Pairing/Group: Jun/Nino (Arashi)
Rating/Warnings: NC-17 (AU, language, light bondage)
Word Count: ~4,800
Summary: Captain Matsumoto Jun and his crew of sky pirates take a sojourn in Arcadia. 1st Mate Nino gets himself into a bit of a tight spot.
Notes: For the 2010 je_fqfest exchange. This story worked my last nerve. It's pretty last minute so I apologize for that. There's a bit of action in there too, which I'm not very good at, but I tried. This AU is loosely based on the world from Final Fantasy 12. Thanks to aeslis for the last minute beta! gimmick_game, I hope you like this.
Captain's Log: July 25
I've been neglecting to write. There's been naught much to record since we left Grecia. All we've done is chase stories of forgotten wealth and treasure secreted away to dead ends, flitting from village to village for no more than a few days at a time. The crew was starting to become restless for solid ground beneath their feet and a soft bed, and someone to share it (not that I can commiserate). So we set out for Arcadia.
The Sky City Arcadia sits high above the continent, a neutral city-state when the treat of war is constant. The Margrave of Arcadia keeps peace between the large Imperial Empire in the northwest and the smaller independent republics that seek to keep their freedom. Being far above the sandsea, an arid wasteland where nothing lives or dies, Arcadia is a popular destination for those wishing to remain unfound. With its vaulted arches and fine stone masonry, it's not a bad place to do it.
The last time I was here, I stowed away aboard a cargo ship bound for the southern desert kingdoms. And I met Nino... How far we've come.
The Margrave's treasury is said to contain more gold and jewels than even a king could use in a lifetime, gifts of friendship and tribute. But the city's military force is not something to be provoked lightly. Only a fraction of the size of the Imperial army, but equal in strength and courage. Though tempting, it's better to pursue other riches, lest we become the centre of attention. It wouldn't do to be on the run from one of the most skilled forces on or above the continent.
We've been here for nearly a week and I still don't know where we should head next. We aren't ready to leave anyway, so I suppose it doesn't matter much. Nino tells me that we're waiting for the last of our provisions to come into stock, and Aiba's talked me into letting him do some modifications on the Legacy and is still searching for parts. Who knows when we'll have access to a proper dry dock again? She's overdue for a tune-up, in any case. We've rented some rooms near the bazaar. Thick with thieves, it's not the safest ward in the city to stay, but we fit right in. The rent is cheap and perhaps we'll hear of something to pirate.
The flimsy curtains do nothing to cut the bright southern sunlight, making the headache behind my ears bloom faster. I untangle myself from the sheets and knock over the finished wine bottle beside the bed. Well, that would certainly explain the headache. The bed is cold and empty which means Nino didn't come back here last night.
Waking up horny and alone isn't the best way to start off a day. I can feel my brow furrowing into a frown already. Nino doesn't usually sleep in his own bed and certainly not when I've explicitly extended an invitation. He'd made some smart remark about putting the heavy walnut desk in my room to use and I'd been hoping to see him make good on his promise. I pull out a fresh shirt and make my way to the kitchen, wondering what in the world could have kept Nino occupied all night.
Ohno's got his head on the dining table and a fresh pot of coffee ready. "Looks like I'm not the only one who had a late night."
He groans something unintelligible and waves one hand limply.
"Coffee?" I assume.
Another wave and what looks like a nod. I don't even bother to hide my smirk. Ohno can hold his drink just fine, but he hasn't perfected the art of avoiding a hangover.
"I take it you had a good time then?" I ask, setting a mug of straight black coffee at Ohno's hand. He drinks deeply and rubs at his eyes, finally able to articulate.
"Pretty good. Nino kept winning at cards so I lost count of how many rounds we had."
Of course, the only thing Nino likes more than sex. "Well, that's when he feels most generous."
"He was up when I left, which was just after two. He said he'd be all right alone but I haven't seen him yet this morning." Ohno arches an eyebrow at me.
"He wasn't with me," I say over the rim of my mug, answering Ohno's implied question. As familiar as we are with each other, I'm still the captain.
"Maybe he's still playing. This wouldn't be the first time he's gone on an all-night bender. He'll probably come back later. He's got to sleep sometime."
"You'd be surprised how long he can go without sleep. But we aren't in any rush. There's still a few more things to load onto the ship and Aiba hasn't finished with his maintenance yet."
Ohno drains his coffee and pours himself a new cup. "Any idea where we're headed next?"
I shake my head and sigh. "Not a clue. I was hoping you heard something at the pub last night."
