A/N: A big thank you as always to everyone who has been following this story. This chapter focuses more on their current time and less on their past, hope you like it!
"Get him another!" Jack roared over the crowd as Edward and Mary sat across from one another, both grinning as another shot of rum was placed in front of them, tossing their heads back as they downed it. Edward wasn't sure when this had happened, but somehow throughout the night at the pub in Kingston he had found himself in a drinking contest with none other than James Kidd. Anne sat between them, grinning as her two friends tried to drink the other out of consciousness. Jack was there of course, his hands hadn't left Anne's breasts aside from shouting for more drinks.
"What's the matter Kenway? Feeling dizzy?"
"Hardly mate," Edward was though, and his head was starting to feel heaving. As fate would have it, three more shots later his world snapped and his body fell forward onto the table as the crowd cheered for Mary's victory.
Edward woke though, on the beach overlooking his Jackdaw with his head in Mary's lap, and she was Mary not Kidd now.
"You didn't did you?"
"Wasn't going to do it, just a threat," She told Anne, her fingers running through his hair as he laid there, wincing at the sunlight.
"Unman him, that's a bit extreme. I for one wouldn't mind riding him, he's a fine man and you'd just cut off his manhood."
"Just to scare him, don't talk of fucking Kenway, Annie. He might take ya up on it. I did wink though, at the end to show him it was a joke."
"That isn't even funny! I'll unman you.."
"Unman ya, say it right Annie," Edward sat up, rubbing his head and groaning as Mary pushed a beer in his chest.
"I can't believe a woman beat me."
"I beat you in many things, drinking can be added to the 'why Mary Read is better than Edward Kenway' list."
"And who is keeping up with that?"
"Oh I am," Anne smiled, and turned to laugh with Mary. "Are you mocking Mary's accent?"
"A bit, she talks funny."
"Ya Welsh! Ya lot fuck sheep!" Mary laughed, punching him in his arm as he shot her another glare, drinking half his ale and moving to sit beside her.
"I've never, and I had a sheep farm. Nasty rumor."
"I think it's hilarious," Anne added in, reaching over and giving him some bread. "Jack is passed out in the tavern, you did well Edward but Mary drank ya under the table. She even carried you up to bed."
"Someone has to watch over ya. Mine as well be me eh? I'm always looking out over ya while you're drunk, gotta learn to keep it together Kenway."
It was the slamming of a door that woke Edward, sitting up and holding out a knife to see who the intruder was. As fate would have it, Mary was stumbling into his room, holding onto the wall as she slid down it with a bottle grasped in her hand.
"Been lookin for ya Kenway."
"You sent me to bed hours ago, nearly dawn now. Are you drunk?"
"Bit pissed eh, needed to forget."
"Forget what?" He moved now, reaching over to shove the blanket off and sat up to watch her. She slid down the wall and fell over to sit on her ass, tipping back the bottle and wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
"Prison. Haunts me. Had to tell ya all about it didn't I? So everything is all fresh in my mind."
"So you got pissed."
"Logical thing to do ain't it? Been thinking of us as well. What we gona do now? Get our daughters, settle down and have more babies. Ain't me Kenway, I'm not fit to be a mother."
"Mary we'll talk of this when you're sober."
"Then Annie, my pretty little song bird, goes on 'bout you wanting to go to England. You go to England alone mate, ya won't have me by your side."
"That was before I knew you were dead."
"Why were you goin there?" Mary looked over to him, her eyes were bloodshot as she played with the neck of the bottle. "Ya had to watch Annie."
"Anne is capable of watching her back, she's grown a lot in the past two years. Mary drop this talk, let's go to sleep."
"Just amuse me for a moment alright? What would ya have done, in England," Mary leaned against the wall, tilting her head back as he watched her gulp the rum like a babe to it's mother's teat.
"Buy a home, try to raise Jenny the best I could have by myself, and work with the Assassin's over there."
"Would ya have? Truly?"
"Ya would surely forget 'bout me sooner than ya like to think. Love is a funny thing Kenway. One moment we swear that we will never love again and yet here we sit."
"What are you getting at? Mary your drunk."
