AND A PIRATE IS FREE
The horses were waiting just as they'd hoped they'd be, the athletic couple easily reaching them ahead of the army at their heels, even with Quinn carried over Garen's shoulder, the girl still lost in her shock and anguish, sobbing uncontrollably even as she bounced from Garen's shoulder with every step, the giants lumbering steps practically winding her. With all the excitement all four of the horses were skittish, having heard the screams and battle cries of the soldiers in the distance, they all whinnied and brayed as they saw the three champions approaching, pulling at their bridles which were all tied to a long branch. The four of them were a painful reminder that one of their number was now gone, the man who was responsible for starting the rescue in the first place was dead. They didn't need that fourth horse now. In fact, with the state Quinn was in they didn't need the third either, Katarina slashed all the horses bindings and mounted one as fast as she could as Garen put Quinn down in front of him on the horses back, climbing up behind her so his arms would keep her stable.
"Come on, we have to lose them before they call in the cavalry!" Hollered Katarina, already pulling away from the horses resting place, giving one of the spare horses a good boot to the flank, its already stretched nerves being pulled so taut they snapped and whiplashed its mind, sending the poor nervous beast running hell for leather the other way, the other free horse instinctively followed, hopefully they would distract them for a moment or two. With that she spurred her own horse, heading east from the sparkling city, Garen and Quinn not far behind. Their horses hooves pounded against the ground, kicking up showers of dirt with every galloping step, the tree's of the forest pressed in around them, casting them into shadowy gloom, even as the sun began to breach the horizon, with the densely packed landscape, Garen and Katarina were pushed to their limit keeping their horses from barrelling into the tree's as they sped into view, one miss-step, one stray root catching and all would be for naught, their bodies broken against the trunks of the unforgiving forest. Even with this danger pressing in on them from all sides, it seemed almost a relief in comparison to the one falling behind them. The sounds of the pursuit had dropped away, and for a time it seemed as if they had really done it, they had escaped the Demacian army, and better yet, they were fast approaching a break in the forests into the plains-lands that surrounded the city, once they'd reached those they could truly use the speed of the steeds beneath them to its fullest, and the Demacian army would never see hide nor hair of them as long as they didn't stop until they were free of their pursuers domain. By now, Quinn had began to recover from her shock, and was curled over the horses neck, hugging to it for comfort as much as for stability, her face half buried within the soft hairs of its mane, Garen's thick arms were on either side, guiding the horse as finally sunlight fell upon their faces, their steeds emerging from the woods onto the near obstacle free grasslands.
But it seemed today, their foes were getting all the good cards that fate was dealing. They were not alone on the plains, waiting there for them further up the road to the border of Demacian lands were Demacia's leonine lancers, the elite horsemen of the Demacian army. Each one was straddled across a beautiful sandy yellow charger, their long hafted blades casting a glare in the early morning sun. "How did they know where we were? How did they get here so fast!?" Screamed Katarina as she gaped in shock and horror at their impending doom, Garen's brow furrowed, his lips growing tighter as he gazed at the horsemen, his own horse not slowing in the slightest as he made a quick course correction, abandoning the speed of the road to head for the next thicket of tree's, where the huge muscled bodies of the chargers would not stand a chance. Katarina swiftly got the idea and turned after him.
"They were probably on patrol nearby and Jarvan sent a messenger falcon their way to warn them of our approach, it's obvious where our destination is, he just has to set up strong points along the road to catch us out." He warned, his own face staying cool and collected for his companions benefit more than anything else, but when they were half way across the gap towards the haven of the tree's a resound cry came from the commander of the lancers.
With that each and every one of them lowered their lancers, their higher ground giving them only greater speed as they rushed downhill towards the fleeing champions. Garen spurred his horse on harder, but knew they wouldn't be able to reach the thicket before they were dashed against its trunks by those gleaming blades. "Quinn! Can you do anything?" Quinn looked up at him, then to the lancers, seeming to only notice them now, her mind having been entirely focused on the moment of her father's death, but realising she may well join him without ever having the chance for revenge an ounce of focus injected itself into her eyes and she nodded to her driver, sitting up against her driver as she drew out a bolt, no longer did she have any qualms on harming Demacian's, not after what they'd done to her, not after they'd killed her father, not after they'd stolen everything away from her in the name of their princes petty feud. She looked up at Garen for a moment and merely commanded, "keep us steady," looking calmly back to the chargers now only a few dozen metres from them and growing ever closer. Her eyes were colder than any Freljord winter as she drew bead, picking her target, the man in the centre, his armour was the most decorated, he had that look in his eyes that suggested he was well used to command, and he held his horse the tiniest bit ahead of his men, eager to be the first into glory. He was their captain.
