All through dinner you kept glancing over at Arthur, wondering what his deal was. You went through all of the possibilities. Most of them didn't make any sense at all and the rest just didn't quite fit. This was stumping you.
'This guy has more mood swings then a woman does.' you thought. 'How can he go to being comforting and consoling one day and then be a complete loner the next???'
Oh how this was frustrating you. Now you knew how men felt. You eyed him enough to keep an eye on him but not enough to look suspicious to anyone at your table.
"I wonder what's wrong with the Cap'n today." Ian asked quietly to Hector. Hector nodded.
"Your right. 'e does seem a bit off today." Hector replied, quickly eyeing you. You were looking the other way and didn't notice. In fact you were completely ignoring what Ian and Hector were talking about. Peter just yammered on and on about stuff that you would occasionally nod to, just so you didn't seem rude. But then you thought of something.
'If I try to go up and talk to him he'll just avoid me again
I'll have to catch him off guard!' you thought. Concocting a plan. You would wait in his office until he came in and then you would confront him about it! You smiled at your plan.
"What are ye smiling' fer lass?" Ian asked, jolting you out of thought. You quickly looked at Ian.
"Huh?" you said quickly, feeling a little embarrassed at the moment. Ian just smiled at you.
"I said 'What are ye smiling' fer'". He repeated. You faltered a bit.
" you quickly looked for anything to use as a cover up, then you found your small piece of bread that was still on your plate. You picked it up and took a bite.
"Bread! Ain't it great?" you said with a mouthful of it. Ian just cocked an eyebrow but didn't push the subject. You swallowed your bread and stood up.
"Think I'll turn in early tonight. Goodnight gentlemen." you said, causing all three of them to chuckle at the formal name you gave them. And in all honesty it was really inappropriate. Ian was much too rough around the edges to be anything gentlemanly. But he was still a great person. Hector, well
.Hector was quiet but he was still a bit more rough like the others. And Peter was still pretty young and wouldn't stop talking about "The Birds and the Bees." So no. None of them fit that bill. You quickly and quietly made your way out of the galley without anyone else really noticing you too much. You quickly made your way into the Captains quarters and took a seat at his desk. And you waited. And waited. And waited.
"Man how long is he going to take!" you said aloud, sitting back in the chair. You weren't a very patient person and the waiting was killing you. You just wanted to figure out what his deal was and get it resolved soon. As if on queue the door opened and in stepped
not Arthur. You were expecting Arthur. You sat here for who knows how long to talk to him and what do you get instead? Francis of all people! And-hey
what is he even doing in here without Arthur?
"What are you doing here?" you asked skeptically. Francis just chuckled and slowly made his way toward you.
"I could ask you the same thing mon cher." he said, with that creepy smile on his face. Oh how you hated that smile.
"What does it look like I'm doing genius?" you retorted, already annoyed with him. He just laughed softly and continued to make his way toward you.
'Good lord even his footsteps sound creepy!' you thought, getting more and more uncomfortable with being in a room
ALONE mind you, with a man who doesn't know how to respect a persons personal boundaries.
"I can see why Arthur likes you." he said very quietly, perking your attention.
"What?" you asked, not hearing what he had said before. He just shook his head, causing his hair to move with his movements.
"Oh nozing, nozing at all." he said, grinning in a way that you didn't like. You sighed in annoyance.
"Look I'm waiting for Ar-the Captain to get back. I need to talk with him about something." you said. He chuckled again and leaned on the desk, pulling out a rose
where does he keep getting those things?!?
"Poor little Arthur 'as been down today." he said, twirling the rose between his fingers before looking over at you.
"You wouldn't 'appen to know why, would you mon cher?" he asked. You shook your head.
"No. That's why I need to talk to him. To figure out what his problem is." you said, crossing your arms. Francis, once again, chuckled. Creepily. As always.
"Is Arthur and 'is wench 'aving a little fight?" he asked, oh so smugly. You glared at him and stood up abruptly.
"Excuse but I'm no ones floozy! I actually work on this ship! And what do you do on this ship anyways!? I don't see you doing anything constructive! Why are you even helping the Captain out!" you said in a tone that said 'I mean business'. Then, suddenly, Francis' smile fell. As in 'fell'. He had a, what you would call, sad look on his face now. This took you completely by surprise.
