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A Pirates Honor by Hallowqueen19

Chapter One

Port Royal, Jamaica - 1674

Sweat dripped between her shoulder blades as she weaved her way between the tavern tables. Her arm already ached under the weight of her tray, now laden with empty mugs, glasses, and half eaten plates of whatever her boss had slaughtered earlier that morning; probably an old pig or sick chicken, nothing that would cost him anything he wasn’t willing to give up – which was everything. Cheap bastard. She sneered internally, casting a fiery glance to the wooden door at the back of the tavern with “PROHIBITED” painted across its front in flaky white paint. She knew he was in there, most likely counting his money and drinking himself to – she hoped – death.

With an inaudible sigh, she made her way behind the bar and placed her tray on the back counter. Swiftly, she emptied the left-over scraps into a bucket – fodder for the pigs later – and dropped the glasses unceremoniously into a tub of murky grey water. She knew she wouldn’t get around to changing it for at least another day, but she reasoned her patrons wouldn’t be worried about the cleanliness of their cutlery the way it was.

To her surprise, the tavern was relatively empty. She only had eight patrons, all of them of questionable origin, but relatively decent tippers so more than welcome in her eyes. She wasn’t sure why, normally by now she was turning away drunkards, breaking up brawls, and dragging unconscious fools from the floor out onto the street. While strange, she welcomed the rare moment of rest that was a quiet tavern.

As if sensing her approaching relaxation, the tavern door swung open with unnecessary force; the door rattling on its hinges as it connected with the wall. A burly man lumbered in with his hat pulled low over his eyes, the sounds of the harbour following close on his heels. As the door shut behind him, muffling the activity that he inevitably came from, the man lumbered to the back of the tavern and chose a spot away from the rest of the inhabitants.

“Whore!” The newcomer cried towards her, shrugging off his tattered jacket and removing his hat and placing it on the back of his chair.

With a frown, Kagome pushed off the counter and wiped her hands on the apron tied around her waist. Making her way across the tavern, she approached the man with slight apprehension – nothing good ever came when one of her patrons started things off by calling her a whore. The closer she got, the deeper her apprehension grew. The man’s jacket was laid on the table before him, its sleeves lined with holes and covered in patches of salt. His breeches were filthy, splattered with what Kagome hoped was mud but knew was more likely than not blood. His linen shirt hung open, revealing a hairy but muscular chest. His face was both wind and sun beaten, his lips cracked and bleeding beneath a thick brown beard.

He must have just gotten back on land, she mused silently.

“What can I get ya, lad?” Placing her palm flat on the tabletop, she leaned forward with a pleasant smile on her face exposing her cleavage in an attempt to placate his stormy mood. The last thing she wanted was for him to start swinging.  

A calloused hand slapped a scattering of coins, some silver and some of an unidentifiable metal, onto the tabletop. “Rum.” He grunted.

Straightening and picking through the coins with practiced fingers, Kagome plucked out the silver she needed and held them out to the man for his inspection. “That’d do two.” He nodded, not looking at her but instead staring at another patron swaying in his seat and talking animatedly to the man next to him. “A moment, then.” She murmured after slipping the coins into the pocket hidden in her skirts.

Turning on her heel, she made her way back behind the bar. Grabbing two glasses from the depths of the murky grey water, she toweled them off briefly with her apron before grabbing a foggy bottle from under the bar – not the best rum she had, but it would do for the likes of her usual guests. Uncorking it with her teeth with a satisfying Pop! she filled each glass to the brim and quickly returned the bottle from where it came.

Making her way back to the wind beaten sailor, she set the glasses down with a hollow thunk. “Anything else I can get ya, lad?”

The man only grunted in return; his attention still fixed on the other patron who was now telling his companion about the poor sop he robbed before docking in Port Royal. Kagome raised an eyebrow as the man downed both glasses in quick, practiced succession before rising unsteadily to his feet.

Kagome took three quick steps back, an irritated scowl on her normally cheery face. She could tell there was going to be a fight, she just prayed it would be over before it really began.

 “Sonofa whore!” The bearded man roared, his free hand slamming into the tabletop causing the already splintered wood to creak in protest. “Yer th’ bastert don’ took Molly!” His words formed slowly, tumbling from his cracked lips with a sloppy intensity. He had been drinking long before he reached her tavern, Kagome realized.

The man he was addressing, a slim man with coal black hair and coated in the grime of the sea, raised blurry eyes to meet his. Recognition flared across his face as he attempted to rise from his seat, pitching forward dangerously for a moment before regaining his balance. “Aye! Soli’ w’nch, too! Ha’n’t seen a ship tha’ braw ina age!”

Before she could react, the two men ran at each other. As they collided, the seven other patrons jumped to their feet and started cheering them on in a drunken fervor.

