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What loves have come and gone

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It had been two years. Two years of waiting for Madi to forgive him. Two years of going up that fucking hill everyday and looking out towards the horizon. Two years of trying to live with the choices he had made. Two years since his heart was left on that fucking island along with that fucking treasure. Silver didn’t even know exactly what he was hoping to see on that horizon. Sails? Smoke from Nassau burning to the ground? A huge wave coming to snatch him from the hill and drown him? He had not said goodbye. They hadn't spoken a word to each other since Silver convinced Flint to travel with him to Savannah. It was the longest they had ever gone in such close quarters without speaking. He sank onto the boulder behind him. Flint was right, it wouldn't be enough. He had selfishly stopped Flint's War, Madi's War because he could not stand to lose either of them. Now he had lost Flint and was still losing Madi. They were drifting further and further apart. He would never see James Flint again. He would be crushed under the weight of that loss as surely as the tide ebbed and flowed. If Madi forgave him he would find himself in a life that was no longer what he wished for. It would strain and break under the lies, betrayals and shattered hopes. Silver would be forever haunted by what he had done and what he lost. He would be haunted by the love he held for Flint. He knew Flint and Thomas had left the Plantation, as he was sure they would. The wild thought that passed his mind was to find them. To find Flint and fall to his knees and beg for the man’s forgiveness. To explain, to tell him all the things he had feared the man to know before. Even if it meant he would die at the end of Flint’s cutlass or a pistol shot. That outcome would be better than the wasting death he felt clawing at him inch by inch. He shook his head to clear these thoughts. It would do no good to allow the idea to fester. He would not, and could not rob Flint of the happiness and peace he hoped the man had found with Thomas. He made his choice, he would live with it. The story of Captain Flint and Long John Silver was over. He could not unmake it only to drag it back up from the depths. Silver sighed and hauled himself up. He took a final long look at the horizon and turned to head back down that fucking hill. Madi stood there. Silver’s throat went dry. This was it. She was resigned, a decision had been made. She approached slowly to stand next to him and look out the horizon. She sighed after a few moments and turned to him.

“I do forgive you John. I understand why you did it. I still find it an incredibly selfish act but I do understand.” Silver turned to face her. He opened his mouth to speak but he found he did not have the words. Madi studied him closely and she seemed to find what she was looking for. “I forgive you.” Madi paused she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, her hands clenched. “However, I cannot be your wife.”

Silver spluttered at this. “Madi please! Don’t do this. I love you and I..” She held up a hand. “And I love you John Silver, but I think we both know that this is no longer where your where your heart truly lies.” Silver bowed his head, he could not bring himself to deny it. Madi reached into her pocket and produced a letter. It was unopened and was addressed to him in a looping handwriting he did not recognize. He looked up at her as he battled the emotions that ran free. “Who..” He began, the words stuck in his throat.

“I have had this letter and one of my own for nearly two weeks. I have read mine over and over trying to make an impossible choice. I found myself understanding what you faced in making the choice that cost us the war but saved our lives instead. This is a letter from Thomas Hamilton. I do not know what he wrote to you. What was written in my letter is that he and James have left the plantation, as I’m sure you know. They are now living in small peach orchard just outside of Savannah. Thomas writes that he is starting a bookshop.” Madi stepped forward with a soft smile on her face. She grasped Silver’s free hand. The other gripped onto the crunch so tight that the fingers turned bone white. She placed the letter in his hand and wrapped his fingers around it. “Read it John. We speak will again when you have finished.”

