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the sea whispers your name

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The blonde haired male fell to the deck with a loud thump, groan getting washed away by a soft chuckle from above him. An arm was extended toward him a second later, and the boy on the floor propped himself up on his elbows.

“Okay that wasn't fair.” He nodded his head toward the two swords hanging from the hips of the purple haired pirate which only made him laugh more.

“I’ll fight you with one hand behind my back if it makes you feel better.” Playfully tucking an arm behind him, the purple haired boy grabbed his hand and easily pulled him up.

“Kaoru, Adonis,” they both turned around jerkily to stare up at tall framed man waltzing down the stairs of the ship. “Didn't I tell you to go into town?”

“Captain,” Adonis placed his hands on his hips and smiled as wide as he always did —which was quite small— “Kaoru lost in a spar so he's ‘bout to go.”

Kaoru huffed indignantly, flicking strands of sweaty blonde hair away from his eyes. The captain smirked, releasing a hearty laugh and then approaching them slowly. Kaoru shrunk under his gaze for a moment, even after knowing the captain for as long as he did, he still remained ominous and unknown.

“As expected, he always was more bark.” The captain’s obsidian hair gleamed in the direct sunlight and he reached over for one of Adonis’s swords. “No wonder my best swordsman won.” He held the long sword up into the air, observing the shine of the metal and taking a deep breath. “If you're not back by sunset, we’re leaving you for the authorities.”

The captain held out the sword towards Kaoru, pointing it close to his chest and staring hard into his eyes. Kaoru tensed up slightly, holding his gaze for a while. The captain liked to play more than anyone would guess from first glance, and Kaoru has always been worried of messing up. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a head of gray hair appear around the corner, and a growl immediately following.

“Rei, you’re taking so long,” the infamous tough voice of the first mate Koga Oogami pierced the crew’s ears and Adonis took back his sword as the captain spun around while holding it out dangerously close to his face. “If we’re going to go anywhere we need you to overlook it.” Koga raised his eyes to look at Kaoru and he raised an eyebrow.

Koga was the only person who could get away with calling the captain by his first name and being a smart ass. Nobody really knew when the captain and Koga met, but upon speculation it seems like they’ve never known a life without each other. The time wasn’t exactly sweet, they were constantly at each other’s throats, but when shit came down to shit, they wouldn’t let either of them fall.

“Okay, I’m going.” Kaoru mumbled under his breath, ducking away from the conversation and rushing across the deck towards the dock, and he nearly tripped over the side into the ocean at the sound of the Captain yelling over at him.

“Sunset! Or you rot!”

 

 

The edge of the threat only lasted about fifteen minutes, because Kaoru got very distracted walking by a pub and spotting several gorgeous ladies. He ended up taking a seat at the very open walled bar and began sweet talking the women there. He had quite the knack for it, he always knew what to say, and he rarely had ill intentions. Perhaps growing up with sisters prepared him for how to properly treat a lady.

His time of relaxation went on for hours, the drinks in his system growing by the hour. He was rather good with his liquor, another perk from his life as a pirate, but the amount he drank was ridiculous. Kaoru smiled from his stool, an arm around a short framed woman’s waist and his shoulder resting on a rather giggly woman’s shoulder. He hardly remembered what they were talking about because the spontaneous interruption in the whole bar.

A woman was pushed to the floor, letting out a loud scream, and several men mumbled at the scene. Kaoru was the only man to stand up from his spot, eyes following the dark haired man who had thrown the woman as well as broken a glass on the table in front of her. Whoever he was, he wasn’t happy, and he didn’t have the decency to apologize for his foul language, actions or thoughts.

“Are you alright darling?” Kaoru helped her up from the floor, somehow managing with his very intoxicated system, and she gratefully held onto him as she got to her feet. She huffed, shaking his head slowly as she dusted off her knee length dress.

“I’m fine, thank you mister.” She looked up at him, cheeks instantly becoming rosy and she cleared her throat. “Oh, that man is just so horrid.” She tucked a piece of her brown hair behind her ear and took a small breath. It was clear she was very very overwhelmed. “He goes around touching and saying unpleasant things,” she shivered at the thought, rubbing her hands on her arms and then taking a step back from Kaoru. “He thinks just because his family has money he can do whatever he wants, he wreaks havoc is what he does.”

She definitely had a lot to say on the topic. Maybe it was the alcohol but Kaoru had honestly zoned out, he admitted that was not a very gentlemanly thing to do but all he could think about was money. He was by no means materialistic, quite the opposite really. He loathed anyone that had money, particularly if they abused their power and never gave to those in need. As someone who grew up with almost nothing, he’s seen injustice and lived it first hand.

“S-shall I repay you?” The woman cooed, reaching her hand up and stroking Kaoru’s cheek with her delicate and warm palm. Her voice was velvet, aimed to tug at his heartstrings. She even went as far as to press herself against his chest, fitting against him almost perfectly, and Kaoru looked down at her.

“Where does that man live?” He watched as she deflated, obviously taken aback, and she blinked a couple times.

“Why he lives up the hill… you truly can’t miss the enormous mansion.” She was a bit embarrassed now, leaning away from him and fixing her dress to show less skin. “I can’t imagine what you’d do with that information mister.” When she looked up, he was wobbly jogging towards the front of the bar and waving his hand at her in an urgent goodbye.

“Thank you! You appear like a goddess! I’ll bring you back something almost as beautiful as you!”

She had no idea what he was on about, but his sweet talk made up for his rejection of her, and she found herself swooning.

 


A very drunk Kaoru had broken into the mansion at the top of the hill. He was questioning the security when he remembered he didn’t enter through a door. He had actually stumbled into the side of the mansion to catch his breath and recover his balance when he caught sight of the large window propped open. What a wonderful turn of events.

Kaoru climbed his way in, expecting to be confronted by a very alarmed maid or an angry cook armed with a frying pan, but it was empty. He was a bit suspicious the beautiful lady in the pub gave him wrong directions, but how many large mansions on the hill could there be in such a small town?

He supposed the horrible man lived in this big lonely house by himself. It would serve him right, to have no one there for him after he’s terrorized such innocent people. Kaoru wasn’t a big believer in second chances, believing some mistakes are too big to be forgiven.

The blonde boy hummed to himself as he walked into bedrooms, strutting in and opening up drawers and jewelry boxes. His pockets were beginning to get heavy with valuables, and he couldn’t wait to sell them in other towns and receive a handsome profit. His crew members definitely loved the treasure and mischief Kaoru seemed to always walk into.

Speaking of walking, Kaoru went straight into a room at the very end of a very long isolated hallway. So far he’s passed a very large library, a few guest rooms and a room full of paintings he found quite unsettling. Kaoru swung the door open, stepping in with clunky steps due to his gold filled pockets and his high boots. He looked around at the pale walls, pale curtains blowing in the wind, blue haired boy laying in bed and the open window. Kaoru did a double take, eyes going wide and body freezing.

Okay so somebody was in this house. He watched as the blue haired boy turned his head to curiously look at him though he didn’t seem to panic or assume anything.

“Who are you?” his voice was small, airy like a cloud. Kaoru was scared it would get blown away if he moved too quickly. The blonde looked back at the door, pressing his back against it and letting it close. The boy in the bed seemed very distant, a little emotionless at least.

“Oh, well, I’m Kaoru Hakaze.” He didn’t feel there any immediate risk by telling this quiet boy his name. He didn’t seem eager to get him in trouble or even scream the he was in danger. The blue haired boy shifted in his bed, taking a good look at Kaoru and his eyes lingering on his sword.

“Are you a friend of my uncle?” He could only assume his uncle was the man he came to rob, and Kaoru had to try and think fast. Should he lie to this very nice boy he’s just met? Should he tell him the truth and risk being turned in for a bounty?

“How about I ask you a question first and then I answer,” Kaoru wandered closer to the bed and smiled softly. “Kind of like a game. A question for a question.” He watched as the blue haired boy lit up, nodding his head excitedly and absentmindedly giggling.

“I haven’t played a game in a long time,” he readjusted his pillows so he could sit up comfortably, and he stared at Kaoru with eager eyes. “What’s your question Mr.Hazake?”

“Just Kaoru is fine, our ages can’t possibly be that far apart,” He brought a hand up to his face and began to stroke at his chin in thought. Though it was more to entertain the sparkly eyed boy. “What’s your name?”

“Kanata Shinkai!” His voice wasn’t incredibly loud, but Kaoru could tell he was excited, and so he also felt himself get a bit bouncy. “And, Kaoru how old are you?” he seemed to drop the whole uncle’s friend think quickly, and Kaoru wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Kanata, it fits you,” He casually sat down on the edge of the bed and turned his head so he could look at him. “I’m nineteen, I guess I’ll also return that question.” He heard Kanata softly gasp behind him, and he bit at his bottom lip to stop him from smiling.

“I’m nineteen also! It’s been a long time since i’ve talked to someone my age!” Kanata brought his hands together in front of his face, absolutely beaming, “It’s been a long time since I’ve talked to anyone actually.” Kaoru frowned at the statement, tilting his head to the side.


“What do you mean? This is a giant house, don’t a lot of people live here?” He watched Kanata drop his hands and begin picking at a loose string on the blanket.

“Oh, well, I’ve been in this room for six years all alone.”

“Six years?!” Kaoru stood up from his spot, voice heavy with surprise, and the cyan haired boy nodded very slowly. “How can you live like that? Are you… are you sick?”

“That’s what auntie told me… she said there’s something wrong with my head.” Kanata turned to look out the window and stared at the great big ocean staring back at him. “Being born into wealth, I never liked any of the extravagant gifts I got, I never wanted anything. She said I was ungrateful and I was crazy for not wanting all the money we have.” Kanata pointed towards the window and smiled very softly, as if it was just the shell of one. “I’m not allowed to leave until I learn to embrace all the wealth, but I don’t want that… I just want a friend, I want to run through the sand, I want to see the ocean up close…”

“The ocean?”

“I’ve always loved it as a kid, I love marine biology.” Kanata looked back at Kaoru and the blonde almost crumpled at the sight of his sad green eyes. “I’ve read all the books about it in the library over ten times, and one nice maid used to fetch me books from town about species in the sea… but she got caught and I never saw her again.” his fingers twitched a bit, and he swallowed the lump in his throat. “She was my only friend, I’ve been alone ever since…” Kanata looked at Kaoru for a prolonged second and smiled as warmly as he could manage. “I sound crazy huh? Wanting to chase after the sea instead of wearing fancy clothes and going to balls and courting fancy ladies and-”

“Get up Kanata, I’m taking you to the ocean.”

“I beg your pardon?” Kanata’s eyes widened, nearly squealing as Kaoru threw his blankets off of him and shoved his arms underneath his legs. Kanata flushed deeply, not used to anyone touching him and imagining himself trying to walk after six years only ended in failure.

“You’re not crazy, I am taking you to the sea and I promise I’ll bring you back.”

Kanata thought for a dangerous second that he didn’t want to come back, but he held his tongue.

“Take me to the sea, Kaoru.”

Chapter Text

Kanata couldn’t help but notice how drunk his new friend Kaoru was, especially since they barely made it down the stairs and Kaoru kept mumbling about the house shaking. Wiggling his legs a bit, the cyan haired boy tried to protest being carried but the blonde seemed to be full of pride. Or maybe it wasn’t pride, maybe he would fall over if he didn’t have Kanata in his arms to keep him motivated.

 

“A-are you really taking me to the ocean?” Kanata had put an arm around the pirate’s shoulder, the other pressed against his chest to make sure he was real and this wasn’t all a very lucid dream. The blonde smiled widely, it was a rather charming smile too, and Kanata had to turn away from him to centre himself.

“Ay, why would I say something like that?” He paused to swallow the lump in his throat and then took a deep, very exaggerated breath. “I’ll let you live your dream.” Kaoru didn’t seem to register that Kanata had wrapped his other arm around him in a very soft hug.

 

“Do you have a lot of free time? It seems awful nice of you to help me.” Kanata put his arm out to push against the wall that Kaoru was dangerously close to smacking against, and the blonde murmured a small curse to the brick wall for being so poorly placed.

“Well, I spent so long at sea it’s nice to get back into a town.” Kaoru slowed down as the path got even more steep, it seemed like the downhill slope would last forever. The last thing he’d like to do is slip and kill them both in a horrible rolling accident. “I couldn’t leave you in a house like that, you were looking out of the window as if your reason to live had ran away.” He haphazardly pointed towards the ocean, chuckling when Kanata yelped because much of Kaoru’s support had left his bottom half.

 

“Are you a sailor?” Kanata breathed out, one leg wrapping itself around the blonde’s waist and twitching when the pirate grabbed at his lower thigh to keep him up. “Well I often think if this life is worth living, all cooped up in a room, it would be easier to pull myself up and out the window.”

 

Kaoru let the thought settle in his brain a bit, just steeping. Either Kanata was talking about escaping his prison through the window or of literally throwing his life out the window. Kaoru would hate to jump to conclusion, but what’s to say he hasn’t been there before? Poverty was very hard on him as a kid, so many people he’s cared about have been wronged by God and taken too soon.

 

“I’d like to think I’m even greater than a sailor.” He shifted a little, throwing Kanata up a little bit so he could hold him securely, and the blue haired boy was quite used to the small routine by now. “I’m glad you didn’t, since we could meet now and I could carry you down to the sea.”

 

Kanata gleefully giggled, nodding his head a few times and then sighing dreamily towards the shimmering sea. He’s never seen it so close, it’s always looked miles away from his bedroom. The sea was so close to him, he was shivering with excitement, and he nearly forgot to ask another question.

 

“Are you a fisherman?” Kanata scrunched his nose a bit, tilting his head up towards the blonde boy and eagerly waiting a response. When Kaoru looked down at him, their noses practically touched, and Kanata leaned away gingerly as if they did.

“Not quite darling,” He had finally got onto flat ground, and was able to speed up his pace. “I’m less respected than a sailor or a fisherman.” Kaoru looked ahead at the ocean he called home and he smirked at the thought of the boy being able to touch it after all these years.

“Less respected?” Kanata thought aloud, head resting against Kaoru’s shoulder. He was never too great outside, him being inside for so long had tarnished his immune system and he was very sensitive. Kanata was a little lightheaded, almost faint. That may have had to do with the lack of food he had eaten today.

 

“Are you scared?” Kaoru peeked over at the docks as he went to the left away from them, grunting as he stepped into the sand and watched as his boots sunk into the grains. The blue haired boy’s heart raced in his chest, the scent of the sea overwhelming his body, and he shook his head quickly.

“Of you? How could I be?” He gasped when the blonde began to set him down, his toes curling and hands gripping at his shirt tightly. “You took me to the sea.” Kanata squeaked when his barefoot brushed against the warm sand, and he recoiled in shock.

“What if I told you why I was at your uncle’s house?” He was trying his best to sound ominous, but it was hard when he was holding this boy sweetly on the beach. “It’s not going to hurt you,” He stepped back from Kanata as his feet pressed into the sand, “There you go.”

 

“Well tell me,” Kanata looked up at him while wiggling his toes in the sand, cheeks flushing at the feeling that he decided immediately he liked. “You can’t scare me.” He took a very shaky step backwards, legs shivering and knees nearly giving in.

“Woah!” Kaoru leapt forward and held him up, something in him aching at the thought of this boy not being able to walk after so many years of not using his legs. “Well, I was not invited nor welcome.” He began to walk with Kanata towards the water, pulling off his boots as he walked because even after years at sea, water filled boots still sucked.

“You mean you broke in?” Kanata didn’t look up from his feet as he carefully walked in the damp sand, not so sure about the texture. He reached a foot over to a pile of seaweed, making a hushed noise as he poked his toe against it. “A hitman who’s always traveling then?” Kanata stopped moving an inch away from the sea, watching as the water splashed closer but didn’t dare touch his toes.

“Would you believe me if I said I was a pirate?” Kaoru murmured, eyes following Kanata’s face as he tiptoed into the water, lips falling open when the blue haired boy perked up and began to breathlessly laugh.

“Brilliant!” He called, pulling Kaoru’s wrist as he waddled into the water and began splashing around with his feet. “A pirate pulled me out of bed and made my dreams come true.” Kanata turned to look at him and his grin was worth more than a thousand gold coins. “That’s something I never thought I’d say.” he was the happiest he had ever been, pulling Kaoru in closer as he walked along the shallow water.

“I actually came to the house in hopes of robbing it,” He leaned down slowly, sinking his hand into the water and pulling out a small brown shell for the wide eyed boy. “Here, if you look on the inside it’s very pretty.” Kanata took it from his palm, turning it over and cooing at the sparkling almost iridescent colour hidden underneath curves and folds.

 

“You can rob me ten times over for such a wonderful gift.” Kanata turned the shell in his hands a couple of times, holding it close to his chest soon after and grinning brightly. “I think this is the only shell I’d ever need, with this the sea will always be close to my heart.” Kaoru wasn’t sure why he got flustered, but he suddenly couldn’t look into his green eyes and he turned his head away quickly.

“Right yes, shells are fun to collect.” He gestured towards the docks and squinted his eyes lightly. “The captain’s ship is the third one from the right. She’s a real beauty.”

“She looks lovely in the sunset’s glow.” Kanata observed, putting the small shell into the pocket on the chest of his white silk pyjamas. He had forgotten he was wearing pyjamas on his first trip to the beach, but since the pants ended just under the knee he could care less. He’d actually like to go further into the water.

“What’d you say?” Kaoru snapped his head back over to him, eyes wide and gasp leaving his mouth. “Sunset? Is it really sunset?” He looked beyond Kanata at the orange glowing sky and he threw his arms up in a panic. “Oh that’s just great, come on, we haven’t got much time.”

