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Fic update - Pirates of the Caribbean

Title: You Had a Charming Air, All Cheap and Debonair, Part 12/15
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 Disney secretly built this planet, too. DNA? = DisNey Animation. It kinda creeps me out to think of it.
A/N: cherusha is my beta extraordinaire. You should all get one. But not mine, ya grubby greedy gopher guts.

[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 TWELVE



"A plan."

"Yep. A plan."

"And what could possibly make you think I'll trust anything that you concoct?"

"My last plan worked out pretty well, I'd say."

"Your last plan-" James sputtered. "I lost five men that night! And none of the stolen goods Barbossa had hoarded were ever recovered!"

"It might have been all of your men. 'Sides, we were after something a tad more important than a bit of gold, aye?" Jack leaned in, rebuke evident in his expression.

"Well, it was certainly satisfying to hear that Barbossa had been killed, even outside a court of law, and my men did capture the remainder of his crew."

Jack blinked, incredulously. "I was referring to your former fiancè."

James blushed. "Of course." He buried his face in his mug. Dammit. Embarrassed that Jack had chided him, or that he had forgotten Elizabeth... James wasn't sure. A small war was waging inside him - one part grateful for this proof that he had indeed moved on, and another sad that he had.

"Well. So," he cleared his throat. "What's this 'plan' of yours, Sparrow?"

Jack grinned, "Thought you'd never ask."

~*~

"...and that's when they made me their chief."

James snapped back to attention and sat up straight after getting lost in his memories. Miles to go before I sleep... He rubbed his eyes, leaned back in his chair and shifted slightly to better hear the two old sailors tell their tale. He was growing tired, but he hadn't gathered enough information to satisfy his needs just yet.

"What do you mean, 'made you their chief?' "

"Captain. Leader. Sparrow'd gone, hadn't he? His first mate died in the great stramash at sea, an' all of The Scourge's crew was kilt as weel." MacDougal shrugged. "I was passing by on a merchant ship, I had seniority and took me chance."

Ahh, so this is the one who- James was fully awake again.

"As I was saying... there we were, open waters, and a great man-o-war half-sunk, her great masts broken and bobbing in the sea, and naught but two jolly boats floatin' with a handful of half-dead pirates in 'em. And all of them moanin' and wailin' that the Pearl was haunted. Sparrow'd made a deal with the devil and crossed beyond the veil..."

James eyes widened slightly and the corner of his mouth twitched with a hint of a smile. Devil, am I? But- wait a moment!

"Wait a minute, blast ye, yer skipping over bits!"

MacDougal looked up with red-rimmed eyes and blinked owlishly. "Am I?"

"Go back to the devil part."

"Have I not- ? Right, right. So I told ya's how Sparrow slipped away from the gallows and got a new first mate no one had e'er heard hide nor hair of - musta fashed The Scourge to lose his prey once more, aye? Weel, there's them what say as how he sold his soul to the devil, too - became his handyman on earth, ya might call it."

"Good year for Old Scratch."

"Har, and he does make ends meet with our line o'work, don't he now? And The Scourge? Weel. He was right pissed. Neither law nor honor mattered anymore."

Hardly. James rolled his eyes and shifted in his seat.

"...only that he saw Sparrow hang. He pressed some fellers into service on an old boat the day after Sparrow'd run off. It weren't even a Naval ship! But Old Jack, weel - he wasn't who he were for nothin'," MacDougal took a sip of his ale, licked his cracked lips and started again. "Was waitin' fer The Scourge. Had a sixth sense, he did. Always knew how to escape his death."

James chewed the inside of his lip. Wait for it...

"But I thought he- I thought he did die?"

MacDougal blinked and scratched his rough cheek. "I don't take yer meaning."

The one-eyed sailor scooted closer in his chair. "You said he had a sixth sense about how t'escape death. Guess it weren't so good after all, because he died. Ate up by a whale, if I'm not mistaken?"

"No man can escape the Reaper when he's ready fer ya!"

"But you said-"

"I'm the one telling this tale! Yer the one buyin' me another drink fer interrupting."

"Oh, sure, sure, go on, I'm listenin', aye?"

