Title: On the problems inherent in taking a well-deserved nap while leaving control of one's ship—eh, boat—in the hands of a seven-year-old.
Prompt: 6, A wayward wind
Characters: Jack, William James (Jamie) Turner
Summary: Well, the title pretty much gives it away.
"Are you awake?"
"Do you think we're going off course?"
"No, I do not think we are going off course. In fact, I think going off course is the least likely thing we could be doing. Apart from sailing on sea turtles. Or pouring rum overboard. Moreover, I think that the fact that you think that I could think that we are going off course is highly disturbing, betraying a distinct lack of confidence in, and respect for, your Uncle Jack. Now, who know more about the tides and the winds and the general splendidness of the seas—you, young Jamie, or I?"
"You, Uncle Jack?"
"Precisement. Now, stop lifting my hat off my face."
"We've run aground."
Title: Whatever love is
Prompt: 4, Deception and lies
Characters: Ana-Maria, Jack
Length: dodecadrabble =)
I borrowed the title from Prince Charles. He won't miss it. I hope people understand exactly what is going on in this story...I'd love to know if it comes across as I intended!
She had planned to stop visiting Jack before it began to show; what she ought to have foreseen was that Jack—manipulator, twister and complete downfall of so many previous plans—would send this one, also, to its doom. What she should have realised was that Jack held would prove as damnably irresistible as Jack unattainable.
It was almost the changing of the watch, but she continue to sprawl diagonally across the great bed in the captain's quarters that was one of the hitherto unappreciated—by Ana-Maria, at least—treasures of the Pearl. Jack, curled neatly at her side, pressed his lips idly against her stomach, then ran his fingers teasingly across it. Even before she could respond, however, they stopped abruptly; after a few seconds' silent hesitation his hand moved again, this time in a distinctly exploratory fashion, fingers running firmly from ribs to abdomen and no doubt discovering an unexpected but undeniable contour.
His face lost all expression and after a moment's pause, during which she watched him intently, Jack said only, “Well, this is rather more unanticipated than it should have been, given our activities of the past few months. How long do you think—?"
She shrugged, never taking her eyes from his face, which was thoughtful now.
“Four months, might be.”
Kohl-smudged eyes widened slightly, but he made no comment on the length of time she had waited before he found out; the deeper question of whether she, given the choice, would ever have told him, remained unspoken by both.
Propping himself on one elbow, his gaze shifted to her stomach, brown fingers still caressing it almost absently.
“What do you mean to do?”
“What can I do, 'part from grow bigger?” she retorted sharply.
“There are...ways...of avoiding such a development,” he offered.
Ana sat up, throwing off his hand. “No! I don' hold with killing, Jack Sparrow!”
One dark eyebrow lifted. “The crew of the Donna Dolorosa, among others, might disagree with you there.”
She dismissed this remark with the impatience it warranted. “That's different. This baby, he never tried to keep rich men's gold from me, nor hurt me! Would...would you rather I kill him, then?”
Still she watched Jack's face, unaccountably anxious to hear his answer, following the play of emotions across his features: surprise, speculation, nervous tension, fascination.
“No,” he said at length. “I really think, all matters considered, reflected upon and taken into account, I would rather you did not get rid of said infant. I've never had a child before-at least,” he corrected swiftly, “not one of whose existence I have been made aware. The experience might prove to be...interesting.”
Interesting, Ana-Maria thought, half-hysterically. A shipboard birth with no help 'part from a crew of crazy men, me not able to fight or do duties for weeks, a baby keeping every watch awake, a child running loose around the Pearl-and he says interesting? Does he not understand what a difference this would make...or will he leave us when it suits him, careless as he is of those other children who could be somewhere? What kind of man is he? And what kind of father would he have made?
This last thought, she quickly squashed, finding that she could no longer meet Jack's bright, curiously eager eyes.
“Not for you,” she said harshly. “Baby isn't yours.”
She felt him still, and did not dare to look up, not knowing whether she feared that he would display disappointment—or that he would not.
