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The Hello! Project Fanfics => H!P Fanfics => Topic started by: Estrea on March 08, 2007, 06:53:25 PM

Title: All Aboard! [Chapter 26! --sorry for the wait]
Post by: Estrea on March 08, 2007, 06:53:25 PM
Back with, *gasp*, a new fanfic. Lol. Crackfic, actually. Just had an idea after dinner earlier...and voila, new fic. Haha. Enjoy!

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Chapter 1

It was one of those bright and cheery days, the sun shining down on a peaceful sea, seagulls soaring ahead and pooping wherever they pleased, but ultimately a fine day to be at sea. The weather was clear, the sea was calm, the winds were strong and blowing in the right direction, billowing out white sails and making the swift ship almost fly across the lapping waves.

On such a wonderful day out in the ocean, nothing could go wrong, right?

Wrong.

Well...almost. The scene aboard the ship Red Dawn was one of deceptive calm, looking almost idyllic as the individual crew members who were present on deck went about their tasks monotonously. But anyone who knew of the crew onboard this particular vessel would know that peace onboard was just too good to be true, at least not for extended periods of time. It was quiet. Too quiet. All the sunshine and seagulls cawing somehow felt more ominous than reassuring.

Tanaka Reina was perched on top of the crow's nest, quite glad to be there for once. She knew that as long as she was up there, she was the least likely to suffer any harm from any...incidents occurring below. The young girl was dressed simply in a loose shirt and breeches, with steel wristlets etched with skull symbols, and she wore a hat pulled low over her face, the better to shade her from the direct sunlight. Leaning precariously out over the side, she eyed the deck below.

Still too quiet, she decided. Well, it was a bit early, but she had since learned that time was not a factor in expecting certain...things from happening. Especially not when you have them on board...

Deciding to actually do her job for the moment, Reina looked up and scanned the horizon around her. Sea, sky, clouds and the occasional seagull. No other ships in sight. How boring. They hadn't encountered any merchant vessels for about a week, and she was getting restless. She wasn't quite as violence-prone as their bosun, but she did enjoy a good fight from time to time.

Some movement below caught her eye. Looking down, she saw that it was just Makoto scrubbing the deck. Strange, she thought she had just saw two shapes moving very quickly belowdecks. She was about to conclude that it was just her imagination when a loud BOOM sounded in the general direction of the crew's quarters, followed by a very startled yell a few seconds later. Reina quickly turned her attention to that direction, inquisitive about what had happened.

A very pale Yoshizawa Hitomi, the Second Mate, otherwise known as Yossi, was standing at a very familiar doorway. A glint of something reflecting the sunlight caught Reina's eye...a knife? Yes, a knife. Embedded in the doorframe. About half an inch from impaling Yossi's left eye. No wonder she was freaked. Reina very quickly put two and two together. The shadows earlier + explosion + thrown knife from that particular room...

"The twins..." She groaned from her vantage point. Disturbing she-who-must-not-be-disturbed. In the morning too. Were they crazy? Oh wait, stupid question. Nono and Aibon had nerves of steel when it came to extreme pranking. But still, disturbing Fujimoto in her sleep? They were totally sentencing anyone who went near that door after what they pulled to death. Fortunately, Yossi was a lucky person. Otherwise she would have been missing one eye or worse by now.

Yossi took a deep breath to calm herself. It worked well. She was pretty much used to chaos. She could get over this. She had survived far worse than flying daggers thrown by a sleeping tiger. Took another deep breath. She still had to wake that sleeping tiger. Not exactly the most fun job in the world.

Stepping into the smoky cabin cautiously, she fanned the fumes aside from the mini-explosion that had occurred only moments earlier, noting at the same time the minute traces of gunpowder on the floor. How did those two little devils rig this up this time? She groaned inwardly. Should have known better than to send those two to wake Miki up for her shift, she thought ruefully.

Inching closer to the bunk, she realised that Miki was still sleeping. How the woman managed to sleep through an explosion, throw a knife at her head, and then fall asleep again amidst all the smoke was completely beyond the boyish Second Mate. Heck, she didn't even know where Miki kept all those knives. Did she sleep with blades on her person? Deciding it was too disturbing to continue with that line of thought, she looked tentatively at the peacefully slumbering Miki. How best to wake the sleeping tiger without getting clawed to death? Or more likely, impaled by several daggers? Yossi mentally banished the sudden image of her being skewered by a dozen of Miki's knives, a cold shiver running up her spine at the very thought.

"Miki...wake up..." Yossi called out tentatively. No response. She tried it again, a tad louder. Still no response, although one arm did twitch a little, causing Yossi to almost duck away instinctively. Seeing that no blades of doom were about to start flying in her direction, she crept closer and shook Miki's shoulder gently, hoping to get the other girl awake.

"It's time for your shift..." Yossi tried again. Miki mumbled something and flopped around in her sleep, her arms waving about randomly, causing Yossi to take several steps backwards, fearing for her life. Miki gestured in her sleep again, slurring some words.

"Nnn...Tsuji...go...scrub deck..." A evil sounding chuckle from the still sleeping woman. "Or...keelhaul..."

Yossi sweatdropped.

Deciding to try a different approach, albeit a slightly risky one, Yossi cleared her throat and took a deep breath.

"FUJIMOTO! WE ARE UNDER ATTACK!!"

"Bbb...wha?" Shut eyes snapped open, and Miki was on her feet brandishing a wicked-looking long knife in one hand, crouched in a ready position even as her eyes were still sleepy and out of focus. Yossi blinked from her hiding spot behind a sea chest. She hadn't even seen where Miki pulled that knife from.

The freshly awakened pirate blinked several times to re-orientate herself. No enemy in sight. No sounds of fighting...what?

"Morning Miki." Yossi waved as she stood up from her place of concealment, still smiling even when a dangerous glare was aimed in her direction. Yossi wasn't afraid of an awake-and-in-posession-of-her-senses Miki (well, not too much). It was the randomly homicidal sleeper mode that scared her, since in that state, Miki could and would probably kill anyone who got on her wrong side, which in itself was not a difficult task. Miki couldn't quite exactly distinguish friend from foe when sleeping.

"My shift?" Miki asked shortly, glaring at her superior officer with her blankly scary face. She was not exactly the most morning person to ever walk the earth.

"Yeah." Yossi nodded, walking towards her own bunk bed. Miki yawned and stretched, sheathing her knife so quickly that you wouldn't even know where she kept it.

"Is that my knife in the door?"

Without turning back to look, Yossi replied. "Yeah."

"Oh." A pause. "No blood?"

"Nope."

"Damn."

Yossi decided not to ask.

Meanwhile, in another corner of the ship, two girls were snickering to each other while whispering conspiratorily to each other. So caught up in their conversation that they didn't notice a shadow loom over them...

"ello girls~!" A loud voice. "Morning~!" A familiar voice.

"Whatcha doing~!" A drunk voice.

Nono and Aibon looked up to see their captain leaning against the side of the ship, a bottle of rum clutched loosely in her hand. Both girls sweatdropped.

Nakazawa Yuko grinned lazily as she took another swig from the bottle. She looked at the girls in front of her. Couldn't tell them apart in her inebriated state. Never could anyway. Besides, all 4 of those girls looked exactly the same....no wait, 6. 8. They were multiplying! She took another swig to calm herself.

"Whuzzah!" The captain slurred drunkenly, reaching out to touch (read: grope) the two girls cowering away from her. As if out of nowhere, someone suddenly showed up. Nono and Aibon breathed a sigh of relief. Kei, the ship's doctor. The one who handled the drunk captain when she was well, drunk. Which was most of the time. As the ship's doctor, Yasuda Kei spent most of her time trying to hide the rum from the captain. It was a losing battle, unfortunately.

Kei only barely managed to guide (read: push and shove) Yuko back into the captain's room. Inside, at the desk, Kaori looked up from the table full of maps and navigational equipment, glancing at the pair that just came in, before going back to chart out their progress again.

Makoto passed by outside the captain's closed door. She was sure she heard a lot of swearing, followed by the sound of shattering glass, but shrugged and went on her way back to the bunk room she shared with Yaguchi Mari, the First Mate. Ordinarily, Yossi should have been sharing with Mari, since they were First and Second officers of the ship, but no one else had been willing to share rooms with Miki except Yossi, so after much rotating around, they had finally ended up with this arrangement.

Back on top of the crow's nest, Reina stretched as far as she could in the cramped area available, even as the chaos of the morning had died down and returned to normal...well, relatively normal. She ran a mental check in her head.

Morning prank by the twins......check.

Someone nearly having a mishap because of said prank.....check.

Miki trying to kill someone......check.

Drunk captain Yuko......check.

Makoto randomly cleaning......check.

Reina paused. Something seemed missing. What was it...?

The crack of a whip below, followed by the startled squeals and thuds of running feet answered her query. Oh yeah...

Miki threatening the twins......check.

Below on the deck, Miki lashed out with her whip again, the sharp crack again the worn wood of theship they served on loud in the morning air. Nono and Aibon eeped and started obediently going about their chores...at least for now.

Reina leaned back and sighed contentedly. Yep, normal start to yet another day at sea. Good weather was definitely a bonus too.

Some outcry below again, less than 10 minutes later. Reina rolled her eyes.

Never a dull moment on board the Red Dawn, the fastest pirate ship on this side of the ocean.
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Yes, the girls as pirates! XD Flying daggers! Miki with a whip! Life is good. ^__^

Anyway, like I said, crackfic. Haha. Hope you guys get a laugh out of it. :P

And oh yeah, "keelhaul" is a form of punishment...involves tying someone to the underside of the ship and letting you scrape against the barnacles on the keel, or bottom of the ship. Not a fun or fast way to die. >_<
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 08, 2007, 07:12:00 PM
just.. LOL XDXD
now I want to see 'Hyokkori 2.0' PV with the badass pirate Fujimoto and the drunk captain Yuko :ONxD: :ONxD:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 08, 2007, 08:00:12 PM
seems like every fandom needs a pirate fic! XD

love it
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Slack on March 08, 2007, 08:23:08 PM
Just because no one else has said it:
 
YARR!!!
 
Can't wait to see who else shows up!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 08, 2007, 09:09:12 PM
Quote from: Estrea;324902

Reina paused. Something seemed missing. What was it...?

The crack of a whip below, followed by the startled squeals and thuds of running feet answered her query. Oh yeah...

Miki threatening the twins......check.


Awesome! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on March 09, 2007, 01:51:02 AM
Quote from: len.chan;324910
now I want to see 'Hyokkori 2.0' PV with the badass pirate Fujimoto and the drunk captain Yuko :ONxD: :ONxD:
If this is included with their new Single V Clips box, I'm buying it! >.>

Great story! xD Pirates are awesome! Drunken Captain Yuko is awesome! (And expected!)

What's even more awesome? Miki with a whip! :heart:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 09, 2007, 04:59:38 AM
You included the twins and that's a win in my book. But I honestly liked everything else about this story, you will continue, right? At least one more?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 09, 2007, 05:12:22 AM
Wow!  You're quite the talented writer!  Very descriptive.

rndmn said it and I second it: I hope you continue this, even if it was meant as a one shot.  There are so many things you could do with it!  

ARR!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 09, 2007, 06:50:59 AM
Quote
She ran a mental check in her head.

Morning prank by the twins......check.

Someone nearly having a mishap because of said prank.....check.

Miki trying to kill someone......check.

Drunk captain Yuko......check.

Makoto randomly cleaning......check.

Reina paused. Something seemed missing. What was it...?

The crack of a whip below, followed by the startled squeals and thuds of running feet answered her query. Oh yeah...

Miki threatening the twins......check.
I LOVED this part. :lol:


With Miki and Yuko on board, it gives the old pirate expression "lookin' fer booty" a whole new meaning! :damnfunny


YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 09, 2007, 07:11:21 AM
Funny how Miki a lower ranked pirate is able to boss around with her attitude :D

Can't wait for treasure hunting to start, there would be, right !?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 09, 2007, 07:40:32 AM
Woohoo, it appears everyone likes the pirate idea! Haha. I was reading through the fanfic section and couldn't find any pirate stories, so might as well write my own. I mean, those girls are crazy enough to be pirates! XD

@len.chan: Yeah, I want to see it too! XD Funny is good.

@coachie: Yes, I agree! It's a travesty that there are no H!P pirate fics!

@Slack: Oh, more people will be showing up later. I have so many funny scenes in my head, I can't stop laughing even as I plan everything out. XD Wait for it!

@Amarghetta: Thanks. XD The Miki being badass parts seem to be very popular. XD

@black velvet: Hehe wait till you see dear old Captain Yuko and her Drunken Sword Style...oh wait, I just gave it away! Argh! Haha. And yeah, Miki + whip = love. XD Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Miki-sama, punish me!" XD

@rndmnwierd and Blizzard: Oh yes, I'm writing the second part now. Please be patient! XD This is not going to be just a one shot, I actually have a full length story planned... o_O

@JFC: You just gave me ideas with the "looking for booty" part! XD Good thing I have *cough* as a *cough* later. ;) No more spoilers! :P

@ferrar1: Yep Miki is awesome. Treasure hunting? Who knows? *will not give away anything more. :P

Okie people, I'm about halfway through the 2nd chapter, so please be patient. Only thing I can say is, action in the next part! And introducing a couple of new characters...maybe. I'll see how I can fit it in first. ;) Thanks for reading, everyone! :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 09, 2007, 10:45:05 AM
And heeeere's the second chapter. Warning, gore and violence ahead. *cough* I'm a sadist, that I am.
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Chapter 2


Yossi swung her sabre around in a fast half-arc, slashing the man who was sneaking up behind her across the chest, even as she simultaneously ducked a clumsy axe stroke from a burly sailor off to her side. Not stopping in her motion, she turned and swiftly decked the sneaking sailor she had just injured, sending him stumbling back and toppling over the railing and into the shark-infested sea below. She barely spared the man she just definitely condemned to death a second glance, reversing her sabre and deflecting the path of the descending axe with the crossguard of her sabre, before leaning back slightly and kicking the large man before her between the legs all in one motion. The man doubled over with a howl of pain, dropping his axe...on his own foot, which made him howl even louder as he toppled to the blood-slick deck.

The battle-hardened pirate slashed down, a precise stroke slitting the throat, ending the life of her opponent in an instant.

A whoosh as something flew narrowly past her head made her jump, but the solid thunk of metal meeting flesh behind alerted her. She turned to look quizzically at the enemy sailor who had been terminated in mid-jump, his cutlass raised over his head, apparently about to cleave Yossi in half from behind. She calmly stepped aside as the now dead man collapsed where she had been standing not too long ago, the hilt of a dagger protruding from his forehead making a sharp rap as it came down on the weathered planks.

"Well thank you for saving your life too!" Miki called out from the other end of the ship, even as the other pirate casually backhanded a crewman sneaking up behind her, before reversing her long knife and unerringly slipping the keen edge between the man's ribs, finding the heart and twisting the knife, all without even bothering to turn around. Yossi pulled a mocking salute at her fellow pirate in acknowledgement, before looking around to see how the battle was going.

There wasn't anyone else left to fight. After the initial charge with Miki and Reina by her side, they had pretty much slaughtered their way through the ranks that stood before them. Miki was a devil in battle, closing in fast and hard, without giving her opponents any chance to retaliate before she ended their lives with her daggers. Reina too, who brandished a harpoon taller than herself, watched her and Miki's back by making sure no one got close enough to them without getting skewered like a fish kebab.

Yossi herself was the only one who had undergone professional sword training in her youth, and was the only sabre-using pirate among the crew, which was a sort of a rarity since such a weapon was usually seen only in the military corps, or amongst the higher ranking warrior families. She was one of the most skilled fighters they had, and the years onboard Yuko's ship had honed her battle awareness to a fine edge.

Turning her attention to the person coming up to her, she recognised immediately the blood-splattered form of her friend and shipmate, the First Mate Yaguchi Mari, the pint-sized pirate who resented it when people made fun of her height, or lack thereof. Not that her height was any real impediment to her fighting prowress though, since Mari was so fast on her feet and skilled with a cutlass that she practically danced around all those hulking sailors trying to stab her, toying with them before finishing them off.

"Are you hurt?" Yossi found herself asking automatically, since all that blood on her friend was a bit disturbing. She was sure that she didn't look any better herself, but it didn't hurt to ask. Mari raised an eyebrow and chuckled reflexively, reaching for a piece of cloth to wipe the blood off her blade.

"All theirs." She gestured at the fallen on the deck. "Bunch of wusses. Not even worth fighting." She shrugged, and Yossi found herself agreeing, even as she wiped off her own sabre before sheathing it in one smooth motion.

Miki came stalking over, her eyes alight from the rush of fighting. She moved like a great panther, as if there were a kind of vicious energy barely restrained within her body. Miki relished the fights they got into, especially on this kind of ship. She had bad memories of slave ships in general, since she had once been captured aboard one, freed only when Yuko and her crew had boarded and raided it. She joined the crew then, a kind of seething rage about her, and Yuko had seen the potential for greatness within the raw young teen then, all ready to be channelled and unleashed on unsuspecting victims.

"Where are the twins?" Was the first thing that slipped out of the usually grouchy pirate's mouth. Yossi and Mari shared a quick, knowing glance. Miki might be all grumpy and threatening to people, especially the troublesome duo, but deep down she cared for the crew she sailed with, almost like a kind of family that had replaced the one she had lost when the slavers came. She watched out a lot for the twins, since those two could get into more trouble in mere minutes by accident than most people could on purpose in a whole year. They all did, really. It was a perpetual question: Where are those two and what are they up to?

"Over there, I think." Mari gestured towards the barrels lining the back of the ship. They all paused to listen. Sure enough, they heard loud splashing noises, gurgled pleas, and racuous girly laughter. All three wondered briefly what sort of horrors they were inflicting on someone, then decided they really didn't need to know in detail.

Yossi watched as Miki walked over to a corpse and rolled it around with her foot. It was the man she had knifed earlier from a distance. Miki leant down and tried pulling the lodged dagger out, but it wouldn't budge easily. Scowling, she planted a foot on the chest of the corpse, and used both hands to yank at the hilt. It finally freed itself as Miki staggered back, holding up her precious dagger and inspecting it with a frown.

"I'll have to polish and sharpen it again..." She mourned briefly, then kicked the corpse from which she had retrieved her newly blunted blade.

"Where are Makoto and Reina?" Yossi asked Mari, who seemed quite well-informed about everybody's whereabouts. Miki had sat down on a nearby barrel and was cleaning her many knives which she pulled from various places on her body. Yossi still didn't know where she hid all of them, and how she did it, really. She wasn't going to risk it by asking, either.

"Down below, probably freeing the slaves. They went under after we took care most of the slavers and the mercs." Mari was wiping her bloody hands absently on her bloodstained shirt. "The Captain came aboard too." The pint-sized First Mate added almost as an afterthought.

Yossi stopped in midstep and gaped. "She what?"

Mari smirked, a strange expression. "Drunk as usual too." Yossi clapped a hand to her forehead. Mari chuckled. "Don't worry, our dear captain fights better when drunk, you know that."

Yossi smiled weakly. Oh yes, Yuko's Drunken Sword style was a legend in itself. A broadsword in one hand, a rum bottle in the other. Yuko would be drinking and swinging that huge sword around like nobody's business. An untrained eye would think that she was just flailing about wildly and without discipline, but Yossi had since learned through observation that the seemingly off-balance and quirky sword movements were actually the core of Yuko's technique, the sheer unpredictability of her attacks giving her leverage and keeping the enemy off-balance. It was very clever, really. Nobody expects a drunk female pirate captain to be able to fight at all, and dropping one's guard was probably the worst, and probably last, thing they would do.

"So what's Yuko doing onboard?" Miki asked as she carefully put away her knives again. "I thought Kei was keeping an eye on her."

"And since when has Kei really been able to stop our captain when she wants to do something?" Mari shrugged, putting up her hands helplessly. Miki snorted in agreement as Yossi grinned. Mari walked over to the open hatch leading below decks, sidestepping the corpses in the process.

Poking her head in, she called out. "Oy Tanakacchi, Mako-chan! Everyone ok?"

A muffled reply came up, but whatever Mari heard must have satisfied her. She straightened up. "They're done cutting the chains and stuff. Most of the slaves seem sort of ok, so they''ll be fine as long as we leave them enough food and water for the trip to the nearest land."

"Basically, same old, same old, huh?" Yossi remarked, coming over to join Mari. "And we still don't know what Yuko is doing." The boyish pirate noted.

"She went straight for the big cheese. You know how she hates slavers." Mari shrugged again. "Let's go see how they did." She suggested.

"I'll go check on the twins." Miki said gruffly, getting up. Mari watched her go, an amused expression on her face.

"She really is nicer than she seems, eh?" Yossie smiled. Of course Miki was. Sort of, anyway.

The two ship's officers made their way over to the captain's cabin on board the dark slaver's ship, sure that they would find their own wayward captain in there. Sure enough, she was, with a rather bemused Kei standing at the side watching Yuko threaten the slave master of the ship. The poor man, fat and potbellied, was sweating profusely and begging for his life, with Yuko sneering dementedly and holding the sword distressingly close to certain...parts of the slave master, who looked like he was about to wet himself.

Mari coughed loudly to get their attention. Yuko turned her head around to glance blearily at her First Mate, waving her bottle-holding hand in greeting. Mari sighed and turned to look at Kei instead.

"We're done clearing the outside, Makoto and Reina are attending to the slaves, and Miki is watching the twins." Mari reported to Kei, since Yuko probably wouldn't pay too much attention to her at the moment. Kei nodded in acknowledgement, before walking resolutely over to Yuko, who was taking delight in scaring the crap out of the gibbering slave master.

"Yuu-chan, we're done around here. Quit playing." Kei said almost gently to the other woman. Yuko looked almost disappointed at having been interrupted, pouting slightly before stepping backwards, but not before giving a good solid kick to the side of the man's head, stunning him.

"Let's keelhaul him." Yuko said almost offhandedly. Yossi smirked. "I'll go get Miki, she loves doing stuff like this." Miki hated slavers with a passion and would gladly peel the flesh off one of them slowly, bit by bit. Which was why the practice of keelhauling appealed so much to her, since the barnacles would do the exact same thing to the victim, turning the man into fish food, literally.

Miki was quite entertained by watching the twins torment one of the mercenary guards that had been hired to guard the slave ship. The two of them had tag-teamed the poor boy, barely more than eighteen judging by his features, and broken his arms and kneecaps so that he couldn't fight back or escape them. Currently, they were doing water torture on him by sticking his head into one of the water barrels and holding him down, but letting him up to get a breath before he drowned, and then repeating the process. It was all a bit sadistic, but Miki couldn't bear to spoil their fun. After all, if the twins let out their frustration by doing this, they were less likely to execute their worst pranks on their own crew. Besides, it was kinda fun to watch them play like this too.

"Ne Nono, this is boring. Anything else we can do?" Aibon commented cheerfully to her partner-in-crime as they pushed the gurgling man underwater again. Nono frowned, a thoughtful look on her face, even as she absently stomped on the boys ankle to make him stop squirming. A stream of bubbles erupted to the surface of the water barrel, even as the nearby Miki heard the audible crack when the boy's ankle caved in.

"You could just kill him you know." Miki offered, twirling a small dagger around on her palm as she leaned against the rail, glancing down at the seething waters of the ocean below. Already she could see the sharks circling around, obviously drawn by the bodies that had been knocked overboard earlier during their fight. An idea started forming at the back of her mind...

"But that's no fun~" The two chimed in unison, yanking the poor merc up for a quick breath before pushing him back down again. Miki chuckled, tucking away her dagger up her sleeve, smirking evilly as she cracked her knuckles.

"Wait until you hear my idea..."

Yossi rounded the cabin she had just emerged from, to the back of the ship. At the sight before her, she paused and raised an eyebrow. Miki and the devil twins were lowering something via a rope into the sea below. Curious, she walked over to see what they were doing.

"Oh hi Yossi!" Miki sounded more cheerful than she had in days. The Second Mate stared at them, then looked at the screaming merc that was begging for mercy as they lowered him slowly, feet first, down into the ocean. An ocean that was filled with circling sharks, drawn by the blood that was dripping off the injured merc, who was sadly still conscious. All too conscious of his own fate the moment he should hit the water.

"Do I dare to ask which of you came up with this?" Yossi shook her head with a shaky laugh. The twins giggled, and Miki smirked triumphiantly. The merc was going down inch by painful inch, the slow speed of which was quite deliberately set by the sadistic trio, the more to heighten the panic and fear of their captive.

"You two, get ready to tie the rope off." Miki ordered. They nodded, grinning maniacally. The young man was already hoarse from all the screaming, suspended about a foot above the surface. The sharks were already snapping at his feet, but Miki yanked the rope up a bit, teasing the vicious fish below.

"Hey Yossi, a hand please." Miki huffed, and Yossi joined her to hold the rope in place as the twins fastened one end of the rope securely.The two dashed forward, task completed, and looked over the rail with eager anticipation. Miki and Yossi exchanged a look, and ignoring the panicked gibbering of their victim, they slowly let the rope go.

The merc hit the water feet first, the rope affixed to him preventing him from falling all the way in, only submerging him up to his waist. It was a deliberate move of course. The merc suddenly found his voice again and shrieked like a baboon having his balls ripped off. Which was what was quite literally happening. The water below raged, the white froth rapidly turning red. A chewed off leg floated briefly to the surface, before being swiftly snapped away by the great gleaming jaws of a huge shark.

The twins cheered and high-fived each other, before hurling themselves at an unsuspecting Miki and hugging her like a pair of koalas clinging to a tree. "Thank youuuu~" They exclaimed loudly in unison. Miki growled, trying to shake them off, but they had a death grip around her neck and were refusing to let go. She was beginning to get annoyed.

"Get off, or you're joining him down there." Miki snarled. The two immediately let go, still chuckling. Yossi shook her head, deciding to convey the captain's orders to Miki, who nodded, a ghastly gleam in her eye as she set off, the devil twins tagging along in eager anticipation.Yossi sighed and looked over the rail. The young man was sadly, still alive, not enough strength to scream, but the hoarse whimpers were clearly audible.

Feeling a moment of pity for the poor boy, Yossi drew her sabre and cut the rope in a quick move, ending his suffering in a few moments as the sharks converged...

Sighing again, Yossi sheathed her sabre, one hand still placed over the hilt of that proud weapon, the last remaining legacy of her line, along with her. She stared off in the horizon, her eyes distant for a moment. Shaking herself out of it, she turned to join her crewmates in the plunder.

~*~*~

A man sat at an ornate desk, the surface of which was strewn with documents and reports about the increasing rate of piracy in the eastern seas. The man looked to be in his late 40s, robust and energetic despite his age, and sat with a kind of regal military bearing. The uniform he wore gleamed, the medals and badges reflecting the light of the setting sun from the broad windows.

He was interrupted in his work by a sharp rap on the door. "Come in."

A familiar figure came in. A bit petite in size, but with a distinct military bearing that made the slim figure look taller. The man looked at the new arrival, his face still stern, but his eyes were gentle as he gazed at the serious face of his protege.

"Admiral." The voice was regulatory, standard military courtesy, the salute crisp and inch-perfect. The man, the Admiral, didn't know if he should be rueful that his own child looked so distant from him, or be proud of the fact that in front of him stood one of the youngest people to ever be promoted to be a captain of one of the Royal Navy's warships. Yes, his child was definitely of the proud seafaring lineage that they were descended from. His eldest, and his pride and joy.

"Glad you could make it, Captain." His own voice was strict and unemotional, a reflection of his own strict military bearing. He could never quite voice how proud of his child he was, the words never seeming to be able to come naturally. He only hoped that his child didn't blame him too much for being distant.

They got down into business immediately, the younger keen and alert as the Admiral explained the situation and the deployment. Sent to patrol the eastern seas, his eldest child would be helping to crack down on the damn pirates that infested those waters. He had absolute faith in the ability of the young Captain, and he said as much, noting as those clear eyes flashed with a certain kind of joy at the matter-of-fact praise.

As the Captain got up and saluted, preparing to leave, the Admiral couldn't help but awkwardly inject his sentiments as a father.

"Be careful out there." His voice was gruff, but affectionate. An awkward, almost shy smile beamed back at him, lighting up the room in the process.

The Admiral watched as the door closed. He didn't know why, but he felt that it would be the last time he would see his eldest daughter smile back that way at him again. He tried to ignore it, but the ominous feeling never left him that night...
--------------------------------


And I'm done. Sorry I made them so vicious and bloodthirsty, but hey, they're pirates. Pirates are not really supposed to be nice people. Who are the new people? Well, we'll have to wait and see, won't we? XD

So tell me what you think people!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: OTN1 on March 09, 2007, 11:14:22 AM
That was bloody bloody.
Quote from: Estrea;325487
Pirates are not really supposed to be nice people.
Except for Konno.  Konno would be the caring, sensitive pirate.

I don't know what's more scandalous.  The Top Two breaking a boy's arms and kneecaps in order to torture him, or Miki watching amusedly.

I like your characters.  They're exaggeratedly vicious, and most of all, they are funny as heck.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 09, 2007, 02:52:19 PM
my prediction of the story line.

In 1 side pirates, led by Yuko + the yankees and the fun people (Miki, Reina, Yossi etc)

In 1 side royal navy led by Nacchi or Kaorin + the good girls (konno, Ishikawa, Kamei etc)

i WISHED :D
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 09, 2007, 03:19:57 PM
Quote from: ferrar1;325570
my prediction of the story line.

In 1 side pirates, led by Yuko + the yankees and the fun people (Miki, Reina, Yossi etc)

In 1 side royal navy led by Nacchi or Kaorin + the good girls (konno, Ishikawa, Kamei etc)

i WISHED :D


You read my mind!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!

Well, almost. XD

Minor spoiler: The "good girls" are just as crazy. Almost. What can you expect? I'm the one writing them after all. :P

And thanks OTN1! Hehe, I liked the exaggerated viciousness too. I was aiming for slightly campy fun. XD Funny as heck? I'm soooo glad you thought that! I had a lot of fun thinking up ridiculous things for them. XD It gets better when the Navy girls show up. :P I promise!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 09, 2007, 05:26:12 PM
Oh, where do I start...? :P

Miki, of course! Yeah, she the badass but she has her own (warped) reasons to be like that. I've always liked characters like that. The fact that she cares about the twins proves that she's not pure evil...

Quote from: Estrea;325487
Yossi herself was the only one who had undergone professional sword training in her youth, and was the only sabre-using pirate among the crew, which was a sort of a rarity since such a weapon was usually seen only in the military corps, or amongst the higher ranking warrior families. She was one of the most skilled fighters they had, and the years onboard Yuko's ship had honed her battle awareness to a fine edge.
It fits her 'prince' image somehow.


Quote from: Estrea;325487
Reina too, who brandished a harpoon taller than herself, watched her and Miki's back by making sure no one got close enough to them without getting skewered like a fish kebab.
This was funny! I did picture Reina like that. XD


Quote from: Estrea;325487
"Over there, I think." Mari gestured towards the barrels lining the back of the ship. They all paused to listen. Sure enough, they heard loud splashing noises, gurgled pleas, and racuous girly laughter. All three wondered briefly what sort of horrors they were inflicting on someone, then decided they really didn't need to know in detail.
This made me think of Poltergeist's intro score, dunno why.


Quote from: Estrea;325487
The twins cheered and high-fived each other, before hurling themselves at an unsuspecting Miki and hugging her like a pair of koalas clinging to a tree. "Thank youuuu~" They exclaimed loudly in unison. Miki growled, trying to shake them off, but they had a death grip around her neck and were refusing to let go. She was beginning to get annoyed.
Ha, this pretty much describes the interaction between my (way younger) siblings and me. They cling onto me and I growl... XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 09, 2007, 08:51:07 PM
I thought I reviewed this before o_O Oh well, might as well now xD

I freaking love H!P pirates. I love how you depict Yuko as the even stranger version of Johnny Depp's infamous Jack Sparrow character. Drunken fighting-style is so (misleadingly) awesome! <3

I love how you made Reina weild a harpoon; for some reason, I had always pictured her as the kind to use spears if not her yankii fists of doom xD

I adore Yossie and Miki's chemistry too! Miki's definitely in character <3 As with Yossie xD

For some odd reason, I knew that Mako will somehow end up as the 'poor' character, as in being a deck scrubber. (As cemented by Okamura from the Bakajo Tests) At least Kei's a cook, WOO!

The twins rock. 'nough said.

Alright. As for the idea overall... I love it mucho, simply because it's one crazy yet whacked out crew xD Are you a fan of One Piece? Nonetheless, I get giggley feelings in my stomach that there's still going to be more people joining the crew :] That, or we'll meet other H!P-related crews (either allies or enemies? :< ).

Now for the obligatory custom of mine for all new stories <3

-gives you a hardhat to protect yourself from writer's block-

<3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 10, 2007, 02:20:41 AM
The evilness is loved very much! H!Pirates is so awesome.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 10, 2007, 02:25:19 AM
hahaha, I love pirate musumes!

Quote
"Whuzzah!" The captain slurred drunkenly, reaching out to touch (read: grope) the two girls cowering away from her. As if out of nowhere, someone suddenly showed up.


XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 10, 2007, 04:34:05 AM
Wooo!  Sadistic twins! :twisted:  Now they are real pirates!  Miki is like their sadistic mentor, observing them from the background as they try things out themselves, and offering advice on how to do it better!  Listen well, young grasshoppers, listen well.

I am sooooo looking forward to the promise of more swashbuckling action!  You write action scenes very very well!  It's quite easy to follow and form a mental picture of the fight.  

I hope you put Yuuyami's hardhat to good use!  I can't wait for more!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 10, 2007, 05:56:16 AM
Quote from: Estrea;325390
@JFC: You just gave me ideas with the "looking for booty" part! XD Good thing I have *cough* as a *cough* later. ;) No more spoilers! :P
Oooooooooooooo score one for me! :D


Quote
sending him stumbling back and toppling over the railing and into the shark-infested sea below
It's just not a proper pirate story if there aren't any sharks in the water. :yep:

Quote
Miki had sat down on a nearby barrel and was cleaning her many knives which she pulled from various places on her body. Yossi still didn't know where she hid all of them, and how she did it, really.
Miki is DAMN vicious with those knives. :w00t: This part was particularly hot. :twisted:


Quote
Miki was quite entertained by watching the twins torment one of the mercenary guards that had been hired to guard the slave ship. The two of them had tag-teamed the poor boy, barely more than eighteen judging by his features, and broken his arms and kneecaps so that he couldn't fight back or escape them. Currently, they were doing water torture on him by sticking his head into one of the water barrels and holding him down, but letting him up to get a breath before he drowned, and then repeating the process. It was all a bit sadistic, but Miki couldn't bear to spoil their fun. After all, if the twins let out their frustration by doing this, they were less likely to execute their worst pranks on their own crew. Besides, it was kinda fun to watch them play like this too.
Funny as hell, and in a demented way, kinda cute too. :D


Quote
Yossi herself was the only one who had undergone professional sword training in her youth, and was the only sabre-using pirate among the crew, which was a sort of a rarity since such a weapon was usually seen only in the military corps, or amongst the higher ranking warrior families. She was one of the most skilled fighters they had, and the years onboard Yuko's ship had honed her battle awareness to a fine edge.
That's true, it's usually said that pirates have traditionally used the shorter-bladed cutlass because it's well-suited for frantic, close-quarters fighting that would occur on board ships at sea.  A sabre has a longer, slightly thinner blade, and the traditional slashing-type motions that would be involved in using a sabre would be more suited to dueling as opposed to a big swordfighting "rumble".

The fact that Yossi has/uses a sabre instead of a cutless makes me wonder, she used to be in the naval corps? If so, was she fired? Captured? Deserted on her own to lead the life of a pirate? What?


Oh, and Yuko's "Drunken Sword Style" = :damnfunny
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: katatsumuri on March 10, 2007, 11:43:06 AM
Your humor and descriptive writing is a great joy to read.:thumbsup :thumbsup
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 10, 2007, 03:44:53 PM
I'm surprised at myself, while I'm perfectly happy with Miki being her sadistic evil self, Aibon&Nono torturing this guy just made my stomach turn around.
Good thing Yossie made him a quick end.

For some reason I was hoping Ayaya would be among the freed slaves XD
But maybe she's the captain and out to get Miki (in one or another way) or it's Rika.

Can't wait for the next chapter!

edit: just realized... 200th post CHEERS!!!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 10, 2007, 04:12:12 PM
Weehee I'm back with a new chapter! And all the reviews! Happiness! :)

Hi katatsumuri and orangesocks, happy to have you onboard! XD *bad pun* :P

Too lazy to reply individually to everyone, but!

Thanks for the hardhat Yuuyami! *puts it on* Yep, much better. :)

Keep wondering about the choice of weapon JFC, it's good for the mind to exercise some more. Hehe. Glad you liked the chapter.

Sorry for making your stomach turn, coachie! *feels bad* And lol, you just read my mind...a bit! Why is everyone reading my mind?! I need to install a firewall around my brain...haha. And congrats on your 200th post coachie! :)

Ok, the next chapter will be up within the next ten minutes. I'm still editing it. XD Thanks for reading everyone!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 10, 2007, 04:27:11 PM
Meh, I felt that this chapter wasn't as good as the other two, at least not in terms of humor. *feels bad* The scene switches to the Navy this chapter, so we won't get to see wacky pirate humor this time round...but they'll be back!

Oh and I apologise in advance for some OOCness in some of the characters, I think. Oh well. Hope you guys won't be too disappointed.
-----------------------------------------------

Chapter 3


The Lieutenant was on a hunt. The target: a certain Ensign who didn't appear at their agreed meeting place during lunchtime.

Lesser seamen got out of the Lieutenant's way hastily, recognising the determined look in those fiery eyes, carefully keeping their eyes at a respectful level and saluting as the Lieutenant brushed past with barely an acknowledgment. It was too urgent a mission to be slowing down for insignificant people.

There were only a few places the errant Ensign could have been. The warship was only so big after all. The Lieutenant bumped right into someone, who bounced almost right off after the direct collision. A newbie, it seemed. Well, the Lieutenant wasn't quite as hard-hearted as first impressions went. Besides, the rookie was a cute little girl. Who could resist cute little girls? A lazy smirk formed on luscious lips as the Lieutenant extended a hand to help the startled young girl up, taking a look at the name sewn in on the sleeve: KAMEI ERI.

"Ss-sorry, Lieutenant..." Eri blushed as she was finally upright again. "I'll be more careful next time." She tried inching away, but the Lieutenant hadn't let go of her hand just yet, so she couldn't move much further anyway.

The Lieutenant grinned at the shyness of the rookie, and was about to say something when someone else piped up first.

"Flirting again?" The voice was dry, ironic, and familiar. The Lieutenant half turned around, frowning down at the shorter woman who had just come up behind her. Who not only had a military rank up on her, but was also First Mate to her Second.

"I was not flirting, I was being nice." She huffed indignantly.

A raised eyebrow. "Really? Then why are you still holding on to her hand?" A triumphiant look.

The taller lieutenant dropped the hand she was holding and tried to glare at her counterpart, but failing miserably. The shorter woman reached up and patted the younger girl's cheek.

"There there Gocchin, we all know how boring it can be out at sea with no entertainment. I understand perfectly." Abe Natsumi, First Mate of the warship Defiance, smiled sunnily at the spluttering Goto Maki, who was struggling to find a good rebuttal but coming up empty.

Nacchi 1, Gocchin 0

Behind the two of them, Eri was backing away and unconsciously pushing herself into a small space between the cannons, trying her darndest best to become invisible and hopefully unnoticed by the two ranking officers of the ship. Being shy by nature, and this being her first major voyage, she was naturally nervous in the face of authority. Not that the two officers in front of her were acting particularly officer-like at the moment, with Maki halfway between glaring and pouting, and Natsumi smiling beatifically, as if the lights in her eyes came from the sunlight shining through the back of her head.

"Looking for Yuuki again then?" Nacchi decided to ease up on her junior for once, since she was in a good mood today and decided to give the poor girl a break. Maki scowled. "Damn boy disappeared when I turned around to talk to someone else."

The older woman giggled. "That's only because you keep watching him like a hawk. He's a big boy already, you should give him a bit of time on his own. Can't keep coddling him forever." The tone was playfully disapproving, but carried underlying notes of concerned wisdom. Maki muttered mutinously under her breath.

Changing tack, the shorter officer continued. "Anyway, the Captain wants to see us." She paused. "Well, actually, she didn't say so specifically, but I think she could use the support now." Maki eyed her questioningly, prompting an elaboration. "Our 'guest' is with her now." The taller girl went "oh" and nodded in understanding.

The two changed direction and walked off towards the captain's cabin, completely forgetting about Eri, who by now had managed to lodge herself in the space between two large cannons and was finding it strangely comforting. As the footsteps faded in the distance, she decided to get out, standing up and pushing herself out. Or at least, she tried to.

With one leg folded awkwardly under her, the positioning of her body left her very little leverage to hoist herself out of her hidey hole. Eri felt the first, faint trill of panic run through her as she struggled to get out. What if she remained wedged here forever? The thought frightened her, and she redoubled her efforts, but to no avail. She would have screamed for help, but was too embarrassed to let others see her stuck like this. Torn between panic and indecision, Eri felt faint and passed out.

On the upper deck, Maki was scratching the back of her head as she headed with Natsumi towards the Captain's cabin. I think I'm forgetting something...

Inside the Captain's cabin, a discussion was taking place. At least it looked like a discussion on the surface. In truth, it was just a cover for a verbal catfight. Not that the participants would ever admit to that, of course.

"I wonder if the restrictions on my movement will be lifted." Let me move around you bitch.

"I regret to inform you that those restrictions are in place for your own safety." No way in hell.

"Do you know who I am?" I can get your ass fired.

"Regardless of who you are, we are out at sea on a ship, and I am the captain. According to marine laws, the captain's word is final." This is my turf, I call the shots here. Take it or leave it.

The tension between the two was escalating when a sharp rap on the door interrupted their staring contest.

"Enter." The seated captain said coldly, her eyes never leaving her guest's.

The First and Second Mates of the ship entered cautiously, sensing upon arrival the explosive animosity that positively reeked in the air. Maki thought that if she lit a match in the cabin, the whole room would explode, so tense was the atmosphere. Natsumi remained characteristically cool and optimistic, still having a positive expression on her face despite the definite tension that permeated the enclosed area.

The door swung shut with a sense of finality, leaving the four alone in the room.

"Was there something?" The captain finally let her eyes settle back on her friends and shipmates, with considerably less intensity in the gaze. After all, the three of them had sailed together several times before, and were on fairly good terms. Maki smiled goofily back at her childhood friend, the two having gone through naval academy together, prompting an answering smile from the formerly frowning face.

Natsumi took the opportunity to step in. "Well captain, it's been almost 4 days since we've left harbor, and the lady hasn't been allowed out of the room much. Why not let her get a bit of fresh air?" It was a calculated move. Natsumi was older than their youthful captain, and had more experience. Furthermore, she had been instructed by the Admiral himself to keep an eye on his still relatively inexperienced daughter. That was a known fact amongst them.

The captain frowned, obviously not liking the idea. To soften the impact, the sunny First Mate added. "Well, of course she'll be under supervision to keep her safe. Maybe one of the friendlier crew to escort our ladyship here?"

"Well, if you put it that way..." Maki didn't like the wrinkles that were currently working their way into a permanent residence on her best friend's face. Oh, to hell with it. Throwing all military decorum aside, she strode right up to the stern-looking captain...and tickled her.

The transformation was as instantaneous as it was startling. The stern presence broke down into a laughing fit of uncontrollable giggles, and the captain looked to be no more than a young girl barely out of her 20s, rather than the serious captain old beyond her years.

"Gocchin....ahahahha...stop it...ahaha...stop...!" There were tears at the corner of her eyes. The other two women in the room exchanged startled glances, but both had hints of a smile dancing at the edges of their lips. Natsumi bit back the urge to laugh. At least they were in private...well mostly. Otherwise she would have been appalled by their childish behaviour.

Maki stepped back smugly after halting her impromptu assault. It was a good thing she was such good friends with the captain, otherwise she would never have gotten away with such a stunt. And besides, seeing her break down in laughter was so much better than having a permanent scowl set in on that face. Almost good enough to withstand whatever payback the other would surely devise.

"I'll get you for this Gocchin." Maki smirked again.

"I would love to see you try, Aya."

Captain Matsuura Aya, eldest daughter of the Admiral Matsuura Kenji, youngest captain of a warship in the Royal Navy. Some wondered if her position was artificially bestowed due to the influence of her father's exalted position in the naval corps, but that could not be further from the truth. Only a few of the inner circle knew how hard Aya had worked to live up to her family's proud legacy, being the eldest daughter of the Matsuura family, a journey made tougher by the fact that she was a girl. The heavy weight of her family name, as well as the fact that there were no males to carry on the legacy, had ignited within her an overwhelming responsibility to uphold the family's traditions. Every man in the Matsuura family was a sailor to the bone, and in every generation before her, the men had served the Royal Navy well and proudly, often reaching high ranks and earning the favor of the throne.

Her father had always mourned that he had no sons to continue this proud legacy, and even as a young child, Aya had felt the disappointment radiate keenly from her father. She had initially been upset that she had not been born a boy, the better to carry on the family name and tradition, but decided not to let it get her down. In fact, she resolved to enter the naval corps herself, to prove to her father that she was worth something despite being a girl. On her 13th birthday, she had run away, cut her hair short and entered the naval academy under disguise. She would prove to her father that she could work her way up the ranks on her own, without banking on her family name or any other help to succeed.

Of course, she wasn't quite alone in that venture. Maki had been close friends with her since they were children, the older girl being a member of a minor noble house, but the two had hit it off immediately at a party when they got into trouble together for the first time, and not for the last time from then onwards. It wasn't an easy task for Maki to slip out of home, but with the somewhat reluctant help of her younger brother Yuuki, the two had managed to get away and enter naval training together.

It had taken a long time, a lot of trouble, and even more crazy adventures with Maki along the way, but they had earned their sea legs and gained recognition. Admiral Matsuura had been very surprised when the top student of the graduating class had come up to him to receive the award, the toothy grin and defiant expression all too familiar to his eyes. Aya had regained her true identity that day, her surprised father too shocked (and very proud of course) by the whole turn of events to object to anything.

That was several years ago, and Aya had worked hard to prove herself every inch of way, never backing down or showing weakness in front of the other men. It helped that Maki was also always beside her, also working hard, and they proved themselved in battle again and again, to the point that even the Admiral could not help but admit that his daughter did indeed cut a fine figure not only as a sailor, but as a true warrior of the sea, as befitting the legacy her ancestors had left behind.

Still, now her reputation was hanging by a thread in front of the sole stranger in that room. She didn't get to where she was by being a weak, giggly girl, and she didn't want her "guest" to underestimate her. After all, what did a lady of a noble family know of her exploits at sea?

Wait, scratch that, a renegade noble lady. The circumstances of which said lady had found her way onto the warship were...questionable, to say the least. Aya couldn't help but smirk a bit when she remembered that morning, 4 days ago...

-Flashback-

The rapid thuds of running feet against cobblestones, the sound of the waves lapping against the wharf, the raised voices in pursuit of a lone lady, clad all in white.

The Goto siblings were standing at the rail, aboard the warship Defiance, even as other men were busily preparing for their imminent departure. The outcry raised caught their attention, and they stared curiously at the running figures.

The ship was ready to depart, the great vessel easing slowly off the wharf. The running woman appeared to be heading in their direction. The Goto siblings were soon joined by Natsumi, and the three stared disbelievingly at the ruckus on the wharf. What was going on?

The pursuers were catching up to the woman, and she was running out of wharf to run. Even as the three onboard the warship looked on, the woman gathered up her skirts jumped off the wharf, an impressive leap indeed.....and caught onto the mooring rope of the Defiance.

The wind caught the raised sails of the warship, and they moved out of the harbor, the lady still clinging desperately to the rope, even as they gawked on down at her. Natsumi was the first to recover from her amazement, and was first to start tugging up on the rope, the other two joining in to help haul the ragged woman up onboard the ship.

Maki was helping her up, watching her dust off her clothes. Natsumi stared at the young woman, feeling a faint hint of recognition, as if she had seen her somewhere.

"Wait...Ishikawa?" The First Mate gasped. The younger woman froze.

Maki eyed the lady next to her. "Aren't you supposed to be somewhere else? ...like a church, maybe?" For indeed, Ishikawa Rika was clad in full bridal dress, though a bit torn and dirty by now after all her exertions.

"I have my reasons." Her face was set in an expression of resolute determination. Natsumi and Maki exchanged a look. Yuuki cleared his throat.

"Well, we should take her to the captain, right?" He suggested tentatively. The two officers looked at each other, then shrugged.

"Might as well."

Aya stared at the ragged-looking Ishikawa Rika before her, a imperturbable expression on her face. "You ran away from your wedding?"

Rika looked defiant. "So? Are you going to send me back then?"

Aya said nothing for a moment. Then she looked up. "The groom...Tachibana, was it?" Rika nodded, her eyes wary.

"Oh alright then. Welcome aboard."

The others in the room all gaped at the sudden change in demeanour. Rika blinked. "Why are you helping me?" She asked uncertainly. "You don't even know me."

Aya shrugged, leaning back in her seat. "I might not know you, but I know your groom." She waved a dismissive hand. "You're better off without him."

-End Flashback-


And now here they were, their opinions clashing. Aya was keeping Rika inside for her own good, really. After all, she was on board a warship with many men, and some of them wouldn't hesitate to be a bit more...forward with her person. Rika didn't have the protection of rank and reputation as Gocchin and Nacchi had, nor the extra combat training that all the female crew had been personally given by Aya herself. Even if Rika had the Ishikawa name as a matter of social backing, it wouldn't matter at all on board ship. After all, different rules applied at sea. Aya could forbid them to her heart's content, but she couldn't ensure that every single one would abide to her decision. The more honorable soldiers would obey her, but the common sailor? Aya really rather not risk the safety of her guest, but she had trouble articulating her thoughts in a direct way, probably something she inherited from her father.

Ishikawa stood there, arms folded and head held high. A proud woman, this one was. A spirited one too. Running away from her own wedding! Aya had to give her props for that. She respected strength of character, and this woman in front of her had plenty of it.

Taking a deep breath, Aya made her decision. "Fine, I'll allow you more freedom of movement. But, you must have someone I put with you at all times. That's the condition you must accept if I am to grant you this favor." The young captain steepled her fingers together in front of her, resting her chin on them as she looked straight at Rika.

Their locked gazes was fairly supercharged, and no one moved during the exchange. Suddenly, Rika smiled. "I accept."

"Good." Aya paused, looking thoughtfully at the ceiling for a moment. "So...who do we put with her? Gocchin? Nacchi? Opinion?"

Her officers looked at each other. "We have work..." Maki started slowly. "So we can't be with her at all times."

Natsumi snapped her fingers. "Hmmm someone...someone...got it! The rookie!" Maki stared blankly at her at first, then her eyes lit up. "OH. That one. Yeah, she's a nice one. Can she handle it though?"

Aya raised an eyebrow. "Mind telling me who you've got in mind?"

Natsumi looked at Maki. Maki shrugged. "Yeah I saw her name...Kame-something..."

"Turtle?" Nacchi and Aya blinked simultaneously. Rika just looked like she was about to laugh.

Maki was massaging her temples. "Um no...wait...what was it...OH YEAH!" She snapped her fingers. "Kamei...Eri, I think." She nodded decisively. "Yeah, Kamei Eri. Cute girl, shy though."

"Kamei Eri...oh yes, the newbie. First long-haul voyage, I think." Aya mentally recalled the personnel list. She had made the point of going through the whole thing before setting off and memorising every detail. Maki used to laugh at her for being overkill with her obsession with details. But it did have its advantages.

"I remember working with her. She needs a bit more confidence, but she's competent. Good then, we'll place her on bodyguard duty, give her a bit of a boost." Aya nodded decisively. She then turned to Rika.

"I trust you will behave yourself, don't disrupt the normal workings of the ship and don't get into trouble. Try staying away from the men if you can, I don't want them to be distracted, and let's not give them a reason to be tempted. It's for your own safety." Aya smiled, looking far older than her relatively young age. The young captain then shot a sidelong glance at Maki, who was not-so-discreetly checking out their guest. "On second thoughts, stay away from some of the women too." Aya added laconically, giving a pointed look at the distracted Second Mate. Nacchi snickered, and Rika just smiled.

"Of course, I appreciate your concerns and I will certainly be discreet. Thank you Captain." Rika was about to curtsey, but the borrowed clothes (shirt and breeches) didn't seem to fit well with the move, so she settled for nodding politely instead.

"I'm glad. Gocchin..." Aya glanced at her friend, who still wasn't paying attention, and changed her mind. "Nacchi, can you escort Lady Ishikawa back to her room please? And bring me this Kamei Eri so I can brief her on what to do. Dismissed." Natsumi saluted and left with Rika in tow.

Aya sighed as she turned to look at Maki, who seemed kinda lost in her own fantasy land somewhere far beyond this world.

"Oy Gocchin." No response.

"Yoohoo~" A bit of drool trickled down from one side of those full lips.

Aya rolled her eyes. "Plan B then." She stood up...and stomped on the older girl's foot.

"Ouch ouch ouch ouch!!!" Maki reacted instantly, clutching one foot and hopping around in pain.

"Now that I've gotten your attention.......no." Aya's voice was firm.

"No what?" Maki asked, rubbing her aching foot.

"You know what I mean. Control yourself girl, we've only been out 4 days! Sheesh, I can't imagine how you're going to survive the voyage." The young woman paced around behind her desk, her hands clasped behind her back.

"I can always get you drunk again if I get desperate..." Maki muttered under her breath. Unfortunately for her, Aya heard it...and blushed, albeit faintly.

"NO WAY. Not again. Never again. Go bother Nacchi or something." Aya blew out a long breath to steady herself.

"And who says I haven't?" Maki said, half-jokingly, winking at a shocked Aya.

"Goto, you didn't!"

"You can go ask her yourself."

"Oh no no no. I don't want to know." Aya was on the verge of wanting to thud her head against the wall of her cabin repeatedly. "Out." She pointed at the door.

Maki pouted. "Awww I thought I was your best friend!"

"Out. Now."

The Second Mate didn't need another hint and left, but not before bowing mockingly at the fuming Aya. The young captain sighed. Why couldn't she have more normal friends?

Meanwhile, near the cannons...

Niigaki Risa was whistling to herself as she went to fetch something she had accidentally left belowdecks earlier. Finding the object in question, she was about to leave when she saw a splotch of color stuck between two cannons. Curious, she walked closer to it and saw a familiar person seemingly sleeping in the small space between the cannons.

"Kamei?" Risa blurted out. She wasn't expecting to see the girl she shared the crew's quarters with. Eri woke with a start, blinking blearily. "Whaa...Niigaki?" The rookie almost burst out in tears of relief. "Please help me! I'm stuck!"

Risa formed an 'o' with her mouth in surprise, but seeing the genuine distress on the other girl's face, she chuckled and decided to lend a hand. A moment or two later, Eri was free, and thanking Risa profusely. Risa grinned.

"Come on, we're going to be late for the meal." Risa extended a hand to Eri, who after a moment of hesitance, took it.

"You can call me Risa, or Gaki-san, if you want." Eri blinked. "Brat?"

Risa smiled sheepishly. "I got stuck with that in the academy. But I don't mind now." She assured Eri.

"I think...I'll just call you Risa." Eri said shyly. Risa grinned. "And I'll just call you Eri, ok?" Eri nodded, a small smile on her face. Risa then suddenly pumped her fist in the air.

"We gotta run, or there won't be any food left! Come on Eri, let's go!"

Eri smiled to herself as she was half-dragged along by Risa. This was turning out to be a better day than expected after all.

If only she knew what assignment was waiting for her later...

------------------------------------------------------


Hmm I hope Maki wasn't too out of character. Eh, whatever, I kinda just wrote the dialogue on the spur of a moment. Completely spontaneous. Haha.

And oh right, I'm planning to start another thread to write the side stories of "All Aboard!". Stories that I can't quite fit into the main body of this fic itself, so I'll put them in a different thread to avoid confusion. They will mostly be snippets pre-story, like background info on some of the characters, some funny moments that I couldn't quite place in the fic proper, and stuff like that. I hope you guys will like it. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 10, 2007, 05:24:46 PM
I knew Aya was the Captain! no one else could be:ONwahaha: :ONwahaha:
I smell a hot battle here...
A kidnapped lady falling in love with a pirate maybe? XDXD
C'mon! I wanna read more!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on March 10, 2007, 11:25:07 PM
HOMGAH. I love this story terribly... I ... I.. pirates + H!P = *me babbling quietly for a moment* Hilarious, crack-filled, wonderfully written-- it's a joy to read :3 perv-Maki was funny (and not too OOC). So many other great bits, and I loved all the H!P references...

Quote
"The groom...Tachibana, was it?"
XD
I'm... hoping that a certain young Captain and knife-throwing pirate cross paths eventually. And, you know, uh... :tfr9a7wg:

Definitely looking forward to the rest of the story!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 10, 2007, 11:53:14 PM
I agree with Magicnumber, I really hope that the certain captain prodigy and the certain sadistic yet lazy knife-loving pirate come in contact :]!

But before I speculate further, I simply MUST ask...

Will there be the obligatory femmeslash that is well loved by the fanfic-section members in your story? Because you know, straight couples never really make the cut over here xD

Wonder how this Aya met Tachibana though xD I'd imagine that it's something hilarious xD And How Rika got into that mess too, roffle xD! Here's to hoping that there's lovely lovin' between the Captain Prodigy and the Knife-throwing Pirate! <3

-pats hardhat-
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 11, 2007, 12:37:22 AM
I see a wonderful tale filling out in the sprawling pages of the internet. I can't wait for more.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 11, 2007, 02:09:14 AM
Quote
Aya shrugged, leaning back in her seat. "I might not know you, but I know your groom." She waved a dismissive hand. "You're better off without him."
eheh, way to weave Keita into the story!

::waiting excitedly for Aya x Mikitty contact::
...and Ishiyoshi...?!

Gaki's so kind, isn't she? X)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 11, 2007, 02:20:31 AM
Lol @ Rika being a runaway bride. XD

I didn't know Aya was the captain, at first I thought it was Nacchi... :oops:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 11, 2007, 02:44:50 AM
Aya's the Captain!!! :w00t: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sparks are gonna fly when this crew meets teh pirates!!! :D :D :D

Eri getting caught in between the cannons was so CUTE!!! :baa60776:

And OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH RIGHT! Maki's teh playah! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/Quagmire.gif)

Makes sense that the officers would be from nobility. Back in those days nobles were the only ones able to afford the cost to attend military academies. Usually the only times a "commoner" would gain an officer's rank is through promotion due to some heroics done on the battlefield.

Of course, Rika has to be the "princess". Love the runaway bride routine, especially
Quote
"The groom...Tachibana, was it?" Rika nodded, her eyes wary.

"Oh alright then. Welcome aboard."

The others in the room all gaped at the sudden change in demeanour. Rika blinked. "Why are you helping me?" She asked uncertainly. "You don't even know me."

Aya shrugged, leaning back in her seat. "I might not know you, but I know your groom." She waved a dismissive hand. "You're better off without him."
BURN!!!:ONwahaha:


Quote
Aya sighed as she turned to look at Maki, who seemed kinda lost in her own fantasy land somewhere far beyond this world.

"Oy Gocchin." No response.

"Yoohoo~" A bit of drool trickled down from one side of those full lips.

Aya rolled her eyes. "Plan B then." She stood up...and stomped on the older girl's foot.

"Ouch ouch ouch ouch!!!" Maki reacted instantly, clutching one foot and hopping around in pain.
DROOL!!! :damnfunny :damnfunny :damnfunny


Quote
"I can always get you drunk again if I get desperate..." Maki muttered under her breath. Unfortunately for her, Aya heard it...and blushed, albeit faintly.

"NO WAY. Not again. Never again. Go bother Nacchi or something." Aya blew out a long breath to steady herself.

"And who says I haven't?" Maki said, half-jokingly, winking at a shocked Aya.

"Goto, you didn't!"

"You can go ask her yourself."

"Oh no no no. I don't want to know." Aya was on the verge of wanting to thud her head against the wall of her cabin repeatedly. "Out." She pointed at the door.

Maki pouted. "Awww I thought I was your best friend!"

"Out. Now."
Like I said...she's teh PLAYAH!!! :pimp:


Quote
The young captain sighed. Why couldn't she have more normal friends?
Because abnormal friends make life more interesting. :yay:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: C60533 on March 11, 2007, 03:32:45 AM
Looks like even though Eri might like small spaces, she can still get stuck. Yay for Risa rescuing her. And Yay for Goto and Aya interaction.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 11, 2007, 04:07:42 AM
Ehehe, what a way to start the day, seeing so many people amused and eagerly anticipating the next chapter. Hehe.

To all those who asked, yes, there will be femmeslash, so don't worry. :P I've been writing nothing but femmeslash for the past year or so. :P I have quite a bit of practice in that area, so I don't think it will be that bad. XD

I'm glad a lot of you noticed the Tachibana/Keita reference. :P I just wanted to let Aya to be all dismissive of him. Call it personal satisfaction on my part. XD

Hmm, is anyone curious about how Aya met Keita and came away with that particular impression? If you are, tell me and I'll think of something to write up. :P It won't be the last we'll be seeing of him, fortunately or not. :P

Rika the runaway bride...well this part was actually made so that she could legitimately get on the warship (did you notice I just put DEF DIVA on the same ship? :P), because she has her own part to play later. Fufufu. This is going to be fun. XD Rika might look all princess-y on the outside, but she's tougher than she looks. Hehe.

*nods at JFC* Yeah the whole social rank thing is fairly important. Important note should be that Nacchi herself is not from a noble family, but was kinda taken under the wing of Aya's father, earning rank and recognition on her own merits. She's sort of a family friend too, so Aya knew her before and sort of sees her as an elder sister of sorts. XD Hence the horror at Maki having been "involved" with her. XD

Well I'm glad everyone liked the chapter. I have a few ideas on how Chapter 4 should be like, but I need to settle on one first. I think I'll swing back and forth between pirate and navy until they both meet...somehow. *already knows how the first meeting will be like* Muahahaha.

Thank you for reading everyone! Oh, and I think I'll be working on the chapter later tonight, since I'm going out in the afternoon, so expect the chapter somewhere in the wee hours of the morning (for me anyway)...but that's only if I have the inspiration. Hehe.

*goes off to plot some more*
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 11, 2007, 04:43:45 AM
Quote from: Estrea;326500
I'm glad a lot of you noticed the Tachibana/Keita reference. :P I just wanted to let Aya to be all dismissive of him. Call it personal satisfaction on my part. XD

Hmm, is anyone curious about how Aya met Keita and came away with that particular impression? If you are, tell me and I'll think of something to write up. :P It won't be the last we'll be seeing of him, fortunately or not. :P
If you do this, just please be sure to make it so that he ends up GROSSLY disappointing her (in whatever ways possible). :lol: (something ilke, his personality turns out to be less "manly" than Aya).

He's coming back? Well then, I guess he'd have to try and chase after Rika now, wouldn't he?  I hope he runs into the pirates (*cough* Miki-sama *cough*).


Quote from: Estrea;326500
*nods at JFC* Yeah the whole social rank thing is fairly important. Important note should be that Nacchi herself is not from a noble family, but was kinda taken under the wing of Aya's father, earning rank and recognition on her own merits. She's sort of a family friend too, so Aya knew her before and sort of sees her as an elder sister of sorts. XD Hence the horror at Maki having been "involved" with her. XD
That sounds like it would make a nice sub-plot. :yep: A way to let Rika get to know the officers better.


Quote from: Estrea;326500
Thank you for reading everyone! Oh, and I think I'll be working on the chapter later tonight, since I'm going out in the afternoon, so expect the chapter somewhere in the wee hours of the morning (for me anyway)...but that's only if I have the inspiration. Hehe.

*goes off to plot some more*
No rush, quality over quantity, I say. :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on March 11, 2007, 12:33:21 PM
Nice fic so far, funny and intriguing. I wouldn't worry about any maki OOCness. But if you get stuck just remember:      
Horny Maki characterization = good Maki characterzation.

I would also like to start the baseless rumours about Yossie being some how related to Aya. (illegitimate sister perhaps?)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 11, 2007, 03:48:30 PM
As much as I love bad guys and Miki and Yossie and Yuko and Kei... right now the action aboard the "good guys" ship sounds more fun to me.
And I love how you implanted all the small references (AyaXKeite relationship, Kame in small spaces, and "Defiant" like in DS9?)

btw something I remembered this moring, wasn't it so that for a long time women were forbidden on ships because they meant bad luck or something? (ok, we all can guess why they were really forbidden to go an ships)

This story makes me all natsukashii XD
I want to watch some old pirate movie from the 50's or 60's now, I loved them as a kid.

Quote
No rush, quality over quantity, I say.

dito
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 11, 2007, 07:08:29 PM
Argh, this chapter came out a bit weird towards the end, probably because my focus was totally shot at 2am in the morning. I apologise for the abrupt degeneration at the end of this chapter. And yes, it is sort of filler-ish, though I did manage to push in a bit of character development along the way...well, I tried. Not a very funny chapter, unfortunately. Gah. Hope you guys won't be too disappointed. It should get better next chapter, when I come to the scene I want to write. XD

-------------------------------------


Chapter 4


Reina was fishing. At least, the fishing rod was propped in front of her, the line cast out into relatively calm waters of a darkened sea. The girl herself was leaning against a small, flat rock, her cap pulled over her face, apparently asleep. Her harpoon lay handy by her side. The rest of the crew were either on the ship itself, or hanging out on the rocky outcroppings of the secret cove they were currently at. Most were sleeping, but there would always be at least one person awake, always watchful. Such was the life of a pirate, to be ever watchful...or die an early death.

The moon was out, only a small sliver of it, and the only lights in miles around were from the oil lamps swinging from various parts of the pirate ship. They were at anchor, within a complex reef formation that most ships didn't dare enter due to the fear of ripping out the bottom of their ship on some hidden crag underwater. Yuko had mapped that area out several years ago, so she knew exactly where all the hazards were, and thus this was a relatively safe place for them to hide from any pursuers, especially when they couldn't go to certain harbors for fear of being captured as pirates. The neutral harbors didn't usually care, and certainly not the pirate-run ones, but some of the ports had garrisons stationed nearby, and most sensible pirates avoided them like the plague. After all, it didn't make sense to go running headlong into imperial soldiers when one had a sizeable bounty on one's head.

It had been an eventful week since their first raid on the slave ship. It appeared to be a busy season for the slavers, or so it seemed. They had run into, and boarded, 2 other slave ships, and had gained quite a bit of loot from the gold aboard the ship. The slaves they didn't need, so they simply set them free and left them to their own devices.

It was not always easy to raid those ships though. The last one they had boarded carried a large number of mercenary guards, and unlike the usual second-raters, these were actually making a decent attempt at earning their pay. It had been a long and ferocious battle, and while they had eventually overcome the defense, they had sustained quite a few injuries to their own.

Mari had a fairly nasty stab wound in her side, and Yossi was limping after spraining her ankle when she was knocked off her feet. Miki had suffered a glancing blow across the back of her head, the gash bleeding profusely, though the injury barely slowed the ferocious woman down in the wake of her receiving it. In fact, she instead headbutted the man who had hit her, disemboweling him and yanking his intestines out with a vicious twist of her knives, and then passing out not long afterwards from the concussion. Had the twins not fought their way to her side in time, Miki would surely have lost her life then.

The crew of the Red Dawn had been badly bloodied and bruised after that encounter, and although the plunder was plentiful that time, they had to retreat to this reef formation to lick their wounds for the time being. Kei and Kaori did their best to tend to all their injuries, but it would be a while before they were fighting fit again.

Miki was getting restless. Kei had sternly told her to stay still and rest as much as possible, since head wounds were tricky ones. But the young pirate hated the whole idea of being told to stay still. Sure, she could happily not move out of her bed for days, but not when she was ordered to. Besides, there was only so much inactivity one could take without going mad first.

Miki pondered her choices. One, she could stay still and not move. Two, she could sneak out and poke around the reef. The second one would undoubtedly earn her a resounding lecture from the "doctors" of the ship, but since when did Miki ever care about these things? Besides, she was sure Kei was just being paranoid. The woman probably needed to get laid, Miki concluded. She was far too antsy and naggy for her own good.

Poking her head cautiously out of her cabin, she let her eyes accustom to the dimness of the outside before proceeding any further. The deck was empty, and the sound of the waves making a soothing sound to her ears. It was a beautiful night, truly. Miki liked being out at sea, especially at moments like these. Not a soul in sight for hundreds of miles, except for those of her crewmates, but Miki had no doubt about the fact that their souls were all badly tarnished. None of them were angels, not even Makoto, who looked perfectly harmless with her girl-next-door image. Had Miki not seen for herself the way that placid-seeming girl had casually set another ship on fire, she wouldn't have believed it either.

Holding on to the doorframe to steady herself, Miki stood upright for what seemed like the first time in days (well, actually it was only less than 24 hours) and stretched. Her head was still throbbing stubbornly, but Miki wasn't going to back down just because of that. She was going to explore a bit, and nothing was going to stop her, least of all a persistent headache.

Weaving about unsteadily, the normally confident pirate staggered out, cursing softly under her breath her own weakness. Luckily no one else was out here, she would have hated to let them see her in this state. Maybe Kei had been right and she needed the rest...but like hell she would listen.

Making her way slowly to the side, she paused as she saw something interesting. It was, as she had noticed earlier, too warm and stuffy inside her cabin. Evidently, she wasn't the only one to have made that observation.

The twins were sleeping in a corner out on the deck, Kago using Tsuji as a pillow, the older girl leaning against some piled up sacks while holding her partner-in-crime close within her arms. That position couldn't have been the most comfortable for Tsuji, but Miki could clearly see the content expression on both their faces. It was all rather cute, but Miki would never have been caught admitting it in broad daylight. Heck, the fact that she was even thinking about it must signal some sort of lingering aftereffect from her head wound. Otherwise she couldn't have been so soft as to...

The growl rumbled away in her throat even as she found herself walking unsteadily across to the soundly sleeping twins, and actually leaning down to pull the fallen blanket up around the two of them. Had Miki been in a more self-aware state, she would have been horrified by her own actions. But feeling woozy at this point, Miki couldn't quite gather up the energy to be the cold and aloof creature she was renowned to be. All she vaguely thought was that the two would catch cold without the blanket and...

Now now, put on the blankets...don't be getting sick now~

Feeling a sudden hot pain sear through the back of her head, Miki clutched the railing she was holding tighter, squeezing her eyes shut. Where had that come from? Disgusted by her own weakness, she pushed that voice, that memory, away, and resolutely set off to explore the reef.

Behind her, Nono opened one eye slowly, watching Miki climb over the rail and off the ship. A small smile curved the teen pirate's lips. Best not let Miki know that she knew what the other had done. Miki might be tempted to feed her to the sharks just to erase the evidence of her kindness. Closing her eyes, she pulled Aibon nearer to her, careful not to disturb the other girl's peaceful sleep. She would most definitely get a backache sleeping like this in the morning, but if her best friend was comfortable...well, nothing mattered more than that.

Aibon made a funny noise and snuggled her face deeper in Nono's chest, eliciting a surprised yelp and a faint blush from the older "twin". Sighing softly, she tried to get comfortable and fall asleep as well. It was going to be a long night.

The fishing pole trembled ever so slightly, hardly noticeable in the dark. It twitched again, jumping up a little. A pale hand suddenly seized it, yanking it up and reeling the caught fish in. The hat fell off and rolled onto the rocky ground next to the flat rock. Reina smirked as she pulled in a large fish almost as long as her own leg. One reason why she loved fishing around the reef here.

Unhooking the still frantically flopping fish, Reina casually tossed it into a dugout hole in the ground next to her that she had filled with water. It was already half full with large fish that was to be their breakfast in the morning. The reason she kept them alive was to ensure that they would be fresh in the morning. Being quite literally born and raised at sea, Reina knew how best to survive at sea. She could fish with a pole, haul them in with a net, spear them with a harpoon, or even catch them with her bare hands, if it really came down to that.

A movement somewhere off to the left behind her. Reflexively, Reina picked up her harpoon and hurled it without a second thought. There was a startled oath, followed by a familiar voice uttering all sorts of vulgarities degrading everything from her intelligence, her personality, to her ancestors and her probable descendants. Reina blinked. She hadn't even heard of some of those insults, and she had been raised around foul-mouthed people all her life.

An irate Miki stomped up to her, holding her precious harpoon with a grip that threatened to break the weapon in half. Thankfully, that weapon was well made, intended to survive spearing even creatures the size of whales, but Reina knew that Miki could and would probably find a way to destroy it. She decided she had to find a way to apologise to the other woman before Miki decided to shove her own weapon up her ass.

"Ano...Fujimoto-san..." Her voice came out squeakier than she intended, and inwardly she cringed at the sound of own voice. Tanaka Reina did not sound like that. She refused to be intimidated by a wounded woman who happened to be holding her favorite weapon.

"Give me a good reason not to shove this up your ass, Tanaka." Miki managed to sound rather menacing despite her condition, although it didn't have quite the usual frosty bite that could effectively send lesser men into shock just by listening to it. Reina swallowed nervously, then took a deep breath and stood up. She was shorter than Miki, but she refused to be cowed by the other woman, and stared straight back into Miki's eyes.

"It was a mistake. Don't sneak up on me when I'm on watch." Her tone came out more confident than she actually felt, but Reina was remembering something Yossi had told her before. Don't show weakness in front of Miki, she'd only exploit it. Well, Yossi had better be right. Reina mentally braced herself to be skewered by her own harpoon, even as she bravely met Miki's eyes and refused to look away. More like was unable to. That woman's eyes were disturbingly hypnotic.

Their locked gazes lasted for god knows how long, but it was suddenly broken by a satisfied smirk. Reina fumbled a bit when Miki tossed her harpoon back, her fingers slipping a little before she found her grip back, clutching it close. The demon woman stalked over to her catch, eyeing it with a certain hungry approval.

"Looks like you have some skill Tanaka." The voice was gruff, but Reina knew a compliment when she heard one. And one coming from the fearsome Fujimoto Miki? Reina couldn't help but wonder if that head injury had managed to alter Miki's personality somehow. She didn't voice that though. Changed or not, an injured tiger was still an injured tiger. She rather not risk it and start pushing her luck or something.

"Shouldn't you be resting?" It was impudent, just a little, but it was very much like her to say it. Miki smirked. "Since when did I listen to that old hag?"

Reina stifled a chuckle. Miki could be funny when her sarcasm wasn't aimed at oneself. Reina felt a certain similarity between her and Miki's personalities somehow, but she wasn't quite sure where. Maybe it was the attitude...

"Pfft, I'm bored. Nothing to do around here. Yuko's going to finish all the rum around here, so I can't even get drunk right now." Miki complained as she flopped down on the rock that Reina had been resting on previously. Reina shrugged, leaning on her harpoon to take the pressure off her wounded leg. She had been slashed across the thigh, not too deep, but it still hurt when she walked. Miki eyed her shorter comrade, and made a bit of space of the rock.

Reina gaped at the suddenly semi-friendly Miki, who was currently poking the caught fish in the hole. Did she really hit her head hard enough to switch personalities? Or had someone kidnapped the real thing and put an imposter as a replacement? She was briefly tempted to whack the other girl on the head just to check her reaction, but common sense (and instinct for self-preservation) kept her from doing so. She was still staring, when Miki very slowly and deliberately turned her head to stare right back. Reina started backwards a bit at that, but decided to just go with the flow and sit down next to Miki.  

The two sat in silence for a while, before Reina decided she might as well start fishing again while waiting out her guard shift. Miki wasn't paying attention to her, her eyes half closed and head cocked to one side, as if listening to something that only she could hear. Reina shrugged. It wasn't often that Miki wasn't being confrontational and grumpy, so she might as well enjoy the moment a little. That is, until she felt cold fingers slip under her shirt...

Reina nearly jumped off the rock, but ended up sliding off it instead, and landed with a thump on her butt. The impact jarred her wounded thigh, making her hiss as pain arced up her thigh. The pole she was holding slipped out of her hands when she clutched at her wound, wincing.

"Are you alright?" Miki sounded almost genuinely concerned for once, but one could sense the darkly teasing undertone in her voice. Reina shivered when the older girl leaned in, far too close for her liking, almost breathing into her ear. What the hell is wrong with Fujimoto?! Her mind screamed in panic as it frantically tried to process the dual sensations of hot breath against the sensitive skin of her ear, and the icy cold fingers reaching under her shirt, drawing slow circles on the small of her back, moving higher and higher...

A sudden, evil chuckle, and everything stopped. Reina slumped forward, her breath coming hard, and her heart jumping around like crickets in mating season. Already she felt that positively demonic presence of her fellow pirate depart almost as abruptly as she had appeared. Damnit, caught off guard by that devilish woman! She was no innocent herself, but there was something about Miki's aura...

Dangerous. That woman was evil. Pure evil. No doubt about it. And to think that she had thought that she was being nice for once...!

A familiar admonition made by Mari came back to her. Do not trust Fujimoto Miki. Especially when she's bored.

Damn straight. Reina tried to resist the urge to scream out curses at the uncaring sea in front of her.

Over on the ship, behind the captain's cabin, Yossi was awkwardly sprawled out on the deck, leaning against a barrel, a bottle of rum she had managed to filch from Yuko's stores in her hand. Next to her, Mari, who had stubbornly insisted on moving around despite literally having a hole in her side, was half-leaning against Yossi's shoulder while staring blankly up at the night sky. It was too painful to sleep, so the two had decided to try and get drunk together instead.

Yossi passed the bottle over to Mari, who absently took a swig from it and passed it right back. They had been doing that since 5 bottles ago. In the distance, they thought they heard someone swearing at the top of their lungs. Mari burped.

"Ya hear that?" Yossi slurred, pointing somewhere in the general direction of her foot. Mari squinted short-sightedly at the planks of the deck. "Nu-uh..." The pint-sized pirate giggled almost childishly.

Yossi took a long drink from the rapidly emptying bottle, draining it dry at one go, then tossing the bottle aside. The crash of shattering glass made Mari frown sleepily as she groped the air around Yossi's hands for the already gone bottle. "Gimme..." The smaller woman growled aggressively. Yossi made an incoherent sound, trying to fend off Mari's hands, when the First Mate suddenly rolled over onto Yossi, her face moving closer to the confused Yossi's...

...and then promptly passing out. The conked out Second Mate muttered random obscenities in a garbled way, before she too, succumbed to the pull of sleep.

Morning came more quickly than anyone had anticipated. As expected though, Yossi and Mari had ended up with massive hangovers, as they didn't have quite the alcohol tolerance of Yuko herself. Reina was doing a fair impression of Miki on a bad day, with her scowl and death glares in Miki's general direction whenever the latter was within sight. Nono did have backache at first, but after Aibon noticed and decided to do an inpromptu massage, Nono ended up in bed with a worried Aibon cuddling close to her and apologising profusely. Miki was doing her best innocent look when Kei sternly asked if she had moved from her cabin at all the night before. Yuko actually managed to look less drunk, probably since her First and Second Mates had managed to pilfer the last few bottles of her stock. Makoto and Kaori were probably the only ones who looked like normal...or as normal as they could ever be.

Clearing her throat, Yuko addressed her motley crew of pirates, who were mostly not paying any attention to her in the first place.

"....blah blah...resupply...blah...port...blah blah...trouble blah....understand?" Everyone nodded even if they didn't know what they were agreeing to. Yuko didn't care. They would figure it out on the way.

"Ahoy mateys, let's get a move on!"
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 11, 2007, 07:44:07 PM
Quote
Miki couldn't quite gather up the energy to be the cold and aloof creature she was renowned to be. All she vaguely thought was that the two would catch cold without the blanket and...

Now now, put on the blankets...don't be getting sick now~
Yay for sweet Miki!

Quote
"Are you alright?" Miki sounded almost genuinely concerned for once, but one could sense the darkly teasing undertone in her voice. Reina shivered when the older girl leaned in, far too close for her liking, almost breathing into her ear.
...and horray for the entrance of gropey-Miki!!! XD

I'm really enjoying this fic, Estrea. I'm terribly curious where you're going to take it...
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 11, 2007, 07:44:51 PM
It was cute seeing how they would spend their day resting <3 So peaceful...

I got slightly confused at one point, but it could be just me xD So if I read correctly, Miki was groping everyone's favorite wonky-eyed sea-woman? xD As much as I love to see Aya and Miki pair off in this story, Miki and Reina should suffice for now :]

And seeing Miki being nice is a lovely thing to see too <3! She's potentially a good character to work on developing over the story from what I see so far of your writing <3

-pats hardhat- <3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: glcorps2002 on March 11, 2007, 11:07:13 PM
This is one hell of a great story. It seems that Miki has some repressed memories there, am I right?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: chera on March 11, 2007, 11:55:16 PM
I must say, this is the best pervy fanfic in the forum.  The first two chapters were difficult to write due to the action and the need to introduce the characters but Estrea did it wonderfully.  I especially loved the beginning of the two chapters.  Having Reina literally give a bird's eye view of all the main characters was a very good idea.  The action scene was excellent: I could imagine the exactly how the fight scene actually went.

All the characters are complex, and the plot is like an iceberg: lots of detail, but you know that there's even more underneath the water.  It's also very well paced.  Nothing seems rushed or contrived.  I really hope this continues until Reina becomes legal!  Hopefully, by that time the wound on her thigh (ouch!) will have healed... (nix those last two sentences... I just remembered this wasn't in the Perv....)

One nice historical detail I'd like to see eventually (after they've fought each other, of course) is the pirates and the Royal Navy combining forces to fight off the slavers.  How's that song go?  "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves..."  

Seeing good fanfic like this makes me want to write a Morning Musume version of Master and the Commander, which I think was the best movie ever made about the age of sail.  With Yossie as Aubrey and Miki as Maturin.  Or even better, with Miki as Aubrey and Aichan as Maturin...
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 12, 2007, 12:36:45 AM
Quote
Aibon made a funny noise and snuggled her face deeper in Nono's chest, eliciting a surprised yelp and a faint blush

Quote
Nono did have backache at first, but after Aibon noticed and decided to do an inpromptu massage, Nono ended up in bed with a worried Aibon cuddling close to her and apologising profusely.


I love these two.

And lol at the Reina Miki interaction. It was happy. :D
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 12, 2007, 01:36:26 PM
Haha, I'm about halfway through Chapter 5 now, so expect it in a few more hours because it's kinda slow going at the moment. Meh, I keep getting distracted by shiny things. :S

And yesh, Miki groping Reina was fun. I just threw that in because I realised I was short of one aspect of Miki's personality XD And besides, she was feeling bored, so that's all the excuse I needed. :P

Miki is getting quite a bit of development, yes. But I'm not going to neglect the rest too. Planning to throw in some time for a few others eventually (not telling who though :P). The time isn't quite right yet. *nods* Timing is very important. :)

And to glcorps, yeah Miki does have some repressed memories. Can't blame her, she did spend some time as a slave. As to what memories she repressed and why...well, you gotta wait like everyone else to find out. XD

Welcome aboard chera! XD Glad you think highly of my fic. :) *doesn't have access to the Perv anyway* T_T But anyway, pirates + navy vs slavers? Well, I already decided to ________ , because _______ is doing something to _____ because of _____, and hence there is a ______ at the end. :P Blanks are deliberate. XD Happy guessing everyone! :P *is evil*

I know you love the twins rndmn, and I love putting sweet moments for them together, so it all works out. XD

Ok back to work. It's going to be another Navy chapter, so yeah. :P Does anyone think that I'm going too slow or fast with the story? Just checking. :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 12, 2007, 04:45:06 PM
Back with Chapter 5. Mostly plot-heavy with a certain setting up for the next scene. I tried my best to retain spots of humor though. XD

Hope you guys will like this!

---------------------------------------------------

Chapter 5


The men had protested strenuously, and her officers (well, Nacchi mostly) had been appalled, but Aya was adamant. They would listen to her, whether they liked it or not.

Besides, it was a good idea. Flying the naval flags ostentatiously might have been a good way to intimidate people and build confidence for the merchant fleets sailing along the trade routes, but it didn't accomplish as much as Aya would have liked. For one thing, pirate vessels might be less in evidence whenever they were in the region, but the Defiance was only one ship, and she couldn't cover the whole expanse of the eastern seas. Chasing down stray and not-very-intelligent pirates who were stupid enough to be openly active didn't solve the problem at all. It only forced the pirates to be more cautious, but it didn't eradicate their presence.

It was an unconventional idea that Aya had come up with. It probably broke a dozen or more of rules written and unwritten, but the youthful captain didn't really care. She wanted to get her job done in the most efficient way possible, and besides, a naval captain out at sea was subject to their own discretion when handling matters. She couldn't care less if she was breaking sacred navy traditions with her bold idea, especially if it bore fruit.

The flags had been lowered, and they had spent a night anchored at some out of the way cove removing the most obvious signs of the Defiance being a vessel of the Royal Navy. The fact that it was a galleon, a class of ship usually used in battle, couldn't be changed, but that couldn't be helped. After all, it wasn't exclusive to the Royal Navy, some privateers used it, as well as some of the pirates.

Next came the disguise for her crew. The regular sailors who actually did most of the work sailing the ship were already dressed down for their usual labor, but the militia that was on board had to be divested of their uniforms. There was a nearly mutinous rumble when she had made them wear clothes that didn't bear any official insignia, but they did as they were told. Aya really didn't know what their problem was, really. The uniforms might look impressive, but it was still more comfortable to be in regular and more casual clothes. She didn't say it of course, but she thought that the men were being silly.

Inspecting her crew, the captain prodigy ruefully admitted to herself that while one could take the man out of the uniform, they couldn't take the uniform out of the man. Their military training and discipline showed through clearly when she told them to assemble themselves, and everyone was standing at attention in straight lines. Oh well, at least their dressing now wouldn't give them away at first sight. She resolved to make them loosen up a little in the course of their duty, if only to better camouflage themselves in accordance with her plans.

The idea was mainly to masquerade as privateers, and this was the part where Nacchi had objected quite strenuously at, since they didn't have a letter of marque to pose as it for one thing, and thus Aya had been planning to forge it, which had nearly sent the First Mate into catatonic shock upon first hearing of it in the captain's cabin. Aya had to explain at length that she didn't plan on preying on merchant vessels from enemy states like other privateers did, but only to use it as a way to answer any awkward questions at port as to what they were doing with a battle-grade galleon on the high seas.

It would deflect suspicion too, if they were to sail into unfriendly ports that had reputations as pirate hangouts. After all, any Navy vessel that went anywhere near those places usually didn't come back out. Privateers were generally tolerated in those "black" ports though, and Aya fully intended to exploit that. What better way to learn about enemy movements than to go right to them in the first place?

It was risky, it was bold, and it had never been tried before. Aya was determined to fufill her mission to crack down on piracy in the eastern seas. To that end, she would pull out all stops to achieve it. Nothing was going to prevent her from doing her duty.

~*~*~

Eri dutifully followed behind her highborn charge at a respectful distance, carefully keeping an eye on the lady in front of her, as well as on the other men who often paused in their work to stare appreciatively (read: leer) at the woman she was supposed to be protecting. Eri was just personally glad that those looks weren't directed at herself, she didn't need the extra pressure on top of her special "assignment".

Rika stopped, leaning against the rail of the ship and staring at the wide expanse of sea and sky. She was frankly, still bored out of her mind. The opportunity to walk around was much appreciated, but the ship wasn't all that big, and there really wasn't much to do. Everyone appeared to be either busy or unapproachable. The guard, a girl that was only a few years younger than herself, was rather shy, and stayed behind her as a proper bodyguard would. Well, Rika had just about had enough of boredom.

"Hey." Eri blinked. Was she being addressed? She shifted unconsciously to a corner by the barrels. "Come nearer." Oh, right. Eri walked forward hesitantly, uncertain of what she had done. Rika smiled at the nervous-looking girl in front of her, trying to calm her down.

"You know, I don't bite." Rika joked. Eri was still naturally wary of the smiling noblewoman. Risa's paranoia and impassioned declarations of the various exaggerated faults of the nobility earlier didn't help at all either.

"What if she turns out to be this total bitch? You know how all those nobles are, fat and lazy...unless they're in the corps of course!" Risa hastily amended the last part when Maki gave her the evil eye as she passed by, obviously having picked up the end of the sentence.

Eri progressively paled as Risa went on, gesticulating wildly and just short of being completely hysterical over the whole situation. The whole "OMG what if this woman turns out to be a soul-eating demonness in disguise?" vibe was central in Risa's rant. Poor Eri was sent to see Rika for the first with the Risa-painted impression of a self-indulgent, petty, rude, lazy and arrogant heartless bitch who treated commoners like dirt under their feet.


And the first thing she had thought when she first saw Rika was "well I have to tell Risa that she's not fat and ugly", but you couldn't blame the poor girl for being terrified of Rika the whole time during that first meeting.

It had been a few days since the assignment started, and thus far Eri couldn't see anything wrong with the lady she was supposed to protect. The lady Ishikawa was a bit aloof and quiet, but had been unfailingly polite as far as she could tell, and she definitely didn't seem like the kind of lazy degenerate that Risa had tarred with the same brush as she did with most of the nobility. Maybe her friend was overreacting again, Eri decided. Risa did tend to do that every once in awhile.

Now they were speaking, cautiously on Eri's part, since she didn't want to give offense even by accident. She had heard of the Ishikawa family even back when she was still in training. They were influential in the empire, one of the major contending powers amidst the ranking noble families at the royal court. They were one of the more powerful factions apparently, and had many holdings within the Empire itself, as well as beyond it.

The Ishikawa name was not an easy one to bear in the least, and even dressed in the garb of a common sailor, Eri could see that the way Rika held herself was vastly different from most normal people. If one could tell that a person had military or warrior training by the way they moved, then one could do the same for those who were born and bred into a noble family of the highest rank. Eri had to fight the urge to lower her head and bow down before the easy grace and noble bearing of Ishikawa Rika. She could easily have been mistaken for a princess, Eri thought to herself.

