Hello everyone! :) Been a whiiiiile since I've posted anything :P I recently finished Tales of Monkey Island, went into a fanatic frenzy with my fellow Monkey Island fans on Facebook (say that five times fast), and ultimately got inspired to write this! Apologies in advance if this idea has been done before! Enjoy! :)
As usual, all respective characters belong to LucasArts and Telltale (edit: and now Disney apparently).
The ship had been left anchored someways off the coast of Mêlée Island, its captain, a mere shadow of its former self now gliding through town unseen towards the hill top. The Marley-Threepwood Mansion, despite having seen its fair share of catapults, cannonballs, voodoo curses, flaming visitors, giant walking statues, and other various near-apocalyptic happenings over the years, still stood tall and proud atop the hill, ever-daring more dangers to threaten it.
The spectre walked straight through the door, unphased, through the empty foyer, and made a beeline for the master bedroom at the top of the stairs. Through another door and the ghost stopped, suddenly meeting the startled gaze of a young woman with all-too-familiar butter-blond hair tied back into a french braid, her bangs partly covering strikingly green eyes that were tinged red with tears. Alarmed by the sudden presence, the young woman suddenly stood from where she was sitting on the bedside chair, hastily wiping her face, and whipped out her sword.
"You again?!" Came the surprised greeting. "SERIOUSLY bad timing, can't we do this next week or something?"
"You're not the Threepwood I'm after this time." Came the frank reply.
The woman blinked, and glanced at the frail old figure propped up in the bed next to her. Realization hit her and her eyes narrowed threateningly as she took a stance, ready to strike. "If you want him, you're gonna have to go through me first." She said lowly.
The ghost considered for a moment, and then shrugged. "Okay." And did just that, walking through the somewhat annoying girl.
"GEARGH!" Her eyes widened and she shivered violently momentarily from the cold and the shock, looking nothing less than violated.
"It's okay, honey!" Laughed the entertained occupant of the bed. "She's a friend." A pause as the old man smiled warmly at his unexpected visitor, Aqua blue eyes meeting ghostly hazel. "Why don't you run down to the SCUMM Bar and grab me a grog? I'll be fine."
The woman openly gawked. "Grandpa, age must've scrambled your noggin! There's no way she can be your friend, she's-"
"I know who she is, darling, I'll be fine." He repeated firmly.
The woman held her sword up a moment longer, still eying the guest suspiciously, then sheathed her sword again. "If you say so, Grandpa." Then she left, if somewhat reluctantly.
"Ghost Pirate Hunter Morgan LeFlay." greeted the withering man, sitting up a little straighter. "As I live and breathe!" He was in the presence of a ghost, but there wasn't even the slightest hint of fear in his eyes, only the warmth of friendship.
Morgan smiled at her (literally) oldest friend. "Mighty Pirate Guybrush Threepwood." A pause. "Don't rub it in." She rolled her eyes when Guybrush chuckled, and moved closer to the bed.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure of your totally dead, non-living, ghostly presence?" He teased, doing the exact thing she told him not to do.
Nice, Morgan thought sarcastically as she stopped at the side of the bed and put her hands on her hips a little disapprovingly.
In truth, she didn't really mind the teasing because the alternative was so much more annoying - it had taken years for Guybrush to stop feeling guilty about Morgan's death, something she herself had come to accept the second she was out of the Crossroads, and he had even tried to bring her back to life a couple of times.
It was actually a relief when Morgan finally convinced the guy to get over it but Guybrush, being who he was, of course took it too much to heart when she said she didn't mind being a ghost, and never failed to remind her of that very fact every time they met since then.
That didn't mean she let him get away with it of course.
"Nice to see time hasn't done anything to dent that infallible Threepwood charm." Morgan sighed sardonically. "You haven't changed a bit. You know, except for the white hair, the wrinkles, the walking stick, the mild cataract, the bad hip, the reduced muscle strength, the worsened bladder control, the general air of finality about you, as well as your preference to add dairy products to your grog." She said, counting them off her fingers.