He was her target.
She didn't aim for the man himself, but rather fired the small, deadly bolt at his mount, the bladed tip embedding itself in its foreleg just below the shoulder, severing the tendons there. With a shriek of pain the horses gallop came to an end, rider and mount going down in a tangled mass of limbs, knocking down another on either side as they slammed into the pile up, one horseman stopped to help his compatriots, pulling his horse to a stop with difficulty, but the other kept on charging, eager to avenge their pain, Quinn loaded another bolt and this time she didn't aim for the mount, the projectile instead hitting the man in the unarmoured abdomen, the lancer knocked from his horse to be dragged along the ground by his foot, still caught in the stirrup. Katarina's features were split in a vicious grin at the sight of the scouts handiwork as she dodged her horse around the confused charger and caught up with the pair, Garen however had a pained look in his eyes, he hated that it had come to this, that his own countrymen had turned against him at the behest of a man who had been his lifelong friend, that he now had no choice but to take part in killing them to ensure his friends and his own safety. With a resigned sigh he patted Quinn's back as they hit the thicket, glad to once more be embraced by its shadows.
"Good job Quinn," she grunted an acknowledgement, but said nothing more, her eyes locked on her own crossbow and her mind once more lost in thought, her eyes still clouded with visions of Jarvan scything through her father like so much chaff, and thoughts of returning the favour. Garen shook his head, knowing what she must be going through, he turned his attention back to guiding the horse through the tree's as he called out to Katarina. "Kat! I doubt we're going to be able to get to the Noxian border by road, please tell me you have a backup plan. Because by now there'll be blockades up and down every highway.” Katarina shot him a smile as she road along side, their mounts dodging and dipping through the tree's with a gracefulness the chargers they had left in a heap could never have managed.
"Of course I do Garen, once we're out of the woods, head south towards the coast. I have a friend waiting there for us. The only hard part is going to be getting the signal off without the coast guard coming down on us."
Garen raised an eyebrow as his curiosity came to the fore. "Friend? Who? How are they going to get us out of here?"
"You'll see." Kat shot him a grin as they burst from the forest, this time she took the lead as they hit the road, for now there was no one to stop them so they were able to fully open up, the horses hooves eating up the distance as they got closer to one of the small beaches that surrounded the Demacian port. For a good while the trio rode together in silence, all pairs of eyes focused on the horizon as it drew closer and closer. It seemed Fate had given them a good hand for once, as they did not run into any more trouble along the way. The Demacian army expected them to be going east towards the border, but now they were practically doubling back and going the other way, so for now they were safe.
Nearing the coast, they decided it was high time to leave the horses behind, the poor beasts had been run ragged from the moment they had mounted them back at the gates of Demacia, and by now they were exhausted. They had well earned their rest, and the three could only hope that whoever found them would give them a good home. They stepped from their seats atop them and the horses let out faint snorts at the weight on their backs being finally relieved. Garen appreciatively patted the muzzle of his own mount, thanking it for its service as Katarina clambered down off her own. "Come on, not far now. All we have to do is light a signal fire on the rocky outcrop at the north end of the beach and he'll come to pick us up." Garen and Quinn nodded and followed after her, finally coming into sight of the beach itself.
