Private Tales A Friend for a Friend

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Everleigh Ebersol

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“Well, I guess it is tiresome to keep up the stockpile. He goes through them like a camel drinking water,” Proctor Palahniuk said rather reluctantly, staring up at the ceiling. Everleigh was quiet, giving the proctor some time to think things over before she spoke again.

I’d go with him to make sure nothing bad happens. His social skills are still really lacking,” at this the proctor sighed and nodded his head vigorously in agreement. “So I’d be there to ensure that while he’s gathering his materials, he doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. Besides, if he were to get out of hand, I could easily knock him out, carry him back, and report back to you, of course, Proctor Palahniuk.” Everleigh finished. She knew that Proctor Palahniuk was more lenient to the male initiates than to the female initiates. If she had been asking for mission to get supplies for a female, the answer would immediately be ‘no, now leave me alone.’

But for a guy? Normally the answer would be a resounding ‘yeah, sure go, ahead, take your time!’ But Tinker Smithe tended to rub people the wrong way. At least Tinker wasn’t sexist like Proctor P, he hated anyone and everyone equally as long as they were breathing.

“I suppose I can allow this, for one afternoon only. It would be good for him to get out of his room and the forge. Maybe the sun can make him less strange.” Everleigh suppressed the frown, keeping her poker face steely and sure as she was so close to her goal. “If I don’t see either of you at the dining hall today, you’re both going to be facing a month of extra drills and kitchen duty.” Everleigh’s stomach flipped, and this time she had to work extra hard in keeping her face demure. She wanted to grin, that gleeful, mirthful, dangerous grin of hers that showed she was excited at the prospect of a challenge, the prospect of possibly losing.

Thank you, Proctor Palahniuk.” Everleigh said, dipping her head down to show her gratitude— or at least the facade of it. He dismissed her and so Everleigh left his office, briskly walking towards where she knew Tinker would be at a time like this. The forge. It’s not like he ever went anywhere else, often missing classes or using his free time to build his dolls. Soon she arrived at her destination and saw Tinker, busy doing whatever it was that he was doing. Everleigh had never cared much about his doll making, after all she continuously told him to apply her poison and he refused. Rude. She was trying to help a friend out and make his dolls stronger!

Tinker!” The poison eater shouted, hoping to grab his attention, ready for him to not look at her and perhaps insult her. “Finish up and fast. We’re going out to get you more supplies. I got permission to head out. We can get those weird rocks you like.
 
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More. More. More.

Tinker needed to create more dolls. After that mess with the arena. More. He needed more.

The golems were far too large. Those were not for their missions. They were sentries and soldiers for war. Laborers to carry and crush lumber and stone. Dolls could do everything else. They could be tiny. Stealthy. Sneak around. Hide in clothes. A wire to the throat. A poison needle to the neck....

Tinker paused mid placement of an anchor pin for a joint.

Evie knew poisons. Tiny spiders to deliver death. She nagged relentlessly. Always chattering. Chattering. Chattering.... But she was willing to provide a poison. Her magic was poison. Perhaps applying her own with his during the creation could birth toxic life into dolls?

Tinker was back to placing the pin.

Dangerous. Maybe too much. Evie could control herself but what of their spawn? Dolls and golems did not worry about control. Control was for their master. Their magic was not a pitcher. It was an ever running aqueduct. No. No. No. No.... Too dangerous. Their touch might kill by accident. Could not have that. Not yet....

Then the disturbance occurred.

Evie....

His thoughts had summoned the beast. Too dangerous. Far, far too dangerous....

Supplies? Yes. He needed more. Much more.

The joint was finished then Tinker just left his newest doll on the table.

"Stay." The first command.

"Guard." The second command.

What appeared to be a statue of a fully armored soldier suddenly moved. It took up a position by the incomplete doll like a knight guarding a king.

"Rocks not weird. You weird." Tinker said as his eyes flicked over to Evie. "Hurry. Too slow. Need supplies."

His mind was racing everywhere. Too many thoughts for words....

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh raised a brow at how engrossed Tinker could be. And rude. And a grump. If she was like Liliana she could just put some sort of weave onto him, make him calm down. Or maybe if she was the soft spoken type like Liza? Everleigh could do everything in her power to dim her presence but everyone’s instincts would know that she was a true predator, a hunter.

