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Everett knew that he was backed into a corner. The ship wasn't going to last if they passed the port. He looked from Mikoto to Angelo and nodded. "Take the colors down and dock on the far end like we did last time." He ordered turning away, "and get everything ready so we can get in and get out."
"The lad is right. His parents might not even know." Angelo said lightly, "The men are tired and need to rest. They can't keep working like they have been." Everett shot back around and looked at him, "Do you understand if we get caught? It's already a huge gamble going into Kingston with our reputation. And while they might not even know what happened to Mikoto, they could decide to search the ship just because we have black sails." He said roughly "If they catch us, we're all guaranteed a trip to the gallows." He backed up away from him slightly and sighed. "Just do everything you can to make us less suspicious."
The fact that Bernadette knew Mikoto was there worried him. Her crew wasn't the type to keep secrets and since he knew they spent longer at port than his own crew, the rumor could spread. And even if their island was made for pirates, the navy still found it's way in if they were hunting someone. "When we get closer come get me." He then waved Angelo off who quickly left not waiting for any more of the captain's out bursts.
Everett turned to Mikoto with distressed eyes. "I'm sorry." He wasn't sure what he was apologizing for, there was so much at the moment.
Mikoto nearly jumped at the knock on his door. He looked up to find Everett's first mate, Angelo, walking into the room with a grim look on his face. Mikoto's first thought was that he was here to tell them they were being followed, or that the hurricane was about to get worse, or even that all of the crew had been swept away into sea except for him. He breathed a sigh of relief, though, when he said it was just about the ship needing repairs. The fact that they only needed to dock and start on it was reassuring, except for when it came to where they'd make port.
Mikoto looked up at the name of his home city, where he'd lived his entire life except for the past few months. He found that both pairs of eyes were resting on him. He felt all of the blood drain from his face. And although he felt himself swell with relief that Everett said they wouldn't, he knew it really wasn't up to him. Even being the captain, the ship had it's needs. "But what if the ship sinks right off the coast? What if it can't handle any more, and we'd just passed up the only opportunity to fix it?" he asked, though he didn't really want to.
Mikoto looked away from the piercing gaze of Everett's first mate. He knew that this was what he wanted from him. He could see it in his eyes that he needed Mikoto to convince Everett to port in Kingston. Even Mikoto knew that it was necessary. But he also knew that Everett was stubborn. "This isn't really your decision, Everett." Angelo said to him. "The ship needs repairs."
Biting his lip, Mikoto thought of something else. Something that may even sooth Everett's thoughts and worries, even just a little bit. "You know, the possibility that my parents are aware of who's holding me captive right now is slim to none. They probably have no idea, and are even just barely guessing that I've been taken in by pirates." he paused, checking the faces of the two others. "So, I just need to stay below deck. That's all. That way, they won't even know I'm here."
"I feel better yes." He felt almost the same but he wanted to keep Mikoto's spirits up and not make him feel like he wasn't helping. But it seemed like no matter what, the prince was going to worry about them catching something. It was almost funny how worried Mikoto was about their health. "we're going to be fine lad. Don't worry so much." He reached up and ruffled the other's brown hair. "it's almost like a right of passage to get sick here. It's inevitable especially since you're not used to being among all the different people."
A small knock came from the door before it opened slightly. Angelo walked in with a scowl. Everett sat up and looked at his first mate with a questioning glance, "What is it?" The other man sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. "The ship has taken damage. She won't be able to hold much longer unless we make port soon."
Everett let out a heavy sigh before standing up "What's the closest port?" It didn't seem that the damage was getting to Angelo as much. They were good at making repairs, but it seemed something else was bothering him. "Angelo, what is it? Sit it out now."
"Kingston, that's the closest port." Everett froze up before glancing back to Angelo. "No, we can't go there. Not with..." They both turned lightly and looked back at Mikoto. "That's the royal navy port, Angelo. We can't." He whispered.
