Chapter 1: How To Chart A Map
With the sails of the Sea Cucumber filled with the Caribbean winds, Bill at the wheel and Van Helgen manning the aforementioned sails, Haggis grabbed a map from a nearby barrel and unrolled is along the trunk, placing a handy rock to hold it down in place so as not to have it flutter away like the pages in his barber book. He looked to the map, estimating where they could be based on the speed and directions of the winds when he spotted the lanky blond just roaming about aimlessly on the deck of the ship.
That Guybrush was a peculiar fellow, if Haggis had to admit to something... peculiar, but someone with a more or less good heart. He really did wish that the Captain didn’t cut them off in the middle of their singing with that orange rhyme.
“Everythin’ alright, Cap’n?” Haggis asked as the blond approached him, noticing for only a brief moment a distant look in his eyes.
“Huh?” Guybrush looked at him, startled. “Oh, yeah, yeah everything is fine. All’s good here.” He gave a brief thumbs up before lowering it, fidgeting slightly with his hands and staring at the map as if trying to read it. “Uh... hey, Haggis?”
“Um... listen, I’m sorry for cutting you and the others off mid-song.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “It was a pretty good song.”
Haggis cocked an eyebrow before smirking and shaking his head. “It’s alright, Cap’n. We got us a whole set to sing through.”
Guybrush frowned. “A set?”
“Aye. And we have plenty o’ time to sing through it dependin’ entirely on our travels.”
“Oh boy...” Guybrush mumbled as he looked back down to the map, tilting his head slightly.
And naturally, the Scotsman noticed. It was admittedly impossible to NOT notice. He took a relative step to the side to let Guybrush closer and saw that, by instinct, the blond did as such. “So,” Haggis then spoke up, “Which we are we headin’?”
“Uh... Blood Island?” Guybrush said and looked to Haggis as if it was obvious. “We’re sailing there... u-unless we’re... we’re not and--” He shook his head, rubbing his face as if trying to get color back on his pale face.
“N-nothing. Just... disregard what I said just now.”
The Scotsman furrowed his brow and crossed his arms. “You alrigh’ Cap’n?”
“Right. Which course should we be takin’ then? Say the word and we’ll follow the path.”
“The path. Right. Um... uh...” Guybrush stared down at the map, his eyes darting all over the parchment but all that was heard was the slight groan of uncertainty.
Haggis was watching and listening as the ocean waves crashed against the ship and the seagulls cawed out. “Ye never read a map, have ya, Guybrush?”
“Wha-- of course I have! Plenty of times!” Guybrush argued.
“Alright, then when was the last time ya read one? You look like a greenhorn at sea right now.” Haggis squinted.
“Greenhorn?! I’ll have you know I was Captain before!”
“Uh-huh.” The Scotsman sounded unimpressed. “When was the last time ye charted out to sea?”
“Easy, it was... it was...” Guybrush’s confidence deflated as he lowered his gaze, rubbing his forehead as he was trying to think of the answer, muttering under his breath. “I don’t... I don’t know.”
“It’s alrigh’ to be a wee bit embarrassed, not everyone is as excellent at readin’ maps like me.” Haggis playfully bragged, noting Guybrush was growing silent.
“I’m not embarrassed!” Guybrush protested before blushing a bit. “I’m just...”
The Scotsman let out a laugh and patted Guybrush’s back, seeing him stumble into the trunk. He wasn’t entirely sure, but could have sworn that he felt the blond’s bones. He had to keep that in mind. “I get it. Ya never did the readin’. While it’s a wee bit peculiar that ya don’t know how to read one, it’s alright.”
Guybrush just sighed in defeat as he wince slightly at Haggis. “H-how did you I never read a map?”
“It’s written all over yer face, lad. Anyways, I can show you, if ye want.” He offered.
The blond contemplated and nodded. “Alright. I’ll take you up on that offer.”
“Right then.” Haggis cracked his knuckles and started pointing at the parchment, explaining slowly how to read it as well as how to chart it for the crew, noting Guybrush paying careful attention.
There was something underneath that cheerful demeanor, something that the blond was not sharing, he could feel it.
Chapter 2: How To Prep A Meal
While he never was someone who talked a lot, Bill was far from someone who was a mute. He just picked conversations that he felt were interesting to him... that, and whenever he did talk, it would always startle the customer according to Helgen and Haggis.
