PLEASE SEE INDEX PAGE FOR DISCLAIMERS & OTHER CHAPTERS
Chapter Notes: Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt "Vacation".
Chapter 17 :: Kiss And Make Up Day
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter
++ Monica ++
From the personal journal of Monica Reyes
The sun is far brighter than I would have expected for this early in the morning in Seattle. Oddly enough, it didn't wake Dana first, like normally happens. Which is how I'm lucky enough to be writing in this journal right now.
I don't remember the last time I was in Seattle, but it certainly wasn't this pretty, that's for sure! If memory serves correctly, it was raining the last time I was here, and that's kind of what I was expecting this time, too. Of course, we got in late last night, after the sun had already set, and I was far too exhausted to really pay attention to anything. I barely remember the drive from the airport out to Darya's parents' house, having started dozing on Dana's right shoulder, since William had the left one claimed already.
I'm still not sure how her parents managed to squeeze an extra seven adults and nine children into their house. The physics of it are beyond me, but I dare not let Sam hear that, or she'll start trying to explain it to me. That woman will put me to sleep within about ten minutes, if I'm lucky.
A knock at the door startles me just enough to jump slightly. Getting up carefully from the bed, so as not to wake Dana or William, I pad over to the door and open it to find Karen standing there.
"Rise and shine, campers," she says with disgusting cheerfulness. "Breakfast will be ready in twenty minutes, and we need to be on the road to hit the ferry over to Port Angeles in about an hour. If we're late, Cap'n Jack will have my balls in a sling."
"She'll find them, trust me! Get your wife and son up, Reyes. I'm off to make sure the rest of my brood is up and moving around," she says with a grin and heads back down the hall.
Shaking my head, I shut the door and turn back to face the bed. Dana's beautiful blue eyes are blinking sleepily at me and she yawns loudly.
"What time is it?" she asks, squinting to stare at the display on her cell phone. "It's five-thirty in the morning! I thought we were on vacation."
"We are, but it doesn't really start until we're actually on the boat, right? And Karen's pretending she's still in the Air Force to make sure we don't dawdle too much."
She snorts and shifts in the bed, pulling William up into a sitting position with her. He slumps heavily against her body, mouth hanging open as a snore escapes his lips. She starts to stroke his face and hair gently, gradually extending it to his back and arms, until his eyelashes flutter slowly.
"Good morning, handsome," she says in a soft tone. "Are you ready to get up and go on the big boat today?"
"That's right, mi hijo," I reply, joining them on the bed again. "We have to get dressed now and have breakfast. Then we can take the big ferry out to where we'll get on the pirate ship. Remember the pirate ship?"
"Wanna see the pirate ship!" he crows, squirming in Dana's arms.
"Not a pirate ship!" William exclaims loudly as we watch the ferry come in.
The declaration causes several heads to turn in our direction, and I can hear amused laughter filtering over. William's aggravated pout is trying my own resolve not to laugh. We won't mention the dirty look Dana's giving me to make sure I don't laugh. Karen doesn't bother to hide her snort of amusement, nor does Darya's father. I hate them.
"That's a ferry, mi hijo, and we need to take a ferry to get us closer to the pirate ship."
He nods slowly, and I know he doesn't quite understand that yet. But we get back into the chartered bus that Sylvia and Anastasia arranged for us as they start unloading the ferry. It takes a couple of moments to get everyone situated again, and by that time, we're pulling ahead to take our place on the main deck. Once everyone's been loaded and the ferry's underway, we get out of the bus to watch the water. William stares in fascination at the gulls and the waves.
"Mami, look!" He points out to our right, where I can see a small pod of dolphins leaping out of the water. "Look!"
Flagging down Karen, she quickly gathers the rest of the kids and brings them over to join us in watching the dolphins playing out in the water for what feels like the entirety of our trip. Even when I was growing up in Mexico, I don't remember seeing something this wonderful; sharing this with my son and these other children just makes it all the more special. All nine kids fight getting back into the bus until we promise them that we will probably see more dolphins when we're on the ship.
Dear god, I hope we don't end up breaking that promise.
"Ahoy, Captain!" Karen calls out as we all stop on the deck between two ships moored side by side.
A striking brunette comes out onto the deck of the Major Arcana, decked out in the clichéd pirate's garb of tight fitting pants, boots, white poet's shirt, and pirate hat. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear she intentionally dressed like Captain Hook, sans jacket. And then I notice the sword dangling at her side. Nice touch!
"Ahoy there, mateys!" she calls back, posing in that classically clichéd pirate captain's stance. "What d'ye be wanting of the great Cap'n Jack of the Major Arcana?"
The gasps of recognition from the older three kids makes me chuckle, but I don't say anything just yet. William has gone completely still in my arms, mesmerized by the sight before him. Before any of us can say anything, a man steps out onto the deck of the other ship, the Lady Washington, dressed in similar attire.
"You've nothing they want, Cap'n Jack," he calls out, adopting the same stance she has. "They'll be wanting to sail on the Black Pearl, I'd wager."
Captain Jack tilts her head back in riotous laughter. "You tell tall tales, blackguard! That skiff you row about isn't the Black Pearl. Her name clearly says Lady Washington. And you're no Captain Jack Sparrow either! Besides, I'm the original Cap'n Jack." She turns and levels us with a steady gaze. "So, again, mateys, what is it you want with Cap'n Jack?"
Karen sketches a quick bow to both captains before smiling at Captain Jack. "Permission for me and my modest crew of scallywags to come aboard your fine ship is all I ask, Captain."
"Can they work for their supper?"
"Aye, Captain, and without so much as a peep of protest."
"Permission granted," comes the reply as a burly blonde steps out onto the deck directly behind her. He has a bandana tied around his head and a patch over one eye, but it's the bushy reddish-blonde beard and moustache that draw my attention the strongest. Captain Jack turns to glance at him with a grin before flourishing a hand toward us. "This is my first mate, Dugan. Anything you need, you'll be speaking with him. Dugan, these are our new crewmates. Break them in and quickly. We set sail within the hour."
"Aye aye, Cap'n Jack," he replies with a broad grin as Captain Jack saunters off into the cabin, thumbs hooked into her belt. It certainly leaves us with a lovely view of her backside as she goes. Once she's back in the cabin, he faces the group of us and waves us closer. "Come along now! You heard the captain. No dillydallying!"
"He's never going to go to sleep, Monica," Dana snorts with barely disguised fondness. "I don't know why you're even trying."
Glancing up at her, I offer up my most charming smile. "Oh ye of little faith," I tease, still gently rocking back and forth in the hammock with William. "But maybe if you came and joined us in this hammock, we might all take a little nap. How's that sound, mi hijo?"
When William nods eagerly, Dana sighs and exaggeratedly rolls her eyes before carefully navigating her way into the hammock with us. William giggles softly, nestled between his mama and his mami, and shifts to press sloppy kisses to our cheeks. Within minutes, he is gently snoring, and Dana doesn't look like she's going to be lasting too much longer.
"Don't you say it," she mutters darkly around a yawn.
"Not a word, mi corazon. And please don't let me stop you from napping. That's what this little vacation is for, right? We help out Captain Jack with shaking down the new crew and we get a great trip for William's memory book."