hi, i'm steph (gorthead) wrote in piratechallenge,
hi, i'm steph
gorthead
piratechallenge

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Challenge #2: Nautical Term

Title: Nautical Term
Author: gorthead
Pairing/Characters: Jack/Ana Maria
Word Count: 1,120
Rating: PG-13, to be safe
Genre: Missing scene/whatever genre you would consider the films!
Summary: Jack finds himself land-locked and desperate to sail. Ana Maria learns never to leave one's guard down (or one's boat unattended) in the presence of a pirate.
Disclaimer: The people in this fic you're about to read? I didn't invent them, and I'm only playing with them for fun. Proof: The people who did invent them are much richer than I am.
Spoilers: None.
Warnings: Drunkenness and mentions of sex - nothing too shocking.
Notes: This is the story behind "You stole my boat!" "Borrowed! Borrowed without permission, but with every intention of bringing it back." I only had a few hours of free time to write today (woe), so it's not as finished as I might have liked, but I enjoyed writing it nonetheless.
Special Thanks: Again, supermeghan for reading it over for me and making sure I hadn't made any exceedingly embarrassing typos. Also, Jack Sparrow, for being so deliciously fun.

Jack Sparrow had been on land far longer than he was comfortable with, the reason for this being that he found himself very much lacking a ship. At this point, he would settle for a large piece of wood and a paddle. Tortuga was a fine place to spend a night or two, to be sure, but Jack had lost track of the weeks that melded shapelessly into one another, an impressionist painting of smoke and rum and sex.

Since the mutiny ten years previous, he had found himself, for the first time, undeniably alone. He had acquaintances, of course – Gibbs, certainly; Giselle and Scarlett, though they were a different sort of acquaintance entirely; Tia, though he hadn’t been to see her in nearly as long – but he had no crew, no constant companions, and he had recently come upon the realization that pirating was not a one-man occupation.

It would be easy enough to commandeer a ship – hundreds of them came through the port every day – but sailing it was another matter entirely, as much as he hated to admit to himself that there existed a thing in the world that Captain Jack Sparrow could not do. He was desperately close to giving up his visits to the docks, resigning himself to night after night spent in the bars and brothels of Tortuga; he (the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow, known throughout the Caribbean) refused to join another’s crew, to take orders from some young whelp who thought himself a pirate but had likely never stolen so much as a loaf of bread in his life (and there were many of these). Unbeknownst to him, his luck would take a turn for the better.

The ship was small, which was unusual; Tortuga was often one stop among many for those on long voyages, those who spent their lives at sea, and, as such, their ships were built for going distances, built to be more home than any mansion could ever be. This was scarcely more than a dinghy with a sail – large enough for one person, one short trip at a time – but it was all he needed. Even better than the ship was the woman securing it to the dock, dark and recklessly beautiful. He knew what to do.

“Hello there, love. Can’t say I’ve seen you ‘round before. I’m certain I’d remember if I had. Here for a day trip, then? Or planning an…extended stay?” He gave his best Jack Sparrow smile – he had come across nary a woman on whom it had no effect – but she would clearly not be so easily convinced.

She looked at him suspiciously. “Not plannin’ on stayin’ long, no. Got me a new boat, just testin’ her out before headin’ to deeper water.”

“Ah! Well, if I may make a suggestion, it seems unwise, if not altogether negligent and imprudent, to go sailing off, braving the sea and the elements and all manner of unspeakable dangers without first partaking in some liquid fortitude. Savvy? Let Captain Jack Sparrow – that would be me – buy you a round, eh?”

She took him in, all half-drunken swagger and kohl, rings and beads jingling with every movement, and, though she remained somewhat sceptical, somewhat apprehensive, consented. A free drink was a difficult thing to turn down when wealth was scarce, and she could not deny that the man had a certain charisma about him.

The bar was bursting with sights and sounds and smells – smoke, rum, sweat, salt, sex, the clanging of mugs and dull impact of punches thrown. It was a haven for all manner of disreputable types, and Jack felt almost as comfortable there as he did on the deck of a ship. Ana Maria, though no stranger to illegal activities herself, had never been to a port so infamous and populated as Tortuga, and was glad to have Jack there, despite her ever-increasing suspicions that he may be genuinely mad.

Their topics of conversation progressed from the weather, sailing, their surroundings, the quality of the rum, hats, the truth behind the stories about Jack (with some embellishments), to, finally, things distinctly adult and inappropriate in nature. Throughout their discourse, the rum had flowed as freely as the hours, rendering Ana Maria thoroughly drunk, where Jack’s manner and lucidity seemed not to have changed at all.

He leaned over the table, a breath away from her, and, in a carefully orchestrated stage-whisper: “You know, love…I’ve got a room upstairs, and you are in no way fit to captain a ship. Do we agree?”

Blinking rapidly, she giggled and managed an “Aye,” in response.

“Knew you’d see things my way.” They rose, Jack taking Ana Maria by the wrist – both for guidance and to ensure she remained upright – and he led her up a dimly lit staircase, and down a musty and completely unlit hall. Throwing his door open, he let her go and gestured inside with a flourish. “After you.”

Ana Maria seemed to have recovered significantly in even just the short walk, and now seemed to be more impassioned than incoherent. She made her way to the end of the bed, sat down heavily, and, tilting her head forward, looked up at Jack expectantly. “Well? I’m not stupid; I’m not here to sleep any more than you are.” Her speech was still slurred enough to sound more ridiculous than sultry.

Jack was incredibly tempted, but he knew what he had to do. Rarely, but necessarily, sacrifices had to be made, and he knew this would not be his last opportunity. In two steps he was on his knees in front of her. Pulling her toward him with one hand, he kissed her firmly on the mouth and hurriedly told her, “Sorry, love. Something I’ve got to take care of first. Won’t be but an instant, then I’ll be back to, ah, take care of things here. Don’t move.” He wasn’t lying; he intended on having her one day, one way or another, but not now, not tonight. He needed that ship, needed the freedom, needed the sea; he could not choose her over that, could not chance her waking before him and stealing his prize back before he’d ever won it.

The boat wouldn’t get him far – it was too small, the craftsmanship too shoddy – but he would be free, however momentarily. He felt certain that by the time it was no longer fit to sail, something better will have crossed his path – he might even go to Port Royal, where the wealth was, amass enough to live comfortably for months, find a real ship, and a crew. That was in the future, though; to Jack Sparrow, all that mattered was the now.
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