Siren of the Sea
Surprised? Yeah, me too. Not Monster, and not NFFTC, something different. I just wrote this for fun mostly. I wanted to try something a little different, I guess. Also, thanks to everyone that reviewed this when only the first draft was up . I only did that because I SERIOUSLY wanted to publish something on Natsuki's birthday. Hah. I couldn't help it. I highly suggest re-reading this chapter if you read it back when the summary said not to read it lmao.
Warning: The characters in this are slightly OoC and this takes place in an alternate universe (hence the occasional OoC) also. Some of the usually nice characters, aren't nice. There is blood, murder, and umm if I think of anything worse to put in later I'll warn you about it before that chapter haha, but I think that pretty much sums it up.
Summary: Natsuki Kuga is stuck. She wishes for something interesting to happen. What happens to Natsuki when the ship she's traveling on is taken over by the infamous Captain Viola, siren of the sea, pirate queen, and bloodthirsty murderer? What about when the only cargo she wants to steal happens to be a less than willing Natsuki? How will Natsuki survive a pirate queen? Or should we be more worried about the pirate queen surviving Natsuki?
Chapter 1: Caught.
Natsuki Kuga really didn't like Takeda. Sure, he seemed like a nice enough guy, but she was fairly certain marrying him after meeting him only twice wasn't a good idea. But what could you do, really? Women had no control over their own lives in the 1700s and by marrying a nobleman like Takeda Masashi she'd be saving her family from bankruptcy and jail time. Natsuki inwardly groaned and ran a hand down her face.
"Your fiancé is so handsome!" Some lady whispered into Natsuki's ear.
Emeralds shifted away from the rolling sea to glance at her future husband, just to see if he was indeed handsome as the other ladies on the ship insisted he was. "Is he?" Natsuki drawled as she looked him up and down with disinterest. She wasn't sure. People kept telling her that her future husband was handsome but she didn't see it. Was something wrong with her? "Lucky me, I guess," she mumbled as she turned away from him and looked out to sea again. It was vast, blue, and occasionally made Natsuki nauseas.
They've been out to sea for what felt like forever, having left Natsuki's hometown of Aries only two days ago. Two days, Natsuki inwardly groaned. It was only two days and already Natsuki couldn't stand half the women on the ship. Sure, they smiled at her and complimented her on her fiancé, but she was well aware of them calling her a 'barbarian girl from a poor fishing town' the second she turned her back. If her father hadn't told her to be 'a lady' she would've popped them in the face by now. Natsuki looked to her right and saw some of the cheerful kids playing together. She smiled despite being in a bad mood. Was it pathetic she got along better with the children on the ship rather than the grown women that insisted on bothering her?
"He is! So handsome! Why are you not excited to marry him?" Another girl cooed. Takeda Masashi was a nobleman and for some godforsaken reason chose to search for his bride in the small fishing town of Aries. He had found Natsuki.
Natsuki wondered where to start. "I don't have enough fingers on my hands to list the reasons so I won't," she replied. God, dresses were annoying. She felt slightly badass for stealing some of her future husband's clothes and putting it on under the poofy dress. No one would be able to tell and she could walk around easily. Sure the clothes were a little big but it's nothing a belt couldn't fix.
The woman frowned at Natsuki, who didn't seem to care. "That's no way to act, young lady. Why, if Takeda Masashi were interested in someone like me I'd be as excited as—"
"Do you want him?" Natsuki asked, lifting her head up to give the older woman the most desperate look ever. "Because you can have him," she mumbled. The honesty and hopefulness in her tone would've been comical to the other women had they understood this young woman not wanting such a fine young man.
"Ah, there you are honey," Takeda said as he wrapped his arm around Natsuki's waist and gave a polite nod to the two women his fiancé was chatting with. "Hello, ladies, I hope you found my fiancé to be the enchanting woman I fell in love with?"
"Of course, of course," one woman said as she batted her eyelashes at the engaged man. He was dressed handsomely in the colors of higher class, dark blue and purple. His hair was perfectly messy and his warm green eyes caused knees to go weak.
The other woman giggled and patted his arm gently, as if he had just told a joke. "Miss Kuga is absolutely delightful, though I don't think one could call her a woman just yet…" she lowered her eyes to Natsuki's breasts and frowned slightly.
Natsuki's face reddened. "I'm eighteen!" she argued. Eighteen equaled woman! Hell, these days the age of fourteen could equal 'grown woman.' And why the hell is she looking down there! That has nothing to do with it!
Takeda laughed, a full and happy sound that caused all the ladies, minus Natsuki, to giggle in response. "The future Mrs. Masashi isn't a woman yet," he winked, and Natsuki blanched. "But once we marry I shall fix that."
Natsuki was about to growl out, "In your dreams buddy," but was interrupted.
Takeda nodded to both the women again, a charming smile on his face. "Good day ladies. If you don't mind, I'd like to introduce my fiancé to the wonderful captain of this vessel." The two women nodded, and Natsuki was, for once, glad Takeda pulled her away.
He slowed his pace so that Natsuki could keep up in her dress. He had no idea she was wearing black leather boots and a pair of his drawers underneath. He walked like a gentleman, not surprisingly considering he was one. He lowered his lips to Natsuki's ear as they walked arm-in-arm to where the captain was talking to his navigators. "This man, Captain Ito, is a very good friend of mine. I want you to meet him." They were two days into their journey from Aries and Takeda kept mentioning this Ito man, yet hadn't actually taken them to be introduced. Until now, anyways.
Natsuki didn't much care, but she went along with it anyways. "He owns this ship?" she asked as he 'helped' her up the steps.
"Yes, yes, this ship is his. A merchant fluyt. Marvelous, isn't it?" Takeda released Natsuki and opened his arms wide when he saw Captain Ito approaching.
"Ah, Takeda my boy!" Captain Ito exclaimed as he wrapped Takeda in a warm hug and patted him on the back. He held him at arm's length and looked Takeda up and down. "You get taller each time I see you, your father must be so proud," Captain Ito's eyes flickered to a bored looking Natsuki behind Takeda, "and who might this gorgeous young woman be? Your fiancé perhaps?"
Natsuki found herself in a warm embrace. "Er, yeah that would be me. Nice to meet you Captain Ito," Natsuki somehow managed a curtsy when Captain Ito released her from a hug, "My name is Natsuki Kuga." Natsuki blinked at Captain Ito's wide smile. He was so…nice. She found herself returning the smile. He reminded her of Santa Claus or something.
"Beautiful, Takeda, she's just lovely!" Ito exclaimed excitedly as he eyed Natsuki with sparkling brown eyes. "Absolutely stunning!"
Natsuki blushed and averted her gaze. "…Thanks…" she mumbled. She really liked Captain Ito. Sure he was old, but he seemed like a nice enough guy. Everyone else on this boat was boring beyond belief. And how long am I stuck with them? It's only been TWO DAYS and I want to rip my ears off.
Takeda smiled and wrapped his arm around Natsuki's waist. "Yes, she is quite the catch," he said proudly as he gave her a small squeeze.
Natsuki found that incredibly fitting. Catch. Yes, she had been caught, and now she was stuck to be this guy's wife for the rest of her pathetic, boring life. Great. I feel…stuck, Natsuki thought sadly as she tried to give her fiancé a smile.
"Something the matter, dear?" Takeda asked when he felt Natsuki stiffen in his hold. Her smile was also less than convincing that she was fine.
"Nothing, no," she answered quietly, her eyes finding the sea again and wishing she were…somewhere else. Something caught her eye in the distance, behind their boat. She squinted, and Captain Ito placed a warm hand on her shoulder and tried to follow her gaze.
"See something, Miss Kuga?" Captain Ito asked as he scanned the horizon with his lively brown eyes. When he saw something in the distance he pulled a telescope out and peered through it. "Hm…seems to be just another merchant's ship…I'm sure they'll pass right by us." His tone made him sound unsure. The boat was behind them, and slowly catching up.
Natsuki felt a strange feeling in her stomach. Another merchant ship? Heading right for them? Right. She passed a glance at Takeda's rapier, holstered in its hip-sheath, and wished she could be back at her father's blacksmith playing with swords. I bet I can use that better than Takeda can.
A few hours later, and Captain Ito and his crew were pacing the deck nervously. Natsuki was leaning against a cabin door and watching the crew. Ito would occasionally look through his telescope towards what was discovered to be a caravel ship getting closer and closer to Ito's merchant ship. A feeling of dread had come over their tiny ship. Ito's fluyt was a ship meant for maximum cargo hold and minimum passenger hold. It was for trading, not really for transporting…though the Masashi's asked Ito to transport their son and his new fiancé as a favor. Even Takeda would walk over to Natsuki every five minutes and comfort her as if she was the one needing comfort.
