It was a hot day to spend at sea. The crew was sweating under the morning sun and no one knew where they were while you stood there on the deck with a mop in hand, staring at the Captain as he stood behind the helm. He had the usual cheery smile on his face.
How could they trust him? They had no idea where they were or where he was taking them and yet the crew trusted him. This... Spaniard.
"[Name]! We be needin' so'more ale!"
"C-comin' right up!" You nodded, snatching up two jugs of ale from the bar top and hurrying back to the drunkards to fill up their mugs. You kept your head down, not looking them in the eye.
"[Name]! How 'bout a barrel fer me boys?"
"B-barrel? Er... R-right away, sir!" You nodded, making your way to the corner of the tavern.
And there it stood. The barrel. It was full to the brim and it hand't even been used yet. You stare at it, not sure if you'd be able to carry it all the way to the table on your own.
"C'mon, [Name], we d'on have all day, lass!" An impatient Scottish voice called out from behind the counter. It was that damn bartender, Kirkland. Allistor Kirkland.
"J-just a minute, Scotch, I-I'm a little..." You looked over your shoulder with a shy smile as you addressed him by his nickname that only you could call him.
You knelt down in front of the barrel and wrapped your arms around it, trying to lift it. You tried to stand.
"...BUSY!" You finished your sentence with a strained grunt. Allistor tilted his head to the side, watching your back with a cheesy grin and a mysterious twinkle in his eyes.
"Aye, lassy! Anno," he said with a flick of his unruly ginger hair, smirking. "Le'me help ya with that."
"Y-yeah, that would be nice!" You chuckled nervously, falling forward with the barrel and sitting on top of it. You could still feel his eyes on your back. "D-don't stare!"
"A-wiz-nae starin' at ya," Allistor retorted, walking over to you. You turned around on the barrel and looked up at him. "But I bet ya want me to, don't ya?"
"Allistor, mi amigo! I've been looking for you! Why haven't you returned to us on the ship?" A Spanish voice cooed behind you. Then... "Another day, another chi~ca, si?" He practically sang into your ear.
"A-ah! N-n-not so close, p-please!" You ducked, climbing off of the barrel and running behind Allistor.
"Naw, Cap, not [Name]. She's more of a li'il sister," Allistor shrugged, putting an arm around you and pulling you close against his body.
"Aye," Allistor nodded, holding you a little tighter. "Now how's aboot a drink? Ah have somethin' fer ya."
"Si, you know me too well, amigo!"
"Aye, fer sure, Cap'n," The Scot shrugged, letting go of you. He made his way back behind the counter and you stared after the Spaniard as he followed.
He had wavy brown hair held back by a red ribbon in an unruly pony tail. His eyes were the colour of an emerald gemstone and he was dressed like the captain of a ship... A
"Pirate..." You whispered softly under your breath, sitting down on the bar stool in front of the Spaniard. "Y-you're a pirate, a-aren't you?" You asked shyly with an embarrassed smile.
"Si! Capitán Antonio Fernandez Carriedo! At your service," he tipped the brim of his pirate hat and side glanced at you with a charming smile. "Chica."
"U-uhhh... Yeah! Right. Okay!" You nodded, scratching the back of your head with a nervous laugh. "I, uh, I'm--"
"[Full name]," Allistor finished for you, sliding a mug of cold and frothy San Miguel beer across the sleek surface of the bar top.
"Ooh! Si, my favourite!" He took up the mug with both hands and rubbed his cheek against it. You felt your heart clench but balled your hands up into fists, resisting your inner fangirl. "Like no other!"
You blushed furiously. He said these things while caressing the mug of beer but, the entire time, he kept his eyes on you.
"I... I wouldn't know," you looked down at your feet.
"Si, but let me show you," he suggested with a big, cheerful smile as he took your chin between his fingers and his thumb and tilted your head back slightly.
"A-Allistor! I, I c-can't drink while I'm w-working!" You looked up at the Scot through the corner of your eyes and he smirked.
