“What the hell just happened?” Derek asked of no one in particular as he stood on the lower balcony where just minutes ago, two guys came tearing through, followed by a very angry and slightly soaked girl. Passersby shrugged indifferently, having no good answer for him.
Derek wandered around for a bit, half thinking about whatever mayhem had just occurred, half thinking about other things that had happened since checking in on this ship. More than once, he nearly walked headlong into someone. The fifth time this happened, he started murmuring the standard apologies, but stopped short.
“You two,” he said, a little accusingly, a little amazed as he stared at the two guys in front of him, the same two that had sprinted past him not ten minutes before.
“Do we know you?” asked the blond guy cautiously.
“Probably not, but I was wondering what happened up here earlier,” Derek said.
“That’s a fair question,” the blond guy asked his companion. “I just assumed what caused it, but now I want to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Derek caught sight of the water gun poking out of the taller guy’s pocket. He grinned. “You better hope that girl didn’t bring a super-soaker.”
“No worries,” the tall guy replied. “Jay here’s got me covered.”
“I still have to find it in my luggage,” his friend reminded him. “Jason Cordizan, by the way. Call me Jay.”
“And this guy here with the water pistol that started the whole thing is Leo DeLuca,” Jay said.
“Nice to meet you both,” said Derek. “So now that we’ve got a water pistol and two super-soakers between us, what’s next?”
“Well…” began Leo.
“You have a super-soaker, too?!” exclaimed Jay.
Derek grinned again. “Yep, and packed conveniently near the top of my duffel bag.”
“My life is complete,” said Jay, turning his eyes to the heavens.
Leo laughed. “That girl won’t be the only one mad at us by the end of today.”
“Oh, but they’ll know who we are,” Derek assured him.
“Oh will they ever,” Jay cackled. “Let’s call ourselves something… I like alliteration. How about… ‘The Tenacious Trio’?”
“Sounds too much like Tenacious D,” commented Leo.
But Derek’s suggestion was cut short by the arrival of the girl from before, now mostly dry. “YOU. YOU TERRIBLE TERRIBLE PEOPLE,” she yelled at them.
All three suddenly grinned, thinking the exact same thought.
“Terrible Trio?” Leo said quietly, trying very hard not to burst out laughing.
“Done,” answered Derek.
“Done,” said Jay.
“What’s so funny, you butt-faced idiots?” the girl demanded.
Derek offered a hand. “Derek Tasalis. Nice to meet you. For the record, I didn’t do anything.”
Jay, seeing his chance to clear himself of blame, also proffered a hand. “Jay Cordizan. Derek didn’t do anything. And I just took the water gun after the fact.”
Leo, finding himself with no other choice, stuck his hand forward, too. “Leo DeLuca. Guilty as charged.”
The girl stared at the three of them, each grinning stupidly with his hand outstretched, and burst out laughing. “Jinx Li,” she said when she finally stopped laughing and feebly shook each of their hands.
“I hope you didn’t take the attack personally,” Leo began. “It was all in the name of a little fun.”
Jinx eyed him. “Oh, I took it personally. I just hope you don’t take it personally when I exact my revenge.”
“Meaning?” Leo asked, a bit like a man sentenced to death and awaiting the judge’s decision between electric chair and lethal injection. They made an interesting tableau there, Leo towering over Jinx in height, but positively cowering.
“You’ll see,” she grinned, and turned on her heel and walked away. “Nice meeting you guys,” she called over her shoulder.
“Oh damn,” said Jay.