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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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In a fishing boat off the coast of Key West, Sunday afternoon
Like Eliot was going to work a job in Key West without dragging his team out for some fishing? Sure. Right. It wasn't like Hardison could fuss about racist militias on the OPEN OCEAN, after all.

. . . He was waiting for the argument about pirates. Or maybe mosquitos. Or sharks. Whatever, they had a cooler full of beer, a boat to themselves, and an extremely low probability of running into any magic monsters this far from Fandom. Eliot was going to call it a win.

[ooc: for Leveragians and likely slow play.]

"Y'all know this area's known for heavy shark activity, right?"

It was sharks. Of course it was sharks. The breeze was nice enough to keep the mosquitoes off. If they stayed out long enough, he'd shift to sunburn, just to keep things fresh.

"You're gonna try to catch some stupid fish that we could just go an' buy if you really wanted to eat one," he continued. "An' it's gonna get all cut up on somethin' an bleed in the water an' then you'll see." Probably megalodon-sized great white shark. That was what he was firmly keeping an eye out in the water for. Any long, dark shadow in the water beneath them was going to be assumed to be a murder!shark with a taste for handsome computer geniuses, fyi.

"Ya don't go to a store and buy a marlin, Hardison." Well, you could, but it was definitely cheating. "You conquer it. And get it stuffed and hang it on the wall."

Or, you know, catch-and-release. But that wouldn't horrify Hardison properly.

What was wrong with cheating?! That was what they did! That was who they were! As people!

"No. Uh-uh. Hellllllllllll naw. We ain't hangin' dead fish up on any walls. What? We some kinda group of barbarians now? 'Hey errybody, look at this thing we murdered!' Who does that? Old white British dudes is who. An we steal from people like that!"

Eliot rolled his eyes and sighed, as though he weren't already planning on not hanging a marlin on his wall. "Fine. If you're gonna get a complex about it, we'll let it go when we're done."

"Oh, so we're just gonna dig a metal hook into it's face, drag it in, hoist it up in the air to suffocate an' then let it go when we're done with it?" Hardison asked.

Fishing was legitimately the worst sport. At least, that Hardison could think of right now.

"After we're done here, can we go break a deer's leg an' then set it free?"

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"Are you in internet withdrawal already?"

Look, she knew the signs by now.

"I can't even get a decent signal on my phone!" Hardison burst out. "I programmed this thing to bounce signals off the damn moon an' yet nothin! All this salty air and random splashin's probably gotten all inside the casin'...It's not like I can just bring this back under warranty, y'know!"

...He could go on like this for awhile, Parker. Eliot had already been riling him up.

Parker put her arms around him in a hug, and said, "Oh, nooooo," in his ear.

That might have been a suggestive 'oh no' there. Or just an amused one.

"It's Eliot's turn to pick stuff."

"I was promised skinny-dippin'," Hardison sulked. "An' Eliot should lose a turn, cause he made me go stab a tentacle monster."

Yup. 'Made him.' That was exactly what had happened there.

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Parker had whined that there was nothing to do during this on the way out, then shut up about staring at all the water after a bit.

Now she was doing hand-stands, practicing keeping her balance on the slightly unsteady deck. "Are you sure there are fish here?"

Eliot sighed. He probably should have anticipated her antsiness. "Yeah, Parker. Here, look." He pointed off the starboard side. "There, a pod of dolphins. We get goin' a little faster and I bet we can get 'em racing us."

Parker flipped herself back upward, eyes bright. "DOLPHINS." Sounding like one herself. She was leaning over the starboard side in a heartbeat, trailing her fingers. "We need to feed them!"

Because that whole ocean clearly didn't have food for them in it.

Eliot wrapped two fingers through her back beltloop to help make sure she didn't fall off. "We don't need to feed 'em. They have too much fun feedin' themselves."

One broke the surface a ways off, and chittered at the boat, then dove again.

"Is it safe to swim here, or is Hardison right about the sharks?"

"We're a little far out for swimming, darlin'," Eliot said. "But we pull into the backcountry after and we can find ourselves a nice secluded lagoon."

Which was not to say that the "backcountry" -- or the water between the keys and the Florida mainland -- didn't have sharks.

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