A/N: I apologize for taking so long! And I do mean long time. I haven't written on any, or new, fic for awhile, so I'm trying to get back into the habit. We'll see how it goes with this one. :) As of now, I don't think there will be much left anyway before it's done. And as always, I appreciate all of you readers and certainly all you that review! I eat it up like candy, I really do. I truly love hearing your responses.
The surface of what he laid on was cold against his skin, making him realize that he was wearing no shirt. It was dull at first, yet rapidly the pain began to completely overtake him. His eyes opened wearily to discover the stone floor under the table he was on, and he emitted a raspy groan. Nausea suddenly came over him, and he felt himself lucky to be lying on his stomach; he only had to move his head a little to the side to prevent him from vomiting on himself. The liquid splattered against the ground, the sound making him abruptly thirsty for a drink. A couple of rattling coughs shook his beaten frame, resulting in a stab of anguish to his right shoulder that made him whimper miserably.
Despite his better judgment, he decided to try and lift himself up to sit. The moment he supported his weight with his hands he collapsed back onto the table with a feeble wail. The agony now produced by the second wound in his leg made him feel as if he had just been shot again in the same spot.
"Let me help you, Jack."
The voice was recognizable, though the pirate did not believe it to be the person he knew until the young man was standing next to him.
"Move to your left side and I'll ease you onto your back."
Arms went around his waist, lifted him up slightly, and helped turn him. Once the small movement was accomplished, his hips were lowered back down to the table, and he struggled to catch his breath.
"Now just lean backward towards me."
The moment he was lying completely on his back, Sparrow exhaled a shaky breath. He warded off the tears spawned from the pain and closed his eyes briefly.
"I'm truly sorry, Jack," Groves began quietly. "If I had known about the warrant of arrest, I would've taken you to safety. I'm sorry."
Sparrow sighed wearily, shaking his head. "It's not your fault. It's mine. I was too foolish, believin' I had any right to go against my fate. Just as I belong alive for the twisted urges of men, I belong here in jail awaiting death. It was stupid to believe that I could ever know happiness again and retain it. He was always right, you know – entirely worthless and undeserving of any good, I am."
Groves swallowed, bowed his head, and fumbled for the best and most delicate way of explaining the current situation. "Jack….You won't be moved into a cell until tomorrow to allow your injuries to be monitored, but….Do you understand of where you'll be placed?"
"Which cell you'll be going to."
"Jack, you….You're being put into the cell with Barbossa's men."
Theodore would have thought Jack to be shot again from the expression on the older man's face. He had to glance away, incapable of looking at the beyond distraught, horrified, shocked, and tortured eyes staring up at him – not to mention the slight look of betrayal.
"No," Sparrow said in disbelief. "No, you can't. You can't put me with them." He started to breathe faster as panic welled inside of him. "Theodore, please. Don't do it. Don't do this to me. I can't. Not again. Please, I'll do anything; I'm begging you."
"Jack, I'm sorry, but that's the order. I can't do anything about it. If I could, you wouldn't even be near them, but I'm not the one who decides who goes where. Because you're associated with them, you're to be put with them."
As Theodore spoke, Jack was shaking his head. Once the lieutenant had finished, he shouted, "No! Don't make me go through it all again! Do something!"
"I can't! You have to understand that! I can't do anything!"
Jack was overcome with a fit of hysteria, pleading "no, god no" repeatedly a few times and succumbing to miserable tears. Groves simply observed him for a minute before turning and retreating to the door. He exited and listened to the pirate's pathetic reaction from outside with a heavy heart. When Jack's voice dwindled until it could no longer be heard after a number of minutes, he peered into the area to find the older man lying motionless. His eyes were closed, and Groves wondered if he had passed out or merely tired himself out and fell asleep.
Judging by such a response, Theodore did not know if Jack would be able to survive the day to come or not.
