[personal profile] vicki595

Diana tries not to talk to Sue when they set sail once more. She doesn't keep a watchful eye out, doesn't track her every movement and tries to ignore the hollow, gnawing feeling in her chest every time she sees her captain.

Late at night, she wonders if a person can die of a broken heart, whispering the question to herself.

She doesn't expect an answer, but one comes anyway.

"I don't think so. Be a bit impractical really. Goodnight, Dee."

It's the carpenter, Moe, who answers her so matter of factly. Diana hadn't really noticed her before, but if she was honest with herself, the only person she'd really been paying attention to had been Sue.

Moe is nice. She's quiet and fades somewhat into the background, but she's nice and normal in way Diana hasn't experienced since she first came onboard. It doesn't matter that she's quiet – Diana talks enough for both of them, but as their friendship grows, Moe opens up to Diana. Like Diana, she is one of two daughters and grew up learning her father's trade. Moe has been on the Storm almost as long as Sue, and while before Diana would have jumped to hear stories about her captain, instead she asks Moe about her childhood in New England. Moe has a dry sense of humor, and sometimes, when Diana knows Sue is around, she perhaps laughs just a little too loud at the stories, leaving Moe looking bemused, but perfectly willing to continue her tale once Diana has calmed down.

She finally memorizes everyone's name, and starts to learn all the different and varied paths they have taken to forming this crew. Big Syl had spent a number of years with a voodoo priestess down by the Mississippi river before the priestess had declared that she was destined for bigger and better things and had suggested to Sue that she'd be a good addition to the crew. Little Lindsey (who really wasn't that little at all) had run away from her master, a Duke of some sorts, in Carolina after she and the good doctor had fallen in love with each other; sneaking out together under the cover of darkness, and while they had originally traded Katie's skills for passage to Boston, they had just never left the ship. Whalen and JMac were childhood friends and both former Navy who had leapt at the opportunity to jump ship after a brief encounter with the Storm. Caroline's story she already knows, and it makes it even more poignant for Diana when the young girl asks if Diana can be her big sister.

Diana can't say no to her, even if it does mean that she is dragged across the galley to eat dinner with Sue; Caroline declaring that "families eat together." It's as awkward as Diana could ever have imagined. Caroline doesn't seem to notice the thick tension between Sue and Diana, who exchange polite pleasantries and then lapse into an icy silence. Caroline fills the quiet with her own conversation, talking about her lessons and demanding that they listen to her recite some of the Shakespeare Mrs. Burke was making her learn.

Diana wonders if it's the speech that starts with something about a hungry lion; Caroline had been chanting it during Diana's reading lesson the previous day. Diana doesn't really understand what Shakespeare was trying to say, and doesn't get why Mrs. Burke keeps making Caroline memorize his speeches.

Caroline scrambles off her seat, standing with her back tall and clears her throat before she starts to deliver her monologue. It doesn't start with a hungry lion.

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments. Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove: / O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark… Dee, I haven't finished yet!" Caroline breaks off, her voice rising perilously close to a whine, and she frowns as Diana pushes herself up from the table and all but runs out of the galley.

She understands all too well what Shakespeare was trying to say this time.

Diana's chest is tight and her head is spinning as she makes her way up on deck, stumbling slightly into the cool night air. She breathes in deeply and exhales slowly, repeating it again and again until the stars remain stationary above her. She doesn't know how long she stands there, leaning her elbows on the gunwale and staring up at the heavens. But even the stars remind her of Sue; Diana remembers the warmth against her side and the soft laughter, the gentle touch of her hand, and her heart aches.

She watches another star fall to earth and turns away.

This time she doesn't make a wish.


Caroline is a little unsettled after Diana's sudden departure in the middle of dinner, and when she asks Sue in a small voice if Sue could come and tuck her in, Sue is incapable of saying no.

It's a ritual Sue performed nightly after Caroline had been persuaded to move from Sue's quarters into the small cabin she shares with her governess and is perhaps the most maternal action Sue has ever performed. She pulls back the blankets, Caroline hops into her bunk and Sue tucks the covers closely around her.

Caroline is frowning slightly when Sue pulls back, and Sue looks at her inquisitively, perching herself on the edge of the bunk. "Something on your mind?"

Caroline fidgets a little, loosening her blankets and Sue automatically reaches forward to tuck her in again. "What's wrong with Diana?" she asks hesitantly. "Was it something I did?"

"Oh, no, it's nothing that you did," Sue says quickly, her fingers smoothing out nonexistent creases in the blankets. "Diana's just a little upset at the moment, that's all."