It stretched on for at least a mile in either direction, either end walled off by the edges of large cliffs, forming a natural port. One of many that Demacia had access to, having been built on some of the strategically best land available in Valoran. At this time in the morning, few were there apart from the contingent of the coast guard stationed here, hidden away in their almost fort like barracks, 3 large piers rose away from the building with the coast guards ships stationed there, ready to go out on their next patrol. A few of the coast guard were visible going for early morning jogs along the white sand of the beach, waves crashing down a scant few metres from them as the scent of salt washed all the way up to the trio as they hit the peak of the hill leading down to the coastline. Katarina nodded to the north, pointing to a natural pier of rocks rising precariously over the water off the cliff face. "He should have set up some wood there for us already for the fire. We just have to light it." Katarina set off at a brisk jog towards the destination, seemingly unaffected by the sea's chilly wind, Quinn however was not so lucky, and shivered in her sleeveless waistcoat, chills running down her spine and raising goose bumps over her skin, Garen took note of her discomfort and took off large blue trademark scarf, wrapping it about her neck. Despite the shock and despair that had gripped her ever since her father's death, Quinn still smiled her thanks up at the vanguard before the pair joined Katarina in jogging to their destination and hopefully, their salvation. At this distance, the Coast guard had no hope of making them out, and simply mistook them for Demacian citizens out for an early morning jog, so the only reception they received was a few waves from a group jogging by the other way down at the bottom of the beach.
Soon enough, they'd reached the far end of the beach, but looking out at the natural pier, Quinn couldn't help but gulp with trepidation, though it was free from the waves embrace, it was thin and almost entirely covered with slick, slippery moss. The couple looked at one another, before their gazes both fell upon the smallest of the group, Quinn.
"Quinn? You should have the easiest time of it. Here you can use my tinder box." Assured Katarina as she passed it to her, despite the danger she was about to get herself into yet again, Quinn couldn't help but raise an eyebrow.
"Where were you keeping this? You could barely fit a letter in your pocket." She turned as she asked the question, only to spot a faint blush on Garen's cheeks, and she had a feeling she knew just where the much better endowed woman had been keeping it. "I... Uh, never mind." With that, she began her precarious journey, clambering up to the pier with ease, but arriving at its slick surface, she began to take things much more slowly, spray peppered her face as she crawled along the pier, arms spread wide along it to improve her balance as she pushed herself along with her legs, the tinder box held tight. Finally, after a nerve wracking minute of crawling, she reached the blocks of lumber set up for her in advance, they smelled horribly acrid, as if someone had poured something on them advance to ensure they smoked more, and as she lit the fire she discovered they in fact had, practically blinded by the stinging smoke that spouted from the small fire she'd lit as it rapidly rose to fill the air, she backed slowly along the pier and climbed back down, though with her eyes still tear filled from the smoke, she couldn't quite see clearly and made a miss step, falling on the final leap of the descent, she likely would have landed rather hard if Garen hadn't stepped in the way and caught her in his arms just before she fell against the hard rock floor. "Oof! Uh... Thanks Garen."
"Not a problem." He smiled as he lowered her down, but that smile left his face as cries of alarm resounded out back down the beach, the coast guard had seen the fire, and were coming to investigate. Katarina had just drawn her blades when Quinn noticed they were not the only ones who'd spotted it, seemingly emerging from the cliff face itself, a huge galleon left a well hidden cave, a jolly Rodger topping its mast, rescue had arrived. "Kat... Our back up is Gangplank!?"
"Yes. Who else do you think could get us out of here?"
"Okay, good point. But, Gangplank?"
"Hey, he's a nice enough guy once you get to know him, and his accent is funny." Garen merely rubbed his temples at that as Katarina stowed away her blades, ignoring the fast approaching and armed coast guard as they too noticed the ship, their own swiftly leaving dock to combat it. "C'mon, he won't have time to send a raft to pick us up. We have to swim out." With that, the Noxian sprinted into the water, Quinn swiftly following, the two girls dived into the tide and lithely began swimming towards the ship as the coast guard yelled for them to stop, their sleek physiques well suited for cutting through the water, Garen however was rather more hesitant and snarled in annoyance as he pulled off his pauldrons before diving in, with his bulk he had a rather hard time of it, if he had been wearing those as well: He likely would have sunk.
Against the incoming tide, it was anything but an easy swim, the waves crashed down on them constantly, and through their entire journey they could feel the coastguards ships bearing down on them, the guns growing ever closer and fear rising in their bellies, they wouldn't have had a chance at defending themselves while they were in the water and if they caught up they would have been literally dead in the water. But thankfully, they made it in time, reaching the pirate ship before the Demacian vessels caught up and eagerly scrambled up the rope ladder lowered down for them, crashing down on the decking gasping for air, gulping it in like a man in the desert just having found an oasis. Katarina was the first to her feet and that was largely thanks to the captain himself hauling her up, he was the very image of the Bilgewater piracy trade, an old, once elegant captain coat hanging from his shoulders, the sleeves torn away to reveal his impressive musculature and the hem shredded from years of wear and tear, his beard fell well down to his chest and his breath was anything but pleasant, smelling like a mix of citrus and bad rum. But he was on their side, and that's what mattered. "Ahoy yeh wee minx, ah din't think yeh'd make it, we was star'in' to worry 'bout our pay." He said with a booming laugh, Katarina couldn't help but grin back at her friend as she brushed a bang from her eyes.
