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A Pirates Life for Me (Whether I Like it or Not)

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“Don’t ye ever sail by the southern isles, boy, it be where the monsters lay in wait”

 

A warning etched deep in his brain ever since childhood, and although he never believed it, Jimin swore to never go near them. He wasn’t a pirate, nowhere near being one in fact, seeing as he worked in a library just on the northern coast. He wasn’t a pirate, he never went near the ocean despite it being walking distance from his home and work. He wasn’t a pirate but his grandfather’s words still echo in his head ominously.

Captain Park ‘Sandman’ Sangchul. Just the name makes Jimin’s hair stand on end. How he didn’t know about his grandfather’s true ventures until after the man’s death is a mystery to him. It chills him to the bone knowing he, Park Jimin a happy librarian of a small town on the edge of the water, is a direct descendent of the most savagely cruel – exceedingly brutal pirate captain to have ever terrorized the waters of the kingdom of Rewen.
That’s not how he remembers the old man though. No, Jimin remembers him as his grandpa Sang who would bring him back some toy from some far-off place he’d never heard of and tell him extravagant stories of the ocean, of beautiful ladies with the tails of fish who would sing until sailors would crash into the rocks they sat upon. Stories of snakes big enough to circle the entire ship and octopi that could crush the biggest of boats in mere minutes. Jimin remembers sitting there for hours upon hours on the edge of his seat listening to his grandfather recount tales he had heard while he was on the sea. Grandpa Sang always ended each story “But that’s just what they be sayin’ out there, ye shan’t be letting it get to yer brain, lad” though, so Jimin never truly believed in such fantastical myths. His grandfather’s real warnings about the sea, always so ominous sounding and serious, stuck with him to this day though.

~~~~

The day Captain Park ‘Sandman’ Sangchul died he had rowed into the harbor by himself, tattered and tired, his boat barely staying afloat. It was late, Jimin recalls around one in the morning, a banging at their front door and his mother hurrying to open it. His grandfather’s breathing was heavy as he staggered into one of their dining room chairs.

“I don’t have much time” he’d gurgled, as Jimin and his father hurried to his side “Ye were a good son, despite not following in me footsteps, but I still respect yer decision in leaving” the man told his son, patting his shoulder lovingly before looking to Jimin and tussling his hair sweetly “And Jimin, me favorite grandchild”

“I’m your only grandchild grandpa Sang” Jimin had grinned at the time

His grandfather chuckled, the sound coming from deep in his chest “Aye, ye got me there don’t ye” he smiled fondly at him before say “Listen closely now lad, I’ve got somethin’ important to say”

Jimin scooted closer “What is it grandpa?” he asked wide eyed and curious

“Follow yer own path in this life, sonny, no matter what ye hear, no one’s yer boss as long as yer a Park” and Jimin nodded furiously before he continued “And.” He paused taking a heavy breath “Don’t ye ever sail by the southern isles, boy, it be where the real monsters lay in wait”

Jimin never did get an explanation about what on earth his grandfather meant by that, not as if he ever had gotten an explanation before, but whatever it was it had to have been important enough for them to be his last words.

Jimin remembers the day the kingdom had decided to make a parade in honor of his grandfather’s death. He hadn’t known at the time, that such a big bright happy parade was to actually celebrate the most ruthless pirate crews demise, he had only found out years later once he was 16 years old when his parents told him about who his grandfather really was.

~~~~

Ever since then, he’d done his own share of finding out. Jimin had read up on Park Sangchul, or again as the rest of the nation knew him, Captain Park ‘Sandman’ Sangchul and his crew who all sailed together on The Scrounger’s Night with sails as red as the embers burning in hell. The more he’d read the more shocked Jimin became. They’d over take ships, killing every person he’d met, following the dead man tells no tales rule. They had called his grandfather the sandman because once they found an entire ship floating peacefully near shore with the whole crew seemingly asleep in their barracks but when the soldiers that were sent to check on them tried to wake them they realized all on their throats had been slit. And pirates being the prideful sons of bitches they were, took credit by leaving part of their sail stabbed into the mast of the ship by a sword.

It was horrifying to read about, but also fascinating. Soon enough he’d read every book there was about Old Captain Sandman and he found himself moving to read about the other pirates that sailed with his grandfather, every other ship, every other known crew during his breaks at work. There weren’t many pirates anymore, due to the military cracking down and executing every pirate they came across – only the truly skilled ones are still sailing nowadays. It freaked Jimin out to think he was so close to one until he was 10 years old and he didn’t even know it. The information shook him to the core and it gave him goose bumps to think about it. But at the same time, it’s exciting, I mean, who else can say they’re the grandchild of the most feared pirate to ever sail – not that he’s out there spreading that info around.

There was a new book that had come in ‘The Ghost Ship: Neptune’s Jewel’ published just six months ago about a ship – Neptune’s Jewel – who’s crew was never seen by anyone. They were today’s most dangerous pirates, kidnapping kids for ransom, sinking entire boats for fun, plundering villages in the middle of the night leaving everyone without a cent and the only way they knew was by seeing gray sails flapping in the distance just close enough to see but far enough that no one could catch up. people speculated that the whole crew were just ghosts and that’s why they’ve never been caught, but others spread the name of Captain Min. Captain Min, clever enough to not be seen, ruthless enough to kill without remorse, brave enough to sail straight into a storm. Some accounts say he’s just a myth, but Jimin doesn’t think myths are made on their own.

Jimin was reading an article included about a man who had survived one of the attacks by Neptune’s Jewel who said he remembers hair the color of grass in the middle of summer and skin so white it was almost translucent when he heard it. A blast from a cannon is very distinct if you have heard it before, and so is the splintering of the wood in a building. And then the screams were heard, every person outside was panicking with yells and screams which made everyone who was sat in the library rush out to join the madness. Jimin though, sat frozen with his glasses slowly slipping from his nose as he stared out the Libraries big front windows at the ship with dark gray sails mounted proudly.

“It couldn’t be” he gasped, standing from his chair and dropping the book heavily on the ground “There’s no way…”

There’s no such thing as coincidences in this world there’s only fate, his grandfather once told him, although admittedly less eloquently. Jimin never believed him more than he did the moment the big door swung open with two boys rushing in only to shut it as quickly as they could. Jimin eyed them carefully, both were tall and had similar outfits of boots and loose shirts with swords hanging off their waists, one had black hair falling into big eyes – he looked like a kid despite his sharp jawline and obvious muscles under his shirt. The other had stronger eyes but leaner features.