Caroline is still frowning. "Why?" she asks.

Sue freezes for a moment, haunted by the ghost of their graveyard kiss and the hurt look in Diana's eyes after she told her no. "I... I don't know," she says, stumbling slightly over the words. She tries to point out to herself how ridiculous she is being; she is a pirate captain, yet she's struggling to tell a small lie to a child.

"You have to fix it," Caroline says earnestly.

"What?" yelps Sue.

Caroline sits up, and Sue gives up trying to keep the blankets neat. "You have to cheer Diana up," she says.

"I don't think I'm the right person to cheer Diana up," Sue says, a trace of sadness in her voice. She rubbed at her face absently. "In fact, I think I'm the last person she wants to see right now."

"But Diana likes you, so why wouldn't she want to see you?" Everything sounds a lot simpler coming from the mouth of a child.

Sue sighs, wondering just how much she should tell Caroline. "We had, ah, a bit of a disagreement when we were in Bermuda," she says, choosing her words carefully. "So, you see, I'm part of the reason why she's upset."

"But if you're the reason she's upset, then than means that you can be the reason to make her not upset anymore," says Caroline simply. Sue can only wish it was that simple, and she tells Caroline as much, who scowls. "Maybe you're just making it too complicated."

"Maybe it's time for you to go to bed," suggests Sue, effectively ending the conversation. Caroline pouts, but lies back down without protest so Sue can tuck her in again. She leans forward to briefly kiss Caroline's forehead. "Sleep tight."

Caroline sighs deeply, snuggling down into her bunk. "Good night, Sue," she says. "Please can you think about cheering Diana up? She's not as much fun when she's like this."

"I'll think about Diana," Sue promises.

It's not a hard promise for her to make.


The colors of a Spanish merchant ship are spotted early one afternoon and Sue makes the decision to attack. The crew is restless and the winds are in their favor.

Diana is on deck when Sue starts naming names for the boarding party. LJ will lead, she says, listing another dozen crew members to join her.

Diana scrambles across the deck to Sue. "I want to go," she exclaims. It's the first time she's voluntarily spoken to Sue since they've left Bermuda. But if Sue is surprised that Diana is speaking to her, she doesn't show it.

"No," she says firmly, turning her back on Diana and grabbing at a passing crewmember to give a message to Big Syl.

Diana isn't thwarted so easily. "Please," she begs. "I've been practicing at my sword and Shea says I'm pretty good, and I'll do what LJ tells me."

"It's not going to happen," says Sue shortly, crossing to the side of the ship where she's passed a telescope. Diana is still following her.

"But I can speak Spanish. That's got to be useful, right? Let me go."

"For the last time, no," Sue exclaims, her voice rising as she slams her hand down on the gunwale and whips around to face Diana. Diana almost cowers at the look on her captain's face, her dark eyes flashing dangerously. "Now, go to your assigned station, before I decide to send you below decks to shelter with Caroline and Mrs. Burke while the rest of the crew does their duty."

Recognizing the disgrace such an order would be and with her cheeks burning, Diana just nods and darts back into the organized chaos. Penny spots her, and calls her over to help with the sails and Diana focuses all her attention on following Penny's orders. When she next looks up, she's almost startled at just how close they've come up alongside Spanish ship. The boarding party is spreading across the length of the Storm, and D-Nasty is hovering right by Penny. She catches Diana's eye and winks just before she grabs at a rope and at LJ's shout, launches herself across to the other ship.

Diana tries not to pout. She's seen D-Nasty's sword work and it's hardly much better than Diana's. Diana is certain that she is quicker than D-Nasty, although perhaps she doesn't quite know the same amount of tips and tricks. But surely that is something she would be able to learn on excursions such as this one.

"How long will this take?" she demands, turning to Penny.

"As long as it takes," Penny replies placidly. "Patience is a virtue."

Diana sighs. People keep telling her that.

The actual answer, as it turns out, is not long at all. There are sudden shouts coming from the deck of the other ship only a few minutes after the group had boarded and even without Penny's suddenly tense frame, Diana can tell that it's not a good sign.
"Cast off. Full and bye," comes the order, and a moment later, they're sailing smoothly away from the Spanish ship. With the sails up, Penny dismisses her and darts quickly to the main deck.

