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#i had so much fun writing this

13 Haunted Days: Day 8, Prompt “It said my name.”


Rated T

Characters: Beyond Birthday, Mello, Near, A

For Connor…🖤

“Are you sure we’re allowed up here?” Near nervously twirled his finger around his hair as he tried to ignore his dusty surroundings.

“Be quiet you little jerk or you’re going to get us caught.” Mello snapped, breaking his own wishes for silence as he brushed the webs from his shoulders.

Near sighed, “So we aren’t supposed to be in the attic.”

“Both of you shut up.” Beyond warned, their bickering coming to an instant stop. “A once said that Roger let them play with an old Ouija board and I can’t find it in our room, so this must be where they put it after…” His words trailed off, a momentary pain forcing his eyes closed against the memory. “If anything’s going to work, it’s that.”

“Beyond, why did you need me? Surely Mello is willing to help you find what you need,” Near questioned the intimidating young man.

Keep reading

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Date: June 6, 2019 at 02:36
Re: Sighting off-route

Hey Léo–

Sorry to email so late, but I had an experience after my shift tonight, and you told me to report all actual sightings so I’m doing that now. I guess it could have waited until the morning or whatever, but I’m rattled and if I don’t write it now I’m gonna wake up and convince myself the whole thing was a dream, I know it wasn’t so here we go.

I finished my tour around 11:30 pm, and it was a nice night so I decided to walk home. I passed by Châtelet-Les Halles, and swung onto a side street (I wish I could tell you the name of it, I was too distracted to check. It’s around there anyway). The main area with the restaurants was loud af, and as soon as I turned off of it, it got quiet. Really, unnaturally quiet, like someone threw a blanket and a pair of headphones over my head. I looked back and everyone was still eating and chattering away like they were before, but I just couldn’t hear them.

I don’t spook easily, so I think, okay, whatever, and carry on walking, and in the shadow of a building there’s a guy leaned up against the wall in full period costume. I’m talking coat, hat, boots, rosette. He even had those big ol sideburns. I’d say mid-1800s, but I’m no expert. I assumed he was a street performer at first, but at this point it was past midnight and the guy was just standing and doing this thousand-yard stare. I guess he caught me looking, because then he turned his eyes on me. 

He had dark hair and glasses, and looked around 25, maybe? Before I had time to do anything, he smiled and said, “My friend will be glad to know you survived.” 

I went “what?” 

The guy said, “I can’t say I wish you were with us, but it is good to see you once more.” He started walking out of the shadows and towards me, but before he stepped out into the lamplight he frowned. “Apologies. I’ve mistaken you for someone else. Have a good evening.” He nodded at me and turned around. 

I didn’t want to lose this dude though, or I’d assume I hallucinated him later on. “Wait,” I said. “What’s your name?”

He paused for a few seconds before answering. “History has forgotten it, so I have as well.” 

Then–and this is the part where you’re going to think I’m mad–he walked right through the brick wall of the building. 

I stood there for a long time. My tours only go to the well-known places, so I’ve never actually seen a ghost before. Pardon the language, but it fucked me right up.

I started hearing noise again, and at first I thought it was the restaurant-goers outside again. But it was coming from the building that the dude walked into. It sounded like voices on the wind, and I tried to make out the words but couldn’t. I didn’t want to get closer to that building, either. Even though I only got nice vibes from the ghost guy, I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that getting closer is a bad move.

Eventually, I realized what the sound was. A melody, sung by a whole chorus of voices. They echoed down the entire street, and made me feel warm but terrified at the same time. Weirder than that, I recognized the melody. My grandma used to sing it to me as a kid. Where she picked it up, I have no idea.

Once I left the side street, all the normal noise of the city came back. So, I just carried on home after that. Nothing else I could do about it. I ended up trying to google ghost sightings near Les Halles, and combing the forums, but absolutely nothing. I’m not surprised, not even the people who make shit up would think of finding a post-revolution era ghost near a mall. I’m sure something else used to be there, but that’s more your area of expertise than mine, so…let me know.

Anyway. I’m working again tomorrow night, so I might head back there to check it out. Keep me posted, if you dig anything up in the meantime.

See ya soon unless I get haunted,
Maxime Pontmercy


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Number of Hargreeves-centric fics, A Study in TUA Fandom Trends



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Luther Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 31]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Diego Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 109]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Allison Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 21]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Klaus Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 366]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Five Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 303]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Ben Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 41]



[ID: A screenshot of the AO3 tag for Vanya Hargreeves centric fics, of which there are 105]

Now, to break this down, these numbers put the Hargreeves into about three tiers, popularity-wise: Klaus and Five, in the top tier, then Diego and Vanya, in the middle tier, before leaving Ben, Luther and Allison in the bottom tier.

