It was late afternoon when he found out.
"So, he finally did it?" the pirate captain asked his first mate with a small smirk.
"Aye, captain. From what we've heard, it took a while."
The captain considered this, "Well, I never believed him... but now I find myself curious..."
"Any news on where his ship is?"
The first mate thought for a second then replied, "Last I heard they were coming from Tortuga, sir."
He smiled, "Well then, I think it's time we paid him a visit, oui?"
Arthur never really knew when Alfred would visit him. It could be any time throughout the day, or even during the evening. However, their meeting point was always the same.
Alfred would appear whenever the ship anchored up for whatever reason, and he would wait at a certain distance. Arthur would hop into a boat and row over to where Alfred was waiting for him, they would greet each other with a light kiss, and then they would talk.
They would talk about anything that came to mind. Alfred spoke a lot about his brother Matthew, who was too shy to come and meet Arthur. He wasn't very trusting of humans, no matter how much Alfred told him everything would be alright. Also, Matthew was still a little bitter about Arthur keeping Alfred captive for all that time. Arthur didn't blame him.
"He'll come when he's ready."
Alfred puffed his cheeks, "But I really want him to meet you! He's just being stupid."
"Can you really blame him?"
Alfred's blue eyes narrowed as he continued to pout at him. Arthur just raised a thick eyebrow, unaffected by this. He had a younger brother who pulled that one on him all the time, so he'd grown immune to such behaviour.
"Really Alfred, can you blame him? Would you feel the same if it were him instead of you?"
"Of course I would! He's my brother! I'd hate anyone who hurt him!" Arthur said nothing and it dawned on the young merman, "Oh..."
"See, he's probably feeling the same way you are right now."
"Yeah, I guess. Whatever, he'll come and see you eventually! Besides, I don't wanna talk about him anymore, I wanna—"
"Talk about yourself, as usual?" Arthur smirked when he saw Alfred's cheeks turn pink.
"Nooo! That's not what I was gunna say!" Alfred said with a roll of his eyes. Arthur just looked amused, but then looked surprised when Alfred hauled himself up onto Arthur's boat. He beamed at him and said, "I found something and I want you to have it."
Arthur blushed, "What have I told you about giving me things?"
"Yeah well, you gave me your ring and I've been looking for something to give to you in return. It's only fair, right?"
Arthur sighed. He really didn't want anything in return but when he said nothing else in response, Alfred took that as his cue to reveal what he'd brought. He blushed a little, "I wanted to find something as cool as your ring, but... it's kinda hard. So when I was swimming around earlier I found this..." he opened the hand Arthur didn't even realise was clenched shut and revealed a large pearl. Arthur had seen pearls before, but none quite like this.
"I know it's not that great..." Alfred blushed again, "But it's the best I could do..."
Arthur took it from him and held it up to the light to inspect it. The sunlight bounced from the pearl's surface giving it a mysterious sheen. Arthur knew straight away that this particular pearl was special... yes; partly that reason was because Alfred gave it to him...
"I love it," he said with a small smile. Alfred's cheeks turned a darker shade of red at that and he glanced at him.
"Yes really," Arthur assured and pecked his lips. Alfred slipped his arms around his neck and made him hold the kiss longer. Arthur smiled into the kiss and deepened it slightly before pulling away.
Alfred smiled at him, "I'm glad you like it."
The pirate returned the smile and put the pearl into his pocket. For some reason he felt like it shouldn't belong anywhere else.
Alfred looked up at the position of the sun and sighed, "Arthur... I have to go now."
"Ah... all right. I'll see you tomorrow?" he asked and picked up the ores. Alfred nodded excitedly and pushed himself off the boat. He leaned against the side and smiled up at Arthur.
"Gimme a kiss before I go!"
"You git, you've just had one!"
Alfred pouted at him for a while and the Englishman finally gave up. He leaned down and pressed his lips softly against the merman's. Alfred gave a small hum of approval as he kissed back. He didn't hold it for long and he swam away. Arthur sat up straight and watched his lover retreat.
"Bye Arthur, I'll be back tomorrow!" Alfred raised his hand in an enthusiastic wave then ducked under the water.
Arthur smiled at him and rowed back to his ship. He couldn't wait until tomorrow.
