(A/N this is written by me, lucyReywood and another friend AS. she does have a profile page, sale and evans inc, but as there are already two people sharing that profile we decided to post it on mine, all credit for typing this up goes to AS i just helped with some of the writing! Thanks AS for posting but you forgot a few things: (the obiviousone i have already pointed out, 2 authors)
Diclaimer: we donot own swallows and amazons, Coots, D's, Death and glories, Georgw Owden or any other of Arthur Ransome's characters.
The train carrying the Walkers finally pulled up at the station. The four children- if they could be called that, as the youngest was now thirteen, and the oldest eighteen- tumbled out of the door to their compartment, and stood on the platform, looking for someone. Eventually, Titty spotted Captain Nancy Blackett near the entrance to the station, stood with her back to them.
"There she is." She said, excited. "Nancy!" She called out, waving, but she got no response. She called out again as she and her siblings started walking towards their friend, and this time, the others joined in as well, but Nancy still didn't answer them. John rolled his eyes. She'd kill him for it later, but, well, desperate times called for desperate measures.
"Ruth!" He hollered suddenly, making the others jump. That got her attention. She spun round abruptly, grinned at the others, then treated John to her best Captain Nancy Blackett, Terror of the Seas glare.
"John Henry Walker" she began menacingly. "I thought we'd been through this before. You do NOT call me 'Ruth' except under the most extreme of circumstances. I hate that name, as well you know." John debated backing down- it might be safer for him if he did- but the same spirit that was causing him to apply to the Navy, even when the outbreak of war was imminent would not allow him to back down to a girl, even if that girl was Nancy Blackett in a temper.
"Well you were ignoring us," he replied, getting ready to run if necessary. If looks could kill… "We'd been calling you all the way up the station. It seemed to be the only way to get your attention." He shrugged apologetically. He knew Nancy would calm down quickly on hearing a good reason- her fiery temper was countered by a friendly, outgoing temperament which meant she could never hold a grudge for long so long as the offence had a decent excuse. However, him escaping this encounter unscathed depended on what she classed as a good reason. He noticed the fire in her eyes dying slightly and knew he was off the hook. She kept the glare up for a bit though, but he suspected that that was just for the fun of it. Seventeen year old Nancy Blacketts were expected to behave with more decorum than the twelve year old he had met on his first visit to the lakes. It was probably quite a while since she had been able to get away with really glaring at someone.
His suspicion was confirmed when the frown feel from her face and she grinned at them all.
"Fair enough, I suppose Commodore. I'll let you off this time," she said cheerfully. "Never again though, or I'll keelhaul you, fellow captain or not" Nancy smiled to herself. It had been a long time since she had threatened to keelhaul someone, even Peggy. The older you got, the more rules you had to follow. Mother had even said she had to stop wearing comfortable at the age of eighteen, and change to more feminine, less practical adult clothes, as it wasn't 'seemly' for a young lady of seventeen to be running round in shorts. It still caused a slight scandal now, but she was used to that. Mind you, she was starting to hate the word 'seemly'. It was good to have the Swallows back. A year was too long to go without seeing your best friends and allies, and besides, this was the last chance she had to cause havoc legitimately, so she intended to make the most of it. Next year she was expected to go out into 'society'- no sailing except at weekend, and best frocks every time she went out!
"Come on, let's get back to Beckfoot." She said, snapping out of her reverie. "I brought Swallow and Amazon over, so we could sail back. Peggy's still at home, so I'll take your luggage in Amazon so you can all sail in Swallow for your first time back on the lake this year. I'll need to borrow a member of your crew though Skipper, to help stow the cargo." They walked down to the small harbour in Rio. John himself helped Nancy with the cargo, and Susan smiled to herself as she watched the two of them together, working practically side by side. They'd swear blind they were just best friends if she were to say anything to them, but she often suspected there was more to it than that, even if they themselves had not yet realised it. She caught Titty's eye and the two of them tried not to laugh as they watched Nancy nearly falling into the lake, stopped only by John's hand, and her thanking him with a smile, instead of telling him that she could handle herself thank you very much as she would to anyone else. Titty shared Susan's opinion about the situation, except in that Susan thought that they had plenty of time to work out how they felt about each other, whereas Titty knew that this was not the case, John needed to get his act together if he was going to do anything about Nancy before he entered the Navy. She alone out of all his siblings knew he'd applied and been accepted, and was due to enrol at the end of the Summer. If he waited after that, it might be too late, what with the war that everyone was expecting
There was a fair wind to Beckfoot, so as and when John and Nancy had finished with the luggage, they arrived in good time. Then it was all hands to unload cargo and they headed up to the house. Nancy showed them where they would be sleeping, then they headed down to the garden to greet Peggy and Mrs Blackett.
"Susan!" Peggy cried, as soon as they entered the garden, her face lighting up as she caught sight of her best friend.
"Peggy! My fellow first mate, it has been far too long." Susan replied, her voice full of excitement.
Then, two new voices entered the garden, from behind the hedge.
"Titty!" The voices said, before being followed into the garden by Dick and Dot.
"Dick! Dot!" cried Titty and Roger, hurrying over to greet their friends.
John and Susan looked a little confused, much to Nancy and Peggy's delight. The reason behind this was that, last they'd heard, Dick and Dot couldn't make it to the lakes that year, as their father was coming home from Egypt.
"I thought the D's couldn't make it this year?" John said to Nancy, raising an eyebrow. Nancy quickly explained how Mr. Callum had been called away to a new discovery in Peru, where their mother was to join him, so the D's had come up to visit.
Suddenly, the Swallows' collectively remembered their host, and turned to greet Mrs Blackett. Susan took over this as she was best at that sort of thing.
"Thank you so much for having us to stay Mrs. Blackett." She said politely. After giving them all a hug, Mrs Blackett replied:
"Not at all my dear, not at all. I'm glad you could come, if only to keep my pirates out of trouble. They have yet to work out how to do that for themselves. Now, I must go and see Mrs. Swainson so I'll see you all at dinner. Do try not to be late won't you Nancy dear." She left quickly, and Nancy looked round at the assembled allies.
"Right then, let's go sailing shall we?"