"I mean look at me," She laughed, going for another drink and pouted when the bottle ran dry. She simply tossed it over to him and he set it on the nightstand. She was pissed, he hadn't seen her this drunk before. Perhaps pushing her to talk had been his mistake, and now he'd have to deal with it for the remainder of the night. "I promised Haytham I would never, ever love again. When I found out he died I…I lost it. I've pushed everyone back for so long and then I met ya, twat of a pirate ya were sitting in the Old Avery glaring at me. Who was this fuckin' blond mate starin' for? But ya were…ya took me breath away. My best friend, I had found someone to trust again. But by the time I knew it, we had parted ways and ended up in a prison too far away to talk to."
"You should allow yourself to love again."
"I have, and ya would have to is what I'm getting' at Kenway."
"I've spent two years trying to get over you, think we both know I wouldn't have gotten over it. I may have married to give Jenny a mother, but I don't think I could love. I loved Caroline, I did. But the love I have for you is more powerful than I ever thought I would experience."
"Tosh, m'nothing special Edward. M'a lass who couldn't accept a life of fucking for money so I put on some trousers and threw me hair up."
Edward stood up from the bed and walked over to where she sat against the far wall. Her cheeks were rosy red, and her eyes were glued to him like a hawk stalking its prey. He fell to his knees before her, taking her hands in his own and kissed them both. "You're incredibly brave for what you did, not most woman could have done half the things you've accomplished."
"Annie can, taught her myself. Stupid girl she is though Kenway, always runnin' after men that aren't good for her. I told her Jack was good for nothin' yet there we were on his ship."
"You have to move on from the prison Mary, Anne and I both have. It's tim-"
"Ya well easy for ya lot to say. I was caged, put on display like some rag doll. Everything I had fought against my whole life caught up to me in my cell. Having to be in the woman's block, having to strip and be watched as I changed, having to spread my legs for any man that so much as pleased to have a nice fuck, or perhaps it was having to give birth to a child I should never have had," Mary pulled her hands away from his as she shot him another glare. "I want to forget, but every time I sleep I dream of good ol' Port Royal. I just…if I would have died I wanted to thank ya for letting me see the stars before I did. Quite fond of them."
"Lass, I'll help you get through this. Come on Mary, let's get some rest."
"No, I want more drink. All the times I've had to watch of ya while you were pissed, time to cash in a few favors."
"I think if you drink more you'll pass out. How much have ya had?"
"Hm…bottle and a half suppose. All Rhona has," Mary chuckled to herself as Edward sighed, reaching out and gently cupping her cheek with his hand to grasp her attention.
"Come to bed with me."
"Ya have no idea how much I want to. I just want to throw ya down and ride ya till I can't move again. But every time I think about having a cock back in me I feel the cold from my cell come back," Mary whispered as her arms found their way around his neck and Edward gulped, unsure what to do with her.
"I meant sleep, let's sleep. I'll hold ya an-"
"What's wrong Kenway? Isn't this what ya like the most about your lasses?" She whispered to him as her legs wrapped around his hips and soon he found himself falling to his ass with Mary straddling him, pressing kisses along his jawline. "I want to try it, see how far I can get."
"Not while you're drunk, you'll never forgive me. Mary please."
"I will, not much ya could do for me to hate ya," She pressed a kiss to his ear as he felt his left hand be grabbed as she placed it inside her jacket and on his palm he could feel the hard flash of her nipple poking him. His mind was trying to maintain focus on getting her off but every other part of him was screaming to take her, to have his Mary finally in his arms.
"Mary," Edward said her name as she moved her hips over his own, a sweet friction from the movement caused his toes to curl. "M-Mary get off of me."
"I think ya want this, just have a try. Might not even make it that far," As she moved to kiss him he finally cursed himself and grabbed her arms, shoving her away from him so he could grab her face but get her damn hips off of his own.
"You will regret this in the morning, I know you. You're drunk, not in the right state of mind to be working on what happened in the prison. I want to make love to you Mary, but I want you to remember it. Maybe if you hadn't been raped I could do this, but not now. Not when you barley can walk."
