tagGay MaleThe Pirate King Ch. 16

The Pirate King Ch. 16

bynakamook©

Long time no see.

I know. I'm sorry. Things got hard, and it felt too strange to escape to a world where the power of the sea was such a romanticized thing while I watched so much of my country disappear into a hurricane.

Anyway. Have some sailors, and remember love. Imagine what trust feels like when you carry it in a place deeper than your bones.

Alternate title: I had never before seen darkness like that

As always, comments and feedback so greatly appreciated. Love and peace and someone to call family, a place to call home, to each and every one of you. Never let anyone take that away. Never let anyone tell you, you deserve any different.


***

The men were waiting for us when we got back to the ship.

"Steady," the Captain called to them as soon as we were close enough to be heard. "It's alright, lads."

His words did little to calm the crew. Cass's seas had lessened significantly from when we had arrived leading to the appearing of our being becalmed. I smiled to see it, remembrance on my skin like smoke. Cass had once becalmed a captain for thirty-six hours for saying something she hadn't liked; he had rowed back into her chambers, sobbing, begging to be let out of his prison. Only then had she given him back his currents.

She was more merciful than I. I had once taken the currents from a captain for eternity. If he found wind, so be it, but the sea would never again bless his boat.

"Did she have to do this? It's upsetting my crew." The Captain's voice brought me back from thoughts of ships locked eternal in glass-like seas.

I smiled at him. "It will lift when it is time to go."

He let out a huff of annoyance. "Isn't our time of departure my decision?"

It was fate's. It was already determined, long before we had even arrived. Before we had met. I shrugged and pulled his arm around my waist, but he merely scowled and pulled away to go to his men.

The Captain moved through them carefully, reassuring here and patting an arm there. They shifted before his presence, parting in the face of power and authority and that was good, that was something, but I saw how they were not fully settled and moved behind my Captain, my own bulk and ease it's own kind of reassurance.

Still they milled about like errant currants. This was not my area of expertise; if they were truly water, I could have calmed them, navigated them. They were not water. They were land boys, and their nervousness annoyed me.

The Captain handled it much better than I. He drew them after him as he walked over to a barrel, pulling himself up on the makeshift stage in a show of rippling muscles and controlled power that left me smiling, spinning. Hearing his songs in my heart.

"The Lady has given me - us -" he looked over his men's heads and caught my gaze and I poured out my love for him, let it fall hot and swirling over these nobodies' feet and was surprised when they did not yelp from the heat of it, "her blessing. This is a good voyage, lads. This is the best voyage, the only voyage. When the Lady herself speaks well of it." He stopped and spread his arms wide, grinning, his teeth flashing white, his soul flashing brighter than the sun.

I watched the men begin to relax at his obvious comfort and jubilance. My Captain was good at what he did, and I too began to relax to see it.

"What of the naming." Finn had been with us on the way back; he had seen the cave light up, must have watched it go dark. Might well have heard Cass yelling all the way back from where he stood. When we had emerged, hours later, easy and calm, Finn had nearly started crying from relief. He still carried threads of his nervousness on him and I watched as he twisted those strands into his words, winding the men up again with the pressure of his emotion. "What did she say of the naming?"

The Captain's eyes landed on me for a moment. I saw him wrap himself up in something light, something dark, something dangerous. Watched him become the thing I would always know him to be.

"Ah, yes." He sounded bored, but I saw the way his very skin sparked with contradiction. "There is that."

The men waited. They did not look relaxed anymore.

"Full disclosure," he said, eyes glancing over the men before him to land on me, so dark, so endless, all for me. Everything for me. "I am now named. I name the Sailor; he names me."

There was instantly a stir among the men. The Captain ignored this and continued on. If you did not know better you would think he was bored. The men knew better.

I knew best.

"The Lady assures me this is not a problem. Our names are useless to anyone but each other, or something." He announced it like it was nothing to him, but he stared at me as he said it and I saw all the things this meant to him. All the ways this intimacy touched his soul. All around us the room still stirred, but they were nothing. They had always been nothing.

I had the Captain; I had his names, I had his love, I had his trust and I had his life. And he had all the same of mine and more. I smiled into his gaze and watched the way that made him turn soft and hard all at the same time.

