Scritta con: Liz
Personaggi: Kurt, Dave, Blaine, Jesse, Rachel, Santana, Brittany, Sue, Shuester, Puck, Lauren
Genere: Avventura, Romantico
Avvisi: AU, Slash, Femslash, Threesome, Lemon
Rating: NC-17
Capitoli: 1/6
Note: Threesomes are always good things, everybody knows that. But we wanted to kick it up a notch, so we started talking about pirates. And battletrains. On tracks up in the air. With alchemy. You can't get any cooler than that. Except for dinosaurs. We'll be working on that next time.
With that said, we really, really had fun writing this, creating this world from scratches and having it masterfully drawn by kironomi who not only got exactly what we had in mind but delivered it in the best way possible. You will find her beautiful drawings inside the story, enhancing some part of it.
As usual, we tried to write as well as we could, but nothing changed from our last fic and we're still Italian. So, even though we hope we're getting better and better with every fic we write in English, grammar mistakes and horrors are bound to be there. Have patience.
~ reviews will be cherished, criticisms are welcomed, but please be gentle.

Riassunto: Since Queen Sue ascended to the throne of the Iron Lands, the war against the pirates of the Floating Lands got worse and worse with every year. The pirates claim the Midlands as their own, but the Steam Army of the Queen conquered them, and they're not going to let the pirates take them back again.
History seems about to change when Burt Hummel, a scientist living in the Midlands, works out a device that transmutes common dirt into iron. That way, it shouldn't be necessary to fight for the Midlands anymore, and the war could finally stop. Queen Sue asks him to bring the device to the Iron Palace, so that she can see it at work and, once it's proven working, stop the fighting. Burt, though, would be an easy target for anybody who wanted to steal the device, considering that he's very well known for having worked for the Queen for years.
For that reason, he sends his only child Kurt to the Iron Palace with the device, hoping that it could be safer with somebody who's not as well known as he is. Kurt accepts the mission and departs on his fiancée Blaine's train. He's one of the heads of the Steam Army, and his battletrain survived countless fights.
That's why Kurt feels safe.
Unfortunately, he's wrong.

Jesse had hoped for a calm, relaxing flight, that could give him some time to think about his next moves, now that he knew what that mission was expected to accomplish by the Queen’s means, but unfortunately it had been clear right from the start he wasn’t going to get what he needed, which would have been mostly just silence.

Among the hundreds of things Commander Anderson appeared to know nothing about, like for example how to act without seeming to have a huge stick up his ass, there was something that had made the beginning of the flight even more annoying than it was already destined to be: he didn’t know how to sail a ship. He didn’t even know where to begin to make it take off.

Jesse should have expected him to: after all, people from the Iron Lands hardly knew how to fly. They weren’t that good with scooter either. It seemed like they only felt comfortable when they were sure their feet touched the solid ground. Jesse himself, during the first years of his freelance job, wasn’t that good at all with flying vehicles either.

If the situation had been different, Jesse would have turned into a full-time helmsman to get the ship safely to Titan. Actually, if the situation had been different, Jesse wouldn’t even be there. But the situation wasn’t, and so there he was, and since he couldn’t afford to spend the whole flight behind an helm – because he needed to concentrate on evaluating his options and choose the best one, or at least the less worse – he had to teach Blaine how to do it.

And Gods, wasn’t he a thickhead.

It had taken Jesse literally hours to just get him to understand enough to have the ship fly without constantly losing altitude or completely missing the right path, and at the end of his endless, frustrating and irritating Flight 101 he had fallen victim of the worst headache he had ever suffered, and therefore he had decided to retreat in his cabin and try to sleep it off, hoping it’d be gone by the morning after.

After a good night of sleep, the headache was gone, but the same couldn’t be said about Jesse’s dark thoughts and uncertainties. He couldn’t go on ignoring the truth anymore: he was on a pirate ship handed over to conductors and sent by the Queen into hostile territory, to try and accomplish an impossible mission that was going to lead them all to death.

It didn’t took him a lot of time, after his brief talk with queen Sue, to understand her majesty was clearly trying to get rid of him too. He knew too much. He had known of her plans and machinations right from the start, and the Queen knew better than to trust him, or his words and promises of secrecy and discretion. She knew very well he would have turned her in if that was what was better for himself, and she was perfectly right on the matter, because Jesse surely would. So she had clearly thought: why, while I send this valiant men to a torturous martyrdom, don’t I try and get rid of the most dangerous man I employ too?