“This is your fucking fault Taehyung!” The black-haired boy cried out, shoving the other lightly

The brunette – Taehyung gasped “Excuse me Jungkook! I’m not the one that begged the captain to let us get the supplies!”

“You’re the one that said we needed supplies in the first place” Jungkook accused “God we shoulda let Jin get them he’s so much better at it”

“Yea we should have” Taehyung agreed with a nod “But really, It was Hobi’s fault for getting nervous when the vendor asked why we were dressed like pirates”

Jungkook looked at him for a second before sighing “And then he just up and ditched us”

“At least we know he got back to the Jewel with the supplies” Taehyung tried to cheer the other up smiling slightly

Jungkook’s hands flew to his face “Namjoon’s gonna kill us when we get back”

Taehyung groaned at that, turning to lean against the door “Forget about Namjoon what about Yoon-” Taehyung froze in place as he and Jimin made eye contact and Jimin knew he was about to die if he didn’t think of something fast “Jungkook” Taehyung’s voice dropped a few octaves

Think. Think. Think.

“What?” Jungkook looked up at his friend and the followed where he was looking. “Oh”

Any sense of worry or smile gone from both their faces, they were stone cold.

Think. Think. Think.

So, this was a pirate. Was what Jimin’s brain supplied as the two of them started making their way towards him. This was a pirate when they don’t have any emotional connection to you. His heart rate was picking up. Where was no time. What did his grandfather used to tell him?

“Sorry dude” Taehyung said to him, unsheathing his sword “We can’t have anyone seeing us”

Think. Think. Think.

Jungkook’s sword was out too. Each of them on either side of his librarian’s desk. There was something. He remembers there was something for a time like this. What was it? What the fuck was it?

Think Jimin think.

“Parley” he said rather calmly, looking to Taehyung then to Jungkook “Parley.”

Jungkook paused looking at him with wide eyes before seething his sword. “Alright then”

“Fuck I know that word” Taehyung frowned, eyebrows furrowing “Why do I know that word?”

“Idiot” Jungkook rolled his eyes “Even I know it’s pirates code.”

“Oh…” Taehyung nodded “So?”

Jungkook sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose tiredly “Now we gotta take him to the Cap’n” he explained slowly “An’ we can’t kill him”

Jimin watching in wonderment as Taehyung dropped his sword while throwing his hands in the air. “No killing today!” he sang, dancing around the wooden desk while Jungkook laughed quietly. The next thing Jimin knew Taehyung was shaking his hand enthusiastically “Hiya, my names Kim Taehyung, that over there is Jeon Jungkookie it’s nice ta meetcha”

Jimin’s head was practically spinning with how fast his situation changed just by uttering the word ‘Parley’ but he sure is glad he remembered it. “Uh, Jimin” he answered, still bewildered.

~~~~

The chaos from the cannon fire made it surprisingly easy to get to the pier and steal a row boat. Jimin would have expected the three of them would get separated, and possibly arrested but there they were in a boat with Jungkook rowing them towards the dark ship.

“The cap’n is so sweet” Taehyung grinned happily “Causin’ such a commotion to help us”

“We’re his crew, course he would” Jungkook answered “He’s still gonna be pissed though, especially cause we’re bringin' Jimin along”

Taehyung hummed “Oh well, we’ll burn that bridge when we come to it”

“Don’t you mean cross that bridge?” Jimin asked softly, having still not understood quite why this is happening

“Not when I’m a pirate I don’t” Taehyung laughed “I gotta burn every bridge I cross”

Jimin didn’t get a chance to retort, the shadow of the ship covering the three of them sending chills up his spine all over again. He was really about to board a pirate’s ship, the situation having finally sunk in by then. Jimin swallowed thickly, staring at the blue paint reading Neptune’s Jewel. It was real, and the crew was very much alive – at least from what Jimin could tell.

“I’ll go first then, and explain what’s going on” Jungkook said before yelling out to the ship who it was and then a rope was being raveled down the side, to which Jungkook took and started climbing.

Taehyung grinned, waving at the boy before turning to Jimin “I don’t think you gotta worry so much Minie”

Minie?

“Yoongi’s pretty chill” Taehyung continued “I don’t think he’d kill you. If anything, he’d kick my ass and make Kook wash the deck”

“Yoongi?” Jimin tilted his head “Who’s tha-”

“Taehyung!” someone called from above causing both of their heads to snap up “What the fuck! Get your and Mr. Parley’s asses up here!”

“Yeah ok Namjoon You don’t have to cuss at me” Taehyung yelled back as he took the rope Jungkook had climbed in one hand “You think u can climb this?” he asked Jimin

Jimin nodded slowly “Yeah, I think so”

And so, Taehyung sent him ahead of him, in case he was to try to escape or something. It wasn’t a surprise that there were three swords pointed directly at him as soon as his feet touched the deck. He was actually expecting more but Jungkook didn’t have his drawn and there didn’t seem to be anyone else on board that he could see.

“You evoked parley?” the man in the middle asked, it was the same voice from a moment ago yelling at Taehyung, he could assume that meant this man’s name was Namjoon.

Jimin cleared his throat, trying to not let himself be intimidated “That’s right”

“How do you know the pirate code?” The broad-shouldered man wondered, he wasn’t quite as intimidating in terms of voice and appearance (he was very pretty, ok?) but there was a presence about him that made Jimin not want to speak out of tern.

“Ah w-well-”

“Taehyungie!” the third man exclaimed dropping his sword and running to pulled a mildly out of breath Taehyung up onto the ship and into a tight hug “I’m so glad you and Kookie are ok I’m sorry I fucked up”

Within two minutes of that Taehyung had convinced the other two men to drop their swords explaining that “Minie wouldn’t hurt us just like we can’t hurt Minie until he meets the captain” and then upon being told that the captain was asleep of all things Taehyung started whining that he had thought that ‘Yoongi was finally being nice and saving them but NO it was Jinnie who gave the order’ and Jimin really just wanted to know how someone could still be asleep after their ship fired a fucking cannon.

