You had managed to slip away from the scene undetected, much to your relief. You hid behind buildings and crates whenever someone approached. It made you feel like a ninja. But you didn't have anytime to be distracted by images of you dressed in all black and throwing ninja stars with lethal aim. Right now you had to focus on getting to Arthur's ship undetected and commandeer his ship in order to help him out. You had a somewhat thought out plan… Really you were just going to wing it like you usually would. And you were sure that the crew would be more then happy to work with you. After all it wasn't like you were forming a mutiny and planning to take over Arthur's place. That would suck. You could only handle so much time around sweaty, dirty men. Ew.
You peeked out from behind a barrel as you watched someone pass by. You knew the general location of where Arthur's ship was parked. Providing he didn't move it in your absence. Because if he did that would suck. Can you say 'Screwed'?
When the coast was clear you quickly but quietly bolted from your spot and toward the building across from where you were. You stopped once you approached it and gave it a once over.
'Wait a minute….' you thought to yourself as you looked it up and down. 'This place looks familiar…'
Realization hit you in a flash. If you were a cartoon character you would have seen a light bulb appear above your head.
"This is that bar place that we were at the day before!" you said in recognition. But that only reminded you of when you got approached by that nasty guy who, ahem, 'solicited' you. You cringed and shuttered at the same time at the memory.
'Well at least I know where I Am.' you said as you made you way around the familiar part of the town.
"I'm booooooored~!" Peter whined as he sat cross legged on the floor, Mathieu sitting next to him with his arms wrapped around his knees. Mathieu shifted a bit in his spot.
"It's not that boring just sitting here." he said quietly, trying to make the atmosphere feel better.
"But there's nothing to do!" Peter whined again as he flopped backwards. Mathieu looked over at Peter before focusing on his knees again.
"I…I could tell you about how Mademoiselle (Name) and I escaped from Cruz's ship…" Mathieu suggested in a soft voice. Peter immediately sat up quickly, looking at Mathieu with excitement in his eyes.
"Would you?!" he asked expectantly. Mathieu nodded slowly as he lifted his head in thought.
"Well…" he began. "It all happened early this morning. I hadn't slept at all because of the anticipation. I knew Mademoiselle (Name) would be depending on me to make our plan work out. We had plotted just before she was taken down to the brig." Mathieu stopped and chuckled a bit. Peter furrowed his brows in confusion.
"What's so funny?" he asked. Mathieu shook his head a bit.
"You should have seen the way she scared Cruz. She acted like she was mad, asking him strange questions and giving him looks that made him very uncomfortable. You should have seen the look on his face." he said, laughing a bit. Peter giggled and covered his mouth.
"Truly?" he asked as he removed his hand from his mouth. Mathieu nodded.
"Oui. I swear on it." he said, looking off to the side. "It was nice to see him scared for once." he said, trailing off at the end. Peter poked his shoulder, jolting him out of his stupor.
"So what happened next?" Pater asked, urging Mathieu to continue.
"Well…it was just before dawn. I had waited till I knew Cruz would be asleep. I had used one of the forks left behind from dinner. No one had bothered to pick it up after a while so I stole one of the forks, hiding it out of sight so I could use it to pick the lock of the irons around my wrists. It took longer to do since I couldn't properly see very well. But after a few hours I had managed to loosen my bonds. I snuck out of Cruz's cabin quietly and carefully made my way down to where Mademoiselle (Name) was being held. I knew immediately where she was since I was thrown down there my first week aboard his ship. I shuddered to think of her being down there and all by herself. But first I had to get past the crew sleeping in the cargo haul."
"How did you manage that without getting caught?!" Peter asked, interrupting Mathieu for a moment. Mathieu chuckled softly and continued.
"Well it wasn't easy. To begin with the stairs creaked and groaned with every step I took so it took me quite a while to get down to the cargo haul. Then, once I got there I had to be even more careful not to make any noise or bump into anyone, otherwise we'd be sunk. I almost did run into one of them."
"What happened?!" Peter asked in excitement, once again interrupting Mathieu.
"Well, I had tripped on a bottle that was lying on the ground. I went flying forward, right toward one of the crew members. But luckily I grabbed onto a bundle of ropes hanging from a hook to my left, which was a good thing because it was in the opposite direction of the person."
"Wow…that must have been frightening." Peter remarked, amazed at Mathieu's story. Mathieu looked down shyly and nodded his head.