And so here he was, trapped in a situation he couldn’t escape, knowing perfectly he was going to die if he didn’t try and do something about it. He was starting to regret the day he was first received at the royal palace, and the Queen offered him richness beyond measures if he accepted to try and mess up with both pirates and her own army to keep the war going as long as possible.

Again, if the situation was different he wouldn’t have thought twice about leaving that ship immediately, never turning back. But Rachel was there, on the ship, and the only thing Jesse knew better than the fact that he didn’t want to leave her, was that he didn’t want to leave her to die.

Looking out of the porthole in his cabin, Jesse let out a deep, frustrated sigh. They had been flying through floating rocks for a day and a half already, Titan must have been close, by now. He had to act as soon as possible, before it was too late.

He had to save Rachel, and himself.

He walked quickly out of his cabin and to the room Rachel had been accommodated into. When he knocked, she asked who it was, and when Jesse answered, instead of just telling him to come in, Rachel stood up from the chair – Jesse heard the screeching sound of its feet against the floor – and opened the door for him, greeting him with a big, sweet smile as she made room for him to enter.

“I was just thinking about you,” she said as she closed the door and invited him to sit on one of the chairs behind her desk.

“Now, were you?” he asked with a smirk, sitting down.

Rachel blushed furiously, sitting right next to him on the other chair. “Don’t mock me,” she said, frowning lightly at him, though the bright pink colour of her cheek was making her irritation looking not threatening at all, “I was just worried for you.”

“Really?” he asked, surprised, “Why?”

She crouched her shoulders, looking at him with clear embarrassment, the shadow of a smile still curling her lips, the taste of which Jesse still had to savour. Though having to tell her what he had to tell her, he was starting to think he’d never have the chance to kiss her, not even once. “It’s just,” she said, “You seem… troubled.”

Jesse held his breath, looking at her with his eyes wide open. Nobody had ever been able to tell how he was feeling, before. He kept his emotions buried deep inside himself, it was better for his job and he had learned to play the same trick in everyday life too, especially since his everyday life had started to merge more and more with his job, to the point he couldn’t tell one from the other anymore.

Maybe Rachel had learned how to read into him while they were spending time together. Maybe he had just started to stop hiding in front of her. Maybe a combination of both.

In any case, he didn’t feel like regretting any aspect of that special connection between them. Even if it was what had brought him there, sitting on that chair, with something incredibly hard to confess.

“What?” Rachel asked, worried by his long silence, “Did I say something wrong?”

“No,” he shook his head, swallowing and then moistening his lips as he tried to gather the courage and the right words to speak, “No, it’s just… you’re right, I am.”

Rachel leaned in to place her hand over Jesse’s, and squeezed it a bit. “Do you want to talk about it?”

Jesse sighed. “I have to,” he answered, lowering his eyes. He had never felt ashamed of something he had done, before. But after all that was the first time he actually cared for what somebody else thought about him, so it sort of made sense. “Listen, what I’ve got to tell you isn’t easy, but I’m not going to ask you to be comprehensive or merciful. Just… listen to me until I’m finished, and then take your decision freely. Alright?”

Rachel nodded without even thinking about it. “Alright.”

Jesse breathed in and out, holding her hand back. “Fine. I’m working for the Queen.” Rachel was a girl smart enough not to say stupid things like ‘well, we all are, Jesse’, and he silently thanked her for not interrupting him. “I’ve been secretly working for her right from the start. She’s not what you all think she is, Rachel.”

“And what is she?” Rachel asked, her hand never leaving Jesse’s, just like her eyes never left his.

“She’s the first, and I suppose the only, at this point, who wants this war to never stop,” Jesse answered, swallowing once again. He was about to throw out the window years of so called honourable service, but somehow it felt right. “She hired me to double-cross with both pirates and conductors, to keep them fighting each other. I offered my services to both, and pretending I was helping only one of them, and then the other, I actually served nobody else’s interests but the Queen’s.”