Kanata had no idea what was going on as he was being dragged out of the water, swept into Kaoru’s arms again and then trusted to hold onto his treasured boots. The blue haired boy didn’t have time to collect his thoughts at the somehow sobered up pirate began running off the beach and to the docks. The sound of his barefeet hitting the wood was a sound Kanata could only compare to the maids running around when his uncle was yelling demand after demand.

“Okay just wait on the deck, don’t talk to anyone unless they talk to you, and I’ll be back as soon as I can” Kaoru mumbled as he ran onto the boat, leaning down to set Kanata down and then taking his boots from his hands. “If I’m not dead that is.” The pirate tried to put on his boots as he walked, which resulted in him nearly slipping as he stumbled along to the captain’s quarters.

“Oh, okay.” Kanata blinked his leaf green eyes in confusion, looking around the rather busy deck and slowly making his way to the empty side of the boat. Nobody seemed to pay him much attention, which was good because Kanata didn’t have the energy to talk to anyone.

 

It felt like it took him ten minutes to use his legs to get to the edge of the boat, it was probably only half of that but he didn’t remember moving taking so long. He leaned forward against the edge of the boat, looking over at the slow sunset and taking a slow breath of the soothing sea breeze. The way the wind pushed his hair from his eyes and tickled against his cheeks made everything until now worth living, and he leaned into the wind’s hospitable touch.

 

He felt instant warm around his shoulders and back, and he gasped. Something tickled his neck, and he turned his head to the right to see a tall framed man. The first thing he noticed was that he didn’t have a shirt on, the second thing he noticed was his tan skin glowing in the sun’s goodnight kiss, and the third thing was that his jacket was perched on his own shoulders.

“Must be cold in just silk.” The man murmured, pressing his hip against the edge of the boat and then crossing his arms over his chest. “You look a bit pale.” He put a hand out towards his forehead, but didn’t dare touch him until Kanata shifted forward and leaned his forehead into his palm.

He was incredibly warm, and Kanata pulled away because he felt himself getting used to it. He was just touch starved, not even in a sensual feeling. Anyone touching him just made him want it to last for hours, and he needed to figure out a way to get over that and fast.

“Do I seem sick sir?” Kanata asked, watching the purple haired male press the back of his hand to his own forehead and then stand like that for a moment.

“Definitely hot,” The man frowned towards him, reaching forward and fixing the fur on the collar of the coat now around Kanata’s face. “Also just Adonis is fine. Sir doesn’t really stick here.” He took a good look at the blue haired boy and hummed. “Who are you? Kaoru bring you?”

“Adonis?” He repeated, liking the way it sounded coming from his mouth, and he looked back at the sun sinking into the ocean, and he smiled. “I’m just Kanata… Kaoru took me to the sea just like I’d always wanted.” Kanata reached into his pocket, pulling out the small shell and rubbing his thumb over the smooth texture.

 

“Let me guess, he saved you?”

 

“Yes! He did.” Kanata smiled at Adonis, cupping the shell in his one hand and holding it to his chest again. It warmed Kanata’s heart that saving people was a regular thing in Kaoru’s routine, he knew Kaoru wasn’t scary.

“You’re going to be lucky if-”

“Adonis! Get away from him!” Kaoru came rushing towards them, stepping in between them and  glaring at the other man’s toned body. “Put on a shirt, don’t go around sweet talking such a nice boy.”

“Sweet talking? I was just talking.” Adonis didn’t know what Kaoru was always on about, but everything he wanted to get to know a new person that Kaoru brought on board, Kaoru got very protective. Adonis didn’t know how to flirt or that he was doing it, he just knew Kaoru felt threatened when he did that and cursed at Adonis for being so well mannered.

 

“He didn’t steal your heart or anything right?” Kaoru asked as he spun around the look at Kanata, and his eyes went straight to his hand over his chest. The blue haired boy shook his head after being asked, squeezing his hand a little tighter around the shell.

“No he didn’t,” Kanata watched as Kaoru exhaled, and he smiled at him. “Worried he would?”

“Yes, extremely. He always makes people fall for him only to not realize he’s ruining lives and making people yearn for him.” Kaoru fake gagged, rolling his eyes and then pulling a face. “Anyways, the captain allowed me to let you stay the night, if you want of course.”

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that,” Kanata swallowed hard, eyes nervously shifting between the deck and Kaoru’s boots. “What if I didn’t want to…”

“I can take you home now-”

“I don’t want to go back home.”

Kaoru licked at his dry lips, not entirely sure what the other man was trying to say. Kanata stared at him with determination in his eyes, pursing his lips and then standing up a bit taller.

“I never want to go back home again, I want to stay with you.”

Kaoru flushed, turning his head around and hiding his face in his hand. Kanata surely didn’t mean it like that but hearing those words from this person made Kaoru uncharacteristically flustered. Kanata stepped forward, peeking around him and looking up at his face.

“Is it alright if I stay with you Kaoru?” He spoke so innocently, so sweetly, and so shyly. The blonde boy’s shoulders began to shake, and he nodded his head slowly.

“Y-you can stay with me.”


Kanata’s cheeks quickly got rosy, throwing his hands into the air and cheering in joy. Being with Kaoru at sea was far better than wasting away in his bed. Kanata held his hand out and showed him his shell again, fondly looking at it.

“I’ll stay with you.”

Chapter Text

He was actually out at sea. He really left his house, he’d left that room he grew to hate and he didn’t feel any guilt. He didn’t feel tied down anymore. He felt free? The feeling was so unfamiliar he wasn’t quite sure if it was true.

Kanata leaned dangerously far off the side of the boat, and several crew members wandering by thinking he was seasick. The cyan haired boy watched the water moving along the side of the boat, eyes glistening just as much as the water reflecting moonlight.

“Kanata.” Kaoru appeared at his side, hand pressing against his lower back as he peeked over to check on his health. He was pleasantly surprised by Kanata in absolute awe of how gorgeous the sea was. He raised his green eyes toward Kaoru and he grinned softly.

“You made all my dreams come true,” Kanata turned around a little bit, easily wrapping his arms around the pirate and sighing. “Thank you.” Kaoru couldn’t remember the last time he’d been hugged. There wasn’t too much of it from the crew, getting punched in the gut to show affection was more common.

 

“O-oh.” Kaoru suddenly had a lot of trouble breathing, which was common when he was shown affection, but this was a whole different level of pain. It was familiar, which made it hurt more. Kaoru loosely hugged him back, getting a face full of Adonis’s jacket still around Kanata’s shoulders, and he scrunched his nose.

“I actually came to talk to you to get some clothes.” He gestured towards Kanata’s pyjamas and then adjusted the jacket so the fur brushed against his neck. “You’re part of the crew now, you have to at least blend in.” He wasn’t going to tell Kanata it was also just in case they’d get in trouble with the law and be accused of kidnapping or human trafficking.

 

“Oh, I’ll give Adonis back his jacket then.” Kanata carefully took it off his body, folded it over his arm and looked around the deck for a moment. He didn’t instantly see the man standing around, but he definitely saw him come up from what he assumed was where they ate (only because Adonis had a mouthful of something.)

 

“I could just-” His words fell to deaf ears as the blue haired boy ran across the deck, his barefeet hitting the wood loud enough for Adonis to hear him coming. Kaoru watched with narrowed eyes as Kanata held out the jacket, smiled brightly as he thanked him and giggled so loudly the blonde pirate hurt. His expression hardened even more when Adonis put the jacket back on himself, pet Kanata’s hair softly and then smiled softly back.

 

“Are you fucking kiddin’ me?” The low, seemingly always grumpy voice of the first mate sounded behind him and Kaoru spun around to look into Koga’s disapproving gaze.

“What do you want?” Kaoru mumbled, nearly falling over when Koga held out a dagger out towards the blonde and rolled his eyes when he didn’t take it.

“For your new boy in distress.” Koga had always been a little rough with the crew, but particularly towards Kaoru. He was convinced it was originally tough love, but had gotten out of hand and now Kaoru just thought Koga hated him to the very core and wished for his long and painful death.

“Do I have to give it to him on his first fucking night?” Kaoru mumbled, taking the blade from his hand and tucking it away in his boot. “He only touched the sea for the first time two hours ago.” He trailed off when the first mate stepped closer and bore his teeth almost like a wolf.

“I don’t give a shit what you do with your catch of the day,” He nodded his head toward the cyan haired boy slowly making his way back over. “You decide if you want him to be able to protect himself, or if he’ll just stay on board to make you feel worth something and die in vain.”

If looks could kill, both Kaoru and Koga would have killed each other. The intensity in either of their eyes was enough to make the sun fall out of sky and never return. Koga knew he had hit a nerve, the biggest nerve in Kaoru’s body, but he never wanted him to forget what happened in the past. How could he ever forget? He still had nightmares about losing him, over and over.

“One day I will slit your throat.” Kaoru growled dangerously, just hushed enough that Kanata didn’t hear him as he appeared behind him.

“I’m looking forward to it.”



_

 

“What do you fancy?” Kaoru asked as he dug through a messy chest full of clothes, not too sure how many were clean or dirty. Kanata looked around the sleeping quarters, eyes wide with wonder as he stared at the rows of hammocks and makeshift beds underneath them.

“Anything’s better than this.” Kanata gestured towards his too clean and too fancy clothing, and he plopped himself down under a hammock. He looked up towards the cloth, humming slightly while running his fingers against the surprisingly soft material. “Will I be sleeping here?”

 

Kanata  jumped as a wad of white fabric was thrown at him and he blinked towards Kaoru who continued to dig in the chest. The cyan haired boy held the shirt up, gasping at the size much too big for him.

“Course, you can either take my hammock or the spot underneath mine.” Kaoru murmured, pulling out a pair of dark brown pants, loose at the crotch and tight towards the ankles. Kanata looked around the chambers slowly once more, calmly unbuttoning his pyjama top.

“Could I take your place?” Kanata thought aloud, letting his top fall from his shoulders, and he shivered at the sudden coldness paired with silk running over his bare skin.

“Yeah, take my bed.” Kaoru turned to look at him, eyes shining at the sight of the boy looking back at him with his bare skin slightly flushed. “Hurry up changing so nobody sees you.” The pirate mumbled, trudging over quickly and then getting down on his knees in front of the other.

 

“Oh should I be worried?” Kanata tilted his head to the side, hair falling over his eyes as Kaoru pulled the pyjama shirt off quickly and grabbing the large white shirt. The blonde boy nodded his head, shifting the shirt in his hands until it wasn’t inside out.

“Don’t mind me, I’m just going to take a nap!” A sudden loud voice yelled out, and Kanata’s shoulders jolted, turning his head towards the sound. A small framed boy ran across the chambers, his hair was a dark purple, nearly black with a few strands of blonde. “I’m a heavy sleeper so make as much noise as you want.” He seemed unfazed as he hopped into a hammock, sighing at the immediate comfort.

 

“Oh.” Kanata grabbed the shirt from Kaoru’s hands, pulling it over his head and covering his body as quickly as humanly possible. He crawled out from under the hammock, cheeks flushed red, thankfully not clearly seen in the dimly lit quarters. Kanata stood up straight, pulling his pants off and using the large shirt to hide up to his thighs.

“Sorry about him, says what he’s thinking.” Kaoru mumbled from his spot, not daring to watch the other male change because his heart was already racing quickly in his tight chest. “Didn’t mean any harm.” He stood from his spot, wandering back over towards the chest and leaning to the other side to find a pair of boots for him.

“It’s fine.” Kanata swallowed the lump in his throat, shimmying into his new pants and then tucking the bottom of the large shirt into his pants. It looked much better now , well Kanata assumed it did since he couldn’t see. “How do I look?”

 

Kaoru tossed a pair of boots towards him, looking over his shoulder at the shorter boy and smiling at the sight. It was bittersweet, almost familiar. He walked closer, gently pulling at the shirt just to let a little breeze through, and he nodded. The dejavu coursed through his veins and made his head spin.

“You look like a pirate.” Kaoru grinned at him, watching as he slid on his boots, walking around in a small circle and then giggle sweetly.

“I feel like one too!”

 

Kaoru smiled though his heart was strained.

Chapter Text

Six days on board, they’ve been at sea the whole time. Kanata finds himself in the kitchen most of the time, not quite sure he’s cut out for any sort of fighting or sailing. He doesn’t mind it at all, the cook of the ship is a very nice man, he has vivid red hair that’s always pushed back from his face. He said Kanata could call him Kuro, but the rest of the crew calls him Dragon. Kanata hasn’t figured out if he has a luxury or if this means they’re close or not.

 

Kanata likes sitting on top of the table just peeling potatoes or wiping dishes dry after Kuro places them down next to them. Kuro is a man of few words, but Kanata always manages to make him tell stories. He’s an excellent storyteller, once he actually put Kanata to sleep just after dawn and Kuro made a makeshift bed of old cloth for him.

 

The crew seems to either be very fond of Kuro or absolutely terrified of him, Kanata can’t understand how. Kuro has always been a gentle soul, he gives out seconds to those who look like they need it, and tells Kanata to deliver extra meals to those who look under the weather. Kuro seems to be misunderstood, maybe because of the long scars down his back and the way he wields a butcher knife as if he life depended on it ever so casually.

 

Kanata was currently standing beside Kuro, calmly talking about how the food was so bland at his old home and if he hadn’t joined the crew he feared he may forget what spice and flavour actually tasted like. Kuro gave a hearty laugh, one Kanata was very very fond of, and the red haired man smiled towards the young boy. Kuro didn’t look very old, but if he was, he had aged very well. Like most souls on the crew, they were much older than the years they’ve been alive.

 

Kanata assumed he was in his early twenties, but he could always be wrong. He knew he was hardly right in this very foreign environment, but it was widely known on the ship that Kanata loved to learn. He watched with his big eyes as Kuro stepped backwards until he was on the bench, he sat down with a loud sigh and looked up at Kanata.

 

“How’s life on the sea? Is good food the best benefit?” Kuro sat with his legs spread, back pressed against the table and head slightly tilted back for optimum comfort. Kanata thought about joining him, but he felt very small about five feet away from him, sitting inches away from him would at least make him an ant.

 

“I mean I’ve always wanted it,” he stopped thinking so much and scampered over to Kuro, but he didn’t sit, just stood just in front of the space between his legs. It was easy to do so because Kuro had so much leg. “I just never thought I’d be on a pirate ship. I thought it would just be me, or like some nice old sailor I’d become friends with.”

 

Kuro stared at Kanata blankly, unable to fathom how much innocence and purity one boy who’s been alive for nineteen years could hold in his heart. The laugh Kuro let out was so loud it was almost like a roar, but Kanata recognized it as a warm roar, the happiest kind there was. He smiled brightly at Kuro, even letting a small giggle escape his lips.

“Now you’ve got a whole damn crew.” Kuro put a hand out lazily, beckoning the younger boy forward with a finger, and Kanata didn’t even hesitate. The red haired man reached into his pocket, fishing out a burgundy handkerchief and presenting it to Kanata. “My son, he always used to carry this around.” Kuro spoke softly, unfolding it and proceeding to tie it onto Kanata’s belt loop.

 

“Kuro, are you sure I should take this?” Kanata said thoughtfully, watching with a careful gaze as the chef bobbed his head in a nod and tied it tightly so it would never get lost.

“Of course, he wants nothing to do with a good for nothing like me,” he leaned away from Kanata and smiled softly. “Wants nothing to do with me or his mother, well he got his wish, I’m here and she’s undoubtedly left him to live with that suitor she was seeing behind my back.”

 

Kanata’s mouth fell open, heart nearly falling out of it, and he visibly shrunk. He couldn’t believe the rawness of the story, and how Kuro was talking about it so casually. It’s probably been many years, but just because a wound doesn’t appear to hurt doesn’t mean it’s not there.

 

Kanata wanted to say something but he startled by a loud thump above his head and loud shouts from the entire crew. The cyan haired boy peeked over at Kuro, and the chef tilted his head up with uninterest. Kanata pressed his lips together, obviously a pirate crew had fights every now and then, he just couldn’t help but he curious.

 

They were silent in the dining hall for at least a minute, listening to the growls of men and slams of things on the deck. Kanata was itching to know what was happening, and was caught off guard when Kuro put his hand on the back of his neck and gently pushed him forward.

 

“If you’re gonna watch, go.” He looked at Kanata who looked up at him as if he was lost, and Kuro rolled his eyes in the most loving way possible. “I’ll stand beside you if that makes you feel better.”

 

It really did. Kanata was running out of the dining hall and up to see what all the commotion was about. When he peeked through the crowd, he really wished he stayed downstairs.

 

Kaoru was atop of Koga, hand around his throat, murderous intent clear as day in his eyes, and it looks as if his veins may burst in absolute madness. Koga lay underneath him, smirk as bright as can be, and Kaoru had no patience, he slammed Koga’s head back against the deck. The crew went wild, hooting, hollering and taunting the first mate who was getting so blatantly beat by someone who was supposed to be lower than him.

 

Take it back! ” Kaoru’s voice sounded so rough Kanata was worried his throat would be torn to shreds, and the more he looked at Kaoru, the more unfamiliar this fury looked. “It was not dirty, it was never fucking dirty, he wasn’t dirty!” Kaoru tightened his grip around Koga’s windpipe and the first mate let out a choked chortle. Before Kanata could even blink, Koga had spat up at Kaoru, slammed a fist into his stomach and kicked him as hard as he could in the hip from his position.



Kaoru was practically thrown off of Koga, and was gasping for air as he lay a couple feet away from the wild eyed first mate. Koga rubbed at his throat, taking a deep breath and then grinning.

“I won’t take it back swine,” Koga stalked closer to Kaoru, watching with pitiless eyes as the blonde stumbled as he tried to get to his feet. “I’m right. In fact I think we can all agree, he was dirty, just a nice whore for you,” Koga slammed his foot against Kaoru’s rib and the blonde saw stars. “He certainly sounded dirty.”