Silver nodded and watched as she walked back down the hill with a single glance back. He turned and lowered himself back down the boulder he had so recently vacated. He turned the heavy parchment envelope in his hand. The wax of the seal was a dark navy and imprinted with a light house. Around the lighthouse where the words: Know no shame. Silver eyes snapped shut against the sudden shock of seeing the words again. He carefully broke the seal removed the letter. The words of Thomas Hamilton crashed over him. Thomas had been told almost all of what had occurred between Flint and Silver. He wrote of the frustration Flint was having with the peach orchard. Sea captains apparently have trouble with climbing stationary ladders. The bookshop was being opened with capital provided by Silver himself by way of what was left of the money he had supplied. Soon the letter got to the heart of the matter:

James is happy. Except when he thinks I can't see him. When the breeze shifts and the smell of the sea settles over the orchard. When we've been into town and can see the masts of ships in the harbor. The times I have tried to speak to him about you. He will speak of all other subjects that occurred in our ten year separation. He has spoken of the painful and the mundane. Of Madi, how much he admires her, cares for her and how grateful he is for her friendship. Of Miranda, a subject of acute pain for the both of us. But of you John Silver, of you he cannot speak. He will do so in vagaries, the facts but never the details. His eyes will not meet mine when I attempt to learn more of you. His gaze will drift to the blue haze of the sea just visible upon the horizon. He misses you John Silver. He misses you in a way I know you are intimately familiar. James would never tell me this out of fear that he would be betraying me. He has spoken of telling you about Miranda, he and I. James has so much love to give. I would never stifle such a desire. He will not say it but I know it to be true. I have witnessed this before. He loves you John Silver. He loves you as he has loved Miranda. He loves you as he had loved me and how he loves me now. I believe that you love him as well. You love him enough to sacrifice your own heart. You love him enough that you have buried it as deep as that treasure. You would rather throw yourself upon the sharpest of rocks than think you were costing him the peace and happiness you fought so hard to give him. I am asking you John if I am correct and you love James as I do, please come to Savannah. I know I am asking you to chose one irreplaceable over another. Do not make your decision lightly. Take the time you need. I have written to Madi as well. Please do not be angry with my overstep. I am sure based on what James has told me of her, she will have reached the same conclusion that I have. I do not mean to make light of your love for her and what you have with her. I believe James said that the two of you together was the world in balance. You know as well as I that the world is never in balance. Come to Savannah. The end of the longing you feel is here, with James and I.

Silver clenched the letter in his hand. His eyes closed against the tears fighting to escape. He braced himself against the sob building in his chest. A realization came to his mind. Madi had already made this choice for him. That is why she had waited to give him this letter. She knew the moment he finished reading it what his choice would be. Silver folded the letter and returned it to the envelope. He tucked it carefully into his shirt pocket before he hauled himself upright. The trip down that fucking hill was easier than it had been in ages. Madi was waiting in her cabin. His things had been packed for him. There was sloop ready and waiting to take him to Nassau where passage had been prepared for him to sail to Savannah. Madi waited for him, a book in her hands. Silver recognized the familiar red leather cover.

“You made up your mind the moment you read your letter didn’t you?” Silver asked with a sigh. “I would have been waiting for your forgiveness forever if it weren’t for Thomas fucking Hamilton.”

“I did not know what it was to have to make a choice for another person. To make a choice that would save their lives but tear them from you at the same time. I misjudged what it must have been like for you. I am no longer willing to allow you to feel any more shame about keeping those you love alive. I want you happy John. That is all I have ever wanted.”

Silver's chest tightened and the breath was stolen from him. "I am sorry Madi."

She stepped closer and leaned her forehead against Silver's. "There is nothing to forgive. I have written back to Thomas. I believe my letter should have reached him by now. He will know you're on your way. This is not a goodbye John. We will see each other again." Madi stepped back before rising to her toes to press a kiss to Silver's forehead. Silver stepped away with a nod and turned away.

He made he way to the sloop waiting, then to Nassau and then to the larger ship ready to take him to Savannah. He made it to the cabin provided to him and closed the door. He leaned against the door before sliding down it to the floor. The fear that now gripped Silver’s heart was one he had not felt before. It was all well and good for Thomas and for Madi to tell him that Flint was in love with him. However the fact remained that they could be wrong. He had no idea what he would be walking into. And what of Thomas? Why was he allowing Silver, a stranger but for what Flint had told him into their lives? The danger he could bring to their door, the death and destruction that could very well follow Long John Silver. The death of Captain Flint had been a hard sell but the story was finally taking hold, thanks in large part to Max. Now with Long John Silver gone from The Maroon Camp and from Nassau, would the story stick? What would be his tale of woe? Exile? Madness? Gangrene? Silver found truly that he did not care what the story would be. If this was to be the end of Long John Silver then so be it. He pulled himself up and towards the bed against the far wall of the cabin he had been given. The siren call of rum echoed in his skull. It was a drink he had indulged more of his fair share of in the past year. The trip to Savannah was not a long one, but if these were going to be the thoughts in his head, then he would face them while blind drunk. He sat down on the cot heavily and leaned his crutch against the wall. He pulled the large sealed bottle of rum from his bag, the one thing he had gotten for himself on their way out of Nassau. He opened the bottle with his teeth and proceeded to down several large gulps. The rum did it's work quickly. Silver fell quickly into dream free oblivion.

