Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Rating: NC-17 for non-con/bondage elements, sexual m/m content and language
Pairing: Captain Jack Sparrow/Commodore Norrington
Revised: July 29th, with mucho gracias to the lovely members of YahooGroup_Pirates of the Caribbean_Slash for the notes on British nationality. ;) It badly needed polish! Now it's shinier.
Cover Art: By Moi
Disclaimer: I don't own them. More's the pity. No profit will ever be made.
Summary: A repressed British Naval officer and a bound, unwell pirate captive in need of care. The question is, who has been caught, and who is owned?
Warning: May contain anachronisms. For the purposes of POTC fanfic writing I am at this time unable to determine the timeframe the film events are placed. However, the Yard prison of convict hulks of the British Royal Navy is undoubtedly infamous, hence its allusion and description. Also, this be this humble writer's first POTC fanfic attempt. (I meant to see to young Will Turner's education but this plot bunny bit me so savagely I needed medical attention immediately! This fic is the result.)
A Most Accommodating Commodore
Jack awoke, his fog-bleary mind clearing only partly as he opened his eyes. It didn't help. Not only was the room swimming, but it didn't make sense. The last thing he remembered was fainting from lack of food and water in the cell of the Royal Navy's prison, the infamous 'Yard' on Devil's Island. Now he was lying in a soft bed… with expensive candlesticks on the wall…curtains moving in a twilight breeze. Strange.
He took stock of what else was in the room and was confounded to place where he was. An expensive apartment, containing the fancy trappings of a gentleman. Most worrisome of all, his hands were bound above his head. And his clothes were gone. Not even a stitch on him. This could almost be interesting, except -
"Am I dead?" he asked aloud. It was not a rhetorical question.
A face swam into view above him. The horribly familiar face of … of - …Commodore…Nausea, no - Nauticus - no, damn it all…Norwich-?…Norfolk… No-fucking, … Nor- Norrington, that was it!
"Ah. The other place, then," Jack commented. "I'm dead."
Norrington seemed stiffly amused. "What makes you think you're in hell?"
"I'm in your bed without me britches, and no idea how I got here," Jack replied, plainly.
Norrington gave a wry smile. "You're suffering from a fever."
"That still doesn't explain why I'm not dead," Jack replied; unaccountably glad to see the man. Never mind that the good Commodore had seen him captured three times, imprisoned and nearly hanged twice. He hadn't clapped eyes on the man since he'd escaped Port Royal that day.
With a sigh, Norrington returned to the dour, dry expression Jack had always seen the man wear. "I'm still asking that myself."
"'Wasn't a rhetorical question, man. Be so kind as to illuminate me at once." Jack grew uncomfortably aware of one other little problem. His hands were bound above him to the bed's headboard and it was becoming most uncomfortable - particularly with the Commodore regarding him with the expression of a hawk watching a mouse. "You've caught me; why am I not swinging from the gallows?"
With his usual, stoic British condescension, the Commodore merely replied, "Because, Mr. Sparrow, I did not catch you. I found you languishing in that godforsaken hole. I must say, I'm quite surprised - I thought the Black Pearl was 'your life'. Yet barely seven months later, here you are, rotting in prison in Bermuda. You simply cannot keep yourself out of jail, can you?"
"Wasn't my fault," Jack protested in a wounded tone. "I was betrayed."
"Again? You don't choose your friends well, do you?" Norrington's equally obvious disdain for him made the words cut more sharply.
Jack gave him a look of resignation and flopped back against the pillow. Goose-feather pillows, damask sheets…very nice. And entirely the most dangerous place to be, as far as he was concerned. This was not good at all. Hm, he couldn't let the good Commodore know just how dire he knew his situation to be, however. And maybe Norrington would have something pleasanter in mind than hanging.
Jack grinned at him. "Oh, I don't know. This is a far cry from the gallows." His smile dropped abruptly and he glared at Norrington as a thought occurred to him. "You are an honorable man, are you not?"
Norrington tilted his head slightly and regarded him with an impassive air. "And why do you assume that I'm likely to treat you honorably? Just because I've not had you killed after liberating you from your cell doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to let you go."
" That would be presumptuous of me, wouldn't it?" Jack agreed quickly. " Just out of curiosity, one privateer to another, what is it, exactly, that you have in mind?"
Norrington scowled at him for suggesting that he was anything akin to a privateer, or anything like Jack Sparrow at all. But Norrington didn't press the matter. "Until your fever has broken, I see little point in telling you. No sense having to explain it all again later, when you're no longer raving and come to your senses." Norrington sounded reasonable as he casually looked about the room. "Particularly as you'll mostly likely be hanging from a length of rope in due course."
Reasonable? Jack knew otherwise. His eyes stared back searchingly in Norrington's direction and this time, Norrington swiveled, held his gaze and didn't look away. "I'm looking forward to hearing you beg for your release, Mr. Sparrow."
Jack was taken aback. Did the good Commodore actually believe that he was not going to beg?! "Dear sir, I assure you I'm not above begging for me life. In fact, I'm sure we can come to some arrangement, a wee bit more profitable for both of us, involving no ropes or hangings either way. Tell you what, I'll make a deal with you. Forty-five percent of the Pearl's next takings as a tithe towards your… bedchamber fund, in exchange for nursing me back to health."
He smiled sweetly at Norrington.
Who was not moved at all.
Norrington stared back at him with offended boredom. "I do not make deals with pirates, Mr. Sparrow."
"Ah, yes, that's true. You don't. You do let them go though, and spare their lives - on occasion," Jack suggested, hopefully.
"That was a favor to my once-beloved Miss Swa-" Norrington caught himself, with a little twinge of anger crossing his face. "Mrs. Turner valued your life, and Mr. Turner was ready to throw his away on your account. There are no Turners between us now, however. As I'm sure you've noticed."
Norrington moved to sit on the edge of the bed, beside him. Jack became aware of a finger of fear moving up his spine.
"I'm beginning to wish there were," Jack muttered, experimentally pulling at the ropes that tied his wrists to the headboard.
Norrington's lips twisted into something akin to triumph.
It was not a nice thing to see in his current predicament, and Jack began to wonder if he'd fallen from the Devil's Island's prison directly into the Devil's Bed.
