayed further into the bay. The puddles of water that had seeped into the middle of the room coagulated until it formed into the well-known watery villain salesman. 

                                                    "Good evening aboard the Shipidator, fellow St Canardians!" he smirked. "All boarding passes must be paid now to minimise the risk of being thrown overboard!" 

                                                    "This isn't even your ship!" Connor walked over, trying to look as threatening as possible. He had the sense not to use a gun... those things were useless against Liquidator. "Take us back before I arrest you." 

                                                    The Liquidator threw his head back and laughed. "Looks like we have an unruly passenger onboard! And do you know what we do to unruly passengers?" 

                                                    A tidal wave splashed towards Connor, knocking him overboard. He managed to grab a railing before he could fall, but all the patrons were panicking again. 

                                                    "We are gonna dieeeee!!!" 

                                                    • A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs
                                                      A Lion, A Witch, and A Wardrobe of OCs

                                                      “Connor!” Amy ran after the flying agent. She braced herself and reached for his hand. “Real smart, Dude.” She scolded softly. “I don’t think we’re equipped to deal with this guy.”