Rachel sat stiff on her chair, he hand still closed around Jesse’s. Her eyes were cold, but more than that, she was scared, though she knew how to deal with it, which meant that she wasn’t going to panic, at least. “So you… when you brought us the map…”

“I was coming straight from the Fury, the pirate flagship,” Jesse swallowed, “Where I had just left Hummel’s son, after I kidnapped him from here.”

Rachel remained silent for quite a while, processing what Jesse had just said. He could almost see the stream of information flowing through her eyes as she sorted through them, trying to tell what could be fake from what could be the truth. “Why are you telling me this, now?” she asked then, her voice but a whisper.

“Because I know what the Queen wants,” Jesse answered, “This is a suicide mission. We’re all going to die, if we stay on this ship and get closer to Titan.”

“Why don’t you just leave?” Rachel insisted, frowning, “Are you scared commander Anderson wouldn’t let you? He would. He despises you. He can’t wait for not having to deal with you anymore. I’ll show you where the scooters are kept, you’ll take one and—”

“I don’t wanna go!” Jesse interrupted her, horrified, “Not without you.”

“Why?” Rachel asked, suddenly looking at him with eyes reflecting a strange, brilliant light.

Jesse bit his inner cheek, breathing slowly. “Because I’m in love with you,” he answered in a resigned sigh, “And so you’re not gonna be a second choice, for me, ever. You come first. Your life is my priority, and I don’t care if I lose everything else to save you. Please…” he almost sobbed, holding one of Rachel’s small hands between his own, “I will understand if you don’t want to see me anymore, after we’re back in the Iron Lands, but please, come with me.”

He lifted his eyes to search for hers, and Rachel didn’t look away. She didn’t speak either, though, for a long time, and when she finally spoke, her voice sounded unreal. “No,” she said, and Jesse clearly felt his heart sink down to his stomach.

“What…?” he couldn’t believe it. It just couldn’t be true. “Rachel, you have to believe me, I—”

“I do,” Rachel said, the stern line of her lips melting in a sweet half-smile, “I believe you. And, Jesse…” she looked down, her cheeks turning red as she nervously squeezed his hand, “I like you a lot. I don’t know if it’s love, yet, but I want to try and see where this feeling leads us.”

Jesse’s lips parted in an unbelieving smile, as he got a little closer to her. “Rachel…”

“Wait,” she stopped him, lifting her free hand and pressing her fingers against Jesse’s mouth to keep him quiet, “I want to be with you, but running away now is not the way to deal with what’s happening, or what you’ve done. I could never love a man on the run,” she added with a small, sad smile, “So you’ve got to come with me, and tell commander Anderson what you just told me, and then together we will find a way to make everything right, I promise.”

Jesse clenched his jaw, trying not to show the tension shaking him up from the inside. “Rachel… what I did would be enough for Anderson to put me behind bars for the rest of my life. What if he doesn’t believe what I say? He could—”

“He won’t,” Rachel reassured him, shaking her head, “Besides, if it’s true, there must be some proof.”

“There is!” a happy smile lightened up Jesse’s face, “I mean, I don’t have it with me right now, but I know how it’s held, and if Anderson needs it—”

“Oh, he will,” Rachel stopped him with a light chuckle, standing up from the chair and tugging at his hand to invite him to do the same, “Come on, now. We’ve got a war to stop.”

She sounded like she really believed they could, and Jesse could do nothing but feel the same.


“Not now, Rachel.”

Blaine was so concentrated in what he was doing that he didn’t even look away from what he was looking at, which seemed to be a random point on the horizon he thought he was directing straight towards. He was flying kind of sloppily, if Jesse had to comment on it, and he kept avoiding the stones floating all around him by just a couple of inches or maybe even a little less. Also, he was terribly slow. But, all considered, Jesse didn’t think it was exactly the right moment for another little lesson on the matter. Especially considering Blaine was probably going to push him overboard after he heard what Jesse had to say.

“Commander Anderson, it really is of utmost importance that you listen to us, right now,” the girl insisted trying to keep calm as her commander stubbornly decided to ignore her.

“Rachel,” he grunted, narrowing his eyes to try and see behind the mist that clouded the view, “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m slaloming through flying rocks, trying to follow a path I don’t know, to find a place I’ve never seen. How do you expect me to accomplish that if you keep bothering me?”

Jesse sighed theatrically, placing both his hands on the helm. “May I?” he asked. Blaine frowned at him, and Jesse smiled a bit, “We really need to talk to you.”