Chapter Text

When he awoke again he heard the familiar sounds of a ship coming into harbor. He thankful had slept past the journey and any possibility of a hangover. Silver rose and hopped to the small table with a basin full of clean water below a mirror. He pulled his shirt over his head and splashed his face. He had been keeping his heavy curls at bay, preferring to wear it shorter. His beard had been kept trimmed. The many rings that used to adorn his fingers were long gone as was the more ornate necklace he had worn when last he saw Flint. He had started wearing the smaller square pendant he had worn when he was first Quartermaster of the Walrus. He kept it on a longer piece of leather to keep it from being to recognizable to the trained eye. Never before had he kept a tangible token of his past. He never wanted a reminder, never wanted something to identify him as anything other than no one from nowhere belonging to nothing. He held fast to this small insignificant piece of metal that represented the memories of John Silver, Quartermaster to the fierce-some crew of The Walrus, right hand of Captain Flint. Long John Silver had brought nothing but death and destruction but John Silver had a past to be proud of. He pulled his shorter hair free of its messy tail. He quickly brushed through it with his fingers before returning to the low pony tail. Silver leaned towards the wall and retrieved his crutch. He maneuvered smoothly over to his bag and pulled out a maroon tunic. He shoved his dirty shirt into his bag and pulled on the clean one. He tucked it into his breeches. He sat down on cot to pull his boot on. He stood and swung his bag over his right shoulder. He slowly made his way to the deck, keeping out of the way of the sailors darting back and forth as they prepared to dock. He forced himself to look out to sea instead of scanning the faces of the people on shore. He was the only one disembarking, the ship was only restocking before heading north to Boston. He waiting until he knew the ship was docked and the plank had been lowered before turning and disembarking. Once he was standing on shore, staring at the expanse of Savannah, Silver had no idea where he was suppose to go. He had no idea where Thomas Hamilton's bookstore was, let alone the peach orchard. He shifted his weight from foot to crutch and back. The strap of his bag chaffing his shoulder. He supposed the best course of action was to find a tavern, no sense standing around like an idiot. He took a deep breath and prepared to navigate the crowd. Before he had even shifted his weight again the crowd parted to reveal a tall, blonde man walking toward Silver. He was two heads taller than Silver. There was a wide friendly smile plastered on his face, sapphire eyes alight with joy Thomas Hamilton stopped in front of him. He gave Silver an appraising go over from head to foot. Taking him in as a whole picture, not focusing on a single part missing or no.
"Safe journey I trust?" He asked, taking Silver's bag from. "I must say I am not much for sailing myself."
Silver was caught dumb as he was caught in the full force of Thomas Hamilton's gaze. His hair was kept short with a touch of bangs across his forehead. The vibrant blonde was shot with streaks of grey that looked rather dashing. His face had a bit of beard, a week or two of not shaving Silver guessed. The sun was sinking behind them casting an orange glow that surrounded Thomas Hamilton like a saint immortalized in stained glass. Thomas continued to speak as though completely unaware of Silver's continued silence.
"We shall have to get a letter to Madi informing her of your arrival. She said in her letter to let us know you we're coming that she wants to hear from us every two weeks." Thomas was still studying Silver closely as though trying to memorize him. "Now I assume you have not eaten. I had told James I was going to be working late at the book shop tonight. I have not told him the exact time of your arrival only that you were and the you be staying."
This statement caught up to Silver very quickly. This amazing creature before him was going to share his home and his truest love with John Silver. His crutch clattered out of his hand. Silver swooned, boneless toward the ground. He was caught in the strong arms of Thomas.
