Kitty-Kat Allie: All righty. So, this will be a story to fill in the next month before the Fairy Tales opens up again. I should work on the next chapter of that… hmmm. Anyway. This shouldn't be longer than four chapters. I'm thinking about three. Unlike Sea Foam, I'm going to use established countries, like Spain and France and Prussia (dun dun dun, spoiler alert). Enjoy this fun little epic. Let's see if I can actually pull off an action adventure! XD
The Greatest Treasure, You Idiot
The sailors were getting edgy. Not that Antonio blamed them.
The sea was a steady, bright blue; the sunshine was hot and glaring, refracting off the endless surface and blinding the unwary eye. The sails were hanging slack, fluttering fitfully every now and then, barely inching the ship forward hour by slow hour. In every direction there was only the flat, shining horizon. The men were milling over the decks, grumbling under their breath, casting dark-eyed glances over the all-too tranquil seas. They had been out to sea for more than two months now, and supplies were running low. With this uncharacteristic calm, there was no telling how much longer it would take to get to their destination. A destination that no one had seen or charted. It was only known in sailor's tales. The few ships that had made this wild-goose-chase journey had never returned.
Antonio Fernandez Carriedo was a young captain. Many believed the Spaniard to have the luck of God on his side. He had never lost a skirmish with the much more powerful and faster British ships that preyed on the Spanish Armada and hapless privateers. He'd even gone toe-to-toe with the most infamous of British pirates, the same pirate feared in the entire Atlantic, and Antonio had lived to tell the tale, with his ship still intact, most his crew alive, and, most astonishing, his cargo untouched. He had gained his captaincy at the tender age of nineteen and for the past six years had proven such an unimaginable feat to be well-earned thrice-over. His sailors were well-paid and allowed as much time ashore with their families as needed; he was never lacking in volunteers to fill their empty spots. He was brave, funny, respected, and loved by all whom knew him. His fighting style was fierce and merciless when needed, but he always gave prisoners fair treatment. Some said he was a little soft in the head, too easily swayed by his crew's demands, and altogether too cheerful for a pirate captain, but none of his men cared about those opinions.
Because of all this, it took a great deal to shake Carriedo's men's faith in him. However, as they eyed the uncannily flat sea and the limp sails and the ever-falling level of fresh water in the hold, their faith was becoming more shaken every day.
Antonio was leaning on the railing along the stern of the ship, the compass in his hand wobbling in a way he'd never seen it. Surely there was only one north? But why did the arrow spin and bob so around the surface? He heard the gentle tread of approaching footsteps and quickly snapped the compass shut. He looked over his shoulder and grinned, seeing his long-time friend and first mate.
"Gil, hola. Finally got tired of the shade, mi amigo?" Antonio teased lightly. Gilbert Beilschmidt scoffed.
"It smells worse than old cheese down in the hold. I'd have suffocated if I stayed below any longer. Has the sun got to your head yet, mein Kapitän ?" Gil retorted snatching the wide, black hat off Antonio's head and slapping over his own fair head. "Ugh, gross. It's all sweaty," Gil groaned, though he kept it. Gilbert burned much too easily not to wear a hat, but he never remembered his own and he never liked to admit it. Antonio had more than once questioned Gilbert's choice in profession (why would an albino Prussian willingly choose the life of a sea-faring pirate), but, despite his lack of skin, hair, and eye coloring, the life of the pirate suited his boisterous friend to a T.
"Mes amis, have you both decided to meet and leave me out? I'm so unloved," sighed Francis dramatically. Antonio had known Francis even longer than he'd known Gilbert. Both had been cabin boys together under the captain that first employed Antonio and later given him his ship. Francis far preferred the easy life of the ship's cook than swabbing decks and hauling anchor, a position Antonio gave over without a qualm.
"This is more a freak accident than something planned. I came up here to complain. And you, Franfran?" Gilbert asked, making both Antonio and Francis groan.
"I despise that nickname," Francis told Gilbert for the one hundredth time.
"I can't make the wind blow, Gil," Antonio replied at the same time, for the sixteenth time that day.
Gilbert only cackled.
"I do have to admit, mon ami, I, too, have become worried. This utter lack of even a breath of wind bodes nothing good. We should turn back to Tortuga before we are lost forever," Francis advised, coming up to Antonio's other side and leaning on the railing. "With this heat, the men will lose much water and salt and they will become sick. We must go back."
"I would… but…" Antonio trailed off, stroking the leather case of his compass absently.