Guybrush grimaced. Okay, ouch. "How appropriate!" he said indignantly, "You fight like a-"
"When I heard that the famous Elaine Marley-Threepwood had passed away," Morgan cut him off, knowing that once he got started, the back and forth banter would possibly go on for hours, "I have to admit I thought you'd go with her."
"What? And leave without saying goodbye?" Guybrush smiled cockily at her, causing more lines to appear on a face already riddled with wrinkles. Time had finally caught up with him, aging a face that for years had looked much more juvenile than his actual age. He finally got that mighty pirate beard he had so striven to grow, but it was now white and laced with strands of blond, just liked the hair atop his head. Guybrush Threepwood was an old man now, he had changed so much, yet at the same time hadn't changed at all. Those ever-bright eyes. And that smile. That smile always stayed the same.
Morgan herself was just as Guybrush remembered her, and she would always be just as Guybrush remembered her, frozen in time, never anything less than the young, beautiful kick-butt pirate hunter her reputation made her out to be. Okay, so she was a fleshless spectre now, but it meant her reputation was kicked up by like a hundred notches as the ghost that defeated the pirate god LeChuck, taking his place as the terror of the seven seas, striking fear into the hearts of every bounty-hunted pirate that ever sailed under a jolly roger, not to mention annoyance into every generation of Threepwood since Guybrush's time.
It had been endlessly entertaining for both Guybrush and Morgan to keep their friendship a secret from his family for the most part (except Elaine of course) – it ensured that Morgan could get a kick out of battling his offspring for the heck of it under the pretense that she was trying to bring them in, while Guybrush could listen as his kids told stories of the irritating ghost pirate hunter, keeping as straight a face as possible, before snickering about it later when he was alone or with Elaine.
She sat down on the chair next to the bed, where his granddaughter had been sitting, and placed her transparent hand on the aged hand that was poking out from under the bed covers. Being what she was, Guybrush could only feel the sensation of something cool on his hand, but no sensation of touch.
"Doesn't look like you plan on sticking around either." Morgan commented, noting how not upset he was at the passing of his wife, and that ever present smile. It was the smile of a dying man who had seen the world and accepted that his time was over, just about ready to move on. She had only seen it a precious few times in her line of work.
"Yeah, it shouldn't be long now." Guybrush admitted, sighing. "But it's okay, I had a good run. Now my kids have kids and they're getting themselves into all kinds of trouble I never could at their age!"
"And so the legacy of Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate, lives on." Morgan said, amused.
Guybrush made to playfully slap her arm with his wrinkly hand, but it just went through it as usual. She caught the intention though and laughed anyways. Guybrush chuckled along too until he had to stop because of a coughing fit.
Morgan's smile faded. "I'm gonna miss you, you know." she admitted. Their meetings had been few and far in between. It was intentional, out of respect for the married couple. Not to mention that first meeting with the wife of Guybrush Threepwood was an all too unforgettable experience she never wanted to repeat.
In an alternate universe, another life, it would've been Morgan at Guybrush's side, sharing his adventures and even his family, but in this life he belonged to Elaine. Always did, always will. It was a fact she had come to accept even when she was mortal, so she settled for being his friend instead, and it was more gratifying than she could ever have hoped. "We had some good times."
"Yes we did." Guybrush agreed. A pause. "So, you're not planning on retiring any time soon?"
Morgan smiled a little sadly. "I've seen the other side and I didn't like it, Guybrush. I belong here, terrorizing any and all pirates I come across and handing them in to the highest bidder (present company excluded of course). Maybe I'll give it up one day and cross over for good, most probably when I've caught every pirate there is out there, but it's not gonna be any time soon."
Guybrush nodded, considering what she said. "Well okay. Hey, if anyone ever zaps you with voodoo root beer or something, be sure to stop by for a visit!"
Morgan rolled her eyes. "Duh!" She shook her head, amused, earning a "Ha." from Guybrush before they lapsed into companionable silence.
