?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Apologies for not updating sooner - I blame the flu. And George Bush, because he's to blame for everything.

Title: You Had a Charming Air, All Cheap and Debonair, Part 7/15
Author: Stoney321
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Rating/Pairing: PG-13 / Sparrow, Norrington
Summary: Set decades after PotC1, with flashbacks to 1 and after. Who doesn't like a little cat and mouse? Except, who's the cat and who's the mouse?
Disclaimer Own nothing, make not one red cent, the House of Mouse is run by Steven Jobs now. For the record, I did not invent Velcro, either. Just want to be clear and upfront on that.
A/N: Special thanks to cherusha for the beta on this portion - she who sent it back crippled, bleeding, and begging to be shot, then ordered me to fix it. ♥

[Prologue, 1] [2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ]



You Had a Charming Air, All Cheap and Debonair

~ ‡ ~



PART SEVEN

"There's them what say Sparrow was a wraith. A specter - made of the night and cloaked in fog."

"Aye, and there's the lasses what'll tell you otherwise, and had the bite marks to prove it."

The two old codgers broke into a riotous laughter and clinked mugs, while James Norrington, world-weary and jaded, rubbed his neck and fought back a creeping blush. While he could assure anyone who had dared asked him - and none had - that Captain Jack Sparrow was indeed made of flesh and bone, the man did have an uncanny ability to disappear off the face of the earth for great lengths of time with nothing but exaggerated tales of adventure to prove his existence.

"Sure, but he met his match with The Scourge, and make no mistake. On the side of the law or no, that man was a demon and wreaked his vengeance on them that sailed under the Black. He fell upon old Ned Lowe's ship the Navigator and kilt them all. Set his curse upon all those who had plundered in Exuma. Every ship fell ill with the bloody flux, and every crew was dead within days. No sailor with so much as a lifted biscuit will set foot in that harbor to this day."

"God bless me soul..."

The two men crossed themselves and drank deep. Norrington leaned back in his seat, turning his glass in his hands. While he had no qualms with pirates being killed legally for their crimes, the tale of the Navigator and its compatriots had grown to fantastic proportions, and none rightfully attributed to him. A horrible outbreak of dysentery had spread like wildfire amongst the rioting ships. Whether or not Sparrow had recognized the symptoms when he had gone ashore, or just continued his streak of good fortune, James had never bothered to find out. The Pearl's leaving had been fortuitous. James' isolation in the jungle for the next few days had been as well.

" 'Twas a hard man, The Scourge was. Heard that after he called the flux upon them in the bay, he did as much to them what lived there on Exuma for aidin' and abettin' the pirates. They all died in their beds, and he stole two of their boyos and gave them up as payment to the crown!"

"Ach, yer tetched in the head."

"Am I? He left a mark on their doors! Marked his X on their houses and stole away with the Lobsterbacks' sloop fer Freeport and the safety of the British garrison!"

"Well, now, I did hear of that bit."

While the old men drank, James recalled the sight of the empty house, the smell of the dead bodies within that almost overpowered him, and discovering the two frightened lads that had hid in the jungle when first the pirates came and kidnapped the officer. James found a spare bit of parchment, briefly wrote what he believed had transpired, signed his full name and rank to the bottom and affixed it to the door of one of the main houses. As to the young boys, Norrington could not leave the two there alone, unprotected, and so had taken them to the nearest British stronghold with him.

"If I hadna been on a fishing excursion, I woulda tried for the price on his head. I coulda retired and lived like a laird on that pot of gold."

The one-eyed sailor clapped his friend on the shoulder, "He'd a kilt you before you had time to reach for your blade, MacDougal. He was a demon, he was."

The tale of the slaughter of a large armada of pirates, and not much to explain what happened other than a mark and signature of one James Norrington, Commodore of the King's Navy, had spread like wildfire. James rolled his eyes. Pirates were not the most educated of men, although there were those who had brains. Well, somewhat. He gave a brief laugh. Jack Sparrow would probably give the Pearl over to hear James admit he had brains. No, he wouldn't. James smiled to himself.

"MacDougal, weren't it you that came across Sparrow in Tobago?"

MacDougal grabbed his lapel and beamed drunkenly at his mate. "Aye, t'was me that turned him in, him that none other had been able to get aholt of. I saw who it was through that disguise of his."

The one-eyed pirate regarded his friend. "True, but he slipped out of their grasp again, did he not?"

MacDougal's face fell. "Aye. Bastard."

