Chapter 1

You know, in retrospect, I probably should have listened to Tony and stayed put, Alfred F. Jones mused.

The blonde teenager yelped as one of the pirates shoved him roughly towards the ship, his feet catching at the edge of the gangplank that linked the ship to the pier. Behind him, he could hear his younger brother, Matthew Williams, grumble under his breath in French as another pirate tried to grope him again. Alfred struggled to look over his shoulder and glare at the Cuban pirate that kept molesting his brother, mentally promising to have the man's head when they got out of this mess.

"Come on, keep going!" one of the pirates yelled, his dark eyes flashing maliciously from behind his white face mask.

Alfred caught himself wondering why the guy needed to wear a mask before he was shoved onto the deck of the ship. He grunted as his knees made contact with the rough wooden planks of the deck and glared back at the pirate who had pushed him. The dark-haired pirate- wait, was that chick?- simply smirked at him, her green-brown eyes twinkling.

"Honhonhon~ Now, now, mon cheri," a silky voice chuckled. "We must be nice to our new guests, oui?"

Alfred glanced in the direction of the voice, his baby-blue eyes narrowing when he caught sight of the blonde haired man that was standing by the wheel of the ship, one of his perfectly manicured hand resting lightly on the wooden spokes. The man winked at Alfred and deftly pulled off his gaudy royal blue hat, his long blonde hair falling in perfect waves down his neck.

"Bonjour, my handsome little guest," he cooed. "Bienvenue to the White Lily. Je m'appelle Francis Bonnefoy. I am the captain of this fine ship."

"Dude, that's kind of a girly name for a boat," Alfred muttered.

Francis smirked and smacked the teenager across the face, his grin widening when the blow knocked Alfred's glasses off of his face.

"I do not think that you are in a position to talk, mon cher," he purred. The Frenchman turned to Matthew, his light blue eyes brightening at the sight of the slim man. "Ah, and who is this precious little gem?"

Matthew backed away from the captain, his lilac-blue eyes widening behind his glasses. He glanced at Alfred, his wispy blond hair barely hiding the panicked expression on his face.

"What is your name, mon cher?" Francis asked sweetly, his eyes flashing dangerously at Matthew's silence.

"M-Matthew Williams," the boy stuttered, his own eyes hardening in determination despite the softness of his voice.

"Honhonhon~ This one has spirit," the captain drawled. He raised his hand and drew one lazy finger across the length of Matthew's jaw, his gaze darkening with hunger when the blond shivered.

"Stay away from my brother!" Alfred snarled. He lunged for the Frenchman, only to be tackled by the masked pirate before he could get very far. Alfred gasped when the masked man's knee came into contact with his gut, his vision going white for a brief second as the air rushed out of his lungs.

"Sadik," Francis called warningly. "Remember, we must show courtesy to our guests, non? Tell me," the captain purred, his gaze now focused on the teenager that was being held down by Sadik. "Is your friend, how you say, a virgin?"

"Shut the hell up!" Alfred growled. "Don't you dare touch my brother."

"Or what?" Francis asked sweetly. "You aren't in any position to bargain with me, mon ami."

"Just leave him alone, okay? I'll do whatever you want," Alfred hissed.

"Ah, but your brother is so much cuter. However..." The Frenchman paused, his expression suddenly thoughtful. "Perhaps there is something you can do for me... Sadik, Alejandro, Belle, take our new guests down to the brig with the others. Tell Ludwig and Gilbert to give them some food, but nothing else. I must think..."

Sadik nodded and motioned towards the Cuban who had groped Matthew and the girl who had shoved Alfred onto the ship. The two nodded and pulled Matthew towards a small doorway set into the lower forecastle, while Sadik followed closely behind with a struggling Alfred.

Alfred couldn't hold back a gulp as he was dragged into the dark underworld of the lower decks, his blue eyes straining for one last glimpse of his home.

All he could see was the sky.

USUK*USUK*USUK

"Y-you okay, Al?" Matthew whispered hoarsely. The blonde reached out with shaking hands, Alfred's glasses held between his fingers.

"Shh, don't talk yet Matt," Alfred hissed back. He reached out and took the glasses from his brother, his blue eyes narrowing as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. "Those two German bastards might be spying on us."

"Ve~! Ludwig doesn't spy! He's too nice for that!"

Alfred and Matthew jumped and whirled around, their eyes locking immediately on the two dark-haired boys that were huddled in the corner opposite them. One of them, apparently the one who had spoken, grinned and waved happily at them, causing the curl on the right side of his head to bounce excitedly.

"Buon pomerrigio!" he greeted cheerfully. "Are you our new friends? I like making friends! Ve, did you bring pasta? I like pasta too! Oh, I also like mio fratello and Ludwig and Gilbert, although fratello can be a little cranky some times... Ve~!"

"What the hell...?" Alfred muttered, his brow furrowed in confusion. "Uh... sorry, but who are you two?"

"We're prisoners," the other brunette snapped, his yellow eyes flashing furiously. "That wine bastard burned our village and took us away from our grandfather a few weeks ago. We've been down in this hell hole ever since."

