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Crash! The two blades slammed against each other as Nathaniel charged the hare. His eyes had become a deep blood red. Bloodwrath red. Dagwood easily blocked the next attack, forcing Nathaniel towards the wallsteps which led to the belltower. The Major kept blocking and dodging the sea otter captain's blows and kept pushing him towards the steps. Nathaniel tripped backwards on the bottom step and landed on his back. Dagwood saw his oppertunity to strike and sliced Nathaniel's shoulder. He yelped in pain and quickly got up before the hare could take advantage of him again. Dagwood hadn't expected him to recover so fast and was surprised when the sea otter took off his ear with one swing of his cutlass.Dripping blood, Nathaniel ran up the wallsteps out of the hare's reach. Dagwood followed him. The captain ran into the belltower and after he was inside realized what a stupid mistake he had made. There was only one way out and Dagwood was blocking it. The hare was a fearsome sight with only one ear and the stub of the other and with dark crimsion blood running down his face. Nathaniel leaned against the stone wall and placed the paw that was still holding his cutlass over his shoulder to try and staunch the bleeding. His eyes were still red but were slowly fading back to brown as the pain of his wound overtook him. Dagwood took advantage of this and charged Nathaniel. He quickly blocked the attack, but he was also disarmed as his cutlass slipped from his paw which was slick with his own blood. The Major's rapier was suddenly at his throat. "Is that all you've got? I was expecting more from a captain." Dagwood said.
He pushed Nathaniel towards the window, but the sea otter caught himself on the window ledge before he fell out of the tower. The hare swung at him again and managed to cut a line across Nathaniel's cheek. Sticky hot blood ran down his face and dripped onto the cold stone floor of the tower. Dagwood lifted Nathaniel by his shirtfront. "You sicken me sea otter."
nathaniel spat in the hares face. "Good." He replied hoarsly as he pulled the revolver out of his waist sash and aimed the barrel of the gun at where the hares heart would be.
At that same instant Dagwood pushed him out the window.
Everything around the sea otter seemed to happen in slow motion. He felt suspended in the air as his claw curled around the trigger of the revolver. It seemed like an eternity as he pulled it back. Crack! At the sound of the gunfire everything returned to it's normal speed and now the sea otter captain was falling towards the pond below him. He had to fight to stay falling backfirst towards the water. Splash!
Nathaniel sank down in the pond and hit his head on a rock. In seconds everything in his vision went black.
Clarice ran out of Great Hall the instant she heard the gunshot. She got there jus in time to see Nathaniel fall fast into the pond. Two of his crew that had followed her ran and dove into the pond after their captain. She ran to the edge of the pond. (Please let him be okay.) she prayed. The two crewbeasts hefted Nathaniel between them and hauled him up onto the grass. Clarice fell onto her knees beside him.
Nathaniel was unconscious and was bleeding from his shoulder and the back of his head. (What happened?) she thought. Clarice shook him. "Nathaniel, answer me. Come on you have to say something. Nathaniel!"
Little Sister Violet pushed her way through the crowd that had formed around the otters. When she saw Nathaniel she yelled, "Somebeast get a stretcher and take him up to the infirmary!"
Two moles came with the stretcher and the two crewbeasts lifted their captain onto it. The moles struggled with Nathaniels weight and were glad Rigg and another big otter offered to carry him for them. Clarice followed closely behind them. In the infirmary Nathaniel was transferred onto a cot. Sister Violet shooed the Rigg and the other otter out of the infirmary and tried to make Clarice leave as well but she refused to budge.
The sister gave up and began tending to Nathaniel's wounds. Clarice sat beside the cot holding her love's paw tightly. Violet cleaned and dressed his head and shoulder wounds then put a light healing salve on his face where he had been cut. After that she left them alone. When she came back the Sister had a vial with her. "Whats that?" asked Clarice.
"Medicine. He needs to take this to help ease the pain."
She gave the vial to Clarice who set it on the nightstand. About an hour later Nathaniel stirred and groaned in agony. "Nathaniel can you hear me? Please say something."
He coughed. "Clarice..." He said faintly.
"Yes, I'm here."
His eyes opened and he ground his teeth together as he tried to push himself into a sitting position with his good arm. The infirmary sister pushed him back down again none to gently. "Don't you even try mister. You need to rest!"