If I had a pound for every sailor that claimed to have captured Sparrow... James smiled to himself. For two years he listened for word of the Pearl or her captain, but Jack, like his ship, had for all appearances, faded into the night.

Word would come to Norrington that a black ship had been spotted, or that a man that resembled Sparrow had been seen - one time a small woman had been imprisoned, her crime apparently that she wore her hair in a similar manner to Sparrow's. Norrington had shown up for her trial and quickly pointed out that first and foremost, Captain Jack Sparrow did not have breasts. She was released within minutes.

"Wait... did you say disguise? What - did the old blighter try for a cleric again?"

MacDougal pounded the counter with his fist, a twinkle in his eye, "Nope. Dressed up like a Commodore with the costume he stole from The Scourge himself!"

Norrington clutched his glass tightly in his hand for a moment. Didn't even cut his hair, the absolute imbecile.

~*~

"Well, well. If it isn't you. Finally slipped up, eh, Sparrow?"

Jack walked the length of the bars to his cell, hand dragging along the metal as casually as if it were the railing of his ship. "Commodore! James, my old friend."

"I'm not your friend, Sparrow."

"Funny, all the provisions I've been able to abscond with due to our friendship prove otherwise."

"Impersonating an officer, now? Are there no depths to your boldness?"

Jack Sparrow stood, bowed with a flourish, and grinned up at James. "I've never stopped long enough to find out. Just all in a day's work, love. Have to thank you, your Commodoreship - it is still Commodore, correct? Or have they pushed you off the sea and stuck you at a desk with a fancy title like 'Admiral,' now? If you hadn't left behind your gorgeous coat and hat and left without a word... Mind you, it worried me heart, it did, James- "

"Enough!"

"Heard you have magical powers now. Able to wipe out entire flotillas with the bloody flux. Impressive."

James pinked at that. "I cannot help that simpletons won't listen to reasonable discourse."

Jack hopped a few steps back in his cell, leaned back against the stone wall, crossed his arms, and smirked. "Oh, then, by all means. I'm all ears."

James glowered at the man. "I've only come to- "

"Look upon my beautiful face one last time?"

"I've only come, " he began again with a sharp exhale, "to prove that it is indeed you, and not another poor sot that has the misfortune of merely resembling you."

"Misfortune? Misfortune? No, no, James, see you've got it wrong. But then, you didn't see how fine I looked in your coat. Nor your wig. Hat was a bit much. You know, I never understood how you kept that on in a strong wind-"

James gave a slight nod, looked Sparrow up and down, then spoke curtly. "You'll be hanged at dawn. Any last words?"

Jack arranged his face into that of contriteness. "Only that your life is in grave danger, Commodore."

James chewed the inside of his cheek, "I daresay that my life is in danger every day, yet somehow I seem to manage."

Jack sprawled upon the straw-covered floor of his cell with a slight groan and covered his face with his hat, as if to take a nap. "Suit yourself. And I wouldn't go to sleep for the duration of my stay here, if I were you. Or eat anything. Or speak to anyone. Or step outside."

"Out with it, Sparrow."

Jack pulled the hat off his face slightly and grinned up at Norrington, "Oh, no, I can see that a busy man such as yourself has things to see, people to do... Wait, that's not right."

"If you have any information regarding illegal activity, I would suggest that you come out with it immediately."

"Or what? You'll hang me? Can't hang me twice. Actually, I'm sure you could, but it's not as fun the second time, I'd wager."

"Surely you don't expect me to make a deal with you for information that most likely will prove to be false."

"I'm hurt, Commodore! Have I lied to you? Don't answer that. Have I lied to you when it was important? Second thought, don't answer that either."

"Guards! Bring me a whip, if you please!"

Sparrow blinked. "You wouldn't -. James, after all I -. Er, what do you want to know?"

James rocked back on his heels. There were no guards in the corridor, but Sparrow didn't need to know that. After all, Jack was the one who explained that the threat of violence was as effective as the violence itself. "I want to know any intelligence you may have - limited though I'm sure it will be - regarding any attempts on my person."

"Well, there's a bonny lass at the Drunken Eel that says she'll bed ye by nightfall-"

"That'll be all Mr. Sparrow, " James turned to walk away and smoothed the front of his coat. "I'm sure your humor will be cold comfort on the gallows come dawn."

"And the rocky shores on the far side of this island will be yours, if you don't heed my warning."

