Luzydeath and lycanus1 - thank you for reviews!
Beta by Gina Tsukiko
The moment his feet touched land James couldn't help but regret his decision. He was looking back dozens of times waving at Jack and considering turning back, if not to stay then to at least to have one more night with him.
But his ship was already in Singapore. The news about Doctor Stewart's ship sinking had spread pretty quickly and people assumed they were both dead. Before Groves and Gilette managed to find him he asked the Doctor to keep Jack's identity a secret. The man was grateful for saving his life enough to agree and to not tell anyone that they had been travelling with a bunch of pirates.
On the next day before leaving Singapore James visited him in the hospital to ask his questions. As it turned out, Dr Stewart had met Jacques at the University in Paris where he studied medicine. Jacques had left after a few months and moved to the University in Padua to become a brilliant prodigy of Universitas Iuristarum studying Canon Law. He hated the Sorbonne but as it was his mother's wish he agreed to enroll. He was quite famous among students and lectors as much as for his astounding brilliance as for his bold and unconventional beliefs. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind and it earned him a lot of enemies who tried to destroy him. So he moved to Padua where he had much more freedom, but even by Italian standards his views were a bit too controversial. To hide his noble bloodline Jack was using his mother's last name and managed to fool everyone up until the day he simply disappeared and his parents started to look for their sixteen year old heir.
It was quite a scandal.
Listening to this story James couldn't stop playing with his new ring. It really had a crown on top of the crest shield…
Some people said that Jacques went down with the ship called the Wicked Wench but the source of the rumour was unknown. Jacque's mother was some French countess or marquis and his father, Eduardo, a duke of Cadiz. From what Stewart had heard, the man disappeared once when he was 15 years old only to come back to Spain years later with a wife and a new born son. Some said that Jacques was born on board of a ship that belonged to the famous pirate Captain Teague. It was also said to take place during a typhoon! Of course the same story James had heard countless times from various people about Jack Sparrow.
And that was mostly all that the doctor knew. He added that Jack often talked about joining the Navy. He loved sea and after growing up in such an amazing place like Cadiz he had been extremely unhappy in Paris, so probably in Padua as well. His grand escape, or -according to some people- death, wasn't really all that surprising.
After paying his goodbyes to dr. Joseph Stewart the Commodore got back to his ship. He couldn't wait to raise the sails and go to Port Royal. He had many important things to take care of.
Lieut. Groves didn't hide his sour disappointment at not meeting Captain Sparrow during their voyage to the North. The temptation to tell the man how he had spent the last few days wasn't easy for James to resist.
Falling back into the military routine was much harder than getting used to the Pearl. It was unnerving.
Another thing that was putting James on edge was the weather. It was terrible, hot and windless. Had he been on the Pearl he would've taken off his uniform, but… he wasn't so he didn't. On the Pearl in a heat like that Jack would go shirtless for sure… Then again, on the Pearl they would have wind in their sails.
He wanted to start reading Beckett's journal but Groves and Gilette didn't want to leave him alone and were showering him with never ending questions about how he managed to survive, so he didn't even have time to check if he still had it.
It was already night when he finally got some time for himself and opened the book with trembling hands, wary of what he would find on its pages.
"My name is Cutler Beckett. After working for three years in Nippon, I was relocated to Calabar in West Africa. Here I became the Director of West African Affairs for the East India Trading Company and also here I have met HIM.
First, I must tell why I hate piracy more than anything else in the world. One day, when I was still very young, my superiors assigned me to a tour of duty at the EITC office on Gibraltar. During the journey, off the coast of Spain, my ship, the Lindesfarne, was captured by pirates led by Christophe-Julien de Rapièr. I angered the pirate captain, telling him that his fancy clothes are out-fashioned both in London and Paris. The pirate captain allowed his crew to "play" with me for many days during which my father consequently refused to pay the ransom.
But I don't think about those events anymore. Right now I'm only able to think about HIM.
