The tears rolled relentlessly down my cheeks and I wiped them away angrily, glaring at the remains of the black ship, the Black's Pride (such a creative name, I know) that still bobbed on the waters. How the hell did I get myself here? Why was I even on this damned ship? My sword clanked at my side as I turned to face the captain of the pirate ship, the Devil's Storm.
"…is it still there?"
A man with a red coat and a pure white jacket walked up to me. His messy blonde hair dangled over his shining green eyes. His figure was unusually short for his age; nineteen or so. Black pants adorned his legs, and with also black boots, it seemed that he wasn't wearing any shoes at all.
I nodded furiously, accepting the lace handkerchief he handed me and wiped my eyes madly, attempting to rid myself of the water that I hated so much. The liquid, that, to me, symbolized defeat and weakness. The captain watched me, his eyes sad.
"Why did you want to come here, love?"
"…I…just wanted…t-to see the r-reason w-why I-I'm still…s-still h-here…s-still f-fighting against evil…and t-that stuff..."
"Why didn't you kill us, then? You were amazingly skilled with the sword, even back then."
I shook my head. "…that was…A-a…" I faltered. "His fault. I…e-even i-if…I-I don't know if I want h-him to be d-d-dead, it w-was h-his fault…"
"Are you alright, <l/n>?"
"…I-I h-have a l-large agenda to complete, c-captain." I sniffled slightly. "I'll…t-talk to you later, sir."
He smiled, and stroked my <h/> silky <h/c> hair. "Alright, love. Take care of yourself. You know I'm your best friend."
I closed my eyes and nodded before retreating.
So many problems.
So little time.
I doubted that I had enough to finish everything that I had started.
The Queen's price for me; more than twenty-hundred million pounds. For the austere yet kind Arthur Kirkland, my beloved friend, fifty-hundred million. In her eyes, we were abysmal monsters. Though I slightly was uncertain if I could repay my so-called 'sins,' I had to try to at least lessen the lust for the two of our heads. Honestly. Though we were, in a sense, pirates, we didn't plunder. We were basically just another boat sailing the Seven Seas. Ever since my adoptive father, Asternum Asuye had died at the hands of Antonio, my would-be-cousin-in-law.
I still wasn't sure if I was glad or not that he died, as I had told Arthur. After all, I had sort of loved him. Even though he was thirty-five and I was—what, thirteen?—at the time. Then he offered to take me in as his daughter. I had to accept. What else could I do? My love was obviously unrequited and we both knew it. When Antonio had killed him, it was revenge for my dead father and fiancé (though I really had hated that Jesse).
I had let him live; how could I not? He was probably somewhere on the Devil somewhere, as the third mate…or just doing long, boring, arduous paperwork or whatnot.
And the fact that I actually love my captain, and I'm not sure if he put me in the friend-zone or whatever.
I let out a loud sob and crashed right into Antonio, who was walking past my room at the time. I took one glance at him and starting crying a waterfall again.
"Mi amor? Why are you crying?" he spluttered, quickly enveloping me in his warm arms, his concerned lime green eyes staring into my deep <h/c> ones.
"I…t-there's just t-t-too many pr-problems that I c-cannot solve, Antonio!" I wailed, squishing him in a tight hug, which earned me a surprised grunt in reply. "H-how? H-how do I get out of the bonds that b-belong to the Q-queen? A-and the fact that in F-f-father's w-will I-I should b-be married noooow?!"
He patted my back awkwardly. "…it's alright, mi hermosa prima…it's alright…" He rocked me back and forth, murmuring a Spanish lullaby, with words I no longer remember.
But I do remember they lulled me into the warmth of sleep.
I blinked slowly, my long eyelashes fluttering weakly as I felt something warm rub my forehead. I expected to hear the soft Spanish of Antonio any second.
"Zao an, <y/n>." There it was.
…wait, what? That…wasn't…
"Spanish? Huhhh?!" I shot up, the blankets falling off my loosely clothed body. The person who had been on my bed nearly tumbled off.
"Hey!" he protested, adjusting his cotton shirt as his head popped up next to mine. "<y/n>, that wasn't very nice aru!"
