A/N: Well, true to form, I have waited til the last minute one last time. I leave for college in one week. Hooooooooly crap. Anyway, this is my epilogue, but I think I will save goodbyes for after. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but this shiny new college laptop.
The tavern was small and cramped, but that didn't seem to bother anyone as a cheery atmosphere hung in the air and sailors and civilians alike sang and ate and talked the night away.
An unlikely group of friends gathered around a round, driftwood table, mugs of ale and bowls of stew scattered across it. A dark, massive man lacking an eye and leg argued jovially with a slight blond boy with startling green eyes as a pale girl looked on, hiding a smile behind her navy cloak. Beside her sat a dashing young lieutenant with tumbled black hair, his arm slung casually over the back of the chair next to him, said chair occ upying a skinny girl with red hair cropped to her chin. She smiled at her companions and fidgeted in her dress, unused to anything but lads' trousers.
The lieutenant smirked and cleared his throat to stop the argument. The smirk was quickly replaced with a frown, then a scowl as he continually went ignored.
"Oi!" Richard yelled, finally gaining the groups attention. "We have to talk some things over. Particularly, where do we go from here?" Everyone paused at this question, startled.
"Go? I don't have anywhere to go!" Gar panicked, pulling at his hair nervously. Vic patted him on the back in comfort but did not respond. He didn't have anywhere to go either. Raven's face remained blank, of course, revealing none of her anxiety.
Kori thought of her sister and her husband and shuddered. No way she was going back there. She thought for a few moments, tuning out the sounds of the tavern around her. What a band of misfits they were... she mused.
Slowly an idea came to Kori, and she smiled.
"I don't think I've had enough of the sea quite yet..." she said casually. Four sets of eyes glued to her. "And we do have some of that treasure from the pirates." (Everyone shifted guiltily at this. Nobody had left that ship with empty pockets. It was a pirate ship after all.)
"Spit it out, lass." Vic grinned, knowing she was purposely baiting them. Kori shrugged.
"I was thinking of buying myself a merchant ship. You know, see the world?" She inwardly smirked when she saw Richard's jaw drop out of the corner of her eye. "But I'll need someone with experience in the merchant area," she said, finally meeting Richard's stare full on. Seeing her pointed look, he grinned.
"I might have some experience to offer." Kori nodded shortly.
"Right, I have a first mate."
"Yer gonna need a cook," Vic suggested, catching on.
"You're hired." Kori shook his hand.
"And a ship's boy!" Gar called, not wanting to be left out.
"You should be more than sufficient."
Everyone paused looking at Raven, who had remained silent. The dark-haired girl thought for a moment then looked up, face haughty and eyes hooded.
"I have decided I have no wish to watch the brutality inflicted by my father's fleet. I will see the world. Surely a peaceful merchant vessel is more suitable for this endeavor than a one of war." Her voice was that of a prim lady but her eyes glinted in mischief.
Kori grinned, sweeping into a small bow from her seat.
"I would be honored to offer my services, milady." A cordial nod was her reply.
Gar whipped his head from one person to another, excitement taking root as he pieced together what was happening.
"This will be so sweet!" he exclaimed.
"Your ship will need a name, Captain," Richard pointed out. Kori paused, savoring the title. A captain. Her!
"We could name her 'Titannia' in honor of the forsaken ship that brought us together," she mused.
"I always thought 'Titannia' was a bit o' a mouth full," Vic said. "How 'bout cuttin' it short? The 'Titan'."
"The 'Titan'," Kori murmured, playing and rolling the name in her mind. She smiled. "I like it."
"It sounds strong. Dignified," Richard decided, pleased. Raven shrugged. She had no experience in naming ships, but it sounded fine to her.
"So, what, we're the 'Titans'?" Gar asked curiously. Vic, Kori, and Richard burst into laughter at this assessment, Raven chuckled almost soundlessly, until finally a hapless Gar joined in.
Kori, in a burst of hilarity and feeling, raised her mug, crying, "To the Titans!"
Everyone followed suit, mugs clinking, ale splashing.
"To the Titans!"
Kori stood at the helm of a handsome ship, standing tall and proud, hair streaming in the wild ocean breeze. The ship was small, downright tiny compared to the gunner she once sailed on, but it was hers.
She gazed down at the deck spread before her, noting Raven reading by the rail, Vic gutting fish downwind of her, and Gar leaping about in the rigging. Strong arms curved around her waist and a chaste kiss was dropped on the nape of her neck. Richard. She glanced back at him, happiness flooding her, then turned to the open sea before her.
This felt like freedom.
A/N: Anyone have a tissue? I feel like crying! From the start, I never thought this story would take off like it did. Thank you so much to everyone who stuck by me and this story! I hope you liked it, especially the ending, and if you didn't, I'm sorry. If you did, LET ME KNOW! In fact let me know if you didn't. Criticism is necessary for improvement and all that jazz. THANKS AGAIN and GOODBYE!