Reviews for Obligations
TheWhoaMan chapter 1 . 3/23/2010
Love the story, I know it is really old, but you should really write more! It's great, and I want to see how the relationship between Barbossa and Jack. Young!Jack is very believable and interesting. (cute too!)
Random Reader chapter 1 . 7/10/2009
This was really good, like amzingly good. Are you ever going to update it or is this a dead story? I would love to see/read more.

From:
Asher Elric chapter 1 . 9/13/2007
This was very interesting. I think you did a great job on it.
Adi88 chapter 1 . 8/27/2007
I love you so much. Just look at how far this has come from my modest little request! *covering her ath in case this thing drives you slowly insane.* Don’t worry; I won’t let them put you in an asylum. I shall volunteer to care for you.

“The sun was bright and the sails were stiff with the Trade Winds that were as reliable as death and taxes for eight months of a year.”

- I like that. As reliable as death but only sometimes. Apt considering the fandom, too…

“There were some half-hearted, relaxed arguments about the exact colors, but those were easily settled by one becoming too apathetic to care.”

- Oh, I like that, too. I was sad that you changed it, even for historical accuracy, but then… this is Good. It’s so HOT there. Apathy would be my problem, too.

“It was as close to Heaven as the sea ever got, discounting the minutes after a successful battle.”

- Yes. So much yay. The peaceful times, and the times when you’re coming down off of a blood high. Same thing, really.

Oh, whilst I’m thinking of it - there is also much joy for your references to various land masses and winds and things. Boat sails, masts, all that. This is all the stuff that I couldn’t for the life of me keep in my head - geography and boat workings - so I don’t even know if you’re making it up, but it SOUNDS very researched and yet integrated and natural, and so I applaud thee.

“There had been no other soul on board, nor sign of struggle – beyond the boy’s own fumbled attempts to single-handedly control a ship fit for a forty-man crew.”

- What a man can do, and what a man can’t do…

“The Achilles’ crew knew easy prey when they saw it, but had nevertheless been well prepared for the traps undoubtedly set for them on the galley.”

- This and following sequence are love on an ‘at last, we can retire and give up this life of crime’ scale.

“No, there had only ever been that boy, sitting cross-legged on a gunwale and patiently waiting for the nice pirates to stop yelling and sticking him with less-than-sharp, pointy things.”

- Kukuku. I love how you capture the… grit and nastiness the movies graced us with. Very realistic. [Obviously they didn’t do it so much with Our Heroes because everyone wants a pretty hero, but everyone else was suitably mucky.]

“No one on the Achilles could guess at him.”

- Oh! This way of putting it. I have never heard that. Perfect.

“just where sapphire met blue agate, and they made a thin white line of the sun glinting off five miles of pleasantly bouncing water”

- yummy description… can so see that. I hadn’t thought about it before, that white line bit, but now you say it I can picture it.

And all on about the Clover! YES. You know of my love for him, though.

“Presumably, he would be required to talk, and possibly even respond to the world around him, what with having nothing to look for in the distance.”

- Kukuku. Take the Jack out of the distance, can’t take the distance out of the Jack…

“… and exactly how many (nubile, young) goddesses had been present when the phantom crew had committed the indiscretion that would be their death warrant.”

- So… male. Your mind works in so many different ways.

And we pass from my preview into The Story Unseen! Except it has been now because I stayed up reading it last night and am still behind on chores because of it, thank you. So worth it…

“A few seconds’ negotiation of tight corridors, and Hector was at the door of the Clover’s cabin.”

- Adoration. Didn’t even notice this the first time through, but the cramping of being squeezed on a boat rings infinitely true, and this would start our small vs. big dynamic with these two, or at least ease us into it. Which is… but I’ll get to that.

“He paused and exchanged the residual flat, brackish taste of the deck for a stale, aged, and wooden one of the ship.”

- LOVE. Devil’s in the details.

“… a pity, but there was an unspoken law that only those who had been in the business long enough could wear any kind of respectable hat…”

- Oh, the HATS. ‘My mind is bigger and blacker and better than yours.’ Just yes.

