Hunky-Dory. meaning everything is great, fine. There was a street in Yokohama called Honki-dori, where the inhabitants specialized in sailors.... and making them happy. Catering to their pleasures, you see. Heh.
Title: You Had a Charming Air, All Cheap and Debonair, Part 4/15
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Rating/Pairing: PG-13 / Captain Jack Sparrow, Commodore James 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. If you can reach my wallet, you can have what's in there, too.
A/N: Thanks for being a speedy and efficient beta, floweringjudas. Cross posted to the same two comms as before.
[Prologue, 1] [2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ]
One hour. The pox-faced weasel pranced about his ship giving orders and impressions of various naval officers he had encountered over the years while wearing Commodore Norrington's wig and hat for one solid hour. Every few minutes a shout of glee would erupt from the upper deck. James rested on the floor against the bulkhead and waited for his captor. Sparrow hadn't even the basic decency to send down any food or fresh water.
"Now, now, don't frown, Commodore, I didn't forget you."
James opened one eye and saw the animated face of Sparrow beaming down at him. It was a shame the chain between his handcuffs was so short; he would have loved to have wrapped it around Jack's neck. Anything to stop that godforsaken grinning. Jack grabbed Norrington under his arm and heaved him to his feet, then plunked the exhausted man into a chair.
"I'm sure you're hungry. Being noble and stupid can tire a man, I've heard."
Jack slid a tray across the small table. It contained hard tack, a strange but delicious smelling soup, and -
"Easy, Commodore. For four days you've had naught in that belly but your own bile, and that's uncut rum."
"Don't care," James managed to croak out.
Jack smirked, nodded to himself and pulled a large splinter from his palm. "Then you won't mind that I saw fit to... improve your wig."
James had grabbed the bowl of soup and was gulping the hot broth, paused, registered what had just been said, then slowly lowered the bowl to the table.
"What do you mean by improve?"
"Ah, I was hoping you'd ask, Commodore."
Jack showed the palms of both of his hands, opened the cuffs of his shirt to show they had nothing in them while Norrington rolled his eyes and exhaled slowly from his nostrils. Jack clapped once, then through a sleight of hands, produced the once-pristine wig.
"See, it had no style. Looked like those belonging to all the other stuffed shirts that march about, shouting at their men, but you, Commodore, you are different. You don't mind dirtying your hands, you know a ship as well as a pirate, and I felt that your topper here should reflect your... individuality, as it were?"
He couldn't help that his mouth fell open at the sight. Jack's hands, resting on the table's edge and staying low, slid around to stand behind him, chin resting over James' shoulder, finger out and pointing to the various "improvements."
"Now, these shells I picked up after being thrown overboard when the ship's Captain found me with his wife, who happened to be onboard. Lovely woman. Had obviously been to Yokohama. I washed up on a lovely little island south of St. Croix. Pure white sand. Reminds me of your soul- "
James reared back with his shoulder, knocking the pirate off his feet momentarily.
"Now, now, Commodore -"
"Either kill me or toss me overboard, but I cannot take one more minute of your stupidity, nor your smell."
"I'm hurt." And indeed, Jack looked quite pained and clutched at his chest. "Here I am, reaching out to you, trying to make friends-"
"Friends? Have you forgotten that I hold everything about you in contempt? That if I had my sword - Please tell me you haven't traded my sword."
"Long thing? Shiny? Bit of a gold tassel on the handle? Never saw it."
"I'm warning you, Sparrow-"
"Warning me? Warning me. Warning. Me." Jack sat down in the vacated chair, clomped his boots onto the top of the small table, mindless of the spilt broth, and steepled his fingers under his nose to hide his wide smile. "See, James, that's what I adore about you. You're chained, starved, spat upon, defiled - well, not what anyone in my trade would call defiled, but that's beside the point. All this, and you are warning me.
"You know what you are, Commodore?"
"I daresay you'll enlighten me."
"You, me daring, dashing, darling James, you," Jack took a long drought from the cup of rum, "are a pirate."
"The Scourge was a wily, tricksy man and fought every chance he could while captive. They train a handful of officers in the sacred arts of the Chinee, you know."
"Yeh know, I wondered about that. Some are a bit too canny, yeh ken?"