Now, I could talk about this data for days, but what interests me most is the lower tier, and it’s relation to the others. The biggest gap we have is between Klaus and Allison, two, dare I say, very similar characters. In spite of these similarities, the gap in fics tagged with them as the focus is an enormous 345 fics. Three hundred and forty five! For context, that’s more than the amount of Five centric fics there are, which is the next highest character! Huh, kind of weird…

Focusing more on Allison, you see that she’s situated right below Luther and Ben in that bottom tier, something else I find really interesting. Now, I love Luther and Ben as much as anyone (and I do love them all very much), but that really surprised me, as for the majority of the time since TUA’s release in 2019, Luther was hated and ridiculed by the fandom and Ben was well… dead. So it strikes me as rather odd that they would be the main characters in more fics…. Especially considering their limited screen time/place in fandom…… Hm……… 🤔

#i was frustrated about the lack of response on my allison fic rec request and decided to do some ao3 searching, #which led to me deciding to search up all of them for fun and ummmm shit guys, #like????? COME ON???, #i love all these characters but why is she last like people hated luther so much and ben had like 10 lines?, #no but im not even mad about her being last honestly because theyre all such compelling characters but the gap is SO BIG???, #yeah 7 main characters is a lot to deal with but when there is a gap THAT BIG??, #and just- look im white but having more fics centered on a character who was viciously hated for months than on your only woman of color in-, #-the main cast? it doesnt look great, #like other people please add onto this because with your opinions (hopefully nothing crazy because i am not trying to start drama) but its-, #-a little off to me y'know? idk, #i mean i can think up explanations for a lot if these stats but i cant think of anything for this allison thing, #like yeah im a bitter allison stan desperately in need of content i know it but also... she should be the main character WAY more?, #ugh idk, #also once i get on my laptop (bc im on mobile and links are shit) im going to attach a couple of allison recs because she DESERVES IT DAMMIT, #and also i love her, #and the authors who write in that tag, #which i havent got to doing yet (yeah yeah hypocrite i know) but in my defense i have a allison 5+1 things wip that ive been sitting on, #and by sitting on i mean barely started and have had for 2 months, #oh and before i run out of tags its my first time doing image ids so comment if i fucked them up or something idk it just felt right to have, #-them in this post, #wait fuck i forgot the regular tags, #allison hargreeves, #tua, #the umbrella academy, #luther hargreeves, #diego hargreeves, #klaus hargreeves, #five hargreeves, #ben hargreeves, #vanya hargreeves
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Reggie likes that his friends are in love…

(I had this idea a while ago and just blurted it our now. I honestly think that even though Reggie might be the biggest flirt he definitely would care more about his friends being happy than anything else in the world).

Reggie loved watching his friends fall in love, it made his heart warm to know they were happy.

He knew Alex had a rough time at home after he came out to his parents, and he used to let him crash at his place on the nights when it all got too much. He went with Alex to the first and only GSA meeting he ever went to (they had all left school at that point). Knowing all of that Reggie just wanted to be sure that Alex was in good hands, so he made a point of hanging out with Willie. He wanted to make sure his best friend was going to be okay. Alex was really confused one day when he had agreed to meet up with Willie and found him with Reggie laughing and trying to skate on the sand at the beach (that part had confused him more than anything). Alex asked him later on that night what was going on, Reggie couldn’t help but laugh and say nothing. Alex didn’t believe him and Reggie told him that he just wanted to make sure that Willie wasn’t a jerk who would try to break his heart. Alex smiled and told Reggie that he was being an idiot, which Reggie knew was his way of saying thank you.

Reggie had seen Luke crush on plenty of people before, the girl who worked at the coffee shop they used to try to get gigs in, the guy at the video store. Luke had a serial crusher streak or at least he used to. After he left home that Christmas he was a lot more closed off. Sure he and Alex could get him to open up but it took a lot more time and careful questions. Luke had lost a little piece of his heart when he left his parents and Reggie couldn’t blame him from trying to protect his heart. Seeing Luke with Julie made him happy because he knew this wasn’t just another crush. Luke talked about her all the time, especially after he had visited his parents and was feeling more emotional than usual. He would say things like “Julie said this really true thing about feeling lost earlier” or “sometimes I wonder if Julie would give good hugs?”.

Reggie knew Julie and Luke would be good together just like he knew Alex and Willie would be too. His heart was full because his family was okay and that made him okay too.

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I answered 5 here!

what’s a sleepover like for you and your platonic f/o(s)?

It was mine and Private’s idea. Rico brings the snacks and video games (we all like playing Animal Crossing and Super Smash Bros), Kowalski brought scrabble (he turned Rico’s “rat” into “biostratagraphic” and Rico flipped the board), I usually pick the movie (Skipper and Rico aren’t allowed to pick the movies anymore), Private brings a lot of self care products (face mask recipes, magazines, water bottles) and even lets me do his makeup! We never put any pressure on the others to do it, but slowly and eventually one by one they would step up to me and ask (in the most vauge ways possible) if I could do theirs next. Oh, and Skipper brings those little bottle ships for each of us to do (they’re actually really fun!).