Blaine frowned and snorted, but eventually gave up and walked away from the helm. Besides, St. James may have been a revolting individual, but he was better than him at this, and that much Blaine had to give him. “Fine,” he said, standing right next to Rachel with his arms crossed over his chest, “Since when it’s we anyway?”

Rachel blushed instantly. “Now it really isn’t the time to delve into this,” she said, shaking her head, “Now, Jesse, tell commander Anderson what you just told me.”

Jesse sighed, sailing the ship twice as fast and elegantly than Blaine had done up to that moment. “I still think it’s going to be completely useless, but alright, if you want me to.” He turned around to face Blaine and spoke as coldly as he could. “Her majesty, the queen you so happily kneel before, is the batshit crazy head of an arms dealing company, and she sent us on this suicide mission because she wants the war to never end, and Hummel’s device never to be put at use, and pirates and conductors to still kill each other for no reason whatsoever beside her desperate need for money and power.”

Both Blaine and Rachel looked at him in shock, and the girl was the first to dare to speak. “Jesse… you could at least use a little bit of tact.”

“Excuse me…” Blaine started off, his voice so small and feeble to be barely audible, “What?”

“The Queen,” Jesse repeated, “She’s the one behind everything, the reason why the war has never stopped. She hired me to mess with you. I was working for you and for the pirates at the same time. I kidnapped Hummel’s son. It was meant to slow you down and to pave the way for the future mysterious disappearance of that damn stone, or whatever it is.”

“What?!” Blaine screamed again, staring at Jesse with horror and disgust, unable to process everything at the same time.

“What are you, deaf?” Jesse asked, rolling his eyes and sighing, unnerved.

“How dare you— Why should I believe you?!” Blaine screamed, approaching the helm in fast, threatening steps, “Get away from here!”

“See, Rachel? He doesn’t believe me,” Jesse shrugged, moving away from the helm and walking back to the girl’s side, holding her hand, “It’s fine for me, anyway, I’ll just take the girl and leave.”

“You’re not going anywhere!” Blaine barked at him, retrieving his gun and pointing it against Jesse’s forehead.

“No, commander!” Rachel stopped him, putting herself between the gun and Jesse, “He’s not being serious! He— You have to believe us! He says there’s proof, we at least have to try!”

“Rachel, he’s a mercenary, a criminal and a serial liar, you can’t really believe a single word he says, and if it’s true he kidnapped Kurt I swear I’m going to beat him up so hard not even his parents are going to be able to recognize him, as soon as I’m done with him!”

And he could have just gone on and on about it for hours, if it wasn’t for the horrible, crashing sound that filled the air and made the ship shake right after he had finished speaking.

“What… What the hell was that?” one of his privates said, looking around himself in fear. They could see nothing anywhere, whatever it was that had hit the ship, the mist was hiding it very well.

That, of course, until cannonballs started to rain over them.


Their pirate ship had been towed in and it was now anchored in one of Titan's harbours, surrounded by three vessels armed and ready to shoot. Blaine was looking at what looked like the whole population of the Floating Lands' capital crowded together ashore and demanding them to get off the ship and hand over themselves.

“We don't have much of a choice,” Jesse said, looking out through the porthole of the formerly captain's cabin and now Blaine's control centre of the ship. “Either we get off the ship or they make us.”

“Shut up, St. James. I know,” Blaine snapped. He knew there weren't the conditions to even negotiate. They had no mean of getting out of this alive, unless the pirates wanted so. Did the Queen really know that they weren't going to win over the pirate capital? “Alright, let's do this. St. James, you come with me. Rachel, you get ready with the rest of the crew.”

“Why do I have to come with you? I'm not even one of your men!”

“Oh, I know that, St. James. Believe me, I know,” Blaine said, glaring at him. “But you contributed to this mess, and you will face the consequence of it in the front line, like everyone of us. And if they shoot on sight, I hope they hit you.”

Jesse and Blaine came on deck, arms above their head. “We surrender!” Blaine shouted. “Please, don't fire.”

“We decide if we fire or not, Anderson,” Karofsky said, harshly. “Get used to the idea that you don't have a say in this and get your ass ashore. Your crew will obligingly follow. My people will do the honours.”

