A Tiny Reunion
Our Flag Means Death
Notes: I know this is not my usual mcyt g/t content but I just finished our flag means death and now I crave g/t content of it so here you go. Also if you don’t know this is a g/t fic so there are tiny people involved
(Spoilers for our flag means death finale)
It was almost a year later when Ed heard Bonnet’s name again. He’d forbidden it on the ship, threatening anyone who dared to utter the bastard’s name. After his first few weeks of suffering, he was able to pull himself together enough to become himself again- to become fierce again. The few of Bonnet’s old crew who remained had taken his new style of leadership poorly, but Izzy helped enforce his rule. Any sign of Bonnet was thrown overboard and with it any utterance of the past captain’s name. It hurt too much to talk about him anyway.
Ed was in his cabin drinking bottle after bottle of sour wine when shouting from the deck drew his attention. He rubbed his face and glanced at the black ink now covering the back of his hand. While it did make him look scarier (in his opinion) the makeup might have been a bit overkill. If he wanted he could redo the ink and wait to see if the crew could solve the problem themselves. Izzy could probably handle it and give him a little bit of a break.
However, he never was that lucky.
“Captain!” His door flew open, “Uh-Kraken sir, we need you on deck.”
Ed tilted his head towards the open door and let his eyes sweep over the shaking man in front of him, “Can’t you deal with it yourselves?”
“Uh well-” Frenchie paused as more shouting echoed throughout the room.
“God damn it,” Ed shot up, “You’re all useless.”
He grunted and slammed his half-empty bottle down on the desk. They’d already gone through one skirmish, and it wasn’t even noon so he wasn’t too keen on another fight. As fearsome as the Kraken was he was getting up in age and the frankly uncalled for shattering of his heart wasn’t any help. As he threw on his coat he shoved Frenchie out of the way, only beaming a bit at the sound of the breath leaving his chest.
When he stomped up to the deck he expected to see massive British ships or perhaps a hole causing the ship to sink. What he didn’t expect to see was a dingy little trade vessel, barely staying upright in the waves. Red peeling paint covered some of the hull giving it the impression that the ship itself was bleeding out, and its masts looked like they were about to come apart at the seam.
“You called me up for this?” Ed growled back at Frenchie, “Couldn’t you have dealt with this yourselves?”
Frenchie couldn’t finish before a loud shout came from the front of the ship. Ed turned his head towards where all the crew was gathered and standing there with the most expression he’d ever seen on their face was Jim. Half of their body was hanging over the side as the rest of the crew tried to wrestle them back overboard.
Ed glanced at the shop only to see a similar situation on the other deck. Immediately his heart froze at the sight of Bonnet’s old crew. Oluwande grinned at Jim and the happiness in his eyes made Ed want to rip them out of his skull. He couldn’t believe they weren’t dead. The living memories of Bonnet stood right in front of him even after he’d abandoned them.
“Ready the cannons!” The words left his mouth before he could even stop to think.
The stunned faces of his crew made the rage building in his stomach grow even hotter. He was the Kraken, how dare they disobey.
“You heard me!” he bellowed, “Ready the bloody cannons!”
“But they’ve raised a white flag,” Fang retorted.
Ed marched over and slammed his foot down, his hand going to Fang’s neck, “Does it look like I fucking care?”
“Don’t you fucking dare,” Jim hissed as they drew their blade. A more stable Ed would have had the brain to not mess with Jim, but with the red that covered his sight he simply matched their stance- drawing his sword. He would not allow his crew to disobey him now.
“Captain, get a hold of yourself,” Izzy's gravelly voice grabbed his attention, “They're sending a dinghy over. Would you like me to shoot them?”
Ed froze and turned his attention back down to the waves below where surely enough a small row boat was drifting next to the ship. Sitting in the two flimsy seats were Buttons and Oluwande.
“You will not shoot them,” Jim argued, but Ed was hardly paying attention.
Behind him he heard Izzy and Jim go back and forth and the dull sound of a cocking gun, but his eyes were glued to Oluwande. Every time the man’s arms pushed the oars forward a small glimpse of something shiny and red laying in his pocket caught the light of the sun. Ed had thrown it away months before…but it was almost unmistakably his kerchief.
The sound of Izzy’s raised voice snapped him out of his thoughts as he turned back to look at his first mate. His gun was ready and his finger laid on the trigger. In any other situation Edward would have been fine with watching him shoot the two fools that were trying to board his ship, but the sight of the red linen was burnt into his mind like a brand.
“No,” he paused, unsure of his own voice, “Let them come up. You can kill them after.”
Izzy’s face hardened like he wanted to argue, but thankfully his gun returned to his hip. After their first few arguments he’d gotten better about listening to what Ed had to say.
Ed leaned over the rail and watched as the measly little dinghy floated to their ship. The Kraken part of him wanted to change his mind and just let Izzy shoot them, but the Edward part of him was intrigued.
He didn’t move a muscle as the crew frantically threw down runged ladders so the two pirates could board. Jim especially was at the head of the efforts, holding the ladder down for the men.
“Thank you captain,” Frenchie said tilting his head away.