Much to Kagome’s surprise, the thinner man quickly gained the upper hand. As the bearded man lunged, the thin man sloppily side stepped and aimed a punch towards his opponents’ kidney. As his fist connected with flesh with a sickening slap, the bigger man folded in on himself and immediately vomited. Tasting victory, the thin man quickly brought his foot up intending to kick the bearded man in the face – but missed. His booted foot connected with nothing but air and caused the already unbalanced man to tip backwards. As he fell, his head connected with the corner of a nearby table and he crumpled onto the ground unconscious.

Unsatisfied with the lack of blood, the roar in the tavern swelled as the remaining patrons started to insult and goad each other hoping someone would start a new fight.

Sensing the beginning of a brawl, Kagome bent down and reached under her skirts for the musket strapped to her thigh. Raising the gun above her head, she fired. The sound was sharp and deafening, and Kagome watched as the previously heated men flinched and turned panicked eyes towards her. Glaring at the startled patrons, Kagome spoke short and sharp. “I’ll have no brawls in my tavern. You lads wanna fight, take it outside. Otherwise, sit the fuck down or get the fuck out.”

The men paused momentarily, the tavern going remarkably quiet as they considered their options. For a moment, defiance flashed in each one of their eyes as they regarded Kagome’s diminutive and seemingly frail form. The drink had addled their memories, she realized. She had a reputation for her willingness to pull her gun when things went awry, but she had never actually used it on a patron. It was the man who actually owned the tavern, Mr. Goshinki who was not above murder; something he did frequently when another man thought it ok to touch his property – which he considered Kagome to be.

“I’d listen to her if I were you, lads. That bitch’ll shoot you square in the face – won’t miss neither.”

Kagome turned bright eyes to the new man standing in her tavern doorway. Just like the rest of the men who came in, he was filthy and fresh from the sea. Dirt and salt covered his breeches and boots; while a splatter of blood colored the barely white tunic plastered to his chest from sweat; a knee length leather jacket, cracked from years on the sea hung over broad shoulders. Black hair was tied with a brown ribbon at the nape of his neck, strands sticking up in disarray having been freed from the confines of his hat which now rested comfortably in the crook of his arm. His cheeks were flushed by the sun, and his skin was dry, but blue eyes lit up as he smirked at the bar maid.

Returning her musket to its rightful place against her thigh, Kagome straightened and placed her hands firmly on her hips. “Captain Wolfe, it’s been some time since I’ve seen that disreputable face.”

At the mention of the Captain, Kagome heard the sharp intake of breath from a few of the remaining patrons. She watched out of the corner of her eye as several men found a quiet table in a corner making themselves as inconspicuous as possible. They probably owed him a debt.

Her tavern, much like the other taverns in Port Royal, was commonly frequented by the disgraceful men and woman of society. Whores, pirates, buccaneers, and the occasional naval officer would come and go – more often than not causing trouble, but never too much for her to ban them from her establishment. But her tavern, unlike the other taverns in Port Royal, tended to be frequented by some of the more notorious pirates; men whose names sparked debilitating fear, and who were so bathed in violence and rumor that some believed them to be invincible. Men just like Captain Wolfe.

Bowing dramatically, Captain Wolfe chuckled. “So long at sea makes a man hunger for a beautiful woman.” Straightening, he crossed the space between them quickly, not glancing at a single other patron. Reaching out, he pulled her hands into his and brought them to his lips. Slowly, he placed a kiss on each of her fingers. “And what woman is more beautiful than you, my dear Kagome?”

Pulling her hands from his, Kagome laughed. “Your sweet words may work on whores, Captain Wolfe. But I am no whore.” Giving him a knowing smile, she turned and made her way behind the bar.

Captain Wolfe followed at her heels. “Ah, but some days I so wish you were.” He murmured as he sat heavily in a bar stool across from her, placing his hat on the counter.

Wordlessly, Kagome pulled a fresh glass and the finest bottle of brandy she had from under the bar. Setting down the glass, a small smile still on her face, she filled it to the brim. She left the bottle on the counter so the Captain could refill his glass at his own discretion. Folding her arms on the counter she leaned forward with a bright smile, “What brings you here, Captain? Last I heard you were making your way to Nassau.”

The Captain took a generous draft of his brandy, letting his eyes slide shut momentarily as a blissful shudder coursed up and down the length of his spine. “I already told you,” He opened his eyes, letting his stare linger on the swell of her breasts for a moment before rising to meet her knowing stare. “To see you.” He grinned. “And for the brandy, yours is the best in Port Royal."

Kagome smirked. “Thanks to you, Captain.”

