Oh hey look who remembered to update /shot
Mostly because Dresden.
I love Dresden.
Chapter 3: In which Dresden magically appears
"You got it?" Were the first words out of Fareus' mouth as Vhon and Ivrix approached the small bakery, leading Vhon to pull the jewel out of his pocket victoriously, a grin on his face.
"You bet I did." Vhon answered, tossing his prize to the captain, who ran over every inch of it with his fingers before casting his cook a huge grin.
"Good job, Vhon."
"So what now?" Torben questioned, eyes darting around them in search of anything suspicious, "We've got the jewel, so we can go back home now, yes?"
"Yes." Fareus replied, "I don't think it would be wise to spend the night here, just in case Lady Aera realizes that the jewel is missing. So we should probably get a move on."
The group turned to walk back in the direction they had initially come from, Torben frequently glancing behind them to make sure they weren't being followed. The autumn air was cold at that time of night, and they all had jackets or cloaks pulled close to their skin. It was only an hour and a half into their trip that he stopped completely, calling out a simple "Wait." At that the other four froze, each examining the surrounding area. "Someone's following us." With those three words, a figure, formerly hidden behind a tree, managed to stumble out like an idiot, close enough so they could get a good look at him. And a familiar word came to Vhon's mind. Fuck.
"You shouldn't steal. Stealing is bad." The intruder commented as he approached them even more, his eyes narrowed threateningly.
"I thought I knocked you out…" Vhon grumbled, glaring at the boy from before that was now standing before him once again, seemingly unhurt by the blow he had taken earlier.
"Oh, you did. Thanks for that, by the way." The boy replied chipperly, no trace of sarcasm in his words, "But seriously, stealing isn't good."
Fareus rolled his eyes, "We're pirates. It's kinda what we do." That caught the boy off guard and he staggered backwards.
"PIRATES?!" He exclaimed, his eyes widened to an almost comical size.
"Yes. Pirates." Ivrix repeated drolly, "People who steal stuff and live on a ship. Any further questions?"
"Can I come with you?!" The boy demanded eagerly, practically bouncing up and down in his excitement.
"What? No!" Fareus exclaimed, "Like hell you're coming with us."
"You don't have a choice. If you don't, I'll go back and tell Duke Dimblem exactly what happened under his roof tonight." He looked downright proud of himself for using their situation against them, something that Torben noted with disdain.
A pause, "Well… what can you do? And for that matter, what's your name?" Fareus asked.
"Dresden Kale, at your service," the newcomer said with a exaggerated bow, "Trained scribe."
"So you're of absolutely no help to a pirate crew." Torben stated blankly, folding his arms across his chest. Not that his own lover was much better, but still.
Fareus shot him a glare, "Of course he can be of help to us Torben. By not telling anyone that we stole things." He glanced back at Dresden, a smile on his face, "Welcome aboard. Well, not aboard just yet. But welcome to the crew." Vhon glanced over at the boy, guilt gnawing at his heart. Dresden couldn't be any older than he was, and if anyone had found him unconscious at the duke's palace, he would have been in major trouble.
"So, uh… no hard feelings about me knocking you over the head back there, right?" He offered hesitantly, a slightly forced smile present on his features. Dresden smiled brightly.
"None at all. Just doing your job." The brunet slung his bag over his shoulder casually, "So, traveling now, yes?"
Vhon nodded, "Traveling now." And so they continued on their merry way, Dresden sticking to Vhon as they walked. "So where are you from?" Vhon asked eventually, the tense silence between them getting to him.
"Well I was born in Nescor, in Divalte. But I've been moving since I was like, eight. So over the past ten years I've lived in… fourteen or fifteen places. I don't remember exactly. So how about you? What's your name? What do you do? I'm curious."
"My name is Vhon, I'm the cook. Except now that we're going to be stealing things, Fareus, that's our captain, will probably have me doing some of that, much like I did today. Having lived as an orphan on the streets for three years, I've had my share of experience. That's Fareus, up at the front, by the way. Next to him is Beret, Torben's the one with a stick up his ass, and the redhead is Ivrix. And then we have eight more men still at the ship. As to where I'm from, Itulvor. Though it's been six years since I lived there that I barely even think about the place anymore." Vhon answered with a shrug, "I consider the ship my home now. What's making you so eager to to just up and leave your current life?"
Dresden shrugged, only for gravity to reverse itself and him to fall to the ceiling that didn't exist, "I'm just… sick of it. I don't have anything left for me in Belcliff, I've been working as an apprentice scribe at the palace, spending my days either writing or reading. And while I love both of those things, it's been so long… My parents live in Carinth, I've just been living by myself for a while, and… I don't know, I'm sick of it all. And here you guys are, ready to sweep me away like… like out of a fairytale!" Vhon shuddered.
"Please, no talk of fairy tales." He muttered, "Please, Dresden. We've had… fairytale issues before. You'll find out later."
"Do you think this will actually work?" Tasva, Calyne and Raden were seated alone in the aft hold, the others that were still on board all off doing their own things, "I mean, we've done illegal things before, but never stealing." The cartographer was shifting in his seat as he spoke, almost as though he was scared, even though he was doing nothing scare inducing.
The first mate shrugged, "It doesn't really matter what I think. You know that. Fareus will do what he wants to do, and there's nothing that will get in his way from doing that. The most we can do is protect ourselves as best we can."
"And hope for the best," Cal added, his hands brushing his hair out of his eyes. Fareus had insisted on him growing it out again, so he was complying. Though honestly, after all this time of having it short, he didn't know how he had ever survived with it long.
