Me Treasure - 1/6
Fandom: PotC: Pirates of the Caribbean
Category: Angst, Romance
Series/Sequel: 2. Sequel to "Stranded"
Summary: Jack and Norrington are far from safe
Warning: M/M, Slash
Disclaimer: I don´t own them. Nobody is capable of owning them.
Feedback: Yes, please. It´s my treasure.
Released: February 2004
Beta: Monika, Ysolde
Word Count: 3.022
"A ship!" Norrington repeated, amazed.
The pirate shaded his eyes to take a look for himself. "What ship?"
Squinting against the sun, Norrington tried to make out the symbol on the wavering flag. Finally, he sighed. "It´s a pirate. Your luck is holding again."
Sparrow´s hand dropped quickly. "Ain´t no pirate, mate."
"Come on. Look at the flag. Who else would it be?"
"Someone, something much worse. A disease, a nightmare of the ocean."
"What are you talking about?"
"Inhuman, remorseless, horrible monsters."
Norrington smirked. "Sounds like someone I know."
"I´m bloody serious. Those are slave traders. Fun time is over. Savvy?"
Norrington didn´t answer. He couldn´t reply, he was having fun. By doing what? Kissing a pirate, getting jerked off against my will, being sucked by his filthy mouth. Humiliation is fun for me now? Well, part of me liked it. Liked it a lot. It had been fun.
"What´s on yer mind, mate?"
"Huh? You ...You think we should hide?"
"No, it won´t help us. We have to get off the island. The ship is our chance. First, we have to get on it, then we´ll figure out what we´re doing next. Savvy?"
Confused by the rushing events of the early morning and his thoughts, Norrington just nodded in agreement.
A group of men in a boat were rowing towards them.
"Here they come." Sparrow´s voice was dead serious. "One more thing. Don´t tell them yer real name. Lying is better, trust me. Can ye do that? Just once."
Nodding again, Norrington kept watching the little boat. He wasn´t feeling very well. Not like himself. Confused, troubled, frightened and - horny. For God´s Sake, he scolded himself. What´s wrong with me? I must be really mad. Truthfully, his life had never been so adventurous. Not even with Tommy. Slave traders. Oh, he had already met some in his life but he´d met them as James Norrington, officer in the British navy, with a whole crew at his back. Never like this. Stranded on an island, with a pirate by his side. A man, who remained his enemy even though James became more and more attached to him.
"What´s on yer mind now?"
"Nothing to interest you."
"Really, luv. Yer face doesn´t look that way. Yer..."
"Be quiet. They are here."
A very distinguished looking man jumped out of the boat, splashing the water with his boots. Smiling, as friendly as a snake, he greeted them cheerfully: "Ahoy, Gentlemen! I never expected such interesting company here." The owner of the silky-soft voice had sandy hair, blue cold eyes and a small, handsome face. Compared to the crew behind him, he was dressed elegantly, almost like a gentleman. "May I ask who I have the pleasure of being acquainted with?" the well-dressed man continued smoothly.
Norrington wanted to answer, but Sparrow beat him by a second. "I´m Jack and this is...," he paused, Norrington dropped quickly in, "...James Mallory, traders. Our ship was entered by pirates and sank. Bloody pirates. They should be killed, all of them."
A gleam of amusement flashed in Sparrow´s eyes.
"Really?" the distinguished, snake-like-smiling man commented, amused. "John Wellington. Me and my crew are in the trading business too." He observed Sparrow from top to bottom, suddenly grinning. It was an evil grin, without mercy. "Liar. I recognize a pirate when I see one."
Straightening to his full height, Sparrow was smiling as cheerful as the day Norrington had first met him. "Aye. Ye caught me, name is Jack Turner. Certainly, ye have already heard of me?"
Baffled by his cockiness, Norrington didn´t notice Wellington´s attention turned to him. "I´m not sure about you. Even looking pretty battered at the moment, you´re no pirate. On the contrary, I would say."
Concerned, Norrington´s muscles tensed as he said carefully: "You´re right. I´m a trader AND a gentleman."
"Lying so easily," Wellington mocked.
"It´s no lie." Norrington became angry. A muscle-packed crew member with a tattooed chest came straight forward and grabbed his naked arm, as he realised that his shirt was still wrapped around Sparrow´s leg.
Tattoo chest grinned. "I´ll bet, you´re lying. What a white skin. You´ll bring a high price on the market."