Kagome had, unbeknownst to her boss, struck up a deal with Captain Wolfe regarding the importation of higher quality liquor. If he brought it to her and sold it to her for a lower price, she would ensure that only himself and select members of his crew could sample it. Of course, if a wealthy enough patron entered her establishment, she would make exceptions – but no one needed to know that.

The Captain waved his hand dismissively as the tavern door swung open again, “Stop this ‘Captain’ shit, call me by my name.”

The newcomers distracted Kagome for a moment as she watched them stumble into open seats. Their laughter echoed off the walls as they started to swap stories of their experiences with the whore Kagura from down the street. Bringing her attention back to Captain Wolfe, she smiled with false innocence. “Surely, Demon Wolfe of the Water.”

Kagome hardly heard his bark of laughter over the renewed cry for drink from the other occupants of the tavern. Giving the Captain an apologetic smile, she straightened and made her rounds of the tavern. When she was finished, the fools placated with cheap rum, questionable meat, and ale that was more piss than ale, she returned to the Captain with a fresh sheen of sweat on her brow.

Leaning forward, his face flushed from drink, Wolfe smirked. “I have many names at sea, but with you I only want to hear one name pass those perfect lips – preferably moaned, and preferably when you’re naked.”

Kagome rolled her eyes, “Only if you tell me what you’re doing here in Port Royal, Koga. And none of this beautiful woman bullshit.” Reaching behind her, Kagome opened a drawer and pulled out a sheet of worn parchment and slapped it down on the countertop in-front of Koga. “These are hanging all over the harbour, you can’t be that idiotic as to not have seen them.”

Staring up at Koga from the bar, was Koga. His sketch took up majority of the page, his likeness captured remarkably well all the way down to the dangerous smirk that he was currently wearing. Under his face was a list of all his crimes, majority of which were just variations of the word ‘murder’. Across the top was the phrase “Wanted Dead or Alive” and below that was the guarantee of reward in the amount of 1,000 pieces of eight.

Koga let out a long, low whistle. “That’s all I’m worth, huh?” Pushing the parchment back to her, he finished what remained in his glass and quickly poured another.

Kagome sighed, replacing the page in the drawer and quirking an eyebrow at the Captain. “So, why are you here?”

Koga frowned and dropped his gaze, his fingers dancing against his glass. “Had to get out of the water.”

“Why?”

“Been rumors,” He started, “about a witch.” He took another drink.

Kagome leaned forward; her curiosity piqued. “A witch?”

“Rumors say a new pirate captain has a witch, though no one seems to know his name. They say that anyone who dare try and go up against him will either die by his hand or drown at sea thanks to his witch. He’s ruthless.” He looked up at Kagome, a rare show of apprehension floating to the surface for only a moment. “Apparently just last month he boarded one of the ships belonging to those British bastards and slaughtered the whole crew save one man.”

She stayed silent for a moment, “So you came to shore where you’re a wanted man? All for rumors?”

Koga shrugged, “I’m a wanted man everywhere. At least here, I get to see your beautiful face.” His wolfish smirk was suddenly back in flourish. “Besides, crew and I been at sea for months, they were starting to get sluggish. Thought a stiff drink and a good fuck would bolster their spirits.”

“Ah,” Kagome remarked, a playful smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “I wondered where your two mates were, they’re usually with you. Must be spending all their plunder at the whore houses huh? What, you didn’t want to join? I hear Kagura is quite popular.”

“I’ve already told you,” He leaned forward, “There is no woman more beautiful than you who I’d want to spend my time on shore with.” His eyes, still playful, suddenly flashed with desire.

Before she had a chance to respond, there was a sharp knock on the tavern door. Kagome looked up, a small frown marring her previously jovial features.

“What?” Koga raised an eyebrow towards her, finishing what was left in his glass in a single swig. Without thinking, he angled his body toward the tavern door and moved his dominant hand to the sword hilt on his belt. “Kagome, what is it?”

She shook her head slightly and waved him away, straining to hear over the activity in the tavern. Time ticked by painfully slow, and for a moment she believed that she would only be slightly inconvenienced for the second time that day. But soon, another sharp rap echoed against the door and Kagome knew real trouble was coming.

Bringing her hand down sharply on the counter, Kagome let out a harsh string of expletives that made serval patrons rise surprised eyes to her before turning back to their drink.

Koga let out another long low whistle, watching her in admiration as she made quick work of clearing away the brandy and his now empty glass. His eyes followed her expectantly as she made her way around the bar, her movements laced with a sense of urgency.

“Come on then.” She urged, nodding towards the back of the tavern. She waited for only a moment, giving him a firm look that told him there wasn’t room to argue.

Koga rose to his feet, swaying for only a moment before obediently following after her. “Where are you taking me? To your rooms I hope,” He let out a dreamy sigh, “Finally going to let me grace your bed?”

