Series: The Cupid Series
1: Cupid's Sparrow
4: A Taste of Heaven
5: Sugar Rush
6: White Gold
7: Gentlemen of Fortune
Pairing: Jack/Norrington, J/W implied, N/G implied.
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sex.
Archive: Yes, help yourself; include all chapters please.
Beta: FireSignWriter (for the perfervidious ficcage support) and Moonsalt ("Monkey!")
Disclaimer: Mouse & Bruckheimer Productions owns all, except Jack Sparrow who belongs to J.Depp. ;-)
Summary: Norrington and Jack discover the delights of Naval politics - and navel politics.
The Cupid Series
Gentlemen of Fortune
Commodore James Norrington, Acting Governor of Port Royal and temporarily responsible for the British interests in Jamaica, stared down at the letter from Admiral Cartwright he'd received that morning.
The Admiral was traveling from the Colonies down to Port Royal, even at that moment.
Norrington knew why; the Admiral had every intention of taking control once he arrived, and with it, the full credit for everything Norrington had achieved in the Caribbean. The Admiral had no idea, of course, that Norrington's success was entirely due to his unorthodox and mostly illegal use of barely-restrained pirates in his privateer fleet. Norrington also knew what was going to happen as soon as the Admiral arrived.
The buccaneers, released from any sort of organized arrangement, would promptly begin helping themselves to whatever British merchants happened to be to-ing and fro-ing in the Caribbean, and the Admiral would no doubt then blame Norrington for his inability to suppress the rampant piracy that would result.
He had, in a nutshell, put his foot in it.
There was only so far he could ask the pirates to behave with a modicum of mercy towards British ships. The Seashell appeared to be ignoring the entire thing, in any case, helping herself even to the sugar ships that strayed across her path. But the Seashell's captain also appeared to be confining himself to a very specific area in the Main, and Norrington suspected he had Jack Sparrow to thank for that.
It really was a stain on his record, to have ended up this way; entrusting the safety of the economic foundation of Britain in the Caribbean… to pirates.
And to think it was entirely due to his relationship with Jack Sparrow. Another highly illegal and inadvisable career move. Falling in love with a pirate.
Well, perhaps love was too strong a word. Love as an ideal, no. Love as an enduring commitment and attachment, perhaps not. Love as an infatuated obsessive desire to see the pirate captain again, and quench his enthrallment with him on Sparrow's own body, yes.
He was hoisted on his own petard, even. For if he were to begin sending the Fleet after Sparrow, Lynch and even the Seashell, he knew he'd be doing the wrong thing entirely. But neither could he explain why he continued to tolerate their presence in British waters, particularly after the official condemnation Lynch had received for his actions against the British soldiers on Jamaica, regardless of the actions of Lord Durant that had necessitated them.
Nor could he explain why he was unable to bring Jack Sparrow to justice, and had in fact tolerated the pirate in the Main for over a year, with ample opportunities to do so. With the consequence of a systematic series of raids that had terrified the British settlements all along Jamaica, in fact.
Norrington sat in his office, contemplating the vagaries of fate and the vicissitudes of life, wondering if there was some sort of miracle he could produce out of thin air.
How to explain to himself his lax tolerance of pirates now, without admitting that it was merely due to his feelings for Jack?
His sense of nobility and what was right had been severely challenged on the day he'd let Jack escape back to his ship, last year. It had been tested again after that night in the garden and the Turners' wedding. Only to have it renewed in the wake of Jack's obvious interest in him. And despite Jack's slippery nature, Norrington knew, right down deep, that Jack did care for him - however much Jack attempted to exploit it for his own ends.
After all, Jack Sparrow had done more for him than Admiral Cartwright, who hadn't seen fit to demand reinforcements required by the Spanish incursions until the situation had become drastic. And even then, the ships had yet to arrive, in another month's time.
The irony was not lost on Norrington, of his remaining dependent upon Jack Sparrow as a loosely designated privateer to keep the other pirates mostly in check and protect them from the Spanish.
And now the French and the Dutch were rattling their sabers, also looking hungrily at the British sugar ships.
Norrington sighed. It was a very bleak future indeed, if he would be forced to ask Jack Sparrow and Company to sail against French and Dutch ships and towns in pirate raids on behalf of the British.
He couldn't see that going down well with London or the Fleet.
It had been two weeks since he had seen Jack and William Turner leave in that little boat, for the Black Pearl. Two long weeks, and Jack had warned him that he might not be around for that meeting of theirs. Already, he was longing to go against their arrangement of leaving business outside of pleasure, and attempt to garner Jack's aid again, this time for the benefit of the man's experience. It was strange to consider, but true nonetheless, that Jack's years of piracy had in fact lent him a peculiarly accurate and canny ability to deal with people.
Norrington had always considered his greatest strength to be the black and white conviction with which he viewed pirates versus honest men. He was starting to see that in fact it was every man for himself, and the worst pirates were those who hid behind a mask of socio-political righteousness.
Of course, that did not excuse the violent scum who sailed about terrorizing people and committing rapine and murder. But then, the Spanish ships did that for decades, as did the French. There were pirates, and then there were pirates, it seemed.
And therein lay his answer, Norrington realized abruptly.
Lynch's young wife, Jane Barnett-Lynch…
Her father was Chief Justice in Kingston, and would make a worthy ally, not only for his staunch and honest politics, his care for the populace, or the interests of British strength in the Caribbean, but for his view of pirates, which had undoubtedly been enhanced by his daughter's marriage to one. The same son-in-law who had rescued him from an unjust execution and imprisonment by Lord Durant three years before. And the Chief Justice would also have a better idea of who they could count on, both in terms of the King's Army based in Jamaica, and elsewhere abroad.
Sitting up, he began to pen a letter to Sir James Barnett.
A week later, to the day, Norrington made his way through the tunnel towards the sea cave, knowing the route so well now he almost had it down by heart.
