Alright, so here's the thing. I miss writing, but I don't really have the time to do it. Or at least, have the time to commit to some big project. However, I'm going to try something new, and that is a story of oneshots, so that I can write small things when I can, and in whatever tone I choose. It gives me a bit of lenience to be creative, and with school being a time-consuming bitch, I really need that at this point.
And so, here we are. A collection of oneshots about Link and Tetra, featuring only them (probably), completely unrelated to anything else I've written. How old are they, anyway? I used to know… Let's pretend they're fourteen, 'kay? Seems fair. I mean, she leads a crew of pirates. She has to be old enough to lead but young enough to still be a child. Link too, so we'll say fourteen for the sake of these stories. They'll be about whatever I choose, so they could theoretically cover anything. Ready to begin? I hope I am. Welcome to Complement.
(Cover art is property of MadMeeper, used with permission. Check out her Tumblr at ashmcgivern for more!)
The waves lapped gently against the ship as it slid silently through the dark waters. Apart from that, it was silent all around him. He couldn't quite believe how quiet the ocean could be at night, but here he was, witnessing it firsthand. Beyond water, there wasn't a sound anywhere.
Which begged the question as to why he was up at such a late hour. It was clear that the rest of the world was lost in a dark, quiet slumber, but he found himself unable to do the same. It may have been the fact that everything he knew in his life had been thrown upside-down, what with his sister being kidnapped by a monstrous bird. That thought alone was enough to keep him awake, out of guilt and worry.
On top of that, he had impulsively persuaded a group of pirates to take him to his sister. It had seemed like a good idea at the time – he needed to find his sister, and they knew where she was. But maybe, in hindsight, he should have thought it through a little more. After all, these were pirates. Who was to say they didn't just throw him overboard as soon as Outset was out of sight and be done with him? He supposed the captain felt indebted to him for saving her, though it was apparent she didn't care at all for the thought.
Regardless, he was on a pirate ship with no one to watch out for him. And while the crew seemed to respect him enough to leave him be, he still felt nervous at the thought of falling asleep with them. They outnumbered him seven to one, and he didn't have much experience in fighting – none at all, actually. What was he doing here again?
Link sighed, rubbing his temples. He needed to stop thinking about this, or else he'd never get any rest tonight. He had decided to get some air in lieu of lying on a bunk while sleep eluded him, thinking that some fresh air would calm him down. And so he found himself on the deck of the ship, surrounded by darkness and the sound of water softly splashing against the boat.
Looking around, he noticed the clear sky full of stars above him. They were intriguing, the way they glimmered so brightly while dotting the black space above him. Glancing at the crow's nest, he decided to get a better view. Everyone else was asleep anyway, so it wasn't like he could get in any trouble for being up there.
That thought flashed through his head when he reached the top of the ladder – only to find the girl he had helped earlier sitting in the nest, staring up at the sky herself. He froze, wondering if she had seen him. She hadn't reacted, and her eyes seemed glazed, as if she was deep in thought. He decided to shift back down the ladder, being as quiet as he could, until-
"Where are you going?"
He cringed. She had noticed him after all, and now she had made it worse by addressing him. Somehow, he didn't feel comfortable being alone with this girl on top of a tall platform. She had an air about her that was… scary, and almost dangerous. But it was too late to leave now. Besides, they were on a ship in the middle of the ocean; even if he did ignore her, where could he go where she couldn't find him?
So, he struggled to come up with some answer that would explain what he was doing: why he was up so late, why he was up in the crow's nest, and why he had tried to leave after finding her. The problem was that his mind was completely blank right now. Truthfully, he was pretty scared of her, and it was distracting his thinking.
"I… Um…" he stuttered, trying to think of something, anything, to say to her. She was looking at him now, her expression unnervingly neutral. "I just, you know, wanted some air. Because I couldn't… um, sleep," he answered lamely, but her expression didn't change.
He was worried about getting in trouble for being on the crow's nest before she spoke, "Seems fair. Well, you're here now. Stop hiding and get up here."
