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 owns all.
A/N: Thanks to both crazydiamondsue and chrissykiedis for the beta work. This fic was written for anelith (and in no small part for my Ru, as well.)
[Prologue, 1] [2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ] [ 15 ]
"Captain! Pauley spies sails off larboard side, sir! It's the Navigator, sir!"
Jack pulled his spyglass out of its resting spot and checked the sails of the ship that was steadily making its way towards the Pearl, but more importantly, to see who captained it. James, catching some much needed rest from below, popped up the hatch and strode to Jack's side to discern what the matter was. Jack broke into a huge grin, muttered, "That's me girl," and snapped the telescope closed and pocketed it.
"Take in sail, boys! Drop anchor! Now's the time for all men hearty and hale to face their Maker and stand true!" He turned to James, motioned out to the approaching man-of-war with his chin, and quietly said, "There's yer freedom, James."
James crossed to the larboard side and stared intently at the ship coming. "Jack, I thought that after Lowe and his men died that another pirate - someone Jamaican, or possibly Portugeuse - had stolen, or rather commandeered her?"
Jack clapped him on the shoulder and gave a small squeeze. "That would be the truth ye heard. And she's a hell of a captain, is Anamaria. I did promise her a boat."
"And now you plan on blowing it to pieces? This, this is why befriending pirates is never a good... She?"
Jack laughed and smoothed his mustache, giving the ends a jaunty curl. "She."
James gave him a shrewd look, then crossed his arms. "You plan on extending my 'protection' to her as well, don't you?"
"S'fair enough, after all, she is contributin', ain't she?"
The great man-of-war pulled close and dropped anchor. The crew aboard gave a shout out to the Pearl, as Jack climbed up the ropes to hang over the water and doff his tricorn with a debonair wave. "Ahoy, Captain! Does me fair to see you, Anamaria!"
The captain of the Navigator stepped away from the helm and with her hands on her hips, proceeded to bawl out Sparrow, who curled in on himself and sank back down to the deck with every passing word from her tirade.
"Does me well. 'Does me well,' he says! One whole week I've been sailing this bastard of a ship with less hands than she needs, the hold stinking to Kingdom Come, none of these wretched fools capable of sleeping at night for fear of the souls of our cargo waking and throttling us all in our sleep, and 'does me well' he says! Why I ever listened to you in the first place or let myself look into those big cow eyes no man should have-"
"Anamaria, have you been introduced to The Scourge? James Norrington, formerly of the King's - it is formerly, right? We're of an accord there, correct? No matter. This is Anamaria. She'll be assisting us in saving your life."
Anamaria swung a heavy rope over that James caught neatly, then tied in a figure-eight to a cleat. The crew of the Pearl swarmed the railing and caught all the others being tossed and lashed the two boats together. With a hop and a swing, she made her way to the Pearl and marched right up to James, surveyed him up and down, then leaned back, arms crossed over her chest, brown eyes boring into green. "Aye. I can see why you like him. Doesn't have such a fool's look on his face and looks like he knows what he's about. But can we trust him?"
Obviously this was directed towards Jack who replied brightly, "Of course we can. Savin' his neck as well as our own."
She snorted, then seemed to accept the situation. "Fine. Send over five men to help mine bring 'em up. They'll fly further if they're atop, and it'll help get the smell out, to boot."
James followed a few steps behind the captains as they made their way to the men. "Bring what up?"
Jack turned, closed his eyes for a moment, chewing on the inside of his mouth, then all James saw was the shark's grin. "The bodies, of course. Have to make it look like all your crew was blown up, aye?"
James' jaw dropped and he took a few steps back, "You've- She's killed soldiers? I never agreed to that, Jack, my god, that's outright murder she's done and I'll not be- "
"James! Haven't I explained we're not the killin' kind? All she's done, and under my request, I might add, is procure a few that was already deep sixed," he turned to look at Anamaria. "Bet that's why the smell and the fear's so bad, am I right?"
Anamaria stuck out her chin, defiant. "Aye. I'm not a killer. Don't need to be, so I'm not," she leaned in close and poked the center of James' chest sharply. "You want to live or die?" When James made no response, she gave a curt nod. "Sure. Haven't met a man yet that when faced with the inevitable, won't do all he can to push the time back."
James helped the remaining crew men pull in and lash the sails on both masts while a smaller group, all with bits of cloth tied over their noses and mouths to block the smell, boarded the man-of-war and brought its noxious cargo to the upper deck. The cannons on the Pearl were loaded and aimed at the Navigator's center, where Anamaria had powder kegs bound together in a lethal stack.
Satisfied with the progress made on the man-of-war, Jack called all the crew back aboard the Pearl, the lines connecting the two ships were cut, and the Pearl's anchor was weighed.