Fabric was wrapped about the upper half of Sparrow's chest to cover the grotesque bullet wound, and his left knee along with part of his calf were secured within the confines of another piece of fabric wound around them. He could barely bear to support his weight on the leg, resulting in his arms being linked with those of two soldiers' on either side of him to aid him along. They traveled at an unhurried pace through the prison to a set of stairs leading down. He withheld a hiss of pain as they descended and tried his best to appear stronger than he actually was.
The company at last reached the bottom numerous minutes later, and he was led down the left half of the hallway. Intense anxiety filled him and increased with every cell they passed. There were approximately seven men in each one, but the thought of having only seven of the thirteen former crewmen in a cell with him did not ease his mind whatsoever.
The last couple of barred spaces came into view, and Jack instantly recognized the occupants. He would have fallen to the ground if he were not being assisted. One notion pervaded through his head, and it was to get as far away as possible by any means.
In a terrified rush, he withdrew his arms from the soldiers', turned around, and started back to the stairs as quickly as he could. He limped along, a bolt of severe pain shooting through his leg with every step. There was laughter behind him; the men knew he would not be going far, and they let him escape freely to give him false hope of succeeding. When he reached the cell closest to the stairs, a hand gruffly took hold of his arm and spun him around. A despondent, horrified shriek sounded from his dry throat as he was hauled toward the cell. He used every last shred of energy he had to try and break loose, constantly screaming as he did so.
They dragged Sparrow to their destination in short time and as one unlocked the iron door, the pirate began hyperventilating and struggled even harder, still wildly yelling all the while.
"What is wrong with him?" one of the military men questioned.
"You'd think he'd want to see his crewmates."
"Shut up!" the man shouted at Jack before slapping him forcefully. "Quiet down!"
Jack stayed loud as ever, causing him to be smacked several more times before being thrown into the cell. He collapsed to the floor, yet he quickly crawled to the now closed door and watched with immense distress as the two soldiers left.
"Well well," someone said behind him. "Welcome back, Jackie boy."
The voice belonged to Johnathan; Jack remembered it well, and he turned around to start running the familiar faces through his mind to put them to names. Matthews, Phillip, Hunter, Joshua, Daniel, and Rogers. He cowered against the iron bars from the look of lust and mischievousness they all bore. Johnathan suddenly grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to the center of the space. He was forced to lie on his stomach, and he let out a small whimper when Phillip moved on top of him. Everything was crashing down, caving in all around him; he was rapidly being submerged back into the hellish reality he had known for almost five months at sea.
"Seems like you need a reminder of what you are," Phillip stated harshly in his ear.
Hands went under him to unbutton his breeches and then pulled them completely off of him. Just as he had learned aboard the Pearl, he gave no fight or objection as fingers inched along the inside of his right leg. His hips were lifted upward, and the insults and rude laughter began. A strangled moan escaped from his opened mouth the moment he was penetrated roughly.
It was as if he had never been rescued. Will seemed like a distant, dreamed up memory. There were few tears blurring his vision as Phillip propelled his cock in and out of his body vigorously. Degradation and anguish settled over him. A number of prisoners in other cells started to cheer Phillip on, joining in on the shouting of humiliating insults and laughing as well. Johnathan grabbed Sparrow's head, forced it up, and rammed his erection into the man's mouth. Sparrow winced and gagged as the hard member thrust deep in his throat. Whatever tears that fell from his deadened eyes were wiped away by dirty thumbs every now and then followed by a strong smack to the side of his skull.
Each of the seven men took advantage of him brutally, and he could do nothing else but stare vacantly ahead and whine in pain. When they had finally finished with him, he was kicked to the back of the cell to lie alone. His breeches were tossed onto him, and the group soon acted like he was not even there.
He knew the routine; he would only be paid attention to when one of them desired to beat or conquer him. There was nothing to do other than wait for the next assault.