Hesitantly, he complied and sat down beside her. There was just enough room for two to sit side by side, and it left him a little nervous to be so close to her. His eyes dropped down to the dagger she had sitting on her hip. What if she used it on him? What if she killed him right here to get rid of him? This had to be a trap. What were the odds they would both be in the same, cramped place-
"You're shaking," she noted, bringing him back from his worries. He looked down and noticed that his hands were indeed visibly shaking in his lap. She eyed him oddly with a raised brow and asked, "Are you cold? That getup doesn't offer much warmth?"
Great. He had known this girl for less than a day, talked to her, what, four times? And now the subject was back on his clothing. It wasn't like he enjoyed it himself, but he hadn't thought of changing when leaving with the pirates.
"I'm not cold," he answered, trying to keep his voice steady. "I just wanted to look at the stars, that's all." And I hadn't expected to run into you here.
She was silent for a moment, her eyes back up at the sky above them. Slowly, Link did the same. They sat in silence for a moment, taking in the view, before she answered, "Mm. It's relaxing, seeing them shine. A treasure you can't put your hands on, and one that chooses when it wants to show itself."
Link blinked. That was actually… very nice to hear. He glanced at her, and quickly looked away when she glanced back. Eye contact with her just didn't feel like something he wanted. It felt like she could see right through him with her focused gaze. Even so… She had a way with words, he had to admit. It wasn't something he had expected from her.
Then again, he didn't know her at all; she was a pirate, and that was it. Maybe he had been jumping to conclusions about her and her crew. They had agreed to help him find his sister, and that was something he was grateful for. Could pirates really be compassionate like that…?
"Look kid, I'm sorry about what happened to your sister," she spoke, and despite himself, he felt the corners of his mouth tugging into a frown. Kid? She had to be the same age as him. Where did she get off talking down to him like that?
"I'm not just a kid. I'm fourteen years old," he protested. "How old are you supposed to be?"
He immediately regretted it. She shot him a look that was chilling enough to make him recoil slightly. It was a look that told him that question was too personal, one you didn't just forwardly ask a pirate captain. Sure, it had been disrespectful, but even so. They had to be close in age.
After a moment of tense silence, she finally answered. "I'll be fourteen in a couple months," she replied, and he stared, incredulous. He was older than her? And she was bossing him around like it was nothing?
She seemed to read his mind, because her next reply immediately shot down his thoughts. "I've seen things that would make your head spin, kid. I've fought in some vicious fights, and barely come out with my life. You?" She trailed off, glancing over him. "It doesn't look like you've fought at all. I'm willing to bet serious money that you've never even been off that island of yours. So before you say anything, I have enough experience to kick your scrawny backside into a coma before you could even say 'help me'. If you're on my ship, you will do as I say, and you will address me with respect. Got it?"
He was stunned. Maybe she wasn't quite what he thought she had maybe been a couple minutes ago. Even so, he did feel a little guilty. "I'm sorry," he replied quietly.
Her gaze softened in response his defeated look. That had been too aggressive. After all, she was used to dealing with adults and had to act like one. Link was not an adult. Rather, he was a boy with no gritty life experiences, someone who hadn't tasted dark reality before now. She sighed.
"Don't be," she muttered. "It's not your fault." He looked at her, and she kept talking to lighten the mood. "I mean, I guess it sort of was a little bit my fault that your sister was taken. Stupid bird thinks all blondes look alike," she tossed out with a sarcastic roll of her eyes, and Link found himself smiling. "And I know this whole thing is way beyond what you're used to. So… I'll help you out for a while longer. Just for a while though," she added quickly when his face lit up. "I don't need to be distracted by some kid when I've got more important things to do."
Link's grin only widened, and it was so sincere that she had a faint smile rise to her lips as well. "I'm turning in. Tomorrow's going to be a long day, so don't be up too late. We work on this ship, and I expect you to carry your weight."
He nodded as she stood up and headed for the ladder. Before she could disappear, he said, "Thank you for helping me, Captain."
She stared at him a moment before shooting him a quick wink and answering, "Don't mention it." She descended out of sight, leaving him alone. "And it's Tetra," her voice called out of the darkness. "Just Tetra."
Link's eyes lingered on the ladder before turning back up to the sky. The scary captain wasn't actually that scary at all. In a lot of ways, she was just being an adult because she needed to be. It was obvious she wasn't used to being with someone her age. Maybe he could change that.
He smiled slightly, laughing internally for ever being afraid of her. "Tetra," he echoed softly to the darkness. "It's nice to meet you."