 

That got the crew’s attention. There were wolf whistles, howls, and a few teasing growls. The crew erupted into laughter at the turn of events, there was nothing better than a good old dispute over past lovers.

“I’m going to gut you,” Kaoru fought past any pain he felt, he stood up with all the strength he had left and lunged forward straight into Koga. They once again fell to the deck, Koga’s back and head taking most of the impact, but he’d never admit to the pain. Kaoru held his arm at an unnatural angle, threatening to snap it if he opened his mouth again, and he used his free hand to grab the dagger he never gave to Kanata in his boot.

 

“I loved him, he loved me,” the madness that came from love was unlike anything Kanata had ever seen, he didn’t even realize he had buried into Kuro’s side and was watching fearfully from behind him. “He needed me, and I fucking needed him.” Kaoru spat the words like they were venom, and Koga shut his eyes tightly to try and centre himself; the pain was so much it made him feel like this was all a fever dream. “He wasn’t dirty, he was godsent, godsent you mongrel!”

 

Kaoru couldn’t see through his dull eyes at this point, pulling the blade from the sheath and throwing his hand up to prepare himself to drive it into Koga’s stomach. Before he could even bring his hand down, the crew parted as if it was the red sea, and the captain wandered his way through the middle.

 

“Oh? Puppy barked too much and ended up getting bit.” Rei squatted down beside the two bloody men, and smiled sweetly at his first mate who was seconds away from death. “What did I tell you Koga?” Rei grabbed at the first mate’s grey hair and pulled his head up so he was forced to look at him.

 

“Fuck off Rei,” He growled, as he if he wasn’t pinned down and had a knife hovering above him. “If I lose a fight so be it, I don’t need you coming to save me.” The captain found that most amusing, he actually chuckled, gently pressing a hand to Koga’s cheek and stroking it softly.

“Darling think’s I came to save him,” Rei patted his cheek a little too hard but not hard enough to be called a slap, and he stood up again. “I only needed you because we’re close to being docked, if you weren’t so smart I’d let him kill you.” The captain looked back at Kaoru and then looked into the crowd expertly, locking eyes with the visibly shaken Kanata. “I think you should tend to your traumatized little prince instead of killing your enemy.”

 

Kaoru followed the captain’s gaze, eyes unclouding the moment he saw Kanata clinging to another man and while shaking almost violently. The blonde hurried to his feet, clenching his teeth at the sudden pain from his probably fractured almost broken rib, and he didn’t look back at Koga as he made his way to Kanata.

 

“Come come puppy.” Rei cooed, looking down at Koga who was now on his knees, honestly nothing new, and Rei gently pet under his chin. “You look very pretty all beaten up.” He loved the look on Koga’s face when he snarled at him, truly a wolf of a man. “I’d never lay a hand on you puppy,” Rei began to walk away from the injured first mate, humming to himself. “That’d give you far too much pleasure.”

 

-

 

Kaoru tried to get close to Kanata, but the blue haired boy wasn’t quite ready to let go of Kuro, and it seemed like Kuro had his mind set on protecting him.

 

“Kanata please I just want to talk.” Kaoru was very close to begging, and he looked up at Kuro with eyes that seemed confused on what to feel, they looked more sad than anything, and Kuro huffed indignantly.

“If he doesn’t want to talk to you, you’re sure not going to force him.” Kuro grumbled, and suddenly Kanata knew why he was so feared among the crew. He protected his own, protected what he believed in, and always spoke out.

 

“Dragon,” Kaoru was breathless, hands pressed against his sore body, and he swallowed the lump in his throat. “I promise I won’t hurt him, if I do, take my life for all I care-”

 

“Don’t be stupid.” Kanata spoke steadily, and clearly. The blonde was taken aback, eyes widening. “Trading your life over my feelings, don’t be stupid Kaoru.” Somehow that hurt more than his ribs fighting against his body, and the blonde nodded his head slowly.

 

“Kuro, thank you, I think I saw what I needed to see, to toughen up.” Kanata smiled up at him, gasping when Kuro’s strong arms pulled him into a hug and he was absolutely smothered against his chest. Kanata laughed loudly, the sound muffled, and Kuro ruffled his hair affectionately.

 

“You’ve got all the tough you need,” he released the younger boy and then looked over at Kaoru as he spoke. “I’ll certainly smack him over the head with a bag of potato if he so much as looks at my boy the wrong way.” My boy. Kanata’s chest felt warm, and Kaoru’s blood instantly ran cold at the sentiment. But his feelings always got in the way.

 

-

 

Kanata got to the quarters far faster than the injured man, but he dug around for some supplies in attempt to disinfect and bandage up the other male. Kaoru could barely sit down, so he sat on top of the infamous clothing chest, and let out a very risky big breath.

 

“I’m sorry you had to see that.” Kaoru licked at his dry lips, and spat when he tasted blood. Kanata raised his eyes to look at him, holding gauze in his hand, and his face remained expressionless.

 

“Sorry means nothing, and I really don’t care.” Kanata stood up, bringing an armful of medical supplies and letting them fall to the ground as he kneeled down in front of the other man. “You wanted to talk, so fucking talk. Don’t tiptoe around me, it seems you’ve let yourself believe all there is to me is a useless boy who loves the sea.” He looked up at Kaoru with dangerous eyes, and his face finally began to show traces of happiness.

 

“I’m much more than I appear to be Kaoru, everyone’s got their stories.” He used his teeth to cut a long piece from the roll of gauze, and he looked down as he centered himself. “Mine’s fun to tell,” He smiled as he began to unbutton Kaoru’s shirt. “Not so fun to hear.”

Kaoru swallowed audibly, and Kanata’s bright eyes flickered up to look into Kaoru’s shaky pupils, and he giggled softly. What had Kaoru gotten himself into?

 

Chapter Text

Kaoru stared hard at Kanata, the latter kneeled in front of him looking up with eyes he once thought were full of wonder. The harder he looked, the more he saw the reality behind his curious eyes. Kanata was always watching, learning, taking things into consideration. Kanata watched and then chose his moves carefully. He wasn’t the prey, but the predator, albeit a pensive one.

 

“Then let’s hear it.” Kaoru spoke after a long period of silence, letting out a shaky breath as the cyan haired boy wrapped gauze around his middle tightly, pressing his hands experimentally against his body.

 

“You owe me,” Kanata secured it tightly, causing the blonde to wince, and Kanata smiled sweetly at him. “Tell yours and I’ll tell mine.” He held eye contact as he slung a leg over Kaoru’s and sat down in his lap with ease. Kaoru was struggling with many emotions right now, not sure if he should be fearful or aroused.

 

“That’s only fair.” Kaoru couldn’t take his eyes away from the other, who was dabbing at his wounds with a cloth and alcohol, whoever he took that from wouldn’t be too happy. “Where do you want me to start?” He blinked a couple times as Kanata pressed a warm hand against his face and began examining his facial features.

 

“Tell me about your godsent lover.”

 

-

 

“We were sixteen,” Kaoru shivered as Kanata slid his shirt back onto his body, getting off of him just as easily as he get on. “I can’t help always wanting to help others.” He shrugged his shoulders, watching as Kanata stepped away from him and leaned back against the wall of the ship.

 

“Got a knack for saving cute boy's?” Kanata crossed his arms over his chest comfortably, raising an eyebrow at the other man. Kaoru’s face hardened, and he looked away from Kanata for the first time in ten minutes.

 

“It was the usual, we were on the run from authorities, something about disturbing the peace.” Kaoru began to fiddle with his sleeves, anything was better than facing Kanata. “Probably stole something in all honesty, but yeah we were running, and I took shelter in a hotel.” Kaoru shut his eyes tightly, as if he hurt to recall who he used to love. “Fourth floor, there was an open door, I just ran in. There was a boy, my age, and he was preparing food in the small kitchen of the suite.”

“So you’re always barging into places and sweeping boy's off their feet?” That get Kaoru to look up, and he really wished he hadn’t. Kanata wore the biggest grin, it was obvious he was just pulling at Kaoru’s heartstrings for fun at this point, and the pirate grimaced. Of course, he ignored his comment, and continued.

 

“He was making plenty of food, and when he saw me he looked at me as if the world had ended. He told me if ‘he’ saw me, that we’d both be killed. I had no idea who he was talking about, but someone yelled from the bedroom for him to hurry up.” Kaoru leaned his head back against the wall and sighed when he actually felt pain throb through his body. This whole conversation was making him feel numb, he needed to feel something, anything. “I stayed quiet as he continued to cook and pour wine, I learned it was his father, and that he treated his son like a servant.”

 

“Let me guess, it’s even deeper?” Kanata looked up at the pirate with glimmering eyes, the same ones that kept Kaoru falling, and he grunted in the affirmative.

 

“His father was fucked up, did things to his son, said things to his son, did things around him he shouldn’t see. Trafficking all kinds of shit, and killing all kinds of innocent people for money. So I did the only thing I could do, I saved him from his father.”

 

“And you fell in love? Precious really.” Kanata tapped his fingers against his own arm and then sighed lowly. “Is there more? I want to know why you were bashing in the first mate’s skull. You really wanted to kill him for offending your lovely boy huh?” Kaoru had stood up with a bit of effort, approaching Kanata and gently fisting his shirt. Kanata let out a small breath when Kaoru pulled him against his chest, not even flinching when his elbow bumped his heavily bruised side.

 

“I loved him, I brought him onboard and he was the smartest person I’ve ever met. He loved me back, he was the most loyal person I’ve met too,” he leaned down towards Kanata and he glared at him with that same murder in his eyes. “Our time together was too short, nine months, and he was taken from me.”

“Taken?” Kanata whispered, hot breath tickling Kaoru’s mouth, and the pirate contemplated wrapping his hand around his throat just to keep from talking for a few moments.

 

“He was my everything, my first love, my first kiss, the first person I’ve ever wanted to marry.” Kaoru let his forehead fall against Kanata’s with a bit of force, and the cyan haired boy recoiled a little. “His father had eyes everywhere, he hired someone to find his son, and kill him on sight. My angel was killed right in front of me, and I’ve never been the same since.”

 

“Taken.” Kanata repeated in a very soft voice, hands pressing gently against Kaoru’s chest, and the pirate didn’t know what to think about the actions. He wasn’t sure if he could trust Kanata ever again, he wasn’t sure if these feelings being reincarnated were really true. “Did you kill his father? Get your revenge?” Kanata was very close to pressing their lips together, but thought better of it. He was very, very good at choosing his actions. He’d play it safe and wait for Kaoru to make the first move.

 

“Of course I did darling,” Kaoru grinned a very pointy grin, and Kanata held his breath for a moment. “I killed him, and everyone who’d ever worked for him. Took me five months, the worst five months of my life.”

 

“How come Koga hates your lover so much? Jealous?”

 

“When I lost him, I lost myself. I turned to alcohol, and seducing people I didn’t give two shits about. I was a mess, I was… an empty shell. Koga, he won’t admit that he cares about me. He’s mad I let a lover ruin me so badly, and so he’s become hostile.” Kaoru murmured under his breath, hands experimentally grabbing at Kanata’s waist, and the shorter male gasped slightly.

 

“What was his name?” Kanata dangerously played with the buttons of Kaoru’s shirt, and the pirate felt his eyes get blurry at the very thought. He tried to never say his name, because saying it hurt so much more than thinking it.

“Nito Nazuna.” The moment he said his name, he felt a little bit of his soul escape with it, and Kanata began to stroke at his chest softly. It was clear he was trying to calm him, and for some reason, it was beginning to work. The pirate’s eyes were half lidded, heart slowly beating in his chest, and he squeezed at his hips.

“And what’s my name?” This was a very dangerous game, it was hard to tell who was winning.

 

“Kanata.” The blonde leaned in, almost entranced, and their lips brushed so softly that Kanata laughed airily against his.

 

“Say it again.”

“Kanata.”

 

And they were kissing. Forgetting the pain, ignoring the pain. Forgetting the past, reliving the past. Kanata held onto Kaoru with just enough strength, and Kaoru didn’t seem to mind driving him further into the wall. Kanata was considerate, making sure not to touch his bruised side, and Kaoru groaned at the very thought of Kanata going soft on him again. Kaoru was able to do many things that made Kanata gasp, but two could play that game.

 

At that moment it became clear. Neither of them were winning. The game was playing both of them, they were both getting hurt and convinced the other lost. God, this was dangerous.

Chapter Text

Kaoru laid underneath the blue haired boy, eyes half lidded and skin burning as if he was still touching him. He looked up at him, laid in the hammock peacefully as if he didn’t have a care in the world. As if he didn’t just completely shatter Kaoru’s image of him and made him fearful of what unpredictable mess was to come. They didn’t do much talking, and when they said words they were one’s that shouldn’t be repeated.

For the first time since the death of his lover, Kaoru was helpless, he was perplexed to say the least. Kanata had so much of a story he’s never heard, and he wanted to know him inside out. Know him like Kanata knew Kaoru. Knew him like Kaoru knew Nazuna. Maybe what he wanted was control… but it was clear who held the chain around their neck and who wore it.

“Kanata?” The sound of his voice so shaky it scared Kaoru, he pulled the sheet over himself farther, shutting his eyes tightly to try and get rid of the strong pain in his head.

“Kaoru.” Kanata spoke softly, shifting in the hammock just barely, and Kaoru fought his want to open his eyes. He pulled the sheet over his face and he took a small breath.

“Tell me your story.” Kaoru was too tired to not make it sound like a command, but something about Kanata’s chuckle made him think he liked this tone more.

“Listen well, I won’t tell it again.” Kanata’s voice get further away, but then got very close to Kaoru. The pirate didn’t have time to pull the sheet away because Kanata threw it back, climbing into the blankets beside him, and then tucking himself in.

“You…” Kaoru trailed off, extending a hand and pressing it to Kanata’s cheek. The blue haired boy smiled, turning his face a little and kissing his palm. Kaoru’s chest tingled, and Kanata took his hand in his own.

“I guess I’ll start by telling you I killed my father.” Kanata looked into Kaoru’s eyes, and for once he looked afraid. Of what, Kaoru had no idea. What could scare Kanata? What didn’t scare him? Kanata swallowed the lump in his throat and pulled his hand closer. “I promise I had good reasons, so listen please.” His voice was getting smaller the more he spoke, and suddenly Kaoru realized he’s never seen this version of Kanata.

This wasn’t the Kanata that wanted to see the ocean, this wasn’t the Kanata who had no patience for beating around the bush, this certainly wasn’t the Kanata who bit more than he kissed. This was the Kanata who was giving up everything and letting go of all his protection. Kanata was completely naked, nothing to hide behind, nothing to make him feel better. Just pure and raw, the scared boy who was skin and bones, Kanata.

Kaoru decided it was better not to talk, instead he wrapped an arm around Kanata’s waist and nodded his head. Kanata audibly breathed, letting himself be pulled closer into Kaoru’s warmth.

“When I was younger there were so many young girls going in and out of the house, he never let me play with any of them though… Sometimes I’d only see them once and then never again. He would always tell me they were doing very easy jobs for him, and I was never suspicious of him.” Kanata licked at his lips slowly, eyes narrowing in disgust and he shook his head. “When I was thirteen I found out he was selling these girls, he was getting his wealth from this young girls, and he’s gotten away with it.”

“I did what any thirteen would have done, I poisoned him the night I found out.” Kanata looked up, and Kaoru saw a fire in his green eyes. It was the most wicked sight he’s ever seen, but his eyes were so sad. “Fortunately they never suspected me… just after that I was sent up into that room, it was true what I told you, that I just wanted to go to school and be normal.”

“You’ve been alone for six years then?” Kaoru began to pet his hand over his soft cyan hair, and Kanata stifled a groan against his neck.

“Yes. My aunt is not gentle, and my uncle is just as bad as my father. I hardly ever saw him, he never came to me and I was forbidden from leaving.” Kanata tilted his head up so he could glance over Kaoru, and he smiled. “My mother was never really there, I don’t remember her, only the maid’s who looked after me.”

“You’re very strong, you know that?”

“Oh yes, I’m very aware.” Kanata snuggled closer towards him and he shut his eyes tightly. “I just want to be allowed to be weak for once…”

“Being upset doesn’t make you weak Kanata…” he held him against his chest, and Kanata wrapped himself around the pirate as much as he could. “Showing emotion makes you stronger, because you’re not afraid to show your true self.”

“Goodness, I can see why he was so taken with you.”

Kaoru swallowed the lump in his throat, but he know Kanata wasn’t meaning to bring back memories or upset him. Kaoru had to get better and move on sooner or later, and so he nodded his head.

“He was just as strong as you.”

It was a dangerous comparison, but something about Kanata made Kaoru willing to take the risk.

The eighth day, they were docked, and the crew was spread around the boat and town. Kanata went to the market with Kuro, many of the crew members were just looking around, and Kaoru originally was just there to look.

As usual, Kaoru get freakishly far away from the ship, and he wandered around with his hands deep in his pockets. He had no idea what he was looking for, but he was sure he’d find it.

Kaoru found himself by very sizeable houses, and he slowly wandered around them. He figured he could always steal from them and give to the children sitting outside along the roadside. Last time he tried to do that he met someone he’ll never forget and hopefully not part from for a very long time.

He watched as two children ran out of a gate just barely swung open, giggling in joy and chasing each other. It was so good to be young, so little troubles when you were playing. Of course in his situation the moment he stopped playing, the reality was harsh and limited. He was almost always playing because of that.

Kaoru pulled the gate open further, poking his head in and staring in awe at the beautiful garden in front of him. Whoever owned this property took pride in their decoration and landscaping. The pirate stepped in, closing the gate behind him as quietly as he could and then wandering around the side of the house.

