bookblather: A picture of Tricia Helfer in a white shirt, smiling, with her chin in her hand. (in the heart: gina)
bookblather ([personal profile] bookblather) wrote in [community profile] rainbowfic2013-06-17 12:28 am

Old Lace 9: In the Dark

Author: Kat
Title: In the dark.
Story: In the Heart -- EPIC PIRATE AU
Colors: Old lace 9 (One might do something that is considered definitely wrong--that is considered a crime, even, for a very good and sufficient reason.) with Sara's paint-by-numbers (EPIC PIRATE AU: Ivy may be a pirate, but she still has standards.)
Supplies and Materials: Eraser (epic pirate AU), fabric (this picture), modeling clay (weariness), chalk (a child clinging to her father), pastels (outnumbered), novelty beads (I thought we were both involved/I thought we were two rights doing wrong/But suddenly I'm all alone/I'm holding something we both own/And I'm not sure I fired this smoking gun. - "I'll Be Guilty", World Without Sundays).
Word Count: 1027
Rating: PG-13
Summary: The world is changing, and people do terrible things.
Warnings: slavery, the effects, and the aftereffects of it, mention of rape and violent death.
Notes: Yes, that's Andy.


Ivy came back pale and shaking with fury, with a small dark-skinned toddler in her arms and blood streaked across her shirt. "Don't—" she said, when Gina involuntarily stepped onto the gangplank to cross to her. "Don't come over, you stay there, do you hear me? Do not get on that ship!"

Struck by her fury, Gina took three steps backwards and held up her hands. "I'm not, I'm... Ivy, are you all right?"

"No," Ivy said, and crossed over. "Can you take him?"

Gina held her arms out and took the boy onto her hip. He clung immediately to her neck and buried his small face in her shoulder—he was shaking, she realized, and not from cold.

Ivy brushed past the pair of them, heading for her cabin, moving with exquisite care, as if her every step would shatter the deck otherwise. She paused at the door, then snarled, "Mate!"

Aaron popped his head out of the cabin next door. He had a broken arm courtesy of a brawl, and thus had not participated in this most recent fight, but he was still more than capable of carrying out his duties as first mate. "Captain?"

"Get our people off that ship," Ivy said, suppressed fury still radiating through her voice. "Then burn it. Sink that bastard to the bottom of the fucking sea." Then she went into the cabin and slammed the door.

The boy in Gina's arms flinched, and whimpered. She cupped his head, touched the soft wooly curls there. "Shh," she said, softly. "Shh, it's all right."

He pressed his face harder into her shoulder.

--

The smell of the burning ship hung around them well into the night, wood and flesh and smoke—there had been people aboard that ship, and it made Gina shudder, to even think about that death. Still, she trusted Ivy. If Ivy said to burn the ship, then...

Well, it hardly mattered.

It had taken her nearly an hour to get the boy to sleep. He kept jerking awake just as she thought she'd lulled him to slumber, crying out whenever she moved. She'd been tempted to give him a little rum, just to put him out, but he'd gone to sleep finally, his small fist curled against the pillow. She tucked him in carefully, then went to find her lover.

Ivy was in the crow's nest, staring out over the sea, a half-empty bottle of rum by her side. She said nothing when Gina came through the hatch, only moved over so they could lean side-by-side on the railing, bodies warm against each other.

Gina didn't speak either. She knew Ivy well enough to know that it would come in its own time.

Instead, they stared together out over the dark swell of the sea and the arch of stars above. It was a moonless night—no reflection shattered over the surface of the water, only the flicks of foam ruffled white against the black of the ocean. It wasn't a cold night, but the breeze was chilly enough that Gina huddled against Ivy's side, for warmth and comfort both. It was a quiet night; where usually the crew would be dancing and singing or even carousing, now they went about their duties in a sort of muffled silence. It was unnerving, and a little frightening. Gina shivered, and resisted the temptation to hide her face into Ivy's shoulder as the boy had hidden his face in hers.

"It was a slave ship," Ivy said suddenly, into that unnatural quiet. Gina couldn't quite keep back a noise of distress "Portuguese. I don't know where they were going, but when they knew they couldn't win..." She fell silent for a moment, then moved closer to Gina, the bone of her hip sharp in Gina's side. "They killed them all, Gina. He, the boy, he only lived because he hid under his mother's corpse."

"My God," Gina said, a prayer and an invocation. "That's why you burnt it."

"That's why I burnt it," Ivy said, and spat over the side. "We killed all the traders first. You needn't worry. I didn't do to them what they did to those poor people." She inhaled, shuddering. "I wanted to. But I didn't."

Gina put her arm around Ivy's shoulders, drew her close, and pressed a kiss to her temple.

"That's what it is now," Ivy went on, almost helplessly. "The business. Before, in my father's time, in mine, it was about—I don't know. It was the war effort at first. You killed the Spanish and took their gold and England remained strong. Then I did it, because that was what we did. It was the family business. But we weren't cruel about it, we weren't. We didn't kill anyone unless we had to. We never raped anyone. Nobody got hurt unless they fought. We didn't do that, Gina."

"No," Gina murmured, and kissed her temple again. "No, you didn't, love. You wouldn’t. You couldn't."

Ivy closed her eyes, and rested her forehead at the crook of Gina's neck. "I want out," she said, her voice small. "If this is what the future is, I don't want any part of it."

"I will go with you," Gina said. "Always. No matter what you do, I am for you. I hope you know that by now."

"I do, I just..." Ivy sighed, her breath warm against Gina's collarbone. "Would you love a fisherwoman, Gina? It's not near so glamorous and you won't have any more jewels."

Gina laughed, and hugged her closer. "If I wanted jewels I would have stayed with my father. I only want you, Ivy. And I..." She hesitated, then continued in a burst. "I don't like the way you looked, this afternoon. After the ship. I would give anything not to see that look on your face again."

"That's it, then," Ivy said, "this is the end," and a great tension washed out of her body, suddenly, like a straining rope cut.

"It's not the end," Gina said. "I don't know what it is yet, but it isn't an end."

Ivy kissed her collarbone, and said nothing.

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