"Fucking armed guards." LJ's voice is audible as Diana makes her way down the ladder to the main deck, and she pauses at the bottom, glancing across at the cluster of people in the middle of the deck. JMac is leaning against Ice, her face pale and holding her arm, which Diana sees is at a horribly unnatural angle. She quickly averts her eyes, which come to rest on Sue's face.

Sue is nodding, her face tight, as LJ gives her report in short, clipped tones. LJ's voice is lower now, but Diana can see everything play across Sue's face; can see her carefully constructed façade collapse and wonders just what LJ has said to get such a reaction. Sue nods once more as she pats LJ on the arm and LJ, her shoulders slumped, heads towards the hatch. Sue looks up, and for a moment, her eyes meet Diana's. She looks away immediately, but Diana is certain she sees something akin to relief almost pass across Sue's face when she sees Diana just standing there. Diana wonders just what the hell LJ had said to her.

She finds out almost immediately, the news flying around the ship. D-Nasty is dead, stabbed as she had lead the charge down into the hold of the Spanish ship.

Diana can't stop shaking that night as she curls up in her hammock. Had Sue allowed her to join the boarding party, who knew what could have happened to her. D-Nasty had been one of the toughest on the ship, and now, just like that, she was gone. Eventually, Diana falls asleep, but it is a fitful slumber, haunted by her own imagination.


Dusk is falling as the Storm sails into the harbor at New Providence. An hour later, most of the Storm's crew, with the exception of those still on duty, seem to be crammed into this small tavern, not far from the docks. Moe has remained behind on the ship, so Diana is knocking back beer with Whalen and JMac, although she is barely listening to the story JMac is currently telling, enthusiastically waving her good arm about in the air. Instead, her eyes are darting around the room, watching her fellow crew members relax.

Cheers and exclamations are coming from a group huddled around one table. Diana can't quite make out what's going on, but money is definitely changing hands and the alcohol continues to flow.

Penny is wearing a new dress, as she sits with LJ at another table. Diana can see them glancing around the room, keeping tabs on everyone it seems. To her surprise, she also spots Penny starting to catch the eyes of a number of the prostitutes who are working the room, nodding her head towards the far corner.

Diana has noticed women heading in that direction all night, even before Penny started directing them over there, and is only faintly surprised when she sees Sue sitting alone there. Big Syl is at the table next to her, and the way she is sitting screams that she's not there just to drink. But her intimidating look does nothing to stop the women from flocking to Sue.

And Diana is unable to look away as they seat themselves on Sue's lap, leaning in to whisper into her ear. She tries to push down the pang of jealousy that stabs at her, trying to remind herself that Sue has rejected her and she's only continuing to make herself even more miserable by sitting and staring across the room.

"Penny for your thoughts," someone breathes in her ear, and Diana turns to see a pair of breasts right in front of her face. Looking further up, she recognizes the blond as one of the women who had been fawning over Sue moments previously.

"I don't know if they're worth a penny," Diana admits, and the woman laughs, throwing her head back and pushing her chest back towards Diana's face.

"Why don't you buy me a drink and tell me all about them, and I'll be the judge of that?" suggests the woman. Diana glances across at Sue once more and then back up again at the woman.

"They're really nothing special," she says. "How about we skip the drink and I invest my money elsewhere tonight?"

The woman smirks, trailing her hand down Diana's arm. "Well, well, well," she purrs. "I like a man who knows what he wants. I have a room upstairs. If you're interested."

Diana had almost forgotten that Whalen and JMac were at the table with her, but the hollers and cat calls rudely remind her as she allows the woman to pull her up from her seat and across the room. She doesn't even glance at Sue as she leaves; doesn't see Sue push the prostitute off her lap, staring at the door with a sad look on her face.


Sue Bird does not think with her heart. She learned a long time ago that sentimentality is not going to get her anywhere in life.

But then one day LJ pushed a grubby stowaway into her quarters and Sue's carefully controlled world was thrown into chaos by the girl hidden beneath those layers of dirt and grime. There was nothing special about Diana; nothing which should make Sue's gaze linger a moment longer and her heart beat just a little faster. But there's something there, even if Sue can't quite put her finger on it.

She'd indulged the girl, passing her off to Penny to teach, certain that Diana would soon grow weary of her initial obsession with both Sue and the nautical life. Sue's not blind, nor stupid; she saw the way Diana has been looking at her since their first introduction. It's a look she's well accustomed to, but normally she has been able to brush aside such eager and childlike infatuations.

But with Diana, everything is different and Sue doesn't quite know how to deal with it.

