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Light duties and men

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Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:34 am

(Allright, this is a time skip after the Doctor will do his thing.)

Light duties were the way to go, first for his headache and the hangover of a lifetime (not as bad, I guess) and now because his tender rump could not take too much more abuse. He looked tense, stiff. Taking good time for each step when he climbed up to get on deck. His breeches felt too tight and the fabric stretched and rubbed against his skin, which made him wince and pause.

He walked as if he had a broom stuck to his body and could not master a more elegant of movement. He stopped again and breathed in sharply, steadying himself. He was on deck, because he was soon to take on his duties, because perhaps there was a message in need to be delivered and because even if he had gone to the middie's berth he could not quite lie in his hammock.

"..."He looked at a few sailors, but for once he didn't even spare them a second glance. More so, he didn't try to provoke one, even when seeing him by all means of accident, tip over the full bucket of filthy water. He just looked away.

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Mathew De Guarde
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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:56 am

As one who had spent what seemed, at the time, all his life hanging about in the sickbay doing nothing, and then on light duties, John had a certain feeling of empathy for the pain de Guarde was in. But that didn't stop his grin at the way this particular pain had been gained. Seemed Mr de Guarde was feeling all the usual symptoms of a good thrashing, stiff, tight clothes, inability to suffer any form of movement.
He was sorely tempted to start a loud conversation a wee way up the ratlines, just to see the now almost familier red anger appearing on the face. But he and Sam would get called back down, as they'd have to come down anyway at some stage, and then there'd be trouble.
It would almost be worth it though, if Mr de Guarde took a few steps to start climbing....

John turned back to his piece of wood. It had blood on it now, so that was more stuff he'd have to carve off.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:07 am

The boy saw Westdale up higher, but while before he would yell at him to come down and bully him and insult him till he felt satisfied, he now just looked away. he placed his hand against the railing, breathing in a ragged breath.The rations were soon to be shared, and he knew one boy that would have him smile, when he brought him the agreed portion of things. Anything to ease his pain further and to forget.

He winced and reached back to pull at his breeches. It felt as if they had become a few sizes too small and vile and evil, intent on pressing, on rubbing and harming his injury. He looked to the sea, wincing as his body was to adjust to the roll of the sea and thus move again.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:12 am

John glanced at Mr de Guarde, standing almost close enough to hear.
"He's got it bad, ain't he now." He muttered, conversationally, to the group who were sitting round him. "times when ye wish ye were beaten on land only." muttered Sam back to him, grinning att he shifting, huffing and puffing comign from de Guardes spot on deck.
"Aye. moving t'the waves ain't comforting at all."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:17 am

He couldn't make out the words, but they were made with men that gathered together in what his former captain would have called a mutinous meeting. He glanced to them, but made no attempt to approach them. Not in the manner that he would wish to speak or scold them. Still he took a slow step in the direction, straining to hear the words, if only for distraction.

His knuckles were white, as he gripped at the wood, but for one who was in greatest of discomfort, he atleast held himself considerably well. No crying, no sobbing yet, just a stiff demanour. He was tempted to go where others would not see him and there to seek comfort in solitude. Yet it was the - having to walk there - that he was not too comfortable about, so he was more satisfied with trying to listen in the conversation. Somehow.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:24 am

Again that day, John was given a jab in the ribs. "I know he's trying to hear us" he muttered, in turn jabbing the next man. Carefully, he pulled a whistle from his pocket and carved a couple more holes in it, deft movements he knew by heart now. "Lets see if we can't distract him, ay?"
They laughed, listening to the torrent of notes, if not an actualy tune, comign from the block of wood.
John glared, "Well, I'v enever had to play one before, have I now. D'ye want a turn?"
So that was alright. They couldn't get into trouble from whistling a bit. Not that de Guarde looked like trouble at the moment.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:31 am

He bore the unpleasant tunes for a few moments. He looked away, displeased that there was useless information to be gained there. Just a few men enjoying their free time. And having a very poor instrument to create tone. Still, they shouldn't even have it!

He frowned. he did not feel like scolding the men but could he leave them making the whistling sounds so freely? He shifted uncomfortably, clearly lost in his internal dialogue. To yell at them and ask them to stop or to drop it and not draw attention to himself. To keep silent, or to discipline?