~~~~

Kim Taehyung was a weird man, Jimin decided when Taehyung had introduced everyone on bored by a nickname (Jinnie, Joonie, and Hobi) and Jungkook had to translate to Jimin their real names (Seokjin, Namjoon and Hoseok) and then Taehyung made them all sit in a circle and play a card game. Well as soon as they’d left port knowing if they didn’t they would probably be caught by the military. And strangely Jimin didn’t feel all that uncomfortable with the five men, he fit right in. learning weird little facts about the crew (such as Taehyung and Jungkook were both younger than him, Jin cooked literally all of their meals, and Namjoon although the first mate of a pirate’s ship was also in the top 3% when he was tested in high school before all of this)

“You’re making a strange face Jimin” Jin informed him “Wanna tell us why”

“You guys don’t talk like pirates” Jimin shrugged fixing his deck in his hands, his grandpa’s voice ringing in his ears with ‘If ye ever play cards, keep yer eyes on yer enemy’s sleeve, they be cheatin’ most certainly’

Hoseok snorted at that “Would ye be preferring if we be talkin like this then, boy?” he asked scrunching half his face, sounding far too similar to his grandfather for Jimin’s tastes

“Fuck no”

The first to laugh was Jungkook, and the rest followed soon after. Then there was a creek, a thump and a groan that could be heard over their laughter.

“Oh,” Jungkook announced “Looks like the cap’n’s woken up”

“More like fell out of his cot” Namjoon scoffed “Who wants to go warn him about Jimin”

Jin sighed, standing from where he was sat between Jungkook and Taehyung “He’ll probably listen to me best”

They watched the eldest take the stairs down and then turn to go under the deck.

“You know that you have to make a request” Hoseok pouted, poking Jimin lightly “That’s how parley works”

“Ah, really?” Jimin furrowed his brows “I just knew it’d save my life”

“How’d you even know that?” Namjoon frowned “Normal people aren’t supposed to know our code”

Jimin hummed, rearranging his cards for a moment “I read it in a book”

Namjoon nodded seemingly accepting the answer “I don’t believe you, but I’ll find out someday if Yoongi doesn’t kill you”

“Stop psyching the poor kid out” Hoseok laughed “You make it sound like Yoongi’s some ice-cold stone hearted son of a bitch”

“Who says I’m not?” a rough voice rung out making the five boys in the circle jump in surprise

“Well, good morning sweet cheeks” Hoseok jested playfully, turning around to face the captain “How was your little nap”

“Fuck you Hoseok” The captain scoffed “Who’s the idiot who let someone evoke parley?”

Jimin watched Jungkook and Taehyung clasp hands together and raise their joined fist in the air. Chorusing out a “Sorry sir” with their heads bowed

“Ah great. Two idiots.” A sigh “Hey you, Parley guy. Face me”

Jimin stood on shaking legs, slowly turning to look at the captain. Now, he was expecting some big burly guy with a beard like he remembered his grandfather being, like how he associated most ship captains to be. He was not expecting someone his height, with inky black hair and pretty fair skin and small feline eyes with cute cupids bow lips and for fucks sake Jimin this is not the time

“What do you want?” he asked Jimin “What’re your demands then, huh?”

“I hadn’t thought of any, sir” Jimin declared earnestly “I just used it to, you know, not die in a fucking library”

Yoongi, as everyone kept calling him, paused. Looking Jimin for head to toe before snorting, bringing his hand up to his face to stifle his laugh “Well, touché kid.” He said, “But who’s to say that I won’t kill you now that you’ve been brought to the captain. You’ve seen my ghost crew, no one’s ever lived to tell the tale”

“At least it’s not a goddamn library I’m dying in” Jimin responded, shrugging again

Yoongi looked at him for another minute “Well the way I see it” he sighed “I can either kill you here and now, or…” Jimin thinks he heard Taehyung whine “You join my crew”

Now, it was Jimin’s turn to pause, staring at the man with wide eyes. He could see Jin standing a few feet away look at him with surprise but nodding his head him. “Uh, ok, yes that- that sounds uh” Jimin stammers

“Alright Hoseok can show you the ropes” Yoongi tells him “Welcome to the crew, uh”

“Jimin” Jin says

“Welcome to the crew Jimin”

~~~~

Between learning how the ship itself works, learning how to help steer, and learning how to sword fight, Jimin was exhausted. The crew was small, smaller than small, by all logic seven people should not be able to handle a ship this large by themselves, but each person there put 145% into every aspect. Jimin can see why they’re the most dangerous and fear crew currently in the waters, he’s glad this was the crew he had to join.

Jimin yelped as the wooden sword he was given was forced from his hand. Groaned as he was hit on the head by his opponent’s own wooden sword.

“Pick it up” Hoseok ordered “We’re restarting”

Now, for someone who was always smiling, Jung Hoseok sure was serious when it came to sword fighting. Jimin groaned, bending to get for the sword.

“Do we have to?” he whined “We’ve been going for hours”

“Well sure we can stop” Hoseok smiled sweetly at him before hitting the sword out of his hand again with much more force than before “We can stop as long as you’re ok with dying” in the blink of an eye the smile was gone from his face. A smack to the back of the knee. A jab to his shoulder blade. Jimin was down in an instant. “We, as pirates, cannot let up until our dying days Jimin. We, as pirates, must know simple how to’s such as sword fighting so we can protect our ship, protect our treasure, and most importantly protect our crewmates. If you are unable to protect even yourself how could you even hope to protect your comrades?” Jimin looked up at the older man to be greeted with the most serious face he’d seen in a long while “Let me ask you, Jimin. Do you want to live?”

“Y-yes!”

“Do you want to be a part of our crew?”

“I do!”

“Then get up” Hoseok said, face relaxing into a soft smile “We’ll go another ten rounds. Remember Jimin, the sword is an extension of your body not just a tool for you to win with. Work with it not against”

~~~~

He’d been on the ship for three whole months and yet he still couldn’t quite get used to the creaking of the boat at night. It was… ominous, the sway of the ship he could deal with Namjoon’s loud snoring too, but the creaking permeated his brain even as he slept. Squeak, groan, squeak, the bow of the ship would shudder, squeak, squeak, squeak. It had a rhythm, much like the waves of the sea had a rhythm.  It’d lull him to a rough dream filled with horrors only described to him long ago. Horrors of the deep blackened water swallowing him whole, water starting to fill his lungs until his throat closed off. Things he could only assume.