"Crimson sails," Captain Ito whispered to no one in particular. Natsuki was standing right behind him, however, and heard him clearly.
"So what?" She asked when she got a better look at the caravel ship approaching. It did indeed have blood-red sails. That couldn't be a good sign. "Does that mean something?" Most merchant ships, like the one they were on now, had white sails. Wait a caravel? Aren't those used for…long voyages and stuff? Natsuki frowned. That was not a simple merchant's ship. The closer it got, the bigger it got as well. Ito's merchant fluyt was tiny compared to it.
Captain Ito turned around in surprise. "Oh," he gave her a nervous smile. "Didn't see you there, Miss Kuga." His shoulders slumped as he turned to look out across the water again. "Just stories, Miss Kuga."
Natsuki shrugged and leaned against the railing. "I have time, Captain." They were both staring across the ocean towards the caravel in the distance, its crimson red sails billowing in the wind. "It's right behind us…" Natsuki muttered quietly, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. There was no reason why a ship should be right on their tail like that unless it planned on…No way.
The old man ran a hand down his gray beard. "You've heard of the Siren of the Sea right?" He asked, his eyes never leaving the boat in the distance.
"The Pirate Queen?"
Captain Ito turned and gave her an incredulous look. "The infamous Crimson Captain Viola? Terror of the ocean? Ruthless, heartless, thief, and bloodthirsty murderer?"
Natsuki gave him a blank look. She had never heard of a pirate captain by the name of Viola. Then again, most ships that had come into Natsuki's fishing town were…just fishing ships. Well, until the Masashi's came into town looking for a bride for their son. Unfortunately, Natsuki was that bride.
Ito sighed and shook his head then gave the approaching caravel a worried look. "She's said to command a boat with crimson sails…" His eyes followed the boat, "the sails are supposed to match her scarlet eyes…which are supposed to be the last things you see before she kills you…"
Natsuki blinked. "You think the boat tailing us is the crimson-whatever? A pirate?" Natsuki snorted, a rather unladylike thing to do. "I doubt it."
Ito turned and lifted a brow in her direction. "Why so quick to doubt such a danger, Miss Kuga?" He looked sincerely interested. Natsuki was surprised he had turned away from the railing overlooking the ocean they were leaving behind considering he hadn't since catching sight of the colorful sails.
Natsuki folded her arms under her chest and shrugged. "Nothing that interesting ever happens around me," she replied nonchalantly. "There's no way that ship belongs to the pirate queen or whatever." It just wouldn't happen. Ever. Natsuki's life was simple. Grow up the daughter of a blacksmith, get 'lucky' and marry a nobleman, and then pop out as many kids as possible. That was the life she was supposed to live. She was, as Takeda had said, caught.
Ito shook his head slowly and watched Natsuki with sad eyes. "It's a sad thing in life when such a wild girl looks like she's in a cage. What's worse is when she looks like she has no hope of getting out," Ito said sadly, the wrinkles in his face suddenly making him turn more into her grandfather than Santa Claus.
Natsuki lifted a slender brow. "Hey, don't worry about it, Captain. Takeda's family paid for this ship to be guarded right? If there are any pirates I'm sure the guards will handle it." Natsuki wasn't too worried. If, by some chance, the ship tailing them was a pirate ship, she was sure they wouldn't bother with this merchant's vessel. It was barely a boat. Hell, pirates with that kind of notoriety took on large trading galleons, not small boats such as Captain Ito's.
The captain gave a slight nod, but his expression was evidence that he didn't have much hope. "I'm sure…it'll all be worked out in the morning."
"Maybe you should get some rest, Captain," Natsuki suggested with a small smile.
"Hm, I suppose you're right," he scratched at his chin. "I'll see you tomorrow morning, Miss Kuga," his lips tugged into one of those warm grandfatherly smiles, "sleep well."
Natsuki nodded and made to walk away once Ito had turned back to look across the ocean, a thoughtful expression on his wise face.
"And, miss Kuga?" Ito's voice stopped Natsuki in her tracks and she turned around.
"Yes?" Natsuki asked, glad she had remembered to not say 'yeah.'
"Do not allow yourself to be tamed…not without a fight," Ito's smile reached his sparkling brown eyes, and Natsuki didn't think she had ever admired a man in such short time of knowing one.
It was early the next morning when Natsuki was woken up by Takeda. Sleeping next to him was…awkward, and weird, and…Natsuki didn't like it at all. But he was a gentleman and didn't make any moves on her while they slept, so Natsuki learned to not complain. Of course, it had only been two days since they set sail so he had a few more nights to make a move on her. Natsuki shuddered at the thought. She'd sleep with the crew below deck if she had to. Actually that might be worse.
Natsuki and Takeda stepped out of their cabin and onto the deck. It was a bright and sunny morning. It gave absolutely no hint to the horror that would transpire soon enough.
Natsuki was surprised to see that the caravel had caught up with Captain Ito's merchant fluyt in just a night. Then again, caravel ships were known for their fast designs. Ito looked a lot more relaxed than he had the night before. In fact, now he was smiling and trying to help a cloaked woman across the bridge between their ships. Natsuki blinked. The 'bridge' set up to connect the caravel to Ito's fluyt was barely more than a wooden plank, the woman would slip and fall if she didn't grab onto Ito's hand soon.
Natsuki's eyes narrowed. Both ships had stopped side-by-side and now their crew was coming over to Ito's ship? Why? Emeralds landed on the cloaked lady. The cloak was blood-red and covered the lady completely from view. The only thing that could be seen of this mystery woman was her hand. It was extended and delicate. From the way the woman was hunched over, Natsuki would've thought she was an old woman. But the hand that was outstretched to meet with Ito's was far from wrinkly. The skin was flawless, the fingers thin and slender with a few golden rings, and the nails were long and well taken care of. It was the hand of a noblewoman. Natsuki wondered what the rest of this woman looked like, and why she was taking so long to grasp onto Ito's hand and forcing him to get even more onto the bridge than necessary. He'd fall if he wasn't careful.
Takeda moved towards Natsuki and hugged her from behind. "Captain Ito was so relieved," he whispered into her ear. "He had it in his head that the caravel ship was a pirate ship. The Crimson Siren's ship no less!" He chuckled and Natsuki managed a small smile.
"So whose ship is it anyways?" Natsuki asked as she discreetly moved away from her fiancé. Emeralds scanned the side of the boat. In thick black letters the word Kiyohime was painted onto the side.
Takeda shrugged and followed his fiancé out into the morning sunlight. "Apparently when they got close enough, Captain Ito saw that it was just a drifting ship without a crew."
Emeralds followed the cloaked woman as Ito inched even farther over the bridge and extended his hand out towards her. The other woman held out a hand to reach his and Natsuki blinked yet again at the slenderness of the fingers and the delicateness with which the cloaked woman held out her hand. There were numerous other cloaked women behind the first one, yet none of their cloaks were the same deep shade of shimmery red.
"Drifting ship?" Natsuki uttered as what Takeda said came back to her. "What do you mean?" Natsuki thought it was odd all the women on the other ship were in tattered cloaks…why were they all hiding themselves?
"Survivor of a pirate ship attack, I suppose," Takeda replied. His own eyes followed the progress as well. Captain Ito smiled as his hand clasped with that of the lead cloaked woman, and he carefully pulled her to his ship. "Ito says they were signaling to him for help when he looked through the telescope. Apparently all that's left on the ship are harmless women. God only knows what happened to their husbands."
Natsuki frowned and took a step forward, closer to where Ito was helping the cloaked woman onto his fluyt. Another cloaked woman passed across the bridge, then another, then another. Natsuki's eyes narrowed. Something wasn't right. For a ship that was just 'drifting', they sure as hell had caught up with Ito's ship fast enough.
The first woman who had crossed over, the only one in the blood-red cloak, suddenly straightened, standing tall above the other women that remained hunched over. She removed her hood and shook out long chestnut tresses. The sunlight caught her crimson eyes perfectly, and Natsuki found herself staring. They were like rubies. Brilliantly colored rubies. The woman's eyes were instantly drawn to Natsuki for some reason, and she smirked.
The infamous siren of the sea locked eyes with the emerald eyed beauty. Ara…what a shame I'll have to kill her… she thought with a flicker of sadness. Shizuru's eyes quickly scanned the man's ship. Hm, quite a few guards for a simple merchant's ship. Maybe there was someone of importance on board? No matter, I shall end them all and take what I want, as usual.
Ito stared wide-eyed at the woman before him. The second she removed the hood of the red cloak and revealed herself to be the downright gorgeous woman that she was…he knew…he knew he had accidently brought doom to his ship and everyone on it. "No…" he uttered when Shizuru's scarlet eyes moved from the crowd watching from his deck and instead watched him with amusement.
