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First Impressions

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“It’s no use,” the other man says for the third time and it’s not because Mick has finally decided to listen to him that he stops pounding on the hatch.

“They won’t let us out until we’re too far out to have a choice. That’s how these things are done.”

Not that Mick needs to be told that. Hell, this isn’t even his first time - though this squalid little tub feels like nothing compared to the naval press gang that had picked him up in Dublin.

Not that that had lasted long. Funny how frigates carried around enough powder to blow themselves to smithereens - even a sad, little, blokading hen frigate like the Icarus.

Also funny how it had done so just after a certain recently pressed seaman had recovered from his first flogging, and within sight of land to boot. Funny that.

“What’s your name?” he asks his fellow unfortunate, sinking down next to him.

“Leonard Snart, late of the Indies,” and oh my, but that’s a downright gentlemanly manner this fellow has, isn't it?

“How’d they get their claws in a fine gent like your good self, then?” he asks, moving closer, considering in what ways a proper gentleman might be taken advantage of - especially on a possibly lengthy voyage...

The knife is at his throat before he can blink.

“I’m hardly a gentleman,” Mr Snart drawls, “no more than your good self, Mr…”

“Mick. Mick Rory.”

“Mr. Rory. My father’s the only gentleman in the family, not that he acts the part,” and the knife is gone, as suddenly as it appeared.

Mick studies Snart, but can’t figure out where he put it.

“Thought they’d have patted us down,” and he starts by way of experiment to pat himself down - and is pleasantly surprised to find his tiny flintlock, the one the harbour doxies laughed at when he spent their month’s earnings on it at the expensive gunsmith’s, safe and dry in his boot.

“Seems our new friends might have underestimated us. Tell me, Mr. Rory, might I interest you in a daring escape?”

“Don’t much fancy a voyage at sea, then?”

“On the contrary, Mr. Rory, I’ve already got one planned. I’ve no time for this nonsense.”

Mick considers the possibilities - yes, they are armed, and if they bide their time just a bit they should be able to get their hands on something even better - but on the other hand, it’s not like old London town holds any particular charms that he’ll miss. Nothing he won’t find in whichever port he’ll jump ship in soon enough.

No reason to risk death, not him. But Snart is still looking at him, awaiting his reply.

“Tell me why it’s so important to you,” he demands and Snart’s face is a storm cloud and his eyes are ice. But Mick doesn’t look away and eventually Snart's the one to do so. He sighs.

“I need to go home. My sister - half-sister - is still on our father’s plantation, and unlike me, he never did officially recognized her or emancipate her mother. She’ll be old enough for the local gentlemen to take notice soon enough, and Father was ever in need of money. He’s terrible at running a plantation, really.”

Mick considers a bit more, then shakes his head.

“A knife and a flintlock won’t get us back up the Thames before whichever ship you booked passage aboard has set sail and left the Pool.”

Suddenly Snart’s on his feet again, has pulled Mick up with him - a somewhat impressive feat - and is pressing the knife against his throat again, forcing him back against the creaking bulkhead.

“I don’t think you quite understand,” and his voice is ice. “I must be back in Jamaica before my father sells my sister as a whore. Or decides to have some fun himself first. Lord knows, he wouldn’t be the first English planter to fuck his own child.”

“A knife and a flintlock won’t get us back up the Thames,” Mick repeats, slowly. “But unless I’m mistaken, we’re already on a southernly course. With a bit of luck, we’ll be around the Azores just as the wind is due to pick up.”

Snart’s staring at him, now, as if he’s not quite certain what Mick’s talking about - or perhaps it’s rather that he can’t quite believe what Mick’s saying. Well, might as well spell it out, then.

“If this tub turns out not to be fit for the crossing, I’m sure there’ll be some Spaniard or Portuguese that’ll do us just fine.”

Mr. Leonard Snart’s smile is a slow, scary thing, and it makes Mick both want to run away very fast and to bugger the man quite thoroughly.