"Pretty much." Raden confirmed, leaning back so his back was resting fully on the couch back behind him. "And if things get out of hand, well, we'll deal with that when we get there."
Faar was bored. He was finally getting over being sick, and Ivrix wasn't even here to celebrate that fact with him. And it wouldn't be nearly as much fun celebrating the end of his sickness with any other member of the crew, seeing as 'celebrating' consisted of 'having sex many times', and while he might have gone gay for Ivrix, Faar had trouble believing he would sleep with any other man. So he was left sad and lonely, without anything (or anyone) to do, leaving himself to only his thoughts.
Two days after having left Belcliff, the motley group had made it back to Corve safely. Zanar was the first to notice them approaching, having been running away from the atrocity that is Tasva's cooking, and calling out to them, "Hey guys! Welcome back!" His eyes squinted to take a closer look at them, noticing something off about the group. The rest of the crew, having also been running from Tasva's food, joined him on the port side of The Discord, each of them noticing the same peculiar thing. The group had left with five men. They returned with six. Either Tasva's cooking had given them food poisoning induced delusions, or Fareus had, unsurprisingly, picked up someone new.
As the group got closer, the gang plank was lowered to provide them entrance, and everyone crowded around. Most immediately turned their attention to Dresden, Faar immediately made his way to Ivrix, pulling him into a deep kiss. And when Vhon turned around to introduce their newest crew member, he was met by a gaping expression on Dresden's face.
"Oh yeah," Vhon commented, "Pretty much everyone on here is gay." That hardly did anything to ease the expression that might have now become stuck on Dresden's face, however, and he stood there frozen. Clearly this was not what he had been expecting when he joined a pirate crew.
"This is Dresden," Fareus introduced, gesturing to the newcomer, "Dresden, this is the crew. Introduction time."
Garieth sighed, "Do we have to do introduction time? Introduction time sucks." And the captain glared at him.
"We will do it, and you will like it, Garieth. Thanks for volunteering to start." The dark skinned man sighed again, shaking his head, platinum blond locks moving with it.
"Garieth. Thief. Can I go now?"
"Odd," Erius murmured, glancing at Garieth, "I seem to recall Hanth saying pretty much the exact same thing a year ago…"
The mere mention of Hanth's name was enough to make Beret's body tense, and the healer, who'd already been standing off to the side, brushed past the rest of the crew, heading towards the infirmary. And Raden shot a glare in his lover's direction, "Smooth." He glanced back at Dresden, who'd replaced his shocked face with a confused one, "I'm Raden, first mate. It's a pleasure to meet you, Dresden." The first mate smiled in a welcoming manner, "And the genius over there is Erius, second mate. He got to introduce me when Cal joined, so goddamn it I am going to introduce him now." Zanar, who'd been standing beside Raden couldn't help but chuckle lightly at that, a smile on his own face.
"Zanar, bard. Welcome aboard."
Calyne was standing slightly behind the rest of them, quietly angsting over something, and only then stepped forward, "Calyne. Prince. Well, former prince." Dresden gaped at him, ready to ask a thousand questions at once, only for Vhon to elbow him.
"I'll tell you later."
Faar, having sufficiently removed himself from Ivrix, was the next to speak, "Faar, helmsman." Then was Vanya, who, out of the niceness of his heart, hadn't run away from his lover's food quite as quickly as everyone else.
"Hey. I'm Vanya, the apothecary." He introduced with a smile. And finally, still hanging back by the galley was a depressed Tasva, who didn't say anything, so Vanya continued, "And that back there is Tasva, he's a cartographer."
"OH MY GOD SO MANY PEOPLE!" Dresden cried despairingly, earning him a chuckle from Vhon, who gently nudged him in the side.
"You'll get used to it. And now I'm going to cook decent food for us all, so you had better all appreciate everything I do for you." With those words, Vhon hurried in the direction of the galley, a little bit concerned that Tasva had destroyed his precious kitchen.
"And with that, we shall head back to Sibylvor!" Fareus exclaimed, ushering everyone off to do their typical jobs, leaving Dresden standing cluelessly beside him, "Go to the galley," the captain offered helpfully, "Bother Vhon and leave the rest of us to do our thing." With an eager nod, Dresden scurried off in the direction that Vhon had taken not long before, and Fareus smiled. Everything was going splendidly.
"Prince Calyne?" Dresden questioned in disbelief, carefully perched on top of one of the kitchen counters in the galley, watching Vhon gather up his preparations for that night's dinner, "So everyone's gay, and you have a prince onboard. Any other drastic things I should know about?"
"Well Aleister was with us for five years…" Vhon murmured, not ever so much as looking up from his work.
"Aleister?!" Dresden screeched, "King Aleister?"
"The one and only." The elder commented with a wince, ears still ringing from the sheer decibel Dresden's voice had managed to take on.
"How do you get away with having so much royalty on here?"
Vhon shrugged, still carefully peeling potatoes, "Leix, that's what we called him after he joined, found us after the invasion of Divalte six years ago. Originally he stayed with us as a protective measure, in case someone was looking for him. Then… he just stayed. He only left after it was discovered that he was alive last year. It was only shortly before that that Cal joined us, having run away from Arcis and his uncle. Long story short, now Cal is here, while Aleister is king. Any other questions?" Dresden stared at him blankly, "I'll take that as a no, then. Now you can either help me with dinner, or you can get out of my way. Your choice."