Author: Nightfall Daybreak PM
Bertie found the ocean calming, washing over her in a fluid, peaceful beauty. All the fear she'd felt before had left her, to be replaced by a soothing calm. But how would she get back up? A story of how Bertie and Nate first met. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Humor - Bertie S. & Nate - Words: 5,198 - Reviews: 21 - Favs: 29 - Published: 02-14-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5745031
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
An Eyes Like Stars Fanfiction
Bertie glanced up as four little points of light came whizzing towards her and alighted on her shoulders and hair. Balancing precariously on a paint can labeled "Pandemonium Yellow", she lowered her brush and tried to focus the fairies in her line of sight from where they were hovering like hummingbirds all around her. "What is it?"
"The Stage Manager's called for a scene change!" explained Peaseblossom. "The Little Mermaid, Act One, Scene One."
"What?" Bertie dropped her brush, creating a neon-bright yellow splatter on the floor. "But I'm not done painting my room!"
"You'd better clean up," Peaseblossom advised. "Remember, you weren't supposed to lift paint cans from the Scenic Department."
Bertie crossed her arms and pouted. Her hands were painted completely yellow. "Oh, great."
"Ha-ha!" Mustardseed yelled, pointing at her bright yellow hands. "You look like you've got mustard all over your hands! No pun intended," he added.
"Just look at you," Peaseblossom scolded, snatching up a rag and attempting to clean off the viscous paint.
"Mrs. Edith is going to kill you when she sees you," Cobweb added, surveying the paint handprints on Bertie's worn jeans and the yellow mess over the walls.
"What? I like it!" Bertie said defiantly in defense of her artwork.
"At least the ocean waves will wash most of it off," Moth said.
"Come on, let's go," Peaseblossom urged, tugging insistently on a lock of Bertie's disheveled hair. "Before they find us!"
The four fairies, alternately pushing, shoving, and pulling, herded Bertie out of her bedroom just as the set began to move, the bed disappearing down a lift while the rest of the set slid into the wings. They reached stage left just as the first waves rolled onto the stage, and Bertie was hustled past the door backstage. The fairies yanked open the door while Peaseblossom pushed Bertie in.
"So what are we going to do?" Bertie asked as she walked down the corridor, the fairies hovering on either side of her.
"We'd better stay out of everyone's way until we get you cleaned up," Peaseblossom suggested, wrinkling her little nose at the yellow streaks on Bertie's face.
"I'll say," Mustardseed chortled, pointing at the approaching Mr. Tibbs.
"Oh no!" squeaked Peaseblossom, and the fairies whisked Bertie into the shadows against the wall.
Mr. Tibbs, marching heavily down the hall with his customary cigar clamped between his teeth, suddenly stopped, noting the yellow footprints on the floor where Bertie had stood. Growling rather like an animal, he scanned the hallway with his beady eyes, searching for the one person he knew would be responsible for such a mess. His gaze followed the trail of footprints until it reached the frightened-looking Bertie, huddled against the wall.
"You!" he barked.
Mr. Tibbs stomped over and wagged a beefy finger in her face. "I knew it was you, you little miscreant! You were not authorized to take paint from the Scenic Department! Everything that belongs in the Scenic Department stays there, unless said otherwise by ME!"
Moth stuck out his tongue. "Nya nya! Take that!"
"I wanted it for my bedroom!" Bertie said defiantly. "It needed some 'pandemonium' to it."
"Oh, you're causing pandemonium, all right," Mr. Tibbs growled, grinding his teeth viciously. "Wait till Management hears what you've been doing! Stealing paint from the Scenic Department!"
There was a lot more to what he said, but Bertie was no longer focusing on his broad, flattened face. There seemed to be a small tornado whirling down the hall, but Mr. Tibbs had his back to it and was completely unaware of it as he rambled on furiously.
"…and you haven't filed the proper papers to be able to take anything from me, missy, and not even Mr. Hastings is able to swindle anything out of the Scenic Department, though I know full well he wants to, and not even little (Peaseblossom covered Bertie's ears) like you can—"
At that moment, the approaching tornado bore down upon Mr. Tibbs, and the whirling winds spun him completely around several times on his own axis and proceeded to smash him against the wall.
Bertie let out an involuntary laugh, then clapped her yellow-painted hands against her mouth.
"What in the name of (Peaseblossom covered Bertie's ears again) was that?!" Mr. Tibbs sputtered, picking himself off the floor while a broken cigar dangled from his mouth.