Arthur waited all day and there was no sign of Alfred. He pursed his lips and wondered what was keeping the boy. Yes, he knew that the merman didn't have a reputation for excellent time keeping; however he was later than usual.
Arthur paced along the deck, glancing over the side of the ship now and then in hope of seeing that bright blond head pop up from the surface and beam at him.
As of yet, he had no such luck.
He started to feel frustrated. He started to panic too. He knew Alfred was curious, so what if he'd encountered another human and they didn't treat him as well as Arthur had. Dread filled Arthur's mind, so much that he didn't notice a blond head pop up from the water.
The creature waited and watched the pirate with guarded eyes. Was this the man Alfred talked about constantly? He waited a little longer and when he realised that the man wasn't going to notice him on his own, he cleared his throat loudly.
Arthur jumped at the sound and noticed the head of blond hair, "Alfred?"
The merman sighed; why did everyone think he was Alfred?
He didn't respond, and Arthur curiously walked to the boat and lowered himself down. He grabbed the ores and rowed towards the being. As he grew closer, he realised that this merman wasn't Alfred. This merman looked similar to his Alfred, however his hair was slightly longer and was wavy, and instead of that stubborn piece of hair Alfred had, this boy had a curl. His eyes were also a different shade too. Arthur rowed towards him and he noticed that the boy backed up a little, looking slightly afraid.
"It's all right..." Arthur coaxed, "I'm not going to hurt you..."
The merman watched him and bit his lip. His cheeks turned a slight pink. He knew this man wouldn't hurt him, however he was still wary.
Arthur stayed where he was. He'd wait for the merman to come to him. He didn't want to scare him away.
Eventually, the merman slowly swam towards him. He didn't come right up to the boat like Alfred would, but he came close enough so Arthur could talk to him.
"Are you Matthew?" he asked, "Alfred talks about you a lot. It's nice to finally meet you."
Matthew blushed then replied quietly, "Yes, I'm Matthew and I know who you are... sir, I have come for your help..."
Arthur blinked, "My help?"
Matthew nodded and he looked tearful, "S-see... Alfred's been captured again..."
"Captured? Where?" Arthur asked suppressing the anger he felt within him.
"Just west from here..." Matthew replied, "I-I didn't know who else to turn to..."
"It's all right," Arthur said in a calm voice, "He was taken by a ship, yes?"
"Did you see its flag?"
Matthew paused and bit his lip. He looked unwilling to tell him the answer.
"Matthew, this is important. What was the flag?"
Matthew spoke the answer Arthur really didn't want to hear.
"Let me go!"
"Ah, but mon cher, I cannot do that!"
Alfred glared. Currently the merman was sitting in a large fishing net having gotten caught by accident. He knew it was an accident; the pirate whose ship he was currently on had looked genuinely surprised when he looked amongst the fish to see a frightened merman.
However, he wasn't keen on letting him go. He was extremely fascinated by the creature and wasn't planning on releasing him any time soon.
"Honestly, I did plan on searching for a being such as yourself, but this was not the way I intended," the French pirate stated and stood by the net. He looked up at the merman pulling and tugging at the ropes which imprisoned him. Out of no where, Alfred jumped when he was hit by a wave of cold water. He looked down at the crewman which had soaked him and the pirate captain stated, "We have to keep you hydrated some how."
"Who are you?" Alfred demanded, pulling at the ropes again. Usually he would be able to escape but these ropes were just too thick to break.
"My name is Francis Bonnefoy, and I am captain of this ship. And your name is?"
Alfred glared, not willing to give his name to the man who captured him. Francis shook his head and sighed. He looked over to one of his crew members and the man nodded. He hurried away and a few moments later he came back with a spear type object. Francis took it from him and Alfred's eyes widened. He wouldn't... would he?
"Are you going to cooperate with me?" Francis asked and positioned the head of the harpoon at Alfred's tail. The merman didn't want to take a risk so he nodded. Francis smirked, "It would seem threats work on you," he lowered the harpoon and asked once again, "What is your name?"
"Alfred? And tell me, Alfred... have you ever met another human such as myself?"
Alfred hesitated and Francis raised the harpoon again. He nodded quickly at the question, "Yes! I-I have..."
"His name, cher?"
