Soft foamy soap and warm water covered Ara's hands and dripped off her wrists as she washed up from dinner. When finishing the plates, she grabbed the first pot from Dominique's cooking when the was a slow double knock on the open door frame of the galley. She watched Thomas walk in casually and sit down.
"And what's the fallen sky captain up to tonight?" She asked, turning back to scrubbing the metal pot. She heard The wooden bench squeak behind her as Thomas adjusted himself and leaned foward with his elbows resting on his knees.
"Thinking," he said quietly with the intonation of a question.
"That's a new one," laughed Arabella. Then there was a sort of familiar dense silence that made Ara Stan still with her hands in the warm soapy water, staring at the wall. -Don't say what I think you're going to say.- she thought.
"Ara," began Thomas as he leaned back again, "do you think we could have,"
"No," Ara interrupted, "I don't want to get into this right now." She told him, "stop dwelling in the past and come to terms. We didn't actually have anything. We used eachother for our own purposes. Don't bring it up again." Thomas nodded behind her and stood to walk towards the door of the galley with slow, creaking steps that stopped at the door.
"You know, I ond it funny how you tell me not to dwell in the past as of you do t do the same thing." He brought up with a low voice.
"I'm not the one bringing up an old bit of fun." She pointed out.
"You take me for a fool. How could you possibly try to convince yourself that it was nothing but fun? "He walked a few steps towards the center of the galley with his hands dangling by his side. "You remember when Captain left you in London and you figured out Leander was dead? Waking up after that night to find your burning warrant papers in the sink and my badge gone," He raised his voice. "That was not fun."
"Oh come on, you couldn't have been shocked. " she yelled, "you walked right into that one."
"Only disappointed that I wasn't shocked. Admit it, didn't you ever feel betrayed by me too?" He yelled back. She turned from scrubbing the pot to face him with a glare, soapy water now dripping to the floor, her hands out of the warm sink.
"No." She answered, "I always understood that you were doing a job." He turned away quickly from the shoulder with disbelief and a short released breath.
"We could have kept it a secret." He laughed thinking.
"Thomas, what your forgetting here is that the Queen wants me executed. She wants me to hang by the neck till dead and you were the one assigned to get me behind the bars so that I could exactly that." She crossed her arms.
"I could have helped with you being pardoned," he smiled hopefully with squinted eyes.
"Oh please," she scoffed and turned back to washing her pot.
"Furthermore," he continued, raising his voice again, "why did you never kill me? Honestly," with arms lifted from side to side, "what were we?"
"We were complicated, alright? Just a complicated mess of arrest and escape with tactics and alterior motives." She turned her head a litte to the side when addressing him with her back turned.
"You know," he took a few steps foward again. "I'm not a copper now. There's no ship to lock you up in. New life, no family. Hell, we're even on the same crew!"
"I don't want to hear it, Thomas!" She hissed through clean chef teeth and leaned over the sink.
"Why can't we just talk about this?" Complained. She whirled around and crossed her arms again, resting on one hip.
"Fine, you want to get into it?"
"Then let's do this." She said, grabbing a chair and turning it backwards so she could slam herself on it, straddling it and resting on the backboard. "Maybe it offended me whenever you'd arrest me and then hand me forensic work through bars as if I was obligated to give you favors. Or how you hit on me when I'm with someone else and clearly not into you. Or when you're obnoxious at the Rejected Gear!"
"Well hey," he shot back, "maybe it offended me when you ha alterior motives in bed or when you treated me like an idiot, trying to sweet talk me out of cells. How about when you shot me in the hand!" He pointed to an invisible memory as he leaned towards her, quite a few paces away but still made her feel attacked.
"That is survival! I was a tool to you for making your life a bit easier!" Ara argued.
"I would have gotten in SO much trouble of they new I was sleeping with a frequent prisoner!" He shouted. "You've made such unnecessary trouble!"
"Yes, maybe I'll just put on a dress and marry rich; because that's so easy for Whitechapel born girls!!"
"I'm not saying that, Arabella!" He said over her, "Damn, why do you -
"You rich boys just always-
"Why do you always guilt trip me over my social class!" He flipped a bench and they stared at eachother as it hit the floor.
"Listen, my father," he started but Ara wasn't listening to it.
"I don't want to hear your rich boy daddy issues, alright?" She held up a stopped hand. It was like a snowball hitting his chest and covering him on frozen snow. He gazed, amazed at her.
"Why about yours?" He whispered so quietly but she heard enough to step back, a bit in disbelief at what he had said.
"Mine?"she asked nervously laughing as though he were talking nonsense, "I don't-"
"I did homework." She lowered his head to look at the wooden floor, "found some interesting stuff in the police archives there about Jonathan Porter." He gazed up at her through lowered angle of his head. Ara was standing as though time had iced her over with her mouth slightly gaped. "He didn't die on a crime scene, snipered while investigating in front of everyone like you tell people." Ara wiped at her eyes to get rid of tears that didn't yet exist past her tear ducts.
"Thomas, leave me alone." She whimpered a bit, but he was far gone in his revelations.
"You were there. It's the reason you're so afraid of the dark." He stepped towards her as she turned away and leaned over the sink, the bubbles now toned down enough to see the murky water. "You were kidnapped in your own bed with the lights out. You were thrown into a trunk with the lights out. You were tied up with the lights out."
"Stop it!" She huffed,
"You heard him clicking his gun and calling your name with the lights out. He almost found you with the lights out when you called to him with the lights out. But then you heard gunfire."
"Please! Just shut up!"
"An you heard him thump to the cold metal ground with the lights off. Pitch black the whole way through." Thomas whispered and then there was a silence so immense that it pressed down on Thomas' head as he realized what he had done. Ara turned and stared at him like a zombie with puffy red eyes. "Bells," he sighed, she remained quiet, slowly turning her head side to side. She said something but Thomas had to step closer to hear it.
"Get a fucking life boat, take all your goddamn belongings, and get your arse off my goddamn ship." She whispered through shaky breath. When he just stood there, she lifted her gun like a puppet and with a shaky hand, cocked it and aimed. "Get out." She whispered,"
"Bells, I'm so sorry. I was out of- FUCK!" Gunfire rang and hit his shoulder. It was time to leave. He fled into the cold night air and after grabbing his belongings, left.
The next morning, when the captain called everyone in to question Thomas' disappearance with the life ship, Ara came foward saying,
"There's no point going to get him." Charlotte locked eyes with her firstmate.
"Any particular reason." She asked.
"Said he was going home to work out his daddy issues."