“No I ain't interested! I'm pissed, on account o' you fuckin' wit' me!”
Devonshire’s attention seemed to have been attained. Gunpowder had finally received some semblance of the reaction he wanted. He also seemed concerned. Gunpowder assumed it was all fake, but at least the two were getting somewhere. In Gunpowder's eyes, at least.
“I ain't gonna be playin' that game, Devonshire! You know what I mean! My dreams! My memories
“What sort of dreams, Gunpowder?”
“Wassat? What sort
? You made 'em happen! The nightmare! 'Twas made up of all me old memories 'n such! I've only ever told you. No one else. It had
to be you!”
Devonshire turned away to ponder, obviously deep in thought. To Gunpowder, it seemed like he was being ignored. Of all things that could happen, the thought of being ignored by Devonshire in such a situation seemed the worst, so it was only natural to jump to that conclusion without much thought.
“W-why won't you listen to me?!”
Gunpowder's voice was shaky, but somehow clearer than ever. So much so that it was hard to recognize. That raspy pirate tone had disappeared, and in its place was the voice of a lost child searching for his mother.
“Devonshire! Answer me!”
“Ah.. Yes. I am sorry, Gunpowder.” Devonshire paused for a moment, albeit brief. “Perhaps I have misunderstood the gravity of your feelings. You did hit me, after all.” Another pause. Gunpowder was growing tired of them. “Now, tell me. Why do you suspect me?”
Devonshire's choice of the word 'suspect' was all too perfect – indeed, all Gunpowder had was circumstantial evidence. Nothing concrete. Just his gut. But that rarely steered him wrong. He didn't like where it was sending him, but he had no choice but to pursue it. He hoped to be wrong, but had no desire to run from the truth. Gunpowder would never run.
“'Cause.. 'twas all personal. It had stuff with Anana.. With Dorsen! I only ever told that t' you! You were the only person I trusted. You were the only
one who could do that!”
“Do you really think so, Gunpowder? Have you not forgotten that dragon's rampage? Do you suspect me the culprit of that, as well?”
Gunpowder thought about it. It really didn't make much sense. Devonshire stood to gain nothing from destroying the village. In fact, he'd suffered a loss thanks to the downtime of many members, including Gunpowder.
“Ain't got no reason t' do that, no.”
“I thought not. Would I stand to gain anything from tormenting you, either?”
That was true, too, Gunpowder realized. Although Gunpowder liked to slack off (to which he referred as “relaxing”), when he worked, he worked harder than anyone else in the guild. He was also one of the most physically capable for most tasks Devonshire needed. Torturing Gunpowder at all would be a net loss, just like Sorbet. Gunpowder shook his head at Devonshire.
“I'd not want to do such a thing to you for any benefit. You are a comrade, after all.”
Devonshire seemed to pause on that thought. So did Gunpowder. The silence was a bit awkward, so Devonshire was quick to continue.
“Bits and pieces.. as my memory comes back, it's always fragmented, but slowly.. Slowly I remember. I remember comrades. I would never betray one of them.”
Gunpowder was.. confused. Comrade? Like a friend? Coworker?
Devonshire seemed to notice Gunpowder's confusion, though it wouldn't have been hard. Gunpowder frequently sent mixed messages to people, but Devonshire and he'd been working together for so long that it was no longer a concern.
“Ah.. I'm not used to such conversation. We've never really had a discussion such as this. How do you say it? Something.. personal? Not much is personal when you're dead, after all.”
Gunpowder was still discombobulated, but for different reasons. When he had come into Devonshire's office, he was filled with the burning fire of rage, but it had become a dwindling flame. He was still shaking, due to the rush, but he didn't feel the passion anymore. He wasn't sure what to make of that.
Most of the evidence Gunpowder had collected regarding the root cause of his nightmare was guesswork, and that which wasn't stacked against
Devonshire being the culprit. Gunpowder had really begun to doubt his accusation. With Anana and Bluegill, he had lost their trust, and he had lost his trust in them, but with Devonshire.. Devonshire hadn't seemed to stop trusting Gunpowder, even if that trust was expressed in an unusual way.
A deep feeling of regret and guilt sunk into Gunpowder's bowels. He had attacked Devonshire, and it turned out to be without reason. He was wrong
. He didn't know what to say, but knew he had to say something
“Er.. Well.. Yeah. 'bout that. I ain't too good at it either, y'see. I start a personal conversation with a swift smack in th' face, y'know?”
The pair laughed at Gunpowder's comment. It was as close as an apology as the two would ever get. It did stick it Gunpowder's mind, though. He did hit Devonshire, and that's usually a recipe for ruined friendships.
“... Not sure if ye can trust me after that. Not sure at all, matey.”
“Gunpowder, were I to judge you for your mistakes, I would have replaced you long ago. We've had countless members come through that door, and yet I keep you here. I keep you here because I trust you. You'll get the work done, and without ridiculous questions.”
Gunpowder was rather flattered, which was a hard game to play with him. The only other capable of such a feat was Bluegill. Or he used to be, before dropping Gunpowder off to rot on land. Asshole
Part 15 of "Well of Memories" by