Heather Layne (heatherlayne_n) wrote in piratechallenge,
Heather Layne

Challenge 22--Mate

Title: Mate
Author: heatherlayne_n
Characters: Jack, Gibbs, Max, Mary
Word Count: about 1,600
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Gen, slight fluff
Summary: Looking out for a friend
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize belongs to me. I make no money from this (but wouldn't that be nice?)
Spoilers: None, really.
Warnings: Subtle sexual innuendo.
Notes: Johnny Depp said in the commentary/extra thingies on DMC that the bone in Jack's hair is actually the shinbone of a reindeer. This is my (and Jack's) story of how he got it. Among other things.

"So there I was," Jack said, his eyes glittering, one hand clutching his mug of ale, the other on the waist of a pretty young thing named Mary, "surrounded. Two dozen French pirates, all with--"

"Wait just a minute, Captain Sparrow," Mary said, crossing her arms. As she was sitting on his lap, it was a bit difficult to do without elbowing him in the face, but she managed it quite gracefully. "Not five minutes ago you said it were only ten of 'em."

"Oo's tellin' the story, love?" he asked, raising one eyebrow.

"You are," she sighed, shifting to press her hip against his side ever so slightly.

He smiled. "Right then. So there I was, surrounded by two dozen o' the fiercest, black-hearted-est pirates ye ever did see this side o' the river Styx, all with swords or pistols or other unsavoury bits of dangerous metal pointed straight at me." He took a swig of the piss-water this tavern called ale, but it did its job of wetting his throat well enough for him to go on. "An' alls I've got is me hat, an' that dead reindeer layin' at me feet."

"Wait, back up," said Mary. "What's this about a river made outta sticks?"

"Uhh, 's a figure o' speech, love. Means hell, see?"

"Ooh!" She scooted closer and draped her arm around his neck. She smelled like sweat and her blonde hair was dirty, but she had a real pretty mouth and was hanging around even though he hadn't paid her anything at all, so Jack wasn't about to complain. "Go on then."

"Well. I pick out the biggest, meanest-lookin' one, savvy? Cuz I figure he's the leader. An' iff'n I can get him outta the way, all the rest oughtta be easy, see? So what do I do? Can you guess what I do?"

"You... grab a pistol from one of the pirates and you shoot him!" Mary practically squealed, bouncing a little on his lap.

Hell and damnation but it was hard to concentrate with her wobbling about like that! Right on top of certain of his personal bits, too, getting them quite interested in what lay further up her skirts. Jack swigged back the last of his ale and banged the mug on the filthy table in front of him. "No!" He dragged the back of his wrist across his lips and looked up at her, difficult as that was with her ample bosom right near his face. "I reach down, see," he pantomimed the movement with his free hand, "and I rip the shinbone off that dead reindeer. 'S like a sharp little stick, but it's alls I've got. An' I swing it at the throat o' the big mean one--ugly he was, too, 'd I say that? God he was uglier'n sin, black teeth, big shiny bald head, nose like a squashed, er, squash--an' he jumps back.... An' then 'ee falls over flat on 'is back." Jack grinned at her, gold teeth flashing in the lantern light. "Scared clean outta 'is wits, see? Great nasty coward, 'ee was."

Mary, wide-eyed, leaned closer. "And then what happened, Captain Sparrow?" she asked breathily, her chest nearly brushing his cheek.

"Er, um." Jack swallowed, unable to tear his eyes away from those lovely twin pearls of flesh before him. "Well then all the rest o' the crew turned tail an' ran," he said quickly, "didn' know what to do wivvout no leader, off they went back to their little boat, never to be seen nor heard from again, leavin' me wiv a great pile o' treasure an' a dead reindeer an' this 'ere bone thingybob in I put in me hair." He pointed to the long, white stick tied and knotted into his braids. "An' that's the end o' the story, love, an' if you wouldn't mind awfully, I think I might get back to me ship now, awful nice specimen of a ship, ya know, the Black Pearl, anchored just down the shore from the proper docks, don't suppose you'd wanna see 'er?"

She giggled as she stood up. "Why yes, Captain Sparrow, I'd love to see your... ship."

Jack knew she didn't mean ship, no, not at all. "Well all right then, love," he grinned, standing up himself and wobbling a bit more than usual. Perhaps that piss-water was stronger than he'd thought. "Off we go."

Just before the door closed behind her, Mary looked over her shoulder at a grey-haired man in a dim corner of the tavern, smoking a pipe and holding a hand of cards. He gave her a grim nod, shuffled his cards around, and she disappeared with Jack, off to see the Pearl.