"Tony, spit it out. I'm dying out here," Gilbert whined. Antonio released a puff of breath, torn between annoyance and humor.
"Look around you," Antonio ordered, waving his arm out over the horizon, encompassing the endless ocean in all directions. "There is nothing to aim for."
"Antonio, that's why there are compasses," Gilbert pointed out as if speaking to an idiot child. Antonio frowned at him.
"I am not so stupid, mi amigo, that I haven't tried," he emphasized, holding up the useless tool in his hand. Both men stared at him.
"Inconcevable," Francis gasped, blue eyes wide with horror.
Gilbert snatched the compass from Antonio's lax hand and snapped it open. Both Frenchman and Prussian stared at the wavering arrow. "It's gotta be broken," Gilbert muttered, pulling out his own. Once again, the arrow waved and spun, directionless. "I knew this was a bad idea! Finding some stupid, magic treasure was a fool's errand and now we're going to die of thirst! Do you know how horrible that is?" Gilbert demanded, slamming the compass against Antonio's chest.
"Mi amigo, you need to have faith. This is a good thing-" Antonio tried to reason, tucking the compass away and rubbing the sore area on his chest.
"How could you possibly think that, Antonio?" Francis interrupted as Gilbert struggled to word his fury, releasing only babbling syllables.
"It means we are close! The magic is obviously affecting the compasses!" Antonio pointed out with a cheery, albeit forced, grin.
"Oh, obviously," Gilbert snapped, rolling his dark red eyes. "And while it's fucking them up we'll just sit here with our thumbs up our-"
"What do you suggest then, capitaine," Francis loudly inquired over Gilbert's sarcasm, making the Prussian grimace.
"The tales say that when the wind fails, then look west, and listen," Antonio reminded them, chewing in his chapped bottom lip anxiously. Francis sighed and Gilbert groaned, slapping his forehead.
"I don't remember anything about looking west," Gilbert mumbled.
"It says to look towards the dying sun," Antonio said. Another groan and roll of ruby-tinted irises.
"The sun dies, sets, in the west. I also agree that it means west. Which means… we wait…" Francis murmured slowly. He didn't like this. Francis had trouble believing in magic.
"Wait for what? Damn it, Tony, there's nothing out there! Look! Just ocean, ocean, ocean, sky, ocean! Do you see land? Anything that would house a famous treasure?"
"It's not the treasure we seek just yet," Antonio whispered, eyes towards the west, to where the early afternoon's sun was slowly crawling. Gilbert frowned, baffled. Francis smiled sharply. "We seek the wish-giver."
They had spent the afternoon setting up a shaded area, pulling down the useless sails to make a sort of awning. Gilbert's younger brother, recently added to the crew with the mind of an engineer, set up the covering. As the sun finally sank into the waves, painting the seas a gorgeous array of gold, purple, orange, and dusky blue, dinner was doled out. It was a tasty fish stew, the fish having been freshly caught and dried that day, and mugs of lukewarm water that the men nursed and savored slowly. All waited with bated breath, their eyes glued to the blend of sun-wrought colors on the sea.
Gilbert, the most impatient, was already on his feet, scowling darkly, when the sound first reached them. Every breath stilled, locked in their throats, as the most beautiful music they'd ever heard drifted over the stilled waves. A gentle, cool breeze picked up, caressing sweaty limbs and sun-reddened faces, until every scowl was soothed into a soft smile. The music danced inside their blood, bringing to mind every pleasant feeling and happy memory, the glory of a sunset, the awe of a sunrise, the laughter of a child, the simple kiss of a loved one.
"I have never heard anything so… so magnifique," Francis breathed softly.
Ludwig, Gilbert's brother, made to take down the shade-awning as the breeze picked up into a steady wind filled with the heady scents of spring and early summer. Antonio raised a hand, stalling Ludwig. The blond halted, scowling a bit in confusion, before his eyes widened. The ship was moving with the wind without any sail. Rather than fear, the entire ship was filled with amazement and delight. The music was so reassuring, the wind so cool and delicious, fear could not fill them.
"Something… something's not right…" Ludwig muttered, trying without much success to regain his well-known pragmatism. Gilbert smirked at his brother, the normally mocking expression softened.
"It's magic. Get over it, bruder," Gilbert laughed, light and joyous.
"Ludwig is right. I know… I know what this music means… what is it…" Francis muttered, mentally grasping for a word just out of reach.