Those eyes were back on him but instead of the fight he thought would come she just deflated, falling against his chest and nuzzling her nose into his neck. "M'sleepy Kenway, if we ain't gona fuck then let's sleep." Edward wrapped his arms around her waist and stood up, pulling her up with him and ignoring the throb of his left arm where his wound was healing over. He helped her walk over to the cot Rhona had lent him and laid her down, lying next to her and pulling Mary to his chest.
He was so sure she was sleeping when he felt her wrap her own arms around his chest and felt the faintest kiss on his chin, "G'night Edward."
She had been so sweet and kind as she slept, but Edward knew Mary's morning would be no treat for either of them. She woke him, shoving his arms off of her as she groaned and held on to her stomach. He groaned, glaring over to her but as her one hand slid over her mouth he sat up and rushed across the room to grab a water bucket propped in the corner. Coming to sit beside her he set it in her lap, running his hands to pull her black, beaded locks back as she held on to the bucked and threw up her nightly adventure.
"Shh, just get it out Mary," Edward whispered to her, leaning in to kiss her shoulder as she gasped for air, setting the bucket down on the floor and fell back onto her back, glaring over to him.
"I…I don't get sick when I drink."
"You drank too much."
"I can drink more than I did last night."
"You haven't drank like that in ages though I'm assuming. Did you drink in Aruba?" She glared over to him, which let him know he was right. He couldn't help but chuckle which earned him a firm punch on his shoulder. He laid back down beside her and laid his hand on her stomach, gently rubbing it above the shirt she wore. "Remember last night?"
"Bits. Where is my coat?"
"You came in here wearing what you have own, no idea."
"…and my vest. What did I do last night? I drank with Rhona, she went to bed, then I came in here and I-"Suddenly her brown eyes were wide and she shoved him nearly off the bed as she scrambled to stand on the other side. "That didn't happen. Kenway forget it."
"Forget what?" Edward wasn't going to pick on her, not about something so intimate that seemed to terrify her. He got up and walked over to her, pulling her to his chest and rubbed her back. "It was nothing, we did nothing. We simply slept."
"I didn't wake to a nightmare, must have been the drink," Mary shoved him away yet again as she ran her hands through her hair, grabbing the bucket and walked over to the window and yanked it open, tossing its contents out into the air as their door was opened by none other than Anne who stared at them both before grinning.
"Have a nice time last night Mary? Edward?"
"Anne she's hungover don-"
"And you! Stop ya teasing me constantly about him! He's just Kenway!"
"Just Kenway? I'm an honorable man now! I could have slept with you last night but I didn't."
"Not fucking me don't make ya a knight Kenway, just makes ya a decent human being," Mary grumbled, walking over to Anne and shot her a glare before storming from the room. Anne was still giggling to herself as she shut his door and leaned against it.
"Our new ship is here. The captain wants to meet with you to go over come things."
Edward cursed under his breath, walking over to where he had his coat and guns pile din the corner and began to dress. "He's not staying on board is he?"
"No, seems he's staying here till we give him his ship back. He's a pretty thing, Rhona seems fond of him."
"I need male friends. I'm tired of this talk of handsome men."
"Unless it's about you," Anne smiled, she grabbed his boots by the door and handed them to him. "Is Mary okay?"
"She just drank too much, and tried to sleep with me is all. I wouldn't allow it."
"You're a good man Edward, now hurry up! We have a little girl to find."
"Are you so sure about this?" Edward perched himself on the top a mast, looking underneath as Mary was climbing up to join him. She was laughing, her hair blowing in the wind.
"Aye, wouldn't send ya up here for a laugh. Least wouldn't join ya for a laugh. Move ya fat arse over," She sat up with him, feet dangling over the thick wood as the sail blew out in front of them. "You made a grave mistake, telling me ya fear heights."
"I don't mind them, I climb ships constantly but just sitting up here like you do is insane. Can we go back down?"
"What am I getting out of this?"
"A sense of accomplishment. Now get up, we're walking over to the edge now, over the sea," Mary smiled back to him, standing up and spreading her arms out as the wind blew over them. Edward slowly stood, catching his balance as he walked behind her until they were at the edge. He placed his hands on her hips as she leaned back against him, her eyes were close enjoying the chilly wind that blew over them. "Isn't this nice?"
"You do realize, when you told me you wanted to show me something I didn't think I'd find myself a moments away from death."
