At my Command - 2/6
Fandom: PotC: Pirates of the Caribbean
Category: Angst, Romance
Series/Sequel: 1. Sequel to "Stranded"
Summary: Jack is Norrington´s prisoner
Warning: M/M, Slash
Disclaimer: I don´t own them. Nobody is capable of owning them.
Feedback: Yes, please. It´s my treasure.
Released: March 2004
Beta: Ysolde, Monika
Word Count: 2.905
Slightly limping because of his stiff, injured leg, Jack strolled around the deck of the "Dauntless". With lazy eyes, he watched the colourful sunrise, from crimson to blazing red, onward to orange and finally to a glorious yellow. It was a wonderful morning, Jack decided.
Carefully, his fingers traced the purple marks on his face, checking the cheekbones for damage. Luckily, that bastard Gillette didn´t break anything. Gillette had ignored his orders, Jack grinned at the memory, he might have provoked the lieutenant by some comments about his dear Commodore...Something about me breeches. Ah, yes. How filthy and ruined they were, thanks to Commodore Norrington.
Gillette landed a few before coming back to his senses.
But Jack couldn´t resist and despite the pain, started smirking and provoked the lieutenant further. "Aye, ye should have seen the Commodore´s ardour, when he got me half-naked. He was clearly warming up to me."
Jack had braced himself for another but the stupid, jealous lad had finally figured out Jack was provoking him on purpose. After binding his hands roughly behind his back, he´d left Jack alone.
It was quite simple to get rid of his bonds and with his dagger taken from it´s hidden place it was only a matter of time....
How could James forget that I still have it? He isn´t famous for his carelessness. Maybe, he hasn´t forgotten. Perhaps he wanted me to free meself, to get a chance to escape. Jack´s grin widened. Instead, I took me chances with him. Making me imprisonment as sweet as possible. Aye, it was sweet...and hot. I don´t regret me decision to pay him a visit.
"Where have you been?" Roughly, Gillette pulled him around.
"Eh? I´m here, ain´t I? Just watching the sunrise. Isn´t it a wonderful morning?" A broad smile went with that statement.
Not smiling back at all, Gillette continued: "Nobody has seen you for hours. What did you do?"
"Ain´t doing anything, Sir."
"Where are your bonds then?"
"I got rid of them, they hurt me hands. But I wasn´t doing any harm."
"So, where have you been?"
"If ye´re eager to know, in the Commodore´s quarters," Jack teased provokingly.
Surprisingly, Gillette didn´t fall for his trick again. With narrowing eyes but calm, he remarked dryly: "As if he would ever want to come near you voluntarily." Fed up with Jack´s presence, he turned around and walked away.
Jack noticed Gillette threw a quick glance in the direction of the Commodore´s quarters. Got ye, Jack sneered.
James had been still asleep, when he had left him. He hadn´t the heart to wake him. More perplexing, he didn´t want to leave his side. Waking up, me head buried against his neck, his arm wound around me, his hair tickling me skin made me feel...as I never expected. A stiff British officer made me.... Jack sighed. I´m in trouble, aye, more trouble than I´ve ever asked for.
Lolling against the railing, he noticed an unknown officer, who was staring at him. He was younger and more handsome than Gillette. "Aye?" Jack asked out of boredom.
Caught, the young man was visibly embarrassed, but he joined him anyway. "Ahoy, Captain Sparrow."
Jack frowned. "Have we met before?"
"As a matter of fact, we have. I was among the soldiers, who captured you in Port Royal, the day you saved Miss Swann´s life."
"Ah," Jack exclaimed, now getting interested. "That day, I was quite busy handling yer Commodore."
An amused sniggering escaped the young man´s nose.
Jack´s boredom was gone for good. "Was it that funny for ye, eh?" he teased good-naturedly.
"No. No, I didn´t mean to laugh but..." He blushed slightly. "Well, the event between the Commodore and you was quite...hilarious," he admitted finally shyly.
"Was it?" Jack felt cheered up a lot. "Was he very angry, when I escaped with the ´Interceptor´?"
"Certainly, he was furious, but still...."