"Shush up you damn bilge rat, like they could kill me. C'mon let's be on our way, we've got a few followers if you haven't noticed." She nodded back towards the coast guard, who were rapidly getting closer.
"Hah! Yer worried about them damned minnows? Lads! Show our friends what it is we do to minnows!" The rest of the pirate crew, each as dastardly and foul as their captain, if not more so; laughed as they jumped to their duties, cannon fire began to rain down upon the coast guard, their own inferior weaponry not even in range to return fire as holes were blasted in their ships. Gangplank moved towards the wheel, his booming laugh echoing even over the cannon fire as he took up the helm, getting the ship back in the wind and beginning their exit of Demacian waters, only a single one of the coast guard ships had survived their barrage, and its crew had directed it back to port, the ship fearfully limping away from the pirate galleon.
Quinn was sitting up against the railing beside Garen, both watching the proceedings quietly as they caught their breath, in Quinn's head relief was combating with the pain in her heart at the death of her Father, they had done it, the Demacian's would have a damn hard time catching up to this ship before it got out of their waters, then it was clear sailing to Noxus, to Valor.
To her new home.
THE MAIDENS VOYAGE
Being aboard Captain Gangplank's ship, it was a strange experience for Quinn. All her life she had been taught of duty to ones nation, that your life, your deeds were measured by what you had done to help others, to advance your city in the world. Even Noxian's were like that in a way, they served to advance themselves in the city, but in doing so, they served to advance the city. The pirates weren't like that, not in any way at all, each of them lived purely for themselves and their closest friends. They lived not to advance any greater cause, but to enjoy life to its fullest, reaping the benefits and not giving a damn for the consequences. In essence, the pirates were the first people she'd met who were truly free. They were only even bound to this ship because Gangplank had earned their loyalty, they were not born knowing to be loyal to him, not raised to believe that they should be. But rather, like her father, he had proven himself through actions rather than expectations.
Truly his ship was a wonder to behold as well, as large as many a Demacian warship, it was his pride and joy, his lady, like all sailors he referred to his vessel as if she were a fine woman, and one he loved dearly. Quinn and Katarina, being, not only the only women on board, but the guests of honour got to take part in all her luxuries to, Gangplank had even given up his captains quarters for the pair to share, Katarina had commented that she had planned to share a bunk with Garen, but Gangplank had quieted those complaints with a very simple rule.
"If Ah'm not gettin' any, noither does any other man on me ship." He had oft reminded them of this rule, unceremoniously pulling them apart whenever he found the two trying to have a romantic moment in one of the more private sections of the ship, Katarina always found it amusing more than anything else and every time she'd merely saunter off, blowing a kiss to Garen and promising he'd have his fun another time. Poor Garen on the other hand, was getting really rather frustrated, though he persevered it as he did everything else, having finally decided to come clean to the world about their love and being able to be close to her for the first time in so very long, it was almost painful for the captain to be keeping them apart so. Quinn had almost become a replacement to Garen in a way, there was only a single large bed in the captains quarters, and in truth it was the only bed on the ship, everyone else slept in a hammock, so the girls shared. Quinn had a really rather hard time sleeping, still struggling to cope with the loss of her father. So for most nights of the week long journey she and Katarina would stay up late together, huddled under the blankets against the sea's chill, simply talking about their lives. This was one such night.
Katarina was awoken by the bed rising slightly as the other occupant climbed out of it, she was, as she had to be: A very light sleeper, when so many of your own countrymen considered you a prime target for assassination it was an essential trait, she blearily opened her eyes to see Quinn standing by the windows, staring out into the storm that wracked the night time sea's, the rain hissing down forming a rather pleasant backing track of white noise, Quinn had one hand pressed to the window, her forehead pressed to the freezing glass beside it, Kat raised herself into a sitting position onto the bed, startling the other girl by speaking up. "You okay Quinn?" Quinn's head whipped around, a gasp escaping her lips, but hidden from Kat's ears by the storm as she realised the rooms other occupant was awake.
