Adrienne waited for him to settle himself on the bed and then moved with him as he guided her to sit in his arms. She felt the lenience in his hold and realized not for the first time just how much alike they were; she'd done the same with him, giving him the option to step out of her embrace if he had wanted to. Leaning softly against him, Adrienne looked toward the ring in his hand as he held it up for their collective speculation. Listening silently to his explanation of the ring, she said nothing when he discredited himself both because she didn't want to seem like she was coddling him and also she couldn't really say either way. While she knew Kaz was a very skilled sailor, she couldn't exactly argue because she hadn't known Zekeal in his time. She also didn't want to interrupt.
Looking next to the journal, Adrienne took in his words as he opened it, her eyes skimming over the pages as he turned them, finally landing on the schematics and sketches which she recognized to be the Dark Selene when it was just an idea, not the solid, beautiful ship all around them docked in Tortuga. Smiling slightly while he spoke, Adrienne leaned her head against his shoulder, listening to pages turn and glancing over when the sound stopped to find the journal open to a sketch of a younger Katherine and Kaz with Kanu as an infant, all asleep. She smiled tenderly, her eyes roving over the path the lines in the drawing made like they could lead her somewhere if she just followed closely enough.
Adrienne looked up at Kaz when she saw his hand shift to touch the page, feel the indentations made by his father's pen with his and his family's likeness. She watched him give a slight shake of his head before clearing his throat and looking down at her, meeting her eyes, which widened a little when his gaze turned suspicious. At his question, though, she smiled a bit. "I just gave the main points of anything I knew from the time you and Ven left the Moon Dust until now," she told him honestly, biting her lip when she found herself a little cornered while answering his next question. "He told me about the night you were born and the small dance you all had on the ship one time when there was a festival at port." She paused and scratched the back of her head, nibbling on her lip before also admitting a little more quietly, "And Hoppy. He told me about him."
The sea goddess was trying really, really hard not to smile simply because the story was so adorable and unexpected. While it was a hugely endearing smile that tried to find its way to her face, she knew it wouldn't get a good reaction out of her beloved Captain.
Captain Kaz watched his girlfriend as she started to smile endearingly towards him. The young man didn't know whether to smile back or narrow his eyes even more unsure of what exactly was making her smile in such as way. Captain Kaz leaned back getting even more comfortable as she explained that they had talked of his journey after his father's death and then his father had spoken of rather sentimental, but not necessarily embarrassing, moments of his childhood. He smiled at the mention of his birth and chuckled at the fond memory of when his parents had gotten the idea of throwing a party of their own because Kanu wouldn't fare well at the festival taking place at the city The Moon Dust had spent the night at while recuperating her strength. For a moment, he was actually impressed with his father and thought that maybe he had under estimated his ability to keep under wraps the memories Kazuki wanted chained up permanently and buried firm beneath a thousand tons of water. Just as he relaxed his shoulders Adrienne quietly brought up a name he had all but forgotten until this moment.
"Hoppy?" He repeated with a startled swallow. The faint tinting of red served to be evidence of the pirate starting to blush as he recalled his favorite stuffed toy growing up. Looking away from her, Captain Kaz focuses his attention on the ceiling and tries to dress himself with a poker face of boredom to hide his true feelings, "W-what are you talking about? What's a Hoppy?" he asks her evenly.
It was a vain attempt at trying to throw his girlfriend off of the trail of the truth, he knew that no matter how hard he pretended not to know what she was talking about she wouldn't believe that he really hadn't owned a white stuffed bunny with a silky soft body and long ears. So much for his father showing some self-restraint. Captain Kaz wondered for a moment why the man would say such a thing to his girlfriend before he recalled exactly what he had done with his furry companion. Hoppy had been his first tribute to Nerissa. Being unable to put anything else of value, at least to him, within the water, the young child had offered up his rabbit to show her honor. He remembered being pretty upset about having to give up the later on, but he'd felt even happier as he thought about the goddess receiving his bunny and perhaps looking at it for awhile before keeping it upon her own bed for naps or in order to carry around during her duties.
He had been around five years old at the time and still so naive. This had also been before his knowledge of a story which told of the sea goddess being confined to a mortals body and forced to wander the earth both alone and lonely. He hadn't heard of the possibility of the goddess being a victim to pirate lords until much later. Even then he hadn't believe it until he saw the woman with his own eyes and saw the pain in her eyes. Had never known then what he knew now he wondered whether he still would've thrown overboard his beloved bunny. He shook his head unsure, of course, it was a comfort to think that she might've paid attention to the stuffed animal gift but the reality of it was that Adrienne had probably never even laid eyes upon the toy since she had been trapped. She probably didn't even know something like that was in her possession.
It had always been the thought that counted in that situation from the very beginning, he finally decided. So even if Hoppy hadn't been received well he was, just like as a child satisfied. For now however he feigned ignorance and let his thoughts dwell within his mind.
