Okay, I'm done with the caps lock.  Yes, still with same boyfriend (Over nine months!) and going great--friends are pleased as punch; family is scared.
I had to sit and re-think where I wanted to go with this story.  If I stick in all the things I want to, it'll be a long one, for sure.  Longest yet, even.  But that's only if I can actually smoothly fit in everything.  I'm put to the test!

Chapter 2: Stowaway

Mia had a headache. As she opened her eyes and the light poured in, it only became worse as her world slowly came back into focus and she remembered where she was and what had happened. However, she was no longer above deck in a sword fight but in her own bed in her captain's chamber. Fluttering her eyes a bit and turning to her right, her first officer, whom she had named 'Scrubby' long ago, sat patiently by her bed watching her.

"It's good to see you are awake, Captain Fey," he mumbled, a small wave of relief showed in his still concerned eyes. He was a bit of a shorter man with a face that started to age with wrinkles; Mia nicknamed him after the greying black fuzz that covered his chin, and the tattered clothes the man was famous in the crew for wearing. Scrubby would wear the same white and red striped shirt and blue pants (which cut off at the knee—or rather, ripped) for years if he could, it never mattered to him how many holes were in them as long as they were still wearable.

"Always there to look out for me…" Mia chuckled a little as she slowly rose to sit facing Scrubby, "…what happened to our dear Captain White, I wonder?"

"Ah, Captain…he took a bit of a swim. Still alive, though." Mia nodded.

"Mmm. He won't be down for long. We'll have to be ready for him," Mia replied and stood, rubbing the large bump on her head.

"Aye," Scrubby also stood and followed Mia as she headed to the window, "but until then, Captain, and I know it probably is a bad time seeing as you are recovering yet, but we've found ourselves a stowaway."

Mia could not help but laugh a little to herself. "A stowaway, you say? On my ship?" She turned her head toward Scrubby with a smile before continuing.

"Let me see this 'stowaway'…"

Having a moment to change into a loose, white shirt (after all, as the captain of her own ship she had to be presentable and not in torn dresses) that fit much lighter on her than the thick, black buccaneer-styled coat she wore over top, Mia followed Scrubby through the lower parts of the ship's holdings and into a corner where much commotion was heard.

Scrubby pushed through the small crowd of men and made way for Mia to follow until she met, huddled in the corner of the room, a young blue-eyed, and oddly pointed black-haired man. She raised her eyebrow as he cowered and she thought she could hear a whimper from him as Scrubby roughly grabbed him by the arm and commanded him to face the captain. He slowly turned his head upward toward her, much fear and discomfort reading his face.

"So what is this I hear about you stowing away on my ship?" Mia asked, noting the way the man winced when she first spoke. He then turned hysterical while trying to explain himself.

"I-I'm not a stowaway! I hid! I was just hiding, I hid, I did, I did!" he yelled. Mia smiled as she leaned in a bit closer to see him, laughing a little as she did so.

"You hid, you did, you did? You're a real poet, you know," she said as she slowly turned her attention to Scrubby, who gave a bit of an amused smile himself. She then, quite suddenly, whipped out her cutlass and pointed the tip to the man's nose. In response, he turned ghostly pale and his lip quivered; the crew around them squirmed with amusement.

Yet for some reason, this lady before him kept her strangely welcoming smile.

"Sir, your name, please," she said and continued to stare down at the man, whose focus now was only on the sword barely touching his face. Scrubby gave him a small kick and spat, "Th'lady asked for your name!"

"Officer Scrubby!" Mia snapped, "stowaway or not, there is no need for you to get violent…"

She then glared at the man in front of her and said, "You give him a fair warning first—name or the plank!"