With knees drawn to his chest and his head resting atop them, Jack sat silently in the back corner next to the iron bars dividing the cell from the neighboring one. The sun had disappeared, and delicate moonlight accompanied the many candles' light to illuminate the area. The former routine had not changed at all; the men would pin him on the floor and violate him whenever they had the urge. There were only a few short rounds of beatings, and he was thankful that they were not severe. When the current evening's rations of food came, his small portion was divvied amongst the crewmates, leaving him with whatever tiny amounts of soup and bread they had not eaten. Before he received the food, however, the bread was typically thrown in the dirt, and a couple of spoonfuls of the liquid meal were wasted on the ground as well.
Warily, he cast glances at the individual in the next cell who was crawling to be near the bars by him. The handsome company extended his hand through one of the square holes, offering a decent sized slice of bread to him.
"Here," he said quietly. "Take this."
Sparrow gazed at him for a moment before returning his chin to his knees.
"I'm givin' it to you. I know you didn't get yours," he added in a whisper.
At that statement Sparrow looked to his prison mates to confirm that no one was watching him before his shaking hand retrieved the bread. "Thank you," he voiced almost inaudibly.
Hurriedly, he began tearing off pieces to chew and swallow down. The food was gone in mere seconds, though the person who gifted him with it still remained next to him.
"You look like someone," the man said interestedly.
"Someone you know?"
"Yes, or rather someone I've seen." His eyes scrutinized the pirate for a minute before he snapped and pointed at him from coming to a conclusion. "Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack Sparrow. Have you heard of him?"
Jack gave a weak smile and nodded. "I have."
"The only difference between you and him is the hair – his is longer with dreadlocks and trinkets weaved into it." The mention of this made Jack close his eyes for a moment as the memory of sawing away at his cherished locks entered his mind. The other prisoner stopped from witnessing the grieved expression on Jack's face. "Is it you? Are you Jack Sparrow? What happened to you?"
Jack shook his head and ran his finger over his busted lip to get rid of the blood. "No. My name is Jack, but I'm not him. One could only hope to be him," he finished with a small laugh.
"Aye. My name's David. Why they doin' what they're doin' to ya?"
"I'm the closest thing they have to a woman," he answered with a little smile. "It's a long story, mate. Forgive me; I don't feel like tellin' it."
"It's alright. Listen, I'll um….If they keep withholdin' your meals from ya, I'll keep givin' ya my bread."
"That's very kind of you, but you don't have to. I don't want ya sacrificin' anything on my behalf. I'll be fine."
"I'm givin' it to you whether you like it or not." He provided Jack with a benevolent grin before retreating to the six others present in his cell.
Sparrow observed him for a moment, but his focus was soon fixated on something else. He was shoved to the ground on his stomach, and his breeches were off of him in seconds. A quavering whimper escaped from his opened mouth as he was penetrated roughly.
As the dirt coated his cheek and hands while his body was assaulted harshly, he felt ashamed for letting Jack Sparrow be reduced to the person he was now. That man was nothing more than a memory as far as the captive pirate was concerned; Captain Jack Sparrow was dead on all accounts for the rest of his life and would never be resurrected.
There were irritated stares and scowls that adorned the military men's expressions as Will briskly shoved his way through them to the governor's office. A number of them tried to halt his advance, but the attempts were unsuccessful. He did not bother to knock or have someone announce his arrival when he came to the door.
"Governor Swann," he said agitatedly as he strode to his fiancé's father.
"What is this?" Weatherby Swann asked annoyed and stood up from his chair. "I have no time to listen to whatever you have to say in regards to whatever pirate you're trying to spare now."
"You know who it is I'm here about."
"Ah yes. That vile wretch Jack Sparrow, correct?"
"Don't you dare insult him while I stand before you," Will stated dangerously. He was practically glaring at the governor as they conversed. "How could you issue a warrant for his arrest? Do you have any idea what he did for your men? The consequences he endured because of it?"
"He's brought more harm to the fleet than good with his careless actions, Mr. Turner. And might I remind you of the many instances he's put Elizabeth in danger?"
