Much to Warwick's then-decided dismay, the tavern in Undertown had been much more welcoming to him. Nonetheless, those he tried for small conversation with were hesitant to confirm recognition. From money found in the sewer corridors, he efficiently paid for two mugs of Yum before the emptiness of his pocket and hasty glares overcame him. With a curt nod, he stood up once more, feet strangely weary from the run the day before. Deciding that the activity of common folk beneath the city was to pick up soon, he departed, knowing that the mix of the dangerous and only fearful would be in his favor.
Surfacing, as it had been a long time since, Warwick cringed at the sting of the port air on his face. The morning bustle was just beginning, and only merchants milled about, too consumed in their increasingly confusing finances to even care about his presence. Taking this as an opportunity, Warwick followed one of his favorite informational sources – three women in large dresses, chittering to one another in hushed tones.
"Did you hear about Bones?" After a few minutes of (to Warwick) pointless conversation, he found the newer topic to be of rather optimal interest. He leaned his head in, pulling hair behind his ears and tipping his tricorn back.
"Yes, yes, I did! And that disastrous case – Thalia, I don't know why he couldn't have hired a ruffian to do so!" The smallest of the three, looking off to the side, turned meekly.
"If he hired a ruffian, he'd simply slaughter the entire case!" Warwick furrowed his brow. Had Bones been thinking similarly? The very thought of his non-upturned status as such a barbaric creature made the hairs on his back stand. "It's a shame that Natalie practically isn't being let out of her house, now. Those sky-forsaken policemen ought to give a woman some time to mingle in peace." Instead of making the noise of turning, Warwick stood still as the three walked away, using the distance to quietly jog towards a residence. He supposed that, especially with his successes around the Yum burglaries, he'd earn audience with a policedog that would let him take a peek at the supposed ruckus. Thinking through his knowledge of the city, he knew of not a single residence with a relation to a Barnsworth. Repositioning his hat and bending his fingers to look like paws, he retreated to the shadows. Many passed by the underside of a bridge that Warwick found himself most comfortable at, but he kept his senses keen on hearing, waiting for the familiar flopping of a certain finicky peddler.
"Jackie," Warwick breathed a sigh of relief, opening his eyes and grinning, "You know a Barnsworth? Lives here?" Scratching his smooth, green cheek, Cohen shrugged, eyes trained on the ground.
"Dunno 'bout her," he said, Warwick taking it as a prompt to leave, "But I dunno 'bout you, either, son." Paleness stained Warwick's cheeks and he chewed on his cheek, watching Cohen's actions in horror. He raised a sparkshooter, something too small to cause any harm, and fired it into the air a few times. From just around a nearby corner, a group of five barked to one another in alarm, eyes all set on Warwick. They surrounded him, waving clubs.
"Don't mean any trouble, boys," Warwick warned, "Wasn't even bargaining'." He cast a grave look at Cohen. "I've been glared at and run-away-from all day, an' -" he expertly ducked to avoid a thrown rock coming at the back of his head, "-And I won't be leaving here without an answer." Picking up the rock, he lunged at each of the dogs, in turn finding that they were all skittish to face him, hands shaking. Eventually, one stepped forward, the others groaning. Ignoring this, Warwick crouched, squinting. Who was this thinking to face him? In a second's time, the dog charged, Warwick reaching up to grab its shoulders and direct it away from him. Every blow was either taken with a grin or cleverly dodged, not leaving a trace of sweat in evidence. Warwick felt it again; The wind blew at his hair and ears, whistling past the sails and muting the orders of four different people clamboring about the deck and thrown-down gangway.
"Alright, alright!" Cohen pleaded, "Ye've won." Warwick smiled at his handiwork – hats dropped and weapons left from fleeing dogs. "Ye've won me, t'least, but ye haven't won it all, mate." Warwick furrowed his brow, a new look overcoming him.
"And that is?" he challenged. Cohen looked nervously to the sides.
"The dogs. No, no – the real dogs! Them coppers, they're out lookin' for ye! B-but ye didn't 'ear it from me, ye didn't!" With that, Cohen leaped away at a brilliant, graceful pace, leaving Warwick near his bag of wares. Finding no food, he took a portion of the coins and continued on his way, once more walking towards the port. The stay was short-lived, however. "Oy! Aren't you the bloke from yesterday?" Warwick turned briefly to see an engineer running his way, a heavy wrench behind him. Gasping, he took off in the other direction, pushing aside anyone that got in his way. The streets soon became abuzz with two populations; Those who were hurrying inside, and those who were chasing the runner down.
"It's a full moon tonight, I heard!" Warwick barely paid attention to the conversation behind him, but that particular impromptu tidbit piqued his attention.
"There's an eclipse next month!"
"Bevver not fin' out what 'appens then!" After more similar remarks, Warwick focused his attention on finding places to go. The sewer would take too long to run into and the houses were definitely a no-go. He sped towards an incline in the cobblestone, expertly scrambling up the rocks and throwing the gate open. Inhabitants watching screamed as he passed, clearing the way for him to rush towards the Admiralty Foyer.
"Bones!" Warwick cried out, slamming and barring the door behind him, the dull roar of a crowd growing louder, "What is all this madness!?" Looking up, Warwick scowled. "Smiley, where is -" "He's off searching his case, Warwick," Mr. Smiley said with his trademark grin. "I see you've generated quite...er, quite the following." Stacking manuscripts, Smiley sat down on a sofa, pouring tea for Warwick. Even among the riot and ruckus, Warwick blissfully reminded himself, There is always room for tea. Sipping the hot, unsugared bitterness gratefully, Warwick found himself in the serenity that he had so longed for. "Had you expected this, Smiley?" he asked, chewing on his cheek.
"With all the mess in the city lately, I'm only sure that it could have -"
"You knew!?" Warwick restricted himself from snapping and instead sat further back in his chair. "Why hadn't you told, then?"
"Don't look at me with such a glare," Smiley retorted accusingly, "You look like one of those sea lads, the type who'd much rather brawl for their answers. Some civilized means, young man. No, with all the chaos surrounding the-" Mid-sentence, the deadlock broke, letting in a swarm of angry protesters.
"Were-man!" they chanted, pointing to Warwick with their clubs and torches, "The Were-man!" Glaring back in resent at Smiley, Warwick rolled his eyes. He found his stay in Marleybone to perhaps have been...a little too sweet. Putting his hat down on the table near the tea, Warwick revealed a bandana atop his head, the insignia heralding that of a life that wouldn't leave him. "My best regards to Bones," he called back, "I've decided to take some time off. Travel around some, maybe make a profit." Warwick charged.
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