Francis' face split into a wide grin, "Ah! So you are the one. My, my, how fortunate. You see, Arthur and I have been rivals for as long as we can remember and you, mon cher, would be the perfect bait, non?"
Francis waved a hand and shouted orders at his crew. Alfred had no clue what he was saying and he just sat in the net with a small pout on his face.
How on earth was he going to get out of here? Would Arthur realize he'd been captured? How would he find him if he had? Would Matthew realize?
Alfred pouted a little more when he realised he wasn't going to be leaving this ship any time soon.
"Captain, I can understand your concern but..."
"But what?" Arthur snapped and stood firmly at the wheel of his ship. Said ship was going at full speed as Matthew led the way to where Alfred was being held hostage. Matthew had told him that he and Alfred had a special bond; a bond that allowed one to sense where the other was even if they were miles apart, "If that bastard so much as hurts one hair on that boys head I swear I will drown him myself!"
The first mate backed away and nodded silently. He didn't want to get on the wrong side of Arthur, especially when he had his heart set on something. There wasn't much point anyway; no one could change his mind.
Arthur looked ahead and followed the blond head which belonged to Matthew and he could feel they were getting closer. His heart pounded; if Alfred was truly in danger, he would stop at nothing to help him.
And besides, this gave him a good excuse to blow a few holes in the aforementioned Frenchman's ship...
Alfred watched the sun set with a sad expression. He loved the sunset. He'd try and watch it every night either with his brother or Arthur. He felt a small pang of guilt in his chest at the thought of Arthur. He promised himself he would not get captured again, and here he was; stuck in some net, on some ship, held hostage by a guy who looked at him like he wanted to do things to him that shouldn't be legal...
He sighed heavily and looked to his right at Francis, who was polishing his sword whilst humming something under his breath. He didn't look up at Alfred, and he hadn't done so for the past half hour. He concentrated fully on his sword and nothing else.
Francis paused and after a few moments he looked up at the imprisoned merman. Alfred pouted.
"Can you let me go?"
"Non... I wish to keep you for a little while longer."
Alfred's pout remained; this was the answer he was used to. He adjusted his position and ran a hand down his tail and frowned. He was starting to get a little dry, so he looked over at Francis again.
Francis visibly twitched a little and he glanced up at him again, "Oui?"
"I'm getting dry."
He sighed and set his sword aside. Standing up, he walked to the other side of the deck and picked up a large bucket. He tied some rope on the handle and threw the bucket over the side of the ship. It captured enough water and Francis slowly pulled the bucket back up. When it was back up, he carried it to Alfred and with a small smirk he threw the water over him.
"There. Is that better mon cher?"
Francis took that as a yes and set the bucket aside. He continued to clean his sword. Alfred watched him and let out a small puff of air through his nose. This was so boring! He couldn't even tease Francis because the man would take it completely the wrong way and attempt to seduce him like he did last time. Alfred pressed his lips into a thin line and he watched the French pirate with narrowed eyes. He opened his mouth to say something but he was interrupted by the first mate hurrying towards them.
"Captain! There is a ship approaching!"
"And who might it belong to?"
The first mate shifted a little and replied, "I think you know..."
"Ah, so he has come to claim his beloved?" Francis grinned. He stood and put his sword back, "Then let him come."
Alfred gripped on to the rope of the net and watched with wide eyes. Arthur really came for him. He was going to be all right, because Arthur would set him free again. He would help him. Alfred let a small smile cross his lips and for the first time he relaxed in the net. He knew he would be all right.
"Francis!" Ah, that voice. It was so comforting to hear that accented voice. Alfred felt as though it had been years.
The familiar sound of heavy boots reached Alfred's ears and he adjusted to try and looked over his shoulder.
"Where is he you bloody frog?"
Alfred chuckled. Arthur's language choice was so strange.
"Mon cher! How nice of you to join us!" Francis opened his arms wide as though to embrace his rival but he was met with a punch to the face.
Alfred laughed. That was so typically Arthur.
Arthur glared at his rival and shoved him back. He glanced up at Alfred and looked worried for a second, but that was soon replaced with more anger.
"How dare you keep him in such conditions!" he snarled at Francis and shoved him again. Francis backed up and held his hands up in defeat. Arthur only narrowed his eyes.
