This was written after spending way too much time chatting with FreedomOftheSeas about our two favorite pirate captains. Merry Christmas, Marcella! I hope you enjoy it! :)
Hector Barbossa stood just where the gentle surf tossed bits of shell and seaweed on the white sand as the waves lapped lazily at the shore, and stared into the distance at the shrinking silhouette of the black ship, utterly undone.
The unthinkable had happened, and it had left him nearly in a state of shock.
As if being thrown off his ship for the very first time in his long, lucrative, illustrious career wasn't bad enough....as if having to suffer the indignity of swimming a quarter mile to the nearest spit of land and climbing out of the water disheveled and bedraggled was not humiliating enough....somehow the cursed Powers That Be had seen fit to make sure he hadn't been marooned alone, pouring salt in the already gaping wound in his pride.
"Worst feeling in the world, isn't it, mate?" Jack Sparrow said from where he stood dripping next to Barbossa, also contemplating the retreating Black Pearl.
Barbossa clenched his teeth and thought he might be willing to trade his very soul for a pistol with dry powder in it at that moment, but whether he would use it to shoot Sparrow or just shoot himself and end his misery, he wasn't entirely certain.
"Now you know how I felt both times that you left me here," Jack said, hopping around on one foot as he pulled off a saturated boot.
Barbossa said nothing but slowly turned his head to contemplate the man next to him as he struggled with the second boot, and he wondered if he could get his fingers around Sparrow's neck while he was off balance before he had time to go for his sword.
Sparrow managed to remove both boots, and headed up the beach and inland while Barbossa was still fantasizing about choking the life out of him.
The older pirate glanced out to sea once more, seeing his ship as naught but a black speck in the distance, and then turned to glance at Sparrow marching across the sand toward the few remaining trees. After another glance at the speck, followed by another glance at where Sparrow was sitting himself down in the shade, Barbossa suddenly felt overwhelmed with the implication of what had just happened and sat down unsteadily in the sand where he was.
He'd been marooned, left completely alone on a godforsaken spit of land with the biggest misfit pirate of them all.
"Better if you come sit up here in the shade!" Sparrow called out from over his shoulder, and Barbossa had all he could do to resist the urge to bury his head in his hands and rock himself senselessly where he sat.
Barbossa huffed the sad, sodden, once majestic ostrich plume out of his eyes from where it had drooped over the brim of his hat, and watched where the tiny black speck had nearly faded from view.
"There's no sense watching 'til the bitter end," Sparrow called. "It'll only be more painful when she goes."
Barbossa said nothing in reply, and Sparrow continued on.
"I can tell you. I know. Watched her sail away twice like that thanks to you," he said, removing wet weapons and laying them out on his frockcoat spread across the sand next to him. "S'not right, marooning a man like that, and certainly not twice..."
"Shut yer trap!" Barbossa snarled over his shoulder, knowing that it was unlikely to shut Sparrow up.
"You know," Sparrow went on, "we might be here for a while. It'd behoove you to improve your attitude since we're going to be..."
"My attitude?" Barbossa demanded, hoisting himself abruptly to his feet and turning to face Sparrow. "My attitude? Seems as if yer fergettin' whose attitude got us into this mess!"
Sparrow paused where he was about to flip open his compass and glanced at Barbossa in disbelief. "Surely you aren't suggesting..."
"Nay, I'm not suggestin' anythin'," Barbossa said caustically, moving closer to the shade where Jack sat. "I'm flat out tellin' yeh this be yer fault."
"My fault?" Sparrow asked, obviously offended.
"Aye, if ye didn't disregard yer responsibility on yer day as captain and get completely lit, none of this would have happened," Barbossa answered. Sparrow opened his mouth to retort, but Barbossa wasn't finished. "Yer a poor excuse fer a pirate an' a worse one fer a captain, Jack Sparrow. If ye had half a mind to keep an eye on the crew..."
"I wouldn't have to keep one eye on the crew if they weren't so pissed off," Sparrow replied, climbing to his feet. "If you didn't bloody stomp around on your day as captain, making them undo everything I had them do on my day as captain, they wouldn't hate you so much."
Barbossa scowled. "They don't hate me," he snarled back.
"No?" Jack asked, and then swept an arm meaningfully at the expanse of beach, indicating that Barbossa wouldn't be there otherwise.
"Well, they don't hate me any more than they hate you...never gettin' around to any honest piratin'...always muckin' about worryin' about yer own hide."
"Someone's got to worry about it," Jack replied flippantly, "and they do hate you more."
"And I say they don't," Barbossa said, folding his arms firmly across his chest.
"Oh, but they do, mate," Jack replied, taking a step closer to Barbossa.
"Do not...they hate you more," Barbossa said back haughtily.
"Bloody hell if they do," Jack growled. "Besides, they hate your monkey."
Barbossa frowned again. "And just what's wrong with my monkey?" he asked, unable to keep from sounding a bit defensive.
Sparrow just couldn't resist the opportunity. "That's probably something you'd best ask that lady doctor you know," he said with a smirk.
Barbossa gave him a murderous look. "Quite amusin', Jack. At least the crew knows it's a lady I fancy."
Sparrow frowned. "And just what is that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, jus' that the crew talks..." Barbossa replied, smirking himself, "'bout the way yeh sway and sashay here and there..."
It was Jack's turn to be defensive. "I do not sashay," he stated firmly.
Barbossa wasn't finished. "And the name doesn't help, Jack...how piratey is Sparrow anyway?
"Better than being named Hector," Jack snarled back. "What was your poor mother thinking?" He muttered something else that Barbossa didn't quite catch.
"What?" Barbossa demanded.
"I said that the doctor probably mistook the retching sound your mother made upon seeing you as your name," Sparrow said, feeling pretty good about the insult.
Barbossa was infuriated. "You leave me mother out of this, Jack!" he snarled in Sparrow's face. "At least she didn't throw me off her ship!"
"My mother never threw me off a ship," Jack spat back.
"Nay, but yer father did...marooned you hisself if I recall," Barbossa said smugly, watching his comment hit home with Sparrow. "Shame I missed it...what I wouldn't give to 'ave seen old Teague toss yer sorry arse off the Misty Lady..."
Sparrow pouted. "It was only for three days..."
"I must admit, I envy Teague," Barbossa said.
"Why, pray tell?" Jack asked sarcastically. "He only threw me off his ship once...you've had the honor twice!"
"Ah, that I have Jack, but 'tis not the reason I envy yer sire," Barbossa said.
"No?" Jack asked, not sure he wanted to know the reason.
"No. I envy him because he had THREE...ENTIRE...DAYS...without havin' to put up with ye!"
"Well, aren't you just a clever old codger," Jack sneered back, and both men stared each other down for a moment before Barbossa snarled wordlessly and turned his back to Jack, folding his arms once more across his chest.
"You know," Jack said, after a moment of tense silence, "it's probably just at well that you got thrown off the Pearl now, Barbossa. Heaven knows that at your age you'll probably wander off and forget where you moored her in another year or so."
He was already on the move with the last words, sprinting barefoot across the sand by the time Barbossa went for his sword.