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I Like Big Boats, I Cannot Lie [Closed]

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#21
Isabela didn’t often own her mistakes. Not least because she was talented at turning a potential disaster into something positive (for her, anyway), but because she had long since learned that people who showed humility were easy targets for those who were happy to pawn off any responsibility for a problem onto them. People who apologised a lot were just asking for some asshole to come along and blame them for their own mistakes.

In this case, though, she felt like an apology might be justified. Between Celeste’s wail as Nicolette hit the water and the bedraggled, wide-eyed reappearance of the minstrel, who was shivering even as she clung to the side of the skiff, Isabela acknowledged that she might have slightly miscalculated this one.

“Maker’s tits. Uh…sorry.”


From the look Nicolette shot her, it might take a bit more than that. Isabela was about to lean over and help Celeste haul the sodden woman aboard when the mutt decided he had done enough howling, and decided to join them. Both Celeste and Nicolette yelled a fraction of a second too late, and Isabela had a chance to notice that Thibault had obviously heard his mistress’ order and attempted to obey halfway through the jump. His hind legs curled under him, but instead of helping, it just allowed all of his weight to concentrate on one part of the boat as he landed, and then in the next second all of them were in the drink.

Here was another reason she hated Kirkwall. The water in the docks wasn’t just cold, it was downright slimy. She made a concentrated effort not to think about why that might be and instead swam her way to the dock, glancing back to ensure Celeste and Nicolette were following. When Kali held out a hand, there was a faint twinge of temptation to repeat them same stunt – but there was a fine line between getting a joke wrong accidentally and doing it on purpose to be an asshole, and she wasn’t stepping over it. Slowly, all three of them were hauled back onto land, gasping and sodden.

“Well. That’s not my preferred way to get wet, I can tell you that.”

Nicolette wasn’t even looking at her. The minstrel was standing with her arms clutched around herself, and Kali took point. “None of you back on the ship until we get the worst of the muck off you. You’ll make the whole crew sick otherwise.”

She was a good secondary first mate, Kali, with Gid not being around. Even if there was two-and-a-half to three of her at the moment. She enlisted Piotr to find a water trough nearby, then told them all to stand still. The young lad was trembling so badly he could barely aim, but between the two of them they did the job – throwing what felt like gallons of icy, but clean, water at them until the worst of the sludge was gone. Nicolette had divested herself of her filth-covered dress after getting out and was standing there in just a shift which was clinging to just about everything. Isabela spread her arms and welcomed the cleaning spray, although it was so cold it was almost painful.

Once they were all spruced up, she looped an arm around each of her friends’ necks. “I think more booze. On me, this time? It’ll warm ya up!”

Nicolette gave her the look Isabela usually associated with people who wanted her to die in a fire, but the minstrel was full of surprises. “I think brandy, if I am not to die of cold in the next few minutes.”

“There we go! Celeste? You?”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#22
Celeste had been in the drink plenty of times, by choice and otherwise, in water ranging from warm to frigid, but Kirkwall’s harbor was a special kind of nasty, with layers of scum floating on top of the murky water that clung to skin and hair, and would turn any cut or scrape into a festering sore in record time.

She surfaced with a volley of oaths, looking around to ensure that Nicolette was still afloat. Thibault had scrambled atop the overturned rowboat and crouched there, shivering and looking so miserable that she didn’t have the heart to scold him. Her partner in mayhem was another matter.

“Thanks a fucking lot,” she snarled as Isabela swam for the dock, leaving Nico to fend for herself. As Kali and Piotr hauled the pirate out, Celeste nudged the capsized skiff toward the dock until it was close enough for Thibault to leap to dry land, waiting for her lover to be pulled out ahead of her.

“Not a word,” she warned Kali as she climbed out, getting a look that spoke volumes in return.

“None of you back on the ship until we get the worst of the muck off you,” Kali announced in a voice that brooked no opposition. “You’ll make the whole crew sick otherwise.”