MacDougal stretched and rolled his shoulders, then glared at the barkeep until his drink came. "Fine. Now keep in mind that the tales o'Barbossa were true - he didn't die. Weel, not until he did. But my point bein' that a man can be undead, can't he?" He took a long draught from his ale, wiped the foam from his lip and leaned in close. James, at his table, strained to hear the newer part of the tale.

"True that a whale et up both him and The Scourge. But there's them what believe Sparrow's ghost still sails the Pearl and most sailors won't visit the backside of Bermuda to this day."

"Ach, is that why? I've heard that there's a part of the sea that swallows ships whole."

MacDougal nodded and touched the side of his nose and closed one eye. "That's Old Jack's revenge for the whale swallowin' him, ye see."

James snorted, turning his face away from the two old men. After all these years, he still couldn't believe that Jack's plan had worked. Had worked so well, in fact, that ships completely avoided the spot of their "demise." And considering how Anamaria was as wealthy as the Queen now, steel-haired and an affluent landowner from all the plunder she'd been able to hide in that secret cove, it had been incredibly far-sighted of the pirate. James had finally learned that while most pirates were absolute superstitious fools - present company an excellent example of this - there were those who were quite clever. Jack, Mr. Gibbs...

James shook his head to clear it. All those years ago, on the... relatively clean deck of the Pearl, Jack had told James his plan. He had never been more sure that Jack was both insane and unbalanced, and never more sure he had the real chance of dying at the hand of a pirate.

He held out his right hand. The gold and silver rings winked in the candle light of the tavern and he smiled to himself. Well, everyone needs to be proven they're wrong once in their life. Keeps us humble.

~*~

"You are absolutely, unequivocally insane!"

Jack laughed, eyes bright. He held on to two ropes overhead and swung forward and back slowly.

"And there is no way to even manage- " James sputtered. He ran his hand over his head, exasperated at Jack's glee. "Have you forgotten that I do not have my own ship presently? And if you dare suggest that I steal a ship from the Na-"

"Commandeer. Commandeer a ship. Appropriate. Confiscate. Take your pick but it's not stealing, James! And there's no need for you to sully your hands, which I know you won't do anyway."

James blinked at that.

"Oh, don't look so shocked. I know you're a good man. Not gonna make you go against yer nature."

James felt his blood pressure rising with every word uttered by the smirking, scheming, stinking pirate. Well, not stinking. Apparently he had found a time to bathe. Nonetheless, James was absolutely flabbergasted at the audacious plan Jack had concocted during the night.

"Not going to- And what the bloody hell do you think being on this ship is doing to my nature?"

Jack let go of the ropes and with a soft smile on his face, laid the flat of his palm on the center of James' chest. "Freein' it."




~TBC, Click here for more...


~ ‡ ~


cross posted to pirategasm and sparrington

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
classics_lover
Mar. 3rd, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Nice!

The reference to Elizabeth was lovely and bittersweet - and way to use "...And then they made me their chief." *knowing smile*
And the squabbling storytellers are great fun (although I think I may have told you that already).

I'm stillloving this fic. Pace is really picking up - don't be too long with the next part, or I'll come after you! ;-)
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
Hahaha!! I'm pleased the "and they made me their chief" joke didn't fall flat - yay! That always made me laugh.

More soon!
sinningia
Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
Nice ending sentence!

and a bit shorter but come on! That's a proper ending. I certainly hope NOT! For the chapter! For the chapter. And right you are in repeating this line. I sure hope for more now that you've got me sitting on the edge of my seat! ^^

Nicely done, dear!

~sinningia~
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
Thank you, thank you, and I'm waiting for the final edits from my beta and should have everything up this weekend with the conclusion Monday, hooray!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
*cough* That was mentioned in the Prologue... But note that there are NO warnings with this story. So. Ahem. :D

Glad you are still with me - that I haven't gone down a crazy(ier) path!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:14 am (UTC)
yay!!!! *cackles at The Plan* I'm posting over the weekend, Anne, so DON'T MISS IT!!

(And I sat and stared at my screen after typing it, so damn happy I'm in this fandom now.)
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
I have never been more grateful to leave the "planning and organization" of my kids' clubs up to other people than I am RIGHT NOW.

I'm the most horrible disorganized person when it comes to other people. My stuff? Fine with it. Immediate things with my kids? On top of it. Group-style planning? KILL ME.