"John?" The sun had formed a halo around Thomas' hair. Concern had crinkled the angel's forehead. Silver snorted a laugh. Which quickly turned into hysterical laughter. Thomas Hamilton Patron Saint of Wayward Sailors.
"Thomas Hamilton you're my hero," Silver spoke with a laugh.
Thomas scowled at him. "I should drop you here in the street you little shit!"
This of course did nothing to stop another bout of laughter. "Jesus Christ!" Silver gasped out between laughs. “You sound exactly like him!”
Thomas rolled his eyes and pulled Silver up to standing. He put Silver’s hand on his shoulder for support as he bent down to retrieve the crutch. He handed it back to Silver and hoisted the bag back on his shoulder. Silver readjusted his weight on the crutch. “So he knows?” he asked in a quiet voice. Thomas nodded. “What you said in that letter is actually true?” Thomas nodded again. The world turned of axis again but two large hands suddenly cupped both sides of his face. He focused on the deep dark blue of Thomas’ eyes. They held the same magnetic pull that a certain pair of sea green eyes did. He took a deep breath.
“John, it was all true. You are home now.” His sole focus was on Silver, he searched his face and seemed to find what he was looking for as he dropped his hands and stepped back. “Now, would you like to see my book store?”
Silver beamed at the taller man. “Yes, I would love to see your book store.”
Thomas held a hand at the small of Silver’s back and gently lead him into town and the book store. It was short walk that they carried on in silence. The conversations left were ones that needed closed doors. The shop was modest one on the high street. The sign out front was that of a lighthouse. The same one on the wax seal of Thomas’ letter. There were large bay windows in the front showing the interior. There were shelves floor to ceiling along the left and right walls. Plush chairs were placed here and there, inviting patrons to stay and read. There looked to be a large desk in the middle of the shop covered in books that appeared to be in the process of being rebound. Thomas pulled a key from the pocket of his jacket, unlocked the door and held it open for Silver to pass through first. The cool interior of the bookshop was heavy with the intoxicating smell of books and the slight tang of the sea. If this had been occupied by the smell of gunpowder and the floor were to move underneath him, Silver would have swore he was back in the Captain’s quarters of The Walrus. Thomas placed Silver’s bag on the desk before he bent down behind it and retrieved a picnic basket. He laughed to himself and unfolded the note that was attached to it. Silver approached him and was handed the note. It was written in a hand Silver recognized as well as if it were his own. His eyes snapped up to meet Thomas’.
“I see he did not believe me when I said I would just be working late,” Thomas said handing him the letter and opening the basket.
Silver read the note as Thomas pulled out a loaf of bread, cheese wrapped in a handkerchief and two peaches.
Silver is even more obnoxious when he hasn’t eaten. I expect you home tonight. Both you of.
“I do not get more obnoxious! I’m never obnoxious” Silver grumbled. He slapped the note down on the desk.
“Of course you’re not dear,” Thomas placated while he handed Silver a piece of the bread he had ripped off. Silver took a bite but the food turned to ash in his mouth knowing that he would be in Flint’s presence before long. Thomas noticed his ashen face. “John.” Silver's eyes flicked up to meet the kind blue eyes of the taller man. "He made sure you were fed for Christ’s sake! He isn't going to kill you in our home." Silver opened his mouth to respond but was cut off. "Nor was he making sure you had enough strength for a sword fight!"
Silver snorted. "If you're wrong my Lord, I'll expect you to defend my honor."
The look Thomas gave him could only be described as smoldering. He walked towards Silver very swiftly and lifted Silver’s chin with a single long finger. “You are a most vexing imp my dear.” Thomas’ voice had dropped several octaves. “Eat something and then I will take you home.”
