The village was delighted to see him again. After the airship had left, Jonathan had stripped off his disguise, threw it out to sea, and then jumped into the water as well and scrubbed himself off until everything that the women had put on him before was washed away. Then he put on his old clothes, the clothes he had been kidnapped in, and walked back to the village, wondering how his random reappearance would be taken.
Apparently he had been gone for a little over a month. To Jonathan, it felt like years. Everyone pestered him with questions as soon as they saw him, and he had to be thankful toward Marie when she managed to drag him away from everyone else. When they were finally alone, though, he confessed that he didn't want to be with her anymore, that he just couldn't, and didn't offer any explanation. But Marie nodded, like she understood, and quietly asked if she could sell the house they had been planning to move into earlier. Jonathan agreed with her, and then told her that she could keep all the money that they would get.
As for the treasure, Jonathan was glad that everyone was too busy worrying about him to even care about the large bag he was holding. He knew that they cared less about him (well, except for his parents and Marie) and more about the fact that he had disappeared without a word. That way, Jonathan managed to get his treasure into his flat unnoticed, with only discussions of his disappearance interrupting him along the way. He had told everyone that he didn't know where he had gone or what he had been doing—one moment, he had been wandering around, unable to sleep. The next moment he was on the beach for what seemed to be like a few weeks later.
Everyone in the village was also greatly intrigued and astonished when they realized that the tourists who had come here earlier had left as well, even though none of them had ever mentioned that they had been traveling by sea. In fact, said their town leader, the man who had spoken for the tourists had told him that they traveled by walking through the forest, though no one saw them come back from the shore. It was almost like magic.
Jonathan stayed by himself at his flat for a little bit. Then, after he had exchanged his jewels one by one at the bank, where the banker had watched him wide-eyed as Jonathan came in with a new handful of gems every day, Jonathan finally had enough money to support his parents. He quietly sold his flat and then moved out, to stay with his mother and father, giving them more than enough money for food, water and extra material items, and then kept even more for them at the bank to guarantee them comfort and good health for the rest of their lives. Jonathan also gave a great portion to Marie, who had said that she couldn't take it at first. But Jonathan insisted, and in the end, Marie gave in.
Jonathan donated some to the rest of the village, anonymously, for trades and their little interactions with other towns. Even though they were unknown, they would at least be happy. And that was more than what they could ask for.
As for the rest of the money and treasure, Jonathan kept it in his bag, unable to look at it without thinking of the airship he had grown to be so used to, people he had grown to be so fond of. During late nights in his old bedroom at his parents' house, he would lie awake and stare at the ceiling, wondering how the rest of the crew was doing. If they were making their way to the nation Rompas had been talking about. If they were going on with music nights like they always did, once a week. If they were eating dinner or planning their next hunt, or maybe sleeping the way Jonathan was supposed to be doing right now. If they missed him. If they had forgotten him.
Jonathan was back, and he was home, and everything was exactly the way it used to be. But he wasn't happy. Because for the first time in his life, something was missing.
A month passed. Jonathan resumed his work in carpentry, while his father joked that with all his time being gone, he had forgotten some of its basic rules. Jonathan managed a weak smile and shrugged. He wondered if his carpentry could help craft ships. He didn't say anything about it, though.
After one long night in the shack, Jonathan mindlessly made his way back to his parents' house. He passed Marie's new home along the way. Apparently, she had found a new boyfriend shortly after she and Jonathan had broken up. Jonathan was happy for her. At least one of them found someone they could be with.
Jonathan quickly said goodnight to his mother and father, and then went to bed. He had been sleeping for a good few hours, when suddenly, a loud noise came from downstairs.
He shot his eyes back open, and glanced to the clock. It was four in the morning. What would be going on in his house at dawn? His parents should be asleep right now.
He heard footsteps in the hallway, and then his mother calling out, "Hello?" Jonathan waited patiently in bed, holding his breath. Then he heard shrieks coming from outside and immediately went over to his window.
Outside, people were running around, screaming—some others who weren't in the normal village clothing were bursting in and out of the houses with torches, yelling things to each other. Jonathan stared out of his window, shocked—and when he heard his mother open the front door, he rushed out of his room to make sure that she was safe.
Jonathan's mother immediately pushed him back inside as soon as he joined her. "Jonathan! Go back!" Her eyes were large with fright, and her voice was shaking even though she had just spoken to him like he was a small child.