“Now, you don't do justice to the pirates' hospitality, Captain,” Jesse said, taking a step forward and the lead. “I know the Iron Lands people don't know that, but I know the pirates. You have a code for everything, even for guests greeting.”

“Too bad you're no guests,” Karofsky said. “Which leads us to what the fuck you're doing on that ship. Please save the crap about being held hostage for someone who really cares.”

Jesse shrugged, like being under fire was no big deal. “Mister Anderson made me a great offer and I took it. Too bad you didn't ask for an exclusive when you made yours,” he explained. “But, if you let me explain why we came here with one of your old ships and no or little clue of where we were going, I'm sure that I can make everything clear.”

“Gag him,” Karofsky said, not even changing expression. He remained totally unimpressed by Jesse's mumbling as one of his men reduced the mercenary to silence. The whole crew was being dragged ashore and Anderson was now standing in front of him, disarmed and with his hands tied up behind his back.

“This is unacceptable,” Anderson growled. “I'm a conductor of Queen Sue's Royal Army and I demand a rightful treatment.”

“This is the rightful treatment, train man. You don't want to see the non-rightful one. Now, I'll ask you questions and you'll answer. It's as easy as it gets,” Karofsky said, poking him with his sword. “Why did you think that coming here with one ship would make any sense? Are you the vanguard or something? Should I expect more of you stupid people coming here?”

Blaine ignored his question. “Where's Kurt? I know Jesse brought him to you,” he asked, instead. “Where is he? Is he okay? I demand to see him immediately and be sure no harm has been done to him.”

Karofsky felt the anger coming up and pooling in his stomach, together with the sudden urge of killing Anderson and everybody else with him. “Let's make this straight, Anderson. You can't negotiate, you can't demand anything, you can't do anything I don't tell you to. So, now you will tell me what I need to know or you die. I won't ask again. What are you doing here with one of our old ships?”

Anderson glared at him for the longest time. “Where is Kurt?”

“Fine,” Karofsky growled, nodding to one of his men. “Gag him too. I don't even know why I try to be kind with land people.”

As two sailors held Blaine and a third one gagged him, Rachel came forward, ignoring the swords and pistols instantly aimed at her. “Captain Karofsky, wait!” She cried out to catch his attention. “We have something important to tell you. The situation is bad and is bound to get even worse.”

“Miss, please,” Karofsky said, sighing resigned. He was already tired to deal with everyone. He had a fleet to recover, people to mourn, families of dead sailors to take care of. “Don't force me to gag you too. There's only one thing I want to know from your commander. If you don't plan to tell me, then just keep your mouth close because it might become unpleasant otherwise.”

“You don't understand!” Rachel shouted out again. “it's not about you or us anymore.”

She came even forward, alarming her guards that warned her to back off immediately. The crowd was already screaming and growling to Blaine's soldiers, and everywhere there was cursing and crying and demanding death for the prisoners.

From inside of Karofsky's house, which was close to the harbour but not enough to make out any words, Kurt was hearing an indistinct noise. He tried to peek out from a window but he couldn't see anything except the growing crowd in the distance, so he decided to go and see for himself. Since the only way for him to escape Titan would be jumping off the rock, and he wouldn't have done that for his life anymore after his last horrible experience with the worms, Dave had no reason to keep him locked in. The captain had actually granted Kurt the permission to come and go as he pleased as long as he always came back. It was a very strange way to keep someone captive, but Kurt was not going to discuss it as he opened the door and got out.

When he got close enough to see the new ship harboured towering above the screaming crowd, he heard Rachel's voice and recognized it as it was the most irritating thing he had ever heard on his fiancée's train. “Rachel?” He called, trying to make his way among a wall of furious, immovable sailors.

“Mister Hummel?” She stopped talking with the captain, recognizing him as well. Both Blaine and Jesse turned to her and followed her gaze as Kurt came out of the crowd, angry already for having to struggle that much just to pass.

“What's going on? Why are you here?” He asked. Then, eventually, he saw gagged Blaine. “Blaine!” He exclaimed, outraged. “Captain, why is he gagged?”

Karofsky closed his eyes for a moment, praying the Gods to give him the strength to get to the end of that day without blood on his hands. “Because unfortunately he can speak,” he answered. “Now, you get here and away from the prisoners.”

“Captain, please,” Rachel tried again, looking at Kurt for support. She didn't know why he was unchained and walking freely, but she took it as and advantage for them. “We're all in danger.”