With one fluid motion, Shizuru drew her cutlass with her right hand, causing the dark red cloak to slip off her shoulders and pool around her feet. The cloaked women behind her uncloaked themselves as well and stood tall. They were not old, middle-aged women at all. They were all in their mid-twenties and none were wearing a dress. For a split second, Natsuki's only thought was: Lucky.
Shizuru was wearing a dark red captain's overcoat. Her knee-high leather boots had a knife hidden in each and her hand…that delicate hand held the cutlass to Ito's throat. There was also a leather sash diagonally from her shoulder to wrap around her waist. A dagger was tucked into it. There was another sash to form a decorative belt. A golden necklace hung around her neck, the sun causing it to glimmer like a diamond. The ornament was hanging right between her breasts.
The pirates that had come from the Kiyohime all brandished cutlasses, rapiers, sabers, and a few even had flintlock pistols. They ran forward and pointed their weapons towards the guardsmen Takeda's family had paid for to guard Ito's ship. The guardsmen, in turn, pointed their swords towards the invading pirates as well. The tension was thick in the air. Natsuki and the other innocent bystanders of Ito's ship watched the happenings unfurl with great unease. A woman gasped next to her ear, a child whimpered nearby, and Takeda's grip on her shoulder tightened.
Captain Viola continued staring deeply into Ito's eyes. She continued holding her cutlass to the old man's throat, and the poor man shuddered. The pirate queen shook her head sadly, sighed, and stabbed Ito through the stomach as if it were nothing. Intense anguish passed over Ito's face as his body bent over the blade Shizuru had pushed into him. Shizuru then pulled out her sword and kicked him right in the chest. His body toppled backwards off the bridge he had set up to connect the boats and he fell into the ocean with little more than a startled gasp.
Shizuru ignored the gasps and cries of horror. She had grown used to them in the past three years. Captain Viola then turned to her pirates, which were all patiently awaiting her orders, though they all knew what they would be.
"Kill them all," Shizuru demanded, and her crew got to work.
Natsuki stared in horror as the beautiful woman killed Captain Ito like he was…nothing. The horror on Ito's face as the metal went into him! Oh god. He was dead. That woman…the pirate had killed Ito, that kind man!
"No!" Natsuki yelled, but Takeda had grabbed her around the waist and began tugging her away from the scene. She struggled in his hold, wanting to run and kill that red-eyed woman that very instant. After finding she couldn't fight him off, Natsuki decided she'd come back once she ditched Takeda.
The cloaked women from the Kiyohime had all uncloaked and were all clearly pirates. Instead of acting like old women, they were now standing straight and running passed Captain Viola to take on the guardsmen they had their weapons pointed on. The guardsmen Takeda's family had hired were getting slaughtered as they met Shizuru's pirates in battle.
"We're going to die," Takeda said quietly when he and Natsuki had backed all the way up to the back end of the ship.
"No we're not, idiot," Natsuki growled as she reached for Takeda's rapier. She unsheathed it and ran towards the front of the ship again, leaving a surprised Takeda behind.
When she got there, Natsuki realized that maybe Takeda was right. They were going to die. The pirates, while all beautiful and innocent looking, were getting the blood of innocent people on their hands as if it were nothing. Natsuki blinked when one came towards her. This was…not what she expected at all. That pirate. That woman. The one with the red eyes like molten blood. She was the leader, she was the one that killed Ito.
He had done nothing to her! None of these people did anything to her! Natsuki felt her soul burn with fury and the need to avenge a man she had only met the day before. Fine, if she was going to go down, she was going to take some of these damn bastard pirates with her!
"HEY!" Natsuki yelled when two young kids from before were chased off by a pirate with weird pig-tails and orange-ish eyes. Natsuki stood in front of the kids, who cowered behind her, and pointed her sword at the approaching pirate.
The pirate looked amused and was soon joined by a shorter pirate with blonde hair and green eyes. Natsuki glared at them both.
"Well, isn't this nice," Nina said in a mocking tone. "A noblewoman is going to fight us? You hear that Erstin?" Nina glanced sideways at the blonde pirate.
The blonde named Erstin laughed and they both pointed their rapiers at Natsuki. "I heard it, Nina."
Natsuki looked between the two and then glanced down at the kids hugging around her legs. "Kids, get lost!" She growled down at them. They instantly nodded and ran down the hull of the ship in the direction of Takeda. Hopefully Takeda would find them and let them hide with him, wherever the coward was. Natsuki wondered why the hell they thought she was a noblewoman, and then she remembered she was in a dress… that really ruined my badass mood.
Natsuki turned back to the pirates only to barely dodge a slash to her head from 'Nina'. She twirled, which was difficult in the dress, and stabbed right into Nina's torso. She ran the dark-haired pirate to the edge of the ship where she flung her off and then turned just in time to duck a swipe from an enraged Erstin. God damn, pirates didn't take turns did they?
"Nina!" Erstin yelled when she looked over the railing and saw that Nina had already began sinking to a watery grave. She snapped her head to face a panting Natsuki. "You…you killed her!" Erstin yelled, pointing an accusing rapier at Natsuki. Natsuki found she didn't feel bad about killing Nina, especially not with what these pirates had probably done.
Natsuki wondered how this was fair considering 'Nina' had probably killed more than twenty people in cold blood while Natsuki was only protecting the innocent travelers on Ito's merchant ship. No one ever said pirates were smart, I guess. Natsuki held the tip of her rapier to Erstin's throat and then looked to her right. The pirate queen's crimson eyes were on her, watching her. She looked like a cross between amused and intrigued.
When the siren turned to stab another innocent man through the chest, Natsuki turned her attention back to Erstin, who was still glaring daggers at her. "Why?" Natsuki demanded. Her voice sounded a lot more terrified than she would've hoped.
"We're pirates! We kill and pillage!" Erstin growled as she backed away from Natsuki's sword tip and took a swipe, which Natsuki blocked and pushed back. "Time to accept life the way it is. We win, you lose," Erstin snarled as she ran forward and lunged. Natsuki dodged that and clashed her blade against Erstin's again to block another furious attack.
Natsuki growled and jumped when Erstin took a lower swipe. Natsuki jumping above her blade caught Erstin off guard, and Natsuki kicked her flat in the chest before landing. Erstin went flying backwards, her back hitting the edge of the boat until she toppled over it backwards and fell overboard. Shit, did she just accidently kill another pirate? Okay, she had meant to kill the first one…but this one she had hoped she would knock out…not send overboard. Oops. Again, Natsuki didn't feel that bad, especially when she saw the wicked woman from before stabbing Ito in her mind.
Natsuki sighed and turned to look towards the front of the boat again. The pirate's were throwing bodies overboard. Bodies of Takeda's guardsmen. That's…reassuring. Natsuki growled when those crimson eyes lifted off a dead body to meet her emeralds again. That woman was going to pay.
But…not right now! Natsuki turned and ran back the way she sent the kids in. Maybe she could find an extra boat or something and help them get in it.
Shizuru had watched the girl in a dress take on and kill two of her pirates. "Mm…interesting," Shizuru hummed.
"What is, Captain Viola?" Tomoe asked as she came to her captain's side.
Shizuru watched as the girl turned and ran back towards the end of the ship. "Those emeralds…so striking, did you see them, Tomoe?" She asked, a thoughtful expression on her flawless face.
Tomoe frowned but shook her head. "No, ma'am."
Shizuru turned to watch the last of the Masashi's men thrown overboard. "Never mind. I'll show you." Shizuru turned to the rest of her pirates who were all standing around waiting for her orders. "Ara, ara, is everyone waiting for me?" The pirates all chuckled. "Very well, then, let's go see where the unarmed crew went, shall we?" Shizuru asked in her sexy Cardair-accent. They all chuckled again and Shizuru smirked, turned, and headed off in the direction the green-eyed maiden had run off in.
Natsuki smiled when she saw all the kids from earlier huddled in the furthest corner of the boat. She let out a relieved sigh, they were safe. Their mothers were crying nearby and clutching onto Takeda as if he were the brave man that would save them all.
"Natsuki!" Takeda yelled happily. "You're alive!" He went to hug her but Natsuki was too pumped on adrenaline for something like hugging so she dodged him and bent down to hug all the kids instead.
"You're all alright, good," Natsuki said as she ruffled the hair of one of the boys and then stood up. "Takeda," she said looking at him, "please tell me you found a boat we coul—"
"Running away?" That chilling voice stopped Natsuki in her tracks. It was hot, the voice. It instantly reminded Natsuki of red silk or mist. The betrothed girl slowly spun, her rapier pointed straight in front of her, aimed on the siren of the sea.