"I want ya to look at the bigger picture here, what do you see?"
Edward looked around him, the sea was all he could see besides the setting sun. But his eyes fell back to Mary who was smiling as he held on to her, and he couldn't help but smile as well, even if the idea of looking down was giving him a sick stomach.
"Is this a riddle again? You know I don't like them."
"You're always so busy, rushing about to find ya next treasure. Don't ya ever take time to enjoy the beauty in our lives? Our home is a beauty that some people on dream of. The blue waters, the sunsets, the stars, the palm trees. Ya have to stop once in a while Kenway."
"Is this another lesson?"
Mary turned around slowly and he held his arms around her lower waist as she looked up to him, reaching up to poke his cheeks. "I want you to realize there is more to this world then just ya and ya money."
"You tell me that all the time, why did we have to have this talk up here?"
"Because you're focused on me. Your eyes haven't left me since we got halfway up your ship. Will ya try to change? Ya need to stop chasing gold and be happy."
"I need gold to be happy, you don't get it."
"No what I get is your content living a life without anyone you love left in it. Ya will lose all ya friends if you keep being so greedy."
"Nonsense, you won't leave me. Think of all the adventures we've been on."
"Who is to say I'll always be here? Every day is a blessing Kenway, tomorrow isn't promised especially to those in my work."
"Aye, my family. Now I want ya to trust me."
"I do, god I do can we go down now? Doesn't take that long to cut a flag down when I take ships."
Mary couldn't help but smile as she took his hands and took a step back, slowly pulling him to her as they stood on the edge. "Close your eyes."
"Why?" He asked her as she held on to him and fell backwards. Edward stared at her as she laughed, lifting her arms out as they fell off the boat and towards the water. It seemed to take so long, his arms tightly holding onto her waist as she smiled to him. The water rushed to meet them and he let her go, swimming up to find her still chuckling at him.
"That wasn't funny Read."
"It was, calm down Kenway. Look ya men have come to find out why ya were holding James Kidd as we fell off ya boat."
"Why did you do this? Fuck Mary this wasn't even a joke."
"M'nervous is all. Following Annie on Jack's ship has me worried. I just wanted one last laugh with ya is all before ya go off chasing ya gold."
"I'll see you again, stop talking like your about to die."
"Just got a bad feeling is all, just promise me one thing Kenway."
"And what's the lass?"
"Find a family, be happy. Find what truly makes you feel at home and I assure ya it won't be gold."
"When's the last time you wore a dress?" Edward called out to Mary as she leaned against the railing, gazing up into the stars with her pipe in her hand. She didn't look towards him, merely shook her head.
"Why's that matter?"
"Just curious is all, you seem so comfortable in trousers. Wouldn't a skirt feel better?"
"Same could be said for ya Kenway. You wear trousers constantly, wouldn't a skirt give a nice breeze?"
He laughed, walking to lean beside her and stared up to the colourful sky above them. The stars twinkled in the black sky, purples and pink lit the way as they swirled over the black canvas. "Do you believe in God? Looking up at this sky makes me question him."
"I don't, but I am fond of this sky. Finally come to talk to me?"
"Been figuring out this here ship, working with Annie while you sat up on the crow's nest and smoked."
"Ate up there too now. Hungover today mate, wanted to be left alone till I felt better. You know been thinking, there was a ship in Havana. It looked close to the one I over took to get to Kingston, and that my friend took to get to you. I went on board while you talked to the crew and spoke to a few men but I didn't recognize any of them and they didn't know who Victoria was. I could of sworn that was the ship though, perhaps my head's a bit more fuzzy then I thought."
"Why would it matter?"
"Be nice to talk to her, she did help me get to ya," Mary muttered as she leaned against his arm and played with his wrist, her fingers tracing over the red fabric he kept tied around it.
"Are you growing nervous?"
"I am. Not only my mentor I have to talk to, but Amara is there. She don't even know I'm her mother, not fit to be one either."
"Perhaps you're more fit than I am to be a father."
"You'll be a fine father Kenway, you're naturally good at it. Annie told me you gave her flowers when ya first met Jenny."
"I did, her mother was fond of them…I assumed she would be as well."
"It probably made her day, her dashing father handing her flowers."
