They crouched in the shadows of the docks, watching as tourists and boatmen alike cleared away from their vessels. They had been patrolling the area around it all day, backpacks slung across their shoulders. For all the world, they could have been a pair of tourists.
“Last ride of the day!” The owner of a nearby felucca called, trying to lure in just a little more money before night fell.
“Let’s go.” Marik strolled confidently down the dock, Bakura only a few steps behind them. He exchanged a few rapid words with the boatman, handing over his money with a winning smile. They perched on the seats, watching as the boat cast of from the dock. Their time was coming.
“So how long have you been sailing?” Marik asked casually, watching the shore recede into the dusk.
“Nearly forty years now,” the boatman replied as he tended to the sail. “My family’s owned this boat for generations, and she’s never failed us yet.”
“Ah. It must be nice to have such a reliable ship to get you through the waters safely.” Marik trailed a finger along the side, gazing out at the water. “Have you ever taken it out for longer journeys? To the delta? Up to the Mediterranean?”
“Once or twice. We took a vacation to Greece once, my wife and children and I…” He glanced at the two young men lounging on the back of his boat. “Why do you ask?”
Marik merely shrugged. “Forgive my curiosity,” he said, smiling. “I’ve been wanting to try my hand at boating since I was a little boy, when I took my first boat ride from that very dock.” He gave a wistful smile. “Perhaps it was even on your boat, sir, that inspired my dream.”
The boatman smiled behind his beard. “That’d be quite an honor then, to have inspired such a dream. Maybe you’ll even have a boat of your own someday.”
“Maybe…” Marik laughed. The dock was out of sight now, the current and the wind carrying it swiftly down stream. “Would you…you wouldn’t happen to have time to show me a few of the basics, would you?”
The man smiled, beckoning him towards the sail as Bakura looked on. He showed Marik how to steer, and how to stop, and Marik nodded all with an innocent smile. He played his role perfectly.
“That seems simple enough,” Marik said, catching Bakura’s eye. He reached out a hand to shake. “Thank you so much sir. You can’t begin to know how much this means to us.” With his other hand, he swung, catching the man swiftly in the jaw. He tumbled back against the railing, unconscious. Marik turned to Bakura, shrugging. “I hope you were paying attention,” he said, cracking his knuckles. “To the sailing bit, I mean.”
Bakura shrugged. “He’s still breathing,” he noted dully. “Should he be?”
Marik hesitated, then nodded slowly. “We’ll set him adrift on this,” he said, unhooking the large life preserver from the mast. “If the gods favor him, maybe he’ll make it back to his family.”
Bakura smirked, leaning against the rail. They watched as he drifted away.
“We’re off,” Marik murmured, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth. He swung around, grinning as he pressed Bakura into the railing.
Bakura leaned up, pressing his lips to Marik’s. “Shouldn’t you be concentrating on steering, captain?”
“The current will take us for awhile,” he replied. “Long enough for us to enjoy the ride a little longer.”