"Mon cher... I was merely curious. He is a beautiful creature, oui? I only wanted to—"
"Spare me," Arthur snapped, "You wanted to know nothing of him and his species. You just wanted him for your own perverted needs!"
Alfred shivered. He was glad Arthur showed up when he did.
Francis closed his eyes and smirked; a smirk which only angered Arthur further, "Let him go this instant!"
"I cannot do that, cher."
"You will if you want to live," Arthur pulled out his gun and aimed it between Francis' eyes. The other backed up a little more and looked fearful.
"Oh, if that's what you want to believe then please do so. But I am deadly serious. If you don't let him go within the next ten seconds I will blow your head apart. Ten... nine..."
"All right!" Francis hurried forward and with a quick swipe of his sword, the rope was cut and Alfred was free. Arthur quickly moved under him and caught him before he hit the hard floor of the deck.
"Arthur!" Alfred beamed and threw his arms around the pirate's neck in a tight hug. Arthur was greeted with the familiar scent of fish and salt and he couldn't help but smile a little. The smile was short lived as his emerald gaze rested on Francis once again.
"You're lucky..." he glared, "You're very lucky. And I am going to warn you right now. If I ever find out you have attempted something such as this ever again, I swear to God I will not hesitate on killing you. Are we at an understanding?"
Francis glared but he kept his mouth shut. Taking that as a yes, Arthur turned his back and walked back to his ship. Over his shoulder, Alfred glared at the man who kept him hostage and stuck his tongue out at him immaturely, then buried his face in Arthur's neck. He knew Francis wasn't stupid enough to attack. He knew he was now safe.
Back on Arthur's ship, the Englishman set him down and cupped his cheeks in his hands and looked into his sapphire eyes with a concerned expression, "Are you all right?"
Feeling the ship move again, he nodded, "Yeah... I am. Thanks Arthur..."
"You needn't thank me, Alfred. It was the least I could do. You mean the world to me."
A small blush dusted Alfred's cheeks as he looked into Arthur's green eyes. He smiled his dazzling smile and took Arthur's hands in his own. He took a breath and his smile faded a little, "You must think I'm stupid... this is the second time I've been captured..."
"It wasn't your fault this time..."
"Neither was the first time."
"But you know I'm glad you did what you did. If you hadn't, I wouldn't know you. And if Francis captured me anyway, I'd still be there."
Arthur considered this and a small smile tugged at his lips. He removed one hand from Alfred's and ruffled the boy's hair lightly. He moved a little closer and embraced him. Alfred didn't hesitate to hug him back. The merman took in his scent and asked, "How did you find me?"
"Matthew, of course."
Matthew? Matthew had come to Arthur for help? Alfred smiled; he was glad his brother was able to trust him.
"Now then," Arthur said and scooped him into his arms again. He carried him to the plank like he did the first time he released him. They were now far enough from Francis' ship to be safe, "We'll have plenty of time to talk, but right now your brother is missing you an awful lot."
As though on cue, Matthew popped his head up and smiled slightly up at them both. Alfred could hardly contain his excitement.
"Mattie! Just wait there, I'll be with you in a minute, 'kay?"
"S-sure Al..." he said and stayed where he was. Alfred looked over at Arthur again and smiled.
"Thanks Arthur... I don't know what I'd have done."
"I've told you not to thank me," Arthur stated with a smile of his own. Alfred leaned in and connected their lips. Matthew looked away with a small blush. Arthur kissed him back eagerly and as Alfred wrapped his arms around his neck, he forced himself to pull away.
"Like I said, we'll have time for this later... go and see your brother," he loosened his grip, leaving Alfred to jump into the water whenever he was ready. The merman nodded and with one final peck on Arthur's lips, he smiled and pushed himself from Arthur's arms and into the sea.
Arthur watched as the two brothers embraced tightly and talk to each other in hushed tones. Alfred smiled brightly at Matthew then he looked up at Arthur. His smile widened and he raised his hand to wave at him, then he disappeared under the water. Matthew, however, stayed above the surface and he looked up at Arthur also. He smiled a small smile and mouthed two words to him.
A/N: A sequel! 8D
I did originally post this seperately but it annoyed me (yeah, I'm weird) so made it a second chapter of this xD