"Lets just say
a treasure of mine 'as been stolen from that cursed pirate Captain as well (Name)." he said.
did he just use my name?' you thought. Now that you recalled. He never used your name. Ever. He would always refer to you with some sort of term of endearment. This made you curious.
"What kind of
treasure?" you asked, letting your arms drop. The usual creepy feeling you got from him was gone. Now you felt concern for him
Concern??? Why would you be concerned about a man who changes his women as often as he changes his underwear?! At least
you hopped he changed his underwear on a regular basis
on second thought, you didn't want to think about that. Immediate brain bleach! Stat!
no amount of money could replace." he said sadly. Okay seriously, why is he sounding so depressed now? He genuinely seemed to be saddened about something. You figured him to be the type of guy to only be sad and upset if his hair got ruined. And, because you couldn't stop wanting to help people out, because lets face it they dropped their problems on you like you were a psychiatrist. You decided to inquire further about it.
"What would that be?" you asked gingerly. Still keeping your guard up around this guy. Francis sighed and gave you a sad smile, making you even more confused!
"My little brother
Matthieu" he said, pain radiating from his voice. This cut you to the core, it tugged at your heart strings and made you feel like the jerk of the world at that moment. You gasped a little and covered your mouth.
.I'm so sorry
I had no idea." you said, looking at him with empathetic eyes. He chuckled sadly and shook his head.
"You are ze first person I 'ave told zhis to. Not even poor little Arthur knows
in fact, he still doesn't know why I really left 'is ship in ze first place." he said, walking over to the couch and sitting on it slowly. You walked from behind the desk and leaned on the side of it.
"It was to join those other two pirates
right?" you said, spilling what you already knew. However Francis shook his head and looked at the rose in his hand.
not ze whole truth." he said, sighing and closing his eyes.
"Ze truth is
I left to go find my Matthieu. Zis all started about two months ago
" And so Francis relayed the flashback to you as you stood there, hanging on his every word.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2 Months earlier
I was on zis ship tending to my duties, 'elping Arthur in his endless pursuit of ze Cuban captain.
"Blast! Where could he be!" I 'eard Arthur yell in frustration, seeing 'im like zis made me laugh.
'E really needs to learn 'ow to relax, 'e'll get 'imself sick with all zis stress.' Little did I know shortly after I myself would be encountering ze same stress.
"Aw, Arthur relax!" I said, trying to comfort 'im. But Arthur does not seem to enjoy relaxing. How odd.
"How can I relax when he's out there somewhere reaping joy in the death of my parents!" he shouted at me. I smiled at 'im but knew it would be best to leave 'im be in this condition. So I decided to see 'ow things where on the main deck and give 'im a chance to cool off. Zat is when I saw something. It was Gilbird. Gilberts pet bird. I'd recognize zat yellow bird anywhere. I smiled as I saw 'im approach.
"Bonjour Gilbird." I said, greeting ze tiny little bird. I 'eald my finger out so 'e could take a rest for I didn't know 'ow long 'e 'ad been flying for. Gilbird perched on my finger. Zat is when I notices ze note tied to 'is leg. Curious, I carefully untied it from 'im. 'E 'opped on my shoulder as I read ze unfortunate message. It was from Gilbert, informing me zat Cruz 'ad been in my 'ome town. Not only zat but 'zat 'e 'ad stolen my only brother from me as well. My 'eart dropped to ze bottom of ze sea when my eyes read zis. My brother. My only family. In ze clutches of a man like zat. I knew I 'ad to do something. I couldn't just sit there while Arthur made useless attempts to find zis man that I now despised more zen anything. I 'ad to leave and find Gilbert and Antonio. I knew zey could find 'is whereabouts. It would not only 'elp me but Arthur as well. So I sent a note back, explaining what I would do. The next time we made port I told Arthur I was leaving. And leave I did. I could not tell 'im what was 'appening, nor could I tell 'im the reasons of my leaving either.
Your eyes stayed glues to Francis the entire time, soaking in all he had said. Almost not believing what he had said. But at the same time, it made perfect sense. It explained why there was no first mate when you arrived and why no one knew why he had left. Francis sighed as he completed his story.
"I still feel bad about leaving Arthur in ze dark about all of zis. But you see mon cher" he said, standing up and looking at you right in the eyes.
"Zere are something's I cannot tell 'im. It would be too much for 'im to bear." he said, looking down sadly at the rose in his hands again.
"It is almost
too much for me to bear myself."