The kiss in the graveyard is still in the back of her mind and she knows that she didn't deal with that particularly well. She hasn't really dealt with the aftermath either; it has been much easier just to ignore Diana, who has seemed intent on ignoring Sue in return. She isn't really surprised at Diana's reaction, even though she finds herself missing having Diana's attention constantly focused on her. Instead, Diana is seemingly happily building her own life, one which doesn't involve Sue at all, and Sue hates the way her stomach clenches at that idea.

A fresh drink is placed on the table, disturbing her thoughts, and the chair opposite her scrapes across the floor. Sue looks up, preparing to snap at whoever has been presumptuous to just sit with her about how she doesn't want any company, but the words die away when she sees that it is Penny. LJ is dragging another chair across for herself, straddling it and leaning across its back.

Sue picks up the glass, swirling the liquid around. She concentrates on it, waiting for Penny or LJ to start whatever conversation they were planning. It doesn't take long.

"We're worried about you," Penny says bluntly.

Sue takes a long mouthful of her drink, and shrugs indifferently. "Why? I'm fine," she says.

LJ scoffs. "Yeah, that's why you've turned down every woman who's even glanced in your direction today," she says. "Not to mention you've been in a foul mood since we left Bermuda."

"Have not," Sue snaps. Penny and LJ just exchange a quick glance with each other.

"Is there anything you want to talk about?" LJ asks.

"Is there anyone you want to talk about?" Penny corrects.

Sue scowls at them. "There's nothing, or no one I want to talk about," she says. "I just want to sit here and enjoy my evening. Alone."

They don't get the hint.

They never do.

"Diana misses you," Penny says quietly.

Sue clenches her jaw. "I sincerely doubt that," she replies.

"And I think you miss her too," Penny continues, as if Sue hadn't spoken. "You know no one will think any less of you for thinking of your own happiness for once."

"And the situation now is upsetting Caroline," adds LJ. It's a cheap shot; she knows that Sue will usually do anything for Caroline.

Sue drains the last of her glass, slamming it down on the table. "I am the captain. Diana is a member of my crew. That is the situation. Nothing more, nothing less," she says firmly. "It's unfortunate that Caroline is upset, but I'm sure, in time, she will become accustomed to this status quo."

She pushes herself up from the table. "If you'll excuse me," she says. "I think I'm going to turn in early tonight."

She catches the eye of one of the prostitutes as she heads towards the door. The woman smirks at her, raising an inquisitive eyebrow in her direction. Sue hesitates for a moment; the half tempted by the opportunity a warm body for the night and maybe the chance to stop thinking, if only for a little while. But she remembers the barmaid in Bermuda and how her pleasure had been momentarily fleeting and just ineffective that tryst had been in trying to forget about Diana and that kiss. Sue shakes her head at the woman, and heads to bed alone.


Diana feels awful the next morning, her chest tight and her stomach nauseated. She knows it's not from the alcohol.

The woman - Ann - had been unsurprised to find out that Diana was female, laughing it off and saying that she should have realized with the Storm in town. She had kissed Diana, tugging her down onto the bed and that had been the last time they had talked for the rest of the night.

The sun is barely creeping over the horizon when Diana wakes, and she stretches languidly in the bed. She stares at the woman in bed next to her, and the uncomfortable, twisted sensation in her chest just increases. She finds herself thinking of Sue (as always, points out the little voice in her head) and her gut just clenches. She feels like she's cheated on Sue, has somehow betrayed her, even though they are not in any way together, as Sue has made absolutely clear to Diana.

Ann wakes to find Diana gazing down at her, and smirks. "Morning," she murmurs, her voice raspy. She stretches out herself, letting the blankets slip away and displaying her considerable assets to Diana once more.

Diana's answering smile is a little strained, and she tries to avert her eyes. Everything seems different in the harsh morning light and once again she has to push away thoughts of Sue. "Morning," she repeats.

"What's wrong?" Ann asks, her smile dropping. "Was it not good for you?"

"No... No, it was good," Diana says quickly. "It's just..." She sighs deeply. "I don't even know."

Ann props herself up on one shoulder, facing Diana. "There's obviously something on your mind," she says. "And despite what you might have said last night, I'm sure your thoughts are worth at least a penny."

Diana sits up, the covers falling away from her body. She notices Ann's eyes glance down momentarily and wonders exactly what's drawing her attention; there's nothing much to really see. Ann's free hand comes to rest on Diana's blanket-covered thigh, her touch calming as Diana tries to collect her thoughts.

"There's, well... there's someone," Diana begins, stumbling slightly over her words. "And I..." she stops and shakes her head, feeling her throat starting to close up.

