Victoire wrinkled her nose, "This port again?" She hated this village, all old and rundown. Plus, there were rumors of the village coward. She hates cowards. Then, there was Captain Killian Jones's lady friend at the tavern... What was her name? Milah.
Oh god, how she hated Milah. Milah was clingy and as weak as a damsel in distress. Killian had actually invited her onto the Jolly Roger. Victoire was relieved that she had said no, but a gut feeling told her that sooner or later, she would accept and become part of the crew. That would be the last thing she needed.
At least the Dragon's Head Tavern was worth a visit, and pirates loved taverns. Victoire was disappointed to see that Milah was already there. Her solution: grab a drink and sit as far away as possible. She didn't pay much attention to what was happening; sh just gulped down drink after drink.
"Milah!" an unfamiliar voice called. Victoire up and saw a man standing before the table.
"Run home Rumple, isn't that what you're good at?" Milah scoffed, prompting everyone around her to laugh. Even Victoire laughed, because she knew who this man was. Rumpelstiltskin, the village coward. He had been in the Ogre Wars but ran away in cowardice, like his father before him. Like father, like son.
"Mama!" another voice called. A small boy stood next to Rumpelstiltskin.
Milah let out a quiet gasp as she stood up and shuffled between the chairs.
"Milah," Victoire said. "Who is that? The little boy?"
Milah paused before answering, "He's my son."
Killian waited a few moments until the family left before standing up. "Let's go."
Much later, that night, Victoire stood on the hull of the boat, staring out at open sea. The Jolly Roger would soon set sail towards a new port, and hopefully someplace where there were no clingy women.
Victoire suddenly saw a figure approach the Jolly Roger. Keeping her hand on the handle of her dagger, she rasped, "Who's there?"
"It's Milah!" the woman called.
Victoire snarled. "KILLIAN! YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S HERE!" she shouted at the top of her lungs, secretly smirking.
The captain barreled out the galley, growling, "Victoire, I think you've woken up the whole village."
"I don't care," Victoire said, jumping down from the hull and strode across the wooden deck of the ship. Killian had already turned to Milah.
"What's going on?" he questioned.
Milah wiped her palm against her skirts. "You're leaving port tomorrow, right?"
"Yes, thankfully," Victoire answered. Killian glared at her before turning back to Milah.
"Take me with you!" Milah burst out. "I'm so tired of being stuck here, with the village coward. Please, take me with you."
"Captain, what's going on?" someone behind them asked. Turning around, Victoire saw the rest of the pirate crew behind them. The one who had spoken was Atalanta, one of the crew's few women.
"No, we can't take her," Victoire insisted. "We're already full as is. Plus, she has a family." She snarled the last part of the sentence.
Killian turned to face his crew. "What do you think? Should we take her?" Even though it was obvious to Victoire that his answer would be yes either way. All the crewmen nodded their heads with satisfaction except for Victoire and Atalanta, who vigorously shook their heads.
"It is settled then," Killian turned back to Milah and spread his arms. "We will take you with us."
A grateful smile spread across Milah's face as Killian offered her his hand. She took it and climbed aboard the Jolly Roger. The crewmen led her to the galley as a celebration. Victoire snarled at their backs and Atalanta joined her. Victoire said in a low voice, "We've got to do something about that woman."
"I know," Atalanta spoke, and whispered her suggestion in the other woman's ear. Victoire smiled coldly, "Perfect." She started to lift herself over the edge of the boat, but Atalanta stopped her.
"It'll be too suspicious if you do it," she said, a devious look in her brown eyes. "I'll do it."
"Knock 'em dead, Atalanta," Victoire said, slapping her on the back as she climbed out of the boat to execute their plan.
The next morning was warm and bright. A good day for sailing, though Victoire preferred cold and cloudy. Killian was up at the steering wheel, no doubt plotting the course for the next voyage.
Suddenly, a man stumbled onto the boat, prompting the pirates to laugh. It was Rumpelstiltskin. She looked across the deck at Atalanta, her dark blue eyes meeting coffee brown eyes. Atalanta gave a small nod. The rumor she'd started must have reached Rumple.
Killian had moved to stand above Rumple, his arms crossed.
"On your feet for the captain," one of the pirates ordered. Two others roughly pulled the man to his feet and handed him his cane.
"I remember you," Rumple pointed at Killian, who only raised his eyebrows. "From the bar."
"It's always nice to make an impression," Killian spoke. The surrounding pirated chuckled. Victoire sat on a crate to watch the events play out. She had no plan of interfering. Atalanta pretended to coil a rope, but her ears were at work, catching every word they said.
"Where are my manners?" Killian said. "We haven't been formally introduced. Killian Jones. Now what are you doing aboard my ship?"
"You have my wife," Rumple said.
"I have many a man's wives," Killian retorted. Victoire scowled.
"You see, we have a son, and he needs his mother." Rumple protested.
"I have a ship full of men who need companionship. Victoire and Atalanta are violent, but too violent at the same time, if you know what I'm talking about," Killian said.
Rumple made a disgusted face before continuing his plea. "I'm begging you, please let her go."
"I'm not much for bartering," Killian said. "That said, I do consider myself an honorable man; a man of code. If you truly want your wife back..." He tossed a sword at the man's feet and drew his own. "All you have to do is take her."
Victoire saw this coming a mile away. She knew that Killian wouldn't let Milah go so easily. Not when he felt the way he felt about her, if you know what she was talking about.
"You've never been in a duel before, have you?" Victoire questioned. "It's simple. The pointy and sharp end goes through the other man's chest." She squeezed her fist, smiling wickedly. The other pirates snickered, and even Killian had to smile.
"Go on," Killian said once his smile faded. "Pick it up." Rumpledidn't move, and Killian out his sword at his throat. "A man unwilling to fight for what he wants, deserves what he gets."
"Please sir, what am I going to tell my boy?" Rumple asked.
"Try the truth, his father's a coward," Victoire said viciously. "His father couldn't win back his mother from a gang of pirates."
"Now that was something else!" Atalanta exclaimed.
"Well, it's not every day I get to talk down to someone other than Killian," Victoire chuckled. She had planted her boots on the table. "But, the problem of Milah still remains."
"True," Atalanta said. "So how do you want to take care of it?"
Victoire smiled wickedly. "I know how."