"So, let me see if I understand this correctly. You won't kill me, but you won't release me. And I'm tied up, in your bed," he looked about him, "without my clothes or effects, and you want me to beg. Mate, I'm not entirely sure I deserve this sort of treatment, even as a pirate."
"Allow me to disagree," Norrington said, scornfully. "Do you honestly think that I'd let you go, now that I have you?"
"Even if I ask really nicely?"
"One of the more notorious - if not the most notorious - pirates in these waters, with a ship that has a list of crimes so long to its name that the Devil Himself would balk at reciting it?"
Jack scowled at him with feigned concern. "You really need to get yourself a lass. They work wonders when one's under stress. Or so I hear."
"I had a lass," Norrington snapped, showing more anger than he had since Jack had come to. "And I lost her, no thanks to you. After all, if it hadn't been for your bad influence on the Turner boy, I wouldn't have lost the Governor's daughter to him. So you could say that you're here in the capacity of recompense to me for my loss."
Realization was beginning to dawn and Jack's eyes widened. "And they call me mad," he grumbled. With a heavy sigh, he let his head fall back and stared up at the ceiling of the bed canopy. "Then this is the Devil's Bed after all, and I am in hell. Damned Naval officers, and their annoying habit of manhandling prisoners." He lifted his head and remarked, "You're not helping your nation's reputation one jot. I hope you realize that."
"Oh, I doubt you'll ever speak of this to anyone, Mr. Sparrow. Be lucky you're still confined to the bed. It will spare you the embarrassment of having to explain to all and sundry why you'll be having difficulty walking tomorrow."
That was a promise, not a threat. Jack could hear it in Norrington's voice. "Aye, you're a most accommodating Commodore," he agreed. "You really must stop doing me favors. I might get the impression you fancy me a bit."
Norrington smiled. The bastard was smiling at him. Jack swallowed. And smiled back.
Norrington said, "I might, at that. At first, I thought you a repulsive, heartless, thieving knave."
Jack rolled his eyes. "That's original. I've heard that before. Haven't you got anything more impressive?"
"A dirty, untrustworthy pirate and a scoundrel."
"Flattery isn't getting you far, Commodore," Jack pointed out.
"And a lecherous, greedy, selfish cad," Norrington added.
"Now," Norrington repeated, his voice falling significantly as he continued to speak, reaching a low register that was too menacing to find amusing. His stare was sending another frisson of shivers over Jack's skin, of foreboding and - something else. "Now I find you helpless. I've seen you helpless before; it's a good look on you. I'm growing rather attached to seeing you this way. And as I said, there are no Turners here to bargain for your life, or your assets."
Jack exclaimed, "Oh, it's me assets you're after! Well, man, why didn't you just say so? Unfortunately, they're all aboard the 'Pearl, so if you'd be so kind as to see me to my ship, I'll get them for you directly."
Norrington smiled at him kindly, as a patronizing bastard is wont to do. "I want none of your ill-gotten gains, Sparrow. And yet again, your ship seems to have left without you. You appear to be as adept at choosing a crew as choosing your friends."
With a groan, Jack sighed, "Alright, alright. Just get on with it. Hang me, shoot me, whatever. The suspense is killing me quicker than the fever."
Norrington mildly replied, "Whoever said I wanted to kill you?"
As Norrington shifted in place on the bed, Jack felt another shaft of fear go through him. Norrington was outing it between them and he had a horrible impression it was something the Commodore was taking personally… and intended personally.
It was the bloody kohl; it had to be. Every damned time he fell afoul of enemies or the law, they seemed to take it as some sort of blasted signal that he was a good lay. But he'd grown so accustomed to wearing it to keep the sun-glare out of his eyes while on the open water, he was loathe to give up the habit now.
Despite his show of bravado, Jack was certain Norrington could see through it.
"Me assets, eh?" Jack's tone was cynical. "That explains the bed and the rope."
Sure enough, the Commodore gave him a tight smile. "You'd begrudge me the somewhat dubious pleasure of having you here, restrained and in my power, after all the times you've humiliated me and avoided my ships? You have the Black Pearl, which is an advantage, I'll offer, but do you realize how much of a laughing-stock you've made of me, Mr. Sparrow?" Norrington's eyes narrowed coldly as he regarded Jack. "Officers laugh behind their ale when I enter the room. I actually have people asking after your health. It's frightfully embarrassing. I see no reason why I shouldn't give you a taste of something similar."
Jack sniffed, nonchalantly. "Well, certainly those are a lot of words, Commodore, and unaccustomed as I am to letting such a little tirade go by unanswered, perhaps you'll allow me to retort?"
Norrington's dourly debonair face was stone.
Damn it, the man had no sense of humor. Jack was all too aware of the folly of baiting the singly most feared and pirate-hating British Commodore in the Caribbean. Still, despite the Commodore's obvious hatred of him (or was it because of that very same hatred of him, he wondered) he was unable to resist the opportunity, and Jack quickly continued, "As one of Her Majesty's own, I'm shocked that you'd consider manhandling another man. Excepting, of course, a man you want to handle who looks like a lass, or a lass who looks like a man - of which I am neither, I can assure you. But still in the event you wish to handle a man, in which case if I am one, then you could drop the pleasantries and get down to business." He paused. "Or pleasure, whichever one you are mistaking the other for."
Norrington got up and stood over him. Jack fell quiet, the fear crawling over him now, certain that Norrington really had lost his nut.
"One last request," Jack swiftly said.
Norrington looked impatient and disinterested. Not a good combination. But luckily he waited.
Jack offered a hopeful grin. "A drink, for the condemned prisoner?"
Thoughtfully, Norrington replied, "Very well." He went to a cabinet and took out a bottle, pouring a glass. Then he took out another glass and set it beside the first.
Jack craned his neck to look. "Brandy?"
Norrington turned his head a little. "Certainly not. The brandy is for me. I'm not wasting good brandy on a pirate." He reached for another bottle, rum this time, Jack noticed with a measure of satisfaction. Norrington carried both glasses back to the bed and sat down once more, offering the glass of rum to Jack.
Who eagerly lifted his head and leaned forward to gulp a few swallows. With a merry glint in his eyes, Jack commented, "Bless you for thinking of it." And he couldn't resist adding, "People will say you've gone soft, you know."
Commodore Norrington didn't crack. He stared Jack down coldly. "You'll be able to set them straight on that score, won't you?"