"Aye?" Noticing the eagerness in his voice, seeing the sudden amazement in the officer´s eyes, Jack stopped. Begad! Even this innocent, young lad, caught me paying way to much attention to this matter. "Never mind," he concluded, disguising his curiosity. "What´s yer name, mate?"
"I´m Lieutenant Groves."
"Pleasure." Jack´s friendly smile was true. "Tell me, mate, what happened to me ship, to me crew?"
"Don´t you know? They escaped."
"After finding out that the Commodore and you had vanished; quite a riot was breaking out. Lieutenant Gillette was put in charge but he was a bit swamped with it."
Jack could see the young officer´s joy in the other man´s misfortune.
"In the chaos your crew escaped on the ´Black Pearl´," Groves finished.
"Isn´t it a wonderful day?" Jack was in ecstasy. He could barely resist asking more about James. It quite startled him, when Groves suddenly uttered out of the blue: "The day, you escaped on the ´Interceptor´, I was at the Commodore´s side."
"Were ye?" Jack replied, demonstrative half-hearted.
"Yes. You, taking the ´Interceptor´ right under his nose, made him absolutely furious, but still..."
Biting his tongue, Jack waited patiently, secretly longing for every detail.
"...he admired the clever way of your escape," Groves told him frankly.
"He did not," Jack objected, disbelieving.
"Oh yes, he did. I know, because I called you the best pirate, I have ever seen." The colour in Groves´ face deepened, it warmed Jack´s heart. "So?"
"The Commodore replied, ´So it would seem´."
Jack grinned. "Did he? It was only fair and square to teach him a lesson, after he had outsmarted me with that deceitful handshake."
Groves chuckled. "Indeed."
"Lieutenant Groves!" Gillette called from the bridge.
Quickly, Groves excused himself and rushed back to his duties.
So, Jack considered, he admired me. Me, the filthy pirate. This day is getting better and better. Life is bloody fantastic.
Two hours later, Jack was lying lazily in a boat, tied to the stern of the "Dauntless". Doing nothing, only killing time by observing the sky, and listening to the commands on the ship. No further events had disturbed his boredom. Jack was longing for a change.
Finally, it came.
The Commodore had taken the deck. Mustering the ship and the crew. Gillette´s eager voice floated to his ears. Then, the brisk, short answers of his lover of last night. Expectant, Jack stretched his idle body. Rightly. Already Norrington´s next question delighted his ears.
"Where is Sparrow?"
Smiling, he climbed back on deck. "I´m here. At yer command." His cheerful voice was drawing everybody´s attention.
Norrington whirled around.
Jack was hit by a glare that would have petrified every single one of Norrington´s men. Jack instead strolled casually up to him, grinning like it was the best moment of his life. In a way, it was.
Norrington waited, until Jack stood still, looking up to him.
"Why aren´t your hands bound, as I have ordered."
Oh, me dear Commodore, this is ye asking for trouble. "Last night, I felt the urge to get rid of the damn ropes. I needed me hands for certain activities, savvy?"
Groves only gaped, while Gillette yelled: "Shut your filthy mouth!"
The Commodore stayed calm, not giving a sign, what he was thinking. "Well, Sparrow, if you want to provoke...."
"Sail ho!" the man in the crow´s nest interrupted him.
A pity in Jack´s opinion, he would´ve liked to hear Norrington´s answer.
But now, forgetting about him, the Commodore took the spy-glass, handed over by a crew member. He went to the rail on the portside, looking through the spy-glass, not minding Jack.
"Is it a pirate, maybe even me ´Black Pearl´?"
Finally lowering the spy-glass, concern spread across Norrington´s face, his expression one that Jack had never seen before. Not even on the island, being his prisoner. "It´s not your lucky day, Mister Sparrow."
"Eh? Which ship is it, mate?"
The Commodore didn´t respond, the man in the crow´s nest informed him instead. "It´s the ´Invincible´! Admiral Mallory´s ship!"
Now figuring Norrington´s concern, Jack grinned at him. "The Admiral. Here. The most feared enemy of all pirates. The pirate´s executor himself."
Jack joined his side at the rail. "What´s he doing in these waters? As I know, his port is far from here."
"He´s coming for the Commodore, you bastard," Gillette burst out.
"Gillette, be quiet at once," Norrington ordered very sharply.