Adrienne watched him as she explained the first two stories his father had told her, smiling at the warmth that entered his features and the soft chuckle he gave during the story about the festival. She was glad she was able to mention things like this; while she only had the visual she'd gotten from the story in her mind, not a true memory, she felt a little more connected with him. Like they had another thing in common.
As embarrassingly sentimental as that was, she shrugged it off and kept it to herself just before mentioning his stuffed bunny with the slightest bit of hesitance. His reaction was nearly just as expected: the startled gulp in combination with the reddening of his ears and face. She was still fighting down a small endearing smile when he went into full denial, and quite poorly at that.
Nibbling her lip, she looked down at her hands in her lap, turned them over so her palms were facing toward her. It wasn't hard to locate the soft plush bunny in her store of tributes; it was really the only of its kind. Her hands turned of their own accord just before the stuffed toy manifested and she was holding it under its arms in the air. She was going to say something, but she stopped, looking at the white, handmade rabbit. Something about it tugged at her memory and she looked just over its head to the wall, searching for the origin of that small sensation. She had seen it before, not as a tribute, and not some other toy like it. It had been this exact rabbit. And it had been twenty years ago.
It had been aboard the French merchant ship, the one she'd stowed away in with all the instruments in the hull, where she'd perfected nearly every single one. There was a time when they had dropped anchor in open water to wait for a Navy supplier to join them and take a few crates of pottery materials over to a somewhat inconveniently located buyer. While the French ship hadn't been headed in that direction--the opposite, actually--the Navy had been and they had sought their help.
She remembered digging out her collected disguise for that day after hearing about it while procuring dinner (she hadn't eaten in a few days and was feeling rather stupidly brave), pulling on the loose, scratchy trousers and baggy shirt after wrapping her torso to get rid of what evidence she could. Finishing off with tucking her hair into a hat and smoothing a light coat of gunpowder along her jaw, she'd made it just in time to look as though she were carrying the first crate up, hiding behind it as much as she could on her way.
Adrienne had glanced toward the vessel floating directly to their broadside, not paying it much heed as she set down her crate and stepped aside to let the actual crew of the ship gather the crates from the hull and set them down where she'd begun the pile. She heard the two Captains communicating and the crew shouting to each other in French, which she understood, but chose to ignore.
She was fine with standing to the side until the first mate of the merchant ship, Dame de Perles, smashed one of the heavy crates into her chest, making her simultaneously wince a bit and nearly topple backward. She'd staggered a little, but braved the pain as he shouted at her in French, demanding what excuse she had to not help. She noticed then that the crew had begun to load the store onto the Navy ship. She'd simply nodded and gotten her bearings before stepping over to the edge of the ship and crossing the small gap, keeping careful attention to her hat and how exposed her face was beneath the brim.
Once she got to where the crates were being stacked, Adrienne had settled it onto one of the others and turned only to feel something light bump into her. Looking down, she'd seen a little boy no older than five with a shock of red hair, a small eyepatch over his right eye, and a white bunny--the same white bunny she now held--clutched in the crook of his arm. He'd blinked up at her and murmured an apology after meandering into her, to which she'd smiled and given her head a slight shake, gently ruffling his hair as she passed. It had been a miracle at the time, for her to smile like that.
By the time Adrienne snapped out of the small flashback which had overtaken her conscious mind, she was still holding the bunny in front of her, sitting in the exact same position with her eyes raised just over the rabbit's head. The only difference was the now-unfathomable look in her eyes. She swallowed, looking down at the plush toy in her hands again. Her arms were a little tense, almost awkward as she held Hoppy; she'd never held a stuffed animal before and wasn't exactly sure what she was supposed to do. It was embarrassing, how such a simple little thing could cow her.
"I saw you that day," she murmured absently at last, slowly lowering her arms to set the bunny in her lap. "It was the Moon Dust that stopped to take the trade of the ship I had stowed away upon... I was in disguise, carrying over a crate and you... You bumped into me. And you had this." Her voice was very soft, very tender and it surprised her how vulnerable she sounded to her own ears. But, in reality, that tiny little exchange had been a rare place of comfort for at least a moment, if not longer. He'd had such a sweet face, such a sweet disposition.
She wondered how she'd never put the two together until she remembered precisely why she usually blocked out that patch of her time as a human. Nodding once to herself, still keeping her eyes upon the bunny in her lap, she muttered on a sigh and a short, bitter laugh, "It was the week before..." Adrienne breathed in deeply and shook her head to herself, her throat working a little until she shoved down the emotions that threatened to overwhelm her. There were many things she still hadn't told Kaz about her time as a human before stepping aboard his ship. Many of those many things were ones she'd tried to block out because they were still raw and more real than she'd ever thought life could be.