But for a "princess", Rika was remarkably personable and easy to talk with. An easy explanation would have been that as a daughter of a noble house, she was used to socialising at all sorts of events, so holding a conversation was never a chore for her. This time though, she was genuinely interested in coaxing her bodyguard to start speaking with her, not only to alleviate her own boredom, but also to learn more about her surroundings. For all of the fact that she was nobility and well educated in many areas such as art and other forms of higher culture, Rika knew next to nothing about the sea and the corps, and even less about the life of common folk. Her upbringing didn't lay quite as much emphasis on those things. Unleashing her full arsenal of charm and persuasion, she set about to put her youthful bodyguard at enough ease to start speaking.

Before she even knew it, Eri practically started telling her whole life story after some skillful prodding from the crafty noblewoman. She spoke of life on the streets, of the drafting of the homeless into the corps, her own fascination with the sea when she had first seen it, the training, the hardships, all that and more.

Above all, Eri spoke of the sea, vast and boundless, so very different from the narrow, dirty alleys of her earliest memories. The reverence in the young sailor's tone moved Rika deeply, even as with the description of the suffering and deprivation that Eri had faced as a child. It had horrified her at first, her own privileged upbringing making it difficult to comprehend how it was like to go hungry for days on end, or to shiver in huddled masses of dirty, unwashed children to conserve warmth, as they didn't have any fuel to light a fire to warm themselves. Eri had been patient though, with Rika willingly listening and learning about real life, beyond her wealth and luxury, her pomp and parties where every day was an endless circus of ball after ball, of intrigue and politely vicious social games.

It had been a humbling experience for the young noblewoman. Of course, all of that conversation didn't happen in a single day. It had taken place over the course of the next few days, and Rika had in turn spoken a little of her own life, but not much, since she felt ashamed of telling Eri about the luxurious decadence in which she had been raised in, compared to the filth and poverty the younger girl had had to suffer.

Rika found the other girl's story a powerfully influencing force on her own mindset. She had always been only vaguely aware of the poverty that seethed in the bowels of society, but somehow it had never really registered with her. Now, as she pored back within her own memories, she could finally pick out faint images of beggars by the wayside when she was out on a rare trip to town, but nothing more than that. Her mind back then had simply not taken those others into account, and a part of her felt ashamed of that fact. How could she have not seen all those people who had needed help?

Her morose thoughts were broken by the arrival of the First Mate, Abe Natsumi, to the tiny cabin she currently occupied. It had originally been Natsumi's, but she had given it up to Rika, and bunked in with Maki instead.

Natsumi had had a brief acquaintance with Rika before, having met briefly at one of the many official events that the nobility attended. Natsumi had gone along as part of Admiral Matsuura's entourage, being one of his most trusted lieutenants. It had been one of those obligatory events that the Admiral himself hated for the whole pointlessness of it, so he had dragged along his family and trusted retainers. No sense in suffering alone.

Aya had been there at that particular ball too, but she had stubbornly worn her uniform instead of a dress that time. Natsumi had been tasked with keeping an eye on the eldest of the Matsuura daughters, but that sneaky girl had slipped off with Maki halfway somehow. The two were resourceful, Natsumi had to give them that. It was in an exasperated mood that she had encountered the radiant Ishikawa Rika, and exchanged a few polite pleasantries. Though brief an encounter, the impression had stuck with the naval officer. Rika was not an easy person to forget, after all.

The First Mate had taken it onto herself to be an unofficial liaison between the busy Captain and their guest, reasoning that had she left it to Maki, that girl would probably take every opportunity to hit on their guest. And so every day, without fail, she would show up at least twice to check on their passenger. Once in the morning, and once before she went to bed. It was a polite gesture, and Rika appreciated Natsumi's sense of decorum in these matters. Besides, the First Mate was a personable character to speak with as well, so the company was much appreciated.

The young Captain of the ship intrigued the lady, frankly. After all, it was a sort of a scandal of the time when the news had come out that Lord Matsuura's daughter had run off and joined the naval academy, even graduating as the best of the officer cadets. She had heard plenty of less than complimentary remarks about "that half wild Matsuura girl", and how it had been "a disgrace" that a lady actually stooped so low as to join the corps. However, upon meeting this Matsuura Aya, she had not seen a rebellious brat that the rumors had painted. In its place was an incredibly self-possessed young woman who carried herself with a proud sense of duty and honor, radiating an air of confidence and control. There was definitely a stubborn glint in those fiery eyes, but whatever she was, Matsuura Aya was not some ill-bred vagrant with absolutely no sense of decorum. That much she had at least surmised from their first few conversations.

Rika respected that. In a way, she was not very different from Aya, both caught up in the call of duty to their family honor, except that Aya had had to take a different route in order to fufill that duty. Similarly, too, neither of them had completely lost that spark of youth and the rebellion it naturally bred. Aya had run away from home, Rika away from her arranged marriage. But at the very least, Captain Matsuura had done it to fufill her duty. Rika did it to escape hers.

After exchanging the customary lines of conversation, Natsumi politely excused herself, leaving Rika to her own thoughts, which, inevitably, turned to a certain portion of a long buried part of her past. Rika closed her eyes, clutching almost painfully at the necklace she wore, engraved with a coat-of-arms that no longer existed. It was her last remaining link to that person, long ago when they had still been children...

I want to see you again...even just once...I need to see you...

Where are you?


~*~*~

Niigaki Risa yawned as she looked around from the top of the crow's nest. Night watch was boring, and she usually ended up with it since she had the best eyes on the crew. Actually, she did a lot of watch duty. As that meddlesome Second Mate had told her, it only made sense that her talents were used to their fullest. And with eyesight rivaling a hawk's, Risa often ended up stuck on watch, or used to confirm if that dot of a ship in the distance was a merchant vessel or a pirate ship. They had spyglasses of course, but whenever they needed a second or third opinion, Risa usually got hauled in to check.

Well, she couldn't really complain. It was easier than scrubbing the deck, or taking a turn at the oars. Sure, it got really hot up there during certain times of the day, but she had gotten somewhat used to it. At least she tanned well, instead of peeling like a lizard in molt. That would have been bad.

The moon was almost completely gone, just a sliver of it hanging in the night sky, barely putting out enough light to see much of anything. Not that Risa was using moonlight to search for other vessels on the horizon. She was simply looking out for the telltale sign of firelight on the darkness of the sea. After all, only other ships would have lamps on them, making them fairly easy to spot.

However, most ships also didn't travel at night, especially when the moon was almost gone like this. If it were a full moon, there would at least be sufficient illumination to sail at night, but it wasn't common to do so. More prudent captains chose to drop anchor and wait until morning, since sailing at night could be hazardous as it made it difficult to identify dangers. Unless one was intimately familiar with the waters they were sailing in, most ships didn't take that risk. The time made wasn't worth it.

And so Risa hadn't been expecting to see anything. Which was why, as she had said earlier, night watch was boring. It was merely a formality to post someone on watch, but Risa respected that. Constant vigilance was a good thing at sea, however pointless it might seem sometimes.

Stretching absently, she gave another cursory glance all around from her perch. Nothing but black, black and more black...movement? Risa snapped to attention immediately, her eyes alert.

Where was it? It was uniformly dark all around, almost completely indistinguishable. The only reliable source of light were the lamps on the Defiance itself, but a fat lot of good they would do in identifying any ship beyond the very limited radius of the light they put out. Risa had to rely on the keenness of her own eyesight, and whatever limited help the paltry light from the moon and stars could give.

If there was a ship moving out there right now, it was sailing with all its lamps extinguished. Which automatically made it suspicious, Risa concluded. What did they have to hide? Straining her eyes, she watched carefully for that flicker of movement, of shadow against shadow shifting...

There! It was moving slowly, but now that Risa had locked onto it, the dark shape was just vaguely distinct against the shadowy backdrop. It was moving very slowly, cautiously, it seemed. There was time then, for her to shimmy down and report to someone. Probably the First Mate. Risa nodded to herself. She had a great amount of respect for the older officer, almost in a form of awe at times. The First Mate would know what to do,  especially as to whether or not they should inform the Captain and go on the pursuit.

Making a final mental note of the mystery ship's location and its general heading, Risa practically slithered down from her perch and ran straight to report.

It was probably not going to be a quiet night, after all.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 12, 2007, 05:11:43 PM
Quote
Rika closed her eyes, clutching almost painfully at the necklace she wore, engraved with a coat-of-arms that no longer existed. It was her last remaining link to that person, long ago when they had still been children...

ehem.. first Yossi with a sword as the last remain of her family and now Rika searching for someone who's noble family no longer exist?... I won't say anything more 'cause maybe I'm wrong.. XDXD
I want to see Captain VS THE pirate!
you're doing a great job ^^
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: glcorps2002 on March 12, 2007, 05:14:35 PM
Excellent description of Eri's and Rika's pasts. I'm betting that's Yossie's coat of arms.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 12, 2007, 05:51:37 PM
Yay! I love how the plot is coming along, I can't wait to see how you develope the characters.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 12, 2007, 08:12:45 PM
Quote from: Estrea;327520
Maybe her friend was overreacting again, Eri decided. Risa did tend to do that every once in awhile.

That got a few chuckles out of me!

Do I sense some Ishiyoshi coming up?  Oh, I sure hope so!  I'm really curious now as to why Yossui became a pirate.  I hope you are planning on telling us!  

I can't wait for more!  Keep up the great work!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 12, 2007, 08:36:52 PM
I am definitely looking forward to a certain masochist pirate's interaction with a certain crossdressing captain >:]

I, like others, get the feeling that Yossie has definite involvement with Rika's life <3! ! !

The other two of Nochiura Natsumi will get along great with the twins /sarcasm.

Nevertheless, it's great to dive into Eri and Rika's pasts a bit. Can't wait to see how the Ayaya posse met eachother and their pasts; I also can't wait to see how Yuko formed her posse and their lovely pasts <3!

PS. Almost done with drawing the crew. I just need to draw the twins and the 'sane' people xD (Kei, Kaori, Mako, Mari) xD!

Hmm... Now that I really think about it... We haven't seen Ayaya's crew's choice of weaponry... Have we? :]
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 13, 2007, 04:33:45 AM
Passing themselves off as privateers? That sure is an ambitious plan Aya came up with. I mean, what if they run into another fleet ship? How far will they maintain the act?

Quote
Rika closed her eyes, clutching almost painfully at the necklace she wore, engraved with a coat-of-arms that no longer existed. It was her last remaining link to that person, long ago when they had still been children...

I want to see you again...even just once...I need to see you...

Where are you?
Aw, it's gotta be Yossi, it's gotta be Yossi, it's GOT to be Yossi. :heart: Watch they knew each other as kids amongst the nobles but something happend that caused the fall of Yossi's house, which then caused Yossi to flee in shame, abandoning the friend she cherished so much (Rika).


:o


...



Fuck that's so sappy. :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 13, 2007, 08:01:06 PM
Mmm all the speculation. :) I won't confirm or deny anything, just have fun guessing. XD

Yuuyami: Awesome, I would love to see the pirates living large soon! XD And oh yes, you got your wish with Ayaya's weapon. :P I didn't have much of a chance to give it more action-time though, but I'll rectify that in the future *coughnextchaptercough* XD I gave the rest of her crew rather varied weapons though, for various reasons. >_>

Hmm this chapter turned out pretty hard to write. Took me longer than usual. Heh. Hope you guys like.

------------------------------------------

Chapter 6


Aya paced around endlessly in circles within her cabin, her forehead creased with thought as her hands wrung each other out behind her back.

It was late. Or specifically, it was early. Only an hour or two before dawn, by her estimation.

She had not had much sleep that night, having been roused from bed after a mere hour or two of shuteye, to deal with an unexpected incident.

Urgent knocks at the door, a painfully loud staccato that woke the young captain. Before she could even sit up properly, the door swung in to reveal her two officers with concerned expressions. Their looks immediately clued her in to the severity of the situation, and she was alert instantly, the last of her fatigue slipping away as she heard her officers out.


News of the 'mystery ship' had immediately gotten her full attention, of course. It had definitely been suspicious enough to warrant an investigation. Aya paced some more, this time coming closer to her desk, her lips drawn in a thin line as she considered the situation that now lay before her.

It was a matter of some delicacy. Boarding another ship, especially in the dead of the night, was always considered a hostile move. If the other ship turned out to be innocent of any wrongdoing, there would be trouble for them. The only bright spot of the whole situation was that since they were ostensibly not part of the Navy now, so any actions wouldn't reflect on the official record. Aya just had to make sure no one figured out their real identities.

Nacchi had been called upon to steer the ship, as she knew the waters around the area better than anyone else did. The lamps had all been extinguished, her men roused and ready, their muskets all ready to fire. Aya believed in preparing for the worst, and the precious seconds taken to cock and load their weapons could place them at a disadvantage. Other sailors manned the cannons, and a few more of the sharpshooters among her troops had already readied their long rifles...just in case.


Aya drummed the top of her desk with her fingers, her eyes distant as she ran through the earlier events in her mind. She felt like she was missing something from the encounter...as if she had overlooked some miniscule detail that would help her to solve the many questions she had running through her head. Something felt off about the whole thing, and she was determined to figure out just what, even if that meant forgoing her sleep. Aya hated having these things hanging over her head.

The Defiance had eased closer silently, almost invisible in the dark. Risa was by Natsumi's side, acting as the First Mate's eyes to keep a lock on their quarry. They had not been noticed just yet, or so it seemed.

500 yards...450...400...350...


It had seemed as if they were going to successfully launch a sneak attack on the ship. Aya had been watching the outline of the other ship carefully as they had approached, noting the slant of the masts and build of the ship, trying to classify what kind of vessel it was. It felt...foreign, just a little. But then again, it had been too dark to make out any details.

There was a startled cry. "Look out!" It was Risa. The young soldier quickly tugged at Natsumi's arm, sending the older woman stumbling towards her, even as the sharp crack of a shot hit the deck where the First Mate would have been standing. Reacting on instinct, Risa shouldered her own long rifle, already cocked and loaded, all too aware at the same time that she had to be quick to pick out the enemy sniper, who had to be busily reloading his own weapon at that very same moment.

In the space of the 5 seconds after the first shot had been fired from the enemy side, Risa had picked up her weapon, aiming it at the place where she had seen the brief flicker of ignited gunpowder which had initially alerted her to the presence of a gunman, and took a deep breath. She had only one shot before the other man would return fire.

6, 7, 8, 9... Risa was unusually calm as she banished all other thought, except to count the ticking seconds in her head as she waited, rifle ready. 12, 13, 14, 15...

There. She let out the breath she couldn't even remember holding as she fired, 200 yards away from the enemy ship in the dark of the night.

Aya smiled to herself when she remembered that heartstopping moment. The subsequent outcry on the other ship, bringing with it the illumination of lamps as the other side roused to action, had shown that Risa's shot had been true. The girl had known, or at least estimated the time needed to reload the weapon, and waited till the very last moment, when the other party had had to come out of cover to shoot her, before dispatching him...and with a head shot, no less.

The resulting battle had been short-lived. The enemy ship had been aware of them, but this was the Royal Navy, and Aya had personally handpicked every single man on the ship. They had closed in easily, even as volley after volley of shots sprayed over the other ship. When they had gotten close enough, the grappling hooks were thrown to pull them the two ships together, and Aya had risen easily to the lead (somewhat to Gocchin's irritation, since captains weren't traditionally supposed to risk themselves in battle, at least not this early), her specially customised gunblade cutting down any and all resistance, the integrated revolver surprising and then dispatching of those who had managed to block her sword strikes.

It had been, as mentioned, a laughably easy fight as they had been the advantage and training and equipment. Aya had been surprised though, in retrospect, by the willingness of the other ship to start firing unprovoked at them first, even when they had not stated their intentions. But then again, the Defiance had been sneaking up on them, and they did have a right to be paranoid.

It was what they had discovered though, that had Aya concerned, and unable to sleep. Crates of firearms, bearing the mark of the royal armories. An illegal arms trade with stock from the royal armory? Shock could not even begin to cover her reaction. Military supplies were usually very strictly regulated, especially those for use by the corps. Individual noble clans might have their own supply of arms from their own forges, and the regulation within those clans were not as strict, so the probability of arms smuggling from that avenue might not have been that much of a surprise. But the stamp on those crates had been unmistakable...

Who then, had the temerity, the authority even, to access the royal armories and be trading them this way? Aya had questioned the master of that ship closely, but had been unable to get anything of worth. Not even under torture, which Maki had gleefully attended to, had managed to make him divulge anything, which left only the option that the man really didn't know the big picture of what was going on. Nothing more than a pawn to transport the goods, she concluded. Whoever was masterminding the operation was certainly a smooth operator.

The young captain had then given orders to seize the arms, and imprisoning those who were still alive. She had also confiscated all the papers in the captain's cabin, intending to pore through them for clues to the severity of the problem. She had gone through all of them in the last 3 hours, and what little she had been able to glean from them had been profoundly disturbing. The goods had been bound for a pirate haven, and other records showed that earlier shipments had been going to assorted other pirate havens, or "black" ports, as well as to enemies of the Empire, the target consumer presumably being brigands and pirates, as well as the barbarian nations outside of the Empire. Worse yet, Aya had gotten the distinct impression that it had been going on for years. How could this have gone unnoticed for so long?

And that would certainly explain why the tradition of of piracy had been so strong in this region. Even when she was training in the academy, older seamen and officers had spoken of how well-armed and dangerous the pirates in the eastern seas had been. The area had traditionally been on the fringes of the Empire, so it wasn't as well-regulated, and being assigned there was usually considered a hazardous duty. "Someone must really hate you if they sent you to the east," or so the saying went at the academy.

Aya hadn't seen it that way of course. In fact, she had volunteered to come out to help suppress the pirates. Nowadays, the Royal Navy usually spent most of its resources guarding the western trade routes that were considered to be more "valuable", and neglecting the eastern frontier, since the barbarian nations that resided beyond the ocean there were loosely organised and were more inclined to fight each other than to band together to pose much of a threat to the Empire. The only real hazard in that area had been piracy, which targeted the gemstone trade between the core of the Empire and its vassal states in that region. Aya had simply felt that she should go where her help would have been more needed, and considering how under-patrolled the largely lawless outlying sea routes were, she had not had any reason to alter her initial opinion that she had been needed here.

Now, this. As if piracy wasn't a big enough headache to deal with in the first place. Now she had to deal with arms smuggling on top of it as well. Aya felt the throbbing in her head grow worse. She had to report her findings to someone, that's for sure. But to whom? The very fact that someone had been trading royal arms illegally for years and not get caught implied that whoever was at the top of the food chain was high up indeed, in a position to smuggle large shipments of arms without being noticed, and sneaky enough to cover their tracks to avoid anyone noticing the discrepancy back home. There was no guarantee that her report would make a difference, especially if the perpetrator was powerful and influential enough to intercept it before it could be made known to someone who could do something about it.

There was only one person she could trust. Her father. He was definitely incorruptible, his honor and integrity being his shield. She had to relay the information back to him somehow, and ask for his assistance to investigate matters back at the capital. Yes, that was the best course of action that was currently available to her.

Her decision made, Aya sat down at her cluttered desk, reaching for ink and paper to begin a letter detailing her discovery. By fast ship, the message would reach her father within 2 to 3 weeks. She would have to stop by at one of the Imperial-garrisoned ports to ask them to deliver the letter for her via courier ship. Mentally making a note to send someone along to guard the letter, she got down to work, ignoring the fact that it was already dawn and that she had had no sleep for the whole night, the only thought on her mind being that she had to do her duty. Nothing less than that.

~*~*~

The Red Dawn eased into the port town of Klashnik, one of the many pirate havens along the eastern rim of islands. It was a familiar place to Yuko's crew, since they usually stopped by here for repairs and resupply purposes. And as usual, whenever they made port, Yuko would pay them...or rather, Kaori did, since she was the one who handled the accounts. With their money on hand, the crew would all go off to find entertainment (read: get drunk) at the taverns, leaving behind Kei and Kaori to do the actual work of resupplying the ship and all the boring details. It was a pretty much time-honored ritual for the past few years.

Inevitably also, the majority of them ended up at the Sea Coconut tavern, since it was the only female-run tavern in town, and the crew of the Red Dawn felt perfectly at home there. For one thing, the rowdier crowds didn't bother to come in there. Well actually, they didn't dare to, at least not after the "demonstration" Yuko and her pirates had given to them about how dangerous it was to mess with their friends. From then onwards, the Sea Coconut was pretty much trouble-free, well at least as trouble-free as a tavern in a pirate haven could ever get. There were always fights between drunk patrons of course, but none of the all-out brawls that occurred so often at the seedier places.

The owner was grateful, naturally. Whenever the crew dropped by, she would usually close doors to other patrons and let them have the place to themselves. Not that she would be missing out on much business doing that, since Yuko alone could probably finish half her stock, and her crew would polish up the rest. They were good on their payments too, so they were excellent customers in Ayaka's view.

Today was almost no different. Yuko, Mari, Yossi, Reina and Makoto had banded together to drop by at the Sea Coconut, injuries be damned. Rum was the universal cure for all ailments anyway, according to Yuko. The twins had skipped off somewhere immediately after receiving their pay, no doubt up to some mischief again. They had a fearsome reputation in that town, those two. They could make grown men and hardened pirates quake in fear at the thought of being targeted by the devil twins. Innate sadism, fiendish creativity, and sheer resourcefulness made the two almost unstoppable when it came to picking on random victims whenever they made port.

As for Miki, she had defied all advice from Kei and snuck off the ship anyway, but instead of joining her shipmates for a drink, she decided to wander down the waterfront for a while first, just to see if any suckers would try and mug her. Miki loved the look on those pathetic men's faces when they realise that they had picked someone who was far from being helpless and vulnerable. She enjoyed turning the tables on other people, just to see their horror when she did it.

The Sea Coconut was bustling as usual when Yuko banged the doors open with excessive force, as she always did. The others fell in behind their captain, although Makoto cut forward when she saw a good friend of hers passing out alcohol to a ragtag group of sailors, one of them smirking up at the pretty barmaid and saying something that made her companion next to her laugh and slap her arm playfully.

"Ai-chan!" Makoto waved to the barmaid, who turned to her with a broad smile. "Mako-chan!" The two exchanged a brief hug, glad to see each other, before the other girl had to go back to work. Makoto beamed as she went back to rejoin her shipmates, happy to be back on shore for once. After all, Makoto loved the sea, but one of the few things that drew her back to land was the fact that she still had good friends who were onshore.

Kimura Ayaka, the operator of the Sea Coconut, came over personally to attend to her "special" customers. They were acquainted for several years by now, and were fairly familiar with each other. After chatting amiably with the group for a while, Ayaka decided to close early for the evening to let her favorite pirates have the place to themselves.

After personally informing most of the regular patrons of her decision, most of them left without a fight, since they knew the traditions of the place. Besides, no one wanted to pick a fight with Yuko and her crew, injured or not.

There was just one group left, an oddly assorted bunch of mostly female sailors, people that Ayaka had never seen before. She had had the nagging feeling that they were different somehow, but couldn't quite put a finger on what exactly. Shrugging inwardly, since it really wasn't any of her business who they were, she moved towards them to tell them to leave.

"Excuse me, but why should we leave? We only just got here." One of the women asked, not without justification. There were murmurs of assent from her companions.

"We're closing early for the evening, that's why." Ayaka explained patiently.

"Then what about them? Aren't you going to ask them to leave too?" Another young woman, the one who had made a pass at Ai earlier, pointed to Yuko's group.

Ayaka was beginning to feel mildly irritated, although she didn't show it. Running a tavern in a place such as this had taught her patience and tact. "They are friends of mine. Please understand. There are many other taverns out there, you can always move on to another place."

"But what if we don't want to?" The same young woman pressed, sounding rather belligerent as she stood up to glare at the slightly taller Ayaka. It was evident that she was slightly tipsy, which was fueling her aggressiveness.

Sensing trouble, Yossi stood up. Her ankle was mostly healed by now, although she still walked with a slight limp. Mari got up as well, as did Makoto and Reina, ready to throw out the new troublemakers, injury or no, if the chance presented itself. Yuko, in the meantime, was chugging down rum like nobody's business, completely ignoring the rising tensions in the tavern.

"Hey sis, cool it..." The only male in the group tugged at his sister's arm, hoping to get her to back down. As usual, he was ignored.

The rest of the newcomers stood up as well, probably also sensing the tension in the air as the pirates came closer. The two groups eyed each other, at a standoff with Ayaka standing awkwardly in the middle.

With a sigh, she declared, "If you people want to fight, please take it outside," before stepping out from between the two groups.

The tension was unbearable. The two groups stared at each other for a long, unbroken moment, neither side giving way in the glaring contest. The silence was broken when the tallest among the newcomers smirked and said in a highly offensive tone.

"That's all you got? A couple of cripples and a midget?"

That did it. Mari was the first to act, drawing her cutlass before anyone could even blink and rushing forward. The scene erupted into chaos, with Ayaka yelling "Outside, people! OUTSIDE!!!", but the proprietress was largely being ignored by the enthusiastic brawlers.

It got worse when Yuko decided to charge in halfway, breaking tables in her path as she swung her sword around erratically. Friend and foe alike got out of her way, trying not to have their head taken off by the huge broadsword. It added a whole new level of challenge to the fight, since while Yuko was capable of targeting the other side, her slashes were so unpredictable that her own crew had to give her a wide berth in order not to get hit themselves.

15 minutes later, they had managed to trash about half the tavern, and Ayaka and her workers were huddled behind the bar, the proprietress wanting to cry as the brawlers happily wrecked her place of business while fighting each other.

Yossi ended up fighting the tall female sailor who had instigated the fight. They were evenly matched, and both had a handicap which evened the odds out: Yossi was limping, while her opponent was tipsy (not everyone could fight drunk like Yuko). Even then, they put up a decent display of skill, each admiring the other's technique as they crossed swords.

The Second Mate of the Red Dawn couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement as she fought. Finally, a worthy opponent in battle! It had been a long time since she had found someone worth fighting at all. In fact, with the level of skill her opponent was displaying with her twin falcatas, quite the unlikely weapon a common sailor would use, Yossi was beginning to suspect that this was no ordinary sailor.

A startled male cry off to the side distracted her opponent, who turned slightly to see her younger brother being disarmed of his longsword by a grinning Reina. The boyish pirate took advantage of the momentary distraction and pressed the attack, catching her opponent offguard and managing to get a slash in across the left upper arm of the other woman, making her hiss in pain and loosening her grip on one of her swords.

However, it was Yossi's turn to be caught offguard when her opponent dropped her weapons and charged under the arc of Yossi's slash, tackling the startled pirate to the ground, her sabre knocked out of her hand. Before she knew it, the pirate found herself pinned down with a drawn dirk held across her throat.

Everyone froze in midstance at the turn in events. Reina had her harpoon to the male's throat, Makoto was brandishing her cleaver, Mari had locked weapons with her opponent, and Yuko was drinking in the corner again. There was a long moment of silence as each side considered the person who was being held hostage by the other group.

Yossi was looking up at the narrowed eyes of her captor. Neither of them said anything. One could practically hear a pin drop in the suddenly hushed tavern.

Then, unexpectedly, Yossi's captor began to laugh, as did Yossi herself. Everyone else gaped at the two, who had rolled apart and were laughing as if at some great joke. Were they mad or something?

Yossi looked over at her opponent, who grinned irreverently back. "Nice fight. You're good." The pirate remarked, smiling slightly.

"So are you." Was the quick reply, and the two laughed together some more. The rest of their friends lowered their weapons hesitantly and backed off, staring curiously at them.

"My name's Yossi." The boyish pirate introduced herself even as they both rolled up to a sitting position.

"Name's Maki. Just call me Gocchin." Maki got up to her feet, offering a hand to Yossi, hauling the pirate up as well.

"Thanks for the fight, haven't had so much fun for awhile." Maki commented, looking approvingly at Yossi, who smirked back. "My pleasure."

"Gocchin, really, I can't believe you. You picked a fight just for fun?" Natsumi complained, sheathing her falchion as she walked over to their side. "Aya-chan will kill you when she hears about it."

"Well we just have to make sure she doesn't then, isn't that so?" Maki winked at the older woman, who just sighed in exasperation, rolling her eyes even as Risa and Yuuki came to stand beside her.

Mari was looking apologetically at Ayaka, who had finally risen from her hiding place behind the bar. "Sorry about this Ayaka, we'll pay for the damages."

"Us too." Natsumi said. "Least we could do after this mess."

Ayaka took a deep breath before speaking. "I'll live." She said just a tad ironically. "Seen worse."

Yuko stumbled to the fore, smiling drunkenly. "Who's up for a drink then?"

The navy people-in-disguise looked at each other, then at the expectant pirates, before shrugging in unison. "Why not?"

And so, in the aftermath of a tavern brawl, two groups of people who should have been mortal enemies started drinking together in the middle of a wrecked tavern, laughing and making merry far into the night.

---------------------------------------

Tavern brawl yay. xD I've been dying to put that in for a while haha.

...and I just turned Takahashi Ai into a barmaid. XD I planned it right from the start, and was laughing like crazy when I first thought of it...can you imagine Miki happily trying to grope her whenever the pirates came ashore to the tavern? Maybe I'll write a sidestory on that...hehe.

Well, this chapter came out half-serious and half-silly. I must have been deranged when I wrote it. Meh. Haha. Sleepy...

Credits to Yuuyami for Aya's gunblade. I'm tired now. Bedtime! :D Hope you guys liked.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 13, 2007, 08:27:49 PM
Tavern brawl was awesome, and funny because Yuko is so ADD in your story xD (Fighting like crazy, but then turning to drink for the rest of the brawl, ROFFLE!)

Hawt damn the two crews finally meet! Now let's see that Mashochist pirate and Royal Navy Captain interact like many of us are hoping for! <3

I look forward to Miki groping the barmaid as well :]!

I see many directions that this story is taking, really. One could be that the Nochiura crew might end up befriending the Groping crew and later be torn between friendships and jobs? :0... But I doubt that's the major route of the story... I do have more speculations, but I might ruin the story for others, since that's what I have a habit of doing nowadays o_o;

Write more <3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 13, 2007, 08:41:33 PM
amazing, really, I can't stop laughing whit Yuko XDXD
and Maki picking up the fight just for fun LOL
so.. neither Miki or Aya were at tavern... can we expect a meet at the waterfront?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 13, 2007, 09:11:39 PM
Quote from: Estrea;328472
can you imagine Miki happily trying to grope her whenever the pirates came ashore to the tavern?

I bet it'll be fun to read... XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: C60533 on March 13, 2007, 10:35:29 PM
Yuko has the ability to fight drunk...and then leaving the fight to go drink again. And lol at Maki starting fights just cause she was bored. So...who from the navy is in the tavern? There's Maki and her bro, Natsumi...and Aya...will she and Miki meet? Soon?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: katatsumuri on March 14, 2007, 12:04:30 AM
Quote from: Estrea;328472

Kimura Ayaka, the operator of the Sea Coconut...
XD XD

Dunno why... I find this line to be the funniest.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 14, 2007, 02:38:36 AM
Quote from: Estrea
Sea Coconut tavern,

i was wondering who could be the owner till the next line lol-ed me. Nice little references :lol:

Quote from: Estrea
can you imagine Miki happily trying to grope her whenever the pirates came ashore to the tavern? Maybe I'll write a sidestory on that...hehe.

Imagining imagining imagining :ROFL

Please do, Miki had nothing much to grope in the past few episodes
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: cheesesticks on March 14, 2007, 03:23:38 AM
WhoooooooT for the gunblade. XD
I can just imagine: "oh shit I missed. Oh well. *bang*" XD

lol miki groping aichan the barmaid? Absolutely must need its side story! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 14, 2007, 03:58:11 AM
Yay for Ayaka!

Hope there's gonna be some more "guest" appearences.

Aya with a gunblade was f**king cool!
All the other weapons I've never heard before... this story has kind of an educational side effect XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 14, 2007, 05:48:07 AM
An update! :ONwriggly: <-- This little guy shows just how happy I am for this chapter just because I took an extra ten seconds to put him there.

Again, though, I must say that I love the Twins! I can only imagine the havok they could wreak on a small port.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 14, 2007, 06:26:02 AM
Wooo!  Awesome tavern brawl!  I hope there's more!  I just can't get over how well you write fight scenes, which is a very good thing being that that's what pirates do!  Arr!  

Interesting way for them to first meet.  Yossui better remember Maki's tackle for the next time they fight, so it won't happen again!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 14, 2007, 02:52:10 PM
Quote
"Makoto was brandishing her cleaver"

gaH! This made me laugh and cower at the thought of an angry Makoto.
Hmmm, now that Ai-chan is present, will there be TaGaki?? XD
Poor Ayaya... Maybe Miki can relieve some of that stress of hers. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 14, 2007, 09:09:23 PM
Hehe so the tavern brawl was appreciated then? Heck, if you guys like fight scenes, go check out the side stories. The latest one has fight scenes again. XD

This one took a while to write. Fight scenes can be a real pain. Haha. Oh, and no one maim me too quickly when they read the first part...just keep reading before you do anything! :P

------------------------------------------


Chapter 7


While the two different crews had been busily trashing the Sea Coconut with their brawl, a certain troublemaking duo were out prowling the back alleys of that stinking port town at about the same time, moving like twin shadows that were too elusive to be seen easily.

It had been a productive evening, by their standards. They had preyed on their usual type of targets, lurking as they did earlier near the outside of one of the several whore houses that serviced the visiting sailors to the port. Both of them had nothing but contempt for men who indulged in their carnal desires like this, Aibon in particular. She had had bad memories in the past about such places, and had Nono not intervened back then...

The man was huge, looming like a shadow of terrifying doom over a young girl, barely more than 12 years old. She was shivering in fear, cowering back and hoping against all hope that her mother would come in time to stop this...brute from coming any closer.

But no. Mother was dead. Driven to death by her monster of a father. The same father who had sold her into a brothel to help clear his debts.

No one was going to save her.

Too close...he was too close. The little girl could smell the stink of alcohol permeating his breath, feel the heat radiating off his much larger form as she tried to evade his searching hands, by backing away still more...until she hit a wall behind her.

The lecherous sneer on that unknown male sickened the already terrified young girl. She could feel the bile rising in her throat, the panic making her muscles seize up and move sluggishly as she tried desperately to think of a way out.

But there wasn't going to be a way out. The man wasn't going to let her get away. He had paid a good price to claim the tender young girl before him. He was stronger than her. There was no way she could escape or even fight back.

His touch repulsed her. The little girl tried to scream as he roughly ripped the thin cloth of her smock, but her throat felt strangled. Her skin crawled as he pushed her against the wall, leering sickly at her utter terror, savoring the fear and pain emanating from her as he tightened his grip painfully around her arms, digging into the soft skin and leaving ugly bruises behind.

She was shaking and crying, her mind screaming at him to stop. His hands...touching her...roughly squeezing and pinching...it sickened her.

She struggled futilely in his grasp, scratching and kicking and biting, managing to inflict only minimal damage. She did manage to sink her teeth into his arm though, making him yelp in pain and loosening his grip on her shoulder. She took the chance to wriggle out from under him, trying to make a break for it, but the man only growled and pulled her back by the ankle.

She was slammed back into the wall with great force, the impact jarring and making her dizzy. Through her woozy vision, the man came closer, undoing his pants as he did so, clearly tired of just playing. She tried to get back up, to run away or something, but her body had been too dazed by that meeting with the wall, and could only stare on in horror as he came closer to her, lowering himself down...

CRASH

A vase, or rather, the shattered pieces of what was once a vase, clattered to the ground. The man slumped forward to the side of the young girl, unconscious, blood trickling down from the back of his head. Behind him stood a flushed Tsuji Nozomi, age 13, panting heavily from running all the way.


Aibon still had nightmares from that time, once in a while. Sometimes in those nightmares, Nono had not been in time to save her. She would wake up shaking and crying, wanting to throw up, scream, do whatever.

But Nono had always been by her side, holding her like she did that time, whispering words of comfort and just being there for her. That was why they always slept wrapped around each other, because the nightmares didn't come as often when they were sleeping together, and even if she did have a nightmare, then Nono could calm her down quickly. She felt safe around her older "twin", drawing a sense of comfort and security whenever they were together.

They had run away together back then. Nono never had a home, being orphaned early and living on the streets. Nono remembered how it was then, 11 years old and nearly half-dead from starvation, before collapsing in the alley next to Aibon's house. The younger girl had been out running an errand for her mother, and seeing her crumpled up helplessly, had given the older girl the bread that would have been her own dinner. Tsuji had survived the night because of that act of kindness, and had pledged to protect the younger girl, always staving off bullies, helping her out with her chores, and just generally watching out for her.

Then that incident with the brothel had occurred, and they had been forced to flee, far from that town. Life on the run had not been easy on the two young girls, who were forced to resort to all sorts of means just to stay alive. That was when they had picked up their ruthlessness and viciousness, the harsh ways of surviving the streets moulding and shaping what would have been innocent girls into borderline sociopaths. Life had dealt them a cruel hand, but they had survived it...together.

The two of them were now back aboard ship, relieving guard duty from Kei and Kaori. They sat close together, Aibon between Nono's legs, the older girl's arms enfolded loosely around the other's waist. They didn't say anything, but then again they never had to. They just stayed close together, enjoying the proximity and the comforting warmth of the other's presence.

Tsuji watched as Aibon dozed off, once again using her chest as a pillow. The older of the self styled "twins" smiled down indulgently, pulling her best friend closer to her and trying to make her more comfortable at the same time. The soft glow of the moonlight from a nearly full moon cast a strange luminescence over the innocent features of the girl asleep in her arms, and Tsuji was struck once again by the surge of possessive protectiveness that hit her whenever she looked at Aibon like that.

It was a strange feeling, that surge of fierce heat in her chest, that dizzying euphoria whenever the younger girl smiled at her...

Nono knew only that she had to protect that smile. Protect the girl who had saved her life. The girl who was her reason for living, the center of her whole existence. The girl who she had grown to love after all these years.

Her arms tightened around the sleeping Aibon even as she swore a familiar oath to herself.

I'll protect you and never let go of you ever again.

~*~*~

It was an exceptionally quiet night along the waterfront in Miki's opinion. A few drunks, that was about it. No thugs, no brawls spilling out into the streets, no fun.

Maybe she should go join the others at the Sea Coconut. Get drunk maybe. Probably get a chance to grope that pretty barmaid. Ai-chan had such delectable reactions to her harassment, Miki remembered with a smugly self-satisfied grin. Even after all this time, the girl still hadn't gotten used to all the innuendo Miki enjoyed throwing her way, just to see the other girl squirm and blush like crazy.

It baffled Miki, really. Most tavern wenches weren't as...innocent as Ai-chan apparently was. But then again, Ayaka was extremely protective over her staff, so that might have contributed to it. In any case, it only added to the fun whenever Miki teased the poor girl.

Her mind made up, Miki was about to head on down to the Sea Coconut when the sounds of raised voices further down the waterfront reached her ears. Squinting in the darkness, since the light from the sporadically placed torches didn't offer much illumination, she saw a quite a few large figures crowding around someone who was apparently much smaller than them, since she couldn't see clearly who it was.

She was half tempted to just leave it alone and walk away. But the draw of a possible fight was almost too much to resist. Miki had too much pent-up energy inside her after having been confined to bed for the whole duration of the last voyage coming here. Almost 3 weeks had nearly driven her insane with too much stored energy, and Yossi had barely escaped being turned into a walking pincushion several times whenever she walked into the quarters they shared onboard ship.

A nice fight might just be the thing to loosen her nerves before she could go ahead and fully enjoy the results of harassing that pretty barmaid again. Nodding to herself, Miki slipped closer, sticking close to the shadows to avoid alerting them to her presence too early.

"...claim the reward!" Miki caught the tail end of a sentence. Her interest definitely piqued now, she edged still closer, eager to see what was going on.

"Why don't we have a little fun with her first? I don't think anyone cares as long as we just deliver her..." One man suggested lewdly, and his companions started grinning as well, moving closer to what had to be a woman within their circle.

"I would suggest letting her go." A low voice purred silkily from the shadows beyond the group of men. Miki blinked. She hadn't said that, although it was close to what she would have picked as an opening line.

"What the..." One of the men managed to get out before a strange-looking blade cut him down. The others drew their weapons instinctively, but a couple of them were too slow and fell to the mystery rescuer. One man made a move to grab the woman that they had been threatening earlier, but the sharp bang of a gun halted him in his tracks, a hole appearing in his chest and felling him in an instant.

"Run back to the ship! I'll take care of them!" Barked the rescuer as that strange blade clashed against the cutlasses of two men at the same time. The voice was feminine, Miki realised, as she observed from the shadows. The sword the mystery woman was using reminded Miki a standard cutlass but somehow different, the blade not quite as wide, but not as narrow as Yossi's saber, and slightly longer than a regular cutlass as well. Of course, the most startling difference was the fact that there appeared to be a revolver integrated into the sword, near the hilt. She had never even heard of that before.

The woman who had been trapped earlier nodded and took off, evidently trusting the lone girl to do the job. The men however, had by now reorganised themselves, and they had numbers on their side. The swordswoman was slowly but surely being forced backwards.

The clouds that had been gathering overhead finally shifted, spilling moonlight down to reveal the small, slim figure who was valiantly standing against 5 men all bigger than herself.

4 men. The woman had spun gracefully away from the wild slashes, shifting her grip slightly on that gunblade, and fired off two quick shots, downing one man and wounding another. The light of the moon overhead gave an almost ethereal quality to the woman, an impression enhanced when the hat obscuring her features fell off, letting her hair fall loosely to frame that beautiful face.

She's about my age. Miki realised with a jolt. The level of skill had initially given her the impression of someone a bit older. But then again, Yossi was her age and she was one of the best sword users she had seen thus far. But this girl could give Yossi a run for her money, or so it seemed.

Wait, why am I standing here admiring the view when I wanted to fight?
Miki kicked herself mentally for that oversight. She had been too caught up in admiring the skill (and ok the beauty) of the swordswoman. It was almost like watching a dance, really, rather than a battle.

The men had been trying to surround their opponent in order to attack her from all side, but evidently the girl knew that as well, since she kept moving around to make sure that they didn't outflank her. To that end, she had maneuvered herself to have her back facing the edge of the waterfront, so that they couldn't get behind her. It was a bit risky, since they could conceivably force her back until she fell backwards into the deep waters of the harbor. She wouldn't drown of course, but it would certainly free the men to go and chase after their target, something which was completely unacceptable to the young woman.

But the men were unskilled buffoons compared to the warrior they faced. They weren't inept or anything, but they simply weren't good enough compared to their opponent. Had they had a few more people on their side, they would have overpowered her, but as it was, they couldn't overcome her at all.

Miki stepped out of the shadows even as another man rushed the cornered girl, but she tripped him instead, sending him flying into the water behind her. But in doing that, she left an opening in her side, one which the men did not hesitate to exploit. The girl tried to recover and turn her gunblade around to block the incoming strike, but was a fraction too late, the cutlass leaving a deep cut across the top of her right shoulder.

To her credit, she didn't drop her weapon even as she hissed in pain, instinctively backing up to avoid the follow up stroke, but she had run out of space behind her. Losing her balance as she teetered on the edge, her foot getting caught within a coil of rope, knocking it loose as she plunged backwards into the harbor.

The men smirked in satisfaction, turning away...only to see a smiling Miki holding out 3 knives in between her fingers of her left hand.

"Hello boys."

2 seconds later, 3 corpses thudded to the ground.

Miki strode over casually to the edge of the waterfront, looking over curiously to see if that woman had managed to drown or something. To her surprise, the woman was climbing up somewhat slowly and awkwardly via the coil of rope that had fallen with her, as the other end had been secured to a point. The gunblade was now sheathed and slung across her lower back.

When the drenched and bedraggled woman finally reached the top, Miki surprised herself when she offered the other a hand up. The startled look in the other girl's eyes must have said the same about her reaction, although she did accept the hand, wincing as her right shoulder cried out in protest.

The two stood facing each other in semi-silence for a few moments, the drenched girl shivering a little as she stared suspiciously back at Miki's appraising gaze.

"What are you looking at?"

Miki, who had been eyeing the other woman, suddenly had a slow, lazy grin spread out on her face. The combination of wet seawater and a white shirt on a very generous figure was...interesting, to say the least. She stepped closer to the other girl, too close, and whispered in a husky tone.

"Nice figure. Can I touch?"

--------------------------------------

Annnnd that's it for Chapter 7. God I'm tired. 4am in the morning. What am I doing? Gah! Lol.

Hope you guys liked! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 14, 2007, 09:19:29 PM
Aibon sold to a brothel? Oh my o___o; But I'm glad to know where the twins' slight insanity came from, haha.

Loved the fight scene, and glad to know that the gunblade isn't too hard to write about <3! Gunblade looooove <3!

MIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYA!!!! -cough- Glad to know they finally met, and Miki's last line made me spit out tea in laughter xD! Wonder how Aya will react to that, haha xD!

Looking forward to the next chapter!! <3~!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 14, 2007, 10:51:58 PM
The twins back story! I was excited, and yet, I felt bad for them, even if they had each other. But the end of that part made me feel warm fuzzies. :D

And the great Aya and Miki introduction. Yay for groping demons.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 15, 2007, 12:28:51 AM
Wahhh, poor Aibon and Nono! Such a dark backstory they have...
Yossie=Miki's punching bag(?!) hah!
Aya x Miki XD   That last line made my day. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 15, 2007, 12:47:16 AM
Miki PWN'd the chapter, yay! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on March 15, 2007, 01:24:48 AM
Finally got to catch up with this, and fuck, is it good! :o

I'm loving the gropey Miki, shy and cute Eri, royal Ishikawa, smart and hot Aya, whorish Maki (xD), etc. etc.

Also, you absolutely killed me with the last line! It would be nice if Aya gave a bit of a reward, but I have a feeling that she's "too good" for that. xD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on March 15, 2007, 01:36:03 AM
Quote from: Yuuyami;329311
Aibon sold to a brothel? Oh my o___o; But I'm glad to know where the twins' slight insanity came from, haha.

Loved the fight scene, and glad to know that the gunblade isn't too hard to write about <3! Gunblade looooove <3!

MIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYAMIKIANDAYA!!!! -cough- Glad to know they finally met, and Miki's last line made me spit out tea in laughter xD! Wonder how Aya will react to that, haha xD!

Looking forward to the next chapter!! <3~!


Yuuyami pretty much said it all for me. But just in case that wasn't enough, here are some onions to go along with it...

response to the 1st part: :ONgyaaah: ... :tfr9a7wg:

response to AYAxMIKILURV *KOFF* I mean the 2nd part:
:ONshy2: ... :ONwahaha: :ONwahaha: :ONwahaha: :ONxD:

the last line made me go "OH YEAH!" aloud, which drew some odd glances, but the hell do I care. Damn this is just too good!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on March 15, 2007, 10:43:17 AM
Good lord, you must be some kind of writing machine. By my count this makes for seven chapters of one story (and three side stories), plus two chapters of another completely unrelated story that you've written in just the past nine days. :shocked:

:Start fic comment time: I like pretty much everything about this fic. The setting, the chacterizations, the plot, the humor. I pretty much like it all. :End fic comment time:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 15, 2007, 03:03:06 PM
Thanks for all the comments! ^___^

I see Miki's line is very popular. XD

And at iacus, wow, I hadn't realised that I had written that much! It's only been 9 days?! *is also surprised* Haha.

Sorry, not an update yet. Chapter 8 is being really, really difficult to write. I'm about to go crazy (for various reasons that have nothing to do with writer's block). GAH. *slams head against wall repeatedly*
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 15, 2007, 08:30:58 PM
Back! This really took a LONG LONG while to write. The characters kept running away with the story. *coughAyaMikicough* Lol.

Anyway, just go read, ok? :P

-------------------------------------------


Chapter 8


The first thing that popped into Aya's mind after hearing that shamelessly forward proposition...

'Sounds like something Maki would say...'

The next thing that followed that line of thought...

'But not even Maki would start groping me right after saying something like th--......WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!'

For indeed, a sneaky hand was already resting on her ample chest. Actually, doing a little more than just resting. And the owner of that hand was currently wearing her most infuriatingly smug grin, enjoying immensely the scandalised expression that her victim was sporting.

Quite suddenly, Miki felt a grip of iron encircle her wandering hand, snapping her wrist backwards almost painfully as her hand was forcefully halted in its "exploration". Despite the pain that the current awkward positioning of her hand was causing her, Miki grinned roguishly at the most recent victim of her groping exploits, who was currently glowering at her, just the faintest hint of a blush on her cheeks.

Aya pondered the situation she was currently in. One, she was dripping wet and injured, standing on hostile territory with a strange woman whom she had never seen before. Two, said stranger, who after helping her up, had proceeded to grope her immediately after. Three, she was on the verge of breaking said stranger's wrist for that infraction.

...and four, they were standing way too close to each other.

Aya was suddenly incredibly self-conscious about the fact that there was barely an inch separating their faces, and that their bodies were so close to each other that she could practically feel the heat radiate off the other's body. A faint dizziness assaulted her senses, but she firmly pushed it aside, calling on all the discipline she possessed to remain calm...at least outwardly.

Miki couldn't help but notice the flicker of something pass through the other girl's eyes, before those gorgeous orbs hardened dangerously, sending an answering spike of adrenaline through her own system. Finally, someone who wasn't a pushover. Miki unconsciously sent her tongue out to lick suddenly parched lips. Was it her, or did the temperature just rise a few notches?

Aya decided she had to leave immediately. The closeness was sending her senses into overdrive, and her vision was getting blurry. She would forget that this incident ever happen. Yes, that was what she would do. The rational side of her always logical mind was already nodding in approval of the decision.

She was going to let go. Really, she was. Why did that infuriating woman refuse to stop staring at her, damnit!

It was almost as if they were in a trance. The atmosphere was getting so charged that it was becoming hard to breathe. Both of them were frozen, trying hard to decipher what was in the other's eyes, simultaneously repulsed (mostly Aya) and fascinated (both) at the same time.

Which was when, of course, Miki's lack of a sense of self-preservation decided to kick in once again.

The already minimal distance between them vanished entirely in an instant, and Aya gasped at the completely unanticipated contact, her deathgrip on Miki's wrist loosening as the older girl pulled her in for a hungry kiss, plundering her mouth greedily like the pirate she was, taking everything without return or consent.

She tasted like the sea, Miki decided. Like the salt and brine from which she had just climbed up from, certainly, but yet there was something more. Like the sea, fierce and unpredictable, a raging ocean in a storm; yet at the same time comforting and safe, the motherly ocean to its children that lived in and upon it. There was the promise of something more, it seemed, of hidden depths and treasures undiscovered, and Miki drank it all in, desperately, as if trying to drain Aya of her essence, her very soul, in that one kiss.

Aya felt like she was drowning under the unexpected assault, the sheer ferocity of it driving her under, unable to breathe. It was brutal, demanding, unrelenting. She sensed the desperation, the anger, and the undiluted lust driving it, and felt her own will rise up to meet it, unwilling to submit or surrender in the face of the assault. She had just about had enough of being violated without consent.

Miki staggered backwards in shock and pain. She bit me! The young pirate wiped at her throbbing lip with the back of her hand, and it came away bloody. Damn, it's really deep.

Aya was panting heavily, her eyes dark with anger as she gave Miki her best death glare, filled with more venom than she had ever tried with anyone else. Instead of feeling fear though, Miki only felt a strange surge of excitement and satisfaction. She's beautiful when she's angry. Miki smirked, then winced as her wounded lip protested in pain.

"Don't you dare touch me again." Aya spat, also wiping at her mouth, as if trying to erase the contact that had been made earlier. Her shoulder was killing her, it was hurting far more than it should, and a strange sense of nausea was welling up in her, her vision becoming spotty as she tried to stay focused. One hand went to clutch painfully at the shoulder, squeezing it tightly, as if to push the pain away. Her head swam, and a strange sense of vertigo was overtaking her.

Miki stared in stunned amazement when the other girl's eyes appeared to glaze over, sweating far more than was usual, and was just quick enough to catch her when the other's knees buckled, keeling forward.

Looking at the unconscious girl in her arms, Miki took a quick look at the deep wound on her right shoulder, then glanced at one of the fallen cutlasses of the men they had fought earlier. Reaching out to pick up a nearby one, she sniffed carefully at the blade, her keen nose picking up a faint scent of some kind of poison smeared on it.

Well, crap. What kind of waterfront thug uses poisoned weapons anyway? Deciding that it wasn't quite the time to be debating on such a question, she looked down again at the comatose girl, who had turned paler in the meantime.

Gah. Cursing her own softness, Miki grumbled as she carefully picked a surprisingly light Aya up in a bridal carry, more gently than she would ever admit to, and took off straight towards the Sea Coconut, reasoning that the others would be able to figure out what to do in the meantime.

Please be alright...

~*~*~

Ayaka didn't know whether to laugh or cry, when the closed doors of her tavern splintered and broke into pieces of firewood courtesy of Miki's boot. She settled for a sigh of resignation and mentally added the doors to the list of repairs she would have to make the next day.

She was surprised, however, when she saw the unconscious girl Miki was carrying. That would certainly explain why the young pirate eschewed knocking as a means of entry, and just charged in instead.

The drunken party at the Sea Coconut hadn't been going on for all that long, but some of the people with lesser alcohol tolerances had already been knocked off their feet by the copious amounts of rum that Yuko had randomly decided to pour down a few of their throats. Risa and Ai-chan had been the first victims, and the two were now pretty much comatose and piled up together in a corner. Yuuki had been next, and much to his dismay, his sister actually helped Yuko to pin him down, the two happily drowning the only male in the room in an excess of alcohol. Then Yuko had challenged Maki to a drinking contest, and they got pretty much smashed in short order.

Natsumi had ended up playing a drinking game with both Yossi and Mari, and all 3 were all only just somewhat tipsy when the party had been interrupted, since they were used to hard drinking in general and were not easily affected.

Reina and Makoto were a bit more sensible, carefully staying out of the direct line of sight of their drunken captain, and were playing cards while hidden behind an overturned table next to the doors, and so were showered with flying splinters when Miki had made her dramatic entrance.

"Oy what...Fujimoto, watch it!" Reina complained when a large chunk of wood had nailed her in the side of her head.

Miki was looking uncharacteristically flustered, her face flushed from the run, and she strode straight to Kei, who had been sitting with Ayaka at one of the intact tables, and spoke directly and flatly.

"I found her down at the waterfront. She's been poisoned."

Natsumi, who had caught a brief glimpse of the unconscious woman in Miki's arms, started over to check, and then gasped. "Aya!" She rushed to her captain's side, all traces of insobriety washed away by her anxiety. "What happened?" She drilled at Miki urgently, and the younger pirate scowled.

"Fight, injured, poisoned." She summarised succinctly, giving Natsumi a once over at the same time. "Who the heck are you?"

"Is that important? That's my captain you're holding!" Natsumi flared, her eyes flashing dangerously. Miki simply sneered at her and turned to Kei. "Well?"

"I can only examine her if you put her down, you know." Kei commented drily, turning to Ayaka. "Is there a bed somewhere?"

"Upstairs, I'll take you there."

Later, Kei came out of the room, her face slightly worried. "There are faint traces of belladonna poisoning, but she's lucky since not enough went into her bloodstream to be fatal." The erstwhile doctor leveled a stern look at a pale Miki. "Did you try to suck out some of the poison yourself earlier?"

"Um...yeah..." The younger pirate's voice came out a little croaky, her throat dry.

"Well that might have just saved her life." Kei muttered, and then smacked Miki upside the head. "You idiot, doing that with a cut lip? Are you asking to be poisoned too?"

"Bah I'll be fine..." Miki was feeling woozy, trying hard to keep her eyes open...and failing.

The last thing she heard before blacking out completely was the worried voices of the other women around her, before she hit the floor and passed out.

--------------------------------------------


What? What?

There, GAM fans, you got some action. :P The original scene was a lot more, umm, graphic...I had to censor it *cough*

Anyway, I have a lot of things I want to say, but am too lazy to type them. One thing I absolutely MUST put in though, is that Miki isn't in love with Aya yet. No way. There is an attraction, yes, but it's nowhere near anything that can be called "love". Just so you know that. :P Miki is curious and fascinated (and in lust, but nevermind that), that's all. XD

Ok, now tell me what you think. ^__^
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 15, 2007, 08:42:31 PM
I freaking love you! -GLOMP- I somehow knew that their meeting would somehow be kinky <3 Well, wording it that way, but I somehow knew Aya was definitely not going to like Miki for first impressions anyway. Aya biting Miki's lip is hawt <3!

Nevertheless, I'm glad that Aya is alright <3! But now I'm simply just waiting for how Aya will act around Miki from now on. I sense a lot of disagreeing, arguments, and mini-fights from now :]!

But now I'm worried with Miki! I hope she's okay! ;_________;
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on March 15, 2007, 10:12:43 PM
Aya and Miki's anticipated first meeting! :ONhee:
damn the sexual tension could have easily gotten out of hand (being that it's AyaxMiki I'm sure their plans were very er, different from yours, while they were being written lol)-- but again you handled it so well!!

So well in fact that I shake my fist at that poison. DAMNIT XD

-hahaha I apologize for not commenting on anything else ^^;; but it was kickass writing as always :3

(listening to boa's moto afterwards just made everything 10x more intense than it was already ._.)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 15, 2007, 10:35:25 PM
Wooo!  Two chapters!  Poor twins.  Now we have a little more insight into their sadistic tendencies.  And with the first meeting of Miki and Aya, it starts (with a grope and a kiss none the less).

I am so looking forward to more of this!  Keep up the great work!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 15, 2007, 10:45:55 PM
Both poisoned! Lol, at least they'll both live.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 15, 2007, 11:44:04 PM
oh my, the hawtness... and to think this was only the censored version XD
I esp. loved their thoughts while kissing, Miki all pirate and Aya all... trying not to be dominated, hahaha.
And now their both out, looks like a good excuse to put them into that ONE bed together.

(*rolls out red carpet to the perv section* just in case that "more graphic" version is searching for a place on this board)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 16, 2007, 03:01:49 AM
They'll probably wake up next to each other lol

GAM hotness, with Miki's tongue and hands all over the place. :yay:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 16, 2007, 03:07:29 AM
Oh damn! AyaxMiki Contact!! <3

Hah! All I thought was "Give up, Ayaya and submit to the powers of Grope Kitty!"

I love how Miki was simply enjoying the moment while Aya was pissed for being violated. Aww, more of soft!Miki is showing. Maybe Aya can dominate Miki when she's feeling a bit better. XD

Can't wait for the next chapter! You're really pulling these out fast!!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: katatsumuri on March 16, 2007, 06:37:12 AM
Miki sucking out Aya's poison.  XD That was fun...

And when I pictured her doing it aka chinese pugilist movie style...... :ONwahaha: :ONwahaha:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on March 16, 2007, 09:05:35 AM
That was awsome, Miki was all like "I'm gonna kiss and grope you hurhurhur" and Aya was all like "don't touch me I totally hate you" and then Miki's like "OH NOES POISON!!!"

                            *cough*
Nice chapter as always.
Quote from: coachie;330236
(*rolls out red carpet to the perv section* just in case that "more graphic" version is searching for a place on this board)


I would like to second that suggestion.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 16, 2007, 08:20:15 PM
Lol everyone loved the Aya/Miki part eh? Hehe.

@magicnumber: Hell yes, those two kept trying to do more than I planned. There wasn't even supposed to be a kiss in the original gameplan. Lol.

@coachie: You get one wish granted. The next one might be delayed a bit. :P

@katatsumuri: You got me! My secret vice is watching those chinese pugilist movies. XD

@iacus: LOL what a way to summarise their first meeting. XD

And at everyone else, thanks for reading, I'm glad the Aya/Miki moment was appreciated. XD

Slightly shorter chapter than usual ahead. I'm too tired to write a superlong one again. :P

-----------------------------------------


Chapter 9


She slowly swam to consciousness, struggling to break through to the surface, to avoid drowning in that utter darkness that had taken hold of her awareness.

Eyelids fluttered open, just a fraction, shutting almost immediately at the blast of bright white light of the outside. Tentatively, she cracked open her eyes experimentally, letting herself get used to the light bit by bit before opening them fully.

"Unnn..." A soft groan. Her head hurt. She felt disorientated. Where was she? A small, neat room, sparsely furnished. A vase with some fresh flowers near the window. A closet to the side. A neatly arranged desk fronting the window. The bed...

She was on the bed, her groggy mind noted. Small, a bit narrow. Warm. Too warm. Too tight a fit...

There was someone else on the bed with her.

That notion didn't quite sink in at first. You couldn't blame her for that, after all, her headache and grogginess was impairing her judgment. When it did hit her though, she quite nearly sprang to a sitting position as if someone had put springs under her. She would have fallen off the bed had it not been set on one side against the wall, and her being on the inner side that adjoined the wall, so she only suffered a momentary dislocation in her senses by the sudden abrupt change in position.

Groaning softly again, she clutched at her sore and throbbing shoulder, which, she dimly realised, had been bandaged. She was still clothed, thank god for small mercies. The last time she had woken up disorientated and in a bed with someone else, she hadn't had a stitch on her, much to her utter mortification. At least this time all her clothes were still on...

...wait, this wasn't her shirt. Heck, this wasn't the set of clothes she remembered herself wearing before. Did someone change her clothes for her when she had been unconscious? Wait, how did she get here in the first place? What had happened the night before?

Ugh... Pressing her fingers to her temples, she massaged her forehead in an attempt to relieve the stress headache that was rapidly getting worse. In lowering her head though, it brought to her attention once again the person who was currently sharing the bed with her.

Seeing that face immediately brought the events of the night before to her, all in a rush.

Rika missing from the ship...her going out to search...the fight with the thugs...falling into the harbor...climbing up...

And then that stranger...

Without really thinking about it, her hand moved to cover her lips, and she scooted backwards and flattening herself against the wall behind her, trying to place as much distance as she could between the sleeping girl and herself.

Aya was not that much of an innocent herself, but she wasn't as easy as Maki was either. Actually, her whole life up to now had been so squarely placed on her duty to her family and to the Empire that she hadn't had much time for entanglements of any kind. She just never gave relationships any time or thought, not even casual flings, since she really couldn't be bothered. It wasn't as if she weren't aware of the interest in her by many other men, and not a few women as well, but let's just say no one had never caught her attention quite that way before.

And now, this girl, this stranger next to her. She was beautiful, no doubt, but Aya had seen more than her share of beautiful women. Heck, she worked with a few of them on a daily basis. She was mostly immune to such physical charms, especially with Maki deliberately or just playfully flirting with her every other day.

But this girl had most definitely gotten her attention. Actually, more like forced her way into her attention. Having her personal space invaded so abruptly and shamelessly was definitely a first for the young captain. Most people either tried to treat her like a lady to impress her (like Keita and those like him), or just outright flirted with her (Maki, and other sailors in general). No one had ever crossed the line to make her do anything she never wanted. (well some tried, but most of them are missing the appendage they tried with.)

This was quite literally the first time that someone had walked up to her and just started to grope her, then proceeding to kiss her out of the blue without a single warning of any kind. More shockingly, Aya had not maimed her for doing so (yet).

The lack of subtlety was shocking, to say the least. Aya didn't surprise easily, but this time round she was definitely plenty surprised. It wasn't everyday that someone just comes up to do that to you, and especially not someone so unnervingly attractive...

What was she thinking? Aya resisted the urge to slap herself upside the head, just to knock some sense back in. She still didn't know how she had gotten to be in a bed with this girl. She didn't even know her name. Hell, she was actually rather surprised that they were both still fully clothed, considering how that girl had been so forward with her previously. Clearly, after she had passed out last night, someone must have brought her here, and logic suggests that it had to have been this girl.

A sound from the sleeping girl jolted Aya out of her musings. Curiously, she looked at the peacefully sleeping figure, who was mumbling in her sleep.

"Nnn...Yossi...I'm hungry..." Aya raised an eyebrow at that seemingly random line. Was the girl awake or sleeping? She leaned over to check.

"Whaddya mean...Yuko drank all the rum?" Aya had to dodge the randomly swung fist from the apparently still sleeping pirate, who was making a strange face in her sleep. The young captain couldn't help but giggle a little at the weirdness of the whole situation.

"Mmmm...pretty girl..." A small smile twitched at the edges of Aya's lips. What could that girl possibly be dreaming about?

Well as amusing as watching Miki sleeptalking to herself was, Aya decided she simply couldn't just stay here anymore. For one thing, she had to get back to the ship to assure the others that she wasn't dead yet. That thought firmly in mind, Aya started to gingerly climb over the sleeping girl, trying not to wake her, even as her body screamed protests at her by moving as sluggishly as possible. She felt like she had a hangover, just minus the alcohol involvement.

She was about halfway over the sleeping form when Miki grabbed a hold of her, pulling her down and rolling her over onto her back before she could even blink. I thought she was asleep! Aya panicked briefly as she was pinned down to the bed by Miki...

...a still sleeping Miki, who had apparently just grabbed the nearest available object, which just so happened to be Aya, and was currently burying her face in the younger girl's chest, using it as a convenient pillow to nuzzle in.

Aya was speechless. How could that girl still be capable of molesting her even while asleep?! Did she have some built-in instinct to sexually harass her at every opportunity?

Miki, completely unaware of her actions (sleeping, remember?), continued murmuring incoherently while having her face buried in between Aya's breasts, even drooling a little as she rubbed herself contentedly and unashamedly against a blushing Aya, who was struggling in vain to try and dislodge the persistent pirate who refused to let go even when unconscious. Aya was beginning to wonder if the gods were against her or something when she tried to pry the other girl off her.

Just when Aya thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, the door to the room swung open.

A stunned silence. Aya closed her eyes and wished for divine intervention to just get her out of here.

"Having fun, I see?"

Aya decided that all gods could go to hell after that line.

This was definitely not her day.

-------------------------------------------------

Lol. XD

I think no one will notice how short and filler-ish this chapter was because of what happened. Oh well, a little fluff can't hurt. Just enjoy while you can. *chuckles evilly*

...wait, I have over a 100 posts? o_o Woot! Haha.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 16, 2007, 08:27:28 PM
Awww! Aya's an uptight and down-to-earth kinda character when it comes to relationships, ne? Glad that Miki finally opens her eyes to that kind of thing xD It was cute how Miki was sleep-talking and grabbed Aya in her sleep <3 And Aya blushing at it all <3...! I wonder who barged in, haha.

Can't wait til the next chapter comes! <3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 16, 2007, 08:56:17 PM
Quote from: Estrea;330064
"Well that might have just saved her life." Kei muttered, and then smacked Miki upside the head. "You idiot, doing that with a cut lip? Are you asking to be poisoned too?"

That's something I don't think we'll ever get to see in real life. Kei smacking Miki? No way! XD


Quote from: Estrea;330064

There, GAM fans, you got some action. :P The original scene was a lot more, umm, graphic...I had to censor it *cough*


There's always the PERV zone...
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 16, 2007, 09:30:32 PM
Awww, that was almost too cute :heart:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 16, 2007, 10:36:26 PM
Ahaha, I like this chapter. As if I don't like every chapter you've posted.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 16, 2007, 11:05:59 PM
I love sleeping groping Miki :heart: XDXD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on March 17, 2007, 12:05:04 AM
Quote from: Estrea;330912

Aya was speechless. How could that girl still be capable of molesting her even while asleep?! Did she have some built-in instinct to sexually harass her at every opportunity?


Oh Aya. You poor poor soul, how -little- you know :ONwahaha:

loved this fluffy cute chapter... I think we were all finally able to inhale after the previous one XD sankyuu once again!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 17, 2007, 04:23:12 AM
Ah i was right, they do wake up next to each other :lol:

Miki's so different from us :D her natural instinct is to grope
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 17, 2007, 03:46:25 PM
Awww, Miki's so sweet to have stayed with her! Horray for Ayaya for warming up to her. ehe, Miki's grope-tastic 24/7! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 17, 2007, 08:35:25 PM
Annnd I'm back. Hehe.

I won't say much, except to sit back and enjoy the ride. :)

--------------------------------------

Chapter 10


Goto Maki was having a massive hangover. And serious backache. Passing out on the floor wasn't a very good idea.

A gentle hand was wiping her face with a wet towel, and she struggled to open her eyes, wincing at the piercing sunlight. Groaning softly, she tried to sit up.

"Oh good, you're awake." Oh, so it was Nacchi who was taking care of her. A cup was handed to her, and she took it blindly, drinking the water in a single gulp. It eased the burning sensation in her throat, but the headache remained. Oh well, she would get over it eventually.

Natsumi was speaking again, and Maki tried her best to focus on the words instead of the drumming within her skull.

"...poison....Aya..." The two words that Maki did manage to catch immediately woke her up. Before she even realised what she was doing, her eyes were wide open and she had turned to grab the older woman by the shoulders, dropping the empty cup in the process.

"Aya, what happened to Aya?!" She shook Natsumi by the shoulders, her anxiety outweighing her own physical discomforts.

"...Gotsuan, relax...!" The First Mate was trying her best to speak while being shaken like a rag doll. She had to grab Maki in order to steady the younger girl, whose bloodshot eyes looked absolutely wild at the first hint of danger to their captain.

"Aya's fine now!" Hearing that, Maki calmed down just a little, loosening her deathgrip on her senior's shoulders, but not removing her hands entirely. Natsumi took the opportunity to give a brief explanation of the situation, or as much of the situation she knew of herself.

"So she's resting upstairs now?" Maki queried, rubbing at one side of her head in an effort to ease her headache. Looking up at Natsumi, who had nodded in response, Maki noticed for the first time how worn out the older girl looked. There were dark circles under her eyes, and her eyes were also bloodshot, although for completely different reasons from Maki's. The older woman was pale and haggard-looking, as if she were moving on pure will alone.

She must have stayed up the whole night to watch over Aya. Maki realised with a slightly guilty twinge. Natsumi hadn't had a good night's sleep in the last 2, 3 days? She had had the night shift the night before they pulled into harbor, and had spent the day after they had docked in on more work. Maki had dragged her along in the evening (the day before) to go drinking, just to let her unwind, but clearly that hadn't been the case in the end.

And then Nacchi had had to take care of her as well, and what did she do? Yell at her and shake her. Maki felt bad, and this time it had nothing to do with her physical condition.

"I'm sorry..." Natsumi blinked at the mumbled apology from the younger girl, who was currently hanging her head, her long tresses shading her face. Now what was the girl apologising for?

"Sorry for being a brat..." Ah. Natsumi couldn't help but smile, despite her exhaustion. Her Gocchin could be so adorable when she was feeling unwell. The silly girl.

Maki found herself wrapped in an embrace by the smaller woman. "Silly Gocchin, it's fine. I don't mind." The taller girl found herself relaxing, the stiffness in her limbs easing from the comforting hug. Maki had lost her mother at a very early age, and while Natsumi wasn't quite a substitute for a mother figure, she was a lot like the wise elder sister that would always be there for her. A sister that she admittedly slept with on occasion, but Nacchi could always be counted on to comfort her, one way or another.

"You're so cute when you don't feel well," Natsumi added with a giggle. On hearing that, the younger girl pouted, trying her best to glower at the other woman, but was failing miserably since Natsumi only just pinched her cheeks teasingly, clearly unaffected.

"Nnn it's only for awhile..." Maki grumbled, burrowing unconsciously closer into the older woman's embrace. "Don't tell the others, it'll ruin my reputation."

"Of course not." Natsumi smiled indulgently down at the younger girl, who had closed her eyes and was leaning on her shoulder. The "bad girl" persona that Maki paraded around with usually was clearly not present at this very moment, and to tell the truth, it was exaggerated most of the time. Maki could be surprisingly gentle and childlike underneath the playgirl image, but that part of herself usually didn't surface except on very select occasions.

Natsumi looked around the still wrecked tavern, allowing Maki to rest for a while longer. Everyone who had passed out in there the night before were still in the places they had fallen unconscious in one way or another.

Yuko was sprawled not too far away from where Maki had originally laid, cuddling an empty bottle of rum to her. A blanket was on her, clearly the work of one of her shipmates. Yuuki had somehow flipped around and was now lying on his stomach, his face pillowed in his arms. As for Risa...

Natsumi smirked slightly at the sight. Well, it should be interesting to see Risa's reaction when she wakes up to find herself firmly entwined around the equally comatose barmaid from the night before. She was fairly sure nothing had happened the night before between them, since they had passed out fairly quickly, but at first glance, those two appeared to be in a somewhat incriminating position. Risa's face was buried in the crook between Ai-chan's neck and shoulders, and her hands held the other girl in a firm embrace...except that those hands had somehow found their way under the loose blouse that Ai-chan was wearing. The barmaid's skirt was also somewhat hiked up, and since the two were pressed so closely together, the whole situation looked decidedly suggestive as a result.

Yossi and Mari had left the tavern a little while ago, probably to run some errands or some such. Reina and Makoto had gone back to their ship somewhere during the previous night after Miki had charged in with Aya in her arms, supposedly to inform their other shipmates who were on guard back at their ship about the situation, and to take over guard duty as well.

Then the doctor came in through the broken doors of the tavern. Kei, it was, Natsumi remembered the name after a moment. She was holding a few packages of what was probably medicine of some kind. Kei nodded politely at Natsumi as she passed, and the naval officer took the opportunity to ask.

"Are you going to check on them?"

Kei paused and replied in the affirmative, before proceeding up the stairs near the back of the tavern. Natsumi then gently shook Maki awake, coaxing the younger girl to stand by baiting her with the promise to see Aya. Groggily, Maki followed after Natsumi as they too mounted the stairs to go look in on Aya.

They ran into Kei at the open door to the room. The doctor was shaking her head in an amused fashion. Natsumi tiptoed up a little to peek over the taller Kei's shoulder, and almost fell over in surprise at the very compromising position Aya was in on the bed. Deciding that Maki really shouldn't see this, lest she be tempted to kill that girl who was currently on top of Aya, Natsumi tried to pull Maki away before the taller girl focused enough to look inside the room.

Unfortunately, Aya had chosen that moment to speak out loud.

"It's not what you think! Will someone please get her off me?" Natsumi had known Aya since they were in their early teens, and this was just about the first time that she had heard her sound so aggravated and mortified.

Of course, Aya's voice immediately drew Maki's attention to the room, and the tall Second Mate appeared to shake off the worst effects of her hangover to push past a panicking Natsumi, searching out for Aya...and finding her pinned under another girl. Natsumi groaned. This wasn't going to go down well at all.

Maki saw red. What was a strange girl doing touching her Aya? And from the looks of it, Aya looked like she was struggling to get out. Unacceptable, completely unacceptable. If it was a case of mutual consent between her best friend and someone else, Maki would be able to marginally choke down any objections, although she would probably sulk about it for awhile. But someone forcing themselves on Aya? Well, she would probably make them wish that they've never been born.

Striding over to the bed (and pushing roughly past Kei in the process), Maki roughly took hold of Miki and tried to forcibly yank her off. Which was probably not the best move in the world. Kei was torn between getting the hell out of the way or going forward to try and save someone's life. Natsumi had no doubts about her decision though, quickly going forward to try and hold Maki back from slaughtering Miki in her sleep (or so she thought).

Natsumi's intervention might have saved Maki from a very nasty fate of being skewered by one of Miki's flying daggers. It was a very narrow escape though. Kei had to duck when one of the daggers hit the door next to her. Maki got a very nice cut across the same arm where Yossi had wounded her the night before, and a lock of Nacchi's hair had been cleanly sliced off even as she and Maki had tried to duck to the floor after the first dagger had flown past their heads.

Aya, for her part, decided to remain very very still once she saw what Miki was capable of even in her sleep. Fortunately, Miki didn't seem inclined to hurt her, so it wasn't that bad. She did however wish that Miki would stop unconsciously groping her in her sleep.

After that first flurry of flying blades, Miki settled contentedly back into her Aya-pillow, snoring a bit as she made herself comfortable again. Aya sweatdropped. What kind of person was this? As if sleeptalking and all that nonsense with groping her weren't enough, now she's a homicidal maniac while unconscious?

Aya wondered what she had gotten herself into. Looking helplessly at the nearest person in her line of sight, who happened to be Kei, she mouthed "help me!".

Kei was shaking her head when she replied. "Only Yossi knows how to wake Miki up without getting killed. Besides, she's not hurting you, so why not let her wake up on her own for now?" If looks could kill, Kei would be reduced to atoms by Aya's deathglare by now.

Kaori, who had come in behind Kei in the meantime, was murmuring absently to herself. "Well, if Miki is well enough to attempt murder in her sleep, then she must have mostly recovered..."

Meanwhile on the floor off to one side of the bed, Maki was muttering various obscenities while clutching painfully at her wounded left arm, with Natsumi busily trying to staunch the bleeding with fabric torn off the hem of her own shirt.

Seeing that no help would be forthcoming for her in the meantime, Aya decided she had to resort to extreme measures to free herself. She had very little room to move her arms, but her fingers were free. Hoping that Miki wouldn't decide to stab her for what she was about to do, Aya braced herself......and tickled Miki.

The reaction was instantaneous. Miki started spasming and giggling in her sleep, and her grip loosened just enough for Aya to push her off, the pirate rolling off her and hitting the floor with a very hard thud. This time, that did do the job of waking her up.

Aya had immediately sat up and attempted to get off the bed after dislodging Miki. However, she didn't count on the wave of dizziness that hit her just as she tried to stand up, and she lost her balance, tripping and falling...

...right onto a now conscious Miki.

The knife-throwing pirate grinned upwards despite the pain caused by first her impact on the floor, and then by Aya falling onto her. The two were practically nose to nose as they stared straight into the other's eyes (well, more like glared in Aya's case).

Miki was smirking. This was just too good to pass up.

"You know, I could get used to waking up with you on top of me. But next time, try it on the bed, it's more comfortable." Miki paused, still grinning flirtatiously. "Although if you like it rough, I don't mind either..."

In the background, Kei and Kaori were snickering, while Natsumi had to physically pin Maki down from going over to kill Miki herself.

Aya wanted to strangle that infuriating woman. In fact, she did. Or was about to. Her hands had already closed around Miki's neck, when Miki, sensing danger to her own continual wellbeing, decided to take steps to delay the inevitable. Miki being Miki, she just did the first thing that came to mind.

She simply pulled Aya back down and kissed her again.

==================================================


XD XD XD

Miki, as usual, has no problems shooting her mouth off. No sense of self-preservation indeed. And she can cause chaos asleep or awake. Sigh, she needs someone to keep her in line. *coughAyacough* XD

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 17, 2007, 08:49:10 PM
Haha, the joys of alcohol does wonders xD I also wonder how Risa would react when she wakes up in that compromising position :]

Fear Miki. She's even stronger when sleeping xD Gotta love how she's gropetastic 24/7! <3

Aya and Miki's relationship amuse me to no end xD Can't wait til Aya admits that she really does like Miki's frankness and stubbornness and forwardness <3!!!

And it seems that the Groping Crew and the Navy crew get along to some extent xD Wonder how the crew relations will be later on <3!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on March 17, 2007, 11:30:45 PM
Quote from: Estrea;331654

Maki found herself wrapped in an embrace by the smaller woman. "Silly Gocchin, it's fine. I don't mind." The taller girl found herself relaxing, the stiffness in her limbs easing from the comforting hug. Maki had lost her mother at a very early age, and while Natsumi wasn't quite a substitute for a mother figure, she was a lot like the wise elder sister that would always be there for her. A sister that she admittedly slept with on occasion, but Nacchi could always be counted on to comfort her, one way or another.

"You're so cute when you don't feel well," Natsumi added with a giggle. On hearing that, the younger girl pouted, trying her best to glower at the other woman, but was failing miserably since Natsumi only just pinched her cheeks teasingly, clearly unaffected.

"Nnn it's only for awhile..." Maki grumbled, burrowing unconsciously closer into the older woman's embrace. "Don't tell the others, it'll ruin my reputation."

[...]

In the background, Kei and Kaori were snickering, while Natsumi had to physically pin Maki down from going over to kill Miki herself.


I'm usually more of a lurker when it comes to commenting and so even though I've followed this story from the beginning, this is my first time commenting.

But I just had to, this time, because you included some Nacchi/Gocchin and I just have to tell you how much I love you for that!!! Right after Yuko/Kei, they're my favorite H!P couple, but no one ever writes them. So thank you thank you thank you so so much :heart: Their interaction was just soooo cute!!!

Btw, this story rocks my socks :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 18, 2007, 05:11:18 AM
Oh yes~! Some TaGaki (sort of?) in this chappie! Will Gaki-san do her whole song and dance of overreacting when she wakes up? heh! XD

Horray for AyaxMiki and MakixNatsumi! Hum, is Yossie going out to fetch Rika???
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on March 18, 2007, 10:54:25 AM
Oh my... I've never realize I could finish reading the whole thing from the beginning in just one day and I'm asking for more. ARRRRR!!!!!.... This is one great fic!! It's too broad thou that's why I don't know how you will end it.  

Many things scrambled my mind reading it (I'm always like this when I read great fic) since a few more H!P member haven't included in your story. I have a wild guess what would be their role in the story. But I'm not sure if it would be ok to post it. XD

Ok.. It's obvious that my fave character would be the twin but I never thought that Miki would be included. I really like her not just becuase of her antics with Aya but taking care for the twins. I think they found a new mom where they can share the same interest. :ONwahaha: But for the weapon user, it should be Risa. Who would thought that a navy rookie like her would be that dangerous? And sniper rifle or rather any gun is always my fave weapon. I think she's the best match-up for Harpoon user Reina. Having thought that Aya herself handpick her crew, I guess that the shy, harmless looking Eri would be equally dangerous as Risa. Never said what she is capable of but it would be great if she's the crew's best cannon operator where she know how to bounce the cannon ball from one target to another like a cue ball in billiard XD.

@Yuuyami, Is it true that you draw them? Can I see that? I was planning to draw them a while ago but I've seen your post that you already made one.:thumbsup
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 18, 2007, 01:19:09 PM
hoooray for AyaXMiki and MakiXNacchi

uhm, now I totally forgot what I actually wanted to say, hahaha XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 18, 2007, 02:10:45 PM
Well, I'm still working on them xD

-needs to touch up on the ones I finished and work on the rest-
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 18, 2007, 04:09:00 PM
Well I have one announcement to make....

There will be no chapter for tonight. ^^;;

My headache is getting too bad for me to focus properly. Been pulling too many all-nighters to write the last few chapters, and I haven't been getting enough sleep. Haha. Normally I would have considered going on to write the next chapter even with the headache, but Chapter 11 has a few important plot points that I want to cover, so I don't want to mess it up by going into it now with my focus shot. I hope everyone understands. :)

And hi to freya and Sancho! Welcome aboard! XD

Haha I'm glad you liked the Nacchi/Gocchin scene freya! Glad that it lured you out of the woodwork to post a comment. XD I like Nacchi/Gocchin pairing too, since I read about it quite frequently at the yamibo forums, so I have a soft spot for them together. :) Hope you keep on commenting, and glad you like my story. :)

Glad you like my story Sancho! Another fan of the twins! You can definitely get along well with rndmn, he loves them too. XD And finally someone notices Risa's awesomeness with that head shot she pulled. And cute idea with Eri...hmmm I might consider doing that. XD

@orangesocks: Mmm, Risa's reactions are always fun. I already have something in mind, so don't worry. Classic Risa will be on display XD

@Yuuyami: Aya and Miki have a long way to go before they'll get close for real. But that won't stop Miki from trying to get close to Aya on a physical level anyway. Haha. There's a reason for it too....*cough* And anyway, I too look forward to your drawings. XD The earlier sketches you showed me were pretty brilliant. ^^

@coachie: You forgot everything you wanted to say? Oh well, never mind. :) As long as you keep commenting at all. XD

Ah well, off to bed I go. Will bring your regularly scheduled program back the next day. Ciao!

P.S. To all lurkers out there: The ship is big enough for all you guys to come aboard. :P No need to keep stealthily lurking in the waters around, you know. :P Besides, there are sharks in the water! Get outta there and come onboard already! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 18, 2007, 06:10:22 PM
This story is so funny! Can't stop laughing now XD

Aya/Miki moments are incredible.. The builtin gropage automation XD

Nono/Aibon is also so lovely...

Where is Sayumi? Is she a noble like Rika XD?

Hope to read Gaki-san vs Miki battle while Miki is trying to grope Aichan. Reaction queen navy vs Groper pirate.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Kitara on March 18, 2007, 07:20:59 PM
Sharks?! o__o *scrambles onboard*

(Gah, I guess I can't lurk anymore XD) At first I was a bit wary about this fic, but you've definitely proved me wrong. I love the story and the humor, especially how you've described both sides and the Aya/Miki interaction (poor Aya...;; ) Can't wait to read the next chapter~!

...*shuffles into a corner to wait* ._.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 18, 2007, 08:37:55 PM
hey.. the fact that I don't comment usually doensn't mean that I'm a lurker right? XDXDXD
I was a bit absent these days..
Anyway, loved the chapter. Aya&Miki interactions are amazing even with Miki asleep XD Now there's someone else who can wake up Miki without being killed, ne? ^^
And I like a lot the moment between Nacchi and Maki. They're so cute together ^^
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 18, 2007, 11:24:00 PM
Quote from: Estrea;330064
Chapter 8There, GAM fans, you got some action. :P The original scene was a lot more, umm, graphic...I had to censor it *cough*
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...why'd you have to go and do that for? :(

Pssst...you still have the uncensored version somewhere?
:twisted:



Quote from: len.chan;332351
hey.. the fact that I don't comment usually doensn't mean that I'm a lurker right? XDXDXD
I was a bit absent these days..
Same here. Been helping out a couple of friends with a shitload of stuff for thier upcoming wedding has kept me busy for the past week and a half.   So many new chapters! So much to catch up on! Can't quote it all, but gotta say (going off of what I can remember at the moment):

- of course, love the GAM stuff (especially when Miki's sleeptalking/sleepgroping). :D

- Maki helping get Yuuki drunk :lol:

- TakaGaki passed out....awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

- bar fight scene...all sorts of awesome :thumbsup

- Aya has a gunblade! XD

- smuggling of naval weapons??? :o Definitely looking forward to see how you play this part out. The conspiracy theorist in me can't help but think that either the Admiral (Aya's father) or Rika has something to do with that, and/or somehow it's linked to the possible "fall" of Yossi's house (assuming she comes from/came from a noble family).


This fic is definitely a
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/HPLeetSpeak/MikiWinner.jpg)


and everytime a new chapter is posted I go
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/HPLeetSpeak/KoharuHellzYa.jpg)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Saikami on March 18, 2007, 11:51:46 PM
Oh. My. Gahh! I love this fic! XD I'm glad I did take the time to read it. <3 Pirates are kickass and I love you! :panda_kiss: I love the Aya and Miki moments! <3 <3 :ONkekeke: I could litterally see them playing in my head as I read!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: katatsumuri on March 19, 2007, 12:08:41 AM
* climbs onboard  *

Quote from: len.chan;332351
hey.. the fact that I don't comment usually doensn't mean that I'm a lurker right? XDXDXD


That's right. And sometimes it so happens those before me had said what I wanted to say...
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: cheesesticks on March 19, 2007, 12:16:05 AM
*falls onboard* Phew! The sharks were nipping at my heels XD [/cheesey]

Anyways, I just want to say THANK YOU for giving me something to look forward to at the end of my day. Reading this fic has been soooo fun, especially the fight scenes and GAM! I LOVE GAM! moreover I LOVE MIKI. Or at least the sexually straightfoward, homicidal, shameless, maniacal, sadistic, molesting and (in the inside) caring MIKI that you've created. Extra points for her having a blade fetish XD

Of course, I love all the characters. You've made them each so unique and eccentric it's hard not to love em.

Anyway, all that GAM action (at the harbour, bed, and... floor XD) is enough to give anyone several nosebleeds so you have plenty of time to spare, so feel free to take your time to rest! :D

[edit] holy shit, i just went on a carrot binge and i don't feel too well now.. @_@.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 19, 2007, 12:21:59 AM
GAM love! Yay!

Edit: Kinda (okay, really a lot) hoping for a Two Top pairing in here, as well.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 19, 2007, 02:46:03 AM
Woo, there's been plenty of GAM action here; but now I'm looking forward to TakaGaki complication. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on March 19, 2007, 06:23:41 AM
You know you could honestly just make this a fic about Aya and Miki running into each other, falling on top of each other, sleep-groping, kissing each other furiously-mindlessly.... and I'm sure 99% wouldn't mind at all XD

But! You and your comedy and mad writing skillz keep us coming back for more. I'm seriously sensing a big event in the next chapter O_o am I right? hope so! Anyway don't worry about us. Get as much rest as you need! It's all worth it!!

We'll be waiting patiently! hohohoho~ :ONbyebye:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Mikan on March 19, 2007, 07:30:07 AM
*climbs on board*
Yes my lurking is over and my first post here begins!! MUHAHAHAHA!

Ive never been happier since this fic started. Everything about it makes me smile. Keep it going, mate
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: tanakachi on March 19, 2007, 05:16:51 PM
haha been reading this since the beginning so yeh might aswell join the crew haha XD anyways loving it soo far haha some GAM action is always great haha :) :heart:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 19, 2007, 05:31:17 PM
Wow, the idea of sharks in the water certainly lured quite a few people onboard. XD Too tired to reply to everyone (well, more like lazy, but nvm), so I'll just go ahead and post the chapter you've all been waiting for. XD

----------------------------------------------

Chapter 11


Meanwhile, as Yossi and Mari were walking back down the waterfront to get to their ship, the shorter pirate wondered out loud.

"I wonder if anything could be happening back there?"

Yossi looked thoughtful. "I don't think so, most of them are still sleeping. How much trouble can they possibly get into while asleep?"

Mari shrugged. "Just a feeling I have. Like we're missing something..." Changing the subject, she went on.

"Say, don't you think it's weird that those people we fought last night are so good? I don't think they're ordinary sailors, or pirates either."

Yossi frowned. "Well that's true...the style seems familiar somehow...I'm sure I've seen that fighting style somewhere before. Just not with the twin swords. That girl was pretty good..." Mari nodded emphatically. "So was the one I was fighting. I wonder who they are..."

Yossi scratched absently at the back of her neck. "Well, I'm sure we'll figure it out sooner or later..." Her attention diverted to two familiar forms slipping into a back alley somewhere off in front of them. "Are those the twins?" Mari turned to look, but saw nothing. "What?"

"Well, I don't know...maybe I was seeing things..." Mari laughed. "If it is the twins though, they're probably up to something again. I wouldn't put it against them."

