Chapter Eleven

The evening was cold and rain fell in a sheet, soaking those on the deck of the Pearl. But Katherine was glad. She liked the fresh, cool air, and the lovely cold rain on her face. She was sitting cross-legged against a mast; Sebastian was sitting on a barrel beside her and Victor was sprawled on the deck beside him.

"Where did you get those clothes?" Sebastian asked suddenly.

Katherine looked down at the soaking shirt and breeches. "They're Jack's," she shrugged, "they don't fit too well-"

"I wish you wouldn't, Katherine," Sebastian snapped.

Katherine blinked at him, genuinely confused. "Wouldn't what, Sebastian?" When he ignored her, she looked at Victor. "Do you know what he's talking about, Vic?" she asked, tugging on her long braid of hair.

Victor sighed, throwing Sebastian a dark look. "Ignore him," he said quietly.

Katherine looked up at Sebastian, feeling sad. Sebastian had turned away from her, staring out across the sea, his dark eyes serious, as they nearly always were. She wondered what was going through his head. He had always been tough with Mouse and Victor. He had no choice, he often said, because their parents had left the day after Victor had been born. He had to look after them.

"Seb?" she prompted gently.

He glared at her then. "Just you and that bloody Jack Sparrow!"

Katherine stared at him, and was certain that she heard someone familiar shout, "It's Captain Jack Sparrow, mate!" Katherine smiled but Sebastian looked even more angry, so she quickly looked away, and her eyes fell on the Captain himself, stood at the helm.

"I don't want you to fall for a pirate," Sebastian said.

"Fall for a pirate," Katherine repeated, staring at Jack Sparrow. She liked the way his hair swayed in the wind, how dark and lovely his eyes looked. Victor nudged her discreetly in the leg and she snapped her head around to look at her older brother. "Fall for a pirate?" She forced a smile. "Please, Sebastian, I've only been conscious for a day!"

He made a disbelieving noise in his throat. "Please, Katherine, don't think I don't know what happened between you and Dalton. Just use your head."

Katherine felt tears prickling her eyes; she felt as though her stomach had dropped. She longed to say something crushing back to him, but no words came to her mouth, only a tiny squeak which preceded the tears falling down her cheeks. Victor pulled her in close for a hug and she sobbed into his soggy chest.

"You're a bloody idiot!" Victor said to Sebastian.

"Doyou want to see her hurt, then?" Sebastian demanded.

"Of course I bloody don't! But she's twenty three years old!" Then Victor stroked Katherine's hair. "Come on, Mouse, just ignore him."

"Don't ignore me!" Sebastian snapped. "And I don't want you sleeping in Jack Sparrow's cabin, either!"

"Where am I supposed to sleep, then?" Katherine said, peering at Sebastian over Victor's arm. She could feel annoyance stabbing at her heart. "With the crew?" She wiped her eyes.

"Well, I'd kill them if they touched you," Sebastian growled.

Victor rolled his eyes. "Sebastian, for God's sake. One man is far less likely to hurt Katherine than the God-knows-how-many crew members there are!"

"Why do you trust Jack Sparrow?" Sebastian demanded, standing up.

Victor was on his feet too. He was far shorter than Sebastian, but seemed quite angry. "I don't know; I just feel that he's a good man!"

Sebastian's fingers were inching towards the sword at his waist. Katherine knew the two men would never really hurt each other but they had had many brutal fights in the past. She pushed herself to her feet. "Stop it, please!" she cried, placing one hand on the arm of each brother. "It's up to me, Seb," she said quietly.

Sebastian glared down at her, then looked towards Jack Sparrow. She followd his gaze and saw that the Captain was looking over at them. He caught her eye, winked, and blew her a kiss. She felt her cheeks glowing and looked back towards Sebastian, wondering if he had noticed. He had.

"Don't be ridiculous," she urged as he cracked his knuckles, "he's only teasing-"

"Maybe you like it!" Sebastian said, storming off. She called after him but he didn't look back.

Katherine looked up at Victor. His grey eyes were distant, troubled. Katherine sat down on the barrel and wrapped her arms around herself.

"I think he's scared of losing you," Victor said quietly.

Katherine sighed. "I can't go very far on a ship."

Author's Note
SORRY! I know it's been a couple of weeks. Blame the builders, electricians, plumbers and various other tradesmen who have so disrupted my life the last few weeks. I'm also sorry this is a bit short, but more soon.
Happy December!