D's Daily Drama (fablespinner) wrote,
D's Daily Drama

  • Mood:


You know the drill -- I'm posting unproofread drivel as I write it... Well, only *I* proofread it.... I'm sure I missed a TON of Mistakes







Series Title: Following Tides
Chapter Number: Two
Author: D. Sanders

Over the next few weeks Ilya settled into his new life as if he’d known no other. He spent most of his time on the greenhouse deck cultivating a section of the garden that grew medicinal herbs. Thankfully even on Yvan’s ship, he’d been allowed to have a few boxes of earth to grow herbs in like his Grandmother had taught him.

Rukia’s old garden and workroom was arranged just like his Grandmother’s had been and Ilya was whistling a happy tune where he sat cross-legged on the floor with a small mortar and pestle grinding the small white blossoms he’d picked into a fine white powder. Mischa had become a superb helper and eager student. He didn’t have the healing gifts, but he had the desire to learn herbal craft so Ilya sat down with him in the herb garden with their tools of the trade and he pointed out each plant and taught Mischa their properties. Today they were grinding Maiden’s Breath blossoms into fine powder.

“What do these do again?” Mischa asked as he ground away diligently.

“A few things. Mainly women will sprinkle a little of this into their morning tea and it helps for a few different reasons. For most they’ll use it so they can control their moons so they don’t get a babe they might not want or can’t take care of just now. Others want to have babies but they have irregular moon cycles and this will help make ‘em regular so they can get pregnant. If a man takes it in his tea, it makes him less potent and less likely to father babes if he doesn’t want any or rather his mate doesn’t.” Ilya winked at Mischa before continuing. “It can also be used in greater doses to help induce labor for pregnant women and in even greater quantities it can make them miscarry. You may be a bit young for all this Mischa, and I don’t know how much yer mam’s told ya about babies and such but, if you wanna learn, I’m gonna tell you the truth.”

“I sorta know. I mean... I know what my wanker is for when I’m older. Mam told me that much.”

Ilya laughed. “Aye, that’s what it’s for. Don’t ya ever use it if the lass says “no” you got that? I don’t like using this powder on lasses who said ‘no’ but still had men take ‘em anyway. No lass wants a babe that came from a man who took something from her he shouldn’t have. And if you ever do somethin’ like that, I’ll cut yer wanker off for ya. Understood?”

“Aye.” Mischa shuddered.

“Good boy.” Ilya said tapping out his powder into a collection container and going to work on more. They didn’t have any of this on hand, since Rukia had passed and all that he had made had already been used up. This item was high on the request list; just under headache powder and muscle ache salve.

“How come you don’t have a lass to use yours on? Most of the men do.” Mischa asked and Ilya choked. He did say he was going to tell the truth.

“I’m different. Let’s see if I can’t put this in general terms for a ten-year-old. There are basically three types of people if you get right down to it in the broadest, bare bones sense. There are people like yer mam. Folks like her, when they grow up; they want to have lovers the opposite sex only. Boy and girl couples. Then there are those who love both genders equally. Them folks they’ll have lovers and fall in love regardless of their partner’s gender. Then there are people, like me for instance, who love others and take lovers of the same gender only. It’s a bit trickier than that and you sort of figure the most of it out when you’re older anyway on your own. You’ll just know what you like eventually, when you get old enough to start liking things in a grown up way. You gotta hit puberty first. That’s when you’ll know what you like personally.”

“Girls are strange. I like boys better.”

“All boys your age say that. You’ll more like as not change your mind once you hit puberty in a few years. You might not, but most folks end up like your mam. And that’s a good thing, or else there’d be a lot less good kids like you.” Ilya ruffed Mischa hair.

“Pubity, that’s like when you get hair down there on your bits and under your arms and on your chest? Like Orin did last year? ‘cept he don’t have none on his chest. Just his bits.”