I've met Jack at Calabar. He was the EITC officer who worked as the First Mate on one of the Company's ships, the Fair Wind.
He stood out. It is hard to say why, he just did. He was different than anyone I have ever seen. He was undeniably extremely attractive. His dark wavy hair shone in the sun light like Liquorice candy; white shirt he wore under his coat was sluggishly undone under his neck showing a sinful expanse of caramel skin that would make anyone's mouth water. I was eager to hear his voice but the idiots gathered around him, fighting for his attention, never stopped talking while he just stood there, looking at the ocean and presenting me nicely with the profile of his handsome face. Then he said something, a mere word or two, still too quietly for me to hear. The men around him roared with laughter.
As they say, the brevity is the soul of wit.
My heart was speeding up and I suddenly couldn't stand the rising heat. I took a handkerchief out of my pocket and tried to dry my temple but my hands were shaking and the wind took it away. To my horror it landed right on his face. I have never felt so ridiculous in my entire life. He took the handkerchief in his hand, looked at it, then slowly brought it to his face and inhaled deeply taking in the smell of my perfume, with his eyes closed, like he enjoyed it... I was at the helm with the captain so he had to look up to meet my eyes. I think I trembled under his piercing gaze. He smiled and started to walk my way when the first cannon roared announcing that we were under attack. What he did back then was a sight to behold. He was fearless and brilliant. He practically singlehandedly defended the ship against the pirates.
Needless to say I was impressed. Later that day, when he came to my cabin to return the handkerchief I offered him to take command of the Marlin, a slave ship of the Company, as her captain. The ship was brand new and those transports were always paid the best. It was an easy job on the truly great vessel. He said he would haul any cargo I assign him, even powder, dangerous as that can be, but – to my great disappointment - he adamantly refused to transport slaves. I still didn't want to let him go so I ignored his strange pecadillo and gave him command of the Wicked Wench - an old ship I bought at some point in time driven by some unexplainable impulse...
I'm writing this now because I feel I'm beginning to lose my mind and I may need this journal later as a safekeeping of the remnants of my sanity. It has already been nine hours and my hands are still shaking; my heart is still racing at the mere thought about that man."
Some pages were missing, clearly torn out in haste.
"I shouldn't have written all those things. I got carried away.
It was three days ago. Jack loves his new ship and I hate him for that. I hate it when he speaks of the Wicked Wench as if it were a woman. I hate the way he looks at it and I hate that ship altogether! I wish I could just burn it. I would do it but... It would make him suffer...
The moment I announced him the captain he gave me a smile that will be engraved in my soul forever."
Another date, few days later:
"He looks dashing dressed in uniform."
"I spoke with him today. I acted foolishly. Every time I see him my brain stops working and I can't utter one word that would make any sense. I'm always nervous around him and it makes me angry. People love him and I seem to be the only one having trouble talking to him. I feel ridiculous."
"Until today I really talked to him only once, when I offered him the ship. Now I had no real reason to approach him and I had a hard time trying to think of something. When I was repeating the perfectly casual and courteous greeting in my head he walked up to me from behind and scared me to death. He was very amused by my reaction and I was very confused and lost. And I also know I was blushing. It is hard to hide it with my pale complexion.
He was watching my face with this accursed smile still dancing on his lips. I almost threw myself into his arms." James had to stop reading for a moment and let himself to remember that feeling he knew all too well.
"Then someone called his name and when he turned his head I grabbed his sleeve. I don't know why I did that... but he just looked down at my hand and winked. He was so close I could smell his skin. My legs started to melt and I had to grab the board to keep standing.
I need to send him somewhere far, to not see him for a few days. Maybe my mind will calm down if he's not around."
"Everybody sees that I treat him differently than others. Do I really talk about him so often? They're laughing at me behind my back. Does he know too? Does he laugh? I've heard some men talking about Jack. They were strongly convinced he liked men and suggested that he should take me for 'a ride'. I wanted to yell at them, and whip them, but I just ran to my cabin and pleasured myself thinking about what they said."
