A/N: Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. This fanfic is inspired by my place of residence. Teehee. In other words, I thought it would be cool for Deryn and Alek to "visit" me. Of course, they'll be here about 84 years before I stepped foot on this island. But that's beside the point. Now on to the show!
Under normal circumstances, Deryn Sharp would have been awake when the lady boffin walked into the room, a loris on her shoulder and an energetic thylacine bounding in behind her. This morning, however, the former midshipman was snoring softly, dangling one arm off the bed as Dr. Barlow seated herself in the chair beside the window.
"Do wake up, Mr. Sharp."
Tazza nuzzled Deryn's hanging hand and licked her cheek gently. She mumbled something about barking beastie breath and pushed the animal away. Yawning, stretching, and rubbing her slightly sore temples, she sat up slowly to face the boffin.
It ran through her head what a mess she must look. She could feel her hair sitcking up in every direction. And after last night's escapade through the chimneys of London, she still had a fair bit of soot on her face and clothes. The dress suit she had "borrowed" from the Zoological Society was rumpled and dirty, and Deryn had been so tired last night she hadn't even borrowed to take off the tie. Not that it was all her fault. It was under Dr. Barlow's orders that she and Alek had attended that daft party and ended up chasing a German spy over half the rooftops of the barking city.
The loris on Dr. Barlow's shoulder sniffed at her. "A mess," it said disdainfully.
Oblivious to Deryn's inner musings (and politely pretending not to notice her apparent lack of hygeine) the lady boffin stated her reason for visiting. "You and Prince Alek have just obtained jobs for yourselves."
Deryn blinked. "I'm sorry ma'am, but I was under the impression that we already had jobs. Here. Capturing German spies and whatnot."
"Fah," Dr. Barlow waved her hand dismissively. "What you and Alek have been doing these past few weeks is mere paperwork compared to your new mission. Necessary to the success and organization of the society, but not really attributing to the fulfillment of its original purpose."
Deryn's eyebrows knit together, and the pain in her temples intensified. Was she saying that all the hard work she and Alek had done since they left the Leviathan had been nothing more than...paperwork? "Wait...so what me and Alek did-"
"Alek and I," the boffin corrected.
"Whatever," said Deryn testily. "You're saying what we did wasn't important?"
Dr. Barlow raised her eyebrows, the tops of them dissapearing behind the rim of her bowler hat. "Oh, not at all. Quite the opposite really. Paperwork is a vital part of any organization."
"Aye, so is cleaning the bums of the draft beasties, but you don't see any of us lining up to do that," Deryn said under her breath.
"What was that?" Dr. Barlow asked.
"I was asking what the new mission was, then," Deryn snapped.
"No need to bark at me, Mr. Sharp, just enunciate when you speak and I shall not have to ask you twice what your inquiry was."
"Enunciate," repeated the loris slowly. Deryn glared at it. Her head hurt a little more.
"Now, this mission is going to require quite a bit of travel," the boffin continued. "Are you familiar at all with the politics and economics surrounding the American territories in the pacific islands?"
Alek stumbled down to breakfast, rubbing his still-tired eyes. His shower this morning had washed away almost all of the soot, but barely any of the sleepiness. Capturing that German spy last night had taken much longer than either he or Deryn had predicted. Then again, it was only their third spy catch, and the small amount of wine they had consumed at the party might have boosted their confidence and slowed their reflexes. Come to think of it, he did have a slight headache now, a buzzing behind his eyes that was spreading to his temples. Perhaps they had drank more than they thought.
"Hangover," declared a voice from his shoulder with a giggle. Bovril had of course accompanied him and Deryn on their expedition, although he spent most of the night in Alek's jacket.
The former prince of Austria-Hungary grabbed a few waffles off the breakfast buffet cart, drowned them in maple syrup, and put a handful of strawberries on the plate for Bovril. He went to seat himself at his and Deryn's usual corner-in-the-back-of-the-room spot. A man with a dark complexion and muscled arms bumped into him and spilled a few crumbs onto Alek's worn piloting jacket. He apologized quickly and continued on his way, stuffing his mouth as he went. Alek brushed the crumbs off the fading Hapsburg crest embroidered on the sleeve.
"Busy bee, hehe," proclaimed the loris as the man hurried away. Alek wondered where the man was going so quickly. The hotel's food court was more crowded than he was used to, but none of the people there were too busy to sit and eat. And there were plenty of available seats. A loud peal of laughter made his head hurt even more, reminding him why he and Deryn usually ate the first meal of the day at an earlier time. Alek smiled at the thought of her.
The past few weeks had been a blur of training, sneaking, chasing, and detatining, mixed with the frequnt bits of bliss he aquired just by being with her. Every day was an adventure, no matter what they did. As long as they were together, they were happy.
"It helps that we're barking good at the jobs these Zookeepers give us," she said when he wondered at why they had never been split up by the society. And it was true. They were the youngest team in the organization as far as Dr. Barlow knew, and they had trained and caught spies even quicker than some of the older recruits. But besides that, Alek had a feeling that Dr. Barlow had put in a word that had helped them stay together as well.
Just as Alek was taking the first bite of his waffles, Deryn approached, positively glowing with excitement. He could tell that she had washed up in a hurry: her simple boy's clothes were slightly askew, she still had remnants of chimney soot on her arms, and she hadn't bothered to comb her hair. Without stopping, she grabbed a fork from the nearby utensils tray. Then she plopped herself down across the table from him and proceeded to steal one of his waffles, cutting and devouring with expert precision.
"Good morning, Dylan," Alek said with a grin.
Deryn grinned back at him. "Morning! Good waffles."
"Mr. Sharp!" Bovril ran up one of her arms and back down the other, then settled back to eating his strawberries, humming contentedy as he always did when Alek and Deryn were together.
"So," Alek ventured. "Any particular reason you're grinning like a loon and not even getting your own plate of breakfast?"
She swallowed the last bit of the pilfered waffle, licking the syrup off of the fork with a satisfied expression.
"Aye. Pack a bag, your princeliness! We're going to Hawaii."
Sorry for the shortness. More to come! I pinky promise. Until then, why not review? Or just follow. That's cool too. But reviews grant you more awesome points. Scratch that. Reviews earn you Bovril points, which are equivalent to like a million awesome points cuz Bovril is just that wonderful.