Rupert had spent most of the day wondering up and down the ship, curiosity filling his seasalt brain. He'd only really seen the Captains' cabin, and doubted that anything that was really meant to be hidden away would ideally be there. Everything struck interest to him, and when he found that Daniel wasn't too busy with the others on board, he'd scurry over and ask him questions eagerly. Everything was just so new and interesting to him. They'd be in port around late evening, and the crew was eager to feel soil beneath their boots and whores in their arms. Well.. all but Daniel; he was far too interested in seeing Rupert's reaction to land and civilization. It's not that the cheeky captain had anything against land or whores or even plant life, but he was a man of the sea and would never dream of residing inland for more than a few days.
Rupert scurried over to Daniel yet again, his ventures around the ship having finished long ago; though it didn't stop him to take another look. As he approached the Captain, there was a huge smile on the aquatic boy's face.
"I still can't believe that I'm on a ship," he breathed gleefully, "it almost feels like a dream"
The Captain paused from eyeing his sails with a run of thought in his eyes, a little grin gracing his lips as he reached over and pulled the boy closer by the shoulder. "See over there?" He asked, pointing to the silhouetted trees and buildings in the distance.. Land.
"Would you like to come with us my little treasure?"
Squinting his eyes, Rupert lifted a hand to his brow to see the shapes in the distance. Even from so far away, it looked amazing. Like a page ripped out from a fantasy and spread before him. His chest buzzed with excitement and a little grin graced his lips. He looked up to his Captain with endearment. "Of course! I would so love to!"
The captain met his eyes and couldn't help but feel pleased with himself for keeping the merboy pleased and intrigued. He leant down ever so slightly and cupped the boy's chin with his fingers; brushing his bottom lip with the tip of his thumb.
"We'll be there in no time, just in time for the parties and lights. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
Rupert felt his cheeks heat up instantly at the contact of Daniel's rough fingers at his chin and lip. He swallowed lightly and smiled, nodding a fraction. "Oh yes, I really would... It sounds so amazing," he looked down a little nervously but that smile remained, "and it'll be even better knowing that you'll be around too" And that of course made the captain's grin grow ever more before he turned to lean over the rail with his arms folded in front of the other.
"So tell me, are you enjoying your stay? Mon petit?"
The boy blinked when he suddenly moved away and then grinned, nodding with enthusiasm. He leant back against the railing, weaving his fingers together neatly. "Yes, I really am. This world is so different and interesting... it's so much bigger and intricate than I'd ever thought. And the people," he sent a fleeting look to the Captain, "the people are truly wonderful"
"Hmmm.. and you've only seen a teensy section of it all." Daniel sighed contently, letting his eyes settle on the rolling waves. "Not everyone is kind though. In fact, there are few like me I'll have you know. So be careful, alright?"
This confused the naive merboy some; he honestly couldn't imagine anyone who'd be horrid, especially from his time around the ship. He angled his head slightly and gazed at Daniel. "I-I will be... but, well, how so? It almost feels like everyone would be kind."
The captain couldn't help but let his solemnness curl up into a weak smile, fighting the giggles from his naïvenéss. It took him a moment to swallow down his pride before answering the boy's question, "There are not that many good people in this world. And very few would react well to..well you. You'll need a disguise and stay close to me or they may take you. Especially the church.. They'd probably accuse you as a witch of sorts and have you...let's not go into that. Just be weary of others alright?"
At this, the merboy frowned slightly but he nodded, sort of being able to grasp the situation. "A disguise?" he tilted his head slightly and wove some strands of his bright hair through his fingers. The idea of being snatched away from Daniel honestly scared him half to death. Even the idea of being a few feet from him now made him a little anxious. But he'd keep to his word, that was certain. "I promise to keep close," he said with another nod.
The captain reached over and placed his gloved palm against the aquatic boy's shoulder and smiled abit,
"Yes.. a hat like mine if you promise to take care of it." He chirped.
A bright beam came across his lips at that. "Really!?" he gasped and then giggled, piping down from the sudden burst of excitement. He imagined a feather hat perched upon his crown and couldn't help but feel giddy at the idea.
"Ahh, I would love that so much! I'd protect it, not just take care of it, hehe"
"Then it's a deal." Daniel beamed right back, taking his own hat off and setting it atop the cyan crown before him. "Now isn't that quaint?"