"There were some guys talking at the table next to us about some temple idol in Tufan. But I don't know where that is."
I pull out the maps that Sho had bought from the cartographer's guild and spread them on the table, weighing down the corners with my and Ohno's coffee mugs. I scan the peaks and valleys, oceans and continents, and finally come to a small plateau tucked away in a dense mountain range in the east. Far east. "I've always wanted to go to the other side of the sandsea."
I walk through the streets of Arcadia alone, peering down alleys and looking up to the second windows. It's long after noon and Nino hasn't returned yet. I should probably worry like the other three, but I know Nino's more than capable of taking care of himself, despite his size. I've decided to go see what has become of my quartermaster. It'll give me a chance to stem this growing irritation and ease the anxiety of the rest of my crew.
Most of the shutters are open to catch the breeze coming down from the west. The buildings in the south quarter are old, most made of red bricks, giving the streets a warm, dusty glow. The bakery that Nino used to steal buns from is still on the corner. I don't see him anywhere nearby so I buy two for old times sake, and to make up for past transgressions. My money may not be honestly earned, but it's money none the less.
The Egeo Tavern still lies at the far end of the south quarter. The colours on the sign have faded but not much else has changed. There's still the window down the side alley, the only place you could buy wine by the bottle for cash without question. A couple of gangly sixteen-year-olds drunk on contraband liquor and freedom was not an uncommon sight back then. It still isn't, by the looks of things, as a trio pass a bottle back and forth across the street.
The other thing the Egeo is famous for is its card tables. Being a floating city, there isn't much in the way of entertainment in Arcadia. High brow theatre holds no interest for the common sky captain, unfortunately for me. Apart from the dancing girls that will show you a little too much for the right price, there's only gambling.
I knew Nino was coming here for the cards when Ohno told me they were going to the tavern. He's not much of a drinker. I feel a little déjà vu as I push open the doors to the pub, to the place I first met Nino. My eyes go directly to the card table in the back corner, but his seat is empty, as is much of the rest of the bar.
"You lookin' for someone?" The bartender calls out as he comes up from the basement with a case of bottles in his hands.
"A friend of mine was here yesterday," I reply, "Maybe you saw him? About this tall, dark hair cut short, a mole on his chin."
"I know the one. He was at the Nas table all night. He had a mighty fine winning streak going 'til he got caught."
"Cheatin'. Kid was counting cards."
What did I say about keeping a low profile? I should have known. I didn't realize that was part of Nino's card magic but it really shouldn't surprise me. "So what happened after that?"
"Kid was playing some of the Margrave's boys and they don't take well to being conned. 'Specially out of that much money. Hauled him out of here none too gentle near mornin'."
I don't like the sound of that. "Do you have any clue where they might have taken him?"
"There's not a lotta places to go 'round here, cap'n. I'd check the departure log at the aerodome."
"Right. Well, thanks for your help." I didn't know the Margrave who resorted to strong-arming his citizens into abiding by the law. But everyone has their secrets.
I decide to skip a trip to the aerodome. If Nino's opponents were the type to execute capital punishment without a trial, I'm sure they wouldn't have bothered to be cleared for departure. The Margrave doesn't abide by coercion or theft either; that's the reason we had to leave Arcadia in the first place. The Serra Orriens mountain range along the eastern coast of the continent with it's maze of caverns unexplored would make the perfect dumping ground.
Sho and Aiba look startled when I stalk into the living room of our flat. I didn't think I'd slammed the door that hard. "Aiba, what's the status on the ship repairs?"
"Just finished this afternoon, sir. She's ready to go. You should see the upgrades I did to the engine, they're&"
"That's great. We're setting sail tonight," I grab my doublet from the back of the armchair and start snapping orders. "Ohno, go tell the landlady we'll be moving out. She can keep the rent money we've already prepaid. Sho, get packed. We've got a quartermaster to rescue."
They all start shouting questions at me but I don't have time, or patience, to answer any of them. I gather up the maps and charts strewn across the desk, stuffing them back into their tube. Except for a pair of Nino's breeches, the only other personal belonging in the room is the pistol I keep in the top drawer of the desk. I detest the thought of murder--it's far to messy--but for Nino, I'll make an exception.
The Serra Orriens run along the cost of the continent at the closest point to Arcadia. Being outside the city, the Margrave has not jurisdiction and the capital is several days ride west. There's no law to be enforced in this part of the world. We didn't have to spend long looking; just over the first ridge, at the mouth of a cave, a cruiser was parked. With the Margrave's insignia on the side.