When Mikoto had finished everything, he brought the pot, filled with all of the bowls, back down into the cooking station. He set the pot back in it's correct pile, and the bowls in their's beside it. Wiping his hands off on his pants, he ran a hand through his bangs, slicking them back unintentionally. Apparently, his hair didn't want to dry. Sighing, he began to gather up all of the vegetables he hadn't used, putting them back in their correct bags, and setting them on top of the barrels full of salted meats. "I wonder what I'm going to cook tomorrow?" he thought to himself, scanning the food. Shrugging, he left the room. I'll just save that thought for tomorrow. he thought to himself as he made his way back into his room.
Smiling when he saw Everett, Mikoto went back over and sat down beside him. "Do you feel any better, now that you've eaten?" he asked him, moving to feel his forehead again. He didn't want to take the chance that Everett might have acquired a fever since the last time he'd checked his temperature. Giving a little sigh in relief, he took his hand away and checked his own forehead. "Good, doesn't feel like I have one, either." he grinned, happy that neither of them were coming down with an illness.
Everett watched as Mikoto left. It seemed odd to him now that the words left their lips, it was made obvious once again that Mikoto truly was a prince. He said so himself that he used to keep company with all the royals the land had to offer. So why had he decided to give all of that away to be with him and his crew? While he had his own reasons for giving everything up, Mikoto didn't seem to have the same reasons.
But they were equal now. They were sitting together eating. No one sat above or below, just on the same rickety bed as the ship rocked back and forth. And it even seemed that he wasn't a dreaded captain, and Mikoto wasn't a run away prince. They were two people.
Everett smiled to himself as he stared at the empty bowl. He never would have thought he would be question his place in society. But it seemed that Mikoto made him question everything.
Standing up took more effort than he thought. He groaned lightly as he lifted his coat over his shoulders before scooping up the bowl and heading up stairs. While the ship was rocking, the rain seemed to have stopped, leaving only the small bursts of ocean spray. He spotted Mikoto by the railing and almost went to help him but he noticed the determined look about him. He chuckled lightly before heading back down to the cooking station to wait foe his prince.
Mikoto couldn't keep the grin off of his face when Everett complimented his cooking. "Well, maybe that's because I used to live among them." he joked, sitting down on the bed beside Everett so he could begin eating his own. He didn't want to feel full of himself, but it was pretty good.
When Mikoto had finished eating, he scooped up his bowl and turned to Everett. "If you're up to walking, you can bring that to me when you're done eating. I'll clean it." he smiled before leaving. When he got back to his cooking station, he found a few stacks of bowls sitting around, while others were simply scattered across the floor. Sighing, he bent over, and started scooping them into the pot he'd originally made the stew in. The room still smelt like dinner. It smelt delicious.
Lifting the pot, Mikoto carefully brought it above deck. Though the winds were still strong, and the waves still crashing up against the ship, the crew seemed to be doing well. They were keeping it mostly steady. Mikoto had great respect for them. As he made his way off to one side of the ship, he tried his best to stay out of the way of the crew, but being bumped into wasn't something unusual.
When Mikoto finally got to the edge of the ship, he noticed it'd be easier than he'd first thought to clean everything out. Water was splashing up on ship, so all he had to do was carefully hold the pot over the edge, and try not to drop it. Within half an hour, all bowls were washed of leftovers, including the pot. Now all he had to do was soak them in boiling water. Mikoto felt...satisfied.
Everett noticed the worry in the other's eyes but chose not to address it. He already knew what the other thought and he wasn't going to force him to say anything more on the topic. So he waved Mikoto off happily once he decided to go back to cooking. He hoped the sea would stay calm so Mikoto wouldn't end up hurting his hand again. But he knew the boy would be fine.
He took his time alone to call for his clothes which had dried some. While there were damp areas, they were wearable. He could hear the men above happily eating what ever meal Mikoto prepared them. Even though they were entering the storm again, it seemed the seas were forgiving just this once. He smiled to himself before fastening his effects around his waist. He felt back to normal with what his crew called his, "Captain Equipment" on. He felt more like a captain than a farm boy. So when Mikoto walked in, he felt like a male peacock who was showing it's feathers.
He was sitting down when the prince walked in, so he simply smiled as if he was up to no good. He had only gotten dressed so it's not like he had done anything drastic anyways. "I could smell the cooking from down here. It smells delicious, lad." He took the bowl with a gracious head bow before taking part in the soup.