Ilya laughed. “Aye. You get hair; you start getting bigger fast, your voice changes. A whole lot of stuff goes on with your body when you’re a teenager. I was thirteen when I got my hair and my voice started changing. I grew about ten inches in five years. I out grew everything I owned faster than I could get new. It’s damn awkward for a boy and I know you got questions, you ask me anything you want to lad. I know you won’t wanna ask her mam this stuff. It’s alright; it’s natural not to want to ask your mam stuff like that. I used to ask our cook those things when I started changing. He was the only nice person on that ship and he understood what it’s like, like I do now.” Ilya said as he helped Mischa tap his powder into the rapidly filling container. Work went faster when you talked and the lad was eager for a male ear to bend.

“When did you know you liked boys?”

“When I was about fourteen or fifteen I figured it out. But then I was a little different. I was already in love. I actually fell in love when I was about your age, I only realized I was well and truly in love with another boy much later.” Ilya smiled as he moved to pluck more blossoms off the lower ground cover plant.

“With who?”

“With Van.”

“But you just met!”

“Aye, that’s true. But I had a dream. I used to dream it all the time. He was always in that dream. Just like he used to see me in his big stone bowl, I used to see him in my dreams. We’ve loved each other a very long time.”

“So that’s why Mam was saying Van was happy at last. He always seemed happy enough to me, I could never understand that. It’s like I suppose, when you miss something. Even though you can laugh, you miss things like I miss my Daa.”

“That’s very close to the truth of it. We didn’t precisely miss one another, but we longed for each other. They are similar emotions. Like you miss your daa and you’d give anything to be there again with him right?”


“That’s longing. That’s what Van and I had. It didn’t stop us living our lives, but it was always there in the back of our minds all the time. You’re a very smart lad.”

Mischa grinned he felt like he had his big brother back now that Ilya had come on board. Granted all the men always let him ask questions, but they were always so busy with their jobs. Ilya always had time for Mischa and even let him help and never made him feel like he was being patronized or indulged.

“I have another question.”

“You’re full of them this morning, spit it out then lad.”

“How come most healers are girls? I heard mam say the other day how rare it was for men to be healers and that we had two.”

“That’s a quirk of nature lad. Your mam is right. About nine out of ten healers are women and the ones left over are men like me. We’re what you can call ‘balanced’.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Remember when I said there were three types of people? And I was the type that liked my own gender? That’s sort of why. I’m, I guess you could say, I’m as much a woman on the inside as I am a man for lack of a better way to describe it.” Mischa made a confused face after Ilya’s answer.

“You’ll understand that answer when you hit puberty too. I can’t understand it much beyond that myself. It just is that way, a quirk of nature. Mother nature has her own way of ordering things.” Ilya added as they topped off the container and cleaned up their mess. They took a break to raid the peach tree together before Ilya sent Mischa back to his mother and he began making the rounds of crew who’d asked for this particular powder. He walked the crew cabins and began knocking on specific doors. Olga was his first stop, newlywed and not wanting children just yet. She opened the door and almost cheered.

“I just took my last dose this morning! Ilya I’d have YOUR babies in gratitude for this.” Olga said as Ilya scooped some powder into her container from his.

“Isn’t the point of this stuff NOT to have babies in the first place? Besides, I think Mikhail would have something to say about that and take it out of my hide.” Ilya winked in return where she slapped his arm with a chuckle as he headed on to his next stop, distributing medicinal powders to a very grateful female populace. Keeping a little on hand where he placed it in a cabinet in his workroom in the corner of the greenhouse deck, it was hardly bigger than a glorified cupboard next to the herb garden. It was a small eight-foot by eight-foot room. It held shelves floor to ceiling on three walls and up against the fourth was a narrow shelf table where he could work on either patients or potions. Utilitarian, small and convenient to his supplies. He secured the containers and locked up the cabinet shelves so the bottles didn’t come tumbling out in rough waters then trotted down the stairs to his cabin to wash up just as the midday meal bell rang.


Van was just heading out of their cabin as Ilya reached it and he brightened as Ilya came through the door. “Hello beautiful.” Van said planting a kiss on Ilya’s cheek as he closed the door.