He didn’t know whether he should be grateful being woken up by the ship lurching so violently he was thrown from his hammock and the sound of Yoongi yelling for them all to ‘get their asses up on deck right fucking now’ or if he should be pissed. He was the third at attention when the boat lurched again knocking Jin into Jungkook and him onto his ass. He watched the two swat each other away playfully before Namjoon came up and helped him back onto his feet. The sun was barely raising, it was too early for this bullshit.

“What’s Happening?!” Taehyung yelled as he stumbled out of the sleeping barracks “Stop shaking the boat Yoongi!”

“Do you think I’m doing it?” Yoongi shouted back, turning the helm carefully “One of you check over the side”

Jimin, being closest to the side of ship found his feet carrying him to the side before he could stop himself. A flash of silver, slowly becoming a steady movement, scales shining against the moonlight and water. This was too big for a fish, too many scales for a mammal like a whale. Up until then he’d thought his grandfather’s tales were made up to scare him, but there he stood frozen watching as one rose from the water before his eyes. It first was its head, slowly raising up and up until it stood twenty feet above the ship, shimmering beautifully. A snake – no, a dragon was what it was, big enough to entrap a whole ship.

No one had made a noise, Jimin’s pretty sure everyone stopped breathing much like he had. And right about then was when Hoseok decided to join the party, walking out with eyes half closed

“Hey guys what’s going o-OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT” he’d shrieked, obviously more alert now.

The sound the serpent had made could only come from the pits of hell, something between a hiss and a growl rumbled the whole ship. And then the memory of his grandfather’s story clicked.

“Fuck” Jimin screamed, turning to the crew “Take cover!”

He watched Namjoon and Taehyung dive behind the barrels that held their water and booze, and Hoseok having jumped back into the safety of the ship. Jin having slid to the spot a few feet from him, motioning that Jungkook was behind the steps leading to the helm. All just barely being missed by the rush of water strong enough to blast a hole in the railing of the ship.

The look on Yoongi’s face wasn’t panic, or shock or even fear, when Jimin looked at him. He stood there proud and in charge as he glared at the sea beast. If Jimin had to place an emotion to the look of his face it’s be anger, rage, possibly even hatred.

“Men!” the captain barked firmly “Ready your guns”

 Jimin didn’t have a gun, they’d told him once he could use a sword they would teach him how to shoot, so he ducked his head and waited. The first shot was fired by Jungkook, and then it was a free for all. No pattern. No rhythm. The serpent wailed an earsplitting noise with each shot but the bullets seemed to just bounce off it. They weren’t doing any damage.  They were just pissing it off. They weren’t doing any damage; its scales were deflecting the bullets. They couldn’t win at this rate. Another hiss, and an unnerving moment of silence as it sprayed in the direction of where Yoongi stood. Shouts of his name mixed with ‘captains’ and ‘sirs’ rang out through the crowd. The gun fire seemed to pick up its pace. How could they win without their captain, though?

 A wave of hopelessness crashed into him. Slowly, he crawled to the steps leading to the helm, keeping low to avoid gun fire. Jungkook paused long enough for him to pass, both nodding at each other solemnly despite the tears gathering in the youngers eyes.

Yoongi was there. Yoongi was there, curled up and clutching his arm and wincing in pain. But Yoongi was there, and alive. He hadn’t been washed away, nor had he been killed.

“Sir!” He cheered, bolting to the elder man’s side “Sir you’re ok!”

“Well that’s debatable” Yoongi gritted forcing himself to lay on his back

And then, Jimin noticed the blood gushing from between his fingertips and staining his white shirt a deep crimson. “Alive I mean” he corrected, as he ripped off the sleeve of his own shirt, the gunfire fading to the background as he gently moved the captains hand away from the gash. He made quick work of tying his sleeve just above the wound, explaining they had to minimalize blood loss before he pressed his own hand down and applied his own pressure to the wound.

Yoongi was writhing in pain at this point. “How’d you get so good at that?” he grunted

“I was a librarian, I read lot of books” Jimin grinned “Honestly I think I’m gonna throw up”

“Not on me you’re not” Yoongi ordered lightly

The boat was jostled again and suddenly Jimin remembered the serpent, and the gunfire.

‘Its weak point be the flesh, me boy, the soft squishy bit for her scales be far too tough’

“The eye.” He whispered, “Aim for the eye”

“What?” Yoongi asked over the howling of the serpent

“Aim for the eye” Jimin exclaimed, scrambling for the gun that’d been tossed a few feet away “Fuck how do you shoot this?”

Yoongi stared at him wide eyed him for a second “Cock the – the thing that looks like a hammer, aim, pull the trigger” he answered blankly.

Jimin didn’t know how he did it, between pulling the trigger and smacking himself in the face with the gun due to kickback, there was one last screech of pain and then nothing. Silence. No gunfire. No serpent. He had opened his eyes just in time for a sliver of silver to swim away from the ship with a trail of blood following its wake. Was it… over?

“You did it” Yoongi stammered “You did it Jimin”

The gun fell from his hands, landing on the wood deftly. There was a lot to process at that moment but his main concern was the captain of the ship who was in fact rapidly losing blood. He was on his knees in an instant pulling Yoongi onto his lap just slightly to get better leverage to put pressure.

“Hey!” Jimin called loud enough to catch the rest of the crew’s attention “Can one of you guys help me out?”

Jungkook, being who he was as a person, was the first one up the steps yelling out a shocked “Cap’n!” with eyes still shimmering with tears. With what was probably seconds the other four were up surrounding him.

“Don’t crowd me, assholes,” Yoongi groaned out “I’m fine, I’m fine”

Jin crouched down next to where Jimin sat looking over the captain “You most certainly are not.” he informed him standing back up “I’ll be right back, Jimin take care of him while I’m gone”

Yoongi sighed, pouting watching the eldest move out of sight before firing off orders of “Taehyung start sopping the water up. Joon and Jungkook you two can start fixing the damaged masts. And Hoseok, figure out our position and get us out of here”

Jin came back just as the rest scattered to do their jobs; a medium sized box in his arms – which he dropped heavily next to where Yoongi and Jimin were on the ground, both flinching away reflexively.

“Alright well firstly” Jin huffed, sitting on his knees as he began digging in the box “Yoongi, shirt off.”

