Whatsername (st_minority) wrote in piratechallenge,

Challenge 16

Title: What Lies Beneath
By: Robes_of_Earth and St. Minority
Characters: Bootstrap and Davy Jones
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: We do not own the characters or the franchise; all belong to Disney, Rossio, Elliott, etc.
Word Count: 1,108
Genre: drama/angsty
Summary: A different curse lies at the bottom of the sea.
A/N: This takes place a little while after the mutiny. The first half is told in Bootstrap's POV, the rest is in Davy's.
And just want to say major thanks to robes_of_earth for being my wonderful writing pal for this! We did it!!! ;D

I’ve been down here so long, it’s gotten to the point where I forget I was ever alive. The life I once knew lurks at the surface of these waters, and I will never be able to attain it. It’s an unreachable goal.

The weight of the ocean at the bottom is unbelievable. Unbearable, even for one who can no longer feel the full sensation, but I do feel the effect within my body. I can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t think. Well, I suppose the last one is a bit of a lie. The only thing I can think about is the reason why I am down here in this god forsaken abyss in the first place. The punishment fits the crime, eh? Sentenced to die alone whenever that may be, forgotten as quickly as I had come, betrayed by everyone, and stuck in the middle of nowhere within the location I loved most on this earth.

You didn’t deserve what you got, Jack. I should’ve stood up for ya like the good man you believed me to be. My betrayal of you and times we once had are the only thoughts that filter through my waterlogged head. I can’t decide which is more painful: being down here with the reality of never escapin’ or knowing you died because of the stupid, selfish mistake I made.

I always thought a shipwreck would be the worst event to happen in my time as a pirate. That fate never occurred, and I can safely wager that colliding into a reef, starving to death on an island if I made it to one or drowning on the way would be better than this: strapped to a canon by my bootstraps in a place no one can venture. That irony doesn’t escape me; I’m sure the crew laughed hysterically and figured themselves incredibly clever when they shackled the canon to the objects that bear the same name as my nickname.

If there is even the slightest hint of redemption or the smallest glimmer of hope for getting out of this situation, I’d take it in an undead heartbeat.

Where is the captain of the ship of the depths that deals with men who are close to death? But I’m neither shipwrecked, nor where he can see me, nor dying, so he would not come. It’s of no consequence. He probably is a myth after all. Besides, I committed the crime of mutiny against my closest ally. Why would he care to have me be aboard his ship?

It’s destiny, I suppose – my limbs not falling apart is part of it as well, surely. It is rather surprising that I haven’t deteriorated. False, fool’s hope that such a thing hasn’t happened because of some other path for me to take is in the works.

I wish I could merely fall asleep and never wake up. Blast the curse to Hell! Send them all with it! They deserve to remain cursed for eternity.

And there lies truth for me. So do I; I deserve to rest here at the bottom of the sea, waiting aimlessly for some sort of an end. I’m no better than –

What is that? Something shifts several miles ahead in the distance. I can’t see it, but I can feel the vibrations of foreign movement. It isn’t a fish, I’m certain.

Has the judgment come for my wretched soul at last?

All that's lost to the sea I am free to take, and that means souls as well as things. Of these things, I keep what is useful; the rest I throw away, leaving their fate to powers greater than me. Of the souls, I do the same, but their desire has an influence on me. I never take without asking, and I never give without getting something in return.

And so it was when I met him- cursed pirate that he is. When I found him, so unwanted was he by the world that even his own kind shunned him. Strapped to a cannon and tossed over the side like an apple core. “Go to Davy Jones” they had told him, and with a shout and hurrah they dumped him over, and down to the depths where I be.

Every man that comes to my notice thinks on me as fiction, until that moment that matters most. It's not many that see me and live to tell of it to other men; superstition gets left alone when speaking of death- no man can say yes or no toward anything with certainty- and that's the best way to be, perhaps.

It wasn't a crewman I was searching for when I found him, floating in the brine like some kind of perverted balloon, weighted down by a cannon on the end of his boots. A waterlogged and miserable wretch he was, and quick to offer his soul in exchange for service on my ship.

"What choice have I got?" he says to me, as dour-faced as ever I've seen since. Not much lad, not much at all. The light in this one's gone out, but that's the way of it for most that come to me. They make the best crewman in such a state; a fire in the belly is nothing a man needs when taking orders from a captain.

Just before the deal is struck, I ask him as a matter of curiosity, which ship it was that carried a crew so cold as to drown a man in such a manner. With a voice as soft as shame he tells me- The Black Pearl.

He looks at me startled when I laughed - and laugh I did, a great cavernous bellow. To think that Jack Sparrow gave to me his eternal soul in exchange for a handful of years aboard that moldy barge, only to be mutinied upon two years in. And next he tells me it was first mate Hector Barbossa who lead it all, and my laugh is smaller this time, but full of no surprise - that old sea-dog's been around almost as long as me it seems, I should thank him one day for sending so many men under the waves.

And so it was that Bootstrap Bill Turner joined the crew of The Flying Dutchman- damned above the water and damned below it. If he did not fear for judgment beforehand, what terror must reside within him now? Or perhaps no terror resides in him, he seems as broken and as past caring as nothing I've seen. As long as Cortez wants for Bootstrap's blood, I expect he'll always be that way.
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