And yet, Tinker still had the gall to insult her constantly.

Tinker, I’m set.” She wouldn’t need to bring out her swords or lance, before even going to see Proctor Palahniuk she had already strapped a good amount of gear on her. Most of it was hidden except for her vest that openly displayed her throwing knives. “Look, where are the boxes?” Everleigh asked and looked around.

She was about to take a step forward but one of tinker’s little creations had decided now would be a good time to scurry around on the floor. The poison eater sighed exasperated, staying still while her gimlet gaze rove around. There. She found them.

She made sure it was safe to cross and that no dolls would be harmed, and collected three of them. Tinker could, surprisingly, carry two no problem but Everleigh could only manage to carry one back all the way to the academy. She made a mental note to start putting more effort into her upper body starting tomorrow.

C‘mon, Mr. I-Don’t-Know-Grammar, this is what happens when you stay in the workshop all day.” She wrinkled her nose. “You forget how to talk properly form sentences and talk to people. It smells in here anyways, I think you need some fresh air.

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The place did indeed smell. Burnt metals. Charcoal smoke. Stone dust. Saw dust.

Tinker held all these scents of the forge as well as the stench of sweat. A smoky musk of youthful activity. He had hardly left since their return from their previous adventure in the lands of pirates and raiders.

The puppeteer ignored his companion's harsh yet truthful words. Instead he just grabbed his share of the boxes. Surprisely strong arms lifted up his with little issue. They were empty after all and he had moved all of them into here on his own to begin with. Unlike some of his peers who had developed their own muscles in part for show, his were compacted from practical use. Only in moments like this was it likely anyone remembered how often he swung a heavy hammer or lifted a crate of ingots.

"You need more strength. Poison won't always work."

Tinker might have listened more than he let on and was holding a bit of a grudge.

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh rolled her eyes, albeit playfully, placing a hand on the curve of her hip. She regarded Tinker for a split moment before she spoke.

You’re just jealous I can kill anyone I’d like with a sneeze or a cough.” She said, but was soon smirking at the doll maker. “I’m plenty strong. At least in my legs. But upper body strength could use some TLC. Maybe I should start doing push ups with your new best buddy, Zael. Should I ask him to come with us? I bet he could carry three boxes easy.” A joke. If Evie could help it, she’d do as much as she could to not have Zael around Tinker at all. Tinker may have been his normal self to others, but Everleigh knew better. And the last thing she wanted was to stress him out further.

She had noticed how quickly Tinker had gone and locked himself away in his workshop. Of course after that whole trip she had wanted some time to decompress as well, a lot had happened, and she needed time to think about a lot of things. So it was a surprise to her when she visited Tinker a few days later and he seemed more jittery than normal. It was a harsh reminder of how different he was. He needed better coping methods, although many probably thought that was rich coming from an addict.

Everleigh opened the door then, Tinker seemed ready, and with the box sideways and pressed against her hip with her right hand, she began to head out.

C’mon stink bug, let’s get moving. If I miss dinner you owe me half your meals for a week.” A threat she often made but never followed through on, ever. If anything, she always tended to try and sneak Tinker a bit of extra grub when he was in a mood to eat.

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Stink bug? Meals?

Tinker wasn't sure if Evie was trying to compliment him or insult him. Or even threaten him. Stink bugs were effective at deterring unwanted attention away from them. If only he had such an ability himself then he could work in peace.... And he never did understand regular meals. Those were used to pacify creatures and dumb them down into domestic beasts of burden. He would prefer to stay wild and sharp.

Grumbling escaped him as thought after thought drifted about. He just carried his boxes and did his best to be the stinkbug she tried to compliment him as being. The very thing she was remarkably closer to being and better at being than he was. A fact he envied every time someone tried to engage him just because he could be touched without the threat of instant death....

Where were they going for these supplies again? He had just followed Evie without asking or paying attention to where they were going until now.

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh was quite used to doing almost all the talking when it came to her conversations with Tinker. Sometimes he spoke in full sentences, sometimes he didn’t. And even if he did speak in full sentences, it’s not like one could really converse with him well because half the time he wouldn’t speak at all. Everleigh understood it was because his mind moved too fast, hers did it often as well. But she had put in a lot of time and effort into learning to express her ideas when it came to working with others.

Tinker would rather to be alone. Alone with his dolls. Boring.

