RP:Oh-oh, Here She Comes (She's A Maneater)

From HollowWiki

Part of the Two If By Sea Arc

The Selene's Fortune

Summary: Hudson attempts to find treasure around the Selene's Fortune but instead bumps into Fairfax, who, being a mermaid, is basically the Entertainment (in that she reduces him to something resembling a drooling mess). She tells him that he and his friends have no business rooting about the Fortune. He flirts for his life. The mission is otherwise a failure.

Characters: Hudson, Fairfax

Hudson swims about his designated section of the Selene's Fortune, his stocky figure blending poorly into the shadowy recesses of the boat's structure, diving suit or no. His hair, not being cropped closely, billows around his head like a curtain of seaweed every time he pushes off of something. There's no treasure here. That selkie lard sure tasted foul... He'd be tasting it for days. Good thing he's wasted.

Fairfax just appears, bathed in an ethereal glow cast by the fracturing of moonlight under the water. She approaches Hudson, brushing against him, coiling her body around his like a snake without the constriction. Her gaze seems to hold but amusement and surprise as she searches his, and as her hair fans out around her head, creating a halo of sorts, she angles herself to steal a kiss, or a friendly hello of the underwater variety.

Hudson , as he is seeing little of note here, is realizing that he was assigned the easy part of the boat for this treasure hunt. His roommate had so little faith in him! Well, that was perhaps unsurprising. We're talking about a guy who lived with his mum until recently and still takes his laundry to her house -- albeit out of concern that their mermaid infestation would steal it off the line. Speaking of mermaids, a glimmering set of scales suddenly circles his body with the alarming grace of a python. He doesn't recognize Fairfax immediately, but holy s-- This is it. DEATH IS HAPPENING. Her hair is in his face, everywhere, tangling in his face, he is eating some of it (this happens to men sometimes). DEATH BY HAIR. The curtain of hair pulls back, revealing Fairfax's moonlit features, as she swoops in to steal an underwater smooch. FALSE ALARM. IT IS FAIRFAX. Score. He bets the other guys aren't getting quite so lucky. This just goes to show that being a privileged slacker will get you far in life. In any event, Hudson, who had up until now been rather careful about not opening his mouth - he distrusted banana-flavored selkie lard on principle - drops his jaw at Fairfax. He tries to talk, to useless effect. A number of bubbles issue. Instead he holds his arms out in what he hopes is an expression of universal excitement for having bumped into her here. Fancy seeing you here! As if this were the supermarket or something.

Fairfax brushes a hand across Hudson's shoulder to keep herself in place, hovering at face level with him as he flails. She's smiling -- amused, over murderous, always a good sign -- and her lips curl into a feline grin as she laughs at his walker antics. It's melodic, more so even than above the surface, as though accentuated by the waters in which they swim. She lets go of his shoulder and dips to curl around him again, her tail twisting neatly around his ankles, though she doesn't prevent movement. -What are you doing here?- she asks, her voice resonating here in the depths, clear and strong. When Hudson does not appear capable of responding, at least not to her satisfaction, she curls her fingers around the collar of his swim outfit, paying only a marginal amount of attention to her talon-esque nails, and hauls him upward, toward the surface.

Hudson mirrors Fairfax's expression, one hand pushing his hair -- which is animated of its own accord and floating about like kelp -- out of his eyes. He feels the brush of something scaly against his legs, and looks down to observe Fairfax tidily holding him place. That might be ordinarily rather alarming. And yet, in apparent insouciance for his continued status as a living and breathing human, he wonders how awkward it would be if Sargaso and Ansel somehow 'swam in on' them. He's already thinking about how to package this event for them later. Fairfax somehow can talk underwater, which seems hilariously cruel because he can't say anything to her - he does try - unless you count making boneless groaning noises and spraying air bubbles at her face. Always helpful when communicating with women. This is probably what men sound like most of the time to women, tbh. Right, well she's clearly not having it, because he finds himself being pulled to the surface. She's terrifically strong, and her nails feel hard as nails. He knows he'll have bruises beneath his swim outfit if he lives to brag about this. He pops out onto the surface with a gasp, bobbing in place as he waits for her to surface beside him. He burps discreetly. Ughgggg. Smells like bananas and cinnamon and alcohol. Great. "Fairfax!" he whispers, as she surfaces beside him. "What are you doing here?" Dumb question. This is the sea. "I mean, hey, it's great to see you! This is cool. You look great."

Fairfax surfaces near Hudson with a quiet splash. She pushes her hair out of her eyes with the back of her hand, revealing a gaze that is glittering with dangerous degree of amusement. "Hudsson," she purrs, her hand skirting over his collar again so she can pull herself closer. "I am great. Thank you." Her tail surges below, keeping her buoyed at the surface with minimal effort on her part. "You do not belong here. I will take you back."