"How? Ya work in a bar, lassy, need I remind ya?" He chuckled, cleaning the inside of the mugs with the end of the towel around his neck.
"Si, so rrelax," he practically purred the last word, leaning in with the beer in his mouth. He placed his thumb on your bottom lip, gently opening your mouth a little.
"N-no! No way! A-allistor, tell him!!" You pushed against Antonio, slamming your fists against his chest. "L-let me go, Captain! I don't want it!"
Antonio let go of you and sat back down on the stool. He looked up at you with big puppy-dog eyes, pouting cutely. You folded your arms across your chest and looked down with beet-red cheeks. All you could hear was the slurred singing of drunkards.
And that familiar laughter of that damn Scot.
"Aye, lassy, of course ya can get me another whiskey," Allistor sang into your ear drunkenly and you jumped a little.
"G-gah! Scotch! I w-wasn't even offering!" You flinched as he grabbed your wrist and turned you around on your heels to face him. He leaned in close.
"Aye, but ya can offer me a li'il somethin' else, can't ya?" He teased. You shut your eyes tightly and he snorted. "Whatcha closin' yer eyes fer, lass? I haven' done anythin' yet."
"Ah, mi amigo! You're awake!" Antonio spoke over the wind, glancing in Allistor's direction. Seeing you in his arms made Antonio's cheeks flush a little. "Come take over for a while."
That Spaniard was mad! Off this rocker! Letting a drunken Allistor steer the ship...
"Aye, sure, Cap'n, wha'ever ya say." Allistor let go of your wrists and you stood there on the deck with the mop at your feet, watching Allistor take over the helm and Antonio walk down the stairs to you. You quickly knelt down to reach for the mop.
You looked up at Allistor behind the helm. You wondered how long the crew had left to live now.
"Hola, chica!" Antonio greeted cheerily with only a slight smile. He knelt down in front of you and picked up the mop. He leaned in until his forehead was pressed against yours. "¿Cómo estás?"
"O-oh, me? I'm good! I, uh... I was just..." You remembered staring at him as he steered the ship further out to sea.
"Staring at su apuesto capitán," Antonio teased with a charming smile.
"W-Whaaaaaa?! N-no! I mean... I-I was just remembering that time in the tavern when--"
"Si! When we first met!" Antonio grinned happily. "I remember! You wouldn't let me kiss you," he pouted cutely. "It's been six months since then... and you still won't," he added with those puppy-dog eyes.
"Aw, T-Toni... I--"
"Capitán!" Allistor called out to him in Spanish but his own accent was still present. "Yer friends are out t' play."
"Si? Well, who is it?" Antonio slowly stood up and you did the same taking the mop out of his hands. He looked over his shoulder and saw the English ship approaching. "Su hermano... Arthur."
"Wanker," Allistor grumbled coldly under his breath at the sight of his little brother leading his crew toward the ship. You walked up behind Antonio and held onto his arm.
"Wh-what's going to happen?" You asked, concerned for the crew. Spend six months on a ship with the same crew and you get to know them. You got to know them. They were your family now.
"[Name], I--" Antonio stopped himself there and turned around to face you. He looked into your eyes with a fire in his and he placed his large but gentle hands on your shoulders. "I will protect you and mi tripulación... ¿Entiendes?"
"Understood," you nodded and, before you could turn away, he pulled you closer by the shoulders.
You closed your eyes and gasped softly as he gently pressed his lips onto yours. It was quick, but you could still taste the San Miguel beer even after he pulled away. It was sweet from his lips.
"Go. Run, chica!" He encouraged and you hurried across the main deck and went below decks where the sleeping quarters were.
You could hear Antonio shouting orders to the crew with a stern voice, to which they swiftly obeyed. You hurried into his cabin and closed the door behind you. You could hear the canon fire outside coming from both sides.
"Please..." You fell to your knees and put your hands together. "Please take care of him..." You lowered your head, shutting your eyes tightly. "Of Antonio."
