A/N: Well, here we go again! Time for another story!
Well, so this time, I did pirates. Now, I KNOW Inuyasha pirate AUs, are, well, EVERYWHERE, but I had never done a pirate AU, and I didn't want to miss out on the fun. Yeah, there is a main central plot when it comes to Inuyasha pirate AUs (Inu's a pirate, Kagome is a rich girl, he kidnaps her and they fall in love, etc.), but still, I thought I could fiddle with it and make it better. Thus is the results of my fiddling.
You'll notice a few things that are different from my usual stories. First off, everyone's last names are English-sounding names. I wanted them to really fit into the period, because even though their first names are Japanese, they are obviously NOT Japanese in this story. The other differences I will explain later, as they are sorta spoilers. But yeah, deal with the obvious British-ness of the characters, since they really couldn't be anything else.
Oh, and if you are reading this, then you must admit that pirates are ultimately and absolutely 100 times cooler than ninjas. End of story.
Chapter 1: Legend of the Jewel
Portsmouth, England, 1712
Blue waves drifted upon the endless horizon. The sun, high overhead, reflected onto the rippling water, beckoning with its temping call to the little girl, leaning against the wooden ship's rail.
The sea had always been beautiful, in her eyes. Beautiful and so delightfully enticing. Living in this port town, she had always longed to step onto one of these beautifully crafted ships and sail the seas like the many people who passed the docks each day. It was her greatest desire to see all the sea had to offer; frightening monsters and peaceful tranquil alike. To see the exotic lands the winds could take her.
She heard tales of far off places; the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, the deserts of Africa and the great plains of Asia. And, hearing these tales over the years, her heart longed to see them all. To ride the waves like any explorer, on this sea she loved, and see it all with her own eyes.
But alas, today it was not to be.
"Kagome!" a young voice called to the girl. She reluctantly turned; being of the age of eight, she was at the time that she did not want to obey anyone she did not like. And she had certainly never gotten along with her sister, three years older. Yet, her brown, so previously engaged eyes looked away from the sea, her black hair so neatly tied up underneath her small hat still being pulled at by the salty air. "What are you doing there, Kagome?"
Smiling slightly, the girl explained to her older sister, who looked so much alike her in appearance, yet was so different in personality, "I'm looking at the sea, Kiyo!"
Her sister, whose true name was 'Kikyou', wrinkled her nose at the use of such an old nickname. "Why bother?" she asked, glancing at the waves for the briefest of moments. "You can see it every day as you look out the window; I don't see what is so special about it."
Kagome had never understood why her sister failed to find the waves and endless horizon fascinating. Gesturing with her small hands, Kagome answered, "It's just special, like that, Kiyo. Don't you ever imagine what it could be like to sail the seas, forever? To visit new and exciting places? To leave behind land and never have to come back?"
Kikyou stared at her younger sister, unable to grasp the concept. "I don't understand why; the sea is dangerous, Kagome. Land is much safer. You don't know what is out there."
Sighing, the little girl turned back to look over the side of the ship, her eyes just at level to view over the wooden barrier, a smile coming back to her face. "That's the point, Kiyo!" she smiled, thinking of how wonderful it would be. "I wish I could go on Papa's ships, and have adventures, too!"
At that moment, a voice she knew well gave a laugh. "That's my little Kagome," her father said, standing tall and proud on his ship. "Always a little adventurer."
"Papa!" Kagome grinned, running towards him, her gown rippling up around her ankles in an unmodest way. He bent down for a moment to lift her up as she laughed; that wonderful laughter of a child's happiness. Kagome loved her father; perhaps more than she loved anyone else in her family. It was because her father had always seemed to understand her passion; that unrelenting desire to go and brave what the beautiful sea had to offer.
Her father started his own merchant business because of it, and sailed across the oceans to sell his wares. He now had several ships, and a profitable little business. And today, after searching so long, he had found a new ship to add to his steady little fleet.
He had always understood what Kikyou had not in Kagome's eyes. A 'Heart of the Sea' he had called it, and he was proud of his Little Kagome for bearing the Heart of the Sea as well.
"Dear," the merchant's wife called, as she came upon the deck of the new ship as well, carrying their sleeping, two year old son, Souta, in her arms. She was like Kikyou, and did not have the passion for the sea either, feeling uncomfortable upon the swaying deck.. "Remember, we are in public," she said, noting that her youngest daughter's behavior was very unladylike at the moment.
Setting his daughter down, he glanced back at his wife. "You cannot deny that the girl has a passion for it," he spoke, seeing Kagome scurry off to look back at the sea beneath them. "Would you want to make her unhappy?"
"True, you did bring us to see your new ship, but I really begin to worry about her…the way she talks, you'd have thought she would have tried to buy her own ship and sail off towards the Americas by now!"
Kagome's father laughed for a moment, his eyes upon the daughter that he loved. "I hope she gets that wish, someday. It is a good thing, to see new lands with your own two eyes. She has an adventurous spirit, so she won't take to sitting at home and embroidering like any other woman lightly."
