For five months, Ragetti did everything he could to avoid Pintel. He slept high up in the crow's nest at night and often stayed up there during the day. He flinched away from him when he tried to approach him and he was prone to suddenly bursting into tears while working; making some of the others question his sanity whenever he had a breakdown.
The ship made port three times and each time Ragetti tried to runaway from the Navy and Pintel. He was always eventually caught and brought back in chains and was often beaten for trying to desert the Navy.
The last time he tried to runaway; he was given the maximum amount of lashes with the cat and warned that if he tried to leave again, he would be hanged and denied a proper Christian burial.
After the beating, he was then thrown overboard to let the salt water get deep into his wounds and for the rest of the day he was rendered useless. He could not even lift his arms up to climb back into the crow's nest and so he merely found himself a dark corner of the deck and stayed there.
Pintel had suffered for those five months as well, but it was because of guilt for what he had done to Ragetti. He had sworn to protect the lad from the predators of the ship and instead he had raped him himself.
He could not stand to watch when Ragetti was beaten for trying to run for the third time; knowing that it was because of him that the boy had risked it in the first place.
Pintel knew that the pain was going to be worse after he was thrown over the side and so after the rest of the crew went to sleep, he snuck into the doctor's bunk and took some bandages and salve before going to see Ragetti and try to make it up to him.
Ragetti was having a nightmare, his body jerking randomly as he yelped and wept in his sleep, his movements making his back hurt.
When Pintel found him, he paused for a moment and could only watch him.
This was all his fault…
Kneeling down, Pintel rested a hand on Ragetti's cheek.
"Rags? Rags, wake up."
His eyes fluttered open, but did not focus for a few moments as Pintel smiled at him slightly.
Recognition soon dawned on Ragetti however, and he promptly flinched away and yelped as his back protested loudly.
"Git away from me!" he sobbed, covering his head with his hands as he trembled.
"Don' call me tha'! Ye aint allowed ta call me tha' no mores! Ye raped me an' I bloody 'ate yer, Pinters!" he whimpered, still using the nickname he had given Pintel. "I 'ate yer an' I wan' ta go 'ome ta me mum!" he sobbed, bowing his head miserably.
Pintel let the lad cry it out, sighing as he quietly put some salve onto a strip of bandage.
"Lad, I'm sorry fer wot I done ta yer." He offered softly. "I can' take et back an' I wish I could. I don' know wot came o'er me an'…"
"I was goin' ta le' yer do et ta me if'n ye asked me ta…"
Blinking, Pintel frowned at the sudden revelation.
"I…I loved yer…" he whispered softly, bowing his head. "Bu' then ye 'urt me real bad…"
"Do ye…do ye fink we could try agin maybe?"
Ragetti was silent, hugging himself tightly.
"I…I don' know…" he admitted weakly. "Bu' I don' loik tryin' ta run no more. I don' wan' ta go ta 'ell fer no' gittin' buried righ'."
"Will ye le' me clean those wounds fer yer a' leas'?"
Ragetti nodded and Pintel smiled as he soon went to work cleaning and bandaging his back.
"Ye…ye kin call me Rags if'n ye wan' ta."
Smiling, Pintel nodded as he gave him a light kiss on his cheek and he was glad when Ragetti did not flinch away.
"All righ', Rags." He agreed. "An' this toime I aint neva goin' ta 'urt yer agin. I swears et ta yer!"
Ragetti shyly looked over his shoulder at him; his blue eyes shining with trust in the light of the stars.
"I believe yer, Pinters."