His smooth, glossy black hair, the texture not unlike mine, was tied up in a ponytail, and his brown eyes glittered with impatience. He had on a red vest, that suited him very well.
I stared at him, my face slightly red. "Why are you here, big brother?" I crossed my arms, turning my head so it faced the window.
Yao poked me on the shoulder. "My quartermaster <y/n>…we have arrived at England, aru. Where you-" he coughed at that point "-requested a meeting with the Queen to…I don't remember what exactly you said, aru." I slightly blanched at his words.
He noticed instantly and lightly kissed me on the forehead. "Don't worry, aru. I'll be there as well. I don't need my baby sister getting hurt, aru." Then he stood and walked out the door.
"Whatever, Asian idiot." I stuck my tongue out at his retreating back, but smiled lovingly all the same.
I forced a fake smile onto my face as the <f/c> gown floated around my legs. Arthur had made me wear the most ridiculous getup in the age of human history. A dress. A freaking dress. So much more different than my usual banal coat. But he insisted that it was proper attire to royalty. Whatever. Some parts of it was augmented, as it had belonged to someone older than me. As fancy as it was, probably someone totally aesthetic.
Who cared. I still felt aversion to it. Very strong aversion and animosity. Yes.
The royal guards bowed as I passed them and gave them a sort of curtsy. What fools. They were really way too easy to trick. All we had to do was dress 'properly.' I glanced at the palace in front of me and managed to keep my mouth shut.
The golden beauty was dazzling in broad daylight, the many windows glistening with water. It was almost impossible to describe, it was too amazing, too glorious to behold. I felt as if I was in a dream until someone grabbed my hand.
I turned around slightly, to see two unfamiliar men at my side. Yao and Arthur, dressed up as gentlemen. I tried to keep in a snort. After all, I was supposed to be a lady, who was going to try to convince the queen to take the price off Arthur and my head. For some reason we were the only two who had so much money as a reward for our capture (dead or alive, whoopee). No one else of our crew had anything on their heads.
I smoothed down my dress nervously as I stared boldly at the gates, not knowing what to do next.
After a few moments of awkward silence, I heard Arthur clear his throat.
"Mi'lady, I do believe Her Majesty is in the garden."
More 'properness.' Arthur had been a noble's son before he escaped and somehow became a notorious, evil pirate. Not. But he had learnt much stuff that was all for the higher-ups. Like speech. Sitting. Posture. Walking. Dress. Idiotic stuff that I had no interest in whatsoever.
"Yes, Sir Arthur? How do you know?"
"Mi'lady, I did, after all, see movement over there…and there really is no other explanation for a female to be walking around by herself in this place, love." He gestured slightly with his head and bowed. I had to roll my eyes. Why did he always see everything?
"How do you know that she is the Queen?" I sarcastically tossed my <h/l><h/c> hair at him as I 'gracefully' walked through the gates and into the grassy area, which I think was the garden. Well? It was full of blooming roses and pansies and many other flowers I knew not the name to. The fragrance filled the air and I couldn't resist but running my long fingers over the petals of a red rose. Arthur didn't protest, so I supposed I had actually been right. Yay me.
Under a large maple tree, I saw a pretty young woman sitting on a wooden bench that was engraved with all sorts of marks that were totally unfamiliar to me...very baroque. I laid my eyes upon the lady herself and gave a small little gasp.
Two soft pigtails rested upon her blue-fabric coated shoulder, tied up with two indigo ribbons. A dress even longer than mine hung off her body; again, it was blue (what was her name, Queen Blue of the Blue?). Her face was round and innocent…and looked very much like a certain man.
To be specific, Arthur.
The girl raised her head slightly from the (blue) book that was in her lap. Her eyes widened behind her wire-rimmed glasses as she opened her mouth slightly, gawking at us.
"W-why…?" (Well, at least they're not just saying each other's names anymore, I thought dryly.)
Alice smiled slightly and let the novel fall to the path made of smooth, polished stones as she stood. "Hey, big brother."
I sighed. "Arthur, did you ever bother mentioning to me that you had a…" I wanted to say strange, but I highly doubted that would gain me any points with anyone who was freely walking around like a royal. But she was strange. Alright, both of the siblings were strange. Sort of. "…sister?"
