(Note:Very brief remix of shalott's All the Wonder, done with her permission.)

Alternate Universe

"This afternoon?" she repeated, disbelieving. Tides weren't supposed to be that soon.

"Do I need to repeat myself, Lieutenant?" Commodore Harte asked her.

"No, sir." She could see it in his eyes. She'd tried to tell herself he knew her to be a follower of Captain Aubrey, whom he didn't like, but she'd seen the question a thousand times on as many faces: "What is a Western System farmer's daughter doing in the Navy?" She would never have made lieutenant it wasn't for Captain Aubrey.

"Thank you, Mr. Pullings, that will be all." Thus dismissed, she left, her anger growing.


The Awakening

I forget myself?

Yes, Jack, I did.

How easy to forget how I had been, when I stopped loving Diana. To feel miserable about the loss of a part of my heart, forgetting how much pain it had caused.

When I started loving you, on this very voyage, there was no pain. I rejoiced at having a reason to live, and what better reason could there be then you? Before this had faded, you were mine. I could feel only happiness.

In life, pleasure must be accompanied by an equal amount of pain. I had forgotten that.

Now I remember.



Our argument was ill timed.

I have slowly grown worried about Jack since the Horn; indeed worry feeds my anger at him, and that anger keeps me from seeing him objectively. And so now there is noone who will be able to see when he goes too far.

Were my mind clear, I could watch him closely. I could judge when his pursuit of the Acheron would become too much an obsession, which it will if he continues as he is. I might even be able tell him so.

Now I can only hope he will not come to that.



What would Stephen imagine me thinking, were he conscious?

That I think him responsible for his wound? Not by chasing that albatross, but by his stopping my men shooting them in the past. Sailors believe this unlucky. The incident with Hollom has reminded him of what I can believe. There is still unease between us-further cause to believe I think ill.

He must muse on my thoughts more then I do on his, but now I alone muse.

Would he realize that I cannot see him, gravely wounded, and think such petty thoughts, or indeed feel anything besides distress?



Which the captain will turn back.

He don't know it yet, sitting in there staring at that cello, but the crew knows it. Which the captain can't live without the doctor, whether he knows it or not, and they all know it.

There'll be muttering, especially from the newer hands, though after the doctor fixed old Joe's brians, they know he's worth losing a French ship for. It won't last. Oldest hands'll see to that. They'll all do as the captain orders anyway, however much they mutter.

Which if they don't, I might help Bonden show them what's what.