I have Sho pull the Legacy around and anchor her in the next valley. There shouldn't be anyone else this far into the mountains so I don't bother cloaking the ship. I don't plan to be here long anyway.
"Sho, you wait with the ship. We need to be prepared to make a quick escape," I say, tucking my pistol into the holster at my hip. "Ohno, Aiba, I don't know what they're wielding but I don't want to risk collateral damage from bullets ricocheting off cavern walls. I don't think we'll be able to see much in there."
"I've just finished honing a few short swords, Jun," Ohno says, opening the weapons locker at the back of the ship. "Better take a dagger too, just in case."
I slip the dagger into my boot. Aiba and Ohno do the same. "All right, we're going to hit quick and we're going to hit hard. Follow my lead and don't hesitate to kill if you have to."
"Don't take too long," Sho calls as we disembark. "Who knows what kind of animals come out after dark around here." The sun is still high overhead so we've got a few hours of daylight left.
It takes a while for my eyes to adjust in the cavern. It's dark and narrow, the littlest sounds bounce off the rock face and echo loudly around us. I can hear the scree shifting beneath our feet and each time Aiba trips behind me. Maybe I should have gone after Nino alone. Four to one odds aren't that bad.
There are four of them sitting 'round a packing crate. It's hard to make out what they're saying with all the boisterous laughter but it can't be anything imperative. And there, behind them, tied to a chair and gagged, is Nino. He's breathing heavily, struggling against the bonds on his wrists. His skin has a sheen of sweat on it that catches what little light there is, his eyes glint with rage. I stall, rather enjoying the sight of Nino so uncomfortably strapped to his seat. The furrow of his brow says that his wrists have started chaffing. I quite like the way the ropes accentuate his chest.
Ohno nudges me in the back, wondering what's going on. Neither he nor Aiba can see. I tear my eyes away from Nino to see what the four thugs are doing. Cards. Of course, they're playing fucking cards. My irritation peaks because that's what caused this whole mess in the first place. Fucking cards.
"Last hand here, boys. Winner takes all," says the big one.
"What's the prize?"
"Winner gets to pull the trigger." The gamble starts in earnest now, each upping the ante a little higher.
Just as I reach for my pistol, rocks shift above us and come tumbling down the side of the cavern. We're showered with pebbles and dust and there goes our element of surprise.
"I'm sorry, Matsujun!" Aiba cries, "I couldn't see and I just put my hand there—"
"Aiba, now's not the best time! Just go!" If we waste any more time, we'll completely lose our advantage.
I quickly fall upon the short one, closest to the cave entrance before they've gotten a chance to move, striking him on the temple with the butt of my pistol. He slumps to the ground at my feet lifelessly. Ohno grapples the stout one on my left to the ground and I lose sight of them in the shadows; I can only hear shouts and curses mingling with punches and shifting rock underfoot. Aiba takes the lanky one on my right, slashing hazardously with his short sword. His opponent manages to get his sword unsheathed and the clash of steel echoes off the walls.
That leaves the rotund leader to me. He stumbles back as I leap over the makeshift table. He'd clearly not been expecting company—he fumbles for his sword hopelessly. I pistol-whip him across the face and he collapses to the stone floor limply. I stand over him with my finger on the trigger, waiting for him to move. I consider firing an insurance shot right through his temple but he's not worth it. He won't be moving for a while.
Ohno's got his opponent in a sleeper hold so it's only moments before he's unconscious. Aiba's adversary clutches his arm, his shirt sleeve stained dark red. He swings his weapon wildly, backing Aiba up against the cavern wall. I grab an abandoned stool and bring it down hard over his head with a crack, the wood splintering.
Adrenalin surges through my veins. I throw the broken chair leg in my hand against the wall; it clatters against the floor lamely in the silence of the cave as I stalk towards Nino. He mumbles something through the gag but I don't care to hear anything he has to say right now. I swiftly kick the side of his chair, knocking him over with a hard grunt, and pull the dagger from my boot to cut the ropes around his chest. I haul him to his feet and he turns to offer me the ties on his wrists.
"No, you can keep those on until we get back to the ship." Nino's nostrils flare as he snorts around his gag. I can just imagine the colourful words he's trying to sling at me.
We've set a course for the eastern continent, far away from Arcadia. This entire day has left a foul taste in my mouth. Pirate though I am, I had much respect for the Margrave. In the back of the cave, Aiba had uncovered a hoard of gold and silver, undoubtedly from the Margrave's treasury. Seems he's no better than the power hungry overlords of the capital, hiring petty bandits to take care of those who'd threaten the peace of his city, extending their authority however they see fit. It actually felt kind of good loading all that loot onto the ship. Steal from the rich.
