Are you more like your mother or your father? Or are you more like someone else?
“We were lucky to have washed ashore in this atoll,” Leo said, standing with one hand on his hip and the other shielding his eyes as he scanned the lagoon and the horizon for signs of The Eternity. “That storm could just as easily have drowned us.”
Kita glowered at him from where she remained on the ground, on all fours, still trying to get the salty water out of her lungs. The expulsion of seawater through her nose didn’t sting nearly half as much as her pride. “Are we sure we weren’t drowned after all?” She coughed again to punctuate her sentiment. Surely they were dead and this tiny isle was some sort of purgatory. Why had she ever agreed to sail with pirates?
Leo howled with laughter. “The sea would never disrespect me so, though she certainly did her best to drown you.” He extended her a hand to help her to her feet. She stared at it warily, unsure if she was ready to try walking. “Come on, I didn’t think a little storm could rattle the great ninja. I thought your lot were tougher than that?”
“That was hardly a “little” storm,” Kita grumbled. She shook off his offer of assistance and rose to her feet more gracefully than she could have thought possible given the tumbling she had just done in the sea. She supposed she had him to thank for that too. If he hadn’t dived in after her… “My family is plenty tough, but even they cannot fight the currents.”
He tilted his head in a quizzical gesture. “There’s your problem,” he said. “You can’t fight them. You have to go with them.”
“Well forgive me for my limited knowledge of survival at sea,” she snapped. “As I recall, I did not ask to be brought out here away from my home.”
He folded his arms. “As I recall, you were the one who said you had no home to return to. And yet here you speak of family as though you do. Which is it?”
“I told you I’m a rogue, exiled from my clan.” Kita turned away from him. Her voice was scratchy because of all the seawater, not because her heart was breaking to speak about her family. “As far as I know, my parents still live. They’re still my parents,” she whispered.
Silence filled the space between them, broken only by the soft lapping of water on the shore. She twirled the obsidian amulet around her neck. Miraculously, it had survived her fall off the ship. “What were they like?” He really couldn’t abide her silence.
Kita pictured her parents as she liked to remember them, smiling faces, wrapped up in each other’s arms, always with a sweet word for the other or for her. “They loved each other more than anything in this world,” she said. “And then I was born of that love and raised within it.”
“Explains your odd empathy for my ilk,” he said, a soft chuckle indicating he was not poking fun at her. “So who do you get your feisty spirit from?”
She pressed the amulet to her chest and released it. Turning back to face him with a grin she answered, “My mom. She was from a powerful clan and refused to take no for an answer when she asked to be married into my dad’s clan. The elders don’t much like being ordered around by an outsider, noble family or none, but when mom sets her mind to something, she gets it.”
Leo nodded. “And the hair? Is that from her too?”
“I got this from my dad,” she said, stroking the long ponytail hand over hand. “I inherited his speed and fighting skills too. Honestly, aside from my stubbornness, I take after my dad more than my mom.”
“So you admit you’re stubborn.”
“You know what, Peaches…”
Leo laughed as he raised his palms in supplication. “Alright, alright. I won’t taunt you anymore.” He returned to his casual pose with one hand on his hip whilst staring out at the sea. “Might be a while before the crew circles back to this atoll. Wouldn’t want to spend it all in a sullen silence.”
“You got something against sullen silences Captain?”
“When they have the potential to last for hours, yes.”
She shrugged. She wasn’t really all that upset with him. He had just saved her life, after all. “So now what?”
“Now,” he set off down the shore, “we search this sorry bit of land for a cache and pray to the gods of the sea that someone stashed some rum here.” He grinned. “Then we await rescue!”
Kita sighed as she followed after him. She would never understand pirates.
Notes: This is turning into a Capt Jack/Elizabeth Swan marooned ripoff so I’m gonna wrap it up here. Also I am exhausted and need sleep. I didn’t want to use Mika for this prompt, despite her similarities to her loathed mother having a huge effect on much of her character development. I’ve explored that one to death and it occurred to me that I started looking into Kita’s parents last week so they seemed like a good pair to elaborate on. The trickiest part was figuring out how to incorporate it into a story. A logical scenario where it might come up. So I just threw Kita and Leo on an abandoned island and let them figure it out. I guess it works.
Me, well, I’m not my mom’s “inside voice personified” for nothing. My dad died when I was too young to remember him and also 20 years ago so I don’t really have any frame of reference to compare myself with him. I do have his eyebrows though. Overgrown fuzzy monsters. They really need to be tamed again.
Ok that’s it. Can’t stay awake much longer. Have a great night and wonderful Wednesday! I’ll see you tomorrow!
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