Pairing/characters: Jack/The Black Pearl, Mr. Gibbs, OC
Summary: Jack eyes go wanting for another. Set just after CotBP.
Disclaimer: Sadly, the characters belong only to the Mouse.
Author's notes: Written for Prompt #29 Jack never thought he'd feel the same way again, but he finds that he's falling in love ... with a ship other than the Black Pearl.
Although riding deeper in the bay than when she left Tortuga months before, the Black Pearl still glided through the dark water toward the notorious pirate port, where the ship would receive some routine maintenance and the crew would take pleasure in lightening her load.
At the helm, Captain Jack Sparrow stood holding the wheel with one hand and a quarter-full bottle of rum in the other. He caressed the peg with touch not unlike a lover’s and felt the Pearl respond with a shudder. Thanks to a mutiny by his scoundrel first mate Barbossa, the pair had been apart nigh on 10 years and, much like a merchant sailor and land-bound wife separated by a long voyage, the captain and his ship were finding each other again.
Downing the last of his rum in a long pull, Jack called to his current first mate, Mr. Gibbs, to drop anchor then gave his men – and Anna Maria, his female quartermaster – permission to go ashore. The harbor was filled with an armada’s worth of ships from sloops to galleons, which guaranteed that the town of Tortuga would be alive with sin that night.
As Jack sauntered down the gangway, he noted proudly that none of the ships was built better or faster than the Black Pearl. With a full canvas of black sails, she could outrun the Royal Navy and catch any prey. Her legend combined with that of her captain was enough to make any man cower in her wake. Captain Jack Sparrow would have it no other way. He continued down the pier reveling in the sights and sounds of the wickedest town in the Caribbean before halting in front of a large vessel. Wot’s this?
Jack counted 20 guns on the starboard side and could guess that the port side was stocked with firepower to match. Kohl-rimmed eyes sized up the rest of the ship before spotting its colors flying atop the mainmast. He recognized the horned skeleton holding a spear in one bony hand and an hourglass in the other. “Thatch.”
Gibbs, who had barely missed colliding with his captain after such an abrupt stop, eyed the new ship precariously. “Aye, ‘tis Edward Thatch. Heard tell he took her only a fortnight ago. She was a 14-gun French slave ship, but ole Blackbeard fitted her with 40 guns and manned her with over a 100 of the cruelest scallywags in the Caribbean.”
“So you say?”
“Callin’ her the Queen Anne’s Revenge.”
“’e has a mighty high opinion of her then.”
“Said somethin’ about using her as the foundation for his own armada.”
“Did ‘e now? That’s interesting.” Jack pulled a corner of his dark moustache between two fingers. After a precursory secretive glance down the dock, he ran his left hand down the wood grain of the exposed hull. “She’s a beauty.”
The bellow startled Jack but he regained his composure before turning to face the only adversary that he despised worse than his former mutinous first mate Hector Barbossa. “If it ain’t me ole mate Eddie…”
The man approaching growled, making him more menacing a figure than his legend described – even without the smoking matches in his namesake beard. The sword at his waist and the pistols and knives on the bandoliers that crisscrossed his chest made him all the more deadly.
“Keep yer hands off me ship, ya bilge rat.”
“As if I need a ship like yers, when I have the Pearl.”
“Aye, the Pearl may be fast, but me Anne carries more firepower. Mark me words, Sparrow, me Anne’ll make me the richest pirate in the Caribbean.”
The next morning, Jack Sparrow sauntered down the pier sandwiched between a pair of wenches named Giselle and Scarlett. After disposing them without injury, he was back at the helm of Pearl as the crew made her ready to sail, but his thoughts and eyes were on a ship down the dock. He remembered, although not clearly, a night not long before with one Elizabeth Swann. I could be the most fearsome pirate in the entire world with a ship like that.
The Pearl groaned in reply. “Sorry, love. Ye know I didn’t mean it.”
Because, although ladies in many a port claimed to love Jack Sparrow, the captain had eyes for only one.