“For what?” Ed humphed, “Taking a breather before I kill them?”
Frenchie cringed at his words, pulling even farther into himself. For a split second his face contorted like he wanted to stand up for his old crew before any fight died on his lips. It wouldn’t matter anyway, whatever the Kraken said went onboard the Revenge.
Ed turned towards the commotion to see that one of the men had made it up. His arms wrapped around Jim like he was afraid they’d disappear if he let go. An uncommon smile grew on Jim’s lips moments before Olu planted a kiss on their forehead. And as Ed stared, he felt the phantom memory of soft lips on his own.
A few moments later the rest of his crew dragged Buttons onto the deck, and awaited Ed’s word. However, as their eyes fell upon him he felt his throat go dry. He’d worked so hard to remove all memories of Stede from the ship only for his old crew to return. It was hard enough even having two of Stede’s old crew mates on board no matter how helpful they were.
“Why are you here?” Ed started, trying to put on his scariest face possible.
“We need to talk to you,” Olu said as he pulled away from Jim, “Something happened and we thought-”
Before he could step forward Izzy had a knife at his neck, “Not one step on this ship without permission from the captain.”
“Let him continue,” Ed shrugged, “I want to hear why you came before I kill you.”
A visible shudder ran through Olu’s body before he reached into his pocket to grab the handkerchief. The sight of the glistening red made Ed feel sick, and the Kraken inside of him wanted to tear the man in front of him to pieces for laying his hands on it.
“Where the fuck- give me that,” he reached forward but Olu quickly jumped back.
Ed tried once more, but again wasn’t able to grab it, “Hey you-”
“No no, you can have it just-” Olu swallowed nervously, “Can we please talk first…privately.”
Izzy jolted forward, but Ed stopped him with a raised hand. He wouldn’t lie, he was curious about whatever plan Olu had, and he also wasn’t too fond of actually hurting them either. After killing Lucius he didn’t know if he had it in him to hurt anyone else connected to Stede.
“Follow me,” Ed huffed, “But don’t plan on pulling any shit.”
“I dont think I could,” Olu said as he continued to hold the fucking handkerchief to his chest.
Ed considered him for a moment before nodding for the man to follow him. Jim gave him a hard look as he passed, but he kept his head straight. If he couldn’t be the Kraken he could at least be a stable captain. And as much as Jim’s abilities frightened him he wouldn’t let them know that.
When they both were in his cabin with the doors shut and locked, Ed felt nervousness start to coil up in his stomach. Olu was ringing his hands awkwardly in the center of the room like he’d rather be anywhere else, and Ed couldn’t help but agree.
“So,” Ed started, “What do you need to tell me?”
Lazily he fell back into one of Stede’s plush chairs and crossed one leg over the other. Even though he hated that most of the furniture was still Stede’s he couldn’t bring himself to throw it out. And a part of him still loved the velvety texture and lavender smell. Perhaps that was why he chose to sit when his anxiety became too much.
“It’s well,” Olu paused uncomfortably, “It’s about how we found you.”
Ed nodded absentmindedly, and let his eyes focus on the man in the middle of his cabin.
“A few days after we were uh…stranded, Stede showed up in a dinghy. We argued pretty hard against it, obviously, but he was set on finding you. Having so many people in that boat for days was terrible but eventually we made it to land,” Olu said slowly, like he was worried every word would be his last.
Edward cringed at the sound of Stede’s name, but for some reason, hearing he was okay made something inside him soften. As much as the Kraken hated Stede’s guts Ed could never bring himself to. Whenever he thought of the numerous ways he’d kill or maim Stede if he showed up again he’d always end up in tears.
“When we got there Stede found this fucking fortune teller lady. We told him it was probably a scam, but he went anyway. We really didn’t think much of it, but well, she was better than we thought, I guess. In exchange for your location Stede gave up something…pretty big.”
Ed raised his brows in question, ignoring the fact that his heart felt like lead, “And what would that be exactly?”
Olu’s eyes fell to the ground as he slowly drew out the handkerchief again, “Okay…dont freak out.”
“Hmm, you’re doing a great job of making me feel calm,” Ed scoffed.
Slowly Olu extended his hands outward and let the cloth open. And there, sitting in Olu’s palm with wide nervous eyes was Stede fucking Bonnet.
“What the fuck!” Ed hissed as he jerked away from his definitely not-real tiny ex-lover.
“Dumbass got cursed to find you,” Olu scoffed, “So before you do anything to fucking drastic maybe try talking shit out.”
Olu shifted his hands forward and with a shock Ed realized he was trying to hand him the kerchief with Stede inside. Part of him was terrified to accept it, he was certain the Kraken would find some way to hurt him. He had enough trouble not causing harm to people of a normal height. How was he expected to keep someone barely the size of his finger safe?
After a few seconds of dreadful silence Ed carefully scooped the handkerchief into his hands. As soon as Stede was settled in his palm, the small weight overwhelmed him. He barely even noticed as Olu exited the room, leaving him and Stede alone. His eyes stayed glued to the tiny man that fit between his fingers like a doll.
“Ed?” Stede said in a much softer voice than Ed remembered, “God I’m… I’m so sorry.”
