AN: Highz there everyone! I've been writing again, so here's another Sparabella depressing fic! I hope you like it, despite how long it is… I don't know if it really counts as a one shot, so if you think it should be split into two chapters let me know! ;P Anyways, enjoy!
Jack stood on the deck of the Lucky Lady staring out at the water without actually seeing it. The destruction of the Barnacle had been painful, but more painful still was the thought that he would never walk on those weather worn boards, or swing down from the foremast. He would never again snap at the crew, or see the stars through the rigging of his faithful ship. But then again, he had lost that long ago. When was the last time he had seen anyone on the deck of the Barnacle worth a second glance? Tim, Jean, Tumen, and even Constance were sorely missed, but Belle… Jack winced at the thought. When was the last time he had missed her this much? The answer came in an instant. 'Every second of every day Jackie,' Jack closed his eyes against that thought, and just tried to enjoy the gentle sucking of the waves against the hull of the ship. Being on a grand a deck as that of the Lucky Lady didn't help with the pain of losing his Barnacle, his friends. They weren't just his friends anymore, they were his family. The only real family he had ever had. As if to counteract that mental declaration, Jack heard the clunk of boots against wood. That could be only on person, he thought bitterly.
"Who's the lass, Jackie?" Teague asked, leaning with his back against the rail next to Jack.
Jack opened his eyes slowly, and didn't even turn to his father, not caring how he knew just what he was thinking about. What did he care if his dad was asking questions? He didn't care about any of that anymore. Why should he, when everything was going so wrong. He thought of the Barnacle, he thought of Tumen, Jean, Constance, and Tim. And then he thought of Belle… The thought brought a physical pain to his chest, and Jack felt composure was just outside his grasp after having lost so much so quickly. Why did it still hurt so much to think of her? Jack had to ask himself the question his father released into the warm, Caribbean air. Who was the lass he was grieving for? His good ship the Barnacle, or Arabella?
Teague leaned back to try and catch his son's eye, suddenly worried. He wasn't even reacting to such a forward question. In fact, he didn't give any sign to show that he had heard at all. No irritation, annoyance, or reaction at all. He just kept staring at that horizon with the same blasted vacant expression. Teague frowned.
"She's jus' a lass Jackie, ya can't let it get to you." He said, hoping to jolt the boy out of his mournful reverie. But he jumped back as Jack turned violently back to him, his hair whipping around, beads clanking together from the force with which he turned. There was a murderous fire in his eyes, setting the air crackling with energy. Teague was almost scared for a second.
"How dare you come over here as if you own me and declare that you know exactly what's bothering me and when it's bothering me! My ship is gone. Gone dad! And my friends and life were never far behind it. Don't you understand? I have nothing left," Jack screamed, enunciating every syllable of his rant while his father stood in silence.
"They left; they left me high and dry, all of them. And now I'm stuck on this twice accursed ship with a thrice accursed pirate father and I'm never-" Jack stopped abruptly, leaning out over the ocean with his neck bent so that his head hung down against the rail, the will to lift it clearly broken. Teague had to lean in to catch the last of his words. "never going to get them back." He whispered in the shelter of his own arms.
"I just don't know what to do anymore da'." He said his voice hoarse with grief. "She's gone, and I thought I was over it but…" With a sigh, Jack ran a hand through his unruly hair and lifted his head back up to face the ocean.
"Are we still talkin' about your ship boy?" Teague questioned knowingly, and Jack sighed again, this time strained by the fact that his heart was in his throat.
Jack felt tears prick the corner of his eyes; tears he thought were long gone. He felt his throat tighten like it hadn't in months. Why was he feeling like this? Hadn't he gotten over this? But Jack suddenly realized that he may never get over it. It might just shadow him forever.
Jack knew that his father should have hit him, knocked him sprawled on the deck for such insults, but though he braced himself for the impact, it never came. He looked up, fixing his sharp brown gaze on his father's stormy grey eyes. There was sympathy there that he hadn't seen since he was a little boy, and it took Jack back to the cold truth of his childhood, how he loathed those memories.
"I miss her da'," Jack choked out. He swallowed hard around the lump in his throat to choke back tears that he refused to let fall in front of his father. He would drink later, and have a good drunken episode about… the Barnacle? That was a lie and he knew it. Out of the corner of his eye, Jack saw his father shift awkwardly from foot to foot.
"Ya want a drink Jackie?" He suddenly suggested, and Jack felt as if his father had read his mind. He didn't want to drink alone.
"Got anything serious?" He asked, more of a formality than anything else. He knew his father most assuredly had hard liquor.