Kagome gave him a withering stare over her shoulder as she weaved her way expertly around the tavern tables. She passed the patron at the farthest table, a portly man who was dangerously close to becoming unconscious; and led the Captain to a grey curtain covering the back corner which was conveniently out of sight from the front door.

“And what is this?” He quirked an eyebrow at her, his gaze flickering quickly from the curtain to Kagome.

Wasting no time, she pushed open the curtain to reveal a narrow staircase and a small wooden door lacking a handle. “I pay a street orphan to watch the tavern.” She explained, ramming her shoulder into the door. On the second try, the door sprang open with a sharp crack. “One knock means unwanted company, two means Royal Navy. You’ve got a price on your head, Captain. It’s best you take your leave.”

Koga leaned forward to peer out the small opening, his eyes shining in what Kagome suspected was gratitude. The door led to the alley that ran behind the tavern. It was cramped and dark, the ground soft and wet; covered in what Koga assumed and Kagome knew was vomit and piss. But while unpleasant, it was a fast and easy way to escape the inevitable imprisonment that Koga was facing if he stayed.

“Like I said,” He slurred, turning to face Kagome with slightly glassy eyes, “Not a woman I’d rather see.” With surprising fluidity considering the amount he drank, Koga reached forward and wrapped his arm firmly around Kagome’s waist. With a devilish grin, he dipped his head quickly and planted a slow and warm kiss at the junction of her shoulder and neck.

Kagome squeaked in surprise, a hot flush rising to her cheeks. As he pulled back, she slapped him squarely across the face. “Captain, you test your luck too much!”

Koga laughed heartily, rubbing at his stinging cheek before backing up into the alley. Bowing dramatically once more, he left Kagome with a bright grin. “Until I see you again, my love.”

She leaned out the doorway after him, screaming after his quickly retreating form. “When you do, you’ll pay your fucking tab!” All she got was a laugh in return.

Before she was able to close the door completely, Kagome became aware of the eerie silence that had enveloped the tavern. Swallowing hard, she slid the back door shut as quietly as possible and returned the curtain to its rightful place. She knew of only two things that could quiet drunken sailors so effectively, one was death and the other was the threat of death. If her little orphan spy was right, then whatever member of the Royal Navy had entered her tavern was dangerous and out for blood.

As she came back into view, Kagome sucked in a sharp breath. Standing in the middle of the tavern floor, his head held high and an eerie calm wafting off him, was a Commander of the Royal Navy.

Steeling her nerves, Kagome frowned as she walked up to him, her hands placed firmly on her hips. “Not so often I see someone of your standing in a tavern as lowly as this, is there something I can do for you Commander? A stiff drink perhaps? Directions to the whore house?”

A few of the men chuckled.

The man looked Kagome up and down silently, his face revealing nothing but his eyes flashing dangerously. He was not someone to mess with, Kagome decided quickly.

Finally, he spoke. “I am looking for some information about a pirate. I have been told that a bar maid at this . . . establishment,” He spat out the word as if it burned him. “would be able to assist me.”

Kagome raised her eyes to meet his, and shrugged, “Sorry, must have the wrong tavern. Don’t know nobody who can help you here.”

“This is The Nun’s Nectar, is it not?”

She smirked, “Aye, it is. Still can’t help you, Commander. Like I said, you’ve got the wrong establishment.”

He was dirty, dirtier than a man in his position generally was. Mud and blood streaking the usually pristine whites of his uniform, the fabric of which was worn and slightly tattered. His hair was tied at the nape of his neck by a red ribbon; the silver locks flowing to his lower back in delicate strands. Kagome took a moment to acknowledge silently how handsome he was, but the thought soon fled as she met his eyes once more and saw a ruthlessness in the golden orbs that was not there previously.

He looked down his nose at the small woman, his hand moving to rest on the hilt of his sword – one of two, Kagome noticed with a slight tinge of fear – and quirked a delicate eyebrow. “I am Commander Sesshomaru Tashio,” He began, his voice booming over the already hushed voices of the tavern. “Any man who has not exited this tavern by the time I turn around, will be executed on charges of piracy and conspiracy against the crown.”

His words, which Kagome did not doubt in the slightest, had their desired effect. Chair backs and stools clattered to the floor as the men rushed out the door, their drinks forgotten, and their tabs abandoned. Soon, it was only Kagome, the Commander, and the unconscious fighter still crumpled on the floor.

Enraged, Kagome turned burning blue eyes up to Commander Tashio. Placing her hands firmly on her hips, she glared at him with as much hatred as she could muster completely forgetting about the fear she had felt earlier. “Who the fuck are you to think you can order paying patrons out of my tavern?”

The Commander smirked, causing Kagome to take a terrified step back. “I am Commander Sesshomaru Tashio, and I require your assistance in locating a pirate.”

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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