"And you have feelings for this someone?" Ann asks softly, an encouraging smile on her face as her hand provides a comforting touch.

Diana nods slowly, her jaw tense. "Yes, but she doesn't... she doesn't share my feelings," she says, sighing deeply.

Ann sits up, letting the blankets fall away once more and she cups Diana's face, her thumb gently tracing along Diana's cheekbone. She smiles sadly, and Diana realizes just how pretty she really is.

"I wish..." Diana begins, but shakes her head, dislodging Ann's hand. She doesn't want to think of wishing and of falling stars. "I mean, she saved my life. She gave me this chance at a new life, where I could be myself, where I could be proud of something and she just..." She breaks off, sighing deeply. "I just..."

"You love her," Ann says, as Diana clenches her fist. Diana nods tightly. "And she doesn't love you back." Ann shakes her head, confusion marring her delicate features. "I don't understand how someone can't love you back."

Diana just stares at her, a clear look of disbelief on her face. Ann grins at the look, pressing her body closer to Diana's as she reaches forward to run her fingers across Diana's lips.

"You're sweet and charming and a perfect gentleman. Even though you're not actually a man," says Ann, and Diana chuckles. "If this woman doesn't love you back, it's her loss, that's for certain."

She leans forwards and brushes a feather light kiss across Diana's lips.

This is all right, Diana thinks to herself, the discomfort in her chest from earlier dissipating. She's not doing anything wrong. The captain doesn't want her, and she doesn't owe Sue anything. Ann's here and she's naked, and she's pretty and kind and she cares enough to talk Diana through her problems. Diana's hand snakes under the blankets, her hand coming to rest upon Ann's hip.

"You know, I think that you deserve something for putting up with a dumb pirate like me," Diana murmurs, musing out loud. "For hearing me out and such."

"Mmm, you think?" Ann purrs, leaning closer into Diana, who just smirks and closes the gap between them.


"Do you really have to go?" Ann is sprawled out on the bed, pouting as she twirls a lock of blonde hair between her fingers.

Diana looks up from buttoning her shirt and smirks. "I really have to go," she says. "The life of a pirate never stops, you know."

"Your ship's in port. What could possibly be so important that it can't wait for another hour or three? Come back to bed."

Diana hesitates. She's far too embarrassed to admit that she's returning to the Storm for her usual morning lessons with Mrs. Burke and Caroline. Nor is she truly entertaining the idea of missing them; she has no desire to be plied with questions from an inquisitive young girl about why she had been absent.

"Just... duties," she says, reaching for her boots. "I'm the lowest of the low onboard, so when they say jump, I've gotta ask how high."

Ann sighs. "When do you sail again?" she asks, sitting up and wrapping the blankets around her. Diana shrugs, taking a seat next to her.

"Probably tomorrow morning, maybe even tonight, depending on what the weather looks like," she says. "I'd come and say goodbye if I could, but I doubt I'll be able to."

"Just as long as you promise to come see me when you're next in town," Ann says and Diana grins.

"That I can promise," she says, leaning in to kiss Ann softly. Ann sighs happily against Diana's mouth, before placing one hand on Diana's chest and pushing her firmly away. Diana just blinks for a second, slow to realize what has just happened.

"Get away with yourself, before I pull you back down and refuse to let you leave, duties or no duties," Ann says smiling.

"Uh, I guess I'll see you around then," says Diana, tripping over her own feet as she stands. Ann's laughter is light and merry, and Diana just grins sheepishly as she leaves the room.

The door has barely swung shut behind her when she spots Sue, lurking in the dark corridor. It's almost as if she had been lying in wait for Diana, a notion which Diana tries to laugh away. Sue doesn't care about her enough to do something like that.

"We need to talk," Sue says shortly.

Diana hasn't prepared herself for running into Sue and is in no mood to talk with her. She feels happy and wants to retain this feeling for as long as she can. "About what?" she demands.

"About last night," Sue replies, opening the door to the room opposite.

"What about last night?" Diana crosses her arms, remaining in the hallway.

"About your actions, which I feel would be best discussed in private," Sue says, indicating that Diana should step into her room.

Diana shrugs. "I have no problem with my actions," she says. "And considering all the attention you were receiving last night, I can't see why you would either."

Sue's eyes narrow. "Well, unlike you, I chose to spend my night alone, not that it has any relevance to this conversation," she says, her voice tight and controlled. "Diana, you have to understand that going off with strange women is not just something you should do. It's dangerous and you have no idea what they want with you."

