The rocking and creaking of the ship woke Vincent from his slumber. He looked around the dark room to find himself lying in a cell. He set up, realizing his wrists were in shackles and so were his ankles. He rubbed his head, going through what had happened. He saw his father get slashed, then he forced onto the deck of another ship and thrown down. He stood ready to put up a fight, but then the captain walked up to him. He remembered throwing a punch then missing, then…nothing. He must have been knocked unconscious. He sniffled and rubbed his arms as he huddled into a ball. It was chilly in there. He laid his head on his arms and sighed.
'Is dad dead or just hurt? Will he be ok? Was Aerith ok? Why did they take me? Of all people, why me? Is it because dad's a scientist or just randomly taking a hostage? Why did they throw me down here? It's so cold.' He let out a deep breath, trying to calm his mind. He couldn't think properly with all the questions going though his head. He had to think of a way of escaping. 'But then, how would I find the ship? I don't know how to navigate. I don't know how long it's been since they took me or which direction we went. The ocean is too big to get lost in. they have to stop at a harbor at some point. If I can survive until they do, then I can escape.' He smiled at the little hope he had. He stayed there, happy that he was used to silence, used to being alone, if he wasn't, then he might go crazy. He was trying his hardest to sleep when heard the creaks of a door opening, then light footsteps. He didn't want to look up as the steps stopped in front of him.
"I'm glad you're awake." A cheerful voice? "Means the captain didn't hurt you too bad. Speaking of which, he wants to see you."
The raven peeked up to find the spiky guy that attacked him earlier was the one talking. "I will not see him."
"Whoa. That's one way to make your stay here bad. If you're good, he might just let you go after a few weeks. He won't even hurt you."
"Lies." He mumbled.
"Hey, my name is Zack." He knelt down. "I was a stowaway on here. I was running away from some mean people and well ended up on the ship. They said if I was good, then they would let me go. I did whatever they asked and after two months, they stopped by a harbor and said I was free. But you know what. I didn't want to leave. I actually had friends on here and people to take care of me, to teach me stuff. I've been free to leave for over eight years, but I chose to stay. I've seen the captain let people go after a few weeks. If you're smart, you can make a deal with him to let you go. But he's very sneaky so be car—"
"Leave me alone." Vincent said quietly.
Zack sighed and scratched his head. Then an idea popped into his head. "How about this? I'll take your ankle shackles off, if you promise to go see the captain. I'll make sure they won't put them back on you afterwards, ok?"
The raven looked down at his feet. The metal was cold and making his skin itch. "Could I also get a blanket and something to eat if I go see him?"
"Sure! I'll get it for you myself. So do we have a deal?"
Zack straightened up and unlocked the cell, then walked over the prisoner. Vincent straightened his legs out so they could be unshackled. After the pirate took them off, the raven rubbed the red marks they left behind before standing up. He looked at this man that was smiling at him. He was in dark blue pants, a dark blue cotton shirt that look very comfortable, black gloves and boots. He had a sword on his back. He followed closely behind the pirate as they stepped outside into the rising sun. He looked away and squeezed his eyes shut from the sudden change in lighting. He walked closely to the other as he spotted others working around deck. They walked straight to a door underneath the wheel to find some stairs. They walked down and walked straight down the hallway to a door. Zack knocked on it and waited for permission to open. He heard a slight murmur, so he stepped, guiding the raven deeper inside. Sephiroth was at his desk, writing in a book. He looked up, then closed it and moved it to the side with a map.
"Sit. Zack you're excused."
The spiky haired bobbed his head a left, leaving Vincent alone with him. The raven carefully took a seat and looked around the room. It was big. The desk was in the middle, to the right was a large bed with reds and purples around it. There was curtain to the side that could split the bedroom off from the room they were currently in. To the left were two full, large book bookshelves. Beside them wear a few chests, what looked like a wardrobe, and a lot of gold piled up. He looked back to the right to find were the curtain was bunched up, there was a vanity set with a large mirror on it. He looked forward to find behind the captain, was the long sword that slashed his father, hanging on a stand against the wall. His eyes moved down to meet the green ones.
"It took you long enough to wake up." The captain started. "I'm Captain Sephiroth, welcome to my vessel…"
"Vincent. That name suits you."