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shelbi!!! I thought I told you but obvs I forgot somehow?? you request luke? that is unheard of! hope you like it 🥰🥺

“You keep saying that you know how to get out of this corn maze but I think we’re lost.”


Pitch blackness surrounded you as the full moon was shining brightly above you; you sat next to Luke at the table as you sipped your hot apple cider and shared a funnel cake. His hand rested on your leg as his thumb stroked your knee. He smiled every chance he could when his eyes met yours, you finished your drink smiling at him. He pressed a soft kiss to your lips before giggling, “Tastes like cider.”

You giggled before kissing him with remnants of cider on his soft lips, “You know I’d kiss those lips of yours if they didn’t taste like cider.”

He smirked before caressing your jaw, “Is that so?” His lips ghosted over yours before kissing your lips repeatedly between giggles.

Your cheeks flushed pink as the cool air brushed your skin, your noses touched as he kissed you again smiling against your lips, “Baby”

“What?” He smiled tucking your hair behind your ear.

“We came here to go to the corn maze.” You teasingly shook your head moment before squeezing his hand.

“I almost forgot about that.” He giggled as his cheeks turned bright red.

“How did you forget when we’re surrounded by people?”

“I was so focused on you I didn’t even think of the corn maze.” He admitted with a smile. 

Keep reading

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okay so…. in July, I spent ten days writing like mad. I wrote a whole tom series, back to back?? I never posted it, I never intend to post it either, but I had such a fun time writing it… I think for me, I learnt an important lesson that I don’t necessarily need to post something in order to feel proud of it? I get caught up sometimes in the notes and the feedback, so writing something for myself and loving every second of it was amazing. so, it’s got to be that piece…I’m proud of myself for letting go of validation and writing for myself :))

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Alucard x Reader:

Summary: The reader(Alucard’s future s/o) meets him for the first time. Slight angst, fluff.


Originally posted by mirayama

There was a hiatus in your community, all the hails of god were now whines for mercy. There were various rumours fluttering around, some said that bandits were killing humans left and right, looting all their money. Some said, that supernatural monsters were on the loose. Some said that people bitten by them were undead ghouls now, ravaging on whatever that’s in sight. To say that you weren’t scared, would be a blatant lie. But, you trusted the government, more so; your own beliefs. Your firm beliefs regarding what’s real & what’s not. There is no way a vampire is sucking people dry. It couldn’t be possible, what is this? Medieval times? You scoffed at the misconceptions of people towards things like these.

“I think, I should inform the police about this ruckus” you stood up from your coffee table. Your roommate perplexed at your sudden movement. “Are you kidding? We are safer inside! Don’t you dare step outside y/n!” She tried her best, to keep her voice normal, hiding the lingering fear inside her. She meant a lot to you, but the uneasiness coiling in your stomach was increasing. Your attention was quickly diverted to the screams coming from down your building. The corridors echoing in panic stricken footsteps and commotion.

“HIDE! EVERYONE HIDE! THEY’RE HERE!” you heard a desperate knock on your door, followed by screams and warnings to hide. “Shit! Let me call the police.” You rushed towards the table, picking up the phone. Why was it taking so long to connect! Your forehead glistened with beads of sweat. You actioned your bestfriend to keep quiet, her breathing frantic in panic. The two of you, crouched under the study table, waiting to have contact with the police. The beeps of the phone and the screams outside were deafening.

Suddenly your ears were pierced by the sound of loud gunshots, your mouth hung agape. “I told you, these are bandits. Nothing supernatural. Hold on until we inform the police” you hurriedly whispered to her. Holding her sweaty palms in yours. A loud pound on the door, made you flinch in fear. Eyes turning wide, you looked at her. Both of your minds unknowingly said, ‘this is it’. Your roommate was frozen, in shock. A single knock was now numbered into many. Anymore and the door would break. Your survival instincts kicked in, eyes wandering off for anything sharp, anything to attack. Even a fork would suffice.

Finally, the hinges on the door creaked, indicating that your end was near. Followed by another gunshot. You hugged your roommate and flinched at what’s about to happen. There is no way you could fight a bunch of them alone. It was a clear suicide. Suddenly a kick on the door, interrupted your mental preparation to die. Followed by a flock of undead filthy creatures. One of them looked human, too pale to look human to be exact; but then your whole belief system was demolished when you saw his unrealistic fangs. “Aah, I smell a virgin here.” He smothered his cheeks, relishing the aroma. “Take the other one out and have fun.” He ordered nonchalantly.

