Arthur suddenly found himself on the floor, his hands slamming down on the floor just in time to keep his upper body from making violent contact with the hard ground. He clicked his tongue in annoyance and looked up. He frowned at the figure above, who was holding his gun in both hands, mere inches away from Arthur's head. Kiku was breathing heavily, but he was trying to focus most of his attention keeping his hands steady, careful not to break eye contact. He smiled.

"I will kill you," he whispered, breathing erratically. "For everything you have done. Repent yourself in hell." His smile widened darkly.

"You can't kill me," Arthur smirked, unfazed. "Just look at your hands- you are shaking. You can't kill a thing like that."

"Shut up," Kiku growled, shifting his body to get a better position over the other, trying to steady his legs that had exhausted themselves with the small assault he brought upon Arthur. As a matter of fact, his whole body was shaking in fatigue and pain. He could not recall the last time he ate, and the wounds from the lashes on his back from earlier in the week were still fresh, stinging at every heavy breath.

He cocked the gun towards Arthur's temple, taking a few quick breaths to steady himself. He was on the verge of pulling the trigger when he heard a high pitched yelp from the doorway. He instinctively turned his head to see a small figure dart into the room, and slam himself into Kiku's side, causing him to lose balance and pull the trigger, hitting one of the wooden boxes piled high on the other side of the room. The box shattered into pieces, the contents flowing out onto the floor. Kiku flinched from the sound as he tried to push himself back up from the floor, only to find a young child repeatedly punching him with his small fists, half hysterically, straddled on his stomach.

"Don't hurt Arthur you jerk!" he wailed, punching Kiku's chest. The dark haired man could do nothing but stare down at the young boy, lost. He had conveniently forgotten the gravity of his situation until a group of men rushed into the room, alerted by the shrieking and the gun shot, and pounced upon him. They yanked the boy off his body, and the gun out of his hand. Before he could completely regain himself, Kiku was on his side on the floor, tasting blood in his mouth again as he was kicked around angrily. His consciousness was beginning to give way when he heard a loud clap. The men reluctantly stopped, one, two at a time, turning towards the sound. Arthur stood, completely recomposed, hands clapped together. When he was sure he had obtained everyone's attention, he made a point to wave the others out of the room.

"You, too, Alfred," he added as he peeled the blond boy off his leg. "I told you never to come in here."

"I-I-I'm gonna protect you!" Alfred wailed again, flailing his arms and legs as he was handed over by the collar to one of the cabin men.

"When you are ten years older," Arthur replied, knocking him lightly on the head, nodding to the men to usher them out of the room. "Well then."

He turned back to the black haired man curled up on the floor, breathing heavily. "That was certainly unexpected." He walked over to the prince and nudged him with the toe of his boot. He bent over to pick up the crop that had fallen by his foot earlier, and pushed Kiku's head up with it to look into his face. His eyes were half dilated, a wild look nestled within them. Adrenaline was pulsing through his body, regardless of the fact that it was screaming in pain everywhere. He slowly tried to move his chin away from the crop, and began to gingerly push himself back up, arms threatening to collapse under him.

"I thought you'd began to behave yourself," Arthur sneered, firmly placing one of his feet, clad in shin-high boots, down onto Kiku's back so that he could not push himself up any higher. The dark haired man grimaced, arms shaking. He attempted to twist his torso to push the foot away, and the pirate abided, laughing.

"But you look so good, groveling on the floor like that!" he taunted, toying with the whip in his hands. He stared back condescendingly into the other man's angered eyes, savoring the defiance that he thought was almost gone.

The young prince managed to push himself up this time, into a sitting position, and spent a few second breathing shallowly, attempting to keep himself from toppling back over again. He only grunted lowly in response to a quick swipe of pain that seared across his cheek, only an inch under his eye, glaring up at the other, who was poking his cheek with the crop, watching it bleed in fascination. Arthur walked up to him, staring down, his lips curled up in sadistic pleasure.

Kiku made to swipe the crop from near the new stinging cut, when the door slammed open again, and a small golden figure bolted towards him, this time cleanly pushing him over, sending him tumbling on the floor. In reflex, Kiku cuddled the boy's head to his chest, protecting it from plummeting onto the hard flooring, ending up falling onto his own shoulder. He grimaced, still gripping tightly on the boy, trying to ignore the pain that shot down his arm and back.

Almost immediately, he saw a thin barrel out of the corner of his eye, pointed directly down at his head, the bearer glaring down at him, eyes suddenly cold and livid, the previous looks of amusement and taunt gone.

"Let go of the boy," he growled, as Kiku made no movement to let go of the small blond who was flailing a little initially.

"Put the gun down… You are going to accidentally shoot him…," Kiku hissed back, glaring up at him, still making no moves, conscious of Alfred moving around a little in his arms, pushing his face into his chest, and clinging onto his kimono. Kiku blinked. "I cannot fathom that it must be too comfortable there…" he murmured, peering down into his arms, loosening it a little. Alfred was a perfect size to fit into his arms when he was curled up, he had to admit, and it made him somewhat nostalgic…

But nostalgic or not, it did not change the fact that his whole body ached, and his head was spinning. Even before Arthur could give a swift kick into his back or yell another warning, Kiku had completely loosened his grip on the young boy, and lost consciousness into the darkness.