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Author Topic: It Takes All of a Ship  (Read 541 times)

Wes

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It Takes All of a Ship
« on: December 29, 2016, 04:27:25 PM »
After six years (well five and some months) Wes had come to a sort of an understanding on how he felt about this. For the most part.

Even now, though, he filled the role of cabin boy/errand runner at Fifteen, going on Sixteen.

He was...a part of the crew, and loyal to keeping them from the gallows and yet...not a pirate at the same time.

The crew had pillaged in five years of course (all under another set of impressionable eyes watching) and Wes had never aided it and even made his views clear by way of silent looks that were still not disrespectful.

They let his have his way for the most part.

Most telling even, still let him be around the small child who had come a bit behind him (Wes had never caught any official marriage ceremony but maybe before he came and they were just causal about it, and even if not...they were pirates and all).

Caladh. Captain Bar and Bowen's son, and thus outside of Wes' full permission to judge how he was raised.

Not that Wes ever did, or even now would. It was all innocuous and unintentional really, the older boy's "better example" he just exuded by way of being him.

Really he was the "bad influence" put up with...

"Oh no, Cal, raiding's not a good thing..."

"Cal don't steal that..."

"Cal that's rude"


Not that he was "always on the boy", far from it!

Caladh heard more than anyone all of Wes home. Of his father. Of his own legacy (skipping around exactly what had happened to him of course). He heard what tales Wes noble lineage had passed on and believed without Wes putting down the pirates' superstitions.

Maybe he became a bit more rounded for it.

Or maybe Wes was fobbed off and his parents corrected Cal outside his hearing.

The teen wouldn't be offended if they did.

Yet, for having her own son now, the captain still kept an eye to him. It didn't make her any sort of replacement...Wes couldn't ever replace, and Cal wasn't exactly an all out brother or anything...though Wes could hardly have treated him better if he was.

A sort of mentor to teach the boy to take over for him?  There wasn't much to teach in way of being a cabin boy, but Wes would take the explination.

There was an unspoken agreement that somewhere around Twenty, when grown, Wes would be able to chose his own path. He already sort of could. It had been just last month he'd been given any sort of leeway to left his grandmother know he still lived. Oh the appology and careful wording and describing that had gone into that letter!

Wes was planning to actually stop by next time they put nearer Gondor, and the Company Noble's rejoiced and were even putting in motion plans to give him the spot he deserved in his father's company. To groom him for it no doubt.

That Wes was less sure of...as he ever had been.

Of course he couldn't, and wouldn't, go anywhere without Malia. Even if he himself consented finally to stay on shore and follow his father's legacy, the shapshifter who was like an older sister in human form and ward in fox form would have to be happy and Wes would unashamedly, and without explanation to any nobles, ammend his plans for her sake.

He'd captain an entire ship, his feelings aside, just to make her happy if she wanted the wind and waves. Of course, captaining wasn't so ill sounding an idea in the first place...

As he leaned against the railing, pondering through all this, Wes felt a presence as well as heard the approach and in a feeling of dejavu, though he would never be the boy's father, he turned a more natural smile to Cal than Bo had that time to him shortly after Wes came aboard.

"Well, well met there Cal!", he greeted, patting the railing beside him to becon the kid over if he wished, "and who have you just finished annoying?", he asked fondly and good naturedly though.

Wes, still not a drinker, was working on a bit of sweet bread from the last port stop and handed over some of this the boy's way in offering.

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Caladh

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 07:31:11 AM »
Caladh wasn’t quite sure where he was headed, but the general idea was to find someplace away from people.  Or as away from people as you could get on a pirate ship full of people.  Or as away from people as you could get when you couldn’t go to the captain’s quarters and shut the door because the captain was probably already there and she was the last person you wanted to catch you!  He might have meant to sneak past Wes, even though Wes was always friendly to him, but when he was spotted he stopped in his tracks instead of running off.  Surely Wes wouldn’t turn him in!

Did he look suspicious?  Was that why Wes was asking who he’d been annoying?  There was something guilty in Cal, and though he tried to hide it, he wasn’t very good at it.  “Nobody,” he grumbled in reply.  But that wasn’t why he’d been skulking past.  Before admitting where he was supposed to be, Caladh accepted the offering, and in nearly no time he’d finished it off, perhaps leaving Wes to wonder if he’d even bothered with chewing.
 