"This early?" The taller pirate blurted out, then corrected herself. "Oh wait, this is the twins we are talking about."

Mari looked wistfully at the alley where Yossi had pointed out earlier. "Wonder if I could join them...?"

"You too? Oh please, the two of them are enough trouble on their own! You should be setting a good example, not encouraging them!" Yossi scolded her sometime-mentor. Mari simply stuck out her tongue out at the younger girl.

"Oh don't be boring, Hitomi-chan~" Mari teased as they walked past another pair of girls who were walking towards where they came from. "You tall people don't understand how us shorties feel!" The pint-sized pirate added, slapping Yossi's forearm playfully. Yossi just rolled her eyes. "Whatev---"

"Yocchan?"

Yossi froze in her tracks. What the...

Only two people ever called her that, and one of them was dead this past ten years. But then, it simply couldn't be...she couldn't be here...

"Yocchan, is that you?" The voice was plaintive, sweet, and familiar. Mari poked the seemingly insensate pirate next to her. "Oy, Yossi, there's a really hot girl looking at you. You know her?"

Yossi forced herself to turn around, slowly and painfully...and met a familiar pair of eyes. Her knees felt a bit weak. The name she hadn't spoken of in a decade slipped out of her suddenly dry lips before she even realised it.

"Rika..."

~*~*~

"I hope Miki is fine.." Aibon mused aloud as she skipped out of the shop with Nono holding a package behind her. The older shrugged.

"She's impossible to kill. Besides, she'll feel all better after she sees these." Tsuji patted the package she was holding. "Great idea you came up with Aibon." Nono beamed at her counterpart, who simply turned to smile back just as brightly.

"You're the best Nono~" Following that was a quick tackle-hug on Tsuji by a slightly hyper Kago, before the younger of the twins slipped off (but not before giving her "twin" a quick peck on the cheek) and grabbed Nono by the wrist, completely missing the fact that Nono was blushing like crazy.

"Come on! Let's go see Miki and annoy her into getting better!"

~*~*~

Rika couldn't believe it. I mean, what were the odds of just bumping into the one person she was desperately wanting to see after 10 years? She thought she had gotten it wrong at first, but hearing that short girl call the other one "Hitomi-chan" had made her turn around for a second look after she had brushed past them for the first time.

They hadn't seen each other for 10 whole years, so she hadn't made the connection at first glance. But the second look made her notice the detail she had missed the first time round when she hadn't been looking as closely.

That sword. The pommel was covered by some kind of rough material to hide the carving on it, and some cloth was wrapped around the scabbard, but it was loose enough for her to see part of the ornate decorations lying just underneath. Her heart nearly stopped. She hadn't seen that weapon in years, but the memory of it remained fresh enough in her mind for her to recognise it almost instantly.

"Rika-chan! Look, Father gave me a sword for my birthday!" An exuberant young girl bounced up to her friend, who was sitting on a swing in her garden.

"It's a sabre Yocchan." The smaller girl corrected even as the 10 year old Yoshizawa Hitomi flopped down by her side, making the swing shake violently, causing Rika to nearly lose her balance and clutch onto a grinning Yossi's shoulder.

"Mou...Yocchan!" Rika pouted cutely at her best friend, who only grinned back irreverently, her large eyes bright.

"Isn't it beautiful? Father had it specially made just for me!" The birthday girl proudly showed it off to Rika, who carefully ran her fingers up the length of the scabbard, admiring the designs worked into it. The Yoshizawa crest was embedded in a jewel carving on the pommel, and Hitomi happily drew the blade for further inspection, before sheathing it once again in a quick, skillful move.

Rika smiled at her friend's simple joy at the magnificent weapon she had received as a present. Placing a small hand on Hitomi's arm, she spoke softly.

"Ne, Yocchan, I haven't given your present yet..." Yossi paused in her elation, turning to her best friend with a puzzled expression. "But I thought you did, earlier when you came with your family to the party."

"That's the one my mother picked out for all of us to give." Rika confessed, before adding shyly. "I have something else for you..."

Turning her full attention to her best friend, the younger girl waited eagerly. Rika hesitated, before handing over a folded square of cloth. Hitomi blinked.

"A...handkerchief?"

Rika was nervously looking at her hands in her lap. "Umm...open it up..."

Doing as she was told, the cloth fell open, revealing the delicate embroidery neatly stitched on the fine silk, making Hitomi gasp in surprise. The design was that of the Yoshizawa family crest...cleverly integrated with the Ishikawa crest. Their names were also interlaced with each other in the corner. The needlework was exquisite, and Yossi looked in astonishment back at her best friend. "This is..."

"Uh...well...I made it...since you keep forgetting to bring a handkerchief around with you all the time. It's not right for a lady not to...eep!" Rika was suddenly embraced by the taller girl.

"Thank you!"

"You like it then?" Rika beamed adorably at her friend. "I was afraid that you would think it was ugly..."

Hitomi grinned as she drew back from the hug. "It's perfect, really. How did you come up with this?"

Rika blushed lightly, although it couldn't be seen in the dim light. "Well, we are best friends, and I wanted a way to show that, so..." She left it hanging, and was startled when Hitomi impulsively took her hands, making her wince slightly in pain. The younger girl frowned, turning Rika's hand over and checking it.

"It's nothing really Yocchan..." Rika murmured as Hitomi inspected the small hands, noticing the small pinprick-like wounds on the fingers. She frowned. "You hurt yourself while making this?" Seeing that she couldn't quite deny the fact, Rika nodded slowly. "It's my first time trying a design like that, so it was difficult..." She admitted.

"Baka...you should be more careful..." Hitomi cradled Rika's hands gently in her own. "I don't like seeing you get hurt..."

"It's alright..." Rika soothed, smiling at her friend's concern. "It's your birthday, cheer up!"

Hitomi made some effort to smile for her friend's sake. "This is the best birthday present I've ever gotten...I'll always keep it with me!"

Rika beamed again. "Even better than the sabre your father gave you?" She teased lightly, tapping at the sheathed weapon on her friend's lap.

She hesitated. "Um...uh...do I have to choose?" Rika laughed at Hitomi's torn expression.

"Silly Yocchan, of course you don't have to..."


The memory made Rika smile unconsciously. It was one of the many happy moments that they had shared as children, practically growing up together...until that time. She refused to think about it now though. The most important thing was that she had found her Yocchan, and judging from how the other girl had frozen in place when she had called out that familiar nickname, she was doubly sure that she had finally found the person she had been waiting for, and looking for, all this time.

Then she had turned around, and Rika found herself studying the grown up version of her best friend. It was...different. The angles of her face were sharper, having lost most of the baby fat, and she had gotten taller and thinner. There was a wary and guarded expression on that face, something that hadn't been there when they were children. It made her sad, somehow, seeing that. What had happened during all this time to do that to her? Rika had a feeling it had to be nothing good.

But then again, everything had gone to hell that time. It had been a shock when she had heard that the entire Yoshizawa clan was to be executed for treason. To this day, she had not been certain what exactly were the crimes that that family had committed to warrant such a harsh fate from the Emperor. Despite being only a child then, she had stubbornly gone to the execution grounds against her parents' wishes, determined to, at the very least, see Yocchan for the last time. Or try to save her, no matter how difficult or impossible it seemed.

She hadn't even been able to get near the grounds, but she was able to find a place where she could look. She would be there for her best friend, even if she couldn't be right by her side. No matter how terrible, how gruesome the whole proceedings would be, she would stay.

And she did. She never took her eyes away, determined to face this situation. Each beheading shook her deeply, made her want to throw up, want to look away. She was biting her lip so hard that it bled, but she never turned away for one instant. She knew all those people, the servants even, from the many visits she had made to the Yoshizawa house. She wept when Kouta, Yocchan's younger brother, died under that swift, unrelenting blade.

But where was Hitomi? She scrutinised the whole proceedings closely, but she hadn't seen her best friend. When the last one was finally executed, the idea finally sank in.

She's not dead... The girl had managed to escape the carnage somehow, saved from the awful fate that had befallen her entire family. There was hope, however minor, lurking in the heart of that 12 year old Ishikawa Rika. Yocchan's not dead...she must be alive...somewhere...

That had been the sole belief in her heart, all this time. 10 years. She had waited 10 years, hoping that her best friend would find a way somehow to contact her. But there had been no news, despite all her own subtle efforts to scout for news as she had gotten older. On one level, she had understood why. Yocchan had had to drop out of sight, since technically she was a fugitive, convicted of high treason. But the lack of any contact had hurt. Not even a single word, a line, just to assure Rika that the other girl had been safe.

And now, here they were. They were not all that far apart physically now, barely 10 feet from each other. But yet, she could sense the invisible chasm of 10 whole years separating them, like a huge valley to be bridged. Rika didn't even know if it were possible for that to happen. Both of them had gone through too much, seen too much, changed too much. Would they be able to return to the time of their innocent childhood? Could they?

Rika was afraid of the answer. The one person she had yearned to see all this time, and now all she wanted to do was run away. She could see the same uncertainty in Yossi's eyes as the other girl faced her.

And then she had spoken her name.

"Rika..."

The broken, disbelieving tone, awkward and...relieved? Yes, relief. That emotion...

It gave Rika hope. Maybe, just maybe...they had a chance to start over again.

It would be a start. Not much, but it was a start.

Rika smiled as she closed the distance between them.

~*~*~

The twins bounded up the stairs, having entered through the backdoor as per their usual habit.

The door to the room furthest from the stairs were open, and Kaori was standing just outside the doorframe, so they naturally gravitated towards her.

"What's happening?" Aibon piped up curiously after she had pounced on the unsuspecting Kaori from behind, nearly sending them both crashing to the ground, which would have happened had Kaori not quickly grabbed onto the doorframe to brace herself. Kaori didn't have to say a thing, she just pointed, a small grin on her face.

Tsuji wondered what her partner was snickering about, so she had to edge past both Kaori and Kei, who were blocking her view. What she saw made her laugh out loud.

"Ne, Aibon, looks like we didn't need to get Miki a get-well present." Nono was grinning evilly at her "twin", who had the exact same expression on her face.

"She certainly looks cheerful enough." Aibon agreed with a beatific smile, still riding on Kaori's back.

"Energetic too." Kei and Kaori snickered again at the twins' commentary of the situation.

A few minutes later, with Natsumi still trying to hold a completely livid Maki down, Nono scratched her head as she wondered out loud.

"Don't they need to come up for air?" Aibon shrugged as she finally decided to slide off Kaori's back.

"Dunno." She paused, then suggested brightly. "Why don't we try and see how long we can hold it for?"

Nono immediately turned away to face a different direction, blushing a fiery red. "Ah...umm..." The older twin stuttered, her voice shaking.

Aibon giggled as she clung on to her partner from behind. "Just kidding~!" Nono's shoulders sagged, mostly from relief, but there was just a slightest twinge of disappointment in her. She tensed again, however, when Aibon whispered into her ear. "I don't really mind if we try though...Nono's my best friend after all~"

Desperate for a change in topic, since she didn't know how she would react if the teasing(?) continued, Nono tried her best to think of something to say. While she was fretting over that, Maki had finally gotten loose from underneath Natsumi, and was about to climb up and rip Miki into shreds, when she suddenly fell over, unconscious, to the ground. Natsumi had an apologetic look as she caught the knocked out Maki. She had had to hit her in the back of the head to prevent the younger girl from doing anything rash in the hear of the moment. Sorry Gocchin...

Meanwhile, Miki and Aya, as the twins had noted earlier, were still practically attached to each other by the lips (among other things). Miki had known that if she let Aya go, the other girl would probably really try to kill her for real. So she had stubbornly refused to let go, reasoning that as long as she kept the girl on top of her distracted this way, she could live for a while longer.

Not that she wasn't enjoying the current position she was in, of course.

Aya had been stunned when that insufferable woman under her had pulled her in for a kiss again, and had somehow taken advantage of her gasp of shock to slip her tongue in as well. As if the kiss down by the waterfront hadn't enough, now this?! Aya wanted to scream, and probably beat Miki to a pulp afterwards. Strangling would be too easy a death for her. Aya was fully inclined to cut her into little pieces and feed her to the sharks...

But then, why was she fighting that intrusive tongue in her mouth with her own, when she could just bite down and make the other girl let go like she did before?

It was all too confusing. Aya felt her mind haze over, completely oblivious to the surroundings, only all too aware of the skilled tongue working its magic and her own, tentative attempts to respond. It felt sort of...nice. Different from the one at the waterfront. There was more fascination here than the lustful desperation that had driven the first, the exploration much more gentle, but firm at the same time. It didn't feel as threatening, which didn't alert her own natural defensive reaction.

Miki almost bit back a laugh when a soft moan rumbled in Aya's throat, barely audible, but she felt it more than heard it anyway. Feeling more confident in herself, the knife-loving pirate smirked into the kiss and attacked just a bit more fiercely, while absently letting one hand slide down and slip under the other girl's shirt...

She felt Aya abruptly stiffen, and realised her mistake when Aya bit down again savagely. With a pained yelp from the pirate, they came apart, both panting heavily, and Miki was whimpering slightly as blood pooled in her mouth.

"Did you have to bite in the same place twice?!" Miki complained, her words coming out a bit slurred, as Aya had gotten part of her tongue as well. The young captain, still straddling the pirate while rubbing vigorously at her swollen lips (from all that kissing), just glared murderously down.

"Oh, so that's how you got that cut in your lip in the first place!" Kei clapped her hands together in realisation.

Miki sat up and spat out the excess blood on the floor next to her, before glaring at the smirking doctor. "Don't push it, damnit." Then, looking up at the fuming Aya who was still on her lap, Miki looked challengingly at her.

"What? You can't say you didn't enjoy that! I know you did..."

Aya wanted so very much to kill that smugly smiling girl facing her. But she couldn't deny that the other girl was right...she had enjoyed that just a little, before Miki had pushed her a little further than she was willing to go at this point. Words couldn't explain the depth of the anger and humiliation that was seething within the proud young captain prodigy, but she was going to try anyway.

"Screw you." Those two words were laden with enough venom to kill an entire legion. If Miki felt the hostility, she didn't let it show. The smirk on her face only widened.

"That can be arranged."

It took Aya about 2 seconds before she could process what Miki said. When it clicked though, she gave a howl of absolute fury and was about to literally murder the smug pirate that sat smirking in her face, but Miki caught her wrists, foiling her attempt.

The two struggled futilely for a few moments, much to the amusement of their audience which they had both effectively ignored throughout their exchange, before Aya suddenly went limp and fainted again, falling right into Miki's surprised arms. Miki took a questioning glance at Kei, who shrugged.

"She's not fully recovered yet, and then all that...excitement must have overloaded her body again. She needs rest." The last part was said quite pointedly at the younger pirate, who looked utterly remorseless despite everything.

Natsumi cleared her throat. "Maybe it's best that we take her back to our ship...I don't think she'll take kindly to seeing you again when she wakes up..."

Miki appeared to be considering that for a moment, before she replied. "No."

"No?" Natsumi echoed hollowly, confused.

Smirking again, Miki explained.

"She owes me her life. I'm not letting her go until she repays that debt somehow." She traced a finger down Aya's cheek. "Besides, I just can't wait to see her face when she finds out that I was the one who saved her life." Miki beamed widely at the rest, who were either gaping (Natsumi), smirking (Kei and Kaori), or outright laughing (the twins) at her pronouncement.

Looking down at the unconscious girl in her arms, Miki smirked evilly again as she whispered to a comatose Aya.

"You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..."

-----------------------------------------------------------


XD XD XD

I had to move another part planned for this chapter to the next one, since it was getting too long already. Haha.

Well, will quit blabbing for now. I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 19, 2007, 06:09:51 PM
Much enjoyment! Yay at the twins, can I hope for some experimenting? Actually, that sounds kinda pervy, how old are they here? 19?

Anyway, also yay at Miki and Aya. Oh so devious is Miki!

And Ishiyoshi! (Which I almost forgot to mention my love for in my excitment.)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 19, 2007, 06:09:53 PM
I am laughing so much from the "You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..." part XD
Now I wonder what Miki will do to Aya... :heart:

Aibon teasing Nono :heart:

But IshiYoshi... :o seems so tense.

I love how you can have the first part of the chapter to be tense and change it to be pure comedic (AyaMiki) on the second part XD.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: tanakachi on March 19, 2007, 06:13:28 PM
haha loved it, loved the yossi and rika bit, and aya and miki bit was just TOOO FUNNY XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on March 19, 2007, 06:14:26 PM
that chapter was so f*** good! XDXD
first, the Yossi and Rika's reunion after 10 years (can't wait to see what will happen) and then the Miki and Aya 'show' with the others watching XD amazing!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Mikan on March 19, 2007, 06:26:44 PM
Ahh...I wanna know what happens to Rika and Yossui!! Lol. But I am more interested in GAM...XD I mean, who isnt?

Making out in front of a crowd? Wow..tha' girl's got guts!
Aya becoming a sex slave? Ok, well I know thats not how its gonna end up but thats how it seems and wow, I didnt see that coming. Cant wait to see how Natsumi, Gocchin and co. React to that!

Well, It was worth the wait! So now my friends Im off to the land of nighty night :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Saikami on March 19, 2007, 08:44:04 PM
Ah, great chapter yet again! It's a damn shame Aya stopped Miki. ;D But at least she didn't pass out in the middle of the makeout session. XD Poor Maki, knocked out cold like that when she was just trying to help Aya. (Although, I'm perfectly fine with the fact that she didn't get to stop it.) XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 19, 2007, 08:46:51 PM
Well it seems the Ishiyoshi prediction came true :]

I'd imagine that their relationship will be a sweet one! Kind and loving like the people they are <3

Miki and Aya in other words... >:] I wonder how Miki's going to keep Aya with her for the debt, personal slave maybe? And I'm not sure if Maki is also in love with Aya, or simply doesn't want to see someone like Miki getting near her best friend or something xD Perhaps that plays a bigger role later on in the story? :]

But what I look forward to most is the Ishiyoshi plot, how they will interact now that they have finally found eachother :]

I'm not sure, but I think I know how you're going to write the story now. The situation with the smuggling within the Royal Navy might actually be the outline of the plot, while you integrate how each pirate or Royal member's past is catching up to where they are, yes? I might be wrong, but no doubt that there will be things like that strewn across the plot :]

I look forward to the future chapters! <3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on March 19, 2007, 10:33:13 PM
This fic has definitely got the fangirl in me excited! All of this GAM action . . . :drool: It goes from hot to cute, then back to hot! Miki, you are so sly! :heart: Also, the IshiYoshi meeting was so heartwrenching. Poor Rika! ;___;

I can't wait to see what happens after this!! xD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on March 20, 2007, 12:26:47 AM
Quote
"You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..."


I hope so, I hope so :heart:
I wonder how Aya's gonna get out of this, hahaha
But as soon as she's fully recovered from the poison, Miki will have an worthy opponent, can't wait for hot AyaMiki fights (verbal and physical) and the day (that hopefully won't come too soon) when they finally rip off each others clothes and Aya gets to explore where exactly Miki hides all of her precious knives on her body... errr, of course I mean the day they finally fall in love XD

and "awww" at poor Gocchin, I hope she can forgive Nacchi for that hit XD

(so, after editing this post for 1274th time, I think I finally said everything I wanted to)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 20, 2007, 01:48:29 AM
Everyone's pretty much said my thoughts already!  I totally can't wait to see what happens with Rika and Yossui!  

Keep up the great work, Estrea!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 20, 2007, 02:06:33 AM
Haha, I laughed outright at the MikixAya part! Aya's grudgingly falling for Miki..heh.

The twins were too cute! XD

I just hope Yossie's going to hug Rika or something, seeing as there wasn't much reaction from her in the chappie. Oh Ishiyoshi~!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: cheesesticks on March 20, 2007, 02:17:05 AM
"You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..."

AHH. most. anticipated. moment. ever. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on March 20, 2007, 02:51:24 AM
Okay, so I finally got a chance to go through and read this whole story from top to bottom and I must say I'm completely hooked. I mean, it has everything I love: pirates, comedy, GAM action ("You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..." is the most hilarious line ever. XD ), the infamous W, Nacchi/Maki, TakaGaki (even if just accidentally), and the list goes on.

Great job so far. :heart: I'm looking forward to more.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: glcorps2002 on March 20, 2007, 05:09:19 AM
What were the twins going to do to cheer her up?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 20, 2007, 06:21:16 AM
Quote from: glcorps2002;333672
What were the twins going to do to cheer her up?
Sounded like they got her a gift...I think.


OMGASS...TREASON?!?!?!? :shocked: We need details! Please say Yossi's family was framed! SAY THEY WERE FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMED!!! :cry:


Quote
"Yocchan?"

Yossi froze in her tracks. What the...

Only two people ever called her that, and one of them was dead this past ten years. But then, it simply couldn't be...she couldn't be here...

"Yocchan, is that you?" The voice was plaintive, sweet, and familiar. Mari poked the seemingly insensate pirate next to her. "Oy, Yossi, there's a really hot girl looking at you. You know her?"

Yossi forced herself to turn around, slowly and painfully...and met a familiar pair of eyes. Her knees felt a bit weak. The name she hadn't spoken of in a decade slipped out of her suddenly dry lips before she even realised it.

"Rika..."
Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. :heart:


Quote
"Screw you." Those two words were laden with enough venom to kill an entire legion. If Miki felt the hostility, she didn't let it show. The smirk on her face only widened.

"That can be arranged."
Shizzam! :D

Quote
"She owes me her life. I'm not letting her go until she repays that debt somehow." She traced a finger down Aya's cheek. "Besides, I just can't wait to see her face when she finds out that I was the one who saved her life." Miki beamed widely at the rest, who were either gaping (Natsumi), smirking (Kei and Kaori), or outright laughing (the twins) at her pronouncement.

Looking down at the unconscious girl in her arms, Miki smirked evilly again as she whispered to a comatose Aya.

"You and me...we're going to have so much fun together..."
DOUBLE SHIZZAM!! :lol:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on March 20, 2007, 10:08:29 AM
*keeps commenting*

Quote from: Estrea;333169

"Ne, Aibon, looks like we didn't need to get Miki a get-well present." Nono was grinning evilly at her "twin", who had the exact same expression on her face.

"She certainly looks cheerful enough." Aibon agreed with a beatific smile, still riding on Kaori's back.

"Energetic too." Kei and Kaori snickered again at the twins' commentary of the situation.


*rofl* I wish I was there to witness that scene!!!! :P
GAM making out = super hotness
GAM making out + the other girls' comments = TEH WIN!!!

Quote from: Estrea;333169

XD XD XD

I had to move another part planned for this chapter to the next one, since it was getting too long already. Haha.



Don't worry, we won't complain about lengthy chapters :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on March 20, 2007, 10:04:19 PM
WWOOWW!!! Nice epi. when reading the previous chap. I got the nerve Yossi and Rika will meet in that place but I thought Yossi will deny her identity to her. Guess I was wrong. And the reason for Yossi to join the pirate was now answered.
And Miki was more evil than before. :onwahaha: I wonder what's she's instore for Aya and I'm sure Natsumi,especially Maki, wouldn't like it. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 21, 2007, 10:53:09 AM
Sorry for the wait everyone! Lemme reply to all the comments first, then you get the chapter. XD

rndmn: Yeah the twins are around 19 here, so experimenting isn't completely out of the question. :P

Ren: Nice to have you onboard as well, and yes, the question of what Miki will do to Aya is rather high on everyone's list, isn't it? XD

tanakachi: Welcome aboard, glad you liked. XD

len.chan: Hehe that won't be the end of the show I think. More's to come!

Mikan: Aya as a sex slave? Where did THAT come from? You must really have been tired. :P

Saikami: Welcome aboard, and yes, good thing that Maki didn't interrupt, and that Aya didn't faint in the middle of it. That would have been depressing, ne?

Yuuyami: Aha, you and your incisive theories that threaten to spoil my story! :P Let's just say that Maki and Aya are close, and as for the smuggling, well, there's a lot more to it. :)

black velvet: Glad the action satisfied. ;)

coachie: Yeah, I'm so looking forward to that day too. XD

Blizzard: I can't wait either! XD

orangesocks: Ishiyoshi hug? One coming right up! ;)

cheesesticks: Isn't it? *rubs hands evilly*

FeveredInducedMadness: Welcome aboard! Hope you enjoy your stay with us! XD

glcorps: They were going to give her a gift. Can anyone guess what? XD

JFC: Mmm, for Yossi's family, well, you have to wait and see. :P

freya: Glad you kept commenting! XD Long chapter ahead, so you can be happy about that too. :)

Sancho: Yes well, Miki has evil plans, but Aya isn't just going to roll over and take it either :P It's going to be fun.

Well gonna post Chapter 12 within the next few minutes! Wait for it! :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on March 21, 2007, 11:05:51 AM
Hurry up already!! It's been over ten minutes, What's the hold up?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 21, 2007, 11:06:31 AM
Long chapter ahead. Fun and madness. XD

Edit: iacus, I was editing the chapter. :P
--------------------

Chapter 12


While the drama on the second floor was playing out, a different show of another kind was about to unfold on the ground floor as well. Definitely a place for entertainment, the Sea Coconut was. Unorchestrated theatrics, playing for the last 12 hours. Too bad there was no way to collect ticket fees and invite in an audience, otherwise Ayaka would have been able to cover the repairs for her tavern easily, and still have enough for a complete renovation.

Said characters of the unplanned "show" were currently in the process of waking up. Well, one of them was anyway. With any luck, the one will serve to provide us with enough entertainment, all on her own. But let us be quiet now and watch them, lest we disturb the outcome.

Mmmpf... Risa swam to wakefulness slowly and reluctantly, the pain in her skull feeling like a hammer pounding repeatedly within it. Augh... Her eyes still firmly shut, she nuzzled unconsciously into her pillow, biting into it as was her usual habit...

Nnn? Her half-conscious mind paused in mid-bite, instinct and habit taking over for thought, since she wasn't awake enough to be thinking much of anything at the time. Habit told her that her pillow didn't taste like that. It also informed her that the warmth from that "pillow" wasn't the same kind of warmth that she was used to when she first wakes up. Instinct then decided to tell her that pillows generally didn't shift on their own as well.

Still too groggy to properly process the information, Risa nuzzled back into the comfortably warm pillow, drooling contentedly as she dreamed about food. Mmm... Unconsciously working her jaw as she mimed chewing, the young sailor pressed harder against her "pillow", her lips attacking the surface it was pressed against.

Nnnn...tasty... Risa could practically imagine the delicious mixture of her favorite monjayaki running down the spatula she was slurping from in her dream. It was about to drip off though, so she absently licked it clean, her tongue unconsciously reaching out in reality at the same time to lick sensuously at the soft surface...

A startled shiver from her pillow, followed by a soft gasp. Risa frowned sleepily. Since when did her food giggle? Or her pillow, whatever? The strangeness of the whole situation warranted a visual confirmation, her mind groggily decided. It took a few seconds to force open her eyelids, since they had been gummed shut in sleep.

Pink. That didn't make sense. The first thing that had met her blurry eyes was the soft pink of...flesh?

What do you mean, flesh? A part of her mind was asking indignantly, even as the rest of her struggled to catch up. The pounding migraine that was forming in her head wasn't helping her in re-orientating to the real world either.

It took a few more awkward moments for her mind to piece together the random snippets of information that were present to her. Flesh...skin...soft...warm...a very fast heartbeat...?

When the realisation finally hit, Risa's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as she detached her face from a very flushed neck of one Takahashi Ai, who looked just like Risa at that moment, groggy and very shocked. Except for the fact that Risa didn't have any marks on her, and Ai, well, did.

People often use the term 'my thoughts were running at a mile a minute' casually and without truly understanding what the reality of it was really like. Risa, however, had no problem emulating that phrase at that point as her poor, overworked, and hungover brain went into serious overdrive at the situation.

OhmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodwhatamIgoingtodowhatdidwedowhatdidIdowhereamIwhatamIdoingAHHHHHHHHHHHHGODDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!

Even as she panicked inwardly, Risa was suddenly aware of the full length and breadth of the position she was in. She was pressed tightly against Ai, her hands were somehow under the barmaid's blouse, and their legs were pretty much tangled together, with Risa's thigh wedged in between the older girl's legs, hiking the skirt up almost scandalously high.

All the evidence wasn't doing anything to calm her in the least. If anything, it only accelerated and intensified the panic attack she was currently experiencing. Her breath came in short gasps, she felt dizzy and lightheaded, and was sweating profusely. Her chest was tightening painfully as her mind and body went into panic mode.

Then she saw the hickey on Ai's neck.

Takahashi Ai gaped as Risa promptly fainted, nosebleeding profusely. What in the world...

~*~*~

"You look well." That was the first thing that slipped out of Yossi's mouth as Rika neared her, and she kicked herself mentally for saying something so inane after 10 years of separation. Now she probably thinks you're an insensitive idiot...gah!

Rika couldn't help but smile as she replied. "10 years and still the same old Yocchan huh?" Yossi blinked at the teasing grin on her long lost friend's face. Huh...what?

"You're blushing." Rika giggled, and immediately Yossi's hands shot to her burning face. The tall pirate swallowed nervously. It probably didn't help that Rika had grown up to be so...pretty. Or "hot", as Mari had bluntly observed earlier. Yes, the promise of beauty when they were but mere children had blossomed into the gorgeous lady that stood before her now. Yossi suddenly felt awkward. How was she going to deal with a grown up Rika that she barely knew?

Mari looked at the two girls gazing at each other, a thoughtful look on her face. Making up her mind in a snap, she strode over to Eri, who was lurking around behind Rika, and took her by the arm, forcibly dragging the taller girl away as she called out to Yossi.

"Take your time, we'll be right over there!"

The two childhood friends stared in amusement as Mari practically hauled a protesting Eri away while cheerfully explaining to her why they had to leave those two alone. The moment passed though, and now they were back to square one, complete with awkward silences and wary glances.

Rika was getting irritated by their silence, both at her own inability to say something meaningful, and at Yossi's inability to do the same. Finally, she burst out.

"Well, say something already!"

Caught offguard by the uncharacteristic outburst from the usually composed woman, Yossi blurted the first thing that came to mind.

"Uh, you're pretty?"

Now it was Rika's turn to blush. She had heard the compliment many times before from exalted people like princes and nobles, but somehow hearing it from Yossi affected her more than she had thought possible. Her voice came out shakily, almost in a stutter, which had never happened in her whole life up to now before.

"R-really?"

Great, now they sounded like a pair of starstruck teenagers. Yossi wanted to go jump into the harbor and drown herself, never mind the fact that she knew how to swim and would probably only just get wet. Deciding that this careful edging around the main topic wasn't going to work anytime soon, the boyish pirate took a deep breath.

"I'm sorry."

Rika blinked, clearly confused by the sudden change in direction, as Yossi struggled on to express herself.

"Well ah...sorry for making you worry about me all this time...and umm, well, I uh, Ireallymissedyou."

It took but a moment for her to decipher the last bit. When she did though, her smile was probably bright enough to light the whole waterfront on a moonless night.

Yossi suddenly had her hands full when Rika all but jumped into her arms. Well I'm glad she's happy... The pirate thought, tentatively hugging her once best friend back. The sensation of contact, real, honest contact felt strange, almost foreign. She hadn't let anyone touch her like that for so long. It just never came up in her new life as a fugitive and pirate. She had almost forgotten what it was like to hold and be held by someone.

A small sob broke her concentration, and the taller girl looked down in mild panic. "Rika...why are you crying?" Indeed, the noblewoman was crying, sniffling into Yossi's shoulder as she choked back the gurgled sobs as best as she could.

"N-nothing...I'm just happy to see you..."

"Shhh...I don't seeing you cry..." The words slipped out easily, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and Yossi was somewhat pleasantly surprised. She had said something like that before, but what was it...?

I don't like seeing you get hurt.
Yes, that was it. Over a decade had passed, and suddenly they were back at when they were 10 years old. It felt nostalgic. A long-forgotten, yet pleasant warmth filled that empty space in her chest, long left void by the trials of her circumstance. Years of being alone, and even after joining Yuko's crew, she had felt isolated and dead on the inside. Now, a fragment of her past had come running back to her, and instead of the pain and resentment that she thought she would have felt, there was only relief. Maybe it was because Rika was the only part of her past that she was really happy with, especially after the death of her whole family.

It still hurt, to have been the only survivor of that bloodbath that had rained down on her entire clan. Survivor's guilt, perhaps. Her father had sent her away, before she had known what was going on, and by the time she did realise the truth, it was too late. She had wanted to run back, but the man who had been given charge to take her to safety had prevented her from joining her family in their direst hour. She was put on a ship, kicking and screaming and crying, taken away from the capital while her entire family had perished in a single day.

The whole incident had left her numb for weeks afterward. It didn't help that the ship she was on hit a storm, and had gone under. She had only survived by a freak stroke of luck, clinging to a loose timber while stubbornly refusing to let go of the sabre her father had given her at the same time, no matter how difficult it had been for her to stay afloat because of that. She had been washed up, battered and barely alive, still clutching that weapon with a deathgrip, and was subsequently discovered and rescued by a wandering clan of nomads. The two she spent with that clan was relatively peaceful, if difficult, since she remained silent and withdrawn all the time, only showing passion for her sword-training. That single-minded obsession proved sort of useful when their camp had been attacked by raiders. While most of the nomads had been killed and those who had been alive enslaved, her skill had impressed the leader, and they "recruited" her into their ranks. It was a year later, when in town with the other raiders, their leader had gotten into a disagreement with a certain female pirate captain and in the subsequent fight, had been killed. Yossi had stayed firmly on the sidelines then, refusing to fight unless she really had to, and that alone had impressed Yuko enough to invite her to join them. The rest, as they said, had been history.

Rika, Yossi decided, looked heartbreakingly beautiful with the tears staining her cheeks. But that wasn't the point. She hated seeing other people cry, least of all someone who meant this much to her. Tenderly, she reached out, brushing away the sparkling droplets with her thumb. A roughly callused hand, that contrasted so much with the delicate skin on Rika's cheeks. Suddenly, Yossi felt ashamed of even touching the other girl, and was about to lower her hand, the better to hide it, when Rika caught hold of it firmly.

Yossi looked away as Rika gently traced the rough surface of the pirate's hands, feeling and memorising every detail of it. The noblewoman's heart felt as if it might break as she looked at the rough, weathered hand of her best friend, feeling it twist like a knife in her heart as she imagined how much the other girl must have suffered all these years. Before she knew it, tears were welling up in her eyes again.

The pirate was about to open her mouth to say something to comfort the sobbing girl in her arms, but someone else beat her to it.

"Ah, the Lady Ishikawa. Your fiance won't be at all pleased to see you in the arms of someone else. Playtime's over, time to go back for your long overdue wedding!"

They froze, Yossi in shock and Rika in fear. Well, nuts. It appeared that the bounty hunters had caught up with her. Mari and Eri had come up quickly to join them, the pint-sized pirate with her cutlass already drawn, and Eri slipping on the metal-clad gloves that were her primary close combat weapon.

"You're supposed to be married?" Yossi managed to choke out, feeling a strange stab of emotion that was almost totally alien to her. The very idea of Rika being married to some strange man hurt her, somehow.

"It wasn't my idea." Rika hissed back, looking nervously back at the armed brigands under the command of that annoying bounty hunter that had been tracking them for almost 2 weeks now. It had been a relief to her that Aya had not deigned to simply hand her over to them, especially since the naval captain was under no obligation to help her at all. In fact, the young captain could have gotten into a lot of trouble by helping her escape from the arranged marriage, even if only by accident at first.

"It'll be a lot easier if you just come with us, my lady. Your father wouldn't be pleased if you got hurt during our scuffle, least of all that young man you're engaged to. A piece of work you are, running away on the wedding day." The bounty hunter was shaking his head in a sort of amusement.

"On the wedding day?" Mari asked with an amused tone, but not diverting her attention from the men in front of her. "Wow Yossi, a real spitfire you have there."

"Be quiet, you." The taller pirate grouched out, setting Rika down and pushing her behind them, drawing her sabre with her other hand. "We're not letting you have her." She said in a low, bristly tone to the group in front of her. The irritation she felt from the fact that Rika had been engaged to someone, as well as the fact that their reunion had been so abruptly interrupted by these men, made her coldly angry.

There were 6 men, not counting the leader himself. Almost 2 to 1 odds, which wouldn't be so much trouble if Yossi were at her best. As it is, both her and Mari were still recovering from injury, and while her ankle had mostly healed, Mari's side still gave her more trouble than the older girl would admit. Yossi didn't know about that other girl's ability, so they might have a bit of a problem here.

The hirelings came forward first. Yossi had stepped up to flank Mari, who had parried one of the cutlasses coming at her and was shifting to dodge another thrust aimed at her midsection. The sneaky thrust was intercepted by a gloved hand, and Eri slid her hand up along the blade, closing in fast and wresting the cutlass out of the surprised brigand's hands, before clocking him in the face with her free fist. It came away bloody as the man clutched at his smashed face, courtesy of the spikes on the knuckles of the glove. The short pirate gave her a quick nod in appreciation as she kicked her opponent, doubling him over before a quick slash downwards sent an arterial spray upwards from the neck, splashing her face.

Yossi was engaging two men at the same time, and they were effectively trying to keep her off balance once they realised that she had difficulty moving around quickly with that limp. While she was capable of holding her own, she was having a bit of trouble trying to take them down. One cutlass clanged against her blade, and another cut forward, aiming for her hand, and she barely had enough time to shift around slightly to wedge it against the crossguard of her sabre. The combined strength of the two men were forcing her backwards, and she gave ground grudgingly, trying desperately to hold up against the attack.

"A little help please!" The tall pirate called out, sweat beading her forehead. Mari wrenched her cutlass out from a brigand's stomach, quickly turning (and wincing at the same time) as she swung at one of the men harassing Yossi, and he was forced to divert his attention, leaving Yossi free to push the other man off her blade. She took the opportunity to press her advantage as he was off balance, her lightning fast slashes forcing him to pinwheel backward, before he lost his balance and plummeted into the harbor. Behind her, Mari calmly dispatched of the man she was fighting, even as Eri deftly flipped a man who was charging her, using his own momentum against him and sending him crashing painfully into the cobblestones. A quick smash of her gloved fist against the back of his head made sure he wouldn't be getting up anytime soon, if ever.

A startled scream from behind them alerted them to their mistake. The bounty hunter had taken advantage of the chaos to close in on Rika, grabbing her roughly by the arm even as she tried to struggle, clawing at his arm to make him let her go, but that didn't work. Smirking triumphantly, the man was about to pick Rika up bodily and escape, when a hurled harpoon sliced across his arm, almost impaling it entirely. The bounty hunter let go of Rika's arm involuntarily, clutching at his bleeding arm, even as Reina raced forward, hefting another slim harpoon in her left hand, ready for another cast, while her main weapon was slung across her back.

Seeing that the situation had turned around, the lone man turned to escape, running surprisingly fast. But he had not counted on the steely determination in Reina's eyes.

"Oh no you don't." The running cast of the slim projectile gave it extra power and distance, and the bounty hunter stiffened in mid-stride when it crunched all the way through his lower back, the point coming out through his stomach in front.

A smugly smirking Reina skidded to a halt next to the panting Rika, folding her arms triumphantly. "I never miss a second time." She declared. The wonky-eyed pirate then turned to look at her shipmates.

"So, care to tell me what's going on?"

~*~*~

They stared at each other. Or rather, were ostentatiously not looking at each other, all while sneaking tiny glances at intervals, turning back hastily when their gazes met. It helped that the only two other people who were in the area were unconscious and therefore could not be a party to their discussion (or non-discussion, as it were).

But then again, it also meant that the two were painfully alone and aware of each other's existence like never before.

After Risa had passed out from the shock earlier, Ai had had to wake the other girl up by splashing water on her face. When the young sailor finally came to, she spluttered again at the concerned face of the barmaid leaning right over her, somehow managing to scramble backwards while on her back and putting a sort of a safe distance between herself and the other girl.

So now they were at an impasse. Risa was quietly gibbering in a corner, shooting nervous, guilty glances at the older girl, who had her own dilemmas to deal with.

Ai never had been placed in the situation in which she had woken up in today. Unlike some of the sleazier examples in her profession, she had never "entertained" any of her patrons in any way beyond serving them drinks at the tavern. Also, she had a decent alcohol tolerance, so it wasn't easy getting her drunk, but Yuko had pretty much overrided that tolerance by piling even more alcohol than she had ever tried at one sitting down her throat. As a result, she couldn't recall what happened after she passed out.

Neither could Risa, either. Both of them only had spotty recollections of being tipsy, then drunkenly singing at Yuko's instigation, before everything became a blank not long afterwards.

It was certainly a shock though, to wake up to someone sucking on her neck enthusiastically, even licking her. A fierce blush adorned her cheeks as she self-consciously touched the reddening bruise on her neck. Definitely a first to have someone that close...

Risa, meanwhile, was silently panicking on the inside as she fought for something to say that wouldn't make her sound like a total jerk or a total idiot, or both. 'I don't remember' sounded too flippant, and 'I don't know what I did' wasn't any better. Risa wanted to just roll over and die. What was she supposed to do in such a situation? Apologise, and offer to take responsibility? The poor girl didn't even know what the latter would involve. What, ask the barmaid to marry her?! But they were both girls! That wouldn't be possible...would it?

Even as the younger girl turned that possibility over in her head, Ai decided to edge closer. No point in them just ignoring each other, or pretending to, at least. It wasn't going to solve any problems that way. When she sat down next to Risa, the younger girl suddenly snapped her head up, her eyes wide as words came pouring out of her mouth.

"I'm so sorry! I didn't mean any harm! Sorrysorrysorrysorry!" A stream of apologies were spilling so quickly out that Ai began to feel more amused by the whole situation than awkward. Taking pity on the other girl, who was rapidly turning blue since she wasn't pausing long enough to take a breath between apologies, Ai spoke soothingly to calm Risa down.

"It's alright, breathe. That's right, breathe. In, out..." She coaxed Risa, who finally returned to a normal breathing pattern following the older girl's instructions.

Risa took an extra deep breath as she stared back at Ai, mentally mustering up enough courage to speak. Ai waited expectantly, her hands folded in her lap as she looked back at the sweating Risa.

"I'msosorryItookadvantageofyouforgivemewillyoumarryme?" The rush of words caught Ai by surprise, and she tried hard to separate the long sentence that had been mashed together by the panicky Risa. She managed to pick up the 'sorry' and the 'forgive me', and was about to say "yes" in response to that, before her mind clicked in on the last bit. Her face flamed crimson in response, even as Risa looked pale enough to scare off real ghosts.

The silence in the room was deafening after that moment, as the two awkwardly looked at each other, Ai not quite believing her ears, and Risa not quite believing that she just said that. Eventually the stalemate was broken, but not by either of the two involved.

"Ho HO! Did I hear someone say marry?" Apparently, Yuko was not as asleep as she had seemed. Of course, she was also not as susceptible to the effects of a hangover, and had been listening in on the awkward conversation with interest while pretending unconsciousness.

Both girls spun around to face the pirate captain, who had just sat up, stretching lazily with an evil grin on her face. Yuko yawned widely before continuing, her eyes keen and alert as she got up, prowling closer to the younger girls. Unconsciously, both of them held on to the other as they scooted backwards, clearly not liking the mischievous look in Yuko's eyes.

Smirking lazily at the two terrified girls on the floor in front of her, Yuko went on in a mockingly serious tone. "As you know, ship captains can perform legally binding marriages...if the two of you want to get married, I can perform the ceremony, right here and right now."

Ai didn't know what was scarier, the fact that Yuko looked more sane and sober than she had ever seen her before, or the fact that the pirate captain had just offered to marry her to another girl she had only just met the night before.

Risa, for her part, was just in shock, and was basically clinging on to the older girl she had just unwittingly proposed to minutes ago.

Yuko just grinned a very shark-like grin at them.

Meanwhile, Natsumi, who was supporting the still unconscious Maki on one side, was standing at the base of the stairs with Kaori, who was helping to hold up Maki on the other side. She had a slightly amused expression on her face as she watched the little scene play out.

"Shouldn't we tell them that nothing happened?" Kei, who had come down the stairs behind them, whispered to the two in front of her.

Natsumi and Kaori exchanged a look even as Yuko gleefully made the two younger girls stand up and face each other. Almost simultaneously, they both shrugged, identical blase expressions on their faces.

"Nah."

~*~*~

The attack came suddenly. The carriage was swarmed in an instant, and masked men fought their way in to face the carriage's startled occupant, who already had a pistol out and shot the first man that came at him. He put up a valiant struggle, but someone knocked him out from behind, blacking him out in an instant.

When he next awoke, he had been blindfolded and tied up, in a moving carriage. A short struggle with his bonds earned him only a sharp rap to the head, sending him to the land of unconsciousness once again.

The next time he painfully came to, his head throbbing, he was lying on cold wet stone, the musty smell reminding him of a dungeon. The ropes had been replaced with iron shackles, and the blindfold remained on. He could hear nothing, except for the dripping of water in some dank corner, echoing in the unremitting silence.

Even as he struggled to a sitting position, the man thought grimly to himself.

I should have expected that he would never have let me come back from that place, especially not after what I found out.

The man sighed to himself, sounding old and full of regret. He could only hope that his family would be spared.

May God be with you...

================================================


XD XD XD

I wonder if I went too fast with Takagaki...hmm. Poor Risa. Confused and hysterical. XD

So tell me what you think people!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 21, 2007, 11:36:03 AM
Thanks for having me onboard :D!

No definitely not too fast with TakaGaki. As expected of reaction queen, her reaction when waking up is very similar to naninaninaninaninani she always say every minute XD. I can imagine the whole scene perfectly :heart:. Will Aichan say yes? Will her, will her, will her? XD

Yeah! Reina is wonky-eyed, but her accuracy is incredible :heart:! And woohoo for Eri being a close combat fighter! I suddenly remember Tifa fight scene from FFVII:AC XD.

Great, funny chapter as always :heart:. But it was confusing me a bit when Reina appeared during the fight, kind of gave me the impression of "Huh, so is she there from the start or she just arrived there?" :D

This is random but you are using some words which I am not familiar with (like groggy and migraine), and that sure helps me a lot learning more English words (with help from an electronic dictionary of course XD). Lots of thanks! XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on March 21, 2007, 11:44:51 AM
I think the speed of the TakaGaki scene was justified well by Risa's escalating panic. The IshiYossie scene was very sweet and made me like yossie a lot more. Nice job on the fight scene, good vivid descriptions all around. Uhhhh.  .   .   . I like the way you split the chapter up into four parts, made for more exciting reading somehow.  

*Start random speculation time* I have a funny feeling that the mysterious prisoner is being held by Aya's father. *End random speculation time*
EDIT: Damn your speed Ren!!!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 21, 2007, 11:49:34 AM
I completely DIED of laughter reading all of the Takagaki parts! Poor Risa is so confused and hysterical indeed! But the part that started it all was hawt to begin with, so I don't blame her :]! Roffle at Yuko's suggestion at marriage, haha, that was like a Johnny Depp moment right there xD!

There seems to be a lot of people turning up for finding Rika lately o_O That and those people seem to know exactly  Rika is, in that black port o_O Does that also have to do with the smuggling? Or something different alltogether? xD I can't imagine Keita sending bounty hunters like that after her, he's too noble (coughFEMININEcough) to send disgusting men like that xD

Wondering about that guy at the end o_o This 'He' is the villain, yes? xD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 21, 2007, 12:06:16 PM
Quote from: Yuuyami
Roffle at Yuko's suggestion at marriage, haha, that was like a Johnny Depp moment right there xD!

Pirate of the Caribbean 3, starring Hello! Project XD.

Quote
I can't imagine Keita sending bounty hunters like that after her, he's too noble (coughFEMININEcough) to send disgusting men like that xD

Because he is too busy crying "My fiancee is running away on our wedding day! :ONpleeease:"

Quote
Wondering about that guy at the end o_o This 'He' is the villain, yes? xD

I have a feeling its Keita :D?
Quote from: Iacus
EDIT: Damn your speed Ren!!!

My fangirl power is allowing me to type fast while at the same time looking at the dictionary XD.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on March 21, 2007, 12:25:29 PM
:ROFL @ all the confusion and commotion about Ai and Gaki

Eri as close combat specialist is l337 Reina's also cool, love her as the random javelin/spear thrower

speculation :P was that a prologue to the story behind Yossi's family past? Or was that Tsunku being held prisoner XD hehe
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on March 21, 2007, 02:58:32 PM
Takagagi was superb!!! Never read one like you did to those two. I'm impress. congratulation!! Please continue. Reading it is one of the reason why I'm still alive. XD

And Eri was soo cool with her weapon!!! Sorry Yuuyami but I can't help myself If I didn't draw them in my own version. As you know, I got a habit of making pin ups of my fave character on any H!P funfic!! The only thing is I haven't made one when I came in this forum. I hope I could work on it especially this coming lenten break. XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 21, 2007, 04:26:49 PM
Hey, you made Eri cool this time!
Risa, of course, is the best of all with such reactions, hehe. And I knew Ai would sport a hickey later! XD BTW, was Ayaka around when the 'proposal' happened...?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: YoukaiChica on March 21, 2007, 04:32:17 PM
Ok. No longer can I sit here, lurk and read. I've been reading this from the beginning and I HAVE to praise you and your amazing story. AMAZING! its great and fantastic. You write so well and the words paint pictures in my head and I love it. I love everything about this! Ishiyoshi, Maki being freaking amazing, Aya/Miki, Yuko being a pirate captain, and just all of it!!! So that's my rant about how awesome you are and how awesome your stroy is. I won't be a lurker any more, I promise.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 21, 2007, 05:44:18 PM
Ehh! I don't know what I liked more in this chapter, Ishiyoshi or Takagaki?! *frets*

But I am curious about the guy at the end. Perhaps, Aya's father? No, it couldn't be.

Oh and now I feel less like a pedophile since I know the ages of the twins. Thanks for clearing that up.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Slack on March 21, 2007, 06:28:00 PM
I know this is going to sound horribly horribly picky and dumb, but it's been bothering me.  Is there a rough historical time period for this story?  I ask since revolvers (like the one Aya was using in her gunblade) weren't invented until the 19th century, and the Pirates-of-the-Carribean-style piracy here seems more 18th century.  Swords with flintlock pistols on them may have existed back then, though, which is where you get characters like Cervantes from Soul Calibur. (I can totally imagine this Captain Aya fighting like that.) Of course, if it's like Naruto, which has wireless headsets existing with all the other crazy crap they have, I can dig it.
 
I'm really loving the speed, detail, and overall quality of this fic.  I just have to ask, any chance Konno or Sayu will appear later?  I mean, they're the only ones from Momusu who haven't appeared (aside from the ones who graduated before 2000), and even Maki's brother, Ayaka and that w-inds guy get to be in the story.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on March 21, 2007, 07:49:27 PM
ROFL at the TakaGaki Confusion! I knew it was going to be a pleasantly unpleasant moment when one of them woke up! Poor, poor Risa. She's so flustered, she proposed! (Who wouldn't propose to such a hot barmaid?!) But, Yuko has a way to solve their problems, maybe? xD

Ishiyoshi is bittersweet, but good again. I hope Rika runs away with Yossi or something. She can be her protector! *sighs romantically*
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 21, 2007, 08:20:19 PM
I'll just post the sketches that I have so far xD I don't think I need to explain who they are. It's pretty accurate, I believe.

(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/6026/yossiepiratexdjm2.th.jpg) (http://img505.imageshack.us/my.php?image=yossiepiratexdjm2.jpg)(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/6476/yukopiratexdwe1.th.jpg) (http://img505.imageshack.us/my.php?image=yukopiratexdwe1.jpg)(http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7409/mikipiratexdaa5.th.jpg) (http://img505.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mikipiratexdaa5.jpg)

Personally, I find many problems with the drawings, but these drawings are still sketchy, so they might not be the final product xD

-will post others when I sketch them out, and perhaps eventually, even CG them if I have the time-
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: C60533 on March 21, 2007, 11:34:22 PM
Yay for awkward TakaGaki!!! And you just have to love Yuko with her plans on how to make situations better.

Kamei can fight!! But where'd Reina come from? And who's the dude?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: katatsumuri on March 21, 2007, 11:59:14 PM
The :heart: ishiyoshi :heart:  reunion has got to be my favourite. :MKlove2:

keep them coming~  please~:D
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Kitara on March 22, 2007, 02:29:09 AM
I loved it XD I laughed my head off through most of it, especially at the twins and the TakaGaki moment (marriage proposal?? o__o; ), and for some reason the idea of a harpoon-wielding Reina still amuses me to no ends.

You tend to skip inserting some words here and there within the text. It's still readable, but I just wanted to let you know
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on March 22, 2007, 03:28:37 AM
Ishiyoshi!  Hell yeah! :heart:  It's awesome how it goes from "Oh my god it is you," to awkward ums, to "I won't let you take her!"

And of course the hilarious waking up of Risa and Ai!  Gotta love alcohol!

I'm anxiously waiting for the next chapter!  

Oh, and Yuuyami, I love your drawings!  So very cool! :heart:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 22, 2007, 06:34:58 AM
TakaGaki!!! :ROTFLMAO: :ROTFLMAO: :ROTFLMAO:

Fuck I love theatre. XD



IshiYoshi moment = :baa60776:


Quote
"Ah, the Lady Ishikawa. Your fiance won't be at all pleased to see you in the arms of someone else. Playtime's over, time to go back for your long overdue wedding!"
Oh, stupid move.  You NEVER interrupt a reunion between friends who haven't seen each other in a decade. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/nono.gif)



Quote
A smugly smirking Reina skidded to a halt next to the panting Rika, folding her arms triumphantly. "I never miss a second time." She declared.
In comes Reina to save the day! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/woohoo.gif)


TakaGaki Pt.2 - Risa's so cute when she freaks out. :lol:  Marriage? Oh shit this is good!


Quote
Meanwhile, Natsumi, who was supporting the still unconscious Maki on one side, was standing at the base of the stairs with Kaori, who was helping to hold up Maki on the other side. She had a slightly amused expression on her face as she watched the little scene play out.
Of course, like Yuko, they were watching the whole scene play out in front of them.  :D :D :D



Quote
"Shouldn't we tell them that nothing happened?" Kei, who had come down the stairs behind them, whispered to the two in front of her.

Natsumi and Kaori exchanged a look even as Yuko gleefully made the two younger girls stand up and face each other. Almost simultaneously, they both shrugged, identical blase expressions on their faces.

"Nah."
Why ruin the fun that's to come? XD


Quote
I should have expected that he would never have let me come back from that place, especially not after what I found out.
Hmmmm...who might this "he" be? Must stay tuned for more updates!!!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on March 22, 2007, 10:21:08 AM
TakaGaki sooooooo cute :heart: :heart: :heart:

The others are right, I can totally imagine that scene happening! You wrote it perfectly and totally in character! *thumbs up*

Quote from: Estrea;334801
I should have expected that he would never have let me come back from that place, especially not after what I found out.


Maybe the mysterious he is Rika's soon-to-be-husband??? *hehe* Random guess :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Saikami on March 22, 2007, 01:50:11 PM
XD! TakaGaki made me roffle, and Yuko just added to it! I can really picture that happening to those two!

O___O ERI CAN KICK ASS?? SWEET :D
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on March 22, 2007, 09:37:01 PM
Ishiyoshi is an old time favorite. But it wiil be great to have a third party for them or rather 4th party and it should be the bar girl Yui and Yossi's favorite Sea coconut cook Erika. Yay! I finally said it. XD
And Yuuyami, Those pic was so cool! Can't wait to see the others. :thumbsup:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 23, 2007, 02:47:56 PM
Sorry for the long wait for the chapter! Lemme reply to all the comments first. So many...o_o;

Ren: Haha the big question: will Ai-chan say yes? Hmm, does it matter? XD As for the Reina situation, she was just passing by when she saw the fight, so she decided to help. Will explain it next chapter. :) Glad my fic has some sort of educational merit for you. XD

iacus: Haha Risa's panic is such a good plot device. ^__^ The mysterious prisoner won't be revealed until later, so have fun guessing. ^__^

Yuuyami: Yuko rocks. XD As for Rika, the bounty hunter already let it slip about who sent him. :P And Rika did mention that the bounty hunters had been tracking them for weeks. It has something to do with the time when Aya made port in one of the Imperial ports to pass on her message. They were spotted there, and the chase began. XD And yes, the he is the villain. As for who, wait like everyone else to find out. :) Btw, nice sketches. XD

ferrar1: Yeah I wanted a close combat person, and Eri was available so...XD Reina is cool, no? ^__^

Sancho: Glad you enjoyed the Takagaki! Reading this is why you're alive? o_o I must write quicker then! Haha. And if you do draw anyone, post them up here so we can see them! ^__^ As for complications to Ishiyoshi, well I can consider them. :P

Amarghetta: Yep, Eri gets cool time too. As for Ayaka, you'll see in the coming chapter. :)

YoukaiChica: Welcome aboard! So many stowaways. XD Glad you liked the fic. :)

rndmn: Hehe, glad to make you feel like less of a pedophile. :P

Slack: I understand your concern, and I had the same problem when I was working out Aya's weapon. I could have given her the flintlock pistol for her gunblade, but I chose not to because the revolver was superior. The time period IS about 18th century, so the technology technically wouldn't have been available for the revolver, but I got around that with a reason that I will reveal later. :P As for Konno and Sayu, they were already in my initial cast list before I even started writing, but they just haven't showed up yet because it isn't the right time. Be patient! :P

black velvet: Yuko solved the problem in her unique way. Watch the chapter! As for Ishiyoshi, they will get air time the chapter after. :)

C60533: Reina was passing by. :) As for the guy, it's a secret~ :P

katatsumuri: Sorry to keep you waiting~ You still have to wait another chapter for Ishiyoshi though...

Kitara: I skip words? *gasp* Must have missed them during my edits. *panics*

Blizzard: Yes, alcohol is wonderful! ^__^

JFC: I love your comments. XD It cracks me up to see it that way. ^__^

freya: haha I was worried about Takagaki at first...not easy to write. I'm glad it turned out reasonably well enough for everyone to enjoy. :) More speculation! Haha!

Saikami: I was laughing too when I wrote the Takagaki and Yuko's intervention. XD As for Eri, well, beware the quiet ones! XD

Ok ok everyone, gimme 10 minutes to post the next chapter. :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 23, 2007, 02:55:36 PM
I will wait! :D

Does it matter? Of course, because we can then imagine a gunshot wedding ceremony of TakaGaki :heart:.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 23, 2007, 02:57:50 PM
One chapter coming up, sorry for the delay~

===============================

Chapter 13


Risa wasn't sure how they got here in the first place. It had all happened all too quickly.

"I do."

Two little words. Two words that that crazy drunkard of a female captain had somehow manipulated them into saying before either of them realised what was really going on. By the time their brains had caught up to their mouths, they were already being herded into the cellar near the back of the tavern, the door closing and locking behind them even as a loudly snickering voice called out.

"Have fun!"

So now here they were, in a musty little underground room with only a tiny window set high on one wall, sunlight streaming weakly in and illuminating the dust motes in the air. Rows of rum and port bottles, stacked in shelves, as well as beer barrels clustered in a corner. The air felt damp, and it was dark down there. The tiny window did nothing much but to leave that small circle of light pooling directly where the beams fell.

And it was cold too. The young navy sailor shivered slightly, rubbing at her forearms lightly, already missing the warmth that she had woken up to this morn......must not think of that! She scolded herself mentally, giving a few mental kicks for good measure even as a fierce blush fought its way up to the surface.

Shooting a sidelong glance at her companion, who appeared to be in the same condition as her, also shivering and trying to warm herself up, Risa wondered what to say to alleviate the unseen tension that lurked between them. She didn't even know her name! The younger girl realised with some consternation. Last night's drunken party hadn't actually warranted a proper introduction, not that they had a chance to, since they had been targeted by Yuko (damn lunatic, Risa thought) and Maki (never liked her) and nearly drowned under the constant flow of alcohol those two had decided to pile on her and her...wife?

Oh wow...I'm married. The thought finally sank in. It hit her like a ton of bricks, staggering her. Oh my god, I'm married...to another girl! Panic began to rise up in her throat once again, nearly asphyxiating her even as she mentally began to babble incoherently, trembling violently, her eyes almost comically wide as she stared blankly at her feet.

Ai paused in her own desperate attempt to warm up when she heard a stream of panicky muttering emerge from the girl beside her. Through the gloom, the barmaid could just make out the trembling figure of the girl she had somehow ended up being married to only minutes ago. The thought sent another shiver running through her, this time not having anything to do with the temperature of the place. She didn't even know anything about the other girl, and now they were joined in marriage? Ai thought she had seen everything while working in a place like the Sea Coconut, but even her jaded experiences as a barmaid hadn't quite prepared her for the chain of events that had led up to where she was now.

Fighting her own uneasiness, the 21 year old eased closer to the gibbering girl beside her. Risa didn't seem to notice, her fingers only digging deeper into her forearms as she babbled incoherently to herself. Ai could pick up phrases like 'oh my god', 'married', 'granny', and most noticeably 'what do I do now?'. The panic of the other girl somehow lightened her own burden, Ai realised. Seeing Risa babble was somehow...endearing. Cute, even. Then she stopped and thought seriously about what she was thinking, and promptly blushed. Now wasn't the time to just stand there and look on at the other girl's panic. Ai wasn't that cruel to let her, um, wife (why is it so hard to associate that term with her?) to go into another panic attack and faint like she did earlier.

When a tentative hand touched her shoulder, Risa nearly jumped, but managed to stop herself in time, only turning her head in a swift, jerky motion to face the older girl. Their eyes met, and both of them just sort of froze in place, not knowing what to say or do.

Finally, it was Risa who found her voice first. "I can't believe we're married." Ok, so not the best thing to say right at first. The words hung between them like a deadweight, before Risa rattled on, clearly starting to hyperventilate again.

"I don't even know anything about you! I only just met you last night! I don't even know your name! I can't believe that crazy woman just shoved us in here to...whatever!" She cut herself off at the last part, heat rising in her cheeks as she mentally filled in the blank of what Yuko had implied prior to locking the door behind them.

Ai also knew what Yuko had meant, not being a complete innocent herself. Besides, one couldn't get any more blatant than the pirate captain when she was in that mood. Risa's breath was already starting to get choppy, as she gasped out whatever had been running laps inside her head.

"I mean, I don't even remember what we did last night!"

Dead silence.

Then Risa's knees buckled, and Ai rushed forward to catch the younger girl before she fell. Unfortunately, in her haste, she slipped up a little, and the two of them stumbled around, pitching backwards awkwardly, before finally tipping over and crashing to the hard stone floor.

Risa had hit the ground first, and the impact made her wince, and even more so when Ai fell right on top of her, their foreheads knocking together painfully.

"Owww..." Both girls whimpered, Ai pushing off Risa slightly to rub at her sore forehead with a pained expression. For a few moments, neither of them realised the kind of position they were in.

Unfortunately, that wasn't a state long to be maintained.

It had just so happened that in all their stumbling around and subsequent fall, they had ended up in that sole pool of light spilling from that tiny window set high in the wall near the ceiling. With Risa flat on her back, and Ai practically straddling the younger girl, their faces only a few inches away from each other, the fact that the light was simultaneously illuminating and casting their faces in shadow was not helping in calming down the situation.

The light shining down on from behind Ai had ended up shrouding part of her features in shadow, giving her an almost demonic look (completely unintended of course), while the light had instead made Risa look even younger and more vulnerable, especially with her deer-in-the-highlights expression as she stared upwards, nervously transfixed by the darkened eyes of the older girl on top of her.

Neither of them spoke for a long moment. Then Risa suddenly got a 'oh screw it' look in her eyes and just pulled Ai down, consequences be damned. She just couldn't stand how tempting the other girl looked, like a vision of dark beauty ready to eat her up. Actually, even if Risa hadn't started it first, Ai would probably have done the same. The tension of the moment had momentarily overridden their good sense and normal inhibitions.

Besides, it also didn't help that Risa had had certain images preying on her mind ever since she had barged in on something she probably wasn't supposed to see a couple of weeks ago, and it had been lurking at the edges of her consciousness ever since. That it had taken this opportunity to burst out of her was probably a complete accident and a case of bad(?) timing.

The kiss was a bit clumsy, for sure, since neither of them really knew what they were doing exactly. Ai wasn't sure how she had ended up like this, but she wasn't about to complain for the moment. For a couple of beginners, they ran out of steam rather quickly, since both of them hadn't known that they should probably keep breathing in between in order not to run out of air halfway. So when they finally pulled apart, gasping and panting, the situation quickly became awkward, as Risa had somehow ended up on top during their little make out session.

As mentioned before, that little encounter had been the product of a highly charged atmosphere, so by the time they pulled apart, they had marginally gained control of their raging hormones and were absolutely mortified by what they had just done. Risa almost immediately jumped off, bumping her head against the shelf behind her, making her wince and rub vigorously at the back of her head. Ai just sat up slowly, blushing so hard that she resembled a ripe tomato.

"Ehhh I'm sorry!" Risa blurted out quickly, deliberately not meeting Ai's eyes. "I didn't mean to...that is, I uh, wasn't trying to do anything...um, not that I didn't want to cos you're really pretty and everything and I ah, don't know what I'm saying anymore!!!" The poor 19 year old was breaking down into incoherent babbling as she went on, making Ai giggle lightly at her panic. Risa's head shot up when she heard the giggles, her eyes slightly bugged out and her eyebrows knitted together in confusion, clearly not understanding what Ai was laughing about.

"You...you...are so cute!" Ai chuckled as she impulsively pulled Risa into an embrace (completely friendly!). The younger girl just froze as her mind went 'whaaaaa?', the contact nearly shorting out her already stressed brain.

By the time Ai released Risa, the latter had a slightly dazed expression on her face. "Um," the young sailor started, "does that mean you don't hate me?"

"Of course not." Ai smiled encouragingly at Risa, who swallowed nervously.

"So, does that mean we can try being friends?" Ai nodded, still smiling at Risa's hopeful expression. The younger girl felt a little less nervous.

"About earlier, um, let's not do that again...at least not until we get to know each other better..." The latter half of the sentence came out in a soft mumble that the barmaid had to strain to hear, and it made her flush slightly, both at the memory of their encounter, and at the unspoken implication that they would try again some time in the future. Risa was hugging her knees to herself, burying her face in between her knees to avoid looking directly at Ai.

"Ok..." Ai's voice was soft as she edged over to sit down shoulder to shoulder next to Risa, who flinched at the contact at first, but forced herself to stay still.

The next few minutes passed in an almost companionable silence before either of them decided to speak up.

"So..." They both began at the same time. "You first!" Came the instant response from both. A pause, then they giggled. Risa then decided to just go ahead.

"When do you think they'll let us out?" Ai just shrugged, she didn't know either. Only Ayaka had the spare key to the cellar, and the proprietress hadn't been around when the fiasco had occurred earlier. Probably had been out contracting people to work on the repairs to the tavern, and she had no idea how long that could possibly take, and she said as much to Risa, who just nodded before falling silent again.

So they were stuck in the cellar for now. Ai cleared her throat, since Risa didn't seem inclined to start anything.

"Why don't we just talk? Like, you know, get to know each other. Not like we have anything else to do..." She smiled charmingly at her companion (wife, her mind added slyly, but she pushed it aside), trying to brighten the atmosphere. It worked admirably.

Before long, the two had begun to chat, tentatively at first, then with growing familiarity.

Perhaps, just perhaps, things will work out just fine after all.

~*~*~

"I can't believe you just did that!" Kei laughed as Yuko pocketed the key to the cellar with a flourish. Natsumi and Kaori were chuckling. What else could they do?

"Are you drunk?" Kaori asked in between laughing fits. Yuko looked marginally offended at that.

"I only just woke up!"

Natsumi had been trying her best to hold back her laughter, but that exchange just sunk her. She nearly choked on her laughter as she gasped out.

"You mean she's like this without alcohol?"

Without missing a beat, Kei and Kaori replied in unison. "Yeah." Yuko grinned and swaggered over to Natsumi, slinging one arm around around the shorter woman.

"You know, we can just get drunk again and I can show you the difference!"

"There won't be any." Kei muttered, masking it as a cough under her hand. Kaori snickered, shouldering more of Maki's weight since Natsumi was trying her best to wriggle out of Yuko's grasp, and not really succeeding.

"Help!" The naval officer squeaked as she tried in vain to fend off Yuko's hands. Kaori shrugged. "You're on your own I'm afraid."

"Welcome to the club." Kei added.

No escaping the original groping demon, after all.

~*~*~

"So, what are you brats still sticking around for?" Miki asked archly as she carefully carried the still unconscious Aya to the bed.

"Aren't you going to do anything else to her?" Tsuji blurted, clearly wondering why Miki was being gentle with Aya and not trying to do anything inappropriate to the unconscious woman. Kago, who still had her arms looped around her older "twin's" neck, giggled out loud at the rather forward suggestion.

Miki half turned with a raised eyebrow. "You wanted to watch?"

Tsuji nearly choked at the suggestion. Aibon laughed and replied for them.

"Actually, we're just curious. You really like riling that girl up!" The two girls nodded at the same time.

Miki chuckled as she sat down on the edge of the bed. "Can't help it that she's so damn fiery and fun to tease." She eyed the two younger girls. "You understand that, don't you?"

"It's a lot like how we like making those idiots scream when we hung them upside down without clothes the other time...right, Nono?" The older girl thought for a moment. "I guess so." She replied with a shrug.

Miki grinned. "It's a lot more fun groping her when she's awake. Reactions and all." The knife-loving pirate absently pulled a blanket more securely over Aya as she spoke. "So, what do you two want?"

Tsuji blinked for a moment, before recalling their original purpose. "Oh yeah, here, we got you something." She handed over the package she was holding to Miki, who accepted it suspiciously, turning it over in her hands and inspecting it.

"Nothing that will blow up or otherwise cause me severe bodily harm?"

The twins looked at each other. Aibon considered for a moment, before replying brightly. "No explosives involved. Yossi banned us from getting anywhere near gunpowder after the last time."

Miki snorted. "Then it will cause me bodily harm anyway?"

The troublemaking pair 'tsked' in unison. "Only to other people." Nono then added.

"You're too suspicious, Miki-tan~"

"Gah, don't call me that!" Miki grouched as she carefully unwrapped the package, clearly wary of the contents. The pair that stood before her were notorious after all, so it didn't hurt to be more careful.

Her fears proved to be unfounded though. Miki couldn't help the small smile that tweaked at the edge of her lips when she saw the gift the twins had gotten for her. A whole array of small, double-ended blades balanced for throwing, as well as assorted daggers built for close combat.

"Do you like it?" They chimed eagerly, anxious to know if their gesture was appreciated by the older pirate. "We know you lost quite a few of your knives in the last few fights, so we decided to get you more."

The knife-loving pirate was holding up one of the smaller throwing knives, inspecting the quality and hefting it to test for balance. "Perfect." She almost purred, pleased by the offering. The twins beamed in satisfaction.

Miki was suddenly pounced upon by two very energetic girls. "Get well soon~" They giggled out loud, quickly releasing an irritated Miki before the older pirate could threaten to stab them with her new toys. They skipped away hand in hand, still facing Miki, before Aibon called out.

"Have fun with that girl~" Nono laughed beside her, ducking one of the knives Miki threw with skill born of practice.

"Don't tire yourself out Miki-tan~" This time Aibon had to dodge another flying dagger as the two girls backed away quickly to the door.

"We'll play together next time~" The twins laughed out as they quickly ran off, slamming the door behind them just in time as several knives flew towards them, thudding into the solid wood that separated them from Miki's wrath. Their laughter was clearly audible through the partition.

"Brats." Miki growled out, smiling despite herself.

It was impossible to hate those two when they meant well.

~*~*~

Ayaka was just coming back from her morning errands, part of which had had to do with finding people to repair her tavern. That had taken a while.

The first thing she heard after stepping in was a very interesting conversation.

"So let me get this straight, that woman performed a wedding ceremony for our brat and the barmaid?" Maki asked, one hand rubbing at her head and the other hand pointing at Yuko, who was lounging in a corner. Yuuki was next to his sister, holding his head between his hands. Clearly, he was not enjoying his hangover.

"Yeah, pretty much." Natsumi was cuddled close to Maki, clearly too freaked to get close to Yuko for fear of getting groped again. Maki had been irritated when she first woke up, upset that her Nacchi had knocked her out earlier, but had been pleasantly surprised when the older woman had all but climbed into her lap in an attempt to escape Yuko's clutches. The two had had an implicit agreement previously to avoid public displays of affection, so the change was interesting, to say the least.

"They made such a cute couple!" Yuko announced, banging her fist on one of the intact tables that had survived last night's brawl. "How could I resist?"

'NAKAZAWA YUKO!!!" All the females gathered inside the tavern flinched, while Yuuki just groaned and sank lower. Loud noises didn't go well with headaches.

"Morning Ayaka!" Yuko didn't seem at all daunted by the entrance of the very upset proprietress. The other women exchanged glances, then they all shifted their seats away from Yuko at the same time, Maki hauling her little brother away from the danger zone by the scruff of the neck as well.

"Morning? Morning?! What did you do to Ai-chan, you crazy pirate?!" Ayaka wasn't pleased, to say the least. She stormed up to a grinning Yuko, her arms akimbo as she glared down.

Pirate?! Maki and Natsumi exchanged slightly startled glances. At their feet, Yuuki twitched. Kaori watched their responses with a neutral expression, but said nothing.

Yuko smirked, shrugging nonchalantly. "Oh, a lovely young lady proposed to Ai-chan, so I did them a favour and helped them to get the silly ceremony over and done with on the spot!" The pirate captain looked rather pleased with herself.

Ayaka rubbed at her temples. She could feel the beginnings of a headache building inside her head. "You mean to tell me..." She started slowly. "That you married Ai-chan off to another GIRL?"

Yuko beamed widely. "Yes. Is there a problem?"

Ayaka exploded.

Everyone else stared, and even Yuuki raised his head to gape, as Ayaka ranted about how she wouldn't be able to throw a huge wedding party for Ai-chan, how she wouldn't be able to witness the dear girl in a wedding dress, how there would be no throwing of the bouquet and assorted other random things about wedding traditions and what-not. Yuko just blinked at the tirade, somewhat taken aback.

"She doesn't seem to have a problem with the marriage, just how it was done." Kei whispered. Natsumi raised an eyebrow.

"Isn't that somewhat besides the point?" They all nodded quietly to themselves. Maki snorted.

"Do you want to tell her that?" Everyone looked at the hysterical scene before them, before shaking their heads as one.

"Nah."

====================================


XD XD XD

Hope no one is disappointed. ^__^ Happy reading!

*starts thinking what to do with Chapter 14*
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 23, 2007, 03:12:16 PM
What you are going to do with chapter 14? You have to reveal what Miki will do to Aya! :baa60776:

Ah, now TakaGaki is a married couple, so lovely~~ :heart: And so LOL at Ayaka being angry not because Aichan is married, but because she doesn't have a proper wedding ceremony XD.

I imagine the pirates using the clothes of Hyokkori PV. And Maki etc (the navy) using the clothes from that picture.. Aahh *search for the pictures* :ONwriggly:

Oh and I'm flattered you put my Pirates of The Caribbean thing on the cheat sheet. :ONkneelbow:

EDIT:
(http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/4214/zippedmakins8.jpg)
Here's the navy Maki I was talking about, I don't know why but her clothes just screamed Pirates of the Caribbean XD.
I found it in my computer, don't have the original picture. I think I got this from JPM :).
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on March 23, 2007, 04:00:19 PM
Nice picture Ren! XD Yeah that's a nice outfit (funny captions too XD).

As for Miki and Aya, I will get to them eventually. XD Patience!

Quote
Oh and I'm flattered you put my Pirates of The Caribbean thing on the cheat sheet.

Well, it was appropriate. :)

Actually, if anyone looked at the Some Boys! Touch performance during Maki's G-Emotion Tour, she was also wearing a very navy-like outfit, which was awesome as well. XD

Oh and note, I'll be working on another side story right now. :P
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on March 23, 2007, 05:52:07 PM
I rolled over laughing and died more than nine times doing so, thus blowing up hell xD!!!!!

Miki's being nice to Aya again, Awwww :] Even though she'll probably give Aya hell (Or 'something' else) when she wakes up xD

Takagaki is probably to most hilarious relationship you have on this story xD!!!!! Loved how they got all awkward and pulled a Universal Anime Law ("All falls involving two or more people shall always end up with compromising positions") and then made out for awhile xD Risa in this story is so amusing just because she's so in-character when she spazzes out like that, haha xD!!!!

Roffle at Ayaka wanting to give a proper ceremony instead of worrying that Yuko married off her barmaid xD!!!!

I look forward to the rest! <3
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on March 23, 2007, 05:53:09 PM
Quote
"Aren't you going to do anything else to her?" Tsuji blurted, clearly wondering why Miki was being gentle with Aya and not trying to do anything inappropriate to the unconscious woman.
Miki half turned with a raised eyebrow. "You wanted to watch?"


XD

Actually a major XD a the whole chapter and a few Aww's thrown in for good measure.
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on March 23, 2007, 06:48:11 PM
hahahah. Takagaki MAR-RI-AGE! (It only works if you sound it out the way it came out in my head. Which was really funny.)

Heck yes. Well. That basically just made my day. :)
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on March 24, 2007, 02:32:30 AM
Quote
'For a couple of beginners, they ran out of steam rather quickly, since both of them hadn't known that they should probably keep breathing in between in order not to run out of air halfway.'

hahaha! Aww, this makes TaGaki so much more endearing! Now they're a married couple?! :ONxD:
Quote

'"About earlier, um, let's not do that again...at least not until we get to know each other better..."'

Gaki's so adorable! :tfr9a7wg: Taking things slow, eh?

More NacchixMaki goodness too!:ONhee: And the twins are so thoughtful.

Ayaka's concern over not having a proper wedding for Ai's hilarious!

What will the next chappie bring, I wonder! More valiant Yossie, GAM lovin' and TaGaki sweetness?
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on March 24, 2007, 02:51:34 AM
AWWW~~~ Miki was doing sweet things but I can't say it's too sweet. She's still cruel I tell you. She want Aya to have the feeling of being grope, private or in public. Although I like her for not taking advantage with unconscious Aya. :ONhee:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on March 24, 2007, 03:46:30 AM
Quote
"I do."
OMGASS THEY ACTUALLY WENT THROUGH WITH IT! :damnfunny


Quote
"Have fun!"
I know I would. :twisted:


Quote
already missing the warmth that she had woken up to this morn......must not think of that!
GIVE IN!!! You know you wnt to! :damnfunny


Quote
Then Risa's knees buckled, and Ai rushed forward to catch the younger girl before she fell. Unfortunately, in her haste, she slipped up a little, and the two of them stumbled around, pitching backwards awkwardly, before finally tipping over and crashing to the hard stone floor.

Risa had hit the ground first, and the impact made her wince, and even more so when Ai fell right on top of her, their foreheads knocking together painfully.

"Owww..." Both girls whimpered
Such klutzes, so cute! :D


Quote
Then Risa suddenly got a 'oh screw it' look in her eyes and just pulled Ai down, consequences be damned.
:hump:


Quote
Risa almost immediately jumped off, bumping her head against the shelf behind her, making her wince and rub vigorously at the back of her head. Ai just sat up slowly, blushing so hard that she resembled a ripe tomato.
Once again...so cute!


Quote
About earlier, um, let's not do that again...at least not until we get to know each other better..." The latter half of the sentence came out in a soft mumble that the barmaid had to strain to hear, and it made her flush slightly
Sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. :twisted:


Quote
"Help!" The naval officer squeaked as she tried in vain to fend off Yuko's hands. Kaori shrugged. "You're on your own I'm afraid."

"Welcome to the club." Kei added.

No escaping the original groping demon, after all.
And that is why Yuko rulez. :yep:


Quote
"Aren't you going to do anything else to her?" Tsuji blurted,

...


Miki half turned with a raised eyebrow. "You wanted to watch?"
XD XD XD


Quote
Miki couldn't help the small smile that tweaked at the edge of her lips when she saw the gift the twins had gotten for her. A whole array of small, double-ended blades balanced for throwing, as well as assorted daggers built for close combat.

"Do you like it?" They chimed eagerly, anxious to know if their gesture was appreciated by the older pirate. "We know you lost quite a few of your knives in the last few fights, so we decided to get you more."

The knife-loving pirate was holding up one of the smaller throwing knives, inspecting the quality and hefting it to test for balance. "Perfect." She almost purred, pleased by the offering. The twins beamed in satisfaction.
Aw how sweet. :)


Quote
Natsumi was cuddled close to Maki, clearly too freaked to get close to Yuko for fear of getting groped again. Maki had been irritated when she first woke up, upset that her Nacchi had knocked her out earlier, but had been pleasantly surprised when the older woman had all but climbed into her lap in an attempt to escape Yuko's clutches. The two had had an implicit agreement previously to avoid public displays of affection, so the change was interesting, to say the least.
Awwwwwwwwwwww, NacchiMaki! :inlove:


Quote
What did you do to Ai-chan, you crazy pirate?!" Ayaka wasn't pleased, to say the least. She stormed up to a grinning Yuko, her arms akimbo as she glared down.

Pirate?! Maki and Natsumi exchanged slightly startled glances. At their feet, Yuuki twitched. Kaori watched their responses with a neutral expression, but said nothing.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Nacchi and Maki need to work on their poker faces.


Quote
Ayaka exploded.

...

"She doesn't seem to have a problem with the marriage, just how it was done." Kei whispered. Natsumi raised an eyebrow.
Well...wouldn't you be upset if you missed out on a chance to throw a ceremony/banquet for one of your favourite barmaids?


Quote
"Isn't that somewhat besides the point?" They all nodded quietly to themselves. Maki snorted.

"Do you want to tell her that?" Everyone looked at the hysterical scene before them, before shaking their heads as one.

"Nah."
:ROTFLMAO: Wow I can totally picture them all nodding their heads in unison. :yep: :yep: :yep: :yep: :yep:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on March 24, 2007, 05:44:13 AM
I'm actually surprised by Ayaka, she yelled at Yuko! XD

Yuko was simply awesome, again. In fact, no other fic has ever made me like her this much...

The Miki-Twins interaction was funny, too. I liked how they somewhat managed to avoid the flying daggers.

And then TakaGaki... Very cute indeed!
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on March 24, 2007, 07:39:07 AM
Ah just finished reading chapter two. I gotta say, this is a DAMN interesting plot and setting for Morning Musume.... It's almost too interesting, haha.

Best two things:
Miki back handing the pirate bastards  :pimp:
and  Miki being a fellow slave :whip:

Yuuummm, YoMiki chemistry, it's smexy. Where Rika? ;-;

hmm seeing as I had some outside information on this... I'm taking it that the daughter was Aya...hmmm... Oh well, I guess I gotta keep catching up.. but its almost 3 am. I'm looking forward to reading more!

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on March 24, 2007, 08:37:47 AM
Quote from: Estrea;336417
Nice picture Ren! XD Yeah that's a nice outfit (funny captions too XD).

Actually, if anyone looked at the Some Boys! Touch performance during Maki's G-Emotion Tour, she was also wearing a very navy-like outfit, which was awesome as well. XD

The captions are not mine though, judging from the ky, I think it might belong to JPM's ky_khor?:ONdunno:

Can DEF. Diva's Suki Sugite Baka Mitai outfit be categorized as navy-like? Oh the sexy navy outfits. :baa60776:

The prince outfits from Ribbon no Kishi also screamed Pirates of the Caribbean... Along with Torte (and Gaki's male character).

I can imagine them doing all the scenes from All Abroad! wearing those clothes. :ONwriggly:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on March 24, 2007, 10:40:05 PM
*hehe* I can just imagine Yuko shoving TakaGaki into the room and locking them in ... her idea of fun is certainly, umh, obvious ^^

Again, the TakaGaki scene was amazing! *melts* I love how they are so absolutely clueless and nervous about this whole thing and still have the hots without even knowing each other :D Adorable!

Also, more Nacchi/Gocchin :heart: I love them to bits and pieces *cuddles*
Their rule about avoiding public displays of affection needs to be broken more often ^^

Quote from: Estrea;336379
"You mean she's like this without alcohol?"

[...]

"Welcome to the club." Kei added.

No escaping the original groping demon, after all.


:ROTFLMAO:

God, I may just be in love with your witty sense of humor :heart: Seriously!

And yay for original groping demon, hip-hip-hooray ^^

Also, chapter 14? GAM, of course, and maybe more Nacchi/Gocchin??? Pretty please? :masa:
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: cheesesticks on March 24, 2007, 11:10:06 PM
"Besides, it also didn't help that Risa had had certain images preying on her mind ever since she had barged in on something she probably wasn't supposed to see a couple of weeks ago, and it had been lurking at the edges of her consciousness ever since. That it had taken this opportunity to burst out of her was probably a complete accident and a case of bad(?) timing."

I sense a new side story... *rubs chin* XD
Title: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on March 24, 2007, 11:37:03 PM
Quote from: cheesesticks;337557
"Besides, it also didn't help that Risa had had certain images preying on her mind ever since she had barged in on something she probably wasn't supposed to see a couple of weeks ago, and it had been lurking at the edges of her consciousness ever since. That it had taken this opportunity to burst out of her was probably a complete accident and a case of bad(?) timing."

I sense a new side story... *rubs chin* XD


*hits forehead* How could I forget this??? Makes you wonder what she barged in on ... :drool:
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 03, 2007, 02:01:32 AM
Well now I get to reply to all the replies to last chapter before I repost Chapter 14 again. XD

Yuuyami: Anime Laws are fun. ^_^ I like Takagaki even more after writing them like that. XD I wrote myself into becoming a fan of them... o_O;

rndmn: Hehe, glad you think so.

FIM: Funny how Takagaki is the first to get together (technically speaking). XD

orangesocks: Yes yes, Gaki is adorable! I'll try my best to inject more humor and coolness for every succeeding chapter, although there's no guarantee for that. XD

Sancho: Yeah Miki is just being evil in her own way. She has her own set of really weird principles that not many people can understand. XD

JFC: Whoa, mass quoting! XD Glad you liked.

Amarghetta: I think the more I write, I more I surprise myself. I end up liking the characters more after writing them! Haha.

slave: Haha glad you started...and welcome aboard! ^_^ I will convert you...XD

freya: Yeah I plan to let them break their "no public display of affection" rule more often some time in the future. XD As for who Risa barged in on, well, its kinda obvious when you think about it. I left enough textual and timeline clues for it to be picked up on. ^__~

cheesesticks: Yes, I was wondering who would pick that up. :P And yes, there's going to be a side story about that, but not yet. The timing's not quite right yet. :P

Okie time to repost Chapter 14....the pain...haha.
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 03, 2007, 02:16:52 AM
Had to split the whole chapter into 3 posts....stupid character limits! Abolish it for the fanfic section!
=================================

Chapter 14


Waking up with a woozy feeling in her head for the second time of the day, Aya groaned and shifted to one side, opening her eyes...

...only to see the smugly smirking face of one sneaky pirate, whose smirk widened when she realised that Aya had noticed her presence.

"Good morning sleeping beauty." Miki leaned forward and quickly sneaked in a quick peck on a surprised Aya's lips, before withdrawing a safe distance to avoid getting slapped for her efforts, still grinning roguishly.

Aya glared as she pushed herself upright, rubbing her lips against her sleeve. With the frequency that they have been attacked lately, Aya briefly wondered if it would be a good idea to invest in a face mask of some sort to protect herself against that...that woman.

Deciding that trying to argue with Miki about the whole sexual harassment thing that had been going on ever since their first meeting was going to be pointless, Aya put it aside mentally (at least, as best as she could) and went for the more practical questions.

"Where am I? Who are you? How did I get here?" Three incisive questions, flatly delivered with her best poker face and her most authoritative tone. Miki raised an eyebrow at the sudden change in mood and approach. This was an interesting girl she had here.

"First off, you're at the Sea Coconut tavern. Second, my name is Fujimoto Miki. As for question number three..." Miki trailed off, savoring her planned response. Aya raised an eyebrow expectantly.

"I saved your life and carried you here." Miki was watching Aya's face intently, hoping to see a delightful reaction of some kind. To her profound disappointment, a rock would have had more of an expression than the one currently on Aya's face. The young captain was clearly adept at hiding whatever she was thinking or feeling behind a mask, as long as she has had time to prepare herself for the situation.

"Ah, in that case, I offer you my thanks." The best way to deal with this, Aya decided, was to keep that annoying woman at a distance, and using a professionally unconcerned tone was her usual and most effective defence. Even fully grown men gave her a wide berth when she used that tone and expression on them.

However, this is Miki we're talking about, and Aya's attempts to place a kind of distance between them was duly noted by the knife-loving pirate...and promptly ignored. Actually, the more Aya tried to push her away, the more Miki would be interested in pushing back. After all, it is a law of physics that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

"Is that any way to talk to someone who saved your life?" Miki asked, while pointedly moving closer to Aya, who was now sitting on the edge of the bed, about to get up. Aya looked coolly unperturbed as she replied.

"Didn't I say that you have my gratitude?" The young captain stood up, now facing Miki, who was almost nose to nose with her. She didn't even flinch. No sense in showing the same weakness that would only tempt the other to tease her, she realised. Aya had already begun to string together the pattern of Miki's behaviour, and had correctly deduced that Miki particularly enjoyed seeing her reactions to her amorous advances, and so the best way to counter it was to present a calm front.

That was easier said than done, of course. But it was a start.

She's a tough nut to crack. Miki thought as she eyed the slightly taller girl in front of her. The height difference wasn't all that noticeable, but Aya was surprised to find that Miki was actually smaller than she remembered. Maybe it was the fact that the events of the night before had clouded her perceptions. Probably didn't help that Miki had been so aggressively upfront with her then.

Seeing that no response was immediately forthcoming from the pirate, Aya was about to walk around past Miki, heading for the door, when a hand latched onto her arm, forcibly pulling her backwards.

"You're not going anywhere." Miki said with just the faintest hint of triumph in her voice. Their gazes met and sizzled the air between them.

"Oh? And on what grounds are you stopping me?"

"Doctor's orders, you were poisoned and need rest to recover." Miki repeated Kei's words from earlier, still gripping on to Aya's forearm tightly.