"How sure are we of this?" A man who's name I had never bothered to learn spoke up, breaking my attention from my love. It was not a smart decision and he was lucky he could not see my eyes from where he stood with his back to me.

But the Captain merely smiled, a lazy expression that somehow carried a promise of so much action if he was pushed even the slightest bit further, the laziness made so much more pronounced by the obviousness of the violence it sat in front of. A thousand contradictions and he wore them so easily. Carried them on his skin like patterns of sunlight and I stopped trying to parse out what was real and what was glimmer and instead simply enjoyed the sensation as I bathed in his warmth. "I'm betting my life on it. I'm betting the Sailor's life on it."

There was a quiet swell as the men turned to look at me. I stood still and did not even try to mimic the expression the Captain had affected. I had never known how to make myself into a contradiction. I would never be anything but exactly what I was.

They turned away, possibly not comforted by what they had seen.

"I'm willing to bet your lives on it," the Captain continued, softer. "Have I ever placed you in danger that was not needed?"

Another swell, this one quieter yet. I knew there were stories here, actions shared. I watched memories fit into the men's bodies and knew they would come to remember what I could never forget, that the Captain was a good one, that he was Captain first and foremost. That he cared for this ship and his men and would never abandon them to danger.

They knew this. They carried it in their bodies, their memories. Their shared pasts. I watched this come together for them even as they shifted, uncomfortable with the idea of such a change to their lives.

"We trust you, Cap," Natch said quietly. I paid close attention; every man in the room nodded.

"Good." A careful observer might not have noticed any change in the Captain's body; I was no simple observer. I was the Captain's love eternal. And I saw the way his eyebrow unknit, just the smallest amount, watched his shoulder's go down the same. Then he moved on to other orders of business.

***

"Sailor."

I turned to find the Captain moving towards me, curls swaying lightly in the slight breeze Cass had let pick up. My eyes traced over his bunched brows, down to those dark eyes set against a nose broken at least once but still so handsome, so refined, down past cheeks that held the sunset and the rose of promised storms just under skin dark as the wood of the ship, skin I loved to trace and kiss and to kiss him, because there were those lips, those perfect lips -

He stepped into my arms and granted me my silent wish by pressing those lips to mine.

"Captain," I murmured as he pulled away slightly.

His finger traced down my back with seemingly no intent, a casual, meandering gesture. Another form of false laziness. "When do you think Cass will let us get out of here?"

I was finding it hard to focus beneath the promises with which his touch was filling my brain. "Soon," I managed.

"How soon?" His finger found the hem of my shirt and began crawling back up to trace over my skin.

At my shiver I saw a flash of amusement pass over his face. "When it's time," I told him, knowing full well he already knew this.

"Hmm." My skin nearly itched from the lightness of his touch. He made it seem as if he wasn't thinking about the way his hand moved at all, his eyes on the riggings, his words on leaving, but every motion was deliberate, calculated to maximize my. Discomfort? Comfort?

Intensity, I decided as he surprised another shake from my spine. His eyes glanced over to me for all of one moment before he went back to checking on his men. Calculated to maximize my intensity.

"I don't see why we can't put the sails down now," he was complaining. A finger tapped on my spine and I nearly had to take an entire step forward. How could one single touch move something so vast as me? "If the wind will come soon, why not be prepared?"

"Because -" I started, but Cass answered the question for me in action.

The wind picked up with such violence and intensity that even without the sails up the ship lurched hard to star. Anything not tied down on deck skidded wildly across the boards, sailors shouting and throwing themselves out of the way of barrels and boxes and rope, then having to make the same motions again as the ship righted herself.

I smiled down at the Captain who had been knocked into my arms, my grip tightening around his waist. "Because we would have just lost our masts," I stated calmly. He frowned up at me, trying to decide if I had something to do with this. "And probably most of the sails."

He sighed and rested his head on my chest. All around us, the ship was slowly coming to her proper positioning. "Is nothing ever easy with you?"

I drew my hands up his back and felt him relax into me. He knew the answer to that.