"Aye, it's to be a long night." Jack sighed. "Give us the rest of it then."
Norrington complied, putting the glass to Jack's lips. He drank the rum down eagerly, welcoming the burning liquid for fortification as well as forgetfulness.
Inexplicably, Norrington continued to perch on the side of the bed, holding Jack's empty glass and sipping at his own brandy.
"Why am I getting the feeling you know something I don't?" Jack mused aloud.
"I can't let you go twice in a row. And after the lengths I've gone at your expense." Norrington conceded. "People will talk."
Jack raised his eyebrows. "They'll have a lot more to talk about if you keep me here. And as comfortable as your bed is, I doubt I'd ever get any sleep, even lying on my back. If you think you're going to be able to sleep safely, think again." Jack allowed his tone to get serious. He looked up at his captor. "I have no compunction to not truss you like a grouse and take the brandy as well as any other valuables for my trouble. A change of clothes, too. Mine are ruined," he added mournfully. "I suppose you burned them."
"I had the maids wash them, actually." Norrington regarded him. "You're right; I can't hold you here indefinitely. After you are recovered, I will have to get rid of you. Any thoughts on how we can resolve this, Mr. Sparrow?"
Damn this fever, Jack thought. The rum wasn't helping at all. Usually it provided the added grease to turn the wheels in his head, but on this occasion it was interfering with his pulse. Or was that the suppressed fear he was sure Norrington was detecting despite his own best efforts not to show it? Maybe it was the gamble of having been caught and knowing that he could very well go to the gallows this time.
Strange, one would think he'd have gotten used to it by now, the numerous instances he'd ended up in tricky spots like this. The thought of looming death still made him shudder. But he was Captain Jack Sparrow, after all, who never said 'die'. So the Commodore wanted to play dirty? Norrington had no idea who he was dealing with. Why was the Commodore stalling? Did the man himself even have any idea?
Besides, even for one who hated pirates as much as Norrington did, it was a plain and simple fact that it's damnably more difficult to send a man to his death once things get as intimate as Norrington appeared to crave from him.
Jack smiled, winsomely. "You've got me tied up here, there's no need to try to get me liquored up as well. I'm no shrinking lass or Governor's daughter."
It should have stung, the implication that Norrington couldn't get Miss Swann without the aid of similar advantage of either drink or rope. However, the pointed reminder somehow failed to nettle Norrington, who merely raked a knowing glance up and down Jack's form, still lying as he was beneath the Commodore's bedcovers.
Norrington raised a single brow at him. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you're interested by this sordid little scene. Unfortunately, you don't look up to par."
Jack glanced down at his still obvious state of non-arousal. He gave a shrug the best he could with his hands still restrained up over his head. "Sorry. The fever, you know. I'd be happy to oblige, but there's also the little matter of certain death. It always kills the mood."
Norrington swirled the contents in the bottom of his glass. "Most men find hanging a release, as they die."
That was not a very pleasant thought. It was true, too. Most men embarrassed themselves as they swung, choking… Jack grimaced at him. "That doesn't help any; now, does it?" He sighed again, heavily, and turned to regard the window. It appeared to be late evening, but could very well be dawn. He had no way of knowing. He wondered how much Norrington enjoyed watching the buccaneers he caught, dancing and dangling afterwards. "I'm definitely going to need more rum," he muttered.
"I rather think you will." Norrington commented. "I'll leave you the bottle." He placed it on the vanity table beside the bed, along with the two glasses.
"Ah, you'll have to untie me first. No sense giving me the bottle if I can't drink from it, is there?"
Norrington's lips twitched. Again with that damnable amusement. "You'll have to make do the best you can. Goodnight, Mr. Sparrow." He stood.
"You don't trust me, do you?" Jack asked, guilelessly.
"You're a pirate," Norrington stated, as if this was all the answer he'd ever need.
"Takes one to know one," Jack pointed out. For it was true, and even Norrington knew his reputation amongst the British Navy and pirates alike. He was feared for his hard line he'd taken against all freemen in the Caribbean. Although Jack had to admit, for most of them, it was well-deserved.
Norrington stretched and stepped away, towards the door. "Well, it's been pleasant chatting with you. Get some rest. We'll talk again once you've recovered."
Jack frowned in utter confusion and disbelief. "You aren't going to have your way with me, then?"
"Exactly. I'm not a pirate, nor do I molest my prisoners - even when they beg me to. Frankly, I'm surprised you fell for it. Like I said, you're a terrible judge of character. Whatever you were expecting, I'm glad to disappoint you."
Jack felt his insides flood with relief… and, yes, disappointment. Then, curiously, they were joined by something extraordinary. Admiration. He chuckled silently to himself. Norrington was a gentleman, after all. And a scoundrel to boot.
As Norrington moved to the door, Jack murmured, "You're a good man, Commodore."
Norrington paused. "It takes one to know one, Mr. Sparrow."
Commodore Norrington sat in his office, regarding the reports before him without really seeing them, a dark frown settled over his features that had become entirely too habitual as of late. He had arrived on Bermuda two days before, on a routine inspection of the island's particular assortment of guards and fleet as well as restocking his ship's supplies.
The adrenaline that had surged through him, when he'd been informed delightedly and with great pride by the lieutenant as that one accompanied him to his temporary quarters, that they had captured none other than the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, had been tempered with a sense of loss. After all, his own reputation was still marred by the fact he hadn't achieved it himself. It lacked the sense of justice and accomplishment that he'd been searching for, in chasing the bloody pirate all over the ocean, from port to port.
But somehow, at some time in the past few months of repeated unsuccessful attempts to apprehend Sparrow, the initial dislike he'd had for the man combined with his hatred of pirates in general, had transformed into something more heated. More necessary. And entirely directed at Sparrow himself.
The usual pursuit of hunting down scum and villains, which provided God-fearing honest folk - citizens and sailors alike - with protection and safety, had failed to supply the sense of duty and happiness it usually afforded him.
It was… personal. All too personal.
Catching other pirates just didn't deliver. And he feared that Sparrow was the one who'd turn the tide, forcing him to make an agonizing reassessment of his situation.
He'd lost the flamboyant pirate because of that rashly impulsive young Turner, and then his fiance as well, as she reneged on her acceptance of his marriage proposal. The only thing he'd got out of that entire debacle was a new sword. And of course the title of Commodore.
