out_in_the_darkside



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    Stede and his brigade of imbeciles row back to the Revenge. Ed doesn’t want to hear what Stede has to say. He doesn’t!

    He does.

    Featuring Ed and Stede as the pirate equivalent of the couple that loudly airs their personal business while one of them is on the ground floor and the other is at a second story window, the crew being The Crew, and dramatic reactions to earnest declarations.

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    18 May 2022

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    Right, vacation, he can do this. With or without Nigel's ghost following him around, he was going to relax. Stede made his excuses to the crew and walked until he couldn't hear their playtime with the black powder.

    Once he was at a safe distance, he striped down save for his gauzy undershirt and waded into the water. Instinctively, he drove in right before his legs twisted together and thickened into a powerful tail and his gills fluttered open to the sea like the first deep breath of clean air after hours in a stuffy room.

    In his youth, he stuck to the warm shallows and hidden coves, safe from his father's judgmental eyes and the strong current his mother said would drag him away. Now, older and either more confident or less afraid of death, he drug himself on his hands in the sand, deeper until he could flex his tail fully and take off.

    ...

    Stede Bonnet was well used to keeping his heritage a secret, he'd kept it successfully for decades, but now, maybe, he could finally show someone who just might care about him.

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    18 May 2022

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    He reaches out to poke Ed in the chest, and grins as he huffs a laugh. “Look at you! All this tension in your muscles! You’re all wound up. You’d feel more yourself after a nap. Less tense.”

    Ed arches an eyebrow. “There’s lots of ways to feel less tense.”

    “And this is one of the easiest ones. No effort required! All you have to do is lie there.”

    “Doesn’t sound that different to some other ways.”

    “You could use my bed, if you like?” Ed falls abruptly silent as Stede beams up at him. “It’s very comfortable. Cosy! I reckon you could really relax in my bed.”

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    18 May 2022

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    It’s not like him to be so nervous. Stede thinks there’s likely more to it than Ed is acknowledging, perhaps even to himself. Which means it’s high time for a chat.

    “Now look,” Stede says. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with one’s spouse. He’s learned that the hard way. “Before we meet them, I wanted to have a little conference. You know my motto. We talk it through –”

    “– as a crew, yeah, yeah,” Ed says, hurrying him along.

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    18 May 2022

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    “Yeah,” Ed agrees, leaning in, breathing deep. “Yeah, you’re good. You’re fine.”

    “Mm,” is Stede’s smiling response, and then between one moment and the next Ed is being kissed again. His shaking hands are in Stede’s hair, gripping at his ear, the side of his neck, trying to hold on to the shape of him while Ed himself feels like he’s falling apart. Heat and tongues and the slick, indecent slide of them take over. Breaths funneling into one another.

    Against Ed’s gasping mouth, Stede murmurs, “My dear. You’re shaking,” before sucking in Ed’s bottom lip.

    Groaning, Ed doesn’t try to fight it—the tide of panic, of love, of fear that lingers. He hadn’t expected that part, to be honest. All his life and Ed had shown fear the middle finger every time it came knocking. He’s had to, hasn’t he? But then wham, love stomps him to the ground, sets up a home inside his chest, and Ed hasn’t known peace since.

    Stede’s fingers trying their damnedest to wiggle under his leather, squeezing at Ed’s ass sure as shit isn’t helping keep him sane.

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    18 May 2022