Title: Absit Invidia - No Offense Intended
Series: Part One of Fortune's Loss
Disclaimer: I not be owning it, yo.
Warnings: Slash. Be afeared, etc. Nothing graphic as of this moment, but I may change my mind later on...
Pairing(s): Captain Jack Sparrow/ Commodore James Norrington, plus a few others and (gasp) a heterosexual couple! Shocking, I know.
Summary: It's hard to resist the call of a pirate... In fact, it's downright impossible, especially when manacled and held for ransom. Bloody pirates.
Archive: Fanfiction. Net, the Parley Archive (the parley archive. net), and the High Seas Archive (melethryn. net/ highseas/)
Go read The Mad Fangirl's fanfiction at the High Seas Archive. Funniest thing ever! Bit of a cross-over with Buffy, which was highly amusing.
No Offense Intended
Commodore Norrington stood on the rolling deck, wanting to grind his teeth in fury and complete annoyance. "Your terms, Mr. Sparrow."
"Captain Sparrow, savvy? Now, 'm afraid I missed that first part, what was it?" The mad pirate swished his way over to the other man with a smirk. He was obviously enjoying the circumstances very much.
The Commodore was standing on the deck of the famed Black Pearl, alongside a few of his officers, their hands bound with rope yet his were chained. He had briefly wondered if that was a sort of twisted compliment at the time. The Dauntless floated, barely, in the background, listing a bit to one side. The black scorch marks and cannon holes marring her former beauty pained him to even glance in her direction.
The sheer irony of it all was that the Pearl hadn't even caused the harm! They had been in search of the formerly cursed ship, but had stumbled across a small pirate fleet. The Dauntless outgunned them all, of course, but they had, by sheer force of numbers, managed to cause quite a bit of damage. She had barely been able to limp away from the site of the battle, let alone sail all the way back to Port Royal. Which was where she had been headed when the Black Pearl found them. They hadn't even been able to defend themselves and were captured quite easily.
Norrington's shoulder ached abominably and he could feel a headache building in his left temple. "Your terms, Mr. Sparrow," he growled angrily.
Considering that he was the winner this time, and could afford to be gracious, Jack seemed to let that pass. He tilted his head to the side with a whimsical smile. "What terms 'd that be then? Seein' as how you've rather little to bargain with, it would appear that you and your lovely crew," he bowed with a flourish to the other captives, "are completely in me power." Sparrow's crew were also on deck, armed with various swords, knives and pistols. They grinned unpleasantly at Norrington and his men.
Pulse throbbing painfully at his temples, the Commodore sincerely regretting ever giving the other man his 'one day head start.' "What do you want, Mr. Sparrow?"
Jack immediately straightened, beaming broadly and did a little spin, after which he flung his arms out wide. "I thought ye'd never ask!" Mad, mad, INSANE pirate!
Resisting the urge to howl in utter exasperation, Norrington replied, "And?" By God in Heaven, had he died in that fight with the pirates and this was to be his hell?
The Pirate Captain didn't answer for a moment, instead going to the railing beside him, leaning against it with his arms crossed on his chest. As Norrington was coming to expect from him, Sparrow completely disregarded any idea of personal space. The Commodore grit his teeth and refused to move away, even though his proximity distracted him.
He was so close! And did the man ever bathe? Norrington had to admit that he didn't exactly smell like flowers, either, after six months at sea, with fresh water saved for drinking only. But still. It was the principal of the thing after all!
"Should think what I intend to do's quite obvious, love." A flash of golden teeth. "You're a rather important man in Port Royal, I hear tell. Good friend o' the Gov'nor, protector of the weak and whatnot. Defender of the British waters..." Jack gestured widely with a hand, narrowly missing striking Norrington's arm as he did so. He then turned his head to look into the other man's eyes, a wicked look in his gaze. "How much do ye think they'd pay to have their dear Commodore returned to 'em?"
Norrington jerked upright and stared at the pirate in shock. "Ransom? You're going to ransom me?"
Jack threw up his hands in seeming defeat. "You said it, not me."
The Commodore wondered how long he'd live if he tried to strangle Sparrow right there and then. But then again, he'd probably be shot before any lasting harm was caused, so it would be rather pointless... Pity.
"And my men?"