Everleigh didn’t mind a quiet walk. She didn’t mind leading Tinker out of the academy and heading to the shore. It was a long walk, roughly an hour or so until they by the cliffs and the sand and the rocks. She set her box down.

Alright Tinker, tell me what you want me to grab.” The purple haired initiate told the doll maker. She was curious if he was going to complain and tell her this wasn’t where he could find that ore he really liked. Or if he would walk around and discover things that he did like and could use in his workshop.

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Want her to grab? Tinker blinked. Did she not know what they were after? She came and had lead them here. Why would she do this without even knowing what they needed?

Typical Evie. She never came planned or prepared. Just leave it all up to him to figure out while she sat back and annoyed him.

The anirian looked about them. Where even were they? The shore. Of course. She was here to play in the water, but he could take some of the things here back to his workshop. He wasn't going to tell her what was needed though. Let her figure it out on her own.

So Tinker set down one of the boxes and then went about gathering shells from the beach. No real care how they were shaped or looked so long as they were a shell. They could be ground down and boiled and turned into all kinds of things after all. He might even take back some of the sand to try and make glass. Not a craft he was very adept at yet, so more of a supply to learn would prove useful.

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Everleigh Ebersol

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The purple haired initiate did her best to not sigh exasperated. What was she expecting after all? This was Tinker Smithe, after all. He rarely spoke, and majority of time when he did speak, it wasn’t like was talking as some sort of savant. Her hands were on her hips, and for a moment she just stood there and watched him work. He was collecting shells of all sorts, having no care for their size or shape or color.

You just want shells?” She asked Tinker. Really, she was trying to get him to talk to her. It wasn’t healthy to just be by yourself, alone, only talking to dolls and acting like they could hear you. Dolls couldn’t do that. It was just Tinker talking to his own magic, magic to magic. She was surprised really that Tinker could communicate at all sometimes he was always just so wrapped up in his head.

Tinker?” She said, sitting down on her feet, wrapping her arms around her calves as her chin rested on her knees. “I’m not going to do anything until you tell me what you want.” Everleigh pouted at the other initiate. “You can at least talk to me. Can’t you?

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The scarred youth paused in his seashell picking for a moment. His gaze never turned towards his purple peer. All she got from him in response to both her questions was a simple, "Yes." And then he went right back to collecting every shell he could find to fill up his box.

Shells were not made of metal so they did not rust away. Same for clay. Why metal and water was a bad idea. No grand pier was made from metal. Barely any were made from wood. Stone. Stone was good for water. Why clay was also good.... But it tended to be too brittle if treated to avoid getting soggy and soft once more.

Why were seashells different? They were closer to stone, but not made of stone. No. They were made from something else. More like chalk. But chalk was soft. Shells were hard, usually. What was their secret and how could he create an aquatic golem using similar methods?

Tinker had stopped at one point deep in thought. His mind racing. Consumed by curiosity. His body was no longer of concern and so was left waiting for orders. Like one of his golems or dolls.

After a few moments he began moving again. As he did he finally spoke again. "Go play in the water or collect shells. Don't care which."

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Maybe I will just play in the water.” Everleigh said, leaning back so she was now sitting down on her butt, spreading out her legs in front of her. She looked at Tinker. He was still just picking shells. Shen then brought one knee up, untying a sturdy boot. She slipped it off. And looked at Tinker. Still picking up shells. She removed her sock and stuffed it into her boot.

Another knee was pulled towards her chest. She untied it much like the last one. She looked at Tinker, still picking up shells. She took this boot off and took of her sock, and looked once more at Tinker. Now his back was turned towards her. She got up, feeling the luke-warm sand underneath her bare feet. She rolled up her breeches to the bottom of her knee.

I’m gonna play in the water, Tinker!” She said, raising her voice. Everleigh stood there for a moment, waiting. For what she wasn’t quite sure. With an exasperated huff she then walked over to the foamy waves, waiting at the end as one wave spread out over the wet sand, washing briefly over her toes. She took another step forward and this time the next wave that crashed onto the beach went around her ankles.

The water was warmer than she had thought it was going to be. And then because Everleigh was quite the character, she looked over her shoulder, back at Tinker. “Maybe you should get your feet way too.