He heard the house creak with footsteps, it was obviously very busy, and he’d hate to walk into it in hopes of stealing. The house was truly massive, fruit trees lining the perimeter and beds of vegetables close to the walls.

Kaoru slowed down as he wandered closer to the back of the house, he heard metal clashing, heavy breathing and small grunts. It was clear somebody was sparring, but he’d really hate to expose himself. So he waited. A good ten minutes.

Until the fight ended and the conversation stopped. Kaoru peeked around the corner, eyes immediately falling into a lithe frame in a casual yet elegant robe. It was very traditional looking, and the man wearing it looked regal himself.

He had long dark blue hair, pulled into a ponytail, his expression was calm, and with water splashed carelessly on his face he looked like the descendant of a god.

Hopefully he was understanding. Kaoru reaches for a fruit tree, pulled off a round ripe fruit and stepped out from his hiding spot.

“Couldn’t help but watch your fight a little bit,” the man seemed to be quite relaxed, Kaoru hoped he wouldn’t yell about an intruder or stab him himself. “You’re very good. Dare I say better than our best swordsman.”

The long haired man turned around, patting his face dry with a small towel and then placing it hanging off his shoulder.

“I should hope so, I’ve been practicing for years and it must be my favourite thing to do.” Kaoru was right, he was a very easygoing man, and he even put his sword down on the stone ledge of a flower bed. “Your best swordsman? A pirate?”

It didn’t help that Kaoru was dressed like what he was, but the stranger didn’t make a big fuss out of it. Kaoru laughed nervously, approaching the man and then putting his hands up.

“Yup, a pirate.” He brought a hand to his mouth and took a bite out of his persimmon. “What about you? Hopefully more than a guy who’s good with a sword?”

“I’m next in line to be head of the family.” He gestured towards the house and then sat down on the ledge next to his sword. “In about a month I’ll be stuck here forever, I can’t abandon my life here or the people here…”

Kaoru caught the sight of something shining on his hand, and he wandered forward again. The stranger fiddled with his damp bangs, and Kaoru cleared his throat.

“Are you married?”

The stranger looked down at his hand, clapping the free one over it and then shaking his head.

“Engaged.”

“When’s the wedding?”

“A month.”

Everything began to connect, and Kaoru almost immediately abandoned his fruit.

“Do you love your partner?”

“Pardon me?” The stranger feigned offence, but after staring at Kaoru with as much contempt he could muster up, he broke. “No, it was arranged… it was for the good of the family, I don’t love her.”

“What’s your name?” He was hesitant to answer, and that was a normal response, so Kaoru took the initiative to go first. “I’m Kaoru.”

“Souma… Souma Kanzaki.”

“How’d you like to come aboard with us?”

“Kaoru,” Souma exhaled, standing from his resting place and then picking up his sword, fond of the weight in his hands. “You’re certainly wild.” He turned to look over his shoulder, eyeing the doors and windows uneasily.

“Is that a yes? The captain will skin me alive if i’m even a moment late.”

“I have nothing to lose.”

Kaoru grinned, a big and dangerous smile that meant everything was going according to plan.

“Come along then.”

Chapter Text

Kaoru spent the whole walk back to the boat thinking about ways to explain rescuing someone. In all honesty it looked like Souma was escorting him. With his tall frame, strong shoulders, exposed chest and impressively made sword hanging from his hip. The head of the Kanzaki family was cool, calm and collected. Kaoru was jittering thinking about the captain embarrassing him in front of the crew. He knew full well they didn’t need anymore members, but he couldn’t help wanting to get these people out of unhappy lives.

“Captain!” Kaoru yelled as soon as they boarded, and Souma looked around with soft eyes, humming in thought. Perhaps he’s only been on a family boat, or a government ship, not a pirate ship. Souma stayed dutifully behind Kaoru, not wanting to step out of line or get into trouble.

“Bring home another stray?” Koga walked over, arms crossed and lips pulled back in a snarl. Kaoru rolled his eyes at him, forcibly shoving his shoulder against him as he walked past. Souma looked at him, smiled warmly, and then nodded his head.

“You have a strange amount of confidence for someone who eats their own shit.” Souma spoke clearly, the insult sounded so clean coming from his mouth and Kaoru had to slam his hand into his own mouth to stop himself from laughing.

“What did you just say to me, pretty boy?” Koga growled as he shoved Souma firmly in the chest. The swordsman blinked a few times, as if he barely felt him, and Kaoru did laugh this time.

“I see many things about you are weak.” Souma observed, watching as Koga went to throw himself at the long haired man. He was grabbed by the neck, grunting as he was held back against someone.

“Koga, stop picking fights.” Adonis spoke from behind the first mate, wrapping an arm around his shoulder casually and looking over Souma slowly. “Who’s this? I’m sorry about this guy.” He pushed Koga aside, extending a hand out to the long haired swordsman.

“It’s quite alright, I’m Souma Kanzaki.” He grabbed his hand firmly, shaking it softly and then glancing towards Koga. “Nice to meet you Koga, it’ll be a pleasure to work with you.”

“I’m Adonis.” The purple haired boy mused, finding him looking over Souma once more and humming in thought. “We’ll be getting to know each other well.” He gestured toward his two swords and watched as Souma’s eyes shimmered.

“Don’t waste my fucking time Kaoru.” The captain emerged from the top of the deck, running his fingers through Koga’s hair and then patting him on the cheek firmly. “Puppy, if you’re going to bite someone save it for me.” He looked towards Kaoru who was wiping at his eyes and blindly reaching for Souma’s wrist.

“Captain, this is Souma. He’s interested in joining, he’s an excellent swordsman. He’s collected, he’ll be good for negotiations and he’s smart.” He was making all of this up, but he was sure Souma was good at adapting and faking it until he made it.

“Nice to meet you Captain, I’m not fit for the life I have here. If you would have me, I’d like to join you.” Souma kneeled down on one knee, showing his loyalty, and Rei jokingly fanned himself with one hand.

“I will in fact have you.” He smirked, squatting down in front of the swordsman and tilting his chin up. “You can have me anytime you want.” The captain chuckled, and Koga groaned indignantly. “Don’t mind him, he doesn’t play well with others.” Rei stood up, and beckoned Souma to stand up with him.

“Welcome to the crew.” Adonis said, clapping him on the back and moving aside so Kaoru could also welcome him.

“Please Welcome Souma Kanzaki to the crew!” Rei yelled with his arms spread, and all the eyes turned to look at him. The crew broke into loud cheers and yells of his name. Souma grinned softly, looking around at all the ragtag pirates around them.

 

Kanata walked back onto the gangplank with bags of groceries, completely shocked at the amount of energy radiating off the ship. He looked back at Kuro, hooking his arms with him and frowning.

“What the fuck?” Kanata mumbled, being dragged on board by Kuro who was just as curious as him if not more. The cyan haired boy had to walk faster to keep up, but he nearly tripped upon seeing Kaoru with his arm neatly wrapped around the waist of a long haired man. “Who the fuck?”

Ever since joining the crew, Kanata has earned quite the pottymouth. Nobody ever noticed or minded. It was music to their ears.

“Don’t jump to conclusions.” Kuro reminded him, taking the bag of supplies from Kanata and then gesturing towards the captain. “Go see what’s going, I have more mouths to cook for.”

“Okay.” Kanata glanced over to where the captain, the first mate, the best swordsman, the man he was pretty sure he loved and some stranger stood. He felt uneasy, maybe it was just being back on the water after walking around the market for so long caught him off guard. When he looked back for Kuro, the chef had already ducked under the deck and was in the shadows of his kitchen.

“Ah! Kanata!” The captain shouted, waving his hand towards him, and his feet began to move without him even telling them to. Kanata looked at the captain with hard eyes, raising an eyebrow, and Rei growled appropriately. “Someone is not in a good mood.” He leaned against Koga as if he was just a wall, and he sighed. “Go on, introduce yourself.”

Kanata looked beside him, the elegant looking man’s long hair framed his calm face and his gentle but precise eyes watched Kanata curiously. He didn’t seem that bad, in fact he was kind of gorgeous and Kanata wanted nothing more than a normal friend.

“I’m Kanata, let me guess,” he pointed accusingly at the blonde haired pirate currently watching them proudly like he was a father. “This one swept you off your feet?”

Kaoru’s face transformed into one of offence and then disbelief. He would have gasped if not for Souma bursting into laughter. Even the sound of it was melodic and valuable. Kanata’s hostility melted, and his heart even jumped in his chest.

“I’m Souma Kanzaki,” he took Kanata’s hand in his and pressed a gentle kiss to the back of it. “I assure you, he asked a simple question and I was sick of my life. No sweeping.”

This time Kanata laughed, it was more of a giggle. He seemed to forget he was surrounded by the most important men on the ship, and suddenly he was clearing his throat awkwardly.

“Right, well, Souma.” He shrugged his shoulders as he avoided everyone’s eyes and ultimately stared at Souma’s sword. “You should tell me your story, I’ll be downstairs if you want to.” Kanata went to turn away when the captain clicked his tongue.

“No no, come here.” Rei wiggled his fingers insistently, and Kanata slowly stepped towards him. The captain was amused by his hesitation, and Kaoru fought the urge to smack the captain’s hand away.

“Yes Captain Sir?” His voice was a dead giveaway he was nervous, and the first mate laughed rudely at him. Rei smacked him on the back of the head so hard that Koga sputtered.

“I have a job for you.” Rei murmured, smiling sweetly at the cyan haired boy. Kaoru’s face fell.

 

Chapter Text

Kanata straightened his back slightly, the gazes of the captain and first mate caused his veins to pulse harshly. Rei blinked softly, his half lidded eyes always making him look incredibly relaxed and yet intimidatingly confident.

“How would you like to do a job for me?” Rei murmured, pushing off of Koga so he could dig into his coat for something. Before Kanata could even process that the captain was offering him a job, Kaoru scoffed loudly and put a hand out to stop the captain.

“All due respect, Kanata is not doing an errand for you. He’s been on board what, two weeks?” The blonde haired boy was just trying to help, but it almost sounded like he was insulting him. “Are you sure you can trust him?”

Rei raised an eyebrow, incredibly amused. The captain’s lip curled into a smirk, he grabbed a piece of parchment and held it out in front of him calmly.

“If Kanata were to double cross me, he’d have done it by now.” The captain glanced towards Kaoru and then at the cyan haired boy, he wasn’t a fool no matter how flamboyant and ignorant he appeared. He had a passion for being over the top. It was a good way to catch people off guard. “He’s taken with you darling.” Rei stepped closer to Kanata, pressing the paper into his hand and gently patting his fingers down around it.

“Captain you’ve to be kidding me.” Kaoru was exasperated at this point. He felt like he was both on fire and freezing to death at the same time. Kanata has that effect on him. He pulled Kaoru in two and yet he couldn’t stop coming back to him.

“There’s a ship to be docked in the next town, I can’t stand the captain. Ask for the first mate, he’s the cute but snappy one, and give him the map. He’ll know what to do.” Rei pulled back from Kanata and grabbed a dagger from his pocket, unsure of Kaoru ever gave him a weapon. “Accept this task, and you’re free to stay on my ship as long as you’d like. You’re one of us.” He held the dagger out towards the cyan haired boy.

Kanata took the weapon easily, feeling the weight in his hand and swallowing the lump in his throat. He looked up at Kaoru, into his eyes. They seemed to be saying don’t you dare accept it. Kanata nibbled at his bottom lip, and narrowed his eyes at the blonde. They seemed to be saying fuck you.

“I’ll do it Captain.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Kaoru threw his arms into the air, his opinion getting lost in a sea of hands patting Kanata in praise.

 


Kanata had a roll of bread in his mouth as he rushed around the sleeping quarters. He ate as he tightened the belt around his too big pants and slid the captain’s dagger between the belt and his hip. Kanata was very excited for his mission, he wanted to prove himself and it felt good to disobey Kaoru. He didn’t really know why.

Kanata buttoned his shirt to the top, only for the first button to pop off and him to not care anymore. He was running his fingers through his hair that he cleaned by dunking in the ocean a few times, and eating his lunch with no second thoughts. Sitting down to pull his boots on, Kanata swallowed the rest of his bread and looked up just in time to see Kaoru ducking into the quarters.

“What the hell was that stunt?” Kaoru grumbled, closing in on the shorter boy and frowning when Kanata didn’t even try to move away from him.

“Stunt? You’re so dramatic, I want to prove myself.” Kanata pulled the handkerchief Kuro gave to him from his pocket and tied it around his wrist. “A simple trade shouldn’t be that hard.” He double knotted it, holding it with his teeth and glancing at Kaoru pensively.

“Boarding a ship full of strangers? Is that not dangerous enough for you? I swear to God… you’re killing me Kanata.” Kaoru pushed the boy’s hand away from his mouth and inspected the handkerchief for a moment. He was thinking about saying something, but he didn’t want to fight with Kanata before he went off and get himself killed.

“Killing you?” Kanata wandered around the quarters, watching as Kaoru watched him. They danced fantastically with each other, equal parts of push and pull, equal parts of want and need. “Poor baby…” Kanata stepped close to Kaoru, their breaths mingled, and when Kaoru reaches out for him Kanata took half a step back.

“Don’t do that…” Kaoru growled, not because he was angry. It was sad. The most melancholy bark Kanata has ever heard. The cyan haired boy shifted his weight between his feet, licking his lips slowly and looking into Kaoru’s mopey eyes.

“Come here.” Kanata whispered. Scared. Broken. Perhaps terrified of rejection. Kaoru tested the waters with a quarter step, the ship creaking under his foot. Kanata didn’t move an inch, his heart shook in his chest. The pirate took another small step forward, and Kanata felt his knees threaten to buckle.

“Come back to me.” Kaoru spoke quietly, voice strangely distant. Kanata glanced over his face quickly, gaze flickering between his eyes and lips. The cyan haired boy gasped when Kaoru’s arms wrapped around his waist, pulling him against his chest and instantly warming his body.

“I will.” Kanata’s hands settled on Kaoru’s face. His skin was rough, he could feel how tired he was. Their foreheads brushed, their noses brushed, and their lips brushed. Kanata sighed shakily. His entire body was screaming yes. He could only hope Kaoru’s was thinking the same.

Kaoru tilted his head slightly, their lips pressing together very slowly. It was strange to kiss so softly, so gently. It made it feel too real. Kanata pressed his lips against his gingerly. It made him feel fragile, and important. It’s almost like it didn’t fit them.

The pirate seemed to think so too. He pulled away, let his hands slid lower on Kaoru’s body and crashed back into a kiss. Kanata’s eyes squeezed shut, he moaned in relief, and kissed back with just as much vigour. It made him feel alive. To feel the heat and the desperation and his fingers clawing into him and wanting him with everything he had.

When Kaoru began to pull Kanata even closer, he had the worst idea he’s ever had. He patted at the cyan haired boy's thigh, indicating for him to jump. Kanata didn’t think twice, he jumped, wrapping his legs around his waist and releasing the sweetest sound Kaoru had ever heard. It made the pain worth it. Being a pirate made Kaoru resilient over the years, it didn’t make him heal miraculously quicker. The pressure on his ribs took his breath away, but Kanata tasted so right that he only wanted more.

Kaoru stumbled back against the wall, groaning into Kanata’s mouth and smiling when the boy whined like an angel. It was so bad it was good. They had a good forty minutes before they made it to the next town, but getting caught by the captain only made the rush better.

Kissing Kaoru like this was otherworldly. Kanata felt like he was drifting along the clouds, the sun beaming just right on him and the wind making him tingle in all the right places. Hips began to roll. That was very dangerous. They began to rut. This was very very dangerous. Moans had to kissed away far quicker, and whines were more frequent.

Neither of them wanted to stop. They get never be satiated. They wanted each other over and over. They wanted to be full and to let go. Kaoru bit at Kanata’s bottom lip softly, the cyan haired boy tangled his fingers in blonde locks. Kanata bucked his hips hard into Kaoru, and the pirate grunted so deliciously that Kanata had to pull away to stop himself from making a mess.

“Why’d you stop?” Kaoru whispered, kissing over Kanata’s neck so skillfully that Kanata chuckled while smacking at his shoulder in mercy.

“It was good, i’m just really close.” He cooed, slipping from his grip and sighing when his feet touched the ground again. The pirate thumbed over his hips slowly, humming in thought.

“Is that so bad?” Kaoru captured his lips again, it was a wet, deep kiss. Kanata certainly didn’t object to it, in fact he leaned in again and cupped Kaoru’s bulge as he pulled back.

“I’m afraid so darling.” Kanata took a minute to catch his breath, he fixed up his hair before sorting out Kaoru’s hair he was so busy pulling. “I’ll come back to you.”

“I can’t tell if you’re being selfish or sweet.” Kaoru teases. Kanata smiles widely, he had to fight against himself because he wanted so badly to kiss him again. Instead he wandered towards the doorway of the sleeping quarters and wiggles his fingers in a wave.

“Everything about us is sweet.”

 

 

Kanata boarded the large ship quite confidentially. He had just had the most sensual moment of his life thirty minutes ago, and the captain was being extremely nice to him as they docked. The cyan haired boy looked around at the busy crew members, they didn’t seem vaguely interested in him, and he was fine with that.

If something bad were to happen, he doesn’t think he’d be able to fend them all off with a single dagger. He didn’t think anything bad would happen though. Maybe his hope would keep him alive.

Before he could even open his mouth, a man literally dropped out of the sky in front of him. He wore a fantastic fur on his shoulders, underneath was a very worn out black coat, underneath that was lots of bandages from his stomach to the bottom of his chest. He had a hat upon his head, his orange hair pulled into a low ponytail, a silver sword was at his hip and he wore at least six rings.