He didn’t mind letting Guybrush man the wheel for a bit while he went to deal with the cannons, he is, after all, his Captain. And Captain words are law.
Patting his hands of any gun powder or dust, he looked over at Guybrush who appeared to have started to drift off slightly. He knew steering wasn’t exactly the most interesting jobs when sailing, but even they need to pay attention as they’re the ones staring out ahead and have a better viewpoint aside from those in the Crow’s Nest (a post that was currently occupied by one golden statue of a woman).
He walked up to Guybrush and cleared his throat, noting the blond jumping while letting out a high pitch yelp before looking around frantically with a panic look in his eyes until he glanced down and spotted him.
“Oh, ah... h-hi, Bill.” Guybrush waved. “You startled me there.”
“I noticed.” Bill’s gruff voice answered, aware that there was nothing he could do to make himself not sound irritated.
“You’re fallin’ asleep.” Bill crossed his arms.
“What? No, I was just... I was just really relaxed, that’s all.” The blond reassured. “I’m fine. Especially after that startle.”
“Hmm...” Bill shook his head. “Did you eat yet?”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Eat. Did you eat?” The shorter man asked again.
“Um... that’s a good question.” Guybrush looked up at the sky, thinking.
“If you’re thinkin’ this hard, you didn’t eat.” Bill answered for him. He looked over to Haggis and whistled for the Scotsman’s attention. “Man the wheel.”
“Aye-aye.” Haggis nodded and began walking up the steps.
“Wh- wait, what about the map? Someone needs to chart it.” Guybrush used his newly acquired knowledge. “How can he chart AND sail?”
“Nobody is better to sail then the one who charted.” The shorter man grunted, grabbing a hold of Guybrush’s ridiculously bone thin wrist and pulled him along to the galley, pointing next to him. “Stand here.”
Guybrush gulped but stood up, standing nervously next to Bill. He saw the shorter man shove to Guybrush a knife and some vegetables.
“Dice it.” The shorter man ordered.
“Right.” Guybrush nodded and slowly started to cut, his hands shaking.
Bill raised a brow at the Captain’s actions, but instead reached for a stool of his own so he could stand up to look into the pot. Greasy, empty and... feathers? Probably from Blondebeard if he were to wager a guess. He looked around the room and spotted some nearby chicken that he could use and chucked it into the pot.
“Yer all bones.” Bill then said.
Bill turned his head to look at him, that foggy look. “No muscles.”
“Ah, well, what can I say?” Guybrush shrugged, when he saw that Bill was looking at him for a follow up, he sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. “That’s all I got, I don’t have anything witty to say about the lack of muscles.”
“Hmmm...” Bill stared for a moment and went back to preparing the food. “What’d you eat before you came here?”
“Let’s see... uh... a half eaten corn-dog and a maggot infested biscuit.” Guybrush answered. “And I guess the meat-tasting gum?”
Bill dropped his utensils to look at Guybrush wide eyed. “You ate nothing before you set sail?”
“Well, it’s not really nothing, it’s the three things. I’m honestly not even hungr--” He jumped when Bill pointed an accusing finger at him.
“Scraps and garbage.” Bill corrected. “You ate nothing. That’s why yer all bones.”
“When did you last eat a real meal?”
“I... I don’t remember...” Guybrush admitted, his shoulders sagging. “I-I just remember that corn-dog when I drifted up to Plunder Island.”
Bill raised a concerned brow. Nothing? How could he remember nothing? He sighed and tapped Guybrush’s arm, gesturing to hand him over the knife and veggies. The blond obliged without question and letting Bill dice quickly. “Set the table. I’ll set the meal. Okay?”
Guybrush looked at Bill and then to the floor nodding. “Okay...” he sighed. “Listen, I’m sorr--”
“Nothin’ to be sorry about. No need to push yerself. Ya didn’t get yer strength back just yet.” Bill looked to Guybrush, trying to give a sincere smirk but couldn’t help that it looked ominous. “Leave the heavy liftin’ to me.”
“Ah... r-right.” Guybrush gave a shakey thumbs up before going to grab the plates and utensils. Reassured, but admittedly scared of Bill just a little bit.
Bill couldn’t help that he startled people when he was interested in learning about something or someone. Especially when it was someone as bizarre as Guybrush.
