Aug 8, 2011


Ever since they were kids, Liam and Emma had the tradition of going out into ports together. The tradition started when Emma was nine and Liam was seven. They had to sneak away at first, since their parents liked to keep them close, but eventually Hank and Lena came to accept their childrens' natural independence. Liam and Emma, they realized, were products of a very unique upbringing. Unlike Hank and Lena, their education would revolve less around cultural values and more around practical matters. For instance, rather than art appreciation, they were given combat training. They were taught more survival skills than the schooling of years past. Liam and Emma were taught how to operate independently and it was only natural that this was incorporated into their personalities.

Lucky for Liam, Dr. Lorentz agreed to allow Liam the use of a cane rather than crutches as he roamed Lisbon. It was still a drag, but an improvement. Normally, he and his sister would explore at quite the brisk pace, but in this case, they had to move slowly. Either way, Emma would not let him hear the end of it, “Can't you haul your crippled ass any faster?”

“I'm doing the best I can,” Liam grunted. “It's your fault anyway.”

“Hey, you should have been watching yourself,” Emma shot back. “Besides, I didn't ask for you to carry me.”

“Yeah, I'll remember that next time and just leave your fat ass down there to get eaten.”

“You wanna go to Poppi's?” Emma asked. “It's just down the block; wouldn't have to go far.”

“Yeah, sounds like the best idea,” Liam agreed as they turned to the next street. Poppi's was where they usually went while visiting Lisbon. It was one of the last remaining true bakeries left in the world. Many places made bread or cakes, but few made both of them. And even fewer made any of them well. “I could use a cobbler.”

“You actually like that vomit?”

“You can bet your life on it,” Liam said with all the confidence in the world. “A good peach cobbler is the best thing you can-”

“Find in a toilet?”

Liam sighed, “I'm gonna enjoy my cobbler, you enjoy whatever it is you're going to eat.”

“Wait,” Emma suddenly stopped them both as they were finally just outside of Poppi's. “We need to go somewhere else.”

“What? Why?” Liam was ready to push his way past her.

“Look in the window!” Emma nudged. “It's Dr. Lorentz!”

“Oh, crap, yeah let's get the outta here!”

Liam and Emma found themselves dining that evening at a sandwich shop called “Sanduiche Especial,” which just meant “special sandwich” in Portuguese. The bread was crappy and kind of hard, but the meats and vegetables were some of the best they could ask for. Briefly, they considered getting Sanduiche Especial in touch with Poppi's, which had the best bread in the world. If they combined forces....

Then Liam and Emma both agreed to mind their own business and just eat their food. Until, after taking a small bite, Liam brought up the elephant in the room, “So, you and LeFleur, huh?”

Emma blushed, “I like him.”

“Yeah, tell me something I don't know.”

“I don't know – he's nice, kinda cute... might as well give him a chance,” Emma sipped from her straw, hoping Liam would change the subject.

“Give him a chance?” Liam laughed. “You're kidding, right? Everyone knows it's you trying to move on him.”

She scoffed, “Please. No one in the crew would dare make the first move on me, least of all Chris.”

“If he had a sack, he would.”

“He knows dad would kill him if he did.”

“Dad's gonna kill him no matter who makes the first move.”

Emma sighed, “You're probably right.”

“I know I'm right. Dad kicks everyone's butt.”

“Except mom's.”

After an awkward pause, Liam noted, “You know, you're the only one that calls him Chris.”

“Am I? Never noticed.”

“Bull. Yes, you did.”

Emma took a bite while her eyes told him that he had totally called it.

“When are you gonna tell dad?”

“Who says I have to?”

“Um, are you stupid?” Liam laughed. “If you don't, someone else will. It's a small ship. And if word reaches him from anyone except you or LeFleur, there'll be new kinds of hell to pay. You gotta act fast, especially seeing that Jeremy's starting to-”

“I swear, I'm going to kill him.”

Liam smirked then leaned in close, “You want in on a little secret?”

“Yeah, what?”

“Dad's been thinking of giving Jeremy the boot when we get to Boston,” Liam told her. “He's been more trouble than he's worth.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“There's an air duct that runs straight from mom and dad's room to the armory. If you put your ear to it, you can hear them talking.”

“You're going to show this to me sometime.”

“Just stop by one day. Make sure I'm there though. It's supposed to be a secret between me and Bobby.”

“What, so Ramirez knows about this?”

“He showed it to me. He actually does more than work on guns.”


“He trades information with certain people on the ship. Only those he really trusts.”

“What's he trade it for?”

“Beer tickets, money, whatever people can offer. You'd be surprised what all Bobby hears. He even trades information with people at the cities we go to.”

“Damn,” Emma put in her last bite. “Might just have to get in touch with him.”

“No,” Liam wiped his hands with a napkin. “He gets in touch with you. I'll let him know you're interested.”

“This is the shadiest thing I've ever heard.”

“Shady or not, if you need info, Bobby's your man.”

After a beat, “Did Bobby tell you about me and Chris?”

“Pfft,” Liam laughed. “Came to that little conclusion on my own, Emma.”

“You can't be the only one.”

“You might be surprised. Most of the crew's as dumb as you are.”

“Didn't know we had a ship full of geniuses,” she sipped her water. “LeFleur and I are gonna spend some time together Thursday, might even have dinner. I'd appreciate it if you-”

Yes!” Liam grinned.

“I bet Bobby you'd go out with him before Friday.”

Emma sighed, “You're an idiot.”

“Oh and if dad doesn't kick his ass, I will.”

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