"You," Natsuki growled as she took a step forward. "Killed Captain Ito and—and all those innocent people," Natsuki's husky voice was all the people could hear besides the sea surrounding them. The pirates were all behind their queen and Natsuki was in front of all the innocent survivors the pirates hadn't gotten to yet.
"Ara, ara," Shizuru lifted a slender brow and she too aimed her cutlass towards the young girl, "Aren't you a brave child?"
"Child?" Natsuki took another step forward and was now close enough to Shizuru so that the tips of their swords were touching. "I am no child," Natsuki and Shizuru began circling each other, the tips of their swords still grinding against the other. "What was the meaning of this?"
Shizuru smirked and ran her eyes up and down the young girl who dared to defy her. Beautiful figure. And those eyes… Shizuru turned to her pirate crew, though she kept her sword firmly on Natsuki's. "People, what we have here is the perfect mix of a wolf and a lamb," she announced.
Natsuki blinked. "Wha—?"
"She's beautiful and innocent," Shizuru flicked her blade so fast, Natsuki didn't feel a thing. One of the straps on her dress was sliced, causing one side of the dress to droop. "So pure," Shizuru cooed, her eyes fixated on the newly revealed creamy skin of Natsuki's shoulder. "But those eyes," Shizuru said louder this time. "So wild, feral…like a trapped animal…"
Natsuki growled. "Enough," she yelled as she lunged forward. Shizuru easily dodged it and moved so that she was behind Natsuki. She took her cutlass and sliced two long lines into Natsuki's back forming an 'X.' Natsuki shrieked and the dress tumbled to her feet, revealing the white shirt, brown pants, and black boots she had been wearing underneath. The back of the white shirt instantly began turning dark red with the girl's blood. Shizuru wondered if the 'X' would leave a scar, she hadn't sliced too deep.
Shizuru quirked a brow as the corner of her mouth lifted into a highly amused smirk. What do we have here? Men's clothes? "Interesting wardrobe. Does your husband know you're stealing his clothes?" Shizuru asked calmly, yet loudly as if to embarrass Natsuki.
Natsuki made sure not to drop her rapier and focused all her attention on not shaking. That demonic woman sliced an 'X' right through her shirt! Shit! I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding, I can feel it leaking down my back! She slowly turned around and faced Shizuru, who had stridden towards her and gently tapped the tip of her sword under the girl's chin. Natsuki glared dagger eyes at her. "I do not have a husband," Natsuki said as she lifted her chin defiantly, showing that she didn't care. Shizuru could slit her throat at any time. And I can't move around in dresses damn it! Okay, it was a little embarrassing being caught wearing your fiancé's clothes though.
"Those are your clothes then?" Shizuru asked as she looked the young girl up and down again. She did look much better. Maybe it was her attitude that came along with feeling more free. Dresses were suffocating, Shizuru would have to agree. The girl would make a marvelous pirate, she already had the whole 'pants over dresses' thing down. Not to mention she took out two of Shizuru's pirates…
"I am her fiancé!" Takeda shouted in a burst of confidence…which was quickly quelled to a mere whimper when crimson lifted off his fiancé and focused on him instead, sizing him up to be a mere fly. Why was Natsuki wearing his clothes under her dress anyways?
Shizuru sighed, tucked her cheek into her palm, and slowly shook her head. "What a shame, dear," she said to Natsuki, who stood standing though blood continued soaking the back of her shirt. "You are to be married to this coward of a man? He was the first to run the second I showed you all who you had 'rescued' off the Kiyohime."
Yes. That is how she acquired the name 'Siren' among many others. Sirens were creatures that would draw men in with their wonderful singing voices. The men would then crash their boats on rocky shores, unable to focus on driving the boat when they were driven madly in love by the sirens. Shizuru's crew was famous for disguising themselves as helpless old women or the beautiful survivors of a pirate attack. The merchant ship would help them out and try and bring them over to their ship, much like Captain Ito had done, and that's when Shizuru would strike. Her tactics didn't require a large boat like a brig, she just needed a fast ship that could sail alongside any other ship and be able to catch up with one.
Takeda's eyes widened and he shrunk in fear. "I-I only wished to protect my fiancé…" he defended quietly.
Natsuki noticed Shizuru was still focused on making Takeda as uncomfortable as possible, so she took a few quick steps back so that Shizuru's rapier was no longer under her chin, and then she kicked the rest of the dress from her feet so that she could now move around freely in her pants. Shizuru's eyes flickered off of Takeda and back to Natsuki, who had escaped. Slippery girl. I quite like you.
"Take the ship's cargo and go," Natsuki demanded as she held the tip of her rapier to Shizuru again. "You have no need to kill all these people. Just take what you want and leave us be." Wicked woman.
Shizuru smiled. "Tell me, girl, what is your name?" Never had she ever met someone brave enough to stand up to her like this. Her reputation tended to precede her, causing even the bravest people to cower in fear the second they learned who had boarded their ship.
Natsuki frowned. "Not important," she replied. "There is nothing you want here."
Shizuru lunged, slicing off the first few buttons on Natsuki's white shirt. Natsuki reeled back and blinked down at her now revealed cleavage. What was this woman and slicing off her clothes, damn it! Emeralds lifted to glare at rubies.
"Hm…" Shizuru hummed and she nodded to a few of her fellow pirates. The pirates all circled around gathering the survivors behind Natsuki. "Actually, I will take the ship's cargo, as planned." The pirate queen strode forward and clashed her sword so hard against Natsuki's that Takeda's rapier went flying from his fiancé's hands. Natsuki stared wide-eyed. She was so dead. This woman, Captain Viola, was going to gut her. "I'm taking you with me," Shizuru said calmly, "you shall warm my bed tonight." The pirates let out hearty laughs and began knocking the women, children, and surviving men to their knees. Precious cargo indeed.
Natsuki blinked. Warm her…wait what? "Huh? What? I'm not going with you, are you insane?" Natsuki asked, an incredulous expression on her face.
Shizuru lifted a slender brow.
Oh right, she is. Natsuki frowned and shook her head as she crossed her arms indignantly. She looked rather dashing in her ruined linen white shirt, tight-fitting drawers, and knee-high black boots. And the way the girl used a sword…yes, she would make a fitting pirate, and if that didn't work out Shizuru could always end her existence.
"Tell me," Shizuru said as she circled her prey, her finger tapping at the tip of her cutlass. "Where you learned to fight like that. After all," Shizuru looked Natsuki up and down again before scoffing, "you look like you're about ready to be feeding children rather than killing anyone." The ring on Natsuki's finger shone brightly in the morning sun.
Natsuki glared and followed the pirate queen with her eyes as the woman circled her like a wolf would its victim. "My father taught me," Natsuki growled through gritted teeth. "He's a blacksmith."
"Mm…" Shizuru continued circling and then turned to watch as her pirates held swords to the innocent people's necks. All she had to do was give the word and she'd add fifteen more people to her number of murders. "You can make me a sword like the one you're using?" Shizuru's eyes flickered to the rapier she had easily discarded on the ground. The hilt was made of beautiful silver loops meant to guard the sword bearer's hand. The blade was long, thin, and beautifully made for dueling. It looked quick and neat. Shizuru wanted one.
Natsuki watched the pirates wait for instructions from their queen. "Y-Yes, but why would I make you a sword? You have one, not to mention you're crazy."
Shizuru frowned and sheathed her sword. She turned and faced Natsuki, her eyes now no longer amused but very serious. It caught Natsuki off-guard and the girl took an involuntary step backwards. She winced when she remembered the condition of her back.
"You will come with me, and you will make me a sword. How does that sound?" Shizuru asked, a pleasant smile on her face.
"No," Natsuki said coldly. "I'd rather die." She held her head high and didn't break eye contact with the frightening woman.
"That can be arranged," a teal-haired pirate said next to Shizuru. Like Captain Viola, this pirate was dressed in rather extravagant materials. Silks, velvet, golden ornaments, buckles, sashes, and a rather expensive looking cutlass. Natsuki assumed she must be someone of importance in the pirate's ranking system…whatever the ranking system was. Do pirates even have ranks besides captains?
Shizuru gave the other pirate that had spoken out a polite smile and then turned back to Natsuki. "No, I will not kill her, Tomoe. Beautiful things are meant to be loved, not killed," she said as if she were informing a class.
Natsuki stayed silent, her eyes staring back into piercing rubies. "Leave," she tried again, not understanding why Captain Viola was still talking to her and hadn't killed her yet. "I already told you I won't do it."
"I will give you freedom from that," Shizuru gave a slight nod in the direction of Natsuki's engagement ring.