"Jack Sparrow!" The hulking man with the eye patch hurled a flimsy table against the wall where it shattered to pieces. "Where is Jack Sparrow? You!" he roared. He grabbed a man by the front of his shirt and shoved him against the wall. "Where is he? I know you run wiv 'him, Joshamee Gibbs."

Gibbs just stood very still, looking up at the man, trying not to flinch away from the stench of his foul breath. "Jack Sparrow?" he asked calmly. "Haven't seen him nigh on six months now. 'T ain't no use lookin' for him here, Max."

The pirate known as One-eyed Max snorted, glared at Gibbs a moment longer, then let him go, shoving him roughly back toward his seat. "If I find out you've told me a tale, Mister Gibbs...." he warned. Two ruffians at his back cracked their knuckles.

"Check the docks, if ya want," Gibbs said, sitting back down. "The Pearl ain't been t' this port in a long time, One-eye."

Another snort from Max. He flexed his hands, crushing them into fists, but it was clear that Sparrow wasn't here. If he was, the madman would surely already be swooping down on him, yelling and waving the sword he didn't know how to use. "Still owes me an eye," growled Max, then he turned and stalked out the door, the ruffians close behind him.

After a moment, the normal tavern noises returned. "Thanks, lads," Gibbs muttered, and the other men there nodded and muttered things like "It was nothing." Good lot, the men in this town. They stood loyal to their own. Gibbs sighed with relief and finished off his drink, then banged out his pipe against his boot. Thank goodness that was over.


"All's well then?" asked the grey-haired man.

Mary nodded. "Sleepin' like a baby. Just like you wanted."

"You sure it wasn't no trouble to ya?"

"Nah, it was fine. Sorta wanted to find out for meself if all they said about the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow was true." She giggled. "Most of it was. The rest didn't matter so much. We both had a good time, that's all that matters."

"An' you're sure you got enough coin t' keep ya?"

"I told you, I'm fine. Ya didn't have to pay me for him. Woulda done him if ye'd just asked."

"Well. I worry about ya, 's all. Sides." His eyes glinted and he gave a half-smile. "You probly got yerself some payment anyway, aye?"

"Aye." Mary coloured a little, but pulled a thick gold chain from the hollow between her breasts.

"Just like yer mother, you are. Guess I can't blame ya." He laughed. "Ah well, Jack won't miss it. 'Twas good t' see you, Mary."

"It was good to see you too, Pa." She stood on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. "Take care."

"Aye. You too, lass." Gibbs returned her kiss. "You too." He took a swig from his flask and turned to walk down the beach to the cove where the Pearl lay anchored, to get ready to rouse the crew and set sail. It was well into morning by the time Jack got up.

"Still can't believe ol' Maxie never showed up," he said, stretching his arms over his head as he prepared to take the wheel from Gibbs. "Great coward." He grinned. "Guess he wanted to hang on to the one eye 'ee's still got, eh?"

"I suppose so, Jack," said Gibbs. He stepped back and let Jack take the spokes in his grubby hands. As always, something about him changed just slightly at the wheel of the Pearl. Something within him glowed a little, and his eyes lit up some, like he was finally at peace. Finally home. "You woulda shown him what for if he had come though, aye?"

"Aye, that I would," Jack answered. "Did find meself a pretty little treat last night, though." He winked sidelong at Gibbs. "Don't guess you saw her, seein' how utterly engrossed ye were at yer cards, but she was a sweet young thing." He gave a low whistle and chuckled.

"Oh, I saw her all right." Gibbs nodded slowly. "Think I'll go below for a bit, catch up on some sleep."

"You do that, dear Gibbs. You deserve it," Jack said magnanimously, like a king granting a boon to a loyal subject. "You're a good mate, mate. Best first mate I ever had, I ever tell ye that?"

Gibbs was caught off-guard, and he paused for a moment. "Thanks Jack. Yer the best captain I ever served under, too." He smiled a little, and Jack nodded to him, smiling as well.

"Off with ye, then. I shall inform you immediately when Port Royal comes into sight." He stood straight and tall, then, feet planted wide, chin up, sucking in the fresh ocean air as he steered his beloved true.

Gibbs grunted in answer and went on below to his hammock. That made all the sneaking worth it. He didn't like lying to his friend, but someone had to look out for the lad. And really, Gibbs didn't mind taking up the job.
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