The hat slipped down slightly, being a tad too big for the boy's head. He laughed, pushing it up with his dainty hand and grinning up at Daniel. "Very much so, although I think my head is tiny compared to you," he fiddled around with the hat slightly until it came to a better rest. "I could grow into it maybe? Haha"
The captain eyed him up briefly before nodding with a look of approval. "Yes, I think that'd do very well."
The merboy smiled sweetly at him, getting quite settling into the hat. It was still warm from being on the Captain's head, which made him feel safe in a way; almost as though it was magically granting him protection. It was odd in a way too, as he remembered retrieving the hat from the sea and coming into contact with him.
Daniel couldn't help but ogle his sweet little guest every chance he got, how cute he was especially. The was his hair resembled seaweed, and how adorable he looked in his clothes.. they were a tad big on him which looked even cuter. If only Rupert could stay with him longer.. as long as he wanted, Daniel would allow it. Rupert's little fingers drummed along the rim of the hat as he mulled over the memory, the way they had danced on the deck; though it was mainly to prevent him from flopping around like an idiot. This would have been humiliating on his part. "You know," he said a little out of the blue,
"I really am so grateful for everything... You've been so kind to me, showing me so much and teaching me so much... I really don't know how I shall be able to ever make it up"
"Hmm... you could stay with me if you'd like.." Daniel replied after a moment’s hesitation. “You’re no bother at all.. and to be completely honest with you.. it wouldn't be the same if you were to leave." The captain mumbled, rubbing his stubbly jaw thoughtfully as he gazed out to the approaching landscape.
The merboy blinked at this, a bit shell-shocked. He really didn't burden him that much? Though he knew he was certainly in the Captain's good books, he always felt like he must have been a little annoying at least. But, soon, a long smile came across the boy's lips. "I would really like that... Very much. I only hope it'd be enough; I'll stay with you an eternity"
The cheeky captain nodded and brought his hand over to tilt the boy's chin up abit. "It'd be more than enough."
Rupert smiled softly, finding himself lost in the Captain's eyes for a moment. They seemed timeless. Long corridors of so much to know and to give, almost like a mystery waiting to be unlocked by him. He sighed contently and then snapped back to reality. He laughed. "G-Good, I'm glad... I think it's just enough for me though, heh"
Before the captain could shake himself from his own daze, a crewman interrupted them both and called the comical
"Land ho!", causing a ruckus of eager and excited men to clamber around.
Rupert yelped and spun around, leaning over the edge to see the land they were heading to. He gasped, the shapes he'd been directed to before becoming clearer. With one hand, he held onto the hat, ensuring it not to fall off as he gazed with wanderlust towards the land. The ship soon docked in the harbor and Daniel led Rupert into his cabin briefly to dress him up in modest apparel. Outside there were numerous paper lanterns over the town's sprawl and people scurrying about on the cobbled roads.
"It feels a little weird, being around so many people," Rupert muttered suddenly as they made their way down the cobbled road.
He glanced around finding all sorts of characters in different shapes, colours, attire. Rupert had almost made a little system on board the ship of how people varied; but it apparently had expanded more than he'd thought. He clung onto the Captain's sleeve.
Daniel glanced down to Rupert and stopped for a moment, tilting his palm up as to offer his hand for more security.
"It's alright, you're safe with me. If they know any better, they know to fear me."
The young captain giggled; for he actually was a rather sinister fellow deep down under the smiles and kindness that only Rupert was allowed to witness.
With a tiny smile, Rupert accepted the offered hand and gripped onto it tightly. "F-Fear you?" he pressed, arching a brow questionably. From all the sweetness that had been show towards him, he couldn't imagine Daniel being fearful; although he did know how to give a good telling-off to crewmen when they did something wrong.
"Well yes.. I am a pirate you know, dearie. Nobody messes with me unless they want trouble."
Daniel shrugged, "But I'd never harm you, no not ever."
"It's strange, sometimes I nearly forget, heh," the little merboy grinned and then continued to stare around in wonder. People were selling various shades of trade on the street: different gems and jewels; animals in cages; sultry women. It was rather unnerving to the merboy; especially upon quickly spying a fish's head being struck from its tail. He gulped and instinctively edged a little closer to the Captain.
Daniel kept a close eye on Rupert every time again, he seemed clam until they'd left the market ahead and started passing actual housing and soon...the church. A few nuns walked in little groups every now and again, and it made him uneasy. Rupert took into account how quiet it had gotten the further inland they went. He spotted groups of women in strange robes of some fashion. He glanced at them curiously, but didn't keep an eye on them for too long. There was something in the air that was very... eerie, to him.