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Evie told him she would play in the water. Good. Keep her preoccupied while he completed the task at hand in peace. So he kept picking seashells. The beach was certainly full of them. The only bad part was when he ran into actual shellfish and not just their shells.

What was he to do with them? Leave them there? Take them with him as well?

He had paused the first few times. One he had left. One he had taken but put in his pocket. One he just stared at until he heard Evie tell him she was going to play in the water again.

Why hadn't she gotten to playing in the water already? He would be done before she ever did anything at this rate.

Tinker left the clam and went back to picking up shells. A new pattern was formed as he picked up the next shellfish he found and put into his pocket. Leave then take. Leave then take. It felt right. A proper, logical choice as he couldn't make up his mind before.

When Evie spoke to him for the third time and was just barely in the water, he made sure to give her a big frown. She was disturbing his work. Maybe she was out here to skip out on actual training and work but he was here to collect materials for his projects. Projects which would benefit all of Vel Anir and ultimately free the citizens from having to be fodder on the front lines!

"No."

There! Now she was properly told off. She would never dare talk back after that. He could get back to collecting his shells an-

Was the last clam he found picked up or left?

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh watched Tinker, waiting for his answer, pouting the entire time as he practically ignored her! Sheesh, why was she even his friend in the first place? All he ever did was insult her or tell her no or not speak in full sentences.

“Tinker!” She said, stomping right over to the little recluse. “Your getting your skinny white ass into that fucking water or else I’ll have all those easy girls in the academy sleep in your bed!” It was such an untrue threat, even Everleigh doubted she could corner anyone into agreeing into such a weird predicament. Yet, she still pulled at his heavy tunic, grabbing the fabric around his shoulders and steadily began dragging him towards the waves.

“Better start taking your shoes off Tinker before I do it for you!” She said sternly, using all the power in her legs try and drag him. Of course if he resisted Everleigh could nothing, he throroughly surpassed her when it came to arm strength or any sort of upper body strength in all honesty.

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Was it clam or no clam? Picked up or left behind? He had to know. It was important. Very important. The pattern needed to be continued. If he broke it then it would be pointless and he would have just been wasting his time. Something he couldn't do. He wasn't Evie. He didn't waste his time!

She was yelling at him. Why was she yelling at him? He turned to look at her. She was right there. Why was she right there? Then he was grabbed. She was touching him!

Tinker squirmed, but it wasn't with any real strength. He might as well have been a towel flopping around in the wind. Why was she dragging him to the water? What was her goal? Was this why she had brought him here?

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Everleigh Ebersol

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It was funny. Tinker hated being touched, and really, Everleigh knew this and so she made sure that if she did ever reach out towards him she never touched his skin. Or his face. She never, ever reached for his face or neck. Because despite all her teasing of him and the fact that sometimes she did find his anti-social ways to be annoying at times, she respected him. Because while he hated being touched, Everleigh was so touch-deprived that it was just nice knowing she could sit beside him and he wouldn’t scoot far away from her.

In all truth, when Everleigh was eight and the incident of her lack of control with her magic first happened, she had been ostracized. Not necessarily hated— really, many other initiates thought her to be clever— but out of self preservation, everyone stayed far away from her. And then when her hair turned purple nearly three years ago? Then people really gave her a wide berth.

But not Tinker. Her first, and perhaps only, “friend” a dreadlord initiate could have at the academy. But Everleigh hardly thought of him as just a friend, really, he was the brother she never had. And she’d protect him.

Even if it meant protecting him from his weird self!

Tinker take off your shoes or everything is gonna get wet.” Everleigh warned in a stern tone.

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Tinker was being kidnapped. Kidnapped and threatened to be drowned. What else could her words mean? Everything getting wet meant she was going to drown him! Evie was going to drown him! Why?! For what reason?!

So the dreadlord initiate kept on flailing, although not with enough force to actually break free.

Nothing Evie said seemed to be getting through to Tinker. He knew what was going on here and what she intended and nothing, nothing, would convince him otherwise. The truth couldn't be changed. Evie was full of lies after all! Lies! Lies and farts!

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Tinker that’s it.” Everleigh said and just at the edge of where the waves were washing up on the shore, she stopped pulling him towards the water. With an exasperated sigh she knelt down and paused, looking at Tinker. She was about to enter very, very dangerous territory right now, and Everleigh may have been quick and a excellent hand to hand combatant (especially in her current class), but it’s not like she wanted to risk herself purposely getting kicked in the face by a struggling Tinker.

