Oblivion; the nothingness that connects everything. This is the only way that she can describe it, even though she's long since forgotten how many times her ship has sailed through this emptiness. She tips back her black tricorne hat; a valued gift from an old friend, and lets her brown eyes wander throughout the steady stream of blackness that envelopes the Fallen Star.
Her lips curl into a smile as she leans forward onto the poop deck's railing. If she could, she would take the Leap, and fall out there into the path that folds space, known as Oblivion. There was a person who did that once; took the Leap. The smile fades away from her face and her gloved hands clench together as she thinks of him. She used to cry about it. She used to stay up in her bed while the rest of the crew slept with cold tears streaming from her eyes. Then Scrape heard her crying, and she took a vow to never, ever, let herself cry for him again.
Last night you could have found her in the ship's bathroom, a small six foot by five foot closet on the lowest level with a padded rum bucket sitting in one corner and a cracked Victorian era mirror loosely nailed to the opposite wall. It was this mirror that she stared into for what could have been a millennia. She took in her coarse, caramel colored skin, and her tied back dreadlocks and was reminded of the days when she was an outsider; not knowing whether to be proud of the European blood running through her veins, or feel ashamed of the African heritage she shared with her mother and the other slaves. That's the world that she's from; a time and place where man owned man and many served few.
She broke that vow last night; she cried because of her passed life.
So, for the hundredth time she made another vow, the same as the one before. For the hundredth time she failed herself, because she just has too much to cry about.
She reaches out her hand, and feels it break the barrier that protects her crew from Oblivion. She sighs, knowing that if she were to stick her face passed the barrier, she'd hear the strange noises that come from the darkness. At times she sees this barrier as a prison, keeping her and her crew in, instead of keeping whatever lies out there in Oblivion out. But then she remembers the time before the ship had the barrier. And then she thinks about the time when she saw him Leap. And ghost noises from the creatures of Oblivion fill her ears.
And she keeps reminding herself that she can't cry. She promised she wouldn't.
It's at times like these, times when she thinks about the noises beyond the barrier and the Leap, that she comes to appreciate its protection. Without it there, she'd never get away from the screeches and howls and growls and roars that come from Oblivion. She pulls her hand back. There's nothing different about it. Her hand looks the same whether it's out in Oblivion, or inside the Fallen Star's barrier.
The monsters are out there. And we're in here, she thinks, noting the only difference between the two worlds separated by the barrier.
"Thought I'd find you out here."
She turns around and finds a tall, lean boy with messy black hair standing at the edge of the poop deck. The boy still wears his oil smeared white button- up and ripped khaki pants even though his shift ended a while ago. He stares at her, hands in his pockets and head tilted slightly to the side, with that annoyingly boyish grin on his face. She can't help but smile again at the sight of her right-hand-man and best friend.
"Couldn't sleep?" he asks, walking over to the railing. She looks back out into Oblivion, not wanting to let his green eyes trap her like they always did.
"What's the point?"
"Your body still needs rest, Captain." Now she looks up at him, and she forces herself to only stare at his nose, because she doesn't quite know what she'll say if their eyes meet.
"I'm fine." She watches his hand as he reaches for her, notices the disfigured skin that's cursed his arms for as long as she could remember. Her eyes follow the scars as they run up his forearms, and disappear under the rolled up sleeve of his shirt.
"Promise me you'll get some sleep?"
She takes in his scent; the salty smell of rusted metal and engine oil. It comforts her, makes her feel right at home. She wants to make that promise to him. She wants to so badly. Because it's Scrape. And it's them. And every time he has that boyish grin on his face, she wants to kick him in the shin. And every time he looks at her, her heart does somersaults.
She hates him for having this effect on her. She despises the fact that there's a human being out there who can make her feel small, and who could so easily cause her to make promises she couldn't possibly keep.
"I'll think about it," she offers.
He sighs, and his hand leaves her shoulder. Scrape knows better than to go any further with this subject. "Goodwin says we're almost there."
She reaches down and puts her hand on her gun, feeling the familiar cold metal through the glove's material. No, she's not ready. She'll never, ever be ready. She'd rather take the Leap in Oblivion than –
He's close to her now, and the gun doesn't feel quite as cold.
"You're not nervous, are you?" he says with a not so annoying smile. She laughs, but it's a little weaker than she'd prefer.
"Nervous? I'll throw you overboard if you make such assumptions about me again." Now it's his turn to laugh.
"Whatever you say…Captain."
A/N: R/R please!