“What?! No” Yoongi protested “Just roll the sleeve up”

“You and I both know it would be easier to do this and check for other injuries while I’m at it with no shirt” Jin reasoned, looking at him for a second “There’s literally no reason for modesty right now. Jimin can help you take it off if you need”

 A few moments of struggling with fabric and more blood than Jimin ever thought he’d see come from a person who’s still very much conscious and (quite literally) kicking, the shirt was off. Yoongi really did have nice pretty pale skin just a few scars and freckles dotting his torso; he had a toned stomach with a layer of something that wasn’t really abs but not fat either and lean hips and – wow Jimin is a lot gayer than he’d anticipated.

“And next” Jin effectively interrupted his trance “Jimin could you hold his hand?”

“Uh,” Jimin cleared his throat reaching for the hand on Yoongi’s uninjured arm “Can I ask why?”

“He’s gonna use it as a stress ball” Jin answered pulling a bottle out of the box before looking at the puzzled looks from the two “Squeeze it when he feels pain” he clarified, before smiling “You guys would be a cute couple” and without another word he was pouring the contents of the bottle onto the gash on the captain’s arm.

Boy, did Yoongi squeeze shrieking out a “You son of a bitch!” at the top of his lungs. “The fuck was that?” he panted once the elder stopped pouring it and started carefully wiping the blood away, ignoring the quiet sizzling the arm was making

“Antiseptic” he shrugged “to keep you from getting infected.” And then paused looking closer “And this is really deep, you’ll need stitches… so uh, don’t stop holding hands just give me a minute”

Yoongi looked up just as Jimin looked down, eye contact between the two wasn’t exactly something that happened all that often. Yoongi only really ever makes eye contact with him when giving orders so having it in a different context was… strange.
There’s no real reason for it to have been strange, except for the fact that it seems to last for much longer than any eye contact should and for the fact that the long Jimin stared the redder Yoongi’s face seemed to get. There was a shine behind the elder’s small eyes that drew him in and made him not want to look away.

And then Yoongi flinched away, yelling at Jin to ‘fucking warn a guy next time you put a needle in their arm’ to which Jin mocked him saying it back with a roll of the eyes. Jimin tried to keep his eyes away from the pull of the skin as Jin stitched the captain up, but it was so gross he couldn’t stop watching. Some sort of sick fascination.

Now, it didn’t take long, or at least to Jimin it didn’t seem like it did. But soon enough the gash was closed and Jin was wiping blood away from his arm.

“Welp,” Jin sighed rolling his neck “now for your ankle”

“My what?” Yoongi blinked “Whaddya mean my ankle”

Jin paused, looking at him then at his ankle then at Jimin “Uh, it’s not supposed to facing that way Yoongi” he said, motioning to the ankle

There was a beat, where the two others looked down at Yoongi’s and yes, indeed, ankles are not supposed to face the way it was. Another beat where any color left in the captain’s face. Jin’s hand was over his mouth before he could scream again shushing him and telling him to calm down.

“Ok, ok, we can fix this” Jin had eased them “Jimin, keep holding his hand -actually here take the other one too” he handed him Yoongi’s other hand, Jimin sitting there holding both tightly “Yoongi open your mouth”

Yoongi paused raising an eye brow “What why do I-” the words died on his tongue as Jin shoved a wooden spoon horizontally into his mouth, making Yoongi bite down on the handle. Yoongi resembled a Tango dancer, replace the flower with a spoon and everything else with excruciating pain.

“Ok, so this is gonna hurt” Jin warned moving down to his feet “Like a lot.” And then he grabbed Yoongi’s ankle without another word.

There was a horrible cracking noise, Yoongi’s grip was painful and he was definitely making something between a screaming and gurgling noise. And then he went limp.

“Oops he passed out” Jin chuckled, grabbing some sticks from the box and bandages “Oh well”

Jimin cleared his throat “So, uh, can I ask… how you got so good at this?”

“Oh, I went to medical school for three and half years” Jin smiled “y’know, before all this”

Jin didn’t elaborate, and Jimin was in so much shock that he couldn’t even articulate any of the thousand questions on his tongue.

~~~~

So, it was decided by the first mate, that Jimin would be in charge of helping the captain around. Yoongi wouldn’t accept help from the rest of them, Namjoon had explained, but since he wasn’t the rest of them he’s sure Jimin could do it. It didn’t quite make sense to him, but who was he to talk back to the man in charge while the captain was unconscious. It wasn’t much of a choice after all.

The ship was fixed up, more or less (able to sail at least) within three hours which was a relief to be sure.

“Yoongi’s gonna be out for a while” Jin laughed, joining the rest on deck “Isn’t so good with pain, that’s for sure”

Jimin’s brow furrowed “Well, I mean, you can’t really blame him”

“He’s just a wimp” Namjoon assured “Always had been, that stick figure of a man”

“You shouldn’t be so mean to the Cap’n, Namjoon” Jungkook pouted “He’s a good cap’n”

“Well yeah he’s a good captain” Taehyung countered “Doesn’t necessarily mean he aint a wimp”

“Well I’m just glad he didn’t fucking die” Jimin chuckled “Wimp or not”

And with that Jin raised the glass of water he’d grabbed a few seconds prior “Well I can drink to that”

“Hobi” Namjoon called up to where Hoseok stood with a map and a compass in hand “Have you figured out where we are yet?”

“We’re more south than Yoongi thought” Hoseok answered, glancing up “Having to avoid that storm last night threw us to a completely different area”

Jimin could practically feel the blood drain from his face at that point “How far south are we?” he’d asked, taking a blank expression

“Pretty damn south” was the answer he got “I’m already in the process of getting us north though”

“We have to stop to make repairs” Jin reminded “Like, dock the ship for a while repairs.”

Namjoon sighed “Yoongi’s gonna be pissed”

“When is he not” Taehyung snorted “He’s like tiny little ball of rage”

“Although you’re not wrong” Hoseok laughed “I wouldn’t let him hear you say that”

Taehyung grinned, rolling his eyes “What’s the twig man gonna do?”

Jimin snorted “He’s still your captain, he could like, I don’t know make you walk the plank”

Taehyung gasped, hand coming over his heart “He would not” and he sounded absolutely scandalized.

The rest of them laughed as Taehyung pouted.