"I-I'm so sorry," Matthew whispered quietly. "O-our village was burned as well. M-my brother's friend, Tony, told us to stay in our house while he went to find out what was going on b-but Alfred..."

"Look, I'm sorry, okay?" Alfred snapped. "I just... I couldn't let Tony go off by himself! I'm the hero, right?"

"Yeah, looks like you're the hero that got yourself captured." The man with the yellow eyes snorted and looked away, his gaze focused intently on the wall beside him.

"Ve~ Sorry about Lovino!" the other brunette giggled. "He gets a bit cranky sometimes..."

"I think I fucking have the right to be fucking cranky, Feliciano!" Lovino growled. "God, why do you have to be such an idiot?"

Feliciano's mouth trembled and he looked down at the floor, his hazel eyes filling with tears.

"Kesesese~ Aw, come on Lovino," a new voice broke in. "It's so unawesome to make your brother cry. Maybe you should comfort him, West."

"Please be quiet, bruder."

Alfred stiffened and glanced in the direction of the new voices, his eyes narrowing when he caught sight of the two Germans that had locked him in the cell only minutes earlier. The blonde placed himself protectively in front of Matthew, his hands clenched into fists at his sides. If they tried anything...

"Kesesese~ Relax, kid," the albino called Gilbert chuckled, his red eyes glinting mischievously. "We're not going to try anything. We're on your side."

Alfred snorted. Right, they were on his side. That was why he was stuck in a cell with two insane Italians on a ship run by some pervert that wanted to molest his brother.

"Believe us or not, we do want to help," the other German, Ludwig, stated flatly. The blonde German slipped into the cell and knelt by the sniffling Feliciano, a weary sigh breaking through his lips. "We have pasta."

"Ve~?" The Italian perked up immediately, his curl bouncing happily. "Pasta? Where?"

Ludwig chuckled dryly and allowed the boy to grab the steaming bowl full of pasta out of his hands, his light blue eyes lingering on Feliciano's face for a little longer than was necessary. Lovino glared at the blonde German and smacked him on the back of the head, his yellow eyes flashing dangerously.

"Keep your hands off of my fratello, potato bastard," he snarled.

Ludwig rolled his eyes and effortlessly shook off the angry Italian before handing him another bowl of pasta.

"What do you two eat?" the German asked flatly, his attention now focused on the other two prisoners.

"Uh... w-what ever you want us to eat?" Matthew mumbled uncertainly.

Gilbert snickered and sidled past his brother to kneel in front of the trembling blonde, his scarlet eyes gleaming mischievously.

"Really?" he purred, his pale fingers tracing lightly across Matthew's rapidly reddening cheeks. "You'll eat anything we want you to?"

"I- P-please back off," Matthew stuttered, his eyes narrowing dangerously. "I-I'm not- T-there's- I c-can't-"

"Aw, already taken, are you?" Gilbert whined, his lips pursed in a pout. "Such a shame..."

Ludwig sighed wearily and roughly pushed the albino out of the way before either Alfred or Matthew could attack him. The blonde German stiffened as footsteps sounded nearby, his blue eyes zeroing in on the figure that had appeared at the entrance to the cell.

"Francis wants to see the one blonde, Matthew's brother," the voice called flatly.

Ludwig nodded stiffly and dragged Alfred out of the cell towards the newcomer, ignoring the protests that erupted from his newest prisoners. "Where do I take him?"

The newcomer shrugged and walked away, not even bothering to look back and see if the German was following him. Ludwig sighed and adjusted his grip on the struggling Alfred before following the other man.

"Be quiet," the German hissed to Alfred as the young man struggled again. "Und be still. If you are good and respectful, Francis won't hurt you or your brother as much."

Alfred paused in his struggles for a moment, his blue eyes tightening at the mention of Matthew. "If that bastard touches my brother..."

"You can't do anything about it," Ludwig snapped, his eyes flashing with suppressed anger. "It will just be worse if you try and fight."

Alfred glanced at the man holding him and nodded in a rare moment of understanding.

"Who did he hurt?" he asked quietly. "You or your brother?"

"Mein bruder," Ludwig replied softly, his lips tightening ever-so-slightly as if to hold back a wave of emotion. The German shook off the moment of weakness and glared warningly at Alfred. "Behave and just do as Francis tells you. Believe me, it will be worse for everyone if you do not."

Alfred nodded slowly, slightly annoyed that the German wasn't telling him the entire story. Of course, technically it wasn't any of his business but he was the hero! Heroes had to know these things so they could save the day! Plus, he was sort of curious...

"We're here," Ludwig stated, interrupting Alfred's thoughts.

Alfred glanced up and noticed that they were back up on deck, the sunlight warming playing across his tanned skin in greeting. He smiled up at the blue sky, only to have that smile fade when a nearby door was thrown open and he was shoved back into the darkness.

"Don't do anything stupid," Ludwig hissed just before the door closed.

And then Alfred was alone...

"Honhonhon~ Come here, mon cher. We have things to discuss."

Well, almost alone.