Antonio, meanwhile, was struck dumb by the music. While he could feel and see all the lovely, beautiful scenes his men and friends felt and saw, there was something else. As lovely as the singing voice was, there was something… sharp… painful… lonely in the voice. The voice was male, deeper than Antonio first realized, singing words he'd never heard before, sure they weren't even of an earthly language. In his mind's eye, an image began to bloom. A slender figure, outlined in gold, reaching out a slim, glowing hand. Golden eyes cut towards his face, but Antonio could not make out the figure's features; he could only sense the unbearable loneliness. He flinched, clutching his chest. Who was that?
"Ah, I remember now!" Francis cried out suddenly as a dark shape on the horizon mysteriously appeared. "Une sirène."
Antonio shook his head briskly as the island in front of him grew ever larger. "What's that, Francis?"
"A siren! That music is a siren's!" Francis repeated, shaking his head, trying to rattle the music from his brain. "It'll charm us and we'll die bashed upon rocks or thrown to the sea to drown," Francis told Antonio, his limbs still heavy and slow as he tried to force himself towards the captain's cabin.
"We gotta do something to stop that, don't we?" Gilbert asked lazily, swaying a little as the music's volume increased.
"We must do something now," Francis replied. "Antonio, help me."
Antonio felt the hold on his mind weaken, breaking apart as the idea of his men being in danger grew. He hurried after the sluggishly moving Francis, still shaking his head as if to remove water from his ears. The music was gaining in strength and there was little time now. Already the men were moving restlessly to the singing, and who knew what they were dreaming. What if they walked right off the deck in confusion? He forced his way into the large cabin, wondering what Francis was looking for in here. He wasn't very tidy and the large, bolted-down, wooden desk was littered with paperwork, inkpots (mostly empty, more because he was too forgetful to replace them than anything), pens worn down to the nub (same reason), a tattered quill, a few pretty glass paperweights, and a set of brass scales (empty, who leaves coins on a desk?). Francis made for the nearest candle and broke it into tiny pieces, pulling free the wick and throwing it on the already messy desk. He tossed another candle into Antonio's hands.
"Rub them in your palms to warm them. We'll plug our ears with the wax," Francis explained, vigorously doing as he said.
They both hurried onto the deck. The more lucid men were able to fit the pieces of wax into their own ears, but most (like Gilbert) had to have the pieces shoved in their ears for them. It didn't take long before the men were able to regain control over themselves, though the music still lingered in their minds, making them sluggish and rather dull. It didn't help matters to be deaf. Most were grimacing uncomfortably and scowling at the island now just a few leagues away. They could make out the gently rolling hills, the dense, low forest, and golden beach easily. Among the wide, sweeping meadows, large white sheep strolled and lazily chewed at the thick grass growing in every direction. Between them and the island was a tiny, craggy rock, surf spraying all around it. Sitting atop this rock was a lone figure, the last rays of the sun glowing on the figure's bright, golden skin.
Antonio let out a loud cry, clutching at his head as he fell to his knees. The music, that aching loneliness, was inside his skull, stabbing at his brain like dull knives. He couldn't take it anymore. Francis was trying to shove the wax into Antonio's hands, or even trying to pull his hands away so he could put them in Antonio's ears himself, but Antonio's arms were locked. He couldn't move. It was getting hard to breathe. With every inch closer, the singing grew louder, increasing with tempo. Tears were streaming from his eyes onto the wooden planks below his knees and he bent over, pressing his forehead to the smooth grain, feeling it dig into the thin skin of his brow.
And just as suddenly, the singing stopped. There were soft murmurs of surprise, overly loud shouts, and a shuffling of boots that caused Antonio to look up, green eyes blurred with tears and chest heaving.
What he saw took what little breath he had left.
A slender boy- barely a man, really- was standing on the deck in front of him, completely naked. His skin was lighter than Antonio's swarthy brown, having been tanned darkly by the years at sea, but still the boy's skin had an olive hue to it. The gold he had seen were bright scales that dusted over his limbs, down his chest and stomach, over the high swell of his buttocks. The boy knelt and gripped Antonio's chin in his fingers, forced the pirate to meet his gaze- as golden as the scales on his skin. Antonio's eyes widened, seeing gills on the boy's neck, flaring just once, revealing golden, not the usual bright pink, flesh. The boy's features were sharp, a thin blade of a nose, thin though sensually curved lips in a sharp, mocking smirk, long, dark lashes making the golden eyes seem even brighter. His hair was dark, chestnut brown, cut short just at his ear lobes and left to fall in an elegantly mussed style, a single, wayward curl standing free over his right eye. The boy's smirk widened, showing off bright white teeth, which, Antonio was relieved to see, looked just like another human's teeth.
