Title: The Man and the Deal
Warning: mentions of violence and rape, character death...?
Characters/Pairings: Jack/ship, Jack/OC briefly in passing, Davy Jones
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Disney, etc.
Summary/Author's Note: What prompted the deal between Jones and Jack? This is one of my explorations of Jack's past right before the agreement. Pre-mutiny with Barbossa, pre-Black Pearl. This is broken down into 3 parts, though basically a one-shot
"The Ship and the Fallen"
If there was one thing Jack Sparrow despised, it was the idea of begging for mercy and his life. He did not mind whatsoever when others did, but he vowed to never be so weak and helpless to have to commit the act himself. The situation, however, had become almost completely unbearable to where he contemplated whether or not to compromise his pride and plead for humanity.
It presented another problem as well. There was one word he swore he would never say under such circumstances. Biting his tongue and swallowing the word was proving to be much harder than ever.
He had lost count of how many days he had been prisoner aboard his ship. Indeed, he still claimed the vessel as his property even though he had been aggressively removed from the position of Captain. It would always be his.
She lurched violently in protest whenever he was strung up to receive Moses' Law or variations thereof once a week. His back was immensely torn to shreds, making him wonder if there was any flesh to be flogged anymore. But she would console him afterward, when he lay near the side and out of the way, by rocking gently on the waves like a cradle would calm an infant. He never knew if he passed out or simply fell asleep.
She groaned wretchedly in sorrow whenever he was forced to lie on the deck, surrounded by the crew, and suffer for what seemed like eternity as the rugged men defiled him brutally one by one. They wore malicious grins to contrast the vacant mask he bore to hide his humiliation. The cover did not always stay; it slipped on occasion. The abusers laughed bitterly when they saw his dispirited expression and observed the degradation in his rich, amber eyes. The sensation of their groping hands all over his being was something he could never shake off; he came to feel it at all times. But she would ease his anguish when he sat dejectedly near the bow by swaying soothingly as she made her way through the blue water. She appeared to understand his thoughts as he attempted to remind himself that it was only his body, his physical form, they exploited.
She watched every incident in which he was viciously mistreated and gave him the only solace he had ever known.
When the decision was confirmed to him, Jack wept quietly from the sheer joy overwhelming him; she offered her full support by sailing smoothly through the rough ocean.
Alas, their rejoicing did not last long. The ship lay anchored some distance off the coast of a tiny island. It was to be his final destination; the final resting place of Jack Sparrow. He tried desperately to convince his former first mate to let him meet his end aboard the vessel, but the captain put down everything he said. Just as he was about to descend to the longboat, he moved in front of the captain and whispered the one word he disdained: "Please. Please let me die here aboard her."
The captain smiled wickedly and agreed.
Thirty minutes later, Jack was slumped in a corner of the deck and breathing shallowly. He could not move his right leg due to the tremendous amount of agony it caused him from the bullet that had passed through it. There was another shot that had been fired into the lower right side of his abdomen. One stab wound adorned the left side of his stomach. He bled freely, staining the wood of the deck around him. The ship mourned as she edged along aimlessly. The life was painfully and slowly leaking out of him. He coughed faintly, and red liquid trickled from his mouth. His vision had become hazy, he was excruciatingly exhausted, but he was immensely grateful.
"I couldn't leave ya, darlin'," he voiced almost inaudibly with a smile plastered on his beaten face. "I'd sell my soul in an instant if that meant you'd be mine again, love. But it's me time to go."
She declared her unrest by tottering unevenly. The idea hit him then.
"If you exist mate, my Lord help me now," he rasped.
There were several moments of intense struggle and torture as he pulled himself up to stand. He kept a watchful eye on the oblivious men behind him and began to limp his way to below deck. He winced with every step from the sharp, blinding pain in his leg. He had to bite his lip to keep from screaming.
By the time he reached the place, he was crawling on the floor with all the strength he could muster. Tears streaked his face, but he did not notice. He gripped the pistol he had taken from a sleeping crewman and aimed it at the many barrels.
He cocked the gun, gasped, "I'm always yours," and pulled the trigger.
The ship exploded into flames.
"The Captain and the Sea King"
Jack opened his eyes and believed himself to be in the afterworld. Instead, he was suspended underwater - unable to float to the surface or sink to the bottom. He knew he was not alive, at least not fully. His eyes did not sting from the water as he left them open to see, and he could breathe freely. The wounds were gone as well.
Suddenly, a loud thumping noise sounded before him. He gazed intently at the form approaching him, and his mouth dropped open in bewilderment when the being was in front of him. It was not a man, more of a creature with the basic shape of a man. His head was that of a squid with long tentacles squirming beneath his chin like a beard. He smoked a pipe, and Jack was boggled as to how it could remain alight underwater. He also appeared to be standing as if he were on land, whereas Jack hovered weightlessly.
Rays of light began to filter through the tranquil ocean, warming the water slightly and illuminating the area around them. Jack could now see his company clearly. The barnacle encrusted clothes covered what looked to be a prominent product of various parts of sea life. There was a crab claw, and the makings of a hand taken over by tentacles that also adorned the countenance Jack had already studied. He wore a sword at his hip and a tri-corn hat that had cause to make Jack believe him a captain. Crystal blue eyes stared bemused into dull, brown ones. He exhaled a cloud of smoke right in front of the pirate's face. Jack was surprised that the dense, tobacco-laden wisps did not make him cough.