"I-It was…I thought I had ruined everything. Especially when the man started stirring in his sleep. But all he ended up doing was rolling over. Relieved that I had not woken anyone up I continued down the set of stairs leading to the brig. Though that too took a while. Seemed that Cruz didn't want anyone sneaking around with out someone noticing. But once I got to the bottom of the stairs I knew I had made it. So, I picking the lock of the door with more ease then I did picking the lock to the bonds on my wrists. When I opened the door I was relieved to see Mademoiselle (Name) intact and unharmed. Though she looked just as exhausted as I'm sure I did. I had to pick the lock to her cell as well but that was relatively easy. Once I woke her up we made out way out of there. Though she had less luck in the cargo haul then I did."
"What happened?!" Peter asked, grabbing onto Mathieu's arm in a tight grip."
"W-Well when we were close to the door it seemed that one of the pirates had grabbed her ankle in his sleep." He said. Peter's eyes were as big as saucers so Mathieu thought it best to finish the story to ease his nerves.
"B-but don't worry! She ingeniously escaped from that. But then she did something strange…." Mathieu said, trailing off at the end. Pater squeezed his arm a little more.
"What?" he asked, impatience obvious in his voice. Mathieu looked over to Peter.
"Instead she went back to Cruz's cabin." he said. Peter's eyes widened even more, if that were possible.
"Why would she do that?!" he asked in disbelief. Mathieu sighed.
"She went to get her bracelet back that Cruz had taken from her. After she got the bracelet back she punched Cruz in the face." Mathieu stopped and looked at Peter. Peter looked at Mathieu and they both burst into laughter at the thought of Cruz being punched in the face and by you of all people.
"A-Are you serious? She just decided to let him have it?" Peter asked in between giggles.
"W-Well no, actually. He woke up and she panicked…I suppose it's good to remember not to startle her in the future." Mathieu said, chuckling at the memory of Cruz rolling around in pain.
"So what happened after that?!" Peter asked. Mathieu looked ahead as he finished the story.
"We ran. Well, she ran and dragged me with her. We couldn't find any of the row boats so we did the only thing we could do." Mathieu said. Peter scooted closer in anticipation.
"What did you do?" he asked. Mathieu looked over at him.
"We jumped overboard and swam ashore. The water was freezing; I couldn't help but shiver uncontrollably. But Cruz and his men were following us in row boats so we had to be careful. Luckily it was foggy this morning or we would have been dead meat." Mathieu said, shuddering at the memory.
"Were you scared?" Peter asked, nervous from the story being told. Mathieu nodded without any shame in admitting that he was scared.
"Oui…I was terrified. But Mademoiselle (Name) seemed to know what to do. Once we got ashore we hid under one of the docks. Once we were there we both collapsed from exhaustion. But then…" Mathieu said, trailing off at the end and slyly looking over at Peter. Mathieu was having fun telling stories with Peter. It had been so long since he had spent time with someone close to his own age.
"W-What?!" Peter asked, unable to control his anticipation.
"We were woken up by a giant net covering us. We had been caught." he said. Peter gasped and covered his mouth.
"What did you do?!" he asked.
"Well…there was really nothing we could do. Though Mademoiselle (Name) was putting up quite a fight, it was all for nothing. They took us to a cave, tied up Mademoiselle (Name) and set her on a rock in the tide with full intention of drowning her."
"Those dirty wankers!" Peter hissed in anger. Mathieu nodded in agreement.
"Oui. They were. But Cruz let me go, saying that I had to get your brother to come to the spot that she was at or else she would die…I knew it wasn't a good idea to do so but I had no idea what else to do." Mathieu said, finishing his story. He and Peter sat there quietly for a moment before Peter stood up abruptly, fists clenched.
"We have to help them!" Peter said in a determined way. Mathieu looked up at him in shock.
"B-But our brothers said-"
"I don't care! We have to help them!" Peter said, interrupting Mathieu for the umpteenth time. Mathieu sighed and shook his head.
"What could we possibly do?" he asked in despair.
"Well you both could start by helping me steer this ship." you said as you leaned in the doorway, Arthur's hat atop your head. Mathieu and Peter looked over at you in disbelief.
"M-M-Mademoiselle?!?" Mathieu asked in shock.
"M-M-Miss (Name)?!?" Peter asked in the same tone as Mathieu. You giggled and nodded taking a step into the room.
"The one and only." you said right before you were mauled with hugs by both of them.
"Gah!" you said as you held onto the door frame to keep your balance.
"You escaped! I knew you would!" Mathieu said as tears of joy trickled down his face.
"I'm so glad your safe Miss!" Peter said, giving you a death grip hug. You hugged them both as best as you could.
"I take it you both missed me?" you asked, cracking a smile.