"Listen up, mutts! If all goes according to plan, we'll all be living the high life without worry for our necks bein' popped," Jack grinned at James. "'Course, we'll all be able to retire much sooner than we planned with the haul we took back in Tobago-" Jack saw from the corner of his eyes that James gave a start at that, held a finger to his lips and shook his head slightly, then continued, "and all will be right with the world. Some of ye have been givin' yer assignments already. Those who haven't, well, it's probably best that ye know as little as possible. In case some of ye are as dumb as ye look. Pardon me, Cotton."
Cotton's parrot gave a squawk.
"Now! Let's get those sails flyin' and move out of range for any flaming debris, and blow us up a ship!"
The crew gave a cheer and went to work. After a moment of watching, James joined in with the gunners and ensured they had the right angles for the balls to fly true. He turned towards the helm, spied Jack and Anamaria consulting over their plans and nodded at the jovial wave Jack gave him. In for a penny, in for a pound. He barked orders at a few of the gunners who weren't as adept at calculating the shot as he was and heaved a sigh. This had better work.
"So yer the one what found the wrecked ship, eh?"
"'Twas me and none other. Saw a great column of smoke on the horizon, changed course to see if we could give aid."
"More likely to see if ye could take plunder."
The two old sailors cackled for a moment, then MacDougal picked up the tale again. "Weren't nothing to save."
He was quiet for a few moments; James chanced a look at him and found the old man muttering a Hail Mary to himself. MacDougal mopped his face with his grimy shirt sleeve and heaved a great sigh. "We pulled up along the wreck. There was a knocking under our boat. Ye ken well enough what that was, don't ya?"
The one-eyed sailor shivered in his chair, "Aye, oh the beasties are fearsome - 'twas winter, aye?"
MacDougal nodded, "Yar, and the sharks were thick as gnats on water. Plenty of dinner fer all of them, and a worse sight I hope to never come across again. Just when we decided there weren't nothing worth takin', and to be true with ye, when we felt we could take no more of the beasties bumpin' the undersides of our boat, we came across a jollyboat with four men, half-dead and cryin' out for us to 'ware as there was a great whale d'been sighted. The one that et The Scourge and Sparrow! Swallowed 'em whole, and those fellers, ach, did they let out a skelloch when we said we weren't leavin' until the tale had been told."
MacDougal buried his nose back in his ale and James conceeded that perhaps this old sailor did know a thing or two about telling tales. His one-eyed compatriot looked ready to cry, tear out his hair, or throttle him. Possibly all three.
"Well? Blast ye, MacDougal, what the blazes did they say? Who's men were they? What of the Pearl?"
He leaned back, sighed, and with great relish, recounted the events of that fateful day. "They was the Scourge's - pressed into service to do his biddin'. They said as how he'd gone mad - crazed with lust to see Sparrow hang, as he was the pirate that got away, ye ken. Would let none o'them sleep. Barely let them eat, such was his desire to catch that blasted dark ship and the demon what sailed her. Weel. Ye ken they found Her, alright. Her and Old Jack. Both the ships lined up, guns pointed at one another, and both captains hollerin' that no quarter would be given't the other, both crews screaming like hell had been loosed.
"The Scourge had taken a fair chunk out o'the Pearl's side and his muskets had helped thin the pirate crew, but Old Jack had aimed right at the Scourge's store o'powder and his ship went up with an almighty bang!" MacDougal clapped his hands together for emphasis, causing his mate to jump in his seat, sloshing some of his ale down his shirt. "Bodies went flying, flames lept up off the remaining vessel, the great mast broken and floating, offerin' a momentary refuge for the Scourge. But Jack... Weel, he weren't going to all that trouble without makin' sure he weren't left alone fer good."
MacDougal paused, wet his whistle, and when he next spoke, his voice wavered a bit. "Now, ye know I believe in Christ our Lord, and in heaven and the Blessed Mother. But... Old Jack had gotten deep into darkness. Those men talked about how he called down the powers of hell to ensure he wiped the Scourge from off the face of the earth and be shut of him, once and fer all. But ye know as weel as I do that Old Scratch seeks a high payment. He'd be a ghost confined to the decks of his blasted ship fer all her days."
"I did hear as how on the night of a new moon when the sky is as black as pitch that there's them that've seen the Pearl sailing those very waters, and a ghost walking the decks darin' anyone foolish enough to challenge him to fight to the death!"
MacDougal nodded. "Aye, and it'd be a fool t'do so, fer that's the ghost of Old Jack. Fer ye ken, his ghost is a waitin' the return of the Scourge."
~TBC, just click right here and ye'll hear a tale... a tale of a fateful trip.
cross posted to pirategasm and sparrington