Ah, poison. So that's why I fainted. And why I still feel nauseous now.
Aya considered the situation briefly. "Well, I'll just have to rest someplace else, can't I?" Someplace where you are not around. She didn't say that last part out loud, but it was clearly implied in her tone, enough that Miki merely sneered at the implication, and pulling Aya a few steps closer to herself.

"Well it's just too bad that you can't get away from this room right now." Miki reinforced that line of reasoning by tightening her hold almost painfully on the younger girl, who winced and glared fiercely at the pirate.

"Is that any way to treat a sick person?" Miki merely shrugged in response.

"Is this any way to talk to someone who saved your life?" A very good comeback. Aya sighed inwardly. She got the feeling that Miki was going to be pulling that line on her repeatedly. And it wasn't something that she could easily refute either. She did owe a debt of gratitude to Miki, whether she liked it or not. It didn't help that the sense of honor that her father had rammed into her head since she was a child was making her feel obligated to the knife-throwing pirate, who was currently unashamedly groping her bottom with her free hand.

Slap. "Do you mind?!" Aya bit out forcefully, her other hand poised to slap Miki's throbbing cheek again.

"Nope." Miki was grinning victoriously at having elicited some kind of a response from the fuming girl in front of her. Riling the girl was becoming a sort of a bad habit, Miki dimly realised somewhere in the back of her head. The knife-loving pirate was feeling a strange desire to irritate the heck out of Aya, just to look at her flustered and/or angered expressions. It was almost addictive.

"Gah." Aya glowered at the defiantly remorseless pirate, who took advantage of the younger's momentary distraction to pull the startled girl into her arms.

"What do you want?" Aya asked flatly, deliberately suppressing her instinctive urge to scream and smack Miki around some more, in favor of her cool approach in order to irritate the other girl. Miki felt mildly disappointed at the lack of any reaction, but then again, there was time enough to rouse a response from the stubborn girl she held.

"You." With that, she leant forward, clearly intending to capture Aya's lips with her own again, but the captain prodigy had already anticipated such a move, and blocked the assault with her palm.

"Other than that." Aya sounded halfway between exasperated and amused. Did this girl have a one track mind or something?

Miki was pouting slightly behind the restraining palm held to the lower portion of her face, but was secretly pleased that the whole situation was becoming more interesting than anticipated. True to form, her hands began to wander around Aya's body, the older girl knowing that this, if nothing else, would surely garner one of those responses she so yearned to see.

Sure enough, Aya's eyes narrowed at her blunt advances, but the young captain bit down firmly on her own lip to stop herself from screeching at the pirate that was currently groping her with a challenging expression in those dark eyes, clearly daring her to do something, anything, to stop those wandering hands.

Aya growled as she released her hold against Miki's face, and using her arms, pushed away from the girl, while simultaneously stepping on Miki's foot to ensure that the grip would be loosened sufficiently for her to break free. The ploy was successful, at least partially, since she did manage to stumble away from Miki. However, Miki had also taken the opportunity to direct Aya's momentum backwards to the bed, and the younger girl tripped and fell over on the rumpled sheets.

And trapped. Miki quite literally pounced, straddling the younger girl easily and pinning her down on the bed.

"Can't you go five minutes without trying to sexually harass me?" Aya blurted out indignantly at the smirking Miki on top of her.

The pirate shrugged carelessly. "Nope." She then leaned down to nuzzle at Aya's neck, paying special attention to tease at the pulse points, and feeling Aya swallow nervously at her efforts.

"Will you please stop?" Aya asked as neutrally as she could, even though her entire body was wound more tightly than a spring now. Miki didn't pay attention to her. Clenching her teeth in irritation and cursing her own body's weakness right now (lingering aftereffects of the poison), Aya tried again.

"Can't we just talk about this first?" Now Miki raised her head curiously from where she had been busily trying to give Aya a number of very visible hickeys, one eyebrow raised curiously.

"What's there to talk about?" Miki drawled lazily.

Desperate to stall another assault, Aya tried to come up with something convincing in a split second.

"Well, didn't the doctor say that I needed rest? I can't very well get any rest if you continue like this, right?" It sounded sort of reasonable, and Aya tensely watched Miki ponder her words.

Miki had to admit that the girl had a point. Not that she cared about what Kei said, of course, but then again, the pirate had never intended to force Aya to submit to her under these circumstances. Groping and stealing kisses were one thing, but Miki strictly abhorred rape as an option. Not that Aya knew that, of course, and Miki certainly wasn't going to explain her complex code of principles to someone she barely knew anyway.

"Hmm, well, it's not going to be fun since your body's weak now. We'll continue when you get better." Saying that, Miki raised her body off Aya's, but remained sitting on the younger girl, just to make sure she didn't run away immediately.

Aya breathed a sigh of relief. Taking a deep breath to reorganise her thoughts, she met Miki's studying gaze.

"Can you let me up now?" Miki didn't say anything, but raised an eyebrow. Aya frowned.

"...please?" Miki hummed to herself in response. Aya twitched irritably, causing Miki to grin widely.

"It'll cost you a kiss." Miki watched Aya's eyebrows knit together at her demand.

"You've already had plenty from before." Aya said matter of factly, giving Miki the evil eye. That was certainly true, but of course Miki wasn't going to let Aya get away like this.

"Ah, but I was the one who started all those times. And each time you cut it short. So now I want a proper one. And I'm not letting you up until I'm satisfied." Miki had a devilish little smirk on her face as she watched Aya pale slightly at her suggestion.

If the situation allowed it now, Aya would have gladly skinned Miki slowly and roasted her on a slow fire. The nerve of that girl! But then again, Matsuura Aya was not a pushover, and she never backed down from a challenge. Clearly, Miki didn't really think she would do it. Or expect her to do it well at all. That was going to change shortly. Aya hated to lose, and especially not to this obnoxious half-child who was presently acting like a spoiled brat.

Miki watched with growing curiosity as the conflict in Aya's eyes solidified into a steely determination that really served to make the pirate excited. A spitfire, this girl. Definitely going to be fun. She was still caught in her own thoughts when Aya abruptly pulled one arm free and yanked the older girl down without warning.

The contact was...electrifying. In an instant, the world around the two girls seemed to vanish, leaving nothing but the two of them in their own plain of existence.

Miki, of course, was shocked to the core by the sudden move. She had half expected Aya to try kissing her, yes, but not this way. The memory of Aya's tentative responses to her earlier kisses was rapidly being erased and replaced by the aggressive, confident, and utterly sexy way that her former captive was currently dominating the kiss. The normally flirtatious pirate was utterly floored by the display, and she found herself quite literally melting on the inside from the searing contact and exploration.

Aya, for her part, was guided mostly by instinct. She hadn't had much experience with kissing in general. The little experiments during her teens didn't really count. She was simply unloading all her repressed agitation (mostly incited by Miki anyway), while recalling the way that Miki had kissed her earlier, attempting to replicate the way Miki had explored her mouth earlier. Her competitive instinct, coupled with her natural urge to lead, took care of the rest. She might not fully understand what she was doing, but she was learning very quickly and improvising along the way. In any case, Miki's moans of approval was a clear enough indication that she was doing it right.

Smirking triumphantly into the kiss, Aya abruptly pulled away, leaving Miki panting heavily, a small disappointed whimper escaping the older girl at the loss of contact. Seeing that Miki was no longer actively pinning her down, Aya easily pushed the still slightly stunned pirate aside and sat up, wiping absently at her lips with her sleeve as she mentally recapped what she just did. Her own boldness surprised her, but overall she was quite satisfied with how it turned out. Surely, she had shown that obnoxious woman that she was not a pushover. Extreme times called for extreme measures, Aya reasoned, as she faced away from Miki.

A hand closed on her right shoulder. Aya turned her head back to see an intense light shining in Miki's eyes. A resolute and determined air seemed to hang over her.

"Do it again." Aya quirked an eyebrow. Miki was staring at her with a extremely serious expression, and that alone sent chills running up the young captain's spine.

"You only said one kiss." Aya rebutted easily, then added. "And you can't say you weren't satisfied, because I know you were." Effectively turning what Miki had said to her before back on the girl. Aya felt proud of that little comeback she pulled.

If only Miki didn't keep using that look on her. A look that seemed to encompass a burning need to know, as well as disbelief and determination. As if she couldn't quite believe that Aya had really been able to kiss her like that, and wanted confirmation. There was a strange light in her eyes that Aya couldn't quite place. It seemed...desperate. Needy, even. There was also confusion, as well as that something else that Aya simply couldn't identify, try as she might.

"I need to know." Again, the flirtatious and teasing inflection was completely gone from her tone. Aya wondered if someone had replaced the Miki she had seen earlier with something else.

But the young captain was not in the mood to indulge Miki's curiosity. With some difficulty, she tore her eyes away from that intense gaze, knowing that if she looked at it any longer, she would have been hypnotised by it. That wasn't what she wanted.

"No."

Miki couldn't help the pout that inched its way onto her face. She couldn't believe that the girl had just turned away from her like that. She had to have felt something in that as well. There was no way that it was all on her side. Miki had sensed something during that heated kiss earlier, but she wasn't quite sure what. She wanted, no, needed to know what it was. And the only way she could think of to find out was to do it again. To try and figure out what was that she had felt. Miki had not felt truly surprised by anything ever since Yuko had rescued her from that slave ship, but this girl had done exactly that. And she was determined to work out what that meant.

"Come on~" Miki pouted and whined a bit, resting her chin on Aya's shoulder, even as her arms encircled the younger's waist from behind. Aya twitched slightly at the strange change in direction the whole situation was taking. What happened to the confidently sexy (she erased that immediately after thinking it) woman who had been shamelessly trying to take advantage of her? In its place was an almost childishly endearing girl who seemed to be begging for a favor (a sexual one, undoubtedly, but never mind that). Did this girl have a split personality somewhere?

"No. And let go already."

"It wouldn't hurt you to do it again." Miki retorted, snuggling close and practically latching herself onto Aya's back. "What's wrong with having a little fun?"

"This is your idea of fun?" The disbelieving tone said it all. "And watch those hands." The young captain snapped sharply at the offending appendages, who were beginning to wander again. Miki only grinned outrageously and nuzzled into the back of Aya's neck, earning a flinch from the latter.

"You're so uptight." Miki declared, earning a scoff from the girl she was holding.

"And you are a brat." Aya bit back, not without justification. The pirate shrugged remorselessly, a cheeky grin on her face as she plotted her next move.

"Well, at least I'm a charming and sexy one. And I kiss better than you." Miki taunted the younger girl, who stiffened in her arms.

"You do not." Ah, the competitive nature strikes again. Miki smirked.

"Do too."

"Do not."

"Do too~"

"Do NOT."

"Prove it then."

At some point during that little exchange, Aya had half turned around to face Miki, and was glaring at the older girl. At Miki's challenge, Aya's eyes narrowed as she thought it over quickly. Miki grinned tauntingly at her, as if daring her to try.

The distance between their faces closed alarmingly...then stopped. Miki blinked rapidly at the sudden halt. Aya was practically nose to nose with her now, a strange look hovering in her eye.

"Don't think I don't know what you're doing..." Aya rasped out breathlessly, before closing that last millimeter between them...and biting down on the same spot as before.

"OW!" Miki cried out, falling back and releasing her grip on Aya, her hands returning to clutch at her mouth, the raw wound on the lip reopening again. "What the hell?"

Aya licked the traces of blood off her lips triumphantly. "Gotcha."

"You have a habit of biting me in the same place!" Miki whined, tentatively poking at her aching lip and wincing.

"And you have a habit of groping me!" Aya retorted, carefully placing herself just out of grope-range. Miki snorted, waving one hand dismissively.

"That's different, I grope everyone equally!"

"Gee, now I feel special." Aya shot back sarcastically, ego slightly wounded. Miki rolled her eyes.

"Take heart in the fact that you're the first one I tried to kiss within minutes of meeting you."

"And that's supposed to make me feel better?"

"Hey it's an honor!" Miki said defensively.

Aya scoffed at it just as quickly. "It's an honor I rather do without."
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 03, 2007, 02:17:40 AM
Miki glowered slightly at her opponent, who was steadfastly refusing to meet her gaze. This Aya girl was going to be a challenge. No one had managed to counter and parry her attacks this well or this far before. If this goes on for much longer she might just be in for a world of trouble.

Aya was silently deliberating the situation. This Miki girl was definitely going to be a handful. No one had managed to get under her skin as quickly or as effectively as the girl had managed to thus far. If this went on for much longer, she might just just have a problem.

Provided we don't fall in love first. They both thought at the same time, then promptly slapped themselves mentally for even considering it. That was absurd. Completely and totally out of the question.

I can't stand her. Aya mentally reaffirmed that notion, bobbing her head slightly.

She can't stand me. Miki reassured herself, stroking her chin lightly.

If I/she can stand her/me... They both thought simultaneously. That could be bad.

Best not to think too much into it. Miki broke the silence with a grouchy word.

"Bitch."

"Brat."

"How original of you." Miki sneered.

Aya ignored that. "Get off the bed." She ordered.

"Why should I?"

"Because I'm ill and need it more than you."

"Can't you share?"

"Do you want me to puke all over you?"

That did the trick. Grumbling, Miki scurried off the bed, leaving Aya to grin smugly at her minor victory. But Miki wasn't done yet, naturally.

"You still owe me, you know." Aya frowned at the reminder. Of all people to have saved her life, she had to have one who was obnoxious, insufferable, and annoyingly intent on getting into her pants. Was bad karma at work somewhere in the equation?

"Only my life, not my body...so quit touching already!" Aya spat, forcibly prying Miki's hand off her thigh, even as Miki chuckled.

"What's the difference?" Reaching out to pat Aya on the cheek insultingly, then stepping back before the fuming captain could hit her again or worse.

Aya glared dangerously. "Argh, fine, whatever. Just stay away from me." She really wasn't feeling too well now, so she didn't want to get into any more verbal fights.

A flicker of concern flitted briefly through Miki's eyes. So briefly that Aya missed it completely. The pirate "hmphed" and turned away, going to the door.

"I'll be back." Aya made a derisive sound as she settled with a groan back onto the bed, her head swimming.

"Take your time." She muttered even as the door slammed shut behind the departing pirate. The soft click of a lock turning didn't even register on her as she closed her eyes, already on the verge of passing right back out.

I hate her...

~*~*~

Ai was nervous. She shifted around, one eye constantly watching the back door of the tavern where Ayaka had taken Risa to earlier. They had been rescued from the cellar, almost an hour from when they had been first pushed in, and Ayaka had immediately absconded with Risa, stating that she needed to have a good, long talk with the girl.

It had been about 20 minutes already, and there was no sign of them coming back. The barmaid was beginning to worry. Would she be made a widow before she was even married for more than an hour? Ayaka wouldn't really try to murder Risa, would she? The woman had always taken care of her very well, and was fiercely protective of everyone under her charge. Ai was sure that her wife was probably getting the grilling of her life.

"Don't worry, there's no screaming. They're probably both still alive." Kaori observed from beside the fidgety barmaid, trying to assure the nervous girl. Right after she had said that though, a gunshot rang out somewhere behind the tavern, making everyone jump. That didn't help Ai's nerves in the least, and she was on the verge of chewing her fingernails right off.

Meanwhile, Kei had taken to supervising Yuko at Ayaka's behest, since the pirate captain was currently being forbidden from touching any alcohol within the Sea Coconut for the time being. Yuko looked almost sulky while sitting in the corner. Clearly, she didn't like being told not to drink.

The naval trio had retreated to their own corner, discussing among themselves in quiet tones what to do with Aya, considering the situation at hand. Maki was not at all pleased to find out that Miki had saved Aya's life and was using that fact to keep Aya with her (or holding her hostage, whatever). Knowing Aya as well, she would probably feel honored to repay the debt. Maki didn't like the idea, and neither did Natsumi. Who knew what Miki would do to Aya?

The twins, having come down earlier, had immediately run off again, since they were too bored to stay in the same place for too long. Well, the peace and quiet in their absence was much appreciated, but the pirates didn't envy the rest of the town. Having that troublemaking duo bored this early in the morning pretty much equalled unrivalled chaos for the rest of the day. Definitely not going to be a good day for the town.

Finally, the door she was watching for so long creaked open. Both Ayaka and Risa walked through unscathed. Well, there were no visible bruises anyway. Risa did look slightly shaken though, and her eyes were very wide and round. One could not help but wonder what exactly Ayaka had said to her to land the poor girl in that condition.

Ai immediately stood up and walked very quickly towards the incoming pair. She would never admit it, at least not this early, but Risa had grown on her quite quickly during that conversations in the cellar earlier, and the barmaid found the younger girl likeable. Definitely someone she could consider knowing as a friend, although of course, due to certain unforeseen circumstances, they had ended up as much more than that.

Ayaka watched with an interested expression as Ai completely bypassed her on a straight course set for Risa. It looked as if the barmaid genuinely liked the young sailor that she had questioned (read: grilled mercilessly) earlier. To be honest, Ayaka hadn't been particularly impressed by Risa at first sight. Risa had appeared too frightened in front of her, which didn't lend much confidence to Ayaka about whether the girl was capable of taking care of Ai-chan for the rest of their lives.

However, when Ayaka had tried to push the younger girl into breaking it off with Ai, the uncertainty hovering around her appeared to fade, solidifying into a kind of determination that was at least partially impressive.

"I'll take full responsibility for whatever happens to Ai-chan. If anyone wants to hurt her, they'll have to go through me first."


Of course, anyone could just say that, and Ayaka challenged Risa with the same question. The navy sailor had frowned at that, before drawing one of her pistols and with a swift move, shot a passing seagull right out of the sky. The poor bird had been a good distance upwards, swooping around without a care in the world when the sharpshooter of Aya's crew spontaneously decided to place a shot right into its puny skull, just to prove a point.

Ayaka was impressed, naturally. Not many could pull off a difficult shot like that with only a few moments to aim. Risa appeared to shed her uncertain image whenever she had a gun in hand, and had then declared to Ayaka that no one was going to get anywhere near her Ai-chan as long as she was still around.

The proprietress, marginally assured by Risa's capability, had then proceeded to give the young sailor a very detailed account of what she would do to her if Risa ever hurt Ai in any way possible. The increasingly graphic descriptions were the main cause for why our favorite Gaki-san's current dazed expression. Death threats in full gory detail were generally unpleasant affairs.

Looking at the newlywed couple now though, Ayaka had to admit that they did sort of make a cute couple like Yuko said earlier. Ai-chan was holding on to Risa's hands, and the younger girl was making an attempt to smile for her worried spouse, while trying to assure her that no one (save for that unfortunate seagull) had been wounded in the proceedings. The two were not quite in love, but they were getting to be comfortable around each other, and were at least concerned about the other's wellbeing. Which was a feat in itself, considering that they had never met before the last night.

The sweet moment between the newlyweds was interrupted when a familiar group of people entered in through the front.

"Lady Ishikawa?" Yuuki blurted out immediately, as he was facing the doorway when Yossi and Rika had entered, closely followed by Eri. Reina had not joined them after the explanation along the waterfront earlier, since as the wonky eyed pirate declared, "NOW I have to go and repair my harpoons again. Thanks a lot Yossi", before stomping off back to the blacksmith with her weaponry. Mari too, had decided that she would go on ahead to the ship to take over guard duty from Makoto.

The tall pirate sensed then that Rika had wanted to talk to her, but the waterfront didn't seem like a very good place to have a serious conversation, so she had suggested that they find a place to sit down and talk. And that had meant going back to the Sea Coconut of course, since that was the only place that was guaranteed to give them an uninterrupted space for conversation, barring any intrusions from her shipmates.

Frankly, Yossi wasn't looking forward all that much to the conversation. Mostly because it was too difficult to talk about the many things that had happened. Too painful to relive them all over again, even for the sake of her closest childhood friend. Well, there was also the matter of wanting to spare Rika the more lurid details of her ordeals during the years. Despite everything, the pirate was still a caring person, and wanted to protect Rika at all costs.

Of course, there was also the matter of Rika's engagement. For some reason, Yossi found that the very idea of it hurt her. Maybe it was a little childish to remember the silly promise they had made as children, but somehow it had stuck in the back of her mind all of these years.

"When we grow up, I'll take Rika-chan as my bride!"

"Promise?"

"Promise."


That was a very long time ago. They had only been around 5 or 6 years old when that promise had been made, and Yossi had mostly forgotten it, until the mention of Rika's impending marriage by that bounty hunter had somehow triggered that dormant memory. Even though it had been a childish promise, Yossi couldn't help but feel somehow betrayed upon learning that Rika was to have been married to someone else. It was an awkward issue between them, definitely.

"I'll always wait for you, Yocchan..."

There it was again. That voice. Rika had said it to her over a trivial matter when they were but 12 years old, before everything had gone wrong. They had been innocently happy together at the time. That commitment had been made in a spur of the moment. It didn't mean anything...or did it?

To Rika, it definitely did. She had waited for Yossi for a whole 10 years, rejecting every single suitor along the way, not knowing exactly why she did so even as she smilingly declined every proposal. Her friend was important to her, yes, but was it a reason to turn away perfectly acceptable men who were eager for her hand in marriage?

Rika didn't know the answer to that. Finally, of course, her father had taken a hand in things and arranged a marriage for her. A purely political union, which she had been groomed to accept as part of the norm all her life. Marriage within the higher echelons of nobility were usually a tool to secure alliances or strengthen bonds between different clans. Love was usually not part of the equation, although she had seen arranged marriages develop into stable, happy, and even loving relationships. Of course, there were also many other unhappy examples, but that was besides the point. Women didn't have a place to complain in a patriarchal society anyway.

The arranged marriage, by all ends and means, should have served to anchor her back into the cold reality of her life. It was time for her to settle, as her father had sternly informed her. It was for the good of the family. Dreaming of the day where her best friend would return to her and rescue her from the prison her social standing had incarcerated her was but a foolish hope. There were no miracles in the world, at least not those that happened without any effort or reason.

So she had taken matters into her own hands. Seizing her own future for herself, not dedicating it to other people. Rika didn't want to sit back and be the docile porcelain doll that her family trotted out on special occasions for the crowds to gawk at, not anymore. She was tired of having other people decide her fate for her.

The resulting fiasco had occurred. Running away from the wedding, from home, joining a navy ship, and all of it eventually leading up to meeting the one person she wanted to see, in this port town far on the eastern edge of the Empire...it made her believe in miracles. At least, those that had been worked for.

The naval trio stared at the new arrivals. What was their guest doing with that person? Judging by the way Rika was standing close to Yossi, and the way they looked at each other, clearly they were acquainted. But...how?

"You know them?" Yossi asked Rika, who was currently trading glances with a nervous Natsumi. Don't tell them who we are. Message received and processed. With the ease of someone skilled at deflecting questions, Rika replied.

"Why yes, they were the ones who were nice enough to give me safe passage on board their ship when I ran away." It wasn't a lie, but it did leave out certain points of information that would be best left unannounced at this time. The naval people breathed a silent sigh of relief. Crisis averted, at least for now.

"Lady Ishikawa? A noblewoman then?" Kaori asked astutely. Yuko frowned. "What's a lady like her doing out here anyway?"

Which was a fairly valid point. Yossi turned to Rika with a stern expression. "Why are you here anyway?" Rika shifted nervously on her feet. What could she say, especially in front of all these people? That she couldn't bear to just get married to someone she barely knew? Or that she just had to see Yossi before anything else major happened in her life? Frankly, the whole decision to escape had been made on the spur of a moment, a hasty decision based on the sole idea that she had to find her best friend before getting tied down for the rest of her life. It wasn't the most well thought out decision she had ever made, but once in a while, even rash decisions had its merits. After all, did she not succeed in finding Yossi again? That would not have happened had she not decided to run away on the wedding day itself.

Surprisingly, Maki came to her rescue. "If I had to get married to some blubbering, weak-kneed idiot like that Tachibana boy, of course I would run away too." Rika smiled gratefully at the naval lieutenant, who simply shrugged in response. It was the truth, as far as it went. Never mind the fact that she had just mortally insulted a son of one of the leading Ducal clans in the Empire. No one in Klashnik would give a damn about it anyway.

"I can't go back...Father probably had a fit when I ran off. If I go back now, I'll probably be locked up in the estate for the rest of my life." Rika sighed with a note of resignation. She was suddenly at a loss for what to do. She had found Yossi...and then what now? She couldn't go back. Could she stay with Yossi? Would she be allowed to stay? So many questions. Rika was beginning to wonder if it had actually been wise to have skipped out on her wedding to come on this crazy adventure.

There was a moment of silence. The naval people didn't know what to do, for sure. They had their own problems to deal with, although Maki and Natsumi decided to conveniently forget about the fact that they were most likely going to get in deep trouble for abetting in Rika's escape, and more than once too. The first bounty hunters had come when they were docked at an Imperial port to report in, and Aya had refused to hand her guest over. Technically, in doing so they could have been charged with kidnap and stripped of their rank in the navy. But naturally, Aya had her principles and didn't care to roll over for the rules if she didn't like them. One day her unorthodoxy was going to land her in a lot of trouble, if it hasn't already.

"Well Yossi, that's your girl right? You decide what to do." Yuko declared, thumping her fist against the table. What a way to delegate responsibility. But the pirate captain had a point. Everyone else in the room didn't have any right to decide what would happen next for Rika save for Rika herself, and since Rika was pretty much at a loss for what to do herself, then Yossi, who was the only real relation to her (even Yuko could see that they were close), the tall pirate would have to discuss with the noblewoman privately on the matter.

Maki and Natsumi looked at each other, wondering what would be their part in this. Should they let Rika go if she so willed? What would Aya have done? That last question pretty much made up their minds. Natsumi stood up, walking over to the pair.

"Well, it's your decision to leave or stay with us. We will not hinder whatever your decision you make."

Maki, who had followed after her superior officer, piped up in an ironic tone. "We're already in enough trouble as it is. One more infraction won't make it any worse."

Rika bowed her head. "I'm sorry to have caused you so much trouble."

Maki laughed it off easily, coming to stand beside Natsumi. "Don't be so hard on yourself, we were already bound for trouble the moment Aya became our captain. You're just one of the incidentals." Natsumi chuckled and slapped playfully at the taller officer's arm. "Don't be so mean."
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 03, 2007, 02:18:00 AM
"Hey what's the party about?" Miki called out as she descended from the stairs. Her clothes were a bit rumpled, and her lip was still bleeding. Aside from that though, the knife-loving pirate was still in a relatively good mood despite her appearance.

Her entrance sparked off an immediate reaction from Maki, who clearly remembered how Miki had nearly skewered her with those knives earlier. Of course, knowing that Miki was doing God-knows-what with Aya earlier upset her. Next to her, Natsumi quickly clung on to the visibly fuming Maki, signalling to Yuuki and Eri to give her a hand just in case Maki decided to go berserk and try to attack Miki or something.

"How was it?" Kei asked immediately. Miki simply smirked, while absently wiping off her bloody lip again.

"She bit you again?" Kaori laughed. The knife-loving pirate shrugged, an impish grin on her face.

"She's a feisty one, that's for sure." Natsumi was contemplating whether she should just let Maki go over and beat that girl up, and possibly join in herself as well. Yuuki looked shocked and offended, since he had a great deal of respect for Aya, and Eri just looked confused. You couldn't blame her though, since she had absolutely no idea what was going on.

Risa, who had finally gotten out of her little world with her new wife, was looking over at her shipmates. "Um, what's going on?" She asked tentatively.

Miki's attention was thus drawn over to the newlyweds, who were standing near her, a slightly predatory expression as she locked in on the suddenly apprehensive barmaid. Even a dimwit could sense the impending danger from the groping devil, and Ai inched behind Risa, looking warily at her usual tormentor.

Risa gulped nervously as Miki prowled closer with all the intent of a hunter, even as the rest of the people in the tavern looked on with interest. The pirate was smiling deceptively as she spoke.

"Hello Ai-chan, why so distant today?" Miki smirked even as Ai backed away, dragging Risa with her. The navy sailor wasn't entirely sure who Miki was and what she wanted, but the way Ai was reacting, clearly her wife didn't want Miki to get any closer. So she acted instinctively.

"Stay away." Before she knew it, Miki was staring down the barrel of a pistol. Risa had a grim expression on her face. She had felt Ai's apparent panic with Miki's proximity to them, and she didn't like that her friend (wife) was feeling threatened. Miki didn't even flinch, though her smile grew wider.

"Such hostility, I was only trying to be friendly!" Miki faked an injured expression. The other pirates in the tavern snickered. Miki's idea of being friendly tended to involve a lot of contact. While the pirate crew were more or less used to the whole idea of it (they learned to take it in their stride), most other people often saw it as a blatant invasion of personal space (which it was).

"Oh well," Miki sighed exaggeratedly, eyeing Risa critically. "You don't look too bad either. New friend of yours, Ai-chan?"

"She's my wife." Risa blurted out without thinking, before promptly turning a ripe red color when she realised what she just said. Ai blushed as well, and looked down at her feet shyly. Miki just appeared amused, even as the rest of the audience snickered/laughed/chuckled (depending on their breeding). Eri, who had become fairly good friends with Risa on the voyage, had her mouth hanging wide open at the revelation.

"Cute couple." Kaori observed to Ayaka, who also looked greatly entertained by the scene. "Isn't that so?" Ayaka agreed, very much tickled by the way Risa was handling the unrepentantly flirtatious Miki.

"Oh, really? Congratulations, that was quick." Miki had her most completely friendly and unthreatening face on, even backing off a bit to give the two in the corner a bit of space. Risa hesitantly lowered her pistol in response, clearly still wary about Miki even though she didn't even know the pirate. Ai poked her head up carefully, wanting to be sure that the groping demon didn't decide to launch a surprise attack again. Miki just smiled benignly and put her hands behind her back.

Wait for it, wait for it... Yuko and the rest of her crew were thinking as they watched Miki appear to ignore the couple, turning instead for the kitchen entrance where Ai and Risa had been standing next to. The knife-loving pirate seemed to brush past them easily enough, and innocently enough, but...

Two surprised yelps came from the designated victims of the day, as both Ai and Risa jumped when Miki's fingers somehow slipped close enough to pinch at their bottoms. The groping demon chuckled evilly as she darted away into the relative safety of the kitchen before Risa could pull a shot on her.

The rest of the pirates exploded in laughter at Miki's antics. Just another typical day, it seemed, despite all the strange events that had taken place. With little fuss and minimal friction, the two crews settled down into a unspoken neutrality of terms. There would be no more actual violence between them for the time being, unless Miki pushed it far enough for Maki to want to murder her of course. Though that was but a minor technicality.

How long would this truce last before the storm finally hits?

=================================================

o_o A character limit? Does that mean my chapters should be shorter to fit it all in one post?! Lol. XD

Okie okie, I'll bugger off to write Chapter 15 now! Do comment again. XD;
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: cheesesticks on April 03, 2007, 04:31:10 AM
lol ive never seen the afro emoticon before...  O0 O0 O0 :p  ;D

Wow, character limit huh. That's a pain D:
What an awesome dose of GAMness. Muahaha, Aya has to be prodigious at making out too?? XD Speaking of which..

I'm thinking the boots and jacket scream Captain Aya... don't you? This is how I visualize the uniform to be anyway.  ;D

(http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/4729/captainayayayafh8.th.jpg) (http://img224.imageshack.us/my.php?image=captainayayayafh8.jpg)

Risa randomly shooting a seagull = hawt. Her being protective of Aichan makes me go warm and fuzzy (http://www.sendspace.com/file/h3dk97) inside. <3 (the song is irrelevant, but still. i love it anyway XD)
Anyway, to show some love, ive done some fan art. ill post it up laterrr after you post another chapter XD (or after i get around to scanning it >_>)

Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Mikan on April 03, 2007, 05:48:29 AM
Wow, love the outfit. Now I have a clear image of what Aya looks like....awesome. From the thumbnail though I thought it was Yossui aahhhh well Im dumb, arnt I

*Sings* Yay for GAM yay for GAM. You cant go wrong, if its GAM!

Im really addicted to ur fic..Im gonna admit it...and Im gonna speak for everyone else in the forum...they are too
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: lil_hamz on April 03, 2007, 08:32:44 AM
OMG!!!! Let me repeat that, OMG!!!!!!!!!! I just spent over 2 hours reading this and it has got to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I don't know how you did it but you weaved humor, sarcasm, sweetness, excitement, suspense and relationships all into one awesome story. You even threw in a little Physics xD
I am especially wowed by how you could pair the "right" couples up and have them somehow incompatible with each other. Like how Aya's from a Royal Navy family and Miki a pirate, or Yossui with a shamed background and Rika a nobleborn. I'll be waiting and looking forward to your updates ^^

PS: I adore all TakaGaki parts. It's so cute how Risa reacts to things and tries to protect barmaid Ai-chan.
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on April 03, 2007, 11:28:08 AM
Muahaha.

GAM! :heart:
Groping with Miki! :heart:
IshiYoshi :heart:

Gaki being protective of her wife, Ai-chan, is so cute. Yuko should seriously start having some more wedding ceremonies in the Sea Coconut. (That would solve Yossi and Rika's problem, I bet. xD) Oh, and I'm waiting to see a Maki vs. Miki fight. :P
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: freya86 on April 03, 2007, 12:23:42 PM
Yeah I plan to let them break their "no public display of affection" rule more often some time in the future. XD As for who Risa barged in on, well, its kinda obvious when you think about it. I left enough textual and timeline clues for it to be picked up on. ^__~

Yay yay yay for more rule breaking! I shall look forward to it :D

And I guess I need to re-read the story, since I have absolutely no clue ... *scratches head* ... me and my non-functional brain!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on April 03, 2007, 07:21:28 PM
Damn, Estrea, you rock!  This fic has so many things going for it that I don't even know where to start!  These mellow chapters have been making a great atmosphere for all the (possible) relationships.  I can't wait to see when more of them start getting together.  I'm also really looking forward to more fighting!  :heart: You write it so well, that I'm totally hooked on it.  Well, I'll definately keep stalking checking this for new chapters!  Keep up the great work!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on April 03, 2007, 08:03:59 PM
Man, I typed out a response to Ch. 14 when it was put up on the temp forum. Can't access it now, and I don't really remember, nor do I feel like re-doing it. :P  Suffice it to say, this rocked! ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on April 03, 2007, 08:19:11 PM
Risa's so sweet, protecting her Ai-chan.  :luvluv2: TaGaki~! Risa shooting the seagull was crazy cool! Poor bird, though...

I adore how Ayaya's grudgingly fallling for the groping demon.

Quote
How long would this truce last before the storm finally hits?

Darn it...!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Saikami on April 03, 2007, 09:41:42 PM
Ah, great chapters! I'm sorry I didn't post for the last one, so I'll just comment extra here. :D

Very long chapter, but it seemed to go by really quickly. O__O;; I liked it. ^^ TakaGaki made me laugh so much considering they just met the prior night and they're actually kinda okay with marriage. XD But they do make such a cute couple <3 Risa's so cute when she protects Ai-chan. And then, when they made out in the basement. xD!! That was just great. I swear, you're god or somethin'

Now, what can I say about Miki? Well...She's just Miki! XD Nothing more to it, Groping Demon at it's finest. Aya and her are the best~! I was rather shocked when Aya did actually kiss Miki, but it was awsome ;D I love how Miki always uses the "I saved your life!" thing because Aya has no choice but to agree. >:3

Rika and Yossie made me squeal :D! Rika just needs to go and tell Yossie that she ditched her wedding to find her. <3
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: len.chan on April 03, 2007, 09:58:23 PM
Risa aiming the gun to Miki... BEST PART EVER! :heart:XD (just because Aya kissing Miki it's at another level already XDXD) gaki-san is so sweet protecting her wife XD
sorry for the short comment.. nothing more to say :P just waiting for next chapter
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on April 04, 2007, 10:39:18 AM
cheesesticks: oh that Ayaya captain clothes is hawt :D.

Aw I really forgot what I wrote at the temporary forum ^^; I'll recomment but I think it won't be exactly the same XD...

- Gun vs flying knives = Gaki vs Miki XD Now Miki will be the most hated person of the navy XD.
- Aya.. I bet she'll beg Miki for more after she gets used to Miki XD.. No who is the aggressive one?! XD
- Kamei's "MY SHOCK!" expression is too cute to imagine XD She should find a lover, quick!
- Weapon lover Reina :heart: Use that harpoon to give Kamei's wedgies please :heart:
- Will Yossie told Rika to just go back home? I hope not.. ;_;
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Arcadia Victis on April 04, 2007, 10:15:50 PM
<3 this fic. All of the characters are so colorful and entertaining. :D
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 05, 2007, 07:41:05 AM
First up, let's deal with the replies first before posting the chapter. ^_^

cheesesticks: Nice pic! Aya looks really good....XD Fanart? I want fanart! Everyone should contribute pictures anyway, since I'm contributing a whole ton of words. XD

Mikan: Yes, GAM is good. (almost typed GAM is god, but eh, that works too XD) Addicted? Mufufufu.

lil_hamz: Welcome aboard! I'm glad you spent time catching up with the story, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. ^_^

black velvet: Yeah Yuko might as well just become a priest and start marrying everyone else off. XD Maki vs Miki? That's been brewing since Day 1. XD

freya: Don't worry, you'll figure it out eventually. XD

Blizzard: Haha sorry about the distinct lack of fighting. I'm just setting things up for now. The fighting will return eventually! XD

JFC: Haha it helps that you just commented anyway. :)

orangesocks: Yep, the shoot-the-seagull part was fun. XD I just thought about it on the spur of a moment haha. Of course, plot twists make a story interesting... ;)

Saikami: Yeah TakaGaki never fails to crack me up. And they're cute to boot, so that helps. XD Miki is so going to be pulling the "I saved your life" card everytime she runs out of things to say. Haha. As for Rika, well, you get to see the true circumstances of how she ran away in the coming chapter. XD

len.chan: Lol I was wondering whether Risa would actually do that to Miki, but eh, she has to protect her wife, so why not? Haha. Hope the next chapter won't disappoint.

Ren: Gaki vs Miki...Miki always wins in the end, somehow. ;) As for Kamei, well, she'll find some fun later. :D As for the rest, you'll see. ;)

Arcadia Victis: Welcome aboard! Glad you liked. :) Stick around ok! XD


Warning to everyone, next chapter has a substantial shift away from the current cast since I needed to introduce new characters and set up the plot some more. Hope no one is too disappointed!

...now you guys can play the waiting game while I edit the chapter again. :P
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 05, 2007, 08:03:02 AM
Chapter 15


The capital city of Rijktrots, the center and pride of the Empire, was a huge, bustling metropolis of its time. It symbolised the union of the Highlanders and the Sea Folk, sprawled between the mountains and the ocean. The Inner City was built in and around the rolling foothills of Wreed mountains, while the Outer City stretched out across the short distance of the plains and on to the coast, where the great harbors lay for the mighty armada that was one of the cornerstones of the Empire's domination.

The Palace itself lay higher in the mountains, growing almost as if from the crags of the looming peaks to gaze down at the sprawling city below. It was a magnificent sight, whether one was looking at it from below, or admiring the majestic view from above.

Though that whole glowing description was probably just a whole load of crap, thought one small hooded figure, who was sitting on a stoop outside a bakery, munching idly on a piece of bread.

The official view of the city was indeed beautiful. But only if you were viewing it from high above, in the mountains where the palace was. Or if you were within the burnished bronze gates of the Inner City, where the marble walls separated the rich and powerful from the ordinary people that lived in the Outer City. And even in the Outer City itself, divisions were made. Closer to the limits of the Inner City, the more prosperous mercantile families and the more well-to-do tradesmen lived and worked, catering to the more affluent and the visitors to the capital. Still further on was Midtown, where the bulk of the ordinary city dwellers were, craftsmen and other lesser traders congregating in a noisy bustle along the famed Market Street. Beyond that lay the workers' district, where most of the poorer people lived. Finally, the city ends around the port district, where the warehouses and wharves were.

A tale of many cities indeed. The small figure took another bite from the loaf. Not too far away, a pair of young children, one boy and one girl, were staring with undisguised yearning and hunger at the loaf in the figure's hand. It was a fact that didn't escape the figure, who stood up and walked over to them, halting a few feet away to avoid spooking the hungry children away.

"Here." Her voice betrayed her gender, even though the hood and cloak hid her features. The mostly intact loaf was handed over to the children, whose eyes were wide with stunned amazement at the unexpected generosity. With muttered words of thanks, they practically snatched the offered loaf out of her hands, before dashing off down the alley. She watched them go, an inscrutable expression hidden by the shadow of her hood.

"How nice of you to do that, Captain." A familiar voice observed with a mocking tone from somewhere off to one side. She did not bother to turn to face them, seeing that she knew that they had been there since a few minutes before.

"What took you two so long?" Two slender figures stepped out of the narrow alley off to her left, similarly hooded and cloaked, but taller than the first.

The one who had spoken first shrugged. "We stopped by at Konno-san's place on the way here. Had to pass her the stuff she wanted anyway. Oh and she wanted us to pass a message to you. Said she got some new upgrades for our equipment and wants us to go check it out later."

The short captain nodded. "I see. What about the rest?"

The tallest in the trio piped up this time. "Maasa and Chinami are still sleeping after their night duty, and we left Yurina with Konno-san. Wasn't Momoko with you though?"

"Momo's with our charge, where else? Speaking of that, we better hurry after them. I have no idea why that girl wants to explore the Outer City. At least I managed to get Momo-chan to go along to protect her. If something happens to her, it'll be our necks on the line." The captain said a bit grimly.

"Ease up Saki! Momo might be small, but she's good enough to handle any trouble until we can get there to back her up."

"I know I know...and it's Captain Saki to you, Miya." Saki was already moving, navigating the complex maze of side streets and alleys to their target's last known location. Miyabi and Risako were giggling as they followed behind their squad captain and close friend.

"Hai hai Captain!"

"Goof off on your own time, not on duty!"

"Yes leader!"

"Just Captain will do, damnit."

~*~*~

Koharu was bored out of her mind. Even though technically, she was on a mini adventure in the Outer City and should really be a little more excited. But the general euphoria at sneaking out to explore had faded after a couple of hours, since there was only so much to see even after walking down the whole way of Market Street.

At least Momoko made a good companion. The smaller girl was quite energetic and had been giving her a running commentary on just about everything they passed as they strolled down the streets. For a servant of the household, Momoko sure knew a lot about the city. But then again, even the servants had more freedom of movement around the outside than her, so maybe it wasn't that much of a surprise. It was tough being the niece of the Prime Minister. Her uncle could be so protective over her sometimes. If he found out about how she slipped out of their town house in the inner city today, he would probably throw a fit. Fortunately, he was going to be in the palace the whole of today for some important meetings about some war or another in the north lands, so she was safe for the time being.

"I'm bored." She announced, after they stepped out of a silversmith's shop. Momoko, whose eyes had been wandering around their surroundings the moment they emerged from the shop, snapped her attention back to her charge, while still keeping one eye out for any suspicious individuals. It didn't hurt to be more careful after all.

"Well we could always go back." The servant (well secret bodyguard, but Koharu didn't have to know that) suggested. They had been out for most of the morning, and the short 15 year old knew that they should probably return before someone tattled on them.

"But it's boring back in the house!" Koharu complained. Which was true. She was forced to study all sorts of irrelevant things (to her anyway) like flower arranging, proper etiquette for all occasions, as well as music and dancing lessons. The dancing wouldn't have been so bad if her teacher hadn't been some kind of a sick pervert. The way he stared at her and the female servants attached to her made her uncomfortable. She had tried once or twice to get him changed, but her uncle had been too busy to hear her out. Until she could get rid of the man, she would probably have to keep asking Yurina and Maasa to hang around whenever she had dance lessons. The two taller girls made her feel a bit better just by being present in the same room.

She did enjoy the music lessons though, but her usual instructor was out ill for the week, hence her abject boredom. Sneaking out wasn't a viable option at first, since she got caught by Saki and Momoko while trying to climb out of a back window, but the privileged girl sure was surprised when Saki offered to help her get out to have a looksee around the city, provided Momoko came along of course. She had agreed very quickly to the conditions, since it was rare, if not impossible that she would allowed to go out into the city without being surrounded by a calvacade of heavily armed guards. Sometimes her uncle was just paranoid, she thought.

A couple of ill-dressed youths were looking appreciatively at the deceptively mature-looking Koharu, making Momoko tense inwardly. While she could probably deal with them on her own, she wasn't relishing having to deal with them in front of a panicky Koharu. The girl might be taller than her, but Momoko was trained for such situations. Besides, she really didn't want to blow her cover. The instructors had drilled that into them since they were but mere children in training, and the Captain continued to remind them not to expose themselves unnecessarily unless forced to, and even then, to make sure that there were no witnesses left alive.

Fortunately, she wouldn't have to deal with it herself today. A very pretty girl had walked up innocently to those same youths, asking them something or another. The clearly lecherous grins of those boys were evident even in the distance, and they started to lead the apparently hapless girl down a quiet alley. Momoko resisted the urge to snicker. She recognised the girl. The others had to be using Risako as bait again, and were probably lying in wait to kick the living daylights out of those boys. Lesson of the day: do not mess with them or whoever they were supposed to be protecting. Even appearing as a possibility of being a threat was good enough a reason for their squad to act.

"...Momo...Momo-chan...!" The shorter girl blinked and quickly turned her attention to Koharu, who was staring inquisitively at her. "Um, yes?"

"Where should we go now?"

Momoko pondered that for a moment before replying brightly. "How about we visit Konno-san? She has a lot of interesting things at her place." And it makes keeping an eye on you so much easier. "We'd have to bring some cake along though. Konno-san likes them."

Koharu's eyes had brightened at the mention of Konno Asami, genius inventor in the employ of the crown itself. The inventor had distinguished herself at first with the piping system that had enabled water to be piped up to the baths from the wells below, thus negating the need for servants to laboriously cart buckets of water up to the Emperor's bathtub everytime His Royal Majesty decided to take a bath. That ingenious system had been adopted by the royal family, as well as the more affluent families in the capital city. Since that achievement, Konno had also been involved in several other projects and had helped to advance quite a few useful improvements in drainage systems and the like, earning her some acclaim and gratitude from the masses.

Inevitably though, her mechanical skills were called upon by the government to help with military development, which the inventor had initially refused vehemently since she disdained being a party to violence or the creation of weapons that would aid in destruction. Unfortunately, she had been forced to compromise her ideals since the direct order was that she had to comply or be jailed. However, even then, she usually focused her efforts on developing better defensive measures for the military, experimenting with a variety of alloys to create better armor plating for the soldiers. Of course, those improved alloys were also used for weapons like swords, but that couldn't be helped.

Due to the nature of her work, most people weren't allowed in to see Konno unless they were high ranking enough, or if they were personal friends of the genius. The friendly girl resented the fact that her freedom of movement had been curtailed, but accepted it grudgingly since there was no other alternative. It wasn't as if she was literally caged, since she was allowed to go out freely (with guards discreetly tailing behind, but yeah). Nevertheless, she enjoyed tinkering with new things and rarely went out anyway, except to consult with other people, or if there were meetings to attend. Supplies and other essentials were catered to her, so she never had to worry about those minor things anymore. 

Koharu had never actually met Konno before, although her position as niece to the Prime Minister would certainly grant her entrance with the guards in the front should she choose to do so, which was why Momoko had even suggested it in the first place. Well, technically Momoko could get them both in due to the privileges of her alternate identity, as well as the fact that her entire squad was on good terms with the inventor after the first time they got sent to her to discuss designs for their "special" equipment. But to do so would raise uncomfortable questions from the naturally curious Koharu, and the short girl would rather avoid that if possible.

"You know Konno Asami? That is so cool!" Koharu looked impressed. Momoko coughed nervously.

"Ahem well, we helped to deliver messages and supplies to her before. The Prime Minister ordered it." That wasn't a lie, as far as it went. Koharu appeared to be satisfied by the answer, and let the matter drop.

"Well, shall we go then?" Momoko changed the subject quickly, not wanting her charge to start thinking too much into the topic just in case. Better not risk it after all.

"Let's go!"

~*~*~

"Wrench." Said implement was handed over.

"Oil." The tin was passed down.

"Cloth please." Moments later the requested fabric was delivered.

Many minutes, various implements, and lots of tweaking later, a sigh of satisfaction was released.

"There, done." Konno Asami, genius inventor, rose to her feet, wiping her greasy hands on the cloth. "Thanks for the help Yurina-chan, it was really useful."

"You're welcome." The much, much taller girl smiled down at the older woman.

"Well now that I finally finished repairing that, why don't we have some tea and cake?" Konno smiled at the younger girl she had borrowed earlier as an assistant for the day. Yurina beamed at the suggestion. Tea sounded just fine with her.

"So what are the new stuff you added to our arsenal this time?" Yurina prodded insistently, having asked Konno the same question for the whole morning but to no avail. The inventor simply smiled and told her to wait until the whole group was around. This time however, the genius seemed a little more willing to respond, although a bit evasively.

"Well, I came up with upgrades for Saki's and Momo's weapons, and I have a few other useful tools you guys could use, probably wouldn't work for standard military code, but definitely up your alley..."

"Anything like that flash bomb you made for us the last time?" Yurina asked with a gleam in her eye.

"Let's just say they're less bright and useful for sneaking."

"Aww come on, tell me!"

"Patience is a virtue." And that was the last she would speak of the subject despite the continual urging of the 14 year old. Konno was not naturally a sadist, but some perverse part of her secretly enjoyed having the younger girl eagerly anticipating her creations. Frankly, she wanted to talk about her latest improvements for their equipment just as much as Yurina wanted to hear about it, but she didn't want to have to explain herself again when the others came by.

The young genius had self-control. She could wait until the whole squad assembled before starting her explanations.

Now, to distract herself and Yurina with food so that she wouldn't be tempted to spill everything beforehand...

~*~*~

"Can we drown her?"

"I think she knows how to swim."

"Darn."

"...but if we tied her up first?"

"Hmm..."

"What are you two discussing now?" Shibata Ayumi came up behind her two teammates, her tone suspicious as she folded her arms, eyeing the older and supposedly more mature women who were sitting in the shade of a tree, watching their current charge play a short distance away. The pair had the decency to look just slightly guilty, like children caught with their hands with the cookie jar.

"Nothing!" Murata Megumi quickly replied, glancing at her partner-in-crime. "Nothing at all. Right, Masae?" The other woman nodded in agreement. "We weren't really talking about anything, Shiba-chan..."

"Oh really? I thought I heard something about tying people up." Ayumi levelled a steady gaze at Megumi, who pushed her ever-present glasses up her nose at the scrutiny, the lenses glinting in the sunlight. The youngest of the group looked over at the young girl who was playing in the sand nearby, their current responsibility.

"Please don't tell me you were planning to do anything to Aria-chan."

Masae whistled innocently, while Megumi removed her glasses to clean them on the front of her shirt before putting them back on. Ayumi sighed.

"You do know that Aya will probably skin you alive if anything happens to her youngest sister while she's away, don't you?" Shibata tried her best to sound serious and grim, but it came out more exasperated and amused than anything else.

"Ah, but Aya isn't here. And what Aya doesn't know won't hurt her in the least." Megumi preached reasonably, a pious expression on her face. Masae snickered beside her. Ayumi sighed and flopped down next to the seated duo, clearly giving up on ever persuading them. It hadn't worked in the past, why would it work now?

"I wonder how Aya is doing out at sea? It's been more than a month since we last saw her."

Masae shrugged, leaning back against the tree. "I'm sure she can take care of herself. Besides, she has Maki with her."

"That's part of why I'm worried, actually." Ayumi added laconically, drawing a chuckle out of the other two.

:Well, Nacchi's with her too, no big deal. She can keep an eye on them both." Masae added encouragingly.

"Ah, but did you know that our dear Abe-san also has a playful streak a mile wide somewhere behind that serious officer look she puts up?" Megumi was smiling benignly even as her companions turned to look at her.

"Seriously?"

"Seriously." The glasses girl nodded with a knowing look.

"Wow, she sure hides it well...how did you know though?" Masae looked curious, as did Ayumi. Megumi smiled mysteriously.

"I have my sources."

Shibata eyed her steadily. "Don't tell me, you blackmailed someone for it?"

Megumi buffed her nails against her shirt. "Close, but not quite."

"Threatened?" Masae tried.

"Getting further."

"Tricked?"

"Not really."

"Swindled?"

"Do you two really have such a bad opinion of me?" Megumi placed a hand to her chest, pretending shock and hurt.

"Not you, just your integrity." Masae shot back, a grin on her face. Ayumi muffled a snort of laughter with her hand.

Megumi pretended disappointment, shaking her head. "I'm not that bad..." She began with a righteous tone. "...I only resorted to bribery."

Laughter. "Who?" The question came simultaneously afterwards.

Light reflected off the glasses with a tilt of the head. "Our dear Gocchin is surprisingly susceptible to a certain kind of pastry..."

More guffaws. Then Ayumi straightened herself. "How would Maki know anyway?"

Megumi smiled cryptically. "Think. How else?"
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 05, 2007, 08:04:18 AM
For her part, Shibata really tried. But she couldn't seem to come up with anything logical. Or even illogical, for that matter. Masae, however, got the point immediately. Or maybe she was just too used to the Murata-style hints. She cracked up even as her two teammates looked on, Megumi with an evil glint behind her glasses, and Ayumi still trying to puzzle out what the subleader meant.

"They didn't!" Masae cracked out in between fits of laughter.

"Oh but they did."

"But how?"

Ayumi decided to interrupt at this point. "Do you two know I still have absolutely no idea what the heck you're talking about?"

"And that's our fault?"

"Yessssssssssss." She somehow managed to stretch the one syllable into two. Possibly even three.

The two older women glanced at each other, before Masae shrugged and leaned over to Ayumi, whispering what Megumi had implied earlier. The younger woman first had her eyes widen with shock, before she simultaneously paled and blushed at the same time.

"But...how?!"

"I said that already." Masae pointed out.

"Apparently there was alcohol involved somewhere along the line. And rope too, I think." Megumi recalled. Masae nodded sagely even as Ayumi clapped a hand to her forehead.

"That explains the rope burns on the girl's wrists when she came by to look for Aya that time, huh?"

"Truly. And the bite marks too."

"I wonder how she got singed there though?"

"No idea. Maybe we can ask them when they get back."

Ayumi decided that it was time to change the subject. After all, there were minors playing only a few feet away. Children didn't need to hear anymore of such sordid details.

"SO. I'm sure they'll find some way to get out of trouble even if they do get into it somehow." She forced in as much 'let's change the subject' vibes into her tone as was humanly possible. Her older comrades got the hint and decided to spare younger ears from the adult conversation. Besides Ayumi had a really disturbed expression on her face and the other two wasn't sure if they knew how to revive the younger girl if she collapsed or something. The sea was nearby of course, but they didn't want to accidentally drown Shiba-chan or something. Saito would get mad if they did.

"Hey, where's the Boss?" Masae quipped, finally noticing the absence of their leader.

"I was wondering when you two would notice." Ayumi sighed. "She's out with the missus for a trip to the village."

Masae nodded. "I wonder when the Admiral is coming back. He's been off at the capital for the last 3 weeks. Aria misses him and raises holy hell since both Aya and the Admiral aren't around to keep her occupied."

"Aya was never that annoying when she was a kid." Shibata agreed.

"No, she was just stubborn and insufferable." Megumi deadpanned. Masae snorted. Shibata giggled.

"I still remember the time when she took out two neighborhood ruffians with a broomstick. A broomstick." They all laughed at that.

"Goes to show that no one should ever pick on her sisters when the girl's around. She stabbed one of those bullies in the groin with the stick!"

"That must have hurt."

"I'd bet."

They all sighed at the same time. "I miss having her around." Masae mourned.

"But you'd deny that if anyone else asked." Megumi observed.

"Obviously."

Ayumi rolled her eyes. Then she thought of something else.

"Hey, I wonder how Rika-chan is doing."

"Perfectly fine, I'll bet. Our little scheme worked out without a hitch, thanks to glasses here." Masae poked at Megumi's shoulder.

"Scheme is such a nasty word." The subleader complained.

"Then what? Plot? Conspiracy?"

"Set-up?"

Megumi turned to look at Ayumi. "I like that one." She turned back to Masae. "See, Shiba-chan came up with something better."

Masae pouted.

Ayumi giggled. "I still can't believe you staged the whole thing." She said to Megumi, who absently adjusted her glasses again.

"Well you were the one who mentioned that your friend wanted out of the marriage. If you didn't want us to do anything, you shouldn't have said it in the first place." Megumi reasoned reasonably, the way she always did when subtly trying to extricate herself from blame. Ayumi rolled her eyes, being used to it, but decided to ask something that had been nagging at her ever since that incident.

"How did you know that Rika would run away from the carriage on the way to the wedding?"

"Elementary, my dear Shiba-chan. Remember the time when you brought us along with you when you went out with Ishikawa?" Ayumi nodded, and Megumi continued.

"Well, I kept dropping hints to the lady about how she should 'be free' and 'escape' the whole afternoon." Masae blinked at her subleader.

"So that's why you kept saying all those strange things and jokes that time!"

"Like the one about the duck and the farmer." Shibata recalled with awe. Masae raised an eyebrow skeptically.

"You actually remembered that one?" The youngest in the trio hid her face in embarrassment.

Megumi looked bemused before continuing. "That was the first step. Had to plant the idea in her subconsciousness." The glasses-wearing woman shrugged. "Then the next step was to give her that last push to make that decision on her own to leave. Which was why I didn't let you go to tell her that everything would be ok the evening before."

Shibata blinked. "How did you know I was going to go comfort her the night before that? I was sure I didn't tell you, but then again you guys just dragged me along for a card game..."

"Well, if you had gone and told her that everything would be ok, she'd be less likely to want to leave. I wanted to isolate her and force her decision."

The younger woman looked aghast, but Masae was impressed. "I'm surprised you planned all that without giving it away."

Glasses shifted again, reflecting more sunlight in that same ominous manner. "Practice." She quipped drily.

"So you manipulated one of my close friends into running away from her wedding?" Ayumi accused.

"I did not manipulate, merely encouraged her to take the road she really desired in her own heart. If she didn't have that idea in her heart already, she wouldn't have fallen for the whole thing so easily. In a way, I was just helping her along." Megumi defended herself in a logical and reasonable fashion, and in her most sincere tone. Completely faked of course, but it worked anyway.

"Well...that makes sense..." The younger woman gave way grudgingly.

"And then we all know what happened next." Masae reflected. "You woke us all up before dawn and had us sneak out to wait on the route the bridal party would take. Boss was totally pissed off."

"Luckily Ishikawa really did decide to make a break for it. If not, I might have some trouble justifying waking you guys up." Megumi admitted. Masae stared.

"You mean you weren't sure?"

"Well, it was a gamble..."

Masae just made a noise of exasperation. Ayumi scratched at the back of her hand absently.

"Still, your idea of disguising us as part of the honor guard in the bridal party was interesting."

Megumi shrugged. "Figured we could get into the mess, knock a few of the real guards out, and then pretend to chase after the runaway bride while getting rid of the real pursuers on the way. Leaving our target home free."

"And then you practically had us herd the lady towards the harbor." Masae accused.

"Actually, towards the wharf where Aya's ship was getting ready to set off." Megumi corrected. "It was cutting it a bit close, since I didn't know how fast Ishikawa could run to be able to make it in time."

Shibata was shaking her head. "The perfect set-up. You knew that Aya would never turn Rika-chan away if she made it on board."

Megumi smiled. "Of course. Aya doesn't like the idea of arranged marriages anyway. And it probably helps that the groom in question is that Tachibana boy."

Masae snickered. "He was the one that kept trying to send flowers to her after meeting her at that party, wasn't he?"

"That's the one. Aya was really annoyed with him too. Even humiliated him in public once, I recall. Gocchin was telling me all about it that time." Megumi reminisced.

"Nevertheless, you sure dumped a lot of trouble onto Aya before she even left the harbor." Ayumi scolded.

"Oh, I'm sure they can handle it. Hardship is part of life's experiences. It moulds character." Megumi said sagely.

"I hope to God no one else ever finds out we were involved in this whole fiasco." Shibata sighed, massaging her temples.

"First lesson, Shiba-chan: I never leave any evidence behind. Ever."

"What about that time with the squirrel?"

"What squirrel?"

"The one in the kitchen."

"Oh. That was an anomaly. Besides, Boss was the one who messed it up first."

"True..."

Another day, another story. Where it all began, it would all end.

Karma did always have a way of turning around to where it started.

================================================================


Sorry if it feels random. I had a good reason to move the focus back to mainland. The last two lines says it all. ;) I couldn't get to introduce all the new characters yet, but here's most of them.

And I have a new post-chapter segment! Mostly just for crackiness. XD

*Melon Kinenbi pops in*

Saito: I can't believe you left me out of the chapter.
Me: I mentioned you, didn't I?
Saito: I was only present in 3 lines. 3 lines!!!
Me: Um, sorry?
Shibata: I'm sure Estrea tried her best...
Megumi: Not to mention a certain bunny rabbit got left out of the chapter entirely...
Me: HOW THE HECK DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THAT?!
Megumi: I have my sources. *glasses flashing*
Masae: She means that you she read your character notes.
Me: Good god. Stay away from my notes!
Megumi: You should take better care of them in the first place.
Me: Oh whatever. Give them the preview for the next chapter Shiba-chan.
Shibata: Ahem. *stares at script* It's blank.
Me: Blank?
Shibata: Yesssss.
Me: Make something up then.
Shibata: Huh?
Megumi: She means lie your way through it.
Shibata: Oh. Um. More action? Probably drama. Crap humour and comedy.
Masae: As expected from a 3rd rate B-movie.
Saito: What B-movie? This is a Z-movie.
Shibata: Is there such a thing as a Z-movie?
Saito: Well, there is now.
Me: HEY!!!!
Masae: Face it, you're a crap director.
Me: T____T
Shibata: Well, until next time then?
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on April 05, 2007, 08:27:16 AM
Whole load of new characters :DDDDDDDDDDDD

Love the laidback conversation between the melons. Ties up alot of loose ends and background stories.

AND i thought Megumi was the leader in real life.. no?

Are the berryz part of the naval army as well? or mainland army?
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Amarghetta on April 05, 2007, 08:42:42 AM
Eh, more people in the fic! Can you handle it? :p
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Mikan on April 05, 2007, 10:49:01 AM
Ow ow ow *Lies down* Mooooore characters...more back stories.....reading too much...owow myy heaaaad!!!

Well!! Indeed you said there were gonna be new chapters but wow, yeah didnt see that many coming. Melon Kinenbi were awesome....looooooooooooooooool. I loved the whole plan on how to get Ishikawa on the boat. There was a point were I cackled but I dont remember exactly where it was.

Btw, ur a wonderful director and I hope you`ll cast me in ur next dream!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 05, 2007, 12:22:07 PM
-lovely sigh- Yay Berryz... ^-^ I was wondering if they'd make an appearance in this, the greatest story I have read this year. <3 You've probably just made my day.

The Melons cracked me up. Especially the first few lines:

Quote
"Can we drown her?"

"I think she knows how to swim."

"Darn."

haha, and I loved how they were discussing the aesthetics (I think that's right...) of the words they were using. Priceless.

Awesome stuff. :3 I want more! <3
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on April 05, 2007, 03:13:42 PM
Berryz and Melon! :D

Koharu sure suits to be the type of the princessy girl who is grounded etc- XD. But having Momo as her bodyguard (or servant) really made me crack up XD, because I was imagining Koharu walking around in gown while Momo beside her using maid outfits with weapons hidden in her skirt XD.

Professor Konkon :heart:. I remember Slack's avatar XD, where Konkon is wearing glasses and white outfit like a professor XD.

The Melons are very schemy... But that just fits with how Megumi looks, exactly XD. They are part of the navy too? What did Nacchi do anyway XD? Is it with Maki?

And that Aria girl, Aya's younger sister, is she just a made up character for this fic or she really exists XD?

...and I love that Pervert title below your nick :heart:.


Oh and I forgot to repost these pics from my comment for ch 14 in the temporary forum, please bear with the crappiness XD:
(http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/2946/gakikameiti9.jpg)
(http://img45.imageshack.us/img45/5369/estreabdayje8.jpg)

Eh, more people in the fic! Can you handle it? :p
Its Estrea! She can do it for sure :D!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 05, 2007, 04:43:05 PM
Woot, I wonder how you'll fit the Shige in this?  I cracked up at the whole Melon convo. That's good stuff... As always, looking forward to the next chapter.
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: lil_hamz on April 05, 2007, 05:17:12 PM
Princess Koharu, it does have a ring to it. I have been wondering how Konno, Koha and Shige would fit into this and now I know, except for Sayumi. She seems rather princess-like as well but with your superb writing skills you could probably write her as someone no one would expect. Having the Berryz was a nice touch but wow things are bound to get messier now  ;)
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: orangesocks on April 05, 2007, 05:21:21 PM
Quote
'Konno was not naturally a sadist, but some perverse part of her secretly enjoyed having the younger girl eagerly anticipating her creations.'
KONKON! Whose a sadist?! Though I could see how she could be one...

I liked the Melon Kinenbi appearance. Funny!  :D

What's the joke with the duck and the farmer? Does it exist??
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: coachie on April 05, 2007, 05:30:56 PM
THE MELONS!!!! :heart:

I so hoped you would pull them in, yay! And a big YAY! for evil sheming (or good in this case)
Now all I need is a little Country Musume goodness and I'm completely satisfied.
At the beginning of this chapter I thought this was actually CM's Asami (they are three and she's the smallest and was the leader -not sure about that though)

And Aya got a little sis! For some reason I kept thinking of Aria as Aya's child  :D
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Slack on April 05, 2007, 06:27:45 PM
Of course (http://forum.jphip.com/index.php?topic=461.msg340146#msg340146) Konkon can be sadistic.

Now I see how Aya's blade could have a revolver in it...
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: magicnumber on April 05, 2007, 06:52:34 PM
At first I was like, "damn no GAM  :(" But the Melons were hilarious XD and yay for Berryyzzzz + Koharu!

I love how you're really including all of H!P in this story and not just giving them random filler roles. This story is the greatest  :heart:
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on April 06, 2007, 05:56:03 AM
Konkon invented/developed Aya's gunblade? COOL! :D

Berryz...like ninja's in training? or some type of elite guard for Koharu? Come to think of it, I totally didn't realize that there had been no Koharu up to this point.

Da Melons...gotta love 'em! They're almost like Miki in their sneakiness. :wahaha:

Z-MOVIES HELLA YAH!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: iacus on April 06, 2007, 08:45:35 AM
You know, I was worried for little bit that you had just forgotten the plot and were gonna focus on hilarious shenanagians for the rest of the fic. Silly me, I should have known you wouldn't forget.

*Start chapter specific comment time* I really like the descriptions of the city. It seems like you put some real thought into the history of the place, and how it developed. Is Aya's father the unidentified man who got kidnapped out of his carriage a couple of chapters back? *End chapter specific comment time*
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: itchyknee on April 06, 2007, 11:21:23 AM
Temporarily de-lurking just so I could say that this is amazing!

I just spent the past few hours reading this fic... it's 4:18 AM now but definitely worth the grogginess I will be experiencing tomorrow morning I mean later. Yay for all of your great pairings :3 Good job!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Blizzard on April 06, 2007, 06:16:08 PM
The Melons have landed!  And what a landing they have made!  I didn't realize you were going to add that many more characters.  You must really want to write a lot more (not that I mind of course)!  :heart: Looking forward to more!
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on April 06, 2007, 08:15:22 PM
YAY!!! Good stuff!! You know what? You got what I had in mind for Konno's role when I start reading the fic. Only that I thought she'll be working on Pirate's haven (producer of Tsuji/Kago mischievious stuffs  ;D). Adding Berryz and Melon was so cool. I guess your having a migraine or something by now with all these characters. Oh BTW, I've already finished outlining some of funfic art but I'm sorry to say that I might post it for a next couple of weeks since I don't have a scanner at home which a friend of mine will took care of it next week and then another week for me to color it. But like Konno's said " Patience is virtue."  ;D

And Ren, You've made a cool photo of Reina for Estrea's bday but I haven't told about something. Isn't it suppose to be Aboard and not Abroad? ;D But don't worry, i don't really mind since shoving a harpoon on my ass was more disturbing  though. :D
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on April 07, 2007, 02:08:51 AM
MELONS! Oh Yessssss. At first, I was kinda sad that there were no updates on whats happening to the two crews, but this filler (is it a filler or the start of a new arc?) was Melon'd and I like that. Lots.

Love the scheming Megumi and the reference to Boss Saitou. Hahah, it reminded me so much of silly mangas with Megumi’s glasses glinting everywhere.
Sigh, I need to brush up on my Berryz, I didn't know like half those names XD. Oh well, didn't stop me from reading.

*You’ll never turn me! I can resist! I really can!* <- meh and I said that about listening to Chinese music ... I'm in great need of S.H.E.*shakes head*

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Ren on April 07, 2007, 04:31:24 AM
And Ren, You've made a cool photo of Reina for Estrea's bday but I haven't told about something. Isn't it suppose to be Aboard and not Abroad? ;D But don't worry, i don't really mind since shoving a harpoon on my ass was more disturbing  though. :D
Oh noes, I just realized that XD, oh me and my English skill... Thanks for telling Sancho XD.
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on April 08, 2007, 05:46:03 PM
I freaking love Captain, she's awesome xD The berryz are freaking NINJAS! I wonder what kind of weapons and fighting styles they have :] Looking forward to the day you might showcase their talents. xD!

Oh Melons... How I cherish you so! I can easily picture Megumi like that one emoticon. :glasses: That one xD Scheming glasses of doom :3 Love how she planned for Rika's escape, she's just so badass like that xD

Gahh damn, I hope to see them again soon! Melons capture my looooove <3

Hope you put that hardhat to use xD
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 08, 2007, 06:51:43 PM
As usual, replies first, chapter after. ^_^

ferrar1: Megumi was the leader, but she ceded the position to Saito. XD And the Berryz are technically "land army" although they belong to a very specific class of warriors...*cough*

Amarghetta: Oh ye of little faith. :P Sorry, just wanted to say that to someone. I too, worry. But I will do my very best, even if I explode my brain after it's all over! XD

Mikan: Yes yes, more characters, and it isn't the end. XD Reading is good for you. :P I am the master of looooong chapters. XD Cast you in my next dream? Maybe. :P

FIM: The Berryz are awesome. XD And yeah, the Melons rock. XD I'll try my best to keep up with the demand. :)

Ren: Well, Aria is a madeup character, since I didn't know the real names and ages of Aya's younger siblings. XD And thanks for having faith in my ability to juggle the enormous cast. XD

rndmn: The Shige has an important part to play. XD But I need the right time to slot her in. XD

lil_hamz: Yeah things are gonna get messier. I only hope that I can sort out the tangles well enough. XD

orangesocks: The joke doesn't exist, but I can make one up if you like. XD

coachie: Country Musume will show up eventually...somewhere. You can thank (or blame) Yuuyami for nagging me into it. :P

Slack: See I told you I had explanations for everything, no matter how half assed. XD Genius Konkon. :)

magicnumber: The world doesn't revolve around GAM! ...but it sure does gravitate around it. XD Glad you liked the new characters. XD

JFC: Ninjas-in-training comes close. XD And you didn't notice there was no Koharu? LOL! Glad you like Z-movies. XD

iacus: Lol I got sidetracked by the fun of writing crazy things, I admit, but I stuck to schedule and delivered plot advancements on time anyway. ^_^; As for the city, well, I like world-building a little too much, and I have a mini world map drawn in my head about how the shape of the world in my fic looks like. o_O I can even show my cultural and historical notes for different parts of the Empire if you want. XD;; Overkill, but eh... As for the kidnapped man, well, wait and see, shall we? :)

itchyknee: Welcome aboard! Lol you shouldn't ruin your health like that even if you like reading my fic! I hope you stay aboard from now on though. :)

Blizzard: Yes I like writing a lot, and no, this isn't the end of new character-adding. Because I'm totally insane and want to include all of H!P in. Muahahah. Ok, wait, I'm nuts. Shoot me now. XD

Sancho: Yes I'm having a migraine with the new characters (and thinking of adding more o_o;) but its a fun sort of migraine (yep, I'm definitely insane now). And yay for art. ^_^ I shall wait patiently for it!

slave: That wasn't really filler, I just needed to set up the new characters and prepare for a future arc in that setting. ^_^ Melon'd! XD I like that word. Yeah you caught me, I'm a sucker for manga and anime, complete with flashing evil glasses. XD Oh, and quit resisting. Come to the GAM side of things honey. XD

Yuuyami: You evil evil woman, making me add so many new people (well not that I didn't want to do it, but you were an accomplice!). Yes yes, ninja Berryz. XD Figures you would like the Melons, considering you were the one who requested their entry. :P And you nagged me past the block, the hardhat was secondary. :P


Phew, so many comments to reply to. Next chapter coming in the next 10 minutes or so. You can all thank Yuuyami for singlehandedly making sure that it came out now instead of 12 hours later, cos I was planning to go to sleep before she evilly made me stay up to finish Chapter 16. Lol.
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 08, 2007, 06:59:50 PM
Chapter 16


"Are you sure about this?" Aya asked briskly from where she was sitting on the bed, ignoring the bowl of soup that was meant to be her lunch. Natsumi absently passed another spoonful of the soup to Aya, who drank it just as unconsciously even as she considered the information that had been brought to her.

"It's entirely likely. This is a pirate port, after all." The older woman set the bowl aside, a frown of concentration on her face. "Still, they're quite unlike the usual kind we run into most of the time."

"I wouldn't count on it." Aya said darkly. "Utterly shameless and morally licentious behavior...they're all the same."

Natsumi raised a knowing eyebrow at her youthful captain. "I gather you got that impression from that...encounter with that young woman earlier?" There was just a hint of teasing in the officer's tone, which drew a low growl from the young captain.

"I don't want to talk about it." Natsumi giggled at the darkly angered expression on her friend and comrade's face.

"If you say so." Moving on to a more professional front, the First Mate continued. "We do have to decide what to do next though. The bounty hunters keep coming where the officials can't, and to make matters more complicated, Lady Ishikawa seems acquainted with one of the pirates on a fairly...personal level, if I may add. I think she may want to follow them instead of staying with us."

There was a slightly ironic smile on Aya's face. "Good riddance then."

"Aya!" Natsumi scolded. "We're already in trouble for helping her escape...twice. Even if we let her go now and pretend that we 'lost' her to the pirates, this won't be over you know. It's going to be a very ugly stain on our records. Not to mention the punishment for all that rule-breaking you've been doing since we first set off..."

"I'll face that on my own, don't you worry. I'll take all the responsibility for my own actions.I won't let you guys or the rest of the crew get into any trouble if I can help it."

Natsumi faced the younger girl sternly. "You know I won't let you do that. And neither will Gocchin either."

"Got that right!" Maki's voice floated in from the other side of the half-closed door, where she was standing watch to make sure no one got close enough to eavesdrop on them. The tall naval officer stuck her head into the room. "We started out on this together, we'll face whatever comes with you, no matter what."

"Thanks, you two." Aya seemed genuinely touched by their show of loyalty.

"Before we get all warm and fuzzy though, we do have to deal with our current problems." Natsumi observed practically. "You're still weak from the poison, so we can't risk getting into a fight now..."

"But I'm fine! Really!" Aya protested weakly.

Natsumi ignored her. "As I was saying, we can't really try picking fights now. Especially since considering how good those pirates downstairs are."

Aya frowned. "You fought them already?"

The older woman coughed nervously. "Um, you see, there was a tavern brawl..."

"Nacchi!"

"Gocchin started it!" Natsumi hastily added, trying to deflect the accusatory stare from Aya.

"Snitch!" Maki accused from the door. Natsumi stuck her tongue out at Maki.

Aya sighed and rubbed at her temples. "You two, really...I expected a little more maturity from people older than me, you know."

"You just need to lighten up sometimes." Maki observed from her post. "You're too uptight."

Aya tensed. The words were too familiar. The naval captain wondered if Maki and Miki were long lost twins or something, bent on trying to get a reaction out of her. Miki was eviler though, so would that make Maki the good twin? The line of thought was going down disturbing routes though, so Aya quickly discarded it. It was just far too freaky to contemplate the idea that those two might gang up on her one day.

"Oh yeah, there's another minor complication." Natsumi remarked casually. Aya eyed her warily even as she spooned some more soup into her mouth

"What now?"

"Niigaki got married."

Aya choked on her soup. Natsumi patted her on her back, trying to ease the sudden coughing fit that had overtaken the young captain.

"What? When? Who? How???" Aya spluttered after she recovered. Natsumi shrugged and gave a brief sketch of what she knew of the situation.

"Well, that's...interesting." Aya breathed after Natsumi finished explaining. "How's the girl holding up?"

"Remarkably well actually, all things considered. They seem to be getting along despite not having known each for more than a day."

"Well they probably got to know each other a whole lot better while they were in the cellar." Maki commented just a little lewdly, leaning against the doorframe. The other two women shot her a scolding look, but the tall lieutenant only shrugged. "What? They just got married, and were alone down in the cellar for a whole hour. What else could they be doing?"

"But they barely knew each other." Natsumi defended the younger girls. Maki shrugged again. "And that's supposed to be an impediment to fun? Besides, it's a good bonding experience."

"Not everyone's like you Gocchin." Aya pointed out. "Niigaki won't do that. I know her well enough to know that she won't."

"Whatever. Anyway, she's going to be fair game for teasing from now on. Payback for the time when she interrupted..." Natsumi quickly cut in and stopped Maki from talking further. "Leave the poor girl alone, she has enough to deal with as it is."

Aya was looking between the two of her officers. "I don't want to know what happened, right?"

"Probably not." Maki drawled, shooting an amused glance at a slightly flustered Natsumi.

Aya just looked amused. "I won't ask then." Switching back to a more business-like tone, the young captain continued. "So, the bounty hunters know where we are now, and I assume that more will be coming soon once that news gets out. We'd better leave before they catch up with us again."

"Actually, they're just looking for Ishikawa." Maki mused. "If we just left her with the crew downstairs, then it'll be their problem, not ours."

An amused half-smirk curled at the young captain's lips. "I'll admit it, I'm tempted. But as long as she doesn't state explicitly that she wants to leave, she is still under our protection, and I will not just ditch someone who sought sanctuary with me."

Maki shook her head. "You and your sense of honor will get us killed some day."

"My honor is my shield." Aya quoted ironically, then grinned. "Have a little faith in me, dear one."

"And since when did I not?" Maki smiled back warmly. The two friends had been through thick and thin ever since they decided to run off to the academy in secret all those years ago. The bond they shared was something both treasured very much.

Natsumi coughed. "Sorry to interrupt, but even if we do manage to get rid of Ishikawa and hence the bounty hunters off our backs, it still doesn't solve the main issue. How the heck are we going to account for the whole situation back with High Command?"

"I'll think of something." Aya replied evasively.

"That just means you're going to just wing it, aren't you?" The older officer accused. Aya shrugged eloquently, a sheepish grin on her face. Natsumi sighed.

"We are so going to get fired..."

~*~*~

Meanwhile on the lower level, a similar council of war (figuratively speaking) was taking place at the same time.

"What do you think of them?" Kaori asked her shipmates. Yossi, who was sitting with Rika by her side, frowned thoughtfully.

"They fight fairly well. Better than the usual riffraff that is. The one I fought last night definitely had professional training before."

"Mercenaries maybe?" Kei ventured. Surprisingly, Yuko volunteered a sensible answer while shaking her head.

"No, weapons too fancy and well-maintained. Most mercs don't bother to take care of their equipment that well." The usually drunken pirate captain appeared to set her usual demeanour aside to participate, seeming more sober and serious than was normal.

"That's true. The boy was using a longsword. Broadswords are more common with mercs. A longsword..." Yossi trailed off.

"Nobility." Yuko finished. "Or an officer's weapon."

Silence fell over the huddled group. Kaori, however, was looking directly at Rika, whose expression had not changed in the least during the conversation. The perpetual smile was a bit unnerving somehow.

"If we really wanted to know for sure, we just have to ask the lady over there, don't we?"

Rika had her perfected 'I have no idea what you are talking about' expression affixed firmly in place. "Who, me?"

"Don't act stupid, you're obviously smarter than that." Yuko growled out. Rika smiled cutely at the irritated pirate captain, and Yossi stifled a snort of laughter at the gesture. The boyish pirate only remembered far too well how Rka had used that trick on her (as well as many others) when they were but mere children. Clearly, growing up hadn't dulled that habit at all. In fact, it lended a certain kind of mature edge to that charm, one that hadn't been present before. Such was the way Ishikawa Rika has been dazzling her way through high society with great facility. Just stun those overdressed and overfed peacocks with a charming smile and sending them reeling before she states her demands (and usually gets it as a result).

"I have no idea what you're talking about." Yuko rolled her eyes.

"Those people...they're not ordinary sailors, right? Rika tilted her head to one side.

"I rather like to think of them as exceptionally kind people, with rather unique talents, though." She danced around the question quite obliquely. Yuko glared at Yossi.

"Get a grip on your woman or I'll smack her myself." Yossi rather quickly pulled Rika back away from Yuko, and the girl 'accidentally' ended up in the boyish pirate's lap somehow. Rika flushed slightly, but otherwise didn't protest her position. The deliberation went on without any further input from her.

"Well, it's a bit obvious by now that they're not ordinary," Kei observed. "Not mercs either. So, either nobility...or navy?"

A chill ran up Rika's spine, though she didn't show a single hint of it. She continued to sit there placidly, hoping that everything would turn out just fine for the others. She was certain that her Yocchan would not allow harm to come to her, but she wasn't sure if the same mercy extended to the navy crew who were in the tavern. She sincerely hoped that there would be a peaceful resolution to this.

"What kind of nobility would be stupid enough to come out here anyway? No offense to you of course," Kaori apologised to Rika, before continuing. "But not even the Royal Navy is stupid enough to step into pirate territory on their own, at least not without a full armada behind their backs, knowing those cowards."

"Not to mention that that they whisked an Ishikawa away from her wedding, they must be really bold or really stupid if they were really part of the navy." Kei noted.

"So...not navy?" Yossi wondered aloud, unconsciously pulling Rika closer to her own body as she did. "But then, what could they be?"

"We could just test them, you know." Miki wandered towards the group, absently playing with one of her new knives.

"What do you mean, Fujimoto?" Yuko looked interested. Miki smirked.

"Just wait and see..."
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Estrea on April 08, 2007, 07:00:36 PM
~*~*~

"Wow, you're married." Eri said with a note of wonder in her voice. "Wow."

Risa buried her face in her hands. "I know..."

"I can't believe you're married."

"Neither can I." The sharpshooter muttered, sinking down to squat despondently against the wall of the back alley.

"Married...to another girl." Eri was still in a daze after hearing from Risa the whole account of what had transpired. It was a quite a lot of information to swallow. The whole idea seemed bizarre. Like a dream. Or even a nightmare. Eri was personally glad that it wasn't her, but felt great pity for her friend.

"There there, marriage isn't so bad." Eri tried to comfort Risa. "It just means you're an adult now."

"But I don't know what to do!" Risa cried out, feeling all panicky again. She was truly at a loss for what to do. She was part of the Royal Navy, on a mission to eradicate piracy! She couldn't just up and get married somewhere in between! Would the captain even allow her to bring Ai-chan along? Leaving the girl behind didn't seem very nice. Staying behind wasn't really an option either. Risa felt so very lost and very frightened. What would the future bring?

But of course, before she could worry about the troubles the distant future could bring, she would have to deal with a far more present and immediate problem.

"Tsk, cheating on Ai-chan so quickly already?" A mockingly disappointed voice, heavily tinged with amusement, came from next to them. The two girls jumped at the intrusion. It wasn't difficult to see how the intruder, in this case, a smirking Miki, had drawn the least innocent conclusion possible from the way Eri had one arm slung around Risa's shoulders in a gesture originally intended to be sympathetic in nature.

Eri quickly withdrew from the otherwise un-incriminating position (guilty only in Miki's eyes, frankly), while Risa looked indignant and frightened at the same time.

"You again! Why won't you leave me alone?" Exasperation was heavy in Risa's voice. Despite not knowing very much about Miki, not even knowing the other's name actually, the way Miki had imposed her presence on her hadn't been the most pleasant experience in her life up to now.

Miki strolled over with a wide grin. "Temper temper. Should I be worried that Ai-chan married the wrong person? We know so very little about you after all." The pirate appeared to be seriously considering the whole matter, which lent a certain surreal air to the whole exchange, especially to the pirate crew who were currently avidly watching the whole thing from a small window overlooking the alley.

"And this is her bright idea?" Kei whispered disbelievingly from where she was plastered against the window, with Yuko pushing down on her from behind and Kaori jostling her from the side. Yossi and Rika took the easy way out and were peeking from the back door where Miki had stepped out from.

"Shh, it's getting to the good part."

Risa had gotten up, while Eri had shrunk away, slinking unconsciously away to hide inside an empty crate that had one side levered open. Miki wasn't very much taller than Risa, but the forbidding aura around her increased her stature, and thus the pirate was able to back poor Risa up against the wall even further.

Eri's eyes were wide with fear as Miki happily started terrorising Risa. For her part, Risa was holding up remarkably well, clamping down stubbornly on her usual urge to blurt things out in a frenzy. Clearly, Aya's orders left a mark on her not to speak of their origins, although if one were to speculate, Maki's elaborate threats might have more to do with Risa's tight-lipped resistance against all forms of questioning. But naturally, Eri was not privy to the second, since she hadn't been present when the Lieutenant had decided to "advise" Risa in her own way what not to say.

Can't say anything, can't say anything, can't say anything... Risa was repeating to herself mentally even as Miki's voice was starting to cause considerable stress to her psyche. However, her lips remained firmly sealed shut at the very idea of what Maki would do to her if she revealed anything. Which was terrible indeed, and the only reason why she hadn't cracked yet. Well, even with her resistance, Miki wasn't going to give up, especially since the girl was the only available target right now. Eri had since vanished (into the crate, but Miki hadn't noticed), and was peeking out through the slats in between the planking and torn between wanting to rescue her friend or just staying safe in her comfort zone. The comfort zone was winning out as of now.

Miki was smirking. The brat in front of her was trembling violently and sweating even more profusely. Leaning even closer, the pirate savored the fear that was rolling in waves off the younger sailor. Risa looked like she was about die of apoplexy right then. Or even sweat to death by excessive loss of moisture. A trickle of blood slipped out through the pinched lips, Risa's teeth clearly having worn the skin open with the ferocity of which she had clamped down on her own lips, just to prevent herself from speaking. Her mind was so fuzzled now that she couldn't even think of pulling a gun on Miki just to give herself space.

Just as spots were starting to form in front of Risa's eyes, something happened.

Yossi and Rika had been very surprised by the whirlwind that swept past behind their backs, and the rest of the audience was even more surprised when Miki was suddenly violently assaulted from behind by someone. A very livid someone. Who was armed with a very large wooden ladle. A ladle that was still hot and dripping from whatever concoction it had been immersed in until being pressed into service as a tool for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

"OW!" Miki yelped, her hands immediately going to shield the back of her head even as she stumbled away from a gasping Risa, who was about an inch away from collapsing in a heap. "What the hell?! Who..." The knife-throwing pirate trailed off when she turned to see her assailant.

"Never knew she had it in her." Kaori observed after elbowing Kei out of the way for a better view. Yuko shoved the heads of the two in front of her down to look for herself, whistling appreciatively at the sight she was treated to.

"Nice one, Ai-chan!"

For indeed, it was Ai who stood breathlessly wielding a large wooden ladle like a club, poised for another swing should Miki get within range. The pirate was wise enough not to get nailed for a second time, and was rubbing ruefully at the back of her head, looking Ai over with a different expression.

"Hmpf, spunky aren't you? Grown a backbone for that brat? How touching." Miki sneered even as she stalked off, carefully keeping out of range of the ladle-bearing Ai.

"I..I'm not afraid of you." Ai's voice was trembling violently, betraying her own nervousness after the initial adrenaline rush had started to fade away.

"Che, you're not worth the trouble." Miki made her way towards the door, where Yossi was snickering at her comrade. "Shut up." Miki growled, clearly not amused at having been caught unawares. With some difficulty, Yossi was just barely able to stifle the more obvious signs of her merriment, stepping aside for Miki to be able to nurse her injury out of the public eye. Behind her childhood friend, Rika was also biting her lip to prevent herself from saying something that might invite Miki's wrath. She might not know Miki personally, but her instincts were telling her that it was generally unwise to toy with a wounded tiger such as Miki.

Ai's attention had diverted back onto her hyperventilating wife the moment Miki had disappeared back into the tavern. Risa's eyes were nearly popping out of their sockets, mostly from the accumulated panic under Miki's interrogation, and she looked sheet-white and was shaking like she had epilepsy. Trying to shake and talk her out of it didn't appear to have any visible effect, and even a few lightly experimental knocks with the almighty ladle didn't seem to do anymore than cause light bruising where they had made contact with Risa's head.

Clearly, drastic measures were going to be necessary. Ai's own panic over what to do with Risa was subsiding even as the idea formed in her head. There seemed no other alternative, and radical methods were probably the only way out here. Taking a deep breath, the barmaid calmed herself, one hand already cradling Risa's clammy cheek...

...and slapping the younger girl hard across the cheek.

The force of the slap snapped Risa's head to one side, the other cheek making rough contact with the grimy wall she was leaning against. The shock jolted the sailor back into reality, her eyes gaining a strange kind of clarity even as she turned back slowly to look at a mortified Ai, who was already apologising tearfully for hitting so hard.

Suddenly Risa seized a shocked Ai by the shoulders, words pouring out of her mouth like a torrent before she could even stop herself.

"Oh my god I'm so sorry so sorry sorry...I didn't mean to walk in...not at all, not at all...no no...I won't say a word...no, never...I swear...don't kill me Lieutenant!!!"

By now Risa was a teary wreck, and Ai was instead cuddling her sobbing wife close. Clearly, the accumulated stresses that had piled up over the weeks had finally caught up with poor Risa. The poor girl was a mess.

Unfortunately, the rest of the audience looking on were hardly concerned by the waterworks. Eri, and to a lesser extent Rika, was aghast by the inadvertent slip of the tongue. Oh no...

Yuko, Kei and Kaori were looking at each other with bemused expressions. Finally, Kei quipped

"Looks like Miki's method worked after all..."

==========================================


XD

Eh, this chapter didn't feel quite up to par to me, but well, it just made the cut. Barely.