Although he wasn't trying to keep eye contact with Adrienne because of his embarrassment. Captain Kaz did notice that she was trying to hold in a smile of endearment, but was failing quite miserably. Though before he could make a comment back to her to hopefully wipe his embarrassment off of the table, he noticed that she began to move her hands. Looking from over her shoulder curiously he blinked as he noticed that something was beginning to form under her gentle gaze. After a minute he started to see the outline and blinked in surprise until he found himself staring down at a family stuffed animal he'd given away during his childhood. The rabbit was still in perfect shape, just the way he remembered it instead of being dragged down with time as one usually expected to see of a more than twenty year old doll handled daily by a child. But perhaps because of the dimension she had kept Hoppy in, the rabbit kept his beautiful white fur with no more tears, scratches, and dirt than when he'd been in Kazuki's possession that left the rabbit with little in the way of damage. Kazuki had always been very loving with his favorite stuffed toy and since they were on a ship it wasn't easy for him or the rabbit to get dirty or worn out from being dragged along on rugged terrain. His mother had always been insistent on keeping his toys cleanly.
As the doll settled against Adrienne, he blushed even deeper. Sweet nostalgia overwhelmed him and he actually wanted to touch his precious Hoppy. Shaking his head he stomped down the idea. There was no way he was going to even admit that he'd had this doll in his childhood let alone that he still felt an attachment to the rabbit years later. Opening his lips, he blinked when Adrienne's expression changed to take on a more serious outlook. She held the rabbit even closer to herself and announced something that made him blink in shock.
"You saw me as a child?" He repeats before listening to her explain the situation and their encounter. He did remember vaguely making a stop that wasn't normal for The Moon Dust as a toddler. At that age during loadings and unloadings he would typically be following around his mother or father while holding his little Hoppy firm in a hug and just under his chin. It was very likely that he would've stumbled into an unsuspecting person and apologized before leaving to explore the crates being delivered or to locate someone he knew to stick close to. He hadn't been one of those annoying children who was always in the way during work, but Kazuki did prefer to be around. Sometimes, if there was some small task he would run off and try to help the sailors wanting to be somewhat useful especially because his father was already such an important person. That time, however, he had been more interested in the instruments being traded onto The Moon Dust and the tools and materials than helping anyone. If he recalled right, that was around the time he had learned the beginnings of playing the flute and the piano.
"Huh...well I guess there's no more denying it now then." Kaz admits with a small easy shrug and a smiling sigh as he looked again at Adrienne. He smirked as he saw her face trying to figure out exactly how to handle the fluffy animal in her arms. "You look like you're holding something that's going to kill you." he comments while sliding his hand under one of hers. Picking up the plush toy Captain Kaz turned it around and rested it back against her chest before taking Adrienne's arm and drooping it over the warm fluff's back with a kiss to her head as he relaxed, "That's why I always loved this rabbit. It is incredibly soft. I'd hold him while I drifted off to sleep." he explains softly to his girlfriend. He shifted when her tone changed to bitterness. Sensing a more sinister memory lingering behind the surface, he shifted his head, "A week before what?" came the question with concern and curiousity. He knew it couldn't possibly involve the Iron Koi or any other painful tale Adrienne had explained before. It was both too young a story and too old for all of the others he'd heard of what occurred during her human existence. His secure arms tightened just a bit around her trying to offer some reassurance while waiting for her to explain what had happened.
Adrienne nibbled her lower lip and glanced over when Kaz gave a shrug and declared that there was no point in trying to deny the rabbit she held being his anymore. Seeing the smirk that crossed his face as she held the plush in front of her, still trying to figure out what to do without being too obvious about it, she was also holding it with the same care she held anything else that seemed delicate or precious to her: like it was made of glass. So when Kaz commented on how she was holding it, not only did she blush, but she had a short moment of panic when he positioned her into the proper way of holding it, like she would break it if she tried to pull it close.
However, it didn't shatter and soon after he pulled her arm over to cuddle the bunny close, she began to relax, especially after he dropped a soft kiss upon her head. Glancing down at Hoppy as Kaz spoke, she took what he said into consideration and was finally able to relax her arms around the toy, not really feeling silly, just different. She'd never done anything like this before and that much was very apparent. She could imagine the little boy she'd met all those years ago, cuddling up with this same bunny every day for naps and then sleep. It made a small smile curve her lips just before he asked her what she'd meant by the words she'd never even meant to say aloud.
Adrienne bit at the inside of her cheek again, trying to stave off the burning in her throat or the hollowness in her stomach. It was a different sort of grief from what she'd felt toward Zekeal. While both had been intense, they had been in different ways. Zekeal had already been dead, just passing on, and she'd only had a short boat ride to get to know him. He'd managed to earn a firm place in her heart before he left, so it had been horribly painful to see him go. It had shocked her with the pain she'd felt, but it hadn't been her first experience with losing someone. Finally, she released the bite she'd taken on her cheek and sighed; Kaz's secure, strong arms around her, which tightened after her sigh, reassured her in ways she couldn't even begin to explain. What she could explain was what she'd meant by her accidental admittance.