“Mother says I’m supposed to be helping Ning in the galley,” he admitted, though there was no shame in the admission or the clear certainty that he had no intention of setting foot in the galley that afternoon.  He was a bold little thing, had been since he’d barely been able to walk, already an expert, at least in his own estimation, of manipulating the adults to let him do as he pleased.  In truth, the only person he could truly manipulate was his father, who had given in rather quickly this time, to letting him sneak away from his chores.   Unfortunately on a ship there was only so much sneaking away to be done, and Cal knew he’d eventually be caught, but that hardly mattered in the moment.
 
“I hate having to work down in the galley.  I’d rather be up here.” Though he was already big for his age, Caladh still found the railing too tall for viewing much more than the horizon.  So, caution thrown to the wind, he took hold of it, pulling himself up to peer over into the waves below in a manner that would frighten any reasonable adult.  Just the slightest shift in balance might send him head first over the edge, but that hadn’t occurred to Cal.  He only wanted to see what was down there.

Sometimes there were dolphins or fish.  Live, colorful fish, not the slimy kind they pulled up for eating.  Sometimes there were other ships out there, but usually when that was the case there was more excitement on deck and he was shuffled off ‘somewhere safe.’  Without realizing, he’d leaned even further forward, balancing precariously with feet dangling out behind him.   

Wes

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 04:34:34 PM »
Cal stopped soon as he was called. “Nobody,” came his grumbled response. Wes smiled a small bit. Especially as the boy skipped over and took the offer of sweet bread far quicker than Wes had ever taken Bo's offers of drink in similar circumstances. It was gone before Wes could even blink all but, the teen held in a chuckle. He and Cal were still the two kids of the boat, he recalled, even if he day by day approached actual adulthood, and those freer choices he'd before pondered on.

Truth be told, he could push it even now if he truly wished and set out on his own, but...the unofficial Twenty mark, close to just four and then some quarters of the year left to go, sounded good enough to figure out all the thoughts that still hadn't cleared in five and some quarter years!

“Mother says I’m supposed to be helping Ning in the galley,”

Cal's words brought Wes back to the moment. “I hate having to work down in the galley. I’d rather be up here.”, the older of them smiled. It faltered a bit as Cal hopped up onto the railing of the ship--for two reasons--but Wes wasn't going to play the overprotective adult exactly...good judgment though he might hold.

Cal got enough of that. Still blue eyes watched this blonde headed youth in his shenanigan, and glanced back to ensure no crew would spy either of them and think Wes lax, and...curbed memory once more.

"Wesley! You get down this very instant! A young man like you...", he had been only five...

Proven by the laugh, "Ah mother, what's a mantel place for if not a young boy to test if it will hold him!", his father's voice as he lifted him down. He was given a tousle to his hair that further displeased Grandmary, though she hide it behind a slight sigh of boyish antics, before Wes' father bent to him and, smile still to his face, reminded him not to over tax Grandmary.

The boy nodded before skipping off to something perhaps safer to do


In the hear and now, the all but young man close to ten years from that day drew in on a breath, and, along with his thought of how young boys hardly changed even among classes, found that Cal was pushing it even farther...

His feet all but dangled now as more of his front was balanced more towards the water than his back half was the deck! Ok...Captain Bar still liked Wes and all, her own son to care for or no, but...that may change if he let her flesh and blood plummet to the water! And Wes himself cared himself that Cal not be hurt of course. He couldn't claim the kid a brother exactly, there were enough other guardians and...Wes had never officially let the captain take a position he didn't feel he could ever give...but he was fond of the lad whatever position he had or didn't.

A hand gripped the back of Cal's shirt, not putting him down but a firm hand all the same to curb trouble. "Ah, we let you get away with far too much", said smilingly but true all the same.

Another check that they were alone and he could indulge the lad as he felt and not as other crew would say. "And what do you spy down there, my lad?".

"You know...", said after another pause and letting Cal answer, "Helping Ning is actually not as bad as it sounds...you ever tried to carve shapes out of the potato peels?"

