AN OCEAN WALK -
A Story by Steph.
(Random shows Ramon a little about operating out of Milliways.)
The ocean breeze was a pleasant thing to feel in ones hair, especially on a day like today. The weather was brisk, then sun bright behind a layer of fog that hadn't quite dissipated along the shore line. It'd be cool, Random decided, were it not for the overlarge fleece (a burnt orange, of course) and would be lonely, if it weren't for the company. So he grinned, sliding an arm around his companion's waist, and sighed.
He more felt than heard the noise, as Random was pressed against him. He'd slid an arm around his shoulders without pausing to think (which now amused more than scared him) and the sound had been lost under the roaring of the waves. Weather at home was a lot hotter, but Random was warm so it didn't seem to matter so much. Of course, that didn't stop him from muttering profanities in a rather mangled stream of Portuguese, English and Spanish when they were forced to swerve to avoid a particularly large wave. It had made it a little farther than the others on its quest to flood the beach, before seeping, defeated, back to the water.
The Amberite just smirked, and noted - in a rather long-suffering tone, that he might have to cancel plans to go swimming later if Ramon was afraid of getting his feet wet. Upon which Ramon threatened to toss him into the ocean, fleece and all, and see how he liked walking around in wet shoes all day. Random didn't reply, just narrowed his eyes and peered down the beach.
Ramon wasn't expecting shouts that suddenly broke the silence. He'd been about to ask Random why the sudden tensing of his shoulders, when the first of the calls reached his ears. Two travelers, another pair of men, walking, no, striding, towards them. They looked like they were lost- big men, typical of Texorami, the shorter maybe 6'2, the second...perhaps...half a hand taller? Appearances typical of the region, and clearly so, so drunk. A mild annoyance crept through him, because Dammit, this was their bit of beach (not really) and should bloody stay that way.
And then, when he finally heard what they were shouting, a wave of absolute fury crawled through him.
"City meat! Look at 'em…"
"Fuck off! This's our town."
Random was watching them, an absolutely neutral expression on his face. The one Ramon had come to associate with deep shit. His first thought was that Random was actually letting this get to him. Which, in hindsight, was pretty accurate. Merely mistaking 'startled' for 'livid.' Also, his reaction of sliding an arm back around his waist and holding him a little tighter may not have been the best response, given circumstances.
"It's alright, Random. Lets just…"
He was interrupted, of course, by another shout. But this one had something to it that he didn't like. Something that set him on edge and made him whip his head around in time to see the shorter man stoop for a rock, snatch one approximately the size of his fist, straighten, and throw.
In no sane world would the rock miss them. The man was, at this point, less than twenty feet away and clearly knew what he was doing. In the space of the three seconds it took, Ramon watched the motion, wondered why the fuck it had to be late enough in the day that the man wasn't sunblind, and tried to think of what to do fuck it's going to hit him...
And two gunshots rang out.
Ramon let go a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, and Random slid the weapon back into his belt. He didn't so much as blink at the muffled thud of a body hitting the sand, not at the patter of a dozen shards of stone raining down on the beach between them.
The taller man stared in shock as the blood began to flow from the single wound to his friends forehead, then stared up at the pair of them, an expression of horror crossing his face as it slowly began to register.
"Get the fuck out of here or join him."
And though Random's tone had been perfectly pleasant, the man was gone in less than thirty seconds, racing away, across the grass covered dunes and out of sight. Satisfied, Random walked forwards a few steps, took a longer stride over the fallen body, and a few more normal paces, before turning to look back over his shoulder at Ramon.
He was bent, examining the rock fragments littering the sand. He glanced up, their eyes met briefly, and he nodded a reassurance to the silent question written on Random's face. After a long moment he selected a large shard, picking it up and sliding it into his pocket as he stood, striding quickly after Random, who'd already started off down the beach.
They walked in silence until the sun was directly above them and a small town came into sight. Then it was time to clamber up the rocks that separated the sand from the earth, and onto solid ground. And finally, Random spoke:
"You know, I didn't actually have another bullet left."
But his companion merely slid an arm around his waist, and grinned.
"Would it have made a difference?"
You know me too well--
--I know you better than that.
"Come on, Random, let's grab something to eat. We'll go out- somewhere we haven't tried before. I'm feeling lucky."