"I thought I told you to shut up?" Raa said to Pim, in no mood to attempt to lighten the situation with jokes or lighthearted banter. His crew was in danger, his ship insulted, and if Captain fucking Damos used that insolent tone again, Raa was going to hop on board his ship and stuff his fist down the guy's throat.
The frown that had been Raa's prominent expression since the call from Gavoth did not waver when he heard the name of the ship, nor the title given to Pim and the choices offered, though Raa felt decidedly sucker punched, and for a long moment, Raa didn't respond to Pim's plea, nor to the pressure of his body leaning against his own.
Raa didn't know why he felt betrayed by that. He and Pim talked of many things, each quite as superficial as the last, and had no reason to explain each others pasts; they were not in love, not exclusive to each other in the deepest sense of the word, and Raa had no idea why that hurt so much, either.
"Sure, why not? I'd like to see this captain face-to-face anyway," Raa answered finally, words curiously without inflection.
"Boss! You can't go over there!" Gavoth and Avi both protested; Talugh's eyes shot up, narrow with worry, though he said nothing.
"I am the captain of this ship," Raa said in an unusual moment of pure authority, "Do not question me."
"It's because of him!" Avi snapped, turning a burning gaze on Pim. "If it weren't for him, none of this-!"
"DO NOT QUESTION ME!" Raa yelled, loud enough to disrupt the noise of the crew on the main deck as each man turned to him in surprise. "Or do I need to order your removal from this ship?"
Avi snapped her mouth shut so hard her teeth clicked. "No, sir, you do not. But I protest this."
"Noted and ignored," Raa said. "Gavoth, bring the ship around."
"...Aye, Cap'ain," Gavoth muttered, manoeuvering the ship beside the Pimerand to prepare for docking procedures.
"Captain Damos," Raa said, speaking into the mic again, "Lord Viramontez-" the title felt stiff and unwelcome in his mouth, causing a bitter twist to his lips, "-and I will board your ship. Prepare to be boarded." He hung the mic back on its double-pronged hook, and watched as Gavoth slid the Abaslom smoothly beside the other airship, matching its tilt and velocity before firing the lead ropes that latched onto the side of the Pimerand with palm sized but magnificently powerful magnets; internal mechanisms within the ship whined to life as they began to retract the lead ropes to pull the ships snugly together.
Raa took a slow deep breath, and put an arm around Pim's shoulders, though whether that was to help steady him or reaffirm his claim, he didn't know.
"If he asks me what day of the week it is, I'll be sorely tempted to answer 'orange'." ~Chang WuFei,