"I wasn't alone for the entirety of my human years before the Iron Koi, the Moon Dust, and the Selene," she finally said quietly, her fingers absently stroking one of the stuffed rabbit's silky soft ears as she spoke. "Actually, I wasn't alone for maybe two weeks, tops. The rest of it, I was, and I'd never realized before just how lonely I was, even as a goddess. There were two weeks that I had someone to talk to and sit with."
After a moment, Adrienne decided at last that she couldn't exactly skirt the subject, as hard as it was to talk about. "I stayed near harbors and shorelines, always, after Nexus first attacked me. It was a comfort and a precaution and one day, a stray dog decided to follow me. At first I wasn't at all attentive to him, I figured he'd get tired of me and leave, but he didn't. When I settled down for the night in a cave, he came right in with me, lay down, and put his head in my lap." That concept seemed to baffle her, and it definitely had at the time, if only because she'd never really been close to anything or anyone before then.
She swallowed against her suddenly dry throat. "He did that every night after, for the two weeks he tagged along with me. We starved together, traveled together, and I talked to him sometimes, even though he couldn't talk back. And we always slept like that, he always lay right down next to me and rested his head on my legs."
Her arms tightened a little around the plush. "He was older when he found me, his muzzle was white around the edges. And it got to the point that I'd have to carry him every few hours. He'd just tire out. I helped him eat, especially after I figured maybe he was just sick and he'd get better. I didn't understand how temporary things could be, not really, until then," she murmured softly, her eyes far away. "When a man tried to take advantage of me in an alley one night and managed to get the upper hand, the dog attacked him and made him leave. But it took the rest of what energy he had..."
During her story, Adrienne had gradually brought her knees up against her chest, curling into a small ball, her arms wound around the toy. Her body was a bit tense from withheld emotion; at the time, she'd been almost angry. At the man for attacking her and hurting her dog, at the fleetingness of mortality, and at herself for assuming because she met the dog that day that she was owed at least a few years with him.
She hadn't cried openly, just pulled the animal into her lap after sitting down. She'd slept in that alley that night, knowing it wasn't the best idea, but feeling as though her insides were newly made of concrete. She couldn't leave him. She'd only managed it in the morning, carrying the dog's body to the shore and using every ounce of her energy to give him a proper burial.
The following day, she'd jumped ship to the Dame de Perles and tried to shut the entire experience out, only to start crying in the hull at feeling the ghost of that soft weight on her legs, not really there, but not absent either. "I'd never really lost anything, anyone, before," she admitted, not knowing why she was telling him this seeing as he hadn't asked. "I wasn't alone and then I was again and I had no idea what to do."
Captain Kaz watched as Adrienne finally settled down with Hoppy in her grip. Holding him just a bit more naturally but seeming to also instinctively scratch at his ears even though the rabbit was just a toy. Her eyes went distant as she recalled something he guessed to be a painful memory, when she came out of her mind just a bit to explain what was wrong he listened carefully. He wasn't too surprised to hear that she wasn't alone before traveling onto the Iron Koi which started her on the journey between ships that eventually took her to The Dark Selene. Human's even though they tried to deny it sometimes were social creatures and didn't like being left alone for long periods of times. He figured that at some point she would've bonded with someone in order to alleviate the new found loneliness she probably didn't feel near as much being a goddess. He was surprised, though, to find out that the companion she had come across happened to be an old dog.
Captain Kaz didn't move as she explained that first the old stray mutt followed her around before cuddling with her in the middle of the night. He'd never really had too many experiences with dogs himself except the occasional stray or pampered pooch at some rich persons house. All in all, he decided that he was much more of a cat person in the end than a dog one. He didn't like the neediness of a dog and the lack of ability to care for themselves, although the loyalty knew no rivals or boundaries. Of course, he frowned hearing just how old exactly her companion had been.
Before Adrienne even said it, he'd guessed that the dog had passed away. If humans had what was considered a short lifespan than what a dog had was just a raw deal. He rubbed her arm as she explained that soon he ran out of energy and was no longer able to continue going before he died in the alleyway. Captain Kaz looked up at the ceiling. "I'm not surprised to hear that. Being a goddess you have immortal friends, servants and even pets sometimes right? I'm actually surprised in three hundred years you didn't lose more friends." he explains to her, "The worse part of it is being left behind to continue on with your life. You have to act like nothing is different and keep going despite the truth of the matter." he says softly while thinking also of his father's death. Even though it had been his father, he'd been forced to move on immediately and wasn't allowed much time at all to dwell on his grief. Even his mother wasn't given more than an hour or two of being in shock and sadness before Captain Stefan 'proposed' to her in the name of giving her a means to support herself and Kanu. If Kazuki hadn't immediately left he would've been swept into a marriage himself. It was cruel and beautiful in a way that the world kept spinning and time kept ticking away despite all of the pain and the desire for it to stand still for just a moment and allow some time to get oneself back together again.