Norrington hadn't been able to help but wonder if perhaps Jack Sparrow had decided for whatever flighty reason of his own to sail off with Will Turner for good. But the arrival of a flower girl at the gate of Fort Charles that morning had resulted in a delivery of a posy, complete with a message from an anonymous sender. It had informed him that the beach provided an excellent vantage point from which to view the setting sun.
Quite apart from the barely-suppressed grins of his men, the continual smirk of Groves throughout the rest of the afternoon, and the mirthfully deadpan inquiries he subsequently received as to the identity of his secret admirer, Norrington was hard-pressed to find any real reason to worry.
The situation regarding the sugar ships appeared to be resolved, and Norrington's mood was cautiously optimistic.
Lynch appeared to be restraining his own acts of Irish whimsy, and the Spanish had been so quiet, Norrington had begun to wonder if perhaps Jack hadn't been telling the truth after all, about having chased them away. It had the element of surprise; surely the Spanish hadn't counted on the pirates of the Main suddenly to turn on them so fiercely.
If it had been openly British, the move might have been treated less seriously - expected even, but pirates were an unpredictable lot.
And Sir Barnett had been most helpful; Norrington had a firmer understanding of the buccaneers' motives. Of course, in the main they were: freedom, gold, the occasional altercation with uptight soldiers of whatever nation, and rum. Norrington smiled grimly to himself. A relatively simple, uncomplicated life. He wondered how much envy he actually felt towards them, to have that. His own career had grown so tempestuously tenuous of late.
At the moment, things were quiet despite the storm he'd expected. Of course, the admiral had yet to arrive, he glumly thought.
He emerged from the mouth of the cave to find the sun shining low on the horizon, its glare tempered by the haze, creating the effect of a bright golden ball hanging in the sky over the ocean.
This small stretch of sand, surrounded by rocks and the cliff-face behind it, appeared so innocuous, yet Norrington knew he would never be able to view it as anything but nostalgic. He'd grown overly fond of the spot, and as he made his way over to the small pit where the fire usually burned, he was unable to stop his mind from rekindling memories of all the times he'd met Jack Sparrow in this place.
Not nearly enough times, all things considered. Norrington was surprised to discover that no longer being alone, with the heart's ease of a companion in the form of his loyal lieutenant, was not the issue for him at all. It was Jack himself, and what the pirate meant to him.
He'd deemed it only fair that Jack take responsibility for his friendship with William Turner, and had also recognized that both Jack and he had settled upon an arrangement that worked for everyone. Jack had his lad, Norrington had his lieutenant. He couldn't even feel jealous about it, and knew the only remaining problem was his continued need to carry on with this… affair.
Would Jack even want to, now that he finally had William? Norrington wondered. And then the suspicion resurged, that perhaps Jack was carrying on with this merely to keep him in tow for whatever benefits Jack might glean from a relationship with him.
Norrington was actually hard-pressed to provide a satisfactory conclusion for himself, as to why he continued to need to see Jack. It wasn't about lust, or passion, or love. Or friendship, or fascination. Of course, he'd be a fool to deny that it contained an element of each. But there was something more, an elusive component that he continued to attempt to grasp, to identify.
If he had the opportunity, he wasn't at all certain he'd want to see Jack all the time. It was more interesting to keep the flame alive between them by keeping their relationship like this; sporadic encounters, trysting on this beach.
But the need was equally undeniable. It was almost…insatiable. As though no matter how many times he might repeat the experience, it would never be enough.
He frowned at the sinking sun, surveying the water down by the rocks where Jack usually arrived, and caught sight of a rowboat moored there. It was empty, and had probably been there since the morning. Which meant Jack had been in Port Royal all day. Doing Lord knew what. Some complicated piece of mischief, no doubt.
Jack's voice sounded amused, from behind him. "You're quite a picture, Commodore."
Norrington turned to look as Jack approached and sat down in the sand to his right, placing his hat, coat, and his effects beside him.
"I'm sure," Norrington intoned. "Just as I'm equally certain that you have spent a far less dull afternoon than myself."
Jack smiled at the horizon. "Anyone who has a dull time in Port Royal just isn't trying."
Despite that he'd been looking forward to seeing Jack again, Norrington was astounded at just how glad he was to be here with him, in this place together. A sense of peace and contentment settled over him, and he found he'd missed it tremendously.
"I take it that Mr. Turner has forgiven you, then?" Norrington asked.
Jack gave him a knowing look. "It took a little while to convince him. Three weeks, as a matter of fact." His gaze turned apologetic. "I'm sorry I was unable to send word."
"You're not fooling me, Jack," Norrington replied, dryly. "Whatever you've been up to, you've not been idle, nor can I imagine you waiting on Turner's every word. Let me guess: Curacao?"
Jack flashed him a grin. Norrington had missed seeing that irrepressible look on Jack's face. "Actually, I've not been near the place, and that's the honest truth."
Mildly, Norrington countered, "You're quite safe, you know. You can tell me what really happened. I'm hardly in a position to complain, seeing as you have kept your part of the deal in ridding us of the galleons."
Jack's eyes turned sly and he looked away again, out to sea. "Let's just say that our Spanish commodore's been most hospitable. I don't usually resort to kidnapping, in spite of what you may think of me, but in this case, I'm sorely tempted to make off with his chef. My galley hasn't seen the like, I can tell you."
Norrington frowned, not following what Jack was referring to. "I fail to see what Spanish recipes have to do with quelling warships and the cessation of hostilities between Spain and England."
"Sometimes, one has to go to the source," Jack explained. "Find it's usually best, especially where commodores are concerned." He gave Norrington a fond once-over.
Norrington smiled mirthlessly, looking out to where the sun was beginning to dip into the ocean, the haze creating a medley of bright streaks across the bottom. "I don't suppose you could award me with the benefit of your advice on a similar issue?"
Jack straightened a bit, and looked intrigued. "Let me guess, certain repercussions are coming home to roost, and you're wanting a less 'proper' vantage of the situation?"
"Indeed," Norrington said, darkly. "Admiral Cartwright is due to arrive within the week, from the Colonies. He'll not only seize the credit for the current stability of our situation, he'll also undo it. Sir James Barnett has given me the reassurance of Lynch's support in this matter, so long as we remain impartial where his freedom is concerned. The Jamaican people are happy enough to ignore the piracy, so long as it isn't visited onto them. And as I have your somewhat dubious assistance in keeping the Spanish at bay, we have things under some modicum of control. But he will bring it down around our ears, and no doubt lay the blame for it at my door."
Jack appeared to give this the concern it was due. "Far be it from little ole me to tell you your business, mate, but it seems to me," Jack said, giving him a curious frown, "that there's more you could be doing for yourself. Are you or are you not a commodore of the British Navy? And do you or do you not have the power to exercise command, where your ships are concerned?"
Norrington gave him a withering look. "The interesting thing about power, Mr. Sparrow, is that although it is so easily bestowed, it can be just as easily taken away."
Jack's eyes widened and he gave Norrington an odd expression. He seemed taken aback. "Our Spanish commodore said almost exactly that same thing to me, just a few days ago. You two are cut from the same cloth, I reckon."
Glowering, Norrington stated, "I don't have the luxury of dispensing with duty and commitment. My rank demands a certain measure of responsibility, not just to King and Country but to the men under my command. I had no wish to engage either them or the Crown in entanglements with Spain, but in avoiding it, I've compromised my position regarding pirates altogether. Including you."
"Ah, but I've facilitated an almost certainly hazardous and explosive confrontation with Spain on your behalf, Jamie lad," Jack twinkled at him, and nudged him with his elbow. "You take all the credit for that. Your admiral can't deny you that one, eh?"
Norrington found himself deliberating the wisdom in discussing anything of a political nature with Jack, remembering now why it was he'd always attempted to avoid doing so in the past. It was quite simply too difficult to concentrate with Jack making eyes at him and smiling at him in that appealing manner of his.
Stiffly, he answered, "I can hardly take credit for something when I have absolutely no knowledge of the particulars and cannot explain it to any degree of satisfaction to myself, let alone my superiors."
Jack considered this and deflated somewhat, beside him. Sulkily, he replied, "You're going to be very upset."
Norrington gave him a small smile in agreement. "Of that, I have no doubt whatsoever. Whatever recourse you've taken to address the problem of the attacks on the British sugar trade, I'm certain it will possess measures that any rational or honest man would shudder to put his name to. No doubt you've managed to somehow sell everyone to everybody."
Jack seemed far too relaxed however, now. Lazily, he said, "Suppose for a moment, that we've agreed with our little Spanish commodore to leave the British sugar ships alone, and the Spanish too. That leaves us with the French, the Dutch and the Portuguese. There's still plenty to go round."
Norrington stared at him. "You can't be serious. It cannot be that simple."
Jack gave him a little frown. "Why ever not?"
Norrington regarded Jack with a suspicion forming in his mind. "You convinced the Spanish to turn their pirate galleons onto another source of gold, and encouraged your buccaneer friends to do the same. So Spain and Britain are actively condoning the uncoordinated, random looting of the rest of the international interests in the Caribbean?"
"Prefer to think of it as a sort of unofficial peace treaty, really," Jack mused.
Norrington let out a breath. "I'll be court-martialed."
Jack was studying him with a lingering look. "Without the wig and the uniform, you don't look much like a commodore, I must say."
"I'm glad you approve," Norrington retorted. "You may have the opportunity to see me like this on a permanent basis. I'll be stripped of command, demoted at the very least…"
"Hold on, hold on," Jack said, with a hand on his shoulder. "No need to get yourself worked up. Piracy doesn't always pay well, and we have to make a living somehow, so it seemed only fair for us to cast our net further afield, is all. Your 'privateers' saw the Spanish off, and good riddance. With very little risk to your own ships and men, at that. The only problem is your admiral, who sounds like the sort of fellow who could easily run afoul of the wrong ship, if he's not careful."
Norrington regarded Jack with a glare. "Leave the admiral alone. I don't need that kind of protection."
Jack gave him a grin. "Commodore, there's a saying: better the devil you know than the devil you don't. I've grown rather fond of you, I'll admit. It would be a terrible shame to have you replaced with an overdressed pig lacking the sense to have good taste in buccaneers."
The sky was turning red, and the sun had sunk below the edge of the horizon, leaving only faint smudges of fiery color behind.
Norrington regarded the sight with very little enjoyment. "I have the support of several allies, but Cartwright has the view that the Navy is superior in any given situation, regardless of the obstacles. He does not understand the gravity or delicacy of the state of affairs."
Jack turned a shrewd gaze on him. "I've found," he stated slowly, "that the best way to encourage a man to make the right choice, is to help him believe he doesn't have any other choice to make."
Norrington nodded. "Therefore, I merely have to select the right choice to offer the admiral."
Jack shrugged. "Tell him the truth. Tell him you've nullified piracy in the Caribbean by turning us all into your own private little fleet of privateers…and if he removes you, you'll simply have your privateers turn back to the sugar trade. Remind him that he left it in your hands, and you've successfully saved relations between Spain and yourselves."
"I suppose that is the obvious choice," Norrington said, dryly. "Only we both know it will be an utter lie. Not you, nor Lynch, nor the Spanish listen to a damn thing I say."
"It's a matter of perspective, really," Jack smiled.
Norrington's perspective however, was abruptly distracted by the impressive sight of a British warship sailing into view of their strip of beach. Staring at it, he realized it was the Sterling Hinde.
"What-?" he exclaimed, sitting up.
"Ah," Jack remarked, with a measure of satisfaction. "That'll be Will. Knew he could do it."
Norrington gaped at the ship with a sinking feeling. In a low angry mutter, he turned on Jack. "You can't take the Hinde. I cannot allow this."
Jack lifted his brows at him and adopted a look of astonishment. "M' sitting right here, mate. I've not taken a thing."
With a furious growl, Norrington watched as the Hinde majestically sailed out of sight beyond the edge of the cliff surrounding their small cove, off to the right. Turner was obviously making for the coast on the other side of Port Royal's bay, where no doubt the Black Pearl was anchored, for Jack's boat to be moored here.
He rounded on Jack. "This is completely unacceptable! You cannot simply help yourself to my ships whenever you've a mind to."
"Haven't touched one of your ships in a year," Jack informed him, calmly. "'Twas Will's idea, not mine. 'Sides, if it wasn't for the Hinde, I'd've had nothing to bargain with him, to keep to our little agreement here." And he winked at Norrington and leaned his shoulder against him in a friendly gesture.
Norrington stared back at him. "I don't believe this. *You* gave him the Hinde on my behalf, in exchange for meeting you here on this spot?"
Jack met his gaze squarely. "Yes." And he gave him a small grin. "Would seem the price of a kiss is ten guineas, but the price of a tryst with you is a ship."
Norrington leaned forward, his forehead upon his knees. "Pirates," he cursed. Lifting his head to where the sea stretched out before them, clear once more, with speckles of red and shimmering purple in the dusk, he glowered, "I'm not convinced this is worth the cost to me - or the Navy, for that matter."
"Which reminds me," Jack intoned, slowly and significantly. "You owe me seventy guineas, all told. You can pay Teddy's due, too; I'm not bothered."
Norrington gave him a cold look askance. "I've come down here for the express purpose of meeting a pirate captain. Please explain why I'd bring my purse."
Jack gave a swift grin at this. "So you are going to pay in kind?" He licked his lips thoughtfully. "That was seven kisses in all."
Norrington continued to brood, however, scowling at the sunset.
Jack put an arm around his shoulders, saying comfortingly, "You're forgetting your power that your rank entitles you again, mate. All you 'ave to do is remember that you already gave Will your Letters of Marque, and never took them off him on his return. So really, the Hinde is still technically his. He's just helping himself to his inheritance, when you think about it."
With a sigh, Norrington said, "I hope you're happy. My reputation is in tatters, my career is compromised, I'm consorting regularly with the very scoundrels I once swore to see rid from the Caribbean, and I'm implicated in a highly volatile scandal of international proportions. I've opened myself up to blackmail on the most serious charges of debauching one of my junior officers, and engaging in sodomy with notorious buccaneers of the Spanish Main. And I'm facing an almost certain court-martial."
Jack squeezed him affectionately and said, "That sounds very gloomy, I'll admit. On the other hand, you've bloodlessly repaired the British sugar industry, ensured the safety of the Caribbean sugar cane productivity and helped heal the hearts of all your friends. You've learned to take off the wig and rank for a time, and see things in the light of honor rather than duty." Jack gave him another squeeze with the arm still about him. "And you've earned the respect of not just the good citizens of Jamaica, but the pirates as well, now that you're no longer acting like a stick in the mud with a rod up his arse." Jack beamed at him. "And the Spanish are behaving themselves, due to your ingenious use of a privateer fleet. You're the prince of the city, Jimmie."
"I'd appreciate it if you refrained from calling me that," Norrington informed him.
Jack put his other arm around Norrington and pulled him down to the sand with him. Facing him, Jack murmured, "I rather fancy I like calling you friend."
Staring back into Jack's ever-intriguing dark eyes, Norrington replied by bringing his fingers up to touch Jack's face, lightly caressing the dark brow, wandering down over his cheek, to feel the warmth of his lips.
Leaning closer, Norrington whispered, "I rather like calling you my lover." Whether he moved first, or Jack brought their mouths together, he didn't know, but it was all the same in any case, for the kiss was his entire world at that moment. Close, intimate, shutting out anything else that might intrude… including nagging worries about the future, pangs of his conscience, or even hints of painful doubt that Jack would continue to meet with him, down here.
There was no sane reason to disallow himself this freedom, this indulgence, this attempt to slake the craving he felt towards this man. This pirate. In possessing Jack's lips, he felt the passing of the recent weeks flee before the reality of the moment, in the gathering darkness of the beach that surrounded them.
The light was fading quickly as the sky turned shadowy, and he felt an answering insistence growing between his legs, the inevitable tightening in readiness for the only release he could ever hope for.
Jack moaned against him, his embrace not slackening around Norrington in the least. Even as Norrington was preoccupied with the simple, all-consuming thrill of the slow dance of their tongues, aware of the rising hunger in nibbling on Jack's full, sensual lips, he felt Jack's knee sliding up between his legs, bringing their bodies into closer contact.
Jack was as aroused as he was, he could feel it. The sheer satisfaction he derived from knowing that all that appeal, all the intensity and sharp longing, was directed purely at him was overwhelming. The brush of an abundance of dark hair and the somehow appropriate beads and dangles in it reminded him of the quirky wildness of Jack's nature. He felt as if he was losing a part of himself in Jack, in the darkness, against his mouth, to allow himself this taste.
All too brief, it was; illustrated in the next moment as Jack drew back for breath, and said in a low, rough voice, "Been missing you, too."
"Whatever happens," Norrington found himself promising, finding it easier in the dark, "I'll not give you up. You're mine."
"True enough," Jack smiled against his mouth, and added, liberally punctuated with light kisses, "though it does seem to me as though you've made me yours already, plenty of times before. Must admit I reckoned it was my turn, this time."
Norrington found a discordantly surprising ripple of dismay go through him at this suggestion. He'd allowed Teddy Groves that pleasure, that power over him. But there was something final about considering that surrender to Jack.
Jack sensed his stillness, and grinned at him, the muted glint visible even in the gathering gloom, Norrington's eyes unable to help dropping to look. And he realized he was getting distracted all over again at the curiously bewitching mixture of sensuality and playful wickedness of Jack's lips. Norrington kissed him again, helplessly, hotly, trying to shed the last vestiges of doubt as he did so.
"As you say, your turn," Norrington breathed into him, sensing the dropping of yet more barriers he'd still held erected against this final victory of Jack over him.
But Jack could feel his reticence and murmured, "Supposed to be in fun, darling. I'm not in the habit of forcing myself on others, unless they're very keen for it."
Norrington smiled a little in spite of himself. "It's the principle of it, is all."
"You'll just have to trust me then, won't you?" Jack suggested, in more of a statement than a question. Jack's hand was busy at Norrington's shirt, unbuttoning it to slip beneath.
"I guess I will," Norrington replied finally, in answer to whether or not he wanted to allow Jack the privilege. It wasn't that he didn't wish to engage in the act of surrendering to Jack. It was that he feared to tread that final line between them, in allowing himself to be placed completely in Jack's hands. In his power.
It came to him with a rush, nearly overwhelming him with the force of the realization: this was what he'd been waiting for. This final capitulation, symbolic of the last step towards sealing his relationship with this man. The trust inherent in it, in allowing Jack the honor of Norrington yielding to him.
It was all too easy to sink into the heat of Jack's closeness, enjoying the way their arms and legs were wrapped up together… And the wonderfully confining restriction of the separation of their clothing, which kept them from fully appreciating each other's male hardness, even as Jack bucked against him, with a little more urgency.
Jack's hand crept lower to his breeches, between them, to begin undoing the laces. Norrington had to shut his eyes and draw a breath at the sensation. Sweet, dark pleasure was curling over him, at the novelty of allowing Jack to inexorably push him onto his back. He worried briefly about the sand; he did so detest getting it into sensitive areas.
Jack was remarkably and swiftly efficient, pulling Norrington's breeches off, and then removing his own, undressing except for his shirt. Crouching over Norrington in the darkness of the beach, the twilight sky above and behind him, Jack was running his hands over Norrington's bare legs, up his thighs, pulling him partially into his bare lap. Then he leaned over and Norrington was being soundly kissed again.
While both of them were clad still in their shirts, Norrington was gradually aware that he had never until this moment fully appreciated the scale of vulnerability that one could feel while in such a defenseless position. While he had allowed his lieutenant to take him, his lovemaking with Teddy had never carried this sense of complete exposure.
And this was what he'd demanded of Jack, in their every previous meeting here in this same sand?
He blinked, wondering if Jack had undergone the same nervousness and tension, in entrusting Norrington with his dignity in the act. Jack always behaved so sensually, without shame or reservation; he'd assumed Jack enjoyed it effortlessly, possessing such an uninhibited nature.
Jack leaned back, and shifted Norrington into a better position, his hand wandering slowly over Norrington's spread thighs. Norrington could feel his face was hot, and he was very grateful for the cover of darkness, on this occasion.
Quietly, Norrington asked, "Is- Is it always like this, for you?"
Jack stilled, and was abruptly looming over him, to kiss him again, saying, "Always. It's another one of those acquired tastes." And then with another kiss, Jack grinned at him, "Why do you think I keep coming back for more? You do it so very well."
"Ah," Norrington said, not really certain he could appreciate the sentiment in quite the same way. Jack's hand was now tracing a promising path across his left buttock, to travel down the valley of his cleft, and back up again.
But when Jack's grasp then closed on his prick, milking him with practiced rhythm, Norrington felt himself regain the rigidity he'd begun to lose. Swiftly, he also found a renewal of trust rising once more, in not just Jack's intent or efforts, but in the way he held Norrington's reputation also literally in hand.
Jack must have felt his slight relaxation at this, for in the next moment, Jack was gathering the fluid that was leaking from his cock, and mingling it with his own, smearing it onto his fingers. Even as Jack brought them to Norrington's buttocks, he said, "You have done this before, yes?"
"Yes," Norrington managed, already feeling the anticipation wheeling through him.
Jack leaned a little over him, one hand still steadying his left thigh, a slippery finger brushing against his opening. "Tell you something, love; there's nothing wrong with giving it up. Not even to an undeserving fellow such as meself."
Norrington tried not to tense against the finger that slid into him. "You're not…undeserving." And he had to wonder at Jack's deliberate self-denigration.
Was Jack mocking what he believed Norrington's true opinion of him to be? Or was he simply attempting to make light of their past differences to distract him? And the overly-familiar use of that particular term of endearment also bothered Norrington… 'love', indeed. Even after openly declaring they were lovers, and that he considered Jack to be his lover, the idea that he was, in fact, in love with Jack Sparrow was something still to be contemplated.
Well, damnnation, what else could it possibly be? In a sudden fit of impassioned annoyance with his usual distrust and doubt, especially where Jack's motives were concerned, Norrington decided that it was quite hopelessly true. And he let out a gasp as Jack's finger was joined with another.
"I meant it," Norrington insisted, staring up at Jack, who was framed by stars slowly showing themselves. "You aren't undeserving."
"I know; wondered if you did, is all," Jack said, noncommittally. But there was the slight hint of defensiveness behind his words that abruptly made Norrington aware that Jack was telling nothing but the truth.
Jack withdrew his hand and grasped onto Norrington's other leg, who obliged by bringing his knees up farther.
As Norrington felt Jack's member penetrate him, slowly, smoothly, with just enough careful attention but also a resolute intent, he felt the remnant of the doubt he'd harbored against trusting Jack tiptoe away. And Jack's lips were curving above him again, for he could see it even in the twilight of their beach, along with Jack's perpetually dark-rimmed eyes.
Jack's hand ran admiringly up his chest, beneath his open shirt. "You're doing really very well, you know. Letting go. Ought to let yourself do it more often."
Norrington let his head go back at this, feeling the rest of the tension in him drain away as he allowed himself to submit to Jack's care. "It's already never enough," he murmured.
Jack's cock was more slender than Teddy's, Norrington realized, but longer. More like a blade. Oh-so-slowly, Jack began to move, an undulating motion that Norrington couldn't help but imagine Jack had adopted from the sea. A sting of unwarranted, unwelcome envy ran through him at knowing that William Turner had this man on a regular basis…But he himself had pushed Jack in Will's direction, urging him to do the right thing in seeing his commitments to Will's happiness to completion. He was happy for them, he was. Even as he was content with Teddy. But to have this short taste of Jack, this one brief sunset, it seemed all too swift. Too transient.
Jack was poised over him, rocking gently into him, with a hand on both of his legs, steadying them. The pleasure of Jack shafting him was beginning to take its toll, rising to some unbearable peak, the momentum not yet enough to carry him over.
Jack's mouth descending upon his was almost shattering, too unexpected. Jack was hot, feverish, all too obviously restraining himself. The concentration that Jack was putting into giving him this hard, careful mercy, even while possessing him, was undoing Norrington's already-frayed emotions inside. He hadn't expected this to be so complete.
In submitting to Jack, he'd finally earned the one thing he hadn't expected Jack to give him. Love.
He felt humbled by it, and despite the dangers, the inherent risk in their relationship, the total cost to his emotional self-control, Norrington knew it was worth keeping.
The edges of Jack's control, however, were coming apart more quickly, he could tell. Jack lifted up over him, and said, tightly, "'M too close, love." He paused, looking down at him, his lips parted with quick breaths.
Norrington found it quite endearing. He smiled up at Jack. "I hardly expect you to keep to some outdated notion of courtesy, here. We've the rest of the night, after all."
At his permission, Jack promptly surged forward into him, harder. And began a series of quick stabbing thrusts, brushing against that magical spot inside him, quite unintentionally. Jack was leaning over him now, a look of nearly urgent helpless pain on his face, and Norrington could feel him beginning to lose it atop him. He could tell, from the quivering of Jack's body against his flanks, and the way that Jack emitted a low whimper.
Abruptly, Jack's thrusts slowed, becoming more deliberate and timed, even shallow, and Norrington found himself gasping at it, as it caused a most delicious sensation of being used.
Realization dawned, at what Jack had meant before, when he'd referred to having acquired a taste for it.
Jack enjoyed submitting to him.
The exquisite tenderness that accompanied this knowledge rolled through him with a moan, and he took his own cock in hand, even as Jack reached his climax inside him.
As his zenith approached, he gazed up at Jack, who was staring down at him with burning eyes. There was nothing but the tumbling waves and crashing surf as the night stars seemed to swirl too dizzyingly. The delirious liberation of spirit taking flight, like some kind of strange raven-winged bird, echoed in the sight of Jack's hair flung back along with Jack's head, with that long neck exposed, arched. All too brief, as his own pleasure melted out of him along with the love.
It seemed as though the world had stopped altogether, and the idea of time was only regulated by the pulse of the waves and his heartbeat.
Jack was breathing hard, and slipped down to him, as he let his legs back down. Leaning against him, Jack let out a sigh, covering him.
As Norrington put both arms about him, shifting slightly in place to settle them both more comfortably, there was the unmistakable impression that Jack had surprised himself.
"I've observed that it keeps getting better," Norrington commented.
Jack only gave him a slight grunt of assent, but seemed to relax against him even more, slumped atop him contentedly.
Norrington's hand found its way to Jack's face, stroking the high cheekbone, the elegant nose. "I suppose we're both trusting each other with more than we first imagined."
Jack shifted against him and gave a little sigh. "I'm sure we'll both live to regret it."
This rather uncustomary gloomy remark from Jack was odd to hear. "One can only hope." Norrington smiled grimly to himself, however, recognizing the sentiment behind his words. At least they would live. "No doubt to the shock of all our respective associates," he added.
"Was a time I was sure you wanted nothing more than to hang me, so yes," Jack agreed. He turned his face into Norrington's caress, slightly.
"I find you've improved upon better acquaintance," Norrington murmured. "Although I'm not entirely happy about Will making off with my ship."
"Your ship?" Jack asked, in slight umbrage. "You've got a ship. Your Dauntless."
"The Hinde was mine as well," Norrington insisted. "And you still owe me for the loss of the Interceptor. Another Sparrow and Turner debacle."
Jack lifted his head to regard Norrington in the dark. His eyes gleamed at Norrington with a sobriety Norrington hadn't really ever been able to account for. "I'll make it up to you."
Norrington considered this with some humor. "It's a little late for that."
"Jimmie," Jack said, then caught himself as Norrington stiffened, and quickly added, "Jamie. James… at least one tryst more."
"Hm. I suppose we've already established the going price of a meeting like this one, is a ship; are you suggesting that we meet but once more?"
"No," Jack smiled at him now. "I'm suggesting we settle on the next meeting to pay you back for the loss of 'at one, and the next time we meet, I'll forgo the pleasure of helping myself to any more ships 'at might be sitting in your little bay."
Norrington considered this outrageous suggestion. "It's your intention, then, to ensure I keep meeting with you here, by threatening to steal my ships if I don't continue to do so?"
Jack thought this over. "Aye," he agreed, "but only with the understanding that it's completely and entirely up to you. They're your ships, after all."
"I fail to see why it's necessary for you to keep stealing my ships," Norrington said, sternly, not quite able to believe that Jack was already reverting to inflammatory remarks while lying atop him after such libidinous activity.
"Have to provide you with some sort of diversion," Jack explained. "I can't have you getting complacent here, mate, and believing I'm anything other than a pirate, now can I?"
"As if I were ever in any danger of believing otherwise," Norrington muttered, and having had enough of this particular line of discussion, he rolled quickly to the left, sand spraying slightly behind him as he bore Jack beneath him.
At Jack's intake of breath at this, however, Norrington groaned. "You're goading me into giving you exactly what you want."
"And you always do it so well," Jack purred under him. "Admit it, Jimmie, you've been doing it from the first."
Norrington considered this, his memory skittering through the various occasions he and Jack had met. "That's true, I suppose. But only because you are quite insufferable. I think rather that you take far too much delight in getting me to take you down."
"All the same, really," Jack said with an air of contentment. "No need to split hairs."
Norrington gave him a fierce smile. "There's no need to go to such lengths."
"Aye," Jack agreed, brightly. "Particularly when it's only your length I'm after -" His answer was interrupted by Norrington's attempt to shut him up by seizing his mouth in a kiss.
Jack responded a little too eagerly, and Norrington had to admit that there was indeed a certain amount of delight that he took in it. It was in this recent reversal of their positions that Jack had enabled him to see it. Blast it all. Jack had done him another favor.
He moved his lips over Jack's, brutally, and breathed harshly against him, "Leave my ships alone."
And not giving Jack a chance to answer, he claimed that incessantly devious mouth again, roving over Jack's lips and laying waste to whatever inane taunts Jack might dream up next.
The sand was cool beneath both his knees as he moved a little, getting a better hold of Jack and forcing Jack's legs farther apart.
So, Jack wanted him to take him, did he? Norrington resolved to give him exactly that, and more besides. Bringing both hands up to hold Jack's shoulders down in the sand, Norrington warned, "You've taken it to the edge, Jack. Don't try pulling me over it with you. It's senseless to risk us both in endeavors that are unnecessarily dangerous. If you want me to accept your submission, you'll have to ask for it. I'm not going to respond to any more games."
Jack licked his lips, his eyes glittering up at Norrington with a trace of a challenge, a measure of resistance. With disarming calm, he remarked, "I was very generous with you earlier, Jamie lad. Don't go spoiling it with threats, eh?"
Norrington had him now, though. He knew it, and smiled coldly down at him. "On the contrary, Jack. I have every intention of giving you exactly what you want. Every last inch."
With a deliberation he found in the recesses of his abundant years of command, he drew back, gathered the remains of his seed where much of it had spilled onto his skin, and smoothed it over his cock, which had grown quite hard at the thought of giving Jack the well-deserved ravishment he wanted.
"On your knees," he ordered, enjoying the way Jack's eyes widened at his tone.
Interestingly, Jack complied, moving up to get into position on his hands and knees without a word.
Norrington bit his lip at the sight of Jack's posterior - Jack really did have the loveliest bum. Equal to a woman's in its shapeliness, really. He placed his hands upon Jack's hips and slid the white shirt upwards, allowing it to gather, and then moved between Jack's legs to move them apart a little more.
A shiver ran over Jack, and Norrington felt it beneath his hands. He knew it wasn't from the warm night air. He angled his now throbbing cock against that luscious crack and found Jack's eager opening. Allowing himself the luxury of sliding into him a good several inches, Norrington couldn't stop the groan at the sensation, Jack's body was hot and ready and entirely too delicious. It was all he could do to not hurt him.
Jack's open-mouthed moan was to be expected, but the tremolos of need in it reached past Norrington's defenses, striking a purely raw center he hadn't had but a glimpse of, since that morning on this beach with Jack so long before.
With the experience earlier to draw upon, he knew Jack had shown him what it was he did to Jack…and what he wanted. Mere words or pleading or explanation could never have accurately conveyed the vulnerability, the stripping away of defenses, the final release in being claimed with such care and dedication.
As he sank his cock deeper, feeling Jack gasp from it, Norrington knew acutely what Jack was feeling at this moment. And he found his heart filled with an affectionate amusement that Jack had in fact been silently begging him for this ever since they had indeed first made each other's acquaintance.
They'd recognized each other, even as he had fought against it, himself.
*That* was what it had been, all along. Here was what he'd been waiting for, both of them in fact, and it was all combined together with desire and expression in his brisk, hard shafting of Jack's body in the dark, with only the sea and the rocks for an audience.
Jack needed him. Norrington felt the very last drop of fear and doubt that had worried him about their relationship slough away as he took a better hold of Jack's hips, and began to quicken the pace of his thrusts into Jack's shaking, groaning body.
He hoped Jack didn't mind waiting, because he'd only just come a short time before, and he was in the mood to prolong this for a while. No sense in doing half a job, after all, he thought to himself, wickedly.
To use him, to break him; to take Jack to that edge that he seemed so unhealthily intrigued by, with him. Norrington wondered if Jack even realized just what it said about him, that he wanted Norrington to do it.
If Jack was an irredeemable pirate, he had met his match in one Commodore James Norrington, he thought, and it was doubtful that Jack would find any other officer of the Royal Navy as cooperative, or caring.
It wasn't enough that Jack submit to him, Norrington knew now. It wasn't just in the chase, or the capture. It was in the possession, and taking him beyond his limitations. Who better for the task than someone whose own limitations were built of standards of discipline, stamina and control? He had the sudden suspicion that Jack had already known it all along, and had simply been teasing him, waiting for him to follow close enough to finally discover it.
Jack was starting to reach that limit now, Norrington could tell. He could feel it in the way that Jack was trembling under his hands, from the adrenaline and the excitement of this new development they'd embarked upon. He could tell from the breathy helplessness of Jack's groans, and he also noted the way that Jack was beginning to sink down a little, upon his hands.
The thrill of power that shot through Norrington at the realization again, that in order to properly dominate Jack he'd needed to taste the submission first, was heady enough to bring his balls up tight, and a lightning arc of pleasure gripped his lower belly.
Perhaps he'd been closer to finding his own pleasure again than he'd supposed… And then he heard it.
Jack's whisper, which was nearly inaudible, "Please, oh please."
Norrington swallowed at the pure yearning in it, and at the delight that raced through him at the utter yielding he heard in it.
Tightly, nearing that edge himself, he carefully said, "What do you need, Jack?"
Keeping the strokes of his cock shallower now, he waited. And was rewarded with Jack managing to gasp out, "Touch me. Please."
"About ready, are you?" Norrington inquired in an almost insultingly conversational tone. "I think we should give it another minute, really."
Jack's answering groan at this was indecipherable, as Norrington couldn't tell if he'd uttered it out of response from the thrust of his cock into him, or to his statement.
And after a few more series of shallow thrusts into Jack's now squirming behind, desperately shoving back to meet them, Norrington heard distinctly, "Well, bloody hell."
With a slight smile, Norrington moved his hands up a little, to hold Jack by his waist. Lovely waist, it was; long and smooth, perfect for holding onto. "I did make you a promise, after all," he replied. "If you recall? To give you exactly what you wanted."
Jack gave a high-pitched moan in reply, though, and ended up leaning on his elbows in the sand. "*Please*?" he begged, in a rather moving, heart-breaking tone of voice.
Norrington supposed it was really a very pretty plea, and that Jack had already received the point. He leaned over the beautifully tapered back, reached down his hand to fumble in the dark as he attempted to grasp hold of Jack's neglected sex, and began to jerk him with quick motions.
Jack's strangled whimpering and yelping at this was melodious. And fairly soon, in combination with the hand on him and Norrington's relentless pounding into him, Jack was coming with spurts, the wetness spasming onto Norrington's fist.
Norrington could smell it, mingling with the scent of the sea, and was curious. He waited until Jack had spent, and after a small while, he brought his hand to his lips, tasting. A shudder of provocation ran over him at the salty-bitter essence of Jack on his tongue, against his lips.
God, he had to have him. Now. More. Seizing Jack by the hips once again, he thrust hard into Jack, harder now, not caring, and felt the sharp shocks of pleasure flaring through his entire being.
Ohhhh God, to give it to him, to take it from him, to shoot it into him again and again, and he was coming inside of Jack's hot, writhing body, in that far too pretty arse, with the absolute conviction that they both needed all of it far too much to deny themselves any of it, any longer. The darkness was rushing around him in tandem with the stillness in the air, and Jack's skin was too hot to the touch, as he emptied himself over and over and over with wounded cries.
His heart was pounding loudly, the pleasure still racing around, trickling through his blood, and the sweetest thrilling of feeling himself still embedded in Jack was enough to bring him to a sense of completion he'd never known. He hadn't realized it was possible.
And added to this was the peace of knowing that in finding what Jack had wanted, he'd also found his own desire. It was rather humbling to know that they'd needed each other to find it. It wasn't about comfort, or companionship, or solace, or lust. It was this…claiming, this giving.
He stroked Jack's back, feeling the hot skin and imagining the bronze flesh though he couldn't see it in the dark.
Norrington was brought back to the moment, by Jack moving forward a little, and he pulled out of Jack, carefully. Not wanting Jack to move away, however, he placed both hands on Jack's waist, pulling him back. Jack stiffened though, and held himself still.
Norrington frowned, wondering. "Did I hurt you?" he asked, appalled to think that he might have. He hadn't meant to cause him pain, after all.
"No," Jack said, quickly. And with a little sniff, he pulled away again, this time to find his breeches.
Norrington felt a little chill of dismay. He recognized that sound. Damned if he was going to let this by.
Moving to Jack's side, still kneeling, he took Jack by the arms and pulled him into his embrace, holding him close.
Jack held himself tight against this at first, then slowly, too slowly, reached his own arms around to return it.
They both knelt there, leaning into each other, their shirts hanging down to cover their bare upper legs.
Norrington pressed a kiss to Jack's cheek, and tasted wetness. With a little sigh, he whispered, "I didn't mean to hurt you."
Jack's hold on him tightened and he shook his head slightly. "You didn't hurt me, mate. It's just-" He stopped.
But Norrington held onto him closely. "If it was too much…"
Jack sniffed again, but he smiled; Norrington could hear it in his voice, muffled against him. "Was more than I thought you'd give. Than you'd want to give."
Norrington closed his eyes against the answering hot prickle behind them, at the need in Jack's voice. "It may have taken me a while to find out. But you know where to find me. All you need do is tell me, and I'll be here."
"You might want to be careful about doing that, Jamie lad, else I may start thinking you love me a little bit."
Norrington smiled and kissed him again. "I'd say more than just a little bit, Jack."
The night sky, the sand, the rocks, and the sea, all conspired in that instant to create a sense of momentousness that Norrington felt resonate all the way into the marrow of his bones. He'd never be able to forget this one night. Nor this man. This pirate.
And he sighed, as Jack still held him close, "Why on earth I would end up in love with a pirate is completely beyond me."
Despite the accompanying sniff, Jack was shaking with silent laughter against him. "It's eluded me, why I'd fall for an uptight military officer with a penchant for trying to hang me."
Norrington gave a little smile at this and then said, sternly, "No more ships, Jack. I mean it. And no more helping yourself to the contents of my office."
Jack hugged him tighter and said in a deceptively quiet voice, "I hope you've got very good locks, then."
Norrington nodded. "Better that, than the crossbow, I suppose," he observed, grimly.
"Sorry 'bout that one. Had to improvise."
Norrington's brows lifted. "When do you have to leave?"
Jack grinned against him. "Not until morning."
Norrington felt a wonderful sense of freedom and happiness at this. In a voice filled with far too much satisfaction and contentment, he said, "Good. I'm of a mind to explore the bounds of this new relationship of ours."
Jack gave a low laugh. "As I said before, a glutton."
"Insatiable," Norrington agreed, bringing Jack back up so he could claim his mouth properly. As he kissed the pirate captain on the lips, it was somehow all the sweeter to taste the trace of tears along with the gold.
White gold, indeed.
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