Title: Last Request, 3/3
Rating: NC-17, this part merely R for implied violence.
Summary: This is that loosely held thing. Jack Sparrow finally caught, 10 years after PotC, James Norrington pays him a visit and ... Have to read to find out.
Warning: DARK for me. I won't say anything further. Either you'll read it and trust me, or not. Hate give-aways.
A/N: HUGE thanks to ely_jan for being a superstar beta. Any praise I receive is part hers.
James paced in his quarters, waiting, trying not to listen to the gathering crowd outside, but unable to block the sound. The garrison was small, and the high bricked walls amplified all the noise. It had only been a half-hour since he had left Jack's cell, but it felt like a lifetime to James.
He had skirted past the guards, their questions and sneering ignored, and quickly made his way back to his rooms. He tossed his overcoat on the edge of his bed and the bag with his excuse for seeing the prisoner on the floor beside it. For a fleeting moment, a tight coil of fear clenched in his belly - would the executioner strip off Jack's shirt and see he hadn't been beaten?
He chanced a glance out of his window which unfortunately looked directly onto the cobbled quadrangle that served as the main center for activity in the fort. The crowd was beginning to swell in the early morning light. Buskers were moving through the crowds singing snippets of rhymes about dead pirates and the afterlife as a contingent of soldiers marched into the quad to organize the crowd into some semblance of order. As the Lieutenant shouted orders to his men and prepared the grounds for the morning’s spectacle, James shouted out his door for a chamber maid to bring him fresh water. A young, spotty-faced girl dashed in with a pitcher, obviously wanting to hurry and get down to watch the hanging.
James slammed the door shut behind her, filled his basin and splashed cold water on his face. He sat on the edge of his bed, examining the back of his hand and rubbing at the remnants of the grit now running in a muddy trail over his knuckles. The crowd outside gave out a cheer. James dropped his face into his hands, fingertips digging into his scalp as the list of crimes committed by Jack Sparrow were called out.
James turned his face against his hands, eyes turning toward his window, straining to hear Jack’s voice should he speak. Evidently he wasn’t going to and the drum rolled, signaling the noose being placed around his neck. James dug his fingers into the coverlet over his bed, keeping himself seated, willing himself to not fly to the window and take one last look. He would keep the image of Jack from earlier fixed in his mind, just as Jack had asked.
Jack, moving over him, eyes closed, lips parted, sighing with pleasure. Jack, savage and fierce with need. Jack, smiling from a joke only he knew. James covered his face again, and was gently rubbing his lower lip with the memory of earlier kisses when the crowds’ noise cut off with a sharp exhale and a loud thump. A gratified sigh was carried through James’ window. James bolted to the wash basin and threw up, hands gripping the cold porcelain loosely; a cold sweat breaking out over his body. Eventually the spasms eased and the basin clattered back onto the stand.
Weakly, he crossed the room and sagged to his bed, clutching the coverlet over his face as he rocked back and forth.
A few hours later came a soft knock on his door.
James sat up, used his sleeve to mop his face, pulled on his greatcoat, and wiped all vestiges of emotion from his face. He drew a deep breath and opened the door. A young soldier stood at attention and saluted.
“Sir? Begging your pardon, sir, as I know you’ll be wanting your rest after being on duty all night. The executioner thought you might like this. A trophy, sir.”
The young man held out a small parcel - red cloth wrapped as a covering around something. James took it, willing his hands to not tremble and thanked the soldier. The man continued to stand there, an eager expression on his face, hoping to get a glimpse. James exhaled sharply.
“That will be all. Good day.”
He closed the door without further comment and sank to his bed, the parcel in his lap. He smoothed his hand over the worn material. It was Jack’s head scarf. He laid it open on his lap and moaned in agony. A long lock of hair with several baubles and shells woven into the hair strands was the trophy that the executioner had sent. James clutched it to his face and breathed in the smell of the only lover he had wanted all these years.
The chamber maid entered his quarters several hours later to replace the water basin and remove the mess that the Commodore had made earlier that day and clucked at the man sleeping in his clothes. Her face softened as she saw the peaceful expression on his face, assuming it was due to the death of his greatest adversary earlier that day. A job well done, and a peaceful sleep earned.
If she had looked closer, she would have seen the Commodore’s hands filled with an old scrap of red material and a lock of hair pressed to his lips as he slept.