Thankfully, Jack appeared to skip the dance around words and cut straight to the heart of the matter. "Y'see, love, therein lies me problem. We can't rightly take all your men with us, considerin' the limited food supply, but we can't just leave 'em behind to follow us sneaky-like neither." He tilted his head to the side, resembling his bird namesake. "Can y'see where I'm a little stumped? Now, the smartest thing for me'n my crew is t' just take care of them... otherwise... if y' get my meaning."
Norrington clenched his fists around the chains holding his wrists, his feelings of horror shifting into righteous fury. "If you dare harm my men..." he trailed off with a warning of retribution. Painful retribution. Yes.
Sparrow didn't look at him, keeping his gaze locked with the damaged H.M.S. Dauntless. He had an unaccountably grim look on his face. "If you've a better idea, Commodore, I'd love t'hear it."
So that was how it was to be then? So be it. A small voice in his mind screamed at the foolishness of trusting a pirate, but... the look on the other man's face said otherwise. A pirate the man might be, but he'd never once lied. Not once.
Then what was left for him to do was... figure out what he could trade for the lives of his men. James felt a trickle of sweat slide down his collarbone into the bandage wrapped around his shoulder and the pounding in his skull was as strong as ever. Think, man! He didn't bother to wonder if he could arrange his own release; his men were more important and the odds that Jack Sparrow would let him go were virtually nonexistent.
Money? Not likely. They were already pushing it to ask for a ransom for him. And Jack was not stupid, either, no matter what he tried to pretend. If Norrington offered money from his own purse, they would have no real insurance that he would actually follow through once he'd been returned.
If they returned him.
He pushed that thought away; it was no time to worry about that. What he needed was something to bargain- something that the benefits would be obvious right at the beginning. And then he knew.
"Sparrow!" he hissed.
"Have y'got it then?"
James motioned the other man closer, ignoring the heavy rattle of the chains around his wrists. At the curious look on the pirate's face he explained quietly. "I don't want anyone else hearing this."
Jack's face cleared, and obligingly, he leaned close, and then closer still when the Commodore gestured to do so. Their faces were mere inches away, when Norrington grabbed Sparrow's collar and jerked him closer, so their bodies were flush against each other and whispered harshly in the pirate's ear. "If my men are harmed I will haunt you to your grave," and shoved Sparrow away even as he pulled the man's pistol from his belt.
The Captain was thrown against a barrel, but managed to keep himself from falling. The only female on board, a strong, black woman, elbowed a crewmember sharply in the gut when he started to take aim at the Commodore. "We need 'im, stupid!"
Sparrow raised a hand, forestalling any other moves his crew might make. He smiled at James. It was not a very pleasant smile. "Just how, exactly, is this going t'help the situation you and your men find yourselves, Commodore? Attack me, and you'll be shot full 'o holes faster than you can blink." He spread his hands wide, as if to say now what?
With a bleak smile, Norrington replied. "You know, Mr. Sparrow, you are correct. Absolutely correct. It would serve no one's purpose to shoot you now." His smile widened, and more than one person on deck looked as if they thought he'd lost his mind. "But tell me, Mr. Sparrow, how do you intend to get your ransom money..." he cocked the pistol and very firmly set the end under his chin, "...if I'm dead?"
He rather enjoyed how the expression on the Jack's face turned from smug certainty to consternation. Lovely sight, that.
The pirate's jaw worked and he was obviously trying to keep a hold of himself, but failed. "You-you stupid bloody-I can't believe this!" He vented his annoyance with a childish stamp. "You're worse than Will, you are!"
"You're not exactly helping your case, you know," Norrington commented dryly. Then that dark woman started cursing at him in a heavily Cajun French dialect and his eyes widened. "Madame- I highly doubt that that is physically possible, even if I were that flexible."
Her mouth snapped shut and she shot him a surprised look.
By that time, the pirate Captain seemed to have come to a decision. "What are your terms, Commodore?"
The fingers gripping the pistol relaxed slightly. "Would you like the long or short version?"
Sparrow half-bowed and flourished an arm. "By all means."
"My terms are simple enough. I want my men to remain unharmed- by you and your crew. Nor are you to cause harm to them." Jack gave a cautious nod and he continued. "And don't you dare sink my ship, pirate! As damaged as it is, she can hardly float, let alone follow the Black Pearl 'sneaky like' as you said. Not to mention the fact that you need someone to inform Governor Swann of your plans." He raised an eyebrow, knowing he was correct.