“What is she talking about?”

“Come here,” Karofsky repeated.

Kurt stayed where he was and crossed his arm to his chest. “I understand that you must have had good reasons to gag Blaine and St. James,” he said, angry enough not to obey but still not wanting to undermine the captain's authority among his people, “but Rachel could have something useful to say. Let her speak, and if she doesn't, gag her too.”

“He might have a point,” Santana murmured, her glow subsided. “Let her speak. If what she says is really useful, then she is safe. If it's not, she'll be the first to die.”

Rachel's eyes widened and Jesse started struggling against the man who held him, trying to get free. That's when Kurt decided he could indeed come closer. “Are you going to kill her?” He asked, shocked.

“Only if she wastes my time,” Karofsky growled. “So, miss... Rachel, I presume?”

“Wait!” Kurt came in front of him and then turned to Rachel. “Rachel, are you sure that this is something the captain needs to know?”

Rachel hardly swallowed the lump of fear she had in her throat. She knew she had no other choice but talk because it was that or be killed later. Besides, even if Karofsky didn't want to kill them all to use them as hostages, the Queen was going to rather let them all die than give the pirate what he wanted. “Yes. He wants and needs to know what we have to say,” she confirmed, looking right in Karofsky's eyes. “Captain, please.”

Kurt enforced her plea by looking at him as well, his green eyes tender and pleading literally burning a hole in Karofsky's soft heart. “Fine. I'll listen to you,” he agreed, nodding to the men holding Rachel, Blaine and Jesse. “Bring them to my house.” Then he grabbed Kurt by the wrist and dragged him away.


After they told him everything that had been going on since the moment Kurt was kidnapped upon his request, Dave stood silent for a while and looked at them all scattered in his living room, frowning. Jesse was perched on the windowsill, one foot nonchalantly resting on the back of his great-grandfather favourite's armchair, on which Rachel was sitting. Blaine and Kurt, holding hands like the sappy sweethearts they were, occupied the couch.

“Why in the world should I believe you?” Dave growled, crossing his arms to his chest both in an attempt of showing his frustration and keeping distance from them all.

“I would never lie to you about something like that!” Blaine said, his wounded pride showing in his hazel eyes. “I would never say the Queen is involved if it weren't true. It might come as a surprise to you, but it's been a great shock for me finding out what was going on.”

Dave rolled his eyes at the drama in Blaine's voice. “I know you wouldn't. You've always been unreasonably loyal to the Royal Army to the point of shame,” he said. “But St. James? He would sell his mother if they made a good price.”

“Hey! That's not true. Now I'm offended,” Jesse straighten up. “I would never sell my mother. Those rumours about that auction three years ago were completely groundless. And I would certainly not lie about... OK, maybe I lie every now and then, but not this time! And I can prove it to you, captain.”

Dave raised an eyebrow, amused. “I wanna live to see that happen, St. James.”

“I'm telling the truth!” He insisted, jumping off the windowsill and walking to the front of the room, right next to Dave. “She sells weapons to both armies through figureheads but they need to keep track of every transaction because that's the law. Everything is well documented, including the links between her and her figureheads – you wouldn't believe some of the names - and she keeps everything that could possibly incriminate her in her vault.”

Dave was totally unimpressed. “The vault is probably in her palace, which makes it virtually off-limits,” he said. “This way, your truth can't be disproved. Very clever, St. James.”

“No! No! No!” Jesse shook his head. “Why are you all so quick to say I'm a liar? I mean, that's my job. You can't really blame a man for earning his living the only way he can!”

“Actually...” Blaine started.

“But I'm not working right now,” Jesse cut him off abruptly. “So I have no need to lie. Besides, I know the codes to the Queen's Palace. Either I can open her doors or I can't. It will be easy to find out if I'm telling the truth.”

Somehow, that made sense. But if Jesse had ever seemed trustworthy, he didn't now after double-crossing basically everyone involved. Dave couldn't think of a single thing that could come out of this for him, but if there was something, St. James had already thought that out for sure. “I don't know,” Dave said. “I still don't trust you.”

“Well, you have nothing to lose, haven't you?” Jesse said, shrugging. “If you believe the Queen's involved, then you have to go to the Palace anyway. If I tell the truth, which I do, entering will be easy. If not, then you have to bomb it down or whatever you pirates do.”