“Hello handsome. What have you been up to this morning? I haven’t seen hide nor hair of you since breakfast.” Ilya asked as he washed his hands and stripped off his shirt to give himself a cursory wash before he headed down to lunch.

“Had a meeting with Petr and Mikhail this morning. We’re getting low on staples like flour and sugar so we poured over maps for an hour and a half trying to plot a course to the nearest supply island. Then I spent the rest of the morning up in the observatory with the star charts and went scrying for a bit. If we can make good time, and I just called a strong east wind so we will and that will push us through quick enough so we can not only re-supply our stores at the island, we’ll have at the very least a three day window there and then another push southwest where we’ll hit a small family supply fleet and we should hit it about a day before they get hit by a real nasty bastard. Another dog I’ve been itching to smack for a while. We can save the fleet and bite Captain Smirnov in the balls.”

“I do hope the only balls you bite are mine love.” Ilya waggled his eyebrows and Van laughed.

“My Love Bites? So, you like those do you?”

“You couldn’t tell?”

Van laughed again before he leered suggestively.

“I should not encourage you in the middle of the day.” Ilya said dropping his damp towel over Van’s head and moving to change into a clean shirt.

“No, you should not.” Van agreed leaning against the door to wait for Ilya before they headed to lunch together.

“Seriously though Van. Smirnov isn’t alone anymore. You do know he’s got a wizard now don’t you? Yvan called Smirnov a weak bastard resorting to magic, but you and I both know that changes things for you.”

“No I didn’t know. That’s news to me. Do you know who he’s running with now?” Van asked perking up; this did change ‘things’ and tactics greatly.

“Let me think a minute. Starts with an ‘R’. Rabin, Raplin?”


“That’s it!”

“Shit. That’s not good news. He’s a twisted bastard. Remember when I told you’ve a seen a man split matter that shouldn’t be spilt? He was who I was talking about. I thought he drowned. I thought I sank his damn ship. He is not going to be happy to see me again. I was only twelve when I took him on before though and that was when I was still on “the Handmaiden” so we have a little advantage, but not much. Damn, I’ll have to plan a defensive.”

“Well don’t do that on an empty stomach love. Come on, we’ve got a week at least right?”

“Closer to two, but yes.”

“Then you’ve got time. I hear your stomach from here love and mine is having a love affair with my spine at the moment. I’m starved, let’s eat.” Ilya said grabbing Van’s hand as they headed to the galley to eat and talk over the meal with Petr and Mikhail with the new revelations and complications.

“Right, so we’ll meet up with this bastard four days after we restock at Nanta Island right?” Mikhail asked and Ilya’s spoon clattered to the table as he froze in shock.

“What did you say? Nanta?” He gasped and Van turned to stare at Ilya concerned.

“Aye. What’s wrong love?” Van asked as Ilya suddenly burst into tears.

Ilya grabbed a cloth to wipe his eyes, Van moving closer worried, but when the cloth fell away, although still crying, Ilya was smiling.

“I was born on Nanta. My family is there. Oh god I never… I gave up hope so long ago I forgot we might end up there again someday.” Ilya said wiping away his tears. Van smiled and took Ilya’s hand.

“So, you think your mother will like me? Or should I make myself scarce?” Van teased and Ilya chuckled.

“It’s not me Mam you need worry about Van love. Me Gran now? You best be a good boy or she’ll turn you over her knee.” Ilya grinned.

“That’s a Grandmother’s job isn’t it?” Van chuckled wondering if he could strengthen the wind a little more to make better time so Ilya could have a day or two more with his family before they left again.

“Aye.” Ilya’s voice was a longing whisper. Van vowed to make “the Crimson Lady” sail as quickly as he could.


Van managed to stretch their window to five days. A nice long and overdue visit home for Ilya who nervously wrung his hands in anticipation as they dropped anchor and dropped the long boats to glide into one of Nanta Island’s floating ports. A crowd gathered upon seeing the red sails and children ran along the narrow steel paths that connected the floating sections of the city catching the mooring lines as the long boats made port. Ilya scrambled out of the boat like a man possessed and scanned the crowd for a familiar face. An old man saved Ilya the trouble.