Then the licenses and more hatred for the French, and I am left endlessly impressed. You have got such a talent for slipping into places… times…

“Hector could nearly stand up straight, hunching his shoulders down more and touching his chin to his collar. He was to the right of the boy, who was in the center and hadn’t moved over to make room or balance the equation.”

- Yes, I am starting to feel silly, pulling every damn thing, but it’s your fault. And this… I so, so love the way you set up their physical differences all resonating. And Jack… not ‘balancing the equation.’ There’s just something about that. Hector all bulk and strength and jealousy, and Jack be nimble Jack be quick Jack jump over the candle stick…

“… a horrible indignity at fifteen when the world should have moved aside for him. This kid stood around for five days and earned the same”

- I love you. You get such perspective, and at such surprising times too. And this would start the jealousy thing, which is a rant which I should put later but will just go ahead with now: YES GOD YES. These are exactly the kind of petty emotions that people like to avoid in anything smacking of romance, and I respect you so much more every time you don’t. The Agony and the Ecstasy are well and good, but this is something special.

And I was thinking, when Jack starts doing his tricks, that Barbossa WOULD be jealous, he would be resentful - I mean, Jack’s younger and all that, and yet in the end we have Barbossa as mate to Jack’s captain. That just cannot make him purely happy, no matter how much he cares about Jack, which… pirate. Only I didn’t really expect to see much of it. So I was over the moon to notice that I had picked up on that because you had in fact been inserting it all along.

And then… out before him. Up before him. Hector shuffling like every other mortal with their feet planted firmly on the ground. I fall more in love with each paragraph.

“He didn’t look at Hector even once.”

- Which is the real problem…

“Hector pushed on his shoulder. He was twice the boy’s size, so he didn’t put much force behind it.”

- Adoration. Sort of condescending… and sweet… and just yes. Especially in light of where this goes, which is Jack:1, Hector: 0. Especially stinging in front of an audience.

“The weather was still perfect, and the saltiness had settled on the back of his tongue again.”

- Those details right there MAKE the entire section. This is so gorram cohesive it scares me. THREADS. My first English professor would kiss your feet and beg to be your slave.

“The black eyes did one run around the horizon, stopped on Hector for half a second, and went on.”

- Give him time. Indomitable charm. He shall be won over!

“Whatever he’d been thinking by himself on that blasted galley was beyond Hector, but now he’d be expected to pull his weight and some of the knots tied on the sails would make a man’s fingers bleed.”

- Again. YES. Sweetly condescending, and while the sympathy is real, there’s just that inferred hint of ‘so I AM better than him. Really, I am.’

“Hector felt an immediate, dark resentment – for letting him make a fool of himself, for watching him try to make nice and look after the new crewmate, for still completely disregarding and ignoring him.”

- *dies of bliss*

“He grabbed the nearest rope and struggled up it with much less talent than the boy had displayed.”

- I am resurrected, only to die once more.

“And stop lookin’ for whatever blasted thing ye think ye’ll find!”

- Mmyes. This, too. Just… look. Listen. Frustrating need to be acknowledged. It is also bliss.

“Hector was still standing with his arm out, holding nothing, staring at where the quick thing used to be.”

- Oh, the envy of earthbound creatures… you know, I know it’s hard making Jack understandable through Hector’s POV, but I’m really glad you did it this way. It’s fricken’ excellent. He’s much more relatable and stuff, and all the differences between them are so much more visceral from here - more legible, kind of thing. And he throws Jack into a better contrast than Jack could throw him into, in a way, d’you know what I mean?

“The crew noticed, of course. How could they not?”

- Because of all this, the underscore is that people notice and Hector Doesn’t Look Good. *wriggle*

“Not quite like a cat.

But a bird…”

- Love, love, love for the trail off. Like, ‘hm… well, yeah, maybe THAT.’ Plus, I totally didn’t see the bird/sparrow thing coming, which is embarrassing, but… yes. It all fits in so nicely.

“It wasn’t hard to lose someone on a hundred-man ship.”

- Because this against the descriptions of how cramped it is below is love. You’re so good at getting how big/small a ship is at sea. [Not that I’d know, but from what I’ve read…]

“’E’s not coming.”

- Yess. For those being Jack’s first words on board, and because you know it’s him just because of those words and their utter randomness and meaningfulness.

