Disclaimer: Only plot belongs to me. Characters and movie courtesy of Disney.

Author's notes: This is my first fic of any kind, let alone slash, let alone Speckett slash - which may possibly excuse any rookie mistakes I've made or any major plot flaws.

I just couldn't resist developing on the obvious unspoken tension between Jack and Cutler in the third movie in particular, and let's not forget the quote from Will Turner below, which was probably the main crux behind writing this.

I wanted to play on the idea of a 'mark' not necessarily being physical, and that maybe for all his protestations, Cutler really does have a thing for scruffy, rum-soaked pirates.

Reviews, comments, constructive critique all welcome.

...

"And what mark did he leave on you?"

...

The late evening breeze lifted pale, voile drapes from their hanging position before magnificent French windows, slightly obscuring the panoramic view outside yet still allowing a shaft of moonlight to pour into the unlit room, throwing everything in it into an ethereal splendour. The room itself was deserted, untouched and pristine - save for a small pile of papers, which whispered idly each time the soft breeze caught them, threatening to topple them off their perch upon a writing desk. In this room also was a matching mahogany dressing table, an armoire inlaid with gold leaf and a large four-poster bed, swathed in rich, Egyptian cotton bedclothes and meticulously made. Wealth. Prosperity. Elegance. Three words which were stated, rather simply and matter-of-factly, by the layout of this room and the artefacts within. It was only fitting, then, that such a room was about to be slept in by one of the most respected men in England: Lord Cutler Beckett of the East India Trading Company. Quite a mouthful and all capitalised - just the way he liked it. An ornate door handle twisted slowly, idly – and the door was allowed to swing open in a way that announced the man's presence long before he entered the room – as was also to his liking. He normally would only settle to have doors opened for him, but the staff of the house had long since retired to their own beds, and so it was up to Lord Beckett to do his own menial tasks for an hour or so. That would also include filing away his paperwork; a task he hated, and which he avoided at all costs, but which had to be done, if only because he was such a perfectionist. He sauntered lazily into the room, arms clasped behind his back and chest pushed outward slightly, as if this was his natural posture, his heavily-lidded, non-committal eyes making a full sweep of his surroundings. Everything seemed to be in order: the servants had left his quarters just the way he had ordered, not an item out of place. A soft, ghost of a smile flickered across the man's lips.

He approached the armoire and opened one of the doors, swiftly shrugging off his jacket and placing it inside, neatly concealed, every crease smoothed out. Closing the door again only when he was completely satisfied with the state of his clothing, Cutler wandered over to his writing desk, to store away the much-loathed paperwork in order to ignore it for another month. His fingertips gently brushed the surface of the pile, seeing his own name scribed perfectly in his own elegant handwriting. But something caused him to purse his lips in a pensive way. Something wasn't right. Much as everything appeared faultless in a room on first sight, it didn't take long for a perfectionist such as Cutler to find fault with it. In this case, he had noticed something rather irritating – and considerably startling. A letter had been removed. A rather important one, at that. Regarding the transfer of some very costly and desirable cargo. One that he had not yet signed, and so had not claimed the cargo as his own property. His dark, impassive eyes narrowed, with a furrowing of his brow, and it was then that he half-turned - with more than an average dose of suspicion – towards the open window. The voile there fluttered teasingly at him, as if it knew the secret that he couldn't fathom. He would have approached the window too, stepped out onto the balcony, and surveyed the swelling waves below him, in the hope that he would spot the thief... had it not been for the firm hands that, quite suddenly, grasped him one by the waist and the other over his mouth.

"Lost something?"

A voice whispered, warm breath against his cheek, with a South London inflection to the accent which was unmistakeable, immensely irritating and sent a shudder down his spine. The hand which rested on his waist tightened its hold, and Cutler jerked softly as an array of metal rings cut into his skin. This hand, seemingly wishing to cause further defiance, now moved to his wig, and removed it in a single flourish, tossed somewhere out of Cutler's line of sight and most annoyingly lost. His hands moved to strike the intruder, but a pair of rough, weather-beaten lips was pressed deftly to the smooth skin behind his ear, and he found himself stopping short, taking a soft, sharp intake of breath.

"The window?"

"Nah, mate. Only an idiot climbs in by the window. Me, I just know that an unlocked bedroom door and a house of sleeping servants is an invitation to burglary – it'd be rude not to."

"I would have thought it would be ruder to take something which doesn't belong to you – namely, that letter. I'll be wanting that back."

"I'll gladly return it to you..."