Muttering a curse under his breath, Jack crossed his arms and heaved a sigh. "All right, I admit you've a point there."
"Those are my terms, Mr. Sparrow. Take them or leave them."
Then it was the pirate's turn to raise an eyebrow. "You're not going to ask for your own release then?"
"I'm not a fool, Mr. Sparrow. Terms are supposed to be plausible, remember?"
Arms still crossed, Jack looked at the Commodore thoughtfully. Slowly, a grin spread across his lips, making James' eyes narrow suspiciously. "That's true enough, Commodore. A fool you most certainly are not." He clapped his hands together, making nearly everyone on deck jump. "I swear on th' Black Pearl 'erself that your crew are to not be harmed in anyway, or your ship if," he held up an admonishing finger, "and only if you agree not to harm yourself or try to escape. Savvy?"
Norrington frowned, but couldn't deny that the pirate had the right to demand such. He sighed. The things a man does for the sake of duty... "I do 'savvy' Mr. Sparrow."
"Then we have an accord?" Gingerly, Jack extended a hand to shake, seemingly a little fearful of the Commodore's reaction.
Realizing the cause, James snorted. Instead, he placed the gun on the other man's upturned palm. "We have an accord."
Sparrow stepped back, looking very pleased with himself. "Flick, Matthew- please escort the Commodore to his new quarters. I think the brig'll do nicely, don't you?"
Two members of the crew, supposedly the ones the Captain had called on, stepped forward, smirking. They each grabbed an arm, apparently intent on dragging him to his new prison if need be. The pain in his shoulder flared and his vision went white for a moment. "H-hold, Sparrow!" he managed to grind out.
"What is it, dear Commodore? Complaints about your lodgings?"
"My men. I need to give them their orders."
Jack blinked, obviously not expecting that. He gave Norrington another of his thoughtful, assessing looks and nodded.
"Sir! He's... he's not here." One of the other officer's replied. Who- ah, Groves. A fine, upstanding navy man, whatever the hell that was supposed to mean.
"Sir?" The young man looked puzzled.
"First Lieutenant Groves, the ship is yours."
"Sir- I'm not the first Lieutenant..."
"You are now." The officer flushed and nodded, trying to salute despite his bound hands. "Take the ship to the nearest port with all speed." All speed possible, anyway. Norrington suppressed a sigh. "Do not make any detours and under no conditions are you to follow the Black Pearl." He ignored Sparrow's snort. "Is that clear?" Groves nodded relunctantly.
And then 'Flick' and 'Matthew' ever so kindly and gently threw him into the brig.
"Bloody pirates!" Norrington snarled once they'd left. Not he could really blame Sparrow. How many times had he been responsible for the pirate's incarceration? He winced at the thought. But still! It was no way to treat a hostage... Damn Sparrow anyway. He was to spend god knew how long in such a dank prison, with nothing but a rotten wood bench and piss-bucket. Was he even going to get any amenities at all?
James scowled around at his filthy surroundings that smelled as if someone had died recently. And where the hell was he expected to sleep? Although, at that moment, he'd have been satisfied with a simple glass of water. His mouth was as dry as an archeology professor's lectures and his tongue kept on sticking to the roof of his mouth. Norrington swallowed convulsively.
And although he couldn't remember the last time he'd eaten, the mere thought of food made his stomach roll. It had to be the smell of the brig...
And was it just him, or was it stifling hot below deck? The Commodore loosened his cravat. After a moment's consideration, he pulled it off completely. At least he didn't have to worry about his hat... Stupid parrot had stolen it not even two minutes after he'd been forced to come on board.
Damn heat- he was practically sweat soaked. Norrington frowned, pulling his shirt open a bit to check the bandage on his shoulder. It was a rather bad cut he'd gotten during the battle with the pirate fleet, and it had been paining him ever since. The events of the day hadn't exactly helped the healing process, either.
And to top it all off his wig itched! Finding himself completely run out of patience, James ripped the wig off and flung it away from himself angrily. A sudden wash of dizziness swept over him and he grabbed a bar to keep from falling over. Maybe he'd gotten heatstroke up on deck.
Norrington's gaze fell on one of the hairpins that had been scattered across the floor when his wig had taken flight. Slowly, he started to smirk.