Natsuki blinked and brought her hands up to in front of her chest. She spun the ring around her finger, her face thoughtful. No, what am I thinking?! "Freedom from this and then I'd be trapped again…by you…you will give me freedom and take it away?" Natsuki shook her head, her eyes flashing with anger. "I will not go with you."
Shizuru sighed and fiddled with the handle of her sheathed sword. "Alright then," she said with disappointment in her tone. She turned to face the pirates behind Natsuki that were holding the shrieking women and children hostage. "Kill them," Shizuru demanded in her bone-chilling Cardair accent.
"No!" Natsuki yelled as she lunged towards the pirates that had exchanged glances and grins after receiving Captain Viola's order. The pirates knew, from the look in their captain's eye, that they were not to kill the captives. Clearly Captain Viola just said that to get a rise out of the green-eyed girl and try and sway her to see things 'her' way. Still, they all lifted their weapons as if to strike the innocents.
Natsuki couldn't let the people be killed! They were innocent! Just kids and wives of traders! They didn't deserve to killed, they had done nothing wrong! Why couldn't this Captain Viola take the cargo and leave them be?
Shizuru caught Natsuki from behind as the girl rushed passed her towards the children and tugged her hands behind her back. Natsuki growled out another, "No!" and struggled to get away from Shizuru's tight grasp. Shizuru held the girl firm and grinned when the girl let out a helpless whimper.
Captain Viola lowered her lips to Natsuki's ear and whispered, "I can save them…if only you'll come with me."
"Yes!" Natsuki choked out, her body finally growing tired from the loss of blood and the stress of the situation. She half-collapsed into Shizuru's arms and ducked her head in shame. Having to rely on a bloodthirsty pirate for support just sucked, especially after trying to be heroic. "Just leave…leave them alone…" Natsuki murmured in a defeated tone, her eyes unable to look and see if the pirates had in fact killed any of the kids that had kept her company on the voyage.
"So noble…" Shizuru smirked and released Natsuki. The girl toppled to the ground and just barely caught herself with her hands. Captain Viola lifted her head and smiled at the pirates, that hadn't touched a hair on any of the innocent people's heads. "Leave the women and children alone, kill the men."
Natsuki looked up, alarmed. "No! You said—"
"Fine, fine we'll take your fiancé too," Shizuru said as she gestured to two pirates, who grabbed Takeda and began dragging him back to the Kiyohime.
Natsuki managed to stand up and turned to glare at the siren, her fists clenched at her sides. "You said you'd save them," she hissed, her vision going blotchy from the lack of blood.
"I am saving them," Shizuru said back, her eyes narrowing. "Just not the men." Can't risk them possibly fighting back while she's trying to steal the cargo.
"Why the hell not?" Natsuki yelled. "That wasn't the deal!" She had to shake the haziness that was making her eyelids feel heavy. She shakily rose to her feet, her shoulders slumped and her head heavy. She managed to tilt her head up and glare at Shizuru, though the fire was slowly disappearing from the green depths and being replaced by exhaustion.
Shizuru shrugged, strode forward so that she was right in front of Natsuki, and smirked. "Ara, I'm a pirate, we don't play by the rules," she said calmly before backhanding Natsuki so hard, the girl's vision flashed white with pain before she went unconscious and fell to the floor in a crumpled heap.
Shizuru frowned down at the body of the raven-haired girl and then looked to see what was going on. Her pirates had killed most of the men and were throwing their bodies overboard while the women and children watched on in horror. Somewhere, deep inside Shizuru's chest she felt an ache of regret, remorse, and pain. Shizuru growled, spun on her heel and strode away. "Tomoe, bring that girl to my room later and make sure these people have someone among them that can finish their journey as their captain."
"Yes, Captain Viola!" Tomoe said as she gestured towards Miya to help her gather the girl that had stood up so foolishly to their captain. What had she been thinking anyway? And how in the hell was she still alive? Did Captain Viola really want a sword that badly? It was weird enough that Shizuru was allowing these people to live. She never allowed anyone to live!
Nao ran to catch up with Shizuru. "Captain!"
Shizuru halted and turned, her mega-watt smile in place. "Yes, Yuuki?"
The redheaded girl bent and panted to catch her breath. She was the Kiyohime's boatswain. It was her job to look after the ship's supply stores, inspect the sails and rigging, and make sure deck activites were running smoothly. Nao, besides being a great boatswain, was also a very good fighter. After a few moments she straightened and ran a forearm over her sweaty brow. "You want us to let these people live?" She asked in disbelief.
"Yes, I promised…" what's that girl's name? "That girl I would let them go if she came with us," Shizuru said, her tone making her seem impatient and bored. Those eyes, she couldn't get them out of her mind. It was like staring into the eyes of a beast just waiting for a chance to escape. Shizuru wanted to nurture that.
Nao frowned. "But…why?"
Shizuru's eyes narrowed. "Are you questioning my judgment, Yuuki?" She lifted a brow, as if daring Nao to say something.
"N-No of course not, I just…" Nao gave Shizuru a sheepish grin and rubbed the back of her neck. "Just…we haven't let a ship go with survivors in months." It was a very lucky day for whoever Shizuru let go.
Shizuru ran a hand through her chestnut tresses and looked passed Nao as Tomoe and Miya carried the green-eyed girl over to the Kiyohime. "Yes, well…I am giving her quarter," Shizuru explained calmly. Nao just nodded, unable to believe Captain Viola was showing mercy.
Giving one 'quarter' meant you were giving them shelter or mercy. Quarter was given to honorable losers in a pirate fight, though if the winning pirate didn't like you, you would not be getting any 'quarter' and would be killed on the spot. Shizuru was feeling generous, and she did quite like Natsuki's rapier.
Natsuki woke up tied to the main mast of the Kiyohime. It had gotten dark out, and the pirates around her were all laughing and drinking and partying as if nothing had happened earlier. Natsuki winced when she realized her back still hurt like a bitch, though, when she looked down, she realized someone had wrapped her entire chest with bandages. The bandages ended right above her belly button and right above her breasts.
Great. I'm tied to a giant mast, there are pirates all around me, and I'm wearing nothing but my drawers, my boots, and bandages that cover little more than just my breasts. Natsuki glared when the pirates seemed to notice she had woken up and began nudging each other and pointing. How am I not dead? Where is…oh my God. "Where are they?" Natsuki demanded to know, her voice sounding a lot more tired than she would have hoped.
The pirates seemed to part automatically as Captain Viola strode through the crowd to stand in front of her captive. "You're awake," she said happily. "Good."
"The…the kids," Natsuki tried again, her eyes glaring up into rubies. "Where are they? And their mothers?" She didn't want to ask about the fathers, remembering what had happened right before she was knocked out.
Shizuru gently ran a hand down Natsuki's face, causing the pirates to chuckle and Natsuki to growl. "So concerned for people you barely knew. How long were you on that boat? Two days? Did you even know the people you traded your freedom for?" Shizuru asked, a slender brow lifting when Natsuki's eyes lowered to stare at the ground instead.
"N-No I didn't know them…" Natsuki mumbled. "Most of them."
Shizuru lowered her hand and stepped back. "Ara, ara, how noble."
Natsuki's face tilted up again as she sent Shizuru dagger eyes. "Stop saying that, and let me go, damn it!" Natsuki struggled against the rope tying her to the mast of the ship. It was too dark out to see much except the glowing faces of the pirates, shiny rubies, and the reflection of the moon off the sea's surface.
"If you struggle," Shizuru murmured, "your stitches will come out."
"Stitches?" Natsuki asked dumbly, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. Oh right, her back. Her face fell and she looked down at the ground again. "They hurt," she admitted quietly, hoping someone would be kind enough to maybe pass the rum or something to numb the pain.
Shizuru smiled and snapped her fingers. Tomoe brought over a goblet, which Shizuru brought to Natsuki's lips. "Drink up, my captive, and tell me your name." She helped tilted Natsuki's head back as the girl drank like she had never had such a thirst. The second the wine touched her lips she suddenly felt like a desert and hadn't stopped drinking until the goblet was empty. Shizuru smirked, handed the goblet to Tomoe, and wiped Natsuki's mouth with a fine tablecloth. Natsuki continued glaring, but she never said her name.
"Ara, ara, a difficult girl…" Shizuru said loudly, eliciting a few more chuckles from the pirates circled all around. Shizuru lowered her lips to Natsuki's ear and whispered, "Tell me your name or I kill you."
Natsuki tried to straighten her back but instantly regretted it when a pain ripped through her back. She let out a small, barely audible gasp of pain, and shook her head. "I will not."