“S’truth! It can’t be! Ilya?”

“Olaf! AYE! Where’s me mam?”

“Same place lad. Go on!”

Ilya grabbed Van’s hand in a vice like grip and set off at a run. Van could hardly keep up as Ilya zigzagged on none to steady pathways that moved and swayed with every sure, barefooted step Ilya made. He was breathing heavy as Ilya began to shout.

“Mam! Mam! Petra!” Ilya hollered her given name as it dawned on him she’d no longer recognize his voice. A woman with the same brown skin, same jade eyes, same tawny hair and exact same facial features came rushing out of a small dome shaped dwelling and her eyes widened with shock then joy as she uttered a strangled cry and dropped all that she was doing in order to race toward arms held open wide.

“ILYA!” her son’s name was torn from her lungs as she launched herself into his arms and he caught her up in his own, his own throat croaking with sobs of released anguish and joy as he crushed her close in his arms.

She was a tall woman and she didn’t have to pull Ilya down very far to cover his face in jubilant kisses. She smothered him with affection as they cried together and then laughed as Ilya picked her up and spun her around.

“I missed you so much mam.” Ilya finally found his voice again as he set her down.

“I missed you too. Where’s my little boy gone?” She asked stepping back to take a good long look at the young man who stood before her.

“Ye didn’t ‘spect me to stay a little forever now did ye?” Ilya asked as he turned to Van and pulled him close. “Mam, this is Van. Van, me mam. I’ll tell you the whole lot of it later mam, but Van is responsible for getting me free from where I was and well… to make a long story short, he’s my partner.”

“And husband when we find someone to give us a proper bonding. I can bond my own crewmen but a Captain can’t very well bond himself. It’s a pleasure to meet you Ma’am. Ilya told me much about you on the way here.” Van kissed the back of her hand and she just took her hand back and crushed him in a firm hug.

“Its just Mam to you too then.” She chuckled taking both their hands and leading them back to her home as two other figures came running and calling.

“Gran! Aunt Preda!” The entire scene was repeated all over again before they ever made it inside where another surprise met them.

“Mam?” A small boy around five years old, also the spitting image of his mother just like Ilya was in her likeness, stood there in the doorway and Petra knelt beside him. Ilya followed suit smiling brightly.

“Yuri, this is your big brother Ilya. I told you about him before.”

“Hello Yuri. I sure didn’t expect you.” Ilya beamed, he had a brother he had never known about and he was thrilled and about ready to burst with happiness.

“You ain’t mad at me are ye?” Yuri asked and Ilya quirked an eyebrow.

“Why would I be mad at ye?”

“Cause I took your place.”

“Oh Gods love you little one. Of course not, and ye didn’t take my place. I think mam can love two just as much as one now can’t she?”

“I suppose so.” Yuri said shifting from foot to foot looking none too pleased and a little scared.

“Listen love. I’m not taking your place either. Can you spare a hug for your big brother?” Ilya asked running a tender hand through the boy’s hair.

This seemed to brighten a boy’s spirits and he was folded into a warm embrace before Ilya scooped him up onto his back and trotted him inside piggy-back. The lad won over immediately by his elder brother as he laughed at the spontaneous ride.

The family settled down on the floor, Yuri on Ilya’s lap as Ilya told them all that had happened since he’d been taken. To them he had just vanished and the not knowing where he’d gone had sat like a lead weight in their hearts for years.

Ilya spared them the details of his life on board “the Wraith”. He never mentioned the beatings, he didn’t have to, and Yvan’s reputation preceded him. “Oh love.” Petra cried and Ilya comforted her with an arm about her shoulders.

“Don’t cry mam. I was alright. I had my dreams in tact. A very special one kept me going.” Ilya began describing how for years he’d dreamt of Van and how much of a shock it had been to learn Van wasn’t a dream at all.

Van interjected his side of the story here where he sat beside Ilya, his arm around his lover’s shoulders. “So you see, by the time we finally met, we’d known and loved each other for years. I do hope I have your blessings. I love your son very much.”