Six days later:
"Today Jack approached me and initiated a conversation. It was unexpectedly interesting and let me discover him as a very intelligent man. I knew he was clever but what he showed today was something greater than just wit or knowledge. It was wisdom. He didn't flaunt it but it was the fact and it only made me to want him even more."
"Today, after getting some courage from a brandy bottle, I approached him myself. I invited him to have drinks with me, just the two of us. We talked about dreams and goals. He spoke of interesting places and adventures, told stories about treasures and mythical creatures. I loved to listen to him. It was so easy to believe anything he said..."
"I went to talk to him again. It was even better than the last time. We share some beliefs and likings. For example, we both think that it's necessary to learn the language before visiting another nation and we are both skilled at learning languages, though I believe he has a real talent. He speaks more languages than I do. He has a great memory too and it sometimes scares me how clever he is. With him at my side I would conquer the world in a day.
But for now it's not the World I wish to conquer. It's him."
Three days later.
"I can't stand those whispers and smirks. Those pigs are trying to use my weakness for Jack for their own advantage. Today a man came to me offering Jack's dirty shirt in an exchange for a day off. I told my man to whip him until he almost died.
I kept the shirt though."
"He stepped on land in the evening for some drinks with friends. I followed him discreetly. There was a lad, very nice and elegant, clearly from a good family. He didn't fit in the scenery of the obscure bar. For the very first time since I've met Jack I felt some slight trace of attraction toward someone other than him. The boy looked like an angel. Jack winked at him and the youth was lost. I didn't want the kid anymore. He clung to Jack through the whole evening making me insufferably jealous and then he had left with my captain to suck him in some dark alley. Jack left and I approached the boy to kiss Jack's taste from his cherry lips. It was pure bliss. He struggled and punched my stomach. I was too light headed to dodge the next blow... The blood on this page is from my temple. I hope it won't leave a scar."
Few pages ahead:
"He was gone for days and it only made me think about him more. I wanted him around. I wanted to look at him and see him smile. I wanted him to look at me. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't stop thinking about him. I was wondering where he was, how he looked... I missed him.
He was three days late. Through this time my mind managed to conjure up countless images of what could have stopped him. I thought I would never see him again...
I called him to my office and yelled at him for the delay that was not even his fault. He was confused and I slapped his face."
Few days later:
"He avoids me. He doesn't even look at me anymore... I was gone for three days and when I got back he was gone. He took the powder transport – the one thing I would never let him take. He did it on purpose. He knew it would drive me crazy. He knows how mad about him I am..."
James couldn't stand it - reading about another man wanting his Jack, but... it was also making him feel special, knowing that Jack wanted him more than anything and that he didn't want Beckett at all.
"He had a night off. I put on a long dark coat and followed him to the docks. I've done that a few times already, since that first time. I watched as he got drunk. I saw him flirting with whores and letting some young boy suck him in a dark alley behind the bar. I didn't follow him any further. I chose to go after the boy. His blood is still warm on my hands."
Jack was right it wasn't nice to read, but there was interesting information, like: "He's twenty –four. It means I'm two years older than him. He will never want me back..."
After reading the whole thing, James learned that Beckett became completely obsessed with Jack. Jealousy was eating him up from the inside and he was losing his mind very quickly. For a year he was pining after the the future pirate while Sparrow continued to work as a loyal captain for the Company. To gain his interest Beckett appointed him to some treasure seeking voyages. One day he asked Jack to find the lost island of Kerma and the Shining City of Zerzura with its treasure-filled labyrinth. He gave Jack his house slave, Ayisha, as a guide. Sparrow came back without the girl and refused to give Beckett the exact location of the island. That's when Beckett had lost it, convinced that Jack was in love with the slave girl. James could already imagine what had happened but still, he put that matter on top of his list of things to ask his lover about.