He stepped back from Silver who swallowed audibly before taking a deep breath and finishing the piece of bread still in his hand. Thomas helped himself to a bit of the cheese before returning the rest of the food to the basket and prepared to leave. Thomas locked the bookstore and led Silver to the small horse drawn cart behind the building. Silver nimbly hopped onto the driver’s bench before Thomas joined him. The nerves began to crawl up Silver’s spin again as they left town. The sun was slowing sinking bathing the fields they passed with brilliant orange. Silver tried to take it all in but instead he could not stop himself from biting his nails, fiddling with his crutch or chewing on his mustache. The fifth time he brought his right hand up to again naw on his thumb nail Thomas caught his hand and interlaced thier fingers.
“John, you can’t possibly be this nervous! Where is the fearsome Pirate king I have heard about?”
"The stories of the exploits of Long John Silver are highly exaggerated." Silver replied sardonically.
"So you're saying that Long John Silver and Captain Flint weren't so close that they shared the same mind? That any man he wanted dead would find a black spot beneath his pillow. Is that not true? Or that Long John Silver is not an evil siren called from the deepest corner of hell to serve at the bidding of Captain Flint the demon pirate to rent England and all other monarchies asunder?"
Silver was staring slack jawed at Thomas at this last story. "You've got to fucking kidding me!"
Thomas laughed. His head thrown back with the hearty laughter that had burst from him. He dropped Silver's hand to instead smack the man's thigh. "James said the exact same thing," Thomas gasped out before laughing again.
"Jesus fucking Christ." Silver laughed and shook his head. "Well the nerves are gone but the humiliation will never be forgotten. Evil siren indeed."
The peach orchard came into view over a small rise of the hill. The road curved eastward to where the farmhouse lay. It was a two story building with a large porch. Silver could see several comfortable looking chairs set out on it. There appeared to be a vegetable garden next to the house and a pen with a mix of chickens, goats and one large brown cow. There was smoke coming from the chimney perched upon the slate roof. The closer they got he could see that the building had been painted with just a hint of yellow and the shutters a pale blue. There were window boxes in the windows of the lower level at the back of the house that contained various herbs. The nerves were back. Silver went back to gnawing on his thumb nail. He knew he was being ridiculous but the feeling creeping up his spine would not stop. It was icy cold and sharp. He had held a gun to Flint’s face. He had sent men out to kill him. He had shackled the man and dragged him all the way to Savannah only to then abandon both he and Thomas on a fucking plantation with only the hope that Oglethorpe would take the bag of coin AND let both men leave in peace. Silver’s mind began to run through the list of each and every betrayal he had committed against Flint. Whatever was going to come of this he didn’t deserve it. He did not deserve this chance that Madi was giving him, that Thomas was giving him, that Flint was apparently going to give him. Silver’s heart was beating wildly and his breath was coming in short gasps.
“John?” Thomas asked alarmed. He pulled the rains hard to stop the cart and quickly turned to face the hyperventilating man. “John, it’s alright just breath.” Thomas took Silver’s face between his hands and forced the younger man took at him. Silver’s eyes were unfocused and seeing something Thomas could not.
Silver could not catch his breath. He could hear Thomas speaking to him but it sounded muffled and far away. His vision shrank to two pinpoints. He heard Thomas trying to get his attention and the world suddenly went dark. A sudden smack on his face awoke him. Thomas’ face was hovering above him with a look of concern with the smallest hint of amusement.
“Is this the rest of our lives John? Every time you think about James you’re going to faint in my arms?” Thomas spoke with a fond smile.
Silver groaned and sat up. He shook the panic from his bones and took a deep breath. “I should hope not my Lord.” Thomas huffed a laugh and climbed down from the driver's bench. Silver realized that they had arrived in front of the house.