Teague flashed a smile at his son's tone, and decided he could do with getting drunk himself. Besides, Teague hadn't seen his son in nearly a year, and was eager to hear how he had been getting on. If he had enemies already, he must have been doing the pirate job to its fullest extent. And… if Jack was a pirate now (and Teague assumed he was) he had probably gotten his hands on some alcohol along the way. Teague wondered just how much liquor the boy could hold. There would definitely be some heavy drinking in the galley tonight. "Aye lad, lets go."
Jack and Teague marched down the steps of the galley. Teague was in the lead, and Jack was right behind him trying to think of the numb he would feel after a few good belts instead of what he felt now. When they entered the galley, Jack shivered at the sense of déjà vu at being down here. He had been on the Lucky Lady a few times as a little kid, sitting at the table in the center with an apple in one hand and a toy boat in the other. When they sat down at the table, Jack found he remembered every scratch and carve in the weathered surface. He traced a particularly nasty swear word with his pointer finger as his father continued his way down to the other end of the galley. Jack knew he was going to a hidden door that concealed the rum cellar. The key was on his father's key ring, and Jack knew that the key hole was disguised as a knot in the wood in the upper right hand corner. Jack gave no indication that he knew were his father was going, staring down at the table as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world. He had been in and out of the rum cellar before, taking just little sips so he didn't get caught. Jack heard the lock click closed, and felt his stomach clench in anticipation. He hadn't had the opportunity to really drink in months, stuck on a boat with Fitzy as he was. Jack felt a bitter wave of anger at the thought of Fitzy, and clenched his jaw angrily.
"Here boy," Teague announced, and Jack looked up to see a bottle of hard rum staring him in the face. He took it from his father reverently, staring at the bottle in awe. He sized it up quickly, taking into account the shape of the bottle as well as the condition. This stuff was probably worth more than he was! He looked up at his father, shocked, but Teague just smiled back, pleased with his son's skill in measuring the value of the drink.
"Go ahead boy, this is my private stock n' you look like you could use it." Teague sat down, popping the cork of his drink in a practiced movement. He looked at his son's somber face and saw a wall in his eyes. Most men you could so easily see thoughts swimming there like fish, but his son had clearly made quick work of learning to cover that up. His face gave away nothing, and only someone who knew him as well as Teague could tell how upset he was. He only hoped that all Jack needed was a good drink; he had never been very good at the comforting father act.
Jack uncorked his bottle quickly, not looking at his father. He raised the bottle in a wordless toast, testament to all that was wrong in his life, and brought the rim to his lips. He took a gulp, both wanting to prove to his father that he wasn't his little 'Jackie' anymore, and to feel something other than loss for a moment. He gasped as the liquid burned a trail of fire down his throat. It was quite possibly the most glorious rum he had ever tasted.
Teague was more than a little impressed with Jack's drinking ability, taking a swig like that without so much as clearing his throat afterwards. He knocked back a gulp of his own, and leaned back in his chair, propping his feet up on the table. He took another drink, watching his son carefully over the rim of his rum as he gulped down some more. Before long they had both had a fair share of rum, and were feeling just a little off their center of balance.
"So come on lad," Teague slurred, stumbling over his tingling tongue. Jack perked up, listening with ears clouded with alcohol. Teague concluded he was holding his liquor better than the boy, but then again, Jack had had more than he… Or had he? He couldn't quite remember. What was he saying?
"Yeah da'?" Jack stuttered back, having trouble forming the words around his useless tongue.
"I was just wondering, wha' abou' this lass was importan' enough to get the great Jack Sparrow off his goat eh?" The minute the words left his mouth, Teague knew that they had been the wrong thing to say. His son's face seemed to sober in an instant, his feet coming down off the table sullenly. He looked down into his half empty bottle of rum with an unreadable expression. What could be so special about this girl to get Jack worked up like this? He had always been a colossal flirt, flitting between girls and enjoying every minute of it. Teague had always assumed he would find someone special eventually like he himself had with Jack's mother. But here he was, alone and heartbroken. What girl had turned down his son?
"She was amazing." He sighed, the slur gone from his voice in his moment of sober, serious mourning. "The most amazing girl I've ever met."
"Tell me about her, Jackie." Teague requested quietly, setting down his rum. Jack knocked back a steadying gulp from his bottle before doing the same.
"You never saw a more beautiful sight than her standing on the deck of the Barnacle, the wind blowing through her auburn hair. When the sun catches her hair it lights up like fire." He got a faraway look in his eyes, and Teague shook his head sadly. His son clearly loved this mystery girl, whoever she was. "But she didn't stay," he cleared his throat uncomfortably, lacing his fingers on his lap. "she's gone now."