"Do you fear death?" the creature asked in a low tone. The words seemed enhanced in meaning from the thick accent he possessed.
Jack opened his mouth to respond, but quickly shut it from remembering he was underwater. It was then he realized that no liquid rushed into his throat, not even a drop. The creature chuckled at observing Jack's visage morph into different expressions.
"I do not," Jack responded briskly. His voice traveled at the same speed as always, but any movement he made was slow in motion.
"You welcomed it, did ye now?"
"I did…..Am I, in fact, dead?"
"Am I imagining this?" That bullet must be takin' me last bit of sanity.
"This be real, Jack Sparrow. And though the shots may 'ave damaged you, they are not makin' ye hallucinate."
Jack was taken aback by having his unspoken thoughts addressed, but suddenly became suspicious. "How do you know me? I think I'd remember if I saw you before."
A smile crept onto the squid's face. "You know my name. You know my ship's as well."
There was a pause as Jack took the words in. When he gazed about him and considered the circumstances – suspended in the depths, a ship ruined, his fate so close to death – there was only one person who came to speak at such times.
"Davy Jones," Jack whispered fretfully.
"There it be, lad."
"What do you want with me?"
"Nothin' of the sort your old crew wanted of you." Jack winced at the mention. "I'm here to bargain."
"You took down your own ship to protect her from an unworthy lot. You had to die with her. Whatever harm they caused you, she grieved with you."
"What's your point?"
"I've never come across a man so devoted to his ship. Sacrificin' her to be with you - such a quality warrants recognition. I believe you deserve to have her back along with your title."
Jack was fully intrigued. "Yes, but she's restin' in pieces now beneath us."
"I can mend her in exchange for something."
"Name your price. I'm a negotiator."
"I'll give you ten years to be captain of her, without any hindrances from the sea. In return, I want your soul; one hundred years to serve before the mast on my ship."
"The Revived, the Restored, and the Liberated"
Jones could see Jack was turning the proposal over in his mind, debating fiercely. After a minute, he prodded, "You have a hefty amount of passion for her. Did ye not say that you'd sell your soul to possess her once more?"
Jack's eyes softened at the memory. He at last said sternly, "Fifteen years for me to be captain." He knew he could not start too high; Jones had already stated his offer and he could easily void it if he disagreed with Jack's number. There were countless men that Jones could claim without any sort of difficulty; Jack had to be sure he could barter successfully. He did not wish to press his luck with someone so powerful and feared.
"Thirteen years it be then."
"Alright mate, you have a deal."
Jones grinned in satisfaction, took Jack's left hand, and the tentacles roamed the pirate's palm and fingers. Jack cringed at the cold, slimy touch.
"You have a debt; you owe me your soul in thirteen years time," Jones stated and pulled his tentacles from Jack's hand with a slight struggle.
He turned and tread away into the darker water until he faded altogether.
All at once, Jack's lungs began to burn from lack of air, and the pressure of the water was crushing. He tried to breathe, but received a mouthful of the ocean liquid. Kicking violently and extending his arms above his head to move outward, he swam desperately for the surface. It was a greater distance than he had estimated. He slid through the water quicker as his body went into a heightened state of panic. The tightening of his chest and the fatigue he began to feel was intense, but he fought on.
The sunlight was growing brighter and the weight against him thinner.
At last he crashed through the rolling surface, gasping frantically for breath and sputtering wildly. He was numb, yet aching all over at the same time. His arms and legs worked to keep himself afloat as his breathing took its time to return to a somewhat normal pace.
He leaned to drift on his back, closed his eyes, and listened to the ocean tossing gently about. The water could take him anywhere at that moment and he would not care whatsoever. The event that just happened did not seem real; he could not fathom it. He was dreaming. Imagining it all. If he simply continued to glide along, he would reach heaven, or most likely hell as he believed, soon enough.
It took ten minutes before he became aware that he was actually moving toward a specific destination. To where, he was unsure.
Abruptly, he came to a standstill. He ducked beneath the water then re-emerged to find the most glorious sight he had ever beheld.
Nearly a mile away, a ship with flawless black sails and a perfect build was waiting. She was rather large - serving under three main masts - and her dark wood frame shone like a gem from the sunlight.
Jack grinned broadly and started to swim to her. He knew it was his. This was his beloved resurrected from the depths; there was not a doubt in his mind.
When he climbed aboard, dripping salt water everywhere on the new deck, he gazed around dreamily at his reward. She was his redemption. His salvation. His freedom.
As he ascended the steps to the helm, his legs trembled and his eyes sprung tears. He inhaled shakily when his coarse fingers caressed the smooth knobs of the wheel. His voice was lost for a brief period once he attempted to speak. After swallowing several times in order to reduce the tightening of his throat, he laughed slightly and murmured, "Not gone long now, was I? I wasn't lyin' when I told ya I'd sell me soul for you. I'm always yours, love."
He wiped his damp cheeks and continued. "We should give you a different name, savvy? Seeing as you and I both cheated death, it would make sense to have one of us take on a fresh, clean identity, eh? Erase the slate of sins, as it were. Since you've been the purest, I declare it should be you. What say you, darlin'?"
She nodded gently, causing him to smile more.
"Alright then. The ocean is ours, my Black Pearl."