"I know of them, sir. He's made selfish decisions and petty mistakes; I won't deny that. But he has suffered more than enough for them."
"How do you come to that conclusion?"
"Perhaps Captain Barbossa rings a bell for you?"
"Of course. How could anyone in this town forget him?"
"He and his men tortured and mutilated him for almost five months aboard the Pearl. That is why Elizabeth and I didn't return sooner. She wanted to find him. And now you've put him in the same cell as those men. Have you been to see him? I guarantee he will not be in good shape."
Weatherby was silent for a few seconds before he treaded from behind his desk to the opposite side of the room. "He deserves what he gets," he at last voiced plainly.
It took every nerve in his body to prevent Turner from striking the governor right then and there. Instead, he stormed to the man's side and shouted angrily, "How can you be so unforgiving? He may have placed Elizabeth in danger at times, but he has also saved her on numerous occasions! He's a good man-"
"But the fact remains that he's a pirate! I will not be making exceptions for him this time! I will not hear any more from you on the subject, so see yourself out, Mr. Turner!"
Will clenched his teeth and fists, the tingling sensation coursing through him to do something rash. However, he kept quiet and exited as instructed, slamming the door powerfully behind him.
It was a taxing effort, to say the least, for Jack to shuffle down the stone corridor with a soldier on either side of him. The shackles around his wrists and ankles clanked with every little step, stirring up a bit more sound than his ears would have liked. Indeed, it was as if every part of him had become more sensitive and more prone to discomfort from the smallest of things than ever before.
Feeling like they had walked a mile in his mind, he was led into what appeared to be a large, unused cell, yet a table and two chairs were placed in the middle of the area. His head was bowed as he was escorted to the nearest one and did not bother breaking his eye contact with the floor when the two soldiers left. There was someone else in the room who had been standing by the window on the far side of the room and now took a seat in front of him. This new company, however, did nothing to pique his interest.
"Hello, Jack," the person said gently. It did nothing to rouse the pirate's attention. "Do you remember me?" It had been two weeks since Will watched Jack's unconscious body being hauled away toward the prison.
"Of course I do," he answered rather defensively. "Contrary to what you believe, you are not easily forgotten, William Turner."
"Nor are you."
Jack smirked, though said nothing.
"I won't bother asking how you're doing. I know the answer. I'm so sorry, Jack."
"Then why are you here?"
"Will you look at me?"
With a heavy sigh, Jack lifted his head and forced himself to meet the endearing, kind eyes he had been desperately missing. It was more painful than he would have preferred.
"I wanted to see you. To get you away from those bastards if only for a little while. I'm doing everything I can to campaign for clemency for you-"
"Don't," he replied a bit more firmly. "Don't waste your time on somethin' that will never happen. It wouldn't make a difference anyway. You saved me once, Will. That's more than I could ever ask of anyone. But you can't save me this time."
"Why not go worry that pretty little heart of yours over somethin' else, ay?"
The two stared at each other for a moment, defeat and budding realization present in their brown eyes. After a few minutes, Will inhaled deeply and stated, "I can't do that, Jack. Not while you're still alive."
At this, Sparrow gave a small, bitter laugh. "I don't think that'll be much longer, love."
"An hour, a day, a month – I don't care. I'm not giving up on you, even if you've given up on yourself."
The younger man moved to sit on the edge of the table in front of Jack and took the pirate's rough hands in his. Sparrow glanced away to hide the tears shining in his eyes.
"I did not go after you once just to have you slip away again," Will said quietly.
The door abruptly opened, causing Jack to withdraw his hands from Turner's quickly. Will stood as the two men headed for Sparrow, anger rising within him as his lover was gruffly taken away. Grief also took hold of him when Jack looked over his shoulder for no longer than a second with such helplessness and torment in his once lively, charming eyes.
Those qualities, Will knew, would never return whether he succeeded in liberating Sparrow from the hell hole or not. The excessive damage had been permanently done.