"Y-yeah, I'm fine... I was just... Dreaming about him." She mumbled, her head bowed down as if in prayer, Kat could only just make her out over the thundering waves and the hiss of the rain, but she could make out enough for an understanding smile to flit to her lips. She patted the bed for Quinn to sit down beside her. Quinn hesitated for a moment, but as a draught ran through the cabin from under the door, she made up her mind and hurried back into bed beside her.
"You know... I didn't know your Father for very long, but from what I saw, he was a wonderful man. He rather reminded me of my own father, in fact, you remind me of me when I... Well, after he went missing." Quinn's eyes widened, she had never known much about the Noxian blades woman, and her father having vanished was certainly news to her. Katarina gave her a sad smile and patted her back gently.
"Yeah, no one knows what happened to him, but if he's alive out there. I'm going to find him someday, but the point is, I know what it's like to lose your father Quinn, it's not easy. Hell in a way I'd say you're lucky, knowing for sure if your fathers gone. I have to keep hoping, but there's every chance those hopes are completely false. Just... Remember your dad for the man he was, huh? I mean he did all this to save you, if it wasn't for him I'd have never even known what happened. So I say, remember him as what he was, a hero. Don't worry if you could've saved him or not, he died doing what he thought was right, and you can't ask for more." Quinn nodded with a faint smile, resting gently against Katarina, allowing the taller woman to wrap an arm around her.
"Thanks Kat... Heh, you're a lot kinder than your rep would make me think. I can see why Garen likes you."
"Oh? And what do they say about me in Demacia, hmn?" Katarina's pearly white teeth gleamed in the darkness as she grinned at the Demacian, though she was rather brought up short when, making rather a large effort, the Demacian grinned right on back.
"That you're a vicious, soulless murderer, but at the same time a maiden more beautiful than any other, in the same way well crafted blades are beautiful. A hand of the reaper himself, all who face you should steel themselves." That gave Katarina pause for a moment, and she waited a time before responding.
"Actually, that's all pretty accurate--" She laughed boisterously, "-- especially the beautiful part." She got a playful shove from Quinn for that, the Noxian killer letting out a girlish shriek as she tumbled from the bed onto the floor, the blankets going with her she landed in a tangled heap. Quinn couldn't help but laugh at her misfortune, but those laughs were cut short as Katarina got to her feet, a deadly smile on her lips, "I'll get you for that, feather head." With that as her only warning, Katarina sprung forward and the two spent a good while laughing as they faux sparred one another, the fight only ended when they heard the door groaning from the weight of one or two people leaning up against it. Katarina giggled and whispered in Quinn's ear, "Looks like we've woken up some of the crew, shall we give them something to dream about?" It took a moment for the more innocent of the two to catch on, but when she did she gave her a grin in return even as a blush clouded her cheeks.
"Let's." Quinn whispered back and the pair climbed off the bed, stepping over towards the door. Quinn waved Katarina on, telling her to start as she wasn't entirely sure on the plan, Katarina grinned and suddenly lightly kicked the door, letting out a mock moan of Quinn's name, barely stifling her laughter as the sound of surprised blustering could be heard from the other side of the door, Quinn followed along by moaning on back, and Katarina kept their game going by murmuring towards the latch of the door.
"You're so much better at this than Garen." Suddenly, the handle began to turn, only for Gangplanks usual commanding yell to burst in through the door as he came across what was sure to be a rather interested scene outside.
"Davey blast yeh Demacian! What'd Oi say when you got aboard me ship!? If I ain't gettin' any, noither are you."
"But Gangplank, they're, the girls, I mean, they're, agh!" What could only be Garen forcibly being dragged back across the deck by the burly pirate resounded out, for a moment all was silent as the girls stood there, stifling their laughter only for footsteps to come back towards the doorway, both practically leapt from their skin as the door opened and Gangplank uncaringly poked his head in.
