And A Bottle Of Rum
Set in the One of the Boys canon-divergent series, in which Crowley shut the gates of Hell at the end of Season 12 and joined the boys. But is *still* not the third in that series after Diners & Coffee Shops, just a little ficlet.
*taps tri-corned hat in a two-fingered salute* For jadesparrow333, for their 2020 #hashtag pirate summer. Cue the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song!
The storm crashed against the ship. The ocean rose up in a spray of salt and sea, threatening to swallow the vessel in one great gulp – only to spew it back out so that the wind and waves could continue to batter against the hull.
Crowley crouched on the floor of the quarterdeck, staring down at a yellowed, creased map he could barely decipher, incantations in the margins inked in some seawitch's scrawl. The magic compass was cracked, unsalvageable, utterly useless now. The jumble of seashells and other spell ingredients clinked and tumbled across the map with the rocking of the ship. If only Crowley could keep the salt spray out of his eyes, he might have a chance of figuring out how to stop the storm, and all of them making it out of this alive.
High above, lost in the lash of rain, metal rang against metal as Dean and the pirate captain crossed swords. They were faint dark figures against the grey of the squall, balanced along the yard of the foremast. Around them, the sailcloth boomed and thundered in the full force of the wind. One misstep, and either one of them might fall to their death.
A jumble of rope rigging, wet flesh, and fins tumbled across the quarterdeck. As the ship heaved to its side, the captured mermaid was tossed about, unable to break free of the net in which she was cruelly bound. A moment later, a very soggy Sam scrambled after her.
With a shudder, the hull of the ship broke where the waves were smashing against it. Water and splintered wood shattered across the deck. The conch shell and scrying bones crafted from crab claws almost clattered away in the wash of sea across the deck. Bloody, fucking hell! They were going to start taking on water any moment. Crowley knew fuck all about sailing, but he was fairly certain they didn't want waves crashing against the side of the ship like that.
"Hold her steady!" He bellowed through the onslaught of the storm.
"You're more than welcome to come and lend a hand!" At the helm, Castiel struggled against the wind and waves, looking for all the world like a proper pirate, two hands on the wheel and a boot planted atop the chest.
That cursed chest! They'd risked their lives to find it, nearly been forced to walk the plank into shark-infested waters, dodged cannon balls, traded treasure and ultimately every bloody barrel of rum on board for it. As the storm raged around them, with Sam and himself in danger of being thrown overboard and drowned, and Dean – well, from the sound of it, Dean was having the time of his life – still, Crowley wasn't the least convinced in that moment that it had been worth it.
"Hold on – " The words were torn from his mouth. Another brutal wave battered the ship. Water spilled over the side.
Crowley grabbed the blasted map and the spell components in one hand and the mast with the other.
In a tangle of seaweed hair, iridescent scales, and shrill, inhuman screeching, the rigging and mermaid tumbled over the side of the ship. She disappeared into the crash and fury of the ocean. Sam scrambled up from where he smashed into the deck to stare down through the sheets of rains into the white froth and dark, black depths. And then, the hunter climbed onto the railing, clamped a knife between his teeth, and dived in after her.
Crowley groaned. Fucking typical. Sam Winchester, always chasing after the damsel in distress.
Through the roar and rolling clap of thunder, Dean shouted his brother's name. Crowley glared against the salt spray, seeking the sight of the small figure. Dean swayed dangerously upon the yard. Then the captain swung his sword in a ferocious cut, enough to cleave a man's head from his body, and the two pirates – one pretend and one very much capable of crossing blades on a ship about to capsize in a storm – were at it again.
Another wave crashed against the hull of the ship. The whole of the world was a whirl of water and wind and rage. Crowley held onto the mast and remained upright, but the storm wrenched the wheel in Castiel's hands, tore the chest from under his boot, and sent it sliding over the deck of the helm and with a great clatter onto the quarterdeck below.
The iron lock on the chest wrenched as it smashed against the wood. In a great boom of lightening and shriek of the wind, the lid flew open, and hundreds of twinkling blue crystals, glittering ethereally with the souls trapped within, scattered across the salty-slick deck.
Cursing like a sea dog, Crowley was already halfway to the helm. He had seen the decision in Cas' eyes before the angel had fully decided upon it. In a moment of what could only be sheer stupidity, the angel grabbed a nearby rope, lashed the wheel in place, and abandoned the helm.
"Leave them!" Crowley shouted, even as he knew it would do no good. Castiel had already slid down the wet stairs and was scrambling half-bent across the quarterdeck, battling the water rushing over the railing for the gems, desperate that they not be swept overboard and into the depths.
So much for attempting to counter the spell that brought on the storm. Crowley would just have to make a valiant effort – however futile – to sail them through it.
What the hell would these three idiots ever do without him?! Drown, most likely, and they were bloody well welcome to it!
Another wave rocked the ship. The sails overhead boomed and then rent in the storm, flapping wildly, as useless now as the busted compass. The swell of water and wind blinded him as Crowley stumbled towards the stairs. An errant gem underfoot nearly caused him to slip and fall on his arse.
He knew to hit the deck in time only because of Dean's half-delighted, half-terrified shout. The hunter-turned-pirate came swinging down on a wayward rope, scratched the deck with his sword as he passed, and then flew back up into the fury of the storm. It was only with typical Winchester luck that he managed to tiptoe back onto the yard of the mast and meet the swing of the captain's sword.
On his hands and knees amidst the spray and sea's roar, Crowley made it to the helm. He climbed unsteadily to his feet and fumbled with the wet, rough rope to free the wheel. Then he looked beyond the wheel, to the ship, and the sky, and the sea. All around, on all sides of the splintering ship, his eye met only a great, black rage. Swells rose up to drown their ship, wind battered the tatters of their sails. The whole of the ocean turned against them in her righteous fury.
And there, lying straight in their path – a massive whirlpool.
What Crowley would have given right then for a bottle of rum.
I hope you enjoyed this fun, summer ficlet! *jumps up onto the railing of the ship post* And now, I was wash my hands of this genre mashup! *grabs errant rope and swings dramatically out of the post*