Jack and Will have run off together for reasons only known to them, while Elizabeth and Anamaria are left behind. First person from Elizabeth's POV, with no names mentioned. Hints of femmeslash.
"Too much sun," she had judged abruptly, and demanded I stay here until I felt well. She seemed a little impatient at my incapacity for work, but almost worried about me - she never let the crew rest unless they were near death.
I decided to get up. The dizziness had subsided, the pain of my head reduced to a lesser throbbing, and I needed water. As I had expected, I found plenty of it. I poured some into a mug, noticing the absence of several bottles of rum. The crew would be all the better for it, rather than slow-witted and clumsy - as they invariably were under the effects of rum. I took a long draught of water, which quenched my thirst. The throbbing in my head vanished completely.
She still would not allow me to help, insisting that I watch and keep my strength up. A poorly veiled excuse for making sure I didn't do anything stupid. It isn't as if she burns in the sun, I thought as I watched her captain the ship. She was a pirate's life personified. Thin yet muscular, with glossy dark skin, her life ensured she was light on her feet. The sun would never cause her skin to peel fiercely as mine had during the early days of our voyage.
I didn't understand why I was on this ship. For some absurd reason, she had enticed me along. We had a purpose - to find our respective partners, who had sailed off together. I just did not care to know my husband's excuse for such actions, nor his response to our search. I was also unsuited to such a journey by sea, and I knew I would only hinder the crew. Her stubbornness had been what made me finally agree. She was determined to fight for her lover, while I just stayed at home and had doubts about my husband.
I had thought him a wonderful, caring and loyal man. The sort of man every woman dreamed of, despite his low social status. We had settled into a small house next to his equally small business and we made do with what little we had. My father would have gladly given us anything, had we asked, but my husband had an unshakeable sense of honour. He would never listen to my advice and warnings, though - he only ever took the advice of one man.
That man we had invited to our home, let him stay, offered him food and drink... and he stayed, ate, drank and caused a rift between my husband and myself. I don't believe it was intentional at first. Gradually I became dissatisfied with the small house and our life, and began to turn to that man for comfort. I sought him out, not my husband. Even so, he and I almost never spoke, touched or shared any contact other than our presence together. I needed him as someone who expected nothing of me. That man understood my need.
One night, I found the two of them gone. They left no notes, nothing to explain themselves. It seemed they had learned of my discomfort, and did not wish to burden me. Either that was the reason, or my husband was a coward. I had informed the only man I considered it proper to contact, and he swore he would let me know of any suspicious ships leaving or entering the harbour. A day later, news reached me of her boat.
We allowed her entry, and she immediately sought me out, demanding answers to her questions.
"My husband ran off with another man," I had told her, "and I expected you to be part of their crew." She had cursed, and explained her part in this to me. Her lover was that man who visited my husband and I, and he had been planning to spirit my husband away. They were off to find adventure, looking for my husband's father and her lover's old friend, and they had left their women and trouble behind. She had not protested at first, as she knew his loyalty worked strangely, but, after days of loneliness, she was determined to follow him.
So she had convinced me to set off with her on this journey. We had no idea of where we were going, what we would find, or who would help us on our way. We had searched around the islands they may have looked for, and tried to find out where my husband's father would have been. So far, our search yielded nothing but the raiding of a few ships, much to my disapproval. I did not want that life, despite my dissatisfaction of the married life. The raids provided us with food and supplies, however, so they were necessary. I often wondered if we would ever find the two men, until I realised that I no longer cared.
I stood watching her order our crew around, her long dark hair catching in the breeze, her face so determined. She was my reason for continuing to travel, not my husband. I had listened to her every word, learned about life at sea and her lover's life in particular. We had shared stories on the crew's days off, each revealing to the other something previously unknown. I told her of those nights I spent with her lover before he took my husband with him. She told me of how my husband learned of his father.
Most of the time we simply sailed wherever the wind directed us. I had begun to love the days attempting to help sail, and watching her. I associated her with the sunny days out at sea, as I associated my past lovers with different times and places. Her lover was associated with the moonlight in our house, or a starry night on an otherwise empty island. My husband was with the mornings, where he was loving but always only saw me briefly. My former husband-to-be, I thought of with evening parties and ceremonies, usually at twilight. I thought upon the differences, until I heard her calling out to me, bring me back to the day.
I saw her looking out to sea with a spyglass, he body taut with anxiety. She had spotted something, I knew, so I looked in that direction. I saw a small object on the horizon. A ship, naturally, but was it theirs? I walked over to her, and she handed me the spyglass. I peered through, and searched for the ship. I recognised it as theirs at once, though there had been changes made. I lowered the spyglass and looked at her. She wore a look of determination. She would chase after them, no matter what the cost. I wished I had such resolve.
However, I lacked her determination. I did not know what I would say to them now if I saw them, and I did not wish to end these times sailing with her and the crew. I did not want to learn that my husband and her lover were romantically involved, nor that they wanted us to leave. The prospect frightened me. I looked at her, and she noticed me fear.
"Wait," she demanded, handing me the rudder. I kept us steered in the direction of the ship as she walked steadily belowdecks. She returned with two bottles of rum, one in each hand, and offered one to me. I took it, and she took back her position at the deck. I drank some of the rum, and my fear lessened a little. They would not see the weak, lovesick women they imagined to have left behind.
"Bring me that horizon," I muttered, "and we'll see what happens."