Celeste wanted to protest on Nico’s behalf; the minstrel looked as miserable as she’d ever seen her, soaking wet and shivering so badly that even the way the wet dress clung to every curve was not alluring in the least. But Kali was at least partly right: the crew might not get sick, but the three of them almost certainly would.

“Heat some water for the bath,” she called up to Torgun and Stubby, sulking behind as Kali led the way to a trough, holding still and swearing through clenched teeth as bucket after bucket of water with slivers of ice floating in it was dumped over her, Isabela and Nicolette, who had stripped down to her shift, and who still hadn’t spoken a word. With the last of the gunk washed away, the pirate slung a comradely arm around each of their necks.

“I think more booze. On me, this time? It’ll warm ya up!”

The twin shocks of seeing Nicolette go into the water and being immersed herself had certainly taken Celeste’s level of inebriation down to a buzz, but she wasn’t sure that refreshing it was the best idea at that point. Nico, however, after giving Bela an unfriendly look, replied, “I think brandy, if I am not to die of cold in the next few minutes.”

“There we go!” Isabela exclaimed. “Celeste? You?”

“Whatever the lady wants,” Celeste replied as they made their cold and miserable way up the gangplank, the wind whipping around them turning the wet clothes into icepacks against the skin. At least she hadn’t been wearing her vest, Celeste consoled herself; that leather took forever to dry out if it got wet.

“Bath’s ready,” Torgun grunted, stepping from the captain’s cabin with a bucket in each hand.

“Yours,” Celeste told Nicolette, pressing an apologetic kiss to the minstrel’s temple and nudging her toward the steaming tub. Fetching a bottle from the rack (Isabela could buy fter they were all dry and warmed up), she poured a generous volume of Antivan brandy into a snifter and took it to Nico before peeling out of her own dripping clothes (no boots, thank the Maker) and pulling out some towels. Pitching a couple in Isabela’s direction, she scrubbed vigorously at her hair, then her body, until the tingle of returning bloodflow had faded and she didn’t feel quite so cold.

“It was an ugly boat, anyway,” she reasoned, taking a healthy swig of brandy from the bottle, feeling it burn its way down her throat and start to rekindle the fire in her belly. One more swallow, and she held the brandy out to Bela. “You need at least a galleon to replace the Call.” That was her story, and she was sticking to it.
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#23
Damn it. They’d been having a really good time up until a few minutes ago, and now they were all freezing, soaked, and – yep – getting dashed with even more water as the mutt shook out his fur on all of them. The sooner they got to Antiva and could end up in the water without it being a big deal, the better. She’d earned Nicolette’s irritation and by extension, Celeste’s, so she assumed that the order for the tub to be heated was not for her benefit.

Fair enough. She’d been a bit of a dick. Not something freely admitted, but she knew if Daniel were still around, and it was Celeste she’d pulled into the muck, he’d have been mightily unimpressed with her as well.

Thinking along the lines of making up for her transgressions, she suggested more drink, and Nicolette grudgingly accepted. They trudged towards Celeste’s cabin, Isabela hanging back just enough to watch how the other two women interacted. Even though her brain was still thick with alcohol, the stray thought lurched across her mind that she had not seen Celeste act like that with anybody other than Daniel. Nothing overt – just the gentle language of nods and touches which allowed two people to carry on an entire unspoken conversation.

Now that was interesting.

She might have teased Celeste for it if she wasn’t practicing her contrite face right now. Once inside, Celeste indicated for Nicolette to go first, and the shift was quickly ditched, the minstrel flowing into the tub and disappearing beneath the surface of the water entirely for a few seconds before reemerging looking a lot happier than she had a few minutes before. Isabela joined Celeste in stripping out of her own clothes (without helping each other, which was new), and a vigorous towelling session got the blood moving. The pipes bringing in the warm water had also heated the room a little and once dried off, Isabela draped the towel loosely around her shoulders and settled on the bed. Nicolette had finished the first brandy in seconds and was well into the next when Celeste took her own gulp.

