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Peace with Spain was signed in February 1720. In late April its news arrived to the West Indies, so all the Navies got allied against the common foe – pirates, making their trade more difficult to survive. Which side are you on?

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 Revelations From A Rum Bottle, Nathanial
Sebastien Durand
 Posted: Mar 1 2017, 07:31 PM
Quote

sailor on the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 92


Date: 23-rd to 24-th of June 1720
Place: - Basse Terre, Tortuga, on the beach,
not so close to the Festival Fire


- continued from here and here -


Sebastien had watched Sabelline make her way back along the beach towards the crowd and the path that would take her back up to the town and eventually the Elixir. Part of him had wanted to go with her, make sure she was safe, but she had specifically told him not to. It was a struggle to sit back down on the soft sand, but he finally managed it. He had to let her try and find her own way back to strength. Regular meals and rest over the past few days had done her much good but he could tell she had over-extended her reserve and was exhausted. There were enough friendly faces around he had to trust she would be fine getting back. Even if she wasn't well-known, he was and there were enough who would know she was his sister. His need to protect was strong but he knew her ire at being coddled would be stronger. A deep breath in and out followed by a deep swallow of the rum helped him relax once more.

Looking over at Nathanial he tried for a grin but was sure it fell a bit flat. “I'll be fine.” He assured the younger man. “My reason is catching back up with me. It just took a few moments.” Resisting the urge to look back up the beach, he instead lay back on the sand and looked up at the stars. “Things will settle down more with time, I know. Maribel has told me a few times now. I don't know who was the bigger mess when we first returned from the prisoner exchange. I'm sure some would say I was.” He propped his head up on an arm and motioned for Nathanial to sit next to him. Another drink of rum and he set the bottle aside for a bit. ”I suppose I just have never dealt truly with my own trauma from the incident. I hid it by shoving it inside a rum bottle. Now I am having to face it and it feels a bit overwhelming at times.”

It felt natural to talk to Nathanial, more so than even talking to Sol or Maribel. Those two had their own things to be handling and he didn't feel like burdening them further. Nathanial however was his oldest remaining friend and showing his wounds to him felt natural. Nathanial had been there for him in his darkest hour and a bond had formed that even having been separated for years hadn't dimmed. ”I will get there again, just as she will. I have faith in her ability to heal and bounce back from this. She's more resilient than she gives herself credit for. Truth be told she reminds me more of our mother now than she ever has.”

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Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Mar 1 2017, 10:21 PM
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sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
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Posts: 103


Nathanial waited patiently for his friend to finally rest after Sabelline had left them. Somehow, he understood the feelings of a protective big brother. And he listened quietly to Sebastien's confessions.

"I don't think you were a mess. The mission had succeeded, you had your sister back after so many years. I know she couldn't look good after everything she had been through. However, being free was the first step to recovery. In these few days, she had taken a few more steps in the right direction. Surely everything will be fine."

His final words sounded a little different. It wasn't as if he doubted what he was saying; he believed all his words. Just that there was a slight bitterness of the realization that Sebastien and Sabelline were a team. They had always been two siblings, caring one for the other. The fact that he was alone in the world was biting a little. And the quantity of rhum ingested added to the feeling of saddness.

Then, Sebastien had told him the real reason why he had been a mess, and it made sense.

"We are all trying to hide what's worse in a bottle of rhum. But ultimately we wake up and we find things exactly how they were before. In your case, better than before, because now you are with Sabelline. And both of you are resilient. It's just one of the thing I like at you."

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Sebastien Durand
 Posted: Mar 2 2017, 11:06 AM
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sailor on the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 92


Sebastien felt a smile tug at his lips at Nathanial's words. He hadn't missed the slight bitterness in his tone earlier either. He'd address that as well. "You are sweet. Completely and utterly biased, but sweet all the same." He teased. "Also don't forget, I have you back with me as well. You too have shown your resilience. You have made it this long in the Navy and even done well. Proven yourself a stronger man than I am for being able to walk that line. I could never do it." He spoke the truth and the tone of his voice would easily convey that. The short time he was on the Sovereign he'd been sick no less than four times from his nerves being in overdrive. It had helped his cover story but also could have just as easily blown his cover.

"Sometimes we wake up and find things worse than before. I've done that as well more than I'd care to admit to. Trying to drink away guilt doesn't work. I felt guilty for not saving her, sacrificing myself, trying harder to find her...." He sighed out harshly and shook his head. "Had Sara not come back with the news she had, would I have even thought to ask for her in the exchange? You had told me she'd been transferred, so I knew, but where was all of that in my thoughts? So much of that hit me in those first moments." He took a drink of his rum then, letting all of this out had opened the floodgates. He was just drunk enough that what filter he might have had was completely gone.

"She was so weak. They told me she refused water the entire ride and flinched when a guard so much as twitched. As they were getting out of the carriages she collapsed." Execution or not she probably wouldn't have lasted another six months the way she was going. "We barely got her out in time. Had you not told me about her, then Sara....I would never have been in on what we did to get them back. I know I came through in the end and got her freedom secured." He looked very serious as he spoke. "I will do the same for you. We will watch and wait and when the time is right to make it look natural we will get you out of your prison. I promise you."

Just as quickly as the serious mood had settled in, it was gone. A grin spread across his face again and it turned impish. "You said one of the things you liked about me. That must mean there is more. Color me curious. I've got to know now." He arched a brow and sipped at a bit more rum. “Out with it, Nathanial darling. What else do you like about me?” Playful Sebastien was back and in full force.

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Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Mar 4 2017, 01:22 AM
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sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
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Posts: 103


Nathanial smiled back. He might be biased, but he enjoyed Sebastien's presence and his compliments. His friend further praised him for his own resilience.

"I had no alternative than doing it," he said modestly.