I summon Nino to my quarters now that I've calmed down, somewhat. It still irks me that he'd even let himself get into this kind of situation. You might say I'm feeling a little territorial: I'm the only one who should be allowed to tie him up like that, but I'll never tell him that. He's got a big enough ego as it is.
"Sir," Nino draws out the syllable mockingly, "You called for me."
"Have a seat." I motion for the heavy chair on the opposite side of my desk.
"I think I've done enough sitting for one day, thanks."
I walk around to the other side of the desk and lay my hand heavily on Nino's shoulder, forcing him down into the chair. "I said, sit."
"Hey, what are you doing?" I pull two silk scarves from the back pocket of my trousers and strap Nino's wrists to the arms of the chair.
Nino looks at me contemptuously as I perch on the edge of the desk. I return his glare with equal force. "What the fuck were you thinking? Cheating? You know how strict the laws in Arcadia are."
"Counting cards isn't cheating. It's a skill. It's not like I was hiding aces up my sleeve. They were just sore losers."
"Sore losers who could have killed you."
Nino scoffs, "Right. If they'd been smart, they would have knocked me out, kicked me around a little for fun and then delivered the final blow. No fuss. And then they'd have played cards to celebrate. It's what I would have done."
"God, I could hit you right now!" I pound my fist on the desk to release some of frustration.
"I was nearly free of the ropes when you showed up and I had a knife in my boot. I would have been fine."
"How fine would you have been with a bullet hole in your forehead?" I pull out my pistol and put the muzzle of the gun between Nino's eyebrows, my finger hovering over the hammer.
"It wouldn't have happened." He continues to glower at me, refusing to admit his negligence.
"Do you know how many vulnerable parts of your body are exposed when you're tied to a chair?" I drag the muzzle across his forehead to his temple, and caress the side of his face with it. I put the pistol on the desk—I don't need it anymore to make my point. I know Nino's not going to apologize or admit his wrongdoing.
"I take it you're going to show me."
I start with his chin, taking it in my fingers and jerking his face to look up at me. "The chin, the throat, the collarbones." I slide my hand down the column of his neck and wrap my fingers loosely around the base of his throat. I push the collar of his white shirt out of the way and press a thumb into the hollow of his clavicle, just enough to make him wince.
I unbutton his shirt and push it over his shoulders to the elbows. "A shot to the solar plexus," I press my fist into the soft belly just beneath his ribs, "will have you incapacitated long enough for them to end your life. If they break a rib," I flatten my hands on either side of Nino's chest, "it could puncture an organ and you're done for. A stab to the stomach, a slash to the wrist, and you'll bleed to death."
I put a foot on each of the arms of the chair and push, sliding Nino away from the desk. I drop to the floor between his legs and clutch the backs of his knees. His eyes follow my hands as I undo the button on his breeches and tug them down his legs. "A swift kick to the back of the knee and you're not going anywhere. A slash to the back of the heel," I pinch the tender spot as I remove each leg from his pants, "and you'll probably never walk properly again."
"All right, I get it—" Nino protests.
"I'm not finished." I toss his breeches aside and settle between his knees. I skim my hands across the tops of his thighs; I can feel his pulse hammering in his inner thigh and my fingertips graze his balls. "Last but not least, the testicles. Perhaps the weakest point on a man's body." I cup his balls in one hand and squeeze firmly. Nino's mouth hangs open and a strangled sound tumbles from his lips. His cheeks pinken, though I'm not sure if it's more in embarrassment or arousal. His cock is already hard, streaking precum across his belly.
I pump him a few times before laving a wet stripe up the underside of his cock. His breathing hitches each time I flick my tongue beneath the head. I take my time, slow and sloppy, the way that gets Nino turned on the most. He's starting to squirm in his chair, swallowing his moans as I circle him with my fingers. He's so slick with precum and spit, twitching in my hand. I sit back on my heels and look into his glassy eyes.
"Surely," I say with another stroke, "I've made my point. I don't ever want to see you get yourself tied to a chair again. Unless you have some kind of torture fetish?"
"I think we both know which one of his has the fetish," Nino bites. "Why don't you cut the lecture and put those lips to good use while you're on your knees?"
I raise an eyebrow at Nino and still my hand on his dick. "Who is the captain on this ship, again?"
"Oh, come on. You can't be serious," Nino shifts in his chair again in a vain attempt to find some friction with my hand.
"Dead serious." I let him go, wiping my hand on the corner of his shirt and go to the sideboard to pour myself a glass of rum.