The voice offered, with a tone of mockery that was simply preposterous,

"...if we two gentleman can reach some sort of arrangement."

Another kiss, or more a gentle brush of the lips,

"A bargain."

The word hung, stagnant in the air, and Cutler felt a drop in his stomach that was customary to being known too well by someone he disliked. Oh, if only he had not revealed to Jack Sparrow that he could be persuaded to do anything if the price was attractive enough. His hands did fly out now, one dragging at the hand across his mouth, the other at the hand occupied with the fastening to his breeches. Persistence will get you nowhere. He thought with a wry inner smile, already formulating a plan. The other man moved away, almost as if admitting defeat, but Cutler knew better. In fact, it was more worrying that he had moved away, as this could only mean that he had a better idea in mind. He turned slowly, a lump rising in his throat when he found himself face to face and mere inches apart from a wanted criminal. A pirate. And not just any pirate.

"Jack..."

He began, a tone of reproach in his voice, but was quickly interrupted.

"It's Captain Jack, to you."

Cutler made a soft snorting noise,

"Oh? Just as I'm supposed to be Lord Beckett?"

Jack frowned a little,

"Only that doesn't quite wash with you, does it? One rule for one man, one for another, I see."

The pirate then smiled devilishly, the gold in his mouth dazzling Cutler for a moment. Jack was just as unkempt and dishevelled as Cutler remembered; his hair now ridiculously long, reaching his biceps, littered with an array of cheap trinkets and odd-looking mementoes. His body, while tautened by his months aboard a ship, was dirty, flecked with soot and crudely tanned. And his clothing smelt of stale drink, as well as several other, even more repulsive scents. Cutler wrinkled his nose and sneered softly. That was where the distinction between he and this man was apparent – a life at sea compared to a life giving out commands from behind a desk. Jack licked his lips and smiled crookedly, swaying a little on the spot where he stood,

"You don't look so pleased to see me."

"To smell you, actually."

"Oh? So you have still missed me then."

Cutler rolled his eyes, his mouth set in an unmoving frown of disapproval, his voice deadpan,

"Of course Jack. I have missed your odour, your blackmailing, and your law-breaking most dreadfully."

Jack chuckled, and Cutler felt his skin prickling. He found that this happened rather more than was decent for a grown man, and even more so when Jack Sparrow addressed him. But it was a momentary lapse in concentration. He would not allow the man to affect him in such a way after this point.

But then Jack's hand travelled daringly down Cutler's stomach, gently brushing against his abdomen and coming to rest between his thighs, where his fingers took a firm grip of what they found there and began to grope without shame. Cutler closed his eyes, releasing a low, heavy sigh, and parted his legs a little, allowing the sensation to take hold of his entire body. Like most people – particularly someone with too much power – he could not resist temptation. In fact, he had never been able to resist temptation when it came in the form of this particular individual. Despite the utter hypocrisy and immorality of what he knew would transpire tonight – and had transpired on several occasions – Cutler felt no remorse. It was just good business. And a need to prevent any more law-breaking than was necessary. Especially if Jack got away with that letter. Then again... maybe he hadn't intended to steal it at all. But Cutler didn't dare to consider that.

"And so we find ourselves in a very familiar situation..."

Cutler murmured, his breath catching a little in his throat, the occasional syllable punctuated by a soft groan. Jack had unbuckled the other man's trousers, unbuttoned his shirt, and was now planting teasing kisses along his collar bone, his fingers toying with the waistband of his underwear.

"Aye."

Jack replied simply, resorting to one-syllable words in order to concentrate more of his time on licking Cutler's jaw bone. Cutler felt his mouth being plundered, the foreign lips hungry against his own, and returned the pressure, his Adam's apple bobbing in his throat as he stretched to put his weight into the kiss. Jack broke away, and shrugged off his own shirt – which had somehow miraculously unbuttoned – biting his lower lip in a way that irked Cutler whilst still enticing him,

"A situation that you can barter yourself out of at any time, mate – so long as you agree to sign over that there cargo to me."

"I. Don't. Barter."

Came the firm reply.

"Of course you don't. You...' negotiate'. I forgot."

Jack sneered,

"But if what ye be negotiatin' has somethin' to do with what I first came with the intention of negotiatin', then I should think that to barter would be just as satisfactory?"

Cutler quirked one eyebrow, but said nothing.

"Or – perhaps you have no intention of barterin' or negotiatin' – either one – and instead you want me to want you to make the pretence of negotiatin' so as to give me the impression that what you actually want has the need to be negotiated? Savvy?"