A breeze ghosted down the corridor like a whisper, and when it passed, Ariel suddenly stood in their midst like an apparition. With a slightly mocking smile, he bowed to Mr. Tibbs.
"Ariel!" Mr. Tibbs spluttered, struggling to his feet in outrage. Because of his extensive body weight, he was unable to do so and instead slid slowly down to the floor again.
"Hi, Ariel!" Bertie greeted, waving to him.
"Hello, Beatrice," Ariel replied, favoring her with a more gentle smile.
Mr. Tibbs finally managed to climb to his feet, after much effort.
"I hold you responsible for that little whirlwind that almost squashed me flat, you little airy-headed nitwit!" Mr. Tibbs bellowed, sticking his finger in Ariel's face.
Ariel stared at the offending appendage, then carefully moved it away.
"Many apologies, Mr. Tibbs," he said in a voice that was almost sincere, save the sarcastic pucker in the corner of his mouth. "I didn't see you there. It was completely accidental."
"Accidental, my (Peaseblossom covered Bertie's ears a third time)!" yelled Mr. Tibbs so loudly that the fairies tumbled backwards from the gust. "You're almost as much of a nuisance as that little thief over there, pilfering paint from my department!"
Ariel looked over and took in Bertie's full appearance, noting the yellow paint stains on her clothes and skin.
"Ah. Well, my apologies, if there seems to be a misunderstanding, but I had no idea that you were there, Mr. Tibbs. Perhaps the safest thing for you to do is to stay in your own department, where none of my winds will be sure to knock you flat."
Mr. Tibbs glared at Ariel through narrowed eyes as he tried to work out the veiled insult.
"Don't you get insolent with me, young man!" he barked at last, and then turned to Bertie, puffing on his cigar. "And if you think you can get away with stealing things, without consequences—"
At that moment, Ariel suddenly dove forward and snatched Bertie up in one arm, the fairies hanging on to tendrils of her hair. The winds whipped around them in a protective wreath, and gusts and breezes whisked them down the hall in the blink of an eye. Bertie twisted around and glanced back in the briefest instant to see Ariel's red-gold butterflies attacking Mr. Tibbs at the end of the hall.
And before she knew it, Ariel was setting her down on her feet in the flies.
Bertie let go, laughing as she remembered the comical image of a furious Mr. Tibbs swatting wildly at the butterflies swooping around his head. She looked up at Ariel in admiration. "Thank you!"
Ariel's expression was wry. "I doubt Mr. Tibbs would say the same, but you are welcome."
"That was a close call, too," Cobweb said, crawling out of Bertie's hair. "Mr. Tibbs would fain have hurled us against the nearest wall, given the chance."
"He almost poked Ariel's eyes out!" Mustardseed added, surfacing by Bertie's shoulder.
"Did you see his face?" Moth chortled, emerging after Mustardseed. "Hilarious!"
"Yes, but the man curses far too much," Peaseblossom fretted, clambering out of the child's hair to perch near her ear.
"Why do you insist on irritating Management whenever possible, Bertie?" Ariel sighed, but his voice held a trace of amusement.
"You do too," Bertie countered. "You're the one who smashed Mr. Tibbs against the wall. Besides, I needed that can of paint for my room. Mr. Tibbs is so crabby, I knew he wouldn't let me have it if I asked, so I had to take it when he wasn't looking."
"Bertie, you should have known that Mr. Tibbs would notice such things," Peaseblossom scolded gently, in the process of cleaning yellow finger streaks from her cheek.
"Yeah, he hoards all the stuff in the Scenic Department like a dragon!" Mustardseed added.
"Although, you have to give the girl points for being able to pilfer something from the Scenic Department," Moth reasoned. "It's nearly impossible to do that, given how much he guards all the scenery."
"Look!" Peaseblossom pointed down at the stage with a tiny finger. "It's the Little Mermaid set!"
Laid out on the stage, in all its oceanic glory, was the set. Blue waves rolled and tossed, sending bubbles of frothy foam into the air, and the striplights tinted the sea-painted flats in hues of turquoise and pearly blue. A salt-laden breeze wafted up to Bertie from the ocean. Far above the stage, she could hear the hiss and slap of the waves and smell the salt of the water.
Bertie leaned over the railing, captivated by the beautiful scene.
"Don't fall." The voice beside her reminded her of Ariel's presence, and she twisted around to look up at her friend.
"I won't," Bertie said, and stepped back a few paces from the railing.