Petra smiled and laid a hand to Van’s cheek. “You didn’t even have to tell me. I can see it in both your eyes. Aye, my blessings and my love to you both. I do demand however you humor me and bond before you leave. I would very much like to be there to witness my son’s bonding.”

“That can be arranged I think. You find me a Captain or a Holy man and I’ll provide the setting. What do you think Ilya? In the Greenhouse?”

“Under the Cherry tree, aye.” Ilya grinned; he couldn’t wait to show his mother his home and the Greenhouse he adored.

“Greenhouse?” Petra asked and Ilya smiled.

“Just you wait and see mam. It’s like nothin’ you ever dared dream. I wouldn’t want my bonding anywhere else. It’s an Eden on the waves it is.”

The conversation continued late into the evening and Van and Ilya made a pallet of blankets and pillows on the floor for the night. Petra had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a drink and just stood there watching them both sleep for a long time.

If she had any doubts Van loved her son, they were driven away by the sight of him sleeping. He had spooned up behind Ilya, it was obvious from the way they lay this was a natural and preferred sleeping arrangement for them. One of Van’s arms was tucked under Ilya’s neck serving as Ilya’s pillow, and the other arm was draped almost protectively over Ilya’s waist. But it was the unconscious murmur Van uttered that melted her heart. Even in his sleep, Van told Ilya he loved him and Ilya smiled in response, neither of them ever waking.

Petra found her bed again with a light heart. She’d never worry about Ilya ever again, not when he had a partner like Van at his side. Her son would always be loved and happy and that was what any good mother ever wanted for her children after all.


It was just after dawn when Yuri shook Van’s shoulder to wake him. “Hurry, two more red sails just threw anchor and the boats are comin’ in!” Yuri squealed with excitement. The fog of sleep evaporated immediately as Van sat up tumbling Ilya off his arm and waking him in the process with a start.

“Two?!” Van asked blinking and pulling on his vest.

“Aye!” The boy confirmed racing outside.

Van grabbed Ilya’s hand and together they reached the crowd just as the long boats made port.

“I’ll be damned.” Van grinned as a figure much broader of shoulder and years smiled and held up a hand in salute as they docked.

“Oh do tell me already Van I know they are your family, but which ones?” Ilya asked almost as excited as Van.

“That’s my Father and my oldest brother Sergei I believe. Can’t see Sergei yet, but that’s his ship “The Nightwind.”

Van’s father was already striding purposefully across the deck and met his son in a fierce bone popping hug and hardy slapping of his back. “No bigger I see.” He joked and Van grinned.

“Still growing that paunch I see.”

“Cheeky little brat.” Alexandre said stepping back and looking Ilya up and down. “So I see you at last. He finally caught up with you I see.”

“Aye Sir.”

“None of that Sir business. Did I make it in time for the bonding? Been pushing for twelve days since I saw the event in my bowl.”

“Aye father. We just landed last night.” Van beamed glad his parents would at least be there.

“Where’s mam?” Van asked scanning the boats.

“Where she always is, pulling up the rear of the boats because she’s never ready, even when you give her days to plan. There she comes now.” Alex chuckled as a gorgeous and tall woman with raven black hair to her knees stood waving and calling. Ilya liked her immediately. Van, like Ilya favored his mother in looks.

Van helped her from her boat and just stood holding her close for a long moment before she smacked him to let her go where she then turned and hugged Ilya before making him turn every which way for inspection.

“Young, handsome and talented. A healer like me I see.” She winked and Ilya smiled.

“Aye mam.”

“HULLO!” a Man bellowed from his boat waving, a younger version of Alexandre, nearing forty winters.

“Sergei.” Van supplied the name as the boat was moored and he leapt out of it to repeat the bone crushing hug on Van to mimic their father’s. Beside him stood a woman, rather plain in beauty in the common sense, but she wore a commanding beauty the way she carried herself instead. She was regal, but had kind eyes. Dark auburn hair contained in a serious bun at the nape of her neck and a boy of around twelve grinning at her side. Van turned to smile at them both.

“Still hold my brother’s leash Anya?”