Ed cringed at the pain laced in Stede’s voice even though he’d done nothing but dream about this apology for months, about how he’d hurt Stede and make him feel the same pain he’d felt when he left.
“Why the fuck did you leave?”
“I didn’t want to,” Stede’s shoulders fell, “That night I was woken up by a gun to my head…It’s not an excuse, but he said I’d ruined you.”
“You ruined me by leaving,” Ed swallowed uncomfortably.
“I know that now…But I didn’t want to feel like I was the one to ruin the mighty Blackbeard.”
Ed stared down at the tiny man sitting in his hands and sighed. He wanted to forgive him, god he did, but his heart still ached at the memory of waiting on a dock for hours. He could crush if he really wanted to, it wouldn’t even be hard, but still the idea of actually hurting Stede made him feel ill.
“Was any of it true then?” Ed asked, “Or was everything just so ‘the Blackbeard’ wouldn’t kill you?”
The few moments of silence after his question felt poisonous. Somehow silence was even worse than any answer he could have imagined. Again the rage that had been present in his souls for the past few months built up inside him until something warm and wet landed on his hands. He glanced down and his breath caught in his throat at the sight of tears running down Stede’s cheeks.
“It was all real,” Stede said, “I promise on my life Ed. I really didn’t…I was stupid. I shouldn’t have left, and I don’t expect you to forgive me.”
“I don’t,” Ed shrugged as he tried to ignore the uncomfortable weight on his heart.
“I know…You don’t have to. Do whatever you want. Throw me out to sea, crush me- I know I deserve it. I’m just glad I got to apologize first,” Stede nodded.
Ed had to repress his tears as Stede leaned over and pressed a kiss to his thumb, “I love you Edward Teach.”
And as much as Ed didn’t want to give in, the words felt like heaven. The anger and pain from the past few months were outweighed by the promise of love from Stede Bonnet. It didn’t matter that he had left- he was back, and Ed would be damned if he ever let Stede leave his sight again. If he really did deserve nice things, maybe he deserved to keep Stede in his life.
“God Stede,” Ed shook his head, “I love you too you idiot. And if you ever fucking leave me again I’ll kill you a million times over.”
Stede laughed and god was the sound of it delightful. Ed would do anything to hear it every day.
“I have no plans on it, captain.”
Ed wanted to kiss him, but the elephant in the room drew his attention. His partner being smaller than his finger was much less than ideal, no matter how cute he was. And as much as Ed loved the idea of being able to take Stede wherever he wanted he worried about keeping him safe at his new stature.
“So you made a deal with a witch?” Ed frowned.
“Uh not exactly,” Stede shrugged, “More of a fortune teller really.”
“And your fortune was…” Ed paused, “Becoming small?”
Stede opened his mouth to argue, but seemed to think better of it. Instead he leaned his weight against Ed’s fingers.
“I guess,” he hummed, “She said she’d give me a map that could locate you wherever you went but I’d have to give up something of equal value. I’d say it was a pretty beneficial exchange.”
“I can’t fucking believe you,” Ed sighed, “You really wanted to find me that bad huh?”
“Of course. Being a bit shorter isn’t too big of a deal if I can be with you, is it?”
Ed couldn’t help but laugh at Stede’s usual charm, even though he didn’t agree. His laughter shook Stede a bit, and the power he had over the tiny man scared him once again. He knew he wasn’t a gentle man, and as careful as he tried to be around Stede he worried that the Kraken would strike once again. He would never be able to forgive himself if something happened to Stede after losing him the first time.
“You know usually I’d agree with you but you’re the size of fish food right now mate,” Ed sighed, “We’ll find a way to fix this okay?”
“And for now you're staying with me,” Ed said, letting his protectiveness wash over him, “As much as I love our crew, if anyone lays a hand on you like this I think I’ll have to do some maiming.”
“You do love a good maiming,” Stede laughed.
Carefully, Ed pulled his hands up to his face so he was eye to eye with Stede. Even after months the gentleman pirate looked at him like he was made of something gold and beautiful rather than the monster he was. The feeling of love was unfamiliar but oh so nice. Slowly, Ed bent his head down until his lips touched the top of Stede’s head. It was barely a kiss, but he hoped it would get the point across. He pulled away, but Stede reached back for him holding his hands out above him.
“What?” Ed laughed as Stede made grabby hands at his face.
“Come back,” Stede whined, “I can’t exactly do it myself.”
Ed rolled his eyes and carefully leaned back down to Stede. This time though before he could plant another kiss on Stede’s head the tiny man leaned up and pressed his face to Ed’s bottom lip. It wasn’t really a kiss, but still Ed felt like his heart was going to explode. They’d kissed before, but it still made his stomach churn with warmth.
“God I love you,” Ed whispered like a prayer against Stede’s head. His whole heart was put into his words, and still it didn’t feel like enough.
“I love you too,” Stede promised, “You’re my favorite nice thing.”
And while Ed didn’t know if he could believe it he let himself indulge in Stede’s far too kind words. They sunk into his skin like honey and he felt trapped in Stede’s love. They’d find a way to fix this and until then Ed would do his damn best to keep him safe.