Suddenly Ariel stiffened, and he glanced upwards as if listening to a voice unheard by anyone else. A breeze stirred his silvery hair, the only movement as he stood there, absolutely still, as if his body had been arrested.
Bertie stared up at him, puzzled yet intrigued. "Ariel?"
Peaseblossom whispered in her ear, "He's answering a notice from the Call Board."
Gradually, Ariel's gaze focused. He shook his head with a quiet sigh, blinking, before looking down at Bertie with a solemn expression.
"Who was it?" Bertie asked, clenching her hands.
"The Theater Manager," Ariel answered grimly. "Apparently he needs to see me this instant to discuss an 'unsatisfactory matter.' No doubt Mr. Tibbs is involved. We shouldn't have let him see us together, Bertie."
"Who cares what stupid Mr. Tibbs says?" Bertie folded her arms rebelliously. "He's just a crabby little man who skulks around the Scenic Department all day like a fat mole. He's just mad because I got the paint and he couldn't stop me."
"No one is able to stop you, Bertie," Ariel replied, with a fleeting smile. "But now we've both upset Management."
"It's my fault, isn't it?" Bertie clenched her fists. "They're just being unfair! I should be able to choose my own friends!" She lowered her voice to a pleading whisper and caught hold of Ariel's sleeve. "Ariel, if they tell you that we can't be friends anymore, you won't abandon me, right? You won't abandon me!"
Ariel let out a long sigh and gazed down at her with eyes that were dark pools of regret.
"It's not for me to decide, Bertie," he said gently, holding her hand. "But if I can, I won't. And Bertie, it isn't your fault. It's mine; I shouldn't have been so stupid as to let the Scenic Manager see us."
His fingers slipped away from hers; the notice on the Call Board was clearly very insistent.
"I'll try to cover for us as best as I can," Ariel told her. "But I must now leave. Stay here in the flies, and don't leave till I'm back. We need to keep you hidden. All right?"
"Okay, Ariel," Bertie murmured, looking around the flies with apprehension.
"Don't worry, Bertie!" Peaseblossom leaped lightly down to her shoulder and touched her cheek. "We're here, and we're not going anywhere without you."
"Besides, the flies are fun!" Mustardseed called, from where he and Cobweb were swinging on the thick wires used to hold the flats suspended above the stage out of sight of the audience.
"Stay right here." Ariel stroked her hair gently, before straightening up and moving away. Bertie watched as he moved with fluid, catlike grace, leaping onto the loading bridge catwalk above the flyrail and vanishing into the shadows with not a sound. The darkness beyond the catwalk swallowed him up like a formless beast, and there was no indication that he'd even been there, save the spring-scented breeze drifting upon the air.
"How long do you think we have to stay here?" Bertie asked the fairies, as she leaned over the rail again.
"Probably an hour, or more," Peaseblossom guessed.
"It'll take him a while till Management's done lecturing him!" Moth sniggered. "I bet Mrs. Edith'll be there, and she'll be scolding him, sure enough--"
"Reprimanding!" joined in Mustardseed.
"Chastening, chiding, and castigating!" the boys chorused together.
Peaseblossom winced. "'Reprobating' was a bit much."
"But it's true!" Mustardseed yelled, swinging back and forth violently on the cable, causing the scenic flat to shudder dangerously.
"Don't do that!" scolded Peaseblossom, putting her hands on her hips. "Do you want the whole flat to come crashing down on the stage? There's still an ocean there!"
"Let's go watch, then!" Moth zipped forwards and landed on Bertie's head. "I wonder if the pirates are going to break out fighting again like last time?"
Bertie tipped her head over the rail to see the stage below them, and the fairies crawled forward till they had a good view of the proceedings as well.
A tremendous groaning and creaking was thundering over the stage at that moment, accompanied by the heavy flap of sailcloth, as the lights flashed, erratically and searingly bright, in resemblance of lighting. Bertie caught her breath as an enormous ship, gliding in vast, stately glory, emerged from between ragged tendrils of blue-tinted mist that snaked over the stage. Though the ship was battered, the wood splintered and the sailcloth stained, it didn't fail to amaze Bertie in all its storm-buffeted, proud grandeur.
"Look!" hissed Moth, pointing. "The pirates!"
Bertie looked, and there were indeed figures scrambling over the deck of the ship, dressed in ragged, weathered costumes, shouting at each other in harsh, guttural voices as they manned the ship or peered over the side, searching for land.
Moth whistled appreciatively. "These Players are good!"
"I just wish their authenticity didn't stretch to the point that they have to smell the same as real pirates," Peaseblossom muttered.