The short, stout seaman polished off his ale and signaled for a new one. "Aye. The Scourge was one such man. How else can yeh explain the bastard being able t'escape Sparrow? Four times?"
James turned his face to the doorway to hide his chuckle. Twice. He had managed to get away twice, and only one time stuck. The first time was soon after his capture, when the damned pirate had adorned his powdered wig in baubles and ribbons and long matted braids that he had long-suspected belonged to Sparrow's own head. Jack had insulted him, but more importantly he had underestimated the Commodore.
James had feinted towards Sparrow, then quickly dodged out the doorway, up the short stairs, made the few steps to the rail and dove overboard. His hands, still chained, were useless to him, but his legs were strong. Perhaps. He had underestimated his own weakness from being hung and starved for the better portion of a week, and two deck hands made quick work of overtaking him, then hauling him up - by the chain, almost ripping his hands off in the process - and dumping him at the feet of Captain Jack Sparrow who looked shocked.
"I didn't even touch the hat, James!"
A few weeks passed, only this time, Commodore James Norrington was hobbled as well as shackled, and tied up in the hold. He tried to ignore the fact that after Jack brought his day's food, he would leave the door open to allow sunlight and fresh air in. And James was fairly certain that the rum he was getting was the same that Jack himself drank, and not the watered down version the crew was served. He didn't want any kindnesses from his captor, and was confused by the small acts of decency Jack showed him.
Almost as if the scurvy bastard wanted to be friends. James jingled the chain between his wrists and gave a hollow laugh, and felt the sore spot under his rib where he had been struck repeatedly by the large man, Turk. Some friend.
Jack had sent one of his shipmates in with food the last two turns, and there was a palpable excitement that came off the sailor. James wrinkled his nose in distaste. Not the only thing coming off the man, good lord. The boat was riding differently, and the raucous noises of the crew had quieted down during daylight. James knew they were close to shore.
The man smiled, showing his blackened gums and cackled. “Ye’ll see soon enough, yar.”
“Did you just say yar?”
The man scowled and shuffled off, muttering. James attacked the food given him - red meat! - then clutched his jaw in pain. Nothing but broth and bread for the duration of his captivity had loosened his gums and made his mouth tender. He was determined to keep up his strength, however, and managed to worry the food down.
"I suspect you miss this, Commodore?"
James reached up and caught the small orange neatly from the air.
"Plenty more where that came from, don't be shy."
James struggled to peel the tough hide off the fruit, then sat back and sighed when Jack plucked it out of his hand, "Oh, allow me," used the sharp point of his tooth to get the peel going, then sectioned it.
James scowled and snatched the sections from Jack's hand. "I don't need a nursemaid."
"No. Of course you don't. Who on earth would ever say that-. Oh. Pardon. Seems like you need your pot tossed overboard, right?"
"One day, Sparrow, I'll have the great satisfaction of watching that hateful smirk of yours turned into a scream of pain as you hang."
"Hmmm. Most likely, but probably not today. Or tomorrow. Perhaps not for the next week, either, I'm terribly busy and- "
"Oh, would you please just shut up?"
James threw the remaining peelings into the dark corners of the hold. Jack sat back on his haunches and regarded the man chained before him.
"You aren't going to try anything stupid like jumping overboard and drowning, are you?"
"And why would you care?"
"Oh, but James, I've grown to care for you. Like a brother. You know, the good one that mother gave the best cuts of meat to and spoke to all the neighbors about. No, hang that, I hated me brother for that very reason. I just like having you under my thumb for a change. Also, there's the minor detail that we're currently wet-docked in a port crawling with pirates and they'll have no problems skinning you and sticking your head on a pike."
"And you care?"
"I don't want you dead Commodore. Where's the fun in that?"
"Fun? FUN!? Having me beaten, chained, starved... that's fun? Spare me from any more of your fun, if you please."
Jack's eyes narrowed dangerously and he leaned close, examining James intently. "Who beat you?"
It was James' turn to be shocked. He blinked a few times. "You didn't order it?" No, it looked like Jack was truly surprised and angered that he had been hurt.
Jack popped to his feet, held out a hand and said, "Let's get those cuffs off."
James tilted his chair back on two legs and rubbed the scar on his wrist. He had learned the hard way that while Jack Sparrow was very good at captaining a ship when drunk, he certainly should never be allowed the use of a hammer and nail when three sheets to the wind. He rubbed his eyes with a slight trembling in his hand at the memory.