"What did you do wrong boy?" Teague asked, more to himself than Jack. How could his son lose a girl like that?
Jack looked up, fire in his eyes. He felt all his suppressed drunken emotions surge to the surface, making him shake. "I didn't do anything! She left. I had to stand there and tell her it was all right!" He do something? He do something?! He hadn't done anything! Had he? He didn't even know the answer to that question. He didn't care. He just wanted her in his arms again, and feel her hair against his face. He wanted to breath in her sweet sent and get lost in it. All he wanted was her, and she was gone.
"Jack… What do you miss most about her?" Teague asked, for once calling him by his name. Jack had to wonder why on earth his father was doing this to him. What agenda did he have? What did he mean to gain from this? Jack shook his head to clear it, picking up his rum again to steady his shaking hands.
"What do you care?" he mumbled over the rim of his rum bottle. Teague registered sadly how much pain this must have been causing his son. He really must have loved her. Teague knew what it was like to love someone that much. But did Jack really knew what it meant to be separated indefinitely from that person? Teague intended to find out.
"I wanna know more about the girl that snagged me boy." Teague stared down his son, glaring through to what he was really thinking. There was so much pain there, that Teague almost told him not to worry about the answering the question, but he was still curious so he kept his mouth shut.
"She was a barmaid. I know you'd approve or how I met her, even if it was bloody stupid on my part. I took something I thought was mine from a pretty big pirate. Turned out it was some rat named Captain T-Tor-Thorrants?"
"Captain Torrents?!" Teague choked on his rum, his son had come up against the Captain Torrents and lived? He was right than, Jack had made a hell of a pirate. It just didn't take as long as he had thought it would. His son certainly knew how to grab destiny by the horns.
"Aye, Captain Tornpants," Jack slurred drunkenly.
"So the lass saved your life from Captain Torrents. She sounds like she has some guts." Jack snorted at his father's comment. Guts? He had no idea.
"More than once she showed that. We used to talk on deck at night when she couldn't sleep. Her father was a drunk, and mine is a pirate. We understood each other. So we sailed. That's all we wanted, was the wind and the water, adventure." Jack's eyes shone with all the memories of life at sea with his foster family. It was just plain what he wanted out of life. "But she got a better offer, a bigger ship, and a richer family. I miss her so much da. I didn't think it was even possible to miss someone this much. I thought it was the adventure and the sea, the wild weather and dependence on naught but what you put into it, but how can that be when I still have all of that, and I'm miserable. I told myself it was nothing and that I was just feeling sorry for myself, but it didn't feel the way it used to. The water didn't splash against the hull, and the wind didn't catch the sails, the ropes didn't snap tight, and I didn't enjoy anything. Truth is I never missed the power of being a captain, or the feeling of running a ship. I missed her, it was always her."
"What about her?"
Jack sighed, leaning back and closing his eyes. He stayed like that so long that Teague was sure he must have passed out, but then his eyes opened and smiled back at him. "It was so many little things." He said, reminiscence showing clearly through his tone. "The way she tossed her hair when she was angry, her arms crossed and a glare on her face that could make even the toughest sailor cringe. I loved the way her eyes would sparkle when she was happy, the way you could see her entire failed childhood reflected in them when she was sad. She was a million emotions in one girl, and you could never tell how she was going to take something. Her barmaid's dress got more tattered with every day, and she looked more and more the part of a stowaway sailor. She was amazing da, I can't even tell you how grateful I am to have sailed with her. You could never guess how her hair would fall, how her eyes would look, how her hips would move, or who's side she'd be on in the morning. You had to wait and find out, and I would have waited to the ends of the earth to find out just what she truly thought of me."
"What she thought of you Jackie?"
"Aye… People call me many things. Sparrow and Jackie being the oldest and most commonly used ones, but there are others. She called me captain, insane, mad, crazy, stupid, daft, and pirate. But I liked best when she just called me Jack. It's funny how something as simple and common as my name could sound like gold in her mouth. I gave up my freedom for her once you know… Sold it to those blasted mermaids to save her life. She wanted to die, but there was no way I was going to let that happen. Freedom is my greatest treasure, and I'll search to the ends of the earth to look for some place where I can be free. I'll search every horizon and every border of every continent for relief from these memories, for a horizon that can wash them clean."
Jack and Teague talked the rest of the night away, eventually passing out drunk. In the morning neither of them would remember what they had talked about or admitted. But Jack woke with two things: a splitting headache, and a irresistible urge to search for that horizon. The one that would set him free.
Disclaimer: I don't own PotC or the Jack Sparrow series, but this was fun to write regardless. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Have a good day, and hold out hope you Sparrabella fans!