He had no need to lie to himself, though. He had secretly been just as relieved as the Governor, his wayward daughter, and Will Turner, to see Jack Sparrow fly free that day. He'd felt he'd done the honorable thing. Something the French called noblesse oblige - only he wondered if Sparrow had laughed, to see the dedicated Commodore, bane of Caribbean pirates, turned soft. Little did Sparrow realize that it had merely renewed the dedication to catch him upon his departure, for Norrington had thrilled for a while at the chase.
And he'd been so clever about it, too. He hadn't chased after the Black Pearl immediately.
Of course, no one could imagine that, once released, Jack Sparrow would do anything but take a direct course back to the Isla de Muerta to retrieve the treasure amassed by the Black Pearl's undead crew over the past decade. Norrington had expected it and, seeing no sense in hazarding his men and ships on that route yet once more, instead waited for Sparrow to make for one of the more frequented and pirate-infested dens, such as Tortuga.
Sparrow had outwitted him, however, and led him on a dizzy chase from island to island until the word had come from one of the Admirals, himself visiting of late from England, that perhaps the Commodore should stop running his fleet ragged and put his resources to better use… Laying traps, perhaps, and clearing the waters of what brigands did gather there, as opposed to devoting all his time to catching one mythical ship and her addled pirate captain.
Norrington sighed to himself and leaned forward over the charts and scattered reports, his head in his hands. It had admittedly turned into something a little too driven for even his own comfort, this need to apprehend Sparrow. It wasn't just for his pride and reputation, either; despite what the men and his own officers passed around behind his back. It was the ambiguous anticipation of that satisfaction: seeing the smarmy, arrogant pirate once more bound and off-balance before him.
Finding Sparrow in a state of fever, delirium and unconsciousness, as well as extreme dehydration and starvation, had been shocking. Not because he was denied the chance of catching him, or for the thrill of seeing the man so abused… No. It was the sheer exasperation of seeing Sparrow brought so low that he couldn't even react to seeing Norrington's arrival.
Denied the thrill of catching the recognition in Sparrow's eyes. That was important, and after he obtained that moment, Norrington was certain he could let the man hang at last.
Some devilish, ill-informed voice within him had whispered, however, that it would be a far better thing to bring Sparrow back from the hell he'd tumbled into only to awake and find himself completely in Norrington's power, and without the curious gaze of bewildered onlookers.
Hence having the man brought to his own quarters, where he could watch over his prisoner personally. In his own bed. It was to spare them both the public scene…
Or so he'd told himself at the time.
Norrington's frown deepened. He wasn't fooling even himself. And Sparrow knew it. Damn the man! That accursed brigand had robbed him of even the scantest traces of fulfillment, in his refusal to be shocked at Norrington's threat of abuse. Fear, certainly, but not shock. Almost resignation.
Hell, Sparrow had almost looked like he might enjoy it.
A small balm of relief was welcome though, in allowing himself the pleasure of knowing Sparrow was afraid, however aware he was of the danger his tarnished, long-gone virtue was in.
Which caused a curiously pleasant yet jarring idea to arise in his mind.
Had Sparrow been on the receiving end of such threatened abuse before? He mused over the possibility that Jack Sparrow had suffered such treatment from other men in the man's unknown past. It was one thing to seek out the company of men; quite another to have it forced upon one - as a humiliation.
The thought caused an unwarranted pang of concern and sympathy; as well as self-disgust at the excitement the images conjured in his mind's eye. Norrington wondered what it meant, that he'd come to this point. Of actually enjoying a captive's fear of his intentions. Of actually desiring to behave like a pirate with a desired prisoner before killing them.
His drive to see the Caribbean rid of villainous thieves and murdering cutthroats had struck terror and confusion through the entire Spanish Main. But now the desire to continue to torment Sparrow warred with the need to see the man hung and thus see this unwholesome obsession completed.
It was not a question of conscience or even ethics. He admittedly didn't even really wish the man dead. He simply wanted completion of this… thing, whatever it was between them. And the knowing accusation and resignation in Sparrow's eyes had not been as triumphant or pleasant as he'd wanted or expected.
He knew, quite possibly, far more of what was running amok through Norrington's mind and heart throughout their entire acquaintance. Right up to those final, uncomfortable seconds when his eyes had met Sparrow's wicked and yet somehow innocent brown eyes upstairs.
Despite the affected smudges of kohl that had always perpetually lined the pirate's eyelids were mere traces, the fever had made his eyes seem over-bright, and the man's vulnerability in remaining bound had stood in stark contrast against the power Norrington felt surge in him in response.
Nothing, not even hanging him, would erase that knowledge from the man's dark eyes.
Sparrow knew, despite Norrington's play a couple of hours previously, that the Commodore was in reality fighting the very impulse he'd threatened, to molest the pirate's fevered flesh - even despite his claim to the contrary towards the end.
The thieving bastard had robbed him of everything simply by allowing himself to be caught by someone else. What was it Sparrow had muttered - betrayal? Again. The man really was too trusting, for a pirate. He practically fell into getting caught.
Admittedly too, Sparrow had rescued Miss Swann before the two youngsters had hied off to follow Sparrow's lead to that cursed ship of his. Norrington remembered he'd had little compunction himself to be merciful. Sparrow had been an inconvenience, and then an even greater one, once the Turner boy had broken him out.
Maybe the stories were true: the Pearl's Captain had been exposed to too much sun at some point. Too much sun and too much rum. Norrington himself had seen the man bound captive before him twice, and in his own power thrice.
He was practically daring the Commodore to hang him at long last.
Norrington wanted to hang him. He did. Never mind the inner voice prodding him, practically goading him back up the stairs.
Norrington growled and stood up, shoving the chair back with the movement, the wooden legs scraping along the floor. No more than the scoundrel deserved. Why should he care, for God's sake?!
He was more tormented by Sparrow's presence than his absence. The pirate had got under his skin.
Pacing the floor, he had to admit to himself that this fascination had developed into something…wicked and dark, far too twisted than befitted an officer of the British Navy. He was no better than the men he cleared from the waters and shores of the Islands.
Straightening, Norrington concluded that the only way to see this thing through and finished for good was to have it out with the man, for once and for all. Even if it meant enduring the comments and unavoidable amusement at his own expense that Sparrow would undoubtedly hurl his way. He suspected Sparrow knew how deeply those well-placed jibes tended to embed thornily in his composure, despite his stiff upper lip he'd cultivated over years of hanging brigands.