"Th-the-we…r-ronix wrought pho-pho-phee—Phoenix! Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix Wright!!" came the answer, and the man squirmed and tried to push himself up against the wall as tight as he could, "d-d-don't throw me over the s-ship! I-I can't sw-wim! Err, well, I can, b-b-but I-I can't, y-y-y'know?! I can but I can't and d-don't kill me either, I…I would I don't know, I can't…"

Everyone remained silent while this man, Phoenix, kept sputtering nonsensical phrases. As he did so, Mia raised an eyebrow, which then caused her to twist her lips into a smile. Before she knew it, she was giggling, and then laughing uncontrollably. As Mia did, the crew members watching started chuckling and laughing themselves. Phoenix, after finally realizing that everyone was laughing—he already figured at himself—stopped and sat around watching them all in silence. Slowly, they settled down until it was only Mia left, giggling still even as she spoke.

"Mr. Wright…haha…we…we're not going to kill you. We never planned on it…" as she composed herself, she looked back at him with a warm smile and slid her sword back into the sheath by her side. She then outstretched her hand to help him up to his feet, "and we wouldn't make you walk the plank, either…unless you decide to attack us, anyway."

Phoenix blinked and stared again around at all the men around him. They were all watching him, yet, and it made him very uncomfortable. He held up a shaky hand, which was firmly grasped by Mia's, and with her help he slowly got to his feet. He still felt his knees quivering in fear yet, though he had to admit he was feeling much better now than he was only minutes ago.

"Mr. Wright," Mia started and Phoenix shot his attention back towards her, "I am Captain Fey, and I would like you to follow my crew to get yourself cleaned up. I then want you to come visit me up on deck." With that, she nodded to the other men and then headed back up the stairs, Scrubby following close behind her. Only seconds after she left did one of the men grab Phoenix by the arm and laughed.

"Les' go, Mr. Wright, we're gonna clean you up good," he wasn't the only one chuckling. The rest of them were, too.

"Yeah! Pink skirt an' everything…" another one chuckled. They led him into another room, empty except for the faint smell of dirty water and strangely scented soap. The place had no windows, and only small lanterns that were running low on oil lit the room. Phoenix was made to wait a few minutes before three men hauled out a large tub full of soapy water out to the middle of the room. One of them went back to grab a sponge while the other two started back towards Phoenix.

Phoenix gulped, already not liking where this was going.

Roughly again he was grabbed, and the two guys started tearing off his clothes, making fun of his 'scrawny' body as they did so.

"Look at that! No meat on this guy—he's still just a lil' baby…"

"Like I said, we'll get him a pretty pink skirt…"

"S-stop that! I'm not scrawny and I can undress myself!" Phoenix yelled at them but they ignored him. One grabbed the pair of pants Phoenix was wearing and one of Phoenix's drawing pens fell out of the pocket onto the floor. The man raised an eyebrow and picked it up, examining it carefully.

"Don't lose that, please...I really need that," Phoenix said as the other man wrestled his shirt off. The man with the pen laughed and waved it around before putting it back in the pocket.

"What, you need it to write to your pretty little girlfriend?"

Phoenix glared at that, but could not complain because his now naked body was given a rough shove toward the tub of water. As they gave him one more shove that sent him falling into the tub, Phoenix let out a high-pitched yelp, and the three men quickly held him down to give him a bath.

"Hey, mate," one of them said, turning to the fully-bearded man who had made the bath, "this water's ice cold…" 'Beardy' laughed and shrugged slightly.

"Hehe, oops…I guess I forgot to heat it up, first…"

The wind had picked up but it was a cool, calming feeling to Mia as she rested her elbows on the railing of the ship. It was early afternoon, and ahead she could see a fair bit of darkness in the clouds—it had been awhile since she had sailed in the rain. If the wind kept up, they would have an interesting night ahead of them.

Despite the wind and the rolling of the waves against the ship, Mia could hear the noise of awkward footsteps behind her. When she turned, she saw Phoenix trying to hold on to the railing of the ship to keep himself steady, though he kept swaying to and fro with the ship.

"You're not used to a ship. Don't hold on to the railing, then, or else you'll go overboard if we hit a big wave," Mia said with a smile. Phoenix's eyes widened a little and he stopped where he was. Mia walked forward and took hold of his hand.