Miki: You let me get nailed by a ladle?!
Me: *ducks* Sorry...
Miki: You, are so going to get it. *knives flashing*
Me: Eeep. *looks around frantically* Aya! Keep a leash on your pet!
Miki: *smirking* Sorry girl, Aya's...not available at the moment. It's just you and me.
Me: Ack. *starts running* Everyone pray that Miki doesn't kill me! *runs faster*
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Yuuyami on April 08, 2007, 07:06:48 PM
Oh snap, Risa let loose :0!!!!! Though, I do admit that her being all spazztastic and Eri hiding in a crate was very cute <3

Ai pwned Miki, roffle :]

But damn, what are the pirates going to do to the navy crew? Stowing away a bride DID earn some of their respect, right?! ;___; Oh gahh no fight, no fight, no fight X__X; -prays- Let's just pray they get along to some extent, I mean, they were getting along pretty well earlier, yes? Just because they are a part of the royal navy doesn't affect their friendship, yes? ;_______;

-puts on hardhat to prepare for the upcoming chapters-

Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 08, 2007, 07:19:04 PM
"Gocchin started it!" Natsumi hastily added, trying to deflect the accusatory stare from Aya.

"Snitch!" Maki accused from the door. Natsumi stuck her tongue out at Maki.

Hahah, they're such kids. :heart:

Quote
"Oh yeah, there's another minor complication." Natsumi remarked casually. Aya eyed her warily even as she spooned some more soup into her mouth

"What now?"

"Niigaki got married."

Aya choked on her soup. Natsumi patted her on her back, trying to ease the sudden coughing fit that had overtaken the young captain.

Very minor indeed. XD

Quote
"Whatever. Anyway, she's going to be fair game for teasing from now on. Payback for the time when she interrupted..." Natsumi quickly cut in and stopped Maki from talking further. "Leave the poor girl alone, she has enough to deal with as it is."

Aya was looking between the two of her officers. "I don't want to know what happened, right?"

...I do... ><;;

Quote
Rika had her perfected 'I have no idea what you are talking about' expression affixed firmly in place. "Who, me?"

XD

Quote
"Get a grip on your woman or I'll smack her myself."

HAHAHAHA. This really cracked me up for some reason.

Quote
Yossi rather quickly pulled Rika back away from Yuko, and the girl 'accidentally' ended up in the boyish pirate's lap somehow. Rika flushed slightly, but otherwise didn't protest her position. The deliberation went on without any further input from her.

What a wonderful accident that would be...

Quote
"And this is her bright idea?" Kei whispered disbelievingly from where she was plastered against the window, with Yuko pushing down on her from behind and Kaori jostling her from the side. Yossi and Rika took the easy way out and were peeking from the back door where Miki had stepped out from.

"Shh, it's getting to the good part."

Lol. I can so picture them all trying to peek into the window like that.

Quote
Eri had since vanished (into the crate, but Miki hadn't noticed), and was peeking out through the slats in between the planking and torn between wanting to rescue her friend or just staying safe in her comfort zone. The comfort zone was winning out as of now.

Kamei-in-a-box! I WANT ONE!  :heart:


Quote
For indeed, it was Ai who stood breathlessly wielding a large metal ladle like a club, poised for another swing should Miki get within range. The pirate was wise enough not to get nailed for a second time, and was rubbing ruefully at the back of her head, looking Ai over with a different expression.

-dances- GO AICHAN, GO!


Quote
...even a few lightly experimental knocks with the almighty ladle didn't seem to do anymore than cause light bruising where they had made contact with Risa's head.

I want one of those, too. -nod-

Quote
Taking a deep breath, the barmaid calmed herself, one hand already cradling Risa's clammy cheek...

...and slapping the younger girl hard across the cheek.

Poop. That's not what I wanted to happen. ;-;


Quote
"Oh my god I'm so sorry so sorry sorry...I didn't mean to walk in...not at all, not at all...no no...I won't say a word...no, never...I swear...don't kill me Lieutenant!!!"

...I still want to know. XD


Quote
"Looks like Miki's method worked after all..."

XD Miki's Method... that should be a book or something.

Ah, this chapter was so much fun to read. <3
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: JFC on April 08, 2007, 10:15:03 PM
^ What Fever said. :wahaha:

Especially the GO AICHAN!!! ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: black velvet on April 08, 2007, 10:49:31 PM
wOOt for the Melon girls in the previous chapter! :heart:

Anywho, this chapter was . . . great! It looks as though the two sides are finally getting suspicious. I definitely think Rika will choose to stay with Yossi, but Aya's going to get in trouble for having supported her runaway. D: (Ohnoes!)

Kamei was so cute. xD "Wow, I can't believe you are married . . ." It still throws even me off when I read something that says ". . . her wife . . ." xD Still, TakaGaki is great! Gaki was so funny, keeping her mouth shut out of fear of Maki's punishments. xD And, Ai-chan is awesome! Even if she was just using a hot ladle to beat the crap out of Miki, it was still awesome!

Obligatory: Miki <33333
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: ferrar1 on April 09, 2007, 02:35:04 AM
I thought from the start that Eri <3 Gaki lol, so it was not the case, and i was hoping for 3some action...

Now now what would the pirates do.. i sense a tense confrontation next chapter.

I have a feeling that the story will develop in such a way that the navy crew would be expelled from the navy and forced to join the pirates :D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: lil_hamz on April 09, 2007, 06:10:23 AM
The image of Eri squashed into a crate is too cute for words. And wow, Ai-chan, that's some spunk there. Poor Gaki finally cracked, but she held out long enough. I wonder what's gonna happen next. Oh and I agree with ferrar1 on the threesome bit  ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on April 09, 2007, 06:28:32 AM
Quote
"Get a grip on your woman or I'll smack her myself." Yossi rather quickly pulled Rika back away from Yuko, and the girl 'accidentally' ended up in the boyish pirate's lap somehow. Rika flushed slightly, but otherwise didn't protest her position. The deliberation went on without any further input from her.

THAT, that is my salvation against your evil trickery and...GAM. And There's no way you can get me! I got my S.H.E. to keep me company, and my hearts still with YoCharMi. What's better than two? THREE! muahaha.

Maaaaaan Risa. I knew it was going to be ERi or Risa that would give it away. Then while I read, I had a feeling it would be Risa from the two since Eri was hiding.

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Mikan on April 09, 2007, 01:01:58 PM
*Wakes up in a daze*

wahh....what happened? I remember seeing the words Miki, Maki, Aya and Gang in the same sentence....after that things got a little hazing and before I knew it an hour of fantasizing had past.

Wow, awesomeness. There were a few points I lolled but yeah that how Gomattou fantasy really through me off. I had a look at all the replies you gave to your comments. Holy crap there are a lot of people. XD


Hurray for Maki the playgirl.
Hurray for Eri in a crate! ahah
And hurray for ALL ABOARD.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Amarghetta on April 09, 2007, 02:48:58 PM
Woo, Ai-chan rocked, even more than Miki... :p

And it's not that I have little faith in your creativity, I'm more concerned about your endurance. That many characters, it has to be kinda tiresome. Especially with characters as colorful as these.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: JFC on April 09, 2007, 04:57:01 PM
Forgot to mention...
"Are you sure about this?" Aya asked briskly from where she was sitting on the bed, ignoring the bowl of soup that was meant to be her lunch. Natsumi absently passed another spoonful of the soup to Aya, who drank it just as unconsciously even as she considered the information that had been brought to her.

Aya being fed her soup...KAWAII~!!!  :k-inlove: :luvluv1:
Title: Re: All Aboard!
Post by: Sancho on April 09, 2007, 09:08:16 PM

Me: Ack. *starts running* Everyone pray that Miki doesn't kill me! *runs faster*

After the pirate discovered a hint, please don't get yourself killed. We need the next chapter fast! Here  *Throw something to Estrea* It's chopping board. try to block her knives or something. If the ladle works, so as the chopping board. Good luck *jump on an empty crate on the way to hide from Miki's sight*

"Oh... Hi... Eri..."  ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: C60533 on April 09, 2007, 10:29:02 PM
Go Aichan!! But Risa just couldn't stay calm under Miki's method...after all...she is the reaction queen. And Kamei!! Cute! Ah...Aya still sore about Miki...oh well..she'll get over it. Can't wait for more.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: len.chan on April 09, 2007, 10:43:13 PM
Go Aichan Go! but don't hurt Miki XDD
I loved the last two chapters. The Melons ploting to release Rika-chan from her wedding is priceless XD and poor Boss, letting her out of the chapter XD
The Navy girls have been discovered! I can't wait to know what's going to do Miki to Aya now...  :wahaha:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Econxp on April 10, 2007, 02:40:19 AM
OMG luv this fic! Miki-groping master! Aya/Miki action, close-combat specialist Eri! Married Ai/Risa! Yossie/Rika interaction! Pirates! Navy! you got everything! i luv this! Aww, Ai and Risa protecting eachother! hope miki wasnt badly hurt! please update as soon as possible!

-Econxp
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: orangesocks on April 10, 2007, 04:29:16 AM
GAH THE TAGAKI was so cute!!!  :heart: First it was Risa protecting her Ai-chan, and now Ai protecting her Gaki-san!  :D

::dies!::

Now I'm worried about what's going to happen to Ayaya and her crew...and...if Ai can be the cook aboard their navy ship.  :)

Eri in a crate peeking out was too cute. aww!!  :heart:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Saikami on April 13, 2007, 02:24:26 PM
OH SHIT. O___O;;

This is bad, really bad. o___o;;; I feel a big fight comming up. :x It's gunna be cool though. *___* Really cool.

I fear for Risa's safty. :O! Maki wont do anything too bad, right? :O?

RIGHT? O__O;;

Ah, and in the last chapter, I loved MK <3 Megumi kicks ass. XD

Write more~!

-prays that Miki-sama wont kill you- :D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Ren on April 14, 2007, 05:03:59 AM
So now both of the group knows of each other origins XD... Will one of them start a war? Hello! Project Pirates vs Hello! Project Navy XD.

Rika might wants to stay with Yossi instead of the navy, but for her as a nobility, will she want to stay with pirates? I have a feeling she'll ask Yossi to flee with her instead ^^;

Ai-chan wins against both Gaki and Miki, wins against navy and pirate, so that means her hidden power is awesome XD? The workers in Ayaka's tavern may be a group of hidden mercenaries, seeing Ayaka can pass as a torturer too XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: iacus on April 14, 2007, 07:07:19 AM
Now, hold on a sec, I wasn't trying to imply that I don't enjoy your hilarious shenanigans. They are pretty darn hilarious after all. It's just that I had an itch for some more plot. And of course I would love to see some cultural/historical footnotes if you'd care to share them.

Chapter specific comment time START.
^^What JFC said.
Chapter specific comment time END.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Nana Oosaki on April 14, 2007, 09:26:16 AM
Maybe Yossi don't wants a pirate live for Rika, and she's going to make Rika to go with Aya and her crew
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Estrea on April 14, 2007, 07:24:40 PM
And anyway, replies first, chapter after! As usual XD.

Yuuyami: No fight, no fight. Just...more complications later. XD

FIM: Mass quoting yay. XD And yeah, Aichan rocks with her ladle. ^^

JFC: Go go Aichan! ^^ And Aya being fed her soup was indeed cute. XD

black velvet: Haha you'll get used to the "wife" description eventually. :P

ferrar1: Threesome? Sheesh. :P

lil_hamz: Another threesome fan?! Gee. Lol. XD

slave: Threesome fan No.3. Lol. You get Ishiyoshi yes, but sorry, it's all GAM here baby. :P Learn to live with it...and maybe love it too. :P

Mikan: Tsk, Gomattou fantasies? *starts fantasising also* ....great, now I can add insomnia to my list of health problems. Damn you! :P

Amarghetta: Lol I am glad for your concern, and yes, managing this many characters is really exhausting. It takes longer and longer to write each chapter, so I hope everyone can be patient. :)

Sancho: Thanks for the chopping board! *said board is currently riddled with knives* It saved my life many times over. :)

C60533: Well well, long chapter ahead, sorry for the delay! XD

len.chan: Haha well you'll find out what happens in the next chapter! XD

Econxp: Welcome aboard! XD Glad you are enjoying the story. :)

orangesocks: Yes, Takagaki is the cutest. XD

Saikami: Maki will be delaying the punishment to Risa due to certain unforeseen circumstances. Unfortunately, that just really worsens Risa's situation, but I won't say why or how. :P

Ren: War? Make love, not war! Ok, end stupid cheesy comment. :P Lol Ayaka and her workers as mercenaries? XD Interesting idea. :P

iacus: Well I have plenty more hilarious shenanigans planned in the future, so no worries. And I would never forget the plot too. XD I'll add in cultural and historical footnotes when my brain is clearer (aka not at 3am in the morning like now XD). ^^ Glad you liked the chapter. ;)

Nana Oosaki: Hello and welcome! Well, we'll just have to see what happens next, don't we? XD



Phew that was a lot of comments. And no, I'm not discouraging you people to comment. More comments are love. XD Now you get to wait while I split the chapter into 3 posts cos its uber long again. XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 14, 2007, 07:26:54 PM
-WEDGE-

Woo! First wedge of Essy's story! <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Estrea on April 14, 2007, 07:38:28 PM
Chapter 17


This is the part where we go "Oh shit". Eri thought to herself, curling into a tiny ball inside the crate. This was a very bad situation. Very bad indeed. Good as the crew of the Defiance was, there was no way, absolutely no way, that they could take on a whole town on their own. Of course, right now their identity was still known only to that strange group of people that were even weirder than the ones than ran the show on board the Defiance. She didn't want to contemplate the chaos that would occur if the news leaked out to the rest of town that there were navy in the area.

Eri didn't think it was possible, but she was starting to think that everyone else was crazy. Captain Matsuura was so unorthodox that it was a miracle that she wasn't booted out of the navy before all this insanity happened, while the First and Second Mates were inappropriately involved in ways she never imagined possible before (never underestimate the observational powers of a turtle-in-hiding). Risa had seemed relatively normal to her despite the tendency towards hysterics, but clearly even Risa had gone mad and gotten married in a flash to some barmaid. That lady Ishikawa too, other than being a runaway bride, had been sort of normal otherwise, but then the woman had gone and jumped into some stranger's arms before the bounty hunters had caught up once again. Eri didn't even want to start with the strange new group she had encountered just now.

The whole world was going crazy. With the possible exception of Yuuki, Eri was sure that she was the only sane person around in town. The thought made her want to hide even more, and the crate was feeling very comfortable as of now. Who cared about the fact that there was probably going to be a huge fallout from the fact that their identities had just been revealed?

Eri was the kind of person who was concerned about survival, and was perfectly content to lay low until the whole mess blew over. Unless she absolutely had to, she wouldn't leave the relative safety of the crate for now. Best to just stay put and watch the proceedings.

Her decision made, the sailor hunkered down in the crate, her experience with small spaces helping as she found the best position to be in without causing muscle cramps. Now to hope that the world didn't come to an end after Risa's inadvertent slip of the tongue...

~*~*~

The bump wasn't very severe. She had had worse in the past. But the blow to her pride was a bit more pronounced. Being hit with a ladle wasn't a story she wanted to share with anyone else in the future. It was just too embarrassing.

Her foul mood was compounded further when the naval trio came down from the second floor. Aya was still pale, but if she was still feeling unwell she did not let it show in her posture and expression. Her two companions stuck close to her, wanting to help her but knowing that Aya would not appreciate being treated as an invalid.

"Going somewhere?" Miki asked coldly, even as Aya's face immediately formed into a familiar scowl upon seeing the knife-loving pirate. Keeping her calm, the naval captain, replied coolly.

"We do not wish to overstay our welcome. If you will please move out of the way." Miki had positioned herself at the bottom of the stairs, preventing the trio from leaving.

"Do you intend to leave without repaying your debt to me?" Miki goaded, and a tic appeared on the side of Aya's forehead. She clearly didn't enjoy being reminded of that. Behind her, Maki frowned and glared down at the shorter female pirate that was causing her best friend so much distress.

"I will not forget your kindness," Aya's tone was acid. "I will remember the debt, and I will return it by not killing you the next time I see you." The last part came out through clenched teeth, Aya's distaste for pirates unconsciously coming to the fore as she spoke. Natsumi nudged Aya in the back warningly, clearly not liking how the conversation was turning out. They didn't need a confrontation right now.

Slightly taken aback by Aya's words, Miki was more than a little stunned (and just a tiny little bit hurt) by the sheer contempt and disgust present in Aya's voice. She was sure that she didn't warrant a response like that. Heck, Aya had been cold and a little mean to her earlier during all the groping, but never actually outright hating or being completely disgusted with her the way she was now. Miki was a bit confused by the change in attitude. What was wrong with this girl? Did the evil twin just decide to come out to play?

Their little staring match was interrupted by, predictably, Yuko.

"Hoy Miki, these ladies are NAVY!" The pirate captain belted out loudly for Miki to hear, but thankfully not loudly enough to let everyone else outside the tavern to listen in. Behind the pirate captain, Rika looked apologetically at the stunned naval trio, but didn't contribute anything else at the moment. There wasn't much for her to say anyway.

A collective 'shit' ran through the trio's minds. This didn't look good.

Miki had a stunned expression on her face for a moment, but it quickly faded and was replaced by a smirk. She didn't have anything against the royal navy in particular, since her hatred was mostly directed at slavers, but generally the navy was just a sort of a boogeyman for pirates in her opinion, and the knife throwing pirate wasn't easily spooked by how apparently mighty the Empire's naval force was.

That might have something to do with the fact that Yuko's crew habitually trawled the Eastern Sea where the naval presence had never traditionally been as strong as it would have been in the Western Sea and the Northern Rim, or even in the central region. There was mostly but a token presence of the Empire's supposedly mighty fleet in the East, since most of the ships had been diverted for the war efforts in other more troubled regions. The only real issue troubling the Eastern Sea had always only been pirates, not enemy armadas, so the Naval Command rated that somewhat further down their list of priorities when allocating their fleet deployment. As such, Miki wasn't as afraid of the Navy as she should probably be, since any and all Naval forces she had met up till now (not many really) had not been the cream of the crop, or to put it bluntly, were second-rate pushovers.

"How did you know that?" Miki asked idly as her captain strode over to stand beside her. Yuko smirked.

"The girl cracked after you left."

Miki beamed and preened slightly. "See, I told you it would work." As if the pirate had known it would all along. Yuko snorted and turned to level a deadly gaze at the tense trio on the stairs.

"And now I think, you people owe us an explanation before we start trying to kill each other."

~*~*~

Eri watched as Risa was ushered back within the tavern by the ladle-wielding fiend who was probably her friend's new wife, judging from the garbled description she had gotten from her before the whole incident with that scary person had occurred. The woman was pretty, she had to admit. Not bad at all. At least Risa had good taste.

But with the movement of the action to within the tavern, it meant that she wouldn't be able to see or hear what was happening from where she was. Eri didn't like that idea. But she liked even less the idea of leaving her safe zone. What to do now then?

The answer, after a moment or so of thought, was obvious. She didn't really have to leave the crate to be able to eavesdrop on the others. She could just bring the crate along with her.

Her decision made, Eri crawled out of the side of the open crate, tipped it over so that the open end would fit over her head and hide her body, while allowing her to move around slowly by shuffling along with most of her body inside the crate.

Never underestimate the ingenuity of the turtle in her makeshift shell indeed.

~*~*~

If this were a traditional Wild West standoff, all we were short of were the pistols at the ready. Well, one person did have pistols galore, but said person was currently huddling with her wife and not really in any shape for any kind of a fight at the moment.

However, this was not the Wild West since for one, they were in the wrong region (east instead of west), and two, they were indoors in a port town and not in the main street of some small town set in a desert-like environment. Not to mention that it wasn't high noon either.

Nevertheless, the tension was high. Ayaka had quickly stepped in after hearing the unexpected bombshell, and delivered a speech that basically boiled down to "don't wreck my tavern any more than you already have!", before wisely retreating to the sidelines with a cup of tea. The pirates who were present were all gathered on one side of the main area of the tavern, and Rika was standing with them (mostly because of Yossi). The smaller group of navy people clustered together on the other side, with Ai by Risa's side still trying to calm the younger girl down (and slowly succeeding).

"Well? What is the Royal Navy doing in our humble little town?" Yuko drawled pleasantly, resting the tip of her broadsword on the ground and leaning on it.

Quick looks were exchanged between the three naval officers, a silent conference on what to say. Aya's eyes were hard, Maki's were tense but cool, and Natsumi had her "let's lie our way out of it" expression on. Quite naturally, Maki sided with Nacchi, and Aya was forced to cede the floor to her First Mate to diffuse the situation.

"We were navy until about 2 weeks or so ago." Natsumi began, laying special emphasis on the past tense of the statement. Taking a deep breath, the diminutive little woman continued.

"Unfortunately, as you can see, our fine captain here is a stubborn mule," Aya shot Natsumi a deadly glare, while Maki's lips twitched in merriment. "that disregards all the rules when she likes it, and we ended up aiding Lady Ishikawa over there in her escape on her wedding day." Rika nodded in acknowledgment of the fact.

"And all that because Aya reeeeeeeeally dislikes our dear lady's fiance." Maki added helpfully.

"Well the man was a jerk and...you know." Aya made a funny hand-flopping gesture trying to signal something, and Maki snickered beside her. "I couldn't very well let another woman marry someone like that and ruin her life forever."

"I don't know what...oh." Yossi started, before suddenly comprehending what Aya was trying to carry across. "I see." Kaori had also clearly gotten the hint, and was telling a confused Kei what exactly it meant, with Miki and Yuko interestedly listening in. Rika turned to look innocently at Yossi.

"What does she mean?" The boyish pirate coughed uncomfortably, before leaning over to whisper in Rika's ear, prompting a blush from the noblewoman at the information.

"Anyway." Natsumi interjected, clearing her throat. "Because of our actions in aiding the lady in her escape, we are in trouble." She said matter of factly. "To make matters worse, we prevented the local officials from getting a hold of lady Ishikawa for a second time when we docked at an Imperial port 2 weeks ago, and that's when the bounty hunters started coming in...we've been labelled as kidnappers and marked down for arrest if we stepped into any Imperial base."

"The problems of having a stubborn captain..." Maki sighed dramatically, and winced when Aya's booted foot dug unerringly into the back of her left ankle. "Ow."

"Is this true?" Yuko turned to ask Rika, who nodded in affirmation, adding. "It's something my father would do. He has enough influence to force expulsion from the Royal Navy if he chooses to." The naval trio shot carefully guarded grateful glances at the woman they had assisted, since while there was nothing false in her statement, it had helped to strengthen their lie by emphasising what could have happened.

"So basically we're here because we don't have a choice." Natsumi concluded, putting on her most morose face. Her lie interlaced bits and pieces of enough truth to make it sound convincing, and in any case, she knew that the situation she just described was the one of worst-case scenarios that could take place given their current position. Assuming they didn't die here first because the pirates didn't believe their story of course.

"If that's so, then why did the girl call someone 'Lieutenant' anyway?" Kei pointed out sharply. At that, Maki narrowed her eyes and glared backwards at Risa, who flinched and cowered back into Ai's embrace.

"Force of habit, probably." Aya covered easily. "We might be cast out from service, but some habits are hard to change."

Risa looked like she was about to say something, but Maki's evil look in her direction ensured her continuing silence. The look promised all sorts of unpleasantness for the sharpshooter later. Risa gulped nervously and prayed for her life.

There are a brief conference between the senior pirates. Miki just looked bored standing out of the circle, while gazing appraisingly over at the navy side. Aya didn't like the way the pirate was looking at her, and glared straight back. A slow smile spread on Miki's face at the hostility evident on Aya's face.

"So, what do you plan to do now, ex-navy?" Yuko asked, after her brief confab with her own officers. Natsumi shrugged eloquently and yielded the stage to Aya, who stepped forward to answer.

"Run some more, I guess. The bounty hunters won't decide to stop coming after us any time soon. They are already found us last night, as you can see." The young captain gestured at her shoulder wound with a grim expression.

"Poison's pretty nasty to be a regular staple on bounty hunters. They do want you alive, don't they?" Kei observed. Aya seemed to sink into a thoughtful mood, while Natsumi frowned behind her. Maki picked absently at the bandaged cut on her upper arm, thinking aloud.

"You don't think it's that case we're on to...?"

"It's not possible, is it?" Natsumi started uncertainly. "They can't possibly have pinned that down on us that quickly."

"Unless the message went astray..." Aya mused, then paled suddenly. "If that's true..."

"Shit." Maki summarised succinctly.

"Mind letting us in on the big secret?" Miki asked before any of her own shipmates could open their mouths.

More quick glances around. Then Aya sighed. "If I told you we got accidentally involved in some mass conspiracy and that someone is trying to eliminate us to keep it secret, would you believe me?"

"No." Yuko replied immediately. "But let's just pretend that we do anyway."

Aya looked conflicted for a second. On one hand, the case they had discovered was something on the order of a major corruption scandal within the Empire's bureaucratic structure, and she wasn't really thrilled about sharing it with anyone, much less a bunch of pirates. But in any case, the more she delved into the case, the less faith she had left in the official command structure of the navy AND the bureaucracy in general. These pirates might be on the wrong side of the law, but at least they were unashamedly criminal, Aya thought with a certain irony. Much better than those well-dressed hypocrites back in court, in a way.

Making a snap decision, Aya spoke.

"Short version, we stumbled on evidence of official corruption higher up the food chain, and my message back to request investigation might have been intercepted for all I know, so someone out there obviously wants us dead because of it." It was accurate without revealing too many details that outsiders didn't have much business knowing about.

"Politics." Yuko growled with obvious disgust. Aya shrugged casually, sharing the same distaste but not showing it on her face.

"Bad timing I guess. Considering that we just 'kidnapped' someone from one of the most powerful families in the Empire, this is a good time for whoever is behind the corruption to send people after us as well. They could just grab Ishikawa, then kill the rest of us to erase the evidence, and then go back and claim that we had to be eliminated because we put up resistance to their efforts at capture." Aya shook her head ruefully even as she began to piece together the full extent of their true predicament mentally. How could she not have thought of that possibility earlier? It had taken the comment that ordinary bounty hunters didn't traditionally use fatal poisons on their weapons before it managed to raise her suspicions about the whole thing. Poison was usually something for assassins and other rogues. Bounty hunters generally didn't resort to that, unless they were one of the more unsavory types that were more despicable in their methods.

Considering the kind of men she had faced last night, she had known that it wasn't the usual kind of bounty hunter that Rika's father would have sent after them. Those people knew better than to lay a hand on the lady, whereas those men from last night had been only too willing to want to violate their target. Not even the stupidest bounty hunter would want to cross that line, not when their patron was someone as powerful and influential as the Ishikawa clan.
.
Even if they were not officially expelled from the Royal Navy as Nacchi had eloquently lied about earlier, Aya began to realise that their position was far more insecure than she had first anticipated. If the message back to her father had been intercepted, not only would they be in danger, but it might implicate her family as well. That wouldn't do at all. If it were possible, she wanted to go back right now and ascertain their safety with her own eyes. But first they had to avoid getting killed right here and right now.

"Seems like quite a situation you have there, eh?" Yuko noted with an inscrutable expression. The naval people held their breath. Would their story be convincing enough to avoid a fight?

"Eh who cares?" Miki looked bored already, and was picking at the dirt under her fingernails with one of her smaller blades. "Those weaklings from the Royal Navy won't dare to step into a pirate town. I believe that they're here only because they really aren't navy anymore." She gestured at the group opposite, who were bristling slightly at being labelled as weaklings. Even Risa managed to shake herself out of her stupor enough to look indignant.

"I resent that. The Royal Navy isn't that incompetent." Aya glowered at Miki, who grinned impudently back. "What, you admitting you're navy and saying that they're not incompetent?" Aya looked nearly murderous, but Natsumi stepped in quickly.

"Well we were, but we do care not to be labelled as wimps, even if technically we aren't part of the fleet anymore. Pride and all that. How would you like it if someone walked up to you and insulted your ability?" It was a quick counter, which Miki smirked at.

"I'd shove a bunch of daggers up their ass, but that's not the point." Miki flipped her blade and slipped it back up her sleeve. "The point here now," she paused dramatically, "is what you are going to do, and whether we will let you do it. Ain't that right, oh revered captain of mine?" Yuko snorted at Miki's cheekiness. "Shut your trap you little devil." Miki flipped a finger at Yuko irreverently and leaned against the counter.

"As annoying as that little devil is." Here Aya snorted in agreement. "She pretty much got it right. What are your plans? If you mean no harm, we might just consider letting you pass without injury. But no guarantees, of course." Yuko looked at them expectantly, tapping her fingers on the hilt of her sword meaningfully.

"Run like hell, of course. Didn't we say so before?" Aya sounded a little irritable, as if she wanted to get out, and fast. Miki kept trying to catch her eye, but Aya steadfastly looked elsewhere. Puffing out a small breath, Aya stared directly at Rika.

"Well my lady, we will be leaving soon. I must ask you if you wish to stay with us, or leave with your...friend." Aya's eyes flicked to Yossi, who looked uncomfortable for a moment under the searching gaze. Clearly, Aya was curious about who this person was, since it seemed highly unlikely that Rika would be acquainted with a pirate. But it didn't seem polite to ask under the circumstances, so the young captain shelved that thought aside for future reference.

Rika hesitated. She knew that the navy girls were lying about being in trouble...actually she wasn't sure after this. The addition of the secondary problem worried her, since she had not been aware of that fact, and it seemed genuine enough. But it mattered not, since from the moment she had first laid eyes on her Yocchan, she knew she would not be going along with them any longer.

"You can't." Yossi said very quickly, cutting her off. Rika blinked disbelievingly at her childhood friend. What did she mean?

"You know me...I'm not the person I was before...I can't let you live a pirate's life like I do now...it's not fair to you." Yossi fumbled desperately for the right words, trying not to sound like a heartless, idiotic jerk but not really succeeding. She winced when she saw the glimmer of tears in Rika's luminous eyes. Shit, I hate it when she cries! The pirate thought to herself in a panic, knowing that once Rika turned on the waterworks, she would be helpless before her every demand. At least, that was true 10 years ago.Yossi had toughened up since, although she had to admit that the tears still made her feel terrible enough to want to hug Rika and agree with whatever the other girl said. However, Yossi knew that she had to be strong and not crumble in this, since it was for Rika's own good.

Seeing her Yocchan resist falling before the waterworks treatment, Rika was impressed, but not too thrilled about not being able to change the decision. So she decided to play dirty and pull out the big guns that she reserved for special occasions.

Yossi blinked rapidly at the change. What was this? How could anyone be so...heartwrenchingly adorable?! Her eyebrow twitched unconsciously several times. Must...hug...NO! Yossi tried in vain to tear her eyes away, but they stayed rebelliously locked on the alluring visage before her. That face...her eyes drifted down from the glimmering tears in Rika's eyes, down to the sad little pout, and on to rest on the trembling lower lip...

The pirate gulped, her knees feeling weak. Any and all thought of banishing Rika away was erased from her mind in that instant as her defenses crumbled. Rika smiled inwardly at her victory, but didn't let it show on her face. Pressing her advantage, she stepped right into Yossi's arms (and the pirate instantly wrapped those arms around her) and leaned her head against Yossi's shoulder. "I'm glad we agree." The sneaky little woman purred silkily at a dazed Yossi, who didn't seem fit to reply at all at the moment.

"Remind me to avoid her." Maki observed to Natsumi, who was politely masking her chuckles. "She's even more dangerous than you." At that, Natsumi raised an eyebrow, clearly viewing it as a challenge. Maki smirked...but faltered slightly when Nacchi suddenly went all puppy-eyed on her. "Um...uh...I'll take that back..." The usually coolly flirtatious lieutenant actually seemed a bit knocked off balance. Natsumi turned off the charm and smirked right back. "Good girl." That got a growl as a response, but Nacchi only reached over fearlessly and patted Maki's head with a wide grin. Aya tried to ignore the two behind her, rolling her eyes at the absurdity of the whole situation.

Miki was grinning also at the exchange between Yossi and Rika. In a singsong tone, she crooned teasingly.

"Whipped~ Whipped~ Whiiiiiiipped~"

The other pirates snickered, while Yossi just looked miserable and horribly embarrassed at the same time (but she didn't think to let go of Rika for some reason).

"...shut up..." The boyish pirate groaned at the heckling from her shipmates. Miki looked completely unrepentant, as usual, but she did stop the chanting...but not the evil smirking of course. Miki gives up smirking rights to no one.

Aya coughed, trying to divert the topic back to where it all began. "Well since that issue's settled, I guess we'll be on our way..."
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Estrea on April 14, 2007, 07:39:29 PM
She hadn't counted on Miki interfering of course. The knife-throwing pirate stealthily imposed herself between Aya and the broken doorway of the tavern, ignoring the death glares from both the young captain and a certain taller lieutenant behind her.

"Hold it." Aya levelled a stern gaze at Miki, who was impeding her exit. "What now?" Her voice was exasperated as she looked at the older girl.

"You're just going to leave without repaying your debt to me? You owe me your life you know." Aya frowned. She had almost forgotten that.

"I know that. But what do you want? I can't offer you anything else except my gratitude." Exasperation and irritation laced that voice. Miki smiled lazily.

"I haven't really thought of it yet...until I do, you should stay with me." Behind Aya, 2 pairs of eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Aya herself clenched her teeth together, grinding the molars against each other as she tried her best not to try and choke the person who had saved her life.

"I can't do that." Every syllable came out rather strained. Miki looked absolutely nonchalant and uncaring. "That's not my problem, is it? What about that supposed honor of yours? Aren't you people supposed to be really honorable and all that crap? Are you going to just skip out on this debt then?"

Direct hit. Natsumi winced for Aya's sake, and wondered if Aya might just decide to murder Miki on the spot to get out of her predicament, saviour of her life or not. People did have limits after all. The navy captain didn't show any outward sign of her inner conflict, but Natsumi knew Aya well enough to sense the murderous intent hovering around the younger woman.

Cool...keep cool...calm... Aya recited the mantra inside her head, knowing that losing it would only entertain that infuriatingly obnoxious pirate before her. Taking a deep breath, Aya tried to combat the overwhelming urge to whip out her gunblade and chop Miki into tiny pieces. Self-control won out, fortunately or not.

"I cannot, and will not, follow you. You are the most obnoxious, self-centered, and impossibly shameless person I've ever had the displeasure of meeting in my whole life up to now." Aya paused, savoring the twitchy expression on Miki's face, before continuing. "Unfortunately, it is a distinct misfortune of the times that I do owe my life to you, and while I acknowledge the debt and offer my gratitude, I cannot accede to your churlish request now. But trust that I will not forget the debt, and on my honor and that of my family, I will repay it one day. This I promise, that as long as I, Matsuura Aya am alive, I will repay that debt to you one day."

Given the state of her emotions, that was quite a speech by Aya, certainly one that would have made even her father proud. Miki, for her part, looked somewhat stunned due to Aya's less than flattering description of her personality. Somehow, hearing it being put that way from someone like Aya profoundly shocked the pirate. It just...hit her a lot harder than it would even if it came from someone else. Just the way she said it...

Taking the opportunity since Miki was distracted at the moment, Aya quickly pushed past her and went out, Maki and Natsumi tagging along behind, Natsumi nodding in farewell to the rest of the pirates, who were finding some amusement in Miki's current imitation of a stone statue. Risa, on the other hand, whispered a few quiet words under her breath to Ai, clutching at the older girl's hand and squeezing it comfortingly, before chasing after her superior officers.

By the time Miki had recovered from her trip to "What the fuck was that?"-land, Aya and company were already out of the tavern and several yards away. Incensed, the pirate dashed to the doorway and yelled.

"I'll get you for that!"

Without even sparing a glance backwards, Aya waved one hand dismissively. "I'll be waiting for it."

Turning around, Miki growled at her snickering shipmates. "Shut up, damn you." Her eyes strayed back to the departing group, or specifically, to one captain prodigy that had irresistibly captured her attention and sucked it in like a vortex with no return.

Damn her...

~*~*~

Reina was whistling as she took the back alleys, crisscrossing the narrow lanes to get back to the wharves sooner after her second trip of the day to the blacksmith. The burly man had been greatly amused to see her back within 15 minutes of departing his smithy, but wisely chose not to comment further since the expression on the wonky-eyed girl's face was...unpleasant, to say the least. The inconvenience of having to retrace her steps didn't sit too well with her, even if she did get a bit of action with the little skirmish earlier.

Passing by the opening of another alley without a care in the world, Reina hefted her load of freshly repaired and newly made light harpoons, determined to get back to the ship to drop off the load. However, a strange movement in the alley she had just walked by caught her attention, and being a naturally curious person, the wonky eyed pirate couldn't help but slow and turn around to take a second look.

Weird. Nothing. There was nothing out of the ordinary. Just some abandoned crates and barrels, and piles of rubbish scattered in random piles, just like any other alley. Reina was sure she thought she had seen something move...but since there was nothing, she would go on...

Wait. Reina blinked and rubbed at her eyes with her free hand. Was she hallucinating? Did a crate just...move on its own? Her eyes wide, Reina watched as the crate in question jiggled to one side, shuffling across the ground like it was being moved. Except there was no one moving it. At least, no one that was apparent. Reina didn't really believe in ghosts, but she was willing to overturn that belief at the sight of the mysterious moving crate. It spooked her.

That last thought knocked some of her spine back into her. She wasn't a coward, damnit! There were no such things as ghosts! She was going to march right over there now and prove it. She would!

Feeling somewhat frightened by her own audacity, she reached over her shoulder to grab at her main weapon, the specially reinforced battle harpoon that was slung across her back. The weight of the familiar weapon lent her strength and courage, and slowly the wonky pirate advanced, her feet making very little sound on the floor as she moved closer to the independently moving crate that was currently shifting near the back door of some place.

A couple of feet away from the supposedly haunted crate, Reina paused, lifting her harpoon higher and shifting her grip, readying for a thrust to break the crate and prove once and for all that there were no ghosts in the world.

CREEEEAAAAK!!! The sound of splintering wood as the sharp end of the harpoon made contact was gratifying, but what Reina did not expect was the equally surprised yelp that squeaked from within the crate at the same time. Just when the pirate thought that perhaps ghosts really did exist, the crate fell apart sufficiently to reveal a crouching Eri...and the harpoon that had narrowly missed impaling the hidden girl's arm.

"What the hell are you doing?!" They blurted at each other at the same time. Eri shrank backwards, falling on her butt and wincing when some wood splinters poked her awkwardly. Reina just looked confused. What in the world was this girl doing, hiding in a crate and moving around with it on her like some kind of second shell? Even as she thought that, Reina voiced her opinion aloud.

"What are you, some kind of turtle? Crawling around with a crate on top of you!"

Eri blinked rapidly. "How did you..." Then pausing when she realised that someone just pulled the turtle reference to her again. Worse yet, this girl didn't even know her and she made turtle jokes too! Did the world hate her surname that much?

Life just wasn't fair to her at all.

~*~*~

"How long before our preparations are complete?" Aya asked briskly as she paced the deck of her ship, glad to be back on it after so long. Well, technically, it hadn't been all that long, less than a day actually, but the string of events in between had stretched the hours a lot more than she liked.

"We need to round up the crew first I'm afraid, it's on a bit of a short notice. And we do have to finish up the repairs before we sail. We can leave earliest just before sunset, though in that case we might as well wait until the next morning before we sail out." Natsumi replied professionally as she checked her list. Aya sighed. "Can't it be any quicker?"

"Hey, we got that Ishikawa off our backs, so the bounty hunters won't be after us anymore." Maki commented as she stopped by her two comrades. Aya smiled tolerantly at the taller woman.

"That's not the point Gocchin. They still think she's with us, so if we leave quickly it would draw attention away from her. Might as well give her a bit of a breather and a headstart for them to start running before the bounty hunters catch on to the fact that their quarry's elsewhere already."

Maki shrugged with a sidelong glance at her captain. "How very nice of you."

"Well, might as well do her one last favor after wriggling our way out of protecting her." Aya said, turning to face the seaward side of the ship. "And there's also that thing with those attackers from last night...I wasn't lying about that part, we might actually be in trouble there..." With a frown, Aya fell silent, thinking about the implications.

"You don't think that really..." Maki began, but Natsumi shushed her with a look, trying to reassure Aya.

"Don't worry, I'm sure your family will be safe. Your household guards can take care of them if nothing else." Aya smiled at that.

"Yeah...Boss and the rest...they can take care of things..." The youngest of the trio looked distant for a moment. "I miss them." She admitted. "All of them."

"Well, take a break for now, we'll take care of things until we can sail." Natsumi said firmly. "It'll be a bit of a rush, but I'm sure we can make it out of port before the sun sets." Beside her, Maki nodded in agreement.

Unable to find the energy to protest, Aya acquiesced gracefully, leaving her officers to do the work. It would take a while, but she could wait. She trusted their ability after all.

An hour later, the sky had darkened, storm clouds gathering ominously overhead and obscuring the sun from sight. The sky was dark and heavy, with imminent threat of a fierce thunderstorm. Maki had gone to ask a resting Aya if they were to set sail even in a storm when their preparations were complete, and Aya, ever the reckless captain, insisted on their departure plans. Nothing short of a hurricane would change her mind on that matter.

A half hour after Maki's report, Aya got restless and went out of her cabin to check on the progress, and was met by Yuuki, who informed her that the repairs were almost complete, although Nacchi and his sister had personally gone out to help round up the stragglers before they actually set sail. The sky remained threatening overhead, with flashes of lightning and the roll of thunder rattling like a drum in the moist air. But there was yet no rain.

Impatient herself, Aya got off the ship, intent on seeking the other two out and get them back. Stragglers were secondary, what was important was getting her officers back on board so they could leave on schedule.

Maki came back to the ship first, with a couple of sailors she managed to find. Speaking to her younger brother, she learned that the captain had gone about a half hour ago, and that Nacchi hadn't come back from her search yet either. Yuuki then suggested that they complete the preparations while the others were away, so that there would be no delay when they returned. Shrugging, Maki agreed, beginning to oversee the operations as befitting her rank, ignoring the fact that the air was getting uncomfortably humid and thick as the moisture in the air built. Tropical storms were such unpredictable affairs some time, the lieutenant mused. Quick to build, and fierce when it broke, but ultimately it would clear as quickly as it came.

15 minutes later, the First Mate returned. She didn't find anyone else. But she was holding a piece of parchment, her face pale even as Maki hurried up to her, wondering what could be wrong. Wordlessly, the parchment was handed over, even as Natsumi said those fateful words in a cracked voice.

"She's not coming back with us."

The storm broke overhead, sending showers of rain down onto the face of the earth, in benediction or in lament, it could not be known. Only that the sky wept in unrelenting torrents, echoing the hearts of the mortals it gazed down upon.

As if it would never stop, as if it would endure forever...

-----------------------------------


I repeat, no one kill me after Miki nearly murdered me at the end of last chapter!

Maki: And I will do what she failed to do, you little twerp of a director.
Me: What do you mean, twerp?! And why do you want to kill me? o_o
Maki: What did you do to Aya, you nutso?
Me: Well, you just have to wait like everyone else to find out. XD
Maki: I guess I have to do this the hard way... *rolls up sleeve*
Me: *pales* Oh...shi....nooooooooo dooooooooooooooon't!!!!

-screen fades out-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 16 up]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 14, 2007, 07:40:54 PM
Dibs on first comment! <3

Eri made me feel giddy throughout the whole chapter XD It must suck to have Kame(i) as a surname, the turtle jokes never cease to make me laugh so much xD!!!!

I see you're really getting the plot going with this chapter, with the corrupted officials wanting to silence Crew Royale for discovering secret information >.o

Aya pwned Miki. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet xD! Miki's reaction was so priceless, it's a kodac moment! :D


And Aya...

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK?!


Watchoo do to her you evil authoress you?!  :OMG: :stoned: :scolding: :frustrated:

...

...

You are going to write the next chapter after you are done sleeping, yes?

 :shifty:

>:C
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: Econxp on April 14, 2007, 08:18:35 PM
yay! new chapter!!! im addicted to this fic, u must update asap!...please? :heart:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: len.chan on April 14, 2007, 08:38:51 PM
AYAAAAAAAAAAA!!
you're eviiil!

now I'll keep all night wondering what happened to her! A possibility is that Miki kidnapped her... but again, if was Miki, Nacchi wouldn't be so worried, right? although I really wish that it was that what happened XDD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 14, 2007, 09:34:08 PM
Hahaha, Reina found the Kamei-in-a-box. <3
I still want one.

And quoted just because I share similar feelings:

And Aya...

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK?!


Watchoo do to her you evil authoress you?!  :OMG: :stoned: :scolding: :frustrated:

Mmrr... I'm too tired to write much else.
Just got power back in my house...
Keep up the awesomeness. <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: Saikami on April 14, 2007, 09:43:43 PM
Eri and turtle ways XD I could picture it happening in my head so well XDD And, of course, she'd choose safty for herself over everything else, I means she DID ditch Risa in that haunted house that one time. :O But actually going out into the allyway like that? Priceless. Let there be TanaKamei love ;D!!

Rika with the waterworks made me laugh, and then how Yossie didn't fall for it but was having to force herself to resist made me laugh harder. Then you threw at us Rika doing the puppy face~! I feel bad for Yossie being put in almost a trance by it, but who wouldn't?

Then Nacchi had to do the face too, are you trying to kill me with cuteness? XD Because it's working. :imdead:


Risa left her wifey :O~!


...

-gangs up with Maki- Watchu do to Aya~!? >:C!!
 :grr:


I still love you though. XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: JFC on April 14, 2007, 10:46:57 PM
Quote
"The girl cracked after you left."

Miki beamed and preened slightly. "See, I told you it would work." As if the pirate had known it would all along. Yuko snorted and turned to level a deadly gaze at the tense trio on the stairs.

"And now I think, you people owe us an explanation before we start trying to kill each other."
Okay, HERE is where it gets interesting. :D


Quote
She didn't really have to leave the crate to be able to eavesdrop on the others. She could just bring the crate along with her.

Her decision made, Eri crawled out of the side of the open crate, tipped it over so that the open end would fit over her head and hide her body, while allowing her to move around slowly by shuffling along with most of her body inside the crate.
Cute. That is all. ;D


Quote
Ai by Risa's side still trying to calm the younger girl down (and slowly succeeding).
Succeeding in calming her down? I wonder what she was doing...


Quote
Quick looks were exchanged between the three naval officers, a silent conference on what to say. Aya's eyes were hard, Maki's were tense but cool, and Natsumi had her "let's lie our way out of it" expression on. Quite naturally, Maki sided with Nacchi, and Aya was forced to cede the floor to her First Mate to diffuse the situation.
Oooooh, interesting move by Aya.


Quote
"And all that because Aya reeeeeeeeally dislikes our dear lady's fiance." Maki added helpfully.

"Well the man was a jerk and...you know." Aya made a funny hand-flopping gesture trying to signal something, and Maki snickered beside her. "I couldn't very well let another woman marry someone like that and ruin her life forever."
More Keita bashing!  :bigdeal:


Quote
Rika turned to look innocently at Yossi.

"What does she mean?" The boyish pirate coughed uncomfortably, before leaning over to whisper in Rika's ear, prompting a blush from the noblewoman at the information.
Poor, poor naive little Rika. :shy2:


Quote
Then Aya sighed. "If I told you we got accidentally involved in some mass conspiracy and that someone is trying to eliminate us to keep it secret, would you believe me?"

"No." Yuko replied immediately. "But let's just pretend that we do anyway."
Conspiracy? Is this for real or part of the act?  ???

(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/LOL.gif) at Yuko's reply.


Quote
"You can't." Yossi said very quickly, cutting her off. Rika blinked disbelievingly at her childhood friend. What did she mean?

"You know me...I'm not the person I was before...I can't let you live a pirate's life like I do now...it's not fair to you." Yossi fumbled desperately for the right words, trying not to sound like a heartless, idiotic jerk but not really succeeding. She winced when she saw the glimmer of tears in Rika's luminous eyes. Shit, I hate it when she cries!

...

Seeing her Yocchan resist falling before the waterworks treatment, Rika was impressed, but not too thrilled about not being able to change the decision. So she decided to play dirty and pull out the big guns that she reserved for special occasions.

Yossi blinked rapidly at the change. What was this? How could anyone be so...heartwrenchingly adorable?! Her eyebrow twitched unconsciously several times. Must...hug...NO! Yossi tried in vain to tear her eyes away, but they stayed rebelliously locked on the alluring visage before her. That face...her eyes drifted down from the glimmering tears in Rika's eyes, down to the sad little pout, and on to rest on the trembling lower lip...
Oh shit that's just playing dirty, not to mention hella slick.  :hehehe:

*dammit I miss the Pimp emoticon*


Quote
"Remind me to avoid her." Maki observed to Natsumi, who was politely masking her chuckles. "She's even more dangerous than you." At that, Natsumi raised an eyebrow, clearly viewing it as a challenge. Maki smirked...but faltered slightly when Nacchi suddenly went all puppy-eyed on her.
Ok, THAT's just not fair.  :tantrum:


Quote
Miki was grinning also at the exchange between Yossi and Rika. In a singsong tone, she crooned teasingly.

"Whipped~ Whipped~ Whiiiiiiipped~"
That's just so....so...MIKI!  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)


Quote
"You're just going to leave without repaying your debt to me? You owe me your life you know." Aya frowned. She had almost forgotten that.

"I know that. But what do you want? I can't offer you anything else except my gratitude." Exasperation and irritation laced that voice. Miki smiled lazily.

"I haven't really thought of it yet...until I do, you should stay with me." Behind Aya, 2 pairs of eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.
Speaking of Miki (and maybe about being whipped :P), it's pretty obvious here that despite just having met the previuos night, she really likes Aya. Why else would she want to be around? She wikes her!   :k-thrilled:


Quote
Aren't you people supposed to be really honorable and all that crap? Are you going to just skip out on this debt then?"

Direct hit. Natsumi winced for Aya's sake
*winces* Ooooooooooooooooooh.


Quote
By the time Miki had recovered from her trip to "What the fuck was that?"-land, Aya and company were already out of the tavern and several yards away.
I've been there a few times. :P


Quote
Reina blinked and rubbed at her eyes with her free hand. Was she hallucinating? Did a crate just...move on its own? Her eyes wide, Reina watched as the crate in question jiggled to one side, shuffling across the ground like it was being moved. Except there was no one moving it. At least, no one that was apparent. Reina didn't really believe in ghosts, but she was willing to overturn that belief at the sight of the mysterious moving crate. It spooked her.

...


"What the hell are you doing?!" They blurted at each other at the same time. Eri shrank backwards, falling on her butt and wincing when some wood splinters poked her awkwardly.
Again, just cute. If this were a scene in a show/movie, it'd be a lighthearted comedic moment, watching Reina keep looking back in between instances where Eri moved the crate. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)


Quote
Impatient herself, Aya got off the ship, intent on seeking the other two out and get them back.
Uh-oh.  :dunno:


Quote
"She's not coming back with us."
Aya's been kidnapped??? Was it Miki?!?!? Has Aya been Miki-napped????   :frustrated:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: glcorps2002 on April 14, 2007, 11:36:23 PM
Now I thought it would have been Risa who stays behind with her wifey. Or did Ai sneak aboard? Wait, I just realized something: for a ship captain to marry you don't you have to be on their ship?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: coachie on April 15, 2007, 12:41:07 AM

I liked how the chapter started off with Eri - god I love that girl!
Walking around with the crate on her head  :D reminded me of this http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=26
Poor Turtle-chan getting nearly impaled by Reina's harpoon! (or cupid's harpoon?)

lol@Yossie and Rika's "waterworks"

And Miki getting it royal from Aya, I could so picture her face  ;D

And oh no's, AYA!!!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: Estrea on April 15, 2007, 02:33:41 AM
I wonder, I wonder. XD No, there's no chapter yet, and official comment-replying only precedes a new chapter. I'm only here to present an omake of the last chapter! And some footnotes. XD

-------------------------------------------

Special Alternate Bonus Scene

Feeling somewhat frightened by her own audacity, she reached over her shoulder to grab at her main weapon, the specially reinforced battle harpoon that was slung across her back. The weight of the familiar weapon lent her strength and courage, and slowly the wonky pirate advanced, her feet making very little sound on the floor as she moved closer to the independently moving crate that was currently shifting near the back door of some place.

A couple of feet away from the supposedly haunted crate, Reina paused...and aimed a violent kick at the side of the crate.

Eri felt a sudden sense of vertigo as a jarring impact knocked into her from the side, sending her reeling over and dazed from the whole effect of being flipped over like a turtle onto its back.

Reina stared. What the hell...

For Eri was currently lying ass-in-crate, flopped over awkwardly on her back with her crate-shell underneath her, and a dazed swirly look in her eyes. Her mouth twitched slackly, mouthing something weakly.

"....can't...get...up..."

Reina's grip around her harpoon tightened, even as an inexplicable blush colored her face.

So...damn...cute...!
--------------------------------------------------


XD Courtesy of Yuuyami, who gave me the idea. XD This isn't fic-canon since it's a bit out of character for Reina. :P

Annnnd anyhow, footnotes await!

*cleans glasses* Shall we begin our first lesson then? Let's give a brief background on the Empire, shall we?

1) The concept of the Empire was drawn heavily from the Roman Empire of old, although I added in elements of the British Empire in terms of its status of a naval power of its time. A brief summary of the forces behind its creation.

-- The Highlanders, the most numerous and fearsome cavalry-type warriors, their traditional domains were the central plains and even up to the Northlands along the fringe of the Arctic Woods. Their home is the center of the Empire, where it all began on that same continent. They are traditionally skilled horsemen, and the early Highlanders were a nomadic herdsmen, tending to horses and cattle alike. However, later generations settled down into more stable settlements, turning most of the central and south of the plains into a vast farmland, though they did not abandon their attachment to the old ways and continued to raise the finest horses in the land. There are still nomadic tribes of Highlanders roaming the edges of the Northlands, but they are quite free-spirited and not fully subject to the authority of the central government of the Empire. However, they will come to the aid of their kinsmen if called upon, being fiercely clannish and loyal to the bloodlines.

-- The Sea Folk, as the name implies, are spread out along the southern edge of the main continent in little fishing villages, although there are various clans that spend their time more out on the face of the ocean than they actually do on land. Various villages devoted themselves to the pursuit of certain kinds of prey, from just  normal fish to the bigger prey, like whales and even squids. Hardy explorers even ventured further out, settling into the various smaller islands clustered in the southern oceans. The advancement of sea travel through the improvements to the ship types was incidental, mostly due to the discovery of iron mines in the southeast part of the continent, as well as the abundant gold deposits on the islands that the explorers had discovered. The need to build stronger, hardier ships in order to transport the bounty back hailed in a new era of shipbuilding, as well as fostering the growth of a new threat: piracy. Some people inherently found it easier to steal from others rather than dig for the gold themselves, and piracy surged with the rush of gold hunters.

-- The union of the two cultures was naturally, because of war. Greed was a motivator, and the Highlanders wanted the gold for themselves, not to mention that due to the monopoly of the iron mines the Sea Folk had, the Highlanders were forced to pay exorbitant prices for iron tools, and even then only limited supply was granted to them. The clash of the two cultures ran for decades, since the Sea Folk usually retreated back into the ocean when it was apparent that their strongholds on land were clearly going to fall to the savage horse-warriors. Despite having an edge on technology with their iron and steel weapons, the Sea Folk were no match on land for the swift raiding attacks of the Highlanders, who counted on the speed and mobility of their forces to launch surprise attacks without warning. The iron mines were defended to the death by the Sea Folk, who during that time came up with several innovations in battlefield weaponry and tactics, often utilising their knowledge of the terrain surrounding their territory to set various traps for the invading Highlanders. The futile wars finally halted after over 70 years of on-and-off bloodshed, before the leaders of both sides finally decided to call a truce and quit killing their people.

-- The actual union of the two disparate peoples took over over two centuries, as each generation got to know each other better and mingle more, and eventually a formal treaty signifying the alliance of the two peoples was signed, and therein lay the first foundation of what was to be known as the Empire. It took an outside enemy to fully unite the two cultures into one formidable fighting force, and after repelling the barbarian raid from the south continent over the ocean, the dream of Empire was born.


Ok that's enough history lesson for one day. I'll come back next time with more. XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 15, 2007, 02:40:29 AM
-IMMEDIATELY ILLUSTRATES-

(http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/4954/awwxderifelloverhe6.jpg)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17!!!]
Post by: Ren on April 15, 2007, 04:05:12 AM
^
That illustration pwns ;D. and so is the omake :D.

Wow lessons about the empire.. :D

Actually I was getting confused, who is the person Nacchi mentioned at the end of the chapter? Aya? Gaki? Kamei? O_O When I read it I thought Gaki because maybe she couldn't leave her smexy wife... But the other comments said Aya O_O? *reads again and again* I'm still confused... O_O If its Aya... Is she kidnapped by Miki as a revenge or something ;D? If Kamei, maybe she's too busy kicking Reina's ass for calling her a turtle?

Eri imitation of turtle is so adorable, every turtle reference with Eri always make me laugh :D. And LOL the weapon loving Reina is scared of ghost. Can't wait to know what they both will do, or what Eri will do to Reina for joking about turtle... But Reina doesn't even know her name yet! ;D Guess Eri here is short-tempered :D.

Poor Turtle-chan getting nearly impaled by Reina's harpoon! (or cupid's harpoon?)
Cupid harpoon?! I want one :heart:!

Eri was wrong on Yuuki and her being the only normal ones, since Yuuki is a male-clone of Maki with frilly dresses. :lol:

The half lies half truth works huh? So the pirates believe in them? ;D They are such nice pirates!

But Rika staying with the pirates... Is there a possibility she will join their pirate work too? :D Like learn to use swords etc-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Saikami on April 15, 2007, 12:21:51 PM
*______* Let there be TanaKamei~! -prays- <3 <3 <3 <3 I want a wonky turtle damnit. XD


I like the brief history lesson XD Although, I'm not a fan of history, I found it really cool that you put that in there. ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Econxp on April 15, 2007, 04:35:07 PM
omg the omake is adorable! :heart: Luv TanaKamei!! More Please More!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: JFC on April 15, 2007, 09:33:52 PM
Quote
For Eri was currently lying ass-in-crate, flopped over awkwardly on her back with her crate-shell underneath her, and a dazed swirly look in her eyes. Her mouth twitched slackly, mouthing something weakly.

"....can't...get...up..."

Reina's grip around her harpoon tightened, even as an inexplicable blush colored her face.

So...damn...cute...!
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww~! :luvluv1:


Quote
The Highlanders
OYM DUNCAN MAKLOOD OF THE CLAN MAKLOOD!!

- I had to say it.  :lol:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: glcorps2002 on April 15, 2007, 11:26:58 PM
OYM DUNCAN MAKLOOD OF THE CLAN MAKLOOD!!

- I had to say it.  :lol:
Now what you should have said is: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: C60533 on April 15, 2007, 11:41:27 PM
The TanaKamei interaction is so cute  :k-inlove: Any referance to Kamei's Kame instincts is adorable. You know...it just hit me...but the people with big boobs are in the Navy. For example Maki, Nacchi, Aya's coming along too...only one that's missing is the Okappai. But that's just me...I notice werid things when I'm on a high. Besides...you're cast is so huge you'd be on overload if there was more. Must say though, the reason I was high is from reading this fic. It's a drug I tell you. So...keep the chapter's and omake's rolling or else I'll go through withdrawl symptoms...not a pretty sight... :sweat:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 15, 2007, 11:51:03 PM
Miki took Aya! W00t!

<<<<<<Twins, twins, I want the twins!!!>>>>>
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: itchyknee on April 16, 2007, 07:13:31 AM
 :shock: AYA'S MISSING?!
*hopes that Miki has something to do with it...*
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Tinnygy on April 16, 2007, 08:06:13 AM
Where is Aya? You're horrible Estrea!

Wonder if she be kidnapped by hohoho... the bouty hunter and be rescued by Miki, hahahaha... Just kidding!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: JFC on April 17, 2007, 12:10:32 AM
Wonder if she be kidnapped by hohoho... the bouty hunter and be rescued by Miki, hahahaha... Just kidding!
Actually, that would be rather interesting. If that happened, Miki would REALLY never let Aya forget about how she saved her...AGAIN! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Estrea on April 17, 2007, 03:00:53 PM
Comment reply time! And yes, that means new chapter! XD

Yuuyami: Well hey, you find out, sort of, what happens to Aya here. <3

Econxp: Fast enough update for you? :P

len.chan: Miki-napped? Just read on and find out what happened. :D

FIM: Yeah Kamei-in-a-box...I want one too. XD And yes, the Aya thing is truly a WTF moment. XD

Saikami: Cuteness overload? What a way to go. XD Hey hey, no hurting me, who will finish the story if I'm out of commission? :P

JFC: Woah mass quoting. XD Glad you liked the chapter, and yes, what happens to Aya indeed? XD

glcorps: Whoops. -falls into plot hole- Ouch, that hurt. Well, uh, let's just explain it away by saying that Yuko doesn't care much about technicalities. XD As for the Ai/Risa situation, I'll clear it up in the chapter after the new one. :P

coachie: Yes, I love Eri too. XD Haha MGS comic. XD I always did wonder how he got away with the cardboard trick. XD And yes, oh noes Aya!!! :D

Ren: LOL at the Yuuki comment. Male clone of Maki, except that wears frilly dresses! XDDD It's sad that Maki doesn't wear frilly dresses, but her brother does, doesn't it? XD Well, you have to wait and see about the rest. :D

C60533: LOL about the big boobs in Navy. I didn't notice myself before... XD Well here's the next chapter to satisfy your craving. XD

rndmn: I'll think of working more twins time, I promise. :)

itchyknee: The million dollar question, does Miki have anything to do with Aya's disappearance! All will be revealed in due time. XD

Tinnygy: Welcome aboard! Nice theory btw. :D

Annnnd done. Everyone, enjoy the chapter! Oh and Yuuyami, you just loooove wedging me, don't you? :P
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 17, 2007, 03:01:56 PM
-WEEEEDGE- <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Estrea on April 17, 2007, 03:07:59 PM
Chapter 18


The dorm was quiet. It was a rare day off from their special assignments, so some of them were sleeping in happily. The curtains were drawn over most of the narrow windows, keeping the light of the noonday sun from interrupting the calm shadows of their sleeping area.

Miyabi was sprawled belly-first on her bed, her limbs spread messily over the sheets. Her blankets were half on the floor, and was only anchored to the bed by virtue of the fact that part of it was trapped under her body. The girl didn't snore, but a bit of drool was trickling onto her pillow.

Risako had somehow managed to flip positions in her own bed, her feet on her pillow while her head and part of her upper torso was flopping dangerously off the foot of her bed. The youngest girl of the group was clutching on to a handmade teddy bear with a death grip, seeming quite comfortable in her sleep despite the awkward position.

Yurina, as usual, had her feet sticking out at the end of the too-small bed, and her pillow was mashed over her face, with one arm thrown carelessly over said pillow. Judging from her position, she was most likely about half awake already and just reluctant to get up when she didn't have to.

Chinami was nowhere to be found in her bed. A further inspection revealed that she had fallen off sometime during her sleep, taking her blankets with her, and was currently curled up in a ball on the floor, blissfully oblivious to the world as she snored on.

"Back already, Maasa? I thought you weren't due back until later." Yurina mumbled as she moved her arm, letting the pillow slide off her face. Bleary eyes angled sideways to find her older comrade standing at the entrance to their sleeping quarters, which was part of a subtly separate building from the rest of the servant quarters in the Prime Minister's mansion, their current base of operations.

"Practice got cancelled, so I got leave to come back early." There was a hidden chuckle underneath that statement, and Yurina blinked sleepily. "What happened?"

"There was an accident involving that disgusting lecher who claims to be a teacher." Maasa sounded incredibly smug and self-satisfied, quite unlike her usually more reserved air. The lethargy faded from Yurina's body, and she rolled to her side, pushing herself halfway up to look straight at a gleeful Maasa, who looked like a cat that got the canary. "Huh, what? Really? Awesome!"

"I know." Maasa ambled over to her own bed, which was furthest into the room, right next to Yurina's, and opposite a currently vacant space. The 15 year old felt a sudden twinge, wondering if their former comrade was doing fine. They hadn't seen Maiha for over a year, almost two now, and it was difficult for the other girl to send messages back given the delicacy of her current mission, not to mention the difficulties of long distance communication at the time. Postal services were the domain of the wealthy, requiring horse messengers, and using pigeons did take a while, and there was no guarantee that the message would arrive safely.

"What happened?" Yurina asked eagerly, but keeping her voice low in order not to disturb the others.

"I think we all underestimated Koharu." Maasa quipped, flopping down on her own neatly made bed. "She packs a mean punch."

"Didn't you teach her that?" Miyabi had one eye open, and had rolled back onto her back. "And good morning to you too."

"It's afternoon. Or actually, just noon. Good noon?" Chinami cracked lamely as she stretched like a lazy cat, arching her back and getting onto her knees on the floor.

"That's just so lame. Try harder Chii-chan." Miyabi stretched as she sat up slowly, rotating her shoulder blades to loosen her muscles. Chinami stifled a yawn as she climbed back onto her bed. "Gimme a break Miya, I only just got up."

"I thought you guys were sleeping?" Maasa asked in confusion. Miyabi snorted. "You need to walk softer Maa-chan, I recognised your footsteps from down the hallway."

"Yeah...not even our Kuma-chan treads that heavily." Chinami agreed, gathering her strewn blankets. Yurina made a face. "I don't walk like a bear."

"Risako didn't react." Maasa pointed out, gesturing at the bed diagonally opposite hers. Miyabi looked to her right and shrugged.

"Rii-chan always failed that part of our training anyway, so that doesn't count." The other girls laughed.

The still unconscious girl in question stirred at the sounds, and on shifting her body, promptly slid off the bed as a result. It was only a credit to their extensive training that she somehow managed to not fall on her skull, instead ending up sprawled belly first on the floor, her stuffed teddy bear breaking the contact between her face and the floor. The other girls in the room giggled, and Miyabi lifted her eyes to the ceiling.

"How did she get into the group anyway?"

Despite the nasty words though, Miyabi was the one who walked over and hauled Risako to her feet, the younger girl rubbing at her eyes blearily, clearly still groggy after her rude awakening. "M'ning Miya..." She mumbled as she hugged the slightly shorter Miyabi reflexively. Risako, at the very least, was sort of a morning person, in that she didn't attempt murder when first woken up unexpectedly. In fact, she was more likely to hug whoever who woke her up first instead of reacting badly.

Miyabi couldn't help the smile that inched onto her face at the hug, and Chinami grinned, seeing an opening. Clearing her throat, the self-styled joker of the group proclaimed dramatically.

"And that, ladies, is why Risako is with us." She topped it off with a flamboyant flourish of the blanket she was holding at the hugging girls.

Miyabi threw Risako's teddy at her head.

Maasa and Yurina grinned as Chinami caught the tossed object with her blanket and bounced it back to Risako, who was finally fully alert and caught it easily enough, cuddling the stuffed toy close. Maasa looked around.

"Hey, where's Momo and Captain?"

"Momo woke up after you left this morning. I think she was going to practice with her new toys." Miyabi noted, strolling over back to her own bed. "And Captain followed out not long after Momo left." Miyabi ran her hands through her hair, trying to straighten it out. "Funny how Captain woke up so early when we get to sleep in for once."

"Love-love is in the air!" Chinami joked, while haphazardly rolling her blankets up and stuffing them in a corner. Miyabi snorted.

"Yeah, and the sun will rise from the west. What, are you mad?"

"Who's mad?" Momoko's voice rang out suddenly, making everyone jump.

"Where the heck did you come from?" Miyabi's eyes were a bit wide. "I didn't even hear you."

"Back door." Momoko grinned at Chinami, who whistled innocently. Yurina looked curiously over. "Did you modify the place illegally again?"

"It was Captain's idea." Chinami said defensively. "We just, uh, knocked a hole in wall behind the closet over there." She pointed at the innocent-looking wardrobe next to Saki's bed. "And replaced the back of the closet with a false wall. It opens out to the thorn hedges outside, so nobody in their right mind can come close enough to see the difference."

Risako blinked. "Then how do you use it if the thorn bushes are in the way?"

"We trimmed the thorns off on this side of the hedge, and there's a way out further down." Momoko explained as she went to her cupboard and started taking off her additional equipment.

"That still doesn't explain why I didn't hear you." Miyabi frowned, glaring at the offending closet-cum-secret-exit.

"Have you ever seen Captain use that closet?" Momo started by way of explanation. When everyone shook their heads after a moment of thought, Momo smiled.

"There's nothing inside but a couple of old blankets on the bottom to muffle the sound when someone steps through, and the doors are oiled frequently to make sure they don't creak. And I've always been good at sneaking."

"Wait," Maasa scratched at her head as a thought occurred to her. "If Chii-chan knows because Captain asked her to help, how come you know too, when the rest of us don't?"

"I caught Captain sneaking in at night through it once." The short girl said by way of explanation.

"Why weren't we told about this before?" Miyabi asked accusingly, feeling left out.

Chinami laughed. "We wanted to see if anyone else found out first on their own before we told everyone. But so far only Momo-chan passed the test."

"Pfft. Whatever." Miyabi walked over to her own space and picked up her fallen blanket, opening her own closet and throwing it in.

"Bad mood so early in the day?" Saki was sitting in her own now-open closet. Everyone jumped.

"What the...when did you get in?" Miyabi was sure that the closet had been closed just a few seconds earlier.

"Right after Momo did actually, but I stayed inside to eavesdrop on you guys." The tiny captain hopped out of her empty closet and shut the doors. "Oh, and I have good news people. Letter from Maiha!" She drew out a tightly rolled up piece of paper from a pocket.

That got their attention. Everyone scrambled over to crowd around Saki, eager to see what their former teammate was doing on her solo mission. Technically, Maiha wasn't really supposed to be contacting anyone during her deep cover assignment up in the northern lands, but the girl had always been sort of contrary to the rules. Actually their whole squad never did play by the rules even while in training, much to the exasperation of their handlers. However, one couldn't deny that their blatant disregard for rules and regulations of any kind made them very creatively effective in their line of work. Flexibility of thought was a must in their profession.

"When did you get the letter? We were sparring together earlier and I didn't see anything." Momoko asked curiously, leaning in as Saki unrolled the message.

"Because you weren't paying attention dear." Saki replied calmly. Momoko made a face at that.

"So what did she say?" Yurina poked her head over the crowd of shorter girls to look down at the message in Saki's hands.

The message, as it was, was finely detailed and written in code. A very familiar code for them, since they were the ones who devised it during their training period, as a unique identification code as well as their own private means of communication. Every member of their squad had memorised it and were sworn never to reveal it to outsiders, not even to their superiors. It wouldn't be much of a secret code if everyone else knew how to read it.

'Hey guys, I hope you're doing well. Am still stuck running around the forest in this stupid war. The enemy and our side just take pot shots at each other now that winter is starting to settle in early here, like it always does. The guns aren't firing well because it's so damp, both on our side and the enemy, and it's crazy to see the firing line suddenly break down because only one in 10 rifles are working. Snuck into enemy camp and shovelled snow on their gunpowder, now they can't use their rifles until new supplies come in haha. Am sitting in a tree writing this, did you know that the enemy never looks up on their patrols? Makes it easy to pick them off. It's damn cold up here and I had to steal the white fur coats off the enemy guards I kill. Damn cheapskates on our side not giving me any winter supplies, I had to scrounge for them on my own. Not that I want their winter clothes, mind. They look damn ugly for one, and they're in RED, for another. What kind of idiot wears red coats in a winter forest? Talk about being walking targets. Well if they want to be sniper bait, that's their problem. Well it doesn't seem that the war is ending any time soon, so I guess it's another season up in this godforsaken forest. Hope you're having more fun than me back down south. Love, Maiha.'

"It seems like she's enjoying herself." Saki quipped ironically as she looked up from reading the letter aloud. The rest were just grinning at Maiha's cynicism evident in the letter. The girl was probably bored because no one was good enough to give her a proper challenge. Maiha did always do well when it came to sneaking around for sabotage purposes, after all.

"Well at least she got an interesting assignment." Miyabi groused. "We're stuck babysitting Koharu and going out for the occasional mission."

"Oh Koharu isn't so bad." Maasa noted tolerantly. "And it's easier than doing other things."

"But boring, very boring." Miyabi repeated, moving back to her own area next to Saki's bed, Risako following behind her.

"Hey at least you got to follow Captain along for that assignment the other time. Yuri-chan too." Chinami pouted, poking her taller friend in the side. Yurina's eyes lit up at the mention of the assignment, sighing dreamily. "Mmm..."

"Well we didn't need to scramble the whole squad for a simple arson." Saki said defensively as she shooed the rest from her messy floor space. Chinami had to haul the daydreaming Yurina back to her bed, since the taller girl was spacing out again at the mention of arson.

"I wonder what warranted it though..." Momoko wondered aloud as she unceremoniously sat down on Saki's bed, while toying with the device strapped on her right arm, before pulling her sleeve back down over to conceal it.

"We don't ever ask that." Saki said just a bit sharply, kneeling down to pull a chest from under her bed. "It's against protocol."

"Yeah yeah, just follow orders, right?" Miyabi remarked as she quickly changed into more presentable clothing for going out, Risako doing the same over at her own closet.

"That's right." The small captain was rummaging through the chest, finally pulling a case out. "Aha."

"Well anyway, we're washing up and going out. Coming, Rii?" Miyabi called out to Risako, who was about halfway dressed and pulling on a blouse over her head.

"Don't stay out late, and make sure we can find you if necessary." Saki admonished as she kicked the closed chest back under her bed and tucked the case away in her pocket.

"We're just going over to the foothills to gather some herbs." Risako puffed out as she hurried to catch up to Miyabi, who was already halfway out of the door. With a final wave to the rest, the youngest ran out after Miyabi, who, knowing her, was probably already washing her face and getting ready to leave.

"Well, I'm out too. Need to see Konno-san for something." Saki surveyed the state of her floor space, then decided it was better to leave clearing up to another day. Glancing at Momoko, who was currently unashamedly flopped on her bed, she sighed.

"Momo, go sleep on your own bed." Momoko pretended not to hear her and instead hid her head under one of the pillows. With a roll of her eyes, the squad captain gave up and left the other girl alone. "Drool on my bed and die." Was the last thing she said before stepping out.

"Captain would never let me get away with that." Chinami observed. Maasa just smiled and took off her outer coat, before sinking into her own bed. "Wake me up for dinner later."

"Yeah same here." Momo mumbled from under the pillow. Murmurs of assent from Chinami followed, and she poked Yurina again, trying to get a response out of the currently spaced out girl. Yurina blinked. "Hmm?"

"I asked if you wanted to go steal some food from the kitchen now." Chinami repeated patiently.

"Steal? Why steal? We can just ask the cook for breakfast...uh, lunch." Confusion shone in the taller girl's eyes.

"But it's more fun this way!" Chinami grinned as she pulled on a plain set of clothes, before reaching into her cupboard for her trusty deck of cards, slipping it into her vest. "Come on, get changed."

"Get me something to eat too." Momo waved from Saki's bed, the pillow still covering her face. Maasa had already fallen asleep. Chinami nodded.

"Will do."

"Don't get anything with peas in it."

"Sure."

"Something with fish might be nice."

"Ok."

"Oh and I want..." Chinami threw a pillow at Momoko, hitting the older girl in the stomach.

"Go steal it yourself if you're so picky!" She huffed. Momoko removed the pillow from her face and laughed. "Thanks Chii-chan. You're the best." Yurina giggled at Chinami, who deliberately turned away from Momoko's grinning face with a snort.

"Let's go."

~*~*~

It was rare indeed, Koharu mused, that she was left alone for the day. Well, mostly alone. She remembered with distaste the fact that there were two burly guards outside her door, effectively grounding her within her spacious rooms. What did she need with guards in her uncle's own house? And the worst part was that Saki and the others were off for today, and she missed their company.

What was a girl to do with herself under such circumstances? That was the pressing question. Koharu looked around her room with a critical eye, trying to form a plan of action to get out of the room without tipping the guards at her door off.

Maybe it was the fact that in recent weeks she had been sneaking out more often with any one of the other girls, and it was rubbing off on her. Because Koharu figured out very quickly what should could possibly do under such circumstances, and she did it with little hesitation.

By the time the maid came in bearing the little lady's lunch, there was already no one left in the room.

~*~*~

The sun was mild out today, and puffy white clouds were skipping like playful little sheep across an azure sky. The temperature was just right, not too warm nor too cold. The droning voice in the background, too, was a perfect backdrop for a nap. Which was what happened, essentially.

A sharp rap on her knuckles brought her back to the world of the living. "Excuse me my lady, but please try to stay awake for the history lesson." The teacher, a kindly looking woman, smiled down at the sleepy face sprawled over a huge book.

"But I already know all about the Cheval Clan Wars and the Boer Uprising!" The girl protested, pouting cutely up at her tutor. The woman remained unmoved by the expression, having been rendered immune to it since she had been teaching the same girl for many years already and had gotten used to it. You just didn't give in to that adorable face, no matter how cute she tried to be, or else you'll just be falling into the same trap many others have dropped into.

The girl didn't give up easily, puffing up her cheeks and putting on her most pitiful look. "Please, you can test me and see."

Against her better judgment, the hapless tutor agreed to that deal.

20 minutes later, the girl was free, having successfully answered all the questions posed to her. All that time spent nose deep in one of those dusty tomes in the library on many a rainy day had finally paid off. She was off for the rest of the day.

Heading out into the extensive gardens of the estate, she stretched and grinned up at the sun in the sky. Such a wonderful day out, almost a pity to be mostly wasted on useless history lessons. Well, it was time to go out and enjoy the fine weather.

Michishige Sayumi, daughter of the Emperor's 12th half-sister, technically of royal descent but not officially acknowledged, due to the circumstances of her birth. The fact that her mother had fallen in love with a young guardsman and ran away with him, only to be accidentally recaptured 6 months later already pregnant with her, made Sayumi herself somewhat of a disgrace to the royal family through no real fault of her own, a bastard child only marginally tolerated because her mother had protected her from being thrown out of the palace when she was born. She had never seen her father, since he had been killed the night her mother was recaptured.

Sayumi never let all that get her down though. As a child, due to her mother's disgrace, they had been sent to one of the lower royal estates further down the mountain which held the main palace, and there she had grown up with much fewer restrictions on her than other children also of royal blood would have experienced. While in no way it could be considered a truly normal childhood, Sayumi came close to having one, much more so than her assorted royal but distant cousins would have had. Her mother largely left her to her own devices, preferring to spend her days quietly knitting with an air of somber melancholy. Sayumi suspected that it was due to the fact that her mother missed her dead father, and felt that it was terribly cruel of fate to have let her mother be a widow at such a young age.

Illegitimate child she might have been, but she had grown up well. All the servants assured her how pretty and adorable she was, not that she ever had any doubt herself about that. She was close to the small number of servants alloted to care for them, since they had pretty much helped to raise her since her mother was always somewhat detached from her upbringing. They lived modestly by royal, and even noble standards, and while Sayumi did receive the basics of a genteel education that a lady should possess, she had never been presented in court as far as she could remember. The time when she was born didn't count, since she couldn't recall a single detail about that particular appearance.

It didn't bother her though. From what the servants told her, the palace wasn't really all that awesome a place anyway. If there was anyone who really knew what the palace was like, it was probably the servants. After all, the royals and the nobility only paraded around the grand upper levels in the castle and its grounds, but the servants were everywhere and saw everything. The nobles never paid any attention to the nearly invisible servants in the background, and talked as if they didn't exist, so the servants of the castle probably knew more about every spoken word in every corner of the palace than did the most avid gossipers amongst the society ladies. Through her close interactions with the servants, Sayumi probably learnt more about the palace and courtly life than if she had been there to experience it for herself.

Despite having come of age a couple of years back, Sayumi had never had a ball celebrating that fact as many ladies would. Actually, she had never been invited to any balls or parties either. She and her mother had essentially been forgotten by high society. As far as the court was concerned, they didn't exist, and since there wasn't any benefit to inviting a disgraced princess and her bastard child, so that was pretty much it.

The fact should have stung her in some way, but surprisingly it didn't affect her as much as she had thought it would. Growing up the way she did probably had a hand in that indifference. She hadn't been brought up to expect anything, and in any case, she relished the freedom of her complete lack of social standing, yet being able to live comfortably and securely due to the incident of her birth. Sayumi often accompanied the maids down to the city on their off days, wearing more ordinary clothing of course, and in short, had what was essentially the best of both worlds when it came to both material comfort and physical freedom.

Strolling down past the dense hedges that bordered the modest estate in which she lived, Sayumi was having a wonderful time looking at the flowers and butterflies fluttering around the neatly kept gardens. However, her appreciation of nature was interrupted by some suspicious rustling further down the hedges, near the corner. Frowning, the 18 year old remembered that there was a small hole in the hedge near that spot that she herself had used on occasion when sneaking out without permission. Who could possibly be using it now?

Curiosity drove her forward to check, but she was ever mindful of the fact that whoever the intruder might be, they could be hostile, and was ready to call for the guards should the situation call for it. When the person wriggled through though, the face that greeted her was a familiar, albeit dirt-streaked one.

"Kusumi-chan! What are you doing here?" Sayumi exclaimed, rushing forward to help the younger girl up. They had met before, when Koharu, ever the curious person, had been exploring the lower estates with a bored Miyabi in tow while her uncle was in an important meeting. The two girls had hit it off almost immediately after Koharu had helped to rescue an injured rabbit from one of the palace hounds, and despite the age difference, they got along fairly well.

"Hiding from my uncle's cronies." Koharu replied, casting shifty glances behind her, as if fearing that her uncle's guards would suddenly burst through the hedge without warning.

"Why would you want to hide from Natsuyaki-san and the others?" Sayumi asked in confusion. Koharu sighed, brushing some dirt away from her face.

"Not them. Miyabi, Momo and the others are good company, but they're on leave today. I meant those armed thugs that work for my uncle."

"Oh." Sayumi shrugged, then eyed Koharu critically. "Did you grow taller again?"

Straightening up to her full height, Koharu looked herself up and down, before grinning back at the older girl. "I think so."

Sayumi pouted. "No fair, I'm older but you're getting taller than me!" Then she paused, before adding almost as an afterthought. "But at least I'm still cuter than you."

Koharu snickered at that, and Sayumi pushed the younger girl playfully. "You know it's true!"

"I'll beat you on that one day too." Koharu vowed in between giggles. Sayumi puffed out a breath and folded her arms. "You wish!"

The younger girl was about to retort, but a suspicious rumbling sound halted both of them. After a moment of silence, Sayumi cracked up in a fit of chuckles, and Koharu flushed in embarrassment, placing a hand on her midsection with a sheepish look. "Um, I kinda skipped lunch while getting away earlier." The younger girl mumbled while rubbing at the back of her head with an embarrassed expression. Sayumi giggled at the awkward look on Koharu's face.

"Come on, I'm sure Cook will make something for both of us." Reaching over, the older girl grabbed the younger's hand easily, ready to lead her to the kitchens. Before she did though, Sayumi paused and frowned critically at Koharu's face. The younger girl tilted her head in an expression of confusion, and blushed lightly when Sayumi's free hand brushed across the tip of her nose.

"You missed a spot." Sayumi explained, flicking the speck of dirt away. "Now let's go feed you up."

"You're just trying to make me fat so I can't be cuter than you!" Koharu accused as Sayumi hauled her along behind her, drawing a giggle from the older girl.

"Well~~ Who knows?"

"Sayu!!!"

Both girls were laughing as they dashed hand-in-hand across the garden.

Such was the spirit of youth.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Estrea on April 17, 2007, 03:09:31 PM
~*~*~

"How is she?" An anxious voice.

"We got the bullet out, but she lost a lot of blood." A pause. "She'll live though, I think."

"Thank the gods." Another voice sounded relieved.

"It's nothing. You people have always been good to our village. It's the least we can do to help. Please, stay and rest until your wounds heal."

"We don't want to bother yo--" The first voice started, but was interrupted by the second voice.

"Nonsense. Do stay with us for now, at least until the trouble dies down. I'm sure all the villagers would agree with me."

"Thank you." The other two voices sounded tired but grateful. The patter of feet leaving the room was heard, followed by the soft click of a closing door.

"I hope she makes it." The first voice sounded weary and worried.

"She's strong, she'll be fine." The other voice tried to sound comforting, but worry was evident in her voice as well.

"It's all my fault." The first voice blamed herself. "If I had been more careful..."

"You couldn't have known that the bullet was coming. We all didn't know the attack would come." The other voice was firm now. "She saved you because she wanted to. Now get your chin up. Megumi wouldn't want to see you crying over her when she's not dead."

A small sniffling sound. "Sorry Masae, it's just that..."

"I know. Believe me, I know." Masae sounded like she was strained in several different directions at the same time. She shook her head in an attempt to clear it, reaching out at the same time to clasp Megumi's clammy hand gently.

"I think I'll go see if Boss is back." Ayumi excused herself quietly, leaving the two alone for a moment. Masae sat by the unconscious Megumi's side, head bowed.

"Please be alright..."

"Of course I am." Masae flinched and looked up in shock. Megumi grinned wearily up. "Hi."

Masae's jaw worked up and down soundlessly, before she snapped it shut. "Hi to you too, you idiot."

Megumi closed her eyes. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"No idea..." Masae repeated slowly, fuming. "You almost died out there!"

"Well, I'm not dead now, am I?" Megumi cracked open one eye. "Don't get too upset, it's not becoming of you."

"Idiot."

"But you love me anyway." If her trademark glasses were on, they would have flashed in the dim light. Masae laughed, a helpless sounding kind of chuckle.

"You just don't change at all."

"Of course not."

"I'm glad you're alive." Masae said solemnly, tightening her grip around the hand she was holding. Megumi looked back just as seriously.

"So am I." She paused, eyes distant for a moment. "So am I..."

They didn't have to say much more after that.

~*~*~

The storm outside was raging, a savage beast of nature that no man could tame, no matter how powerful. The rain barraged against weathered planks with a singleminded ferocity, and high in the sky lightning flashed at irregular intervals, while thunder boomed with a deafening roar almost just as often.

It was a violent sort of evening that nature provided. Perfect, it seemed, for the kind of violence that only man can wrought upon their own kind.

She sat passively in the holding cell, silent and unmoving. The shackles on her wrists were simply for show really, since her captor hadn't been willing to chain her at all, but had had to do so out of protocol. She didn't mind though. It was a good trade off in her opinion. Her capture in order to spare the others from blame.

There was only a single guard standing in front of her cell. Young man, didn't seem to be much older than her. She wondered about his family. Did they know what he was doing? Did her own family know what she was doing? She could only hope they approved.

Heavy footsteps in the distance. It was hard to discern amidst the cacophony nature provided in the perfect storm outside, but she heard it nevertheless. It was rhythmic, purposeful, and steady. She had an inkling of who it could possibly be.

She was right, he stopped outside her cell. A single word dismissed the young guard from his post, and her captor stepped through to face her.

"I'm sorry it turned out this way." He began heavily. She stared back at him unblinkingly as he continued.

"Your father is a good man, and you are a good kid too. I don't believe for one second the charges against you, but I have my orders." The girl smiled back kindly at him.

"I understand perfectly. It isn't your fault." The man hung his head, letting a breath out softly.

"Your father saved me and my elder brother's life many years ago, you know? I joined the navy because of him. I owe him too much." He sucked in another breath, then drew out the keys, unlocking the shackles on the girl's wrists. She stared in shock at him. "What are you..."

"A life for a life." He answered. She gasped when he drew his dagger, and stabbed himself in the shoulder with it. He barely cried out despite the obvious pain it must have caused him. He waved her off when she attempted to reach out to him to help.

"No, listen to me. My orders were to kill you after I captured you. I can't do that. It's ridiculous. Those charges...they don't warrant death. Maybe a dishonorable discharge at most. You must go." He rasped out, clutching at his bleeding wound.

"But you'll get in trouble..." She started, but he chuckled mirthlessly.

"I didn't let you go, remember? You stabbed me while trying to escape. Now go. There's not much time. Here." He tossed her own weapon back to her.

She caught it with a start, her eyes downcast. As she headed towards the exit, she turned around, eyes filled with gratitude.

"Thank you." Then she fled upwards to face her fate, whatever it might be.

The man smiled weakly. Even though she could not possibly hear it, he said it anyway.

"Be safe, little Aya."

=====================================


Well well well. Here we are. :D

Megumi: You let me get shot?
Me: Well, it's part of the plot!
Masae: I'll shoot you and see how you like it.
Me: Hey, she lived, didn't she?
Ayumi: If she died, we'll kill you.
Boss: And you left me out of the chapter again. T_T
Me: Ehehehehe...wait guys...what are you doing...ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Megumi: Mmhmm, now that Estrea's currently unavailable, I'll do the closing speech. Ahem, she means to say that she hopes that everyone enjoyed the chapter and that she'll get to writing more when she can....that is all. -looks over at the rest- Hey, don't maim her on accident, we need her to finish the story.
Me: T___T save me...
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 17, 2007, 03:10:36 PM
Oooooh o____o;

Berryz during their sleep is so cute :3 Risako and Miyabi for the win! <3~! Maiha's letter made me giggle xD The cynical wording cracked me up xD Loved how it seems that Koharu beat the crap out of her teacher xD You seemed to have worked pretty hard on Sayumi's past, didn't you? o_O I wonder if that plays an important role later on, considering illegimate children usually have an important part to play in corrupted governments like this o_O

Oh my gahh! What happened to the Melons?! ;___; Will the Matsuura family be safe with their top guards like that?! And I noticed that they seem to be in a village too... Instead of Matsuura Mansion? Oh gahh, whathappenedwhathappenedwhathappenedwhathappened?! ;_____;

Write faster! -cracks whip-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 17 + omake and footnotes]
Post by: Saikami on April 17, 2007, 03:13:05 PM
Wow, a lot to say about this chapter. XD You're making me be less lazy with my comments.