"You are?" the boy demanded, his voice sounding vaguely Italian in intonation. How surprising.
"Captain Antonio Fernandez Carriedo of the pirate ship, Buscador Dorado," Antonio replied without hesitation.
"How… apt…" the golden boy whispered, that smirk growing. He stepped back and stood, Antonio quickly doing the same. "So you've found the wish-giver, Captain Antonio Fernandez Carriedo. Welcome to my island," his smirk became rather predatory. "You can tell your men to take the candlewax out of their ears now. My singing has ended now that you have made it so close."
Antonio lifted a hand and gave an "all-clear" sign, used when night-raiding and silence was essential. Men pulled the wax out, sighing gratefully. The golden boy, the siren, rolled his eyes.
"You'll see your ship is already beached. Don't worry, you'll get off the island easy enough… once the price has been paid," the boy's fierce smirk returned.
"What price?" Ludwig asked. The siren scoffed.
"Not now, big man. We'll discuss that when I say so. I take it the wish is for you, capitano?"
"Y-yes, I-" Once again, the siren interrupted with a sharp "tch."
"Not now. Don't you know anything about manners?" The siren turned and walked towards the railing.
"Wait! You never said your name," Antonio exclaimed, quickly rushing forward and grasping the siren's wrist. Antonio's eyes widened. Though he had scales and gills, he was not cold like a fish at all. His flesh was warm, almost hot, to touch.
The siren yanked his arm away, face flushing bright red. "Don't you touch me!" he snapped. Antonio blinked. If the boy wasn't so ridiculously beautiful, Antonio would've thought he was… cute… "… Lo-Lovino. My brother calls me Lovino. And speaking of that idiot, he's waiting for us with dinner. It's getting late and he's scared of the dark, so can we hurry it up?"
Suddenly, he was on the beach and stomping towards the little forest on the hills. The crew gaped after him.
"For a creature with gills, he is very… shall we say, stunning," Francis mused, a familiar glint in his blue eyes. Antonio frowned at him, a dark, dangerous shadow in his eyes that made Francis throw up his hands and back away. It wasn't often Antonio showed that side of himself and Francis knew to retreat, though inwardly he was chuckling.
He had thought himself the only one with such… eclectic tastes.
"Well, standing here watching the nekkid kid walk off ain't doing anything. Let's get going before he gets too far to follow," Gilbert interrupted, turning to Antonio expectantly.
"Si, we will leave behind a small group of ten to watch the ship. The rest will join us. Volunteers?" Antonio bellowed over the crowd.
Most men, it seemed, would rather stay on the ship and he had to turn many of the volunteers down- Ludwig was one such volunteer. Antonio knew that Gilbert would prefer his younger brother in sight, even if Antonio would rather have the clear-minded, unflappable young man on the ship in his stead. They all clambered down the rope-and-wood ladder to the beach and then, checking their weapons and belts, took off towards the trees where Lovino the siren had disappeared.
Lovino had left them far behind, not once slowing his gait, but it wasn't very hard to find him again. The island wasn't much larger than the copse of lush pine and beech trees. After a short walk over through a well-trod and wide path, they were suddenly walking up a hill covered in emerald green grass and flowers so brightly colored they burned the eyes. The fragrance was indescribable, so heady and strong they were drunk on it before they crested the hill. Situated at the top was a white marble pavilion, with gauzy green, red, white, and blue drapes hanging from between the pillars and a long, white table literally covered with platters of food. Strange glowing lights fluttered over the table and around the pavilion. The drapes bulged and waved in the sea breeze, falling gracefully to reveal the two figures standing near the table. They turned as the group neared and one of them grinned widely.
"Ve~ Guests! So many! I'm so happy, Lovi~" the grinning one cried, clapping his hands to enunciate.
"Whatever," Lovino muttered, rolling his eyes.
The grinning boy ran towards the group, smile still wide and innocently joyous. He was slightly shorter than Lovino, but just as slender. Unlike Lovino, who had appeared naked, this one was clothed- if it could be called that. A soft blue wrap made of the same gauzy, lightweight material as the drapes floated around his lithe, golden-scaled limbs and he all but danced his way towards him. His hair was auburn, and his eyes were strangely closed, the thick black lashes covering whatever irises he had. He reached out with both hands and clasped Antonio's.