“It was an ugly boat, anyway.” She swigged again, and held out the bottle; Isabela had it out of her hands in a second. “You need a galleon to replace the Call.”

Isabela took three long swallows of the brandy and felt her perception of reality melting again. “You’re wise, Celeste. Y’r so wise. Can’t have done any proper raiding with that old sloop. Skiff. Y’know what I mean.” She passed the bottle back to Celeste. “Can’t soar down from the crow’s nest on top of some unsuspecting bugger’s head in a boat that size. Could’ve pretended to be lost at sea, I suppose, but it doesn’t really strike fear into the hearts of men until the last second.”

She lounged back on the bed, propping her head up on her hand. “Didn’ mean to pull you in, Nico. Wanted you for the figurehead. Thought you’d look good at the front of the ship.”

D’accord. It is not the first time I have been soaked.” Isabela let out a snort; Nicolette laughed slightly. She seemed in a more agreeable mood now she was warm and a bit tipsy. She had a way to go to catch up, though. “I was trying to impress someone when I was young, by climbing out on to a branch over a pond to bring him back a peach dangling on the very tip. Naturally, it broke. He did not seem to mind that I lost the peach, however.”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#24
Immersion in the hot bathwater provided an immediate improvement in Nicolette’s countenance, but the speed with which she tossed back the first round of brandy suggested that Celeste and Isabela weren’t out of the doghouse just yet. Celeste obligingly provided a second serving, before drinking hers straight from the bottle and passing it off to the pirate. Her mind marginally clearer than it had been, she could admit that it was probably for the best that they hadn’t reached their objective.

“You’re wise, Celeste,” Bela slurred after drinking deeply. “Y’r so wise. Can’t have done any proper raiding with that old sloop. Skiff. Y’know what I mean.”

“Scow,” Celeste supplied, accepting the bottle back and taking another healthy swig. The bottle of whiskey was at the bottom of the harbor; hopefully the fish appreciated the sacrifice. “Would’ve steered like a pregnant whale.”

“Can’t soar down from the crow’s nest on top of some unsuspecting bugger’s head in a boat that size,” her friend lamented. “Could’ve pretended to be lost at sea, I suppose, but it doesn’t really strike fear into the hearts of men until the last second.”

“There’s some fun to be had in that,” Celeste reasoned, but she knew where the other sailor was coming from. If she lost the Wicked Grace, replacing her wouldn’t be easy, and it certainly wouldn’t be a floating pile of junk like that one. She regarded the brandy for a moment; booze could do odd things to the vision. More than once, she’d woken up beside a bedmate who looked nothing like she remembered - assuming she remembered at all, and they’d have both been in for a rude awakening if they had actually managed to make off with that ungainly tub.

But there seemed little enough danger here: present company didn’t need the assistance of alcohol to be appealing, and she trusted that Nico would step in if she got sloshed enough to start flirting with the dog (Bela would probably just open the door and call the crew in for the show). She tipped the bottle up again; the brandy was sweeter than the other spirits they’d drunk tonight, but no less potent, and she felt the world, jerked back into sharp focus by the icy water, slide back into a pleasantly warm fuzz. “We’ll get you a ship, Bela,” she promised. “An’ she’ll be a beauty. Bela's one of my oldest friends," she told Nicolette, then frowned slightly. "Did I tell you that already?" The minstrel had met the pirate before, but anything much beyond the last few minutes was as slippery as an eel right now.

“Didn’ mean to pull you in, Nico,” the pirate offered in a rare display of contrition as she stretched out on the bed. “Wanted you for the figurehead. Thought you’d look good at the front of the ship.” Which was certainly true, but Celeste wasn’t quite certain how the minstrel would react to hearing it from the pirate.

“D’accord. It is not the first time I have been soaked.” She didn’t sound miffed, and when Bela snorted, she laughed softly. “I was trying to impress someone when I was young, by climbing out on to a branch over a pond to bring him back a peach dangling on the very tip. Naturally, it broke. He did not seem to mind that I lost the peach, however.”