"You look a bit better now—don't smell like a stuffy barrel, either," she joked, taking note of the white ruffled shirt the men below adorned him with. He wore black pants…and no shoes. Mia raised her eyebrow when she examined his feet, but looked back up at him with a smile.

"What are you going to do with me?" Phoenix asked, a tiring look on his face.

"Whatever you want us to do with you, Mr. Wright."

They stared at each other—her smile, his confused eyes. She waited for him to say something, the answer he never gave. Finally, she spoke again.

"We're not taking you back to your home. This ship can't turn around right now," his eyes closed, almost disbelievingly as she said this, "…however, we can give you a few offers: one, we drop you off at the nearest island—there is one only perhaps half a day from here; two, you venture the seas with us until we eventually make the circle back to your own homeland; three, you forget your life back there and continue with us whether we pass your island or not. We pay rather high, too."

She felt him squeeze her hand and he opened his eyes, though he did not look any better than he had before she gave him his choices. If anything, he looked almost a little wet in the eyes, like a child who just lost their pet dog.

"What if I can't give you an answer right now?" he quietly asked, his voice quavering as he spoke.

"Well, you're going to have to answer rather soon if you're planning on getting off of here as soon as you can. I'm sure if you talk to the navy they'll assist you in getting you back to where you belong, anyway," Mia responded, trying to reassure him of this being only like a dream he will soon wake up from.

"…I don't know. You seem like nice people, but the stories I hear of pirates is…" he trailed off. Mia's smile faded, though not in anger; she pulled him closer so to speak to him quieter, and she answered him with a voice so soft Phoenix could barely hear it over the wind.

"Mr. Wright…there are all sorts of stories about people on the sea, though I must share with you one fact. There are pirates, and then there are pirates. Most commonly, my crew, as well as others I have met in my travels can walk onto a land and wander in the towns without so much as causing a stir with the inhabitants of the land. We're nothing but sailors to them and when we sail, we are treasure-hunters ourselves. What is buried in the sea or lost on an island by a long deceased man is nothing but fair game, is it not?" she waited for him to respond and when he did not, she continued, "we hunt treasure for the thrill, and when attacked do we ever kill. However, I will not deny the fact that there are plenty more pirates out there that not only hunt treasure, but hunt for blood at times. They are the ones who kill with no provocation, steal, and torture as you most commonly know them to do. You do understand me, don't you, Mr. Wright?"

Phoenix really did not understand fully what she was meaning—come on, a pirate was a pirate, right? He nodded anyway, still trying his best to take in what she had to say.

"Mr. Wright, the sea is all about surviving. If you survive, you are justly rewarded. Never get carried away, but never be afraid to attempt something you know you can do—most importantly, always be ready for someone to kill you," she smiled again, and gave his hand a firm shake, "does this change your mind at all, Mr. Wright? Does it give you an answer you can give to me at this moment?"

Phoenix felt a hard, sinking feeling in his stomach. He was put on the spot again and he hated it. The last time he could remember so much pressure being put on him was when he asked that girl out when he was fifteen, to which she responded, "What's in it for me?"

"C-captain Fey, if I were to…sail with you folks until I get home…first, I don't know a thing. And what if I turn out to dislike it and want to leave earlier?" Phoenix asked.

"We'll train you. We won't even make you stay if you don't want to. It just means the further we get away from home, the more trouble you'll have getting yourself back is all," she responded with a laugh. For the first time in the conversation, Phoenix smiled a little, too.

"Is that alright with you, then? Captain Fey?"

Mia smiled again, more broadly than ever, and this time she squeezed Phoenix's hand with much warmth as she pulled herself away from him.

"Go back below deck and tell them Captain said to give you some boots—ones without holes—welcome to the crew, Mr. Wright."

So anyway, hopefully I'll pump out the next chapter much quicker than this one.  Truth be told, I started chapter two right after chapter one, though I stopped for a few months because of work and school...and then no interest...but then suddenly it came back.  And it's been holding pretty good right now.  Review and the like, and thanks very much guys.