You didn’t even blink and the next moment, you were under the man’s clutches, his hands trailing throughout your body. Another moment later, your eyes were shut close at the gory sight in front of you, the ghouls latching onto your bestfriend like hungry dogs. Her blood-curdling screams making mourning tears flow through your cheeks. “Aww, we all like a crying whore.” The man pitifully mocked you, nuzzling against your neck. “Leave me alone! You undead meat.” You mustered up all the courage and mocked him. Well knowing the fact that, this could be your last insult. It would’ve been, hearing the annoyed grunt from the creature as he kicked your stomach, jolting your body away through the entrance. You could feel your life flashing before your eyes in those mere seconds, only to get collided against a firm tall stature.

“Aagh!” You fell on the floor with a thud, elbows scratched, stomach pain intense enough to make you throw up. “Hey there, little human.” A calm, soothing yet dangerous voice followed through your ears, distracting you from everything. Your eyes shot up, scanning the man, his boots, his long red coat, a perfectly handsome yet intimidating visage, and a sadistic smirk. Before you could even answer, he was attacked on his face. One of the legs of your coffee table, acting as a weapon. His red glasses fell off, his ruby eyes, clearly paying no attention to the impact, or anything else around him for that matter. They were locked against your form, “Well, are you a virgin? My dear.” He asked, ignoring the threatening groans from the vampire in front of him. His hand welcomed you, to stand up. As he squatted to have more view of you. “That’s an awful question to ask a girl on the first meet.” You grunted, pain clearly visible from your words.

“Well excuse me then, little girl. I shall ask you this maybe sometime later.” He smiled, well aware of how terrifying this must be for you. He did the most comforting gesture that impended his mind. Patting your head gently, he whispered. “Don’t worry, my dear. I shall protect you. (He retreated back, smiling at you again) shooting the ghouls mid stance, his eyes still locked on to you. You flinched against the sudden noice, clearly impressed by his battle skills. "How about I ask you a more suitable question for a first meet hmm? How about you tell me your name?” He coos. “It’s y/n.” You muttered, much invested in figuring him out. ,“Well, y/n. They call me Alucard.” He said, kissing your knuckles as a gentlemanly gesture. Wasting no time in annihilation of everything, he returned to you. His feral form, turning into a much softer one. “H-here, it’s your glasses.” You said, unafraid of the exhibition of violence he just did. “Aren’t you afraid of me? My y/n?”

“You did save my life, Alucard sir. What’s to be afraid of?” You forced a smile, after swaying a glance onto the dead bestfriend of yours. “Just Alucard, my dear. I’m sorry for your loss.” He sounded honest in his mourning. “Would you like to accompany me?” He points, after watching you squirm in pain. You nodded without hesitation, finally giving up consciousness after a few steps in his bridal-style hold. “I am going to take such good care of you, my little human” he whispered. Something in him was awoken that day, something less monstrous and more humanly. You were the one, who will be his greatest weakness & biggest strength.

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a conclusion i have come to while working on My Novel That I’m Writing is that one of these days i need to just pick a protagonist that resembles the bkg in my head because he is legitimately my absolute favorite thing to write 

#no shit i am working on my novel rn and i just remembered the one bkg pov wip i have and like...signed longingly, #HE IS SO FUN TO WRITE....not just because of his actual voice but his actions and reactions to, #the way his thoughts contrast with his actions and the things he doesn't even let himself think, #the amount of irony that comes with the way he views things and the way we can see they actually are, #the way he has strong definite feelings about everything around him, #i feel like i've talked abt recently but having him as a narrator is like. a dream come true for me as a writer he meshes so well w the way, #i like to narrate he has so much to SAY, #i never feel like i'm pulling thoughts out of him he just feels so much, #anyway. weird rant i just got on there, #i do love my protagonist a lot - i love her...., #i love making her panicky and making her repeat mantras to herself and jump abt little things and flub dialogue, #i think she's fun to drive around this world she's in because i'm letting her change to fit it, #sweet little ohio girl in the big city. there is only so much of her outside that she'll really be feeling on the inside, #when i let myself embrace that it's a lot better than trying to make her like actually cool and collected, #she thinks a lot! her thoughts can easily move her from one feeling to the next, #that's not a personality trait i had written in a profile or anything but it's definitely the voice i'm settling on for her, #can't wait to make her get angrier, #i had her Grunt in last weeks chapter and i was like ooh yeah more of that more of that, #cannot wait to have her flirt and cry and scream. i think she'll be good for it, #there's something to be said about that too i think. the emotions i get to dig into that i wouldn't really see in bkg, #mr angry when he cries angry when he feels useless angry when he feels regret bkg katsuki, #this is like...even more tags than usual but basically i'm just thinking abt writing, #i do actually have a character who kinda does share the stubborn/reactionary/highly emotional tone i tend to put into bkg, #but i gotta like...make a story for them ., #come to think of it why aren't they in a story of mine. why are they just floating around in my head, #thoughts
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oh boy I should probably say League of Legends since I’m on an eSports team for it, but honestly The Witcher 3 & Red Dead Redemption 2 are probably my favourites. I was raised around World of Warcraft ((& pretty much started playing as soon as I was cognitively able)) so that’s definitely up there, as well.