Now a smile fluttered across the Lord's lips, a smile that recognised defeat and accepted it most amicably.

"You're quite right, Jack. The pretence of a negotiation would only serve to disguise the true purpose of our meeting."

Jack grinned triumphantly.

"But... that doesn't mean to deny the fact that you also must want this meeting, if not for the pretence of a negotiation but for what you already knew I would grant you tonight."

Now it was Cutler's turn to be triumphant. Having both reached some sort of truce, and with no more word play at their disposal to stave off the inevitable, the two men eyed each other up expectantly, the pheromones hanging stagnant in the air and radiating from the two of them like heat. Jack stepped forward, his hands moving to Cutler's shoulders, and peeling off the crisp white shirt that rested upon them, letting it fall softly to the ground.

"Touché."

Cutler shivered; it was a cool night, the air fresh, causing the hairs on his body to stand on end. And as Jack pushed down his trousers, that wasn't the only thing finding itself quite upright. Cutler gasped softly, his erection straining slightly against the fabric of his drawers, jerking uncomfortably at the sight of Jack's half-naked form. These drawers were soon deftly removed, and he found himself biting his lower lip to suppress a groan, as Jack's lips teased the end of his cock, his nerve endings ablaze, blood pounding in his head. The soft, wet flick of a tongue followed, tasting the moisture that had already gathered there, and Cutler felt the muscles in his thighs tighten. The small of his back was pressed to his desk, and it was this that kept him upright as his knees threatened to buckle.

"Mmmh..."

He moaned, his knuckles whitening as his hands took a tight grip of Jack's shoulders. The pirate, whilst lax in terms of personal grooming, was meticulous in his attention to the naked form. Only when he had primed Cutler's dick with his mouth for a suitable amount of time did he finally wrap his mouth around it and proceed to swallow him whole. White-hot light flashed before Cutler's vision, and he gasped out into the moonlit room, his hips arcing to meet the figure knelt before him. The gentle, wet sounds of Jack's mouth echoed around him, intermingling with his own grunts of desire and Jack's soft laughter, which vibrated against his skin quite enjoyably. When he had been taken to the peak of pleasure, and very nearly crossed it, Jack released his grip, and sat back on his heels, looking up at Cutler with an unfathomable expression. Cutler found his breath again, feeling his legs trembling beneath him, and turned his face to the open window, letting the incoming breeze cool the dampness of his brow. He heard Jack's clothing rustle, felt a soft rush of air as the other man rose to his feet, and soon felt the pirate's hands wrapped possessively around his hips. Being manhandled in such a way was a rare event indeed for Cutler – he never normally allowed himself to be overpowered in any situation – but Jack could be very persuasive.

He turned his head slowly to look the other man in the eye, his breath hitching in his chest as he did so. Oh, how he longed to kiss those taunting lips. Jack licked them carefully, his eyes closing just a fraction, and Cutler felt his blood surge at the thought of what he must have tasted upon them. He then wondered just how much longer Jack would goad him before eventually taking what he would inevitably claim. True enough: he had never been a patient man. But the length of time he was being made to wait could only heighten his raging lust. Jack seized him in a tighter grip, bringing their pelvises into a crushing friction, and twined his fingers in Cutler's short brown hair as he pulled him into a fervent kiss. Cutler found his own tongue eagerly searching the pirate's mouth, and his own hands grasping the other man's buttocks. Jack ground himself playfully up against him like a cat marking its territory, and Cutler was able to feel the separate twinge of each of his muscles. He could taste his own fluids on the other man's lips; it was an odd notion, but one that didn't dissuade him from continuing.

"Shall we?"

Jack murmured, his eyes hazy with desire, his glance aimed hopefully at the untouched bed at the other side of the room. Cutler followed his line of sight, and chuckled softly, rubbing himself against Jack as he spoke,

"I don't think any amount of bathing would render you clean enough to share my bed, Captain Sparrow."

Jack turned to look at him, distracted by Cutler's actions from being too insulted by the remark,

"Fair point. So what do you suggest we do?"

Cutler grinned softly, the dullness of his eyes diminishing for just a moment. He wasn't normally a man for rash actions, for spontaneity, but it seemed that Jack was able to provoke such qualities in him. Pulling himself from the other man's grip, he turned, and with a single motion of the arm, knocked every item from the top of his desk onto the floor. He always hated filing, anyway. He raised his eyebrows and smiled suggestively at Jack, perching himself upon the top of the desk, his legs parted most unbecomingly. Jack returned the grin, turning his attention to his boots and trousers, which he removed with expert timing. Cutler half-expected that such a man would not wear underwear, but it came as a surprise nonetheless – albeit a pleasant one. He was also amused to notice that the Captain's hat stayed firmly on top of his head.