"Why did you take me?"
"Because I'm infatuated by you. Your eyes are as beautiful as the color of blood. You have quite the nice body too."
The raven glared at him. "I want you to release me."
The captain laughed. "Now why would I do that?"
"I'm the only one who can give orders on this ship!" Sephiroth slammed his hand down.
"Then I'll make a deal with you."
"Oh, did anyone ever teach you that it's bad to make bargains with Pirates?"
"Either we make a deal, or send me back to my cell." Vincent kept his defiant stare. The captain rubbed his chin as if he was thinking, then he smiled.
"You want your release yeah?"
"Yes, at a harbor."
"Fine, I'll drop you off at Junon if you live up to your part of the deal. You have to stay aboard this ship for two months. You will be a part of the crew, you will take your part in raids, take care of the ship and the others. You will be my personal servant and you will do anything I say. Anything. If you fail to live up to the agreement, you'll belong to me for the rest of your life."
"Those are some strong terms. How do I know if you would live up to them?"
"It's a code us pirates have. We have to live up to our agreements. So do we have a deal?"
Vincent looked away for a second before looking back. "We…we have a deal."
Sephiroth smiled as he stood up. He walked to the door and opened it, making Zack fall on his face from having his ear glued to it. "Unchain him. He'll be a part of our crew for a month, starting today. Find him some clothes and put him to work."
"Uh, sure, but I kind of promised him food if he came to see you."
"He'll eat when we all eat. Now, unchain him."
Zack shook his head as he walked in to do his job. He unhook the raven's wrists, allowing his rub them. He moved the fingers and wrist of his left arm to find that the contraption was still working. He stood up and walked to the captain before all three walked out on the deck. Sephiroth led him up the stairs to the higher deck beside the wheel. The one that captured him was the one steering.
"Listen up!" the silver man shouted, catching all on deck's attention. "This here is Vincent. He'll be a member of our crew for a month. Whether or not he stays longer, is up to his ability to uphold our agreement. Let me warn all of you now. He's mine. Now get back to work."
"Aye Aye!" They shouted. Zack patted the raven's shoulder and nudged him to walk. Vincent followed him back down inside, but took a right instead of going straight. They walked past several places that seemed like beds, then through a room that looked like a kitchen, then into another section that looked like storage. He stood there as Zack rummaged through some boxes and started pulling out clothes to see if they would fit him.
The spiky guy sighed. "Nope." He threw it to the side and started digging some more. After several boxes, fittings, and glares, Vincent had black leather pants and a black, long sleeve shirt. "This will do for now. Let's get you to work."The raven followed him out through the maze of hallways again, then back up to the deck and to the second in command. "This is Angeal, he's the first mate. So what will be Vincent's job?"
The elder man looked at him then down at the compass. "He'll be working in the kitchen for today."
"You remember where that is right?"
Vincent nodded before walking back down. He quickly made his way to his destination, where he found a big, tall man working at a gas stove with three pans on top. He turned to grab a knife when he spotted his visitor. "The hell you want?"
The raven glared at him. "I was ordered to work in here."
"Ah, hell no! I don't want no spoiled brat trying to work in here and mess up my food. Not happening. I bet you've never touched a pan in your life."
"You mean cook. No I haven't. I was ordered to work in here and I'm a quick learner, so I won't burden you too much."
"Whatever." Then man snarled his fat nose. His eyes were too small for his face, his lips were fat and short, while his hair receded greatly. He has a mustache that connected to a short beard. "Name's Chef."
'That's real original.' Vincent mental rolled his eyes. "Vincent. Now what am I to do?"
"Pay attention, cause I'm only gonna show ya once." He hobbled over to the table between them and grabbed a potato plus a knife. He started peeling it. "First, ya skin it. Then you're gonna cut it in the middle, then cut across four times, making eight sections."
The raven watched at the man did so, then he grabbed a large pot and placed the vegetable in it. Chef lifted a bag of the brown food onto the table then placed the knife in front of the captive. "how many?"
"Fill the pan."
Vincent shook his head and quickly got started. He found it quite difficult to peel the potato at first, but soon got the hang of it after about seven on them. Each time he cut, it became faster and straighter cuts. He had no idea cooking was this easy.
