Title: Good Man

Disclaimer: I do not own.

Summary: Words like bait, set on the trap of perfect lips, snapped shut, and locked like the cold iron around his wrists… that woman, and her lips.

Characters/Pairings: Jack Sparrow

Notes: this is a story started years ago, never finished, lost, found again. finally finished, posted now perhaps pointlessly but nevertheless with a small bit of pride. a thoughtful look into Jack's mind circa Dead Man's Chest in that moment before becoming fish food. italics are fragments of elizabeth's conversation with jack from the movie.

Word Count: 550

Rings of teeth spread wide revealing a gaping abyss, sharper than saw blades, crusted and reeking with the waste of man and ship. It is the mouth of the Kracken, wet and wanting, rising from the depths of the water to which it is born. It is come to claim its prey: a pirate and his ship.

Its great tentacles slide around the Black Pearl's hull, curling into a blue Caribbean sky. Almost a caress, it becomes a strangle. The Pearl screams and splinters as the long arms twist and crack her beautiful body.

Echoes of a thousand and more corpses cry out amid the stinking breath; they, the once-witnesses of this scene and others just like it, vessels and flesh both consumed. Like all others before her, the Pearl is no match for the grasp and pull; she too will shatter.

The destruction, the lash of the waves, the silence of hopelessness: in this there will be no escape for Captain Jack Sparrow.

Not this time.

The Kracken roars. A hat lands with a thud on the slick deck. His hat, a trusted friend as any. Returned to him for the final foray. The last battle.

A memory whispers to him.

Curiosity. He has always wondered. Somewhere deep, hidden beneath layers of swagger and wit and trickery, he's always wanted to know

want to know what it tastes like

The sun is bright, and warm. The air is salty and brushed with wind. Lamp oil drips from his fingertips. The world seems too unbreakable, too calm for death to be so close.

what it tastes like

Or perhaps. Perhaps, that's just what he's telling himself.

Jack Sparrow has never been a good man. He has been charming, stimulating, daring, and, on more than one occasion, drunk. He's been great at many a trait or trade, the sea foremost his home and forever mistress. He has been verbose, proficient, egregious, eloquent, and quite fraudulent. But he has never been good.

knew you were a good man

Words like bait, set on the trap of perfect lips, snapped shut, and locked like the cold iron around his wrists. Women. And their wiles. That woman, and her lips.

But yet, was she right? Is this truly why he came back to his battered beauty, for the chance to be something good?

Never trust an honest man. That's what he had said once. And he'd meant it. Perhaps the same would be true of a moment; a rush of blood to the brain, a momentous lapse of self-interest: an honest flash of sacrifice.

He smiles.

it's the only way

His foe waits. It cares not for the taste, the fear, or the fame of it's quarry; it longs only for the destruction, the purpose for which it came into being, ancient and huge, at the bottom of the depths. The Kracken hovers, poised before this frail human like a giant piece on the vast chessboard of the world.

Jack pulls his sword from the sheath and points it into the air.

A pirate after all. The captain must go down with his ship.

His grin is something maniacal. Something true. Something steadfast.

"'Ello, beastie," he says, rushing toward his certain demise

Good is relative, after all, but this not so bad an end.