Infuriated, Norrington tore his arm free and without warning knocked the thug to the ground. "Don´t touch me again, you dirty pig."
Dazed, the brute staggered back to his feet, pulling out a knife.
Quickly, Norrington pulled the dagger from Sparrow´s sash. Despite the seriousness of their situation, seeing the pirate gape in surprise amused him.
"Stop it at once!" Wellington ordered sharply but quietly. "Red-eyes put your knife away - now. I don´t want our precious goods damaged before we sell them on the market. Understood?"
Grinning viciously, Red-eyes obeyed.
Norrington felt sick.
Friendly, Wellington addressed him and Sparrow again: "I hope, you won´t make the mistake of fighting us, but come willingly onto the boat?"
Trembling with anger and fear, Norrington was prepared to give him a proper answer, but swiftly Sparrow took the dagger out of his hand and handed it over to Wellington. "Aye, Sir. Whatever ye command." He took Norrington´s arm. "Come on, James. Let´s get out of here."
Suddenly calm, Norrington let Sparrow walk him to the boat and they got in. Sitting shoulder by shoulder, the boat left the island, heading for the ship. Only now, Norrington removed Sparrow´s hand from his arm, very gently and slowly.
Observing this with much interest, Sparrow mumbled softly in his ear: "Ye stunned me, mate. Battered like ye are...," an amused chuckle, "...ye´ve quite a blow. Ye almost knocked the man out."
"What do you want?" Norrington barked.
Sparrow grinned happily. "I was thinking, with a knockout like that, ye could have beaten me anytime. Now, I´m asking meself..."
"...why didn´t ye?"
"The trouble with you Sparrow is, you never stop bothering me. Can´t you just forget about it."
"I will. But just for the moment, not forever."
Norrington glared at him and the pirate fell silent pretty fast. Oddly enough.
Well, why didn´t you knock Sparrow out when you had the chance? the voice in Norrington´s mind kept asking. But he couldn´t answer his own question.
Seeing the ship of the slave traders coming closer and closer, Norrington fixed his attention on more urgent problems. It was a fine ship, beautiful, despite her owner. By the admiring look on his face, Sparrow was thinking the same. They were ordered to climb up the ladder. Roughly pushed around by the crew, they were clapped in irons and brought below deck. Norrington felt caught in a blurry dream - a nightmare, so exhausted he felt himself distanced from the situation and saw himself as others would, dirty, worn out, captured, a common criminal. He sank to the ground, thankful for being alone. Not quite alone. "What are ye thinking?"
"About us - this morning?"
"No," Norrington burst out. Tilting his head, Sparrow gave him a smile, Norrington remembered from that one day in Port Royal, when they had first met. A dashing, irresistible smile. Back then, he had been teasing him, provoking him, matching with him. Like now, today. What would have happened, if they were still on the island? Don´t lie to yourself. Eventually, I would have given in to him. Let him take me completely. I feel so drawn to him. It´s better this way. Not being alone with him, anymore. Safe from his incredible persuasiveness. Oh yes, he is good.
"James?" Sparrow touched gently one of his thighs.
Without thinking, Norrington sailed into him. "Not here."
Sparrow chuckled with affection. "Ah, savvy. Alone, ye wouldn´t refuse me."
"Shut up. That´s not what I meant."
"What did ye mean then, eh?"
Ashamed, Norrington searched for the proper words, but he didn´t find them.
They stared in each others eyes. Time stood still.
Serious looking, the pirate lifted his hand and stroked over Norrington´s cheek.
The Commodore held still, only his lips were moving.
At the same moment, the hatch over their heads was opened.
Startled, Norrington flinched back from him, still catching the sparkle of fire in the deep blackness of Sparrow´s eyes.
Someone was climbing down.
Norrington recognized the man; he had knocked him to the ground. Red-eyes Wellington had called him.
Grinning, the thug came closer, checking him out from top to bottom.
Brilliant, Norrington realized. What is it with me and criminals? Is it me? Do I come onto them in some way?
Red-eyes was obviously satisfied with his survey. "What white skin, what a body, definitely a good catch. What´s your name, cutie?"
Quickly, Sparrow shoved himself between Norrington and the slave trader. "None of yer business. Leave him alone."
"Got yourself a protector," Red-eyes mocked. "A handcuffed one, who couldn´t fight me, even if he were without irons."