Coming up to stand near his youngest daughter, her father asked, "So, what do you think of the new ship, Kagome?"
Smiling, Kagome spoke, "It is a wonderful ship, Papa!"
"It is a fine ship," her mother came in, glancing around at the high quality wood that it was built from. "Much finer than you would think you would find on the market."
"With a little touching up, it'll certainly replace the one that was lost in that storm—Caribbean storms are nasty," the merchant said in an afterthought. "She's a fine Clipper, and she's named the Annabelle, but I don't think the name suits."
Kagome gave a disgusted noise. "I hate it."
Chuckling, her father asked "Well, what do you think we should name it, Kagome?"
She thought for a moment, before answering, "I think you should name it the Ocean's Wave, Papa!"
"That's a stupid name!" Kikyou shook her head at her sister's silliness.
"Not it isn't!" the eight-year old shot back at her. "The waves are what take Papa to other places, and are what brings him back home afterward! We should honor them because of it!"
"I like it," their father cut in, grinning. "It is a good name for a merchant ship." Kagome beamed at the attention, while Kikyou merely folded her arms and turned away.
Looking up towards the furled sails, their father continued, the wind brushing against his long coat and his black hair tied back with ribbon. "If the conditions continue to be this good, then we will be able to finish touching up the new ship, and then it's off to Jamaica again for a few more weeks."
Kagome burst out, "It's not fair, Papa! You have to go away again for a long time, and I can't come with you!"
With a soft smile, her father knelt down to her level to say, "I know it's not fair right now, Kagome, but someday, my little seagull, you will come along, to feel the rocking of the ship beneath your feet and the spray of the sea upon your face. Someday, you will journey to parts unknown, and have all sorts of sea-faring adventures, but now is not the time. I know, sometime in your life, Kagome, you will sail to your heart's content, and will satisfy that little heart you have for the sea."
Kingston, Jamaica, 1722
Now, a panel of swirled glass lay between her and those waves, barrier between her and that far-off view she had of the sea. A reminder of all the hopes and dreams she had once, now lost to her forever.
It seems, Papa, that you were wrong.
It had been ten years since that conversation on her father's ship, and Kagome Hopewell now wished for nothing more than to return to those happy times she once knew. When she was young and could stare at the sea all she liked from the parlor room in their house at Portsmouth, waiting for their father to return from another voyage, and tell her the stories of all the places he had seen. How simple things were then, before her life had been turned upside down.
The Ocean's Wave was a faithful ship, that served their father on many adventures, but it could not stand up to the strong Caribbean storm that brewed one fateful night. Though the ship had before always brought their father back home and safe, that time, the Ocean's Wave could not return him to them this time.
Chaos had hit after that. They had enough money to live in relative comfort for the time being, but the two girls would have to be engaged to wealthy men to ensure that their status as a family would remain as it was. Luckily, the Hopewell family had an excellent reputation due to their father's profitable business, so finding a match for either of them wasn't hard; except that the two men that were decided upon were wealthy plantation owners who lived on the other side of the world.
It was Kikyou who went first; at the age of fifteen, she left her family behind, to cross the seas to the place their father had described so often. Her sister was engaged to a wealthy landowner who lived in Charleston named Naraku. And so, one day near the end of fall, Kikyou bid farewell to her family, and boarded a ship that would take her to the colonies in America to meet her future husband.
No word of Kikyou was ever heard from again.
All letters to this man called 'Naraku' were left unanswered.
All they knew of to this day was that the ship she had been on was boarded by pirates, but whether she was killed, or taken by the lawless men was unknown. After six years and not a sight nor sound of Kikyou was heard of, most believed her dead.
But not Kagome.
Kagome knew of the resilience of her older sister, and the unwavering spirit that she possessed. Somehow, in her heart, she knew that somewhere, Kikyou must be alive. But where, and how to find her, she did not know. She had a small feeling, a tiny hope that one day she would be able to find her again, but, now, it seemed like the chances of that were slim to none.
Even though Kikyou had disappeared, it was soon Kagome's turn to sail across the sea. Her mother had taken her time in finding a way to arrange a match, and the man settled upon was another rich plantation owner who lived in Kingston, Jamaica named Kouga Wulfe.
Though, at first, she was excited at the prospect of sailing around the world at last. But when she finally stepped aboard the ship destined to take her to a waiting husband, all joy fled her. Her spirit was heavy with the burden of the impending marriage, and she could not enjoy the voyage in the least. She didn't spend her time on deck with the waves, at all, but remained in her cabin most of the time, coming to grips with the thought of a husband and what he would be like.
There were so many worries that went through her mind—What if he was cruel? What if he wanted nothing to do with her? What if she was a bad wife to him? What if she never got the chance to meet him because Kikyou's fate also befell her?