"Of course we did!" Peter said, pulling away from you and crossing his arms.
"We've been worried sick over you! Especially my brother! The whole crew has been depressed since you've been gone!" he said, almost in a scolding tone. You could tell that must have been a family trait since Arthur did the same thing. You placed a hand to your chest.
"R-Really?….I was missed that much?" you asked, extremely touched by every one's concern for you. It made you feel somewhat special. Peter gave a curt nod. You blinked a few times before you smiled at both of them.
"Well then. I guess we should help them all out then. What do you think?" you asked. They both nodded eagerly.
"But Mademoiselle…what can we do to help?" Mathieu asked in uncertainty. They both looked at each other questioningly as a sly grin crossed your lips.
"Why are you smiling like that?" Peter asked, just now noticing that you were wearing his brother's hat.
"And why are you wearing my brothers hat?" he asked, pointing to the hat atop your head.
"Boys.' you said, clapping your hands together and rubbing them. "I have a plan."
Arthur and Cruz were engaged in battle, swords clanging against each other, eyes glaring at one another and watching the other's move carefully. Arthur knew that this was it. No time for screw ups. He had to focus. He had to. He yelled when Cruz caught him by surprise and nicked him in the arm. Arthur jumped back a bit and grabbed his arm as Cruz grinned at him.
"Too slow runt." Cruz said, mocking Arthur. Arthur removed his hand, noticing that his black glove was wet with blood. Arthur grunted and swung at Cruz, continuing the fight through the pain. Cruz laughed as Arthur's moves slowed down slightly
"Chu know. This reminds me of hwhen I fought chour papa!" he said, doing his best to antagonize Arthur.
"Shut it!" Arthur growled, swinging at Cruz again. Cruz laughed and blocked Arthur's attack.
"He hwasn't much of a fighter either." he said, locking swords with Arthur as he stared at the Angry Brit, a grin gracing his face.
"Like father like son."
Arthur yelled and pushed Cruz back, swinging at his head and feeling the adrenaline coursing through his veins as he pressed on. Cruz fought back with just as much determination.
"And chour mother!" he said, obviously touching a nerve in Arthur's heart.
"Don't you dare speak about my mother!" he shouted, swinging at Cruz's head, only to be kicked in the stomach and sent stumbling back. Cruz laughed and swung his sword at Arthur's, locking swords with him once again as he pinned Arthur to a boulder.
"Oh chour mother." he purred "She was fun to kill." He could clearly see the hatred in Arthur's eyes for him. He loved it.
"It was fun to hwatch her pretty little face contort into pain as I cut her up. I'm sure it hwould have been just as sweet to watch me cut up chour little whore too" he said, chuckling at Arthur's expression. At mention of you Arthur shouted in fury. Cruz was stunned when he felt himself being pushed back by the Brit. Arthur felt an incredible strength inside of him, giving him the drive and strength to do what he was doing.
"Don't!" he shouted, nicking Cruz on the cheek.
"Ever!" he said, causing Cruz to stumble back.
"Speak!" Cruz was starting to fumble a bit.
"Way!" Arthur knocked Cruz to the ground, kicking his sword away from him. He had pinned Cruz to the ground, his sword pointed to his throat. Giving him the most intense glare Cruz had ever seen from any of his enemies. He eyed Arthur, waiting for his next move. It was the first time Arthur had ever seen Cruz with a look of fear on his face. He had been able to wipe that smug grin off his complexion for once. Arthur's breathing was heavy and ragged from their previous fight. His emerald eyes intense and focused on the man fallen at feet.
"Go ahead." Cruz said quietly "Chu know chu hwant to do it." His eyes boring into Arthur's with an equal stare. Cruz knew he had no right to beg, nor would he. After taking the life of so many people who had begged for their lives, and then denying them that plea, Cruz knew the honorable thing to do was to keep his mouth shut on that matter. It was the honor every pirate, no matter how evil they were, and accepted as a rule. Arthur narrowed his eyes, lowering his cutlass till it was pointed to Cruz's beating heart.
"I should." he said in a gruff voice "I should cut your heart out as you did to me so many years ago."
He placed the tip directly onto Cruz's chest, hand steady as he furrowed his brows in anger. Cruz laid there, knowing that he had run his course in life.
"And your right." Arthur whispered "I want to. I want to so badly and have for many years." Arthur applied pressure to his sword, causing Cruz to hiss in slight pain. But then suddenly Arthur retracted his sword, his hands by his sides, sword still in hand.
"But I wont." he said, causing Cruz to furrow his brows in confusion.