"If he was a dog then the goddess of animals would know about him wouldn't she? Maybe it's possible to talk to her about seeing him again." Captain Kaz wonders aloud, "I'm sure if he's dead then he's back in perfect form. He wouldn't mind seeing an old friend who was with him as he died." He explains to her before glancing over to Topy asleep in his basket. He was lucky that the feline still had some years in him to go, but he also knew that someday Topy would face a similar fate. One that Kaz would have to watch as felines too didn't live nearly as long as humans did. He wondered how exactly he'd feel about it and how he would cope. As if sensing the darker thoughts the cat moved about in his sleep and rolled upside down while purring. Kazuki smiled back, "If that's not possible, just be glad he lived a good life at least for two weeks of his life. At least your not alone anymore."
Adrienne glanced up at him when he spoke to her and she frowned a bit when he noted that he was surprised she hadn't lost more than just one friend during three-hundred years. She looked down at the bunny in her arms before admitting quietly, "I never really had servants, but I guess the sea creatures could be considered pets? I never got horribly attached to any of them, though."
She paused before continuing, "Like I said, that was basically the only time I was consistently in someone's company for those three centuries before being shot at and imprisoned. The few kindnesses I met were only for a moment, a day or two, tops. I didn't trust anyone, so I was, in its truest definition, alone. Shiva was the closest I'd ever gotten to someone and I thought she hated me for the longest time... I don't have parents or a family I could have turned to. It was tough to swallow, but I'm here, so that's what's important."
She frowned at her honesty, wondering why her thoughts kept turning into spoken words. She shook her head, closing the subject, having enough with what she saw as a self-pitying attitude. Kaz didn't want to hear about this, she knew that. So why did she keep telling him things? Focusing on his other proposal, she shook her head with a smile. "While I probably could, it's almost easier to know he's at peace and stronger than he was while alive, at least that's what I choose to believe." At his final statement, she finally looked up at him and smiled gratefully. "That's true. I'm not." She shook the subject and asked instead, "So, did you get done what you wanted to today?"
Captain Kaz didn't like the lonely undertones of her voice as Adrienne explained that throughout her centuries as a goddess she'd never really gotten attached to anything or anyone. Thinking back on the stories he had read he found that he never really came across a tale which depicted her being close to any human or creature after all. There were stories of her punishing sailors and creating sea creatures both great and terrible, but none like the other gods were she fell in love or befriended someone. She had already explained that Shiva and herself hadn't originally been close and if anything became closer after Adrienne was tricked and imprisoned. The 'love' she had shared with the thunder god had been a matter of convenience and not necessarily love and trust. Captain Kaz shook his head gently, somehow despite not really meaning to he'd always been surrounded by loyal friends. If not in his family then in Ven and Dorian. Then later in Topy and Neda who joined him a little later on. While Red was less affectionate he could even say that sometimes--albeit rarely-- Captain Red served to be companionable as well. He'd never ever really been alone before. Not like Adrienne had been.
The dark mood didn't last long as Adrienne seemed to agree that she was in a better place now at the very least. Now, while she still may not have an actually blood related family, she did have close friends both on The Dark Selene and off of her. Even when all of them passed away there was always Shiva, the snow goddess, who had proven herself to be a dear friend as well. Adrienne would always be in a better place now which relaxed him and made her smile.
Captain Kaz shrugged his shoulders as the conversation moved away from the more somber topics of the past and onto what had been the daily occurrence on The Dark Selene. Captain Kaz was rather grateful for the change. While he didn't mind sharing his feelings and talking to Adrienne about more sensitive subjects he wasn't a sensitive guy, at least not as much as he had been in the past. After awhile it stunted his thoughts and made him uncomfortable trying to accept that he really was a horrific contradiction between his feelings and his job which required him to be heartless and ruthless in all aspects of life. It felt like constantly striving towards a goal of having no feelings only to be forcefully backslid into square one. Still, he didn't quite mind being set back at all, at least, not too much as long as he remained neutral to positive and didn't become overly sensitive moreso than he had been in the past then he was alright with a few tender moments. "Loaded more canons for Red. Neda and Dorian got their supplies and a carpenter and blacksmith are coming out tomorrow morning to look at the wood on the ships as well as the canons tomorrow." He explains to her mildly, "If you're up for it, I'm going to have you sailing Selene more since Ven is going to be on The Flying Dutchman more. We're eventually going to find some helmsmen to steer her and then bring Ven back on The Dark Selene when they've earned our trust." He explains to her as he idly looked at his arm in thought. He was remembering the snake charmer and the serpent which had slid up his body and met his eyes. For a minute he tried to decided whether it was worth mentioning, but soon he found himself speaking. "While in the market, there was this snake charmer performing. While he was playing the snake slithered up to me. I actually understood what the hell it was telling me...when I told it to go back to its basket it actually listened and did it." he tells her quietly before lowering his hand, "I think I'm starting to believe you on getting Elsper's powers. But I still don't feel any different."