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Caladh

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 08:14:03 AM »
The sudden grip on the back of his shirt came as a bit of a shock, and Cal teetered there on the railing for just a moment before steadying himself again.  If there was one thing that came from being born on a ship, he was good at keeping his balance, even when it shouldn’t have been possible.   The grip on his shirt did help, though.  Nose crinkling unhappily, he cast a sharp look over his shoulder, blaming Wes entirely for his momentary loss of balance.  There was something in that look that was probably reminiscent of the captain, and Caladh had probably learned it from being on the receiving end almost as often as his father.

Said look was quick to flee, though, at the observation that he got away with too much.  Brows creased, and obviously the wheels were turning behind those eyes, no doubt debating on if he should deny it or admit to it.  But his good friend Wes gave him an excuse not to answer at all! 

With that hand still holding him firmly in place, Cal was brave enough to peer intently back into the sea, eyes straining for any trace of… well, anything at all.  But all he could see was the splash of water against the hull and the occasional clump of floating seaweed.  Having given it his best effort, and sighing unhappily at the lack of result, he pulled himself back onto the safe side of the railing, planting his feet firmly on the deck once more, though he did leave his arms resting on the railing as he peered off into the distance.

“There’s nothing down there,” he complained, his tone of voice making it more than clear that he thought it was completely unfair.  “There were dolphins this morning.  Pa let me lean over the rail to watch them.”  That last comment might have been a little accusatory.   His father had let him lean over the rail, so Wes should too!

The poor attempt at making chores sound like fun was met with the same unhappy crinkling of his nose.  Clearly, Cal wasn’t buying it.  “If it’s not so bad, you can go help him.”

Wes

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2017, 03:45:04 PM »
Cal started at the touch, and looked as if he were going to go over the railing or perhaps lose his balance...had he been a less experienced kid. Wes knew the lad had it even before he righted himself, and really, even if he hadn't, that was what his sure grip was for. He was shot an attempted scolding look for his trouble, one that tried to emulate his mother.

Wes had had his own little boy charms to get around that look from Captain Bar, though he'd never needed it as much as this lad, and so was most certainly not intimidated by it from out of her son. The teen just grinned back, Cal dropping the look soon enough anyway in favor of pondering Wes' own observation on the true nature of Cal's...not quite spoiling. By his father perhaps. The lad didn't answer on it though, as was probably good, instead taking to trying to see what he saw in the water off Wes' own asking.

There didn't seem much, though, and with a sigh he plopped back to the deck.

“There’s nothing down there, There were dolphins this morning.  Pa let me lean over the rail to watch them.”, the lad complained and shot out what Wes didn't miss was an accusation. He just chuckled good natured at the last, "Yes, I imagine we're going at too fast a clip for that now" he commented to what didn't need comment and the boy knew, but felt it somehow tried to excuse the dolphins who had had the nerve to not be there when the lad had wanted. Not that he blamed Cal his disappointment.

A similar look to the last was given Wes' valiant attempt at defending Ning's galley and the potato peeling in such.

“If it’s not so bad, you can go help him.”

Wes laughed again, "Ah but I've already done my time, and plus it breaks up the monotony that can be ship life", though the boy had hardly known much other, they put into ports but he'd been born and practically raised on a ship. Wonder he wasn't more bored at times. Probably explained the escapades to an extent. "You'll thank your mother some day" Wes ended for comment to the whole of the situation, then stared out at the ocean himself.

"After all, if you're going to have your own ship, as I imagine you'll want some day, you have to know all sorts of skills that seem pointless now. Like when I get mine", a pause, Wes pondering on that ship he'd been saying or hinting he'd get for a while now, when he could. Truth be told he probably could now, again, but...a few more years among a crew that most certainly viewed him one of their own while not harping too much on how he still hadn't fallen in with their morals, or lack, wasn't so bad; and he still needed to add a bit more to the savings for said purpose he had up. Of course a quick Hey I'm Alive to many back in Dol Amroth and money wouldn't be a problem and he could have his pick, but Wes wanted to feel he'd earned his ship from small jobs done in port and even here. And he had to figure out how to go about that big reveal when the time came.

But most important issue, he had to make sure Lili was ready to leave. Wes knew he couldn't go anywhere without his all but sister. Or how he viewed it and her anyway.