He also suspected that the thrice-bedamned pirate knew he cared about his welfare. That was too much. Hang Sparrow; this time he really would do it. And there was no one around to rescue him, this time. No ill-informed Governor's daughter who romanticized pirate brigands. No starry-eyed youngster, far too certain of his own opinions and good nature to even question the inherent lack of moral consideration that taking up piracy would engender.
But then, a premature end to the chase simply would not do; he had far too much invested in catching the pirate properly.
Torn with indecision and with his blood coursing too violently in his veins with the desire to - what had Sparrow suggested - 'manhandle' him, Norrington angrily slammed a fist on his desk. He had to face the consequences of having the man tied in his own bed.
It was no longer a game.
Cursing Jack Sparrow under his breath with phrases that would have sent twin prongs of new respect and terror into the men who served under him, the Commodore stomped back upstairs to his bedroom.
Either way, they were going to have this out, he promised silently. He most carefully ignored the smug accusation in that silent, demonic voice that knew he'd be hard pressed to not help himself, once faced with the temptation of Sparrow's weakness again.
The sudden noise of the door awoke Jack. It was dark outside now, and he could hear crickets. At seeing Norrington's return, he lay still, waiting. Watching. The man was positively on the edge. Jack could tell. He'd seen it before, 'specially in the Brits. The poor sods always let themselves get so wound up; it was good to be out of the line of fire when the bastards finally exploded. Jack sighed.
It was going to be a bloody long night.
Sardonically, Jack commented, "You're back. So, not a gentleman, then."
Sure enough, the Commodore said stiffly, "I'm here to discuss terms."
Jack perked up. "Excellent. My terms are these: that you place me out on a flat body of water with no ships visible on any horizon - preferably with me own Pearl under me feet, although any ship will do. A proper meal for myself, and for fellow prisoners currently languishing in the holes. Still tryin' to figure why the Navy can't afford bread or water for the misfortunates."
Norrington raised a brow. "You mean unfortunates, I think."
Jack shook his head, impatient with the interruption. "Unfortunate miscreants. Or miscreant unfortunates - your choice. Further, I'd like my Letter of Clemency from the Governor Swann back, which was confiscated on my arrival and incarceration. I was, after all, apprehended on my return from visiting afore-mentioned Governor's daughter and her unlikely husband."
He waited for Norrington to react to this, and wasn't disappointed. The good Commodore hadn't been expecting that one.
"Mr. Sparrow," Norrington replied, in a decidedly aggravated manner. "I cannot let you go, nor can I simply let you die in prison. My reputation won't stand for the first, nor yours for the second. We will have to come to some arrangement."
"Clemency," Jack reminded him. "It was in my pocket."
"Out of the question, as the officer in charge of your arrest has already dismissed it in this case as null and void and quite simply inappropriate, considering your reputation, which I believe I just mentioned."
"Or you could hire me services," Jack suggested.
Norrington made a little noise of exasperation. "Unlikely in the extreme."
"As a guide - I can show you where Ned Redlegs makes berth."
The mention of the notorious Irish buccaneer sank into Norrington's brain. Jack fancied he could hear the plopping sound as it hit the water.
"Truly no honor among thieves, then," Norrington commented. "You'd sell out your own kind to save your skin."
Jack allowed himself an unpleasant grin. "He sold mine, once. 'Tis only fair."
Norrington was quiet for a time. "I would have thought that cooling your heels in the Yard would dent your enthusiasm for piracy a little."
"I'm afraid not, what with this fever and all," Jack pointed out. "And I do wonder what the lovely Turners and Elder Swann would say about ignoring a Sealed Letter of Clemency from their lovely selves."
Norrington appeared to be enjoying their little exchange. Jack found that more unsettling than the threats of despoiling their relationship earlier. Norrington said, in a voice unmistakably devoid of inflection, "The Turners are away on their honeymoon. And Governor Swann is engaged with other matters."
Jack brightened. "Ahhh, young love. Warms the heart, it does. It won't last, you know. It was plain to see it were doomed before it began. That miss has more pirate in her blood than old Bill's lad. But take a fuckworthy gentleman such as yourself, who could, might, maybe, perhaps win lady's heart once more, after the young cockerel has tired himself out with her, and tired her of his company."
Norrington's mouth curled in mild distaste. "Do you always attempt to offend those who hold your life in their hands?"
"I almost always, usually, generally do; yes. But it's all in a good cause."
Norrington took a breath and sat down at the edge of the bed again. "And what would that be, Mr. Sparrow?"
Jack winked and lowered his voice conspiratorially. "In my experience, the British have no sense of humor, the Spanish avoid one on principle, the Dutch have no idea what one is, and the Portuguese-" Jack halted. "Actually, they've been known to indulge on occasion. The point is, I'm simply trying to do you a favor, mate. A little gratitude wouldn't be amiss. Besides, I wasn't lying to you, when I told you I'd been rooting for you all along."
"Really." It wasn't a question.
"Indeed, aye… If she'd married yerself, the wedding would have been even bigger and lasted longer and such as me own self might have got more drinks in."
Norrington did not look happy at this reminder of the Turner marriage and his own loss.
Jack took that moment to insert a very necessary point. "You're going about this all wrong. The British didn't invent bondage."
"I fail to see why I should care, at this point," Norrington said, witheringly.
"It were the French," Jack explained. "Usually is, come to think of it."
"How does this help us to find a resolution, Sparrow? You're still tied and I'm still bound to see you hang."
"Now, maybe it's the fever, or the rum, or whatever that expensive stuff is you're wearing… Is it French? No? Rum, then? Course not." Jack nodded, wisely. "Brandy. But to return to the matter of hanging, it does seem it'd be a waste of your time, not to mention mine, to do away with me so quick like."
"For a man whose life hangs in the balance, you're doing a very bad job of convincing me."
"Shoot me, drown me, run me through; anything but hanging. Terrible way to go."
"That is, if I have you killed immediately," Norrington countered.
Jack rolled his eyes. "It's called negotiation. We're supposed to banter back and forth until we both come to a reasonable conclusion. And that, leastways, is what you said you wanted."