"It's part of the experience!" Moth assured her.
"Look over there!" Mustardseed pointed down at the deck. "That one hasn't got missing teeth!"
"You serious?" exclaimed Cobweb, shoving over. "No way! You're right! And he doesn't look like his face has been through the wash, either!"
"But he looks just as strong as any of them," Mustardseed marveled.
"A decent-looking, yet buff pirate?" Moth wondered, flying over. "I have got to see this! Look, Bertie!"
Bertie craned her neck over the goggling fairies, anxious to see this "decent-looking, yet buff" pirate they were all clamoring over, leaning as far over the rail as she could.
But suddenly, someone in the flies shook the thunder sheet for effect. The crashing sound reverberated around the stage like a roar. Shocked by the noise and caught unawares, Bertie lurched forward, her feet leaving the floor in the same moment that she felt the cold rail pressing into her stomach.
Her hands reached forward, groping desperately for a handhold.
She pitched forward, plummeting over the rail, flailing wildly.
The fairies grasped at her hair in a desperate effort to haul her back up, but in vain.
Their cries were left up in the flies behind her as Bertie plunged towards the stage. Her mind was a blank void of pure terror, and she felt a scream torn from her lips.
Bubbles spun away in a white frothy whirl as Bertie hit the water, and she sank slowly beneath the misty waves.
Nate shouted his only line, feeling the strength and urgency in those mere two words, hearing his sea-roughened voice raised over the stormy roar of the waves in a brief burst of energy.
Next, he knew, the pirates would shout and scramble about on the deck in fearful agitation as the ship reached stage left, and then the pirates would come ashore. He and the others knew this production well; the lines and the acting lay in their very bones.
What they didn't expect, however, was for a small figure to come plummeting from the flies into the ocean waves.
Nate snapped his head up, wondering if he was hallucinating. He ran to the prow and looked over the side, and saw a tangle-haired head bobbing up and down in the waves, barely visible beneath the churning foam.
Th' person's in danger!
"Man overboard! Man overboard!"
Nate's deep voice erupted from his lungs as he shouted at the other pirates, waving his arms in earnest now.
"What're ye doin', Natey?" one of the pirates shouted back. "That isn't yer line! Ye only say it once!"
"But someone's in th' water!" Nate yelled, pointing overboard. "Someone just fell from th' air into th' sea! We have t' get them aboard! C'mon!"
All was faint, waving blue. Currents washed over Bertie's skin, carrying away the last traces of yellow paint as water rippled over her body. She was surprised to find that she could breathe, as bubbles of air left her mouth and floated away into the dreamlike, rippling seawater. Grasses waved gently, and seaweed floated on the ocean floor.
She could hear the turbulence of the storm above her, lashing out at the surface of the storm-tossed waves, and she could feel the power of the downpour striking the sea, but near the ocean floor, it was softened to no more than a strong current through the water.
Bertie floated in the water that cradled her like the hands of a mother, watching the starfish skipping over the sand. She found the ocean calming, washing over her in a fluid, peaceful beauty. All the fear she'd felt before had left her, to be replaced by a soothing calm.
But how do I get back up?
"It's not in th' script, Nate!" protested one of the pirates. "We're not supposed t' jump off board an' rescue someone who's not even supposed t' be there!"
"Yer out of yer mind, lad!" added another one.
"I'm not going to let someone drown out there!" Nate shouted. "Someone's overboard, an' I mean t' save them!"
With that, Nate threw off his work-worn cotton shirt, and, despite the pirates' horrified shouts, ran to the side of the ship, and leaped overboard, diving towards the raging seawater.
Nate's outstretched hands cut through the water like a knife, scything the blue-green ocean waves as he crashed through, sending white froth swirling away from him in a furious tornado. His long brown hair waved in his eyes, caught up in the bubbles that wreathed the water, but once the foam dissipated with quiet hisses of salty gas, he swam down towards the ocean floor. He felt his feet hit the solid, firm floorboards of the flooded stage, and he took a few steps in the pulsing, rippling sea, casting about for the person he'd seen.
This, however, proved more difficult than he'd expected. The starfish quietly tap-dancing across the ocean floor swam upwards, and pirouetted in the water before his eyes, blocking his line of sight. Nate irritably waved the starfish away, feeling his hand dragging heavily through the seawater.
By all th' hells! Where can th' person be?
And then he caught sight of her, floating in the soft, clear blueness of the water as the currents of the sea cradled her gently.
A little girl. A child.
