Of Silence: the Game
"Prison was the last place I expected you to be."
Kanrik looks up towards Simeon with an incredibly forced pout glued to his pale blue cheeks. He’s sitting on the ground, leaning against the cold stone wall of the dingy Meridell prison cell he currently calls home, staring blankly into nothingness as whatever remaining moonlight spills through the cell’s barred window fades into the approaching dawn.
The look is the only response that Simeon gets at first, though, and he is not happy about it. Kanrik’s skill in disappearing into the shadows when being pursued by the law is nothing short of legendary, so he’s surprised — to say the least — to see that Kanrik’s finally gotten himself caught. And, well, surprise for Simeon tends to manifest itself in waves of frustration and concern. He just happened to arrive here during a particularly high tide of frustration.
The grey Gelert assassin shifts his weight and crosses his arms, glaring daggers at the thief who’s balled himself into the corner of the dark cell. "Are you going to say anything?" he asks, his tone that of a father scolding his son.
Kanrik’s pout somehow grows even more childish. It’s hardly endearing given the context. "Could you please let me out?" he asks, his voice obnoxiously whiny.
And, again, Simeon isn’t happy with the response. "Kanrik, you shouldn’t even be in here in the first place," he scolds. "You should know better." Pause. His pitch heightens as he fully considers the implications. "How did you even manage something as foolish as this?" he then asks.
Kanrik finds that it’s hard to maintain his little charade when he hears that Simeon sounds genuinely disappointed — and genuinely embarrassed — rather than that I’m-frustrated-but-I-still-respect-you-I-guess sort of upset that he usually is in these types of situations... Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Y’know, the whole ten seconds...
Kanrik gives a theatrical huff, then stands up with a roll of his eyes. He saunters his way over to the cell’s door, then drapes his arms through the bars — his forearms are, surprisingly enough, slim enough to fit. He rests his nose against the cold, ancient steel. "I got lazy," he says.
Simeon is still unimpressed. "Lazy."
It’s immediately obvious that Simeon is starting to do his little I’m-annoyed-so-I’m-going-to-phrase-all-of-my-questions-as-statements routine, so Kanrik decides to run around in his own circles rather than dance along. "Thief-ing is just so hard," he whines, his tone obnoxiously sultry, running his hands smoothly down the bars. "Sometimes I just wanna relax in an, uhm..." He gestures vaguely around the prison cell with one hand. "A nice, quiet, cold-as-Kreludor room for one, you know?"
Simeon rolls his eyes. "Well, good," he says, "then you can stay in there."
Kanrik’s forced pout returns. "Aww, Simmy, come on..."
"Maybe a night in the cold will teach you how to be a proper thief."
Kanrik feigns a gasp. "Hey now, that hurts my feelings."
Simeon matches the gasp. "You have those?"
Kanrik snorts out a laugh. "Just a few."
"Of course, Simmy."
"Like what, then?"
"Like..." Kanrik drapes his arms through the bars again, lacing his fingers and looking up to the ceiling. "Right now, I’m feeling... super hungry."
Simeon throws his head back. "Fyora help me..."
"I’m feeling like I could go for a nice cup of coffee, too."
Simeon looks back down, but doesn’t respond.
"Feeling kinda grubby from sitting in here all night."
"Feeling like a bath would be nice."
"Feeling like getting back to the guild."
Even more nothing.
Kanrik rolls his eyes again when he sees that Simeon’s frustration isn’t going to fester any further. He straightens his posture, then finally gives a genuine smile. "But mostly," he slowly begins, "I’m feeling... really glad that you came to help."
Simeon doesn’t shift position, but his eyes soften to down.
Then, Simeon lets out a loud, still-irritated huff. "Well," he, too, slowly begins, his voice’s colour now brightened to a strange shade of exasperated acceptance, "I... am still mad at you for making me postpone my contract to save your sorry behind, so..." Simeon can see Kanrik’s expression darkening as the thief realises his friend’s being honest, but he easily — happily — ignores it. His tone turns a touch more teasing. "I’ll come get you once I’m finished with my work," Simeon quickly concludes with a twirl of his hand and a small but firm nod.
Kanrik’s scoff is surprisingly genuine. "Are you serious?"
Simeon gets the tiniest hint of a crooked smirk. "Completely."
Pause. "... Like, seriously serious?"
Simeon’s smirk widens. "Come now, Kani, have I ever been one for games?"
And Kanrik knows good and well that the answer to that particular question is "no."
Their positions have clearly shifted now: Kanrik glares daggers while Simeon’s cockiness continues to blossom. Eventually, though — and after not too long a pause — Kanrik’s grin returns. He steps away from the bars with yet another eye roll, then flips one impassive hand with a little "feh." "Fine, fine, fine," he mumbles a few times to himself, then clears his throat and turns to the side.
Simeon’s expression immediately falls into a painfully shocked confusion when he sees Kanrik suddenly begin to reach into his own mouth with two fingers, tilting his head back, looking completely nonchalant and without the slightest hint of an explanation.
Simeon stutters. "K—... Kani, what the—?"
But he doesn’t get the chance to finish his question before, with only the tiniest ghost of a gag, Kanrik pulls some sort of intricately bent metal pin from under the back of his tongue, then casually makes his way back to the cell door, humming pleasantly to himself. With remarkable ease, he drapes his hands back through the bars, fiddles with the ridiculously archaic lock, clicks it open using the pin as if he’d memorised the position of each and every tumbler — which, Simeon realises, he honestly might have — then kicks the cell door open. "How long will you be?" Kanrik asks as he tucks the lock pick into his pocket. "It’s almost sunrise; you wanna grab breakfast or something when you’re done?"
Kanrik could thrive off of the stunned silence that follows.
Simeon blinks back his confusion as Kanrik struts his way to his side, then his scowl returns thousandfold. "You could have done that this entire time?" he scolds, his tone just as jagged as the prison’s stone walls.
Kanrik shrugs casually. "Maybe," he says, though his grin gives the true answer away.
Simeon narrows his eyes. "You’re kidding me, right?"
Another shrug. "I just wanted to see if you’d come."
Simeon’s glare is loud enough to fill the silence’s void.
And Kanrik chuckles at the sight. "What?" he says. "Am I not allowed to play games?"
Simeon snarls. "Not when the game you’re playing is me."
Another feigned gasp. "But you’re my favourite game to play, Simmy."
"You’re an absolute child—"
"—you know that, right?"
"Just for playing a little prank?"
"For all of your stupid tricks, Kanrik."
"Well, y’know, you did fall for it, so... what does that make you...?"
Simeon’s golden glower is still corrosive enough to decay the entire prison, but... unfortunately for him, he finds that he simply can’t fight back his grin. As much as he loathes to admit it, this was... pretty clever on Kanrik’s part. He had the assassin completely fooled, and Fyora knows that’s not an easy task to accomplish. He doesn’t want to admit that he’s impressed — let alone embarrassed — but, well...
Finally, after only a few more seconds’ silence, Simeon exhales the last of his frustration, then chuckles softly with a few frustrated shakes of his head. He meets Kanrik’s eyes, then looks away with a short huff. "Fine," he says, "but you’re buying me coffee to fix this headache you’ve caused..."
And Kanrik can’t help but laugh. "Deal."