Norrington considered him. "Very well. I'll make a deal with you after all. Anything of my choosing, in exchange for allowing you off this island and making your way back to your ship."
Jack frowned. "And I'm supposed to believe you're going to just let me walk out of here?"
"You can try. You've survived worse circumstances. Just give me one good reason why I should untie your hands."
Thank God at last. The good Commodore had finally come to his senses. Or his senses had finally taken him over and he was now listening to some little demon whispering in his ear. Jack grinned, "Can't be done. You really shouldn't. I'd advise against it. I'll be out of here before you have a chance to tell me what your choice is. That choice you'll be making. About what you get in return for letting me paltry self out of this here hell-hole."
Norrington appeared to be stalling like a cat before pouncing for the final kill. The apprehension was finally joined by an arrow of heat in Jack's belly. This was more like it.
And then, a miracle happened.
Norrington's eyes narrowed as he stated, "I have a difficult time imagining why you'd consider my bedroom to be hell, my bed to be the Devil's, and me the Devil Himself."
Jack wanted to laugh aloud. He'd hooked him! Now to play the fishie before reeling him in.
As the upright, proper English Commodore actually appeared to be warming to him, Jack gave a little moue. "It's your island, matey. I didn't name her. Poncy, stupid sort of a name to give an island, anyway." He thought of batting his eyelashes at him and then realized it would be over the top. Oh well, it couldn't possibly hurt to try everything, he thought, doing it anyway.
Norrington almost smiled. "I hardly live here. Port Royal is my port of choice."
"Mine, too," Jack said with a degree of delight… before he could remember to stop himself.
Damn it all; Norrington thought he was flirting now. But really, Port Royal was the easiest place to get supplies, seeing as everyone knew the Governor and his family accepted Captain Jack Sparrow as part of said family. Well, not quite family - friend of the family, perhaps. Never mind the fact he always had to hide the Black Pearl out of sight, as they tended to stoke the cannons on sight of her. Something to do with the previous captaincy. Damn Barbossa anyway. He still had a decade of notoriety to replace, with all that Barbossa and his mutinous crew had accomplished with his ship.
And a little flirting never went astray, neither.
But Norrington seemed oblivious to his slip and merely leaned closer, saying, "Don't bother playing coy with me, Sparrow. Your kind have a saying, any port in a storm. I'll warrant you're as popular with the lads as the lasses."
"Speak for yourself," Jack smiled. "I'll bet all your little boys in blue just wet themselves when they see you coming. In that hat, those fancy trous, neat as a pin."
Norrington's lips did twitch at that…didn't they? Indeed they did. He saw it! It wasn't his imagination. Norrington was going to melt. He'd have to ensure the good Commodore didn't explode until a little later on. Jack suppressed a sigh; talk about having to earn one's living.
Damned British officers; they always pretended they were so uptight, when everyone knew they were the kinkiest, dirtiest sluts to cross the Atlantic, and always, always eager for a piece of ass. Arse. Ass? Hm.
"Just, one thing-" Jack said, quickly.
Norrington's good mood disappeared. He looked angry. "No more stalling, Jack."
"-Is it ass or arse, with you lot? I've never been able to suss that one out."
"What in hell are you referring to?" Norrington was nonplussed.
"Doesn't matter. I'm a bit of a stickler for the vernacular particulars, is all. Blame the fever. I always do."
Norrington considered him, looking him up and down. "Your hands stay tied for this. At least until a goodly time has passed."
"I've never heard it called that before," Jack said, with a tone of impressed admiration.
Norrington sighed at this point. "Are you nervous, or are you pretending that you are by pretending not to be?"
Jack brightened. "Honestly? I'm too nervous to pretend to be nervous, but then again, I could be not nervous at all but very clear that you'd prefer me to be nervous so I'm pretending I'm not nervous so's you'll think I am, even though I'm not."
He stared back at Norrington, meaningfully, wondering if the man had followed it because he wasn't sure he could repeat it for him, what with the fever and the lust and everything.
And the rum. The complete and total lack of rum.
And he couldn't even ask for any, as Norrington would undoubtedly think he was nervous after all and he really wasn't. Not now that Norrington had finally given in to the obvious fact that his Naval self was just as much a raving poofter as the rest of the Little Blue Boys in redcoats who trotted after him, devotedly clutching their bayonets.
Jack was delighted for him, in fact. Maybe Norrington would even stop trying to arrest him and attempting to hang him from a long rope. But even Jack couldn't quite rate his own charms and abilities as high as all that when all was said and done. Still, there was always the little trick that Rose had taught him that time he'd stayed over in St. Vincent.
Norrington broke at last. Jack considered a silent Hail Mary before remembering that Mary had never Hailed back at any time he'd uttered it previously and discarded the idea as Norrington's mouth came down on his.
Hard, hot, and no bandying about now, as the Commodore immediately began to savage his lips, hardly stopping to draw breath or let Jack draw his. Norrington actually growled against him, giving Jack the much-needed sensation of relief from the fear that he'd swing on the morrow.
After all, everyone knew that it's bleeding hard to kill a man in cold blood once he's told you he loves you.
And nigh impossible to respect him. Jack thanked whatever misinformed stars appeared to be granting him luck with the Commodore; his work was halfway complete already, seeing as Norrington didn't respect him and never would. Still, the appellation 'Commodore's Whore' had a nice, round, rhyming ring to it.
As Norrington's tongue slid between his lips, he did offer up a prayer after all, to the Patron Saint of Whores - to ensure Norrington at least finished what he started.
Norrington lifted his head, appalled at how easy and wonderful it was to simply - let go. Take what he wanted and damn propriety.
Staring down into Jack Sparrow's sinfully dark eyes, he gritted out, "You're a bloody nuisance and nothing more."
Sparrow had the temerity to actually wiggle beneath him. "You're forgetting, rather conveniently, that you tied me up, not the other way around. If I wanted to be nothing more than a nuisance, I'd have blown your ship out of the water last time we crossed paths."
Norrington swallowed, feeling the tension mounting within, rising along with the flush of desire coursing through his blood to heat his face. His breathing was coming ragged. "I let you go, actually. I certainly didn't want to chance that you'd go down with the ship and I'd be denied the chance to hang you."