Sparrow uncurled his body to full size. "Wanna bet?"
"Come on, pirate. What is he to you? Your lover?"
"No," Norrington snapped. "I´m certainly not. He is nothing to me."
"What did you come down here for?" Norrington demanded, annoyed.
"The captain sent me to check on you, so you wouldn´t get any ideas. If you know what I mean?" He went back to the steps, climbing up again. "Wait and see, cutie. Someday, you will be without your pirate-slut."
The hatch closed.
Blazing red, Norrington looked at the ground.
Sparrow said nothing.
"I don´t need your protection!" Norrington accussed him.
Amused, Sparrow lifted his eyebrows. "Aye. Ye could take me or him, anytime."
"I can stand up for myself. I´m an officer in the British navy."
"No, you´re not. Only, because I didn´t fight...." Suddenly, he clapped his mouth shut, realising what he would have almost admitted.
But Sparrow, never being slow in getting things, had already caught it. "Ye weren´t never really fighting ME, eh?" The pirate´s tone was light, but he looked pretty serious.
Norrington finished their conversation by turning around, trying to find himself a place to lie down. He couldn´t respond to a question he didn´t know how to answer himself. Stretching out on the wooden planks, he waited for Sparrow´s mockery. It didn´t come. Not a word. In silence, they waited together, thinking their own secret thoughts.
A while later the silence was disturbed.
A man, unknown to them, opened the hatch. "The captain wants to see ye at once."
The sound of rattling chains told Norrington, the pirate was moving, obviously eager to confront their captor. Maybe, being forced to sit around, unable to do anything was the worst punishment for him. He followed Sparrow on to the deck. Reaching it a few moments later, Norrington saw the pirate standing by the unknown man.
Smiling friendly, his usual self, Sparrow obviously didn´t mind the man´s company.
Anger rushed through Norrington, anger and.... "It´s interesting to see, you never fail in finding yourself a toy you can play with," he mocked, joining them. It startled him, how his voice sounded, jealous instead of cynical.
After a surprised look, a wide grin split the pirate´s face.
"What?" Norrington snapped.
"Just figuring something out."
The handsome slave trader took his part in the conversation. "Jack, yer lover...."
"I´m not his lover!" Norrington shouted, so probably every man on deck heard him.
Burning with shame, the Commodore continued much more quietly: "We are enemies. Nothing else."
"No, he´s not mine. Never will be," Sparrow added airily.
Biting his tongue, Norrington walked away, but he couldn´t help himself to look back.
The slave trader was saying something to Sparrow, who threw thereupon a very amazed look in his direction. Showing a surprisingly good mood, Sparrow and his new companion followed him to the quarters of Wellington.
Standing side by side in Wellington´s quarters, Norrington´s curiosity took over. "What did that bugger say to you?"
"Who? Ramon? Trust me, ye don´t wanna know."
"Sparrow...." he started and was interrupted by Wellington, who came in. At once, Norrington felt uncomfortable. He didn´t like this man, who was pretending to be a gentleman. He could spot a mean bastard immediately. It was a gift he´d had for years. It´s why, he knew from the start that Sparrow was...even though he was a pirate and filthy, but....
"Let´s start from the beginning," Wellington announced. "Names?"
"I already told you. James Mallory," Norrington answered icily.
"Aye, and I´m Jack Turner."
"I know, you´re lying. You are a pirate and you are a gentleman. Finding you together on that island is pretty strange. Don´t you think? What´s your story?"
"We have none," Norrington muttered.
"Are you lovers?"
Sparrow rushed in, before the Commodore could even blink. "No we are not. He would never touch me, filthy as I am. Savvy?"
"Were you marooned?" Wellington asked, not joining the pirate´s light tone.
"Sort of," the pirate said mysteriously.
Wellington´s lips were twitching. "I know, you´re nothing but trouble Jack Turner, but you...," he fixed his eyes on Norrington, "...will bring a good price on the market. White skin, good, strong body, gentleman looks."
Norrington was boiling with rage. "I will be never anybody´s slave. Never. You can kill me first."
The slave trader´s polite smile vanished. "Really? We´ll see. I have captured tougher men than you and I broke them all."
Competitive, they stared into each others eyes.
Sounding as cheerful as ever, Sparrow broke the stalemate. "Ye don´t intend to choose him before me? All gentlemanly and uptight. No fun lies in there. I can tell, savvy?"