Delighted about that, Jack moved his attention to the "Invincible", which was getting in line with them. It was an impressive ship, much bigger than the "Dauntless". Next, Jack noticed, semaphores were given from ship to ship.
The Commodore was giving order to anchor.
On the "Invincible" a boat was let to water. It crossed the sea to meet them.
"Sparrow." Norrington was at his side. "Don´t speak to the Admiral. He won´t listen to a pirate. No matter, what you have to say."
"Sounds familiar." A smile touched the centres of his mouth.
"I´m not joking. In your own interest, shut your mouth. For once in your life, Sparrow."
Sensing his genuine concern, Jack mumbled softly, so only Norrington could hear him: "Savvy, James."
Strangely, Norrington didn´t scold him for using his first name, instead he sighed quietly. "Good."
The boat arrived at the "Dauntless´" side. The ladder was let down and three men were climbing up.
Jack identified the Admiral at once by his uniform and his age. He must be at least sixty. His hair was already grey, but he had a strong, grim face. Jack pursed his lips.
The most feared pirate hunter in the Caribbean. Unbelievable.
Leaning his back against the rail, he watched the Commodore and the Admiral saluting to each other.
"Admiral, it´s a pleasure to welcome you on board."
"Thank you, Commodore, it´s a pleasure to be here."
Now, to Jack´s astonishment, all formalities were dropped. The Admiral smiled with a warmth, he would never have expected.
"James, my boy, I´m so relieved to find you alive and safe. I was deeply worried when I heard of your disappearance."
Norrington smiled back. "Nothing to worry about anymore, Thomas. It was quite an adventure, but it´s over now."
Jack was hanging on his lips. Are ye sure, luv?
"I´m surprised to find you in these waters," Norrington continued. "You are far from home."
"Hearing what happened to you, I came immediately to find you myself. You know, after my son´s death, you are the only son I have."
Jack´s mind was rushing. The Admiral´s first name was Thomas. James had called him so. Thomas. Tommy. Could it be? Bloody curious, he tapped the near by Groves on the shoulder. "What´s the Admiral´s son´s name?"
"Pardon?" Groves replied, bemused.
"His name," Jack insisted.
"Thomas Mallory, the same as his father, I think."
"Was he called Tommy?"
"Sorry, I don´t know that."
"How did he die?"
Groves frowned, hesitating. Confronted with Jack´s intense black eyes, he weakened. "I was told he was killed by pirates."
Satisfied, because his suspicion had been confirmed, Jack was deliberating, what to do with the news.
"SPARROW!" the Commodore yelled, furious.
Jack whirled around, becoming aware James must have called him already several times. "Aye?" Limping, he reached the spot before Norrington, and put on his most disarming smile.
Irritated for a moment, Norrington blinked, before he told the Admiral in the coldest way. "That´s him, Sir. Sparrow."
"CAPTAIN Sparrow," Jack corrected him, taking to it like a duck to water.
No sign of amusement or anger in return. The Admiral regarded him from top to bottom, as if Jack were a slave, he wanted to buy.
Unimpressed, Jack repaid the bold look.
Finally, the Admiral spoke - to the Commodore. "So, that´s the pirate, who saved your life?"
"Are you sure, he wasn´t the one who put you in the water first."
"No, Sir. He was standing right in front of me, fighting me, when I was flung overboard."
"That doesn´t speak for him, does it?" The Admiral sneered.
Norrington didn´t disagree.
It made Jack uneasy.
"You know, James," the Admiral continued, "saving your life doesn´t change what he did in the past."
"I know, Sir. Pirate stays pirate. One good deed is not enough to redeem a man of a lifetime of wickedness."
Having heard quite enough now, Jack interfered boldly: "Though it seems enough to condemn him."
The Admiral raised his eyebrows. "Lieutenant Gillette, why isn´t that scum in irons, as he should be?"
Being at a loss for an answer, Gillette´s eyes were flitting from Mallory to Norrington and back again. He started stammering: "It...is...because...he..."
"I was bound and in safe custody, but I freed meself, Admiral, Sir," Jack came to his rescue. "The Lieutenant did, what had to be done and gave me a hell of a beating."
Nonplussed, Gillette blushed.
