RP PotHN: A Starry Night [1x1]


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Sleep had not come for her that night. After hours of unease, eyes trained on her closed door, ears tuned into every creak and groan that the ship made, Alys finally made an attempt to rest. She'd crawled into her fucking hammock, silently cursing Lucien and Emryk for accelerating their departure from Leimor, for not allowing her the opportunity to spend her hard-earned money and purchase a bed (and pillows) as big as the room. Swaying gently, she gripped her pistol, and every so often, opened her eyes to look back at the door. It was hard not to when just across the hall, between two very penetrable walls, was a vampire who'd been this close to losing control. Who was being cared for by another vampire who, quite simply, didn't give a fuck. So she swayed and looked and listened, ready to spring up from her hammock at the slightest approach. Towards her room, and towards the room next door.

The next morning, after a restless night, she'd asked him to meet her in the office. They didn't need to meet among the animals anymore, not when she was first mate. Making herself comfortable, Alys leaned back in her chair, legs crossed and arms loosely draped over each arm rest. Before her, on the table, sat two boxes. One larger, encased in polished dark wood, the other smaller.
It was the first time in days he’d had a dreamless night. The payback for it would come in the form of an incessant headache, but it was well worth it for Caleb, who hadn’t slept for longer than four uninterrupted hours since her body fell into that lake.

He was a little late, but certainly Alys would understand. He’d made a quick stop at the kitchen to fill himself a tall cup of water, bringing the jar along to the office, where they’d agreed to meet.

“Good morning.” He said, an infatuated smile forcing its way in between his lips. The bags under her eyes didn’t make her look any less beautiful, but because of it, Caleb started to regret getting batshit drunk the night before.
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Fashionably late, as always, and carrying a jug of water rather than a bottle of liquor - a true rarity among pirates. Alys responded to his greeting with an incoherent grumble, followed by the offering of a tired half-smile. Her gaze pointedly dropped to the water, before flicking back up. "Did you have a good night? Or are you trying to drown yourself?"
He locked the door behind him and chugged on his cup, placing the jar and the empty glass on a nearby table before walking over to Alys, leaning forward with his hands on the armrests.

“Could’ve been a lot better.” Caleb purred, leaning down to kiss her cheek. She’d probably smell the alcohol he had spilled over his clothes, he’d gotten too used to it to notice.
The kiss warmed her cheek, whereas his proximity sent a wave of heat down the rest of her body, down to her toes. Despite this, it was the overwhelming smell of alcohol that momentarily held her attention. Alys rolled her eyes and lifted a hand to grasp his chin, the other sliding up to encircle one of the wrists that gripped the chair. "Even if you managed to stay conscious, you wouldn't have been able to keep up," she responded cooly, the corners of her lips tilting up in amusement. Guiding his chin, and leaning forward, she kissed him deeply but only for half a moment. Long enough for him to continue wondering and aching for what could've been. Her hands released him, and she slid her hand down to the crook of his shoulder, gently nudging him away while she settling back comfortably into the chair.

"Aren't you going to ask me about my night?"
As much as Caleb wanted to enjoy the moment, his headache wouldn’t let him. The teasing only served to build up his excitement over what he wanted but couldn’t do at that moment.

After her light push he pulled a chair, sitting a meter away from Alys to keep him from pursuing his instincts. With the water jar nearby, he refilled his cup.

“How was your night?” He asked. “We don’t have to worry about Emryk. He’s less of a goody-two-shoes than he wants everyone to think he is.” Caleb sipped on the water, much like he had done with Emryk the previous night. It’d be embarrassing to let Alys know how much he had appreciated that conversation, so if she asked about it he’d make light of it, and spare her from the details that should be kept between the two men.
His statement about Emryk wasn't earth-shattering. Yesterday's actions spoke for themselves - the good, the bad, and the unfortunate. Her gut told her they could rely on him. She couldn't say the same for some of the others.

Glancing down at the wooden armrest, Alys contemplated what to say next, her fingertip tracing one of the grooves etched within. How much to say; not to shelter him, but to ensure that he wouldn't work himself up and leave the room in a fury. Leading with I was damn-near biten by Nessa while Lucien watched - or perhaps not - certainly wouldn't work.

"The ring was destroyed. Nessa was..." An animalistic face flashed in her memory; the slits and fangs, the liquid rot dripping from her mouth, the way she'd been fixated on Alys. Unconsciously, her fingertips left the wood and brushed against the side of her neck, smooth and untouched. "She'll recover."

Her gaze flickered back up, meeting his momentarily, only to slide towards the boxes. "Those are for you."
Caleb had hoped Nessa would’ve kept the ring, but apparently he was wrong.

“Why didn’t you leave when the meeting was dismissed?!” He asked while standing up, regretting it immediately, especially because of how angry his concern sounded like. He tried to fix it, softening his voice. “She didn’t touch you, did she?”