Hudson feels such a thrill when Fairfax says his name, it's like nearly lethal. Probably literally -- she's a man-eater, this is her gig. Literally. Ok, enough. He latches himself on to a protruding part of the boat, which feels kind of slimy and mossy to the touch, but that's of no import right now. Fairfax is trying to herd him away from his assignment, which is to search the boat for treasure, by cuddling against him and threatening to whisk him away. It's has the makings of a super effective approach. Still, he tries, a little. "Listen, I came here to see you though," he says fairly convincingly, because now all he really wants to do is stare at her. Sry, went looking for treasure, found hot babes instead. "You're a megababe," he informs her, as his hand slips off the slippery hand hold he has. He splashes into Fairfax and touches skin, not scales. HOPE THAT WAS HER ARM OR SOMETHING. NOT SMOOTH. WOW. He's fired. His arm cuts through the water to grab onto the boat again, and he winces at her. "Sorry. Sorry sorry sorry. I fell... because I thought I saw something..." do your job, Huds, "...shiny...?"

Fairfax is ready just to drag Hudson through the water all the way back to Cenril and put him ashore herself because this is not the place to be looking around for treasure, and certainly not on Selene's Fortune, of all the ships that belong to the deep, to the seaborn. But he distracts her with flattery. It is super effective. "You came to see me?" She flicks her tail, her diaphanous fin brushing against his feet and curling away again. "A megababe," she repeats, her voice a velvety purr. She does not know what this is, but Hudson says it with such conviction, she decides she likes it immediately. "I am," she assures him, in case he's questioning it now. He touches her, and that's all the invitation she needs, really, to come closer and get a bit handsy herself. She brushes his hair with one hand and then presses on his bottom lip with the pad of her thumb to watch it dimple. "You can't fall in the sea. You can only drown."

Hudson at least hasn't spoiled the moment for with his inadvertent groping. If anything he's seemed to have ratcheted it ... in some direction. Maybe the wrong direction. (He's still kind of appalled with himself for just splashing into her.) Fairfax is hardly taking the bait and showing him where she keeps the treasure (not a tactful euphemism). He could have maybe done better than "something shiny." She seems to have totally moved on, and is touching his face and hair, mussing it up into a weak mohawk of sorts. He of course is way too close and has lost the plot so utterly. She has such perfect, poreless skin. Her eyes are like perfect kaleidoscopes of color. ...Just a little alarming pillow talk here and there about drowning. Her tail swishes against him, feeling very much unwomanly. What exactly does he think is going to happen here? He recollects Alvina saying something about the futility of flirting with mermaids... "Yeah," he agrees with Fairfax in an exhale. "But you're not going to let me do that, I hope? Because you're that much of a megababe?"

Fairfax traces a line down Hudson's neck to his collarbone, tugging his wetsuit-esque apparel down a few inches. "Mm. I will not let you drown -here-," she reassures him, helpfully. She detaches herself and disappears below the surface of the water, only to resurface a few seconds later. She bears Hudson a gift. Unfortunately, it is not treasure. It's a sea flower, plucked from the ship he's searching, which she tucks behind his ear. "We are going away from here. You should tell your friends to leave. This ship does not belong to them. And this little thing--" She reaches up to send the ship he'd arrived on rocking perilously. "A baby kraken could sink this with a sneeze."

Hudson is partially very interested in the direction this interaction is heading, but also somewhat startled. It steps on his game a bit. Here's a once in a life time opportunity that he's just completely bungling, although perhaps she's not helping. "Here," he repeats this word back to her, having latched on to it like a buoy. A very alarming buoy. She disappears, and he feels the tendrils of panic spread through his person. He doesn't feel it for long. She's back, with a flower, which he tucks behind his ear. There's no explaining the nature of this trip -- to get money to start a fund to have mermaid sirens installed along the shore -- to an actual mermaid. Truth be told, he's a little unfocused on the goal anyway. His grip falters on the boat as she jostles it, and he manages not to splash about awkwardly and grope her a second time. He treads water in front of her instead. "Right," he says, trying not to swallow a mouthful of salt water, "So ominous warnings and the like. Is the ship haunted or something? Why all this concern?" His leg brushes against her tail, and he nearly starts with the feeling -- he has to remember that it's Fairfax, and not some other Hudson-eating sea creature.

Fairfax lets go of the boat and moves a foot or so away into open water. She tilts her head at Hudson's question, unable to quite decipher it into language she recognizes. "Haunted? What land walker word is this?" Her tail flicks at Hudson's feet, as though offended by his touch of its own accord, since Fairfax seems to welcome it so openly. "I am concerned because it is of concern to me."

Hudson tries, hopelessly, to gesture in the water. It's unclear what these gestures, if successful, would have signaled. "You know, with ghosts. Uh," he spits out a mouthful of salt water, having taken one on the uptick of a wave, "When living creatures die, they are not gone but somehow bother people who are still alive? No? Yes? Is the boat haunted?" He jerks his head toward the Fortune, the water pushing him closer to Fairfax at the conclusion of his statement. He bumps up into her, excuses himself, and repositions himself half a foot away.