No, I mean I’m not heartless or anything but I definitely don’t feel things super intensely usually.

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*wiggles in delight* Okay, okay, you know it’s the POTC AU again. X3

Last part is here – whole tag is hereLavender’s Blue is a folk song that dates back to the 17th century, but I used a more modern version in the link because it’s honestly the prettiest one I could find – Leave Her Johnny is a traditional sea shanty, pinpointing it as being from the 18th/19th century, even though I haven’t been able to find a concrete date of when the original version was actually written anywhere, but whatever, who cares – the myth of Orion and Artemis has several variations, but I just used one of the most popular ones because it fits the narrative – I love my dear @cursebreakerfarrier and her girl Jules’s relationship with my precious boi Bill so much

And that’s it! Let’s get right to it!! Eeeee~!!! *goes off and fangirls some more*


When it comes to dividing loot, one of the central tenants of the Pirate Code set down by the pirates Morgan and Bartholomew – as well as every other specialized code set by individual pirate captains – was the idea of everyone getting their fair share of whatever treasure they managed to plunder, with the Captain being awarded ownership of any ships. Thus everyone in the Tower Raven’s fleet as well as the Artemis’s crew was entitled to an equal share of the treasure the Revenge’s crew had stored away on Isle de Muerta the last fifteen years. It took a while to divvy up everyone’s shares, but even with how many people there were, everyone ended up with a respectable share, all the same. Both Jacob and Orion also quickly abdicated their possible claims to the Revenge to Carewyn – a rather generous offer to some minds, considering it was the fastest galleon on the seven seas, but Carewyn could thoroughly understood why Jacob would want no part of it. If nothing else, he already had a rather impressive fleet, and the Revenge had the same bad memories for her as it did him.

It wasn’t long after the treasure was parsed into equal shares and the Tower Raven’s fleet departed that Bill pulled Jules aside.

“It looks like our little adventure is over,” he said with a faintly wry smile.

“…So it is,” said Jules.

She wasn’t smiling. She tried, but she just couldn’t shake the feeling that Bill was worried about something. Her wary expression made Bill turn a bit more serious too.

“You know Charlie and I won’t be able to return to Port Royal,” he said softly. “Your father could likely pull some strings to keep you from being punished, especially if you claimed we forced you, but…”

“I would never claim that and you know it,” Jules cut him off, her tone very reproachful.

Bill’s brown eyes crinkled up with fondness.

“…I know. That’s why I feel a little better telling you this.”

Taking her hand, he then slowly lowered himself onto one knee. Somewhere behind him, Bill could hear a quickly suppressed gasp of delight from Carewyn, and it made him grin around his scarlet cheeks up at Jules, whose face was also alight with surprise and a darkening flush.

“Juliette Farrier – you are, without question, the most amazing and wonderful woman I have ever met in my life. You’re braver than a lioness and you never let anything stand in your way, no matter what the squalls. In the words of Psalm 143:8, ‘show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life’ – ”

His entire face was a brilliant ruby red by this point. He bit his lip briefly, only for his mouth to spread into an even broader smile as he tried to hold in a laugh.

“ – so…if you could accept a pirate as your husband, over a merchant or even a man of the Church…I swear to stand by your side and love you all my days.”

Jules was visibly overwhelmed. Her face flushed and her eyes flooding with tears, she found herself starting to laugh. Then she flung herself down onto Bill, grabbing hold of him around the neck and cradling his head and shoulders.

Yes – yes, of course I will!”

The wedding between Juliette Farrier and William Weasley was a very informal, rushed sort of affair. Since there was no church that would’ve married them and Bill couldn’t do it himself, they held it aboard the Artemis with Orion – being Captain – officiating the ceremony. Charlie and Carewyn scrounged through the loot remaining in the cave at Isle de Muerta to find a handsome coat made out of brown leather, a navy blue tricorn hat, a well-shined pair of boots, a rather pretty-looking off-white dress, a gold tiara, and a translucent muslin apron. Carewyn was able to cut the apron into a make-shift veil that she then helped Jules secure in her hair with the tiara.

Orion’s version of a wedding ceremony was distinctly not traditional. Rather than quoting scripture, he made a rather bizarre analogy to beavers. To his credit, it did eventually come around to the idea that they mate for life and they build their own home out of nothing together out of whatever’s available to them, which Carewyn thought was actually rather sweet.

Once the vows were read and the bride and groom shared their first kiss as husband and wife, the crew threw a makeshift wedding party on board the Artemis, with Carewyn singing a song for Bill and Jules’s first dance.

“Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen:
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
‘Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.”

Once the dance was over, Carewyn couldn’t stop herself from throwing her arms around both of them, hugging them both with all of her strength. Soon Charlie had thrown himself into the huddle too, and the four were all clinging to each other, crying and smiling all the while.

“Jules,” Carewyn said seriously, “I want you, Bill, and Charlie to take the Revenge.”

