He recognizes hope easily in her face, he keeps it close as he wanders back towards the palace doors. Ralan catches his eye, and the officer’s brow furrows quietly. The captain knows this look. Words. Now. It’s not that he isn’t fond of the bounty officer, he’s simply the one he interacts with the most, the one who is, unfortunately, the keeper that makes sure that Ironwood stays busy and employed respectably.
And the one who had probably just overheard everything.
“Are you trying to get yourself thrown back to the Seraph?”
“If I was I wouldn’t be talking to a child right in front of you, would I?”
“You’re playing with fire. I know you mean well but the others, Anise might not see it that way” Ralan’s frown deepens, it’s not a good look for his younger-looking face, “I mean, you’re still a ward of the Blades–“
“I’m a glorified drakehound, you mean”
The human huffs because that’s exactly what he is, he can pick apart the muscles in his face that give away the recognition of such an apt description. Of course it was. Of course they’d kept him leashed and away from the other dogs they sent him running after, tracking them down and tearing at them with knives and teeth. They expected him to come back and lie down.
“You know how this looks, Cap. I’ve been willing to let you slip into Lions’ Arch for a while for that raptor but you can’t keep pushing your boundaries. The port is one thing, but you left down the coast and disappeared. They still want to see you for that”
“They can come see me about it when I’m ready”
“That’s not how this works”
“And generally this isn’t how a life sentence plays out, does it?”
“A former pirate getting an offer to pilot an airship doesn’t make a great case, I’m curious to see how that one goes for you”
“She’s a kid, she’s not going to get it”
“You better be prepared to make your case. You don’t have very many people left on your side”
“Does that include you?”
“We work together. I have to be on your side for formalities”
“Well, we’ll just hope this next excursion gets me killed so you don’t have to suffer with that anymore”
This doesn’t pull a grin from Ralan. Ironwood doesn’t crack one either. Silence, save for the birds that make their nests in the rafters. A minister coughs from the other side of the atrium.
“… I’ll go see them”
“Good luck, Cap”