“We don't bomb down anything, you moron!” Dave made a face. “Who the hell do you think we are?”

“I don't know. You do have cannons, right?”

“Yes, but...” Dave trailed off and then sighed, massaging his temples. There was no time nor use to discuss with him the way of the pirates. Besides, he was talking like that to provoke him or to distract him, Dave wasn't sure which one. “Listen, even if you weren't lying, it could still be a trap. I've lost most of my fleet already. I don't know if I'm ready to trust your idea with what's left of it.”

Santana's bracelet glowed, softly. “Dave?” She said, and it was like she was there, resting an hand on his arm to calm him down. The captain knew that, whatever she was going to tell, he was about to say yes. He could hear it in her voice. “He has a point. We don't have much of a choice about this. Either we fight her or we don't, and right now people are angry. We've been fighting this war for so long. Hiding is not an option for us anymore.”

“We don't have enough men.”

“We do,” she glowed twice. “Puckerman's men will fight with you. And so will do Lauren's. And I bet all the people on Titan will be ready to join us, if we ask them to. There's no point in staying here, waiting for the queen to understand that we know and take action. We need to strike before she does.”

Blaine swallowed hard, taking a step forward. “I can't reroute the entire army, but my battletrain will be with you. If it gets down to a battle, we're going to cover for you from the tracks. It's just one train, but it's the best one the Queen has.”

He smirked at the irony and Dave couldn't help but smile too.

“Alright,” he said eventually. “Let's go to take her down.”


A town meeting to reveal the latest news about their not-so-enlightened queen had been enough for all the captains and every other man who owned a boat to give it to Dave Karofsky. After only two days of preparations, Karofsky had a new fleet, not as big as the one he had lost but big enough to hopefully take over the capital once the queen would have been out of the way.

They were all back on the normal routes now that the conductors weren't looking for them anymore and, down the currents, Dave had planned to reach the capital in just a few days. Once there, Blaine and his crew would get off the Fury to reach Blaine's battletrain, that was currently parked inside the city. And since Dave couldn't be totally convinced of the conductor's best intentions, Puckerman and some of his men were going to go with them.

Actually, the moment of bonding between Blaine and Dave had completely dissipated and now Blaine's fate was hanging by the thin thread of Dave's patience as the captain was more prone to kill him than do anything else with him, let alone trust him. All things considered, Blaine was still a prisoner and so was Kurt, but apparently both of them had forgotten that and spent most of the time looking at each other in the eyes and walking hand in hand on the deck of Dave's ship, making each other giggling stupidly. Dave was so fed up with them that he was considering brushing up the old plank and feed the sharks. Unfortunately, there weren't sharks in the air, but any bird of prey would do the trick.

“You know, if you stop staring for a moment, they won't disappear,” Santana's voice said, mocking him.

Dave blushed and cleared his throat, his eyes shifting on the most boring horizon he had ever seen. Sailing the flagship on a quiet day meant you would see nothing but miles and miles of clean sky for hours. “I was checking the bow,” he said.

“Which is the other way,” Santana commented. “Are we losing notion of our own ship or any ship in general, for that matter, captain?”

He blushed even more. “I was distracted,” he mumbled. “Did you need me to pass you over?”

“No,” she said, amused. “Brittany is chasing butterflies on the forecastle at this hour of the day. I don't want to bother her.”

“Right. Never stop important procedures,” he said, ironically. Santana laughed. “So, is there a reason why you're making fun of me or are you doing that for the sake of it?”

“Actually, I wanted to talk to you,” she said.

“What about?”

She waited for a moment as if she was giving him the time to think about the answer to his own question, but when the answer didn't come, she just sighed. “You know that I know, don't you?”

Dave hurried to look away from the bracelet. He had never understood how Santana could see things from inside that thing, but she could, and he didn't want to let her see his eyes right now. “I don't know what you're talking about.”

“You like him,” Santana said, plainly. “You like him big time. I hadn't seen you so into someone since... I actually don't even remember since when.”

Dave's heart skipped a beat, but he managed not to show it too much. “Would you mind stop talking in riddles?” He said, instead. “I would ask you to stop saying crazy stuff, but that's just plain impossible.”

