Cutler Beckett was annoyed.

He was extremely annoyed.

He would have stomped a foot, but people of his station did not stamp their feet.

And people of his station did not smack people of lower stations on the head with a handily-placed turtle.

"But I haven't had some good rum in days…" said the person of lower station who, fortunately for him, did not get smacked by said handily-placed turtle.

"You," Beckett retorted with as much disdain as he could muster while trying to avoid looking at those enormous eyes, "are going to be hung. I daresay rum is the last-"

A sniffle. The enormous eyes were watery.

Becket turned away. The dratted pirate was cheating. This was unfair.

"If I could just have one teeny weeny little drop…" The eyes turned pleading.

Beckett wanted to scream.

So, naturally, he did not.

"You know, if you set me free, I can have some rum again…"

"I am not, " Beckett exploded, "setting you free! Stop looking at me like that!"

The pirate's eyes grew, if possible, more woebegone.

Beckett softly banged his forehead on the wet, stone wall of the prison. This was entirely unbecoming to his station and this was not how this was supposed to be.

Suddenly, he heard footsteps. They echoed along the corridor, coming closer by the second.

"Don't say a word ," Beckett hissed, the first traces of panic entering his system. "Not. One. Word ."

He turned away again, stiff backed, and stared purposefully out the window as the door squeaked open.

"Ah. Beckett. No trouble, I hope?"

"Ah, no. Em, he's- the prisoner, very sad. Worn down. Well, it's these walls, you know. Very depressing. We taught him a good lesson, we did."

The senior official peered closely at Beckett's face, his mustache frowning. "You sure you're good there, mate? You look a little… pale. I can get one of the younger guards to take a shift."

" No!" Beckett yelped. "I- that is to say- I've nearly broken this one."

Another pitiful sniffle from the forlorn bundle on the floor.

"You be quiet, you sniveling wretch," Beckett exclaimed halfheartedly.

The pirate sniffled even louder, and Beckett could distinctly see a tear quivering in one eye.

He practically started to shove his superior from the dank room. "As you see, we are perfectly fine! I'm sure there are other things awaiting your attention and I don't wish to keep you!"

The man looked suspiciously at Beckett, then at the sniffing pirate, then back to Beckett's wide, panicked eyes.

"Well… if you're sure you can handle him… we've gotten some cases where he's been- ah… well. If you say you've got him."

And, to Beckett's eternal relief, he left.

Beckett turned to the pirate once more. "Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to take a kip. So if you could just- just quiet down."

The pirate lifted a tear-stained face, and Beckett really really really wanted to clock him.

But he would not let this get to him. No, he would not. He was a calm river, a vast field of tulips.

And the pirate lifted a chained wrist, clanking all the while, and dabbed at a watery eye.

Beckett could hardly handle it. "You- you- you -!"

He ground his teeth, poked his sword through the bars of the cage.

The pirate caught the end of the blade neatly, and held on. "If you would just let me see… the sunlight… one last time…" His lower lip trembled.

"You have got to be the most annoying -"

"...And the ocean, my one love… my ship, and my crew, and that really annoying monkey who liked to sit on my shoulder, and those empty bottles that remind me of good times-"

The pirate droned sadly on, ignoring Beckett's obvious battle of temper until-


The pirate stopped.


Beckett dropped his face into his hands, muttering therapeutic obscenities.

"And the rum…" The brown eyes widened, if possible, even further.

Beckett was reaching the end of his tether.

No, that was wrong. He had reached the end of his tether three days ago, when this pleading had started.

And perhaps that was what clouded his judgement into saying-

"L- look, if I let you go outside for a minute, will you-?!"

All traces of tears vanished in an instant.

And yes, Cutler Beckett was perfectly well aware that the moment this pirate stepped foot out the prison door he would never be seen again.

...or maybe he would.

So long as he didn't have that infuriatingly puppy-eyed face on.