Celeste had to chuckle. “If he got the same view that we did, I can’t say that I blame him.” Presumably, she wasn’t shivering violently to distract from the wet dress clinging to every curve. At least she was no longer shivering. Leaning in, Celeste pressed a kiss just below one ear, her free hand slipping below the surface of the water, fingertips tracing lightly over the trim belly as she added more brandy to her lover’s glass. "Getting warmer?" she murmured.
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#25
Isabela’s imagination kicked off in the direction of a pregnant whale for a while – were they even more massive? – but then she managed to focus enough to concede that their choice of boat wouldn’t have worked out. And it had been a boat, not a ship. She could pick up a crappy boat in any harbour, she wanted a ship.

Celeste had somehow picked up on this. “We’ll get you a ship, Bela. An’ she’ll be a beauty. Bela’s one of my oldest friends,” she added to Nicolette, who was now looking mollified now she was consensually soaked through. “Did I tell you that already?”

“You may have mentioned it.” Nicolette sounded mildly amused. Isabela doubted Celeste had told her how they’d made friends, though. That was an old, BIG secret. No mentioning Naishe to anybody, no matter how pretty or good in bed they were. "How did you meet-"

Quick, a distraction!

An apology worked pretty well. Nicolette was even chuckling now, and admitted that Isabela wasn’t the first person to cause her to get dunked.

“If he got the same view that we did, I can’t say I blame him.”

“Mmm. He seemed to appreciate it.” Either the brandy was working fast or Nicolette forgave easily, because the words came out as a throaty purr which caught Isabela’s interest. “I should have just waded in in the first place and saved myself the trouble of climbing.”

“Making them wait is half the fun, though. If you’re prepared to put up with it yourself.” Isabela could go either way on that. If the other person was a frequent bedpartner, like Celeste, they knew each other well enough to tease, but mostly she liked her encounters hot, fast, and with people who weren’t likely to show up again. Much less trouble. Although it could get a bit tedious breaking in new men if they were used to being entirely focused on their own pleasure up to that point. Women were far more intuitive. “’ve often said, men are good for one thing. Women, good for six. They know how to play a game properly.”

Celeste was apparently already playing a similar game. The hand not filling up Nicolette’s glass had dipped into the water, and Isabela’s attention was immediately arrested by the way the minstrel shifted, eyes lidding. She couldn’t start out of the bath in a hurry and Celeste was taking advantage of it. Not that it looked like Nicolette minded. “Getting warmer?”

Isabela turned on the bed so she could get a better view.

“Gradually.” Nicolette’s eyes opened, and she was wearing a smile that Isabela hadn’t seen her with before. Saucy looked good on her. “But I could stand a little more of it.”

“If you two start messing around with each other while I’m here, fair warning; I’m not much of an audience.” Isabela grinned, rolling on her back and looking at them upside down. “I like to join in.”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#26
Knowing about someone’s past didn’t mean that she could blab about it; she wasn’t that drunk. The name Naishe hadn’t come up between them in years, drunk or sober. Some wounds you just didn’t touch, and being sold by your own mother to be a rich man’s plaything definitely fell into that category. Bela’s tale was hers to tell if and when she chose, and tonight she wasn’t choosing, deftly sidetracking the line of conversation when Nico started to ask. Not that it took much in the way of sidetracking; with all three of them in varying stages of inebriation and none of them wearing a stitch of clothes, there was no shortage of distracting sights and thoughts.

“I should have just waded in in the first place and saved myself the trouble of climbing,” Nicolette mused of that long ago boy who had enjoyed seeing her in a wet dress, the timbre of her voice adding to the heat of the alcohol in Celeste’s blood.

“Making them wait is half the fun, though,” Isabela advised sagely. “If you’re prepared to put up with it yourself.”