Captain Viola raised an elegant brow and drew her dagger out in one fluid motion. She brought it to Natsuki's neck and pressed it lightly against the creamy white skin there. It looked so soft, it would be such a shame to further damage this beautiful creature. "Really? You will die because you refuse to tell me your name?" Shizuru asked, though Natsuki could sense the surprise in her tone.
Natsuki glared at Shizuru. "I will not tell you," she repeated quietly, but firmly.
Shizuru's eyes widened but only for a split second. "Ara…" she sheathed her dagger, leaned back, and folded her arms as she looked over Natsuki. "You are a daring girl." She had never met anyone quite like this girl before.
"Just tell me what happened to them," Natsuki said, her eyes feeling heavy. What a day. First she woke up, her ship got attacked by pirates, Captain Ito and many others were murdered right in front of her, she killed two pirates, tried to save the rest of the people on the ship, got an 'X' carved into her back and now she was being held captive on a ship with the sea's most ruthless pirate as a captain? I know I was complaining about my life being boring before but this is not what I had in mind… Natsuki mentally mused.
"They are fine," Shizuru said, shocking her crew when she didn't instantly kill Natsuki right then and there and instead answered the girl's question. "There was a capable woman amongst them who could sail the ship back to your little fishing town. I hope she gives your parents the good news."
Natsuki blinked and looked up, confusion evident on her face. Good news?
"You are alive and well," Shizuru grinned and the pirates all chuckled before quietly dispersing to get the night errands done before bedtime. "At least you probably will be by the time their boat makes it back to where it departed from. Aries was the town called?" Shizuru tilted her head, and Natsuki nodded slowly. "Yes, a fishing town. I find it interesting that a Masashi would find a bride there…especially one of peasant blood." Shizuru was quite interested in the fact that Natsuki had not once asked about her fiancé.
"How…how do you know he's a Masashi?" Natsuki asked, her eyebrows furrowing cutely.
"His family seal is sewn into all of his expensive clothing, dear, it was hardly an educated guess," Shizuru explained as she fidgeted with the hilt of her sword.
The quartermaster, a ranking among pirates that could be seen as a near-equal to the captain of the ship, watched Shizuru curiously. Was the captain nervous? She rarely got twitchy with the hilt of her cutlass and it was mostly right before a battle. Tomoe lifted a brow and continued watching from the darkness. She would make like the other pirates and get ready for bed later, first she wanted to see just what Captain Viola found so interesting about the captive and why whatever it was caused Shizuru to trace the metal working of her cutlass' handle with such precision. Not a part of that swords hilt went untouched by Shizuru's nervous fingers. Only someone that knew the captain very well knew of her nervous habits, Tomoe was proud to be one of those people.
"Oh, right," Natsuki's cheeks tinged with pink and Shizuru's eyes widened. My god, the color! Shizuru reached out a hand a cupped the girl's cheek, eliciting another growl and that emerald glare. "What are you doing?" Natsuki hissed as she moved her head away from Shizuru's warm palm. "Don't touch me."
Shizuru drew back her hand and blinked. Oops. She hadn't meant to do that. "Kannin na, my captive…" Shizuru grinned when Natsuki just stared at her, that same naïve, innocent expression on her face. "Your face changes colors, did you know that?"
Yet again, the cheeks upon the girls face turned a darker shade of red and she averted her angry gaze. "You're an idiot," Natsuki grumbled.
Captain Viola lifted a brow then chuckled. The sound then turned into heartier laughter, and Natsuki continued watching the crazy pirate queen with caution.
Tomoe, who had been watching the whole thing with interest, nearly fell off the crate she was sitting on. Shizuru was laughing? Like that? I haven't heard her laugh like that in… Tomoe's eyebrows scrunched together. Too long.
Shizuru eventually stopped laughing and smiled so warmly at Natsuki that it caught the captive off guard and she blinked in surprise. Shizuru straightened, cleared her throat, and snapped her fingers. Her quartermaster came out of the shadows and stood by her side.
"Yes, Captain Viola?" Tomoe asked.
Shizuru wondered how Tomoe had gotten there so fast, but shrugged off the thought and merely said, "Take the girl to my room." Her tone was soft but there was no room for argument, it was a command.
Tomoe frowned. "To…to your room?"
"Yes," Shizuru said with a nod.
"Not the dungeon with her fiancé?"
Shizuru shook her head. "Tie her to my bed," she added, as if she had just gotten the idea.
Tomoe frowned but nodded. "Y-Yes, ma'am." Shizuru then took one last glance at the shocked Natsuki and then strode away, her crimson overcoat billowing behind her.
Tomoe leaned close towards Natsuki and examined her. Natsuki glared at her. "What are you looking at?" she barked.
Tomoe frowned. "Shut it or I gut you," Tomoe threatened as she called Miya over and the two untied Natsuki and forced her to walk across the main deck of the boat to the stern of the ship. Right under the poop deck was the captain's quarters. They entered and tied Natsuki to Shizuru's headboard. Natsuki struggled but she didn't complain too loudly. When they were done they left her there and went off to go eat before Mai closed the eatery down.
Shizuru finally made her way back to her room. When she lit a few candles she was surprised to see Natsuki was tied to her bed. Oh, she had given that order hadn't she. "Ara, ara, I had forgotten all about this…" Shizuru said as she sauntered towards her bed and sat on the edge of it. She was met with angry emeralds. What a surprise. "Don't look at me like that," Shizuru said with a pout. "Tell me your name and you can join your fiancé down in the dungeon. Though, I'd rather you behave and stay here with me…" Shizuru grinned when the girl's face flushed. My god, it was fun!
"I will not tell you my name but…but I'm not…" Natsuki swallowed, "going to let you do anything to me." Would this woman do something like…that? Natsuki was pretty sure it was only men that raped women…but then again, this was Captain Viola and she shouldn't generalize a gender like that. To be fair, she had never heard of a woman raping another woman before.
Viola lowered herself to her cot and watched Natsuki's nervous eyes examine the gap between their bodies. She had to keep herself from laughing, the girl looked like she was going to panic. "I will not touch you," Shizuru said after a moment, and when the relief washed through the girl's face she added, "Unless I wanted to." She chuckled lightly when the relief disappeared and was replaced by nervousness again. "I'm just letting you know that had I wanted to have you, I could have by now and there'd be nothing you could do about it." But that wasn't really Shizuru's style, besides, half the ship threw themselves at her feet. She could have anyone she wanted. Maybe later.
Natsuki stayed silent and struggled with the ropes around her wrists. "What…what do you want from me?" she asked after she gave up trying to escape. Whoever that teal-haired girl was, she sure knew how to tie a knot. Then again, these were sailors after all.
Shizuru placed a finger to her chin and looked upwards as if she were thinking. "Other than a sword…? I'm not entirely sure to be honest," Shizuru admitted. The look of annoyance on Natsuki's face caused the ruthless queen to giggle. "I'd like to know your name, for starters."
"Why?" was Natsuki's weak response.
"Why not?" Shizuru countered.
Emeralds stared angrily into glittering rubies. "Because I don't want someone like you to know my name," Natsuki said simply.
"Again, why not?"
"You're a murderer," came the answer, "you're going to kill me. We both know it. I don't want you knowing my name."
Shizuru's lips pursed into a thin line as she narrowed her eyes down at the girl tied to her bed. "Interesting," she said quietly, though her tone was laced with venom. "You already assume I'm going to kill you, yet you don't look very frightened," Shizuru said as she pulled out the same dagger from earlier and placed it up to Natsuki's neck. It truly would be a shame to have to cut into the smooth looking skin there. "Are you afraid?"
Natsuki's breath hitched but she held her chin high. "No."
Shizuru grinned and lowered her face so that it was inches away from Natsuki's. She was pleased to find the girl did indeed shrink in fear. "You should be," Shizuru whispered, her hot breath rolling over Natsuki's skin and causing a shiver to go down her spine. Shizuru lifted off the bed and strode over to her door. She mumbled something to the guard outside and stood aside as two guards walked in, untied Natsuki, and dragged the girl towards the brig in the lowest level of the Kiyohime.
Amused rubies followed the girl's angry emeralds as she was taken out of the room. Shizuru closed the door with a content sigh, blew out the candles in her room, and got to bed. Hopefully she wouldn't have the usual nightmares tonight. She was annoyed that the people she had gotten rid of came back in her dreams to torment her at night. Revenge is so petty, Shizuru thought as she closed her eyes, these souls should really stop bothering me and move on.
Natsuki was thrown head first into a cell. The ground was moist, the iron bars were rusted, and it was so dark she couldn't see a thing. "Bastards," Natsuki grumbled as she stood up without trying to hurt the slashes in her back. She dusted off her pants and looked around the darkness. She could see nothing but blackness.