"Same goes for you lassies, unless I'm in it wit' yeh, tha' bed's for sleepin'." He intoned in his usual commanding, slurred, and ever so slightly fatherly voice that he took with them, the captain didn't even flinch as two bright red hand marks were left on his cheeks by the surprised women, he just gave them a grin and a wink before pulling his head back through the door and closing it behind him. "You sleep tight now!" He called through the door as his footsteps faded away under the hiss of the rain. The unlikely pair of newfound friends, Demacian ranger and Noxian blade stood there for a moment in silence before erupting into laughter, finally making their way into bed once more and collecting the blankets from where they were strewn on the floor, they lay back down beside one another, smiling cheekily as their drowsiness began to catch up with them, the older of the pair pressed her hand to Quinn's cheek for a moment and whispered to her as they settled in.
"I promise you Quinn... Your dad's at peace now, and we'll avenge him. So don't let him plague your dreams anymore, he wouldn't want that." Quinn nodded slightly, her joviality lessened as her eyes grew cold with certainty. Her voice felt as deadly as any arrow as she swore right back.
"Jarvan will pay."
Katarina gave her a grim nod of agreement back, and the two finally let sleep catch up with them. Both glad to have found a friend in the other, that would hopefully last them a good time to come.
Other than her nightly talks with Katarina, Quinn generally spent her time aboard the ship at the stern, watching as the sea rolled out behind them and seagulls tagged along over headed, taking seat in the crow's nest when their wings needed rest, this was her place of choice not only because it was away from a large amount of the hustle and bustle of the ship, but also because this is where Gangplank spent his days as well, manning the wheel of the ship and guiding it through the seas towards their destination. At first she had thought the pirate really very unpleasant for his blunt and surly nature, thinking him little more than yet another thug of bilge-water, but as she watched him, exchanging words from time to time, more and more as time passed, she realised the pirate had a much deeper personality than the one he gave off by his demeanour, in truth he rather reminded her of her father, he not only inspired and earned loyalty from his men, but he was loyal to them in turn, he didn't have the persona of an outsider as many a commander did with his men, like her father he was part of the boys, treated as one of their own. He cursed and bawled them out whenever they made the most minor of mistakes, but he shared in their jokes, laughed and brawled with them after dinner when they were all deep in their drink. All in all, despite his uncountable faults, the most prominent of them being that which all his men shared, a rather heavy lack of personal hygiene; Quinn couldn't help but find herself liking the pirate. He seemed to like her in turn, always concerned for how she was coping, and doing his best to keep her spirits up when he had the time and wasn't throwing Garen in the brig for his own amusement, he'd be with her, joking, asking questions about her life, learning more about her as he in turn answered her questions, and taught her the basics of being the helmsman for a ship. When they were out on open waters, he even let her take the wheel for a time, and Quinn had to admit, she had loved it. The ship turning to her whims as the wind blasted through her hair, it was a powerful feeling, to be in control of such a mighty vessel. This was likely where Captains got their arrogance from, it was hard not to be when you got to experience this nigh on every day. Gangplank had stood behind her, watching with a faint proud smile, his hand rested on her shoulder as he gave up reign of his lady for the young tormented girl who'd lost so much in the last week, the pirate was not usually a compassionate man, but he actually found himself enjoying doing the right thing for once with Quinn.
Sadly, like all good things, the pairs meeting had to come to an end soon enough, and in seemingly no time at all, it did. After a night of wonderfully strong wind and calm seas, the mighty pirate vessel, Dead pool reached port in a small Noxian outpost some twenty miles from the city itself. Quinn stepped from the captain's cabin early in the morning to find the crew working hard to tie up the ship and get its goods ready for trade while they were in town, she let out a soft gasp as she realised they had finally arrived, and moved back to her Cabin, clicking the door closed behind her and softly shaking her still slumbering bed mate. "Kat. Kat wake up, we're here." The other girl drowsily lifted her head from its place on the pillow, the fabric damp from where she'd been drooling into it.
"Whu-?... Oh!" She practically leapt from bed, scurrying about still half asleep as she searched for her pants and jacket, after a moment she looked up to find Quinn already holding them out for her, causing her to giggle in embarrassment. "Uh... Right, thanks." Quinn nodded with a grin back at her as she grabbed her crossbow from where it had been lying on a table for the last few days, sliding it into the holster at her hip before slipping her wing shaped quiver onto her back. Katarina slipped her many knives about her person, ignoring the feeling that Quinn thought they were hilariously overkill, finally the pair were ready to face the day and stepped out together onto the deck.