"Well." His fingers laced over my spine, entwining with each other and me. Forever with me. My soul trilled at the contact even as my skin prickled. "At least now we can be off."

I nodded. "To home."

The was a long moment. I felt him breathe against me, air captured in his chest then let out against my shirt. Then, much more tentatively than I had said it, or perhaps simply more quietly; "Home."

I pressed my lips to the top of his head and watched the men struggle to tie the sails down in the wind.

***

Cookie caught me as I was on my way down to the Captain's chambers with the small bag of gifts Cass had given us. It was meant to be a momentary diversion, but soon my hands were filled with potatoes and my ears with Cookie's frustration.

"Once was dangerous enough," he was chastising. "And none of the men the wiser, not knowing what they're sailing into." He pointed his knife at me, scowling. A peel hung to the tip. "You can't just sail full ships in to the cracks of the universe willy nilly, boy. Not even you."

I watched the peel slip from the tip. "There are ways to keep the men safe."

The knife jerked up in frustration. "Maybe. Not for sure, not the way things are. You're relying on spells you can't know will work."

"That's why I thought you would do them."

Cookie snorted. "As if I had the time. Or the supplies."

I had been waiting for this. I went to the bag Cass had given me and pulled out the comfrey, turning to hand it to the frowning and suspicious Cookie.

"Comfrey." He didn't take it, just squinted hard at the small bunch of flowers shedding on his immaculate floor. "Only one bushel."

I raised an eyebrow. "Were you planning on needing more than one?"

"No, no." The knife was placed on the table, the comfrey quickly whisked away into a small cabinet that smelled of herbs and spice, incense. Spellwork. I had never seen it opened before. Had known better than to open it myself. "Just wondering why you think I'm the best to do this."

"You know the spells." It wasn't a question. Minnie had known the spells, would have taught him or might have been taught with him. That was the legacy of the cooks through Minnie's line, as far back as anyone could remember. It was common knowledge on the ships I had sailed on; if you don't have a professional spell weaver, the cook will do just fine.

"Aye, but so should you." He gave me a baleful look. "I'm trying to keep my head down, boy. Not telegraphin' to all these men the things I know, the places I've been."

I shrugged. They would find out eventually. "Secrets can only hold their breath so long, Alan." Minnie's words in my mouth earned me a scowl.

When I finally made my way to the Captain's room I found it occupied. Dark curls tumbled as the Captain looked up from where he stood over his desk, palms splayed out over maps. He smiled to see me; my entire body, from soul to skin, smiled back.

"Sailor." He beckoned me closer and my body obeyed without needing further instruction from me. "What's the fastest way to your home?"

"The Ephretes," I told him without having to think. The current would be strong this time of year, and the wind would cooperate. I wrapped my arms around his waist and settled my chin on top of his head. "Near the whole way."

He nodded, causing my head to bob up and down. "I'll let Natch know."

"Okay," I murmured, my fingers already playing with the the space where his shirt tucked into his breeches. I felt him settle against me and sighed happily, one hand sliding up to his bare chest. Feeling the warmth of his skin.

He hummed in content, letting me explore his body for a bit. When my gentle touches grew more pointed, fingers straying dangerously close to nipples, he tried to pull away. "I need to tell Natch where we're heading."

"We won't hit the decision point for another two hours," I reminded him. I was finding that I liked the way my body pressed against his like this, his skin so close and yet so far away, the way his breath hitched as I continued my exploration of his body. My fingers dipped beneath his waistband and his head came back with his hips, hair brushing against my shoulder and neck. "We've got time," I whispered into his ear.

"Fuck," he muttered. He ground against me, causing me fingers to tighten on his hip. My other hand found his nipple and began to tease the sensitive flesh. "Fuck," he said again. I pressed a kiss on the skin of his neck he was exposing to me and he let out a breath. "Fuck, Sailor. Fuck."

When he leaned over the desk the motion pressed his ass into me further and I gasped, surprised by the motion. It gave him to me in a way that I had never been able to explore, had the chance to see. I loved it immediately, loved the trust and the difference and above all, always, him.