Berryz, gotta love them. XD When they sleep they're cute~! Miyabi and Risako are even cuter. XD The letter from Maiha made me all giggly, too bad she can't come back. Stupid boring assignment with even stupider enemies. :x

Sayu is here, eh? o_o; Like my cousin said, because you detailed her past so much considering she was just introduced so I think it will play later in the story. As for her and Koharu, is there going to be a brutal fight over who is cuter? o__o;;

Ah, the Melons. :O I can't believe you shot Megumi. D: But she's alive, so that makes me happy :D Love the interaction between her and Masae. <3 <3

Aya got caught :O!!! Well, that guard is my new friend :D So nice of him to let her go~~ Reminds me of Ribbon no Kishi, except the stabbing part XD

-teams up with Yuu and pulls out crop- Write more~! >:D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: orangesocks on April 17, 2007, 04:01:33 PM
Third!

Quote
'All the servants assured her how pretty and adorable she was, not that she ever had any doubt herself about that.'

Ah, Sayu... :D

and...

...one-way Koharu x Sayu? I never thought of them together before. Neat!  :) Though I can't help but wonder if you're going to make Koharu's uncle a bad guy...

I'm glad that Ayaya's free! Good that her imprisonment got resolved quickly because now she and her crew can join Yossie's bunch and Ayaya can be groped by Miki!  :)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: JFC on April 17, 2007, 04:17:45 PM
Quote
Chinami was nowhere to be found in her bed. A further inspection revealed that she had fallen off sometime during her sleep, taking her blankets with her, and was currently curled up in a ball on the floor, blissfully oblivious to the world as she snored on.
Awwwwww... :hee:

Nice way to include Maiha in there without actually having her there. Secret missions FTW!


Quote
A sharp rap on her knuckles brought her back to the world of the living. "Excuse me my lady, but please try to stay awake for the history lesson." The teacher, a kindly looking woman, smiled down at the sleepy face sprawled over a huge book.

"But I already know all about the Cheval Clan Wars and the Boer Uprising!"

...

The girl didn't give up easily, puffing up her cheeks and putting on her most pitiful look. "Please, you can test me and see."

Against her better judgment, the hapless tutor agreed to that deal.

20 minutes later, the girl was free, having successfully answered all the questions posed to her. All that time spent nose deep in one of those dusty tomes in the library on many a rainy day had finally paid off. She was off for the rest of the day.
Wow, Sayu's smart here!   :dunno:   :P


Quote
"You're just trying to make me fat so I can't be cuter than you!" Koharu accused as Sayumi hauled her along behind her, drawing a giggle from the older girl.

"Well~~ Who knows?"

"Sayu!!!"

Both girls were laughing as they dashed hand-in-hand across the garden.

Such was the spirit of youth.
AWWWWWWWWW!!!  :shy2:


Quote
"How is she?" An anxious voice.

"We got the bullet out, but she lost a lot of blood." A pause. "She'll live though, I think."

"Thank the gods." Another voice sounded relieved.
Firstly, you scared the PISS outta me by not having names here at the beginning.   :scared:  At first I thought Aya was the one that was shot. Not that I'm saying that it's better that it was one of the Melons...but...well...you know.  :sweat:


Quote
She sat passively in the holding cell, silent and unmoving. The shackles on her wrists were simply for show really, since her captor hadn't been willing to chain her at all, but had had to do so out of protocol. She didn't mind though. It was a good trade off in her opinion. Her capture in order to spare the others from blame.
OMGASS!!! Aya's in the custody by Naval forces?  :shock:  Did she give herself up willingly or did they actually have to capture her? Either way, it's such a "captain"-like thing to do, doing what she did (be it willingly or unwillingly) to buy her crew time to escape.


Quote
Heavy footsteps in the distance. It was hard to discern amidst the cacophony nature provided in the perfect storm outside, but she heard it nevertheless. It was rhythmic, purposeful, and steady. She had an inkling of who it could possibly be.

She was right, he stopped outside her cell. A single word dismissed the young guard from his post, and her captor stepped through to face her.
Obviously Aya's father/family has a lot of allies/people who hold them in high regard.  You'll often find that true of most good people.


Quote
"Your father saved me and my elder brother's life many years ago, you know? I joined the navy because of him. I owe him too much." He sucked in another breath, then drew out the keys, unlocking the shackles on the girl's wrists.  She stared in shock at him. "What are you..."

"A life for a life." He answered. She gasped when he drew his dagger, and stabbed himself in the shoulder with it. He barely cried out despite the obvious pain it must have caused him. He waved her off when she attempted to reach out to him to help.

"No, listen to me. My orders were to kill you after I captured you. I can't do that. It's ridiculous. Those charges...they don't warrant death. Maybe a dishonorable discharge at most. You must go." He rasped out, clutching at his bleeding wound.

"But you'll get in trouble..." She started, but he chuckled mirthlessly.

"I didn't let you go, remember? You stabbed me while trying to escape. Now go. There's not much time. Here." He tossed her own weapon back to her.

She caught it with a start, her eyes downcast. As she headed towards the exit, she turned around, eyes filled with gratitude.

"Thank you." Then she fled upwards.

The man smiled weakly. Even though she could not possibly hear it, he said it anyway.

"Be safe, little Aya."
He must have known Aya from when she was a young girl.  This is a great example of how in the military, there are men of good conscience who know that not all orders can be blindly followed without question.  Loyalty to your friends and to your own sense of honour have to count for something.  Can't help but wonder now, who exactly is he and what is his actual relationship to Aya's family? Morevoer, is Aya's father aware of the orders to capture and kill her?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Amarghetta on April 17, 2007, 04:54:44 PM
Ah, you just lumped all that and dropped it onto us... I'm still trying to process it.  :dizzy:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: len.chan on April 17, 2007, 07:29:11 PM
you know... I barely recognize any berryz.. just Miyabi XDD but it was cute the way you describe how they sleep XD
and of course, if Rika was a noblewoman Sayu had to be it too XD I just wonder if she's going to meet a certain turtle XD
thank god that Aya was ok and and her captor was a friend of the family... who know what could had happened.. Now it's time for Miki to appear XDD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Econxp on April 17, 2007, 08:49:19 PM
Yay for update!!! Ur an excellent writer, hope you update asap again. XD Bring in the twins! im curious as to what they're doing/planning. More GAM, more tanakamei, more gakiAi, more yossie/rika, more...ok im asking for too much...
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 17, 2007, 09:27:51 PM
Gah, mrr, -squee- -other unintelligible sounds-
Aha, I love this chapter the most so far. <33
Me and my love of the Berryz... -sigh- It was so wonderful.
(Haha, if you look at the first letter of those three sentences, I spelled GAM! XDDD)

Koharu rocks in this. Beating up her teacher like that.
Full. Of. Win. <3

And oh noes, poor Melons... ;-;
But I suppose there's a bigger OH NOES in order for poor Aya. -flailinglotsnow-

Do want more. <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Tinnygy on April 18, 2007, 02:37:36 AM
Released my breath, finally knowed Aya was alright ^^. Those Melons were cute during there sleep  ::). And now, waiting for more action (may be more GAM action XDDDD)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on April 18, 2007, 03:17:17 AM
*sniffle* No Boss? Melons > Berryz for me.
Damn, I was so close to beating you before you wrote a new chapter. Since I dont have much to say about that one, here's what I would have said for 17 http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a72/sLaVeGiRl00/17.jpg

Touching side of Megumi and Masae. I really liked the last part, what a nice man ;____;

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Mikan on April 18, 2007, 08:28:17 AM
Yaaaaaaaaaaaay! Well, thats nice that Aya is free. For a few moments I was thinking "why did he just stab himself?". Im sorry, Im a little slow and Im drinking the most revolting tea...yet I keep drinking it. So where does Aya go now? Im putting bets that the pirates get to her first...or that she needs to use their boat in order to catch up....

And Nacchi...hmmm ....

Well, no doubt this is interesting!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: coachie on April 18, 2007, 09:40:17 AM
Oh my, I just realised I should study some Berryz, the only one I recognise by face is probably Saki (it's kind of awkward reading the chapter without having the faces in my head)

Sweet Melon moment, but why was Megumi shot? Was the Matsuura estate (or whereever they live) attacked and they had to flee and fend off pursuers and ended up in this village?

Hahaha, Koharu beating up her teacher, I wished you wrote that one out (maybe something for the hidden files?)

Glad Aya is ok, can't wait to see what happens next.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Ren on April 18, 2007, 01:32:08 PM
...Koha sure gets along with Momo etc- ;D I can imagine Miyabi looking bored with Koha.
And my prediction on Sayu being related with royal family is almost correct :D. So now you have to make her build a queendom of hare. National anthem of the queendom: Save the Usa-chan. Army name of the queendom: Usa-chan peace. :lol:

...little Aya? Who's the guy saving her? The way he said little made is seem like its a scene from the past O_O I almost thought little Aya meant Aya's younger sister too O_O

And what did you do to the Matsuuras? Did the mansion... get attacked or something? And the Melons are not able to defend? Uh-oh planned attack by someone important in the government?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 19, 2007, 01:48:28 AM
Miki didn't take Aya? Wow. I can barely stand the set up in this chapter, but I'm really glad you managed to introduce Sayu. I don't know why I like her so much... And I can wait for the Aibon Nono interaction. I think. Maybe....
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: iacus on April 19, 2007, 10:50:02 AM
So there was a long war in between the sea folk and highlanders; another war down south with some barbarians; and now another war up north with god-knows-who. Plus, apparent political unrest in the capital and pirates all over the place.
Not exactly a stable empire is it? (not that any of ever them are) So, how big is the empire? It's official borders seem to stretch pretty far, but how about it's real influence and power?

I just realized that I have no idea how Koharu, Konno, Sayumi, or any of the Berryz fit into the plot. Dammit, I thought I was smart.

And one of the Melons just got shot, secret mission methinks?

I also find it interesting that after sending a group of brutish thugs to take care of Aya and her crew, whoever is after her proceeded to issued an official order for her execution. Does that signal that they are getting more desperate, trying to use a slightly more public (and traceable) form of murder?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: C60533 on April 19, 2007, 10:11:24 PM
And my craving is satisfied...for the moment. MORE! Nice Sayu intro. She's not a complete ditz in this one. Still hoping for some clueless moments just for the heck of it though. ^_^ And Aya and Melons....what's going on? I want to find out, but 1)Thinking hurts right now [testing] 2)I wanna wait for you to reveal it...otherwise my mind wanders...and then I get crazy thoughts...so...MORE!!...please?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Blizzard on April 19, 2007, 11:08:22 PM
Sorry I haven't commented in a bit.  So, for the few chapters I've missed, here's a quick summary of my comments:  Ishiyoshi FTW! :heart:  I hope things go well for them, Yossui seems like she could use some good in her life.  And turtle Kamei!  Too cute!

I don't really know the Berryz all that well, and I agree with coachie that it's weird reading about them without knowing their faces.  But, I'll get over it.  I really liked them in this chapter.  They definately know how to make things interesting. 

Were the Melons defending Matsuura Manor when they were attacked?  We haven't found out who the captured guy was from more than a few chapters ago yet, have we?  If people are attacking Aya's family, it's quite possible it was her dad.

Can't wait for more!  Keep up the great work! 
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Estrea on April 21, 2007, 04:18:53 AM
Comment replying time! And yes, that still stands for new chapter time! XD

Yuu: Yes I love the Berryz, and as for Sayu, well, we'll see what happens with her. XD The Melons? Mmm. Keep waiting to find out. XD And put that whip away! >_>;

Sai: Less laziness with commenting is good. XD Brutal fight over who is cuter? XD Who knows really? XD Yeah I like the guy who let Aya go too. XD Great, another whip person. You and your cousin are evil incarnate. >_<;

orangesocks: Mmm Koha and Sayu...well, it's just a thought. XD Everyone wants to get to the GAM part quickly too. XD

JFC: You look surprised by smart Sayu. XD And it's terrible that you think its better than Megumi got shot than Aya. Lol. And yeah, I do agree about the military thing. Loyalty to one's comrades usually weighs more than loyalty to the force, especially if you've been through life and death with them. As for the relationship the man has with Aya's family, basically he's acquainted with her father. And as for whether Aya's father knows about the order to eliminate Aya, well, you'll find out eventually about that too. XD

Amarghetta: Sorry for dropping so much on you. You need an icepack? XD

len.chan: Mmm more drama before anything else happens. You'll see in the next chapter. XD

Econxp: Don't worry, you're not asking too much, cos I put in most of what you asked for in the next chapter. :P

Fimmy: XD I know you love the Berryz, I like them too. XD Yep, Koharu beating up her teacher was awesome. XD We get to see what happens next with the coming chapter. ;)

Tinnygy: GAM action will have to wait. But when it comes, it will be worth it. ;)

slave: The Melons get more airtime later. Right now I'm trying to move the plot forward a little more. XD

Mikan: I hope I continue to interest you, and everyone else, with what I'm doing with the story. XD

coachie: As for the Melon question, I cannot answer for now. Hope you understand. :P

Ren: I love your Sayu ideas. USA-CHAN PEACE!! XD And your guesses are quite intelligent too, too bad I can't confirm if they're right or not. XD

rndmn: Sorry for distinct lack of twins lately, but they show up in the next chapter! And I'm glad you like Sayu...XD

iacus: Actually, the wars I described in the footnotes were when the Empire was formed. This story takes place quite some time after all that initial history, like a couple hundred years or more. XD But you're right about the instability of the empire with all the piracy and current wars and political unrest. Oh well, it happens. As for the influence of the empire, I can't reveal much because it's part of the story. XD Suffice to say that its a lot weaker than it appears to be. And it's a perfectly good thing that you don't realise how Koharu, Konno, Sayumi and the Berryz fit in, since it means that I'm doing my job of piecing together bits and pieces of the plot without alerting my audience to my final intentions. XD Hmm I can't answer much of the other speculations, just wait and see. XD

C60533: I'll try to insert clueless Sayu moments for you. XD And don't bother thinking too much if you don't want to, just keep reading. XD

Blizzard: Ah, there you are again. I missed having your comments too. XD Glad you liked. Don't worry, I could tell the Berryz apart at first too, but I got over that during all my obsessive research. XD Mmm more speculations that I cannot answer. Have fun guessing. XD


Phew, that sure took a while. Now I shall take my time to post the next chapter. Wedge call for Yuu~ XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 21, 2007, 04:19:47 AM
Weeeeedge <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Estrea on April 21, 2007, 04:36:06 AM
Chapter 19


Ayaka had put all of them to work in the tavern after the navy girls had departed, just to help clear up the wrecked furniture before the carpenter and his workmen came in with replacements. The proprietress tartly reminded them that it was part of their fault that the tavern was wrecked, so they had to grudgingly agree to help. Well, some of them did anyway. Some people, however, were just not cut out for honest work at all.

"Yuko, I think you better just sit here and drink your rum." Ayaka sighed after the pirate captain managed to somehow brain Miki from behind with a shorn off table leg, sending the knife throwing pirate to cursing and knife waving at her own captain. Whether or not it was an accident was definitely debatable, but Kaori decided to just hush it up by handing Yuko a bottle of rum to distract her, while Yossi smoothly diverted Miki by grabbing a somewhat spaced out Ai and shoving the distracted barmaid in front of the groping demon. Predictably, the devil took the bait, and a surprised Ai squeaked and leapt away when a certain wandering hand decided to make itself known to her.

Rika giggled as Yossi returned to her side. "Was that necessary?" She asked. Yossi shrugged. "Not really, but it's the fastest way to stop Miki."

By the time Ai managed to escape Miki's clutches (practice helped, not to mention Miki was being a bit half hearted about it), the worst of the damaged furniture had been carted off to a corner of the tavern, ready to be dumped out in the back alley. And speaking of back alleys...

 ~*~*~

"Well, what were you doing?" Reina asked suspiciously, jabbing at Eri with the butt of her harpoon. "Lurking outside the Sea Coconut like that..."

Eri swallowed nervously, trying to back up a bit in order to crawl back up onto her feet. When she finally regained her footing, that was when she realised that the crazy harpoon-wielding girl was actually shorter than her. Well I wouldn't have known... Eri blinked, but was snapped out of her thoughts when the pointy end of the harpoon came too close for comfort to her chin. Small in size or not, Reina was the one with the weapon. A very large, sharp weapon. Eri gulped again.

Reina was eyeing Eri critically. The crate girl looked familiar. Now where had she seen her before? It took a couple of moments before the facts clicked together in her head.

"Hey, weren't you down by the waterfront in that scuffle earlier?" Reina unconsciously let the tip of her harpoon drop down a little, no longer pressing as close to Eri's neck as before.

Eri didn't need a second invitation. This whole town was crazy. She needed to get away, as soon as possible.

Reina was taken aback by the speed at which Eri turned and ran for it, kicking up a cloud of dust in the process. Instinctively she tried to give chase, but for a turtle, Eri was surprisingly fast on her feet. Or rather, Reina was just slow, but let's not mention that when she's waving around a large harpoon.

Eri was quite literally leaving Reina in the dust, but let's not forget that the latter had the advantage of a ranged weapon. Cursing creatively under her breath, Reina slowed and took one of her light harpoons, and with a mighty heave, sent it flying after the fleeing turtle.

As it was, Eri had been about to turn the corner and escape into the street, but the hurled harpoon found her with surprising accuracy and quite literally pinned her arm to the wall by the sleeve, the sudden brake in motion sending the girl slamming into the wall with a heavy thud. For a moment, Eri saw little turtles flying around her head as she struggled to regain her bearings.

Reina puffed to a stop beside the dazed Eri, breathing heavily. The pirate girl had never enjoyed running at all. Actually, she wasn't even sure why she felt the need to chase down this strange girl at all. Maybe she was just being too curious for her own good. Oh well, it wouldn't hurt her in the least, or would it?

"Now you're just being suspicious." Reina huffed as she glared at the dizzied Eri. "I just wanted to ask you a few questions, and you run away! What am I, some kind of monster you have to flee from?" The pirate seemed completely unaware of the fact that even as she spoke, she was waving her harpoon around for emphasis, and was thus freaking the crap out of Eri. Any sane person would obviously escape from someone who was brandishing a large spear-like weapon, and while Eri's sanity does come under question at certain points, her instincts for self-preservation were still prominent enough for her to want to run away from obvious sources of danger (in this case Reina).

"P-p-put that down first..." Eri shook her head hard, trying to clear her vision. Reina blinked and stared at her harpoon-wielding hand, as if finally realising that she was still flailing around with it. "Oh..." She lowered it, but didn't slide it back onto her back. "Now talk. What were you doing lurking around in the alley hmm?"

Eri tried to put everything together in her head. She had gleaned enough to know that those people she had met earlier were pirates, and that their identity as navy personnel had been uncovered. That was a very bad thing in her opinion. She had to leave port immediately. Preferably with the crew she came with, but if they were unavoidably detained, she would have to find an alternative method to return home.

Seeing that Eri was still a bit dazed and not replying to her, Reina put down the heavy bundle she had been lugging along and prodded Eri with the freed hand. "Oy, you alive?" The turtle squeaked, her eyes focusing back on the shorter pirate in front of her. "Nothing! I was doing nothing!"

"You call creeping around with a crate over your head nothing?" Reina asked incredulously. Eri flushed in embarrassment, even as she fought for a somewhat plausible excuse. "Um, I, uh...ok ok! I like small spaces! I was feeling insecure so I decided to hide inside a crate until I felt a bit better!" It wasn't quite a lie. Actually, it was pretty much the whole truth, just minus a few key points. Fortunately Eri didn't believe in sins of omission, so that didn't prick at her conscience in the least.

Reina had a "huh?" look written all over her face. "What the...are you kidding me?" She didn't sound too convinced. You couldn't blame her, after all it sounded just a little bit odd. Eri swallowed nervously. "It's true...I like small spaces...it makes me feel safe..."

"Eh, right..." Reina still looked suspicious though. "And as I was asking before you bolted, weren't you fighting alongside Yossi and Mari earlier?"

The facts clicked in the turtle girl's head. Oh, so that was why this girl looked sort of familiar. The harpoon should really have clued her in. After all, this same weirdo quite literally nailed down a bounty hunter with a well placed cast. Eri shuddered. Luckily Reina hadn't decided to do the same to her.

"Yes...well...I was..." Eri stammered out uncertainly, nervously tugging at her sleeve, trying to free it.

"Who the hell are you anyway?" Blunt as always, Reina didn't cut corners when it came to speech. She pretty much spoke her mind most of the time.

"No one really...just a normal person..." Eri answered evasively, pretty much ready to rip her sleeve off in order to get free by now. The fact that Reina was standing well within range of her helped. She wouldn't make the mistake of leaving the wonky eyed girl in control enough to hurl another harpoon at her before she fled again.

"Come now, if you're going to lie, at least do it better!" Reina sounded bored already. Her battle harpoon was already fully lowered, clearly she didn't really classify Eri as much of a threat. The pirate girl hadn't actually seen Eri in action earlier anyway, since she had arrived late, so she didn't know what the other was capable of. Thus she was taken completely by surprise when Eri, with a sudden move, tore her caught sleeve off and freed her arm, even as she reached out with her other hand and grabbed Reina's harpoon arm, snapping it up and backwards unnaturally to make the surprised pirate drop her weapon with a sharp cry of pain. Her movement now unhindered, Eri then followed up by twisting Reina's arm around behind the pirate, forcing the younger girl against the wall she had only been so recently pinned against.

"Ow, fuck, that hurts!" Reina yelled angrily, upset that she had been taken off guard so quickly and thoroughly. Feeling slightly apologetic, Eri whispered a quick 'sorry' before delivering a light blow against the back of Reina's neck, sending the younger girl falling dazed to the ground. Eri hadn't really hit hard enough to send the pirate into full unconsciousness, since she hadn't really considered Reina to be an enemy, just an inconvenience.

Reina groaned weakly even as Eri took off again. Next time...I'll get my revenge next time...oooh it hurts...

~*~*~

Ai had retreated back into the kitchen, partly to escape Miki, but mostly because she wanted to brood in a familiar place. Ai was a person giving to thinking quite seriously about the things that bothered her, and while her life up to now hadn't given her much to think about really, recent upheavals had certainly served to turn her modest little world upside down.

Specifically, marriage. She wasn't quite sure about the legality of the whole thing, since she dimly recalled that ship captains could only perform binding marriages when aboard their own ship, and Nakazawa-san certainly hadn't been on her own ship when that crazy thing had come down. Of course, if she chanced to mention that, the pirate captain might just go chase after Risa, drag the poor girl back, and haul them both off to her own ship and redo the whole ceremony again. It was something that the decidedly eccentric woman would do, knowing her, so Ai decided to keep her mouth shut for the time being.

Ai wasn't sure what to do about Risa. She was honest enough with herself to admit that she liked the other girl, but was quite certain that she couldn't have fallen in love with the young sailor in so short a time. She found Risa endearing and likable, but not someone that literally made her heart skip a beat just because she was near.

As if trying to prove her wrong, her mind slipped back to the time in the cellar when Risa had pulled her down and...she blushed furiously, her heart rebelliously skipping a beat at the memory. It was a purely physical reaction, the barmaid reasoned to herself. It had nothing to do with actually having feelings for the other girl. Of course not. It couldn't be possible. Not at all.

Then her mind decided to wander back to the time when she had attacked Miki with her ladle while trying to save Risa, and it made her pause, frowning in concentration. Why had she done that? Trying to pick out the reason, she let her mind drift back to that moment once more. She had not wanted to see Risa hurt, that was for certain. But to be sufficiently empowered enough to actually attempt some sort of an assault on that terror of a groping demon? Armed with only a ladle, no less. The thought made her giggle, just a little. It had been terribly frightening for her then, to have actually hit the Fujimoto with a ladle, but on retrospect now, it was pretty ludicrous. That Miki hadn't decided to turn her into a pincushion for her knives was a minor miracle in itself. The Fujimoto had done that to others for lesser reasons.

Her logic wasn't bringing her anywhere. She was just going around in circles trying to find a conclusion that was acceptable to her. And, she realised with a jolt, the acceptable conclusion she had been looking for would be that she felt nothing but friendship for Risa. The evidence in her head simply wasn't pointing very strongly in that direction though. With a slightly sinking feeling, Ai realised that in the aftermath of that first, awkward make out session she shared with the younger girl, she had wanted to do it again. Preferably with the same person. The thought made her flush deeply. Oh my.

I'm not in love, I'm not in love, I'm not in love.
She repeated to herself. I'm just, um, in lust. Maybe. She smacked herself mentally for that. How was that any better?

Risa had said that she would not leave her behind, and the young sailor had gone after her superior officers to clear up the situation with them. Risa would come back for her.

Will you follow me back?

The question rang in her head, the last thing Risa had asked of her. Would she follow the other girl, leaving the tavern and this town which she had lived for most of her life behind? Could she do such a thing? Ai was confused. She wanted to ask the other girl back.

Would you stay for me then?

There was no real answer for either question, at least not now. No matter what the outcome though, Ai had just realised one thing. Both questions, one from each of them, had wanted the other to stay by their side. That, if nothing else, had to count for something. Right?

Sighing, Ai got up and started with her daily chores. All this thinking was starting to make her head hurt.

~*~*~

"You LET her go?! How could you!!!" Maki exploded at Natsumi, heedless of the rain as it poured down around them. Yuuki, in the background, tried to calm his sister down by taking hold of her raised arm, but Maki only shook it off angrily.

"Gottchan, listen...!" The First Mate was cut off halfway by the enraged young lieutenant.

"You let them take her! What kind of a friend are you?! Didn't the Admiral ask you to watch over his daughter? Is this how you look after someone?!" Maki lashed out blindly, viciously with her words, not mincing them in the least. It hit Natsumi hard, and stung her badly. How could Maki say that of her? Did the girl not understand what was truly going on?

"I'm going to go after them and bring her back." Maki spat angrily. "And I'll do it alone since you just left her like that!" The taller girl turned to leave, but was halted by a startlingly firm grip. Natsumi wasn't about to let Maki dive into a situation half-cocked without even knowing what was truly at stake here.

"No! YOU listen to me first!" Natsumi's voice was filled with steel. She didn't get to become a senior officer on just her looks alone. She had earned it, fought for it, every step of the way. This was the side of her that had won her the rank she had today. The side that rarely made itself known in front of her close friends, and was now showing in full force. You just didn't push Abe Natsumi around like that for so long and expect to get away with it.

Maki faltered at the uncharacteristically stern look on Natsumi's face, clearly unused to seeing her Nacchi suddenly look so fiercely at her. The smaller woman actually managed to seem truly threatening, and it wasn't something that Maki was used to. She had seen the many expressions Nacchi had on her face, even the more private ones during their nights together, but never anything like this. She actually appeared truly angry, frustrated, and disappointed with her.

"You, follow me." The commanding tone left no room for discussion, not that Natsumi gave her a choice in the first place, since the older woman practically dragged the younger one along behind her, heading for the captain's cabin. Yuuki trailed uncertainly behind the two, wanting to know what happened to their captain, but too frightened by the explosive dynamic between his sister and the First Mate to interfere between them directly. Probably a wise move too.

Finally out of the rain and dripping wet, the two officers faced off in the middle of the cabin. Yuuki silently closed the door behind them. No one else needed to witness their argument. It was bad for morale.

"Well, what?" Maki shook herself like a dog trying to dry off, only succeeding in whipping her wet hair around and splattering excess water all over the floor. Natsumi seemed heedless of the fact that she was drenched, while Yuuki surreptitiously fetched towels from the side and quietly handed one each to the both of them.

"Firstly, how could you think that I didn't try to bring Aya back?" Natsumi was seething at this point, obviously deeply hurt that such a thing had been accused of her. "I tried, Gocchin, I TRIED. But she pulled rank on me!" Maki gaped at the revelation. "She what?!" Aya had never done that to either of them in her life so far. She commanded them with their loyalty and respect, but never by throwing her rank around. "But why?" Maki pressed.

Natsumi pressed a hand to her forehead. "That stubborn fool means to sacrifice herself so that the rest of us escapes the blame of the charges against us. She's taking the full responsibility onto her own shoulders, in exchange for the fact that we will not be implicated."

Maki's jaw worked soundlessly up and down. "That idiot!" She growled, then paused as something hit her. "Wait, what charges?"

Natsumi pointed wordlessly at the parchment, and Maki looked it over more carefully this time. Her eyes widened. "This is ridiculous. Of all the things to accuse us of, they accuse us of the one thing we didn't do!" She scanned down a few more lines. "Wait, what the....how come Aya has more charges than the rest of us?"

"She is the captain, you know. Double responsibility and all that." Natsumi sighed. Maki shook her head. "No no, I mean this part." She pointed at a certain segment of the words that had been revealed when soaked in the rain. Natsumi checked, and her breath caught in her throat. "Oh crud...I didn't see that before..."

Yuuki cleared his throat timidly from a corner. "Um, what?"

Maki ignored her brother. "We need to get her back. Now." She made for the door, but Nacchi caught her arm first. "Wait."

"What now? We can't wait any longer!" Natsumi had a very conflicted expression on her face. Aya had placed a duty on her, and despite all her instincts screaming at her to just put everything down and rush to the younger's rescue, her sense of responsibility was getting in the way. Damnit, Gocchin was never going to forgive her for this.

"We can't." Maki stared at Natsumi incredulously. "What, why?!" Natsumi squeezed her eyes close, her expression pained.

"Aya...Aya said that we should follow orders...bring everyone safely back home first. She doesn't want any of her crew being condemned. She wants them safe, and she needs us to bring them home in one piece, preferably alive and healthy. That's what she told me before she left with them." Natsumi opened her eyes, pleading for Maki to understand her reasons. "I can't disobey her that way...I owe her family too much..."

"And you will abandon her to her own fate? You will just let her bear the whole responsibility and die for it?" Maki asked in a sick voice. She shook her head. "I can't, I can't do that. I'm sorry, but I'm going after her." She tore her arm away from Natsumi's grip, batting the older woman's hand away when Nacchi tried to reach for her again.

"How do you expect to chase after them? They've already left the harbor." Natsumi's voice was cracked, but it was evident that she was suppressing her own inner pain and conflict to deal with the situation as rationally as she could. "I can't let you take this ship to chase after them. I won't."

Maki twitched angrily. "I'll think of something." Turning to Yuuki, who seemed ready to follow his sister wherever she went, Maki shook her head. "No, you stay behind."

"But why?" Yuuki looked a little outraged. "I care just as much about Aya as you do, and you ARE my sister, I can't just let you go on your own."

"You can and you will." Maki barked at her younger brother, who for once, didn't shrink back and instead glared back just as fiercely. Maki's eyes softened just a little at that. "Listen, little bro, at least one of us has to make it back home. I rather it be you, since you're the boy and the heir. Do you understand?"

"Don't talk like you're not coming back!" Yuuki looked upset already. Maki patted his shoulder comfortingly.

"I'll try my best to make it back, but there's no guarantee. In the meanwhile, I want you at least to be safe. Take care of father, understand?" Unable to disobey his elder sister, Yuuki hung his head. Maki ruffled the young man's hair affectionately. "Don't get all girly on me, you're the guy remember? Get your back up and act like a man."

For his credit, Yuuki did stuff away the imminent tears and stand up straight. "Take care sis. Go kick some ass." Maki smirked at that, gripping her brother's shoulder more firmly and and leaning in a little to whisper to him. "Take care of Nacchi for me, please." Yuuki nodded seriously, and Maki released him before heading for the door.

"You know that if you step out now, you're no longer a part of the Royal Navy." Natsumi said it quite flatly and unemotionally, keeping a tight rein in on her emotions. Maki barely paused in her stride, casting a brief glance backwards.

"I stopped being part of the Royal Navy the moment they screwed us over like this." Her voice softened slightly. "Take care of yourself Nacchi."

Natsumi didn't reply, but her knuckles were white as she clenched her fists and turned away from the door. Maki felt a painful twinge at the subtle rejection, then steeled herself before running back out into the rain, too many words left unsaid between them.

I'm sorry Nacchi...but I can't not go...please understand...

~*~*~

The rain had come suddenly, keeping the pirates inside the tavern for now, since they didn't feel up to running around in the rain. Kei and Kaori had gone back earlier to the ship, not long after Reina had limped into the Sea Coconut sporting a sizable bruise across the back of her neck. The wonky pirate looked positively grouchy and slumped down in a corner without talking to anyone.

Risa had also returned some time before the rain fell, and had immediately gone off to look for Ai. As for what they were doing and where, no one except Ayaka knew (or cared, really). The proprietress was a bit confused to see them disappear into the cellar (for a talk, as Ai explained hurriedly to her boss before), but decided not to ask too many questions. She also decided not to question why the two were taking so long. Or why they looked suspiciously dishevelled when they finally did emerge. Some things were best left unasked.

About a couple of minutes after the rain began, the twins burst in, this time surprisingly from the front door. They didn't usually do that. Both were however, sporting large, knowing grins, which was not unusual in itself. It simply meant either that they were "up to something", or that they had found out about something. Either way, the other pirates would learn about it eventually, one way or another, especially if it's important enough to know.

"You won't believe..." Kago started, panting heavily.

"What we just saw!" Tsuji finished, shaking herself to get rid of the excess water. Ayaka frowned and fetched towels for the soaked twins, who accepted them gratefully.

"What now?" Yuko sounded bored. And slightly drunk, but that was hardly new. Tipsiness rarely posed a real threat to the pirate captain's focus anyway, at least not too much.

Kago gestured to Tsuji to start first while she caught her breath. The older of the two nodded.

"We saw some guy in a navy uniform!"

Yuko yawned. "Old news, next please."

"Huh?" Tsuji looked confused. Yossi decided to explain the short version of what they encountered earlier while the twins were out. A collective "oh..." between the two, then Kago frowned.

"But the guy we saw...he doesn't look like those people you were talking about!" Tsuji nodded. "He looks quite a bit older."

"Maybe he's one of the others from the same crew. How would I know?" Yossi shrugged. Rika bit her lip. "Umm..." Yuko raised an eyebrow in her direction. "Yes, was there something?"

"Just that...if our ex-navy people were right, they are outcasts and don't have to wear a uniform anymore." Rika fibbed slightly, since she couldn't very well tell them that Aya had ordered her men not to wear uniform, and thus whoever that the twins saw couldn't possibly be from her crew.

The others all blinked at that. "Well I'll never..." Yuko started, while Yossi looked at Rika admiringly. "You caught on to that very quickly." The young noblewoman shrugged nonchalantly, trying to play down the issue.

"Different crew then? Gee, our little port awash with the Royal Navy? Wouldn't have guessed." Miki said sarcastically as she continued sharpening one of her knives, testing the edge tentatively with her thumb. "Ouch." She stuck the thumb in her mouth.

"This could be a problem." Ayaka noted from behind the counter. "You don't think they're here for trouble...?"

Yuko snorted derisively. "Not without a whole armada they won't. They're not that stupid."

"Hey~~ Listen to us finish first!" Aibon called out above the assorted conversations. Reina, from her corner, gave them a grouchy look. "You mean you're not done yet?"

"Gee, what's eating you?" The younger twin shot back. Reina frowned and muttered something about crates, turtles, and crazy girls under her breath. Kago shrugged, losing interest just as quickly in order to return to her main topic.

"Anyway, yeah, so Navy Guy was down at the waterfront with this other huge man who looks a lot like him, just not in uniform." She went on, and Tsuji added. "Probably brothers or something."

"And that's important somehow?" Yuko asked skeptically. The twins shook their head. "No, wait." Tsuji then decided to take on the rest of the story.

"So we were on the sitting on the roof of the Sea Lion tavern a few streets down, and were kinda eavesdropping on them when they went down the alley next to us with this really hot girl..." Aibon cut in quickly.

"You know that one, the one that Miki was sucking face with earlier."

Silence. Miki leapt to her feet. "What?" The twins ssexy beasted at her reaction and Reina looked faintly amused. "Are you telling me Fujimoto scored again so quickly?"

"Shut up, you." Miki growled, then looked at the twins. "What happened next?"

Tsuji shrugged. "We couldn't hear them clearly cos the wind was a bit strong and all, but it didn't seem like a friendly conversation. They looked all upset and everything."

"And then and then, this other woman, she was one of those we saw earlier here, comes in too!" Kago added, bouncing from one foot to another. "And then the two women talked privately for awhile. We couldn't hear what they were saying, but the newcomer looked like she was about to cry." Tsuji nodded emphatically. "Yeah it's probably nothing good."

Yuko was looking intently at them. "And then?"

"Well, Miki's girlfriend leaves with the men, and the other woman hung around crying in the alley for a bit before she left too. We don't know what happened after that because we didn't follow them and it looked like it was going to rain soon, so we came back here." The younger twin looked impishly at her fellow pirates. "Interesting enough?"

Rika looked pale, and Yossi placed a hand over the other girl's. "Are you ok?" Rika looked slightly shaken. "Nothing...it's just..."

Miki turned on Rika with a fierce look. "Do you know something?"

Rika bit her lip again, uncertain. "It's just that...Matsuura-san might be in deep trouble." Yuko snorted again. "That's a bit obvious, isn't it?"

Rika shook her head. "No, I mean..." She turned to look at the twins. "Excuse me, but did you see if the men were holding any kind of scroll or parchment with them at that time?"

The twins shared a glance, before Tsuji answered. "Uh, I think so yeah...they handed it over later to the other woman though."

The noblewoman hissed, clearly worried now. "As I thought."

"Care to enlighten the rest of us?" Miki asked snappily. Rika looked up again. "The only reason why there would be someone from the Navy here right now would be to come after them. If I'm not wrong, they came to arrest her and her crew, but if I know Matsuura, and I think I do, she probably made a deal of some kind and turned herself in voluntarily in exchange for her crew's safety. I would have done the same if I were her..." She trailed off.

"In other words, they're no threat to the rest of us, is that it?" Yuko queried. Rika looked at the older pirate. "As you said, the Navy won't send anything less than an armada to take over this port, so their only purpose must have been to get them and get out. So no, no trouble for the rest."

"Then that's settled. None of our business." Yuko took a swig from her bottle casually. Miki frowned slightly, but forced herself to sit back down without a word. The knife throwing pirate was feeling somewhat irritated by the fact that she had saved Aya's life only for the girl to let herself get caught again. She had about half a mind to go out and rescue that headstrong young captain again, but as Yuko had wisely said, it really was none of their business. Pirates and navy didn't mix very well after all.

Their little moment of reverie was broken when someone else burst in through the front, eyes wild and dripping wet, startling the heck out of the occupants in the tavern.

"What the..." Miki started, one blade in hand ready to cast, before she recognised just who had burst in. There was no further preamble from the intruder, only a very flatly simple line.

"I need your help."

~*~*~

Aya didn't recall much of her escape from the ship. Only that she had run up onto the deck, encountering some startled sailors who tried to stop her, but she knocked them out without hurting them too much. She didn't want to kill people who were only just doing their job.

There had been nowhere to go after getting up on deck, since the ship had left port and were heading out to sea. The guards had been closing in, and so the only way to go was out. Into the sea.

She had dived cleanly overboard, quite thankful of the fact that there were no sharks around here, but the contact of seawater against her shoulder wound was shockingly painful. The bursts of gunfire after her dive underwater forced her to stay under the choppy waves, trying to put some distance between herself and the ship. The current had been strong, and the stormy sea made it difficult to go far very quickly, especially when her shoulder was hurting like crazy. Thankfully, the visibility had been cut down by virtue of the heavy rainstorm, so the naval crew hadn't been able to aim for her after she had managed to swim out a bit further.

Somehow, just somehow, she managed to put a decent distance between herself and the ship she had escaped from. The only real problem now was where she was. The sea was, after all, still choppy and stormy, and the rain made it impossible for her to tell which direction was land. She could keep treading water for now, but she couldn't do it indefinitely, and her shoulder was still killing her.

Exhaustion wore in quickly, and her vision was blurring in and out, even as she tried to float on her back to keep from sinking under the waves. The storm was not helping at all. Nor was the fact that she was still weak from the poison.

The last thing she had remembered before blacking out was the looming shape of another vessel closing in on her location...

=======================================


Mmhmm. XD

Yuuki: You are totally nuts, you know that?
Me: I have no idea what you're talking about ^_^
Yuuki: -_-# You know what I mean. You split my sister and Abe-san up!
Me: Yeah yeah, what are you going to do about that?
Yuuki: -rolls up sleeves- I'm going to teach you a lesson.
Me: Feh, like I'm scared of you, crossdressing boy.
Yuuki: What the...oh that is so it. Oy sis, care to help me beat Estrea up?
Maki: -walks up- Considering what she did to Aya... -demonic look-
Me: Oy, you can't...wait....no! NOT THAT!!! x____x
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 21, 2007, 04:37:15 AM
Ohhhh myyyyy gaaaaaahh o_o;

Roffle at how Yuko loses all sense of sanity when a bottle of rum is given to her xD

Eri and Reina are so awesome! <3 It's seriously like, the Cat and the Turtle xD! Reina being curious and all and Eri freaks out and goes Kamei-kaze on her with the unconcious move xD

The Nacchi and Maki argument was intense ; ; I hope they get back together soon ; ;

Roffle at the twins describing Aya xD But at the same time, Miki seems to jump at the thought of her beloved debted hot chick in trouble :x It's a sign of LOOOOOOOOOVE <3 I think I have an idea of who it is that asked for help o_O;

AYA IS RESCUED YAAAY! But by who? :x -hopes that it is Crew Gropetastic-

Write more <3 -cracks whip-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: Blizzard on April 21, 2007, 04:43:10 AM
I loved how Yossi shoved an unknowing Ai in front of Miki to get Miki to settle down.  Too funny!  Ai is definately getting plenty of practice in escaping Miki by now. 

Way to go Kamei!  She's like a ninja turtle now!  And Kamei-kaze, Yuu-chan?  Brilliant!  But it's definately time for bed for me because I've been giggling about that for a good few minutes now.  :D

I feel bad for Nacchi. :'(  She doesn't have the luxury of doing what she wants.  She now carries the responsibility of captain and has a whole crew to think about.  I don't want her and Maki to end like that, so I hope things work out for the both of them.  And I'm sure it was Maki who asked the pirates for help.  Who else would it be?

Now the big question is who's ship is bearing down on Aya? 

Can't wait for the next chapter!  Update again soon!

Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: C60533 on April 21, 2007, 05:02:30 AM
^ Why am I always stuck in this position?

KAMEI!! LOVE THE TURTLE! I now want a turtle. I want it to be delivered in a crate. I will name the turtle Speedy or Dusty. Then I will by 2 rabbits. One will have a wonky eye and I will dress it in purple. The other I will dress in pink. Seriously though, that scene was Awesome. KAMEI RULES!

And Ai...you know you love Risa. You know you want her. You're in a cellar all alone with her. TAKE THE BLOODY CHANCE DAMMIT!!! TAKAGAKI is  :heart:

And the Navy is having issues....that no fun...Aya...whas up???

AND you brought back the pranksters! yay! Everyone needs comic relief.

Looking forward to the Sayu moments and Thank you for allowing me not to think. ^_^ My craving is satisfied. I is high and happy...(and sleep deprived)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: JFC on April 21, 2007, 06:19:30 AM
Quote
JFC: You look surprised by smart Sayu. XD
Well, it IS Sayu after all. :P


Quote
Yossi smoothly diverted Miki by grabbing a somewhat spaced out Ai and shoving the distracted barmaid in front of the groping demon. Predictably, the devil took the bait, and a surprised Ai squeaked and leapt away when a certain wandering hand decided to make itself known to her.

Rika giggled as Yossi returned to her side. "Was that necessary?" She asked. Yossi shrugged. "Not really, but it's the fastest way to stop Miki."
Damn, Miki just can't pass up any groping opportunity now, can she? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)


Quote
the sudden brake in motion sending the girl slamming into the wall with a heavy thud. For a moment, Eri saw little turtles flying around her head as she struggled to regain her bearings.
That's a cute picture if I've ever seen/heard one.


Quote
She wasn't quite sure about the legality of the whole thing, since she dimly recalled that ship captains could only perform binding marriages when aboard their own ship, and Nakazawa-san certainly hadn't been on her own ship when that crazy thing had come down. Of course, if she chanced to mention that, the pirate captain might just go chase after Risa, drag the poor girl back, and haul them both off to her own ship and redo the whole ceremony again. It was something that the decidedly eccentric woman would do, knowing her, so Ai decided to keep her mouth shut for the time being.
That actually DOES sound like something Yuko would do. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/LOL.gif)


Quote
She was just going around in circles trying to find a conclusion that was acceptable to her. And, she realised with a jolt, the acceptable conclusion she had been looking for would be that she felt nothing but friendship for Risa. The evidence in her head simply wasn't pointing very strongly in that direction though.

...

I'm not in love, I'm not in love, I'm not in love. She repeated to herself. I'm just, um, in lust. Maybe.
Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. Keep telling yourself that and you may actually start to believe it.  :rolleyes:



NOT!!! 


Quote
"You LET her go?! How could you!!!" Maki exploded at Natsumi, heedless of the rain as it poured down around them. Yuuki, in the background, tried to calm his sister down by taking hold of her raised arm, but Maki only shook it off angrily.
Of course, Maki has to be the hotheaded one within the ship's command structure.  Her strength lies in her emotions, unfortunately they can also cause her to be rash/impulsive (like how she's being now).


Quote
"You know that if you step out now, you're no longer a part of the Royal Navy." Natsumi said it quite flatly and unemotionally, keeping a tight rein in on her emotions. Maki barely paused in her stride, casting a brief glance backwards.

"I stopped being part of the Royal Navy the moment they screwed us over like this." Her voice softened slightly. "Take care of yourself Nacchi."

Natsumi didn't reply, but her knuckles were white as she clenched her fists and turned away from the door. Maki felt a painful twinge at the subtle rejection, then steeled herself before running back out into the rain, too many words left unsaid between them.

I'm sorry Nacchi...but I can't not go...please understand...
She probably does, but she still has orders to obey. Gyahhh it's like a heartbreaking lovers' quarrell. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  :frustrated: :pleeease:


Quote
Risa had also returned some time before the rain fell, and had immediately gone off to look for Ai. As for what they were doing and where, no one except Ayaka knew (or cared, really). The proprietress was a bit confused to see them disappear into the cellar (for a talk, as Ai explained hurriedly to her boss before), but decided not to ask too many questions. She also decided not to question why the two were taking so long. Or why they looked suspiciously dishevelled when they finally did emerge. Some things were best left unasked.
Nothing like a good old-fashioned "talk" (in the cellar).  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/yep.gif)



Quote
"We saw some guy in a navy uniform!"

Yuko yawned. "Old news, next please."
Ah, undoubtedly part of the crew that came to arrest Aya & crew.  :k-mad:


Quote
"Anyway, yeah, so Navy Guy was down at the waterfront with this other huge man who looks a lot like him, just not in uniform." She went on, and Tsuji added. "Probably brothers or something."

...

"You know that one, the one that Miki was sucking face with earlier."
Well, that was subtle.  :hee: :kekeke:



Quote
Silence. Miki leapt to her feet. "What?" The twins ssexy beasted at her reaction and Reina looked faintly amused. "Are you telling me Fujimoto scored again so quickly?"

"Shut up, you." Miki growled, then looked at the twins. "What happened next?"
IT'S A SIGN!!! IT'S RABU RABU!!  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/wub.gif)


Quote
Their little moment of reverie was broken when someone else burst in through the front, eyes wild and dripping wet, startling the heck out of the occupants in the tavern.

"What the..." Miki started, one blade in hand ready to cast, before she recognised just who had burst in. There was no further preamble from the intruder, only a very flatly simple line.

"I need your help."
Maki went to the pirates! Not much choice really, considering they were the only other sailors that she knew of in that port. 


Quote
Aya didn't recall much of her escape from the ship.

...

There had been nowhere to go after getting up on deck, since the ship had left port and were heading out to sea. The guards had been closing in, and so the only way to go was out. Into the sea.

She had dived cleanly overboard, quite thankful of the fact that there were no sharks around here, but the contact of seawater against her shoulder wound was shockingly painful.
Saltwater + wound = not fun. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/no.gif)


Quote
Yuuki: What the...oh that is so it. Oy sis, care to help me beat Estrea up?
Maki: -walks up- Considering what she did to Aya... -demonic look-
Me: Oy, you can't...wait....no! NOT THAT!!! x____x
Da man?  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/twisted.gif)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Econxp on April 21, 2007, 06:54:07 AM
HELL YEAH, AN UPDATE!!!!! :heart: seriously im addicted to your fic, i hav a feeling nacchi's going against order to save aya! XD yay more tanaXkame, yay for the twins appearance!!!  'it's not love...maybe it's just lust' lmao. Aww Miki's worried :heart: i officially declare this as my #1 favorite fanfic!! congrats!! ;D ;D

always waiting for your update,
-Econxp
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Ren on April 21, 2007, 08:13:37 AM
I mistakenly read it as "jabbing Eri's butt with her harpoon" :lol:
Loving the Tanaka Kamei interaction XD. Can't wait for Reina to really give a jab at Eri's butt for revenge XD.

I have a feeling Aichan and Gaki will be a kind of runaway couple, because its kind of unfair to just have one person give up their usual life (Gaki as a sailor and Aichan as a barmaid)... So they both leave their life and starts a new life together, happily ever after! *smacked* XD

The one who asked Miki for help must be Maki O_O. Must beeeee~ or or.. Is it Aya? She's free now? O_O
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Mikan on April 21, 2007, 12:43:48 PM
Hmmm, I enjoyed this chapter. It had all the things answered I want and such...BUT
BUT BUT BA BA BA BALENTINES (Sorry)
But,!
It all fit in one post...
What gives?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: glcorps2002 on April 21, 2007, 05:24:13 PM
After all of the other chapters I've read, I wonder what you'll have Erika and Yui do in your story, if they are going to be in it. Now what was the mission that got Megumi shot? Does it involve Aya's sister? And I'm betting that Aya's crew was in the ship that was headed to her.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 22, 2007, 03:05:11 AM
I'm starved for mentions of W, but I totally dug the Reina Eri interaction. Poor Nacchi, stuck between duty and friendship. I wonder what'll happen next?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on April 22, 2007, 08:49:39 AM
OMG. Nacchi and Gotou Nacchi and Gotou Nacchi and Gotou. NACCHI AND GOTOU! (O)___(O)
Just so you know, if Gotou dies, I'm gonna be really pissed at you ¬___¬ I really like this pairing, so if they never get back together, you get to die again.
Sometimes I get this feeling that Abe might be jealous of why Gotou cares so much of Aya. Then again, Gotou and Aya did go through a lot...
Teehee Miki's reaction with the sucking face. "Sucking Face" Ah, the Love Hina term.
OH YES! I SOOOO Can not wait for the two crews to work together to save someone! I already know it's gonna be G.

Mmm, sleep deprived and unfinished projects. It was worth it, fic is like woah.

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Tinnygy on April 22, 2007, 09:27:22 AM
Wow, Nacchi and Gocchan argued, stop it, I don't like it at all ><

And poor Aya, Saltwater is hurt for wound, someone must safe her ><

Maki need Miki helps??? This gonna be good! ^^

Wait for your next chapter, Estrea ^.^
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: orangesocks on April 22, 2007, 03:36:15 PM
GAH! The Kamei and Tanaka bits were so funny!  :D
Quote
Or rather, Reina was just slow, but let's not mention that when she's waving around a large harpoon.
[...]
"What am I, some kind of monster you have to flee from?" The pirate seemed completely unaware of the fact that even as she spoke, she was waving her harpoon around for emphasis, and was thus freaking the crap out of Eri.
[...]
Reina frowned and muttered something about crates, turtles, and crazy girls under her breath.
:lol: Another comedy duo  :D

And...Risa coming back for Ai!!!  :shy2: I like how these two are sorting out their feelings while simultaneously acting out on them.  :hee:

Nacchi must run after Gocchin! :'(

I'm still wondering how Sayumi and Koharu are going to be involved in all of this.
I'm thinking...Melon Kinenbi must help someone (Aya+crew?), then Koharu finds out and decides to help Aya too by putting in a good word with her uncle(?) But Sayu...um. KAMESHIGE. I don't know.  :p
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: coachie on April 23, 2007, 05:34:32 PM
A short chapter (for your standards) but it didn't feel short at all with all the stuff happening. Everything's already been said so I just sit back and wait for what's to come...
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: len.chan on April 24, 2007, 09:01:28 PM
TakaGaki! TakaGaki! TakaGaki!
you know... I'm still not sure if it's Maki the one who went to the pirates for help (somehow, in my head, something tells me that it could be Nacchi as well XD) but if it's her.. Yay! for desperate measures XD It'll be fun to see if Miki and Gottsan can work together
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Estrea on April 25, 2007, 12:31:15 PM
Comment reply time! Sorry for the wait everyone!

Yuu: Yeah Eri and Reina are hilarious. XD As for Nacchi and Maki, I won't keep them away from each other for too long, so don't worry. As for Aya, well you'll see. :D

Blizzard: Hehe Kamei the ninja turtle. XD Well you'll see the answer to most of your questions in the next chapter. XD

C60533: I love how you babble. XD I want a turtle too. :D And I hope this next chapter eases the craving sufficiently. :D

JFC: Hello again, mass quoter. :P As usual, I am glad you enjoyed reading. XD

Econxp: Gee, are you clairvoyant? Yeah Nacchi's gonna ignore orders. :P You'll see how that works in the next chapter. ;) And thanks for declaring this your favorite fanfic. XD

Ren: LOL...actually I mistyped it the first time and it DID come out the way you misread it... >_> We'll see what happens between Reina and Eri, don't worry. XD As for your other questions, the next chapter should solve most of them. XD

Mikan: They got rid of the character limit yay, so I can stick everything in one post. :D

glcorps: Erika and Yui have some slightly interesting parts later. Just wait for it. :D About the mission where Megumi gets shot, well, all will be revealed in good time. You'll see. :D

rndmn: I'm really sorry about not having enough W time, but I'll make up for it eventually. Patience.

slave: Gee, where did you get the idea that I'll kill Maki? XD And don't worry, I like them too much to separate those two. Get more sleep dear, even if my fic is "woah", it won't run away even while you sleep. :P

Tinnygy: Don't worry, I'll make sure everything turns out fine...sort of. :D

orangesocks: Yep, Tanakamei is another comedy duo. XD As for Nacchi, she IS running after Gocchin...eventually. XD As for Sayu and Koha, well, their places in the plot will be important later. You'll see. XD

coachie: 5500 words a short chapter? What have I done? Have I set crazy standards for myself? Haha, strap yourself in for the ride to come! ^_^

len.chan: Yeah Takagaki FTW. XD Miki and Maki are definitely not going to see eye to eye, and it's going to be fun to see them scuffle. XD


Well that's it for comments. Phew. Now wait up for the chapter! It's gonna be a long one!

Anyone gonna wedge? XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 19]
Post by: Estrea on April 25, 2007, 12:45:10 PM
Chapter 20


"Well, excuse me, but I don't see why I should be risking me and my crew to interfere in something that is none of our business." Yuko, despite having built up a nice tower of empty rum bottles on the table in front of her, sounded complete sober and clearheaded when she replied. With a small burp, the pirate captain carefully added another newly emptied bottle to her masterpiece, making it wobble a little, but the delicate glass structure appeared to be holding steady.

Maki gritted her teeth in frustration, having been persuaded by Ayaka earlier to take a seat and dry off before trying to explain her situation. The former naval lieutenant had a definite sense of urgency around her, not that you could blame her. After all, her best friend had just been hauled off on myriad charges (that don't even apply!) and Maki had a very bad feeling about the whole thing. Time was of the essence here, and those people already had too much of a lead on her already.

Yuko hadn't been very interested in, or particularly impressed by what Maki had to say. For one thing, Yuko didn't like to get involved in such internal matters of the Royal Navy. A wise pirate knew better than to associate with the authorities if they were to live to sail for another day. Besides, it just didn't seem worth the trouble...nor was it interesting enough to hold her notoriously fickle attention.

Seeing that she was not making any headway with the pirate captain, Maki was about ready to dash out again and find someone else willing to help her, when Rika pointedly caught her eye and gave her a look. A look that said "calm down!". After all, running around like a headless chicken wasn't going to solve any problems.

"Umm, Lieutenant..." Risa tried, having been very concerned by the news that Aya had been taken away. The former navy sailor, despite having shed her own connection to the Royal Navy earlier, still retained a certain amount of loyalty for her former crew. Not to mention the fact that it had been Captain Matsuura who had appreciated her ability enough to pick her for this voyage. If not for that, she would never have met Ai, and never felt so strongly about someone that she had felt compelled to stay behind for her sake. Human emotion was a peculiar thing. Risa had been sure that it had begun as an obligation of sorts, but quickly found that she was rather fond of her Ai-chan, and boy, her wife was really good with her...

...nevertheless! Risa shook her head to clear it. Her mind was displaying a disturbing tendency to wander down dangerous paths ever since she met Ai, it seemed. She didn't know whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. But back to the matter at hand.

"What? Why are you here?" Maki asked, giving Risa an evil glare, making the younger girl swallow nervously.

"I left the crew to stay with Ai-chan..." It was barely above a murmur, but Ayaka was looking approvingly at Risa for the confession. Ai herself was beaming (and blushing slightly), squeezing Risa's hand in encouragement. The twins took only a moment to comprehend the information before their eyes lit up.

"Congratulations~" Kago waved at the pair, while Tsuji was grinning and giving the now horribly flushed Takahashi a thumbs up. The older twin paused, tilting her head to one side as she remembered something fairly important.

"Did anyone tell Mako-chan about this?" She pointed out thoughtfully. Everyone else save for Maki (who was seething about being ignored), Rika (who didn't know who this "Mako-chan" was) and Risa (who was still blissfully clueless about most things) paused, before shaking their heads in unison. The barmaid clapped a hand to her mouth.

"I forgot!" Tsuji shook her head disapprovingly. "Tsk, you two are friends aren't you? How could you forget to tell her that you now have someone else in your life?" She clucked her tongue in disappointment, while Ai hung her head, ashamed.

"Well it only happened this morning!" Risa defended the lapse, one arm snaking around her wife's waist and pulling the older woman closer to her unconsciously.

"Not to be self centered but...can we please get back to MY problem?" Maki interrupted abruptly. Yuko waved a hand dismissively in her direction.

"I thought I said no already." Maki made an impolite noise, her mind running quickly through her options as she pushed the worst of her anxiety aside to focus on the matter at hand. She was quite literally grasping at straws, when her mind hit on something she could possibly work on.

"You." Miki raised an eyebrow when directly addressed. "Yes?" The devil's eyes ran astray for a moment. "...nice boobs you have there, by the way."

"Whatever, they're not yours anyway." Maki brushed the compliment(?) aside without a second thought. "You are interested in Aya, aren't you?"

The eyebrow raised higher, and Miki sounded amused when she replied. "Only on physical terms. She sure is feisty though... so much fun." A smirk was on Miki's face as she remembered the assorted reactions she had garnered from Aya earlier, as well as Aya's rather clever attempts at shutting her out. Miki always did like a challenge.

Maki bit her lip. This was proving rather difficult to say. Had it been simply asking Yuko for the favor, it would have been comparatively easier. But this was Miki. This was the person who had shamelessly laid claim on her best friend, along with groping and kissing said best friend with or without permission. Maki didn't really approve of Miki. She thought that the other girl was a bad influence. Heck, she herself might be a bit of a casanova on some days, but at least she never really went quite as far as to hit on Aya this blatantly. But desperate times called for desperate measures, and even if Maki had to beg for help from someone she personally despised, she would do it.

"Aya owes you a favor because you saved her life, isn't that right?" Miki nodded, looking at Maki with a curious expression, wondering what the other could be up to. Maki exhaled slowly as she thought very quickly.

"You really want to collect that favor in ah, more, physical terms, don't you?" Maki was really struggling with her hastily put together argument, even if her outward demeanour didn't betray that much. Miki smirked at the reference to her assumed dishonorable intentions towards Aya's person...not that she cared to deny that fact. It was after all, the whole truth. "Of course." There was no attempt to even mask her response. The other pirates snickered in the background.

Maki hid a smile even as part of her more protective side wanted to just go rip the smirk off Miki's face, but she regained inner control fairly quickly. This was turning out rather in her favor. "Then, it seems, you do have to assist me in that case." Miki frowned in confusion. "What?"

A shrewd look crossed Maki's eyes. "Aya's been taken away, with secret orders for termination. In this case, that means she won't be able to return the favor. And so, under the circumstances, if you want to get it back from her, you have to save her...again." Maki then hit on something else as she laid out her case. "Oh, and if you do help to save her again, that means she owes you twice. That gives you more leverage over her, doesn't it?" Even as she said that, Maki wanted to smack herself for even suggesting it to the knife-throwing pirate. Sorry Aya, but I have to save you somehow...

Miki narrowed her eyes, clearly considering the argument that Maki had placed in front of her. On one hand, the busty woman was right. But on second thoughts, why did she have to go to such lengths in order to claim that favor from some girl anyway? Granted, Aya was really hot and everything, with an attitude to boot, but was it really worth the trouble?

Even as she pondered that, Yuko put in her own two cents.

"There are more fish out in the sea Fujimoto. No need to go chasing after someone on death row." Maki glared at the older woman, who simply shrugged it off, completely unbothered. It took more than a death glare from a young puppy to scare THE Nakazawa Yuko, after all.

Ironically, Yuko's statement had the opposite effect than intended on Miki. The girl did like to be contrary after all. And besides, Miki thought to herself, she really wanted to see the look on Aya's face when the other girl discovered that she owed her life to Miki...again. The thought of being able to harass Aya once more cheered Miki up considerably.

"Should be fun to do." Miki remarked to a visibly triumphant Maki, before turning to face Yuko. "Oy captain, let's go after them. Didn't you say it was boring earlier? We could use a little excitement right now."

"Not this kind of excitement, we don't." Yuko rejected the proposal flatly. Miki's forehead creased in thought, searching for a good way to get around that. Her eyes met with those of the twins, and subtle nods exchanged between them. Yossi hid a grin at the hidden byplay. This should be interesting to watch.

"Why, is our great captain afraid of the big bad Royal Navy?" Miki drawled impudently, clearly resorting to underhanded means in order to win the argument. Frankly, with Kago and Tsuji on her side, it was only a matter of time before those three found a way to persuade Yuko (or simply outmaneuver her).

"Don't try to bait me, you insolent little pup." Yuko waved a bottle at a grinning Miki, who glanced at the twins meaningfully.

The two adolescents quickly hopped over to their grumpy captain's side, one on the left and one on the right, and started the double-team effort, otherwise known as the Twins Effect. Yossi stifled a guffaw as Yuko was suddenly jumped on by two hyperactive girls, whining and pleading and going all puppy-eyed to appeal to the little known softer side of the pirate captain. Yuko might seem like a gruff, surly drunkard who rode roughshod over everyone in her way, but she was actually quite nice and protective towards the younger members of her own crew. Yossi speculated that it was some kind of maternal instinct working its way out, but declined to comment further on the matter...at least not in public.

Maki watched in interest as Yuko's resolve slowly seemed to wear down. Miki sauntered over to the taller woman's side, leaning familiarly in to whisper.

"You might want to offer some incentive to help it along. I've done my part." With that, Miki winked and patted Maki's butt, before slithering away slippery as an eel. Maki settled for an evil look in the pirate's direction for the invasion of her personal space (only a very limited number of people can touch her), then frowned as she tried to think what Miki could be suggesting. Her eyes strayed to the large number of empty rum bottles on the table, an idea popping to mind.

"You know, if you help me find Aya, I can get you some of the finest Balvarian wine." Yuko froze in her attempts to ward off the twins, turning woodenly to face Maki. "Are you serious?" Rika stifled a chuckle at the undisguised longing on the older woman's face. Balvarian wine was native to the northern steppes where the nomadic horse clans roamed, and it was notoriously difficult to gain part of their limited produce for trade. The chill climate produced a rather unique sort of alcohol that most people with weaker stomachs would not be able handle. It was a fiery liquid, but those who could manage to drink it without being knocked out immediately knew the merits of the liquor. Yuko had had one sip of it many years ago, and she never really forgot the taste as it burned down her throat with the intensity of a holy fire.

"You can?" Maki smirked. Hook, line and sinker. "My father has trade contacts with a few of the clans up there. I'm sure I have some bottles of it in my cellar."

Yuko was caught and she knew it. Heck, everyone with eyes and two brain cells to rub together knew it. Reina sighed in her corner. "I guess we set sail again..." The teen muttered under her breath. Yossi cast a glance in her direction. "Aw, it's not so bad. At least it's not typhoon season."

"Yet." Reina added grumpily. "In a few months, it will be." Yossi laughed openly and got up to where Reina was sitting, ruffling the girl's hair affectionately. "Lighten up Grumpy, you'll feel better once you're at sea." Reina mumbled incoherently and hugged her oversized harpoon to herself.

"Time to set off again then!" Yuko sounded inordinately motivated to start on a quest she didn't even want to take up in the first place. Ayaka nodded in acknowledgment.

"Um..." Risa sounded a little torn, glancing rapidly in between Ai and Maki. "Uh..." She looked like she was about to start hyperventilating again as she wavered inwardly between staying behind and joining Maki to help get Aya back. Ai gave her an understanding look, having heard earlier from Risa about how much the girl had owed to Aya for picking her for the voyage. "You can go along if you want." The barmaid said softly, touching Risa's arm gently. The younger girl had a grateful expression on her face at the blessing.

"Well~ Why restrict it to just the brat? You can come along to Ai-chan, I'm sure Makoto will be thrilled to have you on board too..." Miki had somehow materialised next to the couple, and was leaning in too close to Ai for her comfort. Ayaka clucked her tongue disapprovingly. "Quit trying to steal all my employees!" Although her eyes were amused more than actually upset. If it was with Yuko and her crew, Ayaka could trust them to take care of Ai.

"Can I...really?" Ai blinked. She had never really considered leaving the port town before, but now the prospect didn't seem too frightening. To tell the truth, she always did want to see what the world was like outside sleepy little Klashnik, beyond the rowdy pirates that came in for drinks. Yuko grinned at the deerlike expression on a startled Ai's face. "Of course you can, we have plenty of room."

"Actually, we're undermanned as it is." Reina grumbled. "Another set of hands around would make it easier." Yossi prodded her in the side. "Ow, hey! What's that for?" The taller pirate smiled devilishly. "If you don't lighten up soon, I'll set the twins on you." At the mention of their names, aforementioned twins turned around with gleaming eyes. Reina gulped and shot to her feet, a patently false smile plastered on her face. "Wonderful to have you on board Takahashi!"

"Well if at least two real sailors are joining us, does that mean our shifts get shorter too?" Miki asked hopefully. Yossi snorted. "Always looking for a way to slack off, eh Miki?" Miki winked back. "Of course!"

Yuko clapped her hands together briskly, standing up. "Well, enough babbling, let's get ready to go. We need to track them down quickly."

Miki stared at her captain. "It's still raining, you know." Yuko shrugged. "A little rain won't kill you Fujimoto. You survived being clobbered in the head, remember?"

"That's different! And I don't feel like getting wet!" Miki whined. Maki, however, having heard enough of the pirate's complaints, marched over to where Miki stood and grabbed the shorter girl by the scruff of her neck, hauling her away from the counter she was leaning against. "Come on you little slacker, let's move."

"Yossi! Help!" Miki gagged as she flailed around from the death grip Maki had on her neck (and throat...Maki wasn't above taking a little revenge at the same time). The boyish pirate scratched at her chin thoughtfully, before going over with a wide grin on her face. The twins, already doubled over in guffaws from the way Maki was manhandling Miki, exploded in laughter when Yossi, instead of helping Miki, chose to lend a hand to Maki, restraining and marching the protesting girl out into the rain.

"Well now that that's settled, Takahashi, you can join us in a while after you finish packing. We won't be leaving that quickly, but don't take your own sweet time coming. We do have a ship to chase down." Yuko calmly informed the barmaid, before gathering the youngsters around herself and herding them out of the front door.

The three remaining in the now empty tavern stared at their retreating backs. Risa was the first to speak, scratching at the back of her head with a confused expression.

"...well that was weird." Ayaka and Ai agreed wordlessly.

This was going to be one interesting voyage.

~*~*~

She felt...dislocated.

That was her first thought upon swimming her way to land of the conscious with painful strokes. Her body felt like it was dismembered into several pieces and chucked all over the place, despite her consciousness being partly aware that this would be impossible to accomplish given the fact that she was still alive. Well, she assumed she was still alive, considering she was capable of thought at the moment. Unless of course, she was already dead and/or having a really weird out-of-body experience.

"Unngh..." The sound emitted from her throat, giving her the indication that yes, she was still in her body and hopefully mostly still alive. Her shoulder was on fire, and her head felt like someone just stepped all over it and then beat it senseless with a shovel. Her eyes were gummed shut, her body itching and feeling sore all at the same time.

In other words, Aya felt like crap dug out from the 18th circle of Hell, but somehow she was still alive. Barely.

"...good...awake..." Someone's voice filtered through to her ears distantly, seeming both very far and very near at the same time. Disorientation and headaches weren't helping her in her sense perception, it appeared. Now, if only she didn't go on feeling like she was having a really bizarre case of out-of-body experience...

"Mmfrgh..." Her lips weren't really moving properly along to her command. Something cool was pressed to her lips, and she would have sighed in satisfaction if she were able, as water from a bowl of some sort was tipped carefully into her mouth. The cool liquid eased the pricking pain in her throat, and Aya grudgingly tried to force her eyelids open, blurry images meeting her vision as she did so. It took her awhile before the image cleared up and sharpened back into the proper focus.

Two people. Two people she really didn't expect to see. One of them she didn't mind so much, and was strangely unsurprised by his presence. The other one, however, she could rather do without seeing for the rest of her life. He was just about the last person she wanted to see right now.

"...urgggh...Tachibana...?" Her voice croaked out, even as she blinked to make sure she wasn't seeing things. "What the fuck are you doing out here?"

Tachibana Keita winced at the use of coarse language by a girl he had been admiring from afar ever since he saw her. Granted, Aya was ill, weak, bedraggled and about half-drowned, but that was no excuse to resort to the coarse tongues of the common folk. She was still a lady to him, no matter how high a rank to which she climbed to in the Royal Navy, and he didn't very much like this lack of refinement in her. Nevertheless, they do say that love is blind, so he could overlook it just this once.

The other man behind Keita coughed discreetly to shift the attention back to himself. Aya knew him as well, had known him ever since she was little. A friend of her father's, older brother to the man who had let her go earlier when she had been captured...wait, what was going on here? Why did one brother let her go only for another to pick her up? Was it pre-arranged or something? Her head hurt. Nearly drowning while still suffering from the ill effects of a poisoning did that to someone.

"I understand you have many questions." The man said gravely. His voice was deeper than his younger brother's, and was rather soothing. "I will explain to you in due time, but now you must rest first."

Aya grunted dismissively as she forced herself to a sitting position despite her dizziness. "I'll be fine." She slurred slightly, wiping at her slack lips with the back of her hand and rubbing at her eyes. "Ugh."

The man couldn't help but smile. "Stubborn as usual, I see." Aya, despite her less than ideal condition, managed to smirk at him.

"It's in the blood." The former navy captain pulled herself together with some effort, straightening up and looking the man in the eye. "Now I would like to know why an explorer like yourself is helping someone like me." Aya sounded rather ironic as she said "explorer", and a small smile twitched at the older man's lips. Despite the fact that his younger brother was serving in the Royal Navy, he himself was not officially employed in the naval forces, preferring to sail the seas in search of entertainment. Or at least, not many people knew that he was one of the unofficial private contractees to the Empire's military arm, a kind of a civilian collaborator in a sense, not fully obligated to the Navy, but being paid per assignment while roaming freely around the rest of the time.

Aya knew of his status of course, since she had found out by accident when she eavesdropped on her father as a child. To her credit, she didn't spread it around, having had some modicum of good sense even as a little girl. Knowing that his daughter would keep it quiet, her father didn't punish her too severely for being sneaky and eavesdropping on them either.

"There are reasons, but firstly, how could I not rescue someone lost at sea? Basic seafaring etiquette." The man quipped, drawing a choked chuckle from Aya, even as his gaze flicked briefly to Keita. Aya caught the look and understood that he was unwilling to share too much with that pretty boy in the room. She sighed.

"Ah of course, of course." She coughed delicately, glancing at Keita. "Will you please leave me for the moment? I think I need to rest."

Ever the gentleman, Keita immediately got the hint and moved out of the room, leaving the room to the other two. The older man looked amused.

"You got him wrapped around your little finger, haven't you?" He noted astutely. Aya sighed, this time ruefully. "I wish I could unwrap him and throw him out to the sharks."

He snickered. "That bad, I see?" Then he got serious.

"And yes, if you're wondering, my brother and I did plan this. He lets you go, I rescue you with no one else the wiser. My crew's loyal to me, so no one will let it slip that you were seen onboard here. I'll get you somewhere safe in the meantime. Can't let you die without a trial at least. Least we can do for your father." He walked a little closer to the low cot that Aya was resting on. "We don't know who ordered that secret termination or why, but we do know that whoever did it was probably well connected." He looked seriously at Aya. "You're in a great deal of trouble, you know that?"

A dry laugh escaped her lips. "Yes, yes I am. I can't thank you enough for this you know, both you and your brother." Frowning slightly, Aya continued. "About my father, does he know about this?"

A sharp hiss of breath escaped his lips, and he looked grim. "I'm afraid that's part of the problem. We haven't heard from Admiral Matsuura in a while now. No news at all. I don't know what happened exactly, but it's as if he just vanished off the face of the earth." Aya paled significantly, and she began to tremble a little. The man laid a large hand on her arm, attempting to comfort her, but Aya shrugged it off, pulling herself together with a deep breath.

"I have to find my father." Aya's voice was firm, then her forehead creased in thought again as she thought of something else. "About my crew, will they really be spared?"

"Eiji said that he will do his best to block any inquiries in that direction. He's heading back to the capital at full speed now." The man shrugged. "In any case, we have a backup plan in case we can't stop charges being pressed." He smiled at the worried girl in front of him. "You'd be surprised at the number of other admirals and higher officials in the navy ready to help intervene the moment they heard the name 'Matsuura'. Your father is a good man, and the rest of us will do our best to help. So don't worry too much."

Aya smiled faintly. "That's good, I guess." The man suddenly chuckled at something, making Aya look at him questioningly. The man simply shook his head ruefully.

"You end up worrying about everyone else other than yourself. Aren't you keen on clearing your own name?" He looked amused. "You're just like your father."

Aya smiled and was about to ask more questions, but the man shushed her. "Oh no, enough for now. You really do have to rest and get better. I'll come by later to check on you, and no, I won't let that pretty boy in to disturb you, don't worry."

"One last question," she pressed again. He raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Why is Tachibana on your ship anyway?"

The man sighed dramatically. "Duke Tachibana asked me to take his son along to search for the boy's missing fiancee. I'm getting rather well paid for playing escort, but I've been wondering if bringing a landlubber like him on a voyage is a good idea. Damn boy threw up constantly during his first week out at sea. Luckily the pay was sizable, otherwise I would have thrown him overboard, Duke's son or not." Aya snorted at the account, clearly unsympathetic to the story of Keita's suffering.

"Well, rest well then. We'll talk later." Aya nodded a little reluctantly, easing back onto the cot, her thoughts already racing far from where she was currently, deep in worry for the fate of her family and friends.

I hope everyone else is safe...

~*~*~

"Are you serious about this?" Yuuki asked. Natsumi sighed.

"Yes I am. That stubborn mule you have for a sister will probably get herself into a whole lot of trouble without someone watching her back. Aya would have my head if I let her best friend jump headfirst into trouble with her eyes shut." They were interrupted by the sound of someone entering the room.

"Ah there you are. We need to talk." Natsumi said briskly to the grizzled old sailor that limped in. The veteran grunted. "Whaddya want, rookie?" He was the only one who got away with talking like that to his superiors, at least on board this ship he did. Aya, Maki, and Natsumi all viewed him with a great deal of respect, and so let him get away with mouthing off like that. The combined sailing experience of the three officers probably didn't even add up to what this old sailor had, so in the old man's opinion, he had all the right in the world to call them rookies.

Natsumi smiled. "I suppose you know what I'm going to do already, don't you?" The veteran grunted and limped forward, squinting at the small woman standing before him.

"Pshaw, you're going after that young hothead eh? Don't know what you see in her." He cleared his throat and spat derisively. Natsumi sighed. "I have my reasons."

"So you do." He agreed. "And yer want me to bring this old tub back home and take care of them younglings for you, eh?" Natsumi nodded. "You're the only one really qualified to take control if the rest of us aren't here." The old sailor snorted.

"Bah, I know the seas, but those ranking men won't listen to me, on account of the fact that I'm untitled trash to them. You know that well enough, don't you?" Natsumi nodded in understanding. She had encountered the same problem before since she herself was also a commoner. If not for the Admiral's support, she would have had even more problems though.

"That's why I'm placing the boy here in command...for appearances of course." The First Mate nodded in Yuuki's direction. The boy blinked. "Me?"

"Yes you." Yuuki frowned. "I thought I would be coming along with you."

Natsumi shook her head. "I'm sorry, but your sister did tell you to stay behind, and I need someone I can trust to take the helm." She turned to the veteran sailor. "I trust you can take care of things behind the scenes, right?" The older man shot her a dirty look, as if insulted that she even had to ask in the first place. She chuckled.

"Then that's settled. Can you please inform the rest of the crew about the changes?" The old sailor nodded gruffly and limped out. Before he was completely out of the door though, he turned back to look at her.

"Take care of yerself out there, ya hear? Yer a good kid." He glared at Yuuki, who cringed back. "I hope that muleheaded sister of yours learns to appreciate what she has." Natsumi grinned at him. "Sentimentality, old man?" He snorted derisively. "Not while I have breath, you little rookie." With that, he left the room.

"I can't believe you're going to just leave me with him." Yuuki complained. Natsumi smiled and walked over to him, patting his shoulder. "There there, you'll live. Treat it as a learning experience." Yuuki sighed. "Take care of my sister when you find her, will you?"

"Of course." Natsumi promised. Yuuki got a serious look in his eye then.

"You know, about my sister..." He started hesitantly. She looked at him questioningly. "You know she's really dense and everything, but don't give up on her. She just needs a good smack upside the head to get the point sometimes." He paused. "Don't tell her I said that." Nacchi smiled and nodded, but Yuuki wasn't done yet.

"I know you like my sister a lot." His expression told Natsumi that he did know what he was talking about, and she bit her lip. "You don't mind...?" Yuuki grinned sheepishly and rubbed at the back of his head. "Eh, it's not like sis is really discreet about her preferences,  and if I had to pick someone to be my sister-in-law..." He looked shyly at Natsumi. "...I rather it be you anyway."

Natsumi smiled, a strangely sadder one than her usual one. "You would make a great little brother too, but, you know..." Yuuki sighed.

"Big sis really doesn't know what she has right by her side sometimes. Just, you know, don't give up on her yet. I'm sure she'll come round some day..." He sounded a little unconvinced himself, but forced a kind of optimism into his voice just for Nacchi's sake. She smiled a little sadly at his efforts.

"Don't worry, I'll get them back all safely." She patted him on the shoulder again. "Take care of yourself, alright?"

He enveloped her in a sudden hug. "Be careful out there." He muttered, before releasing the smaller woman.

"I will." With that, Natsumi headed out. Yuuki stared after her, sighing lightly.

"I hope my stupid sister knows how lucky she is..."

~*~*~

Maki sneezed, halfway to the pirate ship, Yossi leading the way with Miki sulking in between them.

"Cold?" Yossi hollered over the sound of the rain. Maki shook her head.

"It's nothing!" Miki scoffed at that, only to wince painfully when Maki deliberately dug her fingers into the recalcitrant pirate's arm. The two of them glared at each other.

"Play nice kids!" Yossi sighed. Why did she have a feeling that it was going to be a long journey?

~*~*~

Eri was lurking. There was no other word for it. Technically, she was being a stowaway, hiding aboard some ship she had selected at random, figuring that she could score a quick ride to some other port before signing up with another crew officially. She had had just about enough of being part of the Royal Navy, though she wasn't quite ready to give up the life of a sailor.

It was a dangerous move, she knew, but she figured the worst they could do to her was throw her overboard. But she knew she could stay hidden well enough, with her love for tiny spaces, and she knew how to remain unobserved when necessary. Sneaking around was sort of a forte of hers by now.

With a little sigh of resignation, she huddled in between some barrels and sacks in the lower deck, making herself sort of comfortable but remaining quiet as a mouse. She hoped that she didn't have to wait too long before the ship set off. And she definitely hoped that no one would discover her.

Voices. She couldn't hear it clearly, since the rain outside muffled the sound. There was what sounded like a yelp, then the sound of someone falling over quite loudly onto the lower deck. Eri quickly retreated further back into her makeshift hiding spot, making sure that no random body part could be conveniently seen at a distance.

There was some light cursing, and the dripping sound of water hitting the planks. Clearly, whoever it was had been out in the rain. Light footsteps clicked across the deck, causing a wave of apprehension to rise within Eri, even as she rolled into a tinier ball within her hiding place, hoping not to be discovered.

Some muttering from that unknown person, and Eri caught words like "potatoes", "stupid", "scary cleaver" and notably "I hate rain". The voice sounded feminine, so it had to be a woman. But man or woman, Eri simply didn't want to be found either way. Although, that voice sounded sort of familiar...

The footsteps were getting too close. Holding her breath, and hoping that the rapid thudding of her heart wouldn't give her position away, Eri waited.

When a rainsoaked figure passed by without noticing her at first, she breathed a sigh of relief. Wrong move. The figure halted and retraced her steps, before leaning down to peer into the little crevice that Eri had wedged herself in.

Eri didn't believe in ghosts. She never did. She never wanted to. She knew this person had to be human. But she shrieked anyway.

For that unidentified person, wet from the rain, had most of her hair hanging down like a curtain to cover her face, and the dripping wet effect made the person look like a faceless female ghost out to grab her and haul her back from whatever creepy well she came from.

Eri was brought back to her senses when an awfully familiar voice cut through her short scream.

"You again!" Eri looked up at the girl who had found her, even as said girl swept the hair out of her face. A fiercely glaring Reina looked down at the ashen-faced Eri.

Oh, the crazy harpoon girl... Was all Eri thought before said crazy harpoon girl grabbed her by the front of her shirt and pulled her out.

"Any last words?" Eri gulped.

This wasn't going to end well, was it?

~*~*~

Ayumi stepped out into the little village street, the only street that the place possessed, actually. Around her, some of the women who were around nodded to her familiarly, and she found herself returning the acknowledgment unconsciously. Most of the men were out in the fields, so there weren't many of them in the village now.

She was looking for a very specific person, but apparently Hitomi (aka their Boss) wasn't anywhere in sight.

Just when she was wondering where their leader could be, a familiar face came up to her.

"How is Murata-san?" Satoda Mai, one of the villagers here and sort of a close acquaintance, asked sympathetically.

"Well the doctor said that she should live, although she's still weak now." Ayumi replied truthfully. Then she asked. "Have you seen Boss anywhere?"

Mai shrugged. "Asami and Miuna were showing her the country lanes leading back to the Matsuura estate, and they haven't come back yet." Mai looked at Ayumi seriously. "You guys are really dedicated to the Matsuuras, aren't you?"

"Well, we do sort of owe our lives to the Admiral." Ayumi then changed the subject. "Do you know of anything that happened around the estate while we were away?"

"Hmm..." Mai scratched at her neck. "Well there was a really weird red glow around the hills the other night..." She was cut off when someone came running into the village.

It was Miuna, and she was gasping for breath as she skidded to a halt next to them. "...h....he...help..."

"What is it?" Ayumi asked, her chest suddenly seized with a kind of panic as her mind ran through all the worst case scenarios.

"Matsuura...estate....fire..." Miuna gasped out, still trying to catch her breath. Ayumi's eyes went wide and she grabbed Miuna by the shoulders. "WHAT?!"

Mai was a bit more level-headed and asked quickly before Shibata shook Miuna to death, while trying to pry an anxious Ayumi off her friend. "Any survivors?"

Finally regaining her breath, Miuna collected her senses quickly. "Asami and Saito-san are still looking. They've found a few bodies already..." She trailed off awkwardly before she continued. "I came back to get some help for burial detail...and some shovels..."

Ayumi looked like her world just feel apart on her, but pulled herself back together with a grim expression as she swallowed her tears. "Let me get Masae, and we'll go back together."

Mai placed a sympathetic hand on her shoulder. "Are you ok? Do you need us to call anymore people to help?"

"No...no...I'm fine...and we'll take care of this ourselves. Don't call the other villagers." Ayumi shot a pained, grateful glance at them before heading quickly back inside to inform her team members. Mai bit her lip at the retreating figure, before turning to Miuna. "Go get some shovels." Miuna nodded, her cheeks reddened from her run back, but yet at the same time you could see the ghastly green cast on her face. The poor woman probably saw a few corpses earlier. Burning to death was never a pleasant way to die, and the charred remnants were often...macabre. Mai patted her on the back, sending her on her way while she herself waited for Ayumi to come back out.

They did come back out again, but Mai was surprised by the fact that Megumi was hobbling out with Masae and Ayumi helping her.

"Is she fit to come out now?" Mai asked tentatively. Megumi gave her a slightly irritated glance. Masae sighed. "We couldn't stop her even if we wanted to."

"We're a team, we'll do this together." Megumi said firmly, even if her voice sounded weak from her injury.

Miuna returned just about then, struggling with a bunch of shovels. Mai took the opportunity to slip over and relieve her of some of her load.

"Are you ready?" The two village girls glanced worriedly at the pale and exhausted trio, who looked like they had come back from a trip to hell, which wasn't all that far from the truth for Megumi, who had battled for her life throughout the night before even as she very nearly bled to death.

Swallowing the lump in her throats, they nodded grimly. Megumi croaked out softly.

"Lead the way."

~*~*~

They found Boss crouched over a limp little figure in her arms later, by the time they arrived at the scene.

The modest-sized Matsuura mansion had been completely razed to the ground, the blackened remains of the structure creaking and flapping in the stiff breeze coming in from the sea. The once proud house was no more, a sorry memory, an ugly burn mark on the ground.

Mai tugged Miuna away, even as they strayed over to where Asami was still combing the ruins futilely, leaving the four alone.

"We failed." Hitomi's voice was cracked. "We've failed them all."

Ayumi moved forward to grasp their leader's shoulder supportively, her own pain stinging at her eyes. She bit back a horrified little sob at the corpse Saito was holding.

It was little Aria, her small body cold and rigid, drained of all the life and energy they had last seen her with. It was almost unreal, surreal even, to be confronted with the deadly reality. There were grass stains on the little girl's face, and blackened blood stained her night dress. There was a similar dark crimson stain on the ground about two feet away.

"Who...who did this?!" Ayumi broke down, falling to her knees. Masae and Megumi had also come forward, and Megumi literally lost all will to stand as she collapsed to the ground, crawling towards the rigid little corpse. Beside her, Masae choked on her own tears. "How could anyone kill a little girl...?"

"She wasn't burned to death." Boss's voice was strangely numb, even as her hand reached up to brush the bits of grass away from that little face. "There's a wound on her back. Something sharp, a curved blade, judging from the entry." It was as if Hitomi was suppressing her own grief and shock to recite the facts.

"Where?" Megumi asked brokenly, pushing aside some of her private horror to focus on something she could work on.

"Middle of her back, the spine." Hitomi was trembling, even though her voice gave nothing of the sort away. Masae winced.

"That's not instantly fatal..." Ayumi closed her eyes even as her fists dug into the soft dirt underneath her hands.

"Aria...she must have been in so much pain..." A terrible shudder ran through the youngest's body, even as another choked sob slipped out. "She died all alone..."

"We must avenge her." Megumi's voice was resolute. "We can't let whoever did this get away."

The others grunted in assent, absorbed in their own pain as they fell silent. Finally Boss spoke up.

"We must...bury her first. Bury...everyone." The words seemed to cut deep into their souls. Guilt, grief, and a kind of unremitting sorrow engulfed them.

"Yes..." Silently, Hitomi picked up the depressingly light corpse with a heave, moving quietly over to the holes that Mai and Miuna had thoughtfully dug in advance while they had still been grieving. With all the solemnity of a proper funeral, they laid her to rest, putting the tiny corpse down gently, as if afraid of hurting her. But she was beyond hurt now. Beyond pain. Beyond life and this world. Gone forever.

This was only the beginning of their own private funeral, even as body after body was retrieved and committed to the ground. No matter how badly charred, they resolutely moved every single one into individual graves dug by the kind village girls, who didn't quite have the stomach to deal with touching the charred remains. Even though Megumi was still weak, she threw in her all, hobbling painfully and helping to cover up the graves with dirt. It was the least they could do now, after their grotesque failure in protecting the Matsuura household.

It was sunset by the time they were done, the burning red disk casting long shadows even as it lingered on the lower edge of the horizon. The small group gathered in front of the wide stretch where they had buried everyone, heads bowed in a silence to honor the dead. Any tears they had were long gone by now, dried along with their sweat as they toiled throughout the afternoon. There was now only an emptiness, an aching void that echoed hollowly.

"We will remember. We will not forget." Hitomi's voice at first dark with grief, turned to pure steel, empty of all emotion as she continued, echoed by the other three.

"We will avenge, as long as we still live." They fell silent, but not before a quiet line was almost lost on the wind, in the growing darkness.

"Rest in peace...we won't fail again...this we promise..."

====================================================


*cowers* I'm sorry...it had to be done...

Megumi: You made us bury people we cared about...
Ayumi: How could you?!
Masae: You're evil, you disgusting little creep!
Boss: Guys, no need to talk to her. Let's just start right now.
Melons: -start advancing on Estrea-
Me: Wait...guys...can't we talk about this? I mean....ack! -jumps up and starts running-

note: Will be back with next chapter...eventually.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 25, 2007, 06:42:42 PM
Yuko does anything for alcohol, roffle xD Love how Maki plays off of Miki's interest for Aya :]

Aya was found by the guy's brother and Keita? Oh snap. Keita better not do anything =_= Then again, he's a gentleman (coughwusscough) so he wouldn't dare try anything on Aya o_O

Pray Nacchi gets to Crew Gropetastic soon! O_O;

Eri and Reina are hilarious as usual. Reina as Sadako/Samara of Ringu/The Ring made me laugh a lot xD!!!!

AWW! ARIA ;_________; Murdered instead of burning to death! Who would do such a thing?! I'm inclined to say those corrupted officials who sentenced Aya, but for some odd reason, I'm thinking someone unexpected, maybe Aya's own Dad?! O___O; Then again, I remember earlier about Berryz having to do with an arson attack... o_O Maybe they burned something else >____>; I'm going to drown you in tears if its Berryz ;_;...

