"The sea...she sure looks beautiful today."
It wasn't unusual for the likes of Raeth to spend his day practising his music on his wooden flute, nor was it unusual for him to practise in a secluded place like under Clint City docks. It sometimes brought a smile to his face when he noticed confused citizens walking overhead and wondering just where the sinister melodies was coming from; however, today was quite a quiet affair, with Raeth making the only audible sounds.
"Ok, one more, and then I must return to Captain Bloodh," he mused, as he noticed his clan's ship on the other side of the beach. Many of his fellow pirates were inside the wooden stronghold resting after a rather tiring heist that morning (the Piranas often attacked in the early hours to take advantage of the city's not-so-alert state), but he saw Aktara and Goldie sitting on the sand together. Recently, they'd gotten rather close and whilst most of the clan had thought it rather cute, Bloodh had done his best to discourage relationships between his fellow pirates due to his own troubles regarding women.
Upon his first few phrases, the Pirana soon found himself in the presence of a surprise visitor; face to face with a smiling Ernst, he couldn't help but stare at him in slight awkwardness. After a moment or so, it was the Ratman who broke the silence, unable to help himself from grinning at the other male.
"Schöne musik," he said, sounding genuinely impressed.
"Ah, you're not too familiar with the German tongue. It's how we'd say, pretty music."
"Oh," said Raeth, scratching his head a little in confusion; it wasn't often that non-Piranas spoke to him, never mind compliment him. "Erm...thanks?"
Beginning to play his music once again, the redhead could feel himself slipping into his own little world once again. However, after a few moments of melodic practise, he suddenly stopped in mid-note; realising that Ernst still had a close eye on him, Raeth couldn't help shooting the GHEIST male a rather annoyed glance.
"I'm afraid this isn't a private concert, my over-sized, whiskered friend. I don't even know why you're here."
"Because you told me to come here, ja?"
With confusion clearly etched on his face, Raeth stared at his flute, before staring at Ernst and back to his flute again. Then opting to give the GHEIST member another glance, he noticed the male was surrounded by the swarm of rats he'd intended to charm, gazing at him with a look that seemed to say "Well give me an order then."
"Ok then, if you really want to do something for me," pondered Raeth, trying to think of something plausible. "You can steal something valuable from the Montana."
"I'm sorry, I didn't realise you wanted me to commit suicide."
"The GHEIST then, I don't know!"
"Nice try," Ernst grinned, chuckling to himself. "But I'm not about to steal from my own clan anytime soon."
"Well, if you're not going to do something useful then, will you just go away?"
"Nein, I want to stay and listen to the schöne musik," Ernst said, suddenly snatching the instrument from Raeth's grasp; it was obvious he had no idea how to make a proper note, but that didn't stop the Ratman getting his claws all over it. However, when he realised he wasn't picking it up as quickly as he liked, he suddenly threw the wooden flute as far away as he could with in frustration.
"What did you do that for?"
Raeth's luck hadn't turned rogue for too long though, as he was soon greeted by the return of his flute and a dozen or so rats carrying it on their coarse-fur backs; but before the Pirana could reclaim his instrument, the GHEIST member had already snatched it from the rodent group and thrown it further than before. It was almost like a weird version of fetch to him, one that seemed to be pissing Raeth off more and more with each second.
"Make me!" Ernst snarled, but the childish pout he was pulling meant he was taking it more playfully than seriously.
"Oh, I'll make you," Raeth snarled, grabbing the other male by the collar with one hand as he formed a fist with the other. The sudden rage had caused all the rats to scatter out of harm's way, but the Pirana didn't seem to care about them; focusing all his temper energy on Ernst, he suddenly noticed the GHEIST's expression had changed from childish to cowering.
"What's up with you? I thought you never hit the rodents!"
"You're a Ratman, you don't count!"
Noticing the sea water begin to bubble and ripple, Raeth suddenly found himself face to face with a fellow Pirana; peering from above the water, Ahkab was staring at him in a rather disapproving manner.
"Raeth, you told the Captain that you'd only be a little while. What are you doing picking fights with this- oh this is that Ratman, ain't it?"
Ernst gave a little nod, unable to keep his eyes away from Ahkab's mutated body; however, stares were soon broken though wincing expressions when the sea-beast suddenly splashed a handful of sea-water in the GHEIST male's direction.
"Away with you, vermin! We have enough rat troubles as it is!"
Hissing in quite an insulted manner, a semi-soaked Ernst took no trouble in fighting back; opting to counter water with earth, he scooped up a mound of sand within his claw and aimed straight for the sea-beast's face.
"Aaaaah! It's actually in my eye!" Ahkab yelled, wincing as he could feel the sand scratching the surface of his unpatched half of vision. Had he still been a human, removing the specks would have been relatively easy, but the claws and spikes he had attained thanks to his mutation meant any rubbing attempts would have probably caused more harm than good.