He shifted even less comfortably where he stood. No discipline, no... but a small yell wouldn't harm. "You there.." He spoke, and his voice was obviously void of that vigour that he showed whenever he got a man in trouble."...cease with that..." He had actually said in such lack of spirit, that he surprised even himself.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:00 am

Jophn shrugged at the men. "Mahap there was a calling on a breeze for us to stop?" he murmured, just quietly enough that Mr de Guarde wouldn't hear them. They laughed, and passed the whistle back to him. "Maybe we should parctise at it, ay? Later of course." With another glance at the now very stiff man standing nearby. Sam fingered some cards, but seemed to think he'd be pushing his luck to get a game started. So instead, as all man do, they fell to telling tales of their various triumphs. John grinned at his favourite, one he had first told years ago and had since embellished till it included the Kraken, mermaids and, if the mood was right, Cyclops.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:15 am

He saw them look at him, but he could do nothing and he was not about to go anywhere, if not completely necessary or if ordered. He wanted to sit, but the mere thought of it, send chills down his spine. Hungry and thirsty too. He looked around himself, as if seeking other eyes that would be cast on him.

He didn't quite remember the name of the lad he had bullied earlier. Wessale.. was it? Westale? Something like it.

He would see to it - perhaps, somewhere long into the future, sometime - that this many would too be meeting the cat. But till then he turned ready to walk away. Have the men their fun, while they still could. He bit his lip at a new step and felt the injustice of it all, strike him deeper than the cane.

Where was Mr. Yates, or Fletcher. The boys hopefully did not forget what agreement they made.

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Mathew De Guarde
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Species : Royal Navy; Able Seaman
Number of posts : 8004
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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 am

John noted those eyes and swallowed. He was going to feel that youths displeasure, he knew it. Ah well. That was not to be helped, if he had learned anything from the Navy.

also, he coulf see the uneasy searching. Clearly, Mr de Guarde didn't know everyones names yet, but he knew a few people, and he was obviously looking for them now. Why? for what? Johns shoulders squitched and he rubbed his fingers absently. Nervous? ay, but he didn't know what about, yet.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:27 am

His face cleared when he saw young Fletcher arrive. The boy held something in his hand. He looked fearful at the midshipman as he was motioned closer. When he wanted to offer the hidden artifact though the boy shook his head. He pointed in the direction of the desired meeting. The boy nodded somewhat.

Something must've been exchanged by them, for Fletcher to nod again and then turn quickly, disappearing from view. And so now was young De Guarde, though he walked as slow as if he were a snail.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:37 am

John blinked. Did he want to have seen that? What was that all about?
Carefully, he held his shoulders straight out, as he saw other men do it, until Mr de Guarde had crawled past, knowing that it wouldn't take much for the youth to pick up on the nervous gesture. He didn't know, and didn't want to know, what all that was about, but it answered his question about the lad waiting for someone. But why was still a question.
John told himself he'd ask, gently and carefully, round to see if anyone knew anything else. Not that he wanted to know, but if he weren't worrying about naything else...

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:52 pm

Peter came up on deck and saw young Fletcher approach de Guarde. A hidden transaction and the boy walked away, de Guarde creeping along as it his injuries deserved special care and coddling, slight as they were compared to those he had so gleefully seen inflicted on Chase.

Peter, something concealed in his hand. leaned on the lee rail, watching the water, and waiting to see if de Guarde would make his way over to join him.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:56 pm

He noticed the other boy and smiled faint. Just as he had hoped. Yates too was there. Slowly he approached him and leaned against the railing to his left, gazing out to sea as nonchallantly as he was able.

"...Good morning, Mr. Yates." He said with made softness. He glanced to the boy's arms and then to him:"Would it be in your mind that we take a walk from this.. most glaring sun?"

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:02 pm

"No, I like to watch the sea, when I am not on duty. The way the sun light flickers from it. And between the diamonds that glorious colour, like the cloth used by jewellers." Peter remembered a visit to a jeweller in York to buy a crystal necklace for Dorothea's sixteenth birthday. The sea was far more magnificent than that.

He turned to face de Guarde, his mouth tight with displeasure. "You deserved that."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:08 pm

De Guarde took a step back in surprise. His face contorted in pain for a moment before he forced the emotion from it."...." At first he did not answer and turned instead to look at the sea, as if seeking the diamonds that the boy mentioned.

"...I know." It might have come as a surprise that he did not deny his involvement nor guilt. Instead he accepted it and the punishment which came with it."... I shouldn't have struck the corporal." His voice was clear and distant, not the kind with which he greeted the boy. "But.. he should've received retribution as well...He insulted me."

