What in the World

Chapter 1

He probably could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had wanted to. But he was in a looking for trouble kind of mood. He had been almost from the first moment she told him where her heart truly lies. After the shock of that statement had a chance to sink in that is. That had been a while ago, but he hadn't been able to shake it yet.

He had taken a leave and set out on a merchant ship, not caring where it was bound, to come to grips with his feelings. All he had managed to do so far on his travels was consume a large amount of rum. He wasn't even sure what port they were in. What he did know for sure was he wanted to fight something or someone to get rid of this gut-wrenching pain he was feeling, a feeling the rum had not succeeded in erasing.

He didn't even bother to order a mug as he strode into the tavern; his system was already diluted with quite a bit of rum already. He stood there for a moment hoping someone would notice a Commodore of the Royal Navy standing in the middle of the room in such a place as this, but everyone ignored him much to his dismay. He would have to resort to other measures if he were to get what he came for. He opened his mouth to shout out some insult to all within hearing distance, hoping to be able to physically rid himself of the anger, and if he were honest with himself, the sadness he felt.

Swaying back and forth he shouted, "All right you bunch of scurvy sea rats…"

That was all he managed to get out before being rudely interrupted by a hand over his mouth and an arm dragging him out of the center of attention.

"I don't think ya want to be doin that mate." The voice said in his ear, and then loudly to all the patrons of the bar who had stood up ready to fight at the words that had been uttered, "Don't pay him any mind gentlemen. Just my addled cousin James…. on my Mother's side. We've always suspected he was a eunuch, wears the uniform to feel more manly you know. Lovely soprano by the way. Would anyone care to hear him sing?... No?" then with much hand and arm waving, "All right then, back to your drinks men. That's it, drink up. Drink up men. More where that came from. No doubt the bartender will be more than glad to keep your mugs full with the proper amount of coin thrown his way. Much more satisfying than an old bar fight any day. There you go, that's it. Drink, drink." He said as the men regained their seats and their mugs.

James was unceremoniously sat on a chair, the man's hand still over his mouth and arm holding him still. James let out a muffled oath as he saw who was sitting there smiling at him.

"Now Commodore, I would absolutely love to be able to take my hand from over your mouth and put it back on my mug of rum where it belongs. But you'll have to promise me your not going to do anything… stupid. Such as shout out things that will cause these men to leave the drinking and enjoying of their mugs of rum and in doing so severely inhibit the drinking and enjoying of my own mug of rum. Savvy?" he said with a smile that did not quite reach his eyes. His hand stayed firmly attached to the Commodore's arm until he was sure what reaction he would get from said Commodore.

James thought about jerking away and continuing his tirade, he contemplated it quite seriously, but at last nodded his head in agreement.

"Much more better!" Jack said with a wink, "Now how about a drink between old friends, what say you to that?"

"What I say is we never have been friends, nor in any conceivable way will we ever remotely be able to be called friends in the future Captain Sparrow." James replied in as haughty a tone as he could manage in his rum soaked state. After a short pause he added, "I will take that mug though if you don't mind."

"I knew you'd come around Commodore." Jack said as he started to pat him on the back and received a drunken glare in return.

A mug was placed in front of James and as he started to drink Jack addressed him.

"So what brings one of Her Majesties finest way out here?"

"I fail to see how that is any of your business Captain."

"Just curious Commodore, this is a little out of the way for the Royal Navy so I'm thinking you've not brought your bonny ship. At least I haven't heard of any Navy galleons in the area so I doubt you're on official business. More of a personal nature I would say." Jack said as he watched the Commodore's face for any reaction. He was rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of pain wash over said Commodore's countenance.

"As I said Captain, it's none of your business."

"Just trying to help Commodore………" James interrupted this with a loud snort.

"I do in fact think of others from time to time Commodore, regardless of the general consensus on that fact. I just thought maybe there was something………or someone you might like to talk about to a sympathetic ear………..But if not that's fine. Not really my burden to bear and all that you know." Jack finished with a small pout on his face.

James' rum had started to kick in, "I have no intention of discussing my personal business with a pirate, and especially you." he said pointing an unsteady finger in Jack's face, "Because you are the worst pirate I have ever heard of. And the most annoying, and for that matter you don't know when to keep your mouth shut. If I were foolish enough to discuss anything with you it would probably be spread across the entire ocean before it barely cleared my lips. And my love life or lack of it is none of your business." He finished with a hiccup and then a belch and leaned heavily back in his chair. "I need another rum."

"I'm thinkin ya need more than that mate." Jack said as he looked thoughtfully at the Commodore as he motioned for the barmaid to bring another round.

An hour or so later Mr. Gibbs and some of the other crew showed up. Mr. Gibbs looked at the Commodore sitting there half passed out in his chair and then questioningly at Jack.

"Seems our presence has been graced with a Commodore Mr. Gibbs."

"Aye Cap'n I see that." And with a puzzled look on his inebriated face said, "What 'r we gonna do with him?"

"That happens to be the question I've been asking myself Mr. Gibbs, and have come to the conclusion I don't rightly know the answer to said question yet. I'm sure something will come to me though Mr. Gibbs. It always does. Might as well haul him out to the Pearl with us Mr. Gibbs. If we leave him here by his onesies he'll probably get himself into more trouble than he can handle."

"Sounds like trouble fer us is what I'm thinkin Cap'n." Mr. Gibbs answered warily.

"Nothing we can't handle Mr. Gibbs." Jack answered cheerily as he boosted James out of his seat. Mr. Gibbs got under one shoulder and Jack the other and they walked him out of the tavern towards the Black Pearl.

About half way there Mr. Gibbs, who had been pondering as much as his unsober mind would allow him to ponder anything said, "What ya suppose he be doin way out here?"

"He seems to be vexed Mr. Gibbs."

"Vexed Cap'n? Vexed by what?"

"What vexes all men Mr. Gibbs."

Mr. Gibbs thought on this for a moment and then with a bright smile said, "A woman?"

"A woman." Jack answered solemnly. "And it's up to us to do our best to help the Commodore through his vexing problem Mr. Gibbs."

"Why's that Cap'n?" Mr. Gibbs asked puzzled.

"Leverage Mr. Gibbs, leverage."

To Be Continued

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