Nate felt himself gawp at this unexpected turn of events.
Not only was this person a female, she was a female child. And strangely enough, she didn't seem the least bit terrified.
Nonetheless, he forged his way through the sea, the water dragging heavily at his clothes, and shouted at her, "Hey!"
The words left his mouth as tiny bubbles. The little girl jumped, startled, as the ocean currents carried the sound of his voice to her ears, and turned. Her large gray-green eyes found Nate at once, and she stared at him, her lips forming the impulsive question: What--?
"Come on!" Nate shouted at her, his voice drilling through the water. "Yer not supposed t' be here!"
The little girl stared at him in alarm, then flapped her arms wildly and desperately, trailing froth, as if she was trying to swim up to the surface. Not once did her feet leave the ocean floor, however.
Good Lord... Nate thought in disbelief, before striding towards her. The tangle-haired child shrank back, a look of apprehensive wariness in her eyes, but before she could move away, Nate quickly locked an arm around her waist and swung her up against his hip.
The child instantly reacted, writhing in his grip, kicking and screaming, her outraged shouts of protest whirling away from her mouth as streams of frothing foam and bubbles. Ignoring her, Nate forged his way through the swirling water and kicked off from the floorboards. He began swimming for the surface, kicking his legs out and extending his arms in the oft-practiced strokes.
Unfortunately, the child was still lashing out, her wildly thrashing head blocking his view, though her screams had ceased.
Nate gritted his teeth and bellowed at her, "Cease yer whinin', lass! I'm not tryin' to hurt ye, so shut yer gob so I can swim right!"
It was a little harsh, but all the same, she shut up, probably more from indignation than anything else.
Nate pushed towards the surface, his hands spanning the gap between water and air and splashing free; he felt the cold air on his fingertips.
His head burst free of the waves, drenched in seawater, hair clinging to his forehead, and Nate felt drops rolling down into his eyes. Shaking his head in impatience, he swam through the turbulent ocean, keeping the child's head above the water lest she scream again.
As he gazed upwards, moving through the water, he saw the crewmen of the Persephone leaning over the railing on the starboard side of the ship high above him, worried expressions in the gruff lines of their faces. Once they saw his head clear of the water, they shouted and pointed at him, several of them running to fetch the rope.
"Get me up there!" Nate shouted at them. "I got th' child!"
Kicking his legs out again, Nate propelled himself closer to the Persephone. At the same time, the pirates threw a rope over the side of the railing, tying it to one of the supports and shouting at him to come aboard. Nate reached out a hand to grab hold of the rope, tossing in the stormy breeze and foam spray, and steadied his feet firmly against the wooden side of the ship. Then he began to haul himself up by the rope, feeling its tarred fibers coarse against his callused skin. The child was quiet now, clinging to him, her skinny arms around his neck like a monkey.
The pirates pulled Nate up the last couple of inches, and he clambered over the railing and half collapsed on the deck, spitting out seawater. The child slid off his back and lay curled up limply on the boards.
All of a sudden, four tiny lights swooped down from the darkness of the flies, hurling themselves down on the deck and alighting on the child's arms and in her soaked hair. They clambered over her in concern, lifting her hair off her face and patting her cheeks.
"Bertie! Are you all right?" Peaseblossom cried.
"Good job, Nate," grunted one of the pirates, crossing his muscled arms. "Took th' lad as dead fer sure."
"Is he alive?" piped up another, stretching his scrawny neck.
"'He'?" squawked Mustardseed, perching on Bertie's cheek.
"Bertie's not a boy!" Peaseblossom said indignantly, in defense of her gender.
"That's a lass?"
The pirates suddenly drew back in apprehension, leaving a clear circle all around Bertie, Nate, and the fairies. Whispered rumors ran through the crowd, as they all backed away to get as far as possible from them.
"What?" Moth was insulted. "I didn't think I smelled that bad."
"A lass is bad luck aboard a ship!" chorused the pirates in their gruff, harsh voices, raising their fists.
"She'll bring down th' wrath of Sedna upon us fer sure!" added one.
"Don't be fools, ye lot of scaredy-cats!" Nate yelled at them. "She's just a child; she can't bring down th' wrath of anything! And as for ye!"
He whipped around to glare at her through the drops of salt water that clung to his eyelashes. "What do ye think ye were doin', ye pea-brained ninny? Yer not even supposed t' be here! Leapin' into the water like ye've clear lost yer mind! Ye could have been lost out there! Even worse, some sea beast could have taken ye--or Sedna, at th' very worst!"