Guybrush's eyes drifted to an original Meathook wax painting of him and Elaine hanging on the wall. They were younger then, still in the Monkey Island years, still perpetually annoyed by the eternally obsessive LeChuck, before the guy was finally destroyed for good and they had decided it was finally safe to start on the next adventure of starting a family.
He was lost in his thoughts for a good while before he idly remembered something. "An old voodoo priestess once told me that the one thing any man really strives for is to live his life to the fullest, and die without any regrets."
"Do you have any regrets?" Morgan had to ask. After all, Guybrush and Elaine were the most famous love story of the Caribbean – she had truly expected the two to die together like they always do in the big love stories. The fact that Guybrush was still here meant that something was holding him back, if only for just a little while.
He didn't answer immediately, but seemed to consider the question as he gazed at the painting a while longer. "Funny," Guybrush said thoughtfully, "I kinda always assumed that when I finally went I'd go down in a mighty pirate battle against a horde of undead monkeys, or facing off against some infamous someone-or-other with anger management issues and a grudge against me or something. Never expected it to be by old age. Or that I'd be the last one standing for that matter."
It was true – almost everyone Guybrush knew and loved from his Monkey Island years were gone now, including Elaine.
"I'm still here." Morgan stated.
"You're dead too." Guybrush said bluntly, frowning.
Morgan gave the elderly pirate an unimpressed look. "Gee. Thanks. Again."
"No problem." He said automatically. "But seriously. Dying of old age? Kind of a bummer. Kinda weird that no one successfully took me down in all my years of pirating."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Morgan protested. "Your memory's failing, old man! I took you down, remember?"
Guybrush scoffed. "You cut off my hand – there's a difference! I beat you back then literally single-handed, and I could easily do it again now!" It was a direct challenge, and it made Morgan blink.
"Yeeeah, I'm not gonna fight an old, infirm, unarmed man in his death bed." She said bluntly.
"Oh I can fix that." Suddenly energized, the old man struggled up to a sitting position, shakily swinging his legs over the side of the bed and getting to his feet, using the chair handles for support. Morgan raised a hand, somewhat alarmed at the fragile man suddenly moving so much, but trying to stop him would be impossible in her current state. She watched as her old friend finally stood up, covers falling loose, and managed to suppress the giggle that threatened to bubble up when she saw the monkey-and-bananas print pajamas the mighty pirate was wearing.
Guybrush ignored her and hobbled over to the corner where his sword was leaning against the wall. Before he took it he stretched out, every joint in his body cracking loudly as he twisted, touched his feet and rotated his neck, making Morgan cringe. Then he retrieved the sword and turned to her brightly, looking more alive than she'd yet seen on this visit.
"Armed and out of bed!" He said triumphantly.
Morgan didn't move but raised an eyebrow instead. "But still old, infirm and," she snorted, "nice PJs by the way."
"Thanks! Elaine gave them to me!" He said proudly, the sarcasm lost on him completely. "Now, on your feet, Mo!" He raised his sword.
Morgan crossed her arms. It wasn't funny anymore. "Seriously Guybrush, get back into bed before you hurt yourself."
"Just one round!"
"Don't make me cut off your hand again." she warned.
"C'mooon, for me?"
"I am doing this for you! I'm not fighting you, Guybrush." Morgan said with finality.
Guybrush deflated, lowering the sword a little. "Please?" He pleaded. "Don't you want to go down in history as the ghost that defeated the undefeatable Guybrush Threepwood?"
To Morgan's shock he sounded... vulnerable. Like the idea of dying in bed was more frightening to him than dying by her hand.
"You want me to kill you?!" She said, alarmed. Crazy old sea dog, age really must have scrambled his noggin!
"No! I just... I just want one more fight in before I kick the bucket!"
It was his reputation, Morgan realized. Without meaning to, he'd lived through it all and now he was about to die of old age despite all evidence to the contrary, and it truly scared him. To think after all these years he'd come to value his reputation almost as much as Morgan herself.