"N-Natsuki, dearest?" Takeda's shaky voice was like heaven to her ears. She wasn't particularly glad to see him it was just…the fact that he was familiar, a fragment of the life she had just hours ago before this cruel woman shattered it. What had she shattered, really? But now was no time to get introspective, she had to get out of there.
"Takeda?" Natsuki asked as she held her hands out in the darkness and felt around. Iron bars encased her on all sides except behind her where the hull of the boat made up the wall. She had to admit, she was glad they weren't in the same cell.
A relieved sigh. "Oh, Natsuki! My lovely Natsuki!"
Natsuki rolled her eyes. "Uh, yeah?"
"You're alive! I'm alive! Do you know what this means?"
"The pirates are going to kill us later?" Natsuki offered.
Takeda didn't appreciate her sarcasm or her pessimistic attitude but he didn't comment on it. Clearly his future bride was just afraid. "No, it means they know who I am. My father will send these vile pirates their pay and we'll be saved!" Takeda's tone was so jolly, Natsuki wasn't so sure it would be the pirates killing him.
She decided to just let him have his hope. "Yeah…" she mumbled. "Sure." Pirates were pirates. Even if they did end up asking Takeda's parents for ransom, Natsuki highly doubted they'd still make it out alive.
Just then, the door at the top of the stairs Natsuki had been shoved down, opened, illuminating the prison cells in light. A redheaded pirate with a sly smirk on her face walked in a rather seductive way down the steps, her hips swaying and the keys to their freedom swinging around her pointer finger. Natsuki glanced over at Takeda, who was sitting on the floor of his cell and watching the pirate as well.
"Hey there," Nao said with a small wave as she plopped down into a crappy wooden chair and watched the two new inmates. "We rarely," never, "have prisoners but it looks like I got stuck on watch duty. So," the redhead shrugged and leaned back into her chair, "which one of you likes to play poker?" The girl's lively light green eyes flickered between a horrified Takeda and a confused Natsuki. "No one?" she asked after they both didn't say anything. "Really?" She sighed. "Great, this is going to be boring."
"Let us out," Natsuki tried, though she knew there was a fat chance of that happening.
Nao snorted. "Right, I'll let you out so you can do what? Get caught? We're in the middle of the ocean on a big ass pirate ship captained by the most ruthless pirate these seas have seen in years and you want out of the cell?" The redhead cracked her neck and then tilted her head back over the chair, her eyes closing as if she meant to take a nap. "You're safer in that cell if you ask me."
Natsuki let out a long sigh and sat down on the moist planks that made up the bottom of the ship. She tilted her head forward, causing a shimmering curtain of dark hair to hang over her head like a waterfall as she buried her hands in it and massaged her scalp. "We're screwed," she murmured to no one in particular.
Takeda hummed in agreement and settled back into his cell, his eyes closing like the cell guard. Napping was the only thing to do it seemed. A thought struck him. "Dearest, today…why were you wearing…why are you wearing my clothes?"
Natsuki's eyes snapped open and she flipped her hair back over her shoulders. "Um…to be honest…dresses are hard to walk in…" They're so damned puffy and obnoxious looking!
Takeda blinked. "Oh. I see." Weird. My future wife is weird.
A chuckling noise seemed to come from their 'guard' but when they both looked in her direction, she hadn't seemed to have moved.
"So…an all female crew, huh?" Natsuki asked the redhead, who didn't move but made a small noise that signified a 'yup.' Natsuki nodded. "That's…interesting," Natsuki tried. The redhead stayed silent but shuffled a little as if she were trying to make that wooden chair comfortable, something it most certainly would never be.
"Stop trying to talk to pirates, honey," Takeda said, though Natsuki felt an insult to pirates coming on, "they're not smart enough to understand what you're saying anyways." There it is. Natsuki winced when the redhead snapped her head up and glared at Takeda.
"If Viola didn't want you around for some reason, sir, I would have you cut into a million pieces and thrown overboard."
Takeda huffed, but stayed silent.
Nao turned her gaze on the girl that looked more like a pirate than a noblewoman. "And you…you need a new shirt or that thing is going to fall apart. Viola really took her time with you this morning."
"What do you mean?" Natsuki asked, about Viola taking her time, not the shirt falling apart since that part was obvious.
"She could've sliced right through you anytime she wanted. Trust me, I've seen that woman fight…she's damned deadly. Hell with a sword. Hell, even unarmed…looks could kill you know," Nao folded her arms behind her head and peered at Natsuki down the length of her nose. "How is it in that cell? Nice and comfy I bet."
Natsuki shrugged. "It's cozy," she replied nonchalantly, eliciting a chuckle from the redhead.
"The name's Nao," the pirate said as she closed her eyes again.
Natsuki lifted a brow but said nothing. After a few more moments of silence she asked, "Viola…what's her story?"
An annoyed noise came from the pirate, who apparently was still trying to sleep. "No one knows except Captain Viola and possibly the quartermaster Marguerite."
Natsuki lifted a brow. "The quartermaster?"
"Yeah you know," Nao gave up on trying to sleep seeing as how one of the two people she has to watch over has a big mouth, and leaned forward instead. She gestured to her hair, "long greenish hair? Always scowling unless she's staring at our beloved, bloodthirsty pirate queen?"
Natsuki nodded as she remembered the girl who stepped from the shadows when Shizuru snapped her fingers. "So she's the quartermaster."
Nao nodded. "Yup. Kind of a creepy girl but whatever. She handles all the punishments for the pirates that take more gold than their share or ones that don't listen to Viola. She also takes care of everything the Captain doesn't want to be bothered with." Bitch gets paid a lot too. "I think they screw a lot too," Nao added. "But then again, Viola is known for that kind of thing. I wonder if there's anyone on this ship she hasn't flirted with at one time or another."
Natsuki nodded. "I see…"
"Mhm…now you should probably get some sleep," Nao said.
Natsuki blinked. "Why?"
"If Viola doesn't have you running around the ship tomorrow to torment you, Tomoe will."
An annoyed feeling came over Natsuki. "Oh."
And so she went to sleep.
Captain Viola fastened the golden buckled that held her crimson overcoat together and then sat on the edge of her bed to pull on her knee-high black boots. Morning. She always hated mornings. They were so bright and sunny, so misleading. She wouldn't admit it, but there was something telling her to get up earlier than usual. After taking over a ship and stealing everything from it, Shizuru liked to sleep in and relax. This morning she wanted to get up and…do something. See someone.
That brat. That's who she wanted to see.
Shizuru walked over to a cracked mirror and ran her hands down the golden stitching of her jacket. This was such a nice jacket. She then reached onto her desk, pulling out her dagger and then stuffing it into the leather sash that ran diagonally across her chest. One of the highlights of being a pirate was that social rules didn't apply to you. Crimson, red, purples, dark blues…all these colors were usually reserved for those of a noble class. When you're a pirate, class didn't matter. Pirate captains tended to dress as extravagantly as they wanted.
Shizuru smiled and rubbed at the fine silk of her shirt. "I do love the beautiful things in life…" she mused before turning and exiting the captain's quarters. She shielded her eyes at the bright sun and smiled and nodded to the two guards stationed outside her doors at all times. "Good morning," she greeted.
"Morning, Captain Viola!" they both said in unison. Shizuru strode towards the door to the brig and opened it. She looked down the dark tunnel and called, "Yuuki?"
There was a loud crash, a clang, and a yelp. After a few moments a, "Y-Yes, Captain Viola?" rose from the eerie prison.
"Send up, miss," ah yes…she never gave me her name. "That…girl from last night."
"Right away, Captain!" Nao's overly cheery response was. Shizuru sighed, was she really that scary? Of course I am, she chuckled and turned her back on the door leading to the brig.
Natsuki was thrown onto the deck and landed with a thud and an, "Oof!" No one really seemed to notice her though. The pirates were all busy setting up the sails, washing the deck, taking care of their weapons, and doing other…pirate things. Some spared Natsuki a mere glance as she grumbled and made to get up. A few ogled her flat abdomen, but mostly they were just busy.
"Not so rough, Yuuki," Shizuru said with a sigh when Nao stepped to her side. The two of them watched as Natsuki dusted off her (Takeda's?) pants and then glared at them with her emeralds. Shizuru's eyes widened when those emeralds shot through her. My god, the girl is beautiful. How did I not realize this before? Shizuru's lips parted slightly in awe.
The girl was panting slightly, as if angry. Actually, she was definitely angry. Understandable, Shizuru mused as her crimson took in the girl's face. So perfect. The slopes of her cheeks, the cuteness of her nose, the thick eyelashes, the slender body…so fragile looking…but Shizuru knew she shouldn't be fooled. This girl had taken on two of her pirates just a day ago. She was far from the harmless lamb she seemed to be. No, she was a deadly wolf…or she could be if Shizuru…cultivated her talents.