“It was young, male, deep (besides the one time it cracked), and alone.”

- For such a lovely description, and the cracking.

“ ‘Boy?’ he hissed, amazed.”

- That. Is so. Cute.

“I’m Hector Barbossa.”

- He really is such an easy mark.

“Clear out. I’ll thank you to leave me in peace. You’ve cultivated a talent for it.”

- Also cute beyond all reason. I need to hug something…

“He glared at the moon, too, but it was gloomy and grey, and he breathed in the sea, only it was sour and burned his throat.

That bastard.”

- At least he knows who to blame when the world isn’t as good as it was yesterday.

“He slouched absentmindedly, held his chin up, let his arms hang loose and too far away from his body to be natural.”

- Ah, the many weirdnesses of Jack… it reminds me of The First!Warren.

“He was still burning a hole through the moon.”

- I love that sentence. I want to take it home and keep it in a fishbowl.

“There was really nothing tying them together beyond the coincidence that they both lived on the same piece of driftwood.”

- Mm…

“Hector made a show of being distracted from his epistemic regard of the rigging directly behind Jack.”

- Half of the things I love about this conversation all in one place.

The rest having to do with Jack. It’s all… planned out. Definitely. That or he’s making it up as he goes along. Hee. No, but really. The mathematics of chaos.

Hector being scandalized at the idea of “A fit galley, abandoned at Portsmouth” is so precious.

“Leave off the ‘boy’, ay?”

- Can so hear him saying that, in a teenage way. It’s odd. And I worship your spelling of “ay.” That is… so exactly how he pronounces it. I don’t know how it’s usually spelled. I suspect that most people would put “eh?” or something. There is a spelling for this, though, and I can’t think of it, but this is RIGHT.

“Dreilund” is also adoration in a bottle.

Hector and the standing. He’s so patient, in an odd way…

“There were many different ways that Hector could take this news. He said, ‘By whom?’ ”

- Ah, for the dry humor of Grace.

“ ‘But the Clover is me first captain,’ he added cryptically, pitching his voice just barely too dramatic to be taken seriously.”

- Jack, Jack, Jack… witness my happy dance… internal logic and the play, the play’s the thing…

“Now, Hector was getting somewhere.”

- And Hector has a much more methodical madness, but hey, so long as Jack is felled by it… which, talkative mood… always that note, like it’s because he happens to not be on full guard but he could be if he wanted to be [except with the jumping onto the other boat, and that is an entirely different love].

“Hector refused to go along.”

- They’re standing on such different ships…

“Married to me mum?”

- That is… such a very lovely compromise. He’s not gonna SAY it. But he might as well’ve. And then… his dad. Gosh. Even young and vulnerable like this, it’s sort of odd to… well, I mean, his dad was even in the last movie, but it’s so odd to think of them living together and Jack being dependent and son-like. Right. But in an odd way.

“I’m sure it was by accident.”

- He’s so wonderful. And… a mugging, and just like that, because… heh. Well, pirates and ninja. They’ve that in common. Survival of the fittest and all that. And pirates don’t even try to balance might for right/ might is right. Might just IS.

“The ship’s name sidled into Hector’s brain and proceeded to slowly churn it into mush.”

- Kukukuku.

“Obviously, I ‘ad to get off Drielund, on account of I couldn’t think straight and I kept falling sideways. So I found Maria and we away-ed.”

- That last word is perfect, and… I’ve not said anything, have I, about… ships are people to the Jackster. It’s so right I barely even notice it, but… yes.

“Teague’s Fresca? The terror of the seven seas and most fjords?”

“Named after me mum.”

- That is so YOU and so PIRATES. The ‘most fjords’ being especially you, I think. Just… sort of tagged on there. Bit irreverent. Very perfect. And then, he’s proud because it’s his mum, and all is cute and heartbreaking.

“Ye spent yer entire life up till this point in the presence of Edward Teague?”

“All fourteen years. Why?”

“Simple curiosity. Carry on.”

- Love. Worship. FOURTEEN. He’s a BABY.

