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 ]
"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