If you kick me in the face.” She said slowly, peering at him with an eerie calm, her voice devoid of any sort of emotion. “Or try to kick me in the face. I. Will. Bash. Your. Big. Stupid. Head. In. With. One. Of. Your. Dolls. You hear what I’m saying?” She waited for a few moments.

She wasn’t sure if her words had gotten through to him but with a determined look, she positioned herself so she was perpendicular to where Tinker’s feet were at, hopefully this angle would be suitable in having to block or evade any sort of kicks from the young man. She then grabbed one boot and with all her might and as quickly as she could pull it off of his foot, sock and all.

Ew. The smell. He was due for another bath.

She repeated the action, seeing Tinker’s pasty white bare feet.

Now put your toes in the water.

Tinker Smithe
 
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Tinker didn't listen to Evie. No reason for him to. He knew what she was doing: trying to drown him. The yelling was just her having her fun before the killing. What had he done to justify this? Certainly he had shown her up on a daily basis in how much better and smarter he was than her, but that never bothered her before. No, it couldn't be that. So why?

The dreadlord initiate had frozen up in his thoughts while Evie had begun scolding him. So when she went for his boots it caused him to fall over onto the sand. Thankfully there was nothing but sand and shells beneath him so he landed safely.

Evie would find his boots came off easily. The smell was less due to a lack of bathing and more due to having been exposed to all kinds of materials in his works. But only he would truly recognize this fact given the oddity of the source.

Tinker was a bit stunned, but the new angle soon brought something into view. He rolled over onto his stomach and looked at the waves for a moment then he got to his feet as he crawled forward. He rushed into the water and bent over. His hands rummaging around in the sand. After a bit he came up with a tiny rock. It glistened golden in the light of day.

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Everleigh stood there for a moment, dumbfounded over Tinker and him actually listening to her for once. Well, look at that! She had somehow gotten through his thick skull and he was playing in the water. He was doing more than just dipping his toes in, he had actually went straight into the water. Everleigh grinned proudly, watching Tinker play around until he lifted a hand from the foamy sea, only to hold up what appeared to be gold.

Oh. Of course he would look for materials still. Well, at least he had hopefully cooled down a bit and could have found a little bit of a reprieve in the water. Everleigh tilted her head, stepping over to Tinker, shivering for a moment as the cool water washed over her bare feet and up to her ankles.

What’s that? Gold?” She asked the quiet initiate. She frowned, though, because really, finding gold here shouldn’t be possible. Unless something valuable had washed up and this was only a piece of something much larger. But then again, it could not be gold whatsoever. And if anyone knew what something was, especially a sort of metal, it would be Tinker.

Now to see if he would answer her or not.

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The dreadlord in training was focused on his find. So much so that he was ignoring his companion again. A word he likely would not have used given her desire to drown him and destroy his collar by dragging him around, but one that fit far too much for him to be able to deny on practical grounds. Simply on principle based ones.

He slipped it into his pocket and then went about searching for more. Like a mad clam digger he ran his hands through the sand in search of that particular feeling. One which he would know instinctively when he felt it.

Evie was of course correct in her assumption. What had been found was not gold but pyrite. A mineral fools often would mistake for gold. No doubt her time spent gambling had given her a better eye for spotting the precious metal and so she knew it when she saw it. And she had not seen it here.

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Of course, back to being quiet.” Everleigh sighed, and seeing Tinker scramble around meant that he wasn’t really having fun, he was back to searching for resources. She shrugged. Well, maybe that’s what was fun to him then. And wasn’t the purpose of this whole thing to have Tinker have a little bit of fun after everything that went down in Cerak At’thul? Thinking like that, Everleigh couldn’t help but smile slightly at Tinker’s antics.

Alright, alright, you collect whatever it is you’re collecting,” Everleigh still didn’t believe it to be gold but she hadn’t gotten the best look from it. Maybe a different rock or mineral, who knew, who cared. Well, Tinker cared. “Look, I’ll go and collect some shells over there,” she pointed but Tinker probably didn’t see. “I won’t be far. Shout if you need me.” She doubted he’d ever raise his voice, but it was just something one said.