"And who better to challenge than the legendary Ghost Pirate Hunter Morgan LeFlay?" he added hastily.
Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. he was giving her that puppy dog look. And it was somehow a thousand times worse on this face than on the same face she'd seen it on before, some forty odd years back. Morgan tried to look away... but couldn't. She caved.
"Fine." She sighed, getting halfheartedly to her feet, unsheathing her sword as she did. The Voodoo Lady had modified her ghostly Blade of Dragotta so that she could still feel the satisfaction of a good swordfight and take down pirates, even if she herself could never actually be harmed by any blade.
Guybrush brightened immediately and took a stance as Morgan did the same. She was probably the only one in the world who understood Guybrush's innate need to fight her and they both knew it, but she still wasn't happy with it. It messed with the two rules she valued the most – never kill anyone she wasn't being paid to kill, and never hunt down Guybrush Threepwood again.
She'd give him his one last fight, but there was no way she'd take him down. She'd go easy on him.
"En guarde, touché!" Guybrush started.
"Oh that is so clich- whoa!" She parried quickly as Guybrush lunged at her with the agility of a man sixty years younger, and the fight started.
Lunge, parry, riposte. Guybrush fought with incredible skill, and in defending herself Morgan found herself being pushed back through the master bed.
"Wow Mo, you're losing your edge! Fifty years ago you were able to take off my hand before the fight even started!"
"Fifty years ago you could never keep your head in the fight!" Morgan remembered how her idol kept trying to distract her with conversation and inventory items and other manner of actions on various parts of the ship, particularly his weird obsession with the mast, the first time they met. He'd definitely gotten better since then – they had pretty much the same years of experience under their belts but Morgan had assumed his age would be a detrimental factor to his fighting. Guybrush Threepwood had surprised her yet again.
Defense just wasn't going to cut it anymore, she was going to need to be more offensive. Guybrush was now fighting her from the edge of the bed, Morgan herself now in the middle of the bed. There really wasn't that much room to fight in here. She got an idea and smiled a little mischievously.
"Also, fifty years ago I couldn't do THIS!" She sunk under the bed and disappeared, just as Guybrush swung at her again. The sword swished through emptiness as Guybrush found himself alone in the room.
"Hey!" He protested, bending over and putting both hands on the bed, searching it, "No fair!"
The flat end of a sword slapped him on his rear as he was bent over and he jumped, yelping out a "Pappapishu!" before spinning around to meet the smug smirk of Morgan LeFlay, finding himself an inch away from the pointy end of her sword.
"How's this for an edge?"
Guybrush got over his surprise, raised an impressed eyebrow and swatted the ghost sword away with his own one. "Not bad." He admitted as they continued to fight, swords clanging (Morgan's sword somewhat muffled) as they now edged towards the door.
Morgan glanced back to see she was backed up against the door, smirked again and disappeared through it just as Guybrush's sword came swooshing down to get stuck in the wood of the door with a dull thunk.
"Stop doing that!" Guybrush complained, needing a couple of seconds to get his sword unstuck from the door. He finally got it loose and jumped back with a "Gah!" as Morgan's face appeared through the door. She put a ghostly thumb to her nose and wriggled her fingers, taunting him, before disappearing again.
"Heh." He opened the door to find her waiting for him in the foyer, and with a "Ha!" jumped on the banister, slid down it and landed neatly on his feet on the ground floor with the grace of a man who had done this a hundred times before.
This time, Morgan lunged first, surprising Guybrush with the offensive, but only for a moment as he blocked it and struck back. He felt like laughing, and he did – it was the most fun he'd had in days. Laughter was contagious, and Morgan joined in, amazed at how much younger Guybrush looked when he was swordfighting – he looked like an excited little child just then.
They fenced, threw in a couple of insults, and still kept on going tirelessly, only glancing up momentarily when someone entered the mansion and the sound of breaking glass was heard accompanied by a gasp.