MELONS! HUNT DOWN THE MURDERERS ;_;

;____;

Wrote more anywho :]
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 25, 2007, 09:26:10 PM
Haha, I came to read Ch. 20 in here, and realized that I hadn't even read 19 yet. XD

I'm such a bad commenter... ><

Anywho... Love the Kamei-in-a-box scenes, always. :3 The part where Reina's flailing about with her harpoon cracked me up so hard. lol The twins were really cute in 19 with their story. And with how they ganged up on Yuko like that. XDD I could totally picture that whole thing. Yay they're going after Aya! Yay, Ai-chan and Risa get to come too! Yay, Eri's a stowaway!

And hurry, Nacchi! ><;;
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Sancho on April 25, 2007, 09:33:44 PM
HI HI!!! Hmmmm.... You have a bad bruises there Estrea. Bandage?... * Reaching some*....
Sorry for not being here for a quite some time. My Crappy boss wants me to go to work even on weekend for the last 2 weeks. Damn. I didn't even manage to work your pic. :'( but anyway,

in chapter 18;
"How did she get into the group anyway?"

Despite the nasty words though, Miyabi was the one who walked over and hauled Risako to her feet, the younger girl rubbing at her eyes blearily, clearly still groggy after her rude awakening. "M'ning Miya..." She mumbled as she hugged the slightly shorter Miyabi reflexively. Risako, at the very least, was sort of a morning person, in that she didn't attempt murder when first woken up unexpectedly. In fact, she was more likely to hug whoever who woke her up first instead of reacting badly.


This is my favorite part! Actually, I was having a hard time reading this because I don't know much about the berryz members but when I read this part. Damn! it's so cute. Anyone even on thier highest pick of anger would eventually calm down when someone did this to them. I wish I had a girl friend like that ;D

In Chapter 19
The Reina/Eri scene is the best. And...

As it was, Eri had been about to turn the corner and escape into the street, but the hurled harpoon found her with surprising accuracy and quite literally pinned her arm to the wall by the sleeve, the sudden brake in motion sending the girl slamming into the wall with a heavy thud. For a moment, Eri saw little turtles flying around her head as she struggled to regain her bearings.

Oh No...... :scared:

In Chapter 20...
F*#K!! There is chapter 20 already?!! I better read it but later. Have to go to work now. See Yah!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: C60533 on April 25, 2007, 10:31:31 PM
LONG CHAPTER  :heart:! The Twins are what we call weapons on mass destruction. Nukes will bend to their command. And what's worse...MIKI HAS CONTROL!!! Now...seeing as how Aya can somewhat manipulate Miki, Aya can now send The TWINS after whoever destroyed her house/mansion. But manipulation is fun. Maki manipulated Miki under Aya...and Maki manipulated Yuko through the means of alcohol. Yuko has a craving for alcohol like I have for this fic.

Yuko might seem like a gruff, surly drunkard who rode roughshod over everyone in her way
SHE IS!!!
Quote
but she was actually quite nice and protective towards the younger members of her own crew.
Okay.....maybe that too...

And LOL out Miki getting a grope in. It just isn't right to have Miki in there without some lewdness....*boob comment* <---speaking of that, what does Maki mean that they're not Miki's? Do they belong to Nacchi? I don't mind that, but they sorta do belong to Miki. Logic reasoning: If Maki works for Aya and Maki is willing to do anything for Aya, and since Miki has already gotten Aya, that means that Miki has Aya therefore is over Maki,and therefore anything of Maki's is hers. HAH!

TAKAGAKI!!! YAY!! See they are such a  :heart: :heart: :heart: couple. AHA! YOU DID DO SOMETHING IN THAT CELLAR! I KNOW IT!! Understandable seeing as how temptation is really hard to resist. The only thing that matters is WHO INSTIGATED IT! And Ai is going sailing. Then, one day in non-pirate times in an episode of HaroMoni@ we will see Gaki and Aichan ride a Jetski together.  ;D

And Kamei! I was hoping so bad it would be a delivery ship and that she would be shipped to someone's house. KAMEI-IN-A-CRATE! But it is nice that she somehow managed to meet Reina again. Don't worry. You won't die as long as your last words charm Reina like you charm everyone else.

Ne....whas going on with Aya's household? Why it burn? Why she have to be in some dude ship and no with Miki? Why Aria die? Why Melons feel murderous? Why no Berryz rolling around kicking butt?

My craving is satisfied. I don't think I'll get a craving anytime soon...like about a week...business week....As for those questions, I will wait for them to be answered. I really like how you put in different scenes. It helps expand the story in all directions. The only problem for me is that I have to think and piece them together...but I'll live if you continue these type of posts...First 10 chap. = gateway drug. NOW I HAVE AN ADDICTION!!!  :D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: JFC on April 26, 2007, 12:39:48 AM
Widdle Aira???  :gyaaah: :OMG:


Heads will roll for this.   :scolding:

*sorry, too tired, so no massive post today. *
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 26, 2007, 02:42:49 AM
I went from giggling, to thoughtfulness, to giggling again, to going 'Oh Em Gee!' Jeez, you really know how to flood plot, I had to stop myself from leaning forward in anticipation. And here I am leaning again...

I can't wait for the next chapter. So write it already.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Ren on April 26, 2007, 04:51:04 PM
Oh ... I just noticed that yesterday I close the window and not press Post button. >_<

I kind of feel that Tachibana boy is not that innocent. He and his family might be behind the burning of Matsuura Mansion.

So Aya is pimping both Keita and Eiji at the same time? Awesome! :D But of course Miki >>> Tachibanas or Eijis :lol:

Wonder if there's something special between Mako and Aichan, will there be a jealous Gaki :D?

Nacchi looks like she was selling Yuuki the pretty boy to some perverted old man...

Oh Eri.. Will she join the pirates :D? I hope Reina gives her a good harpoon jab :D.

........YOU KILLED AIRAAAAAAAAA T_T
*shakes Estrea*
You burned Matsuura mansioooon ~ ;_;
*imagines Aya in angsty mode a few chapters from now*
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: JFC on April 26, 2007, 11:52:04 PM
So Aya is pimping both Keita and Eiji at the same time? Awesome! :D But of course Miki >>> Tachibanas or Eijis :lol:
A not-so-subtle reference to the rumours that she was dating both Tachibana and Wentz Eiji from WaT last year, which is total bull since we all know she's meant to be with Miki. ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: orangesocks on April 27, 2007, 02:21:16 AM
Gah! So who's threatening the Matsuura clan, if it ain't Tachibana or his buddies?  :'(

But, YAY! TaGaki!!! eheh  :D This seems like a good set-up for them defending each other and acting all lovey-dovey.  :heart:

 :) And more Eri and Tanaka! haha.

Plus, Yuuki's two-cents on NatsumixGocchin... :hee:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Ren on April 27, 2007, 01:09:22 PM
A not-so-subtle reference to the rumours that she was dating both Tachibana and Wentz Eiji from WaT last year, which is total bull since we all know she's meant to be with Miki. ;D
Thanks! I've heard of that before :D, a friend of mine who is a w-inds fangirl keeps cursing Aya into my ear when she first heard of that rumor. :lol:

Oh and by the way:
So they both leave their life and starts a new life together, happily ever after! *smacked* XD
... as pirates. So I was kinda right! :lol:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 18]
Post by: iacus on April 28, 2007, 07:01:44 AM
iacus: Actually, the wars I described in the footnotes were when the Empire was formed. This story takes place quite some time after all that initial history, like a couple hundred years or more.
Uh... I knew that. I was just testing you. Honest.

Some muttering from that unknown person, and Eri caught words like "potatoes", "stupid", "scary cleaver" and notably "I hate rain".


???

Quote
It was little Aria, her small body cold and rigid
.
.
.
"Who...who did this?!"
*points finger at Estrea*   J'accuse! 

Quote
This was only the beginning of their own private funeral,

Oh man, the melons aren't going to go on a really sad trip to Italy now are they?

What a wonderful pair of chapters. action packed, yet there's enough set-up for twenty more chapters. I would give you a thumbs-up but I don't think we have that smiley anymore.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Tinnygy on April 28, 2007, 08:12:31 AM
Quote
I kind of feel that Tachibana boy is not that innocent. He and his family might be behind the burning of Matsuura Mansion.

I don't think the Tachibana boy has anyreason to burn down the Matsuura mansion, he had no reason and I can't find anyreason for him to do that ><

Quote
"There are more fish out in the sea Fujimoto. No need to go chasing after someone on death row."

But seem like Fujimoto already loved that on death row  :D

Humm... I started to think about how could Aya meet the pirates when she was on another board and planed to return to her family??? And where is the Amiral. Aya must be mad when She knew Aria died...  :'(, she would blame herself  :(
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Estrea on April 28, 2007, 08:47:09 PM
Comment reply time~

Yuu: You were the one who mentioned offhandedly that Eri seemed to be afraid of Sadako, so credit to you for that! :P Hmm I wonder who burnt down the Matsuura mansion too. XD And yeah go go Melons!

Fimmy: Haha just try to keep up with the commenting next time. <3

Sancho: Thanks for the bandages, I needed those. Glad you liked the scenes. ;)

C60533: Slightly shorter chapter here...which is still pretty damn long. XD Manipulation is fun indeed. And wtf at your twisted Miki-Aya-Maki logic. XD I guess that sort of makes sense...o_o;;; Have I told you how much I love your babbling? XD

JFC: Yeah poor Aria. ;_;

rndmn: I'm glad I managed to pique your interest. Not much plot advancement here, at least not as much as in 20. But fluff and insanity abounds, so yeah. XD

Ren: Haha everyone doesn't like Keita. XD Don't worry, he gets some reality shoved in his face in this chapter. XD As for Eri and Reina....XDDDD Yeah poor Aria ;_; *is shaked and dizzy* @_@

orangesocks: Who is the villain?! That is for me to know and for the rest of you to find out. XD And yes, you get more Tanakamei here...of the wrong kind though. XDDD

iacus: Haha yeah that was a reference to OTN1's fic. XD Glad you caught on to it, and no, there won't be any long trips to Italy. XD This story does have many more chapters to go, yes. XD

Tinngy: Finally someone who doesn't accuse Keita of being evil enough to burn down the Matsuura mansion, just because. XD And you're right about how Aya will feel when she finds out about her family.


And done. Slightly shorter chapter than 20, but still long enough, hopefully. Insanity abounds. XD

Wedgecall~
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 28, 2007, 08:48:01 PM
-prances about the wedge-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on April 28, 2007, 08:48:13 PM
-WEDGES AS WELL-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Estrea on April 28, 2007, 08:59:07 PM
Chapter 21


The rain had slowed a little, but didn't stop. Outside the safety of the harbor, the sea was churning, foaming white like the spittle of a giant monster, ready to consume any foolhardy sailor who dared to challenge it.

Most sane sailors wouldn't dare to leave port under such conditions, but Yuko was far from being sane. Of course, she did have the skill to back up her apparent disregard for the elements, but it was never wise to challenge the forces of nature and expect to win all the time.

They were busy at work to ready for departure. Fortunately, most of the annoying little details had already been taken care of by Kaori the night before, and Mari had overseen the repairs to the hull earlier in the morning. Makoto had also taken inventory for the supplies, and all they had to do was to load up the barrels of fresh water before they were more or less ready to leave.

Makoto had been thrilled to learn that Ai would be joining them, but was slightly less enthused by the new person that was attached to her friend. She found it a little shocking that things had progressed so rapidly while she had been away from the tavern, which was a perfectly normal reaction, since it was certainly unusual for such a thing to happen so quickly. Ai promised to give her more details after the ship had set sail, seeing that Makoto was busy with her own chores at that point.

Yuko had assigned the new additions to work immediately, alongside the rest of her original crew. Yossi was given the slightly unenviable task of having to play referee to Maki and Miki, who were having their own private little war via verbal and non-verbal jibes. Maki didn't like Miki, and Miki knew that Maki didn't like her, and it appears that the knife throwing pirate enjoyed taunting and baiting the taller woman, even as Maki subtly got revenge in between each barrel they were lifting. It didn't pay to be short at this point, as Miki discovered when Maki "accidentally" bashed her over the head with an elbow...repeatedly.

An amused Mari was working with the twins on another part of the ship, with Risa helping them, even as they watched Yossi trying to separate the two under her charge by standing in between them. Other spectators were Rika and Kei, who didn't really have anything to do, and were standing under cover from the rain even as everyone else got drenched outside. Reina had been sent below decks to fetch some supplies for Makoto, and was still down there seeing that she hasn't emerged yet.

"Will you two 5 year olds quit playing and get down to work?!" Yossi asked in exasperation, throwing up her hands in the air even as Miki stepped on Maki's foot deliberately, earning an elbow in the side from Maki in return. They seemed to be completely oblivious to Yossi's demands that they stop their childishness, and the boyish pirate gave up at that point. If those two wanted to leave bruises on each other, that was perfectly fine with her as long as they continued moving those barrels onto the ship. Surprisingly, despite all the underhanded scuffling between Maki and Miki, they still managed to do their job quite satisfactorily.

Even as the last of the barrels was being moved on board, Yossi paused a little and pushed aside her wet hair from her face. Glancing around, she met Rika's smiling eyes, and she found herself smiling back unconsciously before looking away self-consciously due to the fact that Kei was smirking from behind Rika. As she faced away, she noticed something...strange out of the corner of her eye. Blinking the water out of her eyes, she rubbed at her eyes again and stared.

Was that a......hand? A hand twitching spasmodically. A twitching hand reaching out helplessly from the hatch leading down to the lower deck. Yossi blinked again even as the hand swiftly disappeared from view, as if the arm it was attached to had been yanked down in an instant.

"Did you two see that?" She asked Miki and Maki, who were currently carrying a barrel together and trying to drop it onto the other's feet. Since they were rather distracted by their "games", they could hardly be aware of the phenomenon that Yossi had just witnessed, so the answer was a "What?" in unison. Speaking of which, the simultaneous reply got them both glaring at each other...again.

Yossi frowned. A hand? A ghost? That wasn't plausible, right? Maybe she was just seeing things. The rain, probably the rain. Yeah, that was it.

Behind her, Miki got a grope in on Maki's chest, causing a ferocious growl to emerge from the latter.

Miki ended up with the barrel rolled squarely on top on her stomach, with Maki standing triumphantly over her. Yossi rolled her eyes and went over to try and rescue Miki, who was currently gasping out "my back!!" while flailing about wildly with her arms.

And round one of the Maki versus Miki wars goes to...Maki.

~*~*~

When the preparations were finally complete after much work, they were ready to set sail. Miki had retired to her bunk bed, whining about how she probably sprained her back. Maki was silently gloating about the other pirate's misery the whole time. Really, rivalry was one thing, but causing severe bodily harm was quite another case altogether, Yossi mused. Things might get out of hand without some kind of restraining influence on one or both combatants.

Speaking of restraining influences, one of those was currently rushing up towards the about-to-depart ship. The twins, who were in charge of pulling in the mooring ropes on one side, suddenly exclaimed out loud as they both recognised the running figure in the rain. The outcry from them got the attention of Maki and Yossi who were on the other end of the ship, and both trotted over to take a look.

To say that Maki was surprised was an understatement. Stunned, shocked, flabbergasted, whatever. Just knowing that Nacchi didn't really ditch her in favor of duty was comfort enough. Even better when the small woman clambered up the rope that had been left hanging on one side and practically tripped and fell right over on her. Maki staggered back, slipping all over the wet deck, but managing to retain her balance, her arms automatically reaching around to hold on to Nacchi's back, pinning the older woman close to her.

"You came? I thought..." Maki started, still slightly disbelieving of the situation. Natsumi beamed up at her, before adding teasingly.

"If I didn't come along, who would take care of you?" Maki looked embarrassed for a moment, and Nacchi laughed, tweaking the taller girl's nose.

"Besides, you wouldn't know how to start looking for Aya in the first place." That was true, Maki hadn't really thought about how she was going to go after the other ship, given that she had never seen it, and didn't know who was in charge. Natsumi, however, did know the people in question, and would recognise their vessel on sight. The older woman had thought of that of course, which was part of the reason why she knew she had to come along despite everything.

"And Yuuki?" Maki asked.

"I left him and old man Kinjou in charge. They'll bring the others back home first." Maki nodded in understanding, putting Nacchi back down.

Yossi coughed. "Ahem." Maki turned to look sheepishly at the other pirates.

"Um, you have room for one more, don't you?" Yossi spread her hands and shrugged. "Gotta ask the captain about that."

"One more is fine." Yuko interrupted abruptly, appearing behind the group without warning. "Just do your share of the work and you'll be alright."

"Of course. Thank you." Natsumi inclined her head in acknowledgment. Yuko then clapped her hands together.

"Come on everyone, get to work! We got a ship to chase down!" She paused, looking at the two ex-navy girls. "You two, come with me, we have to figure out where your friend went with that ship." She raised her voice again. "No slacking off! Get to work!" The rest dispersed to their stations at the command, while Yuko led her new crew members back to her cabin to discuss their route.

"Where's Tanaka?" Yossi asked as she helped Mari with the ropes, even as Risa clambered up easily (with Ai watching a little anxiously) to unfurl the sails. The Second Mate had been looking around for quite a while and had yet to see her wonky eyed shipmate appear on board to help with the preparations. The girl was usually more enthusiastic about putting out to sea. The First Mate tied on another rope absently as she answered.

"Um, Mako-chan sent her below decks to move some supplies up, but I haven't seen her since." The tiny pirate tugged at the ropes, making sure they were secure.

"Below, you say?" Yossi recalled briefly the twitching hand she had seen. Was there any connection to that? Making a mental note to go check it out later, Yossi slipped back over to where Rika was standing in the shelter.

"Hi." The pirate greeted her friend, noting how she was dripping water all over as she stepped out of the rain. Rika reached out to brush her dripping forelock out of her face, making Yossi blush slightly. "You're all wet." The noblewoman scolded gently. Yossi shrugged nonchalantly. "Rain does that."

"You should take better care of yourself. " She chided softly. Behind them, Kei backed further away to give the two more space, but not before giving Yossi a "go for it" glance that made the younger pirate flush. Deciding that it was just too complicated to deal with now, Yossi purposefully ignored the pleading look in Rika's eyes for her to stay and accompany her, instead excusing herself to deal with other matters. She did have to check on Tanaka after all. It was a responsibility of sorts.

Nodding briefly at Kaori, who had taken the helm and was steering them out of the harbor, Yossi hunched a little, pulling her outer coat further up her neck and trying to ignore the chilly feeling from being wet. She would have to change clothes later, but it didn't make sense to do it until after the rainstorm had passed, unless she was planning to hide in her bunk and stay nice and dry.

She also conveniently ignored the fact that with additional passengers, they would have to either figure out a way for everyone to sleep properly, or make some people take the floor instead. Despite the fact that were empty bunks, given that the ship was indeed undermanned as Reina had mentioned, it wouldn't be quite enough for everyone to get a bunk of their own. Yossi was pretty resigned to give up her own bunk bed to Rika, seeing that the latter would be more used to having a better sleeping arrangement than the floor. She could only hope that there wouldn't be any rats, or else she would sleep on the top deck, rain or not.

Pushing up the half-open hatch, Yossi climbed down the ladder, ignoring the first level where some of their bunks were located, and went down to the lowest level in the belly of the ship, where most of the supplies were kept. Even as she descended, she noticed a piece of torn fabric caught on a protruding nail in the ladder. That was odd. The crew all knew about that nail, and most wouldn't be careless enough to catch their clothes on it. Feeling faintly suspicious for some reason she couldn't quite pin down, the Second Mate shuffled downwards, but not before snagging a flickering lamp to light her way below.

The first thing she heard, other than the creak of timbers and the crashing of the waves against the planks outside, was a soft moaning sound. The pirate froze immediately, the small circle of light that illuminated a short distance around her not giving her enough to figure out just what exactly was causing the sound. However, what the light did show was disturbing enough.

Blood. At least, what looked like it. Dark red spots, splattered in uncertain patterns across the worn timbers. Yossi cast her glance around, noting that there was a bloody handprint at the very base of the ladder she had just climbed down from, and it looked as if its owner had tried desperately to clutch onto it before being torn away violently. Yossi shuddered and reached instinctively for her saber with her free hand, drawing it slowly for fear of alerting whatever monster that must have taken residence in this place.

A few more cautious steps forward revealed Reina's ever-present harpoon lying at an angle on the deck. There were reddish stains on the bladed end, but not that much. Frowning, Yossi tightened her grip on her saber. Reina never let go of her favorite harpoon unless she absolutely had to. Apparently it was a memento from her late father, so the wonky eyed girl treasured it greatly. She even went to sleep clutching it, so nothing short of violence or absolute necessity would separate her from it. Clearly, something was going on here.

Apprehensive, Yossi moved forward again, fearing what she might find. What she saw shocked her.

Reina was flat on her back, with more bruises than Yossi had ever seen her with at one time, and sporting a black eye like a panda to boot. Her already wonky eyes looked even wonkier than usual, and her dazed expression clearly explained why her eyes looked more off-center than usual. The front of her shirt was slightly ripped, and there were bloodstains splattered on it, as well as on her hands. To put it bluntly, she looked like crap that had been beaten the hell out of.

But all that wasn't the main reason why Yossi gasped at the sight. That was reserved for the person on top of Reina, pinning the wonky pirate down.

Eri was panting heavily, her hands still gripping Reina's shirt collar firmly. She too, sported a few bruises, but nowhere near the level of Reina's injuries. The worst of her wounds appeared to be a gash near her forehead, over her left eye, and it was bleeding freely. The blood left crimson trails down one half of her face, lending her an almost demonic visage as a result. The small cut on her lip clearly indicated the time when Reina had managed to get in a shot during their scuffle earlier.

"What the hell?!" Yossi blurted reflexively, her saber pointed at Eri even as the turtle girl half turned her head, revealing her bloody face. There was an odd glimmer in her eyes, but fortunately the glow wasn't as intense as it had been earlier during the brawl. All that pent up frustration had mostly worked itself out through beating the shit out of poor Reina, and now Eri had mostly calmed down. Mostly.

Let's briefly recap what happened during that time.

~*~*~

Eri was pissed. Call it a long term buildup of frustration over her circumstances and the subsequent craziness of her life ever since coming on this voyage. And now this crazy harpoon girl had yanked her out of her comfort zone, her safety net, her happy place. Eri was not one given to anger easily, but something about being pulled out of her comfort zone by a crazy harpoon-waving girl finally made her snap. Badly.

Reina had barely enough time to think "oh shit" when Eri's eyes began to take on a strange cast, and instead of her gripping the turtle girl by the front of her clothes, Eri was now returning the favor and clutching just as tightly onto her collar. Now who's the one who's caught? Her mind mocked. Reina reacted instinctively, swinging her harpoon-wielding hand forward and unintentionally clipping Eri over her left eye with the sharp end.

That pushed Eri over the edge. The stinging pain from the gash barely got to her in the least as she pounced, slamming Reina backwards and down onto the deck. Repeated slams of Reina's harpoon-wielding hand against the floor by a berserk Eri finally separated the weapon from Reina's grip, the bloodied harpoon sent rolling across the deck a few feet away, out of reach.

Of course, Reina didn't give up so easily. She gave it as good as she got, even as the two of them battered at each other, rolling around and wrestling like a pair of maniacs. Eri had the upper hand mostly due to her berserker rage, since it practically made her mostly indifferent to the pain from the blows Reina managed to land on her, while fuelling her strength. Very soon, Reina was bruised around her arms and torso, and she was about half certain that the mostly healed gash on her thigh must have ripped itself open again due to the intensity of their brawl.

Reina was not all that foolhardy, and the crazy glint in Eri's eye must have clued her in on the fact that, well, Eri was nuts. And it just didn't make sense to fight with a crazy person intent on ripping her limbs off. After another lurch of the ship rocking on the sea managed to dislodge Eri from on top of Reina, the wonky eyed pirate nailed Eri with a hard punch across the other's lower jaw, sending Eri's head snapping to one side and smashing her face into a crate. The splinters cut into the turtle girl's lip and scratched her cheek, while widening the already open gash on her forehead, making it bleed more profusely.

Meanwhile, Reina took the opportunity and ran, well, half-limped and half-ran, across to the ladder leading upwards, keen on summoning help. She was sure the others couldn't hear her over the sound of the rain outside, and so she had to resort to more direct means. Barely pausing in her stride to pick up her harpoon, she didn't quite notice that she had picked it up by the sharpened end, and the blade cut into her palm, causing her to drop the weapon with a quick hiss. She didn't slow down to pick it up again though, reasoning that speed was of the essence before that crazy turtle girl could catch her again.

Climbing up was a little difficult, since her injuries slowed her progress, and she couldn't really make use of her injured right hand. One-armed climbing was definitely a challenge. Even as she made her way up slowly and painfully, Eri was recovering from the strike, and the berserker rage only served to fuel her drive to catch and clobber a certain wonky eyed pirate.

Reina had almost just made it to the hatch leading upwards, her bloodied right hand reaching up to push at the hatch, managing to crack it open just a little. Rainwater filtered in through the gap, washing part of her bloodstained hand clean even as she reached up to pull herself out.

A grip of iron encircled one ankle, and Reina panicked when she looked down, seeing those creepily glowing eyes again as Eri yanked at her ankle once more. The rain seeping in made her grip on the rung slippery and difficult to hold, especially since her left arm was already mightily sore from the beating it had taken just now. Despite the pain, she clung on stubbornly with her left hand to the rung, the other leg kicking at Eri, trying to dislodge the other girl, who simply refused to let go even while being kicked in the head.

Not giving up, Eri tightened her grip on Reina's ankle, even as the wonky eyed pirate reached upwards helplessly to try and signal to someone to rescue her from the monster that had latched onto her. It was all for naught though, since when Eri mustered her strength and pulled hard, Reina's poor, abused left arm finally gave up the ghost and sent her crashing down on top of Eri, the two of them sliding down the shaft. During the fall, part of Reina's shirt caught onto the protruding nail, the fabric ripping slightly and leaving a patch of cloth behind even as they tumbled into a tangle of arms and legs at the bottom of the ladder.

Since Eri was on the bottom, she had gotten the worst of the fall, and Reina landing on her stomach caused her to exhale reflexively. The bump to the back of her head had her seeing stars for a few seconds, and Reina, also dazed from the fall, tried to scramble back upwards, only to have Eri cling on to her and haul her back. The bloody handprint which Yossi sees later on the bottom of the ladder came from that struggle, where Reina was clinging to the ladder for dear life while Eri was trying to drag her back to beat her up some more.

After much tugging, beating, and more rolling around trying to either get away (Reina) or land another punch (Eri), they finally came to a halt with Eri pinning Reina down in the position that Yossi found them, the worst of her berserk rage having drained off by her exertions. Reina was left bloodied, dazed, and badly bruised from the assault, all because of that one fatal mistake of dragging Eri out of her comfort zone while the latter was PMSing.

Lesson of the day: Do not drag a turtle out of her happy place. Especially not when said turtle is experiencing hormonal imbalance, and is a close combat specialist with the occasional tendency towards berserker rages.

A very painful and definitive object lesson for one Tanaka Reina indeed.

~*~*~

Maki and Nacchi were roughing out the probable route of their quarry, with Rika and Kei sitting in a corner quietly chatting, when Yossi burst in with a strange expression on her face. The occupants of the cabin looked up with a curious expression, wondering what was going on.

"Kei, Tanaka's badly injured." Yossi breathed out quickly, even as Kei got to her feet, eyes wide. "What? How?"

"Stowaway on board, Tanaka fought the person and had the shit beaten out of her in the process." Yossi explained, then turned to glance at Rika. "By the way, that stowaway is that girl that was following you around when I first met you."

"Eri?" Rika blinked. Maki and Natsumi also blinked at the same time. "Kamei? What's she doing?"

"Kicking Tanaka's ass before I found them. But she passed out not long after." Yossi said drily, then gestured to Kei to come quickly. Maki nodded to Nacchi before adding. "I'll come along with." And followed the other two out. Natsumi and Rika shared a mutual, worried glance, while Yuko coughed.

"So tell me why a member of your crew was beating up one of mine." Yuko's voice was icy. Nacchi winced.

"Well you see...Kamei's usually quite quiet and docile..."

"But?" Yuko interjected. Nacchi winced.

"Just that...when she does snap, she goes pretty much berserk. It's useful sometimes, but we usually don't provoke her into that state anyway, so she's usually quite normal and safe to be around. Actually, she rarely if ever gets truly worked up, at least never under my watch." Natsumi sighed in resignation, rubbing at her temples wearily. Yuko sighed as well.

"Tanaka must have mouthed off again...or done something stupid in that case. That girl is almost as bad as Fujimoto when it comes to not watching what she says." The pirate captain then stood up. "Go tell Kaorin about our heading, I'll go below to check on them."

"Of course." Nacchi nodded, also getting up and heading to the exit.

Rika was left alone to wonder just what the heck was going on.

And so ends the first hour on board the Red Dawn, with blood and general mayhem all around.

~*~*~

Three days out at sea. The first day's progress had been significantly slowed by the stormy weather, although that cleared up slightly on the second day. They had set a more or less straight course to the capital, reasoning that if the Navy were to bring Aya back for trial and/or execution, that would be the place to go.

They made much better time when the day dawned bright and cheery on the morning of the third day, the Red Dawn cutting through the waves with a good following wind behind them. It took a couple of hours of nonstop travel before Risa, who had somehow landed with lookout duty again, noticed a ship on the horizon, calling out an alert to the crew below.

Yuko was standing at the bow of the ship, lifting her spyglass for a better look of the vessel. Mari was by her side, while Nacchi and Maki were off to one side together, also squinting at the spot on the horizon. Yossi and Rika were off together at the stern of the ship, with Tsuji and Kago spying on them and giggling, while Kaori was once again at the helm. Makoto and Ai were hanging out together, with Ai helping Makoto with some of the more menial chores. Kei was still hovering over Reina, the wonky eyed pirate having sustained a mild concussion and a cracked rib in addition to all the cuts and bruises she received, not to mention that the healing gash on her thigh had also reopened. Eri's injuries were comparatively less severe, but sore muscles kept her from moving around too much either. The turtle girl was absolutely horrified by her handiwork after regaining her senses when she came round, and was currently lurking in a corner keeping a worried eye on Reina, while moving as little as possible on Kei's advice.

"Not a naval vessel." Yuko lowered the spyglass. Nacchi walked over. "Can I have a look please?" Yuko handed the spyglass over.

After a few moments of scrutiny, she lowered the spyglass. "That ship looks familiar." She muttered. Maki, who had strolled over in the meantime, looked at her questioningly. Nacchi trained the spyglass on the ship again even as she mumbled half to herself. "The mast and the rake of the sails...definitely looks like it..."

"Whose ship?" Maki asked in confusion. Nacchi lowered the spyglass again. "Elio Levant's."

"The explorer?" Mari blurted from behind them, having heard of the name before in her voyages. Yuko appeared to be aware of this person's reputation as well. "You know him?" The pirate captain asked. Natsumi smiled faintly.

"Know him? I sailed with his brother Elial before. Not the first time I've seen his ship, that's for sure." Natsumi handed the spyglass back over to Yuko. "The point here is though, we have to catch up with him."

"Why so?" Yuko pressed. Nacchi sighed. "That's because he and his brother were the ones who took Aya away, I saw them. We might be able to get a clue if I can get to talk to him. We'd better hurry. Elio's ship is reputed to be fairly fast."

This time it was Yuko's time to smile. "Not as fast as the Red Dawn, he isn't. No one beats us with a favoring wind on our side." Raising her voice, Yuko issued quick commands to the rest of the crew, who obeyed immediately, rushing to their posts.

The chase was on.

~*~*~

Aya was bored. No, boredom was the least of her worries. The main problem hassling her came in the form of one Tachibana Keita, who simply refused to leave her alone once she had been allowed out of bed on the second day (and only because she refused to stay idle).

She did not know one man who could be so singularly annoying without even trying. Granted, she knew she was probably being unfair to him, since by all rights and means Keita was in fact the perfect gentleman. Excellent manners, a rudimentary sense of humor, elegant and dignified. However, also absolutely dull and utterly boring. Aya found that she would have derived more entertainment in watching paint dry or grass grow than to engage in polite conversation with him.

That might have something to do with the fact that they simply had nothing in common with which to discuss. Aya discovered that one way to shut him up, however briefly, was to steer the conversation onto one Ishikawa Rika, Keita's runaway fiancee, and watch the young man squirm in embarrassment as he tried to mentally reconcile his urge to flirt with Aya with the fact that his journey had been to reclaim his bride. Aya was a bit sadist like that, especially when it came to someone like him who simply refused to go away.

She resorted to spending more time with her "uncle Elio", a title she had bestowed on him as a child despite the lack of blood relation. Any close friend of her father's tended to end up with the same moniker, although with the Levant brothers, the name had stuck even after she had grown up. He didn't seem to mind though, and proved to be fairly enjoyable company in comparison to that wallflower who had more to say about horses than the sea. Well, Keita was descended from one of the Highlander clans, so the tradition must have been imparted to him as a child. Aya had been a child of the sea in more than one manner, either by bloodline or upbringing. To say that they had little in common would be a complete understatement.

And here they were again. The ship was only so big, yes, but Aya was sure that it was entirely possible for two people to remain separate even in such a confined area. However, with Keita trailing along behind her like a lost puppy just about wherever she went, it was pretty much impossible to avoid him short of yelling at him to go away, which she was sorely tempted to do, but basic courtesy prevented her from doing so. She was also fairly sure that basic courtesy precluded her from pushing him overboard, much to her regret, but in any case she didn't want to deprive her uncle Elio from earning the reward for escorting this fine gentleman around.

Now, leaning against the rail and looking resolutely aft, Aya tried her best to maintain the minimal requirements of polite conversation with her monosyllabic replies, hoping against hope that Keita would get the hint and just leave her alone already. Unfortunately, that was not going to be the case, as Keita simply spun conversation after conversation by her side, on subjects that no doubt other girls would probably be interested in, but Aya was not exactly your typical lady here.

However, it seemed that a cure for her boredom was soon on its way. The speck of a ship on the horizon behind them piqued her interest mildly, and she squinted at it, this time pointedly ignoring Keita and not even bothering with monosyllabic replies.

The other ship was moving too quickly. A merchant ship didn't have that kind of speed, even when travelling light. Only two kinds of vessels moved that quickly, messenger ships...or pirates. Given the reputation of the area, pirates seemed like a good guess.

Turning abruptly on her heel, Aya moved to raise the alarm, leaving a bewildered Keita in her wake. The other sailors, on Captain Elio's command, quickly crowded on more sail in an attempt to outrun the incoming pirate ship, but the slim vessel that was on their tail was practically flying across the waves, the design of the hull uniquely suited for speed.

Cursing, Elio called his men to ready their arms. Aya was about to draw her gunblade in response when Keita, in an attempt to win some creditability for himself, moved in front of her and raised his own sabre protectively before him. Behind him, Aya rolled her eyes at this display of male chauvinism.

The pirate ship neared...and then pulled in to coast side by side with their ship. Elio's eyes widened when he saw two familiar faces waving to and hailing him. A wry smile crossed his face as he ordered his men to stand down, and the pirate ship with the name Red Dawn emblazoned on one side pulled in closer.

Aya's view was blocked by Keita's taller form, but seeing Elio's response to the other ship, clearly they weren't an enemy, so she didn't bother to push past Keita to check on who it was. Shrugging, she tried to slip away while Keita's back was turned, and in doing so, she finally noted just who had decided to hop over onto their ship from the other vessel.

"Gocchin? And Nacchi? What are you two doing here?" Aya's eyes were wide with shock, and her tone was pleased, being rather to glad to see them. Her two friends grinned back, mostly with relief and genuine joy to see that Aya was safe and alive.

Then Aya's eyes narrowed. "Aren't you two supposed to be elsewhere?"

Maki grinned sheepishly, and Nacchi looked equally woolly next to her. "Ah, um. We were worried about you." Maki tried, and Nacchi quickly explained the arrangements for the rest of their crew to prevent any scolding.

"Nice reunion." Keita observed brightly from the side, moving closer. "Glad to meet you two ladies again." He inclined his head politely to the two women. Natsumi looked amused (since she didn't even have a title and thus had no real right to being called "lady"), while Maki simply disdained the term (she thought it was too wussy).

"Why is Tofu Boy here?" Maki asked rudely, using one of her many varied nicknames for him. They had come up with "Tofu Boy" on account of the fact that he was bland, tasteless, and soft (weak). Aya stifled a snort, even as Keita looked grossly affronted.

"Looking for his fiancee, apparently." Maki grinned. "Ishikawa? Right over there, actually." She jabbed a thumb over shoulder back at the pirate ship, where Rika was standing at the rail with Yossi by her side. Rika's face was slightly pale when her eyes came into contact with her betrothed. Keita followed the gaze and seemed no less pale when he saw his intended bride. For one thing, he had never even wanted to marry her in the first place, and thus he hardly wanted to find her at all.

"Congratulations, my Lord Tachibana, you found your bride." Aya's voice was sarcastic, and Keita misinterpreted it as jealousy. Struggling to explain himself (while simultaneously feeling a surge of hope), he defended himself.

"But I do not wish to marry her in the first place!" He protested, looking directly at an indifferent Aya. "You know that you are the only one for me!"

Maki was snickering, and Nacchi was no better. Elio had his poker face on, so no one really knew what he was thinking, although his eyes twinkled with mirth. Aya was about to deliver a suitably scathing response when out of the blue, someone else replied for her.

"Yours? Hardly, I think." Miki, having followed the other two over and had been standing behind Maki the whole time (and was thus unseen by Aya), breezed into the conversation easily, noting with satisfaction the customary twitch of a facial muscle as Aya ground her teeth together on seeing her. Miki smirked confidently, moving in boldly close to her target. With a haughty glance at the confused Keita, Miki decided to drop the bomb on the unsuspecting nobleman.

"That's because, Tofu Boy, she's mine."

Before Aya, or anyone else for that matter, could react, Miki pulled Aya close, and with an outrageous wink at the younger girl, moved in and sealed her lips against Aya's, right in front of a shocked Keita, whose sudden freeze in all motion turned him into a fine imitation of a stone statue, his jaw going slack with horror.

A stunned hush fell over the whole ship at that point.

==========================================================


XD Seems like a good place to end.

Reina: How come you let Eri beat me up? T_T
Eri: That was...strangely entertaining, actually.
Reina: o_O
Me: XDDDDD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Yuuyami on April 28, 2007, 08:59:44 PM
First comment~!


The image of Reina's hand reaching out for help was hilarious, but I'm not sure whether to laugh at her or feel bad for her xD

(http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/3824/poorreinawx6.th.jpg) (http://img256.imageshack.us/my.php?image=poorreinawx6.jpg)

I freaking love Berserker Eri xD

(http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/356/scaryerixdrt1.th.jpg) (http://img406.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scaryerixdrt1.jpg)

Anywho, glad to know they caught up to le ship of doom, and I'm in a state of euphoria at the ending of that chapter too~! Aya would so choose Miki over that wussy Tofu-Boy! YOU GO GAM~! -punts Keita- As for the drawing, excuse the disproportion, I rushed it xD!

(http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/4885/gamwithpoorkeitaxdnj7.th.jpg) (http://img406.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gamwithpoorkeitaxdnj7.jpg)

Write more! I want to know what Keita does next!! xDDDD!!!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: JFC on April 28, 2007, 11:03:13 PM
Quote
Yossi was given the slightly unenviable task of having to play referee to Maki and Miki, who were having their own private little war via verbal and non-verbal jibes. Maki didn't like Miki, and Miki knew that Maki didn't like her, and it appears that the knife throwing pirate enjoyed taunting and baiting the taller woman, even as Maki subtly got revenge in between each barrel they were lifting. It didn't pay to be short at this point, as Miki discovered when Maki "accidentally" bashed her over the head with an elbow...repeatedly.
The whole mini-war thing is kinda hot, I gotta say. The elbow thing? That's just funny. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/LOL.gif)


Quote
Reina had been sent below decks to fetch some supplies for Makoto, and was still down there seeing that she hasn't emerged yet.
She's looking for potatoes? :P


Quote
Behind her, Miki got a grope in on Maki's chest, causing a ferocious growl to emerge from the latter.

Miki ended up with the barrel rolled squarely on top on her stomach, with Maki standing triumphantly over her. Yossi rolled her eyes and went over to try and rescue Miki, who was currently gasping out "my back!!" while flailing about wildly with her arms.

And round one of the Maki versus Miki wars goes to...Maki.
Picturing this scene....:wahaha:



Quote
Just knowing that Nacchi didn't really ditch her in favor of duty was comfort enough. Even better when the small woman clambered up the rope that had been left hanging on one side and practically tripped and fell right over on her.
...

"You came? I thought..." Maki started, still slightly disbelieving of the situation.
GEEZ WOMAN ARE YOU BLIND?!?!?!  She's there because she rabu-rabu's jooooo!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/tantrum.gif)


Quote
Her already wonky eyes looked even wonkier than usual, and her dazed expression clearly explained why her eyes looked more off-center than usual.
Whoa, is that even possible?


Quote
this crazy harpoon girl had yanked her out of her comfort zone, her safety net, her happy place.
Taking someone away from her happy place? Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig mistake. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/yep.gif)

We all know what this leads to...CHICK FIGHT!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)


Quote
all because of that one fatal mistake of dragging Eri out of her comfort zone while the latter was PMSing.
Ummmm...no comment.
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/runaway.gif)


Quote
"Stowaway on board, Tanaka fought the person and had the shit beaten out of her in the process." Yossi explained, then turned to glance at Rika. "By the way, that stowaway is that girl that was following you around when I first met you."

"Eri?" Rika blinked. Maki and Natsumi also blinked at the same time. "Kamei? What's she doing?"
They're all (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/blink.gif)(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/blink.gif)(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/blink.gif)


Quote
It took a couple of hours of nonstop travel before Risa, who had somehow landed with lookout duty again
Poor girl can't catch a break, even on a new ship. ;D



Quote
Nacchi trained the spyglass on the ship again even as she mumbled half to herself. "The mast and the rake of the sails...definitely looks like it..."

"Whose ship?" Maki asked in confusion. Nacchi lowered the spyglass again. "Elio Levant's."


"The explorer?" Mari blurted from behind them, having heard of the name before in her voyages.
Nacchi recognizes the ship? An explorer? Might he be the same dude that secretly does stuff for the navy and who also happens to have found Aya? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/hmmm.gif)



Quote
Aya was bored. No, boredom was the least of her worries. The main problem hassling her came in the form of one Tachibana Keita, who simply refused to leave her alone once she had been allowed out of bed on the second day (and only because she refused to stay idle).
Well then, she should have just stayed in bed. Or at least in the room she was in. :P


Quote
Keita was descended from one of the Highlander clans
Then shouldn't he be wearing a skirt.......I mean, kilt? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)


Quote
Unfortunately, that was not going to be the case, as Keita simply spun conversation after conversation by her side, on subjects that no doubt other girls would probably be interested in, but Aya was not exactly your typical lady here.
He must really like to talk.



Quote
Aya was about to draw her gunblade in response when Keita, in an attempt to win some creditability for himself, moved in front of her and raised his own sabre protectively before him. Behind him, Aya rolled her eyes at this display of male chauvinism.
No Aya, let him...*ahem*...fight. THIS I wanna see. :rolleyes:


Quote
Then Aya's eyes narrowed. "Aren't you two supposed to be elsewhere?"

Maki grinned sheepishly, and Nacchi looked equally woolly next to her. "Ah, um. We were worried about you." Maki tried, and Nacchi quickly explained the arrangements for the rest of their crew to prevent any scolding.
Awwwwwwwwwwww...so cute. :heart:


Quote
"Why is Tofu Boy here?" Maki asked rudely, using one of her many varied nicknames for him. They had come up with "Tofu Boy" on account of the fact that he was bland, tasteless, and soft (weak). Aya stifled a snort, even as Keita looked grossly affronted.
Good one! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif) (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif) (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)


Quote
"Congratulations, my Lord Tachibana, you found your bride." Aya's voice was sarcastic, and Keita misinterpreted it as jealousy. Struggling to explain himself (while simultaneously feeling a surge of hope), he defended himself.

"But I do not wish to marry her in the first place!" He protested, looking directly at an indifferent Aya. "You know that you are the only one for me!"

Maki was snickering, and Nacchi was no better. Elio had his poker face on, so no one really knew what he was thinking, although his eyes twinkled with mirth.
Oh to hell with trying to keep it a secret! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/ROFL.gif) (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/ROFL.gif) (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/ROFL.gif)


Quote
"Yours? Hardly, I think." Miki, having followed the other two over and had been standing behind Maki the whole time (and was thus unseen by Aya), breezed into the conversation easily, noting with satisfaction the customary twitch of a facial muscle as Aya ground her teeth together on seeing her. Miki smirked confidently, moving in boldly close to her target. With a haughty glance at the confused Keita, Miki decided to drop the bomb on the unsuspecting nobleman.

"That's because, Tofu Boy, she's mine."

Before Aya, or anyone else for that matter, could react, Miki pulled Aya close, and with an outrageous wink at the younger girl, moved in and sealed her lips against Aya's, right in front of a shocked Keita, whose sudden freeze in all motion turned him into a fine imitation of a stone statue, his jaw going slack with horror.

A stunned hush fell over the whole ship at that point.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MIKI~!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/DoubleFinger.gif)   (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/Clapping.gif) 


I think "Tofu boy" will be our new nickname for Tachibana. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/hardgayhead.png)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: Econxp on April 29, 2007, 12:52:12 AM
OMG you updated!!!! I LOVE U  :heart: :heart: wow, eri beat reina...well she did take her out of her happy place, that's a big no-no right there. Yup Kamei is scary when mad! More kamei!!! Hope Reina will heal fast then there might be a possible round 2 :D Awww maki/nacchi!! Aww GAM LOVE!!! rofl "Why is tofu boy here?"
please update as soon as possible!!!!!!!

always waiting for your update,

-Econxp
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 20]
Post by: C60533 on April 29, 2007, 01:55:58 AM
Not feeling so good today...I'll edit this post with my commet/babbles <-----(I'll make 'em funny...just for you! Keep you happy and writing) later...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay...this might not be such a good review...but it's the best I can do under stressful situations

First of all Mako, there's no reason to be worried about Ai. Risa will take good care of Ai. Real good care. Enough to shoot something and even stand up to Miki. Also, Poor Yossie bein stuck with overseeing the quarreling duo….Oh well. It was amusing nonetheless. I mean, come on who doesn’t love a “little” competition amongst…whatever their relationship is… What I'm really surprised at is how they were able to do their job. That’s multitasking for ya. Finishing the job as well as waging a mini-war...Perhaps this is the influence of The Twins on Miki's part? I was happy that you got Miki groping Maki for all the hilariousness, but Maki…come on. The Fujimoto Miki just groped you.  I mean it doesn’t get much better than that. Would you have preferred an inexperienced person to have groped you? I wouldn’t think so. But you brought in Nacchi to...subdue Maki...in more ways than one hopefully. Nacchi and Maki should stick together because 1) They’d be able to get almost anything they’d want and most importantly 2) We get rabu rabu scenes. <--- most important.

And the situation with Reina and Eri...was interesting to say the least. It made my mind wander back to the situation that occured earlier in my dreams... babble: I finally got my Kamei-In-A-Crate and my bunnies, I realized something went wrong. First, I didn’t get my bunnies. I got a polar bear. I didn’t even the second rabbit. And when I went toward the crate…there was a warning… Do not drag this turtle out of her happy place. Especially not when said turtle is experiencing hormonal imbalance with the occasional tendency towards berserker rages. Very surprised at that. But it didn’t matter because then I would have to go through the trouble of calling them back up and putting the bear back into the cage. So I thought it would be perfectly fine if I took then out to the beach. I mean, it was just a small mistake right? I could live if I didn’t have the right turtle and got a polar bear instead of a wonky rabbit and another rabbit. So I took them to the beach. I left the turtle in the crate and just drilled a small hole so she could see. Then somehow the bear wandered off a came back with a harpoon. I thought it wanted to play fetch…so I taught it to fetch and throw. I was happy it was a smart bear. But then it threw the harpoon toward the crate and pierced it. Then it ran up and threw the lid off the crate and grabbed the turtle. I figured it was a snapping turtle because that’s exactly what it did. It snapped, both literally and figuratively. It got angry and then started snapping and attacking the polar bear. Within 5 minutes my polar bear became a panda. In 10…it became a black bear. I had no choice but to return it and demanded them to send me my bunnies and Kamei-In-A-Crate. I was so devastated…end babble
But Eri ish sorry and when Reina is all better they’ll get closer right? Besides, Kamei being a close combat specialist and Reina having an advantage with long distance attacks means that they will balance each other out. And then they’ll meet Sayu and with her newfound intelligence means that they will make a nice…tri….o… of love.

Yay! Maki and Nacchi found Aya. And go Maki for the name Tofu Boy (actually…yay you…but…you see…I just…kinda…um….just wanted to type Maki) it fits. Tofu is, like you said, sorta bland and boring without too much taste and sorta…wussy and…limp<-- how could you forget this?  And he…is flirting with Aya? He wants to marry Aya? Miki’s Aya? Does he have a death wish? You see Tofu Boy…Miki has claim to Aya. You do not touch what is hers without permission. If you do, you get embarrassed.

And let us once again visit my logic…twisted as it is.

Twisted Logic : Tofu Boy, seeing as how he has has the properties of tofu, is only considered flavoring. He’s only there to be there. Add a little spice to the story before being beaten down by the actual meat. In this case, Fujimoto. He is also the perfect example to Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there is a reaction. Therefore he only does something interesting if something hits(read: embarrasses) him. For example, he never went after Aya until Ishikawa ran away and embarrassed him. He didn’t show any interesting emotion until Miki embarrassed him after he said that Aya was the only one for him. I mean, doing an imitation of a statue might seem easy, but to stand stock still and not move/quake is hard. What’s more amazing is that his jaw went slack with horror. I mean, how can you stand still with horror when GAM are goin at it right in front of you. YOU GOT FROM ROW SEATS!! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY PEOPLE WANT TO BE IN YOU POSITION RIGHT NOW? IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT MOVE ASIDE AND LET ESTREA TAKE YOUR PLACE. Estrea will tell us in detail what happened. Right? Honestly Tofu Boy…you should be treasuring that memory for the rest of you life…however short it may be considering your actions. Just reminded me of that trick where you put someone on a wheel and then you throw knives at them without hitting them (<---optional) while the wheel is turning.

And that's it for me this chapter. "Short" chapter it may be, but I am satisfied. Especially since I just reviewed. Keep 'em comin  ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: rndmnwierd on April 29, 2007, 06:25:45 AM
Too drunk, rply later...

Edit: So many people and so much to drink, and all I wanted was to read your story. And throw up a few times...

What is there to really say about this chapter, except: Haha Reina! You got you stupid ass kicked! Don't mess with the freaking turtles, man! They bite the crap out of you if you take them out of their shells! *rubs finger* Ain't that right Shelly? *hides from turtle*
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Mikan on April 29, 2007, 06:48:51 AM
LOL!!!
im lying on my tummy reading this in a very awkward position so when i read about GAM i totally snorted! oooommfg, that was too cool. Thanks Yuuyami for an illustration of the moment. ahh, happy days~
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Blizzard on April 29, 2007, 06:50:37 AM
Yes!  I so needed this fix tonight!

Leave it to Miki to steal the spotlight!  Now the question is, does all hell break lose because of it?  I wouldn't mind seeing Tofu Boy getting his ass kicked. 
Eri, wow.  Definatly a ninja turtle now, no doubt about it.  Give her a headband dammit!   :cool1:

I hope Yossui and Rika start getting some spotlight soon.  Nothing wrong with GAM, TakaGaki, and Nacchi/Maki, but I miss my fav's. 

Can't wait for the next fix!  Keep up the great work, Estrea!  :heart:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Ren on April 29, 2007, 09:29:04 AM
Yay! way to go to kick Tofu Boy's ass! XD Go Miki! And he can't go running to Rika cause there's Yossie around :D.

I'm with Reina... why do you let Eri beat her up T_T. So Reina is no match for the berserk Eri :D~ I demand rematch! ;D and Eri can pay her assault by being Reina's personal maid while she's still injured :D.

So the hand Yossie saw is Reina's hand screaming for help? Seems sadistic O_O. Like what in horror movie when the killer is trying to kill its victim and the victim tries the best to ask for help and ends up die anyway.

Can't wait for Maki vs Miki round 2 :D.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on April 29, 2007, 10:07:49 AM
Ch. 20
*.* nacchi and gottou. nacchi and gottou. nacchi and gottou. mmmm
Yossui is such a woman <3 The '85 girls, together, on one ship! HOW COOL! ^o^

Ch. 21
XD Gotou and Miki, man, love them fighting. Hah, and I laughed hard at the unsuspecting, out of nowhere, boob grab from Miki.
YESSS come on, IshiYoshi must sleep together! It's the only way, dammit!
Eww...Keita.

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: coachie on April 29, 2007, 11:26:49 AM
I think I forgot (out of sheer shock) to comment on the previous chapter...

YOU KILLED ARIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AYA'S GOING TO GET YOU FOR THAT!!!!!

okies

Miki/Maki fighting/working together was hilarious, made me wonder how strong they must be if they can carry full waterbarrels on their shoulders  ;D

Yeah, I second that Ishiyoshi must share a bed!!!! You can't have Yossie sleeping on the floor, hahaha.

And lol@ Nacchi being pulled out of the water like a fish ^^

Yay for another horror movie (sort of) referrence,
Tanakame action was brilliant, Reina being completely beaten into oblivion by our sweet berserk turtle, hahaha. Somehow the image of Kamei with bloody face and in berserker mode is kinda hot!
Wonder how Reina's gonna handle this defeat when she comes to again.

What I've been wondering/hoping for a while now, is there a speical someone for our dear captain? Like Kei-can maybe? *poke*

And finally GAM!!! :heart:

Ok, now for some critisizing... I felt like the Tanakame part where you elaborated on what happened under deck was more in the way of the story flow and would have better been a Hidden File. But that's just my 2 cents.

Hey Yuu, love that last pic, it looks like Aya's giving Miki THE tongue  :D and Keita's face is priceless!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Sancho on April 29, 2007, 09:31:08 PM
You know what Estrea, I feel so depress after reading Chap. 20. It feels like I want to join the Melons beating you up.  :angry1: but then again Chap. 21 somehow washed that depression away. Especially Eri won over Reina.  :wahaha: good job
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: orangesocks on April 30, 2007, 06:30:19 AM
Berzerker Eri...Yikes! Wow...and I thought Eri and Reina would just get over the little hump in this chapter.

Quote
Her already wonky eyes looked even wonkier than usual, and her dazed expression clearly explained why her eyes looked more off-center than usual.
I wasn't sure whether or not to laugh at this. I'd feel guilty seeing as Reina's booty was just beat.

Hum, how I do love all the gokkie love! Yay for more Makoto. :hee:

Aw yeah, Grope-mode!Miki!! :lol: Whoo! Now they've recovered Ayaya, and Nacchi and Maki have been reunited! I kind of wish Tachibana had thrown himself at bride-to-be so Yossie could have stepped in and kicked his rump.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Amarghetta on May 01, 2007, 03:05:20 AM
I'm almost hoping Keita would do something about Miki, so we could get to read more about her awesome shamelessness... :p

And Eri, wow! So violent, much more than I could ever imagined her. I actually feel sorry for Reina, hehe.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on May 01, 2007, 09:19:50 PM
T-T Eri beat up Reina...

(This is kind of half-assed, so I'll probably come back later and give you a better review. XD)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Tinnygy on May 03, 2007, 06:24:55 AM

Quote
A very painful and definitive object lesson for one Tanaka Reina indeed.

Yay... Very painful  :( . Would Reina be scared of Eri once she woke up and saw her?

Quote
"Why is Tofu Boy here?" Maki asked rudely, using one of her many varied nicknames for him. They had come up with "Tofu Boy" on account of the fact that he was bland, tasteless, and soft (weak). Aya stifled a snort, even as Keita looked grossly affronted.

Ya, I see, but eating Tofu is really good for health ^^.

Quote
"That's because, Tofu Boy, she's mine."

LOL, Miki is the best! And GAM is the best too  :heart:

Wait for your next chapter  :heart:

Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Estrea on May 04, 2007, 01:00:37 PM
Comment reply time~ Sorry for the delay~

Yuu: Hehe I like berserker Eri too. And poor Reina. XD I laughed, I admit. XD I love your drawings too. XD

JFC: Funny how Reina's search for potatoes ended in disaster like that. XD Goes to show life is unpredictable. ;) And yes, Maki is hopelessly dense. We can only hope she gets some sense knocked into her soon. I'm glad you like the Tofu Boy nickname. XD

Econxp: Reina is still comatose in this chapter, but she'll bounce back soon. As for round 2...we'll see. XD

C60533: You know, you don't really have to deliberately make your comments this funny just to entertain me...but I certainly appreciate it! XD The babble about turtles and polar bears got me. XDDDD And yeah, Eri and Reina's fighting styles balance each other out, but they need to get over their initial problems before they figure that out for themselves. XD And your rant about Tofu Boy and GAM....XDDDDDDDDDDDDD Hehehe. Your rants are almost funnier than my story. Haha. XD

rndmn: Lol are you alright after drinking so much? -gives you warm water- And yeah, Reina should have known better than to pry a turtle out of its shell. XD

Mikan: GAM is good, and next time, sit up properly to read. :P

Blizzard: Unfortunately, Tofu Boy, being Tofu Boy, doesn't stand up to much battering and will not pose much of a threat at this point. :P And yeah, Eri the ninja turtle. XD A headband? I'll think about it. XD I'll try to work in more Ishiyoshi in the future, but at the moment GAM is kinda stealing the spotlight, as usual. XD

Ren: Poor Reina I know, but there's no shame in losing to berserk Eri. Rematch? When she gets better maybe. XD Maki vs Miki round 2...should be interesting. XD

slave: Yes yes, Ishiyoshi will sleep together....I'll even describe it in one of the future chapters. :P Happy?

coachie: LOL slow reaction. XD Ishiyoshi won't be the only pair sharing a bed, really. XD And yeah, a bloodied Kamei in berserker mode is really hot... *__* Reina's not going to take the beating well when she recovers. XD

Sancho: Sorry to depress you with Chapter 20, but at least 21 made up for it! I hope you'll like 22 as well. XD

orangesocks: Go ahead and laugh at Reina's misery. I know I did. XD Oh well, Keita's too wussy to throw himself at Rika. :P But don't you think he's been humiliated enough already? XD

Amarghetta: Yeah Miki is awesome at being shameless. XD

Fimmy: You better give me that better review soon. :P

Tinnygy: Reina? Afraid of Eri? Maybe. But she'll get over it soon. XD Yah, Tofu is good for health, but not everyone likes it. XD And go GAM! XD


Apologising here for the lateness of chapter 22! I kept getting distracted by various things, such as my university application being accepted and everything...XDDDD

Well chapter time soon~
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: glcorps2002 on May 04, 2007, 01:05:48 PM
Congratulations! ................ WEDGE!
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 21]
Post by: Estrea on May 04, 2007, 01:22:41 PM
Congrats for wedging, glcorps! Yuu is not going to be pleased. :P

Chapter 22


There was, as said previously, absolute silence engendered from that bold move by Miki. Well, as silent as it could be with the sound of the waves in the background, but you get the idea.

But the point here was not the silence of the audience, far from it. With the possible exception of Keita, who still looked as if his favorite horse just died (like anyone cares). Everyone else was probably a whole lot more interested in the principals of the situation, that is Aya and Miki, who were currently locked in a kiss. Although who was locking whom in one was still debatable at this point, since while Miki did initiate it, Aya wasn't exactly resisting or pushing her away all that much either. One could only wonder what was going on in their minds.

For Miki, it could be very simply summed up in one word: SCORE!!! (give or take a few exclamation marks)

For Aya however, it was far more complex. The girl did have a tendency to overthink things at times. Although you probably couldn't quite fault her for it this time, given that any normal person would have a lot to think about when someone of the same gender kisses them (not for the first time!) in front of someone else of the opposite gender who had just professed their love for them not minutes ago.

Now, her first instinctive reaction had been to pull away and then proceed to clobber Miki senseless...at least, that was the initial plan of action. However, due to the fact that she had kept her eyes open when the pirate had boldly glued their lips together, she managed to notice two crucial things. One of them was, predictably, the look in Miki's eye as she had swooped in. The other was probably incidental, although that couldn't be said for sure, since when Miki had pounced, the angle of their bodies had shifted just right, giving her a nicely unobstructed view of Keita's face out of the corner of her eye.

Needless to say, Miki's cheeky expression was infuriating to Aya, but that playful glint, coupled with her direct view of Keita's undisguised shock and horror, woke up the slightly sadistic side of herself that Aya hadn't really known that was there before. And thus, from her initial 'why the hell am I letting her kiss me?!' reaction, it quickly shifted to 'anything to piss Tofu Boy off'. Perhaps witnessing something like this would finally convince her persistent suitor to back off and tell him that no, she had absolutely no interest in him at all.

Extreme times called for extreme measures, she reasoned, even as she returned the kiss, hearing Miki make a bit of a surprised noise at that, which caused her to smirk just a little bit. Her own arms encircled Miki's waist, pulling the pirate closer, even as she kept an eye out for Keita's reaction.

The poor boy looked like the sky had just fallen on his head, and his hands were trembling. There was shock, horror, and actual tears glimmering in his eyes as he continued gaping at the two girls making out in front of him. Aya felt a surge of triumph at that.

On the other side of the couple, Maki and Natsumi were also in varying states of shock, although admittedly for different reasons and to a lesser degree than Keita. Nacchi recovered quickly enough from her wide-eyed expression at Aya's response to Miki, and was casting a slightly worried glance at Maki instead, clearly recalling how violently the younger woman had reacted to Miki kissing Aya before.

She need not have worried however, for Maki, instead of immediately trying to separate her best friend from the pirate, was instead standing there with a peculiar expression on her face. Nacchi had known Maki long enough to know that this was her "thinking" expression. Curiously, she whispered.

"Are you alright?" Her voice was soft, and her hand reached out to rest on Maki's folded arms. Maki blinked slightly and turned her head to look down at the concerned expression on Nacchi's face. The tall sailor smiled a bit wryly back. "Yeah, I am."

Nacchi didn't look convinced, but let it slide. Instead she asked. "What are you thinking?"

Maki looked back at the still kissing pair, then sighed with a perplexed expression on her face. "Well," she started, "I was wondering if I should be upset that they're doing that, or be pleased by the fact that Tachibana looks like he's just been hit by a carriage." She kept a perfectly straight face while saying that, and Nacchi giggled at heavy irony present in the tone of voice.

"You know, you could do both at the same time." Nacchi pointed out, and Maki nodded with a little shrug. "Oh well, I'll leave them alone for now." She paused, then added. "Doesn't mean that I won't get that sneaky little pirate for it later though." Nacchi giggled at the conviction in Maki's tone.

Back to our little snog fest then. Miki's hands had started to wander a little, to which Aya responded by digging her fingernails forcefully and painfully into Miki's back, causing the pirate to quickly withdraw her hands to safer regions. Clearly, Miki wasn't quite about to mess with a good thing, not when Aya was apparently willing to kiss her right now. Miki might seem like she had no good sense at times, but after having been literally bitten by Aya before, she knew that the girl wasn't kidding about hurting her if she went too far. Something's better than nothing, the pirate reasoned, happily savoring the moment and ignoring all the eyes on them.

Seeing that Keita looked on the verge of total collapse, Aya decided that it would be enough for now. She wasn't that cruel. It was with a certain regret when she pulled her lips away from Miki's (mentally kicking that whining horny little voice in the back of her head back into the closet it came from) and glared intensely at Miki.

"Not a word." Aya muttered threateningly under her breath, trying to back away from Miki, but the pirate refused to let go, a goofy grin on her face. Miki's mind was working very quickly, putting two and two together rather easily and whispering back to her captive. "If you're going to show him up, then do it properly." Miki purred as she nipped playfully at Aya's ear, causing a shiver to run through the younger girl's body.

"What are you up to now?" Aya growled out in a low voice, still pressed close to Miki. The knife throwing pirate preened slightly and smirked. "Just follow my lead."

"Fine." Aya had a slightly bad feeling about this, but decided that she would rather handle Miki than Keita. At least beating Miki up into a pulp was a feasible idea. Beating up Keita simply wasn't, not unless she wanted to get her uncle Elio in trouble. Oh well, whatever Miki came up with me couldn't be too bad, could it?

"Well, Tofu Boy, any more questions?" Miki asked insultingly as she turned her head to face Keita. "As you can see, she's most definitely not yours, but mine."

Keita seemed to snap out of his daze at this, his face outraged. "But, but you're both girls! This is wrong!" Then he frowned. "And my name is Tachibana Keita, not Tofu Boy!"

Behind the scene, Maki was shaking her head. "He had better be afraid if he's pressing that argument." She grumbled, absently putting an arm around Nacchi's shoulders. "I'll even help that miserable pirate kick his ass in this case."

Miki snorted. "Does it look like it bothers us? Face it, Tofubana, you don't stand a chance at all." She then turned back to look meaningfully at Aya. "Right honey?"

Aya twitched at the endearment, but otherwise kept a straight face, faking a smile back. "Of course darling." Her voice dripped with forced affection. Maki and Nacchi hid a smile behind their hands when they caught the upward roll of Aya's eyes to the sky.

Miki was trying her best to keep from bursting out in laughter, even as Keita floundered on helplessly. "But I love you...!"

"Well, I don't." Aya replied flatly and truthfully, cutting him off before he could say anything else. She almost felt a moment of genuine pity for him. It really wasn't his fault, but she did wish that he could catch a hint faster. "Sorry Keita, but you better find someone more suitable for you." She finished almost kindly, but kept her arms wrapped around Miki, even pretending that her attention was completely absorbed with the pirate.

Keita looked dejected and heartbroken, to say the least. Moving diffidently to his side, Captain Levant patted him on the shoulder. "Come on boy, get your chin up. No point getting depressed over women." The older man looked amused as he glanced back at Aya. "Well Aya, I didn't know Maki managed to convert you," Maki snickered at that in the background. Clearly, her reputation preceded her. "But I wish you happiness in whatever you choose."

"Why thank you, uncle Elio." Aya replied ironically, while trying to subtly prevent Miki from feeling her up too much in their current position. The man winked back at her.

"I wonder what your father would think..." Aya paled slightly, and Elio smiled expansively. "Or that prerocious youngest sister of yours...Aria, was it?" Aya winced, a worried expression on her face. "Great, Aria would just copy whatever I do...crap."

"You have a sister?" Miki asked with interest. Aya sighed. "Yes, several." Then she looked sharply at Miki, who had a speculative look on her face. "Don't even think about it, you little lecher." Miki pretended hurt.  "Aw, come on, do you think I'm that bad?"

"Yes you are." Aya replied smartly, momentarily forgetting about the audience in the background. Miki, however, reminded her with a shifty glance, and Aya quickly covered up her tracks. "You're mine, and I'm not sharing you with anyone else." Aya cringed inwardly at the words, even as Miki looked pleased with the response. Maki coughed pointedly in the background.

"Ahem. Sorry to interrupt, but can we leave now?" Elio looked at Maki, then at the other ship waiting for them. "Ah I see, you came for Aya?" Maki and Natsumi nodded in unison. Elio had a speculative look on his face, before glancing at the still depressed Keita next to him. "You two, follow me." He gestured to Nacchi and Maki, requesting them to move to one side with him to speak privately for a moment.

"What is it?" Nacchi didn't bother with unnecessary questions. Elio looked serious. "Those are pirates with you, yes?"

Seeing no point in trying to deceive someone as experienced as Elio, they nodded. He had a thoughtful expression on his face, before he continued.

"I won't ask how you got them to help you, but you two need to know a few things." He paused, face grim. "You can't let Aya go back to the capital now. It's too dangerous for her, and even if we can get a pardon for the rest of the crew, I doubt that whoever's behind the order won't give up trying to get rid of her. The secret orders that Elial received were quite specific that the main priority was Aya." The two women sucked in a deep breath at that, clearly shaken by the information. Elio then continued.

"I'm not sure what you people did to have someone go to such lengths to silence you, but I want you kids to be safe. Take Aya with that pirate ship, and make sure she lies low out here for some time. Don't let her go back, whatever you do. Elial is going back to base, and there are several others who are willing to help us back at High Command. We need to overturn the ruling before any one of you can report back to claim justice. Going back now is simply suicide."

Maki looked worried. "What about Yuuki and the rest of the crew? They're sailing back right now!"

Nacchi patted her on the arm. "Don't worry, I told Kinjou not to report directly back to base." She smiled wryly. "It's a good thing that we have a private port village set up by a certain Levant brother about 2 days' sail away from the main base. They can go there to await news until it's safe." Nacchi looked directly at Elio, who appeared amused. "Isn't that so, Captain Levant? You left clues in that parchment for me to find."

His eyes twinkled with mischief. "Guilty as charged. I'm glad you picked up on that quickly enough. Yes, my brother Elial will pass a message to them when the time is right, so you can rest assured that they will be safe and well." He chuckled a little suddenly. "I thought that you two would end up there as well, but you surprised me by coming after Aya. Loyal friends, the two of you." This was said with a certain approval.

Maki shrugged, while Natsumi inclined her head at the praise. Then Nacchi looked thoughtful. "How do we know when we can go back? I mean, you would need to pass a message to us, don't you?" Elio paused at that.

"Hmm that's a good point..." Maki stared at him. "You mean you didn't think about that?" The older man looked slightly embarrassed. "Well, I do miss a few things now and then!" He said just a bit defensively, and Nacchi grinned at him. "Getting old?" She asked archly, and Elio laughed ruefully. "Perhaps." He then became all business. "What do you two propose anyway? We need a way to communicate somehow."

Natsumi thought for a moment, before snapping her fingers together. "I got it!" At the expectant looks from the other two, she explained her idea.

"Well, remember when you found us at Klashnik?" Elio nodded. Nacchi then continued. "Anyway, there's a tavern there called the Sea Coconut, and the proprietress there appears to be a friend of those pirates we're with now. She seems to be trustworthy too, so you can write a message--coded, of course, if you are worried--and leave it with her for us. I'm sure she can be trusted to do so, especially if you give her a little payment for the favor."

Elio stroked at his stubbled chin. "Sounds feasible. It's better than sailing around in circles trying to track down one pirate ship just to give you the message anyway. That's a really fast vessel they have there." He was eyeing the Red Dawn with a certain amount of respect, clearly wondering how to modify his own ship to make it faster.

"Well, now that this is settled, you three had better set off." Elio started, then paused. "Aya isn't really involved with that woman, is she?"

"No." Both of them replied at the same time. Maki grinned. "Aya rolled her eyes at us while they were playacting earlier. She's using that groping devil of a pirate to ward off Tofu Boy...though I wish she could pick someone else to do that..." She muttered the last bit. Nacchi, however, had a strange expression on her face.

"You know, they might be acting now, but there's a good chance that it could turn into something more..." She mused, and Maki turned on her with a fierce look. "What do you mean?" The younger woman did not look particularly pleased at the assessment. Nacchi looked away from Maki for a moment.

"I know you won't like to hear this, but I've never seen Aya react so much with anyone else. Those two...sparks practically fly whenever they're together. It's amazing." Nacchi shook her head. "I've never seen anything quite like it before."

Maki was silent after Nacchi's take on the situation, and her expression was stony. Evidently, that conclusion didn't please her in the least. Elio quickly stepped in to intervene before the discussion went any further, clearly sensing an argument if it were allowed to continue.

"Well, in any case, you two should take Aya and go. Oh, and about Ishikawa, do you think we can get her so I can send Tachibana back home and off my ship?"

Nacchi winced. "Err, Captain Levant...I don't think Lady Ishikawa wants to go back really, and I don't think that really intense-looking woman standing next to her will let her go in any case." She pointed over at where Yossi and Rika were standing side by side. Elio frowned as he looked at Yossi.

"That person looks sort of familiar somehow..." He then shrugged. "Eh, whatever. I'm only being paid to make sure the Tachibana boy is safe. I don't get any more or less whether or not I find Ishikawa, unless I'm turning her in for the bounty her father set, which probably won't happen since Tachibana is on the ship and all." He rolled his eyes ironically. "Well, take them and run. I'll pretend I never saw you, and I'll go get that poor Tofu-err, Tachibana boy drunk before he thinks about it too much."

"Thanks Captain Levant." Nacchi said gratefully. He shrugged. "Not a problem. And call me Elio. The way you say Captain Levant makes me feel old." He joked. Nacchi smiled faintly. "Of course Elio. Thank you for helping us out." He waved it off.

"Now go, you two. Take care of Aya for me and her father." He looked sternly at Maki suddenly. "And treat Natsumi better, you incorrigible player. Quit playing around."

Maki blinked at him, confused. "Huh?" Elio sighed dramatically. "How do you put up with her?" He asked Nacchi, who blushed slightly, shooting a death glare at a smirking Elio, who winked at her. Flustered, Nacchi tugged at Maki's arm.

"Come on Gocchin, let's go." She pushed Maki in front of her and away from Elio, back towards where Aya and Miki were. Maki looked over her shoulder at Elio.

"What the hell do you mean?" Elio smiled cryptically, but chose not to answer.

Wisdom had to be found on one's own time, by one's own efforts.

~*~*~

Oh no, what do I do now? Was what Rika was thinking when she met Keita's eyes. She most definitely did not want to go back and get married to him. Frankly, she was a little surprised to see him in this place. It's certainly a small world out here...

Seeing Rika flinch upon seeing the man, Yossi put two and two together and guessed. "Someone you don't want to see?" Her voice was only mildly curious, and Rika nodded hesitantly.

"Um...heistheoneI'msupposedtomarry." Rika let it come out in a rush of words, and Yossi blinked, sorting out through the jumble of words after a few moments, before her eyes grew wide. She stared back at Rika, before letting her narrowing gaze slide back to the man in question. She gave him an appraising sort of look.

"He doesn't look that bad." The pirate conceded, albeit a little reluctantly. Rika made a face. "I know that, but I'm in no way interested in him." She pouted cutely, causing Yossi to tighten her grip on the railing just a bit. "Mmhmm." Yossi fixed her gaze resolutely at the scene taking place on the other ship instead.

"What the hell, Miki?!" Yossi blurted when Miki pounced on Aya and kissed her. They hadn't been able to hear the conversation clearly, but judging from the interactions beforehand, Miki was definitely trying to piss someone off...whether that was Aya or Rika's fiance was debatable though, from her point of view.

The twins materialised as if out of thin air (well actually from behind them) next to them at the railing, their eyes bright with interest at Miki's bold act. Kago cheered openly.

"Woo~ Go Miki~!!" Next to her, Tsuji had a funny expression on her face, as if she was pondering something.

"Wait, we came all this way so that Miki gets to ravage her girlfriend? Huh?!" Yossi stifled a snort, and Rika giggled next to her. The older pirate took on a sagely expression as she explained to the younger two.

"This is Miki we're talking about. Of course it makes sense." The twins went "ohhh", and Kago ventured.

"Isn't that a lot like the Yuko explanation?" Yossi nodded, but Rika looked confused. "What do you mean?"

"Basically, it means whatever Yuko wants, Yuko gets, and we help her with it." Yossi shrugged it off as if it were nothing, while Tsuji helpfully added.

"In Miki's case, we don't necessarily have to help her with it, since she usually can do it without our help, but I guess this time was an exception..."

"Oh." Rika didn't really get it, but she figured that there wasn't any point in advertising that fact right now. She could find out more about it at a later date...provided she didn't get caught right now and sent back home to get married of course.

"So what do we do now? I don't want to go back." Rika tugged at Yossi's arm, her eyes becoming all pitiful as she gazed up at her childhood friend. Yossi gulped. There was no way she could win any argument with Rika it seemed, if the girl kept resorting to dirty tricks like that to get past her defenses. Behind them, the twins snickered at the sight, before starting to make kissy noises at them. Yossi pointedly ignored it, clearing her throat.

"Well, if it comes down to that, we'll fight them. I won't let them take you against your will." Yossi promised, and Rika leaned in to hug Yossi's arm. "Thank you Yocchan!"

"Um, right..." She turned away, only to see the twins mouthing "kiss her" at her. "Shut up, you two." Yossi grumbled, and Aibon huffed. "Wuss!"

Tsuji tilted her head over to Miki, who had Aya firmly in her grasp. "You need to learn more from Miki over there."

"Whatever." Yossi turned to look intently at the other ship, noting that Maki and Natsumi were off to one side speaking with a big burly man who was evidently the other ship's captain. The conversation over there broke off with Natsumi pulling Maki away, making the pirates wonder what happened. That didn't matter too much though, since the other ship captain ordered his own sailors to stand down, so their people could come back over easily enough.

Notably, Miki refused to let go of Aya's hand, even after they finally stepped apart. The knife-throwing pirate had an evil grin on her face, while Aya's face was like a thundercloud. Yossi snickered.

Life was about to get a lot more interesting on board the Red Dawn.

~*~*~

When the pirate ship had pulled away, Keita sank to his knees, his face buried in his hands. Elio stepped up next to the young man, shaking his head. "There there."

"I wanna go home..." Keita whimpered. Elio smiled sympathetically, even as he cheered inwardly.

Time to get rid of an unwanted passenger.

~*~*~

"OW HEY!!! What the heck are you doing? OY! Not my face!" Miki yelped, even as she danced away from Aya, who had drawn her gunblade on Miki and was whacking the pirate with the flat side of the blade. Aya was fuming as she sheathed her weapon again.

"That was for coming on to me in front of all those people, you little devil! Keep your hands to yourself next time!" Aya brushed herself off, as if disgusted by the fact that Miki had touched her earlier. Miki feigned hurt.

"But I helped you get rid of that annoying guy! You should be grateful!" Aya snorted.

"That was useful, but unnecessary! And don't think I don't know what you're trying to do, you little lecher!"

"I'm not a little anything! And I think I'm older than you!"

"So? You act like a brat!"

"That's not---"

"BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!!!" Yuko roared, coming squarely in between the quarreling pair with broadsword drawn. Both Aya and Miki backed away a few steps instinctively, as did everyone else. One did not mess with someone who was waving around a big sword like that.

"Fujimoto, if you want to flirt with your girlfriend, do it behind closed doors!" Miki smirked, while Aya grew red with anger. "I'm not her girlfriend, and we're not flirting!"

"Not my problem." Yuko waved it off, then raised her sword in the air to call for attention. "Ok get up people, get to work! No slacking off!" She turned to squint at Aya and Miki, appearing to think about something for a moment. "Oy Fujimoto, if you two are going to keep this up, take it below. Don't distract everyone else."

"Aye captain!" Miki mock saluted, before sliding over next to Aya to whisper. "So, wanna play with me some more?"

"Argh." Aya pushed her palm into Miki's face, forcing the other girl away. "Leave me alone."

Miki bounced back easily. "You know you like me." Aya rolled her eyes. "I do not."

"What did I say about flirting?" Yuko called back from where she was at the helm. Aya muttered several choice swear words under her breath, stalking away from Miki and moving towards Maki and Nacchi, who appeared to be extremely amused as they watched the little scene.

"Poor you." Maki sympathised as Aya got close, still trying to fend Miki off. Yossi then very kindly "escorted" Miki away (aka haul her off) so that the three ex-navy girls could have a quiet moment together.

"Really, if you two had to come after me, couldn't you have found some less annoying people to work with?" Aya asked, exasperated. Maki coughed.

"Well, we didn't really have much choice there. We didn't know anyone else in that port." She explained, and Aya sighed, before asking.

"So, what did uncle Elio talk to you two about?" Maki and Nacchi eyed each other shiftily for a moment, before the older woman stepped in to reply.

"Well, he told us to lay low for a while before we went back." Aya frowned.

"But I need to go back to check on my family...and I sure as hell don't want to stay on board this ship with her around..."

"It's safer for you if you stay out at sea for now." Natsumi coaxed gently. "Also, you still haven't recovered have you?" The motherly little woman tutted as she gave the pale and worn-looking Aya a once over. "How's the shoulder?"

"Painful." Aya admitted, although she showed no other outward signs of her injury. She worked the injured shoulder around a little, wincing just a bit. "I think I reopened it after whacking that annoying girl earlier..." Her confession had barely left her lips when Nacchi was by her side, rolling the sleeve up and pushing it as far back as possible to reveal the crude bandage on the wound, which was already soaked red again.

"We'll have to fix this I guess. Let's go find that doctor." Natsumi looked at Mari, who was passing by. "Excuse me, do you know where Kei-san is?"

"Should be down in the bunks looking after Reina." The small pirate replied after a moment's thought. Nacchi thanked her and then motioned to Maki to help support Aya on the other side.

"I can walk on my own." Aya protested, even as her two friends pretty much shuffled her off. Maki rolled her eyes. "Not with us around, you won't."

"That's right." Nacchi agreed. Aya pouted.

"But I only hurt my shoulder, not my legs!"

"LIke we care." The two replied in unison, before Maki practically carried the smaller Aya on her back down the ladder, Nacchi following down not long after.

~*~*~

Eri was huddled in an old blanket, practically tenting herself in it, leaving none of her body parts exposed except for her eyes peering out. The gentle rocking of the ship was peaceful and almost comforting, even as the turtle girl stared quietly and unblinkingly at the still comatose Reina on the bunk.

Kei was seated on the edge of the side of the bunk bed, keeping an eye on Reina's injuries. Actually, she was just changing some of the bandages. Fortunately, Eri hadn't broken any of Reina's bones, otherwise that would have been a bitch to fix. The bruised rib would heal in a couple of weeks or so, and the external wounds weren't all that bad either. But Reina was still in a bad shape overall.

Eri felt a little guilty about that. She always did feel bad when her berserker self decided to show up and wreck things. That was why she usually chose to stay out of stressful situations, and why she had never mentioned her more violent side to most people. She didn't want other people to be afraid of her after all.

Even if harpoon girl had been annoying and scary, she didn't deserve injuries on these scale. Eri sighed softly as she continued watching Reina lie there on the bed, even as Kei moved over to her cautiously.

"How are your bruises?" The doctor was quite wary of her, and didn't get too close either. Eri blinked up.

"Um, I'm fine. Just sore." Eri murmured quietly. Kei nodded, shuffling quietly away. Natsumi had warned the rest of the pirates what not to do around Eri, and advised them on how not to set the girl off into another frenzy. Even the twins took heed, since they were none too thrilled about trying to pick on Eri after seeing the state Reina was in after the beating she received from a berserk Eri. No one was that suicidal really.

Familiar voices interrupted the turtle girl's reverie, and through the dim light filtering through the port holes, she saw the three officers of her previous ship. She had known that Maki and Natsumi were on the ship already, but Aya's presence was a surprise to her. Blending effectively into the shadows in the corner by Reina's bunk, Eri peered out curiously even as the trio asked Kei for help with treating the apparently inflamed wound on Aya's shoulder.

Kei clucked her tongue disapprovingly as she made Aya sit down on one of the empty bunks, checking the injury.

"It wasn't so bad the last time I saw it. What did you do to it?"

Aya sighed. "How about fighting my way out of captivity, jumping into a stormy sea and nearly drowning?"

"Oh." Kei sounded completely unsurprised. "Take your shirt off. I'll need to get that old bandage off and clean the wound again." Her tone was brisk and all business, barely even lifted her head when she suddenly barked out. "And Fujimoto, quit peeping from up there."

Every eye in the room (except for Kei and Reina) shot up to the opening leading to the top deck, where Miki was sticking her head through to stare quite blatantly at the about-to-undress Aya. Maki stormed over and was about to sock a grinning Miki in the face, when someone else pulled Miki out of harm's way.

"Sorry, I'll try to keep an eye on her!" Yossi's voice floated down, and there were some noises of a struggle as Yossi dragged a protesting Miki away.

"I'll go up there and keep an eye on that little devil." Maki muttered, before scrambling up the ladder in pursuit. Nacchi sighed. Maki obviously had more than just "keeping an eye" on Miki in mind. She wondered who would win the subsequent scuffle in that case.

"If those idiots get hurt brawling over nothing, I'm not going to treat their wounds." Kei muttered darkly even as she swabbed Aya's wound clean. Aya, for her part, didn't make a sound, although her face was going through a variety of interesting expressions, contorting whenever Kei pressed too hard.

"Maybe you should go stop her before anything too serious happens Nacchi...ow." Nacchi nodded distractedly and sped off upwards. Aya sighed and winced again when Kei firmly applied a new bandage to the cleaned wound. Her eyes wandered over to the bed on the far side of the area, where Reina was lying on.

"What happened to her?" Aya asked curiously. Kei tightened the bandage at that point, and Aya grunted painfully.

"Got mauled by a crazy berserker. Someone you should know actually." Kei explained as Aya tentatively patted her redressed wound before struggling back into her shirt.

"Oh?" The word "berserker" rang a few bells, and Aya tried to recall where she heard it before. "Oh! Kamei?" The personnel files had noted that little trait down on the side, and she remembered reading about it before with a certain amount of interest. Meeting and training with Eri hadn't really justified the whole berserker image though, since Eri was quiet and unassuming on the outside. She had since gathered that it took a lot of aggravation before the placid girl would snap. Whatever that injured girl must have done must certainly have pushed Kamei over the edge somehow.

Aya looked forward to getting details on that. Maybe it was a character failing of hers, but she viewed the potential for such raw violence as a useful weapon when correctly utilised. If it could be turned against an enemy, well, the advantages were obvious. It was part of the reason why she had accepted Eri into her crew in the first place.

"I hope that girl gets better soon." Aya said sincerely as she smoothed down her clothes. "And thank you very much." Kei waved off the thanks easily, firing off instructions to the younger girl.

"Don't overwork that shoulder, and please try not to let Fujimoto get to you. You need more rest to get better first."

Aya sighed. "Believe me, if I could avoid that girl, I would. Isn't there a way to keep her off me anyway?"

Kei pondered that seriously, before answering with a straight face. "Not that I know of. You're on your own I'm afraid. But I'll tell her to ease off on you for a while, maybe that will help." She didn't sound too convinced about the effiacy of that method either, but the concern was there. Aya smiled wearily back.

"I'll appreciate it, thank you." Kei nodded before going back to check on Reina.

Aya puffed out a breath and braced herself before heading upwards.

It was not going to be an easy time avoiding one Fujimoto Miki.

~*~*~

"You lost sight of her? Just how inept are you?" A deceptively calm male voice said. There was no overt anger in his tone, but the threat of retribution in his voice was still evident underneath the civility. This was the voice of a snake, a dangerous creature indeed. The guards, all tall and beefy, quaked in their boots at the unspoken snarl in those words.

"Sir, we are very sorry, we will track her down immediately." The leader stammered bravely. The man levelled a contemptuous gaze at them.

"Forget it, if I'm to depend on you incompetent fools to find my niece, she would have come of age before you find her. Now get out of my sight."

The men, grateful that they were not being punished any further, quickly scrambled out of the room. The man behind the desk sighed, rubbing at his temples.

"My lord, I'll take my squad out to find the young lady, do not fear." A voice echoed from the shadows off to one side, sounding perfectly subservient and crisply militaristic. The man nodded in approval.

"It is as well that I have such elites at my disposal. Unfortunate that your break is cut short, Captain."

"It is nothing, my lord. Our lives are yours to command." Again, letter perfect and dripping obedience. The man looked pleased by the subservience.

"Glad to hear it Captain. Now find her. She must not be harmed."

"I understand perfectly, my lord." There was a brief shift amidst the shadows near the side of the room, and a curtain twitched briefly. Whoever had been there was gone by now. The man smiled coldly.

Always useful to have a shadow squad at your beck and call.

=======================================================


Hmm, slightly filler-ish chapter. Sorry it took so long.

Miki: Oh I wouldn't know, I'm quite happy with it.
Me: Of course you are, you get to harass Aya.
Aya: Why me?
Miki: But don't you love me Aya-chan? -puppy eyed-
AyaL ...not in this fic yet Tan...
Miki: -pout- Damn. Estrea, hurry up and put us together already!
Me: -twiddles thumbs- I'll see what I can do.

Anyway, more hilarity in next chapter probably, with occasional moments of seriousness. XD This started out as a comedy, remember? I won't forget to bring laughter. :P
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Estrea on May 04, 2007, 02:20:03 PM
-spot reserved for omake-

The Chibi Wars (no relation whatsoever to the historical battle of Chi Bi! :P ok I'm lame)

For Aya however, it was far more complex. The girl did have a tendency to overthink things at times. Although you probably couldn't quite fault her for it this time, given that any normal person would have a lot to think about when someone of the same gender kisses them (not for the first time!) in front of someone else of the opposite gender who had just professed their love for them not minutes ago.

Meanwhile, inside her head, a battle was raging. Sort of.

An assortment of chibi Ayas were hanging around eating popcorn as a pair of chibis duked it out in the central arena of Aya's mind.

Conservative-Aya was waving around her trademark gunblade, while her opponent, Horny-Aya, was waving around a similar gunblade. Both chibis were intent on trying to push their point across. Peace through superior firepower indeed.

"I'm telling you, we need to talk this out before fighting!" Rational-Aya, who was attempting to referee the duel between the other two, shouted out, before materialising her own weapon and clanging it right in between the squabbling pair.

"I refuse to be molested by that obnoxious brat!" Conservative-Aya declared, raising her gunblade in the air.

"Obnoxious or not, damn, that girl can kiss! I demand that we let her continue!" Horny-Aya insisted, planting her weapon in the ground. A few of the watching chibi Ayas choked on their popcorn at the shameless declaration.

Rational-Aya blushed slightly at Horny-Aya's determination, before clearing her throat. "I'm sure there's some kind of middle ground we can come to! We don't have to fight like this!"

"Nonsense! I refuse to give in to such base carnal desires! En garde!" Conservative-Aya was stubbornly pressing her opinion. Rational-Aya was about to tear her hair out, and Horny-Aya was daydreaming about making out some more with that obnoxious girl in question.

"Attention!" Every single chibi turned to look at the source of the voice. A lone chibi Aya stood by a large screen.

