Summary: How did Jack Sparrow come to own the Compass that doesn't point North? Well, it begins with a visit to a Miracle Man in the land of Florin...and the reunion with a certain ex-Dread Pirate Roberts. Slash implied (heavily) with het stuff and some threeway stuff. Maybe. Possibly.
Disclaimer: Disney owns Jack Sparrow (well they own the lines, Mr. Depp owns the spin) and William Goldman owns everything else.
Author's Notes: I wrote this a fairly long time ago, came across it and thought, what the hell...post it! That's just how I roll.
Inconcievable! Chapter One: Rum and Brandy
Rum. Yeah, rum. Never betrayed you, did rum. Unless...no, rum wouldn't mutiny. Though it had been the cause of a few in it's day. The days of rum (this was after rum and shortly before whisky) and wonder...good days. Days spent on the Black Pearl.
Earlier on that day, Jack had climbed the highest palm tree on this blasted island (inbetween bottles two, three and four of the rum) and ached, ached to see the Black Pearl.
It felt like the sea was mocking him, being so clear and peaceful and so damn deep. (second bottle) Was like the most tricksyiest woman in the world, it was... (third bottle) had to have a ship to introduce one another and if she didn't like you...you were better off dead.
"I'm the governor of my own island, love!" he murmured indignantly to no-one in particular, squinting at the horizon. The sea sparkled and glittered like liquid diamonds, completely unimpressed.
"As you wish..." Jack sighed, raising another bottle of rum to the darkening sky in tribute.
There was a time when Buttercup thought she was free forever from the land of Florin and during those few pleasurably lazy, blissful months on the pirate ship Revenge, she felt completely renewed.
Inigo had taken on the task of becoming the next Dread Pirate Roberts - already an expert swordsman, he merely had to observe the formalities of the pirating life - the Treatise of Parley (Carlay), the Falling Behind Ruling (Muling) along with Fezzik who came up with the rhymes.
Fezzik had frowned often in the early days because many of the rhymes didn't make sense but he was with Inigo, the Man in Black and the Princess Buttercup so that was alright.
One night, Westley, yawning as they sat together on deck, watching the stars being reflected off Ingio's sword as he seemed to dance his way around his sparring opponent, a small but broad man called Pierre, spoke to her.
"We have to go back" he said.
"Why?" she asked, his face was unreadable though no lantern created would have helped her make light of it in the darkness.
"I need to see Miracle Max...the pill was only meant to work for an hour...and from what I heard, he may be as surprised as we all are that I am still alive" he lied fluently to her, for he was not alive in a sense she would understand or...accept.
He made all the motions, remembered to breathe...figured out after a distressing night how to work his own digestive system and memories alone reminded him how much he loved the dear, sweet woman sitting beside him.
He couldn't even take pleasure in her scent.
Something had to be done, he doubted Miracle Max could help him but he felt that it would be a good a start as any.
She was frightened but so was he.
"Tomorrow, we're docking at the Thieves' Quarter port...Inigo will take on a new crew and we will visit Miracle Max in the meantime"
"I love you, Westley"
"It is fate that two such people share one such love, Buttercup, never forget that"
"Never ever, Westley dearest" replied Buttercup sleepily.
Buttercup had no real-life experience of the Thieves' Quarter. She had somewhat romanticised it into a Robin Hood-esque town where all were nobly doing what they did for the poor. It was quite a shock to realise the noble robbers and bandits where also, typically, the unwashed and neglected poor.
For Weatley, it was a trying situation in a different sense. At least the Fire Swamp had been predicable, human gatherings in place like these made odds harder to predict, actions very unexpected and old acquaintances more likely to appear.
As if on cue, a man stumbled out of the alley and unceremoniously collasped in front of the couple. Buttercup peered down at him, winkling her nose. Westley almost forgot to breathe.
Well, two out of three isn't bad.
"Bloody rumrunners...how the bloody hell should I know where Florin is?"
The man reeked of rum, and from the look of him that was all he had been living off for the past month*, he was straggly and unkempt with a hint of sea salt ground into him. Buttercup doubted she had ever seen such a filthy human being...if that truly what it was.
She stood expectantly, waiting for Westley to lay his cloak over him so that she may proceed for even in moments of urgency, Buttercup expected manners to be observed. She did not however take kindly to Westley hoisting the stranger off the miniature hovel that already had seemed to accumulate around him and embrace him like a brother.
"Who's this? Easy on the goods, savvy?"
The man stepped back from Westley and peered at him from kohl-rimmed eyes which narrowed then widened with recognition.
"Ah! Westley!" - the man, Sparrow, hugged Westley again and if Buttercup's eyes were not mistaken, a friendly nip of the ear was covertly given.
This was Buttercup who felt there was far too much embracing and warm glances going on than was possible to bear.
"Who is he, darling?" she inquired, wanting to understand finally why this man knew her Westley as if...as if they had once known each other personally. As personally as she and Westley knew each other...
Westley looked uncomfortable for a moment.
"Clearly, love, you've never been on a pirate ship"
"I've been on the the pirate ship Revenge" replied Buttercup defiantly. "The greatest and fastest pirate ship on these waters!"
She was making a scene but did not care, this man...this walking cesspit of a man had definitely bounded over his steps and she drew herself up to her full height in a haughty fashion.
A moment later, hearing Jack Sparrow's harsh, stuttery bark of a laugh, she wished she was taller than a dainty five foot two.