That he could make sense of it had confused a lot along the way, or he'd been questioned, but...it somehow wasn't that hard to grasp how the woman fit a more younger sister role in her fox form and ever since Wes had first found out about her sentience and older sister when in human form. Something or other had apparently happened and Ric had seemed incapable of talking to her for a few days after the whole crew found out, but for Wes part, and if she perhaps wondered how he would take it, the lad had stared wide eyed and amazed and then laughingly hugged her and declared she could be his sister right then  and there, a bit bold maybe even at the time and despite how inseparable they'd been even then, but she hadn't seemed to mind.

Coming back to the here and now, Wes glanced down to Cal once more, "I'm actually technically supposed to be cabin boy training you, though...it's not really that hard", Wes grinned again.

Sig made by wonderful Cass ~

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Caladh

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2017, 09:01:04 AM »
“When I’m captain, I’ll never have to peel potatoes,” he insisted, which was a statement that could hardly be argued.  He could simply ban potatoes from his entire ship if he really wanted to!   There was no reason to believe that every skill was very important, especially when he only ever saw his father peeling potatoes when he got in trouble.  But it didn’t make him any better at sailing.  Nothing seemed to do that…  Plus, his father wasn’t the captain, so that made it all a moot point anyway!   And he’d never seen his mother peeling potatoes!   She was always doing much more important things, though most of the time she wouldn’t let him watch.  But it was all very important pirate business!
 
An appraising glance was suddenly cast at the older boy as Cal seemed to be struck with some realization, and whatever it was, it was clearly baffling if one could judge by the sudden confused blink and creased brow.
 
“Is that what your people do on their ships?”  Your people meaning, basically, anyone who wasn’t a pirate.  All of those honest folk who sailed around in their ships just waiting to be boarded and robbed.  You know.  Everyone else.  “No wonder we’re so much better at fighting.  Maybe your people should practice their swords more instead, then they wouldn’t lose all the time.”  The boy paused, realizing he might have said something a little rude, and so he added, “I mean, they don’t lose all the time, I guess.”
 
It seemed that Cal had taken it upon himself to educate poor Wes, who had obviously been raised with strange ideas about what captains were supposed to do. The other boy might have been older, but Cal knew a lot!  His parents had taught him all kinds of things!  “Pa says it’s more important that I learn to use a sword and fight.   He said that’s why my mother let him on the ship to begin with… cause he showed her how good he was at using his sword.”

Wes

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2017, 01:13:28 AM »
Cal went on declaring what he would and wouldn't allow for when he was captain, and of course potatoes had earned his ire and were on the bad list. Wes smiled, for the moment, and even as Cal turned to him and glanced him over with that classic look of a child with questions bubbling. Wes himself had given any number of the crew that look before, shortly after arriving, trying to fathom piracy and decency, and it seemed Cal was trying to fathom the entirely of the the rest of the ocean.

“Is that what your people do on their ships?”

It took a while for the meaning to click and Wes next looked a bit puzzled as he worked out the meaning. His people...oh, all the...decent sailors and such. Yes, that would be how the younger boy would think of them. Wes might have smiled again amused, if the rest had not come also and next bold as brass from Cal's mouth!

Wes just looked taken aback for a moment or two. Cal was his parent's son and they had pride to them also, no wonder their son knew little else. Not to think bad, and Wes knew the lad was just young and not trying to deliver any kind of a hit, or not like he did.

The teen gave a shaky smile as he tried to find words and avoid...much.

It's just pay back, you did boldly ask Loire why he took up wth pirates and not honest folk!

Not as boldly as Cal asked his question, and thankfully he'd stopped boldly asking for life choice defenses that the look-out didn't owe him after that one.

"Not all the time, no...", Wes agreed and made sure to smile all he could for the kid who, again, hadn't meant anything; but five-almost-six-years did not truly help wounds not sting.

Cal seemed happy enough to continue on with his point but different, which was just as well, Wes was bad conversation and company at the moment. He just turned once more to lean his arms against the railing and stare out across at the sea as they passed along.

There had been raids since the raid to have gained the crew their cabin boy, but Wes had always made a point to be below or otherwise not around when they took place, it wasn't like his presence could save them sharing the same fate as his father's ship; and this made him a convenient babysitter for Caldh at times and when the Captian wished her son also to be spared...until later.

“Pa says it’s more important that I learn to use a sword and fight.   He said that’s why my mother let him on the ship to begin with… cause he showed her how good he was at using his sword.”