Adrienne smirked slightly at the mention of Red somehow needing more cannons, which seemed absurd to her after seeing the sides of his ship, which were lined with the hefty weaponry. She nodded along with his mention of Dorian and Neda getting supplies restocked and the carpenter coming out to check over both the ships in the following day. When he mentioned having her steer more, she nodded, confirming that she was more than willing to help, glad to be productive. His plan made perfect sense in terms of making sure he could trust the new crew members before allowing any new helmsmen to take over.
When his eyes turned down toward his arm, Adrienne's eyes followed until she glanced up at him questioningly, not understanding what he was looking at, but waiting patiently for him to say something. He seemed to ponder both his arm and something deeper in his mind before telling her there was a snake charmer in the market. At first, she didn't understand; she never would have expected Kaz to be so intrigued by a common snake charmer. Her brow rose slightly when he continued to say the snake came up to him and spoke to him, followed his orders. She watched his arm as it lowered and she gave an indignant sniff when he mentioned that he "thought" he was "starting" to believe her. "It's about time," she jabbed to get the starkly serious look from his face before shrugging a bit. "You might not feel so different. I didn't feel extremely different when I got my powers back, just stronger and more durable."
She frowned slightly before adding, "Just... I know they haven't really shown themselves much yet, these powers, but be careful? I'm not sure how they'll manifest and how intensely they will when they do. I didn't know much about Elsper in terms of the details of what she could do, so I'm not sure what to expect."
He didn't really know what to expect when Adrienne answered him. He was hoping there wouldn't be any worry because if she were worried then that meant there could be something wrong with him, something that he wasn't even sure was fixable at this point. But when he managed to get up the nerve to tell her about the snake situation, he couldn't help but roll his eyes as the smart remark she made initially before telling him that it wasn't entirely not normal to not feel any different. He glances to his girlfriend as she said she just felt more durable and stronger. It was true that at least externally she didn't change as much as he expected her to. He didn't know what exactly he had been expecting--certainly not that she would suddenly be made of water or anything stupid like that, but after that burst of light within Fiddler's Green and seeing Adrienne healed up and wearing something different he realized that he hadn't been expecting that. The same change he'd anticipated in her, he guessed he had anticipated in himself. Only once again it hadn't happened. Captain Kaz easily lowers his shoulders but doesn't turn as Adrienne delivers a cautious warning for him to be careful as the rest of Elsper's powers manifested. He snorted.
"Not that I can really be careful." He points out, "How am supposed to do that when I didn't even expect the snake talking thing to happen?" Captain Kaz snorts and closes his eyes, "She can't be that powerful if being chucked into a fire did her in permanently. From all I saw at the caves all she could do was come out of the darkness and summon a pack of snakes with her. I don't see those being too much of a problem. Even in the stories I've read of the goddess of chaos and misfortune she was manipulative but not exactly powerful." he admits casually. How worse could it get to inherit such powers? He figures. A slight yawn escapes him and Captain Kaz glances to the porthole. He had laid down for bed a bit early but now it was around the time he usually started to drift off to sleep and his body was going to make sure he knew it. Leaning over to the night stand he picks up his patch again and slips it on having been keeping his eye closed throughout the conversation. He hadn't wanted it on earlier anyway since he wanted to avoid getting it wet and then irritating against his skin.
Adrienne understood that he couldn't really tell when and how his powers were going to show themselves, especially since, with the snake, he hadn't even known it would happen. Even so, she didn't know how to go about this; he was a human with the newly claimed powers of a goddess who shouldn't have died in the first place. She still didn't understand how that had happened, but she would have to put that behind her now in order to help Kaz with her full focus. When he mentioned reading stories of Elsper's likeness before, Adrienne shook her head a little, "Manipulation can be an incredibly powerful thing. And it's not like the myths on me were totally accurate either. I think being manipulative was more her nature than her power."
She noticed the slight yawn he gave and then remembered that she, too, had been exhausted even before attending the trial. Frowning a little, she remembered the outcome of that and wondered if she should mention it. As she watched him put his patch back on with a rather weary look in his eyes, she figured he'd had enough stress for the night and even if she did mention it at this point, what difference would it make? She would need to stay close in the coming moon cycle, however; the court was known for sending third parties to intervene and the look on Caetus' face had not settled her in the least. Adrienne knew that while he'd been one of the few to show his opinion, he wasn't the only one to have it.