"Maybe in these waters" he muttered darkly, "It's the best and the fastest...never thought you'd take a woman on board, Westley" Jack added, almost absentmindedly. Buttercup was beginning to believe the nervous twitches and lazy slouching was not a symptom of heavy drinking.
"You also thought I was a eunuch" replied Westley dryly. "She is my most perfect Buttercup, who I told you about all those years ago"
Buttercup was easily flattered but not easily deterred from pursuing something she thought was quite important and Westley's uncomfortable look had told her that it was important.
"Westley, dearest, how do you know this-"
"Captain Jack Sparrow" the man provided helpfully.
"Jack Sparrow" - she continued, ignoring the muttered 'captain, that's captain...' as she clasped his face in her hands, drawing his gaze to her own.
He hesitated, and that was his first mistake.
"Oh, darling Buttercup...my darling passive-aggressive Buttercup" - Westley gritted his teeth, answers to questions about his pirating days did not come easily. "It was ten years..."
And that was all he needed to say for the adoring light to fade abruptly from Buttercup's eyes. He had expected that, he had prepared himself for the utter self-loathing...but almost missed the pain that should have erupted in his chest as he saw that love, pure true love, wither in her expression.
What he did not expect was the slap that floored him, blonde hair spilling into his face.
"No need for that" he heard Jack say reprovingly.
Another slapping sound followed.
"Definitely no need for that" - this time Jack had a rather sulky tone.
"It was true love, Westley...how could you?" her voice was flat now and cut into him like a dull knife. "Every day you were gone, I died a little more for you!"
"Way of the sea, love, ships don't dock for months on end" said Jack breezily, ignoring the supressed yet ever delicate angry Buttercup. "Can see why you gave it up though" he added to Westley, candidly.
"Buttercup...let us go find somewhere to speak in more private conditions, as you are making a scene and we are wanted criminals in the land of Florin, Thieves Quarter or not" said Westley smoothly, ignoring Buttercup's squeak of protest as he guided her firmly by the elbow, Jack Sparrow bringing up the metaphorical rear.
After a awkward conversation with a leering innkeeper who's eyebrows seemed to attached to puppet strings, Westley had extracted a room key in exchange for a bottle of exquisite rum that Jack Sparrow had been very reluctant to let go of.
The Honeymoon Suite was a grand term for what amount to a bed stuffed with hay instead of pebbles and a sad little rag hanging above it in imitation of a four-poster bed. Buttercup, ever gracious and gentle, had laid down for a while. She needed to get over the emotional episode, she said.
Jack and Westley, safely tucked away in a corner, at a table spoke in low tones. Surprisingly little business and a lot of personal matters were considered and dismissed. It had been so long ago, to Westley, literally a lifetime ago. It was over. He had given up Excitement for Beauty.
Jack knew the sinister nature of beauty. No-one had ever told him otherwise, no-one had ever shown him otherwise. Except perhaps Singapore and Westley and that mad bender at Nassau a few years back. This Buttercup girl though...
"What are you doing here, mate? You're a wanted criminal, right? Seems to me like you haven't though this one through, Westley my old china" rasped Jack, throwing back a shot of liquor that was a poor relation to the bottle he had to give up for this rat-infested hole.
Westley looked over to the bed, where Buttercup was dozing, her hands wrapped in her hair and for a moment, Jack saw her through Westley's eyes. It was a powerfully soppy feeling.
"I do not love her, Jack, that is why I must go and see Miracle Max here in Florin...ever since I was restored to life, only the memories of my love for her have kept me from giving up completely...when we kiss, I feel no flutter of my heart, when she holds me, I feel no sweeping wave of adulation...I remember it and I know it should be there because I feel a ache of pain, of lost feelings...I want to love her again"
Love. Love had brought him back. Love had made him leave Jack. Love would take him across the world. Love ruined everything.
After successfully overcoming her little swoon, Buttercup joined them at the table, discreetly entwining her arm with Westley, fixing an adorable steely gaze at Jack. He felt rather flattered that a great looking bird like her thought he was a threat.
"Tortuga" said Jack, changing the subject.
"Bless you" answered Buttercup, beaming at her Westley's indulgent smile.
"I need to rephrase that, mate. I need to get back to Tortuga and pick up the trail of the Pearl"
"The Black Pearl?" - it wasn't even a question or maybe it was a question of how Jack Sparrow had let such a thing slip through his fingers. All that Buttercup knew was that Westley looked more fearsome and cold than he ever had. "I've...heard stories and I wondered if you had the stupidity to get yourself into such a situation..."
Jack looked highly affronted at these words. "Listen, mate, it was mutiny! That bastard Barbossa made off with my Pearl and made me a bloody governor of the only bloody island of the
Caribbean to not have a tribe of Man Fridays prancing about the place!"
"Quite. So, is there a curse?"
"I don't know...probably. Hopefully. Don't know if they're just stories though, do we?"
"Stories are the more reliable rumours when it comes to pirates" said Westley, fiddling with the cherry impaled on a stick currently bobbing in his drink.
"How about this Miracle Max then?" asked Jack, offhandedly. "Think he knows anything about ships?"
*He had, of course, nothing separated Jack from rum and a trip on a ship stocked to the gills with it was one temptation too many. The rumrunners in question were most surprised to find all the barrels empty when they reached the next port and consequently, went out of business.
A/N: Does Miracle Max knows anything about ships? Will Buttercup ever realise exactly what went on between Westley and Jack Sparrow? Will I ever finish this damn thing? Hopefully, yes!