“You don’t think he saw that do you?” Silver quickly whispered to Thomas.
“Do you honestly think if James had witnessed you fainting that he would not have rushed over here ready to attack whatever had harmed you?” Silver shook his head. “Alright then.”
Silver climbed down from the cart as Thomas disconnected the horse from it. “Go inside John, I’ll be right behind you.”
Silver turned quickly. “That sounds like a terrible idea.”
Thomas approached him, one hand still holding the horse’s reins. “I believe it would be for the best if I allow you both to have this first moment alone.” Thomas reached up and tucked a loose curl behind Silver’s ear. “I promise it will be fine John. Just let yourself be happy. You deserve this. We all do.”
Silver nodded, his glance fluctuating between Thomas’ open handsome face and the door of the house. “Know no shame.”
Thomas’ face broke out in very wide smile, pride shining from his eyes. “Absolutely. Now get it the house!”
Silver laughed. “As you wish my Lord.” He gave Thomas a bow and turned towards the house. He squawked as Thomas smacked him with the reigns. The taller man gave him a lewd smile and a wink.

Chapter Text

Silver took a deep breath and started to the door. He traversed the four steps up to porch with ease. They were level and newly repaired boards barely made a nose under his crutch. Silver stood in front of a navy blue painted door. He looked back at Thomas who was disappearing inside the barn with the horse. Silver rolled his shoulders and adjusted his grip before opening the door with his free hand. He had not realized how warm it was outside until the much cooler breeze from inside the house hit him. The air smelled of leather bound books, the sea and the hint of the sweet scent of peach blossoms. He closed his eyes inhaling the smell. The smell of home. Silver took in the room beyond the door, he was not yet ready to cross the threshold. Directly in front of him seemed to be a parlor of sorts. Three soft wing back chairs sat in a semi circle around a low table that was covered in books. Each chair had its own small high table with a lantern. Further into the room between the parlor area and the kitchen at the far end of the room was a large open fire place. A round table with three chairs placed around it. There was a hallway that lead off to the left of the larger room to which Silver assumed the bedrooms could be found. Silver moved carefully and quietly through the door. The homey touches became much more apparent once he was inside. The foremost of these being that nearly every available wall contained a bookshelf. Some bound in the finest looking leather while other showed newly rebound spines and still others had the clear signs of being read over and over. Further inspection of the wing back chairs and their small tables revealed the one had a pair of glasses neatly folded on top of a linen handkerchief. One of the other chairs had a small foot stool tucked underneath it. A foot stool at the perfect height to take the weight off of Silver's remaining leg so he would be able to sit comfortably. The house had been prepared for his arrival. Three chairs in the sitting room? One of which looked newer and was a different blue. A very familiar shade of blue. It reminded him of the cropped jacket he had worn when he first had joined the crew of the Walrus. The perfect foot stool? Three chairs at the dining table? How long had they been doing this? How many things in this house had been placed there with him in mind? They had been building a life around where Silver would fit. He was already welcome, hell he was already living there without having ever stepped inside. The sense of home again washed over him again. This moment of peace and clarity would of course be the moment Flint would decide to appear. The man who emerged from the hallway to Silver’s left was most assuredly not Captain Flint but James McGraw. His hair had grown since the last time Silver saw him. Not quite long enough to pull some of back as he had once worn it, but nearly there. He face was clean shaven, which came as a shock to Silver. That simple act sloughed off any remnants of the fearsome pirate captain he had once been. He was bare foot with his boots tucked under one arm and was attempting to tuck a shirt that was clearly not his own into his trousers. He seemed to be mumbling to himself about the time, when Thomas and Silver would been arriving and if he had purchased enough rum. The boots were tossed in front of the dining table as the ex-pirate captain fought valiantly to tuck in the shirt he still had yet to notice was not his own. Silver continued to stand by his arm chair, still unnoticed watching the spectacle. The sleeves were far too long and the redhead had to keep tossing his arms back to wiggle the sleeves back from his hands. The shirt itself was also too big, it hung like a sheet from his frame.
Silver couldn’t help himself. The sight of his Captain battling with a shirt that certainly belonged to Thomas was just too much. He gave small snort of amusement and shocked green eyes snapped up to look at him. The humor in the moment was gone as they locked eyes. Silver wasn’t sure who moved first but suddenly the two men had wrapped each other in a fierce embrace. Never in all the time they had known each other and with all they had been through this was the first time Silver had his captain's arms around him. There had been the comforting hand on the shoulder, but never this. Silver buried his nose into the warm shoulder. He allowed his crutch to drop to more fully embrace his captain. Gone was the smell of gunpowder but still the scent of the sea clung to the older man. Silver heard Flint sigh before speaking his name. "John." It was spoken with more reverence than Silver had been expecting. His name spoken as a benediction. Spoken in the way he imagined Flint must have spoken Thomas' name or Miranda's He found himself gripped all the tighter as though Flint had read his mind. For the first time he did what he had not dared even inside of his own mind, Silver spoke the true name of his captain.
"James."
The weight that lifted from Silver's heart made him feel all his years of suffering fall away. He was home. Silver pulled back from the embrace to look at James. The intense sea green eyes remained unchanged, the auburn of his hair now contained hints of grey here and there. Silver’s eyes drifted to the dusky pink lips that were quirked into a small smile. He flicked his eyes up as though seeking permission before leaning forward to feel the lips that had haunted him against his own. Feather light at first, something familiar but wholly changed. When James’ tongue gently asked for entrance the kiss turned to something very different. Where at first it had been shy, it turned passionate. Silver lifted his arms to tangle into James’ hair. The strong arms around him tightening, pulling him in closer. They battled for dominance in the kiss as they had done so often with everything else. In this though it mattered not who would be the victor in the argument. With a gasp they each pulled back for air. Foreheads rested against each other, mouths still so close they shared the same breath. Silver grinned as he watched the dimples in James’ face became deeper as his mouth ticked up into a lopsided smile.
"Is that my shirt?" Thomas' voice floated over to them from the doorway.

