She'd got back a few breaks before, having spent some time with her father. When she got back, she'd called up to the crow's nest where he was, or she thought he'd be. But he wasn't. Wondering if he'd fallen asleep up there, which she really didn't think was likely, Vega dropped her bag and clambered up the mast, using the knots in the rope and her legs to give herself more speed. But he wasn't there. He had been, though, she knew. Vega frowned and clambered back down, making sure that she was careful of the ice this far up and yet getting down as quickly as she could without friction burns.
Then, she'd searched the ship.
What made her really worried was that all his things were still here. Her hands on his leather armour, a deep frown crossed Vega's face. "Where are you, Arlo Creede?" But at least his sword was gone and his pistol crossbow. So he hadn't been kidnapped by marauding slavers. Or pirates. Or even a bunch of Rharnian grandmothers who remembered him and his "fair face" from all those arcs ago. "Why didn't you jus' leave a note? Cos I can't read, but still. I'd know no one stole you. Unless, of course, it said 'elp, someone's stolen me, love Arlo. That'd be ironic."
She went and sat up on deck for a break or two, but he didn't come back and she was getting really cold. In that time, Vega sat and carved some wood. A rack which she would attach to the wall, with hooks on which he could attach pans and utensils. Once it was on the wall, she would create a "hood" for over it to keep the pans in place no matter how rough the seas got, but first it was a line of deep, well spaced hooks which, she'd discovered, needed a real attention to detail in order to be appropriately curved. She worked on those, using sandpaper wrapped around a small circular piece of wood she'd turned previously, so the circle of the hook was even, until the cold meant that her hands weren't able to work out from underneath the blanket and so she went below decks. Lighting the lamp, Vega moved into their bedroom and looked, suspiciously at the bed. Picking up Bruce, her stuffed bear, she turned and walked back out.
The room that was going to be his, where he kept all the navigation books and maps and things wasn't finished, but it was a room and so she went and sat in there, taking the hooks with her, the blanket wrapped around her and the stuffed bear. "So, if 'e's jus' up an' disappeared again, we'll jus' 'ave to wait till 'e gets back." Vega said to Bert and she frowned, deeply. The first time he'd done this, it had been one night. The second time, it was three. She guessed that might mean if they followed the pattern that it was either five or seven depending on if it was just adding two or whether it was doubled and one more. Either way, she'd best get prepared.
So, when he got back, Vega was in the store trying to work out what they had and what she could, conceivably, cook for the next few trials. She wasn't going to use any of his pots, she knew that much and she smiled as she thought it. That bloody one had nearly been the... "Arlo!?" Had she heard him? "Arlo, I'm here!" She had heard him, she was sure and as he called to her, she turned and dropped the potato she'd been looking at rather suspiciously and she ran out of the store room.
By which time he'd bounded down the stairs and Vega just had time to register that it was him before his hands were on her and he picked her up and swung her. "Arlo!" She squealed slightly in surprise at him doing that, though she was far from complaining. "What are you doin'? Oh!" The last, as he put her down and kissed her in a way that threatened to make her knees buckle. She held on to him and returned the embrace with all the passion she felt for him, her relief at him being here and her usual possessive fire. But then, suddenly, he was talking and Vega blinked over eyes which swirled in violet, indigo and blue, speckled with a vivid green. Guess where he'd been? "I don't..." she got no further than that because suddenly he was telling her. He'd been out drinking and fighting? Vega looked at him in surprise. Drinking and fighting? He was... "Arlo, there's blood. What... ?"
Moments ago, she had been delighted at him not being gone for trials, and then even more so for how he had grabbed on to her and swung her around, but he was bleeding and he'd been fighting. Vega looked at him, concern filling her and then her eyes met his.
People paid much more attention to her eyes, Vega thought, than they needed to. Arlo even believed that he could tell her emotions from them. Yet, his eyes were as eloquent, moreso, than hers. She could drown in them, the halfbreed knew she could, deep brown and filled with every emotion he felt. And he was delighted, overwhelmed and agitated too she thought, but mostly delighted. "Fightin' an' drinkin'? Well, you kiss me like that every time you do those things an' I'm gonna want you to become an' alcoholic gladiator. You ok?"
But it was Cassion he'd been out drinking and fighting with? Vega grinned at him, delight and pleasure for him lighting her expression. Did she know what it meant? Looking down at the scar on his arm, she thought about it and then she looked back up at him and her eyes were a very rare solid single colour. Pink. Hope "Is that 'is blessing, Arlo? Is it, really?" She felt tears of delight prickle her eyes as she blinked and she looked at him. It was, she knew and, for the second time in two trials, Vega flung herself into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist and her arms around the back of his neck. "Oh, I'm so proud of you!" This time it was her turn to kiss him, all her pride and passion in there and then she started to laugh. Not at him, but in pure delight. "He marked you? Oh, Arlo, tell me? Tell me it all, every trill. Please?"