A Diamond in the rough 4

"It…It really is a genie…This is amazing!" Alfred whispered in awe. Out of everything he'd ever imagined, he never believed he'd actually come face to face with a disguised aberration.

"Si, Master! That's me! Ahh…but all those years in the lamp will sure make an individuo hungry!" The bright genie gleamed, floating closer to the two who hadn't moved an inch.

"Master…?" Alfred repeated, staring at the tan man who hovered in front of him.

"Si," Feliciano grinned, and tapped the lamp in the young pirate's hands gently with his finger. "You are the one who released me, after all. Now, you have three wishes and three only."

"Hold on!" Arthur bellowed, suddenly having feeling in his limbs again. "What do you mean ihe/i is your bloody master! I'm the captain, it should be me!" The Brit twitched in annoyance. No way he was going to just let Alfred, the newest member of his crew, simply have the wishes that he'd worked years for!

"I-I'm sorry, Captain. But that's how it works! Whoever it is that rubs the lamp gets three wishes. Though, mind you, there are still restrictions." The thrilled Italian twirled in the air, easily making his way towards Arthur.

"Like what?" Alfred finally spoke up. Arthur, though, simply steamed and crossed his arms, glaring at the genie that smiled over at his newest owner.

"Well," He started, looking up as if to think. "There is absolutely no bringing people back from the dead," He used his arm to make a cutting motion across his neck, though much to Alfred's horror and surprise, it worked and the genie caught his severed head in his other hand. It wasn't bleeding though, and didn't seem to hurt him. "Trust me, it isn't pretty."

No it wasn't, especially if the dislodged heads talked like Feliciano's. "Also, I can't kill anyone, so don't ask!" He swung his talking head from side to side for a moment before, without effort, dropped his head back into place as if it had never been parted from his neck and went on. "Three, I can't make anyone fall in love. That's all on you." The extraordinary creature vanished, orange smoke puffing from where he used to be, making the two pirates gasp in shock. Neither of them noticed he had reappeared behind Alfred until he had grabbed his face and planted an exaggerated kiss on his cheek with a loud "Mwah!".

"W-What the hell!?" Arthur yelled, his face red, though it was no match for the crimson that burned over Alfred's now.

"And last," Feliciano ignored Arthur's ranting and Alfred's embarrassment and held up four fingers. "You cannot wish for more wishes! That's cheating!"

"Well," Arthur muttered, crossing his arms again. "It sounds to me like you aren't even that powerful."

Feliciano looked over at him, a twinge of sadness in his autumn eyes. "I'm a genie! I'm one of the most powerful beings in the world!" He insisted, but frowned when he watched the blond pirate shake his head.

"I don't know, sounds like you can't do much. At least not anything important anyway. I bet you can't even get us out of this cave." Arthur sighed, walking over to the still shocked and crimson Alfred, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Guess we were wasting our time here, lad. There was no point in looking for a genie that can't even help us with our first problem."

"W-Wait, hold on a minute!" Feliciano watched as Arthur started to lead the other pirate away, leaving the Italian behind.

"Come on, chap, we should find a way out of here…" The Brit told the other, still holding his shoulder.

"Wait! No, I'm not useless! Watch!" Feliciano rushed forward, easily catching up with the two and grabbing the back of their shirts. "I'll get you out!"

"Wha-?" Alfred looked back at the scared Italian, though Arthur just grinned. But soon, both of them couldn't breathe though a relaxedness washed over them. It was as if they didn't need their lungs and cool air embraced their skin though they couldn't see. It was only for a moment though and as shapes began to form again they blinked and realized they were outside of the cave.

"See! I am useful!" Feliciano chimed, spinning in front of them as they regained their footing.

"Ah, it seems you can be." Arthur muttered in victory, trying not to make his plan of tricking the genie into getting them out of the cave without using a wish too obvious. It appeared to be working.

The youthful looking Italian clapped happily, a bright grin on his smooth features. "Oh, does that mean I get to stay with you?"

"Of course." The Captain answered, only making him clap more.

Alfred on the other hand held his head, a bit dizzy.

"You alright, lad?"

"Wha-? O-Oh, yes, Captain Arthur. All this is just a bit unbelievable."

Arthur chuckled and patted his underling on the back. "It's alright, stiff upper lip." Alfred smiled at the other man before he walked away. "But we can't get you back into the ship like this. You need to go back into the lamp for now, Feliciano."

"Ah, but!" The genie argued, but Alfred nodded in agreement.

"He's right, Feli. It's safer for all of us. It's alright, we'll let you out whenever it's safe." Alfred reassured, though Feliciano was still sad about having to return to the lamp, he wasn't able to argue with his master.

"Yes, sir." He limply glided to Alfred who still held the lamp safely in his hands and again he turned into the smoke and slipped into the golden lamp. Then, it was only the two pirates in the light of the moon.

"We…we did it! We did it, Arthur!" Alfred bounced happily and surprisingly Arthur didn't correct him and tell him to address him as Captain. No, he too was in too good of a mood and a massive smile spread across his pale face.

He laughed at his underling as he bounced and jumped around in excitement. He was so much like a child. But soon the smile faded from his lips and his eyes grew larger. "Alfred, move!" He yelled, only not to be heard. "Alfred, you twit, move! The cave is going back down!" The younger man couldn't feel the rumble of the earth or hear the rattle of the rocks from his jumping and his own joyful yelling blocked out the noise.

"You damn idiot!" Arthur cursed, rushing towards the other and grabbing the dirty-blonde's wrist. "Come on or we're going down with it!" He yelled, finally catching the other's attention as he began forcing him away from the sinking rocks. "Hurry up!"