You noticed the pain in his voice. The genuine sorrow. The anguish. This whole time you had judged him completely wrong! You felt just terrible.
"Francis." you said after a long pause. "I'm so sorry
about all of this." He looked at you and gave you a sad smile.
"It is alright mon cher. It was not your fault." he said. You rubbed the back of your neck, deep in thought. But you knew what you would do.
"Look." you said. "I already promised to help Arthur with his problem
and I promise that I'll help you find your little brother too." You really had no idea what you were saying. You were going to be gone in three weeks! And your making promises that you aren't sure if you'll be able to keep??? But Francis looked genuinely happy at your promise to him.
"Oh! Merci mon cher!" he exclaimed, taking both of your hands in his and graciously kissing your knuckles. This surprised you and at the same time it didn't. You figured you'd have to get use to this gesture while you're here.
"Hey, don't mention it. Oh, and I promise not to tell Arthur anything you told me. It will be our little secret." you said, giving Francis a smile for the first time. He smiled back at you.
"Ohonhonhonhon. Keeping my secrets are we? 'Ow exciting" he said, giving you that same flirtatious wink he always did. Yup! Old, perverted Francis was back.
Total moment killer.
You ripped your hands out of his and quickly made your way to the door.
"Don't. Even. Think about it Francis." you said. You heard him laugh again before you left to go find the captain.
I guess Francis is okay. But he's still a perv.' you thought, making your way to the main deck. You were dealing with more problems then you wanted to right now.
I want a vacation' you thought. To your surprise the deck was filled with the crew, taking amongst themselves. You never saw this before because you were always in the kitchen helping Gibbons with the dishes
'Gibbons!' you thought, face palming.
'Crap! I'm suppose to help him!' You made a beeline for the galley. You hopped he wasn't mad at your lack in helping him. You made it downstairs when you heard voices. You quietly crept towards the entryway into the galley and listened. It was Gibbons and
"I just don't understand it." you heard Arthur say quietly, you had to strain your ears to hear him fully.
"Well Cap'n. Ye must understand. Ye did sort o' take her away from her home. However far away it is. The lass is homesick." This time you heard Gibbons voice.
'So Gibbons and Arthur are talking
and about me?' you thought. After all, who else would they be talking about? You heard Arthur sigh in frustration.
I know. But I've done everything in my power to make her feel welcome and she still wants to leave! I just don't understand it." he said. Wait.
'How does he know I want to leave??? Unless
.oh no.' you thought as you came to the true conclusion that he must have overheard your conversation with Alfred earlier
crap. Fantastic! Fan-flippin-tastic! Why does this kind of stuff always seem to happen to you? But wait, why was Arthur getting all butt hurt about it? Why did he care if you left or not?
"Cap'n ye can't force someone te feel welcome. That's something' they must feel on there own. Obviously the lass doesn't at the moment. After all, put yerself in her shoes. Would ye feel comfortable if ye were a vulnerable woman-"
'Vulnerable?' you thought, slightly insulted.
"-surrounded by a bunch o' ruthless pirates all the time?" Gibbons said. You could just imagine the fatherly look on his face, despite the fact that he had just slightly insulted you. You weren't that vulnerable! Right?
It was quiet for a moment but then you heard a sigh, you figured it was Arthur.
I suppose" He said. He sounded like a child. Psh.
"Well Cap'n just give her some time. But remember, she can't stay here forever. Sooner or later she'll leave." Gibbons said. You heard what sounded like a chair scrape across the floor.
"Believe me I know that already." Arthur said in a hushed mumble. You just barely made out what he said. This was all confusing you. A lot. You were starting to get a headache from all of it. Or maybe it was too much sea air. Either way.
"Well. I'd better get back to me duties. I might suggest ye doin' the same to get yer mind off o' things Cap'n." Gibbons said, moving around the room. You took this as an opportunity to act like you were just now coming into the room. You backed up and quietly took a few steps up the stairs before loudly stepping back down.
"Gibbons! You down here?" you said loudly, not wanting to make it look like you had been listening in the whole time. You heard what sounded like quickening foot steps. You held in a giggle.
"Aye lass! I be in the galley!" you heard Gibbons call back. You walked into the galley and found Gibbons leaning on the counter and Arthur standing at attention, looking a little nervous.
