Chapter 6: Desperate Times
Location: Steamhawke main deck
Timeline: After lunch, day 4
"But she really is a great singer! The crew would love her!" Nate Winters was being pretty forward with his captain, but he wanted Tanith to get the job. A bit of music on board would help make evenings more pleasant, he was sure.
"No, Winters, out of the question. I am just getting used to having less civilians on board, and I like it that way," Daenelia was looking over some plans for improving the meeting room. She hadn't actually looked at the young woman Nate had brought on board. "Tell her to try her luck ashore. There is no place for a musician here, at the moment."
Nate looked apologetically at Tanith. Then tried once more: "Just.... just ask her to sing something, Captain," he said with desperation in his voice.
Daenelia finally looked up, and made eye contact with Tanith. Such a young woman. No wonder Nate was trying so hard.
Holding back a sigh, Tanith glanced at the captain and decided that no, this was not going to go end well and there probably wasn't anything Nate could do about it. She'd expected as much. Normally when her potential employers looked at her like that she'd give up, say her thanks and try her luck elsewhere. However, with the recent ... incident at the port, staying for much longer wasn't a real option.
She weighed up her options quickly.
"It's okay Nate." She grinned at him in thanks before turning to meet the Captain's eyes and shrugged apologetically. "Sorry for wasting your time, ma'am. It's hard enough getting a job these days for anyone and, well..." She tailed off and touched her finger across one of the scars carved into her face with a slight grimace. "Most people just take one look and kick me out without hearing me." Tanith let out a soft sigh of resignation and glanced away, keeping her face blank despite the urge to grin. Although she hadn't said a word that wasn't true, the simple act of staying so serious for so long always forced her to fight back the urge to giggle and that, she knew, would throw her job straight out the window.
The world was a tough place for a young woman, Daenelia knew that from her own experience. Maybe she could just give the girl a break and at least let her sing a song for a few coins, or a good meal. Maybe even offer her a place to safely sleep tonight. Daenelia shook her head. What was she thinking? Just a song, and a meal then. She had to be firm on this.
"What's your name?" she asked. "And when's the last time you had a good meal?"
Turning back to the woman, Tanith opened her mouth, deliberately pausing for a moment - just long enough to make the woman question the truth of her next word - before replying "Tanith."
Her next pause was less deliberate but a good deal longer. "Um...I had an apple yesterday?" She suggested tentatively, a fleeting grin flashing across her face as she recalled exactly how she'd come by the aforementioned fruit. Speaking of which..."Ma'am, if you were willing to give me a chance and changed your mind later I'd be willing to leave any time. Preferably not into the middle of the ocean, but apart from that I could be out of your hair in a minute, less even."
"Hm," Daenelia said as she folded her arms. She wanted to give the girl a chance, and a meal. After that, she would send her on her way with some money to see her through. Maybe she could even alert Rosita to keep an eye on her. "Tanith? Let's say you first have a good meal on board, and then you can entertain me and the crew with a few songs." Daenelia shrugged. "And... if I like it, we'll see if you can stay." As soon as she had said that out loud, Daenelia knew she'd keep the girl around even if she sounded like a cloudwhale with a cold. All doubts and little voices were immediately silenced at the thought of helping out another young girl, who might otherwise fall prey to the bad side of the world. You know, other than friendly pirates.
Daenelia stuck out a hand and said: "Deal?"