"Captain." I ran my hand down his back until I could tease his shirt from his breeches. "Love." I began pulling his shirt up, revealing a back so beautiful, so incredible that I had to lean down and drop kisses along the path my hand took. Each time my lips pressed against his skin, he pressed his hips into me again.

"Sailor," he half moaned, half commanded as I lifted his shirt up over his head, reaching up to throw it over the table and out of our world, and although I did not know what the command was for I did my best to follow. His hips pressed back against me and I gasped again. "Sailor."

"Okay," I told his skin. His soul. "Okay." My lips were on his neck, my fingers tight on his hips. "Whatever you need."

He turned his head so that his lips rested near my scalp. "Need you." I pulled back so I could see his eyes, watch the way they were turning dark. Fall into his endlessness. He reached down and found one of my hands, pulling it up to his lips. I held my breath as his teeth lightly scraped the roughened skin of my palm, my heart beating wildly. "I only need you."

I turned my hand in his grasp to rub my thumb along his chin, those words increasing the tempo of my heartbeat to an unsustainable rate. "Love," I whispered.

"Shut up," he said. Commanded. I shuddered and leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "Fuck me."

I paused halfway through my kiss, lips brushing just above those expressive eyebrows of his. I was afraid that if I moved any further I would fall apart, my heart shaking my body so much with how fast it was beating.

"Sailor." His voice reached up from beneath me, took me by the throat. I wrapped an arm under his chest, drawing him to me. "Tell me you heard me. Tell me you'll do it."

"Okay," I whispered into his skin.

"No." The word snapped against me and I physically jerked; we were close, so close, we could be closer... "Say it like I need you to, Sailor. Say it like I fucking need."

He was pressing into me, again and again, his hips moving in some mix of rhythmic and uncoordinated that was making it hard to think. "Say it," he repeated. "Say it." It was a mantra. A command.

A command. He would always command me, this man, this love of mine. His very love was a command, but this, these words, they were direct and I had to obey them. How had I not understood this? How had I not yet given to this? I let the last futile walls in my soul fall to him, and then I was his. "Yes, Sir," I obeyed, and he moaned his approval as he reached back and drew my head even closer to him, his hand lacing through my hair tightly.

"Bed," he told me. I didn't want to move. I wanted to stay there forever, wrapped around my Captain, but his words were stronger than my desire or maybe they were my desire realized and so I stood, pulling him up with me. He spun in my arms until his lips were against mine, his kiss harsh and loving as he moved me back in the direction he wanted. His fingers worked at the hem of my breeches. By the time he toppled me onto the bed he had managed to loosen my breeches, pushing them halfway down my ass.

He finished pulling them off as I stripped myself of my shirt. Then he stood above me, his eyes dark, his hair wild.

"Love," I called up to him.

"Do you want this?" His finger traced up the inside of my leg and I shuddered. "Do you want me?"

"Love," I called again. It was very much apparent that I wanted him, and he could see it. "Sir."

"Tell me you want me." His fingers were light on my inner thigh. "Beg for me, Sailor. Beg for my touch."

"Please."

He shook his head. "Not good enough." His fingers were making small circles next to my cock. I gasped, trying to gather words in the storms he was stirring up in my soul. "Tell me what you want, love. Tell me what you need from me."

"Please, sir," I started. I could always get that part out. His fingers tugged at the coarse hair, my sensitive skin, and I gasped out the rest of the words as best I could. "Please let me fuck you."

"Beg," he said again. A finger pressed up in the space between my cock and balls.

"Please." I was desperate. I needed him. I would do anything, anything for him. "Please sir, oh gods, sir. Please let me. Sir."

His finger was lazily making it's way up my cock. I know he could feel me shaking, the desire I held just under my skin for him, the desperation. "Sir," I tried again.

"Fucking beg." His voice was so cold, it cut against me, made it so hard to stay the verbose thing he was commanding me to be. I wanted to fall apart, let myself explore the feeling of those words and how they turned my very soul to ice but he needed this from me and I wasn't sure how much longer I could exist like this before I no longer existed at all, and so I did what he asked.

I begged.

"Please." My voice was little more than a gasp in the face of what he was doing to me. "Please, sir, I need you, need you so bad, I'll fucking die if you don't nghh."

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