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Harness Your Hopes

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"We've been through a lot together, too much and not enough - no no, that's stupid." Edward was pacing back  alongside the far wall, catching glimpses of the great ocean as he mumbles to himself the words that would be binding his fate in one way or another.

 

 

He thinks over the past year and a half. So much had changed, all because the ocean brought to him the most precious being he had ever met.

 

Over the time since meeting Stede, he'd experienced a lot; Heartbreak he never believed would be possible, alongside the most intense love he never thought he deserved. He made friends, lost people he never thought he'd lose. He experienced a new life, free from the confines of toxic masculinity and preconceived beliefs that came with being Blackbeard.

 

Most importantly, he found where he belonged. By Stede‘s side.

 

Huh, his current inner monolog would be a good proposal speech. Because that’s what this is.

 

He knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Stede, as far as it took them. He just hoped that Stede felt the same.

 

And so, here he was. The big day. And he didn’t have a good fucking speech.

 

He could go to Lucius, or Olu, or fuck even Swede and he'd be able to put together a speech better than his own.

He decided to table the speech, flitting around the room to make sure everything was perfect.  

He had already been setting up the scene.

Without telling them why, he asked Jim to keep Stede busy for the day. 

He asked Roach to prepare the finest meal he could with the stores they had (which Edward had made sure to purchase more than necessary, to prepare for this evening.)

He let Lucius in on it just enough, asking him to transcribe a written declaration of his love, which is just a fancy way of saying a letter. 

He told Izzy to fuck off, get off the ship for the night. He didn't even tell Izzy what he was doing, mostly because he wouldn't have given a fuck. 

 

As he continues to mumble his way through something that has a small semblance of a speech, he starts when he hears the door open, straightening up and clearing his throat, anxiety filling every one of his nerves as the beautiful man he called his partner walked through the door.

"Hello, love," Stede greets him, a beautiful, blinding smile upon his lips.

That was his smile. The one meant for Edward.

 

“Hullo, Stede.” Edward smiles back, and hopes he looks even half as pretty as Stede.

 

Stede crosses the room, presenting himself to Ed. “What have you been up to today, sneaky?” Stede teases, and Edward freezes, his plan already being fucked up. Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, he replies “I figured we could have a night to ourselves? Roach made dinner and everything. I could even draw a bath, or we could stay in our respective spaces to ourselves, or-“ Edward is rambling by now, prompting Stede to cup his face, running his thumb over Ed’s bottom lip. “That sounds wonderful, Love.”

 

Edward smiles against his thumb, pressing a soft kiss to it.

 

He takes that hand, pulling Stede towards where dinner was already waiting for them on the table, and pulling a chair out for him.

 

They sit across from each other, eating dinner together in a perfect atmosphere. Ed would be crazy to not propose now.

 

Ed clears his throat as they finish up, standing from his seat at the table. “Care to join me in observing the stars?” He asks, holding his hand out for Stede to take, who does just that and allows himself to be guided to the broad window that allows them to gaze out onto the sea, the stars reflecting beautifully on the still water.

 

Edward clears his throat, turning to Stede whose attention is already on him.

 

“I uh. There was indeed a motive behind this night.” Edward begins.

He pulls the letter from his pocket, giving it to Stede who gently unfolded it. 

It was a simple letter, conveying in writing what he felt for Stede, as he knew Stede had a thing about letters, how they were a physical representation of what one felt. 

As Stede finishes reading the letter, a soft smile on his face, Ed tries to remember some of what he’d practiced;

“Stede, we have been together for, uh, a long time and its too much - ah no, it's not enough," he continues to try and put his words together, but Ed has worked himself up by now, every word he had planned to say to his partner fleeing his mind. You fucked it up, because of course you did. Always fucking things up, aren't you-

 

His train of thought is completely derailed as Stede holds his head in both hands, forcing him back into the moment.

 

"Why are you crying love?" Stede whispers, thumbs running over the apple of his cheeks wiping the tears away.

 

Huh. Edward didn't realise he'd started crying.

 

"I just, I wanted to make this perfect for you," he whispers, his voice feeble and vulnerable.

 

"Darling, anything you do is perfect to me," Stede whispers back, knocking their heads together.

"Just… to clarify, what exactly are you trying to do?"

 

Ed hiccups a laugh, pulling away as much as Stede will let him. He places his hands upon Stede‘s on his face, slowly lowering them.

 

His plan went all to shit, but he still wants to ask. Needs to ask.

 

So, he starts to kneel, as he'd seen in the books, with a protest from his knee but he still goes to the floor.

 

He takes Stede‘s hand, Stede who is watching him with bated breath and wide, disbelieving eyes.

 

"Stede Bonnet, I want to spend the rest of my life with you," he states simply, forgoing the long and most likely unflattering speech he'd planned.

 

Carefully taking out a small box in one of his many pockets, he flips the lid open with one hand, the other still holding Stede‘s.

 

The ring is immaculate. It is a simple gold band, with what seemed to be amethyst embedded in the centre of the band. He found it on a trip ashore, paying a hefty price for it, but he knew (hoped) it'd be worth it.

 

He's on one knee, grasping Stede‘s hand like he'll fly away if he lets go. 

 

"My god, Edward," Stede chokes out, which would've been a bad reaction if he didn’t see the look on Stede‘s face. He's radiating, pure sunshine, eyes rimmed with tears and the dearest look in his eyes. Ed knows the answer before he even says it.

 

"Yes, yes, god yes!" He quickly pulls Edward off the floor, embracing him and pulling him into a kiss that he'll never get tired of.

 

Pulling back, Stede runs his hand over Edwards head, almost petting him. It felt amazing. This whole event, amazing.

 

Edward steps just barely away from the radiant sun in the form of a person, and takes his soft hand in his own calloused, rough hand.

He gently pulls the ring out of its box, taking Stede’s left hand and sliding it carefully onto his ring finger.

 

“Perfect,” Ed whispers, pressing a kiss into Stede’s now jeweled hand.

 

Stede turns his hand to cup Edwards face, who presses a kiss into his palm.

 

“Come here,” Stede bids him, and Edward follows the call.

 

They meet in the middle, a soft kiss being shared by two beings meant for each other.

 

“We should make Izzy marry us,” Stede breaks the moment, catching Edward by surprise, but quickly is doubled over laughing, Stede chuckling alongside him. This. This was perfection.