After that incident Beckett ordered Jack to transport slaves to New Avalon. Jack agreed, probably wary of the other man's madness. As expected Jack did not come back, neither did he deliver the 'cargo'. Beckett was completely broken. His journal entries from that time almost made James feel bad for the poor soul, but just almost.
Beckett had sent five EITC ships after Sparrow and when they finally caught him he had thrown Jack into prison.
"I don't want to love him. No, it's not love. It's some painful obsession that doesn't let me live in peace. I'm drowning and Jack is my air... I can't breathe.
I want him gone from my life!
In some strong surge of anger I branded him a pirate. I wanted to hate him so I've made him a thing that I detest the most. When the hot red iron was burning into his beautiful skin his eyes changed and morphed into something wild. I knew I just created a monster that one day would come for my soul.
When I was a child I liked to watch birds but my father never let me to keep pets. Once I managed to catch a sparrow and I locked him in a cage. The bird was dead when I came to feed him in the morning. I had a strange feeling that the same thing would happen to Jack. He needed his freedom to live, so I thought I could use it. I held him captive. I thought he would beg but he didn't. I had to try something else to break him.
I took him to the docks. He knew what it meant. That ship was his everything.
I no longer had any reason to stop myself from doing what I craved to do through the whole bloody year - burn that accursed ship that had stolen all his love and attention. I wanted him to beg me to change my mind. I wanted him to offer his submission in order to save that damn thing... He didn't beg. I knew he wouldn't. That is one of the reasons why he's so perfect.
- You're going to destroy your own property? Just to get back at me? – he asked, still hoping to save that ship. He wanted to somehow address my reason but I had none at the moment. I also had no patience anymore. I was tired of it all. He should have known what would work on me. One kiss, one tender touch or smile, one word of submission and that old boat would not burn right in front of his eyes...
– She's not just a ship to you, Jack! – I shouted. I couldn't stop myself. We both knew that I was jealous and there was no point in pretending any longer. He wasn't surprised at hearing this at all, so I added:
- And yes, that's precisely what I am going to do. – We watched as my men released the burning arrows. He looked up as the fire lit the midnight sky and landed on the deck, on the black sails, on the masts and the helm. He dropped his gaze refusing to watch the funeral of his love; and then he spoke in voice so grave it made me want to weep.
- You're like a child. An overgrown, angry child. Just because you can't have what you want, you do this. It's... twisted. Mad.- He had never talked to me like that. But it was unnerving how he refused to acknowledge his own fault in everything that had happened. He knew I was mad about him. HE was the very reason I've gone mad. Everybody knew it but he was still trying to pretend that he didn't. If that was supposed to be the end of everything between us then I needed to bring it to an end properly. I knelt down before him and took his face in my hands.
- And what is it that I want, Jack? – I asked with my lips almost brushing his. I wanted to hear him say that. I wanted to know what he thinks, how he feels. But his next words made me want to scream, beat him, and love all the more.
- Fear. Love. Respect.- Yes, those were exactly the things I wanted from him! But he added:
- None of which you will get from me."
The rest of the journal was pure madness, oscillating between cruelty, anger, desperation, depression, love, regret and suicidal thoughts.
Beckett didn't expect Jack to jump right into the depths of the ocean after his love. He hoped that maybe with the ship gone he would have Jack for himself… He tried to jump in after Jack but his butler stopped him.
After almost a month of mourning he heard that Jack was still alive, terrorizing the Seven Seas on the Wicked Wench which now went by the name of the Black Pearl. In one moment Beckett wanted to spend his life on looking for Jack and fighting for his heart. In the next he wanted nothing more than to kill him. It was crazy. Reading this journal only brought James terrible nightmares, where Beckett tortured him for stealing Jack.
He was waking up covered in sweat and screaming at the top of his lungs.
On the third day on their way back to Port Royal Lieutenant Groves heard him in the middle of a night. They had wind but the weather was still hot and dry so James went to bed dressed only in his trunks... Groves woke him up but even though he showed worry over Norrington's well being, he seemed displeased or maybe even angry, frowning at his Commodore for no reason.