~~~~

“It’s not that bad Yoongi” Jin insisted patting the younger’s head light heartedly “You’ll be up on your own in two months”

“It’s not that bad Yoongi” Yoongi mocked angrily, slapping Jin’s hand away from his head “Fuck you Jin”

“I saved your life!” Jin gasped

And Yoongi scoffed, rolling his eyes “Jimin saved my life” he informed “You just patched me up”

“Don’t be so pensively technical” Jin pouted as he started changing the captain’s bandages “It doesn’t suit a pirate”

“Neither do the words ‘pensively technical’ Jin” Yoongi retorted with a scrunch of the nose “Pirate my ass honestly. What have we even done to deserve that title”

“A lot” Namjoon budded in from where he and Hoseok were gathered by the map “We’ve commandeered ships, killed, stolen, hell we’ve fought a goddamn sea serpent”

“Yeah” Hoseok grinned “I think we’ve all earned our sea legs”

“Hearing You of all people say that is lowkey scary, Hoseok” Namjoon deadpanned, earning a loud laugh from the other before they went back to trying to figure out where they were headed.

“See?” Jin smiled, patting the fresh cloth on Yoongi’s arm roughly “We’re pirates through and through”

Yoongi flinched away scowling at the man mumbling out a “Whatever” begrudgedly.

“Hey!” Taehyung yelled, racing Jungkook down the steps from the deck “We were thinking we could have a party with rum and fire tonight in celebration”

“In celebration of the Cap’n bein’ alive he means” Jungkook clarified at the sight of the four bewildered looks they received. “And y’know the defeat of that thing from earlier”

Yoongi looked at the hopeful looks at the crew’s two youngest before sighing “Yeah that’s fine just-”

“Uh, sorry to interrupt” Jimin cut in, his head popping into the cabin doorway “But we have a problem”

“What is it?” Jin frowned

“There’s a um” Jimin cleared his throat “A military ship on the horizon.”

It would have been comical watching six faces pale simultaneously, Jimin supposes, if it weren’t for the fact that all of their lives were in danger.

“Ok Jimin and Jin get on deck, you two are the most respectable of us and if they board us don’t get weird” Yoongi ordered, shrugging a shirt on “The rest of you shut the fuck up and don’t let them see you”

“Yes sir” Jimin called back moving back onto the deck

Jin followed, slowly unrolling his sleeves “What’s the story we’re telling them Yoongi?”

“Hell if I know” he snorted “Make it up as you go”

“helpful” Jin deadpanned, as he disappeared onto deck

And true to the captain’s prediction, the military vessel did catch up to them, and they did want to board the ship. Which of course made Jimin internally panic, buy following orders is something he’s good at, so he nor Jin got weird, luckily. They had asked questions, to which Jin answered with amazing grace. Jimin was in awe.

“Why does the ship look like this?” they’d asked

“We got caught in the storm, terrible really. One of the masts fell on the captain, he’s down there resting up” Jin answered

“Who are you two?”

“I’m the ships doctor, and this is a librarian, Jimin, that we picked up to help us do research on the sea”

“Are you aware that you’re sails are not the standard white nor are you flying the nations flag?”

“Oh yes, they’re just dirty we planned on fixing that once we dock, and – Oh! Gosh we sure aren’t, we’ll be sure to fix that as soon as possible”

The whole time Jimin was sure his jaw would have dropped if he didn’t have a stupid grin plastered on his face. They were gone as soon as they were there, and the crisis was averted.

“So uh” Taehyung laughed, walking up the steps “Guess that’s one more thing to celebrate tonight”

“Hell yeah!” Hoseok hooted “Jungkook! Get the booze!”

“Jesus Christ” Yoongi yelled “If you guys get drunk don’t expect me to stop you from falling off the ship!”

“Why is everyone yellin’?” Jungkook’s distressed response came “I don’t need this”

“This is happy yelling!” Namjoon shouted, and then there was a noise that was probably Namjoon shaking Jungkook. Jimin hopes the kid doesn’t get shaken baby syndrome.

Soon enough, everyone was up on deck (Jungkook looking admittedly green) while Yoongi yelled at one of them to help him get up there and everyone mostly ignored him.

“Should I… should I go get him?” Jimin asked after a minute of watching Taehyung and Hoseok trying to move the rum to an accessible area.

“Unless you carry him up here like a princess, he should have a little alone time” Jin shrugged

“Why?”

“He won’t give me any credit for helping him” Jin pouted, crossing his arms

Jungkook paused, sighing “He can be very petty and the rest of us are just lazy”

“Would seeing him being carried like a princess make you feel better” Jimin chuckled, earning a nod.

“I would also enjoy seeing him in that position” Hoseok added as he finished rolling the barrel out “Souly for entertainment purposes”

“Weirdos” and with that Jimin was on his way down to the barracks, calling out to Yoongi with a “Hey captain, I’m here to help you up”

And for whatever reason, Yoongi was on the ground sprawled out and pouting. “Finally!” he yelled, glaring up at the younger lifting up his one good arm “The only kid on my ship that cares enough”

“You give me too much credit” Jimin grinned carefully helping the captain up, only to scoop him up into his arms as he would a damsel in distress.

And well, Yoongi was distressed but not because he was a trapped by a dragon in a castle or whatever else all those fairy tales would suggest to him. Yoongi was distressed because he had a gash on his arm and a dislocated ankle and his crew left him on the ground under the deck while they went off shouting about booze and partying. And then he was distressed because he was being carried by a very attractive and weirdly strong librarian and it was all around embarrassing to say the very least.

There was a chorus of whistles and laughter as Jimin walked the (blushing) captain up the stairs, twirling around a couple times to jest before setting him down on the bench at the edge of where they were planning to celebrate.

Jimin helped set up while Namjoon steered the ship in northwest, trying to get to the pirate island. Soon enough the sky had darkened and they were at a safe distance from the attack from that morning, and with Hoseok’s toast of congratulations for living through apparent hell, they lit a fire in a metal barrel and celebrations had begun. Jimin laughed handing out booze to everyone who wanted some, watching Hoseok and Jin join hands and start bouncing around the fire merrily. He found himself plopping down next to the captain once everyone else had their mugs filled, handing one to the elder. Yoongi nodded in thanks, taking the mug and looking back at the group fondly.