Gangplank and Garen were waiting for them, it seemed Garen was looking forward to getting off the ship as he was already fully dressed and looked as if he'd been awake for most of the night. Gangplank on the other hand, looked as laid back as ever, and gave the two a cheery wave as they approached. "Ahoy lassies, ready teh get yer land legs back?" He hollered with a faint grin, Quinn smiled a little at the pirates accent as she stepped to him.
"It'll be good to finally see Valor again, but... Tell the truth, Captain." She looked up at him with a faint smile, "I think I'll miss you a bit." The pirates grin softened back into a smile and he wrapped his arms about her, pulling the girl into a tight hug that made Quinn squeak in surprise.
"Ah'll miss you to lass, it was nice havin' someone with some good still in their hear's on me ship. Especially someone as cu'e as you." He grinned cheekily, producing a huge blush on the rangers cheeks, but all the same, she smiled and as she eased from the hug she planted a soft, grateful kiss on the Pirates cheek, giggling faintly as they turned rosy red beneath his beard.
"Thanks Captain, I hope I see you again some time." She turned from him to find Garen already making his way down the gangplank, glad to be back on solid ground and away from the tyranny of the pirate, Katarina however was waiting right by them. Once Quinn had stepped back she stepped in and hugged Gangplank in turn.
"Thanks for getting us out of there, Gangplank. Don't know what I'd have done without you."
He laughed oafishly, his teeth twinkling amidst his beard. "Do yah ever?" He only laughed louder as she shoved him back playfully. "Bu' enough o' tha', you know ah don' do nothin' for free lass, you promised me and my lads pay for this lil jaunt." He said that with a cold look of greed in his eye, at the end of the day, this wasn't a favour for a friend, it was a business venture with good acquaintances, and he expected those acquaintances to pay him back for his services, Katarina nodded, suddenly just as business like as the Captain had become, she relinquished her hold of him and stepped back.
"Go see the commander of this outpost, and tell him you are requestioning five hundred crowns of gold with permission of house Du Couteau, I'll tell him to hand it over when you pop up on my way out. That sound good to you captain?”
Gangplank grinned back, wringing his hands as his eyes twinkled with the thought of so much gold, he gave a short nod, "You're a good businessmen, Kittie, s'been a pleasure. See you in Bilge-water soon enough I expect."
"Actually... There was somewhere I was hoping to see you well before that." Katarina mumbled with a faintly hopeful look.
"Oh? An' where would tha' be, lass?" Gangplank asked, one eyebrow going up curiously.
"Me and Garen's wedding. I'd love to have you there."
A grin split Gangplanks face, wider than ever before and he swept up the deadly blade, twirling her about as she struggled in his strong grip. "Ah I'd love to, Kat! I'll see yer there!" He put her down, still grinning happily. "An' I hope to see you there to, Quinn." He shouted as the two finally began making their way after Garen, knowing that if they didn't drag themselves off they'd find yet another reason to stay aboard the ship. They waved as they departed, but the Captains words seemed to stir something in Katarina, as the two caught up to Garen she turned to Quinn.
"Actually, I've been meaning to ask you about that, Quinn... Would you like to be one of my maids of honour?"
Quinn felt her jaw slacken slightly, her heart swelling at the gesture, the request from Katarina being such a show of friendship even though they had only recently met. She felt herself tearing up a tiny bit as she nodded, beaming back. "I'd be honoured, Kat, there's nothing I'd like more." Kat grinned and kissed her on the cheek, much to Garen's ongoing annoyance at the lack of affection he was receiving, and with that, the three stepped from the pier, stopping shortly at the garrison to ensure Gangplank's pay, and giving the soldier there quite a start, with not only one of their cities champions walking in through the door, but two of the enemies following in behind her, nattering away as if they were all friends. After a short explanation, the three were on their way once more, having taken 3 horses from the garrison's stable to get them the rest of the way back to Noxus. It wouldn't be at all long until Quinn was reunited with Valor, and with her new friends in tow, she felt her spirits soaring as she imagined her meeting with Valor, though she had to wonder, with her time as a Demacian at an end, where would she go? What would she do with her life now?
When Demacia tore away its wings, what were those wings to do when they were finally free?
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