Bertie sat upright, her mouth already open to say something in defense, but she seemed to think better of it for a moment, and closed her mouth. She swiped hair out of her eyes and tried to glare back at Nate, but the pirate's stern glower was fiercer still. Unwillingly, she hung her head.
"Ye didn't think, did ye?" Nate went on. "Ye might've slammed into our ship an' knocked yerself out, until th' Stage Manager took th' set down! Ye might've been lost forever, an' no one in th' Théâtre would be able to find ye! Get back to wherever ye need t' be, an' don't do somethin' so stupid again!"
Nate crossed his arms, the picture of a furious buccaneer, and glared at her. Only then did he realize how much he sounded like a nagging nursemaid.
"It wasn't my fault," Bertie said stubbornly after a moment's silence. The fairies flocked to her head, bright luminescent lights against the hair. "I fell out of the flies on accident, and I didn't even mean to end up here on your stupid ship!"
The last few words were greeted by a shocked silence from the pirates.
"Are ye sure she's a lass?" inquired one.
"That's no lass," agreed the rest of the pirates, nodding amongst one another.
"Shut yer gob!" Nate bellowed at them. "And ye haven't a right to act so snippety. I didn't have t' come jumpin' into th' sea to save yer reckless arse, ye know."
Bertie straightened up at that, and seemed about to shoot back an insult, when Peaseblossom tugged urgently at the hairs near her ear. "You could say thank you, you know."
Bertie gave pause as this new thought occurred to her. Moth clambered over to sit on her shoulder. "After all, the dashing young pirate lad did come leaping off the ship to rescue you."
"Aww! How noble!" Mustardseed mocked in a high-pitched voice.
"How chivalrous!" Cobweb joined in. He and Mustardseed tackled each other, jeering and making catcalls.
Nate turned slightly red and spluttered for a moment. "Now, there's no call fer that--!"
Bertie looked long and hard at Nate for a moment, frowning. At last, prompted by Peaseblossom, she muttered, "Thank you."
Nate glanced down at the stubborn little figure of the child, and had to smile briefly. "Yer welcome, lass."
Suddenly, a loud, obnoxious voice blared out on the stage from the roiling mist and fog from the machines.
"Who authorized the halting of a scene?!"
The Stage Manager strode out onstage, scowling so fiercely that his eyebrows seemed to meet in the middle of his forehead. He was tapping a watch on his wrist so hard it was a wonder that the glass wasn't splintering. Through heavily narrowed eyes, he scanned the set until he caught sight of Bertie, sitting upright on the deck of the Prospero.
"You!" he spat, much like the way the Scenic Manager had said only an hour earlier.
Peaseblossom sighed. "Bertie, why do you have a penchant for getting into trouble?"
Waving aside the waves and the fog irritably, the Stage Manager marched heavily towards the ship and bellowed up at it, "You're the one behind all of this, I bet, young lady! Have you any idea how much this scene is ruined? We're twenty minutes behind schedule, the Players are in an uproar, and you've made a complete mess of the hallway, so Mr. Tibbs has told me. Get down from there right now! You'll have to answer to the Theater Manager for this shenanigan!"
Bertie glowered rebelliously and kicked at the boards of the deck, but all the same, she walked sullenly over to the side of the ship. The pirates unloaded the gangplank, and Nate helped Bertie disembark and land safely on the stage.
Bertie looked up at his work-worn pirate's face.
"Thank you," she said, and this time, there was actually a hint of sincerity.
Nate stroked her hair. "Take care o' yerself, lass," he said, and turned to walk back up the gangplank. "Don't make me have t' save ye again."
Any other time Bertie would have been stung with indignation. But his parting words, though slightly teasing, were friendly.
And as the Stage Manager dragged Bertie off backstage, she reflected on how, in the end, how lucky she had been to have that pirate boy around.
Perhaps, sometime, someday, they might even be friends.
A/N: Yay! It's done! Thank you for reading!
This was an attempt to write a Nate-centric fanfiction, although of course I couldn't resist placing Ariel in the beginning.
I actually wrote this based on an interview Lisa Mantchev gave. She revealed that Bertie met Nate when she was around eight or nine years old, and he pulled her out of the Little Mermaid set. I began wondering just how that happened and what their initial reaction to each other might have been, and this fanfiction was the result.
Now, make me happy and hit that review button, please. :D I love reviews. So please, take a few moments and tell me what you liked, what you didn't like, what I could improve on, and what was too clichéd for your liking. :)