“Aren’t you a pretty thing!” He smiled a sweet smile, and threw his arm around Kanata so heavily that the cyan haired boy choked slightly. “What brings you aboard? Lost? Looking for a good night perhaps?”

Kanata quickly gathered his thoughts, he stood taller and looked at the man who was quite clearly the captain.

“I’m looking for the first mate.”

“Rei didn’t want to see me that badly? He sent a sweet little boy to do his dirty work, unbelievable.” The captain rolled his eyes, pulling away from Kanata and then crossing his arms in front of him. “I’m Captain Tsukinaga” his very green eyes watched Kanata with precision.

“Captain Tsukinaga,” Kanata bowed slightly, still not exactly sure how to act in front of pirates. “Shinkai Kanata.” When the captain ruffled his hair, Kanata blinked a million times and looked up at him.

“Loosen up kid, I’ll forgive Rei cause you’re so precious.” He put his hands on his hips and took a deep breath. “Sakuma! Your king wants you!”

Sakuma. Vaguely familiar. Probably a common name around these parts. It didn’t bother Kanata in the slightest. A head popped out from under the dock, pushing the door open and crawling up the ladder.

“King.” Who Kanata assumed was Sakuma murmured. He stood up and kicked the door shut with his heel, and then shoved his hands into his jacket pockets. “Oh, brother didn’t want to see you.” He looked over Kanata slowly, nodding his head a bit before gesturing him over with his hand still in his pocket.

Kanata was so confused, he practically tripped over himself as he wandered towards the black haired boy. He looked very lethargic, almost like he didn’t even want to be here. Kanata wasn’t much of a people person, but he wasn’t sure this man was a hard worker, maybe he was being too judgemental. On the other hand, Sakuma had sleek black hair, a pale, calm face and was very nice to look at.

“Ritsu Sakuma,” he fished out a velvet bag full of something very noisy and looked at Kanata. “Rei Sakuma’s younger brother. He’s obsessed with me, even though I joined the King’s crew right in front of his face. It didn’t phase him. He’s proud of me. He’s really weird, but you know that.” Ritsu leaned against the side of the ship and nodded towards Kanata.

“He’s very strange,” Kanata pulled the map from the pocket on his chest and he looked at Ritsu hesitantly. “Why did you join another crew?”

“Jeez, aren’t you curious.” Ritsu held the bag out, watching Kanata with lazy eyes. “Usual things, being sick of him, having different morals, wanting to explore without my older brother breathing down my neck.” He shrugged his shoulders, and Kanata hummed as he held the map out towards him and exchanged the two slowly.

“Yeah that makes sense.” He swallowed the lump in his throat, a little on edge due to how well the exchange was going. “So um, is that it? Like do I just go now?”

Ritsu’s eyes widened, he stifled a laugh and nodded his head quickly. He opened the map up and checked it over just to be sure.

“Yes sweetheart, you can go now. Don’t hurt yourself now.” Ritsu tucked the map into his shirt easily and was about to walk away when he saw a few crew members scrambling. He paused, rushing towards the front of the boat and clicking his tongue. “Stay put little prince, we’ve got company.” Ritsu slid down the stairs easily, cupping his hands around his mouth and announcing the approaching attack.

“Attack?” Kanata felt his heart get stuck in his throat, and he put his hand over the captains dagger. His boat was on the other side of the town, doing who knows what. Kanata really couldn’t run now.

“My brother would kill me if something happened to you,” Ritsu ran his fingers through his hair slowly, staring at Kanata hard and sighing. “Keep your back to me kay? If you’re really part of his crew, you’ll have my back.”

Before Kanata could protest, Ritsu drew an X over his heart with his finger.

“Swear on my life I’ll bring you back safe.”

Good enough for him.

Chapter Text

Kanata’s hands shook as he stepped backwards towards Ritsu. The raven haired pirate had grabbed a sword propped up beside the cabins door, the crew seemed to unanimously agree that weapons didn’t need to be worn at all times.

“They’re closing us in!” Ritsu yelled out, eyes instantly growing more awake as he watched his crew members running across the deck and trying to get the boat moving again. “Kanata.” He reached back blindly and caught his quaking wrist.

Kanata couldn’t find his voice, he looked over his shoulder at the pirate and swallowed the lump in his throat. Ritsu’s warm eyes stared into his soul and he squeezed his wrist tightly.

“Don’t you dare die.” The absurd sentence said in complete seriousness leaving his mouth made Kanata laugh softly. Maybe that’s just what he needed, a bit of happiness, calm before the storm.

He nodded at the pirate, half smiling and holding his dagger tightly in his free hand. He couldn’t die now. Not on a foreign ship with people who didn’t care about him. Dying on Rei’s ship would be more pleasant, but not dying at all would be ideal.

“Get ready.” Ritsu let go of his arm, adrenaline rushing through his entire body as the ship steered towards them faster. Kanata didn’t blink as it sped forward. Fifty feet. Twenty feet. Ten feet.

Enemy pirates jumped onto the boat, yells and clangs of metal erupted throughout the air. Accusations flew, curses and spitting polluted Kanata’s mind. Ritsu’s muscle shifted behind him, Kanata stepped forward knowing the boy couldn’t fight with ease if he stood attached to him.

Streaks of black and red blinded him, silver shone in the daylight, and everything around him felt wet. No matter how hard he tried not to, he felt his body shake, joints refusing to move. Kanata looked forward, time didn’t wait for him, a pirate climbed on board coming straight for him.

It was now or never. He said he was coming back. Kanata lowered his centre of gravity, he held the dagger tight enough to delay his shaking, and he lunged forward.

He couldn’t afford to close his eyes. Kanata saw it all. His field of vision seemed to widen as he swung, ducked, and slid. He saw the dagger cut through fabric, slam into flesh, and force red stains around it. He saw the convulsion, the last attempt at a swing towards him, the way the body fell away from him. Kanata’s pupils dilated when he found himself without a scratch but with pools of crimson in front of him. His skin itched from the inside. His throat felt as if it was being torn open. His hands still shook, but not in fear. They shook in the cold rush of fighting and winning. Of evading death and giving it instead.

Kanata slid for the blade he knocked from the man’s hand, feeling even more confident with a sword in his grasp. He took a shaky breath, jumping back to Ritsu’s side and immediately getting into the rhythm of it. Kanata was always a fast learner. He was passionate, he asked questions, he was always trying to succeed.

Ritsu laughed breathlessly when Kanata forced his blade deep into a chest inches away from his comrade. Kanata pushed the body off the sword with a hefty kick, the sick crunch of the pirate landing on his arm and rolling into the side of the boat only motivated Kanata to fight harder.

That could be you. He told himself over and over. Better him than you. He didn’t have time to be scared or be sympathetic. The men coming at him didn’t care if he died, why should he care for them?

“Watch your right!” Ritsu called in the middle of a heated showdown with a skilled pirate, blades clanking loudly in Kanata’s ears. The cyan haired boy turned his head so quickly he got dizzy, though he still threw his sword up and blocked a swing from an enemy. His reflexes were doing him wonders. He was quite proud of himself, it was a warped sense of pride, but he liked it.

“We make a good team.” Kanata joked, feeling like a stranger in his own skin because he was making jokes after killing three men. Ritsu laughed loudly, slicing his blade through an enemy swiftly and swinging his foot underneath him to trip him.

“The first mate and the little prince, deadly tag team.” Ritsu murmured, tilting his head back for a moment, softly bumping back against Kanata’s. Both boy's chuckled, comforted in a strange sort of way. Fighting for their lives, winning, and feeling on top of the world. Kanata closed his eyes for a second, safe in the middle of a battlefield. He didn’t feel outcasted, or useless, or held back. Heat spread over his body, he lowered himself again and opened his eyes to glare at an enemy. He could get used to this.

-


“The captain said you’re quite good at handling swords.” Souma spoke softly, but confidently. He walked towards Adonis at the back of the ship, who stood wiping his swords with an old rag. The pirate raised his eyebrow, eyeing Souma with a slow gaze and then smirking.

“Did he say it just like that? Good at handling swords.” Souma knew the words were supposed to make him feel violated and embarrassed, but Adonis spoke with a certain sweetness. Even being a pirate for most of his teenage years couldn’t make Adonis repulsive. The long haired man leaned forward, watching the metal shine and slowly nodding.

“He did.” He raised his eyes to meet Adonis’s, and smiled softly. “Would you say he’s right?” His voice lowered a tad, seamlessly. Adonis choked on his breath, played it off as a cough, and then nodded his head confidently.

“Yes, I’ve been handling swords for almost six years now.” Adonis offered the blade towards Souma, and the long haired man took it in a firm yet affectionate grip. Adonis let himself look over him again, watching his chest rise and fall as it peeked out from his robe. If Souma noticed he didn’t say anything, he observed the edges of the sword and hummed thoughtfully.

“I’ve been handling swords since I was six.” He held the blade towards the sun and felt the weight in his hands. Adonis watched him blankly, eyes stuck to his calm expression and beautifully chiseled features. Kaoru has brought back a man who looked like a statue, he was art, whoever made him took their time and should be proud.

“I can’t tell if you’re joking anymore.” Adonis admitted, and Souma tore his gaze away from the sword. He lowered his hands, the blade being held by his side instead.

“I was never joking.” His voice was steady, his eyes held his gaze and his full lips were a natural frown. Adonis couldn’t believe he was real. He wanted to apologize for offending him and assuming they had the same low sense of humour. Before he could open his mouth Souma’s face broke into the warmest expression he’s ever seen. Souma smiled brightly, lips curled perfectly, eyes closing into crescents and head slightly thrown back as he laughed. “I’m kidding, the dick jokes were fun while they lasted but I’ve really been training since I was six.”

“Your family let a six year old play with swords?” Adonis stood up straight, crossing his arms and leaning back against the height of the boat. Souma put his sword down beside him, adjusting his robe slowly as he held the beautifully crafted smile on his face.

“Not play. Train.” He tucked loose fabric tighter, securing the robe and then fiddling with the folds so it looked more natural. Adonis looked at his chest, satisfied with the amount of skin showing and then looked up again. “As the only son of the household I was expected to take over the family, I was groomed to be a master swordsman and a strong leader who has to make hard decisions.”

“Well what’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make?” Adonis squinted a bit, as the boat sailed along the sun settles above his eyes. Souma noticed the darkness in them even when the sun hit, and he rose on his toes to block the rays from the pirates face. Adonis chuckled. “It’ll tell me a lot about your personality, help me get to know you.”

“Do you really want to know?” Souma showed no signs of visible discomfort, but Adonis heard the rigidity in his voice suddenly. “Will it help you trust me?” Adonis nearly said he trusted Souma with his life, but he realized how superficial that sounded both in his head and if he heard it said about himself. He nodded instead.

“If you don’t want to tell me here, we can go to the quarters and you can tell me in private.” Adonis shrugged his shoulders, and Souma turned his face away as he felt his cheeks burn a bit. He tried to blame it on the sun on the back of his head getting to him, but the inability to make a joke about Adonis rushing to have him in private was too much for his fickle mind.

“I can tell you what it was here.” Souma played off his embarrassment by looking over his shoulders for any spying crew members, and then looked back at Adonis. “I’ll tell you what I chose if you care to ask me in the quarters.”

Adonis nodded slowly, figuring it was plausible. Souma only boarded the boat hours ago, he wasn’t going to rush him or force him to spill all his deepest secrets. Nobody even knew anything important about Adonis, everything they knew was just scratching the surface. Pirates didn’t seem to bother much with deep rooted issues and conflict. They all came to sea to forget all that stuff.

“The hardest decision I had to make, was whether to keep my eldest sister alive or not.”

Adonis’s heart fell into his stomach. Souma smiled softly at him, excused himself, and made his way to the front of the boat.

 

Kanata slumped against a half broken barrel after tossing bodies into the sea. His muscles were sore, his eyes felt heavy, and his mouth was dry. It probably wasn’t a good idea to leap straight into his first battle with no plan or preparation. He supposed pirates never really planned when they’d get ambushed, but it wasn’t one of his wisest moments.

Fur brushed against his face so suddenly he nearly slipped off his barrel bed. Kanata sat up quickly, eyes flying open and heart racing when he looked up at the captain.

“Captain Tsukinaga.” He trailed off when he saw the man holding out a metal mug of something out towards him. When he looked into it, not much changed in regards to identifying the liquid. He didn’t feel brave enough to smell it, so he drank it. Kanata nearly choked when he realized what it was, but decided to tough it out and drink all the rum he was given.

“That had to be some of the finest fighting I’ve ever seen.” The captain joyfully spoke, laughing happily as he watched the young boy drink up the alcohol. “Ritsu is usually a loner if he’s not messing around with Mao, but you two had this connection.” He had his own mug of rum, maybe his second cup, or his third. “You’re good kid! Maybe I’ll barter with Rei to try and get you for myself.”

Ritsu appeared from around the corner, smiling brightly and throwing his arm around Kanata’s shoulder. The cyanhaired boy laughed gleefully, grabbing him back and leaning into his support.

“You were great princey,” He cooed, patting his back hard before sighing happily. “That was one of the biggest wins we’ve had. I can’t believe you get caught up in it.” Ritsu took the mug from Kanata’s hand and finished off the last quarter of it. “My brother won’t kill me now, we’re returning you even better than you came.”

“Hey, hello I thought of a great captainy idea.” Leo threw his hand into the air, clearing his throat and then throwing his leg up, shoving his foot against the barrel beside Kanata. “I am going to kidnap Kanata cause he’s so darn cute,” The captain giggled a few times before waving a hand dismissively. “No no, what i’m really going to do is ask nicely if we could take him in. You’re great Kanata.”

“You’d be a great addition to the crew.” Ritsu spoke beside him, squeezing him a little tighter and pulling him closer. “You have potential and you’re quick on your feet. Amazing if you ask me.”


Kanata’s chest felt hot, full of hot air and only getting bigger by the second. Maybe he was being hypnotized by the warm welcome and never ending stream of compliments but staying didn’t sound so bad. Ritsu was proving to be a reliable friend, and the captain was laid back and appreciated him. Life on Leo’s ship would be beneficial and he’s good at what he does.

Kanata could feel this amazing forever. He could feel the pride and adrenaline and heat coursing through his veins. That could never get old.

His smile softened, he closed his eyes and leaned into Ritsu for a couple of moments. Warm. The way Kaoru made him feel when he drunkenly carried him down the hill, when he took him to the sea, when he asked him to come along, when he accepted Kanata for who he was, when he didn’t run away, when he kissed him like he was all he had, when he knew he was all he had, when he asked him to come back. Kanata said he’d come back. Kaoru’s warmth would also never get old.

“I’m sorry Ritsu,” He looked up at him and slowly separated from him. “Captain Tsukinaga, I already have a crew, and I want to stay with them.”

The captain whined loudly as Ritsu fondly ruffled Kanata’s blue hair.

“Damn that Rei!” The captain complained, stomping around the deck and kicking a barrel as he stormed away.

“Take care of yourself princey, don’t you dare die.”

Kanata smiled as he sat down beside him, and he nodded quickly. He was a warmth he’d miss, but he knew he could come back to if he ever needed to. For now, he had a warmth waiting for him that he couldn’t go long without.

He craved it always, no matter where he was.

Chapter Text

Kanata bounced on his toes at the front of the ship, pressing himself dangerously close to the wood. His eyes peered out at the distance, watching enthusiastically for Rei’s ship. He had an exciting story to tell, and it didn’t have to be said that he wanted to be with Kaoru again.

 

Kanata didn’t like to stop and think about what they were. He liked knowing that when they kissed it felt right and when they did more it felt perfect. Of course the 19 year old who had been holed up in his room for practically a third of his life had never kissed someone before Kaoru. He had also never touched someone, or been touched. It wasn’t scary when it was Kaoru. It was a little frightening how hot he felt, how he felt dizzy sometimes. He’s sure he’d get used to it. He’d have to, if he wanted to dedicate himself to Kaoru.

 

Ritsu appeared by his side, squinting at the water ahead and humming in thought. He’s known Kanata for only two hours, but Kanata proved to be perhaps the greatest ally. That look in his eyes was something Ritsu hadn’t seen for a long time. They were curious, they were determined, and yet held so much softness he could never tell what he was thinking.

 

The first mate liked to be kept guessing. He turned to face Kanata, smiled gently and offered his sword up to the cyan haired boy. Kanata caught the glint of the metal in the corner of his eyes, he spun around quickly, nearly losing his balance.

 

“Ritsu?” He whispered, blinking in surprise as the black haired boy thrusted the handle closer to him.

 

“You can’t fight with just a dagger, also I think swords suit you.” Ritsu stepped forward, grabbing the sword from Kanata’s side and tossing it into the ocean. It was a fine sword, but it was an enemy’s sword. Fighting with a friend’s sword sounded much better to Ritsu. Kanata watched the thin sword disappear into the deep blue sea, and then looked slowly took the blade from him.

 

“If you’re doing this so I don’t forget you, you’re kind of insane.” Kanata murmured, placing the sword against his hip and fondly touching the shape of the handle.

 

“Forget me? Good fucking luck.” Ritsu leapt forward and wrapped an arm around Kanata’s neck and caught him in a gentle headlock. Kanata squeaked as they stumbled along the deck for a few steps, and Ritsu ruffled his hair roughly. “We’re friends Kanata… I want you to fight with a friend by your side all the time.”

 

“You’re soft as shit.” Kanata gasped, popping out of his arms and pushing his hand against Ritsu’s head. The first mate laughed loudly, pushing Kanata back and threatening to lick his hand if he tried to push him again.

 

“The sea will never wear me down Kanata, don’t let it change you.” He pressed Kanata’s hand against his heart and grinned sleepily like he always seemed to. “You know who you are, don’t pretend to be who you aren’t just because the sea told you to. Don’t listen to it.”

