“…Honey.” The Yomogawa heir caught herself before she licked her lips.
Kurusu, Yukina noted, amused, was carefully looking anywhere else. Aww.
“We can get some of it, can’t we?” Ayame went on, eyes still fixed on the buzzing mass. “I mean, I know you can’t leave the hive there, not if we want to be sure the tower’s maintained – and we have to do that, it wouldn’t be responsible to leave a problem for a Hayajiro that might be in worse shape than we are – but we could save some of the honey? For the young, and – well, everyone.”
Yukina’s brows climbed. Honey. Huh. She hadn’t even thought of that; just a big, waxy, stinging problem. But here they were on short rations with no sure date for resupply… and honey was food.
Not to mention if she could sneak off – er, secure a pound or so for Suzuki, the engineer would quite possibly hug her to death. He hadn’t had a chance to make a good mead in ages. Not that anyone would be drinking it until they were off-duty. But when they were – the Koutetsujou’s steamsmiths had earned some drunken hangovers.
Movement caught her eye, a swagger of leather, and Yukina made her smile slip away to an engineer’s neutral cool. And here comes part of the reason why.
Uryuu, and the sad Hunter with a sling and a bushi ponytail, strolling up to peer at their buzzing problem. “Huh. That’s a big one.”
Ayame finally looked away from the promise of sweets. “You’ve seen hives like this before?”
“They like shelter and water.” Shading his eyes, Uryuu studied curves of darker wax. “Yeah, not the first one we’ve snatched off a water-tower.”
That raised Yukina’s eyebrows. But the Hunters were Lady Ayame’s problem. Unless they went after another steamsmith. She almost hoped they would.
“Snatched?” Kurusu gave the Hunters a cool look. “It would be useful to salvage some of the comb before it’s destroyed-”
“Bushi. Shoot and burn everything.” Uryuu smirked, but gave Ayame a cautious glance. “Why not just take it? A good hive can be worth a lot at a station.”
Yukina kept herself from drawing a sharp breath. Funds. Money for parts. Repairs. Medicine. Everything.
Ayame drew herself up straight. “How do we do it?”