"Lieut. Groves, I'm really not in a mood for playing games. Just tell me what on Earth had crawled up your arse and died!"
Theodore's eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped. James wanted to smile at his reaction but was still too shaken after the nightmare.
"I'm sorry, Lieutenant. I guess I got infected with some bad manners during the last few days. Forgive me my rudeness."
Groves was still gaping at him like a fish.
"What is it, Lieutenant?"
"Sir... you know how I... well... how I..."
"Ted, I'm standing here almost naked and drenched in sweat from a terrible nightmare. It's as vulnerable as you will ever see me. Just speak your mind. I won't bite you." Spending time with Jack really had some bad influence on him.
"Sir, you know I admire Jack Sparrow." It wasn't the words that made James smile. It was the ridiculous seriousness with which the words had been spoken. Groves just frowned at his reaction. "Why didn't you tell me that you've met him on your journey?"
That made James' smile die a little.
"What makes you think that I've met him?"
"So, you don't deny. I knew it."
"How?!" Was Groves such a dedicated fanboy that he recognized the teeth pattern on his marked shoulder? What the hell?!
"Because your trunks ride unusually low on your hips which makes your new tattoo perfectly visible." Ted's face was getting redder while Norrington's was growing paler.
"What tattoo? I don't have a..." His hand was already reaching behind, tracing with shaky fingers the area mentioned by the young Lieutenant. There was no pain, no scar. He jumped to the desk and rummaged through it in search of a mirror. When he looked at the reflection of his back he swore viciously throwing all courtesy out of the port hole.
"God damn it, JACK! I swear I'll strangle him with his own dreadlocks! That bastard!"
Across the top of his buttocks and his lower back, slightly hidden by the trunks but not quite was a huge sign stating: The property of Captain Jack Sparrow.
The sign was beautifully decorated with mehndi patters including lots of curls, leaves and flowers.
"That Devil! When the hell did he managed to do that?!"
After assessing the damage done to his body he dropped the mirror and looked back at the officer still present in his cabin. So much for keeping his little adventure a secret.
"Why didn't you tell me? I wouldn't tell anyone..."
"I..." James didn't know what to say.
"You can trust me with this, Sir. You know I don't want him to be in trouble."
James sat back down on his bed. "You're right. I lied when I said we've been saved by a merchant ship. It was the Pearl. As you see lying is infectious and that's a fact. I already checked it."
Groves smiled uncertainly and made himself comfortable in a chair by the bed. He would get a brand new and exclusive Jack Sparrow story!
James told him about their adventure in India, carefully omitting parts about kisses and other explicit moments. But of course, Groves kept asking about the henna tattoo on his back. The Commodore just said that it was nothing more than a mean joke.
Then he tried not to be too worried about the fact that Ted did not believe it.
Jack berthed the Pearl in Port Royal before the tattoo managed to wear off.
The Commodore didn't really try too hard to scrub it off earlier than necessary. He secretly enjoyed having that over the top sign on his body. He liked being reminded that his recent adventure was not a dream. He really belonged to Jack now.
So, when Jack finally put ashore at Port Royal one beautiful morning he didn't strangle the man with his own dreadlocks after all.
"Captain Sparrow!" James was kind of angry. He really expected Jack to be there sooner.
After two weeks of separation he even began to wonder if the man would come back to him at all. He was watching the horizon like a hawk until he finally spotted something black. He had been waiting in the docks for the Pearl to berth with his men gathered around ready take action if needed (Gilette's idea, not his.)
Suddenly something swished over their heads and a handsome pirate landed right behind the Commodore's back. Instantly a dozen sabre blades were pointed straight at Jack's bare neck, but the man just smiled showing his golden teeth.
"Put down those blades, hearties. You don't want your gorgeous Commodore to get hurt, savvy?"
James cleared his throat. "It's Governor now, SAVVY?!"
Jack chuckled. His hands circled Norrington's waist. The soldiers' blades were still up.