Kanata scrunched his eyebrows a little, clutching Ritsu’s shirt softly and nodding his head. He didn’t know what that meant. The sea hadn’t said anything to him. The sea couldn’t possibly speak. When the captain started drunkenly yelling about Rei’s “beautiful bitch of a ship” docked in the next town over, Kanata completely forgot his confusion and leapt away from Ritsu to investigate.

 

Ritsu chuckled, he watched the boy run to the other side of the boat and nearly fall into the sea from how bouncy he was. Kanata watched the boat with shimmering eyes, breathing shakily at the thought of Kaoru longing for him just as he did. He knew he felt the same way. There’s no way he couldn’t. Kanata pressed his hand to his own heart, he looked down at the handkerchief around his wrist and Ritsu’s sword at his side. Those were different kinds of love. This feeling was more than that.



-

 

The moment Kanata was off of Leo’s ship, he ran as fast he could to Rei’s. He didn’t feel so sad about leaving a friend because he knew he would never truly be without it. It was more than clear that Ritsu could take care of himself, he was a strong person who believed in himself more than Kanata thought was possible.

 

His legs burned as he sprinted up the gangplank, muscles aching from all the strenuous activity he’d put them through today. Kanata was pretty he bruised and or skinned his knee when he was sliding across the deck of Leo’s ship. Nothing mattered when he heard the cheers coming from the crew as Kaoru practically threw himself across the deck to welcome Kanata.

 

The cyan haired boy felt his chest well up, as if the sea had poured into his lungs and was trying desperately to get out. His heart raced faster than it ever has, even louder than when he fought for his life just hours ago. As Kaoru got closer to him, Kanata realized that his life really did change when he met him. The pirate who stood for self expression and believing in his own morals made Kanata feel free. Kaoru made Kanata feel like he could grow into someone he could be proud of. Kaoru made Kanata feel hopeful for the future.

 

Kanata jumped at the last moment, laughing loudly when Kaoru caught him as he stumbled backwards. The pirate laughed just as loud, filled with pride, joy and a hint of nervousness leaving his system. Kanata felt his eyes get hot, he blinked back tears, afraid to cry in front of the whole crew. Kaoru held his hips tightly, afraid to let go of him in fear of him leaving. Kanata looked down at him, cupping his cheeks with his warm hands and looking into his eyes. Kaoru looked up at him, smiling brightly and tilting his head up towards him.

 

Kanata closed his eyes slowly, suddenly unaware of the crew’s eyes watching their every move. It didn’t matter that they knew. They didn’t care. Nobody cared as much as Kanata thought they did. Learning came easy to him, he was incredible at filtering lessons and keeping bits for himself. Something he held close to his heart was the idea that he had to live for himself now, not later. He didn’t want any regrets or to have misunderstandings because he hesitated. He didn’t have time to hesitate. He was alive and in love.

 

Kanata kissed Kaoru, it was soft and then it was deep. The sounds of the crew hooting and pretending to barf were about fifty fifty, and Kanata flipped them off with such finesse that the voices immediately dissolved into cheerful laughter. At some point they must have gotten tired of watching them kiss, because when Kanata was back on his feet and clinging to Kaoru, he turned to see only Koga, Adonis, Souma and Kuro lingering.

 

His embarrassment creeped on him, he cleared his throat and looked down gingerly. Kaoru noticed quickly, he settled his hand on Kanata’s shoulder and kissed the top of his head before locking eyes with Koga. The grey haired man stood, looking unbothered and stared back at Kaoru. Kanata could never tell what he was thinking, but he was certain it wasn’t very nice.

 

Kuro glanced down at his handkerchief on Kanata’s wrist, he smiled softly, and then nodded towards him. Kanata was tempted to follow him and tell him all about his successes, but he knew he had a duty to report to the captain beforehand.

 

“Okay, off you go.” Kaoru pulled away from the cyan haired boy and firmly patted his backside. Kanata gasped slightly, looking up at him and swallowing the lump in his throat. It would be strange to meet one on one with Rei, ever stranger to meet two on one with Rei and Koga, but he tried not to think about it.

 

Kanata began to walk away from the blonde male, fiddling with the sword at his side to try and calm the fury of nerves in his stomach. As he passed the first mate, he hesitantly let his eyes flicker over him. Koga seemed to be in an even worse mood than usual. When he caught his gaze, he clicked his tongue.

 

“You’re just a replacement,” Koga grumbled out, passing by Kanata with a harsh shove and then growling softly. “Don’t think you’re special. He’s using you to cope.” The first mate disappeared around the corner. The knots in Kanata’s stomach got worse, and he had to take a breather outside the captains quarters to collect himself.

 

-

 

Koga was always in a bad mood because his best friend had chose alcohol and empty relationships instead of relying on him. That had to be it. Koga was deliberately trying to get Kanata away from Kaoru because he didn’t want Kaoru to repeat history. It couldn’t be true that Kaoru didn’t actually have feelings for him. Kanata rested his head against the captain’s door, shutting his eyes tightly and taking a deep breath. He was not a replacement. He was not a second chance at a happy life with a past lover. Kaoru wasn’t like that. Kanata’s head began to throb. What did he know about Kaoru? He didn’t even know if he loved him. Why did he go so far to protect a relationship that was nothing? Nothing. There was nothing. They were based on nothing.

 

“Oh?” Rei’s voice shook Kanata out of his drowsy haze. The cyan haired boy swiveled around, looked into the captains eyes and stepped away from his door. “What’s got you down?” The captain pushed the door open, gesturing for Kanata to go inside. Kanata shuffled into the quarters, nibbling at his bottom lip as he looked around.

 

At the very corner of the room was a bed, covered in quilts and two pillows. Kanata turned around slowly, looking at the piles of books and splayed out maps of the long table. A dresser covered in jewels caught his eyes, and he wandered a little closer to it. As he inspected the glittering mounds of jewelry and coins, he remembered it wasn’t his room, and he looked over at the captain.

 

Rei had taken off his hat, tossed it onto the back of a chair and shrugged out of his jacket. Something about being in the captain’s room in the dim light while he rolled up the sleeves of his white dress shirt made Kanata’s stomach clench a little more. Not exactly the bad type of clench either, which made Kanata want to leave as soon as he could.

 

“Sorry for um, walking around as I pleased.” Kanata murmured, stepping away from the treasures and moving towards the table of maps. The captain stared at him incredulously, raising an eyebrow and then softly chuckling.

 

“I let you in here for a reason,” He ran his fingers through his raven hair and Kanata was instantly reminded of the captain’s younger brother who he was so fond of. His eyes seemed to give away his fondness, because the captain softened a little. “I trust everything went well?” Rei pulled his hair away from his face, not very effectively as long strands of his bangs fell back into his eyes even after he tied his hair up.

 

“Yes, actually the ship was attacked just after the trade.” Kanata dug in his pocket for the velvet bag Ritsu had given to him, and he pulled it out slowly. “It was a overwhelming win for Captain Tsukinaga though… I had a try at fighting and I think I’m quite good at it.” He watched as the captain lowered himself into the seat in front of the table and beckoned him closer with a finger. Kanata walked over as if on autopilot. The captain’s ship, the captain’s law.

 

“No kidding…” Rei muttered, dragging his hand across a crinkled brown map and setting down bronze compass down on one of the corners. “I’m glad to hear you found something you can confidently say you’re good at.” He sounded genuine, the way Ritsu did when he was wishing him goodbye. They really were similar, no matter how much either of them wanted to argue or disown the truth. “Give it here.” Rei didn’t raise his eyes as he stuck a hand out.

 

Kanata dropped the bag into his hand, watching as the captain weighed it and smiled brightly in satisfaction. Just the feeling of holding treasure in his palm made him feel like he was on top of the world. The pirate captain opened the bag, and then held it upside down over the map. An array of jewels and what looked like to be shards fell out of the bag. Rei slipped his hand in and fished out a long necklace with a teardrop shaped gem dangling from the middle.

 

“You’ve heard of the heart of the ocean right?” Rei spoke as he sorted through his new belongings, flinging jewels across the map perfectly and counting under his breath as he did so. Kanata remembered the name quite well, probably from one of the many books he read over and over during his time of house arrest. He wasn’t quite so sure the significance. “An age old treasure that is,” he held up the necklace, grinning softly. “This is the sea’s breath.” Kanata stared at it hard, watching the light reflect off it, and cooing softly at its beauty.

 

The only jewelry he’s ever properly seen were those that belonged his his aunt, and he never gotten to inspect it up close. Rei held it out for him to hold, and Kanata looked at it closely. It looked more teal as he twisted it in the light, at certain angles it looked like the sea if it had iced over. He was so fascinated by the jewel he almost forgot he was speaking to the captain, and he handed it back after two minutes of blatant staring.

 

“Does it have a story?” Kanata asked quietly, watching as Rei stood up from his spot and made his way to his dresser of goodies. The captain draped the necklace over the top of the mirror, carefully making sure it didn’t smack against the glass and then looked at Kanata’s through the mirror.

 

“Oh yes it does, plenty actually. The one I like the best is about how the sea’s breath was created.” Rei walked to his table, grabbed the jewels and went back to place them onto his dresser. “They say it was created by a mermaid, whose last breath was spent on one dying wish. The wish that nobody would ever have to suffer as she has suffered. You see, this mermaid used to be a human girl, she grew up orphaned and poor. Even at the orphanage she was picked on and neglected, when she was older she ran away from the home and lived in the forest for almost two months.” Rei was holding the coins from the table, slowly wandering to the dresser, fondly telling the story. “One night during a terrible storm, she had fallen off a cliff at the edge of the forest right into the sea. She hoped with all her might that she didn’t die before she did something good with her life, and so the sea heard her and let her continue living as a mermaid. She brought true love to many people, and she protected the sea with everything she had. She was actually poisoned by an oil spill, and as she wasted away she wanted a way to protect everybody who deserved it.” The captain turned to look at Kanata, and he glanced over him with half lidded eyes. “Her last breath was for others.”

 

Kanata stared at the captain, taking in the story as he stood absently beside the table. He fiddled with the handkerchief on his wrist, swallowing the lump in his throat and nodding slightly. It was a tragically beautiful story. Kanata couldn’t tell if she did live a fulfilled life or not, or if she was ever truly happy. Perhaps the real effect of the story was to get you to think and question if your own life had been fulfilled. Kanata looked down at the map, eyes going hazy the more he thought. What had his life amounted to? What did he have the potential to do? He believed himself to be the most selfish person aboard this ship. He’d done nothing but want for himself and gain things for himself.

 

“It wasn’t meant to scare you.” Rei chuckled softly, standing nearer to  the table once more and crossing his arms slightly. “I just wanted you to know that about me. I want you to believe in me as a captain, and to have faith that I would never turn my back on my crew.”

 

“Why would I ever think that after you’ve taken me in?” Kanata spluttered the words without thought, and he gasped as he held his tongue. Rei was appropriately touched, he laughed softly and shook his head.

 

“Everyone has doubts Kanata… just don’t let them control you.”

 

Before Kanata could say anything, the door opened with a loud creak and both men in the room turned their heads to look. Kanata’s shoulders stiffened when the first mate wandered into the room, he probably hadn’t noticed Kanata as he walked towards the captain and obediently pressed his forehead against his shoulder. Rei gently pet his fingers through his hair, whispering something Kanata didn’t hear. Koga glared over his shoulder at Kanata, eyes burning in warning, and Kanata bumped into the table as he leapt backwards in fear that the man might pounce.

 

“Darling please,” Rei took a step back from Koga and slowly dragged a fingers down his neck, smiling eerily at him. “He hasn’t done anything wrong, you mustn’t be jealous.”

 

“I’m not fuckin-”

 

“Did I say you could speak?” Rei spoke in a voice Kanata had never heard, and the cyan haired boy truly felt like he wasn’t supposed to see or hear what was happening. He watched as Koga shook his head and Rei carded his fingers through his hair again. “We’re having a bonfire tonight Kanata, celebrating the treasure and your official welcome to the crew.”

 

Kanata gasped softly, smiling brightly in his direction and nodding quickly. He was rushing to leave the room when Rei snapped his fingers and Koga cleared his throat.

 

“I’m sorry, I treated you unfairly.” Koga murmured, he spoke so softly that Kanata didn’t recognize his voice. Kanata’s pupils shook as he looked back and forth from the two men, and he bowed quickly.

 

“It’s alright.” He squeaked as he ran out of the captain’s room and slammed the door behind him. He rushed across the boat, heart racing because he was sure he heard another noise coming from Koga that he really wasn’t supposed to hear.

 

Kanata had ran straight into someone and bowed to apologize only to see that it was Souma. He perked up, remembering they had never properly talked or gotten to know each other. He wanted so badly to talk to someone who wasn’t a pirate. He wanted to bond on another level.

 

“Oh, Kanata, I’m sorry.” Souma rubbed at the back of his neck slowly, nervously chuckling. Kanata shook his head quickly, throwing his hands up and catching Souma’s free hand in his.

 

“Please don’t worry about it. If it’s not too much to ask I would really like to talk to you.”

Chapter Text

Kanata sat himself down on the floor of the sleeping quarters. He looked down at his hands, then at Souma. The man looked a few years older than him at least, he certainly was handsome. Souma’s gaze was soft, careful to not make him uncomfortable, and he leaned back against the wall. The cyan haired boy did a once over of the man. He also looked like he came from a rich background, he looked like royalty but there was no chance a prince left his life to come aboard a pirate ship. Kanata nibbled at his bottom lip, watching as Souma crossed his arms and he got a good look at his sword.

The sword hung from his hip like it was meant to be there. He’d never seen someone suit something so well until now. Souma was a masterpiece even in the dim lighting of beneath the deck, and Kanata found himself getting a bit flustered.

“Um, I just wanted to know your story.” Kanata shrugged his shoulders, looking back down into his lap and fiddling with his fingers. It was hard to look at such a face without getting distracted and embarrassing himself. Plus everyone on the boat had seen his little ordeal with Kaoru. It felt wrong to look at Souma and place him on this unreachable pedestal.

Hopefully getting to know him would bring him down to his level. Kanata didn’t think he deserved being on the same wavelength as Souma. The swordsman walked with pride upon his shoulders and never once looked sleazy doing it.

“My story?” Souma repeated, sighing lightly and adjusting his posture as if recalling his memories. The man flicked a piece of his indigo hair away from his eyes, and Kanata bravely looked towards him once more. “I grew up the only son of my family, and as you’ve probably guessed that means I’m to be the leader.” He gestured towards his sword and smiled softly at the boy who was now swaying back and forth subconsciously. “My whole life was laid out for me, I was taught sword fighting and excelled at it. It was fun for a while, but there was no challenge after so many years. I turned eighteen and my family set up my engagement to a woman I had never met.”

Kanata was taken aback. First, Souma was younger than him. Second, he was so easygoing considering what he’s gone through. Kanata frowned a bit, wrapping his arms around his knees and settling his chin on top of them.

“You were going to go through with the marriage?” Kanata asked curiously, watching as the swordsman held out his hand. The ring glinted in the faint light, and Souma looked at indifferently. It was such an empty commitment. Kanata couldn’t imagine going through that, it sounded absolutely miserable.

“I had no choice. I couldn’t let down my family, especially not after what happened with my sister.” Souma murmured under his breath, resting his head against the wall and closing his eyes for a moment. Kanata raised an eyebrow, sitting up straighter and leaning forward just a bit.

“Do you mind me asking what happened?” He knew he was being nosy, but he couldn’t help himself. Kanata hoped to learn as much as could about a new friend. Assuming Souma would consider him a friend. It’s all Kanata really wanted out of this.

“It’s a story for another time. I’m afraid somebody beat you to that question.” The indigo haired man pushed off of the wall, and made his way over to Kanata in a few elegant strides. Kanata looked up at him with eyes full of wonder, and Souma sank down in front of him to sit. Souma crossed his legs slowly, resting his hands on his knees and looking up at Kanata. “What’s your story?”

Kanata wondered if he should hold back or tell him what he told Kaoru. He wondered if he should withhold some information just to keep him guessing. Kanata looked up at him, swallowing the lump in his throat. He needed someone that knew everything. Someone that could understand him without him having to say anything.

He told Souma everything. He told him about his uncle, about his childhood innocence being ripped from him, about never being able to forgive himself, about being trapped in his house, about his only friends going missing, about him not knowing who he is, about his crime, and about his escape. Kanata only held his tongue when his feelings concerning Kaoru nearly slipped out. Souma was very quiet the entire time, watching him with soft eyes even when Kanata struggled to speak or catch his breath.

He learned Souma was patient. He never once looked disgusted or scared. He was either a very understanding man or he was good at hiding his emotions. Kanata couldn’t be bothered to figure out which it was, hot tears were streaming down his cheeks and he was wiping them with the burgundy handkerchief he treasured so much.

“I trust you, and I will stand by you.” Souma murmured under his breath. Kanata stopped crying instantly. He looked up at the swordsman, and his lips parted. He said everything he needed to hear. He needed to hear those words for years. He needed to know he wasn’t a mistake and that he wasn’t alone. He needed to know everything he had done wasn’t a waste and that he had a future. Kanata’s lips began to quiver, he nodded quickly and tried to hold back his tears again. Souma reached out, he patted Kanata’s head softly and smiled gently.

“You did good Kanata, rest for a while.” Souma whispered, eyes dancing over his sullen expression and lips pulling into a gentle frown. Kanata went to wipe at his eyes, hesitated, and then scooted an inch closer to the other. The cyan haired boy looked emptily at the hammock, wondering if he had the strength to get up or the ability to fall asleep when his eyes burned so much. “Come here…” Kanata turned his head to look at Souma, who was sitting with his back against the wall, holding a blanket with his arms open.