Fairfax tilts her head at 'ghosts,' obviously still perplexed by what Hudson is attempting to explain. When he's finished, she's still not quite solid on the concept, but she's too prideful to let him think as much. "Yes and no," she answers with a one-shouldered shrug and a vehement flick of her tail near his legs. She catches him as he bumps into her, and she helps secure his position an arm's length away, by holding him there with her hand curled over his shoulder, sharp nails pressing against his wetsuit. "If you stay here with this ship or if your friends steal from it, I will not be able to help them."

Hudson , as he finds himself 'secured' helpfully by Fairfax's alarmingly firm grip, wonders if conversing with her is not unlike speaking to a sphinx. He hopes that Sargaso and Ansel are faring a bit better, and haven't run into any other mermaids. His friends don't quite have the rapport that he does, he tells himself. Because he is a mermaid whisperer. He thinks back to when he'd bumped into her earlier... Fairfax's voice cuts through this train of thought before it threatens to head in a less PG direction. "What?" the word erupts somewhat breathlessly. "I mean they're just having a swim? I don't know what they're doing. Are there," hold up, he's starting to feel rather alarmed, like this is the worst sequel to their terrible party ever, "...other mermaids out here? With my friends?" I.e., eating them?

Fairfax steadies Hudson, digging her nails in a bit to keep him in place as he starts to express alarm. At least he seems to be catching her meaning now, that this ship is not for them, is not for any land walker. Her lips curl into a deviant smile as he poses his question, and she feigns looking behind him, as though one of her sisters might be just there -- just to give him a scare. "There are other mermaids here. I do not know if they are with your friends. Do you want me to go see?"

Hudson nods, his chin scraping the crest of a wave that bears down on them, shifting them closer together again. Screw the treasure. If his mates are in trouble, the whole trip's been pointless. "Yeah, actually, can you?" he says, feeling alarm rise within him. The booze does him no favors. Suddenly treading water seems impossible, and every wave bigger than the last. The water makes his skin crawl. The devil-may-care attitude he'd been sporting up until this point dies in death, in short. He actually wears panic in the whites of his eyes when he twists in the water to look around them, and back to Fairfax once more. "I mean it would be - I would be grateful - Fairfax if you could please. I'll check the ship I guess."

Fairfax lets go of Hudson's wetsuit, but she pushes him back against his boat. "No, you stay." She points to the boat. "You stay here." She vanishes, disappearing below the surface of the water. She's gone for a good ten minutes before she re-emerges again, reaching for the boat to steady herself as the ocean begins to grow more troubled. "No one has eaten your friends." She gives him a pat on his shoulder because he's looking a little less keen and a little more queasy. "I wish you would leave this place, Hudsssson." Her eyes glitter as she tries to meet his. "This is not the place for you."

Hudson finds himself pushed flush against the tiny lifeboat that he'd detached for this mission. "Hi, yes," he agrees, falling momentarily under her spell with this endearing act of aggression. "Fairfax!" he shouts at the dark spot of ocean where she'd vanished, her body gleaming as it cuts through the water. Truth be told, he wonders if she'll return. For the first few minutes, he begins to think she won't. And that his friends are eaten. He climbs onto the small lifeboat, with a grunt rolling onto his back. He feels about to capsize, emotionally, but is, frankly, too tired from treading water, and still a little drunk. Or experiencing a hangover. He is not sure. He stares balefully at the stars, wondering what his next move should be. Perhaps he will die too. What would that be like, even? He thinks about Alvina, to whom he didn't even send a note saying he'd gone and done this stupid thing. His mum would tell her. He passes out. Fairfax's voice rouses him minutes later, and he manages to balance himself over the edge of the boat to face her. She doesn't have to tell him again. Truth be told, he wants to leave now too, if nothing else time's up and they'd agreed to meet. "Right," the word practically wilts. "You're right." He touches her on the cheek before reaching for the oars. "Thanks. It was good seeing you. Hope it's not the last time."

Fairfax is relieved to find Hudson in the boat now. He's still in danger, but at least he can't just be plucked from the waters. She braces herself on the side of the boat, one hand grasping its edge to keep her buoyed there, which makes the boat tilt a bit leeward as she is heavy. Hudson touches her face and she's endeared to him again, less angry about his trespassing on seaborn sacred grounds. "It is not the last time," she purrs, tail flicking below her in apparent pleasure. She pushes herself upward to kiss him goodbye and then sinks to shoulder-height in the water, letting go of the dinghy. "I will see you again." Because that is not at all ominous. She disappears below the surface, though she lingers near the wreck, trying to stir up sand and silt to compel any other explorers to make a hasty exit.