A/N: Hi there!
Disclaimer: I do not own the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. If I did, it would be on T.V. more often.
Dr. Jekyll sat at his table in his room, staring blankly at the map before him. He had been studying it for over an hour and the only conclusion he could come to was that the small red dot on the page was St. Petersburg. What clue was that to Abira's name? Abira Petersburg? No, it was too obvious. Was she related to a Saint? No. He continued attempting to figure out this new mystery, rejecting his ideas almost as soon as he thought them, and having to block out Hyde's less-than-helpful contributions.
After two hours, the closest answer Jekyll had been able to reach was that Abira was from St. Petersburg. As the clock in his room chimed, Jekyll stood, organizing his papers and running fingers through his disheveled hair. He straightened his vest and re-cuffed his cufflinks at his wrists. It would not do to look like a caveman for dinner.
As he walked down the hall, he passed Abira's room. Inside he heard quiet chuckling. He frowned. Was Abira talking to his alter ego again? Hyde really was not fit to be talking to a lady. What possible conversation could he offer? Jekyll considered 'rescuing' Abira from Hyde. As he mustered up the courage to walk back the two steps and knock, the white door opened.
"Ah, Doctor Jekyll."
Jekyll turned about; he recognized that deep, rolling voice. There stood Abira and next to her, Mina Harper! As he stuttered out a greeting, he felt heat rise to his cheeks, as if he were a schoolboy in grade school once more. The women shared a knowing look.
"Dr. Jekyll, it appears that Miss Harper is far better at getting information than you are," Abira chuckled.
"I… I.. di… what?" Jekyll stuttered.
Abira simply brushed past him, humming to herself. Jekyll, completely forgetting about Mina, turned about to call after her when he felt a light hand on his shoulder.
"As rude as the woman may be," Mina started, her breath tickling Jekyll's ear, "there is a certain charm about her that makes it all forgivable. Even likeable. You agree, correct?"
"Ye… yes," Dr. Jekyll said reluctantly. He puffed out his chest a bit and tried to insure that his voice would not crack. "Is there something else that you wish to say, Miss Harper?"
A light, lilting chuckle bubbled in his ears. "Perhaps I am. Or perhaps I do not need to say anything."
Jekyll turned around, only to see the deep red tails of Mina's skirt whisk away down the opposite corner.
Abira stepped down the hallway, following a train of thoughts. She was hoping that she was not simply following one of the crew members, and that her assumption that only Nemo would concentrate so completely on a single subject.
We need an inventory report before we come to port once again. The boys will have to patch up those scratches on the helm, and scrape the barnacles accumulating…
Abira managed to corner Nemo in the hallway, though she noticed that when he saw her coming, he lengthened his steps slightly. Determined not to let him give her the slip, she also walked faster, though not fast enough to make it seem as if she was giving chase. She even was able to stop for a few seconds to flash a—hopefully—dazzling smile at a few puzzled crewmen.
Finally, as he seemed to have become too intent on loosing Abira rather than on where he was going, Nemo seemed to forget that he had gone down a hall with a dead end. Abira grinned a grin that Quartermain had once told her reminded him of a lioness bearing down on her prey. All of Nemo's thoughts turned to that she was there to kill him.
Remembering her mission, she softened her features as to look less threatening. She offered a gallant bow (though definitely not a curtsy!), and muttered, "Good evening, captain."
Nemo seemed surprised but politely returned to bow with a stiff, shallow bending of the torso. "And a good evening to you as well, Miss Abira." Years at sea had rusted his gentlemanliness, but he at least remembered these basic courtesies.
Abira straightened. "I like you," she said bluntly.
Nemo looked as if she had slapped him. "Wh~" he trailed off.
Abira stifled a giggle, not wanting to insult the man. "I said, 'I like you'." She raised her hands, as if in surrender. "Don't get me wrong, I'm insulted that you think I'm out to get you and your League and your stiffness can be annoying. Still," she curled her arm across her body, leaned and elbow on it and placed her chin in her hands, as if she was considering a statue instead of a man, "I admire you. You as well as follow, your men look up to you, and you are acceptably wary of new people."
Nemo seemed at a loss for words. He was silent for a few moments, and Abira itched to pry into his thoughts to see how he was processing her praise. Finally, he spoke, "I thank you for your praise, Miss Abira. However, I do not take well to flattery."
Abira understood the underlying message. She nodded, "Duly noted."
Nemo's forehead creased in a frown. "What sort of woman are you Miss Abira?" He began circling her, looking Abira up and down, as if measuring her for something. "You travel alone when not traveling with an older man, you have neither a husband nor courter, you are impudent, to say the least, and blunt. Yet you are powerful and quietly intelligent and you seem to be clothed in secrets." Nemo stopped and faced her square in the eyes. "Who are you?"
Abira smiled, not condescendingly or cheekily, and nodded her head once to show her agreement. "I am all the things that you say and I am proud of that. I have been known for many, many years as simply Abira, as I forsook my surname after my father committed terrible acts against my home country. And I am devoted to taking down those terrorists."
She smiled once again, this time cheekily, "And that's me in a nutshell," she said cheerily. She clasped her hands behind her back, "Well, I suppose it's time to get down to dinner."
As she turned away, Nemo reached out and took her shoulder. "Miss Abira, I may still suspect you, but I do believe that you are an asset to this assembly. For the time being.
Abira nodded, "I've enjoyed talking to you too, Nemo."