Nathaniel glared at her. "I don't need no rest. I've suffered much worse than this."
"I don't think you realize that you just fell out of the belltower."
"I didn't fall. I was thrown." He said.
Clarice looked terrified, "Who did it?"
Nathaniel caughed again and a bit of pond water came up. He wiped his mouth with his sleeve and replied, "Major Dagwood Consfortingtam. I fought him."
Clarice couldn't beleive what she was hearing. "Why? Why does he want to ruin my life? First he takes me away from my daughter and now this!"
She buried her face in her paws and began to cry. Nathaniel reached out and placed his paw on her shoulder. she looked up at him. "He will never hurt you again. I made sure of it."
"You mean you killed him."
While they were in the infirmary a few hares went up to the belltower and found Dagwood's lifeless body. The bullet had gone high and struck the hare in the head. penatrating his skull. They brought the body of their fallen comrade down to the ground and began making arrangements for his buriel. A few other hares went to clean up the blood before the young ones saw it. One even found Dagwood's missing ear.
Dano had gone back to the pond and saw something in the water. The dark furred sea otter dived in and swam to the bottom where the object was and retreived it. When he was back up on the bank he realized that it was the captain's gun. He took it up to the infirmary and set it on the nightstand next to the vial of pain releiver. He saw that someone had found his cutlass and had cleaned it. The captain was asleep with Clarice curled up next to him on the edge of the tiny cot. He left quietly.
Later when Clarice awoke she got up and leaned down to kiss Nathaniel lightly. He surprised her when he pulled her back and kissed her hard. When they broke apart he said, "Don't worry about me. Just take care of Rose."
She nodded and began walking away. "Also Clarice, When that little mouse lets me get up be ready."
He smiled, "Our wedding."
She smiled softly back, "I'll be ready."
For the next few days life at Redwall went back to normal. The hares from Dagwood's regiment began their journey back to Salamandastron.
Nathaniel was forced to stay in bed for a whole five days before he could get up. And when he did get up he immediately told his crew to make sure everything was ready for the wedding. Clarice was being fussed over by a bunch of mousewives and Willow as they dressed her and made her look beautiful. In the infirmary Jenner was helping Nathaniel get dressed. It was difficult because his one arm was bandaged and in a sling so his shoulder wound wouldn't be disturbed. He was dressed in something similar to his captains attire, cream colored frock coat, white shirt, gold sash, cream pants, and soft brown leather boots. Later Willow came in and combed his fur and fixed some other minor details. He noticed that she was dressed in an orange sundress and had a tiger lily stuck behind one of her ears. It was a good look for her. When she was finished they went down to Great Hall which had somehow been transformed from a dining hall to a chapel.
White rose petals littered the floor causing the Hall to smell sweet. Everybeast was seated and mother Abbess stood at the front of the congregation. He felt awkward walking up the aisle and taking his place beside the abbess. He took a deep breath.The Abbess put a paw on his arm. "Don't be nervous." she whispered.
He nodded. Soon the doors opened and the congregation turned to look at the back. Rose came down the aisle carrying a basket full of gold flower petals. These she threw into the air and smiled as they fell around her. Nathaniel smiled fondly at his daughter, but his attention was soon turned to Clarice. She had on a white gown with shimmering gold embroidery and a crown of flowers on her head. She came to stand across from him. "you look amazing." He whspered.
"Thank you." she breathed.
The Abbess began the ceremony. It felt like forever standing up there exchanging vows and listening to the Abbess drone on and on, until finally she came to the end. "Do you Nathaniel James Danisham take Clarice Viktoria Consfortingtam to be your wife?"
"I do." He replied.
"And do you Clarice Viktoria Consfortingtam take Nathaniel James Danisham to be your husband?"
"With all the power invested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride."
Nathaniel leaned down to kiss her and their was a loud cheer from the congregation. Clarice smiled at him and slipped her arm through the one of his that wasn't bandaged. Together they walked back down the aisle smiling wide at each other.
