Heather Layne (heatherlayne_n) wrote in piratechallenge,
Heather Layne

Challenge #7--Ball and Chain

Title: Ball and Chain
Author: heatherlayne_n
Pairing/Characters: Jack/Elizabeth, sort of Norrington/Elizabeth
Word Count: Approx. 1,300
Rating: PG-13 for innuendo and language
Genre: Snark, humour, bit of angst
Summary: The opportune moment, an argument, a lost item and a kiss. Not necessarily in that order. Jack unwittingly tricks Elizabeth into doing something she'll later regret, but it sure was awfully fun to write. There might possibly be more from a different perspective of the same night.
Disclaimer: Do I really have to say it?
Spoilers: Through DMC
Warnings: Uh... pirates? Beware!
Notes: My first ever PotC fic, and my first post here. Constructive criticism is welcome, especially on plot (I've only seen DMC once) and characterization (as I'm still "learning" them all). I know the end's a little iffy, but I'm getting the hang of things. I hope.
Special Thanks: To piratechallenge for inspiring (FINALLY) my first PotC fanfic!

The blade of the dagger flashed in the candlelight as Jack twirled it in his fingers, chin resting in his free hand, his elbow on the table, brown eyes dull and unseeing. The tip of the blade was gouging a hole in the top of the map-strewn boards as he spun it, but he took no notice. It had been four days and the opportune moment had still not presented itself. Elizabeth had been staunchly ignoring and avoiding him since her first day on the ship when he'd asked her to persuade him, so Jack had been forced to take matters into his own hands... in the form of the small dagger she wore at her waist.

It had gone "missing" yesterday morning and though Jack had heard her asking several crew members about it, and could see her bright eyes scanning the ship for it now and then, he said nothing of it. It had been a simple matter to pluck it from her hip as she passed him, and though he received a glare for brushing against her (which he returned with a lascivious grin), she hadn't noticed the blade had disappeared until it was much too late. Now she was forced to tear off hunks of bread for meals instead of slicing them, and if she needed a length of rope cut, she had to either use her sword or borrow a knife, and of course she was much too proud to ask for one.

At once he decided now was the opportune moment, whether it wanted to come or not, and after brushing the bits of mangled wood from the table, he stood and swaggered out of his cabin onto the deck. Immediately the salt breeze refreshed him and he took a long, deep breath as it tickled through his hair and across his neck. Now this was freedom. Except for the beastie that was after him, the sea-devil that coveted his soul, the young blacksmith whose life he had put in peril, and the ever-distracting Miss Lizzy Swann. There she was, leaning on the edge of the ship and gazing down into the black waters, dirty hair blowing to one side, trousers snug around her calves. "I happen to still 'ave that no dress in me cabin," he smirked as he leaned against the polished wood next to her. She turned to him, mouth open and eyes flashing, but before she could reply, he flicked the dagger out from his hand and offered it to her handle-first. "Lose something?"

"Yes, thank you," she spat as she reached for it, but he flipped the knife again to point the blade at her palm. She froze, and Jack chuckled as he turned it around once more to push the handle into her fingers.

"Best be more careful with your things, Miss Elizabeth," he smiled. She snatched the dagger away from him and shoved it into its holster on her belt, already turning to walk away, but he added, "Like that blacksmith o' yours," and she stopped.

"Will wouldn't even be in this mess if it wasn't for you," she snarled, turning to face him again.

"Rather if it wasn't for you," Jack returned, pushing off from the railing and swaying toward her to close the distance between them. "'E got 'imself in this mess to save your skin, missy."

"My skin didn't need saving. He should have taken me with him."

"He does need quite a bit o' looking after," Jack said, his voice low, almost conspiratorial. He moved closer to her. She didn't back away. He moved closer still, so he could feel her breath on his cheek. If he just tilted his head to the side....

Elizabeth jerked away and looked down at the deck. Her eyes stung a little. From the wind, of course. "I was so ready to be married," she whispered, her straight shoulders slumping a little.

"Ol' ball and chain, eh?" Jack asked. "Well, maybe just the chain bit. 'E is a eunuch, after--"

"Oh do stop it!" She stamped her foot, an echo of the lady she had been what seemed like ages ago. "I love Will, but I am chained to no man!"

By the Pearl, she was beautiful when she was angry. Nostrils quivering, bright spots on her cheeks, her lovely jaw set defiantly. "But you wanna be," Jack said, sweeping his hands up gracefully, both index fingers pointing out his view on it.

"I want to be married!"

"Same thing, if ya ask me," muttered Jack.

"What do you know about it? What do you know about any of it?" she exploded.

"Way I see it, luv," he said, swaggering toward her again, "you seem to be continually convincing yourself o' your love for Mr. Turner when pr'aps... just pr'aps... your wicked little heart lies elsewhere."

"And where would that be?" she demanded.

His lips slid up in a grin as he slipped his hand down to his belt. "Do you care to use my compass?" he asked, holding it up on its piece of twine.

"I most certainly do not!" she snapped. "No bit of voodoo can tell me where my heart lies!" In truth she was frightened of just where it would point. She didn't know if the needle would spin and sway to end up pointing out to sea, out to Will, or if its destination would be somewhat... closer. She didn't want to know.

"Fair 'nough," Jack said with an easy roll of one shoulder. She turned and started to stalk away. "Ball and chain," he whispered teasingly, pivoting away to stumble off toward the stern of his ship.

Suddenly Elizabeth grew very hot and she couldn't quite see straight. As usually happened when she was angry, she did something completely irrational without thinking about it for a single second. Her hands went out to the lapels of a passing sailor's coat and she dragged him in to smash her lips against his in a messy, bristly, rum-saturated kiss.

Unfortunately those lips belonged to James Norrington. The hand not holding his bottle of rum snaked up the outside of her thigh to squeeze her hip as he drunkenly leaned into the kiss. He stank of pigs and piss and ale and sweat yet still she kissed him, hoping to God that Jack was watching so her point would not be proven in vain. At last she pulled away, her head snapping round to judge Jack's reaction. James reeled from the kiss' abrupt end and staggered back a step, his hands falling to his sides once more, unable to speak. She didn't even see him. "I am chained. To no. Man," she said again, meeting his shining dark eyes.

Jack said nothing, just canted his head to one side, studying her. The line of her throat beneath that lifted chin, the sleeves of her shirt billowing like sails in the wind, her haughty honey-gold eyes. Slowly he nodded, as if acknowledging an equal.

That was enough of an answer for now. She turned on her heel and strutted past James, feeling the Captain's eyes on her back as she descended the stairs to her hammock. What had she just done? She was more confused and conflicted than ever. And she needed a strong drink to get the taste of James Norrington off her tongue. Where did these bloody pirates keep the rum?

"You know," Jack mused softly, stepping and swaying toward Norrington. "I think she may be right." He clapped his hand on the man's shoulder, and a moment later the cabin door closed with a soft click. Captain Jack Sparrow had a lot of thinking to do tonight. Or he might take a page from Norrington's book and try not to think, finding solace in the bottom of a bottle.

In the end, that's what they all three of them did. At least they had identical headaches the next morning.
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