They struggled forward, the ground turning into thin sand that sucked in the heavy stones and their feet as they thrashed to haul through it.

"A-Ah!" Arthur shouted, the sand clawing at his boot as it was sucked beneath the surface, forcing the man to fall forward into the dirt. Unable to release his foot as it sank lower under the ground, the blonde became desperate and fought to pull himself out of the sinking radius with his arms.

"Arthur!" Alfred cried, realizing what was happening quickly, he stopped trudging. "Arthur, hold on!" His captain was already waist deep in the damp sand, so he didn't have much time to think. And, he didn't. He threw the golden lamp into the forest, where it wouldn't sink and grabbed Arthur's wrist with both hands. He heaved, feeling his own feet begin to be sucked down from the pressure. But he could also see Arthur's legs starting to come back from under the sand.

Still using his other arm that Alfred hadn't taken a hold of, Arthur managed to help push himself out of the sand just enough to start stumbling back to his feet. "We have to hurry!" He yelled before a too familiar laugh mixed into the rumbling air.

"Well, it seems you're in a bit of a predicament, Captain Kirkland." The blonde laughed from a safe distance.

"Francis!" Arthur yelled, catching sight of the Frenchman as he came into view.

Alfred saw him too, and staggered as he spoke. "Francis, you have to help us!" He cried, only to be given a dark grin.

"No, no, I think I'll just watch and take this while I'm at it." Leaning down, the wavy blonde haired man easily indicated the magical lamp as he picked it off the ground.

"You dirty frog!" The blonde captain screamed.

"Now, now, you don't want your last words to be bad ones, do you? Though, I don't think it matters what you say, Arthur, your actions have been enough to seal your eternal fate." Francis laughed again, loving the rage and hatred in the Brit's emerald eyes.

"Manuel, if you would bring the lamp please." The Frenchman looked behind him as another man brought a lightly dimmed lantern forth. "Now that we don't have to worry about you seeing the light, we can really light this." He grinned, turned the oil ring, bringing the fame up as brightly as it could go. The fire in the glass fought to get out and holding it out so he could clearly see the two struggling to fight for their lives, the Frenchman laughed louder than ever.

"It was nice being your first mate, Captain Kirkland."

Arthur's eyes widened, realizing his plan and yelled out. "Francis, no!" But it was too late. The blonde smashed the lantern onto the lush ground, the fire hugging the lively plants of the jungle eagerly and it began to spread instantly.

"He's running away!" Alfred cried out. "The whole island is going to burn!"

"That bastard! Alfred, we have to catch him! Come on, man, climb!" Arthur growled under his breath, glaring at the flames that licked in front of him. But, he made it. Grabbing onto a tree root that had yet to be caught by the fire, he grabbed his underling again and heaved them both onto stable dirt. They gasped desperately, though didn't have time to rest yet.

Climbing back to his feet, Arthur clenched his teeth in anger. "Come on, Alfred. We have a two-faced frog to kill."

Racing through the trees, Alfred and Arthur ran towards the ship, where they knew the Frenchman was headed. They could feel the heat from the wild fire on their heels but it didn't take long before they saw a bright light in front of them, one that could only be from their target.

"Francis!" Arthur yelled, jumping at the taller man from behind.

"Wh-What?" Being shoved to the ground, he dropped the lamp, making it roll away. "You! I knew I should've shot you when I had the chance, Kirkland!" He hissed, fighting against his former Captain's strength. They hadn't made it to the ship yet, that was good.

Alfred drove for the lamp as he saw it fall, but was punched by Francis' helper and a former underling of Arthur, Manuel.

"Ow…" He groaned, rubbing his head and looked up in time to see the other man kick him while he was down. The favor was returned as Alfred grabbed his leg and forced him down. These brawls went on until the fire was only feet away and Francis was growing tired.

"Enough of this! Get off of me!" He shoved the smaller man onto the dirt, standing and pulling out his pistol before Arthur had time to. "You stay where you are or I'll blow that swelled up head of your off! Same for you, Alfred! You two thought you were being secretive, well, you may have fooled everyone else but not me. No! I always knew Arthur was after this lamp, I just waited for the perfect time to take it." He hissed, walking towards where the lamp had fallen but keeping his pistol ready.

"Manuel, grab the lamp and lets go. The fire is catching up to us." Francis ordered, his gun glittering dangerously in the light of the fire that had begun to surround them. It was everywhere, swallowing up the shrubs to the tops of the trees above them.

"Oui, sir." The man complied, about to grab the golden item before the fire stopped him. A branch bigger than the Captain fell, fire ablaze on it, separating the two rivaling groups.

"Damn it, there's no way to get it!" Francis screamed in annoyance, the branch having blocked the only way to the lamp as the fire was forming around them. "Come on! Run, before we burn!" He screeched, running off without the lamp.

"Captain!" Alfred yelled over the roar of the echoing fire that was enclosing them. "What do we do!"

"Dammit! The lamp is gone!" Francis beat his fists on the table where he sat, the ship having set sail after the fire reached the shore. He'd told the crew he'd gone out to find their missing Captain but he was caught with no way out in the fire. This, obviously, making him the new Captain. They had believed him and now he sat in his room that was once again only his, no longer sharing it was Alfred, and Manuel was by his side. "All that waiting. All that time and planning. Wasted!"

"Sir…"

The Frenchman sighed, and ran a hand through his tied hair, pushing out the binding that let his locks fall across his shoulders. "I guess the only thing left to do is sail that way and tell Gilbert the bad news."