A slender eyebrow rose. "Why are you staring at me like that?" The girl asked warily. The captain looked shocked by something. It was damned funny, her expression, but Natsuki couldn't forget this was a woman that ordered pirates to kill innocent people the other day. The young girl's face darkened. "What do you want and…" she looked around. "Why am I up here?"
Nao examined the captain's face carefully. She looked quite impressed with something. Nao followed her gaze to Natsuki and blinked. Hm.
Shizuru remembered where she was and cleared her throat before placing a perfect smile on her face. Her rubies flashed dangerously, and Natsuki took an involuntary step back. "First things first, what is your name?"
"Again with this? I told you, I won't tell you." She folded her arm over her chest and gave Shizuru an indignant look. Shizuru's smile faltered. Brat.
Nao smirked. Oh. Now she got it. Captain Viola wasn't used to this was she? The 'I won't listen to you, I won't do what you say, and I most certainly will not get in your bed,' attitude this girl seemed to give off like it was some kind of perfume. Nao liked what was going on, it was entirely amusing. Her lime green eyes watched as Natsuki stood there, watching Shizuru impatiently. Nao's gaze then flickered to Shizuru, who looked absolutely annoyed.
"Very well then," The captain said after she was done staring Natsuki down, "As for why you are up here," Nao noted the easily dodged 'why are you staring' question, "Look around you. There's nowhere for you to run, nowhere for you to go…" Shizuru tilted her head. "Except overboard if you wish, though I don't recommend it."
Natsuki swallowed but slowly shook her head. "I'll pass, thanks," she inwardly groaned. Shizuru was right. She was trapped. Again. What a surprise. Out of one trap and into another.
"That's what I thought," Shizuru said with a smirk. "Now…come with me and we'll get you some clothes."
"Shame," Nao muttered under her breath, causing Shizuru to stop and glare at her. Nao gave her captain a sheepish grin, pointed in the opposite direction and stuttered, "I-I'm going to go over there, now."
"Good idea, Yuuki. Why don't you inspect the rigging?" Shizuru suggested, her voice laden with a hidden warning.
"Yes, captain," Nao said with a quick bow before she ran off.
Shizuru watched Nao run off and then turned back to Natsuki, who was watching her suspiciously. "You don't have to watch me as if I'd turn on you any second, girl," Shizuru said with slight malice in her tone. "I told you, if I was going to hurt you I would have done it already."
"There's still all day," Natsuki grumbled as she trailed behind the pirate queen. The 'siren of the sea' seemed to be in a better mood today. She was dressed nicely too, Natsuki noted…and then berated herself for noticing such a silly thing.
The captain knew how to dress, though. She definitely knew what looked good on her figure. Natsuki peered down and tilted her head slightly. The captain's pants were rather tight. She had a nice ass. Natsuki tripped over thin air and toppled to the ground behind the captain, who sighed before turning around and blinking in annoyance at her blushing captive. Why the hell was she blushing?
Natsuki grumbled and stood up. Her eyes pierced into the captains. "Don't say anything."
"Or what?" Shizuru countered, amusement in her eyes. "I think I am allowed to laugh at the prisoner foolish enough to not look where she's walking." A suspicious pause. "Just what were you looking at?" Shizuru asked, her hand on the doorknob of her room.
"The…ocean," Natsuki lied.
Shizuru eyed her before opening the door to her room. "I won't tie you up this time," she said calmly.
Natsuki rolled her eyes and followed her in. "What a relief," she murmured sarcastically.
"Now find something to wear over your bandages. I won't have you giving the crew a show and distracting them," Shizuru said quite seriously as she sat on her chair, pointed to her wardrobe and pulled her dagger out of its sheath. She smirked when Natsuki's eyes widened and then began twirling it between her fingers.
Natsuki had snorted at the 'distracting the crew' thing then gulped when Shizuru shot her a glare that could kill. "R-Right," she mumbled as she tore her eyes away from the dagger and headed to Shizuru's wardrobe. "You're letting me pick from your clothes?" Seemed odd considering captains had all the nice clothes.
Shizuru didn't want to say 'you'd look much better in my clothes than the crew's clothes' so she just stayed silent and watched as Natsuki rummaged through the clothes. "As I said, don't pick something too revealing. I will not protect you if you find yourself in a mob. The crew, I'm sure, is sick of bedding each other." Not to mention Shizuru didn't want other people staring at her captive. She was sure that would get on her nerves or something eventually.
Natsuki felt a cold wave go through her as she picked out a new shirt. "I'm going to pretend you're kidding."
Shizuru smirked. "Whatever helps you sleep at night," she said quietly.
Nao sat at the wooden table and buried her head in her hands. "So tired," she complained.
Mai placed a cup in front of her and patted her head. "Why?"
Nao looked up, nodded her thanks, and took a sip of it. She let out an 'aaah' and then rubbed at her eyes. "Viola put me on guard duty last night. That Masashi guy? He snores. I feel bad for his fiancé."
Mai chuckled and went back to the kitchen. "Well maybe she'll put someone else on guard duty tonight."
"Or maybe she'll put herself on guard duty," Nao grumbled. "She was ogling the prison—OW!" A metal spoon whacked into the back of Nao's head. "What the hell, Mai?!" She barked as she rubbed at her head. That was going to leave a bump.
Mai was glaring down at her, arms akimbo. "Don't talk about Captain Viola like that! She's been good to us. If she puts you on guard duty, you stay on guard duty!"
Nao frowned at Mai. "Alright alright, geez, sorry mother."
Mai pointed her metal spoon menacingly at Nafo before turning and walking back into the kitchen. Nao rolled her eyes, "Pirates."
Hm. Well. I'm not exactly sure what this was. I think my thinking was along the lines of "Pirates are cool. Yeah. I like pirates. And ships and stuff. Yeah…you know what else is cool? Shizuru. And Natsuki. Shizuru would make a bad ass pirate! Hell, Natsuki would make a bad ass pirate! I bet pirates and shiznat mesh well together….let's see."
And then I just wrote this I guess.
Um. Shizuru in this is kind of…mean. If you couldn't tell. I'm aware she's OoC, this is an AU, after all. I wanted to try something where they didn't start off on such friendly terms.
Some notes, if I didn't make this clear in the reading:
-Cutlass-sword commonly used by pirates (Shizuru and some of her crew use one)
-Rapier- sword also commonly used by pirates, but also those of noble blood like Takeda. It requires much more training to use one and is generally used for dueling. They're very nice due to their weight. Swords tend to be heavy, rapiers are light. (The sword Natsuki's father made for Takeda is a rapier) They have beautiful hilts. Really, like pretty loops and stuff. To google!
-Caravel-a medium-sized ship generally used for long voyages. I believe Christopher Columbus used caravels(?), since they were created in Portugal. Shizuru's Kiyohime ship is a caravel. They're highly maneuverable and fast, perfect for Shizuru's take-over of other ships. However…she will be getting a different ship later on :D
-Flintlock pistol- Google a picture of one and you'll know what I mean. Cool things, I have a replica of one in my room haha it's awesome. They were common among pirates and the like.
-Fluyt/fluet/flute-A ship used mostly for lots of trading. Built for cargo, not people, and it was usually lightly armed if at all. It was the perfect target for pirate ships.
-Poop deck- Harhar 'poop' lol. Okay, now that that's out of the way, the poop deck is basically just the highest deck on a boat and usually is above the captain's quarters.
-Boatswain, quartermaster, giving someone 'quarter'- all explained in the reading but you can PM me with questions if you'd like. I suggest googling pictures of the swords and boats, just 'cause they're freakin' cool.
Some facts, obviously, won't be 100% correct. I wasn't around in the 1700s but I'm pretty sure by then caravels had developed into carracks…but I'm using a caravel (ship mainly used in the 1500s) so shhh haha. In fact, I'm pretty sure really sexy bras (or any bras?) didn't exist back then either, but I'm making them exist to avoid the awkwardness of…whatever the hell they used to wear back then for, er, support.
I guess the long author's notes thing isn't just for Monster, huh? Heh…sorry. Oh and if this idea has been done before let me know...but not if it's completely different because then I won't care. Also, thanks to my Andrea, beta, as usual :D
Oh, and the title change? Haha. 'SoS' get it? SOS? Save our ship…? Ha… (purposefully left off the 't')
Chapter song: Sirens of the Sea by Oceanlab feat. Above and Beyond
The lyrics for that song fit REALLY well with what this story is about. Andrea found it and no this fic isn't named for it haha.
So…yeah, let me know what you think?