James turned back to face Jack, who had a completely unfamiliar look upon his face - worry.

"Mr. Sparrow-"

"Captain Sparrow. Captain. Why can't anyone ever..."

James let out a long-suffering sigh, "Fine. Captain Sparrow, I can assure you that I am perfectly safe here in the garrison. It won't be the first time someone has wanted me dead. We are surrounded by soldiers and-"

"Aye, but what if one of the fine men serving ye is the one wanting to do ye in?"



~TBC, The next is here, to be sure, arrr.


~ ‡ ~



Update cross-posted to pirategasm and sparrington

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
galadhir
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:01 am (UTC)
A superb chapter! I just love the thought of the pirates coming back to find everyone dead, and James Norrington's signature left on the door. LOL! The legend is far more believable than the truth, (because things that wonderful *have* to be true). I just love the thought of The Scourge becoming this legendary being to battle Sparrow endlessly in legend, getting more and more outrageous as it goes along.

And Sparrow and Norrington's conversation at the end is sheer genius. I burst out laughing at 'Actually, I'm sure you could, but it's not as fun the second time,' and I squeed at "Guards! Bring me a whip, if you please!" They are *such* fun together. Brilliant stuff!
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:14 am (UTC)
Whoa, that was fast! :D Here's where the proof that betas are essential: I had gone on for pages about his escape in all the gory details, and that's not the POINT of this fic. Maybe for soemthing else, but... Bogged. Down.

So pleased you're still enjoying it, and more is coming soon! Thanks, so much.
classics_lover
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
Yay! Great fun, snark and drinks all around!

And I do love that James is becoming as notorious as Jack - it's only fitting! I forgot to say, I do love the device of eavesdropping for James' own amusement - inspired, that is!

And the story about the woman put on trial for her unfortunate appearance was so funny. LOL.

(And the bonny lass in The Drunken Eel made me sporfle and giggle!)
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
(That bonny lass is a smart one, aye?) And thank you for telling me what you think is working - I appreciate that.

More very soon!
classics_lover
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
I love receiving concrit, so I do try to give it as much as possible!

I look forward to the rest!
jaekayelle
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
Oooh, excellent chapter. I'll just echo everything galadhir said and add that James and Jack are locked together in legend forever and ever...whether they like it or not. *g* Also, I love that James reputation as The Scourge is emphasized in this fic -- and that the pirates have exaggerated it over the years to the point where James is Bigger Than Life. The real weight of his authority in Jamaica is often overlooked in fic. I've done it myself a few times when it was too tempting to focus on J and J's other, more physical relationship. ;-)

*hugs and loves this fic*
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)
Oh, hooray! I'm glad it's working for you! (

Although, side note: being comissioned in the Caribbean was almost a death-knell for your military career - it was filthy, disease ridden, and away from the "important" battles with France, the Dutch, and eventually, the Colonies. But I like to think that Disney/Verbinski didn't research well enough and, like us, see the greatness that is our Commodore. Because clearly he is The Man.)
jaekayelle
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:52 am (UTC)
He is still the Authority there, yes? Maybe history couldn't see the greatness of the position, but for our purposes (as long as James can ignore the fact that he's been filed away from the main action), it works. :) In my mind he was sent there because he's still young with lots of time for more and better, and he's ruthless when it comes to going after pirates -- except, perhaps, one dreadlocked swishy pirate named Jack. After he cleans up the Caribbean he's been all but promised to be sent somewhere more important. The Admiralty is testing his mettle.

Fanfic writers can justify anything. We won't even get into the determination of slashers. ;-p
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)
I CONCUR WITH YOUR POSTULATED THEORY, MADAM.

And mmmm, the slash. 8 more chapters to go. Bound to get in there somewhere... *grins*
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
Wait... isn't he called "the scourge of all pirates" in the movie? I guess I'm just making it capitalized instead of an idea, then/ :D

And as to them not being equals... I mean, I know that, but- they are! Opposite sides of a coin, in several ways, their love of the sea, the thrill of the hunt/chase - depending on which man it is, heh. Their absolute belief that their chosen profession is the right one... I'm not much for the sub/dom or teacher/student type relationships, which is why I enjoy these two so much.

(Someone is bound to be a bit... testy after two years, yes?)
jedipirate
Feb. 21st, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
There are not enough words in the English language to praise the brilliance of this story. I'll go ahead and echo everyone else. Building up James as The Scourge is wonderful!