After the pan was full, he was ordered to fill it with water, rinse them, repeat twice, then refill it and place it on the stove. Next, he had to pull apart some kind of meat that had been cooked earlier and ended up cutting his finger on the knife, but the meat went in a pan that looked like stew. Then he had to drain the potatoes, which he got burnt from the steam, and he had to mash them up with a strange utensil had six metal lines on it, like a deformed fork that was bent.
"Grab the pepper out of the cabinet." Chef ordered.
The raven went the large, doubled door china cabinet and opened it up to find filled with different spices. He grabbed the pepper and took it to the cook and watched as he test tasted it. "What else would you like me to do?"
"Grab all the bowls from the cabinets and the plates as well."
Vincent quickly grabbed every bowl and plate he could find, then placed them on the middle table. Chef sat a tray down, took a nice bowl and plate from a different cabinet, and placed them on it. He filled the bowl with the stew, then placed the mashed potatoes on the plate. He cleaned them up, then sat a wine glass on it. He handed the tray to the raven. "Take it to the captain, and don't spill it, then come straight back."
He nodded and quickly left the room. He went straight to Sephiroth's room and knocked on the door. "Enter." He opened the door while balancing the tray and walked in. The silver haired man was sitting at his desk and Angeal was standing next to him, both looking at a map on the desk.
"Chef told me to bring this to you."
"Sit it down." The captain pointed to a spot on his desk. Vincent went to set it down, but in the process, his hand grazed a little red rock, knocking it off the table.
"Oops." He mumbled, reaching to pick it up. Before he could even touch it he was gasping out as his body was slammed into the wall. Angeal had grabbed him and rammed him into it, holding his arm against the raven's neck.
"Never touch anything from the captain's desk!"
Vincent gasped. "I was…just…picking it up."
"Angeal, let him go."
The first mate did so, allowing him to fall to his knees and cough. The pirate walked over and picked up the diamond and placed it back on the desk before glaring at the younger man. "Get to work!"
Vincent lifted himself up and left the room, then headed back to the kitchen, where he saw Chef preparing bowls and plates. "The men are waiting above deck to eat. Start taking them out on the trays."
The raven grabbed took all he could and headed up to the deck where he found the shipmates sitting, waiting to be fed. He started towards Zack since he was at the wheel and he seemed to be only one who was nice to him. He walked up to the steps and held the tray of bowls out to him, the tray of plates. He gladly accepted them before Vincent walked back down. He started handing them to the closest people, but when he got the last one out, a big, burly man stepped in front of him. Vincent had to look up at his, which was strange since most people were a lot short than him. This man a red hair with black streak through it. His arms were huge and hairy, the sleeves had been ripped off the white shirt he was wearing.
"Uh," Vincent paused for a second. "I have to go get it."
The man narrowed his eyes before gripping the other's black shirt. "I am supposed to get the first batch. Now where is it?" He threw the raven to the floor and kicked him in the stomach. Vincent growled as he grabbed a tray and stood up. The man threw a punch, but his target dodged it, moved around him and hit him in the head with the metal tray. He stumbled forward before turning, swing arm, that hooked around the raven's neck throwing him back into the side of the deck. The man red head raised his arm to strike again and Vincent lifted his arms to shield himself.
"Jems!" They looked up to see Chef walking on deck, glaring. "Back off!"
The red head glared at the cook. "What are you going to do about it?"
The chef walked closer with a bowl. "Your meal." He said pouring it on top of the man's head. "Is served."
The other crew members started laughing as the last few drops spilled out. Jems' face turned blood red with anger. He wanted to punch the cook so bad right then, but Angeal had walked out at that moment and was staring at the commotion. The red head scuffed before taking a plate of potatoes and walking away. Vincent stood up as the first mate made his way up to the wheel with Zack.
"Go get the rest of the food." Chef ordered. The raven simply nodded and did as was told. They both made two more trips into the kitchen, then out on deck before all the meals were served. He took his and sat down on the deck where the others were at as the chef at in his kitchen. Vincent was about to take a bite when the bowl was pulled out of his hands. He glared up at the redhead that took it.
"You owe me a meal."
He was about to speak up, when another shipmate grabbed his plate and spoon as well. "Give it back."