"Because I'm not going to lower myself to your standards. I'm not like you." he said narrowing his eyes once again.
"I'm not a murderer. And no matter how much I think you deserve death…it will not be I who takes your life." Arthur took a step back, turning on heal and replacing his cutlass to his hip, walking away from Cruz who was still on the ground, still shocked by Arthur's response.
Arthur continued to walk, not even looking back as he motioned for his crew to move out. They too had a shocked expression on their face, but they obeyed their Captain. Cruz got to his feet and stared at Arthur.
"That's it?!" he yelled "After years of chasing me that's all you've got!?" His voice boomed off the cave walls, but Arthur tried his best to ignore him. Cruz ground his teeth in frustration.
"Chu may not be able to take someone's life Arthur Kirkland." he said, picking his cutlass up off the ground as he grounded himself.
"But I am."
With that he charged at Arthur with incredible speed. Arthur turned around just in time to see Cruz charging at him. He gasped, knowing he would have no time to draw his cutlass to defend himself. When Arthur was ready to close his eyes and accept the outcome a loud boom was heard, also the sound of Cruz yelling. Arthur opened his eyes to see a heap of fishing net in front of him. And it was moving, with a slew of Spanish profanity coming from it. Arthur blinked a few times as he watched the fishing net flail around. It took him a moment to realize that Cruz was in said fishing net. He furrowed his brows and looked off to the side. What he saw brought a smile to his worn and tired face. Off in the distance, in the bay of course, was his ship. He drew his spyglass from his belt and looked through it to see Peter sitting on top of one of his cannons, straddling it like a horse with a big smile on his face as he clapped his hands and said something to Mathieu who was by his side, also with a smile on his timid face. Then he saw you, leaning against the cannon with a triumphant smirk on your face, wearing his Captains hat and waving in his direction. It was then that Arthur realized that he wasn't wearing it when he brought a hand to his head, only to feel the cloth of his bandana. He chuckled and closed his spyglass, placing it back on his belt. For once in in a very long time, Arthur felt a great weight lifted off of his shoulders and peace in his heart.
"We did it men!" he called out in triumph, gaining a loud cheer from his and Antonio's crew. Clapping and whistling filled the air as Cruz continued to struggle. Arthur looked down at Cruz and chuckled. The fool couldn't even cut his way out. In the shock of being caught in a net Cruz had dropped his sword. Arthur kneeled down in front of Cruz, with a smirk on his face.
"You lose Cruz." he said, earning more profanity from the tyrannical Cuban. Arthur stood up as Antonio, Gilbert and Francis approached him.
"So amigo. What shall we do with our catch?" he said, kicking Cruz in the side, earning a grunt of pain from the Cuban.
"Ya. Should ve dishpose of him now?" Gilbert asked, drawing his sword and pointing it at the heap in front of them. Arthur gently pushed Gilbert's sword away from Cruz.
"No. I believe there is a cell at the yard back home with his name all over it." he said, smirking at Cruz who had now stopped squirming.
"I believe ze magistrate will just love to finally meet ze famed Cuban captain who 'as committed more crimes zen anyone else on ze sea. Non?" Francis said, kneeling down to pat Cruz on the cheek, which of course he didn't like.
"He will stay in my brig in the mean time." he said, motioning with his hand for a few of his crewmates to come over. Antonio chuckled in amusement at Cruz's predicament.
"Aye Cap'n?" One asked as they approached.
"Take this tosser back to the ship. Clap him in irons and throw him in the brig. He's going on a little ride back to London." He said, flashing Cruz a cheeky smile. As Cruz's net was lifted he shouted in frustration.
"This isn't over yet Kirkland!" he shouted, only to be whacked in the stomach by Gilbert.
"Shut it Dummkopf." he growled as he was taken away. Antonio clamped a hand on Arthur's shoulder, causing him to look over.
"You did well amigo." he said, earning a smile from Arthur.
"But now were back to being enemies. He said, flashing Arthur a cheeky grin. Arthur chuckled and shook his head.
"Oh I think we can postpone that until after we raid Cruz's ship. What say you?" Arthur said, raising an eyebrow in suggestion to Antonio. Antonio chuckled.
"Deal." he said, turning around and leading his men out of the cave, Gilbert in tow.
"Shall we mon ami?" Francis said as he stood up, motioning with his arm to leave. Arthur chuckled and nodded, taking the lead.
"So Arthur…now zat Cruz is captured. What will we do now?" Francis asked, looking at the Brit in question. Arthur stopped walking and thought for a moment. His face fell when he had no response.
"I'm not sure Francis…I'm not sure."