He grunted. "Younger sister. Didn't want to tell you because she's…" He hesitated, turning red.
"…where's Queen Elizaveta?" I said, keeping my tone free of any emotion, and ignoring the fact he was blushing.
The younger Kirkland stood and brushed the dirt off her fine clothes; an act that made me clench my teeth. Ugh, I hated royalty. "She abdicated. Isn't that great?! All the citizens advocated her stepping down. She was such a horrible queen…and I know you think that too. After all, you seem like a perfect lady to me."
I relaxed. Alice didn't seem very outgoing or anything. A lot like her brother. Both strict and benign. "…yes. Indeed." I laughed a little.
"Don't worry. I've taken the price off your heads. As long as Arthur trusts you, then I do too. I absolve you of all your so-called 'sins.'"
"…Your Majesty…I cannot be more grateful!"
"…it's nothing. I wouldn't want to kill my brother...and of course not his future wife. I give you my benedictions for your marriage!"
Instantly, I felt as if someone had dropped my face into a burning pile of coals. Red totally covered my head, burning it up so much that I thought it was on fire. "W-wh…what?"
Arthur sighed behind me. I heard a slight rustling noise and two strong and soft hands turned my face towards his. "Love…I should have told you this earlier…"
I was speechless with shock and surprise for a few minutes. "...t-told me w-what?" I stammered.
He didn't reply. Gently, he closed the distance between us. My <e/c> eyes flew wide open.
Fresh mint. Roses. A small hint of the flavor of alcohol.
All these I tasted in those few moments I still treasure so much.
In the moments of my first kiss.
I closed my eyes and leaned into him, as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer. Without my permission, my hands slipped behind his back and caressed his soft, messy blonde hair. He kissed me passionately, pressing his lips against mine fiercely. I melted into the kiss, not ever wanting him to stop.
I felt as if neither of us would back away from each other, but I was forced to break away for air, gasping weakly as I stared into those enchanting peridot-colored eyes that blazed with a fierce passion and desire. I felt the same flame of love rise up in my heart as I continued to gaze at him.
Alice nudged him, a sparkle in her blue eyes. He scowled sternly at her, and returned to smiling gently at me. I suppressed a giggle at my British lover.
"Well…I…I…I wanted to ask you s-something…since…er…" He dropped his gaze to his boots, glowering at them as if they had done him a great wrong. "Oh, bloody hell! You love me, don't you?!"
I snorted slightly. Then, without warning, I threw my arms around him, and nuzzled his cheek affectionately, which promptly caused him to turn bright red.
"Of course, Arthur! I love you more than anything!"
"…really? Y-you…mean it, love?"
"…don't make me say it more than once, idiot. Yes." At those words, his arms snaked their way around my waist.
I toyed with the new golden necklace hanging from his neck. "So. What was the question."
He blinked, then gave a small gasp. "…oh!" He pushed me away lightly. "I…um…"
"Go on," I encouraged, a little doubtful now that it was good, judging by how he had pushed me.
"…<y/n>, since you've come into my life…" A scarlet red started creeping up his cheeks and his head jerked to the side before he looked at me, green eyes meeting <e/c> eyes. "You've brought me nothing but happiness."
I stared at him blankly...
Before joy suddenly flared inside my heart as I realized where this was going.
"…so, <y/n>, won't you stay with me forever?" He knelt at my feet, holding out a small red velvet box, where a single ring with a single <f/s> embedded into the white gold surrounding it. White lace decorated the insides. All I did, though, was continue to gawk at the wedding ring, and make a sort of gulping noise, and let my stare drift towards Yao.
He nodded. Say yes, you idiot, he mouthed at me, though his expression was somewhat disgusted and annoyed. I smiled faintly, knowing he never had liked Arthur much.
I took a deep breath, determined not to botch this moment. I regarded Arthur once more, his face full of hope and a bit of nervousness.
"…of course, you idiot," I whispered as my blithe heart filled with delight as he slipped the ring on my finger and kissed me again, holding me as if he would never let me go.
Because he never, ever would let me go.