Norrington´s head jerked around. "Shut up!"
Laughing, Wellington turned his attention back to Sparrow. "Yes? Well, maybe for you. For me, the challenge is half the fun." Then, he called for Red-eyes.
Obviously waiting outside, the muscle-packed man quickly appeared. "Aye?"
"Take that one back." Wellington pointed at Sparrow. "I´ll talk to this one in private."
Getting seriously nervous, Norrington noticed genuine concern in Sparrow´s eyes too, but he hid it quickly behind his familiar cheeriness. "Pity. Could have had me. But I would never force meself on anyone."
Leering at Norrington, Red-eyes pushed him outside.
Alone with the Commodore, Wellington went back to his conversational tone. "Now, here we are, finally alone, let´s talk frankly, about you. What´s your name?"
Preparing himself for the worst, Norrington didn´t answer.
Without warning, Wellington hit him in the face.
Norrington´s lip split open, blood dripping from his mouth.
"What is your connection to the pirate?"
"None, coincidence, we were together on that island."
"I don´t believe you. I saw the way he looks at you. And you, the way you look back."
"No." Norrington´s face became stone-carved.
"Oh yes. I think you already have given in to him, haven´t you?"
"Even if I had, I would never tell you."
Wellington grinned viciously, then he touched Norrington´s bare chest, his hand sliding salaciously down.
With blank eyes, the Commodore pulled back. "Don´t touch me, you bloody bastard." Another hit in his face. More blood was dripping, down his chest, on to the ground. "You can hit me as much as you want, I still won´t tell you."
Wellington´s eyes narrowed. "You actually have a choice, think about it. You can be with me, enjoy a good life as a slave trader or you can be sold on the open slave market, like any ordinary scum. The choice is yours."
"Well, maybe you can sell me, but you can´t buy me." With these words, Norrington spat his blood before the slave trader´s feet.
The face of his captor became icy. "As you wish." Then, he yelled for Red-eyes, who appeared almost at once. "Aye Sir?"
"Let´s give the gentleman a flogging. Maybe, he will realise, he isn´t in charge anymore."
Visibly pleased by the prospect of punishing him, Red-eyes dragged Norrington by his irons outside and chained him to the main mast.
Surprisingly, Norrington didn´t feel any fear, only cold fury. Something like this had never happened to him. It was almost unbelievable. Wellington´s next order made him even angrier.
"Bring his pirate friend. I want him to see this."
Norrington didn´t want Sparrow to witness his humiliation by this scum. Hadn´t he been humiliated enough by Sparrow himself? The sound of Sparrow´s voice floated to his ears.
"Listen Captain, ye got us all wrong. We are...."
"Shut your mouth, or I´ll give your friend twenty strokes more."
With his face leaning against the mast, Norrington couldn´t hear anymore complaining, but Wellington´s satisfaction.
"Oh, I was right, wasn´t I? You do care about him. This will be fun for you then."
Despite his lot, Norrington found himself wondering. Does Sparrow really care about me? The first stroke came suddenly; it tore his flesh open in a biting rage. Flinching slightly, he pressed his hurting lips together, keeping himself from crying out. He wouldn´t, not before Sparrow, nor that scum Wellington. He armed himself for the next stroke and tried to shut his mind. The second stroke came, almost unbearable, but again he didn´t make a sound. Think about something else, something better, something good. Kissing Sparrow? The third stroke. He bit his tongue. He wouldn´t cry. The isle. Sand and sun. Making out. The fourth. The burning pain in his back became insufferable, he was breaking up. Not much longer and he would....The fifth stroke made him clench his teeth so fiercely, more blood from his mouth spilled over his chin, dripping down his front.
"Enough!" Wellington ordered suddenly. "He will lose too much value on the market. Take him down, Red-eyes. His pirate friend can take care of him."
Feeling hands assisting him, Norrington knew at once, they were Sparrow´s. "I can walk alone," he growled, spitting blood.
Sparrow let go of him and Wellington chuckled.
Dazed by the pain, he staggered down the steps below deck, hearing Sparrow´s request to the captain: "What about some water, mate?" Norrington didn´t hear the answer. Getting to his knees, he sank down on the wooden planks. He didn´t want to talk, or think or feel. Just to be left alone. Rattling chains and light footsteps told him he wasn´t.
The pirate was here too.
The enemy became the ally.