The reception was held out on the grounds where there was much eating, drinking, dancing, and singing. Later in the evening when the festivities had died down a bit Nathaniel had gone on a walk with his bride. Jem, Willow, Jenner, Sister Triss, and Sister Violet sat on the wallsteps. Little Rose was asleep in Jenners arms. He had been assigned to take care of her for a while. Willow sat with her head on Jem's strong shoulder admiring the little ottermaid. She sighed. Jem looked down at her. "What's troubling you love?" He asked. She nodded towards Rose. "Oh."
He put his arm around her comfortingly. "Excuse me, Willow right? I noticed that you look sad. What's the matter dear?" asked Triss.
Willow sighed again and spoke, "It's nothing that you should worry about. It's more between Jem and I."
"Will, You can tell them if you want." He whispered in his wife's ear.
She looked down at her footpaws. "When I was a slave I was very sick and I would've died if Jem hadn't rescued me. I'm a lot better tan I was, but I still don't have very good health. For seasons we've wanted to start a family of our own, but I soon found out that I am unable to have a child. I was just thinking of how lucky Clarice is to have such a beautiful daughter."
Sister Violet spoke up. "Have you considered adopting? There's a young otter here that has no parents.They both died shortly after he was born. I'd say he's about five seasons old now."
Willow perked up a bit, "What is his name?"
"Renji Rapidbrooke, son of Marina and Skipper Rapidbrooke."
She looked up at Jem. He seemed to be considering the offer, then he looked at Will. She stared at him with those sea green eyes of hers as if begging him to say yes. "Alright. When can we see him?"
"Now if you wish."
The couple nodded and The sister went to fetch the young otter. Will looked hopefully at Jem. "We could have a son!"
"Lets meet him before we make any sudden descisions." Jem replied.
Sister Violet came back with Renji. He hurried up the wallsteps to where Willow and Jem sat. "I bes Renji. Sissy Vilet say ya wanna dopt me?"
Willow pulled him into a hug. "Of course we want to adopt you! Oh, you poor thing not having any parents. I'm Willow and that's Jem."
Renji's blue eyes stared at the blonde furred sea otter and his mate. They seemed nice and he had always dreamed of having parents. "I likes you. Whwen we leave da Abbey?"
Jem smiled at him. "Tomarrow morning."
The sea otter crew left the Abbey with happy hearts. And they were eager to get sailing again. The three guards greeted them cheerily and listened intently as Canvas relayed all of the evernts that had happened. Well sort of. He kinda exagerated a lot of it.
Renji and Rose were excited to explore the ship and were glad to get a full tour from Canvas as they sailed down the river moss towards the sea.
Late that night when Nathaniel had just crawled into bed, Rose came awake and went over to the bunk. She tugged on Nathaniel's shirtsleeve. "What is it? Do you realize how late it is?"
"Daddy I had a bad dream. Uh..can I sleep wiv you and momma tanight?"
He groaned and lifted her up onto the edge of the bunk with his good arm. She Crawled over him and Curled up between him and Clarice. Nathaniel rolled over onto his back and put an arm around his daughter. She yawned and closed her eyes. "I love you daddy." she said quietly.
The Danisham family slept soundly as the ship gently rocked and was brushed against the hull. They were heading for a peaceful life and the warm south islands.
3 seasons later....
The newborn sea otter babe snored softly as he slept. The tip of his pink tongue showing. His mother laid beside him on the bunk and had her arm on the other side of him so he wouldn't roll off. His father sat in a chair beside the bunk admiring his son. "He's handsome my dear." He said.
Clarice smiled up at him and said, "What are we going to name him?"
"Hmmm....how about Adrian?"
"I like it. A good strong name for him."
Suddenly the cabin door opened and Rose ran into the cabin. Nathaniel lifted her onto his knee so she could see the babe. Adrian was dark furred except for his left forepaw which was white. "He's cute, but I wanted a sister." said Rose.
Nathaniel laughed. "We can't control that Rosie."
Nathaniel stroked his son's fuzzy head. The babe opened his eyes and yawned. His eyes were a dark gray just like Clarice's. "What's his name?"
Rose lost interest in her brother and hopped down from her father's knee. Clarice tickled Adrian's little belly and he squeaked delightedly. Nathaniel picked up his son and held him carefully in one arm. "I'll make a captain out of you Adrian. Someday this fine craft will be yours........"
Clarice drifted off to sleep as her husband preached to their son about the ship.