The broken grog bottle was left unnoticed as the woman openly gawked at the scene before her. "LeFlay! What the heck are you doing?!"
"Don't ask me, ask your crazy grandpa!" Morgan almost laughed, not even pausing the fight.
"Ha HA! Take THAT!" Guybrush had managed to get his hand on a candle holder on the table behind him with his free hand and hurled it at Morgan. It sailed right through her torso and Morgan paused to look at the place it went through, before turning her attention back to Guybrush.
"Really?" she deadpanned.
"Oh. Right." He scratched the back of his head sheepishly for a moment, then resumed the swordfight.
"Oh my God Grandpa, please stop!" The granddaughter ran in with her own sword drawn, but was clearly unsure of what to do.
"It's okay sweetheart, I've got it covered!"
She clearly didn't believe him, looking aghast. She shook her head and, steeling herself for a moment, lunged at the ghost... to crash into the staircase behind her instead.
"Nice try, kid." Morgan said, amused.
The Threepwood girl groaned as she rubbed her head. "Please!" she begged. "He..." she tried to think of an excuse that would get them to stop this madness, "He's got lampreys in his lighthouse!"
"Yeah, I got that."
"Hey!" Guybrush looked offended for just a moment, before he faltered, eyes widening, a hand going up to his heart.
In a split second all signs of amusement were gone from Morgan's face as she chose that moment to viciously strike the sword out of his hand. His sword sailed in a high arc before sticking in the wooden floor some ways away, and then without the slightest hint of mercy on her face, Morgan ran him through with her sword.
His granddaughter screamed.
"Guybrush Ulysses Threepwood." she said steadily, enunciating each syllable with clarity. "You have been defeated by the Ghost Pirate Hunter Morgan LeFlay." And then she let go of the sword.
He collapsed against the table and slipped to sit dumbfounded on the floor, a look of shock plastered on his aged face as he stared at the sword sticking out of him in disbelief.
"Huh. How about that." Guybrush mused, slipping away. "Dying in battle." He was now lying on the floor. A small smile graced his lips. "Awesome." Slowly, his eyes began to close, chest rising and falling as each breath slowed steadily. "Thanks, Mo."
And then he breathed no more.
"GRANDPAAAA!" She had been rooted to the spot with shock, but now she was at her grandfather's side, holding his head in her hands as she screamed and cried his name. She turned, livid, to the silently watching ghost. "YOU KILLED HIM!" She screamed.
No regrets, Morgan thought as she watched Guybrush's peaceful smile a little longer, a small smile of admiration on her own face. A mighty pirate till the very end. She snapped out of it.
"We'll just let him believe that." She replied to the grief-stricken woman, pulling out her ghostly sword from Guybrush's body. There was no gore, no trail of blood, not even a scratch.
"...Huh?" the blonde-haired woman was profoundly confused.
"Sometimes when a man has lost everything, the only thing left for him is his reputation." Morgan reflected to herself, before turning to the other woman. "Remember that when you hold his funeral."
She bent down and left a ghostly kiss on her closest friend's forehead. "I'll see you again one day." She promised, and then she was gone, drifting through the front door the way she came.
It wasn't until she was out of the mansion did she stop. The sun was rising now, a beautiful red thing floating on the horizon, its light reflected in ripply waves from the end of the world all the way to the Mêlée Island shore, bringing the promise of a beautiful new day with it... The shock hit her like a cannonball to the chest.
Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate... was finally and truly gone.
For the first time in a long, long time, Morgan wept.
Eh I figured that if Morgan can go around terrorizing pirates, it'd make sense that she could control the ghostly properties of her sword so she can still walk through stuff and swordfight at will! :P
Special thanks to Hana and Rohan, who inspired me to write this from our convos and gave me some AWESOME lines to use! XD (Sorry if there are any typos or if anyone seems out of character!)
Thanks for reading and Happy belated Eid! :D
Edit: Thank you guest reviewers, if I could respond to you in person I'd tell you you made my day! ;)