“Aint you gonna join in Jimin?” he asked, taking a swig “Seems like something you’d enjoy”

Jimin hummed trying to decide if he enjoyed the burn the booze left in his throat enough to actually get drunk like Taehyung certainly seemed to be planning on doing whether the rest were with him or not. “Maybe in a bit” Jimin shrugged spinning the dark liquid in his mug “there’s no real hurry is there? The party only just began”

They sat in silence, watching Taehyung and Jungkook have a very animate conversation through the flames, one on each side of the barrel and it looked more like they were playing charades than actually talking.

“This groups kinda mismatched” Jimin said after a small pause, chuckling “None of you guys seem like you were born into the pirate life.”

“Well you got us there” Yoongi grinned at him, a playful glint in his eyes that Jimin had a hard time looking away from “Not one of actually has any pirate blood naturally in us, we had to make it ourselves”

“Oh yeah?” Jimin’s interest was piqued “Please, do share”

Yoongi snorted, gulping down half his mug before continuing, looking back out to where Namjoon had begun a battle of rock paper scissors with Jin “Joon and me were in high school when we decided we had enough of the constant testing and having our futures dictated so we hopped the fence to our boarding school and highjacked a sailboat” he shrugged, smirk pulling at his lips “It was pretty easy too, our town was throwing a parade to celebrate the anniversary of this notorious old pirate’s death, the ‘Sandman’, ever heard of him?” Jimin’s breath hitched, but Yoongi took no notice “too bad they hadn’t realized the next most dangerous crew was about to surface” Yoongi met his eyes for a brief moment looking away when Jungkook screamed as Hoseok pounced on his back “We met Jin after we had tried to steal some food and Namjoon got the shit beaten outta him, he found us in an alley while i was trying, and failing I might add, to patch him up. Jin didn’t ask questions just forced us to go to his house, turns out he was a studying doctor, about to graduate from college at the third place in his class” Yoongi laughed “I don’t know how we did it but we convinced him to join our crew and that’s when they named me captain. They have the shittiest reason for it too so don’t even ask”

Jimin, although usually respectful, had a little alcohol in his system so instead he leaned forward and called out “Hey Namjoon! Jin! Why’d ya make Yoongi captain?”

“He was just so small and cute we had ta” Namjoon yelled, laughing all the while “It was for the irony and now look at us”

And Yoongi groaned, slapping Jimin’s shoulder “Do you want to know about this crew or not asshole?”

“Oh, I do” Jimin nodded his head “I just think even the captain deserves a little teasing ‘s all”

Yoongi raised his eyebrow, shrugging in a ‘whatever’ manner before continuing “Tae we found on one of the silence pillages we do when we’re near land and don’t have enough to buy from markets. You haven’t been here for one of those but usually we stay under the radar and pay for our shit, but when we can’t we go in the middle of the night and sneak into houses.” Jimin nodded, he read it before, just before they shot a canon into town and took him “Anyways while we doing that Taehyung was on the streets, told us not to go into certain houses cause they had animals that would wake everyone up. and Jin, being who he is, asked if Taehyung wanted to join them since he obviously had no where to go. He was a sweet homeless kid so I figured why not. now he’s a pain in my ass but he’s useful” Yoongi laughed fondly, and Jimin could feel how much he liked his crew, no matter what he said “And now Hoseok, that’s an odd one”

“Really?”

“Hoseok was a general in the military”

Jimin sputtered, almost dropping his mug as he whipped around to fully look at the captain “Fucking excuse me?”

And Yoongi all but smirked at him, amusement danced across his features the same way the light from the fire did “Yeah, a navy ship boarded us and there was this like fight and we had won by pure luck and he was the only one who survived and he some how smiled his way into the crew and out of death. Got actual sword and gun training though which was helpful” Yoongi chuckled

“And kook?”

“Simple” Yoongi waved him off, casually “We kidnapped the heir of a major corporation, got paid the ransom, kid wanted to stay. Not much to it” Yoongi looked at him from the corner of the eye “He’s here ‘cause he finds it fun, talks like his servants used to.”

Jimin downed the rest of his booze, wanting to whine at the bitter taste before sighing “What an odd ragtag group of weirdos” he smiled standing up and holding his hand out for the elder’s cup, offering to get him more. Yoongi handed him the cup gratefully.

“So Jimin” Namjoon slid his arm over his shoulder while Jimin was refilling the cups, smirking at him, obviously drunk “How’d you know how to hurt the serpent huh?”

Jimin gave him a tight-lipped smile, patting his side with his free hand “Read it in a book” he lied, he’s getting pretty good at it.

