Summary: A brief, humorous interlude, featuring Captain Sparrow and the crew of the Black Pearl, somewhere between the end of the movie and their next adventure.  This is utterly meaningless and silly fluff, but at least it's short.  I just had a goofy mental picture I thought I would share with you all.

Hey, look!  No "original characters" or Mary-Sues!  No angst, no slash, nothing to distract you from Cap'n Sparrow!  And later on, he's naked!  C'mon, take a look!  Please!

Disclaimer:  They ain't mine.  Oh, but if only they were!

A Meaningless Moment

The crew of the Black Pearl was gathered, enraptured, around a tiny knothole in the door of the captain's cabin.  It was mutiny, doing this; Captain Sparrow would have the lot of them fed to the sharks if he knew they were watching him, but not a single man (or woman, or dwarf) of them could tear his eyes away.

            Not that they could all see through the hole; the men nearest the door were jockeying silently for positions providing a view, and relaying whatever they saw – and sometimes things they hadn't seen – in whispers to whomever was nearest.  In this way, some of the rearmost crewmen were convinced Captain Sparrow was fighting a tiger in his cabin, or entertaining his aunt's elephant; but that is not a part of this story.

            "He's playin' an ace!"

            "Now he's spittin' on it!"

            "He's drunk!"

            "Naw, yer drunk!"


            The cabin had radiated silence for hours since the door had closed that morning.  The peace was interspersed with bouts of violent, outraged shouting.  Eventually a brave crewman had cautiously put his eye to the hole; and what he had seen brought the others running.  The Pearl floated aimlessly on the gently rocking sea, a brilliant golden sun setting on the horizon.  Most of the day had been frittered away on this entertainment.

            "Whoz he playin' cards with, then?"

            "Dunno.  But he's almost down to his altogether!"

            "Shhh!  Shhh!"

            The crew gaped and boggled, those in front staring with rapt fascination, those in back trading mumbled speculations.  An enterprising young entrepreneur wandered through, taking bets.

            A roar of anger made the door shudder and the crew stepped backwards as one man.  The lone crewman with his eye to the hole gasped, "'E's down to 'is scuppers!"

            There was general murmuring.

            "Naw, mate, 'e's still got 'is pistols on."

            "I can't believe 'e got down through all the beads an' shit.  That took hours!"

            "Whoever 'e's playin', I 'ope 'e likes a short walk off a long plank!  The Cap'n looks fit to burst!"

            An admiring voice began, "He sure does –" and was cut off by a suddenly embarrassing silence.

            There was a pause.  Some sea gulls wheeled idly overhead, providing incidental atmosphere.

            "Woss happening?  Woss happening?"

            "'E's thinkin' – 'e's puttin' down a card…."

            "Yes?  Yes?"

            There was a scream of frustration, and then a series of rapid curses, which turned the air blue and provided quite a fascinating education for some of the newer pirates.

            "'E's lost it!"

            "When'd 'e ever 'ave it, mate?"

            "He's takin' off his pistols!"

            "Who the hell coulda gambled the guns offa Jack?"

            "Mus' be playin' wit' the devil hisself!"

            "'E's naked!  What the 'ell can he be bettin'?"

            There was another pause.

            There was another rumble of frustrated lingua franca, followed by a long and tense moment.  There was a squishing noise.  The pirates nearest the door retreated, making faces.  One of them vomited noisily over the side.


            "That…that were wrong, that were…."

            "I didn't need ta know about that…."

            Rumours made their way to the back in frantic whispers and semaphore.  Shocked expressions slithered from one face to the next like clouds of demons.  Hand gestures became larger and more elaborate as tales neared the back of the crowd of pirates; eyes got wider, mouths dropped open, men boggled.

            Finally the last man had to nudge his neighbor for information.  His companion turned, and made some surprisingly large and wiggly gestures, culminating with a conspiratorial eyebrow lift.

            The last pirate, outraged, slapped him.  "Not if you were the last man on earth, bucko!"

            There was a long and complicated silence.

            From inside the captain's cabin, there was the clear sound of a long sigh, and of a chair being pushed back.  The crew scattered, manning their posts just as the door creaked open.  Every man somehow contrived to have at least one eye on the opening.

            Captain Jack Sparrow stomped out of his cabin, furious and naked except for a curtain sash tied in a strategic way about his waist.  His bandanna was gone.  His beads were gone.  His hair hung black and unadorned about his scowling face.  He made no effort to hide himself.  Certain indelicately placed tattoos were getting an airing.

            One crewman made the mistake of gaping.  Sparrow ripped a sword off the back of the nearest pirate, aimed and threw it.  There was a shriek and a splash.

            "What are the lot of you staring at?"  With utter dignity the captain stalked to the wheel of the Pearl and took it in his hands.  "Like what you see, do you?" he growled.

            The single mumbled "Aye" was lost amid the sloshing of madly shaking heads.

            There was a plaintive cry from starboard.  "Fish 'im out, lads," the captain sighed.  A couple of crewmen tossed a rope over the side, and hauled their sopping crewmate back on deck.

            There were still plenty of people left over to be staring at Jack Sparrow.  He growled at them, pouted, stuck his tongue out, and eventually gave in.

            "I have just lost," admitted Sparrow gravely, "a card game.

            "A number of them, in fact.

            "But I'll have you know, your captain still came out ahead!"

            The crew gave in, and openly boggled.  "You're naked!" someone finally choked out.  "You won?"

            "Heh heh heh…'came out ahead'…hee hee…."

            Captain Sparrow raised a single tangled eyebrow and pointed, wordlessly, back down the deck.  Fascinated eyes followed his wobbly gesture and focused on the door to the captain's cabin.


            Cotton's parrot sat forlornly in the doorway, its body plucked of every single feather.

            "Best of 4,189?" it asked hopefully.

            The pirates boggled.

            Captain Sparrow busied himself with the wheel, polishing the handles with slightly more enthusiasm than entirely necessary.  "He was egging me on," he admitted wearily.  "Savvy?"