Nibbling her lip, she sighed and settled against Kaz, gently setting the stuffed bunny on the bed beside them before wrapping her arms around her boyfriend and resting until she made sure he was okay and there was nothing else to be discussed.
Captain Kaz settled even deeper into the bed listening to Adrienne with another yawn, "Well ifs that's the case then that's even less to worry about." he points out to Adrienne as she tells him that manipulation was a powerful thing but it was more Elsper's nature than her power. He wouldn't have to worry about the power of manipulation from a dead woman. That just left, as far as he knew, controlling his new found ability to talk to snakes. He did have to agree with Adrienne on the myths not being entirely accurate about Adrienne. Not only had they gotten her appearance completely wrong but her personality as well. Her powers and abilities had been relatively on point though, except that it didn't include all of her talents but a small handful. In this case he was both hopeful that Elsper would have more powers and hopeful that the books might possibly be more accurate dealing with the goddess of darker countenance than they had been with Adrienne.
On one hand it was disappointing that all Elsper amounted up to was manipulation and chatting it up with reptiles. If his life was going to be flipped completely upside down by immortality the very least he would've wished for was some decent ability to accompany it and be useful. On the other hand, Captain Kaz enjoyed the life he led and with more powers came the possibility of more responsibility which, in turn, would give him less time with his ship, friends, and the rest of the crew. If nothing else changed except that he couldn't die as easily and he got a bit stronger then he could maintain what he'd already been doing. He didn't consider talking to snakes any kind of useful power because he didn't plan on keeping serpents on his ship for pleasure. Topy was enough even if he could technically understand the feline, he was more fond of cats than of snakes.
Beside him, he smiled a bit as his girlfriend took his cue and started to settle into the bed as well to get some sleep. Usually he might've been able to stay up longer and talk, on this night he was exhausted. The sleep he had received the night before had been meager at most due to the single constant nightmare that had plagued him. Little details had changed with each cycle of the dream but the instances of falling and suffocation had remained in full force. He hoped this night at least he'd dream of nothing at all so that he'd be fully refreshed unfortunately his hope did not come to fruition.
This time it was the same red serpent he had spoken to only this time the orange creature was much larger, even larger than himself. It slithered up to him and gazed down with unblinking eyes. He stared up at it feeling as if he were in a trance until the creature reared up high and slowly opened his mouth.. He didn't know why he didn't fight, he wanted to pull away, and to run but as the head came down he was doing nothing but watching it descend. He was first in burning darkness before he started to descend wildly down into an endless abyss. This time he searched for the inner walls of the snake but when he leaned forward Captain Kaz accidently pushed himself forward and caused his body to tumble wildly instead of simply fall legs first. He wanted to scream but all that would escape were muffled cries. A gush of wind hit him and captain Kaz knew that he would be hitting ground soon and probably on his face. He'd break his neck if he couldn't stop, but he couldn't. He felt the ground and then there was suddenly blackness.
It was if a light switch had been flicked off and then back on. His consciousness returned in a rush that made the pirate shoot up and look around. There was a dark shore with blue water lazily rising and then falling. Standing was a figure in a cloak looking out at a horizon with no sun.
"You must protect yourself." The figure said without glancing over, but Captain Kaz knew that the figure was talking to him. "Protect myself? From what?" he asks while standing up, habitually he started to dust himself off but noticed right away that there was no sand on him to off. The figure glanced his way.
"Fate." He explains in one word.
Captain Kaz only gave an inquiring frown. The figure raised a hand towards his eye, "See the truth." Captain Kaz took a step back but didn't move this time away from the cloaked figure. He wanted to know exactly what he was talking about. But as the man took a step towards him, Kazuki lost his trust in the figure and retreated. The figure relented and lowered his hand, "See the truth." he repeated just as firmly.
Captain Kaz took a deep breath and removed the patch from his eye. Tentatively he opened his eye.
Instead of seeing the shores and memorizing the strange world, he was in a bright room with strange clocks all around. All around were men and women sitting patiently and waiting. Before them were two beautiful women one light and one dark. The black haired woman twirled her long locks and spoke, "Clutching by tiny, tiny threads are we to existence. The glitter and the glamor taking any and all precedence...,"
Kaz blinked and the scene raced ahead before playing in normal time abruptly. It was the woman of black attire speaking again, this time with an eerily sweet smile. "He will die. The mortal-turned-god has broken the highest law and, as is custom, he will be executed."
At the news Captain Kaz shut his eye not wanting to see anymore. He already knew they were talking about him, he realized now that the figure meant that Fate were those two women. They wanted him dead but for what he wasn't entirely sure. As he closed his eye and replaced the patch he found himself back along the shoreline with the cloaked figure. Captain Kaz looked at him, "Why are they trying to kill me?"
