Teddy hopped a few steps one direction and then hopped back a few in the other. He tilted his head in one direction and sniffed. The boathouse was old, large, and drafty. The ship he was staring at and trying to figure out was very pretty and young. He turned to look at Titch "Okay, but what do we do with it?"
Teddy ignored the twin gerbil gasps of horror when he reached forward and tasted the wood. Very salty, not very chewy. By the teeth marks, he was far from the first rabbit who had done so.
"What - what do you.. YOU DON'T EAT IT!" John declared, shaking a small paw from where he and his brother were sitting on the railing around the hull. "You go on ADVENTURES! You sail across the seas, you tally-ho and --"
"I think that's British, not Danish." Smith observed. "Vikings were more burn the hovels of the unwashed masses, steal their wheat and women."
"You shouldn't steal people!" Titch protested with a mighty thump on the wooden planks of the dock.
"They did it by doing things like bathing and reading." Smith told her.
"HMPH. Well, I'll tell that Viking Kim that if he steals anyone, I'll give him a right thumping and chew through his keyboard wire."
Teddy wondered if he should point out that Mr Kim got a wireless keyboard due to rabbit threats of revenge, or if that would mean Titch would just find something else to chomp.
"I think I like Captain Ren's ship better." Teddy finally said, cutting through the gerbils and Titch glaring at each other. "It's warmer, it smells better, and it has tea." Not that Teddy much liked tea, Cindy always gave him pear juice, but he'd heard the British liked tea and Titch was a British.
"Gah!" John very dramatically clutched at his chest and fell backwards into the ship. "Stabbed! Betrayed! Rabbit kind has forgotten their rampaging roots!"
Smith scurried over to look down to where John had fallen onto a pillow over a sea chest. His brother was still over-acting his horror. The darker gerbil turned back to Teddy and Titch, "I think you guys should be careful,"
"Careful?! Because Captain Ren's ship is big, beautiful, requires no work from us and lets us lounge around in the sun?! Or that a gerbil may get all cranky?" Titch snorted and tossed her ears, almost as over-dramatic as the gerbil. "What's going to happen? I appreciate Speedy and Mick liked this pile of twigs but.."
She got no further because a certain ghost of an orange lop couldn't take the disparagement of his beloved ship any longer and abused rabbit privilege to appear in a fluff of fur and grumpitude. "BETTER THAN MY LONGSHIP?!" Growled Mick, thumping loudly twice.
"YES." Titch said right back with her own echoing thumps.
Teddy hopped up and scrambled to the other side of the gunwale and hunkered down with the gerbils.
"THIS SHIP SAILED THE NORTHERN WATERS! SCOURGE OF THE SEAS! PILLAGED THE SHORES OF .. Somewhere. There was that thing with the weather balloon.. Oh, yes, and your Mum almost bopped a rude Viking on the nose."
"That does sound like my Mum," Titch said proudly. "BUT! This thing doesn't even have a roof! What do you do when it rains?!"
"Go down the bunny hatch or get a human to hold an umbrella." Mick said, implying she was the daftest doe to ever hop.
Teddy turned to look at the back of the ship, sure enough, there was a very non-standard hatch that probably lead through a bunny portal to some sort of room of plenty. It didn't look large enough for a human to get through, so who would serve the bunny crew? He still wasn't seeing how this was supposed to be better than a pirate ship.
"I'm still not seeing why you two played around with this thing." Titch grumbled, agreeing with Teddy's inner thoughts. Probably why she was his best friend.
"Even the gerbils understand why it's cool, and they're GERBILS." Mick said with a two front paw thump.
The gerbils in question looked at each other and decided staying out of sight was the best bet. While they generally agreed with Mr Mick on his views of the universe, he wasn't the easiest friend to have.
"Well, they can have it then." Titch said with a sniff.
Teddy ducked down behind the bulwark, getting out of the line of fire.
"GERBILS WILL NOT HAVE MY SHIP! The ship was gifted to me by Kim the Viking and then left to Speedy and from Speedy to you! It's your duty to care for the greatest ship to ever sail!" The fact that Kim hadn't MEANT to give the ship to him was completely irrelevant. Sometimes a bun had to step in and help the humans do the right thing.
"Oh poo on that." Titch replied with a sniff. "I'll look after the hunk of wood, but I still don't think it's worth much of anything or better than the Rum Rabbit."
Mick made a strange gurgling noise, sounding like he was being tortured, before he flomped over on his side.
Teddy leaned up over the gunwale, "Are you okay, Mr Mick?" he asked politely.
"Betrayed! Turned upon by my own lagomorphic kin! Unappreciators! Heathens!" He growled, ear over eye.
"Did you want some banana? Mom packed us some banana bread."
Mick turned over onto his feet, "Nope. I'm not eating with your turn-fur-coats! I'm going back to the unending buffet and ear rubs. Hmph. Not liking.. Thinking Cap'n Ren's ship is better.. How rude!" He thumped and in a burst of fur the ghost disappeared.
"Well, he's certainly loud about nothing." Titch observed. She sniffed. "Did you want to go find the dandelions now?" She was beyond bored with the silly boat.
"I do like dandelions." Teddy agreed as the gerbils scrambled up on his back. He didn't mind playing taxi, it was better than having to watch Titch run off because she refused to move at gerbil speeds.
"Allonsy!" John announced.