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Octopi; she really didn’t like those creatures. They were creepy and sent shivers down her back every time she thought about one touching her with their tentacles.

Wren was one hundred percent sure that she had told Cani at one point or another about her dislike for the creatures. Yet, here he was demanding that she assist him in collecting ink sacs from the creatures.

Assassinations were her thing, so were infiltrations and stealing information, not this. She wasn’t a marine biologist or a veterinarian. Then again, neither was Cani. He just wanted the ink for some god forsaken reason.

“Why me?” She whined, looking down at the creature that was laid out on the table. He’d already done two with terrible efficiency while she stared down at the one and tried to swallow back the bile rising in her throat.

“Because you have the precision with the knife for this job.” If Cani realized that her question was completely rhetorical, he didn’t show any sign of it. She already knew that she could do it in a skill sense but she wasn’t sure she would be able to swallow her disgust long enough to make it.

She wasn’t even sure where to start. Dissecting an octopus hadn’t exactly been part of the curriculum of child soldiers and she never even got to go to high school so that was out of the question.

“Uhm, can you show me how to do it?” It nearly pained her to ask him for his help but surprisingly enough he kept his scathing remarks about her stupidity to a minimum and walked her through the process.

The texture of the octopus was slimy and awful and she actually preferred the part where she dealt with the innards instead. At least that didn’t feel much different from human innards did. Finding the little sac that he wanted, she cut it out as quickly as she could and held it up with a triumphant grin. He didn’t look nearly as thrilled as she was but he did seem pleased.

“You did that faster than I thought you would.” It was about as close as he was going to get to telling her good job so she would take it. “It’s your fingers.”

“My fingers?” She set the sac down with the other two that he had collected and stared down at her hands. They were covered with gunk from the octopus but she couldn’t see what would make this job any easier.

“Yes.” Much to her dismay, he pulled two more of the creatures and slid one towards her. Though she hated the animals, she couldn’t help but feel wasteful as she slid the last one off into the trash. All he wanted were the sacs, the rest were useless and bound to be dumped back into the ocean. “They’re long and nimble, makes this work easier.”

Since she was busy swallowing back vomit as she moved the tentacles out of her way, she didn’t really register his reasoning until she was pulling the second sac out. When she did, she couldn’t help but to tease him about it. “So you watch my fingers a lot then?”

“Don’t get the wrong idea,” he glanced up from his work long enough for her to catch his narrowed gaze. “I observe many things.”

“Mhmm, sure.” She laughed, using the conversation as a distraction from the fact she was cutting into yet another octopus. “You should just admit that you like me and we can stop beating around the bush.”

“I may like your hands but you’re disgusting.”

“And you have a crush,” she sang jokingly, actually glad for a minute that he actually needed her help with this. If he didn’t, he would have already retaliated and she’d have a sucky rest of the day. “What do you need these things for anyway?”

It was a perfectly legitimate question but when she caught sight of the dark smile that spread across his face, she wasn’t sure that she wanted to know anymore. Curiosity was her downfall though and she didn’t retract the question.

“I’m going to dump it on Aunt Kaily and her lover.”

Wren paused mid-cut when he answered. His aunt was a horrid woman and had been extra testy as of late. Getting a bucket full of octopus ink dumped on her wasn’t going to help but it would be hilarious.

Her lips curved into a mischievous grin of her own and she forgot her disgust for moment in favor of reveling in the genius of the idea. Oh how she hoped she’d be there for when it happened but his aunt didn’t really trust either of them together the last time she was pranked.

“You should set up a camera to go off as the ink is tipped. Then you’ll have proof that will continue to amuse you for years to come.” And so she could see it.

“I knew you weren’t completely useless.” Wren’s grip on her knife tightened and suddenly the ink sac in her other hand looked incredibly tempting. It’d be sight to see his bragged about hair a nice shade of black.

_____________

I know this isn’t a Character Development day but I actually had a version of this piece sitting around since Operation Butterfly. I was torn between posting Cani’s favorite physical feature of Wren’s or the other one that I posted. Maura wanted to read this one though so I changed it just a bit so that it fit in with today’s word.

And to be honest? I like this version better. ^-^

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