Catching an amused sparkle in Norrington´s eyes, Jack felt pleased with himself.
"Well done, Lieutenant," the Admiral praised.
"Thank you, Sir," Gillette murmured.
The Admiral took his attention back to Jack. "So, you are Jack Sparrow."
"Heard of me, eh?"
Norrington glared warningly at him.
Jack repressed a grin.
"Yes," Mallory admitted. "Well, Commodore," he addressed Norrington, "I think it´s better that I take the pirate into custody on the "Invincible".
Norrington startled. "What? Ermh...with all due respect, I can´t allow that, Sir. This man did a lot of damage to Port Royal. It´s my most important duty to take him back there, where he will be hanged for certain."
Observing him closely, the Admiral considered that for a long time.
Norrington´s face was stone-carved, not a blink.
Enjoying it to the full, being the cause of their conflict, Jack waited thrilled for the pirate´s killer´s decision. What damage did I do to Port Royal, Jem? Except, of course, saving yer fiancés life, throwing her into the arms of young Will.
Finally, the Admiral nodded. "You are right. He´s your prisoner. But put that scum in irons, will you?"
"Certainly, Admiral." - "Gillette, bring him away, clap him in irons."
"Ye think that wise, Commodore?" Jack asked quietly. "It was hard enough to get rid of the bonds." A meaningful smile.
A glare in return.
Jack chuckled. "As ye command." Pushed by Gillette, he was dragged away, a smirk on his face.
Clapped in irons and locked in the brig, Jack was resting on the ground, considering the new situation.
For sure, the following night won´t be as pleasing as the last, he mused. Me Jem is certainly bound by his principles and education, and the sudden appearance of the Admiral remembered him of them. Tommy´s father. The pirate killer, whose own son was slaughtered by one of us. Begad! It couldn´t be worse. No. It could be worse. Norrington could have given in to him. Let him have me without one tiny regret. But he didn´t. A sly smile played around the corners of his mouth. He couldn´t turn me over to the man, whose fame was in killing every pirate he gets his hands on. Even, if he´s Tommy´s father. Warm feelings swept through his body, he closed his eyes, imagining James, naked and on top of him, exactly like it was last night.
A sudden noise destroyed the image; someone was coming down the stairs. Curious, Jack drew himself up. "Who is it?"
For a second, Jack thought, he was mistaken, but then he noticed a moving shadow. "Commodore?" Finally identifying the man, who came down here to see him, Jack was truly surprised. "The Admiral himself is paying poor ol´ Jack a visit. I´m flattered, Sir."
"Watch your mouth, you scum."
Jack noticed the peculiar look the Admiral was giving him now, like he was searching for something.
"He won´t save you."
"Who? The Commodore? No. Never. Why? What did he tell ye?"
"It´s not what he told me, it´s what he didn´t."
"Not much of a squealer, me dear Norrington, eh?" Jack´s voice was full of undeniable affection.
Mallory sniffed, disgusted. "Whatever happened on that island, he won´t let you go. You will go to the gallows. For my son´s sake."
"Aye. For good ol´ Tommy."
"Shut up! You´re not fit to mention his name. You know, how he died?"
"Aye. A pirate killed him."
"You know how?"
"The pirate slashed his throat, and then he threw my son´s body into the sea."
Jack´s heart felt cold. "Did Norrington see it happen?"
Jack saw a glimpse of wetness in the Admiral´s eyes, before he turned around, leaving him with his questions and thoughts.
Jack sank slowly back to the ground. "So, that´s the truth then," he mumbled, addressing the bars, "the truth about James, the truth about him hating pirates so much."
He doesn´t hate ME. No? Certainly, he hated me the second I was threatening him with me dagger, held to his throat. Making him surrender - before I jerked him off. Jack sighed. If only I´d known. Aye, he must hate me. Fucking me doesn´t prove he likes me. The Admiral is right. I´ll go to the gallows and James will watch me die. A memory stung his heart, sharp and bitter. Blurry faces, shouting voices, ordering officers, gathering people. A woman, crying, a boy....
"No." In despair, he turned around, burying his face in the dirty ground, he was lying on. Do ye really want to see me hang? Do ye Jem? Do ye really want to see me dead? Killed in front of ye. Do ye?