"And now she's missing from me," Edward turned, his hand reaching out to cup Mary's cheek although the other simply shoved him off, making her way to the wheel.
"Get some sleep, I'll watch tonight."
Edward watched over Mary during the next week as she grew more and more nervous as the Great Inagua began to loom in the distance. She wasn't avoiding him, yet she wasn't coming to him either. She would sit up in her nest watching over the ocean and wouldn't come down until Annie would scream at her to come eat.
As the island was spotted she came down her ladder, and walked up to where he and Anne stood. She looked much the same as she had when she entered the prison, though she had a black bandanna tied around her neck. Edward let go of the wheel, letting Anne take it as the came into the front port. There would be no sense in hiding, and if his Jackdaw was going to be here it would be in the front bay.
Edward stood next to her as they came into port, she was leaning against the rail biting her lip as they watched the assassin's point at the ship, trying to figure out who was leading her into their base. Some pirates stopped their drinking and joined in, but Edward noted the only thing that mattered to him: his Jackdaw was not here, his little girl was still missing. Mary grabbed his arm, forcing him to look at her.
"Jenny ain't here, told ya that. But I want ya to come with me on the island."
"I wouldn't let you do it alone even if you asked me to stay. I don't like your mentor anymore."
"Ah Tabai is my problem, keep ya self behind me alright?"
"Oh I'll make sure Edward stays with me," Anne smiled as the men docked up, grabbing his hand and pulling him along off the ship. "We'll stay by your side, and only interfere if you're in danger. Isn't that right Edward?"
"Why are you always on her side?" He sighed, watching Mary walk ahead of them but stay close. She didn't look to anyone, not to the pirates who knew her face as the dead Mary Read, not to the assassins who stared and gaped as an old friend walked through them, and she didn't stop when he asked her to slow down.
She was walking to his house, which he noticed had smoke billowing from the chimney. Someone had made themselves a home there, and he was sure it was their friend. He and Anne kindly asked people to give Mary space, and he regretted bringing her through the front where everyone could see her. He could feel some of their pain, young people around his own age were watching their old friend walk by and even a young lad reached out to her but stopped, turning away to walk back into his group of friends.
The assassins had mourned her death like he had, and if Ah Tabai had known all along she was alive then he hadn't told a single one of them. Mary kept on walking until she was at his front door where she grabbed the door handle, gripping it with such force he was sure she was about to rip it off his hinges, though she finally sighed, turning it and opening it.
Ah Tabai leaned against the table in the center of his great room, holding an apple as he stared face to face with Mary. Edward felt Anne grab his arm, looking down to see her shake her head slightly.
"Where is my daughter?" Was the first thing Mary asked him as she stood in front of her mentor, who sat his apple beside him and stared Mary up and down, shaking his head.
"In due time Mary, we have to talk."
"You've no right to talk to me. You took her after ya left her on a plantation for two years."
"She was safe there."
"Safe to be a slave, safe to rot away in some shack. Ya have a new thing for letting people rot in shacks don't ya mentor?"
Ah Tabai shook his head, pulling back his hood and gave Mary a look of sadness as his eyes yearned for her to look at him. But Mary was gripping her hands into fists as she stood before him, staring at the ground. "Mary-"
"I'm not ya toy Ah Tabai. You had no right. Telling them I was dead when ya sent me to Aruba and then informing me I had lost them both! I knew ya hated my pirate life but this was a bit too far don't ya think?"
"I AIN'T FUCKING DONE YET!" Mary screamed at him as she turned, grabbing a flower vase and threw it at Ah Tabai's feet, leaning against the wall and running her hands through her hair. "You took two years of my life away. All that shit 'bout me working my way up to become a master was just shit. Ya could never accept I wanted to be on a ship as well, even if I did all my fair share."
"Your pirate life nearly got you killed."
"But it was my life! Ya don't get to rule it! Why did you do it?"
"Mary calm dow-"
"I trusted you," Mary whispered her words as her arms fell, looking over to him and Edward's heart snapped. She was crying, a sight he rarely saw but every time he did he could feel his chest tighten. Anne was still beside him, looking over to her friend with a yearning to reach out to her that Edward truly understood at this moment. "Ya were like the father I never had. I fought for you, I trained with you, I ate with you, and I loved ya like my own family. You tell these two I'm dead and ship me off to rot on some island like I don't matter!"