“Right. Anyway, there was a letter in me back pocket addressed to ‘Whatever Scalliwag Jackie-Boy Falls In With’. ‘Aving nothing else to set me compass by, I set about getting Maria to seem the perfect prey, thereby to find some scalliwags with ‘om to fall in.”

- Because… the letter. Damn, what does that… that line of reasoning reminds me so much of someone in books mum used to read to me, fairytales maybe but I think it was a series… darn. Oh well. Just… good. Leave a letter! There is nothing so helpful as a letter of recommendation. And then the Jack-ness of the rest of it - he shall maketh the scalliwags to cometh unto him!

“ ‘Yer Maria was prefect prey to start with,’ Hector pointed out with no small measure of malign.”

- Because through all this, Hector is so very HECTOR. So deliciously petty and normal and secure.

“Ye thought ye’d find each other on a million-mile sea without overmuch effort?”

“I don’t know what I thought. Not this.”

- Mmm. Oh sweet sorrow. And bitingness and everything.

“He had the vague impression that Jack would like to be alone, rather than with someone who’d nearly pushed him off a yardarm.”

- Oh, darling Hector.

“’E’s not coming, though.”

- And full circle, the conversation ending where it began now that Jack has tried to guide Hector through the workings of his mind and past just a little…

“Come on and stow yerself, Jack. We’ve got first watch in the morning.”

- First unmitigatedly kind thing, so not-enough, and I could just kiss him.

“Hector nearly looked back for him twice, but remembered the old, old myths about men wishing their wives back from the dead and turning to look before the person was all the way hale again.

So he kept his eyes forward.”

- Possibly my favorite part of the chapter. Oh the associations, I suspect foreshadowing of something, and just… yes.

“Will ye be needin’ somethin’, Jack?”

“Though I’m not sure I appreciate your mindset, I will, in fact, be needin’ somethin’.”

- That reaction to that situation, and Jack’s ever-so-patient reply… they’re so perfect. And the characters… they are Grace-versions, and it all makes so much sense that this is how they would have been when they were younger, before everything that happened, and then there are moments like these that you could practically drop into the movies without anyone so much as blinking…

And ah, this moment. Jack… always with the testing. How long can we get Hector to play along…

“Hector gave him the look that one man gives another who has suddenly sprouted gills.”

- Not entirely out of the question… little things like this make me happy.

“Ye’ve got a name, Jack. It’s Teague.”

- So. Hector. Why fix what ain’t broke? He can’t even see that it is broken. It’s functional, is all.

“He moved to throw this argument over his left shoulder as if it were table salt.”

- Oh bliss.

“ ‘If a blade were to your neck, and you ‘ad to say somethin’,’ he waited for this scenario to surround Hector, letting him get into character and consider it, and then finished, ‘what would you say?’ ”

- That moment is so… so very wonderful. It’s not living forever that’s the trick… and it marks… well, Jack is adorable and young and vulnerable and insane, like… well, like a young Jack Sparrow. But he is also still Jack about-to-be-Sparrow, and… not just any insane fourteen-year-old boy. And through a genuinely rather chilling moment, it’s still the play. Snark. YES.

“I could always get a new one. Hindsight, and all that.”

- Silly boy. Doesn’t he know his myths? You do something for the first time, and then forever after it happens the same way… and that is also the definition of insanity…

“You’re Hector.”

- And indeed, we cannot know what it means in Jackese, but… you can tell how MUCH he means by it, sort of thing, which is something to be said in itself.

“Why?”

- Ah, such a reaction.

“Hector took hold of a little bit of Jack’s hair and pulled his head to sit properly on his shoulders.”

- That moment made me squeal out loud for glee. It’s so, I say again, CUTE.

“Hector made a meaningless, absentminded hand gesture. He didn’t say that it was chosen at random from the handful of birds that he knew, or that he had had a vague thought of it being a land-based bird just for spite.”

- Shoulder to the wheel. GOD I love Hector.

“At least you didn’t pick ‘swallow’, ay?”

- Hat. Hat. Hat. And have I said how very much I love Barbossa being the one to name him? It’s so fitting.

“Now he could turn words to jokes as well.”

- Cute, cute, cute.

“Hector was back to disliking Jack.”

- Transition of love. Jealous little man. *hugs* And Jack spinning falsehoods.