Chapter 3: How To Clothe A Crew-Mate
With the sails secured, the cannons in place and Bill taking care wheel with Haggis at the map, Helgen took the time to catch his breath. He enjoyed swinging around the ship, true, but his arms needed a rest from the aforementioned swinging. He walked along the deck when he spotted Guybrush staring out at sea with a distant look in his eyes.
“Room for one more?” Helgen asked, startling the blond in the process.
“What’s with everyone surprising me?” Guybrush said, gripping his chest.
Helgen shrugged. “Not our faults if you’re that easy to startle, Threepwood.”
A finger was raised in protest, but Guybrush quickly lowered it, realizing the musician was right. Instead, he moved over slightly to the left to let Helgen stand next to him.
“So uh...” Guybrush began, “H-how’s the ship looking? Everything in order?”
“Hm? Oh, yeah, the sails are in place, cannons are ready to be fired, vocals are warmed up and ready and so far we appear to be on the right path... So far so good.” Helgen reassured, stretching his arms just slightly. He glanced over at Guybrush and saw he was nodding, lightly tapping his finger against the rail but shivering. Upon further inspections, the clothes on the pirate’s back looked looser than usual. “You alright?”
He nodded. “Yeah, just kinda planning things when we get there and trying to figure where to start.”
“The diamond ring thing?”
Guybrush nodded again.
“Ah, I’m sure you’ll figure something out. I mean, you did figure how to gather a crew, a ship and a map.” Helgen counted on one hand. “And that was just the first day.”
“Heh, true.” Guybrush scratched his cheek.
“But I was more referring to how you’re actually feeling. You’re shivering up a storm there.”
“Well, that’s the Caribbean winds for ya, am I right?” The blond gave a sheepish laugh. “One moment warm and the next cold. Anyways, I’m sure Bill and Haggis are cold too, it’s not just me.” Guybrush waved off the concern.
The musician shrugged. “Perhaps. However, while Bill never really voices a lot of his own concerns, he doesn’t hide if he is or isn’t feeling cold. As for Haggis, he has meat on him to keep him warm. I, on the other hand, have a coat where as you, my good sir, are wearing clothes that just barely manage to fit.”
“What are you, my fashion consultant?” Guybrush stared.
“No, just a concerned crew-mate.” Helgen rested his forearms on the railing. “I’m sure your past crew was also concerned about your well being.”
“Pffft!” Guybrush scoffed. “That’s rich.”
Helgen just raised a curious eyebrow. “You did have a crew before, right? This isn’t your first time?”
“I did sail before. Went on two whole adventures... I’m sure you heard of at least one of ‘em.” He explained. “The Melee one?”
The musician pondered for a moment and then shook his head. “Can’t say that I have, must’ve been on my own adventure while you were out on the other.”
“Fair enough.” Guybrush nodded.
“So what happened to them? The previous crew?”
“Beg your pardon?”
Guybrush held up two fingers. “Two crews. One mutinied and the other was a freelance charter which, now thinking about that, would mean that they weren’t really my crew. So... one and a half crews? One? I dunno.”
Helgen winced. “Why’d they mutiny you?”
“Sheer laziness. Sugar on top with the threat of keelhauling when I tried to push them into doing their jobs. So I ended up doing everything myself.”
“Oh.” Helgen pursed his lips. “This was why you were floating on that bumper car you mentioned earlier? The mutiny?”
Guybrush’s loose smirk slowly fell into a frown and he shook his head. “No... that was... that was something else...”
He glanced over at Guybrush’s hand, saw that it formed into a fist as he nervously started to knock against the wooden railing. And if that wasn’t the biggest give away, then Guybrush turning more and more pale was another that he was treading into dangerous waters. Instead, Helgen leaned slightly back. “I see, no need to talk about it if you don’t want to.”
“Huh?” Guybrush looked at him.
“You don’t need to talk about it if you don’t want to. I’m anyways used to it with Bill picking when he wants to talk about things or not. So no offense was taken.” Helgen lightly punched Guybrush in the arm.
“Ah. Well... thanks for understanding.” Guybrush rubbed the freshly punched arm. “Um... hey, Van Helgen? If there’s anything--” He stopped mid-sentence when he felt something draped over him-- a coat, to be precise.
Helgen didn’t need to look his coat-less shoulder as he was walking towards the crew, yelling out for the status of the ship and the winds, to know that Guybrush was staring. And maybe, just a little bit, starting to relax from any of the heavy responsibilities.