"Ah, figured you'd be down here. Captain." you said, acknowledging Arthur so he wouldn't feel left out. Arthur mealy looked at you. You looked back. The room got very quiet. The only sounds made where Arthur's leather boots thumping against the worn wood of the galley floor as he made his way past you, leaving you and Gibbons alone. Once he was gone you looked at Gibbons, cocking an eyebrow.
"What's his problem." you said, pretending to be clueless about the whole situation. It's a good thing you were good at acting. And if you aren't in real life
just pretend you are. Gibbons sighed and twisted the small towel in his hands.
"Lads got a lot on his mind right now lass. A Cap'n's work is never done." he said. You just smiled and nodded, walking past him to the pile of dirty dishes.
'Ugh. So many dishes everyday.' you thought. You were getting sick of it.
'Then again, it could be worse
a lot worse.' You shuddered at the thoughts roaming around in your mind. But you quickly shook them off and decided to get to the job at hand. Cleaning left over bits of food off of all these dishes. Fun, fun, fun.
"So, how about you wash and I rinse this time." you suggested to Gibbons. He chuckled and walked over to the sink, standing to your left.
"Aye, a little change is in order." he said, starting on the job. You two talked, as usual, while you worked. You really liked Gibbons. He was so easy to talk to. And he always made you laugh. Just like Ian. You smiled, glad that these two were talking once again. Talking with Gibbons made you forget all of your problems. That is, until he brought something up.
"So lass. What do ye plan on doin' when ye leave this ship?" he asked, dropping a bowl into your tub. You grabbed it and rinsed it off good.
"Going home." you said, drying the dish in your hand and setting it off to the side.
"I'll bet ye miss yer home, don't ye lass?" Gibbons asked, scrapping a really large dried up chunk of
whatever, off of the bowl in his hands.
You nodded. That was answer enough for him. Once he got the bowl clean of food, he once again handed you a bowl to rinse.
"I'll let ye in on a little secret." he said, leaning close to you. "Yer not the only one." he said. You looked over at him with a questioning look on your face, initiating for him to go on with what he was saying.
"I miss me home too lass. Been away fer a good few years now. Same with Ian. And the Cap'n too." He said, eyeing you from the corner of his eye, to see your reaction. It was just as he had expected. A little mix of shock and curiosity. You never really thought about it but now that you did
it made sense.
"I suppose the Captain has been away from home for a while now too?" you asked. Gibbons nodded.
"Aye lass. He has. So yer not the only one. I imagine he misses his home just as much as ye do. Perhaps even more?" he said, handing you another dish. You nodded but then stopped for a moment.
"Wait. How would you know that?" you asked. After all, its not like Gibbons and Arthur were bosom buddies. Gibbons chuckled and ruffled your hair with a dry hand.
"I use te run me own ship too lass. Remember? All Captains and traveling merchants spend quite a long time away from home." he said. You nodded, feeling a little stupid. And a little selfish too. You hadn't really thought about anyone's problems but your own very much. But everyone on this ship must have been away from home for a long time. Now you really felt selfish.
Gibbons?" you asked, looking down at the bowl in your tub.
"Aye lass?" you heard his gruff voice say. You took in a deep breath and exhaled.
"I'm sorry if I sounded selfish and complacent." you said. Feeling pretty bad. Gibbons looked at you with a smile on his face.
"I ne'er thought o' ye sounded like that lass." he said. A smile crept on your face as you looked up at him.
"Thanks" you said. The two of you continued your work like this.
After everything started quieting down you knew it was time to get to the bottom of this problem. You now knew why the Captain was avoiding you
not really. You knew he over heard you and Alfred talking and you knew he was upset that you wanted to leave.
You looked around on the deck and found no sight of the Captain. You furrowed your brows in confusion.
'He's usually up here
weird.' you thought as you looked around again. Any sign of a shadowy figure that could be him
nothing. Nothing but the ship and the wind.
'That sounds like a cool book title
'The Ship and the Wind'
ugh! Focus (name)!' you thought, mentally scolding yourself for getting off track.
'I need to find Arthur, now
where would he be.' The only other place he usually was is in his Cabin.
'Alright I'll just check there then.' you thought, making your way across the deck. It was quiet tonight. Your shoes making the only other sound, except for the waves always lapping by the side of the ship. You quietly opened the door leading inside and looked around.
"Captain?" you said. You heard nothing. Just as you were about to leave you spotted him on his bed, laying down and turned away from the door. You sighed and came inside, closing the door on your way in.