“Adoption.” I adore that you’ve called it that at least once.

“’Onestly, mate. It’s not that difficult. You must merely figger a path through to where you’re wantin’ to go, and then… go.”

- Pure Jack.

“Ye can’t know how much weight a line’ll take, Jack. Or how securely it be tied. An’ knowing the ropes well enough for that would take more years than ye’ve been walking.”

- The voice of reason speaketh. And Jack “my dear boy”ing him is so dreadfully fitting.

“For once, there was more white in his face than just his eyes.”

- I can so see the gleam, like in that shot they so love to use in promos, from the first movie… mnah. It is yessage.

“Isn’t it obvious? The fore t’pmast preventer stay to the yardarm, the main t’pmast stay to the t’pmast, slidin’ down the main t’pmast standin’ backstay, grabbin’ ‘old of the mizzen t’pmast stay and up to where the mast steps, and down the mizzen t’gallent standin’ backstay to the deck.”

- Who what where when why? *hugs*

“The main topmast standing backstay to the mizzen topmast stay? Ye can’t use ‘em, Jack. That’s gap’s ten foot.”

- And THAT… is pure artistry. He’s so wonderful. To listen to all of that, and follow it, and then what he gets out of it is the one loose thread to be pulled.

“There was a sullen silence as they stared each other down, both of their egos too young and threatened to leave off.”

- Marry me and have my children.

“Hector gave Long a dark glare and Jack smiled.”

- Oh perfect. Because, partly, he wouldn’t want to be proved wrong - and on the other hand, he just doesn’t want to watch Jack go splat. So much annoyance would make so small a smear…

And then… I have to stop breathing for a while.

“The mizzen topmast stay came within a foot.

And then it went.

And Jack was still flying.”

- As I turn purple, though… this is so brilliant. PERFECT. Just the loveliest spin on the whole, ‘well, you know he’s not going to die, but is he going to MAKE it now or is he going to make it later for even more Dramatic Effect?’ thing. Something about him going past it. He’s… too much. Yes yes yes. And his unreadable expression. Because… moments like that, it would be a bit beyond readability.

“Jack was leaning against the stern, grinning broadly and basking in the entire crew’s attention.”

- And then the trembly-joy.

“Jack’s grin flickered.”

- Real life. Something has to keep him there.

“He wrapped both arms around the much smaller man’s shoulders and clapped him on the back several times, knocking the wind out of him and knowing he was doing it.”

- For the size taking-advantage-of - if Jack is going to be nifty about his, then Hector shall remind him how easy it is to use the other kind of strength - and because he CARES.

“…wouldn’t have come at all, if the boy would have the decency of growing big enough to be seen from deck…”

- Kukukuku.

“Did I ever tell you about me ‘air?”

- These little parcels. Like peace offerings, or something. Affirmations, of… something.

“There had to be some kind of story behind it.”

- Always.

“He loomed over Jack intentionally, blocking out the sunlight.

Jack squinted up at him to see what the problem was.”

- Because Jackie knows that he does it on purpose.

“’Course not. You’re Hector.”

- Yumilicious.

“Fine, then. If ye say it like that, there must be something to it.”

- Darn STRAIGHT.

And ah, for that story. So… teenage boy vs. daddy, and he’s so JACK and not at all of the saying of specific and hurtful things, never mind getting them said at him.

“How long after this was it that ye got left in Portsm’th?”

- Oh, for this gut-wrenching little question, and then the way it goes Unheard… and the sky is picked up again…

“Do ye really think Teague left ye by accident?”

- To go and say that out loud… but it is Hector…

“Pirate.”

- The iconic explanation. I do so love it coming from here, like Jack’s name. Like… Jack makes the stories what they are, but Hector makes Jack what he is. I mean, not… entirely. But he’s a Contributing Factor.

“Don’t be a woman, Jack. Even if yer upset, ye needn’t hide away –”

- He’s so… sweet.

And then… all hell makes with the breaking loose.

“Hector was lumbering through the rigging, usually awkward movements turned clumsy and frustrated by a large amount of concealed weaponry sticking him in uncomfortable places.”

- Oh sweet realism.