Kanata sniffled, looking over his shoulder at the quarter doors and then crawling towards the swordsman. He pressed against his chest, closing his eyes as the rest of his tears slipped out. Souma draped the blanket over him, his heart beat steady and skin warm. Kanata leaned against him without being scared, and he managed the tiniest whisper of thanks Souma had ever heard. Kanata fell asleep against him. Safe. Trusted. Accepted.

 


When the sun had set, Kanata woke up from his rest. He noticed the lack of warmth, but not the absense of it. Rubbing at his eyes, he picked himself up off the floor and looked up. Souma had gone, but not that long ago. Kanata ran his fingers through his hair, remembering the feeling of his hand petting him as he slept. He had to thank Souma again when he saw him. Souma was such a people person, he always knew how to act and Kanata had never met someone like him before.

Kanata folded the blanket neatly and left it beside the wall. He stood up and stretched, sighing in satisfaction. The cyan haired boy looked around the quarters, it seemed no one else was sleeping. He wondered if the captain would get angry with him, but also he doubted he would after his successful mission. Kanata wandered out of the quarters, and noticed they were docked. He blinked a few times, looking around the deck and finding only a few straggling members of the crew.

Kanata tried to smooth some wrinkles of his shirt, and then began to play with the sword at his hip. It had been one of the longest days of his life. He couldn’t wait until they were back at sea and he didn’t have so much on his mind. He missed just a week before when they were travelling nonstop and Kanata could breathe in the ocean breeze and feel it card through his hair. One day he would feel that again.

Walking to the side of the boat closest to the shore, he glanced towards the beach. Some of the crew members were around a marvelous fire, and that’s when Kanata remembered. The captain had said they were celebrating tonight, hopefully he hadn’t missed too much. Kanata ran towards the gangplank, hopping down onto the dock and then jumping onto the sand. The firelight made everyone appear golden, and Kanata smiled at the sight.

“Kanata! The man of the hour!” The captain marched over to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulder and laughing loudly. The crew cheered even louder, and Kanata lost his breath. His chest felt warm and he laughed softly with a wide smile on his face. “Celebrate tonight, have a drink!” Rei pushed his mug towards Kanata and the young man took it just so Rei wouldn’t drop it onto the beach.

“O-oh, I’ve never properly drank before.” Kanata remembered the few sips of rum he had aboard Captain Tsukinaga’s ship, he didn’t dare mention that to Rei. If he found out he’d probably try to stab Leo Tsukinaga or sulk about it while drinking until he passed out.

“We’ll teach you how to drink!” Rei patted his back quite hard, and Kanata had to grip the mug tightly so it wouldn’t spill all over him. “Drink a lot, and drink fearlessly. If anyone looks at you the wrong way, drink. If anyone looks at you the right way, drink! The key to celebrating is drinking as much as you can without getting sick, though as a first timer I can’t assure you it won’t hurt tomorrow.” The captain was watching him with big eyes, which were even darker than usual. He had probably had three mugs already.

Kanata found himself being filled with happiness the more the captain talked. He was so carefree and so unapologetically rowdy. He knew the captain had many sides, and in his short time on board he’s seen so much of it. Kanata looked at the mug for a moment, licked at his lips and then tilted his head back as he drank the rest of the rum. The crew laughed heartily, cheering for him once more and congratulating him for passing the true initiation.

When Kanata took a deep breath and smiled at the captain he barely noticed a crew member filling up his mug again. He was busy looking past the captain into the town, a group of people wandered close to the beach. Kanata squinted a bit, bringing the cup to his mouth and taking a long sip. The closer they got, the more familiar they looked. When they made it to the dock, he grinned widely and threw his hand up to wave enthusiastically at them.

Kaoru, Adonis, Kuro and Souma were coming to the bonfire from town. Kanata rushed over to them, giggling when Kaoru shoved his box full of rum into Adonis’s arms and met Kanata half way. The blonde pirate wrapped his arms around his waist instead, picking him up a few inches and planting a big kiss on his cheek. Kanata laughed loudly, his heart racing in his chest and his hands beginning to shake. He would never get used to touching Kaoru, or kissing him so openly. He liked it that way. He liked never not being excited over him.

“You slept for nearly ten hours,” Kaoru murmured against his neck, softly kissing at his skin and then pulling back. “Feeling alright?” The pirate gently ran his thumb underneath Kanata’s eyes. Hopefully he didn’t notice how puffy they were or that they were most likely red. The cyan haired boy nodded quickly, squeaking when Kaoru picked him up bridal style and continued on his way to the beach. “Then let’s celebrate you sweetheart.”

 


The bonfire felt like a blur. Kanata just remembered drinking a lot, kissing Kaoru a lot, dancing with Kuro, being draped over Souma’s shoulder for a while and outwardly asking Adonis if he thought Souma looked like a god. His head began to swirl as the early morning came around. It had to be at least 2am, but he was still drinking and watching the crew happily laugh around the fire. He did admit he felt a little hungry, his stomach was very empty.

He couldn’t remember where everyone went. Maybe Kaoru went to get something to eat or maybe he said he was going to sleep. Maybe Kuro said he was making food or he was done for good. Maybe Adonis said he was going to look for Souma or go court him. Maybe Souma said he needed the bathroom or that there wasn’t enough room.

Kanata realized quickly when he had more than four drinks he couldn’t remember anything. He twisted words in his mind the moment he heard them and replaced them with things he thought made sense. He wasn’t the best drinker, but he wasn’t the worst. His head was pounding, it was as if his heart and brain had switched places. His chest was unusually quiet.

The cyan haired boy get up off the rock he was sitting on and wobbled his way to the ship. He’d go see if Kuro was making any food or if he could steal any. Kuro wouldn’t mind if he stole a peach or something small, hopefully he wouldn't. It seemed most people couldn’t stay mad at Kanata, and when he asked Adonis why it was he only said because he was ridiculously cute and good at everything. He thought he was lying. Kanata thought he was anything but cute. He also felt he was bad at everything. Except maybe peeling potatoes and being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

He nearly slipped off the gangplank, but he managed to get onto the boat safely. Kanata hummed to himself as he finished another drink, setting the mug down on a barrel as he wandered past. He’d get a refill on the way back down. The cyan haired boy’s vision was getting a bit swirly and a bit too dark. The moonlight could only do so much in guiding him.

Kanata was a few feet away from the kitchen when he heard distant talking. He didn’t seem to have control of himself when he was drunk, his feet took him to the source of the sound. Souma and Adonis stood with their lower backs against the edge of the ship. They were looking at each other quite intensely, but neither of them acted on it. Even drunk, Kanata could see the way they stared at each other and tried to pass it off as curiosity instead of infatuation.

“Hiya!” Kanata called, stumbling on his way over and giggling loudly when he realized how funny he looked. The two swordsmen looked towards him, smiling fondly and beckoning him over. Kanata skipped to them, fitting nicely between them and then looking back and forth between them. “So, whatcha doin’?” Kanata hooked his arms with both of them, pressing his cheeks against their shoulders and laughing softly again.

“We’re just talking…” Souma spoke quietly, looking down at the cyan haired boy and snorting softly. Something about Kanata being so loose was comical to him. He’s only known him for three quarters of a day, but they’ve shared so much and become closer than anyone else on the boat.

“Yeah, just chatting. Not too exciting.” Adonis cleared his throat, drinking the rest of his rum and then putting his mug down. He made eye contact with Souma after speaking, and the way he looked at him through his eyelashes gave Kanata the shivers.

“Hey just letting ya know, if ya don’ kiss him, I will.” Kanata pulled away from them, standing facing them and crossing his arms childishly in front of him. “Ya can fool yaself, but ya can’t fool me!” He spoke proudly, wiggling a finger at them accusingly and then puffing out his cheeks.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Adonis mumbled, cheeks dusting a soft pink in the dim moonlight, and Kanata pointed at him again. Souma chuckled softly, this was perhaps the most amused he’s been on this ship since he got here. So much has happened already and now a drunk Kanata pointing out their obvious attraction for each other was the cherry on top.

“Kiss who? Me, or him?” Souma’s voice got even smoother after a few drinks. He was no stranger to drinking, but he always had to be careful to not tarnish his reputation. He was divine without a drink, but with a few he was the devil. Arguing with him when he was tipsy was not an option, he looked at Kanata and he felt overpowered without even saying anything. Kanata felt his cheeks turn red at his gaze, he tucked his arms over each other a little harder and cleared his throat.

“If ya don’ kiss Adonis… I guess I’ll jus’ kiss him… ” Kanata spoke matter of factly, which was very hard to do when he was this flustered and drunk. He kind of didn’t know where he was or why he felt such a hot fire in his stomach. Nothing made sense anymore.

“Aw, but what about me?” Souma rested his elbows against the edge of the boat, his chest exposing itself a bit more, and both Kanata and Adonis’s breath caught in their throat. Kanata stood up straight, he took a big step towards Souma and grabbed at his robe with his hands.

“Ya asked for it, okay? It’s painful to see ya droolin’ over each other ‘n’ then pretendin’ ya don’ want each other.” Kanata looked as if he was sulking at this point, talking even though he was pouting and his eyes were glazed over. Souma chuckled a bit, raising an eyebrow and then tilting Kanata’s chin up with his thumb and index finger.

“Wai-” Adonis’s voice got lost in the late night air as Kanata and Souma began to kiss. It was soft at first, just to prove a point, but neither of them pulled away. Kanata kissed him gently, then pressed in closer and giggled breathlessly when he fell into Souma and was kissed deeper. It was different than kissing Kaoru, it wasn’t as urgent. It was slow, it had rhythm to it. Kanata was melting in his arms. Souma was a very, very good kisser. Kanata had to pull away when his legs began to give out, he only wanted a kiss. Nothing more.

“Now hold on.” Adonis grumbled, now he was clearly sulking. Souma tilted his head towards him, and kissed him. Kanata gasped softly, still pressed against Souma’s chest and now looking up at the two kissing. He’s never watched two people kiss like this, it made his stomach feel like it was caving in. The alcohol in his system made his throat hurt, and he began to tremble against Souma’s body. Was this was they looked like kissing? It looked so scandalous, so fluid and like it felt really good. Kanata nibbled at his bottom lip.

Adonis pulled away from Souma, he cursed under his breath and he went to lean in again. Kanata whined, pulling Adonis’s head towards him and pouting cutely.

“What abou’ me?” Kanata whined, but it was quickly lost in Adonis’s mouth. God. It was so different than both Kaoru and Souma, the only other people he’d kissed in his life. Maybe Adonis had kissed more people than they had, or maybe he was just a natural. Kanata had never lost all his worries and thoughts as fast as he did when he was kissing him. His body instantly relaxed. He tasted so sweet. Kanata wanted to cry because wherever his tongue touched made his voice want to come out.

It felt like he was in the ocean. Like he was embraced by his dreams and his entire body was floating. Kanata pressed him so close that Souma loudly laughed and rubbed his hand against Kanata’s neck to try and calm him down. Kanata pulled away for a second, the tiniest moan slipped from his lips, and all three boy's froze.

“Oops.” Kanata whispered, covering his mouth with his hand and taking a step back. Before he could say anything else, a hand hardly gripped his wrist and he was being jerked away from Souma and Adonis. Through his drunken haze he squeaked, and then looked up to see Kaoru. He felt as though he was immediately sober, and he felt like crying even more now. “K-Kaoru…” His voice shook, and he blinked away his tears.

From the looks of it, Kaoru wasn’t angry at him. Instead he looked like he wanted to kill both of the swordsman. His gaze said how dare you. But Souma’s soft gaze only said you try denying him of what he wants. Kaoru growled, he pulled Kanata away from them and began to drag him down to the kitchen. Kuro must not have been there, because it was dead silent.

 

Kanata tried to get his words out but it was near impossible. He felt tears running down his cheeks and he whimpered the tighter Kaoru held his wrist. It hurt. It was rough. It felt like he was going to bruise. It was scary. He knew it was all his fault. Kanata couldn’t help it, he threw his head back and began to sob.

Within a minute he found himself being held by Kaoru and softly shushed by the pirate. He held him tightly and rubbed at his back gently. Kanata sobbed into his chest, he tried to say that he was sorry but he just felt like throwing up. His head hurt so much, and his stomach felt as though it had been torn to shreds. He had finally understood that kissing other people had made him excited and he wanted to throw himself off the boat so he could waste away.

He didn’t deserve for Kaoru to not be mad at him. He deserved to be hated. Kanata couldn’t breathe properly, he kept gasping for air, and shaking when he couldn’t get enough. Kaoru hugged him close, kissing at the top of his head and whispering that he’d be okay over and over again. Kanata’s voice felt raw. He couldn’t speak at all.

When he calmed down, he wasn’t given another second to rest. He was shoved against the wall. Kaoru’s eyes seemed to lack shine, and he stared at Kanata was so much intensity that the cyan haired boy felt especially small. One of Kaoru’s hands grabbed his wrists and held them above his head, the other began to wrap itself around Kanata’s throat. He didn’t press against it though, only held it softly, the sensation there, but not robbing him of air. Kanata didn’t understand what was going on, he just knew that Kaoru was angry at him, and that maybe he was going to tell him he never wanted to see him again. He was going to be degraded and sent away. And he was going to deserve it. Kanata let a stray tear slip down his cheek, and he swallowed the lump in his throat. He was ready for Kaoru to hate him.

“Tell me you love me, and just me.” Kaoru growled.

Kanata’s eyes flew up to look into Kaoru’s. The pirate’s gaze was unwavering. The fire returned to Kanata’s stomach. At that moment he realized he would do anything for this man. He smiled, and his lips formed the words.

 

Chapter Text

Three weeks had passed since that night. That night Kanata had told Kaoru he loved him. That night marked the first of many things in their relationship. Kanata did everything Kaoru asked him to do. He felt free doing them. He got on his knees without batting an eye. He wrapped his legs around Kaoru and let him embrace every inch of his body. It was amazing.

They did that every night of the first week. It was better than amazing. Kanata had never felt better. It was so good and he felt full for the first time since they met. They had been at sea for that entire week. They sailed across the ocean and spent the days working hard and the nights making love for hours. Kanata felt happy. It was good, and it was theirs.

The second week, it wasn’t as often. Kaoru had been working almost everyday until the late hours. The crew had docked twice that week. Kanata worked a lot in the kitchen. He and Kuro kept the crew fed for days on end. He found himself falling asleep one of the wooden tables more than once. The only thing that bothered him was the fact Kaoru never came looking for him. When he saw him the next morning he never seemed worried about him. Kaoru smiled at him like everything was fine and kissed him like nothing was wrong.

Kanata felt like something was wrong. He said he loved Kaoru over and over. He had gotten nothing from the pirate. Kaoru had never said much involving his feelings. Kanata didn’t mean for words said nearly a month ago to bother him, but Koga’s words ran around his mind everyday. He was just a replacement. Someone to sleep with. Someone to put his frustrations out on. Someone to hold at night and leave in the morning.

It was the third week now. They were docked. Kanata laid alone in the king sized bed of an inn. The portside town the crew was currently working in was quaint. Kanata rolled over, clutching at the pillow beside him and frowning deeply. Last night he slept with Kaoru, as usual he woke up and he wasn’t there. Kanata had become numb to it.

He sat up slowly, long hair fanning over his eyes. He hadn’t cut his hair since before he left home. Souma was to come to the room and help him. Kanata had gotten much closer with the swordsman. They had accompanied each other when getting tattoos and piercings to grow from their comfort zone. Kanata had become good friends with the idea of rebellion. His aunt would have killed him if she saw him with a piercing, let alone three. If he would have stayed head of the family, Souma would have been forbid from altering his body. He gave a big fuck you to his old life and got a large lilly on his back with a prowling tiger around it. Kanata knew deep down he was still thankful for his life because the tiger was his family's emblem.

 

There was a knock at the door. Kanata stood up from the bed, a little shaky at first. He grabbed a pair of underwear from the ground and shimmied into them. Without looking, he took a dress shirt from the nearby chair and threw it onto his body. Kanata clumsily buttoned it as he walked to the door and threw it open.

“Just woke up?” Souma murmured, glancing over the boy who looked like a complete mess. Kanata pushed his hair back from his face, nodding slowly as he moved aside so he could walk in. Souma ruffled Kanata’s hair, earning a small grunt and a soft push.

“Shut up, get to the bathroom so I can cut off all your hair.” Kanata mumbled, closing the door behind him and watching the swordsman walk backwards to the bathroom. Souma was smiling at him, amused by his appearance and lack of patience. He knew about the relationship problems. Kanata depended on him a lot, not sure he could tell Kuro about his problems because the man was practically his adoptive father.

“Kaoru still neglecting you?” Souma dragged a stool into the bathroom, setting it down in front of the mirror and sitting down. The cyan haired boy followed him in, opening the top drawer and pulling out the scissors. Souma pulled off his shirt, pulling a towel to himself and draping it around his shoulders.

“It’s like everything he says doesn’t mean anything.” Kanata whispered, brushing Souma’s hair out with a comb as he pulled the ribbon out of his hair. It was a shame to have to cut all his beautiful hair, but Souma wanted a different look and he was getting tired of taking care of it at sea. “The only thing that comes out of his mouth is talk during sex, nothing makes my heart race anymore… It’s all fucking empty.” Kanata cleared his throat, grabbing his hair softly and beginning to cut at it. He narrowed his eyes as the long locks of hair began to fall to the floor.

“Have you talked to him about it?” Souma watched as the hair he’s grown out all his life was cut off, and he let out a long breath. “I could talk to him instead if you want. I can’t take seeing you like this Kanata, you’re not yourself.” The cyan haired boy quickly snipped off most of the length and then ruffled his fingers through the medium length hair.