The three all looked taken aback.

What?” said Charlie.

“It’s the fastest galleon in the entire ocean, and easily the most feared pirate ship as well,” she explained, her eyes trailing from Charlie to Bill to Jules. “It may need some fixing – I daresay it’d be a good idea to actually patch up those leaks with more than just magic, and I figure you’ll want to christen it with a new name…but…”

Her blue eyes drifted down to Jules’s shoulder.

“…If you must be considered criminals, with no chance of reprieve…then I don’t want the Navy to ever, ever catch you. I want you on a vessel so strong and so fast…that I can never catch up to you again.”

Bill, Charlie and Jules all stared at Carewyn, their eyes filling up with emotion seeing how strong of a face Carewyn was trying to put on, despite the pain she no doubt felt. Then Jules secured her arm more tightly around Carewyn’s shoulders, resting her forehead beside her friend’s affectionately.

“And if you must stay behind…then I want you to know that we’ll always…always come for you, Carey.”

Charlie nodded, resting his own head on Carewyn’s shoulder as he squeezed her shoulder. “Always.”

Bill’s eyes were streaming with tears. He seemed too overcome by his emotions to speak, so instead he brought up a hand and smoothed some hair out of his best friend’s face, placing a soft kiss to the crown of her head. Carewyn trailed a hand through his hair to comfort him.

“Look…after Percy for us?” Bill murmured in her ear, his voice choked with tears.

Carewyn blinked back her tears as best she could. “Of course.”

Not long later, Captain Jules Weasley boarded the newly christened Revolution with her First Mate and husband Bill and her Quartermaster and brother-in-law Charlie, and the three set off for Tortuga. Orion and the crew of the Artemis had arranged to meet them there and help them with ship repairs, since it would likely only take a scooner like the Artemis an extra day to reach Tortuga after dropping Carewyn off on an island frequented by rum runners, rescued, and returned to the Navy.

The next few days aboard the Artemis was rather more relaxed than on the voyage to Isle de Muerta. Everyone was in pretty good spirits thanks to the significant pay-out, so the nights were spent on deck drinking lots of rum and singing old pirate favorites like Spanish Ladies and Yo Ho A Pirate’s Life for Me. (That last one Carewyn was even able to coax Orion onto his feet and dance with her for, and the rather drunk crew was absolutely beside themselves with laughter, seeing the broad smile and dark flush on their tipsy captain’s face.)

On the last night of their voyage, however, as the sun went down, Orion did not join the festivities. The crew wasn’t too perturbed by it, as he apparently often stayed off to the side rather than get as active as he had that previous night. Despite this, though, McNully still lifted himself up into the rigging and paid Orion a visit at the helm while the rest of the crew drank and sang down below.

“Penny for your thoughts, Orion?” he asked amusedly.

Orion glanced up at McNully serenely. “Oh, merely…meditating on what would’ve happened, had the Scorpion not appeared.”

“The Scorpion?” repeated McNully, as he cocked an eyebrow.

Orion nodded up at the sky, to a certain cluster of stars.

“The Scorpion – Scorpio. I wonder what would have happened if Apollo had not sent him to sting the heel of the hunter Orion – what might have been his fate, then.”

McNully glanced from the constellation to down at Orion, frowning slightly.

“Well…he would’ve kept hunting with Artemis, I suppose,” he said slowly, “like he did before.”

“Yes…but would he have been able to do that ad infinitum? Would they have been able to hunt together, side by side, for the rest of Orion’s life, until he’d lived to a ripe old age? Or, like it’s said happened to the goddess Calypso…would it be too difficult for a goddess and a mere man to walk the same path for more than a short while…when the paths set before them are destined to diverge?”

Orion’s voice was very detached, but McNully knew him well enough that he could hear the quiet intensity in his voice. This thought exercise of his had been more than simple meditation, this McNully was sure of.

The First Mate considered Orion for a moment, contemplating his answer.

“…Well…I suppose that’s something Artemis and Orion would’ve probably had to plot out themselves, if it’d come to that. Reckon those sorts of things are always a 50-50 thing, no matter who the players are.”

Orion glanced at McNully out the side of his eye. “‘Those sorts of things?’

“Yeah – heart-related things. In the story you’re talking about, Orion was the only man Artemis ever loved, right?”

Orion’s dark eyes flickered down to the crew below. “…Aye.”

“Well, love kind of involves communication, so I’ve heard,” said McNully amusedly, “and while I’m no expert in love, I do pride myself on my communication skills. And from where I stand, I’d say that it’s up to those people to decide whether what they’ve got is more important than what ‘path’ they’re meant for or not. And unless there’s action on one or both people’s parts, there’s a 99.5% chance that both them and everyone around them will be left wondering forever what could’ve been.”

Orion didn’t answer. McNully followed his gaze down to the newly redressed Commodore Carewyn on the deck, who was leading the rest of the crew in a sea shanty.