“Whose, then?” he asked, tonelessly.
Again, Ana shrugged. “Who knows?”
At last she risked a glance across at the dark, vivid face so close to her own. It told her absolutely nothing; she could see in that single instant that the chinks she had worked so hard to open in Jack's armour had snapped shut once more, that the man she had managed to glimpse was again carefully concealed behind the persona, that some tenuous thing between them had been hacked apart. And it was only now that—whatever it had been—was gone, that she realised how important it had become to her. No use regretting it; she knew instinctively that, with Jack, the loss was irredeemable.
Continue as you started, girl!
“To be perfectly honest with you,” Jack was saying airily, “I find it difficult to comprehend what anyone could see in any one of my crew. Cotton's parrot's about the most attractive of the lot...child's not got feathers on, has it?”
She managed a smile, though she would rather have wept at this return of his brittle flippancy.
Nothin' to cry about; only the baby moods.
“Don't think it will,” she returned in kind. “Who would settle for the crew when they could have the captain?”
Jack, who had rolled away from her and was scuffling about on the floor for his breeches, looked sharply over one bare, golden shoulder. “You, apparently.”
Damn. Too far.
“Unless,” he went on, unintentionally rescuing her from her slip, “Four months; not one of those bloody—that is to say, is it possible that your child was fathered by one of our esteemed colleagues on the other side of the Pacific?”
Aye, may be!
“So, since you aren't going to get rid of it, but neither do you seem to be planning on lingering aboard my ship—since I imagine the brat's presence would bother us just as much, whosoever got it, and you so generously informed me that its existence will not prove of any interest to me—what are you going to do? Return to Singapore?”
Jack was babbling now, filling the emptiness with words, and they both knew it; he had done it so often before, but never with her. Not until tonight.
“No. Tortuga, mos' likely. I know it, and there's plenty of women like me there.”
“Not that I've met,” Jack said quietly, hastily adding, “And how will you keep yourself and the chick?”
“That won't be your concern, Jack,” Ana reminded him, but the words came out more tenderly than any self-respecting rebuke should. Defensively, she began in turn to gather her clothes from the bed and floor, stealing a glance at Jack as she did so. His back was toward her, graceful lines somehow stiffened, even the tattoos seeming to mock her.
“As you say,” he returned lightly. “We'll put you ashore on the next occasion we manage to give the bloody Commodore the slip. You will take your share of the plunder, of course.”
Knotting the laces of her shirt, Ana nodded, then reached out impulsively to touch Jack's arm. He did not respond, simply looked at her fingers resting there, a shade darker than his own. Awkwardly, she withdrew them, the memory of his skin against hers already growing distant.
Quite suddenly she wanted nothing more than to leave the cabin...strange, when for six months she had wanted nothing more than to remain there.
Hand on the door, she hesitated briefly. “I'm sorry, Jack,” she murmured, quietly enough that she thought he could not have heard. Perhaps he did, however; a ghost of a smile crossed his face and his hand moved in a deprecating gesture.
Title: Methods of fencing
Prompt: 2, Swords
Characters: Will, Jack, Elizabeth, Jamie, Teague, OFC
Notes: Assumes that Will and Elizabeth were able to find loopholes in the 10-year-rule
“This business is for Captain Swann,” he commented, amusement lacing his voice. “Since your heart is clearly not in it, perhaps we might adjourn...I've a curiosity to see them myself.”
On this occasion, Elizabeth did not need a second telling. In three strides she was out the door and a few seconds more took her around to where the lesson was taking place.