Jonathan sighed. "Ma, I want to help," he said, looking around to the screaming peasants. Well, at least whoever had pillaged their town hadn't come to their house yet. "What's going on?"
"Pirates!" screamed someone who had been passing by, and paused when he saw Jonathan and his mother. "You better get your family and get out of here, they've been breaking into houses, looking for hostages!"
"What's going on here?" Jonathan's father appeared in the doorway behind them. His eyes widened when he saw the chaos outside.
But Jonathan was too busy thinking about something else. "Pirates, you say?" he asked, glancing over to the edge of town near the sea.
And there, illuminated in the moonlight, was an all-too familiar airship. The large grey balloon hovered among the clouds like it belonged in the sky, while the rest of the ship sat in the water, waiting for someone.
Jonathan ran out from between his mother and father, ignoring his mother when she shouted out, "Jonathan! Jonathan! What do you think you're doing?" As he made his way through the village, he caught glimpses of familiar men—of Mick and Virgil, of Lyle and Sydney, plundering from house to house, probably looking for him. Jonathan fought the urge to shout to them to tell them that he was here as he sprinted out past them. But there was someone else he wanted to see first.
He ran all the way to the beach, shouts from his mother for him to come back fading into the din. Standing right in front of the rope ladder, with hair disheveled and grey eyes shining, was Demetri.
Jonathan couldn't believe it. His breath caught.
"Demetri?" he said.
Demetri laughed. Jonathan had never heard anything sound so wonderful.
"I look awful, don't I?" he said, running his fingers through his wild dark hair.
"You look brilliant." Jonathan reached over to touch his hair as well.
Demetri's gaze met his own.
"I couldn't leave you."
"I didn't want you to leave me," Jonathan said breathlessly. He couldn't believe it. Demetri was here.
The expression on Demetri's face suddenly turned mildly amused when he spotted something behind Jonathan's left shoulder. Jonathan swiveled around.
His mother was standing there, looking at the both of them, scandalized.
"Jonathan," she said, her voice quavering. "What is this?"
Jonathan beamed. "This," he said, gesturing to Demetri, "is Captain Demetri."
"How do you do, madam," said Demetri, bowing to Jonathan's mother.
His father broke through the crowd at that moment, and hesitated when he saw Jonathan's mother at his feet. He glanced between Jonathan and Demetri. Then he looked back down.
"Can—Can I take her?" he asked awkwardly, walking over to his wife.
"Please do, sir. I would be worried if she stayed," said Demetri, inclining his head again.
Jonathan's father quickly gathered up Jonathan's mother into his arms. Then he looked at Jonathan again.
He looked like he wanted to ask about a million questions. But apparently he seemed to understand, because all he said, "We'll be okay," and then headed back into the village.
Jonathan turned back to Demetri, fighting the urge to hug him. "What are you doing here?" he asked instead, even though he was sure he knew the answer already.
Demetri smiled. "I've come to pick up something I've forgotten," he said. "Something I couldn't leave without."
Jonathan's heart skipped a beat. "Well you've found it."
"I certainly have," said Demetri, beaming.
They smiled stupidly at each other for a few moments. Then Demetri glanced back out to the village.
"I should probably call them off, shouldn't I?" he said thoughtfully.
Jonathan was fairly sure he heard Mocca yell, "I know you've got him somewhere in those knickers of yours!" and laughed faintly.
"Maybe," he agreed.
Demetri signaled to Rompas, who was a little ways off, and Rompas nodded and ran into the village. Then Demetri turned to Jonathan again.
"Come on," he said, taking Jonathan's hand. They walked up into the ship.
Jonathan felt lightheaded with happiness as soon as he stepped into Demetri's room. It was like he had never left.
Demetri spun him around and stepped forward, closing the door behind him. He moved closer to Jonathan. The space between them was getting smaller and smaller.
Demetri kissed him hard and then pulled away, cheeks flushed and eyes more alive than ever. "I missed you," he gasped.
Jonathan smiled so hard that his cheeks ached.
"I missed you too," he said, staring into Demetri's glowing face, and then kissed him back.
Outside, beyond the airship and above the sea, the sun rose over the horizon.
I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving! This is the end... voici le fini ;)
Lurkers, I see you and I really would appreciate a review from you! To everyone else who's stuck with me, thank you so much :D Hopefully I will write another long fic in the future, lol.