"I know how much you love to suck me off," Nino says, trying to bait me.
"I do indeed, but unlike you, Nino, I have some self-restraint."
"Are we still talking about the card game last night?" Nino huffs.
"We never stopped talking about it."
"What are you so bent about? Where did this skewed sense of self-righteousness come from? In case you haven't forgotten, Jun, we're sky pirates."
"You should have quit while you were ahead."
"We got more than I would have won in the end. I don't understand why I'm being subjected to this punishment when we scored big and undermined the Margrave's fucked up authority all in the same day. It's win-win. Everyone else has landed in worse spots than this; we can't even show our faces anywhere near Albion because Sho got himself involved with the governor's daughter and then broke her heart. This isn't fair."
"What's not fair is you not coming home when I waited up for you. You promised something about being bent over my desk. Do you know how hard it is to think about piracy with that sort of mental image?"
"You're pissy because I stood you up?"
I hate how Nino can be so shrewd sometimes. And yet, it's probably why we work so well together. I have too much pride to admit how I really feel but we've known each other long enough that I don't need to say anything.
"Well, I'm here now."
I put my glass on the desk and brace myself on Nino's thighs so I'm eye-level with him. I stare into his eyes long enough for the agitation to melt away. He's here now, naked but for his shirt and the silver chain I gave him that he never takes off. We're both too stubborn for apologies so I just kiss him. It's soft, given how charged everything else has been this evening. He's the one who opens to me first, slipping his tongue into my mouth to deepen the kiss.
I loosen the scarves binding Nino's wrists, pulling him out of the chair. He reaches for my waist and pulls my shirt loose from my trousers. His fingers fumble as I stroke his half-hard cock back to full erection.
"Put your hands flat on the desk," I say, pulling his shirt off entirely. He turns around and does as he's told without protest, only a feline smirk on his face. I circle around to return my pistol to it's resting spot in the top drawer, trading it for a jar of lubricant jelly.
Nino unscrews the jar while I finish undressing. His silhouette is tantalizing, but I've been thinking about this for so long, I'm already hard as diamond. "Shall I let you do the honours?" Nino asks over his shoulder, motioning to the lube.
"You've teased me enough today," I reply, coating two fingers with the jelly. I don't even wait for a witty retort, circling his asshole once before sticking both fingers in. Nino cries out at the suddenness of it, his arms buckling. I lean up against his back, pinning him to the desk as I work my fingers in and out. "Is this what you had in mind?" I murmur, teeth catching his ear.
Nino bucks against my hand, "More fucking, less talking."
I run my fingertips up the inside of his thigh, teasing him a little for his insolent remark. But I don't need to be told twice; I've been waiting too long for this. I slather some lube on my cock and press into Nino. He presses his face against the tabletop, gasping and arching under me as I pin his hips to the desk and fuck him slow and rough.
"God, you're so tight," I say, my voice gritty as I thrust and grind, angling to hit Nino's sweet spot. Nino claws at the edge, moaning low and ragged, "Yes, just like that," and I know I've found it. I love to see him like this, pliant and spread out under me, begging for whatever I have to give. Not that he would admit to it.
"That all you got?" Nino mutters, voice shaking with the force of our fucking. I snap my hips, pounding him hard into the wood.
I can feel Nino tensing inside, his balls drawing up, so turned on and ready, with each drag and push. I nip at the tender skin of his neck, sucking hard enough to leave a mark—he seizes under me as he comes with a shout, painting my hand and the front of my desk with white streaks. It's like fucking a velvet vice. I sink into Nino as deep as I can, dragging out his orgasm to that edge of pleasure and pain, coaxing more delicious sounds from him—tiny, almost needy moans—fucking him with short, hard strokes. I pull out just as my orgasm explodes, ripping a sob from Nino, my come streaking from his tail bone to shoulder blade.
It takes a while to unclench my fingers from Nino's hips. He's going to have fingerprint bruises in the morning. I lean against his back, slick with sweat and cum and catch my breath; he's still twitching beneath me, hypersensitive to my warm breath across his neck and shoulders.
It takes us both a couple minutes to articulate speech. "Fuck," Nino says.
"Yeah," I reply.
"You came on my back, asshole," he complains half-heartedly.
"Well, you came on my desk."
"You made me do it."
"You're right, I did."
"Maybe I should get tied to a chair more often if that's how you're going to fuck."
I reach for his chin and turn his face so I can kiss him, my mouth sealing over his. The possessiveness catches him by surprise and I swallow the little sound that escapes his throat.
"Only if I'm the one tying you down."
"Aye, aye, captain."