But when she finally stepped off the vessel, onto the dock in Kingston harbor, to see her fiancé waiting for her, she realized that the impending marriage would not be so bad. Kouga was nice enough at least. And he owned enough land that she was guaranteed a life of relative comfort. For a small while, she had almost convinced herself that everything would turn out all right.
But as the wedding date drew nearer, her heart fell heavy once more. Her father had told her she had a Heart of the Sea, and he was right. Living on land like this, performing womanly duties cut her off from the sea that she loved. That was her main regret.
She had agreed to this marriage because now she was no longer a burden on her mother and brother, but, in the end, she knew, this was not what she wanted at all.
A Heart of the Sea, her father had said, and she knew, more than ever, that it was a true statement. Her brown eyes focused on those waves lapping upon the white beach. Her hands, folded in her lap, gently fisted in the fabric of her pink gown.
She wanted nothing more than to throw off that satin and lacy thing she wore, run out onto the sandy beach in her chemise and her bare feet, and play in the waves like she did when she was a child.
Glancing at the emerald engagement ring upon her finger, Kagome turned back to the view from her window, so close yet so far away… Perhaps…this isn't what I was meant for.
Maybe I was meant for other things beside the wife of a planter…but with the wedding only a month away…I'll never know now.
The night upon the sea was dark, the stars dotting the endless sky, as the intimidating ship lay anchored near the small island.
There were no lights lit upon the ship, as all sat in silence, waiting. The crew was somewhat different from the average ship—men of all shapes and size, some who did not look human, even, were aboard, all waiting for this one moment.
A small boy, with a large tufted tail and strangely pointed ears, stood upon the ship's rail, next to a tall man with deep indigo eyes. Being dressed poorly in nothing more than a shirt and breeches, they seemed like nothing more than average sailors, but there was something about them that was different. "When is—?" the small boy began, only to be cut off as the older man shushed him.
The silence continued, until at last, there was a noise; a rapping upon the side of the ship. "The signal!" someone whispered.
Wordlessly, two shadowed figures threw down the rope ladder over the side. After a second, a drenched man climbed up onto the deck, breathing heavily but alive, as if he had swam a great distance. Because he wore no shirt, all could see he clutched something close to his chest.
The tall, man with the purple eyes came towards him, kneeling down as he recovered. "Do you have it?" he asked at once.
"Yes," the man wheezed. He was a bit older than the usual man in this trade, and now, after all the work he put through on this night, he was beginning to wonder if it was actually worth it. Opening up his palm, he revealed small package wrapped in soaked leather. "Are you sure this is what you desire?" he asked for a moment, grinning. "Once you have this, there is no going back on your goal."
"Do not question the first mate," a voice, deep and commanding, came from a figure hidden in the shadows, far above.
The man who was the first mate took the package from him at once, opening it. Inside the leather was a canvas bag, and still inside that was what appeared to be a small, metal box. He paused for a moment, wondering if this was what they had searched for all this time. With a small prayer, he opened the box, letting out a satisfied sigh.
Laying inside the box was a small sliver of what was once a round, purple jewel. "It appears to be what you claim," the first mate turned back to their informant. "But how are we to know it is in fact, the Jewel of the Sea that we have here?"
Smirking, the older man explained to him, "Because of the legend. Even your captain should know it. Thousands of years ago, a jewel was made by a sea siren, to allow her lover to live forever, sailing the seas with her. But, somehow, it was lost over the centuries. Rumors of it circulated, but, about ten years ago, there were those who said it had reappeared, and that it was chopped in two." He paused dramatically, before adding, "Except, that the apprentice who cut it accidentally made a small, third piece—the piece you see here. This piece that could lead to the others was hidden, and now, at last, after following narrow leads for so long, I have found it!"
Glaring, the first mate reminded him dangerously, "We have found it. But what good is this tiny piece to us, when there are two larger ones out there?"
"Light a lamp, and I will show you."
The first mate looked up to the quarterdeck, to the figure still in the shadows. "Light a lamp," the figure said, and, always obedient to him, the first mate obeyed.
The lamp was lit. "Open a map," the old man, his wrinkled face looking sinister with the golden glow, ordered. "Now put the sliver upon it, right at our location."
Thinking for a moment as he pinpointed the ship's location, the first mate set the sliver upon the map. Instantly there was a gasp from the crew, as the small shard began to spin rapidly of its own accord before their eyes. "The shard always points to the remaining pieces of the jewel," the old man smirked, as the shard stopped spinning in an instant, as it pointed like a compass.
There was a pause, before the first mate read out loud to the rest of the crew, "Kingston, Jamaica."
There was a low laugh from the shadow above, as he spoke in a deep voice, "Well, it looks like we'll be raiding soon," the captain spoke, as he stepped into the light. At once, he was obviously not human; with golden eyes, and silver hair, with ears like a dog's upon his head. But for all his appearance, he was as frightening as they came, and no one upon that ship dared even question his orders.
For he was Captain Inuyasha, one of the most feared pirates on the Caribbean Sea.