Celeste snickered. “Oh, she knows how to do that,” she assured the pirate, winking at Nico. The first time that the minstrel had slipped out of a heated embrace to blithely announce that she had to get to a performance, Celeste had been startled … until she had seen the playful gleam in the amber eyes. It had become an occasional game between them, and yes, the waiting could definitely make the ultimate prize that much more intense, though there was something to be said for not waiting, as well.

“’ve often said, men are good for one thing,” Bela asserted confidently, if a bit unsteadily. “Women, good for six. They know how to play a game properly.”

“True enough,” Celeste agreed, a smile playing at her lips and her eyes never leaving Nicolette. She and Bela had had this conversation often enough, and they were of the same mind. Nicolette arched into her teasing touch, eyes drifting closed.

“Gradually,” she murmured when asked if she was warming up. Her eyes opened, meeting Celeste’s gaze boldly. “But I could stand a little more of it.”

Making her wait never even entered Celeste’s mind. Setting the bottle aside, she slipped her hand beneath the minstrel’s wet hair, fingernails grazing briefly at the nape of her neck before drawing her into an unhurried kiss, tasting the sweetness of the brandy -

“If you two start messing around with each other while I’m here, fair warning; I’m not much of an audience.” Isabela’s voice behind them reminding Celeste that they weren’t alone. Breaking the kiss - reluctantly - she turned and had to laugh at the sight of the Rivaini laying with her head hanging off the bed, giving them a smartass, upside-down grin. “I like to join in.”

Still smiling, she turned back to NIcolette. “What do you say?” she asked, something between invitation and challenge dancing in her eyes. The idea had appeal, no doubt about that, but she wasn’t going to push. Leaning down, she let her lips brush ever so lightly along the line of her lover’s jaw.

Push, no. Cheat? Maybe just a bit.
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#27
Isabela commented that waiting could make the game so much sweeter, and Celeste’s answer made it clear that both she and Nicolette appreciated the practice. The other captain gave her lover a wink, and the minstrel winked back before slipping down another inch or so into the tub, clearly basking in the warm water. After seeing Celeste’s bath the first time, Isabela had resolved to get one built into the Siren’s Call, but alas…oh well. She would put it into the next ship. And there would be a next ship.

Her thoughts were wandering in a direction that usually led to Isabela drinking too much (wait, too late), and starting a fight (which she might have done, had Nicolette been the slightest bit inclined towards punching people), so she focused on her next favourite topic besides imagining being back on the sea and flying Castillion’s lifeless corpse from her flagpole. Her comments were accepted as general wisdom by the two other women, but they had locked gazes and it was clear that the water wasn’t the only thing in the room that was going to be hot in a minute. Nicolette enticed Celeste, and while Isabela could have watched, why do that when there was the chance of wiping away the mistakes of the evening with a good, old-fashioned three-way?

Celeste grinned back at her, then sought Nicolette’s permission. “What do you say?”

Then, in time-honoured sailor style, Celeste opted to tip the balance in her favour, her lips chasing along the minstrel’s jaw in a manner that caused Nicolette to lid her eyes and arch slightly out of the water in a fashion that – ooh, hello – revealed most of the gentle slope of her breasts, the surface only just protecting her modesty.

Which was a hilarious sentence to think of, considering not one of them had a stitch of clothing on right now.

Nicolette canted her head to the side slightly, her amber gaze meeting Isabela’s own with an appraising look before trailing over what she could see. No mouse, this one. If she was, Celeste would have got bored of her long ago. But maybe she liked to be under the cat’s paw now and again…

Isabela rolled back over and then sat up, before making her way slowly over to the tub, hips swaying. The minstrel didn’t shift away as she settled next to Celeste, and then Isabela slowly wound her hand in Nicolette’s hair, pulling just tight enough to arch her head back and expose her neck further for Celeste.

“Yes.” The word came out on a slow breath, as hungry a sound as Isabela had ever heard, and she grinned.

“You know what, Celeste – I like this one.” Her hand slipped into the water as well, seeking the warmed skin beneath it.
 
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