And *squish* you're so sweet.
cherusha
Mar. 3rd, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
Wanted to shout out a couple things I love -- things I wasn't able to say when I was being all "authoritative hausfrau":

- Love the little details you put in, like Macdougal commandeering Sparrow's old line: "...and that's when they made me their chief."

- the language of the two old sailors

- And this line, of course: Jack let go of the ropes and with a soft smile on his face, laid the flat of his palm on the center of James' chest. "Freein' it."


*melts*
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:15 am (UTC)
Mmmmm, I love your authoritative hausfrau. (I wasn't sure if that joke - the chief one - had worked, so YAY!)

How much do I love you for getting me into the fandom? Sooooooooo much. *loves forever* Oh, and checking your email now!
sandssavvy
Mar. 3rd, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
Loved the last line.
Looking forward to more.
stoney321
Mar. 6th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you! And the conclusion (the final three chapters) have been posted. I've appreciated all of your feedback. *hugs*
porridgebird
Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)
Heeeeeeee!

Really enjoying this.
stoney321
Mar. 6th, 2006 07:19 am (UTC)
Hooray! Thanks for telling me that, and the final three chapters have just been posted. *beams at you*
lettered
Mar. 7th, 2007 12:50 am (UTC)
Eek!

I love so much this:
Not gonna make you go against yer nature. and this:
"Freein' it."
The whole bit about Norrington realizing the navy isn't exactly all it's cut out to be feels like it should be a cliche, stock plot, but you've handled it really well. I mean, I guess I see it as a cliche because I feel like it's something that might *obviously* happen, because of who Norrington and Jack are. But your voices and everything are so true that it just feels part of the 'verse, and that's so rare.

I also love the way you framed it by these old sailors trading stories. The way you write their voices is comic, but you really do set a mood. And it's an old sea story trope to have it be all about the "legends", so that really really works.

I also love the way it's slashy, but really really subdued. It's as it would be if this was an extension of canon, and that's the way this feels. Them being friends and buddies and stuff, with Norrington still kinda hating Jack. I love reading into your subtext--some of it is funny and some of it is sexy, but oft times it is just...sweet, and that is unexpected.

And lastly, the way you handle the pace on both a mini level (the way you deliver jokes, the way you really illustrate a moment between bits of dialogue) and a macro level (the plot as a whole) is really, really impressive. I'm really enjoying this!
stoney321
Mar. 7th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
I loved the old sailors - a sort of Pintel and Ragetti, but Scottish. *G*

The slashy part was hard, because when I set out to write a fic, I wanted it to be slash. But... to REALLY get it there, it just didn't fit with this. So I figured I'd be like Ted-n-Terry (the scriptwriters) and subtext the hell out of it. Haha!

And the pacing, especially these last chapters, is one thing I think I did well. It's not something I'd ever tried before, and I had to cut a lot (I had a great beta) but I was really happy with how it turned out. (I know we aren't supposed to say this stuff, but I know I can with you.) Man, I'm just SO HAPPY you are reading and enjoying! You have absolutely made my night. (You've done that often. I love your feedback like I love fine champagne, woman.)
lettered
Mar. 7th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
I had to cut a lot

I could kind of tell, not in the sense that it felt like anything was missing (not at all!), but because this was so rich. If someone shows you every word they've written, every thought they've had about the fic and characters, there's this empty feeling to it, a lot of the time, because there's nothing behind it. But this really felt as if...on a deeper level, the story had *happened*, and you were pulling out revealing bits of it. And that, imo, is really the best way to make a story feel real and solid, as this did.

I was really happy with how it turned out. (I know we aren't supposed to say this stuff, but I know I can with you.)

SING IT. I think I'm going to go rant in my lj, now. If there are people who say we shouldn't say stuff like that, I want to tell them they can SUCK IT.
stoney321
Mar. 7th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
HAHA. That's right, yo! *flashes gang signs*

And I wrote this really elaborate escape scene with Norrington finding burned out homesteads and him leaving a note, etc. etc. from his Black Pearl escape chapter and... While I loved how that read, it had no business in this fic.

I really REALLY hope you do this meme of listing your 5 fave. fics. I'm finding that I love what the authors love. Like, there's a reason it's THEIR favorite, you know? I'd love to revisit a lot of your stories, and having a handy-dandy post with links would just be super. *grin*
( 19 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

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