"Welcome to our island! Please say you'll sing and dance with us tonight, won't you? Ve~ No one ever stays very long and I'm always so lonely~ Lovi always runs off wanting to be alone and I hate it! Please say you'll play with me tonight, ve~" the boy pleaded, tears gathering on his pretty, girlish lashes. Antonio flushed bright red and nodded.
"Of c-course," Antonio stammered. This little siren boy was just too adorable. Antonio just wanted to snag him up and start cuddling, but his men were almost drooling with hunger behind him, all staring at the feast waiting for them.
"Yay! My name is Feliciano! Ve~ Come and eat, all of you. You all look so very hungry~" Feliciano dragged Antonio forward and his men eagerly followed.
The feast lasted for hours. Lovino joined them shortly after they began to eat, a dark scowl and disgusted snarl on his face. Thankfully, he had garbed himself- in similarly not-quite-clothing like Feliciano's, crimson red in color, but at least it covered him. It made Antonio distinctly uncomfortable watching Lovino move without clothing on. … With clothing on. Without even moving… Just sitting there right next to him and breathing, muttering curses and complaints in that husky, baritone voice.
Antonio drank more wine that night than he had in a while.
He probably drank a little too much, which was the only excuse for his behavior. He sang loud clear with Feliciano, bawdy tavern songs that made the little siren laugh with delight and blush bright red. He danced with Francis, Gilbert, a few of his crew members, Feliciano, even Ludwig was pulled into the whirring circle of singing, drunken revelers. Feliciano ended up taking poor, stiff Ludwig under his wing and tried to teach him a few simple dances, much to the roaring amusement of the crew. Especially Gilbert who taunted and mocked Ludwig the whole time. Once or twice, Antonio would catch Lovino dancing near the outskirts, crimson cloths trailing around his calves and arms, golden scales shining in the starlight, and it took the Spaniard's breath away to see him.
The music never seemed to come to an end. Antonio fell asleep and dreamed he was dancing and singing still. When he woke up, the sun was already high above the horizon surrounded by a radiant halo that warmed him as he stretched and yawned. He looked around, rubbing his head, as his crew woke as well. They were mostly scattered about the pavilion, draped over huge pillows Antonio didn't remember being there. Feliciano and Lovino, though, were lying side-by-side on a large reclining couch. Antonio blinked. They were both stark naked.
Again with the naked.
Antonio groaned and gripped his head.
"That made this entire trip worth it. Do you agree, mon ami," Francis asked, grinning and stretching luxuriously over his pillows at Antonio's side. Gilbert grunted and turned over, muttering "Lizzie, no" under his breath.
"Agree," Antonio replied, grinning, even though his head pounded. "Definitely agree…"
It was late afternoon before all his men had awoken and eaten. The whole time, Feliciano and Lovino were arguing in low, rushed tones in what sounded like Italian and then didn't sound like Italian. Antonio was trying to figure this out, his brain still rather mushy from his excessive of the night before, when the two sirens approached. Feliciano was looking rather depressed and Lovino was looking agitated.
"It's time for business, capitano," Lovino announced.
The entire group tensed. Antonio got to his feet, nodding. Fortunately, Lovino was dressed again in his crimson robes.
"What wish is it you seek?"
"I wish… I wish for the greatest treasure in the world. A legendary treasure," Antonio answered clearly. Lovino rolled his eyes. The Spaniard grinned. "It's not just the goal I wish for, Lovi. I wish for the journey. I wish for a treasure that is worth gaining," Antonio explained further.
Feliciano gasped, hands clasping over his mouth. Even Lovino looked rocked, his golden eyes wide in astonishment. Both brothers exchanged looks. For the first time, Feliciano's eyes opened, revealing soft, doe-like, brown eyes that glistened now with tears as a smile grew over his face. Lovino shook his head and scowled, though his golden eyes still looked haunted. The three pirate friends also exchanged glances, wondering just what had happened.
"Tch. Very well said, Spaniard. However, there is a price for what you seek," Lovino hurried on to say. Antonio nodded.
"Name the price, Lovi."
"Don't call me that!" Lovino snapped. He quickly regained his composure as Antonio chuckled. "The price is simple. A life."
"Excuse me?" Antonio inquired pleasantly. Lovino scowled.
"A life. The price is a single life," Lovino snarled in annoyance.
Antonio turned back to his crew, all muttering in confusion and apprehension. "Well, this was fun, let's go," Antonio announced, throwing up his hands.