The warm liquid warmed his still cold bones and made him shiver happily. "Aye, my senses never fail me. Fit to serve the royals." He gave a small wink before going back to eating the soup.
Mikoto smiled, nodding. "You're very stubborn." he told Everett. "Which is good, I guess. Considering you are captain of a deadly pirate ship." he chuckled lightly. Looking at the ceiling again as another few pairs of boots ran across above deck, he sighed. "Just make sure you don't strain yourself." he told him, looking back down at Everett. Mikoto brushed his bangs out of his face, revealing slightly worried eyes. But they soon changed again as he stood. "Well, I should be starting on supper for these men before the storm kicks back in! It'd left it stranded before, and they're all probably starving by now!" he said, a smile on his face and determination in his eyes. "Now stay here and rest." he told Everett, kissing his cheek again before leaving the room.
Returning to the "cooking station" as he now called it, Mikoto picked up from where he'd left off. He was happy to find that only a small bit of water had spilt out of the pot or evaporated, so he just added a bit more to be boiled, and began chopping up more vegetables. By the time he was finished, the ship still hadn't become dangerous again; relieved from this, Mikoto began calling the men down below deck in stages so others could still care for the ship.
Before long, the large pot of soup was empty, all the crew were full, and he had two bowls left over; one for Everett and one for himself. Pleased with himself that he'd made enough and hadn't received any complaints from the men about the vegetables, he brought the two bowls into his room where Everett was still resting, and set the one for Everett down on the nightstand. "It's time for you to eat." he told him. "I don't need you getting scurvy now." he smiled.
Everett's face became a pale pink at Mikoto's statement. Was meeting him that big of a deal? He didn't think he was anything special. But the prince saw something in him that he never thought possible. So he simply smiled and closed his eyes, "Aye. I'll hurry and get better." It was nice, just relaxing for once. He didn't have to work as hard as the rest of the crew but keeping up appearances sure were tough.
He opened his eyes again when he felt water dripping on him. At first he panicked thinking that the ship was leaking again. But when it was just Mikoto's hair, he took a breath of relief. "Better dry off lad. Can't have you getting sick when you're making the food." He laughed lightly knowing that no one cared if they got sick. But the quick movement from the ship made his body stiffen and completely forget about sickness. He defiantly was sore, but he couldn't let that stop him. "I have to be back out by tomorrow. It's not like I have a bullet wound or anything." He sat up once again, but propped himself against the wall for support. "I can't seem weak. If I do and another ship catches wind, it could give them the idea that the ship is weak. And I'm not going to let my men down just because of a sore shoulder." He could already feel the guilt eating at him from the inside out. He hadn't let them down yet but just the thought bothered him.
Mikoto felt a little relief at what Everett said, even though it was minimal. Smiling at his question, he sat on the edge of the bed and ran a hand through Everett's hair. "I'd like that." he said to him. "I think it'd be fun. Actually, even though its been hectic lately...this whole adventure has been fun." he smiled. "Especially since i met you." his cheeks turned a dusty shade of pink, but he didnt take his eyes away from Everett. "But you better hurry up and recover from what happened today and start running this ship again. I dont know how long they can hold up without you." he smiled, kissing his cheek.
When he pulled away, Mikoto noticed a drop of water on Everett's cheek and realized that his hair hadnt yet dried. "Oops. Sorry!" he said, moving back. "I forgot, my hairhasnt fully dried yet." he said, brushing his damp hair back behind his ear. "Haha, i probably have a better chance of getting sick than you." he told hom, shaking his head.
Looking up to the ceiling when he heard footsteps running overhead, he knew they were coming close to the edge of the eye of the storm. Mikoto felt a sudden jostle, and he looked down to Everett. "Are you okay?" he asked, unsure of what he was supposed to do now. "You wont be in as much pain as before because your shoulder's back in place, but it'll still probably make it sore." he told him. "Just dont move around too much." he smiled.
Everett looked up at Mikoto with a curious face. He still wasn't used to all the attention he was receiving from the prince. While he was one of the youngest captains sailing the seas, his body had received a lot of abuse which made his time as a captain seem shorter. And while he knew other captains who were well into their 80's, he didn't feel like his body could hold on forever.