“Oh, the wind was foul and the sea ran high…
Leave her, Johnny, leave her!
She shipped it green and none went by,
And it’s time for us to leave her.

Leave her, Johnny, leave her!
Oh, leave her, Johnny, leave her!
For the voyage is long and the winds don’t blow,
And it’s time for us to leave her.”

Orion’s eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly, darkening with an emotion that McNully couldn’t place – then, rather swiftly, he turned and headed for the stairs that led down to the main deck.

“I’ll take the first watch in the crow’s nest, McNully,” he said levelly. “Please see that the crew finishes up soon, so that we can start our nightly rounds.”

“…Aye, aye, Captain.”

The crew didn’t pay mind to the Captain walking past them on his way to the crow’s nest, but Carewyn couldn’t help but notice that he avoided any of their eyes. Not long after, the crew all started getting ready to go to sleep down below in their makeshift cots and hammocks. Carewyn, however, was too disconcerted by Orion’s behavior and couldn’t help but approach McNully. When she did, he merely shrugged and told her not to worry – Orion liked to go up to the crow’s nest alone to meditate, and it didn’t always mean he was in a bad mood. All the same, Carewyn decided to stay on deck and take the watch with Orion.

McNully considered her for a moment, before he finally added an aside to her.

“While he’s meditating, there’s only about a 45% chance he’ll talk to you. But…keep in mind that there’s only about a 25% chance that he’d talk to me. …I reckon those are odds worth chancing.”

And so Carewyn made her way up into the crow’s nest. She found Orion there, resting his arms on the railing of the crow’s nest with his eyes closed and head bowed.

She settled herself next to him, resting her arms on the railing beside his. At first she was reluctant to speak, considering how clearly focused he was despite his eyes being closed. Then, at last, the Commodore finally brushed her newly retied ponytail over her shoulder and settled on asking him.

“…Would you prefer me to not say anything, while we watch together?”

Orion was quiet for a moment. Then, without opening his eyes, he murmured, “…You could sing something.”

Carewyn smiled slightly. “All right. Any requests?”

‘A Maid in Bedlam.’

It hadn’t taken him long to come up with it. Carewyn’s smile spread a bit, before she looked out at the sea and sang it for him. 

“Just as she sat there weeping, her love, he came on land.
Then, hearing she was in Bedlam, he ran straight out of hand –
He flew into her snow-white arms, and thus replied he:
‘I love my love because I know my love loves me.’

She said, ‘My love, don’t frighten me, are you my love or no?’
‘Oh yes, my dearest Nancy, I am your love, also.
I have returned to make amends for all your injury…
I love my love because I know my love loves me.’

So now these two are married, and happy may they be,
Like turtle doves together, in love and unity.

All pretty maids, with patience wait, that have got loves at sea –
I love my love because I know my love…loves…me.“

A ghost of a smile had settled into the corners of Orion’s lips as he listened. When Carewyn finally finished, he opened his eyes and looked out at the horizon.

“Did you…sing that song, while you were on the Revenge?” he murmured.

Carewyn looked at him in surprise.

“…How did you know?”

“A mermaid was singing the song around our ship one night while we were bound for Isle de Muerta. She said she’d learned the song from a maid locked in the brig of a pirate ship.”

Carewyn’s eyes softened in understanding. She looked back out at the sea too, her expression becoming a little more serious.

“…While I was on the Revenge,” she said softly, “I…well, I wasn’t myself, at points. I was scared, and angry…and that night…”

Her eyes darkened.

“…That night…was the worst of all of them. I don’t even know how I fell asleep. But I did, and…sure enough…there you were.”

Orion looked up, startled. Carewyn’s lips were spread in something of a bittersweet smile even though her gaze was still on the sea.

“I said you appeared in my dreams at random, but I don’t think that’s wholly true,” she admitted. “You wouldn’t appear whenever I felt cheerful or excited. Instead you always seemed to appear…whenever I was drowning. Whenever I was in a dark place…hopeless and useless. Whenever I most felt…like I deserved to be alone.”

It was strange saying any of this aloud. It made Carewyn feel oddly fragile and vulnerable. With a swallow, she put on the bravest smile she could as she forced herself to meet Orion’s eyes.

“…I guess…whenever I end up in that place…remembering when I was able to help you…it helps, somehow. It…orients me, like a compass. It helps me remember how much better I feel about myself, knowing that I can take care of others.”

Orion stared at Carewyn, his mouth slightly open as his eyes searched her expression. They rippled with an intense emotion, but Carewyn couldn’t quite seem to place it – was it empathy? Pain? Longing? Relief?

His kohl-lined eyes drifted down to his belt. Then, carefully, he detached his little black-lidded compass from his belt and held it up in both hands so she could see it.

“Would you like to hear the tale of how I first acquired this compass?” he asked.

Carewyn looked down at it curiously and nodded.