“I bet it started the moment you laid your eyes on him,” she continued. “It'd explain the grumpiness and the fact that you are constantly fighting with him. You're attracted to him so much that it makes you angry. It's so you.”

“Listen,” he snapped, almost pouting at the bracelet. “I don't like Kurt, ok?”

It came the amused, mocking sound of her chuckle again. “Never said a name, Dave.”

Dave turned a red so bright he was almost glowing. “You're a bitch,” he growled, still managing to make it sound somewhat tender and not offensive.

“And how is this news exactly?”

“Whatever.” Dave turned again, feeling the chill air on his skin. “I don't like him anyway.”

Santana's sigh could be heard from a distance. “You know there's nothing wrong if you like him, right?” She said, conversationally. “He is generally irritating and mildly stupid sometimes, but he is really beautiful. I can see what your hormones must be doing in your head every time he turns that little nose towards you and look at you. He's actually your type, so that doesn't even come as a surprise to me.”

“You know very well I gave up on such things long ago,” he reminded her.

“This is a perfect moment unlike any other to pick up the old habit. We could be all dead in a few days. What's the point in hanging on grudges and pains of the past?” She watched him watching Kurt, who was currently giggling because of something Blaine had just told him. He had that demure behaviour that made him look like a young lady. “I mean, look at you! In the past fifteen minutes you went from 'I don't know what you're talking about Santana', to 'I don't like Kurt', to 'If only I hadn't given up on love'. You're making progress!”

Dave rolled his eyes. There was no way he could escape her. “Even if I liked him, and I'm not saying I do, it would be useless. He is a prisoner.”

“So what?” She asked. “He can't be unprisoned? In fact, at the moment he is more of an ally, or the cute boyfriend of your alley if you wanna see it that way. He stopped being a prisoner when you decided he could live in your house, you know?”

“That was a precautionary measure,” he muttered.

She chuckled. “And I'm not half-dead, I’m just half-living.”

Dave's eyes darkened, as they did every time her incident came up. It was weird how she had been able to get over it and he didn't. “Don't say that. You're alive. And as soon as I put my hands on that alchemist, you will be walking again.”

“Yes, don't worry. Calm down, that was just a figure of speech,” she said, trying to cheer up his suddenly gloomy mood. “My opinion still stands, though. You like him, so you should do something about it.”

“I don't wanna cheat on you.”

An invisible eyebrow rose. “You're lucky we've never been together, then,” she said, scoffing. But then she sighed. Knowing Dave well as she did, she knew how his head worked. “Dave, really, as much as we were, are or will be close, I won't get angry if you find yourself a lover. I'll still be your partner, won't I? Fuck, I am still your partner and I don't even have a body!”

“What about Anderson?” Dave insisted. “He barely leaves Kurt's side to go to the bathroom and Kurt seems in love with him.”

“Then fight for him!” Santana exclaimed, her light as strong and fierce as her voice. “You're a pirate, Dave! You're naturally more charming than the average man! You've got a ship, you've got a crew of brave men, you smell of controlled danger and adventure!”

This time was Dave's turn to frown. “Are you writing an advertisement or what?”

“The point is, Dave, that he likes you too,” she continued, in a softer voice. “Or he will as soon as he takes that stick out of his ass and realizes how bad he wants to be taken by someone rough as you are for a change.”

“Are you sure about this?” The captain asked and he couldn't help but turning to watch Kurt exploring the Fury with his somewhat squeamish curiosity. He wanted to understand everything he looked at, but he wouldn't touch it for his life.

“I'm a woman able to control a ship from a bracelet where my soul is locked,” Santana answered. “Are you doubting my skills?”

“No, of course not,” Dave sighed. “Fine, I’ll give it a try. And if it doesn't work I could always kill them both.”

“Kill your failures. Kill it with fire,” Santana said, pretending to be serious and unimpressed. “Sounds good to me. Now, let's get this ship to a faster pace. We're falling asleep, Cap'n. You know she can go faster than that.”

Dave nodded to one of his men who caught the hint and climbed the shrouds to free the sails. The captain reached the helm and made it spin. “As you wish, M'lady,” he said as the Fury made a turn and caught the perfect current, speeding away. As his crew laughed happily and the land people fell on their asses, he smirked. Fighting for Kurt, he could do that. Fighting was the only thing he was good at, after all.

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