"Please, gentleman, put down your swords. That's an order." James tried to sound casual and bored but Jack's closeness was affecting him much more than he cared to admit.
"Now, luv, I'm taking you hostage." Jack pulled the Governor closer enjoying the way the man shivered helplessly in his arms.
"Prepare to attack!"
"No! Lieutenant Gilette, please stop!" Groves just couldn't let that happen.
Rubbing his stinging cheek Jack realized that he already began to miss all the slapping.
"Step back! That's an order!" The soldiers did as they were told but watched, truly impressed, as their fearless leader pushed the pirate behind some boxes and surely slapped some more.
"Jack, you idiot, how could you do that?!"
"I figured that if I kidnapped you..." James silenced him with an impatient kiss.
"You can't kidnap me! I need to get back to my duties and you know that! Let's go. NOW."
When they'd gotten back all blades were up and ready to stab Jack to death, except one. Groves looked sincerely apologetic. It would amuse James but then Jack winked at the Lieutenant, the Commodore pulled on the pirate's braids to get his attention back.
"What, luv? He's the only one that didn't raise his blade at me."
"Do you see my blade risen against you?"
A dirty grin spread over Sparrows face as he whispered: "I'm not sure if it was a blade or were you just happy to see m-..." An elbow to the ribs finally silenced the petulant man.
James hoped he wasn't blushing as much as he felt he did.
Groves stepped forward boldly outstretching his hand toward the pirate Captain.
"Captain Sparrow, my name is Theodore Groves. I'm honoured to finally meet you in circumstances other than fight."
Jack looked at his hand, and then at the Commodore glaring daggers at the young officer.
"Sorry mate, but I'm afraid that if I shake your hand the Commodore will bite it off. "
"CAPTAIN SPARROW! To my office! Now!" The Governor grabbed Jack's collar and with completely unnecessary crudeness, pulled him away from the blushing young officer.
Jack was surprisingly willing to take orders from James, even if he was not all that fast to actually follow them. Still, it was very rare for him to stay away from Port Royal for longer than three weeks.
'Setting things right' went smoother than expected, but appointing the new Governor to take Norrington's place did not. They didn't want to let James go so after six months of service he left for a month to look for the Cities of Gold with Jack and his crew. Some time later, Jack took him on a trip to Cadiz to introduce him to Captain Teague and get his blessing. Finally after almost two years of practically keeping Jack in Port Royal they forced Commodore Groves to take the Governor's position. The man wanted to join the Pearl's crew but Gilette managed to 'persuade' him to stay.
And so, James was free, finally living his own dreams on waters of the Seven Seas; not just after Jack, but with him. They still fought every single day, very much like their pets, but they always ended up in bed together anyway and when Jack was in trouble James was always there to lick his wounds and kiss it better. Especially to kiss.
The tiger grew big and strong never getting bored of mauling the immortal monkey and giving birth to legends about Sparrow keeping a tiger ghost as his pet...
Death, dangers and betrayal were always parts of their adventurous life but now each of the two had at least one person to trust. It worked, even with Jack's lying habit, because James learned that when your lover is a liar, you and he have something in common – you're both lying to you. And it was fine. It was all Jack and James didn't really want to change a single thing in that lunatic.
Did they live happily ever after?
No, that would be too boring, but that... is the whole different story.
Thank you for reading!
The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in was foundedwhen a large group of students and professors left theUniversity of Bolognain search of more academic freedom ('Libertas scholastica').
According to pirates wikia Eduard Teague, Jack's father, had an aristocratic bearing! But was more of a "stay at home" pirate. It also says he lived in India but I wanted Jack be from Cadiz simply because it looks like a perfect place to make person fall in love with the sea.
Henna – depending on how often you scrub it, it stays from two to four weeks.
Mehndi – henna flowery decorations put on hands and feet.
The conversation from the last journal entry as well as the main facts were actually their exact words and facts from the book. At least according to pirates wikia .