Facing her with an expression of intense concentration, Jamie wielded a blade perfectly proportioned to his eight-year-old self: the latest in a series of swords sent or brought to him by the father who fashioned them deep beneath other-worldly waters, but the first to be created of metal rather than wood. Will had refused to let anyone else instruct his son in the art of fencing and he now stood with his back to Elizabeth, so supremely at ease with the blade in his hand that it seemed almost an extension of himself. The two, however, were not quite as unevenly matched as they could have been; while Will had all the advantages of greater height, strength, experience and skill, Jamie had the distinct advantage of not standing in a tub of water. A shout of laughter escaped Elizabeth; of all the innovative ways Will had discovered of using a bucket full of salt-water, this was the most ridiculous. He glanced around at the sound, an expression the perfect mimic of his son's melting into amusement, dark eyes dancing and hair curling sweat-damp about his forehead; it could have been ten years before, for all the difference in his face as he smiled at her.
Her own grin faded, however, when she noticed the trickle of blood running down his arm.
“Jamie! What have you done to your father? Will, let me see that.”
He shook his head, parrying a surprisingly strong thrust of Jamie's sword. “It's only a nick; you gave me several worse when I was training you.”
“Oh, get out of the way, Lizzie,” a languorous voice voice interrupted. “You're spoiling the afternoon's entertainment, such as it is.”
Turning, Elizabeth saw Jack lying in the shade, hat tilted over his eyes and booted feet propped on a nearby coil of rope. Olivia was curled up a few feet away, and the pair of them were amusing themselves by throwing pebbles at each other; Olivia surreptitiously tossing them into Jack's hat, he abandoning guile and cheerfully flicking them at the neckline of the loose shirt she wore above a highly disreputable pair of breeches.
“You'd never have caught Davy Jones doing that,” Jack remarked. “Takes away somewhat from the persona of death and doom and all that, seeing a man up to his ankles in a bucket of seawater.”
“Actually,” Will contradicted amiably, “Jones did do something similar-don't you recall? You're right: it's amazing how much less intimidating he was after one had carried him in a tub. It was very awkward, too,” he added reflectively.
“Let's face it: you were never all that intimidating anyway, mate,” Jack retorted with one of his sly half-grins.
For answer, Will only turned on Jack an intense gaze, eyes growing strangely dark and deep, hair drifting above his shoulders though there was no breeze to stir it. A disquieting chill like that in the heart of a ship wrapped about them, only Jamie remaining unaffected.
It was Jack's gaze that faltered as, for once, he searched for words and did not find them.
“I learn quickly,” Will said softly, eyes never wavering. Jack put up a hand as though to ward off a blow and Elizabeth waited, watching, forgetting to breathe. Just as she thought the air would fracture with the power in Will's eyes, the corner of his lips twitched, and his mouth curved upward in his familiar lopsided smile. The sun returned.
“I didn't think you would expect that,” Will remarked, with whimsical satisfaction. “You always did have a tendency to underestimate me.”
“Did not,” Jack responded automatically.
“Did too,” Will returned. Jamie, taking advantage of his father's apparent distraction, had attempted to win the bout with a cunning approach from behind; without turning in his bucket, Will flicked his sword around to block his son's strike.
“Careful where you place your feet, Jamie. Did too.”
“Did too, and if you keep denying it, I'll give you that look again!”
Jack subsided, temporarily defeated.
“Bested twice in five minutes?” Olivia asked, amused.
“Was not-oh, don't you start, woman!”
Olivia laughed up to Elizabeth and Teague, who had watched these exchanges with mingled amusement and exasperation. “That would be a third defeat, would you not say, Captains?”
Jack, however, was no longer regarding her, having returned to the original debate.
“Alright, whelp, I admit it-I may, in the early part of our acquaintance, have borne a slightly disparaging attitude toward your abilities, but as your talents increased, so did my opinion of you; which is to say, slowly. But I will even go so far as to say that you were very nearly useful by the end.”
“End?” Will asked, something untamed and exhilarated creeping into voice and eyes. “It isn't over yet, Jack.”
Jack regarded him meditatively. “By the Iron Queen, you're right,” he murmured. In an instant his position changed from one of lazy relaxation to one of complete alertness, hat cast aside (with a small shower of pebbles) and sword in hand.
“What say you to a re-match?”
“You want me to show what I can really do with a sword?” Will asked, turning with a splash.
“I wouldn't say no.”