Something interesting about this that I just realized: I accidentally foreshadowed. Yep, so there's a line in one of the last chapters that directly foreshadows the climax. So if you want, go ahead and try to guess what line it actually is. Although, I won't reveal who got it right until I write the specific chapter.
Anyway, let's get to the parley!
"Guude isn’t going to like this," Zisteau mumbled for maybe the thousandth time. After Kurt requested an audience with the captain with that one damn word, he had quickly made the excuse that the captain has to accept the parley before any meeting is to be made. He left for the deck quickly, leaving Kurt in the ward (which might seem reckless, but Vechs was with him, and Zisteau had the sneaking suspicion that Vechs wouldn't let Kurt leave the room).
Zisteau knocked twice on the door to the captain's quarters. Even through the door, Guude's reply of "Come in!" could be heard quite clearly.
As he opened the door, he had to take yet another look at the captain's quarters. It was by no means large, but it was the largest room on the ship. What really fascinated Zisteau was how messy the room was. The dark wood table in the middle of the room was covered in papers and quills, with a small ring around the candle that was free of papers. The cabinets behind the desk were over flowing with random crap, completely disorganized. The only part of the room that was neat was the bed in the far right corner. There were barely any wrinkles on the red blankets, pulled taut and tucked underneath the mattress.
Guude was sitting behind the desk, chair tilted back, feet propped on the desk. His tricorne was tilted to the right and his coat was gone, revealing the lighter green button down he usually wore. He dropped whatever paper he had been looking at, now eyeing Zisteau.
“Hey guy! How’s the prisoner?” he asked, a smirk playing on his lips.
“What do you think?” Zisteau replied, his tone completely monotone.
Guude shrugged and when he didn’t make another remark, Zisteau continued.
“Kurt J Mac wants to talk with you. He wants parley.”
Guude’s feet immediately dropped from the table and the front legs of his chair hit the ground with a soft “thunk”.
“Damn guy,” Guude groaned, “Fine, send ‘im in.”
“He… he’s still in sickbay.”
“Well then go get the guy. And make sure he’s decent!”
“Aye aye, Captain!” Zisteau said as he walked out.
Like I would send Kurt in half naked.
When Zisteau returned to the sickbay, he’s surprised with what he sees. Kurt is no longer on the table or in his ratty shirt. Instead, he’s wearing what Zisteau assumed was one of his own old white-button downs and a dark blue waist coat. Vechs has now taken his spot on the table and he is standing up, looking around the room. his hand on the table for support. He didn’t want to startle Kurt, so he settled on clearing his throat. Kurt still spun around quickly, almost banging his upper thigh in the table.
“Oh, crap, I hope you don’t mind that I… well, borrowed some of your clothes. My shirt was all ripped up and, um, there was really no way to… you know, repair it,” Kurt said in a rush.
“No, no. It’s fine. I wouldn’t expect you to go up to the captain in what you were wearing,” Zisteau said, swallowing thickly because fuck, Kurt looks good in a waistcoat.
Of course as soon as he thought that, he immediately pushed it away. Remember what happened last time? I’m not being put in prison for another six months just because you can’t keep your… whatever this is, to yourself. Zisteau knew from past experience that most of his thoughts of “He’s handsome” would go away soon enough if he just ignored them.
He snapped out of his thoughts when he realized he was staring at the other man. Kurt raised an eyebrow, but didn’t mention it.
“Uh, the captain will see you know.”
“Um, yeah, indeed,” Kurt nodded with a nervous look across his face.
Zisteau led him to the captain’s quarters. They were silent the whole way. When they entered, Guude had transformed into the picture of the perfect captain. His hat was no longer tilted and his coat was on and looked immaculate as ever. The cutlasses that Zisteau hadn’t even seen when he entered before were now laid out of the table in front of him, their blue hilts glittering in the candle light. He looked like he could lead a whole armada of ships, even though he was several inches shorter than Z or Kurt.
Kurt immediately straightened up when he went into the room and the nervous expression was, for the most part, gone from his face. There was only a small glimmer in his eyes that gave away his anxiety of talking with the captain.
Kurt gave a small nod to Guude, “Captain.”
Guude just looked at him as he said, “Kurt J Mac. What did you want to discuss?”
By now, Z had moved toward the wall behind Kurt, and could barely see the deep breath he took in.
“How long do you plan on keeping me in the brig?”
There was a beat of silence before Guude replied, “What’s it to you?”
“It’s just that I don’t see any point to it. The Mindcrack is a pirate ship and not a part of His Majesty’s Navy. There’s no reason to put me in the brig unless you plan on releasing me and I have a feeling you won’t risk losing this ship, so you won’t make prolonged stops near places where you could get caught.”
Another beat. “Then what do you think I should do with you?” Guude said, running a finger along the sheathed blade of one of his swords.
“I, um, want to be a part of the crew.”
The room was dead silent, save for the muffled voices outside and crashing waves. Guude had a death grip on the sword he was just stroking. Something told Zisteau that the captain would rather his hands be on Kurt’s neck.
“Why should I let you be a part of my crew? The crew I would trust with my life?” Guude had barely managed to keep the rage out of his voice and it was obvious in the way his grip tightened.
Kurt ducked his head before looking the captain straight in the eye. “Because I’m not going back to The Emerald while I’m still living and breathing. I’ll, uh, share all the information I know about it. Oh, um, also I’ve been told I’m the best navigator on the seven seas. And I’m pretty accurate with a pistol.”
More silence. Zisteau was pretty impressed with how brave Kurt was, even if he did trip over his words. Not many people on the ship could ask for something so outrageous right to the captain’s face.
Kurt continued, in what was barely a whisper, “Let me at least, um, prove myself? Please?”
“Well then,” Guude said suddenly, making Kurt visibly jump a little, “Since you said please. Come out on the deck early tomorrow and I’ll see what you can do.”
Then Guude looked at Zisteau, “And you’ll be accompanying him. Let him sleep in your bunk for the night.”
Both men nodded with a quick, “Aye!”, and left the room. Neither man said anything, but when Zisteau snuck a glance, he could see the barely contained smile on Kurt’s face.