"They fear you. You have killed a god. You are more powerful than they are and they know this." The figure answered back. Captain Kaz shook his head. "But I'm not trying to kill all of them damn it!" he yells feeling panic well up. Gods were trying to kill him? How was he supposed to fight against gods?! The figure shook its head once to the left, "You will not change their mind. What's done is done. You must protect yourself." the figure answered back. Suddenly the Captain of the Dark /Selene was angry. Who was this figure to tell him that he would die and that was that? As he took a step closer to what he hoped choke the guy. The ground fell out beneath him. Captain Kaz let out a yell as he sunk into the fissure the cloaked figure just overhead watching him. Captain Kaz could make out no more features than a nose, lips and chin.
Captain Kaz woke up and shot up with a start. He was breathing deeply with glazed eyes burning a deep gold for a minute. But when he blinked his eyes took back the familiar green hue. He sighed in relief realizing it was all just another terrible nightmare.
Adrienne settled herself against him, shifting to lie against his side and keeping her arms around him as she gradually began to doze off into a strange dream composed of vibrant colors and empty space, with the faint tones of the lockets' song playing in the background. It was incredibly soothing and she fell into it whole-heartedly, wondering what on earth had spurred such a dream, even when it was exactly what she'd needed.
She woke only when she felt a hard pounding under her hand and it took her a moment to process that her palm was against Kaz's chest. That it was his heartbeat. She sat up slowly, in a little bit of a daze to look down at him, her brow creasing when she found him in the throes of another nightmare. Biting her lip, she nudged him a little to see if he'd wake and said his name a few times, but none of it worked. Just as she was preparing to try something else (although she didn't know what), he bolted upright with a yell and she reflexively caught him by the shoulders, seeing as she was sitting up in front of him.
Adrienne was caught a bit speechless as she clutched his shoulders while he calmed down and even more so when she looked into his eyes and saw that they weren't the light jade she knew, but a deep gold that faded with the next blink of his eyes. Taking a breath as relief eased his features, Adrienne pushed the hair from his forehead, where she felt a light sheen of sweat and murmured, "You okay?"
Kazuki was disoriented for a minute as his breathing steadied and his vision cleared away from the horrible fall he had just suffered. After a full minute he was suddenly aware that he was still in bed and Adrienne was awake with hands on his shoulders looking concerned. Hearing her question he ran a hand over his face clearing away the last evidence of the dream while shaking his head, "I'm alright..." he tells her in a raspy extremely tired voice. Captain Kaz glanced outside to note that the sun was starting to leave faint trails of its existence in an otherwise dark sky. He sighed, once again he had gone through a night without getting any real rest. He was exhausted.
Lying back down he breathes in deeply before glancing to his girlfriend, "It looks like I woke you up." he states as a way of apologizing, covering his eyes with his arms he shakes his head, "What's wrong with me? It's just one weird dream after another." he says briefly before looking down at his pillow, "Maybe I'm sleeping the wrong way?" he wonders aloud.
There was no way he could believe any aspect of his dream was real. Not some strange trial among gods that decided that he needed to die even though he'd only been defending himself and Adrienne. Gods didn't really have rules and customs that ignored all of the facts before them just because they feared the power of a mortal-turned-god who had found a way to kill Elsper. Besides, he reasoned, if that really were true then he was sure that Adrienne would've found out about it by now and she definitely would've mentioned that the minute she got back to the ship. The thought made him relax even further as he lay back against the pillows again. He was lucky that they weren't sailing off this day. He wanted to give the crew some time to rest and recuperate so he'd already agreed to stick around Tortuga for awhile longer. Just enough that getting stupidly drunk and chasing around women was no longer fun and the sea-loving men looked forward to getting back to pillaging merchant ships. All he really needed to do was check in with the blacksmith and carpenter, and think up a destination for when they were ready. Maybe he'd be able to sleep in and actually get some rest this time around.
Adrienne frowned sympathetically at the rasp of exhaustion in his voice before slowly releasing his shoulders when he moved to lie back down. She didn't reply to his apologetic assumption that he'd awakened her; he had, but that wasn't his fault. She tilted her head slightly when he mentioned that his dreams were weird and he wasn't understanding them. She'd figured maybe the conversation about his dad had brought on an upsetting dream, but now she saw that it went deeper than that. Pursing her lips, she asked with concern in her voice, "What's been happening in your dreams? They could mean something."
Dreams had always come off as more meaningful than manifestations to her, but especially now that he was a god, they could be premonitions of some kind like she'd had about their run-in with Nexus. She couldn't displace the memory of the gold color of his eyes and she was worried that his powers were overwhelming him, somehow. She couldn't think of any way to be able to tell, which was the problem. There was also the nagging sensation that ever since she'd awakened, she'd felt on edge. Like something was coming.