“That’s you’re answer for everything and I never believe you” Namjoon all but pouted “Never heard of a book that wrote ‘bout those mon-sters, ‘nd if there was it def-in-ately didn’t say you gotta shoot it’s eye out” Namjoon slurred, trying to sound out the longer words “I’ll figure you out one of these days Jimin, I won’t rest ‘till I know”

~~~~

This goddamn ship is too fucking big for a tiny ass crew of 6 and a (temporarily) crippled captain. It’s just too big. Jimin can’t even begin to comprehend how they survived this long when they all still struggle with the sails. Let alone the fact that the captain is sulking because he can’t walk on his own and that they have to dock the ship at the only island safe for pirates to walk freely. Apparently Yoongi hates the island souly for the fact the other captains mock him for his age and little crew. He gets into a fight every time he’s there, at least according to Namjoon, it’s amazing he hasn’t been shot yet.

They were barreling at the docks far too quickly and Jimin knew, despite his inexperience, he knew that their tiny crew wasn’t going to be able to slow the ship down fast enough for them to avoid crashing into the rocks in the bay. Which of course, would add more damage to the ship which would make them stay there longer which would put their already pissed off captain in a worse mood. Jimin’s job was holding Yoongi up at the helm, helping the elder steer.

With Yoongi shouting orders and the crew following perfectly, Jimin’s amazed at how easy they seemed to make it look. And Jimin knew that most ships The Jewel’s size had crew of twenty at the very least, but there they were with five people working perfectly.  It was a fucking miracle to Jimin that they’d docked the ship without anyone dying. An absolute fucking miracle. But none of the others seemed surprised just proud and giddy to be done with all the hard work. It was as if half of them didn’t have a hangover just four hours ago.

They all swung off the ship easily, well, all except Yoongi who tumbled a bit, but he still vehemently denied anyone’s help.

“It’s my ship damn it!” he had snapped “I can board and disembark by my fucking self, whenever I fucking feel like it”

So, the rest of the crew surrendered shrugging off the captain’s brash nature and hiding their laughter behind their hands when he barely caught himself from falling on his ass. After that he begrudgedly let Jimin be his crutch.

He watched Jungkook Taehyung and Hoseok run off to get supplies (Even though Jimin knows how that went last time) while Namjoon and Jin went to look for someone to assist in repairing the ship. Which left the two of them to-

“Take me to the nearest bar” Yoongi sighed, dragging his hand down his face in annoyance “If I have to deal with the idiots on this island I aint doin it sober”

Jimin huffed out a laugh “Aye, aye captain”

“Jimin”

“Yeah?”

“Shut the fuck up”

And Jimin grinned, half dragging half helping Yoongi to the first bar he saw.  Yoongi wouldn’t let him assist him through the door though, some sort of pride thing Jimin’s sure. Which was fine, Jimin got them each a drink and they sat in an out of the way corner and they hoped no one would address them.

Their hopes were shattered within 5 minutes, being approached by an obviously intoxicated haggard man.

“Well aint it be little Captain Min?” he jeered with a mocking smile through his dirty looking teeth.

Yoongi heaved a heavy sigh, slamming his mug down with a scowl “What.” He spat, it wasn’t a question.

“Last I hear yer crew of lad buccaneers were shootin’ yer cannon balls into a library” a drunk amusement shimmered in his eyes

Jimin bristled at that, head whipping to glare at Yoongi “You shot my library?”

Yoongi scoffed “Wasn’t me and you know it” he took a sip of his grog “Blame Jin or Joon”

“Aint there be a book written ‘bout ye too?” the man snickered, like that feat was mock worthy

“Don’t know anything about that,” Yoongi sighed, eyebrow twitching in annoyance “Look if you’re just here to bother me, go away”

The mans drunken face distorted into something between disbelief and anger in his drunken stupor and began to open his mouth.

“Don’t even try” Yoongi gulped down the rest f his drink and dropped his mug with a thud “Even if you’re not in my crew I still out rank you. After all I am a Captain when you’re not even a first mate. Now run along and cry to your captain or whatever.” He made a shooing motion with his hand, and Jimin really wished he could laugh, but he didn’t because it’d take away from Yoongi’s intimidation tactic.

The drunken man slumped away, albeit a little wobbly, off to bother some other poor idiot in the tavern.

Yoongi sighed again shaking his head “Let’s get outta here Jimin, I’m not in the mood anymore.”

“Such a moody captain” Jimin playfully scoffed, getting up anyways and helping the other to his feet.

They were almost out the door when they heard it. “Thar be a legendary treasure out in the southern isles!” and for some god-awful reason that caught Yoongi’s attention. It’s the dumbest trope, Jimin thought, over hearing a tale of some mystical bounty in the most dangerous parts of the sea. But Yoongi stopped in his tracks to listen, so Jimin had to follow his lead.

They listened to the story of a captain leaving his treasure on an island while attempting to escape the royal navy over two hundred years ago when pirates truly ruled the waters. How it was more than any of the pirates nowadays have ever seen. Oh, did Yoongi’s eyes sparkle with interest, and oh, did Jimin have an uneasy feeling settling in the pit of his stomach.

“Not even Ol’ captain Sandman could find it” Jimin’s head snapped to stare at the table everyone had gathered around “The whole crew of The Scrounger’s Night be sleeping with the fishes after lookin’ for that booty”

There was a loud bang, a large man with a beard as scraggly looking as they come slammed his cup of booze down on the table, scoffing as he did “Captain Park Sangchul” the venom in his voice made Jimin’s eyebrows shoot up “Old man aint worth the salt of his name. Sandman-”

Jimin didn’t bother to listen to the rest of what the asshole was saying, turning to Yoongi so quickly it actually made the captain flinch in surprise. “Sir, what I’m about to do, don’t mention it to the others”

“Jimin what-” Yoongi began only for Jimin to already be striding away from him.

In an instant Jimin was at the table, small dagger in hand. It was mostly an impulse but Jimin had been trusting his gut since the moment the heard the first canon ball being shot all those months ago. He brought the knife down, stabbing the old man’s sleeve into the table. The whole table stared at him about attack him most likely, but the older men froze when they looked at him, stopping their younger counterparts from moving.

“Ye shouldn’t be speaking ill of the dead, matey” Jimin sneered, trying to imitate his grandfather, leaning in really close to the man he had trapped to the table “Don’t ye know it’ll come back to haunt ya?”

The man swallowed thickly “Captain Sandman” his voice barely above a whisper, fear having seized his entire body, but the word rang loud and clear through the room. the whole tavern seemingly dead quiet at that point. Jimin probably enjoyed the shiver that went down the mans spine as he smiled a little too much

“Not quite” Jimin stood back, hand finding his hip “Close though. Real close”

“A Park then” someone else, Jimin didn’t even look to see who it was

And his grin only grew, he probably looked menacing – a spitting image of his grandfather from when he was Jimin’s age if the pictures he had found in his father’s closet were anything to go by. A blast from the past. Old Sandman was young again and there but not quite. Jimin hadn’t heard his last name in a long while. No one was his boss as long as he’s a Park.

“Don’t diss my grandpa again or I’ll have your head” Jimin practically sang, taking his dagger out of the table and almost skipping his way back to Yoongi.

“Okay let’s go captain!” he smiled sweetly, looping his arm around Yoongi and leading him out.

And poor Yoongi was so in shock that he just hobbled out without a word. They made it three blocks away before Yoongi snapped out of it with a “What the fuck Jimin!”

“Ah, welcome back sir you spaced out on me” Jimin laughed

“Your fucking – you just- what the- Sandman?” Yoongi stuttered, unable to form a proper sentence

“Park Sangchul was my grandpa, yes” Jimin nodded “Don’t tell the others, please”

Yoongi studied him, narrowing his eyes in thought “One condition” he says, lips twitching up

“Of course, what is it?”

“You readily agree to go get the treasure in the southern islands”

And Jimin agreed, despite his blood running cold, despite every fiber of his being to say no.

He’s about to sail the southern isles and face where the real monsters are waiting for them. Oh fuck.