And the story has such a lovely flow to it. It's like watching a movie unfold, what with the flashbacks and all.

Que bonita! Bravisimo! Excelente! (Ok, I'm running out of foreign words.)
Slaínte! Cheers!
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)
Erp! Thanks - high praise indeed, and not sure that I deserve that, but I'll take it with thanks and a promise for more in the morning!
sinningia
Feb. 21st, 2006 09:16 am (UTC)
the rest is coming, to be sure, arrr.As well it should. ;)

Another lovely chapter! I adored the snark between Norrington and Sparrow, and how you make "The Scourge" (I simply *love* this term) a living legend. Great! Because, in my humble opinion, Norrington *does* have what it takes to become a legend, same as Sparrow. So, furthering his reputation among the Pirates with this flux-incident was great.

As before, hearing a story in a story, told by the two sailors with Norrington listening in on from the background is a wonderful touch. Go on like that!

~sinningia~
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
Mmmm, yes. Norrington was well known, wasn't he? And if not, dammit, he SHOULD have been. Hopefully he'll get the recognition he deserves in the sequels.

Thanks, as always, for your continued fb. It's greatly appreciated!
(Anonymous)
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:07 am (UTC)
yay the third ^^
Hey!
Great chapter as always!
I'm dying to find out what Jack
implied with:
"Aye, but what if one of the fine men serving ye is the one wanting to do ye in?"
well I hope James believes him =)
ciao, Furi
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:24 am (UTC)
Hullo! Glad to see you're still sticking with this yarn... More - and possibly more information regarding your question - in the morning. Thanks, as always! *grin*
cherusha
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
*usual pom-pom waving along with much love for ye olde disclaimer*

I totally read all your disclaimers. /dork
stoney321
Feb. 21st, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
Hee hee! It's a habit. I do it with all my fics - you are the FIRST PERSON in almost two years to mention it.

*hearts you tons, dreamy sigh for my lovely friend*
sandssavvy
Feb. 21st, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Hmm interesting. I woder what Jack's getting at.
I'm looking forward to the next chaper of this lovely story!
stoney321
Feb. 22nd, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
All, or at least, a good portion is revealed in the next bit, just up, and thank YOU for your lovely words!
porridgebird
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
WOW! I'm thoroughly enjoying this. Thank you!
stoney321
Feb. 22nd, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
No, no, the thanks belong to you! And the next portion juuuuust went up. *beams*
3sunshine3
Feb. 21st, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
this is so, so fabulous. the banter between jack and james is priceless- the characterizations are so perfect; I can just picture James' raised eyebrows and Jack's smirk. This is dark chocolate and ice cream to my Sparrington-starved soul. Huzzah for updates!
stoney321
Feb. 22nd, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
Wow! Such lovely things to say, and no one told me there was ice cream! *grin* My hope is that the upcoming sequels will bring the old crowd back - the ones that wrote the lovely, plotty, spot-on stories that drew me in.

Next bit just went up, and thanks again.
zyrya
Mar. 27th, 2006 10:23 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the links to the next chapter, btw. I hate reading fic via LJ, but you've taken some of the sting out.

I love that you've nicknamed Norrington The Scourge. It fits perfectly both from the pirates' perspective but also I feel very strongly he'd be a scourge to the Navy as well. I think letting Jack have a day's lead at the end of the movie was deeply out of character for him, done only because he briefly allowed himself to succumb to the romantic atmosphere of the day and the Governor's intervention to overcome his natural inclinations. Age would harden his principles, and perhaps if this story ends the way I think it will then regret for missed opportunities would squash any further bouts of sentimentality.

The plot's percolating along beautifully. Must read more!
stoney321
Mar. 28th, 2006 10:20 am (UTC)
Hee! I can't take credit for "The Scourge" as that was in the movie as a bit of a throwaway line. But! I liked the idea of making this a "legend."

I don't know if you saw, but this whole fic was based on a song by "The Decemberists" called "The Mariner's Revenge." Funny, bouncy, and I wanted to create a balance between legend, and the real sotry behind it.

As to James letting him have a day... Well, I think it was in character (IMO) for a few reasons: he wanted to give something tangible to Elizabeth to see him as a man beyond his career, even though she chose elsewhere, and ultimately, I think James loves the cat and mouse of his job. But only with Jack. There's something about their relationship that is infuriating for him, but he doesn't simply shoot the damned man, you know?

*shrugs* Just my opinion.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
Powered by LiveJournal.com