It didn’t look like she’d been hurt. While she talked, Caleb walked over to the boxes he hadn’t noticed up until that point.

“A gift?” He joked, opening the lid.
"Dismissed?" Alys repeated with a sigh, watching as he sprung to his feet restlessly, as though he'd been struck by lightning. She was prepared to remind him that he'd left the meeting to get piss-drunk, though that'd likely earn her an argument. So she kept her mouth shut, opting to answer his second question instead. "She didn't. But for a second, I thought she might." She'd been scared, she wanted to add, but not as scared as she could've been. Not as scared as she'd been last night, after leaving the mess.

"Something like that," the fae said quietly, suddenly growing nervous. Forcing that awful feeling back, she returned both of her hands to each armrest, gripping tightly and watching as he opened the box made of ebony wood. Inside he'd find a shining pistol, dark with intricate, metallic features. In the other, smaller box, two dozen silver bullets. "Just in case... and for the nightmares."

She remembered the name he'd muttered in the night, and seen the fear in his eye after he'd woken. Perhaps knowing that he had something, though not completely lethal, would provide some comfort in the night.
It was a beautiful weapon, different to the ones he already had. He removed it from the box, examining its mechanisms like a child who had just earned a new toy. Caleb didn’t get gifts often, except from Emer on his birthday, and those were never guns.

Perhaps having it under his pillow would help with the nightmares, though that was an optimistic way of looking at it. It reminded him of the time he gave Alys a dagger, though those circumstances were very different. This weapon, despite having the same utility felt closer to the golden necklace in its meaning.

“Thank you.” He said, putting it on his belt and picking up the box of bullets, and turning back to her with a small smile. “You should rest for the day, it’s been a stressful week. Emryk and I can handle the work.” He sat back on the chair, with the small box on his lap. “After things settle down, I want to meet you again. I'll make sure we won't be interrupted.”
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Her gaze fell onto his lap, to the box of bullets. That was the real gift, the weapon that'd keep him safer. Alys nodded towards it. "Those are silver. In Leimor, I learned that vampires have a weakness to it. It won't kill them, but it'll hurt. A lot more than a regular bullet. Hopefully we can save those for a rainy day." A day where they'd encounter Naveen, and if she had any say in it, it'd be far enough into the future that she'd have figured out what to do with the remains of a particular ring. And if not, if they needed to use them before that day, well at least they had a fighting chance.

The fae silently disregarded his request that she rest for the day, knowing that she'd likely spend the day training. It'd been too long since she'd sparred, and if she couldn't get drunk - not yet, at least - she could swing some blades.

Rising from her seat, she began to walk past him, towards the door. "Oh, you will? How optimistic. That fucking cat is still around here somewhere..." She laughed, enjoying the mental image of Caleb stumbling after the cat. Crouching down behind his chair, she draped her arms over his shoulders, hands resting gently against his chest. Her chin rested comfortably on one of his shoulders. "I'll bet you a gold coin that you won't be able to do it. Good luck."


The ship was as silent as it could be. Groaning and creaking in the dead of night. Earlier that day he'd stopped her and whispered in her ear, telling her when and where to meet him. Very much like they'd used to, before he'd become Captain. As quietly as possible, she left her room, padding out of the officer's quarters to meet him.
Silver bullets were sure to be expensive, and what at first he thought was just Alys spoiling him was actually just her being the smartest person he’d ever met, but that wasn’t news to him.

“What would I ever do without you.” He sighed, accepting her embrace.


Caleb had been skittish all day, due to the expectation he’d set for the night. It had to be perfect, a date Alys would never forget, enough to make her want to be with him forever. It was unlike him to think that kind of absolute, but since she happened, he didn’t miss the brothel. He wouldn’t mind not being with another woman ever again, if that’s what she asked him to do. Heck, she wouldn’t even have to ask.

Earlier that day, Caleb had told Julian to prepare a dessert just for him, to hide it somewhere in the kitchen so those troglodytes wouldn’t touch it, that he’d have it later. He found it deep within a cabinet, behind the bigger utensils and put it in the basket, along with the bread, the cheese, the bottle of bubbles and the rum - the kind he knew she liked.

With the basket and a couple of glasses, Caleb silently went up to the deck and flapped his wings up to the crows nest, where everything else was already set up. The pillows from his bed were there, and the wood was covered in a few of his thickest blankets. Nearby, next to the fabric there was a lantern he was yet to light up. His heart raced as he checked if everything was in place, trying to make sure he wasn’t forgetting anything.

“Calm the fuck down.” He told himself after a long breath, looking over the border, that was tall enough to hide them when sitting down, to find Alys next to the mast, where he’d told her they were going to meet.