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Mathew De Guarde
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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:16 pm

"He told you the truth, you mean," said Peter, filled with a sense of what was right and what was wrong. He kept his voice low, but firm. "He stopped you bullying one man, and then you insulted him and his men, and he told you you were not fit to polish their boots. Well, you aren't."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:23 pm

He felt his cheeks turn warm and probably colour red as well. Who did this midshipman think he was to tell him that?! He felt the sting of the words, felt the urge to slap the boy for insolence. Gripping at the rail he turned away instead.

"That's not true.." He spoke, barely containing emotion from entering the tone of his voice. "Don't tell me I'm worthless." Though his voice was not, his eyes were brimming with emotion, anger and anguish. He did not move towards the boy. Was it because they were under the possible scrunity of the eyes of others? Because of his pain?

"I am not.."He spoke in a low tone, close to whisper. " He did not speak the truth, nor do you! You insult me, Mr. Yates. Do not tempt me to seek satisfaction.." Yet his voice was unconvincing in it's threat.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:41 pm

"Then prove it. I thought there might be some good in you, even when you tried to bully me - even when you showed how wickedly vicious you were, when you showed a lack of conduct my baby brother would have been ashamed of. But now I doubt it, de Guarde." He produced the glass with the tot of rum, and held it where de Guarde could see it. "Seek satisfaction? Surely this is what you seek, as if it could satisfy you. It biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder, de Guarde."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:47 pm

"You do not know me, Yates. You have no right to judge me." His eyes were laid on the glass. He seemed less tense with the revelation of that drink as if it were his savour, his way to better times, a companion that never left.

"Will you give it to me?" He spoke, and with his demanour so changed his voice. Softer, a slight kinder and yet still a whisper only. It was only then that he considered the boy's words further. But try as he might he found no words of reply.

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Mathew De Guarde
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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:53 pm

"I said I would give it to you if you taught me. In one way you have, you have taught me a great deal - about people, and about how not to do things. But that wasn't the bargain." He tipped the glass and poured the tot into the sea. "I'd do the same if I were you." He turned and leaned his elbows on the rail, looking across the deck. "If I see you bullying Fletcher again, I will thump you. Or any of the others in our berth."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:02 pm

He watched in horror as the drink was lost to the sea. He reached for Peter's hand as if to halt him in his doing. But he came short, by his own.
"..Why?.." He hadn't expected it of the boy, so sure he was that Mr. Yates came with his glass to give it to him. Was this the reason why he did not wish to go below?

"I'd thump you now, by god I would." He whispered harshly. His hand came to the boy's collar in similar manner that the corporal grasped his earlier. It twisted at the cloth and it pulled to force the boy close. But he looked fearful to do it now too, a glimpse over his shoulder was enough of a tell. Afraid that someone would see him and think badly of his move.
"You will not tell me what I am to do or not. Mr. Yates. And you shall not again be found pouring your ration into the sea." His breath was hitched, his anger showing. As was pain.

"Now you shall come with me, below..to the berth." He demanded.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:10 pm

The grip on the collar dragged Peter forward, and he glared into de Guarde's blue eyes, to see anger and fear. At the demand that he accompany de Guarde below, he pushed himself away, feeling the cloth give at the seams somewhere. "I shall not. Whatever you have to say, can be said here." He looked round too. The ever-present sailors, most keeping a careful eye on them. If it came to a fight, he could be sure of support, which - probably - was why de Guarde wanted him to go down to the berth. The red coats of Marines were there too, and the other redcoat, taking the air. "If we keep our voices down, no one will hear."

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Outnumbered above he felt he had a chance below. But not here. Not with the eyes watching. So many pairs that would all say the same. Yates was in their favour and he was against. Even if the other middie had struck first he had no doubt who would be blamed.

"We shall go below." He insisted, yet in softer tone. "Below now." He demanded in whisper. "What do you fear, Mr. Yates. .. Me?" The tone had changed to that of mock, as if attempting to play that tune to bring the boy to follow.

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Re: Light duties and men

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:22 pm

Peter grinned. "I am not going, de Guarde. I won't be bullied, but I won't let you beat me up, either. Do you take me for an idiot? When we're grown up, then I'll fight you on equal terms, and beat you to pulp. But you're older than me, and taller, and a lot more experienced. I bet you know some really nasty moves, too. And would use them." And that was the difference. He could have fought his older brothers, even Charles, and known that they would not want to hurt him, and it would all have ended in laughter, even if he'd managed to hit them quite hard. He would probably have to hit de Guarde with a length of spar to stop him.

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