It happened here. The water lapping against the hull, the light checkered through the grate, and the rocking. Oh, the rocking. She pulled her knees even closer to her chest trying to ease the sickness in her stomach. She could hear them cackling above, their plans fading into indeterminable mumbling as it reached her. It couldn’t end like this, why did she have to be so short sighted? She should have kept her head down, should have realized they would try something like this. It was the oldest trick in the book. A book she always rolled her eyes at and scoffed at the stupid, brainless, girl for getting kidnaped. Now, here she was, stupid maybe, but far from brainless. The pirates had taken her so easily, it was so humiliating. She had been the Black Baron, she had been the topmost Dog fighter in all the world, and she was more than most could handle in the RC circuit and her affection for electronics. All the good that did her in Mutiny Bay, the land that time forgot. Penelope pushed her blond hair away from her eyes and shoved her glasses up her nose. She couldn’t panic. No, she had to stay calm. Sure the vile little Captain Lefwee had practically proposed to her, and dressed her up like some doll, but she wasn’t out here alone. She wasn’t forgotten. Sly would save her. She closed her eyes trying to force back the tears, the hold was deep and empty apart from her curled up in a corner. Sly was brave, smart, and handsome. He fit the bill of a hero perfectly, well a hero with slightly skewed morals. But a hero none the less. Yes, he’d come... he’d come to her rescue. He had sought her out to join their gang after all. He had fought so hard to win her assistance, there had to be something he saw in her. She allowed herself a small smile. She closed her eyes and instead of his charming smile she was reminded of a person she tried so much to ignore. Deep brown eyes, ebony hair curled in dramatic waves only to be tamed into a braid, unnaturally generous curves, a voice deep and womanly lined with the accent of passionate people. She opened her eyes sadly. Who was she kidding. Inspector Carmelita Montoya Fox, whenever the woman was around Sly couldn’t keep himself away from her. He teased her, chased her, helped her, the way he looked at her... he’d never spare that gaze for a short little mouse with prim pink fur and about as much glamor as a grease monkey.
The blue silk skirt that encircled her slid under her hands as she buried her face in her knees, tears smudging her glasses. No, she hadn’t won Sly. He hadn’t even noticed her really. Barely talked to her at all. If it wasn’t for Murray and Bentley she was sure she’d feel like a tag along. Murray seemed nice enough, he was very friendly albeit a bit oafish. But he and the Guru got on so well. The teacher and student would often isolate themselves for dream time training and well, it was no fun to watch a three hundred pound pink hippo and a small purple koala sit around with their legs crossed and eyes closed. So that left her with Bentley. She opened her eyes a bit. She hadn’t been very kind to him. She’d been quite a fool actually. It was all Sly’s fault though, she couldn’t help it. He was a tragic little thing, stuck in a wheel chair. He was very smart though, they had a lot in common actually. Of all the gang, Bentley was the only one that felt like her friend. He sought her out when she was alone and would keep her company. She’d gotten him annoyed more than a few times with her assumptions about Sly’s leadership of their adventures. It seemed he wasn’t as perfect as she perceived him to be at first. He wasn’t very bright about a lot of things, now that she thought of it. Bentley had snapped at her once, telling her that they were a team. A team whose members really did bring all sorts of things to the table. Sly was the skill, Murray was the brawn, and Bentley... well he was the brains. He had told her about their adventures before he was crippled, and really she would have loved to see him running along side his friends. He was sweet, he didn’t deserve such a cruel fate. But surprisingly it didn’t seem to bother him that much. He had built himself a technological wonder of a wheelchair and could carry more than his own in a fight. She figured it would never substitute his legs, but it made it easier to cope. The pirates started shouting overhead and she peered up at the grate, the sun was setting.
When Lefwee had taken her from the Cooper Gang on the island, she had been so predictably helpless. And now that she had time to reflect on it, they had promised to save her. Well, not they. He. It wasn’t Sly, or even the flirtatious Dimitri, it was timid little Bentley who swore to rescue her. She smiled lightly as the ship pitched in the bay’s waters. Actually he’d kept her safe when she’d been blinded earlier in the mission by a pirate booby trap. Her heart warmed as she recalled how he’d gone on ahead to clear a way for her, only to come back and lead her to safety. The little turtle, despite his handicap, lacked nothing it seemed. He was someone she knew she could trust, and something inside her wanted to always trust him.
Her musings were cut short when the ship’s cannons exploded into action. She clung to the bare planks on the wall as distant cannon fire greeted the onslaught. There were panicked shouts on deck, crashes, and the earsplitting sound of splintering wood. The ship halted all progress and she knew the pirate’s ship was immobilized. Far above, coming through the square slots as the red hues of sunset poured through she could hear a voice that used to make her heart race. Sly was up there. What was he saying? She tried to call up to him, but her voice was lost to the creaking of the boat around her. They had come for her! She tried to find something to signal him, but came up short. She heard a bit of banter only to be followed by more cannon fire. She strained her ears but only heard pirates. He left? Sly left her? Lefwee fancied himself the smartest man on the seas, if he had a plan, Sly would fall for it. After a baited bout of nothingness a mind numbing explosion tore through the air. Her heart sunk as she felt her knees give out on her. It was over. That was Lefwee’s trap, she knew it. It was only verified by the satisfied cackling over head. She covered her face miserably. The ship started to move, the crew apparently were able to mend the mast enough to give chase. Was the rest of the gang running away? Leaving her in the clutches of an island where she’d be the only woman for miles? She shuddered and held her torso tight trying not to think of the possibilities. Again the Captain was shouting, only this time a faint echo brought a new sound to her. It was soft but it was Bentley. As if on cue the boat fired it’s cannons and after a bit of banter the ship around her moaned as a strong force bound it. All movement stopped and terrified shouts of sea monsters rang down to greet her. Her mind wrought with worry, she moved away from the leaking wood, something was definitely constricting the ship. She saw a massive, brightly colored tentacle swing into view far over head and the rumors of the creature called Crusher came back to her. They couldn’t have tamed the beast could they?
It came again, and her heart skipped a beat. The misleading, unheroic voice shouted out orders and she could just see the top of a blue helmet hovering near the corner of the grate.
“Bentley?” She cried, her hopes rising out of the ashes.
“Hang tight Penelope I’m gunna get you out of there!”
She couldn’t contain her smile. The sound of the creature beating it’s tentacles along the ship’s deck and the painful cry of pirates couldn’t dent her happiness. She was being saved. Being saved by her friend, her equal, her hero. If they made it out of this mess, she’d let him know she was silly for putting her sights on Sly. After all Bentley was the one she had wanted to meet, since they started talking on the internet, since they offered her the job with the gang. Appearances were deceiving, she knew that now, and it wasn’t something she was going to let herself forget.
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