silverflint - 47. “No one needs to know.”
okay so. i know that this prompt naturally lends itself to angst. but given how i’ve had my complete fill of writing angst in the last few months, my brain did a complete 180 and i wrote something ridiculous instead. i hope you like it!
Beginning of s3 or thereabouts.
In hindsight, there’s a lot of things to pin the blame on for what happened.
For starters, Silver is newly missing a leg. That has thrown off — well, everything. He keeps it in check for the sake of appearances but even standing up straight, leaning his full weight into the false leg is a delightful exercise in agony. Second, there’s the matter of the storm they’re sailing through. It has choked up a generous amount of water onto the deck, turning the ever-present layer of moss over the wood into a slippery nightmare that closely resembles a frozen over river. The third and final nail in the coffin is the black mood that has followed Flint around since their last raid. Since Charlestown. It has him thundering through the hold like a caged animal, stomping up the stairs that lead up onto the deck without really paying much attention to where he’s going. Silver happens to be at the top step, clinging to the doorway for life — while resolutely pretending he’s not — as he surveys the men in the rigging. When he turns to descend into the hold, it’s only a dark void ahead.
He doesn’t see Flint coming. He doesn’t see much of anything until it’s too late.
Flint headbutts him squarely in the stomach, and Silver doesn’t have enough air in his lungs to let out a proper yelp before they’re falling. It’s a short tumble to the ground, but it isn’t without damages incurred on both sides; Flint’s back hits the floor with a resounding and painful thump and Silver’s head knocks into the low awning before he comes to a dead stop against Flint’s chest, knocking what little breath Flint has left in him in the process.
They lay there frozen in a motionless heap for a time, until Flint finds his words.
“What the fuck—“ he hisses. He spits out a mouthful of Silver’s hair first.
Flint’s heart is thundering in his chest. Silver should know this, he should be able to hear it with the way his ear is pressed into Flint’s sternum. Only there’s a deafening roar in his head that drowns out all sound. He’s got a lot of … other things pressed into other places but his brain is too addled to make sense of anything beyond the overwhelming pile of warmth he seems to be on top of for some reason. It’s quite pleasant, like laying on sun-warmed stone, despite the dull thrum of pain distantly singing through his body.
Flint shoves at him and Silver manages a single moan, which he also does not hear himself voice. Whatever it is that’s spread out beneath him seems like a steady thing to hold onto, though, so he fists a hand into Flint’s shirt. It helps somewhat, but not enough to clear the fog.
Flint gives him another shove, gentler this time. “Silver are you—are you hurt?“
Silver doesn’t respond, just shifts a little to take the weight of his left leg. This only helps slot his right knee between Flint’s thighs.
Flint sucks in a breath. He clasps a hand around Silver’s jaw and tips his chin up until their eyes meet. Or they would meet, but Silver’s eyes are closed. He looks peaceful. He looks dead.
“Hey—“ Flint braces himself up on his elbows and squeezes the nape of Silver’s neck. “Hey. Are you all right?”
The roaring in Silver’s head comes to a prompt stop when Flint brings his other hand to cup the side of Silver’s face. Silver’s eyes snap open.
“Captain?” he blinks. The first thing he thinks to say is; “Are you all right?”
“Am I—” Flint sputters, eyes flitting up to the angry red gash on Silver’s forehead. He drops his hand from Silver’s cheek to his shoulder and shoves him for a third time. “Jesus Christ, get up, get the fuck off me—”
“Off you? Off—oh, fuck—“
Silver is suddenly scrambling; he plants a hand on the floor by Flint’s head and the other — unintentionally — on Flint’s hip, to heave himself up, only he’s moving too fast and consciousness is too new, so he can’t regulate the pressure and Flint he — he makes a sound.
Silver freezes and stares down at him. “Did you just—“
Framed by Silver’s hair falling over his face, Flint looks fucking horrified; eyes wide and mouth half-open.
Silver digs a finger into Flint’s hip again and sure enough, the same sound comes out of Flint’s mouth, followed by Flint clapping his hand over it.
Realisation dawning, Silver says, “Are you actually—“
They both look up, though Silver has to crane his neck a little more to do it. Billy is standing at the mouth of the stairs, hands on his hips and jaw locked tight over a scowl that used to look wrong on his good-natured face. It’s starting to fit him much better as time goes on. He stomps down the stairs two at a time and without ceremony shoves his hands under Silver’s armpits, hauling him to his feet before Silver is able to protest the manhandling. Billy turns without another look at either of them and climbs back up to deck, muttering darkly under his breath as he goes.
There’s a dizzying headrush, and before Silver can fight through it Flint is standing, his twitching face inches from Silver’s own.
“Listen to me,” Flint says urgently, “If you breathe a word of this to anyone—“
“No one,” Flint says, and he looks dangerous now as he takes another half step forward, “Do you understand? No one needs to know.”
Silver looks at him steadily. “Understood. I won’t tell anyone that you’re—“
“Utter one more syllable and I will have you killed.”
Flint’s hot breath washes over Silver’s face and the threat hangs between them, brandished like a sword. They stay like that for another quivering moment before Flint’s mouth twists into a half mortified, half furious scowl. Without another word, he turns on his heel to stomp back into the dark from whence he came.
“I love our little chats, Captain!” Silver yells after him.
He stands there and watches Flint go until his leg and head send a simultaneous jolt of pain through his body, unfurling nausea in his stomach, and then he has to sit down on the stairs. He clasps his hands together between his knees and struggles to breathe through the pain. There’s an added difficulty to righting himself, because he’s accidentally stumbled upon a brand new piece of information that has him quite stunned.
Captain Flint, harbinger of death and destruction, the name and face of grim death in the West Indies, he’s — he’s fucking ticklish.
Knowledge is power, surely, but Silver has no idea know what the fuck to do with this particular shred of it. The thought comes unbidden, then; what if Nassau were to hear that its saviour — or better still, what if Whitehall were to somehow find out that its mortal fucking enemy had a tendency to giggle if you touched him right?
It’s ridiculous. Silver puts his head in his hands and snorts. It jostles him a little, doesn’t help with the pain at all, but the sound is so similar to the one Flint made under him earlier that Silver has to press a fist to his mouth a moment later, as something dislodges in his chest and he begins to laugh, out loud, in earnest.
That helps with the pain, if only just a little.