Sparrow grinned cheekily. "Then why do men say you're afraid to cross swords with me?" He thrust his hips up, once, and Norrington had to suck in a gasp at the pleasure that careened through him at the lewd motion. This was not good; the pirate probably had more tricks up his sleeve than all the doxies on Bermuda combined.
With a grunt, Norrington held him down and claimed those lush lips once more. Beneath his hands, however, he could feel Sparrow's jutting ribs, plain evidence of the man's suffering since his arrival in prison. He lifted his head, breaking off reluctantly from that slick, hot, devilish tongue.
"Are you hungry?"
Sparrow groaned. "Aye, starving; get on with it!"
"No, I mean - you must be hungry after not having eaten a proper meal for so long. I'm not going to deny you food. Even a condemned man gets a last supper."
Jack was rolling his eyes. "Later, man! Take care of business first." The pirate actually shimmied in place under him.
Norrington released him and stood up, pulling at his shirt.
Mistaking his action, Jack exclaimed, "Wait, wait. It's a fair trade."
Norrington smiled down at him. "You know, it did cross my mind that you might be dissembling." He took off his shirt, and the wig. His hands went to his breeches. He was rewarded with Sparrow's look of realization and interest. "It's true, what they say, isn't it? Pirates are simply sluts."
Jack replied, as if wounded, "It's beyond passing sense why any man would neglect his knob as long as you've neglected yours, mate."
Norrington stripped off the last of his clothes, retrieved a vial of oil he kept on his dresser and joined Sparrow on the bed, moving under the covers and pressing close to that slender body.
"Shut up," he ordered, and proceeded to do just that, returning to the pirate's inflammatory mouth.
He tried to put it out of his head that the man was still feverish. Why in hell was he still finding unwanted tenderness and concern for him, even amidst the throes of lust?
The last candles in the room guttered and flickered, two of them going out and the remaining one was sputtering and feeble, giving a strange half-light to the tableau.
The sight and movement of the man beneath him, those thieving hands still bound above Jack's head, naked between expensive sheets, was enough to unhinge him. His heart was pounding erratically, thudding in his chest. The exhilaration at having Sparrow at last, claiming him, was all the reward he'd wanted.
"You're mine," he said in Sparrow's ear, shifting to lay full-length upon him.
The answering moan this elicited was maddening velvet in his own ears, rasping softly into him and reaching finally that core of self-preservation Norrington had always kept aside for himself. He wanted this man and, by God, nothing and no one was going to stand in his way. Sparrow could fly and he'd still belong to him.
Then the lean, supple hips under his bucked upwards, bringing their groins together. Sparrow began writhing under him, with all the carefree abandon of a Piccadilly prostitute. Norrington groaned aloud, "You bastard. I got you, Jack Sparrow. And I'm not going to let you go."
"We'll 'ave to see about that, won't we?" Sparrow asked, breathlessly, and far too mysteriously cocksure for Norrington's liking.
Sparrow's undulations were beginning to make him feel like he was riding a wave. He reached down to hold the man still, saying, "I could keep you here indefinitely."
"It's you that belongs to me," Sparrow said. He wasn't smiling.
Angered, Norrington sat up, pulling the infuriating man's legs upwards.
"That's more like it," Sparrow commented, happily.
Snatching up the vial of oil, Norrington covered two fingers and leaned down, holding Sparrow's lean thighs back with one arm and pressing one finger into that tight entrance.
"Just out of curiosity," Norrington asked in a casual tone, "How many times have you done this?"
Sparrow didn't answer, and Norrington looked up to see his head thrown back, his lips parting as his slick hole was invaded. Norrington let out a harsh exhalation. The clutching heat was silky and sweet and he had to have him immediately. He'd not indulged in this particular ritual with any man before, although now that he thought of it, Jack Sparrow was probably correct in his summation of the men who served under the Commodore's command. He added the second finger.
Sparrow was panting now, and didn't seem capable of coherent response, so he let go the question for later.
God, the man was beautiful like this, dark hair flung back on the pillow, helpless to Norrington's caresses, his eyes closed and with his mouth open, emitting sweet moans and gasps. Suddenly, skewering Jack Sparrow wasn't so much a thrilling act of power and domination in claiming him, as it was about enjoying the man's surrender itself.
A few deft twists of his fingers had Sparrow nearly shrieking.
All rational considerations fled hurriedly. This was everything, in this moment, here and now. Norrington decided that really there wasn't any reason not to take the pirate - none at all. Maybe that was what defined Jack Sparrow, he wondered; the freedom of being, rather than the activities free men engaged in. Even bound, Sparrow was free; more so than he was.
He withdrew his hand and reapplied more oil, this time slathering up his cock. The satisfaction of his oiled fingers upon it was a transient pleasure, as the inviting heat of Sparrow's ass awaited. Norrington's lips twitched, amused in spite of himself. As he moved into position and pressed the tip of his cock to that eager tail, Norrington said, "It depends on the circumstances, Jack. Really, in this instance, I'd say 'ass', as 'arse' tends to apply more towards an epithet rather than a euphemism or even apropos description."
"Fuck," Jack cursed, the desperation and need in his voice softening the oath and touching that tenderness within Norrington once more. "Just fuck me, sir. If you please."
With a little wonderment, Norrington said, "Why, Sparrow, I do believe you're begging." He punctuated this with a nudge, allowing himself to slip into Sparrow's tightness a bare inch.
Hoisting himself up to lean over Sparrow's body, the man's legs flung up over his shoulders, he stared down into that wide-eyed face. Sparrow's expression of complete abandonment to sensation was almost enough to make him plunge ahead regardless. But there was that curious tightening in his chest again, which made him want to take his time to do this properly.
To make love to him, Norrington realized.
The startling discovery tumbled through him, paralyzing him momentarily. It was swiftly followed on its heels by a vague sense of misgiving. Perhaps Sparrow was right; who actually owned whom, here?
Sparrow's voice was a hoarse whisper. "Please."
In a daze, Norrington obliged, sliding in deeper and his groan answered Sparrow's in that moment, their voices mingling in a wonderful harmony that, in Norrington's opinion, was far sweeter than the clash of blades could ever be.
Giving the man time to grow accustomed to his hard length within his body, Norrington asked, "Does it hurt?"
Jack merely grinned up at him, the wicked expression definitely tempered with pleasure and contentment this time. "You're a most accommodating Commodore, and no mistake."