“Aye.” Her whole face came alive with devilish wit in her smile and eyes.

“And you, when did you get so big? It seems almost last I saw you, you pissed on my best shirt while I was trying to change your nappies.”

“Uncle Van!” The child was mortified and Van laughed leaning over to hug him.

“Andre, this is Ilya. Ilya, my nephew.” Van introduced and Ilya smiled at the boy fondly as more and more people began filling up the port with voices raised in fond greetings as old friends and families reunited.

“I claim the honor of being the one to unite my brother in bonding. It’s not everyday we cross paths and for no occasion more joyous than perhaps another birthing celebration.” Sergei clapped Van’s shoulder.

“True, true. I’m honored and would love for you to bond us Brother.” Van smiled as Van and Ilya’s mothers found each other and began chattering happily about their sons. Sonja inspecting Yuri closely.

“You produced two healers. He will be as strong as his brother in time.” Sonja said looking deeply into Yuri’s eyes.

“So his Gran says. Healer’s run in our family she also says.”

“She’s right it seems.” Sonja grinned as everyone began gathering in the larger warehouses and wine barrels and food from all three ships began arriving and an impromptu feast in the open air began. Hundreds of people laughed and ate and drank and just made merry for a pre-bonding feast.

“Tomorrow I’ll see the last of my sons bonded I am feeling old.” Alexandre said still smiling and holding up his wine in a toast of goodwill.

Yuri was playing with another one of Van’s nephews of the same age. It looked like a miniature version of Van and Ilya cavorting about in a came of chase.

“The only sad part about this Van. We shant have that ourselves.” Ilya sighed watching the children play.

“What? Children?” Van asked seeing what Ilya was watching.

“Who said that? We can if you wish it.”

“What? Van love, last I looked I was not built for the carrying of babies.”

“No, but there are ways you realize. A few actually. We can find a surrogate mother if we wish it and if you’d feel up to being a lass for nine months I can shift you into a woman long enough for the cooking of a babe.”

Ilya paled. “You can do that?”


“Please don’t.” Ilya held his tackle protectively. Van laughed.

“Good, I do tend to prefer you with your bits in place. I can’t with a woman, I tried. I stay limp as a noodle. If we do decide to have children, I’ll have to make her look like you or else I’m going to be useless in the making of children myself.” Van grinned and Ilya nodded.

“I’m feeling idiotically jealous at the thought. But you’re right, if we want children it’s necessary. I would love one with you someday. I really would, I love children.”

“Aye, so do I. I’d raise a boat full with you. I’m used to large families.” Van winked and Ilya smiled ear to ear.

“So I noticed. Besides, wasn’t there something about Seventh Sons of Seventh Sons being a lucky number?”

“Aye. All my brothers are wizards like father. But the seventh of a seventh is very strong. And every seventh of a seventh is stronger than the last. It’s a quirk of nature.”

“Seven, I don’t even want to think how raising seven children feels like. Talk about bedlam.”

“That’s the truth. But fun. I love all my brothers and sisters very much. Growing up was an adventure in mischief.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” Ilya chuckled. “I’ll make you a pact. If you can convince six women to bear. I’ll let you twist me around so I can take the seventh.”

“You’re not a betting man much are you?”

“No, but I don’t know six women daft enough to surrogate.”

“You’re gonna regret that Ilya. I can be persuasive and I certainly wouldn’t mind a boat full of children of my own.” Van grinned evilly and Ilya smiled.

“Then you have a bet. But do let's space them out a little? I don’t want all seven of them at once.”

Van laughed. “You’re on love. You’re gonna lose this bet.”

“Probably. But I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t want them either.” Ilya grinned as he leaned over to kiss his mate.

“You’re wonderful Ilya. Absolutely perfect.”

“Say that when you’ve got a woman in your bed for nine months.”

“I’ll always say that. Whether you are wearing a body of a man or a woman, It’s you and your soul I love.” Van said as Yuri and Sascha streaked by laughing and joined in their game of chase by several other children. Nanta was full of the joys of youth.








  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment