PAIRING: J/N (what else?)
ARCHIVE: Sure thing, just ask please.
DISCLAIMER: I've never liked coffee, or beer very much for that matter, but sweet mixed drinks are way cool, with or without a tiny umbrella or some plastic monkey hanging off it, and…oh…I like pirates, yup I do, but don't own these, even though I do drink rum sometimes, with or without a tiny umbrella and some plastic monkey hanging off it…which leads to:
WARNING: Oh yeah, big time. DEATHFIC, ahoy! Don't know where this came from, but couldn't stop it from getting written for some reason. Just knocked me upside the head and since it was late and I was tired…so, please forgive me…

Fortune's Favor

By Garnet

Smoke, he tasted smoke, and then fire, like a harsh tang on his lips.

Something struck the back of his head and it seemed to take forever before he finally figured out it was the deck.

Even as the sky spun over his head, blue and blue, so very blue that he wanted to cry, only to have the blue suddenly replaced by green. By eyes that did threaten to make him weep, half from the pain that abruptly lanced through him and half from the look in those frosty green eyes. Eyes that had naught of ice about them at the moment.

Only a mute hot hurt to match his own.

“Jack? Jack? Oh, God…”

He wanted to respond, to reassure the other man, but he couldn’t seem to catch his breath. In fact, it was as if all the air in the world had run out. Run away. Left him gasping like a fish stranded on dry burnt sand.

And there was shuffling, rustling, movement all around him, but all he could do was reach out helplessly when that familiar face chose to turn away from him. Sending his whole life into profile, a shadow against the sun. White sails sucking the last of fortune’s favor from him, a puff of powdery smoke still rising.

“James…” he said, or thought he said, but in truth he could not seem to make a coherent sound to save his soul.

Not that his soul had not been lost long ago. And, if not, given over to the care of a man who did not really know what he should do with it, let alone why he should want it so very much in the first place. But that he did. So much so that it seemed ever so long ago now, ages and ages in the past and of no mind anymore to either of them if ever it had been, that they had once been enemies. Or, at the very least, had not been friends.

Though even as hands returned to cup his face, to draw him tight into strong arms, into a familiar body that shook as if to simply hold him was not enough, as if it had never been enough, he found himself slipping back from the light. Slipping away. Seeing all those white sails turning to black and wishing like mad that it had not come to this, even if this had always always been in the offing.

A pirate could not, should not, want a Commodore, even if his life, let alone his light and hope and reason, depended on it. Even if said Commodore had stolen his soul once upon a time, and never found intention, let alone desire enough to render it back to the one to whom it truly belonged.

But then…

Take what you can, give nothing back

Too bad he had not listened to his own fears. Too bad he had not believed.

Too bad he had not been quick enough to see the tremble and terror in a young marine’s eyes, even as he raised his weapon and send him tumbling back from his most beloved commander. As if the man had ever needed protecting from any pirate, let alone this particular pirate.

Who had always been eager to take what he could—from the terrible sweetness of that first stolen kiss to three incredibly lost, but hopelessly lovely nights shared upon a slender beach stranded somewhere between hell and heaven. Between the unfettered flights of a pirate and the lonely duties of an honorable man. Not love, perhaps, but if not, then he did not know what love was.

For, aye, he had taken what he could…but hadn’t been able, at the last, to give nothing back.

Not until this moment. Not until this moment.

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