"Oh, I had a very good idea what she wanted with me," Diana replies, a smirk spreading across her face. "And I'm sure I'm not the only one in the crew who went off with a woman last night. Are you going to be having this conversation with everyone who slept with a prostitute last night?"

"I'm not concerned with the rest of the crew. They have much more experience and I'm confident they know how to handle themselves," says Sue calmly.

"I can handle myself just fine," says Diana. "What I do, or who I do, is none of your concern."

"I'm your captain; that makes it my concern." Diana can see that Sue is starting to get irritated and she's irrationally pleased at the idea.

"We're not on the Storm, I'm not on duty. You don't have any say in how I spend my private life. You can't tell me what to do," snaps Diana. She can feel the emotion surging up from deep in her chest, and frantically forces it down. She can't handle this, not right now when she thought she had things under control. She wants to knock some sense into Sue; wants to get right up in her face and yell until her throat is hoarse. If you didn't push me away, Diana thinks, you could tell me to do anything because I would do anything for you. But she can't say that. "You gave up that right when you pushed me away in that graveyard. You said no."

"I was mourning for my dead father," exclaims Sue, her voice starting to raise. Doors are starting to open along the corridor, and Diana is vaguely aware of Penny coming out of one of them and shooing others back into their own rooms. She doesn't care that they're creating a spectacle; she just wants this discussion to end. "We'd barely known each other three weeks at that point and I was your captain. I'm still your captain. I can't just let myself fall for anyone who comes along."

"Then why are we still having this conversation?" demands Diana, throwing her arms up in the air. "Was it not enough for you to break my heart once? I'm already reminded daily of what I can't have. Do you get off on causing me pain or something?"

Sue raises her hand, looking as though she's going to slap Diana, but then seems to think better of it. "We're still having this conversation because I don't want you to sleep with anymore whores," she retorts.

"It doesn't matter what you want! It's my life, what I want matters!" yells Diana. "Give me one good reason why I should do what you want."

"Because I'm your captain," exclaims Sue. "That means you are to follow my orders. You may think you're special, but you're not. You don't get to be a part of my crew, but not listen to me."

Diana laughs harshly. "I thought we already discussed that. My captain has no say in who I choose to bed. Any other reason I should listen to you?"

"I have every right to say what you can do," snaps Sue. "I can't just have you going off with every pretty girl who flutters their eyelashes at you. You can't just go around fucking whoever you so desire."

"I'd noticed that, funnily enough," Diana retorts and Sue looks momentarily uncomfortable at her choice of words. "But you still haven't made an argument as to why I should listen to you, Captain." She spits out the title like it is a curse word, and perhaps, for Diana, it is. If Sue wasn't her captain, if she was just another member of the crew, would there even be an issue between them or would Sue find another reason to say no to Diana? Part of Diana wants to know if Sue's playing the part of an aloof, demanding captain because of some misplaced chivalry, but another part, a louder, angrier part reminds Diana that Sue refused her already, pushing her aside for another warm body, and that steels Diana's resolve.

"I do not have to make an argument as to why you must obey me, because I am your captain. That in itself should be enough, if you're to remain in my crew." The way Sue says this, like Diana is a burden forced upon her, knifes right through Diana's heart. This is not the same Sue who cared for her, who let her spend the night. This is Captain Bird.

And she's right, Diana thinks bitterly. She's the captain.

Finally, Diana nods, her jaw set in a stubborn curve. She swallows her pride – what's left of its tattered pieces – and bows her head down in submission. "I understand, Captain. I apologize for my indiscretions. It will... it will not happen again."

And she turns, walking away without another word.


"We should get them drunk," LJ says suddenly.

"Hmm?" Penny looks over from where she is combing out her hair in front of the mirror. "Who exactly should we get drunk?"

"Sue and Diana," LJ elaborates, dropping down onto the bed to pull her boots on. "We get them drunk and then lock them in a room together. Sue'll either kill her or kiss her and either way, problem sorted."

Penny turns to look at LJ in horror. "I hardly think killing Diana is an appropriate solution," she says, and LJ has the grace to look sheepish. "Besides, no matter what happens in the room, Sue would kill the both of us afterwards."

LJ hadn't thought of that. "Ah. Good point."

"Why I'm the brains and you're the brawn," Penny says sweetly, turning back around to fix her hair. LJ glares at her and she tries to resist rolling her eyes, but fails. "I can see you in the mirror you know."

Part 3
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April 2011

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