An Unpaid Debt
Title: An Unpaid Debt
Pairing: Barbossa and Elizabeth
Summary: Prompt #36 - Elizabeth and Barbossa after they have found the aqua de vida. Tongue in cheek please.
Disclaimer: All characters owned by Disney
"Ne’er thought I’d find ‘er did ye Missy?"
"Hector, shut it! You know bloody well it was me that stole the chart back from Jack."
"Aye! Ye ‘ve turned into a mighty fine pirate Mrs. Turner, language and all. Ol’ Captain Jack would be proud of ye iffen ‘e weren’t still a lookin’ fer ‘is map in Tortuga! Ne’er thought te ask ye ‘ow ye managed that one," eyeing her salaciously.
"What! Opportune moment, that’s all, Hector."
"Do ye think this water’ll do us any good?"
I hope so. I need to stay young just to keep up with Will. Ten years is a long wait between conjugal visits, or any other kind as a matter of fact, lots of wrinkles and gray hairs could be popping up. If I didn’t find the water, Will would eventually start thinking he was married to his mother" — Barbossa raised his eyebrows slightly —"or someone’s mother," she added quickly. "My plan is to stretch the ‘long as you both shall live part’ out a bit, perhaps forever. The way I calculate it, one day every ten years works out as requiring 3,650 years for each solid year of togetherness we will have. Even all the Egyptian dynasties weren’t around that long I fear."
"Don’cha feel bad ‘bout Jack though?" he glanced at her slyly.
"Jack?" her eyes rounded, sounding amused. "Jack wouldn’t know how to pace himself. Besides, even without the water he most likely will still have around 3650 romps with his saucy strumpets during the next ten years, even excluding Sundays ...doubtful."
Barbossa laughed in agreement, or maybe shock, turning away quickly after having failed to work out the arithmetic in his head without resorting to his fingers. "Would ‘e now?" his imagination drifting to Tortuga.
Days later they reached the mouth of the river, having taken all the aqua de vida they could lug, in all the containers they could ferret out in the wilderness, hoping it would be sufficient. It was unlikely they could return soon, if ever. It had taken three months of hellacious deprivation, dirt, and considerable bloodshed to find the Fountain, not a little of which was the direct result of their volatile natures. It was clearly a miracle they had survived the adventure at all, or each other. By the time they had reached the Fountain and Barbossa had drunk the water, they had reached an easy accord, knowing there was no longer any point to argue about anything. They knew they had found the true water of life, since it was clearly evidenced by the youth and beauty of all the native inhabitants. These same inhabitants had attempted to makethe two stay there, but their common goal had been to take some of the water and flee, which they did rather expertly by slipping away unobserved into the jungle and escaping on the river.
Although relieved at last to leave that strange land behind them, upon reaching the sea they couldn’t resist bathing in the fresh water shallows of the wide river before re-boarding the longboat that would carry them back to the Pearl. Barbossa was feeling good. It had been weeks since they had found the Fountain, and the clear, clean water of the river on his skin felt cool and smooth. Smooth? He looked down at his arms and noticed they were now sleek and unmarred, new-looking in fact, like a baby’s bottom. Could it be? Back on the Pearl, he found some clean clothes — quite remarkably in fact, even a new linen shirt that Jack apparently had never worn — and put them on.
Outside his cabin, the crew stared at their peculiarly clean captain strangely, but he took no heed and returned to the helm quite pleased with himself. Elizabeth came on deck later and, noticing the new shirt also, commented on how nice he looked. Barbossa gave her a self-satisfied smirk and told her "Jack has good taste, but ‘tis all."
A few days later Elizabeth was at the rail watching the sunset when Barbossa sidled up to her, not a very appealing experience normally, yet this time she noticed his clear blue eyes were sparkling and his teeth shone like pearls as he smiled down at her. Reaching for one of her hands, he lifted it in his now smooth hands sporting newly manicured nails and lightly kissed her. Nearly drawing away in shock, she looked up at him in wonder, then smiled at him openly. Before her stood a renewed, younger-looking Hector. "Aye! What do you think, darlin’?" taking in her almost tangible astonishment. Elizabeth laughed, marveling at the less visible changes wrought in the old curmudgeon as well. The crew once more seemed puzzled, but on second thought apparently decided that due to Elizabeth’s presence the captain simply had chosen to clean himself up a bit; thereafter it went about its business unawares or unconcerned.
By the time they had returned to Tortuga, Barbossa was lean and taut, clean shaven, his gleaming russet hair flowing to his shoulders, eyes bright and eager as a twenty year old fledgling buccaneer. His rejuvenated, handsome self strutted off the ship hurriedly to taste the joys of Tortuga.
Soon thereafter, on the street of the town, Barbossa spied Jack Sparrow swaggering to a tavern and he headed directly towards him, but Jack walked right on by without even a glance as though he didn’t see Barbossa, which of course he hadn’t. If he had, Jack would surely have shot him — a thought coming too laggardly to Barbossa’s mind for comfort. Yet, intrigued with this new deception, he decided he must test it out in the tavern. He wondered what Giselle and Scarlett would think of him, someone they had never seen before, or so they thought. He knew they would not recognize him if Jack hadn’t. It delighted him no end that he would get the best of Jack Sparrow again, right in front of him. He chuckled to himself and turned to follow Jack into the tavern.
Back at the harbor Elizabeth had finally disembarked. Barbossa caught up with her offloading her belongings onto a cart at the wharf. "I notice you haven’t changed Elizabeth," he confronted her pleasantly, once again in proper English.
"No, I think I am fine. The water for me is for later on, but I have an old debt to pay right now."
"And to whom would that be, my dear?" She smiled then looked towards the tavern. "Ah! all of the benefits, but none of the burdens."
"Indeed" she commented.
"I see," said Barbossa, casting eyes sparkling with humor at her.
Liz looked up at Barbossa intently and smiled sadly. "It is the least I can do, isn’t it?"
"And what do I owe him, if anything?" enquired Barbossa sarcastically.
"Ah!" she said innocently, mimicking his tone of voice. "There must be something — yes! I know --- the Black Pearl!"
"What? I beg your pardon. I’m the captain of that ship."
"Yes, you were, Hector, and a fine one at that, but certainly not the only captain, and definitely not the best captain. Mister Gibbs and crew are now aboard the Pearl, as we speak, awaiting their good captain."
Barbossa grinned, bowing low to his King. " Pirate!" he whispered.