"For a respected representative of the King, you're a bit of a kinky sod aren't you?"

Jack noted, causing Cutler to raise his eyebrows and laugh softly,

"And for a renowned pirate and scallywag, you seem to enjoy my company rather too much."

"Any port in a storm, luv."

He offered, waving one hand in a dismissive way.

"Well, feel free to...'make port'...as soon as possible."

Cutler urged, his impatience finally starting to get the best of him.

Jack seized the other man by his shoulders, and began to force him backwards, so that he was laid fully on the desk. In a haze of frantic kissing and clutching at various body parts, the two men ended up in a clumsily-arranged military position, their bodies writhing together. Cutler squirmed beneath the taller of the two, his fingers raking down the pirate's back, leaving angry red marks in their wake. Jack, meanwhile, continued to plunder the Lord's mouth with his own, using a firm hold on his hips to angle the direction of his thrusts just right. Cutler wondered whether antique mahogany was quite able to withstand two fully grown men dry-humping on top of it, and if he would ever be able to sit and write at it ever again. 'I could always just burn it.' He decided mentally, until his thoughts were dragged violently back into the present by the exact location of Jack's cock.

...

Some while later, and the two men collapsed in a tangle of shining bodies, breathing heavily. Cutler moved the damp, stray hair from Jack's face and smiled tenderly at him, whilst Jack seemed altogether distracted, his lust-soaked gaze fading into something a little less amiable. He lifted himself off of Cutler's body, his fingertips just brushing the other man's thigh as if mildly unintentionally.

The pirate ambled rather unsteadily over to the pile of clothes that he had discarded, and picked up his clothing loosely in his arms, tugging them on. Something fell out of one of his trouser pockets as he pulled them up – a folded piece of parchment - which he removed and held between his teeth whilst he buttoned them up. Cutler propped himself up hazily on his elbows, gazing across the room to meet Jack's eye. He wondered why the pirate was in such a rush to leave, and then saw the unmistakable taunting grin, visible despite the paper in his mouth. He knew that grin only ever spelled trouble, and so his curiosity peaked. And then the penny dropped.

The letter.

Jack still had it. And now it had pirate spit on it. Delightful. Cutler shrugged off his post-coital laziness rather quickly, and pulled himself off the desk, pulling on his own trousers and edging carefully towards Jack. Jack, seeing that he had been rumbled, took the letter hastily from his mouth, shoved it back into his pocket and shuffled speedily towards the open French windows.

"Jack."

Cutler was betrayed by the obvious concern in his voice. And most unexpectedly, Jack stopped, turning to face him.

"Don't be a fool. I have the Armada at my command, remember? The Pearl will be small-fry to them."

Jack grinned, and Cutler grimaced.

"And despite my knowledge of that fact, I'll still be leavin' with it. Want to know why?"

Cutler sighed,

"It may help your appeal, should I choose to grant you a jury of peers at your hanging."

The last word didn't faze Jack.

"Hell hath no fury..."

He muttered under his breath, smirking as he continued,

"Same reason as ever."He shrugged, "Just like when you sunk my ship, sacked me from your precious 'company' and branded me a pirate."

Cutler felt a lump rise in his throat, and for the first time that night, he noticed the angry white scar on Jack's forearm, in the shape of a 'P'.

"You can try anything to stop me: brand me, fuck me, chase me across the seven seas, even send mythical beasties after me if you want, but you always forget one very important thing,"

'Here it comes.' Cutler gritted his teeth.

"I'm Captain Jack Sparrow!"

And with that he stepped out onto the balcony, swung his legs over the edge and dropped into the sea below with a small, faint splash.

Cutler stepped forward, gazing out of the open window. He could faintly see a black silhouette, making record timing as it cut through the waves towards a waiting vessel. Frowning, he stepped back, pulling the French windows to a close with a gentle click.

As he looked over the general disarray that was his pristine, untouched bedroom just an hour ago, it was with a constricted, soft voice that he spoke into the darkness,

"Unfortunately, that's one thing I'm constantly reminded of."

And like a stain you can't remove, or a mark, burned into the flesh, Jack Sparrow was one person he found very difficult to forget.