Lovino and Feliciano made strange, squawking noises as the men gaped at him.
"You aren't serious," Ludwig retorted, fair brows raised high.
"I'm not going to ask anyone to sacrifice their life for some stupid gold. The adventure was fun, let's head home," Antonio told him, grinning.
"Oh, you dumb bastard!" Lovino exclaimed. He stomped forward and kicked the back of Antonio's knee, knocking him to the ground hard. Antonio bit down on his lip, drawing a little blood, in surprise and pain. "Who the hell said someone would die?"
"Lovi~ Ve! You hurt him! Capitano, are you all right?" Feliciano cried out, fluttering around Antonio, wringing his hands anxiously. Lovino 'feh'd.
"You just said the price was a life," Gilbert pointed out to Lovino, frowning darkly. "How does that not mean dying?" He reached out to pull Antonio to his feet.
"We don't want a death! What the hell would we do with that? A life is much more useful," Lovino said, rolling his eyes. He pointed at Feliciano with an abrupt movement of his hand. "I must take you to your damned "greatest treasure" and my idiot bastard of a brother will have no one watching him. Do you know what sort of mischief he gets into alone? Not only does he cry all the damn time and it takes weeks to calm him down and get him away from me because he never stops hugging all the damn time, but he always manages to hurt himself somehow."
"You want a life… to watch your brother?" Francis said slowly. Lovino rolled his eyes.
"That's what I just said, ya damn genius," Lovino agreed waspishly.
"I will volunteer," Ludwig spoke up, stepping forward.
"What? Nein! Lutz, you don't have to do-" Gilbert exclaimed, grabbing Ludwig's arm. He cut off when Ludwig laid his hand over Gilbert's and gave him a small smile.
"I know I do not have to do anything, but I want to do this. I am the least experienced sailor on the ship and therefore my absence will be the least missed. You need every one of your men for something like this. I could become a liability and that is the last thing I want," Ludwig stated simply. Gilbert gritted his teeth and glanced away, knowing Ludwig was right and hating it.
Ruby-red eyes pierced Lovino angrily. "Will we get him back?"
"Excuse me?" Lovino queried with a lift of an eyebrow.
"When we bring you back after getting the damn treasure, will Ludwig come back home with us?" Gilbert asked slowly and carefully, almost hissing through his teeth.
"Of course. If you bring me back safely to this island, to my brother, Mr. Studly can go back home with you. If he wants to," Lovino tacked on, smirking. Gilbert and Lovino glared at each other.
"Ve~ I'm so glad you chose to stay, Mr. Studly~" Feliciano was quick to interrupt, latching on Ludwig's arm and smiling up at him happily. Ludwig blushed brightly, his whole body becoming tense.
"That's n-not my name. My name is Ludwig Beilschmidt," Ludwig informed Feliciano. The little siren made a strange face.
"That name is so difficult, ve~ I will call you Luddy. Si, that is a very cute name! I like it. We'll have so much fun together, Luddy, you'll see. I'm so glad I won't be lonely, ve~ I hate being alone," Feliciano said as he snuggled closer to Ludwig. The tall blond stared over at Gilbert, helpless and confused, as most the crew (especially Antonio and Francis) shook with silent laughter.
"Feh. Let's just get going, all right? My brother gets embarrassing when he gets new playmates," Lovino said, already walking towards the trees.
Antonio nodded and motioned towards his men. "Head out, men," he called out. Most of them eagerly surged towards the trees. While it had been a nice vacation, the magic of the place still kind of felt odd. The sooner they were on the ocean the better. Antonio clapped Ludwig's shoulder companionably and then strode after the golden siren, easily catching up as the sailors marched past them, all talking and laughing. Francis kissed both of Ludwig's cheeks, gave him a quiet prayer, which made the German a little uncomfortable because he didn't really like Catholic blessings, before he too went after Antonio and Lovino.
Gilbert stayed behind the longest. Even Feliciano walked a distance away to give them some privacy. After a few, intent words were exchanged, the brothers hugged, the older with tears in his eyes before he broke away and loped up towards the tree where the group had long disappeared. Feliciano was back at Ludwig's side, holding his hand tightly, watching as the tall, lean figure ducked into the trees and out of sight.
Kitty: AHA! I finished the first chapter. I will be three chapters. I finally got it worked out in my head so it should work. XD How is it so far? Forgive the typos. I am Beta-less for this one. ;w;