"I didn't know you were alive Mary!" Ah Tabai finally lost his patience and stared at her, and Edward couldn't help but snort at that. "It's true. I took you to the shaman since you didn't feel the cold of death, I sent you with him and the assassin Victoria to look over you but I received word shortly after you had slipped past us for good and had joined your brothers and sisters in the sky."
Edward couldn't help but roll his eyes, what true nonsense was he spitting now? But he watched Mary lean off the wall and walk over to her old mentor, standing in front of him.
"Victoria told me everything, she brought me back up here to Kingston before coming to find Kenway and Anne. She told me ya didn't want me around till she got word to bring me back."
"Mary, I have her letter in my home. It explains that one year and nine months ago I lost you for good. I've been mourning you just like your friends have, I've treated them like my own family, and all to be accused of betraying you."
"But it don't make sense. Someone is lying here and it ain't me. I know where I've been for two years, in Aruba."
"You said Victoria took you here? She delivered the message to Edward Kenway?"
"Mary, Victoria couldn't have done this. She was sick, going with the shaman to Aruba to heal just like you. She had lost a leg in a fight with a Templar and was going there to heal. She couldn't have been the woman to give Edward his letter."
"Victoria isn't missing a leg mentor."
"Yes she is, Mary Aruba was a great healing place for our people. I knew the women there could wake you from your rest, so I sent you there. I did it in secret as to not get their hopes up, and when I received news you had passed I was glad I didn't give anyone but myself false hope. Edward hid you from me in fear I did this to you, but I assure you I only wanted to see you for myself."
Mary stared down at her feet, only raising her gaze after a moment and to Edward's shock she threw her arms around his neck and held on to him tightly, and he held on to her back. "Well…this Victoria person has been mistaken for another then?" He asked, watching them part as Mary turned around and looked at him.
"I suppose so."
"You can't seriously be thinking of forgiving him Mary."
"He's done nothing wrong, he wouldn't lie to me. Trust me Kenway."
Edward sighed, looking down to Anne who glared at him until he nodded. As they stood a door opened and Edward turned, watching in shock as a little girl peeked her head out. She had long flowing black hair just past her shoulders, and bright blue eyes that could have been his own. Her skin was an olive colour, much like Mary's as she came out, and holding onto a doll one of the assassin's must have made her. She was the spitting image of the little girl in his dream, who would come running to him as Mary leaned against their home with a smile on her face.
He stared at the little girl as she came over to Ah Tabai and looked at the three of them standing before her, and Mary seemed to have frozen in her place.
"Amara, this is the woman I've been telling you about."
Mary stared down at the beautiful little girl who was looking up at her in such curiosity Edward couldn't help but want to shove Mary down to touch her daughter. "Why did you take her?"
"It was the only way to talk, to bring you three here."
Edward shot him a glare but stopped when Mary fell to her knees and reached out, cupping the child's cheek gently.
"Hi," Amara whispered, holding out her doll to Mary.
Mary smiled to her, placing her other hand on the doll, "Your friend?"
"Mhm! Ah Tibi gave me."
"She's beautiful, just like you," Mary whispered, handing Amara back her doll and Edward watched the little girl tilt her head.
"Why sad?" She whispered, reaching out after setting her doll down and touched Mary's cheeks, trying to wipe the wetness from them.
"I'm not." Mary laughed, reaching up and held the little girls hands in her own. "I've been waiting to meet ya for a long time. I'm sorry it's taken so long."
"Why sorry? For sad?"
Mary picked her up and held on to her tightly, and Edward finally made his move to be near her. He watched Ah Tabai walk off to talk to Anne as he placed his hand on Mary's lower back, smiling at the little girl who he'd seen a thousand times in his day dreams.
"I'm your mother."
"Mummy died, Ms. Cilly watch me." Amara whispered, staring at Mary in confusion.
"Ms. Cilly sent me, I came looking for you."
"Who you?" Amara had turned to look at Edward and he laughed, leaning in and kissed Mary's temple as she rubbed her daughter's back.
"He's your father. We've come home, we found you."