“Talk to him? What if I talk to him and he won’t even want to kiss me anymore.” Kanata began to style the hair, snipping the ends and fixing his bangs to frame his face perfectly. “I tell him I think his words are empty and he just stops sleeping with me. Then what does my broken heart do? I’ll be too tempted to walk the plank.” Kanata brushed hair away from Souma’s neck and shortened the hair around there.

“Kanata, this is Kaoru we’re talking about. He’s crazy about you. He’s has to be.” Souma sighed as the boy ruffled through his hair and took the towel off of his shoulders. The haircut was easy and painless, Souma shook out his hair quickly and smiled at Kanata.

“He’s not crazy about me,” Kanata switched spots with him, putting the towel around his own neck and leaning back against the chair. “He’s crazy about the idea of me.”

“You’re crazy.” Souma began to work on his hair. Kanata watched as his hair fell.



When Souma left and the bathroom was clean. Kanata went out to the balcony. The sun was high in the sky, but it was cloudy. He leaned against the railing and let the breeze tickle his skin and brush against his neck. It felt nice to feel free again. Kanata leaned further off the railing and closed his eyes. The breeze was warm. His legs were still bare. When he closed his eyes he felt as if he was flying. It was like when he first went to sea. It was like a dream.

Kanata was so lost in his daydream he didn’t even hear the door opening and footsteps rushing over to him. Arms wrapped around his waist tightly and pulled him away from the edge of the balcony. His eyes flew open and he gasped. Kanata flipped his head around to see Kaoru holding him like he was scared to let go. His eyes were shut tightly and his lips were firmly pressed together. He was shaking. Kanata lost his breath, he turned around in his grip and pressed his hands against his cheeks firmly.

 

“Hey, hey… What’s going on?” Kanata whispered, stroking at Kaoru’s skin and gently pressing his lips to his nose. The pirate let out a shaky breath and he pressed his hands against Kanata’s.

“What the hell were you doing?” Kaoru stared into his eyes. His pupils shook and his eyes looked as if they were watering. Kanata frowned slowly, trying to process the situation. What did he mean? He was resting against the railing enjoying the nice summer breeze. Kanata gasped softly, shaking his head and running his thumbs over his jawline slowly.

“Kaoru, I wasn’t going to jump or anything. I swear it’s not what you think, why would you think that, why would I?” Kanata began rambling at this point, shaking his head quickly and blinking his confusion away. Kaoru swallowed the lump in his throat, falling back half a step before he closed his eyes so tightly a tear slid down his cheek.

“I-I don’t know, I don’t,” His voice was shaking so badly he could barely get out the words. Kanata whimpered gently, helping him to the bed and sitting him down at the end of it. Kaoru pulled him close, sitting him on his lap and holding him against his chest. “It might just be me being paranoid, but you… you don’t seem as happy anymore. It’s like you don’t feel anything when we’re together. I convinced myself it was all in my head but you… you just… I swear last night you cried and I’m so sorry… I’m not good enough for you…” He was being more open than he’d ever been in the time they’d been together.

When Kaoru looked up at Kanata for confirmation, Kanata had tears streaming down his face. Kaoru held him closer, gently swaying and shushing his gentle sobbing. Kanata shook his head, holding his shoulders tightly and trembling.

“I didn’t know how to tell you Kaoru,” He whined as he spoke, feeling his nose begin to run but too broken to care about it. “I-I’m not happy, I’m really not.” Kanata pressed his hands against his face and cried into his palms. “It’s just, I’m so naive and stupid.” Kanata leaned his forehead against Kaoru’s shoulder and whimpered. “I just I love you so much, I love you and I have this feeling that you don’t love me…” Kanata rubbed at his eyes with his hands, biting at his bottom lip to keep himself from sobbing. “I just feel I’m a replacement for your old lover.”

“Woah, a replacement? Kanata please don’t think so low of me…” Kaoru pulled away from him just enough to pull his head up to look at him. Kanata’s cheeks were red, eyes flooded with tears and face wet. “Where did you get that idea from? I would never ever do that to you… what we have isn’t empty…” Kaoru kissed the top of his head, taking his thumb and wiping away some of his tears. “When I’m with you I feel so warm and happy and full… It’s like everything bad that’s ever happened to me was worth it because I’m here now with you.” The pirate leaned in and pressed a kiss to Kanata’s lips, not caring about the tears that slipped between them. Kaoru kissed him deeper, pulled away and hugged him close again. “I love you.”

Hearing those words he’s been so desperate to hear made his entire body react. Kanata cried harder than he’s ever cried before. He sobbed like a child against Kaoru’s chest and felt complete when Kaoru held him tightly. He could feel their hearts beating together and their hands clutching at each other desperately.



Kanata woke up in the king sized bed once more. His eyes felt as if they were glued shut and they hurt to open. They were so puffy that they seemed half lidded. He could hear the ocean from the open balcony door, and he heard gulls crying in the distance. The air coming in from the door was a nice chill, and he curled up further in the blanket until his foot brushed against something warm. Kanata flinched slightly, looking over the blankets to see Kaoru laying beside him.

Kanata’s heart began to race in his chest. Kaoru slept peacefully beside him, lips parted and eyes almost as puffy as his. He didn’t remember much after crying so hard he passed out, but it looked as though Kaoru felt as bad about it as he did. Kanata crawled closer to him, grabbing his arm and wrapping it around him slowly. His bare chest felt hot against his skin, and Kanata nuzzled further against him. He was everything he’s ever wanted. He was sensitive, he was strong, he was warm, he was in love. Kanata kissed his neck softly, giggling when Kaoru shifted in his sleep and pulled him closer. Kanata began to nibble on his skin, smiling brightly when his sleeping lover turned over and pressed closer to him.

“Mm, feeling better?” Kaoru spoke, raspy and quiet. Kanata looked at him, cooing gently as the pirate pushed back his freshly cut hair from his face and kissed his forehead. Kaoru kissed his ear, humming softly and gently rubbing a hand down his thigh.

“Yeah…” Kanata whispered, pressing close to his hand and sighing sweetly. “I feel much better, I slept so well… and I just wanted to say it again. I love you.” Kanata kissed his collarbone, burying his nose against his skin and wrapping his leg around his hip.

“Oh yeah?” Kaoru brushed his hand further up his leg, squeezing at his skin and watching as Kanata shivered and gently wiggled against him. “And I love you.”

Kanata wrapped his arms around Kaoru’s neck and looked up at him. The pirate looked back at him with a tiny smirk on his face, and Kanata’s heart skipped a beat. Kaoru looked at him as if he was the finest pearl in the sea. Kanata looked at him as if he was the ocean itself. He looked with wonder and adoration and longing. Kaoru kissed him softly, once, twice, and then a third time. Kanata gently licked at his lip, and Kaoru laughed against his mouth. His skin felt warm, his toes curled. He made him feel alive. It was clear he was his ocean.

Chapter Text

Three weeks had passed since that night. That night Kanata had told Kaoru he loved him. That night marked the first of many things in their relationship. Kanata did everything Kaoru asked him to do. He felt free doing them. He got on his knees without batting an eye. He wrapped his legs around Kaoru and let him embrace every inch of his body. It was amazing.

They did that every night of the first week. It was better than amazing. Kanata had never felt better. It was so good and he felt full for the first time since they met. They had been at sea for that entire week. They sailed across the ocean and spent the days working hard and the nights making love for hours. Kanata felt happy. It was good, and it was theirs.

The second week, it wasn’t as often. Kaoru had been working almost everyday until the late hours. The crew had docked twice that week. Kanata worked a lot in the kitchen. He and Kuro kept the crew fed for days on end. He found himself falling asleep one of the wooden tables more than once. The only thing that bothered him was the fact Kaoru never came looking for him. When he saw him the next morning he never seemed worried about him. Kaoru smiled at him like everything was fine and kissed him like nothing was wrong.

Kanata felt like something was wrong. He said he loved Kaoru over and over. He had gotten nothing from the pirate. Kaoru had never said much involving his feelings. Kanata didn’t mean for words said nearly a month ago to bother him, but Koga’s words ran around his mind everyday. He was just a replacement. Someone to sleep with. Someone to put his frustrations out on. Someone to hold at night and leave in the morning.

It was the third week now. They were docked. Kanata laid alone in the king sized bed of an inn. The portside town the crew was currently working in was quaint. Kanata rolled over, clutching at the pillow beside him and frowning deeply. Last night he slept with Kaoru, as usual he woke up and he wasn’t there. Kanata had become numb to it.

He sat up slowly, long hair fanning over his eyes. He hadn’t cut his hair since before he left home. Souma was to come to the room and help him. Kanata had gotten much closer with the swordsman. They had accompanied each other when getting tattoos and piercings to grow from their comfort zone. Kanata had become good friends with the idea of rebellion. His aunt would have killed him if she saw him with a piercing, let alone three. If he would have stayed head of the family, Souma would have been forbid from altering his body. He gave a big fuck you to his old life and got a large lilly on his back with a prowling tiger around it. Kanata knew deep down he was still thankful for his life, the tiger was his family's emblem.

 

There was a knock at the door. Kanata stood up from the bed, a little shaky at first. He grabbed a pair of underwear from the ground and shimmied into them. Without looking, he took a dress shirt from the nearby chair and threw it onto his body. Kanata clumsily buttoned it as he walked to the door and threw it open.

“Just woke up?” Souma murmured, glancing over the boy who looked like a complete mess. Kanata pushed his hair back from his face, nodding slowly as he moved aside so he could walk in. Souma ruffled Kanata’s hair, earning a small grunt and a soft push.

“Shut up, get to the bathroom so I can cut off all your hair.” Kanata mumbled, closing the door behind him and watching the swordsman walk backwards to the bathroom. Souma was smiling at him, amused by his appearance and lack of patience. He knew about the relationship problems. Kanata depended on him a lot, not sure he could tell Kuro about his problems because the man was practically his adoptive father.

“Kaoru still neglecting you?” Souma dragged a stool into the bathroom, setting it down in front of the mirror and sitting down. The cyan haired boy followed him in, opening the top drawer and pulling out the scissors. Souma pulled off his shirt, pulling a towel to himself and draping it around his shoulders.

“It’s like everything he says doesn’t mean anything.” Kanata whispered, brushing Souma’s hair out with a comb as he pulled the ribbon out of his hair. It was a shame to have to cut all his beautiful hair, but Souma wanted a different look and he was getting tired of taking care of it at sea. “The only thing that comes out of his mouth is talk during sex, nothing makes my heart race anymore… It’s all fucking empty.” Kanata cleared his throat, grabbing his hair softly and beginning to cut at it. He narrowed his eyes as the long locks of hair began to fall to the floor.

“Have you talked to him about it?” Souma watched as the hair he’s grown out all his life was cut off, and he let out a long breath. “I could talk to him instead if you want. I can’t take seeing you like this Kanata, you’re not yourself.” Kanata was quiet for five minutes, thinking of what being himself meant.  The cyan haired boy quickly snipped off most of the length and then ruffled his fingers through the medium length hair.

“Talk to him? What if I talk to him and he won’t even want to kiss me anymore.” Kanata began to style the hair, snipping the ends and fixing his bangs to frame his face perfectly. “I tell him I think his words are empty and he just stops sleeping with me. Then what does my broken heart do? I’ll be too tempted to walk the plank.” Kanata brushed hair away from Souma’s neck and shortened the hair around there. It was quiet for another ten minutes. Each of them treading carefully.

“Kanata, this is Kaoru we’re talking about. He’s crazy about you. He has to be.” Souma sighed as the boy ruffled through his hair and took the towel off of his shoulders. The haircut was easy and painless, Souma shook out his hair quickly and smiled at Kanata.

“He’s not crazy about me,” Kanata switched spots with him, putting the towel around his own neck and leaning back against the chair. “He’s crazy about the idea of me.”

“You’re crazy.” Souma began to work on his hair. Kanata watched as his hair fell.


When Souma left and the bathroom was clean Kanata went out to the balcony. The sun was high in the sky, but it was cloudy. He leaned against the railing and let the breeze tickle his skin and brush against his neck. It felt nice to feel free again. Kanata leaned further off the railing and closed his eyes. The breeze was warm. His legs were still bare. When he closed his eyes he felt as if he was flying. It was like when he first went to sea. It was like a dream.

Kanata was so lost in his daydream he didn’t even hear the door opening and footsteps rushing over to him. Arms wrapped around his waist tightly and pulled him away from the edge of the balcony. His eyes flew open and he gasped. Kanata flipped his head around to see Kaoru holding him like he was scared to let go. His eyes were shut tightly and his lips were firmly pressed together. He was shaking. Kanata lost his breath, he turned around in his grip and pressed his hands against his cheeks firmly.

 

“Hey, hey… What’s going on?” Kanata whispered, stroking at Kaoru’s skin and gently pressing his lips to his nose. The pirate let out a shaky breath and he pressed his hands against Kanata’s.

“What the hell were you doing?” Kaoru stared into his eyes. His pupils shook and his eyes looked as if they were watering. Kanata frowned slowly, trying to process the situation. What did he mean? He was resting against the railing enjoying the nice summer breeze. Kanata gasped softly, shaking his head and running his thumbs over his jawline slowly.

“Kaoru, I wasn’t going to jump or anything. I swear it’s not what you think, why would you think that, why would I?” Kanata began rambling at this point, shaking his head quickly and blinking his confusion away. Kaoru swallowed the lump in his throat, falling back half a step before he closed his eyes so tightly a tear slid down his cheek.

“I-I don’t know, I don’t,” His voice was shaking so badly he could barely get out the words. Kanata whimpered gently, helping him to the bed and sitting him down at the end of it. Kaoru pulled him close, sitting him on his lap and holding him against his chest. “It might just be me being paranoid, but you… you don’t seem as happy anymore. It’s like you don’t feel anything when we’re together. I convinced myself it was all in my head but you… you just… I swear last night you cried and I’m so sorry… I’m not good enough for you…” He was being more open than he’d ever been in the time they’d been together.

When Kaoru looked up at Kanata for confirmation, Kanata had tears streaming down his face. Kaoru held him closer, gently swaying and shushing his gentle sobbing. Kanata shook his head, holding his shoulders tightly and trembling.

“I didn’t know how to tell you Kaoru,” He whined as he spoke, feeling his nose begin to run but too broken to care about it. “I-I’m not happy, I’m really not.” Kanata pressed his hands against his face and cried into his palms. “It’s just, I’m so naive and stupid.” Kanata leaned his forehead against Kaoru’s shoulder and whimpered. “I just I love you so much, I love you and I have this feeling that you don’t love me…” Kanata rubbed at his eyes with his hands, biting at his bottom lip to keep himself from sobbing. “I just feel I’m a replacement for your old lover.”

“Woah, a replacement? Kanata please don’t think so low of me…” Kaoru pulled away from him just enough to pull his head up to look at him. Kanata’s cheeks were red, eyes flooded with tears and face wet. “Where did you get that idea from? I would never ever do that to you… what we have isn’t empty…” Kaoru kissed the top of his head, taking his thumb and wiping away some of his tears. “When I’m with you I feel so warm and happy and full… It’s like everything bad that’s ever happened to me was worth it because I’m here now with you.” The pirate leaned in and pressed a kiss to Kanata’s lips, not caring about the tears that slipped between them. Kaoru kissed him deeper, pulled away and hugged him close again. “I love you.”

Hearing those words he’s been so desperate to hear made his entire body react. Kanata cried harder than he’s ever cried before. He sobbed like a child against Kaoru’s chest and felt complete when Kaoru held him tightly. He could feel their hearts beating together and their hands clutching at each other desperately.


Kanata woke up in the king sized bed once more. His eyes felt as if they were glued shut and they hurt to open. They were so puffy that they seemed half lidded. He could hear the ocean from the open balcony door, and he heard gulls crying in the distance. The air coming in from the door was a nice chill, and he curled up further in the blanket until his foot brushed against something warm. Kanata flinched slightly, looking over the blankets to see Kaoru laying beside him.

Kanata’s heart began to race in his chest. Kaoru slept peacefully beside him, lips parted and eyes almost as puffy as his. He didn’t remember much after crying so hard he passed out, but it looked as though Kaoru felt as bad about it as he did. Kanata crawled closer to him, grabbing his arm and wrapping it around him slowly. His bare chest felt hot against his skin, and Kanata nuzzled further against him.

He was everything he’s ever wanted. He was sensitive, he was strong, he was warm, he was in love. Kanata kissed his neck softly, giggling when Kaoru shifted in his sleep and pulled him closer. Kanata began to nibble on his skin, smiling brightly when his sleeping lover turned over and pressed closer to him.

“Mm, feeling better?” Kaoru spoke, raspy and quiet. Kanata looked at him, cooing gently as the pirate pushed back his freshly cut hair from his face and kissed his forehead. Kaoru kissed his ear just beside his sapphire earring and hunmed softly while gently rubbing a hand down his thigh.

“Yeah…” Kanata whispered, pressing close to his hand and sighing sweetly. “I feel much better, I slept so well… and I just wanted to say it again. I love you.” Kanata kissed his collarbone, burying his nose against his skin and wrapping his leg around his hip.

“Oh yeah?” Kaoru brushed his hand further up his leg, squeezing at his skin and watching as Kanata shivered and gently wiggled against him. “And I love you.”

Kanata wrapped his arms around Kaoru’s neck and looked up at him. The pirate looked back at him with a tiny smirk on his face, and Kanata’s heart skipped a beat.

Kaoru looked at him as if he was the finest pearl in the sea. Kanata looked at him as if he was the ocean itself. He looked with wonder and adoration and longing. Kaoru kissed him softly, once, twice, and then a third time. Kanata gently licked at his lip, and Kaoru laughed against his mouth. His skin felt warm, his toes curled. He made him feel alive. It was clear he was his ocean.