“It was a gift,” said Orion. “A gift from a king, who was captured by an enemy kingdom and then sold into slavery. He ended up on a ship owned by the East India Trading Company, bound for the Caribbean…a ship I’d joined as a cabin boy. I was fourteen, going under the name ‘Smith,’ as it was the only name I’d been given at the time, besides ‘boy.’

“Not long after the ship set sail, I overheard the king planning a slave revolt against the sailors on board – and I had to make a choice. 1, I could report what I heard to the captain…or 2, I could say nothing. Instead I picked a third option – I helped him. I left his manacles a little too loose that night and told him where he could safely maroon the sailors who didn’t want to stay. So when the revolt happened…the king dropped off the entire crew except me. I agreed to stay long enough to help him sail home, since he and his people didn’t have any experience sailing a British ship. The king named me his First Mate and asked me to call him by his given name…Amari.”

Carewyn’s eyes widened in amazement. Orion smiled gently at the look on her face and nodded, before his expression grew much more serious again.

“It wasn’t long after, however, that Cutler Beckett – the man who owned the slave ship – sent pirate hunters out to retrieve his ‘stolen cargo.’ On our way back to the Ivory Coast, we were locked in a sea battle, and Amari was mortally injured. As he lay on the deck, he made me promise to take his family home…and once I did…he gave me his compass. I used it to safely sail us away from the pirate hunters and drop the crew off close to home, before I took the next ship out of Africa, which plopped me down in the Caribbean.

“When I landed in Port Royal, however, news had already reached the Navy positioned there of my ‘theft of Company property.’ I was immediately locked in irons, branded, and set to be hanged the following morning. I barely remember now how I managed to shake off the soldiers escorting me to the jail, but sure enough, I did…”

Orion’s dark eyes softened slightly – he reached out to take both of Carewyn’s hand and place the compass gently in her hands, his own hands cupping around hers so that she’d hold it.

“…And, as fate would have it…ran straight into you.”

Carewyn’s wide blue eyes ran over his face in disbelief.

She’d heard so many bizarre tales of the infamous Orion Amari and his exploits, but she couldn’t for the life of her remember having heard anything about how he became a pirate in the first place. And to hear now that it was all because he’d helped a ship full of slaves return home…to keep a promise he’d made to someone he’d clearly respected…

She’d known Orion was a good man – but she realized that before that moment, she’d had no concept just how good.

Her eyes softened upon the compass in their joined hands.

“…It’s no wonder you’ve kept it even after it broke, then,” she said gently. “It’s truly very special.”

Orion’s dark eyes rippled over her face. “Aye…but it’s never been broken, however much it hasn’t worked for me, recently.”

Carewyn blinked in confusion.

“My compass does not point North – nor has it ever done so,” he explained. “Instead…it points to whatever you want most in this world. If you wished to find treasure, it would point you to it. If you wished to escape, it would point you to safety. If you wished to sail homeward …it would point the way.”

Carewyn glanced down at the compass and then back up at Orion’s face, feeling a bit skeptical despite herself. The pirate captain’s mouth spread in an amused smile.

“You don’t believe me?” he asked.

“I didn’t say that,” said Carewyn primly. “It’s just…hard to believe…”

She once again looked down at the compass and then back up at him.

“…Is that really true?”

Orion’s eyes twinkled. “Every word.”

Carewyn considered him for a moment carefully, her eyes scanning his face as she thought this over.

“…So I suppose the reason it’s not working for you…is you don’t know what you want?”

Orion’s face grew a lot more solemn.

“On the contrary,” he said softly. “It’s more…that my heart is so focused on one thing…it’s made it so the compass, in my hands, will point nowhere else. Ever since you escaped the Artemis…it’s been locked in place.”

His hands adjusted on top of hers holding his compass, his thumbs resting on the sides of her wrists.

Carewyn’s gaze fell down to their joined hands – then, her eyes slowly widening, she looked back up at Orion.

“…When you came to Port Royal…”

Orion inclined his head. “The compass was pointing me there.”

“And…Isle de Muerta…”

“I only found because the compass was pointing me there, too.”

Orion’s voice was still as level as ever, but he suddenly looked quite a bit paler. Something in the back of his calm, serene eyes seemed oddly tentative – insecure.

Carewyn stared at him, hardly daring to believe it. If she was understanding Orion correctly, then…the thing his compass had been pointing toward…

…was her.

Her heart had swelled to a seemingly impossibly large size in her chest, almost painfully so. It made Carewyn unsure of what even to say or do – she couldn’t contain her emotions, and was forced to cover her face in both hands, cutting herself off as she struggled to regain her composure.

At long last, she took a breath.

‘She said…‘my love, don’t frighten me…are you…my love, or no?’

Orion straightened up visibly as she slid her hands from her face, beaming up at him with perhaps the most emotional, most beautiful smile he’d ever seen on her face.

‘…Oh yes, my dear Orion…I am your love, also.’

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