Pairing: Young Jack/Rum, Young Jack/ "Puppy" (aka our special cameo appearance!)

Rating: PG-13 (for violence only)

Author's Notes: Yes, you all thought it couldn't happen ...but here it is. A Wren non-Slash, straight story that's just about Jack. All right, mostly.

To: DanyWifey and Spammybaby, who wanted nothing more than Jack and Rum in their Christmas Stocking.

Rum - The Magical Drink

By L.M. Griffin

It was, Jack reflected as he pulled on his breeches hastily, before tearing down the hallway hastily and down the back staircase, not the best way to be woken up. He had been looking forward to waking up in a warm bed, with an equally warm Mary Ellen Collins, a fine, lusty girl with distinctive charms, and breasts. Glorious breasts, actually. Marvelous globes of womanly flesh...

A shot rang out over Jack's head, slamming him back into the present as he threw on his shirt, not bothering to tuck it in or lace it up. Of course, Edward Collins had other ways to wake a body up. Not as pleasant, but surely as effective.

Grabbing up his boots that still rested by the front door, he angled around, just missing as another shot shattered a vase, and ran into the man's study. One more shot rang out, making him duck behind the divan. He called out as he shoved on one boot, then the the other, "Now, Mister Collins! Let's be reasonable about this, eh?!"

"REASONABLE!?" Collins roared from somewhere behind Jack, "You DIDDLED my WIFE!!"

Jack paused in tying back his shoulder-length dark hair back in a bandana, a few beads jangling at the end of one plait. He mouthed the word, 'Diddled?' to himself, and shook his head. He was a young man of twenty, a pirate Captain for two of those years and a sailor for at least half, not to mention a vocarious reader besides, so 'diddled' didn't exactly meet his standards for proper verbage in accordance to what he was doing so pleasantly to Mary. 'Diddled' sounded like something a naughty mutt would do to his master's carpet.

Ah Well. "Listen, mate. I didnae know she was your wife." Which was, alas, true. After seeing Collins's portrait in the fancy front hall, Jack told Marie that her father was a fine figure of a man. Marie never bothered to correct him. "So how about we both agree that the lass made jackasses out of us both, 'n leave it at that?"

An axe swung down, neatly splitting the divan and nearly Jack's head. He stared at it for a moment, before clearing his throat. "Guessin' ... Not."

Collins snarled down at him, as Jack attempted to get to his feet and away from the crazed man, "I'm going to kill you!"

Jack looked around the study nervously. Swords, knives, and other sharp pointies gleamed back at him. He silently cursing himself for dallying with a weaponsmith's wife, and a famous one at that. "Looks like y'have lots of options."

So what did this man do? This man with more weapons than any pirate cache that Jack Sparrow has ever seen? Does he go for a sword, a knife? Even one of those thingies with the spikes? No. The man grabs his poker from his fireplace, the tip burning like an ember, and heads towards the pirate with a mad gleam in his eyes. Jack hoped he never fell in love - it seemed to make you remarkably stupid.

However, a weapon is a weapon, and that burning end looked fairly unpleasant. As Collins charged him, Jack grabbed up the first shield like object that he could find, a silver tea platter, and thrust it in front of his chest. A lucky thing too, for Collins stabbed hard, twice, with the burning poker. It dented against the silver, but it burned bright against Jack's skin and he let out a scream of pain. Growling, he shoved forward with the platter, using his momentum to send Collins and his poker stumbling over the man's sofa and tumbling to the floor.

Jack hissed as he gingerly touched the two smouldering burns on his chest, before he scurried towards the door. He grabbed a sword off the wall, saluting with it's hilt towards Collins as he ran towards the front door, "For the price of a new shirt, mate. Ta."

He ran as he heard Collins cursing, trying to get to his feet and get to the 'diddler' of his wife before he escaped, but he was too late. Jack grinned as he threw open the front door and skidded to a halt at the sight of two gentlemen. One younger and dressed in the uniform of a young midshipman, perhaps not much more than sixteen, and the other older, well dressed and definately well off. They both had sea-green eyes, and the older gentleman spoke blankly, "We are here to see Mister Collins about a blade for my son -- dear Lord, a pirate!" He started, taking a step backwards. The young man, obviously his son, started as well, but towards Jack.

Jack smiled weakly, flashing white teeth, before he started to turn the other way. He felt a clamping on his arm, ripping the right sleeve to his shirt, and a young voice, firm and sharp, "I've got him, Father! Call for the Constab -- "

The young man didn't get out another word, as Jack's fist slammed into his mouth, sending the boy tumbling backwards into his father's shocked arms. Jack shrugged, "All apologies, must dash. We'll do tea."

Then he turned and ran back through the house, mentally sighing to himself. It really was just turning out to be a rotten day to be Jack Sparrow.

Behind him he heard footsteps, and somewhere in the house he heard Collins bellowing. He dashed through a room full of pistols, helped himself to one but didn't have the chance to grab shot or powder, and finally out through the kitchen. He ducked under maids, slide under the legs of the steward, and rolled right past the cook, right into the back garden. There, he could see the high fence, and the streets beyond with their beautiful musical freedom of hidden alleyways. He shoved his newly found weapons into his sash, then started to climb over the wall.

Or he would have, if he didn't have a persistant hand holding unto his boot. He gripped the top of the fence, jerking his head around with a growl. Where he met an equally determined, growling young man with a split bleeding lip, his green eyes flashing, "Going somewhere, pirate?"

"Over this wall, once I shake myself a puppy." Jack shot back, increasing his hold. "Leggo - I haven't broken any laws save sleepin' in some other man's bed!"

"I'm no puppy, you fiend! I am an officer in His Majesty's Service - Midshipman Norrington!" The boy snapped. "And you stole that sword and that pistol!"

"Borrowed, mate, borrowed but fully intended to give back once I got out of the house proper." Jack felt his grip loosening.

"You're out of the house, so give them back!" young Norrington countered, tugging even harder now, "And don't call me 'mate'! I'm no friend of yours, Pirate."

"Pirate Captain, whelp. Captain Jack Sparrow, t'be precise." Jack ground out, "And you ... are just ... too damned ... persistant!" Norrington was digging in his heels, and in any moment Jack was going to come tumbling off this wall. It was time for serious action. Jack pulled other leg up suddenly, and slammed it as hard as he could into the young man's chest. Norrington let out a grunt, and let go of him, so Jack used the advantage to pull himself atop the wall. He grinned down at the gasping, glaring Norrington, and gave him a salute, "Till we meet again, Norrington. I assure you it'll be an honor and a priveledge."

He spun, hopped off the wall, and eyed the street. A large cart was moving towards the harbor, and it was filled with large wooden vats of something. Jack eyed his blade, and grinned as he ran up the street, and snuck aboard said cart. He pushed open the lid to one vat quietly, keeping one eye on the driver and one on the lid as he pulled up, and slipped inside.

He sputtered a little in pain as the liquid burned against his two wounds, but then stopped, and lapped a little of the liquor. Then his grin widened as he ducked his head under, completely dousing himself in the best, sweetest rum he had ever tasted.

Rum. Truly a magical drink. This escape would make him look like he had disappeared into thin air, and bring the Sparrow-legend up a few notches. Not to mention his shiny new sword and pistol, sans powder and shot. And the rum was nicely closing the burns up, and cleaning them of infection, even if they hurt like the Devil.

All things considered, his fortunes had turned towards the better. Jack Sparrow sighed happily as he sank into the rum-bath a few more times, drinking deeply. The morning was definately improving.

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