She began walking to the left of Tinker, stepping in the waves and enjoying this free time that the initiates could never really get. Even with a free period at the academy, Everleigh felt strange just lounging around. She was someone who really couldn’t stay still for long, it was something she worked hard to gain as a skill.

An array of shells were before her, nestled in a small outcropping of rocks, creating separate little pools.

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Pyrite. Yes. Pyrite. Good. Yes. Good.

Tinker was hyper focused on collecting that fool's gold. He needed it for ink. It was his favorite kind of ink to use when doing his writings. Not his blueprints and schematics though. What he needed was a dark black ink so it was obvious what needed to be put where and how. But the pyrite ink was his favorite writing down his thoughts and writing essays.

He always needed more. An overstock was better than being out of it. Not that he ever let himself be overstocked. Too often he ran out. Have to use lesser inks. Terrible times. Almost as bad as when Evie came busting into his workshop mid delicate part of his project....

Where was Evie at?

Tinker finally stopped his searching and looked around. Finally he spotted her a ways off around some tide pools.

What was she doing over there? Had she found a larger deposit of pyrite?

The initiate began to wade his way over to her. Curiosity gotten his attention as for the first time that day she had stopped bothering him and trying to talk to him. Meant she was either in trouble or something very interesting was going on. In either case he wanted to be aware of it.

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The little series of pools were definitely their own sort of ecosystem, every pool slightly different and even holding different items whether it be sea-creatures or underwater floral. Shelled creatures were plentiful here in the tide pools but more impressive were probably all the different color starfishes and colorful sea anemone. Some pools had the colorful sea slugs and snails, others had tiny sheep that in large groups gleamed silver.

Everleigh looked behind her as Tinker came behind her and with a wide grin pointed down at the pools.

Look, Tinker,” she said, “tide pools!” Before gesturing towards the cluster of six pools. She then even picked up a blue-ring octopus, the small eight-legged creature fitting perfectly in the palm of her hand. “Just don’t touch these guys, you’ll be done for.” She warned before setting the octopus closer to a pool where the water reached over easier.

It was then that something more interesting caught her eye, if only for the way it moved. A crab? With a shell? She picked that up as well, inspecting it with her gimlet gaze. The shell was a conch and more definitely didn’t suit the creature, at least not in Everleigh’s opinion.

Hermit crab?” She asked Tinker for confirmation, glancing over at him and handing him the hermit crab.

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Living things. Living jelly things. Crawling stars porous as pumice. Wriggling limbed horrors. One of which Evie so thoughtlessly picked up. A warning of death. Colors meant dangers. He was aware of this. The brighter the more agonizing. Just like Evie and her colors....

Then she moved onto the next thing. His focus was on scanning for materials. Rarer shells potentially hiding malformed pearls. Worth money. Far more than what they had gathered so far. Sand. Shells. Pyrite. Valuable to him. Raw materials for him to mold into shape. What sort did these pools contain?

Then Evie said something else. Helmet carb? What was that? A type of musky bread eaten by the conscripted soldiers?

Tinker turned to her. His gaze going down to her hand. Then it was in his hand. A creature. One housing in a conch. A home not suited for its size. Too big. Poor thing had difficulty moving. A proper size. A proper shape. Protection with mobility. The same issue he ran into with his golems and puppets far too often.

The dreadlord immediately ignored his peer and went about searching for the perfect shell for his new friend. His newest best friend. Sparks liked to sleep during the day so could not spend time with him. Ignored his crafts. This new friend, Bubbles (because it was blowing bubbles), was. Understood the struggle of a proper defensive coat.

Yes. He needed to make sure Bubbles could move freely while protected instead of lugging around this too big of a shell around.

Everleigh Ebersol
 
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Everleigh Ebersol

TRUSTED ADVISOR
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Everleigh shrugged at the fact that Tinker still was not speaking much to her. By now, especially after their recent interactions, she understood that he was just not in a talking mood— but he wasn’t sulking. He was outside, he had technically played a little in the waves, and was now busy playing in the tide pools. Better yet, he was incredibly enraptured by the hermit crab that Everleigh had shown him.

Everleigh sat back on her heels, watching Tinker work. Or have fun. Maybe both?

She looked at the hermit crab in her hand, cupping both of her hands together, a makeshift bowl to hold the little crustacean in. Was it a crustacean? Everleigh shrugged. She really didn’t care much about whether or not it was crab or something else.

Tinker Smithe