"Good God, man, you'll take my hand off!"
"Nonsense. I just put the pokey thing...here. And then smash down as hard as I can and pray I don't hit your fingers, 's all."
He shoved Jack away with his shoulder and tried to hide behind a large cask in the hold. "I'd rather stay shackled, thanks."
Jack threw his arms wide, pouted, then staggered back to the cask, almost slipped backwards until he caught the lip of the cask with the hammer's head and pulled himself to rights. "Don't be ridiculous. One, two, " he pantomimed sticking the nail in the lock, then smashing down with the hammer, "and you're free!"
"And you are certain there's no key?"
Jack stopped, cocked his head and thought a minute. "No, I think I had that pair commissioned without any key on purpose. The ones with keys, well, Rachel made off with them. She promised to lock me up if I ever found her again, the little minx. Need to find her..."
"Never mind all that. You are not springing this lock in your present condition. Get someone else to do it."
"I'll give the orders, Commodore, this is my boat! Ship! She's mine! And I want those damn cuffs off. Hrm. Can't you- " Jack shook his hands hard and pretended he had freed them.
"Oh, imagine that. All I had to do was give my hands a shake."
"Your sarcasm won't work on me. Mostly because I like it too much. Right. That's it. Stretch your hands atop this cask here, wrists up, and I'll nip those off you quick as a cat."
James curled into the bulkhead as far from reach as he could get.
"Sunshine... Fresh fish... Fresh air...? No?" Jack scratched his chin with the claw of the hammer, trying to think of a way to convince Norrington. He then spent another few moments untangling the claw from his chin braids.
"Not really filling me with confidence in you, Sparrow. Just leave off and have your smithy do it later."
"Can't. Don't have one."
"Don't have- ! Then how the blazes do you repair the leaks on this dilapidated... Oh. I see."
Jack grinned, showing his gold teeth. "Had one. Had a few more men, besides. Seems like a few of them have been Shanghaied. 'Cept we're outside Haiti, so they've been Hatied. That's not a word, though. Should be. Bastards jumped ship. For women!"
"You've lost your crew?"
"No! Well, yes. Not all, just half. Three-quarters. Alright, four have stayed, but that's neither here nor there. Point is, I'm the only one's going to help you out of your predicament here. 'Course, I could just hand you over to the prostitutes floating next to us. 'M sure they could find something to do with a fine, upstanding man such as yourself. Especially one all chained up like they like."
Norrington flared his nostrils, closed his eyes for a moment of grace, then draped his wrists and manacles across the top of the large wine cask. "Don't. Miss."
Flash of gold. "Wouldn't dream of it, mate."
James winced in anticipation, face turned away slightly in case the worst happened. Jack set the heavy nail into the lock at a slight angle. "One." He set the face of the hammer on it and pulled back a bit and down to test the motion. "Two." He pulled his arm back quickly and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply.
"Don't close your eyes! OPEN YOUR DAMNED EYES YOU BLOODY PIRATE!!"
"Three!" He brought the hammer down with tremendous force, eyes shut, mouth twisted into a grimace and smacked the nail square on its head. And continued the downward motion which caused the nail to skitter off-course and slide across James' wrist and across the meaty pad at the base of his thumb, where it caught the skin on the top of his hand.
"What the bloody hell are you screaming for? It's my bloody hand!"
"Because that felt really weird! I mean, oh, sorry mate, didn't mean to hurt you and let's get something to wrap that up in-"
James jerked his wounded hand to his chest, "Don't touch me!"
Jack took a step back, showed his palms in answer then chewed the inside of his cheek and folded his arms. "Do you like merlot?"
"Do you like merlot? I ask because it appears we've sprung a leak."
Jack rummaged about the hold and produced two finely jeweled goblets absconded from God knows where, filled them with the dark red liquid arcing out of the side of the cask where the hammer had bounced off, and stuck one goblet in James' good hand, then clinked them together.
"To freedom! Cheers, mate!"
~TBC, or I'll be hanged and gibbeted. No need: here there be fic continuation...
Happy birthday to winterlive!! Your Ewan/Hayden fic is coming, PROMISE. Lurve my Weeenter.