Taking this as permission to commence, Norrington pulled back a little and then slid home, harder. The grin melted off Jack's face and was replaced with a ripple of what looked like pain. Norrington knew it wasn't. He repeated the motion, allowing himself to adopt a gentle rhythm. He wondered if he could make Sparrow come without touching his member.
Bending down, he laved at those pebbled nipples on the flat chest, enjoying the smooth skin and biting at it, making Sparrow squirm and babble nonsensical phrases.
Then, something reached his ears that sounded familiar. He lifted his head.
Sparrow licked his lips. "Harder. You'll have to fuck me a bit harder than that."
Flushing with the simultaneous shame at being caught in solicitude and the novelty of hearing those words from his erstwhile adversary, Norrington complied, shafting the man hard, and letting himself sink deep into him with every thrust.
That dark wave of disquieting, unsettling knowledge poured over him now, however, as he continued to punish the pirate's ass without restraint. The self-knowledge of his own need; not just for this act or even the satisfaction of having him, but to keep him. Was this working? Was it finally allowing him to bring the fascination to a conclusion, or was it merely fanning the fire?
He had the uncomfortable observation that he was stoking Sparrow at this moment with more than his cock; he was providing him with the ammunition to undo him afterwards.
But the heat and the writhing and the gasps and the angry, incredible, overwhelming thrill of shafting Sparrow deep and hard was too much, and he was resolute that he would make the man come just like this, penetrated and speared like a fish.
He redoubled his efforts and increased the pace, allowing shallower thrusts, and sure enough, Sparrow suddenly whined and then with a groan of release that had all the grace of pure death and delight combined, he was shuddering under him. Norrington felt the warm flecks flying up to speckle his body.
The ecstasy he was witnessing was enough to grab at his balls with an unremitting strength, and Norrington's mind melted, his senses darkening and the fire white-hot as it rushed through him and out of him, pouring into Jack's body.
Repeated, animal spasms shook him as he heard his own voice crying out, as if from far away, and he sank down as he was, leaning on Sparrow. He closed his eyes.
After what seemed an eternal age, Jack cleared his throat. Norrington didn't open his eyes, but sighed slightly, resigning himself to the inevitable randy comment or veiled hilarity.
Instead of either, however, Sparrow murmured, "T's alright, love."
Still buried inside him, Norrington slowly and quietly replied, "Is it?"
"Now it is, aye," the pirate said. "There's just one thing."
Norrington sighed. "And that would be -?"
"D'ye think ye could untie me?"
Norrington stirred, and pulled out of him, slowly, and reached up to undo the knotted rope from around Sparrow's wrists, releasing him from the bed. Contrary to Sparrow's belief, he hadn't been tied for the duration of his stay in the Commodore's bedroom; in fact, he'd only tied him once the doctor had told him that the pirate was going to survive the fever and recover soon.
No need to enlighten Jack on that score, though.
Sparrow winced, letting his arms down gingerly, only to place them on Norrington's shoulders, while one hand wandered through his hair.
"You're a good man, Commodore," Sparrow said, gently.
Norrington sank down, on Sparrow's left side, and pulled him close. "Far from it," he corrected. "I'm about to break several more laws tonight. My career is ruined."
Sparrow grinned, the gold teeth glinting even as the last candle died, leaving them in the pure blue of the dark Bermuda sky from the window. Sparrow chuckled. "I think not. You'll have incentive on the morrow, I promise."
"That sounds like a threat," Norrington replied, dryly. "Are you planning on going somewhere?"
"Aye," Sparrow agreed. "I have a future engagement with a certain Royal Navy's man on a set of coordinates that's yet undisclosed."
Norrington was silent for a moment, but didn't contradict him. "Your ship's gone."
"I always get her back, though. That's the funny thing about love, Commodore: set it free and what you love always comes back."
"Indeed?" Norrington was unconvinced.
"Aye. Like albatrosses. Impossible to get rid of. Although, admittedly even those blighted birds can be useful, on occasion. Too long at sea, away from port, even an albatross starts to look good."
"Hm. And I suppose it would be utter hypocrisy of me to point out that fucking birds is stooping a little low?"
Sparrow grinned at him. And replied, "Now, about that meal. 'T's true I'm still starving, mate. And a little dessert wouldn't go amiss, neither."
"I live to serve," Norrington said, caustically.
"And this time, I'd appreciate the rum."
"I have the impression you appreciate it far too often."
"Well, but I'm not the one slaking my lust on birds. Nor pirates."
"Liar," Norrington smiled. "I've seen the way you eye the Turner lad."
"Aye, eye indeed," Sparrow admitted. "Why ever not?" He lifted his head to peer quizzically in the dim light at Norrington. "Don't tell me you've fallen for 'im too? I don't fancy having to run you through over it."
"Not at all. I'm sure we can come to some sort of arrangement. I get the girl, you get Turner." Norrington was deadpan, but also completely serious.
But so was Sparrow, apparently. "Oh, good. Then we have an accord?"
Norrington took a breath. "So it seems."
"Excellent." The self-satisfied and smug overconfidence in Sparrow's voice was too much.
Norrington rolled towards him, capturing Sparrow beneath him once more. "You can whore yourself from here to China and back again, pirate. So long as you don't forget: you belong to me."
The surrender and assent in Jack's answering kiss was good enough a reply, Norrington supposed.
As dawn crept over the docks, so did a certain figure creep over them as well. Captain Jack Sparrow was the first pirate in the history of the Yard to actually walk out of there despite the full garrison of British soldiers and numerous guards.
Jack laughed under his breath as he liberated the Admiral's moored ship and set course for Tortuga, where no doubt Gibbs and the rest of the Pearl's crew were still mourning his 'certain death' in the Yard prison - in true buccaneer fashion: drink, song, carousing.
The Admiral's ship was far out to sea before it was noticed she was even missing. When an albatross saucily decided to perch in front of him, Jack considered grabbing his pistol. But then, it was only an automatic reaction. It would serve the Admiral right if the birds littered his deck.
Jack laughed aloud, enjoying the salt breeze and brisk morning air.
After all, he was sure that the good Commodore would be unable to help admiring the irony and perfect justice in discovering Jack had flown.
Upon waking, Norrington would find that his brandy was missing as well as his bird, and he was tied to his own bed's headboard with the same rope that had held Jack not six hours before.
- fini -
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