"Ahem! Let us view a certain image first before I make my case! Please watch closely." The screen flashed to life, focusing on one Tachibana Keita. As if on cue, the whole lot of chibi Ayas gagged, either on their popcorn or on their own saliva. The lone chibi smirked before leaping down dramatically to the center.

"As you can see, we have that annoying male in the background. Conservative, you said you refused to be molested by that girl, yes?" Conservative-Aya nodded. "Well then, what are your views on that man?"

"He should be thrown to the sharks." Conservative-Aya replied resolutely. The newcomer nodded.

"Well then, do you agree that extreme means should be taken to deal with him?" Agreement was achieved with all the chibi Ayas present.

"What about me? I just want to get it on with that hot girl!" Horny-Aya protested. The newcomer held up a hand.

"Of course. Which brings me to my second point. We have this girl." A picture of Miki flashes to the screen. "She is completely useful as a smokescreen to piss our common enemy off." A picture of Keita's horrified face comes onto the screen. "This is the current result as you can see. Do I have any objections?"

"Do we really have to kiss that girl just to get at him?" Conservative-Aya asked sullenly. The unnamed chibi grinned. "Don't worry Conservative, I've got an idea that will make you feel better. You can always beat that obnoxious girl up later for the infraction, can't you?" Conservative-Aya brightened up considerably at the idea.

Rational-Aya, having also weighed up the pros and cons relatively quickly, stepped in to take the stage.

"So, final consensus. Do we all agree to use that girl to get to Tofu Boy?" Nods all around.

"Question!!" Horny-Aya waved a hand. Rational-Aya nodded at her. "Yes?"

"When you say we beat her up later, is it a euphemism for really kinky foreplay?"

Conservative-Aya twitched and smacked Horny-Aya over the head. "Shut up you pervert!"

Even as the two chibis degenerated into battle again, Rational-Aya closed the meeting and turned to the mysterious chibi that had intervened. "Who are you?"

The mysterious chibi smiled. "I am the dark side. You can call me Evil-Aya." With that, Evil-Aya disappeared with a poof of smoke that smelled distinctly of sulphur. Rational-Aya shook her head and sighed.

"This is getting weirder and weirder every time we gather here..."

=========================================================

Somewhat long omake, yes. :P
And yeah, it's a tribute to Yuuyami's Chibi-Ais. XD
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Sakura Momusu on May 04, 2007, 02:51:19 PM
That was, in a word, entertaining.  :heart: I'm liking the dual POV style so far, and that last part got me thinking possibilities endless...

I'm still waiting for Reina and Eri to hit it off (not literally though...since they basically got through that already  :hiakhiakhiak:) and Risa and Ai-chan wasn't mentioned much in the last 2 chapters...WANT MORE TAKA-GAKI!!!  :tantrum:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Amarghetta on May 04, 2007, 02:55:40 PM
Yay for Miki's awesomeness! XD

I've been reading this over and over. It's so entertaining and funny! But I kinda missed the Melon and Berryz girls, he...
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: rndmnwierd on May 04, 2007, 03:11:05 PM
I lol'd at the fourth gen interaction. God I miss Aibon.

Definitely a great way to get the plot rolling along, I look forward to the next chapter.

Chibi Wars equals fricking hilarious, btw.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Yuuyami on May 04, 2007, 07:48:02 PM
This chapter is so full of win <3

I see Aya is getting closer to eventually being conflicted with her feelings for Miki <3 I mean, if Maki and Nacchi realize it too, then it's bound to come soon! <3 Aya's still as stubborn as usual, with the shoulder wound re-opened and all xD Hope that will heal soon, so Miki can finally have her way with her ;]

I love Aya's character <3

I love Miki's character a lot too <3

-wonders when there will be actual ishiyoshi lovin' xD-

This is one hell of a crew xD Can't wait for the future chapters xD <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Econxp on May 04, 2007, 08:36:53 PM
Yay for update!!! gotta luv GAM action, lol the omake is so cute. same here, im waiting for EriTana!!! gotta luv those two. Wow even the twins are cautious about Eri, can't wait till Eri shows her berserk side to everyone when she's out of her comfort zone, that would be awesome! maybe even a battle with miki...anyways thanks for the great update as always and update as soon as possible please!!!

-Econxp
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on May 04, 2007, 09:22:49 PM
-lovely little sigh- Oh my... this was such an awesome chapter.

The GAM action was so hot. I didn't know someone could write so much about one kiss. XD I was thinking "Well, damn, don't they need to breathe eventually?" XD

Quote
Maki looked back at the still kissing pair, then sighed with a perplexed expression on her face. "Well," she started, "I was wondering if I should be upset that they're doing that, or be pleased by the fact that Tachibana looks like he's just been hit by a carriage." She kept a perfectly straight face while saying that, and Nacchi giggled at heavy irony present in the tone of voice.

XDDD I think that Gocchin is probably my favorite character in this fic so far. <3 Everytime she says something I laugh a lot.

I almost want to feel bad for Keita in every fic he shows up in. Then again... his misery is so funny. XD

Quote
"Basically, it means whatever Yuko wants, Yuko gets, and we help her with it."

hahaha, Isn't that the truth. They've got the system figured out alright.

I LOL'd constantly as soon as they all got back on the ship, with Yossi and Maki having to 'keep an eye' on Miki, and Yuko's whole speech about the flirting and everything. XD Poor Tanakacchi... T-T At least Kamei-chan feels bad about it. Then she'll be apt to apologize and stuff. Yay. >3

Quote
Always useful to have a shadow squad at your beck and call.

Ohmai! o_O The suspense...

There, that proves I can put out a decent review. :3 I know I should go back and edit that sucky, half-assed one I did last time, but my back is killing me again and I'm gonna try and write before I can't anymore. XD

<3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: coachie on May 05, 2007, 12:35:28 AM
Fun Fun Fun chappy!!!!

When I read about the headband for Eri I realised that the Eri I pictured for your story in my head wore a headband all along and resembles somewhat a certain gender changing martial arts specialist in his schooluniform  ;D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on May 05, 2007, 02:27:51 AM
YES! Aya uses the most powerful way to make a boy back off (or in some cases, jealous enough, maybe even turned on enough- either or is fun), using another girl!

Hmm, it seems that Nacchi is a quick thinker, that’s useful.
Gotou, pick your words wisely, you dummy! Stop making Nacchi jealous >.> I can’t have my new crack pairing die on me! Listen to Uncle Elio, wise man he is.

 You know, I get this rash feeling that Keita is gonna be a sore ass about all this and rat out Yuko and Aya’s crew. He’d be one big ass.

Quote
It's certainly a small world out here...
Hmm, well that really cancels out how vast the sea is.


-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Sakura Momusu on May 05, 2007, 05:40:22 AM
lol...I didn't read the omake when I posted first...so here's my comment on that said omake...

Where's Miki's version of the Chibi Wars?!!!

there...I said it...*runs away and joins Eri in her happy place*
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: C60533 on May 07, 2007, 03:26:28 AM
Okay....as I was writing the review, it all got deleted just when I was about to post it and I couldn't get it back. So I'm depressed and the comment won't be good but I'll try to remember most of it. Sorry. Dammit all.........it was a good one too....I was on a roll.......  :depressed: :badluck:

-

Tofu boy...you're purpose in life is to help Aya and Miki get together. It does help that Aya is willing to do anything to see you pissed off. The first generation senses something between you too. THEIR SENSES ARE TINGLING (Dammit...even now Spider-Man 3 is still in my head) AND THEIR SENSES ARE NEVER WRONG (I hope) Besides, everyone knows that Aya loves Miki. She's just in denial (not the river, but hey! that'll be an interesting place to go....watch out for the rapids though)

Heh. Since Miki decided to help Aya out of the kindness of her heart...that means Aya is even more indebted to Miki. Aya will no longer be able to run away or avoid Miki for long from now on. GAMs are joined by the H!P <---Pun I thought of on my high regardless of how stupid it is I'm puttin it in)  That means that in the mini-war with Miki and Maki, Miki should get a point.  ;) And then the upcoming battle will break the tie. 

And the 4th generation conversation was nice. It has been established. What Yuko wants, She gets...so MOVE PEOPLE! She has a crew backing her up too. But it is interesting how she is able to command people around drunk or not especially Aya and Miki...it does help to be waving a weapon around...but still.....

Eri is sorry for what she did. When they meet Sayu and she wakes up Reina with the help of her newfound intelligence, the Rokkies will get some bonding time in...

About the evil dud...is that the Elial dude? Cause if Elio is Aya's Uncle, then Elio's bro is her Uncle too. I'm goin out on a limb here with this guess...And Aya doesn't know about Aria...so that sitution leads room for a lot of continuation for many situations

Oh! Who's the shadow captain? Captain....Captain...CAPT'N CRUNCH!! Holy crap! He's gonna crunchitize them onto his ship and then they'll be attacked by whatever is on there. And they won't be able to do anything because he fed them the sugary cereal and it gave them a sugar rush and now they're tired. I always knew there was somthing about an old guy that gave things to kids...

OMAKE:

AWESOME!!! BRILLIANT!!! A MASTERPIECE!!!! TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!! ____________ and ___________ GIVE IT 10 STARS OUTA 5!! (Dammit...so many movies....They're gonna mess with my mind and leave me broke. Must resist going to the movie theater unless someone else is paying...Pirates of the Caribbean:At World's End is an exception for obvious reasons though)

You know...what interests me is that they all have weapons. If they keep pulling them out, something interesting might happen. Aya might attack Miki....Aya might make out with Miki....or Aya might go crazy. However...one of them does not need the weapon. The Evil Chibi-Aya. When you're small and evil, manipulation is the route for you.

MORE CHIBI WARS FOR THE CHARACTERS TO CHEER ME UP!!

I think I'll go re-read the story to cheer me up....stupid computer
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: JFC on May 07, 2007, 06:51:16 AM
Quote
Needless to say, Miki's cheeky expression was infuriating to Aya, but that playful glint, coupled with her direct view of Keita's undisguised shock and horror, woke up the slightly sadistic side of herself that Aya hadn't really known that was there before. And thus, from her initial 'why the hell am I letting her kiss me?!' reaction, it quickly shifted to 'anything to piss Tofu Boy off'. Perhaps witnessing something like this would finally convince her persistent suitor to back off and tell him that no, she had absolutely no interest in him at all.
Well, she may as well make the best of it and use the situation to her advantage, right? ;D



Quote
Maki looked back at the still kissing pair, then sighed with a perplexed expression on her face. "Well," she started, "I was wondering if I should be upset that they're doing that, or be pleased by the fact that Tachibana looks like he's just been hit by a carriage." She kept a perfectly straight face while saying that, and Nacchi giggled at heavy irony present in the tone of voice.
@ Nacchi's display of concern for Maki: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! :heart:  She rabu-rabu's you Maki! Open your eyes for pete's sake!

@ Maki's remarks. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/LOL.gif)



Quote
Seeing that Keita looked on the verge of total collapse, Aya decided that it would be enough for now. She wasn't that cruel.
Aw c'mon! Be more cruel!!! :P


Quote
Miki snorted. "Does it look like it bothers us? Face it, Tofubana, you don't stand a chance at all."
TOFUBANA!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/ROTFLMAO.gif)



Quote
Captain Levant patted him on the shoulder. "Come on boy, get your chin up. No point getting depressed over women." The older man looked amused as he glanced back at Aya. "Well Aya, I didn't know Maki managed to convert you," Maki snickered at that in the background. Clearly, her reputation preceded her.
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN Maki got SKILLZ! ;D



Quote
The secret orders that Elial received were quite specific that the main priority was Aya.
Something tells me that Aya was targeted to get to her father.



Quote
Elio started, then paused. "Aya isn't really involved with that woman, is she?"

"No." Both of them replied at the same time. Maki grinned. "Aya rolled her eyes at us while they were playacting earlier. She's using that groping devil of a pirate to ward off Tofu Boy...though I wish she could pick someone else to do that..." She muttered the last bit. Nacchi, however, had a strange expression on her face.
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/cry.gif)  DAMMIT MAKI I SAID OPEN YOUR EYES WOMAN!!!


Quote
Elio frowned as he looked at Yossi.

"That person looks sort of familiar somehow..." He then shrugged.
How much you wanna bet he also knows/knew Yossi's father/family? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/hmmm.gif)



Quote
He looked sternly at Maki suddenly. "And treat Natsumi better, you incorrigible player. Quit playing around."
Holy carp even HE sees it! Wake up Maki! WAKE UP ALREADY!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/tantrum.gif)


Quote
The twins materialised as if out of thin air (well actually from behind them) next to them at the railing, their eyes bright with interest at Miki's bold act. Kago cheered openly.

"Woo~ Go Miki~!!"
Indeed. GO MIKI!!! ;D



Quote
"I won't let them take you against your will." Yossi promised, and Rika leaned in to hug Yossi's arm. "Thank you Yocchan!"

"Um, right..." She turned away, only to see the twins mouthing "kiss her" at her. "Shut up, you two." Yossi grumbled, and Aibon huffed. "Wuss!"
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif)



Quote
"I can walk on my own." Aya protested, even as her two friends pretty much shuffled her off. Maki rolled her eyes. "Not with us around, you won't."

"That's right." Nacchi agreed. Aya pouted.

"But I only hurt my shoulder, not my legs!"

"LIke we care." The two replied in unison, before Maki practically carried the smaller Aya on her back down the ladder, Nacchi following down not long after.
That whole scene was cute. (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/wub.gif)



Quote
"It wasn't so bad the last time I saw it. What did you do to it?"

Aya sighed. "How about fighting my way out of captivity, jumping into a stormy sea and nearly drowning?"

"Oh." Kei sounded completely unsurprised. "Take your shirt off. I'll need to get that old bandage off and clean the wound again." Her tone was brisk and all business, barely even lifted her head when she suddenly barked out. "And Fujimoto, quit peeping from up there."

Every eye in the room (except for Kei and Reina) shot up to the opening leading to the top deck, where Miki was sticking her head through to stare quite blatantly at the about-to-undress Aya. Maki stormed over and was about to sock a grinning Miki in the face, when someone else pulled Miki out of harm's way.

"Sorry, I'll try to keep an eye on her!" Yossi's voice floated down, and there were some noises of a struggle as Yossi dragged a protesting Miki away.
BUSTED!!! :wahaha: :wahaha: :wahaha:


Quote
"Forget it, if I'm to depend on you incompetent fools to find my niece, she would have come of age before you find her. Now get out of my sight."
Come of age? Usually in the old days this event would represent the day a young man/woman would be able to take charge of their lives (more often than not, referring to nobles and/or royalty finally being able to rule and handle their own business themselves instead of letting other people do it for them). My guess is that this person is referring to Aya. She must be ahead of this guy in the line of succession for something.


Quote
The Chibi Wars
Chibi Ayas (especially Horny Aya) FTMFW!!!  (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Amarghetta on May 07, 2007, 07:00:28 PM
*points finger at Estrea*   J'accuse!

Funny, j'accuse could sound like iacus , if mispronounced... :p
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: orangesocks on May 08, 2007, 01:38:22 AM
Hmm, more mystery people...Now I can't stop wondering why they targeted the whole Matsuura clan rather than just singling out Ayaya. What could her father have been doing...?

And anyway, AW YEAH, Ishiyoshi, GAM, and NacchixGocchin!More TaGaki, please!

Eri's still (semi?)sweet, even if she beat Reina to a pulp. At least she feels remorseful about it. It'd be strange (and neat!) if there's TanaKame coming up.  :whistle:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Blizzard on May 08, 2007, 03:32:38 AM
Just realized I haven't replied yet, my bad. 

While GAM seems to have stolen the spotlight again, at least we got a little more Ishiyoshi!  That makes me happy!  And the 4th gen stuff was a nice touch too!  Yossui doesn't need to learn anything from Miki, she's perfect how she is!  :heart:
I'm sorry for the shortness, but I'm dead tired.  So, with that, I bid you all a good night.   :sleep:

Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: iacus on May 08, 2007, 08:04:43 AM
Poor Keita, he means well, but he's just too much of a dumbass to see what's right in front of him. I do wonder how Reina will react to Eri beating her up. (Is it wrong for me to want her to be turned on?) Also; poor, patient, intelligent, Nacchi. Always having to wrangle in hot-headed Maki.

 
Come of age? Usually in the old days this event would represent the day a young man/woman would be able to take charge of their lives (more often than not, referring to nobles and/or royalty finally being able to rule and handle their own business themselves instead of letting other people do it for them). My guess is that this person is referring to Aya. She must be ahead of this guy in the line of succession for something.

Really? my first thought was of Koharu, with Saki being the shadow captain. (Who was koharu's uncle again? Prime Minister?) Though I like your theory better.

Funny, j'accuse could sound like iacus , if mispronounced... :p
In case your wondering (which I'm sure you weren't) iacus is old greek. So, yah, it is kinda funny.
Silly frenchpeople, what will they do next?
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Estrea on May 08, 2007, 07:21:49 PM
Dear god, I'm tired as hell, but it was well worth it. And yes, comment reply time, which means new chapter coming soon. :heart:

Sakura Momusu: Glad you like my style of writing. Reina and Eri really do "hit it off", don't they? XD Takagaki gets some indirect airtime here. :D And glad you liked the omake. XD

Amarghetta: If you think this is funny, wait until you read 23. XD

rndmn: 4th gen is love. <3 And I'm glad the Chibi Wars was hilarious enough for you. :D

Yuu: Aya is still stubborn in this chapter. XD And ishiyoshi will take as long as necessary, but you know when they do hook up, they'll overdo it with the mushiness, so yeah. :P One hell of a crew indeed.

Econxp: Berserker Eri comes out very rarely...and only under certain circumstances. XD You'll see more Tanakamei in this chapter, really. XD

Fimmy: Yeah I can expand any scene indefinitely, just because I can. XD I think Gocchin will continue to crack you up in this chapter, along with Miki. XD These two...hehe... And the only thing I can say is: Poor Reina. XD

coachie: LOL Ranma? Eri? -brain meltdown- XDDDD

slave: Your crack pairing is going to be so angst in my fic, sorry. :P And yeah, Keita's an ass sometimes. XD Still, don't be too harsh! :D

C60533: You continue to prove that you can crack me up. XDDDD Your comments are almost funnier than my story itself! XD -can't reply much because brain is totally dead by now- @_@

JFC: Maki is emotionally dense. We've established that. :P It's going to take a lot before she finally figures it out. XD Heh. Hehe. Hehehehe. -brain already melted-

orangesocks: Oddly, there's going to be a really weird Tanakamei scene coming up. :P

Blizzard: GAM always steals the spotlight. Period. Yeah the world could do with more Ishiyoshi. XD Don't worry, as of currently I'm also dead tired. @_@

iacus: Don't worry, it's not wrong to hope that Reina is turned on by being beaten up. That's part of a joke later anyway. You'll see. XD


Gah my brain is totally wrongly wired now and in a complete mess. @_@ Will try to edit the longass chapter coming up. Oh and before I do that, I need to make an announcement.

I have officially crossed 100,000 words for All Aboard!

Yeah, that's it.

-limps off to edit and post chapter-
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Yuuyami on May 08, 2007, 07:23:25 PM
Wedge~! <3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 22]
Post by: Estrea on May 08, 2007, 07:50:59 PM
Chapter 23


"You can't leave now, it's too dangerous for you to be on the roads. We don't know if you would get ambushed again on the way to the capital." Mai protested when Ayumi informed her that their group would be setting off to the capital to investigate the case and to search for the Admiral.

"Yeah it's only been a week since then, and don't you think Murata-san needs more rest before she goes on a journey?" Miuna chipped in. Asami nodded vigorously as well. "You guys are in no condition to fight."

Megumi hobbled over with the aid of Masae, trailed by Hitomi. "We can't delay much longer. We need to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible."

"And risk getting killed? Who will claim justice for the Matsuura household if you perish?" Asami said bluntly. The four guards fell silent, torn between their anxiety to fulfill their duty and good common sense not to die needlessly.

"But we can't sit around in the village forever." Hitomi protested. Mai was tapping her chin thoughtfully. "You said you need to go to the capital?"

"Yes, we have a few friends there that we need to ask for help from." Masae confirmed. Mai looked at Asami.

"Hey, the harvest is coming in right?" When the shorter woman nodded, Mai beamed. "That means we're sending the wagons to market yes?"

Asami frowned in confusion. "I don't see how...OH. That's a good idea." The rest looked baffled, so Mai explained.

"Well, we bring our farm produce to market after harvest time. And it just so happens that our main market is the capital city so..." The quartet grinned suddenly at where the line of thought was heading.

"We can hide you amongst the caravans. No one will suspect anything, and it's a great deal safer for the four of you." Asami assured them. "The wagons won't move very quickly though, but I suppose the lost time is worth the greater safety."

"When do the wagons move then? And how long will the journey take?" Megumi asked.

"They're setting off the day after, and it takes about 5 or 6 days to get to town. Wagons don't move very fast, I'm afraid, even on the Imperial highway. But it's the best we can do." Mai answered with a shrug.

"We can't thank you enough for this." Hitomi said gratefully. The 3 village girls waved the gratitude off casually.

"It's only right to help people in need, especially when you are our friends." Miuna opined. The other two nodded. Mai then scratched at the back of her head.

"I guess I'll go talk to the elders about bringing them along with the wagons." Asami nodded. "I'll come along with."

"Me too!" Miuna jumped in as well, making Mai roll her eyes and cuff the excitable young woman around the neck. Asami sighed and separated the two even as they marched off to the village elder's hut.

The four guards looked on at the retreating backs of the three women, then at each other, slightly bemused expressions on their faces.

"Guess we're staying for a couple more days eh?"

~*~*~

"I'm bored...so bored....boooooooooored." Koharu chanted as she lay on her belly in her bed. Miyabi, who was sitting on the couch by the window, looked up irritably from her book. "Will you please shut up already?"

"But I'm bored!" Koharu protested, propping her chin up on her hands, her elbows sinking slightly into the soft downy material of the bed.

Myabi rolled her eyes. "So am I. If you hadn't decided to run out that way the other time, you wouldn't be grounded, and I wouldn't have to sit here and face you all day!"

"You're mean." Koharu stuck her tongue out at the older girl, who grunted and pointedly went back to reading, deliberately ignoring her charge.

The tense stalemate between mistress and servant was disrupted by the opening of the gilded wooden doors. Miyabi tensed instinctively, her hand wandering to where her weapon was concealed, but relaxed when she saw it was only Saki. Her best friend was escorting someone else, a very familiar face.

"Sayu~" Koharu beamed, bouncing off the bed and running over to greet her visitor, who was dressed in a simple peasant dress but still managed to look extremely cute and pretty, as usual. Miyabi raised an eyebrow at them.

"So do I get a break now?" The sometimes-evil girl yawned as she stood, stretching lazily as Saki laughed.

"Yeah Miya, you can go relax a bit now, I'll take over here. By the way, Maa-chan's looking for some entertainment over in our usual place. You better go look for her before she starts felling trees again." Miyabi's eyes grew bright with anticipation, rubbing her hands together and cracking her knuckles. "Sounds like fun. Thanks Captain!"

"What was that about?" Sayumi asked with a raised eyebrow as Miyabi practically bounded out of the room almost cheerfully. Koharu also looked perplexed. Saki coughed diffidently.

"Just a game we play in our free time. Call it a kind of bonding for our friendship." The small captain explained carefully, closing the door quietly and moving to stand in a corner unobtrusively as she did so. The two nobles in front of her didn't need to know what Miyabi and Maasa were doing in their spare time. No one needed to know that those two would probably be sparring in the little forest glade hidden behind the mansion. It kept their skills sharp to practice like that.

Come to think of it, when was the last time she got to go all out on someone...anyone, really? Saki sighed to herself quietly. If only her fighting style didn't tend to cause an almost unreasonably high number of fatalities as it did...

"So what brings you here today?" Koharu asked cheerfully as she guided her guest over to sit on the long couch which Miyabi had so recently vacated. Saki followed quietly and poured tea for the two of them, before retreating to stand quietly by the side.

"Well I heard that you were grounded, so I came over to visit you since you can't come and look for me. Besides, I wanted to get out of the house." Sayumi explained with just as bright a smile back. Koharu sighed ruefully at that.

"I'm dying of boredom in here...my uncle's mad at me because I ran out without telling anyone where I was going...I still don't know how you managed to find me so quickly, Saki-chan." The young girl shot a reproachful look at the little captain, who cleared her throat and looked around innocently. "Just plain luck, I suppose."

The truth of the matter was that Saki had narrowed down the possible places Koharu could possibly have gone to, and split her team to check on each of the limited number of possible destinations. The city might be big, but for someone like Koharu who had so little experience with it, there weren't many places she could possibly go to, so it wasn't all that difficult to find her if you knew her habits well enough. Of course, Saki wasn't about to explain all that to people who had no need to know that she was capable of something like this.

Meanwhile, Koharu was still talking. "And that's not the worst thing! When I came back, I got into this huge argument with my uncle. I didn't understand why he keeps sending people to keep an eye on me, so I sort of screamed at him about that..." The young lady broke off with a shudder at the memory.

"What happened?" Sayumi asked curiously, her eyes wide. The concept that someone could find the guts to yell at the Prime Minister was pretty much an eye-opener. Most people would probably get sent to the dungeons for less than that. Even if Koharu was indeed his niece, it was amazing she only got off the hook by being grounded.

Koharu mumbled something under her breath, clearly the very memory of whatever happened must have horrified her until now. Sayumi prodded the younger girl in the side, but garnered little response. She then turned her gaze to look at Saki, who was gazing rather sympathetically at her charge.

"Do you know what got to her?" Saki had a peculiar expression on her face as she replied. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I was there."

"Mind telling me?" Sayumi pressed. Saki sighed. "Well, his Lordship said that the reason why our little lady here needs to be protected is because he was planning on arranging a marriage for her with the Crown Prince, and so..."

The very word of 'marriage' induced a pitiful whine from Koharu, who buried her face in her hands. "I'm too young to think about marriage!"

"Actually, the royal house marries early." Sayumi informed her matter-of-factly, then sighed. "If my background weren't as disgraced, I'd be betrothed to someone by now too..."

"But I don't want to get married to the Crown Prince." Koharu complained, kicking her feet angrily in the air. Sayumi looked at her as if she had grown another head.

"I thought everyone wants to marry into the royal family...and the Crown Prince...that means you get to become Empress after he ascends the throne, you know!" Sayumi tried to make it sound more attractive an idea to the reluctant Koharu, who pouted in response.

"If you want that so much, why don't you marry him?"

Sayumi giggled at that. "He's my cousin, silly. I'm not interested in marrying someone related to me, distantly or not."

"Oh right, I forgot, you're related to him aren't you?" Koharu was giving her a peculiar look, as if she had seen the devil itself. Probably the girl was channelling her resentment for her future husband towards his kinswoman, who was sitting right next to her. Sayumi sweatdropped at the deadly vibes coming from Koharu.

"Kusumi-chan, I'm not him...you don't have to glare at me like that..."

The air grew cold around them, and Sayumi tried desperately again. "Well, if the Crown Prince is at all related to me, that means he can't possibly look all that ugly can he? If he's anything like me, he'll be gorgeous too, so you won't have to worry about marrying an ugly husband!"

In the background, Saki snickered silently.

"That's not the point!" Koharu wailed suddenly, breaking off the eerie eye contact she was giving to Sayumi only moments earlier. "I don't want to get married to some guy I've never met before! I don't even know him!"

"But I'm sure they won't arrange the marriage until you're at least a bit older." Sayumi soothed placatingly. Koharu sighed deeply, slumping backwards onto the cushions with a morose expression.

"Yeah...only until I turn 16. Uncle showed me the royal decree already, and that's what it says. That's still too soon in my opinion..." Koharu looked like she was about to start crying. Sayumi patted the younger girl's shoulder comfortingly.

"There there...cheer up, it can't be so bad..." This time, Koharu even sniffled a little.

Saki looked on the whole situation with a bemused expression. Whoever said watching over Koharu was boring? Miyabi had no idea what she was missing.

It paid to be easily amused after all.

~*~*~

Five days. Five days at sea. Five days at sea sailing in relatively miserable weather. Five days at sea sailing in relatively miserable weather with a bunch of pirates.

Life has just gotten so much weirder, Eri mused as she huddled inside a large empty barrel in the ship's hold. She had just finished her shift, having been cleared fit for light duty by the resident ship's doctor Kei a few days ago. Now that she had some free time of her own, she naturally gravitated to the nearest small space in order to think about things on her own...and to watch others from her vantage point.

It was amazing what one could observe if one stayed still and quiet in a corner. Eri was the master of staying quiet in a corner, and a combination of luck (whether good or bad is entirely up to your point of view) and timing usually landed her front-row seats for most of the more interesting going ons of the ship whenever she was on break.

Eri had no idea why, or whether it was sheer coincidence or not, that she kept stumbling on private moments...or that the private moments kept stumbling onto her, considering the fact that she never actively went searching for them, and was instead staying put in whatever corner she had picked for the time. As a result, she had the distinct misfortune of witnessing some really disgustingly mushy moments that she really didn't need or want to know about.

The first, of course, had been of the newly wedded couple. Now, Risa was Eri's friend. That means that they could sustain a reasonable conversation and hang out together at times. Eri enjoyed Risa's company, but there were some things that the turtle girl found that she didn't need to know about, such as her friend's domestic affairs. By domestic affairs. naturally that meant private things. Like Risa's exact relationship with Ai. Or all those gushy conversations those two tend to have away from other people, but as it turned out, the "away from other people" ended up right next to the spot where Eri had just chosen to hide in during that time.

Yes, the ship was only so big. Yes, it was hard to find a decent space and time for a moment of privacy in such a confined area. But couldn't they pick somewhere else where she wasn't hiding nearby for once? It was like a curse really, since wherever Eri tried to lay hidden in a corner, inevitably Risa and Ai would somehow wander to a spot nearby and provide her with an excellent coverage of their conversation.

Normally those private conversations weren't so bad, taken individually, of course. Thankfully, those two were a tad on the innocent side, so there was never a replicate of the kind of dirty conversations Eri had accidentally eavesdropped on previously. That was only a small comfort in itself though, since the combined effect of all that sugary sweetness of that couple was about to drive poor Eri insane.

Logically speaking, she couldn't even blame them. It wasn't their fault. Just because they were so innocently happy together doesn't give her the right to feel like retching whenever they started acting all shy and cute around each other. After all, they were married, so they had all the right in the world to start getting warm and cuddly with each other, among other things that she was glad to NOT have seen thus far.

If only they didn't keep unintentionally rubbing that fact into her face.

There was an amusing moment during her unintended observations of the budding relationship between Risa and Ai though. Ai's friend, that cleaver-wielding girl...Makoto, was it? Yes, it was Makoto. Eri had been curled up in between the potato sacks when Makoto had hauled Risa down to the storage area for a good talk. Well, there was talking involved, but it was very one-sided, and somehow involved a lot of cleaver waving and a sense of general antagonism in the air. Eri had never felt more sympathy for the poor, sweating Risa than at that moment. Not enough to step out to rescue her friend mind you, but enough to feel some measure of sympathy for the poor girl.

It appeared that Risa had a lot of incentive to continue treating Ai like the absolute center of her existence (not that she really needed any more encouragement with that though), and for that reason alone, Eri found it somewhat slightly easier to stomach all that sugary sweetness whenever she was in close proximity to all those private conversations between the couple. She still didn't have to like it all that much, but at the very least it was marginally tolerable......for now.

If only Risa and Ai were the only ones whose private lives Eri kept stumbling upon by accident. By some twist of fate, Eri literally got a sneak peek into just about every single person's solitary moments, save for a rare few who had somehow avoided coming into her general vicinity while she was concealed. Some were fascinating, many were amusing, and there was the occasional moment that confused the heck out of her, but she always did file those away for future reference. Never knew when it could come in handy some time.

Maki and Miki amused our resident turtle girl. Actually, they amused the whole crew with their not-very-private rivalry. Eri didn't even have to be hidden to bear witness to most of their antics. Be it on her shift or off it, whenever one of them was within the orbit of the other, something was bound to happen. Even if they weren't in direct contact with each other, somehow things still manage to happen.

Be it the time when Maki had ended up halfway stuffed into a barrel (how, Eri still didn't know to this day, but she suspected the terrible twins were involved somehow), or when Miki had woken up with her hair braided into a fishing net tied to a pole, the effects and results of said competition between the two to outdo each other prank by prank was truly a marvel of the known world, not to mention utterly hilarious to boot. Eri laughed until she almost fell overboard (saved by Kaori, thankfully) at the time when Maki, in an attempt to get Miki caught dangling halfway up in the air in the ropes attached to the sails, had ended up falling into her own trap and wound up hanging upside down with one foot caught in the ropes, blood rushing to her head until Risa managed to get her down later.

Of course, Miki had nearly died laughing at Maki's predicament, but she didn't laugh quite so much when Maki, after having had her leg freed, had wound up falling the rest of the way...right onto a gleefully gloating Miki at the bottom. The resulting collision and tangle of limbs was not only comical, but painful, especially for Miki, who had ended up hurting her back for the umpteenth time ever since their subterranean war started. Eri was beginning to wonder if Maki was also deliberately targeting Miki's back as a potential point of weakness for her attacks. The turtle girl couldn't quite put it past her former superior officer not to do that...but who knows, really?

After that disastrous interlude in the Maki versus Miki wars, things quietened down...relatively speaking. There was still always the terrible duo, of course. Those two were the original masters of havoc on board this ship after all, according to Kaori whom she had asked after seeing Risa nearly get shocked out of her skin and reduced to a gibbering wreck after the latest series of pranks by the resident troublemakers, which had also notably claimed Natsumi, Maki and Aya as victims as well, probably as a welcome-to-the-crew surprise.

Eri found it amusing that her former captain ended up joined to her tormentor (aka Miki) by their hands with iron chains that the twins must have procured while they were in port earlier. Eri's vocabulary of swear words had increased exponentially upon Aya's discovery of that fact that day. Miki didn't seem too averse to the idea though, and took every opportunity to feel Aya up whenever possible, much to the younger girl's utter chagrin and frustration.

It had taken some persuasion, well, a lot of persuasion, from Nacchi before the twins deigned to unlock Aya from Miki. Somehow, Nacchi had managed to hit it off the the younger duo after the initial prank they had pulled on her, which had involved rope, fishing hook, and a lot of creativity on the pranksters' part. About the only good thing, if it could be considered a good thing that is, was that Maki was the one who rescued Nacchi and carried her back to bed. Such twisted logic there, Eri reasoned. But she supposed it was all for a good cause, and the turtle girl had a sneaking suspicion that Natsumi had staged the whole thing with the twins themselves, although she didn't have any hard evidence about that. The terrible two seemed to like the older woman, and that was always a good thing. If nothing else, them liking you meant that they went easier on you with the pranking. They wouldn't stop entirely of course, but the pranks wouldn't be as hazardous or life-threatening.

Thank god for small mercies, Eri supposed. She was simply glad that the twins haven't yet targeted her for whatever reason, and she was glad to keep it that way.

Speaking of her former captain, Eri snickered lightly as she shifted her position inside the barrel. Aya appeared to have acquired a second shadow these few days in the form of one Fujimoto Miki, who delighted in flirting shamelessly and trying to sneak gropes in on the younger girl. Eri had heard from Mari that this new obsession of Miki's was apparently a good thing for them, since it meant that Miki was a lot less likely to start harassing the rest of the crew. However, that meant that Aya, like it or not, had to bear the sole burden of having Miki's attention focused fully on her.

Strangely or not, Eri felt very little sympathy for Aya, possibly because the whole thing was just too darn funny with Miki's constant advances and Aya's equally constant rebuffs that ranged from straightforward to downright ingenious. Eri couldn't be entirely sure about it, but she suspected that the groping demon collected more injuries via Aya's repeated rejections than during her private war with Maki. Aya had probably smacked Miki around more often than not, even drawing her gunblade on her when Miki simply went too far for her liking.

Despite all that though, Miki persevered, and her first and most significant triumph was probably to make sure that Aya ended up sleeping on the same bed as her. There was a distinct shortage of space on board the ship in terms of sleeping arrangements, and even with some tweaking of the duty rosters, some of them had to wind up sharing beds. Some were easy, like the twins, who had no qualms about snuggling together in one bunk; or Maki and Natsumi, who seemed perfectly comfortable with sharing a bed. Miki had immediately laid claim to Aya, with Yuko's blessing, much to Aya's chagrin, but since no one else would share with Miki and there wasn't any other person Aya could actually bunk with, she very reluctantly gave in.

It wasn't as bad as Aya had feared though, probably. Yes, before Miki fell asleep, she would attempt to grope Aya and then proceed to trap and pin her prey down to make sure the younger girl didn't try to escape her. But after the groping devil had nodded off, it turned out that her sleeping habits weren't too awful after all. At least she didn't snore for one thing, and she didn't kick too much. What did amaze the rest of the pirates, however, was that ever since Aya started sleeping with in the same bed with Miki, waking Miki was no longer a life-threatening business. Where in previous times when Yossi had to be drafted in to brave a potentially deadly volley of knives from a sleepy Miki, nowadays the job of waking the tiger up had fallen to Aya. The thing that had really stunned the regular pirate crew was that Miki never once menaced Aya with her knives when the younger girl woke her up. Eri wasn't entirely certain about how Aya woke Miki up, but whatever it was, it resulted in a lot of giggling on Miki's part, followed subsequently by the standard morning squabble as the groping devil started trying to fulfill her quota for the day.

On the topic of reluctant bed partners, Risa and Ai were humorously one of them. Eri couldn't fathom what the problem was really. After all, those two were married. If anyone had the right to share beds, it was them. The logic was clear and simple enough in her opinion. However, Risa had been terribly shy about the whole thing, and had even gallantly offered to take the floor, until Makoto, who had given up her own bunk to the wedded pair, had gotten irritated by the hemming and hawing between those two and threatened to hack Risa into tiny pieces if she didn't join Ai on the bed. There were no more arguments after that little display.

It was still rather entertaining to see Risa desperately trying to keep her hands to herself though, with little result as it turned out, since by the time they did wake up in the morning, they would end up being all wrapped around each other anyway. Talk about futile efforts. After the first couple of nights, Risa had been so embarrassed by how she kept waking up in all sorts of interestingly compromising positions with Ai that the poor girl ended up volunteering for night watch permanently, just so she could get out of sharing a bed with her wife.

If Ai was disappointed, she didn't show it. She did seem rather shyly amused at the beginning though, regularly waking up to find that Risa had somehow ended up nuzzling her chest or had her hands up her blouse or something equally embarrassing like that. Her amusement was probably primarily derived from the fact that Risa would totally freak out whenever she woke up to find herself in yet another awkward position with her blushing wife. It was like an alarm clock for the rest of them for the first few days, with Risa's incoherently stammered apologies being loud enough to wake the rest of the still slumbering crew.

Another milder case of reluctant bed buddies came in the form of Rika and Yossi, the latter of which had initially insisted that Rika take the bed while she herself slept on the floor or something. Rika, just as naturally, had insisted that she wouldn't allow her Yocchan to sleep on the floor and was adamant on sharing. After a few admittedly very weak arguments from the Second Mate, Rika had just cut off all further discussion by pulling Yossi down on the bunk with her and happily rolling on top of of the blushing pirate, almost instantly falling asleep not long after. Yossi had tried to wriggle her way out from underneath later, but to no avail, as Rika wouldn't budge, being a sound sleeper with a patented death grip. Ever since that first night, Yossi had pretty much resigned herself to her fate and just went along with the flow. It was easier than resisting anyway. And really, it wasn't all that bad snuggling with someone at night, Yossi discovered. It felt a bit odd at first, but it was sort of...nice. If anything else, nowadays she woke up grinning goofily more often than not...much to the amusement of the twins who took every opportunity to tease her about it.

It had been a rather eventful time these last 5 days, Eri pondered from her hiding place inside the barrel. Sure, most of the really eventful things happened to other people, but since she was there to see it, she supposed she was indirectly experiencing it for herself too. Not that she really needed the additional excitement, mind you, since she had her own set of encounters to deal with. Namely, one very persistent former victim of hers whose continued harpoon-waving antics never ceased to unnerve her.

What was up with that girl anyway? Eri just couldn't figure Reina out at all. After the injured girl had woken up, Eri did apologise very briefly while Reina was still weaving in and out of consciousness, so she considered her part to be done. After all, she couldn't control her berserk side, and it was the fault of whomever who decided to invoke its wrath that she ended up causing harm to others. As it was, Reina probably deserved what she got for doing what nobody had managed to do for a couple of years, that is, to irritate her to the point of losing control. For whatever reason, Reina managed to get under her skin with disturbing ease somehow, with very little thought about it apparently from the harpoon girl herself in question.

Maybe it was some kind of inborn skill or something. It took very little effort on Reina's part to unsettle Eri, even if the former never realised it herself just quite yet. The girl was tough too, since after the initial period of unconsciousness, Reina had bounced back quite strongly, and was walking around a day after regaining consciousness, much to Kei's profound irritation.

The doctor kept on muttering about how she gets no respect from the kids, to which Reina had very boredly and impudently replied that she didn't need to listen to a naggy old hag about the state of her body. It was a comment which had very nearly resulted in her getting shot by a highly irate Kei, proving once again that along with Miki, Reina probably had very little sense of self-preservation when it came to speaking too bluntly. It had taken Mari and Yossi, the two very wise ship's officers, to haul Reina out of harm's way and with the help of the rest of the crew, to work on keeping both parties on either side of the ship to prevent any more unexpected incidents that might add to the state of Reina's injuries.

Reina, however, couldn't seem to understand what the big fuss was, and went about with the lighter chores assigned to her as per normal, interspersed with her hobby of fishing during her breaks as if nothing had happened. Some people had no sense whatsoever.

The worst thing was that Reina continued to seek her out, the turtle girl thought with a certain amount of dismay. Eri gathered that Reina was simply curious, if the questions that she kept spouting were any indication, but Eri found it very difficult to stay focused on whatever the other girl was saying when that accursed harpoon kept being waved around in her peripheral vision. It was hypnotising, almost. Unfortunately, it was also an action that raised her danger instincts to a fine edge, making poor Eri feel like she was treading a very thin line in between freaking out and staying calm. Was hanging out too much with Risa rubbing off on her? Because Eri felt a very strong urge to start scream-babbling whenever Reina approached her speaking in that oddly accented voice of hers while brandishing that enormous harpoon in an unconsciously threatening manner.

Which was why Eri tended to find excuses to slip away and disappear in an almost ninja-like fashion, leaving a very confused Reina behind to wonder just what the heck was going on. Given the current state of affairs, and if it were allowed to continue, Eri didn't know how long it would be before she snapped again and tried to finish up her previously botched job of attempting to murder that annoying harpoon girl in a berserker rage. Personally, she hoped it didn't come to that. As unnervingly unsettling Reina could be to her, no one really deserved to be killed just because of that. Now, if only she could somehow make certain that Reina would just stay away and avoid aggravating her. If only. It would probably be easier to singlehandedly wrestle a hungry shark into submission than to convince one Tanaka Reina that her continued presence in front of Eri would eventually drive the other insane.

Voices. Eri's attention was drawn back to the reality around her by the sounds of someone, no, two people speaking quietly to each other. A sick feeling of something akin to dread began to coalesce within the pits of her stomach as the turtle girl prayed that she wouldn't have to be subjected to another session of sickeningly sweet conversations between Risa and Ai.

Surprisingly enough, her prayers were answered. The voices of the two people drew nearer, and whoever they were, they were most definitely not that disgustingly adorable couple. Eri had heard their voices enough to tell the difference at any rate. Who was it then? It didn't really make much sense for anyone to come down to the very bottom of the ship at this time of the day, so whoever was coming down here was probably seeking some privacy for a chat..or for other purposes. Now Eri started praying even harder that it was only for a chat. If whatever divinity out there had answered her first prayer, surely it could answer this one as well?

Miraculously, she was saved once more. Maybe she could consider getting religious again. There might be some merit to the idea of a god after all. The voices were now close enough for her to identify who the speakers were. The conversation, if nothing else, was distinct enough that she could immediately figure out who they were. And knowing those two, it was highly unlikely that they could be down here for any other purposes than chatting. Or for trying to kill each other, but even that option was still better than the worst case scenario she had envisioned earlier.

"So, what did you want to talk about?" The voice sounded bored, with just the faintest hint of a sneer. Eri kept her ears pricked to listen, while staying very silent in her barrel. She didn't want to be caught and accused of eavesdropping, which was exactly what she was doing now, of course, but that doesn't mean she should be caught anyway. Eri was practical like that. One of her life's principles was that you could do anything you wanted, no matter how wrong or illegal, as long as you didn't get caught. That was the most important rule right after "save yourself first". Who cared about little things like morality and ethics?

"Look, I don't want to talk to you either, but Nacchi made me." The other voice, now identified as Maki grumbled. The first voice actually snorted out loud. "You're so whipped."

"I am not, and we're not like that anyway. Take that back or I'll hit you." Maki's voice was raised threateningly, but Miki only laughed.

"What happened to talking? Although frankly, I prefer other means of...communication."

Maki made a noise of pure disgust, and Eri could practically feel her roll her eyes. "Yes I've noticed that. You and your very physical means of communication. Speaking of that, will you please stop groping what's mine?"

"I'm not groping you right now...although I could remedy that immediately if you want." Eri bit on her lip to keep from laughing out loud as she mentally imagined the look on both their faces. There was a slap of flesh meeting flesh, clearly the sound of the Maki batting the groping devil's hand away, given the exasperated sigh coupled with the "aww come on" from said groping devil, who was undoubtedly one Fujimoto Miki.

"That wasn't exactly what I meant, although I would appreciate it if you stopped trying to grope me too." Eri wondered if that person was rolling her eyes or glaring right now, and was sorely tempted to stick her head out of the barrel to check, but decided not to risk it and just stay put where she was.

"Oh, then what do you mean? Stop going around in circles and just tell me." Again with the bored tone. Maki sighed in frustration.

"Quit touching Aya...and Nacchi too, while you're at it. I saw you do it again yesterday!"

"Firstly, since when is Aya yours? Secondly, aren't you contradicting your 'we're not like that' claim? Oh and thirdly, that was an entirely friendly touch of greeting since she was in my way, I didn't even touch anywhere too sensitive!" Miki sounded infuriatingly smug as she completed her defense. The sound of Maki grinding her teeth together sounded very loud even to Eri, who had to stifle another urge to start laughing.

"Aya is my friend, and I am obliged to look out for her interests. As for the second thing, it's COMPLICATED, so don't ask. And lastly, friendly touch or not, I will hamstring you and tie you to the prow if you do it again."

"And how do you propose to do that?" Miki's voice was challenging, even defiant. "And I would also like to note that your friend Aya is doing a very good job of looking out for her interests without your help. I still haven't managed to get further than feeling her up a little, and she won't even let me anywhere near her lips anymore." There was a slightly regretful sigh at that, before her voice turned serious again. "Besides, aren't you getting a little off the point? I thought we were here to talk, not threaten each other. If you don't have anything else worth saying, I hope you'll excuse me. You're keeping me away from making more attempts to wear my target down."

"Fine, ok, just...fine, wait." Maki sounded like she was struggling to find the right words to say. There was a brief pause, an almost expectant silence, before Miki sighed exaggeratedly and started to walk away very ostentatiously, the sound of her footsteps echoing rather loudly against the planks.

"No! Wait, fine. Alright." Maki appeared to be trying to convince herself with her own words. The footsteps stopped.

"Well?" Another sigh from Maki. Miki sounded extremely gleeful when she continued, "If not, I'll be leaving~"

"Alright alright, I want us to call a truce." Maki's voice was sullen, as if reluctant to say those words. There was a brief sound of surprise from Miki.

"Oh? I thought you liked hating me?"

"I do! If I had my way, I would fight you until the end of the world comes, and then some." Maki sighed heavily again. "But Nacchi's right, if we continue fighting again now that our injuries just healed, we'd both end up beaten black and blue. Your back probably won't survive being nearly broken a few more times, you know."

Miki grunted at that. "Gah, now you remind me. Why do you keep targeting my back anyway?"

"Because you've hurt it before, and it only makes sense to target a known weakness."

"True. Unscrupulous, but true." She paused thoughtfully. "Do you really hate me that much?"

"No, I just moderately despise you."

"Good enough for me." Her voice became curious. "What do you do to those people you really hate then?"

"You don't want to know." Maki deadpanned. "Generally though, they would prefer to be dead."

"You know, I think I kind of like you a little better for saying that."

"Thank you, I think." Maki paused. "So, are you amenable to a truce?"

"Only if there aren't any hidden conditions. If there are, put them on the table right now and we can discuss it further."

"Well, asking you to stop groping is obviously out of the question, isn't that right?"

"Glad you know that." There was a definite smirk behind her tone.

A thoughtful silence. "I know you won't listen if I tell you to stop harrassing Aya, but will you please leave Nacchi alone?"

"Hmm, I can consider that. Are you sure you two aren't...?"

"No, we are not. It's a long story."

"Someday you will have to sit down and tell me about it."

"Let me get this out straight in the open first. Yes, this is a truce. However, we are in no way friends of any kind. Shipmates at most, due to the current circumstances. I will watch your back in a fight and promise not to backstab you, but otherwise I am not your friend. Are we clear on that?"

"Fine by me." Eri could almost see the shrug in her mind's eye, even though she couldn't actually see, given that she was still stuck inside the barrel. Speaking of that, the prolonged session of not moving for fear of making any sound that would alert the two others in the area to her presence meant that she was starting to develop a cramp in her leg from being cooped up in the same awkward position for too long. Trying her best not to make a sound, Eri relaxed her muscles as best as she could and tried twitching it in order to get the circulation back on track. It just wouldn't do to get caught now.

"Good, I'm glad we are in understanding."

"Yeah yeah. So, truce?"

"Well, if you have nothing else to confirm first..." Maki was then abruptly interrupted as Miki called out. "Wait."

"Yes?" Questioningly, undoubtedly with an accompanying raised eyebrow. Eri didn't even have to see it to imagine how it looked like.

"If we're going to stop fighting because of the truce, what am I going to entertain myself with other than trying to grope your best friend? Not that that isn't fun of course, but a little variety is always nice. It gets boring on board ship out on these long voyages when there's no one to fight."

"You find our attempts to cause each other severe bodily harm fun?"

"Well, don't you?"

"Ah, well, actually, I do. Hmm, that's a good point. What am I going to do with myself if I'm not trying to find a way to get to you?"

Both of them fell silent, clearly considering the issue quite seriously. If Eri didn't find the whole discussion weird before, she would have by now. The temptation to laugh grew still stronger, but thankfully she was distracted by the fact that she was getting pins and needles in her leg. Not a good thing at all.

"Oh, I know." Maki piped up suddenly. There was a questioning silence from Miki as she awaited the bright idea.

"Nacchi only told me to stop trying to get into fights with you because she didn't want to see me get injured anymore. If we stopped trying to kill each other physically..."

Miki caught on to the idea quickly enough. "Ah I see, we can keep on sniping at each other verbally. Hmm, I guess it'll do. Better something than nothing. There's no one else as fun as you on board who is willing to argue with me anyway. Yossi's fun to hang around with, but she doesn't have the same kind of grudge against me that makes you so fun to argue with."

"I'll take that as a compliment."

"Do. You managed to survive me and the twins, that's an achievement in itself. But don't get too cocky, cause I'm so going to kick your ass. Figuratively speaking of course, now that we're not going to attempt physical harm on each other anymore."

"I wouldn't expect anything less, and you've got it wrong, since I'm the one going to kick your ass. Prepare to lose, Fujimoto."

"Bring it on anytime, I'm always ready to win. So, truce eh?"

"Yeah, truce, you sorry little brat."

"I believe I'm older than you, you know."

"Only by a few months I believe, and what's that got to do with anything? Aya calls you that and she's younger than me too."

"She's an exception, and this is coming from someone who's sleeping with an old woman."

"Nacchi's not old, you cradle robber!"

"Aha, so you admit that you're sleeping with her! And what do you mean cradle robber?"

"I've never denied that I was sleeping with her anyway! And you're a cradle robber because Aya's more than a year younger than you. Couldn't you find someone your own age?"

"You mean someone like you? If you really want to, I don't mind you know."

"...and here I was thinking that your persistence with Aya was sort of admirable in a very twisted way. Have you no sense of honor whatsoever?" Maki almost sounded indignant here.

"Hello, pirate here? Have you somehow forgotten?" Miki sneered right back. "And you have no right to speak of honor anyway, seeing how you claim not to have a relationship with someone you're already sleeping with. Hypocritical much?"

"I told you it was a complicated situation!"

"Someday you really need to explain that one to me."

There was an explosive silence, before both of them suddenly burst out laughing. In between fits of chuckles, Maki gasped out.

"That...was fun." Miki agreed, also trying to regain her breath.

"Not bad for a trial run. I'd say we're set and good to go for the truce proper now."

"You know, in case you misunderstand, the amusement I derive from this activity does not in any way diminish my contempt of you."

"Don't worry, I understand perfectly. Now that we both can breathe, let's go back up. I can continue groping Aya and you get to grope your non-girlfriend."

"She's not my---eh whatever. And you're a lecher, you know that?"

"Yes, and proud to be one. I thought we were over that part already."

"Yeah it's pretty much an established fact by now...and why am I agreeing with you?"

"Because I'm always right, and you're going to lose this new war big time."

"No, you're not, I won't, and you're still a brat."

"Do come up with more original insults, you with the overinflated chest."

"What is it with you and my chest? And don't even try touching there anymore, you pervert."

"I'm just a connoisseur of the female form, m'dear. And don't worry, there is no try. I just do it." There were some sounds of a quick scuffle, before Maki finally managed to knock Miki's wandering hand away from its intended destination. It helped that she was taller and therefore able to keep Miki at arm's length, theoretically speaking. Knowing Miki though, she would probably devise a way to get around that eventually.

"Some connoisseur of the female form you are," Maki sniffed haughtily. "I think it's more a case of body envy since you're so obviously flat chested yourself."

Oh that is such a low blow, Eri thought to herself, while biting down on her tongue to keep from announcing her position with her imminent guffaws. Her leg was numb by now, but she didn't care. This whole exchange between Miki and Maki was just too entertaining. The initial regret stemming from the fact that those two were going to call a truce and thus deprive her of seeing more hilarious antics in their repeated attempts to hurt each other without actually brawling openly was pretty much alleviated by this sneak preview of this new game between these two. Such a wonderful source of entertainment.

The voices of the squabbling pair faded as they departed upwards for the main deck. Eri waited for a few moments to make sure that they had really left before cautiously poking her head out from the top of the barrel, peering around warily. She attempted to push herself up and out of the barrel, but her numb leg refused to budge properly, and crumpled back down when she tried to put her weight on it.

"Gah." Eri massaged her numb leg, attempting to force the circulation back into the limb. So focused she was in her endeavor that she didn't notice that someone else had limped down with a minimal amount of noise, and was currently edging over to the shaking barrel she was in (shaking because she was moving around inside of it).

Just when she had regained some sort of sensation in her leg, someone's shadow loomed over her in the dim light, peering into the barrel.

"What the fuck are you doing in a barrel Kamei?"

Eri glanced up to see a pair of wonky eyes squinting down at her. How did Reina manage to find her again?! Eri panicked, and naturally, lashed out instinctively.

Reina fell to the floor clutching her other eye, the as yet unbruised one. Unfortunately, it was not to stay as it was, and would soon be joining its twin in attaining a kind of uniformed duality on the wonky eyed girl's face. Equally unfortunately for her, that wasn't quite the end of it either, since her fall had ended in upending the barrel which Eri was in, the tipped over barrel crashing down on her foot (ow!) as a result. More importantly however, the barrel's current cargo spilled out as well. That's right, Eri fell out when the barrel toppled over...right onto Reina. With a very loud thump.

Assorted moans and groans of pain from both parties were heard. Eri had scraped her elbow and shins when she slid out of the barrel the way she did, but at least her fall had been partially broken by falling onto Reina. Speaking of Reina, her bruised rib was crying foul and burning like crazy from where Eri had impacted face first right onto her chest. And that's not to mention the cricked neck, which the fall did no favors to, or the newly acquired black eye, among various other still-healing injuries.

But that was not to be the end of their encounter, of course. Pain was one thing, but public humiliation was quite another altogether.

"Oy Tanaka, I didn't know you were into S&M. Tough love huh? And a bottom too...guess the wild ones are quiet in bed, and the quiet ones are real spitfires eh?" No prizes for guessing who said that. Reina wanted to die right there right now. As if being continually injured because of one psychotic turtle wasn't enough, now Fujimoto got to lord it over her with her crazy logic. If she were able to right now, she would be picking up her harpoon and leaving several holes in the smirking woman at the ladder.

Eri gave up and just fainted there and then. It was easier than having to deal with such pesky little things as consciousness or possibly going berserk. Reina wasn't as fortunate, and had to deal with the pain and humiliation alone while fully awake and all too aware of her circumstances. Damn Kamei, damn Fujimoto, damn it all.

Life was just hard like that.

~*~*~

It was evening, just as the last embers of the sun were in the process of fading below the horizon. The eerie twilight effect that came as a result cast peculiarly shaded shadows that played across the cobblestones leading up to the west gate of the capital city. The walls loomed high over the lone traveler on horseback, a proud grey steed that seemed at once fierce and restrained at the same time, as if the strength and wildness were only temporarily contained within, ready to be unleashed at a moment's notice.

The rider however, showed no signs of the same synergy of strength and purpose, at least not on the surface. The heavy travelling cloak, with the hood up, was so voluminous that it appeared to swallow up the slight form of the traveler, leaving no indication as to their gender or trade. Only the hands and boot-shod feet were exposed, and those hands were gloved, the leather straps reaching further up beyond the wrist and on to part of the forearm, crisscrossing in a strangely compelling pattern.

Whoever the traveler was, he or she rode easily, with the experienced grace and ease of one used to riding, barely even bothering to keep a tight grip on the reins, allowing the horse to move forward with just the barest of guidance in terms of direction. It bespoke of the trust and bond between steed and rider, not one that could be achieved all that quickly or easily.

The gate guards, lazing around idly as not many travelers usually passed by at this time, snapped to attention as the approaching hoofbeats grew louder. The traveler eased to a stop right before the guard tower, tugging in almost gently on the reins.

"Halt! Who goes there, and what is your business in the city?" One of the guards came out to stand before the traveler, his pike brandished menacingly in front of him as he squinted in the growing darkness to try and identify the unknown figure.

There was an almost pregnant pause as the guard waited expectantly, though the figure did not move at first. Then there was a shift within the cloak as one hand reached inside, as if to take hold of something. The guard tightened his grip on his pike even as his partner joined him by his side.

The traveler brandished no weapon however, much to their relief. Instead, what the hand brought out and balanced carefully in the palm was an intricately carved silver amulet.

"I come in peace, for my people." The voice was soft, and it betrayed the gender of the traveler. The older gate guard, who had joined his comrade later, sucked in a breath before letting it out explosively. His reply was carefully modulated.

"I greet a whirlwind upon the far plains, a chaser of the wind's shadow. May your travels be swift on the grasslands." The ritual greeting appeared to please the rider, who returned the greeting, and the veteran looked relieved as he asked respectfully.

"What brings a princess of the old clans down to the city?"

"Troubled times, good man. Will you allow me passage?" Her voice did not raise over her initial volume, and sounded almost pleasant as she tucked her amulet back for safekeeping.

There was a quick, uncertain glance in between the guards, before the reply came. "Of course. Please enter."

"Thank you. Good riding to you too." She nudged her horse forward, and it trotted forward into the city at a steady clip, leaving the gate behind after only a few moments.

The old veteran wiped away the sweat on his brow, even as his partner turned on him curiously.

"What was that all about?" The older guard shot a contemptuous look at the youngster for his ignorance.

"Haven't you heard of the roaming clans up north and west? The clansmen all carry woven amulets depicting their affiliation."

"One of the full-blooded Highlanders?" The younger guard had his eyes wide. "But why did you seem so nervous? And what's with the princess thing anyway?"

The older man gave him an irritated glance. "Don't you know anything at all? I sure as hell wouldn't want to offend someone from the old clans, they're a savage people. As for why I addressed her that way, well, each of the clans has its own chief, and those of a clan chief's family bear silver amulets, much like the one you just saw. They're the closest thing to a noble class amongst those people, and even the Empire recognises them as part of the aristocracy."

"Oh wow, I didn't know that." The younger man seemed awed, but the veteran just sighed, taking on a lecturing tone.

"Many things out there that you don't know, boy. Keep your eyes and ears open, it'll do you good."

Wise words indeed.

=========================================


Gah I'm so damn tired, I won't even add a funny corner at the end. GAH. -brain melted-

Reina: Damn you Estrea, you let Eri give me another black eye.
Me: Ugh, whatever. Too tired to argue with you.
Reina: And you let Miki rag on me!
Me: Whatever, you asked for it. -yawn-
Reina: -__-# -cracks knuckles-
Me: Aw, damn. -too exhausted to run away-
Eri: -watches Estrea being thrashed- Eh, right. Well, Essy says that she'll put up the next chapter after she recovers...eventually. Yeah, and she wishes that you guys found the chapter entertaining. It's over 9000 words long after all... hey Reina, don't kill Estrea, we sort of need her for later.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Yuuyami on May 08, 2007, 07:52:15 PM
This chapter made me blow up hell multiple times because of the hilarity of it all xD

All of the sleeping arrangements are so silly and funny! xD! The one that caught my eye the most was the Ishiyoshi part xD With Rika seeming to be in charge of Yossie, it makes you wonder which one's the seme and which one's the uke xDDDDD.

Miki and Maki. -blows up hell again- 'enough said.

The Tanakamei relationship is so weird, yet so ... hawt xD I adore Miki's comment when she found them xD~! Reina being called an uke, roffle xD! Sadly, it is so true xD

Princess from the highlands eh? I wonder who this is, considering this is a woman who's probably an H!P member :] I wonder who it is... xD

Write more when you aren't dead, beloved xD

<3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: JFC on May 09, 2007, 02:03:37 AM
Holy shit that's a long-ass chapter.  :)

Quote
"And risk getting killed? Who will claim justice for the Matsuura household if you perish?" Asami said bluntly. The four guards fell silent, torn between their anxiety to fulfill their duty and good common sense not to die needlessly.
Indeed. To be victorious, one needs to pick and choose their fights, not just blindly go out there looking for one.


Quote
"I'm bored...so bored....boooooooooored." Koharu chanted as she lay on her belly in her bed.
Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of young noblewomen echoed that sentiment. :P


Quote
If only her fighting style didn't tend to cause an almost unreasonably high number of fatalities as it did...
Wha? Captain's got killer instinct!  O0


Quote
I got into this huge argument with my uncle. I didn't understand why he keeps sending people to keep an eye on me, so I sort of screamed at him about that..." The young lady broke off with a shudder at the memory.

...

"Do you know what got to her?" Saki had a peculiar expression on her face as she replied. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I was there."

"Mind telling me?" Sayumi pressed. Saki sighed. "Well, his Lordship said that the reason why our little lady here needs to be protected is because he was planning on arranging a marriage for her with the Crown Prince
Ouch. Sadly, back in those days arranged marriages, as well as girls marrying really young was not uncommon.


Quote
"But I don't want to get married to the Crown Prince." Koharu complained, kicking her feet angrily in the air.
Awwwwwwwwwww...poor baby.  :D


Quote
"I thought everyone wants to marry into the royal family...and the Crown Prince

...

"If you want that so much, why don't you marry him?"

Sayumi giggled at that. "He's my cousin, silly. I'm not interested in marrying someone related to me, distantly or not."

"Oh right, I forgot, you're related to him aren't you?" Koharu was giving her a peculiar look, as if she had seen the devil itself. Probably the girl was channelling her resentment for her future husband towards his kinswoman, who was sitting right next to her. Sayumi sweatdropped at the deadly vibes coming from Koharu.
Oh crap, Koharu death-glare.  :depressed:


Quote
Saki looked on the whole situation with a bemused expression. Whoever said watching over Koharu was boring? Miyabi had no idea what she was missing.

It paid to be easily amused after all.
Easily amused FTW!!!  :bigdeal:


Quote
Life has just gotten so much weirder, Eri mused as she huddled inside a large empty barrel in the ship's hold. She had just finished her shift, having been cleared fit for light duty by the resident ship's doctor Kei a few days ago. Now that she had some free time of her own, she naturally gravitated to the nearest small space in order to think about things on her own...and to watch others from her vantage point.
*Aussie accent* Heeya we 'ave a tuh-too retreey-tin' to it's nachurul 'ah-bi-at.*/ends Aussie accent* :P


Quote
Eri had no idea why, or whether it was sheer coincidence or not, that she kept stumbling on private moments...or that the private moments kept stumbling onto her, considering the fact that she never actively went searching for them, and was instead staying put in whatever corner she had picked for the time. As a result, she had the distinct misfortune of witnessing some really disgustingly mushy moments that she really didn't need or want to know about.
Peeping Eri? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/giggle.gif) What I want to know is, how "disgustingly" were they?  >:D




Quote
Like Risa's exact relationship with Ai.
...

Normally those private conversations weren't so bad, taken individually, of course. Thankfully, those two were a tad on the innocent side, so there was never a replicate of the kind of dirty conversations Eri had accidentally eavesdropped on previously. That was only a small comfort in itself though, since the combined effect of all that sugary sweetness of that couple was about to drive poor Eri insane.
I can picture it now...
-I wub you... :heart:

-I wub you more... :heart: :heart:

-No, I wub YOU more... :heart: :heart: :heart:

-No I wub YOU more... :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:




Quote
Maki and Miki amused our resident turtle girl. Actually, they amused the whole crew with their not-very-private rivalry. Eri didn't even have to be hidden to bear witness to most of their antics. Be it on her shift or off it, whenever one of them was within the orbit of the other, something was bound to happen. Even if they weren't in direct contact with each other, somehow things still manage to happen.
These rivalry bits were GREAT! 
(http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/Clapping.gif)


Quote
Somehow, Nacchi had managed to hit it off the the younger duo after the initial prank they had pulled on her, which had involved rope, fishing hook, and a lot of creativity on the pranksters' part. About the only good thing, if it could be considered a good thing that is, was that Maki was the one who rescued Nacchi and carried her back to bed.
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww... :heart:



Quote
The terrible two seemed to like the older woman, and that was always a good thing.
How can you NOT wub Nacchi?  It's un-possible.:D


Quote
Despite all that though, Miki persevered, and her first and most significant triumph was probably to make sure that Aya ended up sleeping on the same bed as her. There was a distinct shortage of space on board the ship in terms of sleeping arrangements, and even with some tweaking of the duty rosters, some of them had to wind up sharing beds. Some were easy, like the twins, who had no qualms about snuggling together in one bunk; or Maki and Natsumi, who seemed perfectly comfortable with sharing a bed. Miki had immediately laid claim to Aya, with Yuko's blessing, much to Aya's chagrin, but since no one else would share with Miki and there wasn't any other person Aya could actually bunk with, she very reluctantly gave in.
Oh SCORE! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/buttrock.gif)



Quote
Eri was practical like that. One of her life's principles was that you could do anything you wanted, no matter how wrong or illegal, as long as you didn't get caught.
The morality is questionable, but it's actually rather practical.  ;D



Quote
"Quit touching Aya...and Nacchi too, while you're at it. I saw you do it again yesterday!"

...

"I know you won't listen if I tell you to stop harrassing Aya, but will you please leave Nacchi alone?"

"Hmm, I can consider that. Are you sure you two aren't...?"

"No, we are not. It's a long story."
OMGASS!!! Maki DOES rabu-rabu Nacchi!!!  :luvluv1:



Quote
"If we're going to stop fighting because of the truce, what am I going to entertain myself with other than trying to grope your best friend? Not that that isn't fun of course, but a little variety is always nice. It gets boring on board ship out on these long voyages when there's no one to fight."

"You find our attempts to cause each other severe bodily harm fun?"

"Well, don't you?"

"Ah, well, actually, I do. Hmm, that's a good point. What am I going to do with myself if I'm not trying to find a way to get to you?"

Both of them fell silent, clearly considering the issue quite seriously.
Oh crap, bored Miki AND Maki? This has possibilities. :hiakhiakhiak:


MIKI x MAKI VERBAL WARS!!! :wahaha: :wahaha: :wahaha:


Quote
"Some connoisseur of the female form you are," Maki sniffed haughtily. "I think it's more a case of body envy since you're so obviously flat chested yourself."

Oh that is such a low blow, Eri thought to herself, while biting down on her tongue to keep from announcing her position with her imminent guffaws.
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/ROFL.gif)


Quote
"What the fuck are you doing in a barrel Kamei?"
That's...so...yankii! (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/cool1.gif)


Quote
"One of the full-blooded Highlanders?" The younger guard had his eyes wide. "But why did you seem so nervous? And what's with the princess thing anyway?"
Highlanders?

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!

*ahem*

Now, who's this princess again? (http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c340/J-F-C/scratch.gif)

Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: C60533 on May 09, 2007, 04:46:32 AM
Yay! The entire story is moving! I seriously love the chapters where you include parts of all the characters.

The scene where Koharu was glaring at Sayumi was interesting. Perhaps...she was testing out the properties of physics? If you glare at the relative of the person you aren't exactly feeling fond of it will reach the other person through means of...spiritual properties? Koharu might be on to something....or she could be completely ridiculous but w/e. Nice to know that Sayu still retains her egocentric qualities while gaining intelligence...now we need to see her trip over her books in a haste to save her mirror. And Koharu doesn't wanna get married early to some guy she never met because she's young and wants to run. Free teh bunnies and Berryz so they can join up with the others and we finally see who they get together with. They scream for freedom. Or you could always dock the ship in the port. That's easier. And then them Melons can come and everyone finally figures out everything and the story goes into the second part of the story. The second part will consist of everyone pairing up and being all mushy and then preparing for war. Or we could learn that they have spiritual powers and that they will start to have more Chibi Wars on whether or not to do certain things to certain people. Like in Aichan's situation with Risa: TO RAVAGE OR NOT TO RAVAGE. ALL IN FAVOR SAY AI! ALL OPPOSED...DROP DEAD! But it's up to you.

 And I must agree with Saki, being easily amused has its benefits, but it can also be a problem. For example: If the kingdoms were in a serious meeting, and then some random guy says his name is Kumatutu, and then you get the image of a dancing brown bear in a tutu, then I don't think its good to be easily amused. Or on the topic of Uranus, but that's something completely different.

TakaGaki is amusing. First, there's the fact that Gaki once again got threatened for being close to Ai. Then there's their conversations being overtly sappy. If they had phones and were seperated, it'd take them forever to hang up.

"You hang up." "No, you." "No, you hang up." until someone hangs up for them <--- It's happened before. My friend spent 2 hours on the phone and 30 min were spent trying to hang up. Cute, but annoying, so I sympathize with Eri.

Eri...maybe...you need to pick up your barrel...and move. But then again, you won't be able to listen to conversations or meet up with Reina. Speaking of which, Reina...you need to get a piece of meat for that eye. Perhaps one of the fish you caught would work. But please stop waving that harpoon in front of Eri. The Turtle can only take so much.

The mini-war has simmered down to a battle, less violent they may be, but it will not cease to amuse. Maki and Miki goin at it verbally. Nice to know that Miki hasn't completely missed the fact that Maki's got huge boobs. Pity she prefers Aya's. But ya know what...THEY BOTH BE WHIPPED. Maki will do many things for Nacchi, and Miki is somewhat tame around Aya. Oh! And they bunk together. There's something. 

Pity the situation between Maki and Nacchi is complicated. But if Nacchi has THE TWINS on her side, I'm pretty sure things will get very interesting for Maki. Oh the wonders of torture for informations. It's like one of those movies where there's a good cop and bad cop. Except this situation is bad cop and badder cop. And the one question asked throughout the entire questioning is "What's with you and Nacchi?"
Preferred persuasion methods include bringing in Miki, blackmail info, and Miki groping Nacchi. Maki won't last.

Sleeping conditions are wonderful. Especially TakaGaki. But I wonder if Aichan's a bit peeved that Risa doesn't wanna sleep with her. Who know Risa moved around so much in her sleep. And then Yossie and Rika...this couple acts more married that TakaGaki. Yuko's gonna pick up on that soon right?

Eri is always there to hear something. It's a talent. No clue whether or not it's a blessing seeing as how she seems to be easily amused as well. Another talent, Miki seems to have one for walking in on interesting situations and giving out her comments. Tofu Boy incident, Reina's incident, Aya's incident in the beginning of the chapter. No matter, talent's add something. It's teh spice.

Okay....who's the Highlander princess? Hm? WHO? Okay....they from the Highlands...so...Kappa is outa the question. Uh...the Yeti? Oh yea...human... Um....One of Biyuden? Or is one of Biyuden the captain of the shadow army? Are they even in the story? This is too much work. I'm sticking to Capt'n Crunch being teh evil capt'n and the Highland princess is the Crown Prince. There. I don't care if it's ridiculous. It's possible. Misunderstandings and all. I'm tired...It's late...And is the Elial dude the evil dude behind this?

Congrats on the 100,000 words. But ya know, if you got 100,000 words, that mean you gotta beat that. So...can you?  :glasses:

Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Owaranai_sLaVe on May 09, 2007, 04:47:31 AM
Haha, somehow, I get this feeling that you purposely told Yossui and Rika’s bed sharing last. Sly sly sly. And Jeebus, what a cute way to force someone into bed and wake up happily, IshiYossui <3. I tried resisting commenting on how Aya changed Miki’s waking habits, but the fact that I mention it should already show that I like it… XD Man Risa, there’s no helping it, just go with the flow and sleep with Ai! (loved how Mako forced them to sleep together).
As giddy as I get with Maki/Nacchi and Yossui/Rika, Maki and Miki get me so happy. They’re so fun to read about and imagine (in ANY story). Just love the way they talk to each other! There’s nothing better than two smart&clever girls getting at each other. Must have more of that. AND YES! Someday Gotou must explain that stupid complication with Nacchi ;o;
Yankii Reina, man I miss those days.
*Prays to the heavens that I won’t have to read the Ebil Squirrel’s name in this fanfiction*

Angst?  :bigdeal: Why, I LOVE ANGST! You've turned me into an addict with your freaking (awesomelovely) BoA fic! oh, and of course your hidden/lost story of Nacchi and Gotou!  :heart:

oh and congrats on your 100,000 words. Aiming for 200,000 still? Dude, you should rest, you monster xD just kidding. you're awesome. Now keep making some more lovely crack!

-Owaranai_sLaVe
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: rndmnwierd on May 09, 2007, 05:36:23 AM
That was so awesomely hilarious I'm still laughing. And the little mystery person at the end. I can't wait.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Amarghetta on May 09, 2007, 06:13:03 AM
It was funny, but I still like the previous chapter better. xD (There was more Miki!)
The unfriendly-yet-friendly conversation between Maki and Miki brought a smile to my lips, and a few chuckles. Now I'm looking forward to their insult trading sessions, hehe.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: glcorps2002 on May 09, 2007, 03:27:55 PM
Rika has a death grip in her sleep? I would SO get in bed with her now! Plus you would think having your ass handed to you once would teach Reina something, but she must be a glutton for punishment. As for the Highlander princess, she could be a first gen member.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: lil_hamz on May 09, 2007, 04:03:22 PM
First off, I totally ADORE you for writing TakaGaki in such a cute way!!! The best parts have got to be Risa being all shy and uptight about groping Ai accidently. But sometimes I wonder if Ai is going to start taking matters into her own hands. It's about time the 2 warmed up to each other and started having more "fun"  ;D

TanaKamei is funny and awkward at the same time. It's quite a wonder how poor Reina keeps getting all those injuries around the turtle. Eri's like a walking calamity for her.

Maki and Miki is full of wit and poison words. The exact stuff that makes things entertaining  ;)

Who can resist IshiYossi. They are the pair made in heaven, the most handsome couple in the land. Yossi is like putty in Rika's hands  :D

I like reading about Sayumi, Koharu and the Berryz girls too. Princesses are so important in a story. And sometimes-evil Miyabi is such a smart alec I love it! 

Congrates on 100K words. Hope you're feeling undead soon. I can't wait for your updates.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: coachie on May 09, 2007, 05:58:24 PM
Damn great chapter, I'd have to quote the whole thing to point out the things I loved which was practically everything from start to end XD

I just have to say it again and again: I love your Eri :heart:
Her thoughts on Reina's constant harpoon swinging played like a silly cartoon in my head!  ;D

And your introducing yet another new character, for some reason I instantly pictured Yui as the Highland Princess.

edit:
I just have to say it "aww at Reina bashing Kei" it always makes me feel bad but thumps up at Kei's response  XD

And I wonder if Miki noticed the changes in herself since she is sharing bed with Aya ^^
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Ren on May 09, 2007, 06:00:28 PM
I missed two chapters! >_<

Yay for stoned Tofubana! Aya can't resist Miki afterall, trying to piss the Tofu is only a mask.

So Maki finally started to return Nacchi's feelings? Yay! Now if only Nacchi is not in denial and confess...

You don't make Eri and Reina share bed? So you make them an S&M pairing :heart:.

If only Aya knows what happened to Aria... She doesn't have to worry about Aria copying what she does. But then will she be a berserker like Kamei when she find out what happened? And will Miki be more of an annoyance? or rather will Miki be the shoulder to cry on?

I hope the Melons and Countries do the infiltration successfully. I bet those Country girls can fight as well as the Melons :D.

Who is the Crown Prince? I'm eager to know. Sayu needs to take over the throne. Fast!

Maki and Miki calling it a truce.. Do not trust the devil words when it comes to promise of not groping someone.

And hey.. is that Eliot completely innocent o_O?

--
Warning - while you were typing 3 new replies have been posted. You may wish to review your post.
I took much time to write a comment :|.
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Sakura Momusu on May 09, 2007, 07:46:08 PM
yey~! A complete Kamei Eri POV. A silent unnoticed observer always gets the jucier parts of any gossip.  :luvluv1: And at least it was still realistic in the sense that her leg cramped up near the end.  :lol:

I especially loved the parts on the bed-sharing. TakaGaki FTW!!  :shy2:

Strange...nothing on Yuuko this chapter... guess the Captain is still the only one not yet observed well by the turtle.  :ding:

I got to thinking though. I have a feeling that the Berryz-Sayu-Koha piece of the story will link up with the Melons-Country Musume side in relation to this introduction of the mysterious Highlander princess first, before the seafaring group gets any serious story plot action. This chapter seemed more of a filler, but it does lay down essential rules for the relationships between the characters for upcoming events. At least we know who's gonna be supporting each other in future battle scenes.  :cool1:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Saikami on May 12, 2007, 11:45:17 AM
Yay :D Time for me to finally comment~~! First off, congrats on reaching over 100,000 words. <3

So...Where to start? o__o;;

Chapter 19: I love how Ayaka made them clean up. XD I love even more how Yuko got outta it and the best way to stop Miki from killing her was to throw Ai-chan at her. :D Poor Aichan, but very funny. xD

Eri and Reina: I love those two so much~! -squee- Reina is just too damn curious for her own good :D Throwin' harpoons at Eri to stop her, not sure if that was a good move or not o_o;; Nonetheless, it got her to stop for a few moments. XD I also love how when Eri finally explains herself, Reina doesn't believe her! I know what that's like, considering people think I'm odd for liking small spaces like Eri does. :D Then, of course, Eri had to go and hurt Reina like that! :O! (Not too bad compared to what happens to her in your following chapters though XD) Ooooh, and also how she saw turtles made me roffle. XD

-cough- TAKAGAKI IN LOOOOOVE~~!

Okay, now that I got that outta my system. Aichan is so in denial, even her mind is telling her so. ;D The two are a cute couple. Just accept that you are married and get on with it! XD I'd love to see Aichan on the pirate boat. (I'm saying this now because that is what I thought when I first read this chapter. ^^ And I'm glad she got to. :3)

The little MakixAbe fight made me a bit sad. ;__; I really like that couple. But, it was cute (although stubborn and most likely considered idiotic) of Maki to go after Aya like that. :D I just wish she knew where Nacchi was comming from. -_-;; Such a stubborn girl Maki is. But then again, Nacchi was being stubborn too o__o;;

The twins missed out on most of the stuff that has happened, but they end up knowing the most about what is going on. XD Of course, they find out about what happened to Aya first in the pirate crew. :3

Maki is resorting to asking pirates for help. O_O! Wow, she must really love her friend. :D But it's sure gunna be one helluva trip. XD

Okay, I'll admit it. When you posted this chapter I was going nuts about not knowing who the ship was. x__x;; I thought it'd be some more evil people or something. XD


Chapter 20: Yuko seemed bored with the idea of a great adventure! :O Well, I can't blame her, navy + pirates = bad. Unless you're a member of H!P being placed on a pirate or navy ship for a fic and for the amusement of many readers. :D Of course, Yuko's up for it for some of that Balvarian wine. XDD Actually, that whole part got me laughing so hard. Miki-sama, you so smart. :D She knows how to get to Yuko (or really anyone for that matter) Then when the whine was brought up, Yuko's sudden interest in the adventure was the best!

TakaGaki still cute as ever in this chapter, it's cute or Risa to stay behind for her wife but then the two both get dragged off anyway. XD Everythings more fun on a pirate ship though. :D I'm surprised Ayaka let her go. xD


I love how Reina immediately put on a fake smile so the twins wouldn't be set on her. XD <3

O___O;; Keita...There. -twitch- I mean...:D At least he is some good amusement. :D But really, the boy needs to get a clue, and a life. Tofu-boy. -giggle- I still find that funny. :D

Of course, there HAD to be a plan to save Aya more than just letting her drift out to sea. Should of known. ^^;; Yay for brotherly plans of breaking navy laws to save our beloved Aya~~ :3 Makes me happy it's not some clan of evil people who like to rip peoples skin off or something. o_o; But being on a ship with Tofu-boy for like...ever. Ouch. D: I feel sorry for him. Throwing Keita off board wouldn't be such a bad thing if you ask me. :D and that is probobly why nobody has asked me. xD

Yay! Nacchi is going after Gocchin so they can save Aya. <33 How cute. :D The little talk between Yuuki and Abe was pretty cute. ^^ Yay for accepting that nice little fact that Maki still has yet to offically accept o_o;; Odd, but awsome. :D That talk really made me happy for some reason. xD

Eri being a stow away is just more than funny. XD The fact that Reina found her is even better~! <3 <3 <3 TanaKamei for the WIN :D Although, Reina threatening Eri is quite funny when one looks at the ending of the fight. xD Either way, TanaKamei looove <333333

...

YOU KILLED A LITTLE GIRL ;_____________________;!! How could you? Although Megumi and Masae were planning to drown her doesn't mean they didn't love her all the same~! ;__; I can't help but to wonder who did it...someone wants the Matsuura family dead. x___x;;;


Chapter 22: When some form of alchohol is involved, Yuko is just plain nuts. XD But we love her that way, rain or shine, she's gunna get some of that Balvarian wine. (haha, I rhymed)

Maki and Miki war is just plain love. :D They even think on the same wavelength at times, but they always fight. <3 Although they hate (or extremely dislike according to Maki) eachother, it's slowly turning into a loving friendship without them realizing it. :D

I'm glad Nacchi found them in time. ^^ More is always better, at least it is in this case. :D Plus, who would leave Gocchin to go and find Aya alone anyway? It's plain dangerous leaving things up to the stubborn hothead with a bunch of pirates.

Okay, time for more TanaKamei :D!!! I found that whole scene rather...hawt. XD Berserker Eri is awsome (in an odd way) and I love her. :D!! After all, I'm messed up like that and finding Eri evil and seme extremely awsome and great. :D Maybe that will cause future bonding? XD

They caught up with Elio. :D Yay~! Damn, the Red Dawn must be quick to be able to catch up with them only after three days. xD Although, for those three days I feel horribly upset for Aya being stuck with Keita. o-o;; He REALLY needs to get a clue. XD (Which he does, thank gahh)

Okay, it's settled. Keita doesn't wanna marry Rika, Rika doesn't wanna marry Keita. :D End of his little quest, LET'S THROW HIM OFF NOW :D

Miki'll teach Tofu-boy a lesson. :D Yay for oddly affective forms of telling a man to screw off.


Chapter 22: Aya kissed back~~~ XD Make's me very happy 'cos we all know that she did it because she was more than enjoying it. ;D I'm glad that Keita got the hint finally, he's almost as bad as Gocchin when it came down to needing to be told things straight up. xD

Speaking of Maki, yes go kick his ass. Nothing is wrong with girls kissing! -rolls up sleeves and cracks knuckles- I'll help. :D

Miki and Aya acting as a couple made me laugh so hard I had trouble breathing. XD I can just picture Aya forcing her words. It is something that I could picture Aya doing so well. :D Miki must be lovin' it, who wouldn't?

Although Aria is nolonger here (still sad about that -_-) I would love to of seen her follow in her sisters footprints like that. XD -is picturing it in head-

Oh yeah, and when that little talk between Nacchi, Gocchin, and Elio happened I got this odd feeling that he knows whats going on back at the mainland. o_o;;; Maybe I'm just nuts.

"What the hell do you mean?" XD That's such a Gocchin line. <33

I love how back on the pirate ship people are loudly cheering and what not. XD Gotta love those pirates. Yossie is so eating out of Rika's palm. Gahh, she'd do anything for her, it's cute and funny. :D

Keita: "I wanna go home." - YAY :D Let's bring you home then.

I totally knew that Aya was going to get back Miki for that one. XD I think everyone did actually.

Nacchi and Maki are so funny around Aya, caring to the point of carrying her to Kei when her leg isn't even the thing that hurts. XD For some reason, when I think about it I picture Donkey from Shrek singing "But you gotta have friends~!" ^^;;

Everyone fear the turtle! XD A very smart move indeed, it's even saying something if the twins avoid her too. :O! We love Kamei, but we just fear her too. :D

And, of course, Miki peeking to see Aya take off her shirt. ;D She's so smart.

MORE evil people. O_O;; Are you trying to get everyone killed or something? XD

Chibi Wars: Okay...Not much to say about this except the fact that I seriously fell off my chair laughing and Horny-Aya needs to take charge! ;D I really liked that little omake.


Chapter 23: I'll type that up later. ^^;; Sadly I must leave, damn I almost finished too. -_-; Nonetheless, I'm glad I'm (almost) caught up on commenting here. :D
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Sancho on May 12, 2007, 07:48:59 PM
Your previous chapter did cheer me up. thank you. In my opinion, If only Eri realize it, she is the most powerful individual on the ship from all the information she knew.   :glasses:
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: FeverInducedMadness on May 13, 2007, 03:53:05 AM
Gah! I kept forgetting to comment here. ><;; I'm such a horrible commenter~
First off, congrats on that amount of wordage. WOW. That's all I have to say. XD I hope I get that far eventually. (I'm not exactly how to check word count, really. lol)
Secondly, great chapter. :3

I think my favorite scenes are the ones with the Berryz/Sayu/Koharu. I suppose I'm biased, since Berryz seem to own my life, but I really like how you write them, and I always look forward to their appearances in the chapters. XD

Love how Eri was observing everything from the safety of her barrel. XD <3 All the couples... <3333
Haha, and I laughed my face off during the Maki/Miki interaction.

Awesome, keep up the good work. :3

<3
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Econxp on May 13, 2007, 05:41:39 AM
I love it, I love it, I love it!!!!!!! :heart: :heart: :heart: I love TanaKame!! Such an awesome couple, omg and miki/maki ftw!!! you must update soon, i look forward for more Gam, twins, and TanaKame of course! Your chapters are getting better and better!!! Btw Congrats on your 100K words, damn that's alot...i could never write that much. As always update asap.

-Econxp
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Tinnygy on May 13, 2007, 06:05:07 AM
No comment! Too much fun and I almost fell down from my chair  :D. Love your new chapters so much  :heart: GAM  :heart:

Oh and the chibi war is so good, love the horny Aya  ;). Gonna draw something about those chibies  ;)

Congrats on your 100,000 words ^^
Title: Re: All Aboard! [Chapter 23]
Post by: Estrea on May 13, 2007, 06:31:34 PM
Comment reply time! 2am and I might be incoherent. Yup.

Yuu: More fluffy filler insanity with the pirates. XD The identity of the highland princess remains a mystery for now. XD I'm dead again after writing this, damn you. :P

JFC: Hehe Captain has hidden depths. And yeah Koharu death glare...>< Oh of course Maki loves Nacchi, she just needs to figure it out for herself. XD More complications for them XD

C60533: I love you and your comments. XD I want to see Sayu trip over her books to save her mirror too! I think I'll see if I can work that in somehow. :P The phone thing between Ai and Risa...hehe yeah that would be cute. Annoyingly so. XD Poor Eri. XD And yesh, Maki and Miki both be whipped by their significant others. XD Mmm speculations that I refuse to answer. All in good time. ^^ Top a 100k words? What, with another 100k words? I'm not THAT insane...I hope. XD

slave: Muahaha GAM is getting to you...hopefully they'll get to you even more this chapter. XD Angst? You'll get more angst eventually. Soon. Heh. New chapter full of lovely crack coming up. ;)

rndmn: Good, I'm glad you laughed. XD I can't wait either. XD

Amarghetta: You'll get your fill of Miki this chapter I hope. XD

glcorps: Mm Reina doesn't learn that much....but ah, just read the coming chapter, it explains a lot of Reina's perspective. XD Speculations that I once again cannot answer! Haha. XD

lil_hamz: Oh TakaGaki will get their time soon. Fun? Eventually. Be patient, it'll come. XD Eri does seem like a natural disaster for Reina, doesn't it? XD And I'm still undead (as in zombie XD)....:P

coachie: I love my Eri too. <3 Yeah Reina basing Kei....well, I might have slipped in a bit more Kei-bashing here too...mmm....XD Miki? Who knows? XD

Ren: Yay you're back. XD So many things...brain melting....can't reply properly..oh yeah, Country girls fighting? You'll love their weapons, I expect. XD And yeah, Miki never stops groping. XD

Sakura: Yup, Eri gets the best gossip. XD Yeah that chapter was kinda filler plot-wise, but important for character development in a sense. I like character-driven stories as much as plot-driven ones, so I'm trying to achieve a balance. XD

Sai: Holy shit that's a long comment. XD I'm too lazy to reply to everything because I'm so goddamn tired, but in short I'll say one thing: "Don't lurk so much next time!" :P Love ya. XD

Sancho: I'm glad it cheered you up. :D Yeah information is power. Eri just hasn't found