"H-hey, Scotch?" You asked from beneath the under the covers, poking your head out to look up at Allistor on the couch. His eyes were closed and he looked so cheeky and aggressive, even when he slept. "Scoo~ootch? SCOTCH!"
"W-wha?! What?! What do ya want, lassy, I'm tryna sleep!" He grumbled moodily, turning round on the couch so that his back faced you.
"Scotch... How do you know when you're in love?" You asked and his eyes flashed wide open. He looked over his shoulder at you with a what the hell? look in his cold green eyes.
"How the hell are ya askin' me somethin' like that at this time o'night?" He groaned, scratching the back of his head as he slowly sat up to answer you. "Ah get this sudden urge t--"
"O-okay! I get it! I get it. Thanks..." You sighed softly, turning around on the futon and looking across the room at Antonio sleeping on the wooden floorboards under his heavy trench coat.
"Good. Now go on back t' sleep, lassy," Allistor mumbled sleepily, laying back down on the couch and going back to sleep with his back facing yours.
t h e f o l l o w i n g m o r n i n g
You woke up with Antonio closer to you than he was the night before. He was curled up with half of his body on the futon and his trench coat covering his head. He must have moved in his sleep.
"Antonio?" You whispered softly, looking around the room. Allistor was nowhere to be seen. "Psst... Antonio?" You tried again, lifting up the trench coat from his head. "Tooooonniiiii," you cooed into his ear and he stirred.
"H-huh? Chica? I-is that you, niña de mi corazón?" He murmured sleepily, slowly opening his eyes to look up at you.
"Y-yeah, it's me," you sighed softly, blushing a little. "Hey, uh... Toni?"
"How do you know when you're in love with someone?" You asked, looking down at the ground, your cheeks going as red as the tomatoes you knew Antonio loved.
"Uhh... Si! I know this one!" Antonio answered cheerily with a big smile and teasing eyes. You knew he was trying to make you smile and you couldn't help it. You smiled. "When you're in love, you worry for them... You pray and you pray and you pray for their safety when you know that they can be taken from you!"
"Oh..." You whispered softly. His definition of love was beautiful; music to your ears.
"Why, chica? Are you in love?" He asked with a cheesy grin.
"N-no! Wh-what makes you say that? Anyway! I-it's time for breakfast! You hungry?"
You woke up in Antonio's bed, under his covers. You lifted your hands up to your face and felt your tear-stained cheeks. You sniffled, slowly sitting up to look around the cabin.
"[Name]! You're awake!" Antonio said with a sigh relief. "I found you under the bed... crying..."
"Y-yeah..." You looked down and the tears began spilling again. "I thought... I thought I'd lost you... So, so I prayed... and prayed... and prayed for your safety because I knew that you could have been taken from me..."
Antonio's eyes widened. Those words were oh-so-familiar to him. Suddenly, he began blushing furiously and he looked down at the floor he was kneeling on. You reached out for his hand and lifted it up to your lips, planting a soft kiss on his fingers.
"[Name]?" Antonio whispered softly and you smiled through your tears. "I love you, niña de mi corazón. Girl of my heart," he lowered his head and lightly kissed your hand.
"I-I know," you nodded with a long, uneven breath in and a relieved breath out. "A-and I love you..."
"S-si!" Antonio smiled up at you, slowly climbing onto the bed and sitting next you. He placed his hands on either side of your head and looked down at you with a tender, loving gaze. "Does that mean I can kiss you now, chica?"
"Y-yes!" You nodded and he chuckled softly. "I, uh... I mean... Sure."
"So eager..." He said with a soft sigh of content, leaning in closer. You closed your eyes and felt his lips carefully press onto yours and, then, you smiled and began to kiss him back.
Antonio slipped out of his heavy trench coat and you finally lifted your arms up, wrapping one around his shoulders and placing your freehand behind his head, running your fingers through his hair. You couldn't help but open your eyes. He did the same and your gazes were locked. He grinned.
"Mi apuesto capitán..."