"What are you going to do about it?" Jems laughed. "This whole ship will take my side if you attack me. So go ahead."
The raven growled as he stood up, but he turned and walked away, leaving them to laugh together. He walked to the side and looked out towards the setting sun. He sighed. 'It's only been one day and I've already been beaten the crap out of. If it gets worse, there's no way I can survive two months.'
Zack watched at the wheel as Vincent looked out to the sun. He knew what it was like the first time on the ship. They treat you like shit for a while, but that's only to toughen you up. After a while, they tend leave you alone and help you out when you need it. 'Vincent will have to suck it up.'
The ship was rather quite as the sun went down. The younger shipmate handed the wheel of to the next person and headed down to the lower deck with a yawn. The crew was heading in to settle for the night. The raven was still in the same spot looking out at the ocean, so Zack decided to head over and talk to him.
"Hey, it's time to head in." The other shrugged his shoulders to answer back so Zack continued. "Come on, let's find you a place to sleep."
The raven allowed himself to be dragged down into the ship, but they turned around the stairs and headed though a door behind them. The pirates were getting into the hammocks and some laying a pile of hay. Zack patted his shoulder and handed over a large, fur blanket that he had promised earlier before walking back out. Vincent walked over to a hammock, but was pushed away by none other than Jems. The pirate pushed him into a corner and smiled.
"That's where you sleep." He laughed as walked to a spot and laid down while the others did the same. The raven sighed as he sat down and wrapped the blanket around his body before he laid down. He listened to the sounds of heavy breathing, some snoring and the boat creaking.
The nest day, the crew was up bright and early. They were starting their jobs like any other day as Vincent headed into the kitchen where found chef preparing some breakfast.
"You'll be working on deck today."
The raven turned to see Angeal looking at him with crossed arms. "What is my job?"
"For the commotion you started yesterday, you'll be washing the whole deck. No food until it's done. Let's go."
Vincent followed him up where he was handed a bucket, a bottle of soap, and a rag then moved to the side. The first mate showed him how to hook the bucket on a rope, throw it out, and pull it back full of water. He pushed the pale into the raven's arms and walked away. Vincent sighed as he went to the door and got on his knees. He used his right hand to mix up the soap, dip the rag in and squeezed as much water out as he could. He used his left hand to balance himself and his right to scrub the wooden deck. He was use to making quick work of things, but having to only use one arm that getting tired very fast, was making things difficult. He would only get a small space done before he had to dump the nasty water out and refill it. The task was harder than he thought it would be since he had to keep lifting the bucket out of the water, which started to put a strain on his muscles. As the sun moved to the middle of the sky, he got more done, but had to re wash a few spots when some of the crew members 'accidently' spilled something or scuffed their boot. Jems walked by twice and kicked the bucket over, soaking his legs. He was getting rather aggravated, but he didn't want to cause more trouble for himself. He picked the bucket up and went to the side to throw I over and get more water. Pulling it up, his arm hit something and he turned to find the red head standing there, glaring down at him.
"Watch what you're doing."
"I'm standing still, you're the one getting in the way."
"What did you say punk?"
"Are you deaf as well as a total jackass?" Vincent stood up to him. "I said, you're the one getting in the way."
"Listen here you spoiled little punk." Jems grabbed his shirt. "Just cause you could insult your servants, doesn't mean you have the right to insult. Especially if we can kill you while you're sleeping."
"Let him go, Jems!" Zack shouted from behind the wheel.
"It's time we clean this kid's attitude." The red said lifting the raven above his head. "He needs to learn his place!"
Vincent screamed as he was thrown of the ship. The impact into the water knocked the air out of his lungs and short circuited his contraption on his arm. He started his right arm and feet trying to get to the surface, but he was never taught how to swim. The more he struggled the more he suck. Zack gasped when he saw the crew member through the other off.
"Marcus, take the wheel!" The yelled. "Man overboard!"
He jumped down to the deck and grabbed a thick rope that hung on the inside of the door. He ran over to the side of the ship and tied it onto a hook. He looked over to see where to through it, but he could spot the raven. The alarm didn't go unnoticed. Angeal and Sephiroth, who were in the captain's quarters, heard the commotion. They jumped to their feet and ran up on the deck to see someone jumping off the side.