“They were sailing under the Spanish flag, just as their mark was.”

- Also, sweet historical accuracy on pirate behavior.

And the pretty description of the sail…

“To his left, Jack was talking quickly, murmuring nonsense things and correcting himself aloud when he made mistakes that were so far below his mastery of all this.”

- I can just… oh sick-nervous. And I wanna pinch his cheeks, he’s so adorable.

“Well. Welcome to manhood, Jack.”

- …oh god.

And then the battle, which is actually better than a movie sequence despite my non-visual reading, in that it leaves me feeing a good deal more queasy. And the… going backwards, because the ropes are faster. Have to go back to get forward most expediently, and Hector was seeing in a straight line…

“On luck! By accident! Ye missed yer target by too much before, Jack, don’t think t’ hit it this time ‘round!”

“I can.”

- And the sapphire sky looked on.

“He had to watch Jack die entirely too often. Especially for disliking him so much.”

- This, and that haunting paragraph before it, and everything. Everything everything. Jack suddenly very real, realer even than the normality of teen vs. dad can make him, just a boy who can’t fly…

Something so oddly right about after all that, Jack being the one who had the way of it - he was the one to get to the fight in time. Of course…

That… little life-count, and all really looking for Jack…

“It had gone in through the neck, taken his head half off. He was, very obstinately, dead.”

- J’yurgh.

“Jack peeked out over the top of his hands and forced a smile. ‘That went well, I thought.’ ”

- I can SEE that. Hear it even better.

“Yer alive.”

- And putting him back safe and private… oh oh oh. And the corpse just left, because that’s what happens…

“Such things happened. ‘Will ye…’

‘I’ll be back to meself in no time, ay?’ ”

- Because they do, but at least they still merit a question, albeit an unfinished one.

“Stay here until ye think the men won’t notice.”

- And they merit care-taking. At least, they do when it’s Jack. And not too much care-taking. The Hector variety - awkward.

“’S not ‘ow ‘e works, ay? ‘E would’ve just killed me.”

- …Because it still seems like it may not have been entirely unplanned, and either way, that this is what Jack believes…

“But one thing was certain; pirates never owed other pirates anything.”

- I like that. It’s pretty, and solid. Like Hector.

“And, if there were even ‘one’s to be owed, they were promptly forgotten or greedily collected.”

- That also. It’s… nicely put.

“The Clover was a sentimental man. After they’d fixed the galley – named Eume – up, they had still taken the letters given them by the men to port in order to post them.”

- Kukuku. A true gentleman pirate. And… all those, people, getting those letters and then nothing else, ever.

“The men had gone ashore to explore the less upstanding drinking establishments and contract as many diseases as would consent – or not fight back convincingly enough.”

- You are brilliant, you know that…

“Sentimentality in pirates was usually short-lived.”

- Then, just like that… gone. With such an epitaph.

“He ignored the girls that knew how to make a man with no job or home suddenly have no money or clothes, either.”

- Once again. You have a way of describing the world that makes the whole place better without actually changing it…

“He finished the drink, put down just barely enough to look like he’d paid the full amount…”

- Hat. Hat. Hat.

“Damn the lackadaisical approach to Spanish infrastructure.”

- Also pretty, and… once again. Size. It tends to work out in Jack’s favor either way.

“Oi was aboard, too, ‘cept you went ashore an’ you’d be quite surprised, I think, at ‘ow quiet a ship ‘at big can be…”

- Love, love, love. Because he really has gotten quite a bit better at this by the movies, and you know it’s just stifled really, and… he went to find HECTOR and it saved him.

“…trying to locate the next patch of unfortunately motionless ground.”

- That is just bloody superb. It kind of puts Jack’s walk into perspective.

He lets him have the ship. That really… rather says it all. And Hector has the letter… and he read it… and you are horribly cruel not to let us see it yet.

Hector has parents… I mean, yes, mentioned before, and also rather a given, but… Hector Barbossa has a mother and father, and they are alive and holding post for him, maybe.

“Damn. A nearly perfect plan.”

- It is that.

And now, if I want to get this to you on at least YOUR day-of-promise - I’m already defaulting on my vow in my time zone - I have to send this thing off.