"Uh huh...", Wes muttered a bit distractedly, gaze still fixed on the sea, head still resting on his arms, not through any discontent, but truly off in another world at the moment and not fully hearing the lad.

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Caladh

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 05:00:50 AM »
That shaky smile wasn’t nearly enough to fool Cal, and he frowned as well, wondering if he’d said something wrong.  His dad always told him that the merchant sailors were boring and peeling potatoes was boring, so they were a natural fit, right?  Of course, when Wes had said that wasn’t the case, it started the boy to wondering what they actually did.  Maybe they peeled carrots?  He’d had to do that once… it was worse than potatoes! He might have gone on pondering what Wes’s people did for fun if Wes hadn’t attempted a reply to the rest of his earlier rambling.

Even Cal, young an easily distracted as he was, took notice of Wes’s near lack of response.  The boy grew quiet, blue eyes studying the older boy for some time as the wheels slowly turned behind them.  Anyone who knew Cal well enough most likely knew that he was far more dangerous when quiet than when he was making a ruckus, and even at such a young age, he was piecing together a number of things at the moment.  He’d been lucky enough not to inherit his father’s less impressive intellect, and he was often more observant than was good for him. It was how he managed to find the best toys (Ning hadn’t noticed yet that he’d been snooping through the kitchens again).

Mimicking Wes’s posture (though he had to stand on his toes to lean his arms on the railing), he finally turned his eyes away, studying instead the wood beneath his fingertips.  Small fingers traced circles across the railing as a faint frown marred his features.

When he finally spoke up again, his voice had gone a bit quieter.  He was more thoughtful than Wes usually saw him, and so suddenly more careful with his words, or at least as careful as a boy his age would ever be.  “You don’t like it here, do you?” When he’d been a kid, Cal had always thought that Wes was just boring. Wes never seemed to enjoy when the Harlot chased other ships or when the crew boarded and came back with all kinds of neat things that Cal would always get to look at later.  Maybe it wasn’t that Wes was boring, just different.  Well, boring was different, but that wasn’t entirely what Cal meant anyway.

Wes

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Re: It Takes All of a Ship
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 03:50:51 PM »
Wes hadn't been discrete enough, Cal noticed something. In all honesty the older boy hadn't had enough focus to try for discrete...

He should have noticed how long the pause stretched for, Cal oddly silent, and with that classic look of brewing thoughts.

“You don’t like it here, do you?”

The question caught Wes more unawares. He glanced down to Cal, seeing curiosity but not condemnation...he thought. He knew himself, having just to maybe not fully left the stage behind him, how children were too perceptive for lies to work; and Wes was too bad a liar in general.

"Cal, I would have run away a long time ago if I truly hated it here", Wes admitted, not challenging, but honestly and softly. "You don't...even know how the crew came to gain me, do you?". He was probably a supposed runaway, which no doubt made everything more confusing...and Captain Barabal and Bo probably didn't want it known...yet Cal would know if he was lied to...and deserved to not be lied to, as Wes knew of boys and hard questions they didn't know were hard.

Diplomatically then Wes...

"It was quite by accident. The ship I was on...was raided like...others. They just wanted the gold...", that didn't mean things hadn't happened...but gentle and diplomatically, what the boy could take in now. Wes also didn't personalize it by saying it was his father's ship, that would lead to too much personal wondering and Cal still didn't know what raids were all about. If he didn't mention anyone to worry over, it wouldn't have to be breached...hopefully.

"Hardly meant to gain me...but as you know your mother works with morals for a corsair and...after I had nowhere else to go...they let me come aboard.". Wes kept his tone normal and even smiled, but every word of that hurt! Cal couldn't know, he'd only been an orphan after the fact, and at the time, it had seemed more cruel to spare him in a way!

Wes gave a glance, just in case any were near and might take disagreement the Captain's son should hear even this, though Wes still refrained from telling the whole tale. A glance that could go with his next words.

"At first I barely knew what to make of them all. But most immediately took me in, cabin boy or no, as you've seen even now". More to the question though...

"I...I can't steal or pillage though, and again when I'm Twenty I'll proabably get my own ship...even let you take the helm to try if you want; it won't be to leave you all behind". Or after this long, even if Wes did leave, forgetting (and not advocating for semi-good Corsairs) would be impossible.

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