In his mind, there was no sweeter words, no sweeter music than I have you back with me as well. He nodded that trying to drink away guilt or sorrow didn't work. He had tried it to, enough times.

"You couldn't know it made sense to ask for her until you learnt the details. It is all right. Everything is all right. She is here and you will never be separated again," he tried to comfort Sebastien.

It was normal to be worried about his sister, who had endured so much. Then, he got reassured that he would be reunited with them soon too.

"I believe your promise," Nathanial said simply, his eyes meeting Sebastien's with childish trust. "And I am looking forward to being by your side …forever."

So Sebastien was curious what Nathanial liked at him.

"Everything!" he replied promptly. "Now I can't remember what I liked first at you then, seven or eight years ago. I guess you have a natural charisma, how the officers are saying. Afterwards, knowing you better, I love everything at you."

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Sebastien Durand
 Posted: Apr 26 2017, 05:59 PM
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sailor on the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 92


Sebastien couldn't refute the claims Nathanial made. Hell he had told himself the same thing over and over since that moment but it seemed to take others telling him that. Most notably Nathanial. Hearing i from him made it seem more real, in a way he couldn’t do it for himself. He relaxed visibly and took a drink of rum while he watched the younger man as he spoke. It would seem they both believed each other. It was a promise made under the stars on a night for promises, he hoped this one he'd be able to keep.

Laughter was the only way to respond to being told everything about him was liked. A natural charisma? Yes he'd been told that, usually when such had been to his detriment. "That charisma you speak of has gotten me into more trouble than I think it ever got me out of. My uncle often told me that my father was like me when they were younger. It's what made him such a successful merchant and in the early years a well-thought of pirate captain." It had only been after his mother's death that he'd turned into something else. Something frightening. Sebastien wondered now if that would be his fate were he to lose someone he had fallen in love with? Maybe that's why he never allowed it? He shook his head to clear those dark thoughts.

After a sip of rum he spoke up again. “I still have my ship. Well mostly. She's not in good shape anymore I'd wager. She took heavy damage as well they day Sabelline was captured. I've considered repairing her and have saved up a fairly decent sum of money to resupply and repair her one day. Maybe after we secure your life away from the Navy we could repair her together.” He wasn't sure about how reclaiming the Rising Sun would go. If they were successful he'd offer himself and his ship as a sister ship to them. He knew however that they were going after the ship soon. So much could happen. He'd probably be best to make a map and eave his money and instructions with Sabelline before they sailed for that confrontation. He knew well enough to prepare for the worst when heading to battle and he was certain there would be one.

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Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Apr 28 2017, 01:01 PM
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sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
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Posts: 103


Sebastien admitted he had been told before that he had his own special charm, which had got him into trouble.

”You are too, a successful merchant when you want to be, Gerard, and a well-known pirate, Sebastien,” he said each name as he was known by. "And even the mermaids fall under your charms,” he winked, alluding at his shipwreck stories... not to mention the more recent gale washing out.

As Sebastien mentioned his ship, Nathanial’s heart started dancing loudly.

”I’d love to work together at her. There might be good ship carpenters in Tortuga too. Unfortunately I don’t have savings, I am living mostly day by day. But how much I would like working and sailing with you!”

A new swig from the bottle sealed his words, and new dreams started building in his mind.

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Sebastien Durand
 Posted: Jun 18 2017, 04:33 PM
Quote

sailor on the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 92


Sebastien chuckled again and nodded. "Perhaps you speak true. I do heave a tendency to get myself out of most of the trouble I get myself into. I'm not sure I'd call Gerard successful, at least in his current iteration. He has been before though. They all serve their purpose. Keeping my hide intact first and foremost." He silently toasted that and took a drink of rum. He was pleasantly warmed by it now. The previous Sebastien would have said it was a slow start to his night, but since breaking much of the cycle which made him try to drown his skeletons in a barrel of rum he was more responsible with it. Something surely his liver appreciated. Well what was left of it.

"Ah yes, living day-to-day. Such is the life of an honest sailor. Luckily for both of us I am far from honest in the way I make my own living." He winked at the younger man and gave his best roguish grin. "She won't be an easy fix, but I don't think I'll mind. The company looks like it will be most enjoyable. I can probably get a few people around here to help. Depending on how things go with recovering our ship of course. The amount of repairs she needs and when we spring you free from the Navy all play a part in this. I'm sure everything will fall into place as fate wills it though."

He couldn’t know what horrors awaited him on the upcoming venture, nor how much his renewed relationship with Nathanial would tear him to pieces. Right now all that mattered was the beach, the company, and the wonderful night of dreaming about a future that didn't tear his heart out and make him question why fate had it in for him. He took another long drink from the bottle, and turned his gaze up to the stars. "Sabelline and I used to stargaze when we were kids. Have you ever been told the stories behind the constellations?"

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Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Jun 19 2017, 11:32 AM
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sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
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Posts: 103


Nathanial laughed at Sebastien’s words. Indeed, Gerard was successful in keeping his hide intact, and this was exactly what he was needed for.

He needed no excuse for the life he was living; Sebastien didn’t need to be part of the Navy in order to understand how things were there. He had heard enough to know that a sailor’s life wasn’t the most lucrative ever. He returned the wink and the grin.

”I’m looking forward to it,” he said, enthusiastically hugging Sebastien and kissing his both cheeks at the thought of being a part of rebuilding ”Le Serpent” and all its following adventures.

The stories about the stars intrigued him.

”I think you have told me something when I was twelve. But I don’t remember all. Just the queen Cassiopeia, more beautiful than ever.”

A determined hand took the bottle from Sebastien’s grip and Nathanial tasted the rhum again, warming up his stomach. It felt so well to be on the sea shore, swapping stories and drinks and bonding with his best friend.

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