"Zack!" The first mate yelled running to the side.
"Raise the sails!" The captain ordered. "Angeal get ready to throw him the rope when he pops up."
The pirate shook his head and grabbed the rope as the other's worked on slowing the ship. Once Zack was in, he opened his eyes in the stinging water and looked around. The murky water made it hard to see anything, but he swam a little ways trying to find the raven. After a few minutes, he had to go up for air. He took a big gulp as he shot up.
He looked up to see Angeal getting ready to throw a rope, but he quickly back under, confusing the first mate. He looked around one last, he didn't want to give up, not so quickly. He started swimming again. It was only a few strokes before he saw something glimmer beneath him. He shot straight down as bubbles came into his view. He kicked as hard as he could until Vincent's still form could be seen. He quickly made it to him and grabbed him. He kicked with all he had, his lungs burning to get air inside them as raced back to the surface. He could his chest tightening, but he didn't stop until he popped up. He took a large breath of air before his name was called again. He looked over to see a rope being thrown towards him. He swam with he could and grabbed the rough safety net. He wrapped his arm around it and called for them to lift him. Angeal started pulling as fast he can to get them back and soon the captain was joining in. As they grew closer to the ship, Zack held Vincent tighter so he wouldn't drop the poor kid. He yelped as his body hit the helm of the ship, but hung on for dear life as he was pulled closer and closer to safety. Sephiroth grabbed Vincent's shirt and pulled him over as Angeal did the same for his apprentice. The captain laid the raven on his back and straightened his neck before starting to push on his chest. He did a few before leaning down and breathing into Vincent's mouth. He repeated the notion two more times before the captive coughed up a mouthful of water. He rolled onto his side as he coughed a few more times and took in deep breathes. Chef brought up a blanket for both of them and covered them up.
"I want to know what happened." Sephiroth said, picking the raven up princess style. "Angeal, report when you have all the facts."
"Zack, go and rest for a bit." The green eyed man ordered before taking the raven inside the ship.
He laid Vincent on the bed before walking to his wardrobe to get some clothes some dry clothes. He walked over and threw the garments beside the raven. "Change."
Vincent sat up, unwrapping the blanket. He started removing the shirt with one hand and got the left side off. He started pulling behind him, trying to get the other side off, but was having difficulties getting the sleeve off. He jerked his shoulder a few times before just pulling it off using his teeth.
"What are you doing?" Sephiroth asked, looking at him like he was some kind of idiot.
"Why are you using your teeth?"
Vincent sighed. "I can't use my left arm, it's paralyzed."
"Don't' give me that bullshit. I've seen you use it."
"Yeah, cause I had this thing." He said, pulling the contraption off. "It controls my nerves, but it's completely useless when wet."
"That explains you almost drowning. I never thought I did see someone who couldn't swim."
The raven rolled his eyes and grabbed the dry shirt. The captain's eyes grew wide when he noticed all the scars on his body along with the ones on his immobile arm. He was far too young to be in combat and seems too spoiled to be in the army or into fighting.
"What happened to you?"
The raven stopped moving. "None of your business."
"Oh? At least tell me what happened to your arm. So I know why you can't swim and if I do know, I won't insult you. On a daily basis and give permission to my crew to insult. I might even look over a few beatings since it's seems you're use to them."
"I was in accident." Vincent mumbled, grabbing his arm. "It was storming, the horses slipped and we slide around until we went off a steep hill. When I came too, my arm was crushed, it had been sliced open and impaled by wood. I was stuck under the carriage and I passed out eventually. When I woke up, I was at home, my arm bandaged up, but it was severely numb. A few day later I got an infection and lost all feeling in it. I haven't been able to move it since unless I'm wearing this contraption that my father made me."
Sephiroth hummed and rubbed his chin. "That's interesting." He stepped closer and pushed other onto his back before climbing over him.
"What are you doing?"
"Inspecting your scars of course."
"Get off me!"
"Oh, I think not." Sephiroth gripped the raven hand and held it to the side. "Remember our deal. You'll do anything I say. Now, you'll stay right here while I inspect this lovely body of yours." He rubbed his free hand on Vincent's chest and down his stomach. The raven squeezed his eyes shut. He didn't want this, but he didn't have a choice.