Chapter Text

The smile dropped from the older man’s face. He took a small step back but kept one arm looped around Silver’s middle and surveyed his shirt.

Silver snorted. “I’ve never seen you have such trouble with a top sail before Captain.”

 

James’ eyes snapped to his. The murderous look in his eyes reminiscent of several of their earlier dealings. So of course a cheeky

unfurled across Silver’s lips, growing wider as James growled. Thomas picked this moment to intervene. He swept Silver deftly out of

James’ arms and into his own. Silver stomped down the fiery jealousy that suddenly burned it’s way into his belly. It was a practiced move

of a man used to focusing on two objects at once. Silver noticed the second Thomas picked up on whatever look had revealed itself on his face.

“Darling, why don’t you sort out your shirt and I will help our young rogue settle in?” Thomas glanced at James once before his eyes

locked back onto Silver.

James eyed them both with some suspicion before tossing his arms back to get his hands free as they had become lost in the sleeves

once more. With a sigh he turned, heading in the direction of the bedroom.

“You’re not her replacement, John.” Thomas said quietly. “You are just as an enigmatic and unique creature, however you have your own

place with us.”

 

Silver looked away, shamed before a slim finger on his chin brought his gaze back to Thomas.

 

“There is no shame in this house my dear. You are loved here and if you ever feel an ounce of jealousy know that it is unfounded and if you cannot banish it yourself, speak to us. There are no doors closed to you.”

 

Silver swallowed heavily. “Equal partners then?”

 

“In all things,” Thomas whispered before his lips descended to meet Silvers.

 

If kissing James could compared to anything it would be the sea. It ebbed and flowed between gentle, deep and calm to a violent and
intense onslaught. Kissing Thomas Hamilton was an experience all to itself. Honey-sweet and soft lips giving way to warmth and passion. Dappled sunlight summer mornings, roaring mid-winter fires and spiced wine. The first kiss of this new part of his life had been the culmination of things desired but thought lost. This second kiss was the welcome and the solidification of a bond forged anew with the gold that was Thomas Hamilton settling into to all the cracks that had nearly tore all three of them asunder. When the kiss was over and Thomas had pulled back with a look of pure boyish joy upon his face, Silver noticed James stood stock still in the hall. His shirt had been replaced with a navy blue one with black buttons, barely half of which even buttoned. The pink tinge still splashed across his cheeks grown darker as the predatory look in his eyes added a truly sinful smile. It was smile Silver had seen before when in the midst of a storm asked where he stood in the Captain’s estimation. He no longer needed to keep wondering, if the lust filled swinging hips

headed his way were any indication. Silver’s vision went hazy and he felt Thomas’ grip on him tighten. His head lolled onto the taller
man’s shoulder as he swooned.