"Niemand spielt schmutziger als eine Ratte, du Freak!"
"And now he's speaking German! My ears!" Ahkab yelled once again, but that time around was more in good humour if his slight chuckling had been anything to go by; however, humour soon turned to disgust when he noticed the GHEIST's sudden choked expression.
"You alright, Ratman?"
"Oh gott!" Ernst exclaimed, suddenly heaving as if he had something caught in his throat. Soon dealing with the problem with a barrage of retching and weird noises, it didn't take long for him to sick up what seemed like a rather nasty-looking hairball.
"Wow, that's actually more disgusting than when the rats do it," Ahkab stated, rather bluntly as she averted his gaze, along with Raeth, from the mixture of hair, puke and sand.
Leaving a few specks of stained saliva on his uniform sleeve as he wiped his mouth, Ernst couldn't help chuckling nervously. Using his tail, he suddenly buried the revolting sight with as much sand as possible to cover it; a shock for anyone who built the next castle or dug the next hole in that spot, but the males didn't seem to care as long as they didn't have to look at it there and then.
Still reeling from his recent "expulsion", Ernst was totally oblivious to the harpoon that the sea-beast Pirana seemed to be pointing in his direction; often in possession of it but rarely getting to use it against organisms other than fish, Ahkab had a rather devious smile on his face as if he was really willing to spill human blood, his sand-tainted eye squinting upon aim.
"Woah, hold your fire!" Raeth exclaimed, suddenly stepping infront of him and halting his attack; even in the face of a sharp metal missile, he remained calm and collected. "Think about what Bloodh said. You're over-reacting again. Do you really have anything to gain through killing him?"
"I...I guess not," Ahkab sighed, sounding frustrated as he slowly lowered his harpoon, though when he glanced up at Raeth he still had a mischievous glint in his eye. "But can I not just badly hurt him though? What if I shot him through the leg?"
"Besides, I have a better idea," the redhead said, giving a cheeky wink as he raised the wooden flute to his mouth. With the sound of haunting melodics soon flooding the air, Ahkab realised just what his clanmate had in mind when he noticed Ernst's lulling reaction. It was as if the GHEIST was struggling to stay awake, yet his eyes remained wide open and alert to all kinds of command.
"That...is actually quite cool," Ahkab commented with a smirk, suddenly shutting up when his fellow Pirana darted him a frustrated look. However, he was soon sniggering when he looked upon the Ratman situation once again.
" Schöne Musik..." Ernst said, trailing off under the influence of Raeth's melody as the crowd of rats that had joined him before had returned to be in his company. Once again, they had a gaze in their eyes that said " Well give me an order then", and this time around the Pirana had the perfect request.
"Just piss off, the lot of you."
True to their order, Ernst and all the rats suddenly scurried down the docks. When he was satisfied they wouldn't return in a hurry Raeth turned to face his fellow Pirana, who was still wincing slightly at his sandy predicament.
"Let's have a look at you," he said, approaching the water's edge as he gently took Ahkab by the chin to closer inspect his face. "Well there doesn't seem to be too much damage, nothing a bit of clean, cold water couldn't fix."
"Something we don't happen to have on the ship," the sea-beast retorted, his unpatched eye blinking quite rapidly in a bid to remove any remaining sand. "I guess I'll have to rely on the sea water, since I practically live in it now."
As Ahkab turned around and began to wade through the shallow tide, he suddenly felt himself being pulled back from his attempt to dive into the deeper water.
"Hey, you still have lungs for breathing, Mister!" Raeth exclaimed, flashing him a slightly mischievous smirk. "You can come back on the ship with me, the clan haven't seen you for days!"
Clenching his fist, the sea-beast couldn't help darting him a look that screamed "not fecking likely", but he wasn't about to start a fight with Raeth. Despite outward appearances making Ahkab the obvious winner in any sort of physical combat, the redhead had much more experience and had strength in more ways than just brute strength.
After a few moments of intense staring, Ahkab was first to break eye contact; sighing as he did so, he suddenly pulled away from Raeth quite aggressively. Then again, he was naturally brutal and even the lightest poke would bruise his victim.
"Fine, fine, but let me make my own way there," he said, rather bluntly as he dived into the ocean depths; his head soon surfacing, he couldn't help pulling a slightly childish face at his clan mate. "That way, there's more chance something will kill me so I don't have to talk to those idiots!"
Despite his harsh-sounding words, Ahkab had meant it all in good humour; swimming back to the ship, the sea-beast was unaware of Raeth's muttering as the male looked on, chuckling to himself.
"Hey, just be thankful you're not a rat. I'd soon make that wish come true..."