He smiled and laid down, letting go of the other's hand. "I am going to be captain of this ship as long as I possibly can. I'm not going to give up easily, but the sea ages you in way you never thought were possible." He didn't mind it though. He loved being at sea and it scared him at the thought of not being able to sail anymore. But he had to shove the thoughts away, he still had plenty of time. "I'm not going to break anytime soon, I promise ya lad." the smile lightly faded as he looked deep into Mikoto's eyes, "When I'm old and broken and finally decide to retire, will you come with me?" He might be able to adjust not having his ship and the sea spraying his skin, but he wouldn't be able to adjust to Mikoto being gone. He wanted to grow old together, as sappy as he thought that sounded.
Mikoto nodded, followed Everett back over to the bed. He watched as he sat down, and even though he felt worried by looking at his condition, a fleck of happiness stayed within him because Everett hadn't pulled his hand away. "You need to take it easy." he told him, watching him carefully. "We don't need your shoulder to get infected or anything of that sort. You need to relax and rest for the rest of today." he said, moving closer. He put his hand on Everett's forehead, and breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he found that he didn't have a fever.
Mikoto looked at Everett in horror at his next statement. "W-what...?" was all he could manage. He didn't understand what he'd just said. He didn't even know if he'd heard him right.
"I can feel my body starting to give up on me already."
No...he'd definitely said that. "Please tell me that you're joking." he said, his voice breathy with grief at the sudden topic change. I don't think I'll be able to handle it if you tell me you're serious." he muttered, kneeling down in front of him. He could feel his legs getting wobbly, and he didn't feel like falling on top of Everett again. "Please. Tell me you aren't serious."
"Because I don't want to have to hide it from you, either."
Everett looked up at him and smiled lightly. Not only were they making confessions, they seemed to be coming to terms with their own feelings. At that moment, he didn't even care if the rest of the crew knew about it, just as long as Mikoto knew he was fine with it.
He looked down at their hands and swung them lightly in the air, "No, I like you being bold," he said with a smile, "It makes me feel a bit better. I feel like I don't have to tip-toe around egg shells." He took a deep breath and looked up at him, "Sorry lad, but I really need to sit down like you said,." He turned and walked towards the bed, but held onto Mikoto's hand so that he would have to come along with him. He sat down and slouched over lightly, letting his silver hair to fall over his face. "Maybe listening to you will actually keep me alive longer. I can feel my body starting to give up on me already."
Mikoto looked away at Everett's question. He wanted to tell him what he was thinking, what he was feeling...but he didn't know how to put it into words. Why was this so difficult? So, instead of talking, Mikoto nodded his head. He wanted to know what it felt like to have Everett act like this openly...sometimes, he even felt that maybe he was embarrassed to show him this.
"I don't want you to hide it." Mikoto told him, eyes still on their toes. He noticed that their feet were mere centimeters apart, and that reminded him how close they actually were. "Is that bad?" he asked, looking back up to meet Everett's gaze. "Because I don't want to have to hide it from you, either." Mikoto was beginning to feel very daring, with all of the things he was confessing to Everett. He wanted to tell him all of this, and it was like his mouth didn't want to stop moving and spilling it all out.
Looking down at the two of them again, Mikoto grabbed onto Everett's hand and entwined their fingers together. He smiled. He liked it; being able to feel Everett's skin. "I hope you don't mind my sudden honesty." he gave a small, nervous laugh. He hoped Everett wasn't mad at him for this...it was the only way Mikoto could think of to get his feelings across, even if he himself didn't know exactly what they were.
Everett's skin burned and prickled as they stared at each other. He ran his hand from the other's chest and up his neck, enjoying the soft sensation beneath his finger tips. He felt like he could melt at any moment now just from a simple glance. He was lost in the other's gaze before Mikoto spoke still having the slightly dazed look in his eyes when he made contact.
While he knew that they loved to be in each other's presence, he didn't think that Mikoto would continue to confess to him like he was. He dropped his hands and closed the gap between them once again. "Do you not want me to hide it anymore?" He said it in almost a whisper as he looked down at Mikoto. His breath was harsh as he tried to gather his thoughts. He didn't want to hold back anymore but he didn't want to take advantage of the prince. He didn't want to take it as if was getting premission, but he certaily hoped he was.
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