A small whistle, that could’ve easily been that of a bird, was his attempt to catch her attention. He lit up the lantern and held it just for a moment so she’d see the light.
It was a beautiful night. Surrounded by open air and water, the temperature was cool, though the gentle breeze didn't pebble her skin. Stars twinkled down at her, demanding her attention as she waited. She became so enthralled with the vast night sky that she very nearly missed the call. A singular bird call, all the way out here, in the middle of the ocean - or so it seemed. Looking up, Alys saw the flicker of light and rolled her eyes, smiling.

A moment later she was seated on the railing, legs dangling over the edge. Her smile broadened at the sight, gaze scanning and inspecting, before finally meeting his. "Now, who would've thought? The Deadly Shot, all cooped up in the crow's nest."
Caleb put the lantern down and didn’t waste any time, grabbing her waist to give her a kiss.

“Do you like it?” He asked, stepping aside to show her what he’d done with the place. It wasn’t all she deserved, but it was the most romantic set up he could think of, giving their circumstances. Plus there was no way in hell that cat would manage to climb up that high.
One after the other, Alys swung her legs over the railing and placed her soles firmly on the ground. Blankets and pillows covered a portion of the flooring, and she was quick to kick off her boots, not wanting to dirty the fabric. A basket sat nearby, the necks of two bottles peaking out. And all beneath the night sky.

No one had made this much of an effort.

Wrapping her arms loosely around his torso, Alys leaned in to kiss his cheek, the tip of her nose brushing up and down against his skin as she nodded soon thereafter. "I'd like it a lot better if we opened one of those bottles," she whispered, shortly removing herself from his grasp to make herself comfortable. "What else have you got in there?"
Caleb sat on the blanket with his back against the pillows, leaving room for Alys to join him. He reached for the basket and gave her the two bottles to choose from.

“Bread, brie…” As he named the items he put it in front of them. “... And these cream puffs. Julian’s specialty.” In his opinion, at least. He let her fill the glasses and put an arm comfortably over her shoulder.

“The sky is clear tonight.” Caleb said, lifting his chin. Out there, over the ocean, the stars shone the brightest. He admired it for a second, kissed Alys’ cheek and reached for the cream puffs.
"Julien made cream puffs for you?" Alys asked, eyes growing wide at the delicate desserts, her own hand reaching out to pluck one from the pile. "Are you sure they aren't poisoned?" She hadn't had the pleasure of speaking with the new cook alone, but she'd observed him from afar and heard some of his mutterings as he walked by. He was an eccentric man - from what she'd gathered.

Despite her line of questioning, she popped the dessert into her mouth and took a small sip of the wine after the sweetness had passed. Settling comfortably into his side, her hand reached up to his, to the one dangling by her shoulder, and intertwined their fingers. She looked up at the sky and hummed quietly in agreement.

"Tell me something I don't know about you. And make it good."
Caleb’s hand stopped mid air, considering the possibility Julian might have made it with spoiled butter just to spite him. Before he could say anything Alys already had one on her mouth, so he grabbed another and took a bite of it.

“If they are, we’re dying together.”

It was nice, being like this. Despite having something else in mind when he planned the night, Caleb found himself not wanting that to end it so quickly. He smelled her hair and let her play with his fingers, keeping his eye closed until she broke the silence.

“Something about me…” He repeated, trying to think of something ‘good’, as she’d requested. He wanted to tell her something he hadn’t told anyone, but nothing that made him look weak or pathetic - there were too many of those secrets in his memory. After almost a minute of complete silence the corner of his lip curled up. “The first thing I ever stole was a miniature boat from the king. I must've been around five at the time.” The king, then prince had gotten it for his 20 year old birthday, and young Caleb wanted to play with it. He didn't understand he shouldn't touch any of their things at the time. “Your turn.”
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"Ambitious," Alys commented, grin widening at the thought. She imagined Caleb as a boy, barely out of a swaddle, attempting to steal the boat. The top of his head likely wouldn't have reached the bottom of the helm. The fingers she was touching now, belonging to a man, once shorter and thinner, had reached up for the smooth wood, eager to steer the ship away. "Even for a five year old."

"We didn't have much of those sorts of things lying around,"
she started, looking back up at the sky. "First thing I ever stole - or what I remember stealing - was my mother's rouge. It was in this round little box. Looked like old, worn silver. She must've stolen it first because there's no way in hell she'd been able to afford it. But I took it one day, down to the beach, and of course, dropped it in the sand. The sand got everywhere, so I tried to fix it by washing it out..." She laughed lightly. "Terrible idea. Most of it dissolved and stained my fucking hands, so even when I tossed the box and pretended I hadn't seen it... she was fucking pissed."
Caleb wished he’d met Alys earlier, before everything was taken from her. It was impossible not to think of how many little girls shared a similar fate because of them, but as quickly as the thought came, it went. He’d learned to do that over the years.

“Tell me about your mother.” He said, slicing a piece of bread with his free hand. “She raised you by herself, didn’t she?”