"Captain?" you said, quietly walking toward him. He still said nothing. Not even when you stood next to his bed and poked his shoulder. Still nothing.
'Oh come on! The silent treatment? Really? How old are you?' you thought. You stopped and almost slapped yourself, remembering how you gave him the silent treatment just a few days ago.
You knew for a fact that he wasn't asleep. He was faking it. Typical.
"Captain?" you asked again, hovering over him.
"Captain~!" you said in a sing-song voice. Still nothing. You smiled and leaned right next to his ear.
"You're a terrible faker, I know you're awake." you whispered into his ear. You finally got a response. He cracked an eye open and eye balled you. He didn't say anything. But at least you got some recognition. You smiled.
"Hello there~!" you said, trying to cheer him up, because quite frankly he looked depressed. Though you weren't sure why. He simply grunted in response and closed his eye again. That did it. You would not stand for this! No one gives you the silent treatment! No one.
You ripped the pillow out from under his head, causing a surprised gasp from him. You then proceeded to have a pillow fight with him. And by 'with him' I mean it was just you giving him a few good whacks in the head with the fluffy, red silk pillow. If you couldn't get him to talk by being nice, then you would force it out of him! He sat up and held his hand in front of his face, trying to deflect your pillow blows.
"Ah! Stop! Enough already!" he said, trying to get you to stop. You did. You paused, waiting for him to let his guard down. Which he did. He lowered his hands and look at you in confusion. You smiled deviously and gave him one last good whack in the face with the pillow. All you heard was a 'Mmph!" when it made contact. Once the pillow left his face he looked at you in frustration and confusion.
"What are you doing?!" he said in a raised voice, looking about ready to blow a gasket. You hugged the pillow close to your chest and looked at him, narrowing your eyes.
"Getting you to talk to me again. What's the matter?" you asked. Well, prodding more then asking. Arthur sighed and ruffled his already messy hair.
"Nothing." he mumbled, looking away from you. You wouldn't take that for a answer. You flopped down on his bed, sitting across from him, eyeing him.
"Liar." you said. He snapped his head in your direction.
"I beg your pardon!" he said, sounding insulted. You rolled your eyes.
"Come on. I know you overheard me talking with Alfred earlier." you said. Arthur averted his eyes from you, looking slightly ashamed that he got caught red handed eaves dropping. You leaned a little closer to him.
"Why does it bother you so much?" you asked. "I want to know why." Arthur sighed, looking down sadly.
..I don't know." he said quietly, glancing at you for a moment. You just looked at him, slight confusion written on your face. He chuckled a bit.
"he started to say. You nodded, encouraging him to go on.
"Yes? Go on. I already spilled my guts out to you last night. Feel free to do the same." you said, giving him a playful wink. He smiled and sighed.
its just that
.m-my mission hasn't been completed yet! And I was just worried that you would be gone before we caught up to him." he said. You looked at him, knowing that he wasn't telling the truth. But you knew that right now you couldn't pull the truth out of him. Not yet anyways. So you nodded.
that's what you were worried about?" you asked. He nodded, though you knew he didn't mean it. You weren't sure what his real problem was but you were sure he'd tell you in due time. You gave him a reassuring smile.
"Hey, don't worry. We'll find him before I'm gone" you said.
'At least I hope we do' you thought. He gave you a smile. It looked a little weak. But why? Again, you didn't know at this point.
"We should get some sleep. Tomorrow is another long day." he said, breaking the long silence that had ensued. You nodded and hopped off his bed, making your way to the couch.
"(Name)" he called to you. You stopped and turned to face him.
"Yes?" you asked.
"Why don't you take the bed tonight." he suggested. You sighed. He was sweet, but still, you weren't going to sleep in the same bed as him. You weren't that easily won over.
"No thank you I'm fine on the-" he cut you off abruptly "-I can take the couch and you can have bed all to yourself. Really I insist." he said. You smiled and shook your head.
"No, that's okay. Really, I'm fine, don't worry about it."
You had a hard time falling asleep that night. Probably from the awkwardness in the room. You hated it when it got awkward like this. It made doing anything hard, especially sleeping. Though your restless night would be avenged. Though you didn't know it at the time, soon you'd be getting a good rest
but from a unsettling event that was taking place overhead. Just before you fell asleep you noticed some clouds rolling in toward your direction. Little did you know the danger they held.